I had not planned on blogging about Michael Jackson’s death. I felt it would be unnecessary, I was sadly mistaken.
Love him or hate him, he is undoubtedly one of the best entertainers of all time. He set the bar so high for anyone to follow with album sales with Thriller (selling 50 million copies), something that most artists today can not even imagine. Superstardom that had him compared to that of The Beatles and Elvis. He transcended race, generations, cultures, etc. with his music; he did what other musicians as myself hope to do.
I find those that in his death to be so hateful are simply heartless, after all he was human no different from anyone else and has a family just as we all have. Entertainers are in the spotlight to share their work with the human population, not their personal lives. However a vast amount of the human population does not see the problem with judging every move of entertainers. If such a light were placed on individuals who are so fast to make snap judgments of entertainers they would be ripped apart just the same. For anyone that thinks this would not happen to them, then odds are you are just the type of person to do so to others.
Most of what I have seen though is celebrating the music and of course the dance moves of Michael Jackson. Yesterday as I drove through a small college town Thriller came on the radio station I was listening to. In standard fashion I turned it all the way up and at a red light a group of twenty-something year old girls crossed the street, dancing and singing along with the music coming from my car.
I believe Michael will not be remembered for his personal life, but the music he created that touched so many. I personally will continue to shamelessly dance every time I hear Billie Jean.
Out of all I have read, Carrie Brownstein (of Sleater-Kinney) has said it best:
The majority of the posts and feedback I’ve been reading and listening to are tinged with sweetness, sadness and nostalgia. Yet some people are wondering how we can forget or overlook the ugliness that marred Jackson’s personal life, from child-molestation charges to questionable parenting.
For many of us — and I think this is why there’s a lot of unabashed adoration and disbelief in the wake of his death — we’ve never known a world without Michael Jackson. From the time we were young enough to even know what music was, we’ve been fascinated and awed by Jackson. And in a pre-Internet, pre-computer age, knowing that there were fans all around the world listening to the very same songs as we were, it was the first time we got a sense of how close we could feel to people we would never meet, living in countries we might never visit.
We take globalism for granted today, but back when a lot of us had yet to travel outside our own cities, states or countries, Michael Jackson was the first person to blanket our world, to connect us through fandom and song. He was a huge force in making our small and young lives feel massive, at least vicariously. As a kid, there’s not much more you desire than to feel part of something larger than you.