Even as I write this I’m thinking, “seriously, do we need more stuff about Michael Jackson on this wide world of webiness?” Well, probably not- but as many of us are thinking about him as we’re inundated with media coverage, I thought I’d add my 2 cents. I thought three things when I heard about his death:
1. Weird- I was just talking with a friend about our life long ambition to learn the Thriller dance & then collectively bust it out at a club on 80’s dance night. Does anyone else dream about doing this? I was especially inspired to do this when I saw “13 going on 30” and Jennifer Garner gets the whole club dancing to Thriller (yes- I am admitting to watching and liking this movie).
2. Sad- I felt sad for his kids & his family. Whenever anyone dies it is painful & celebs are no different- however, I think the sadness must be compounded by all the drama surrounding his death & the insane media coverage. I can’t even imagine how they must have space to grieve. I also felt sad for his fans, especially the people who have built their lives around following him. To put your hope in a person, especially a celebrity for your identity or purpose never ends well. At a time like this it’s such a powerful reminder for how pop culture shapes us. Michael Jackson arguably had more notoriety than most people in the world- people who do amazing things to make this world a better place. He may have never made any impact in providing for human kind but because art (yes, I think pop music is art) is able to inspire others towards creativity- the world is different because of those thumping opening bass notes of Billy Jean, the perfectly choreographed zombies, and that sparkly white glove.
3. Nostalgic. In 1985 I was 8- I had a electric blue boom box that held a blank tape so I could record songs that I liked from Q107, our local radio station. It was the height of Michael Jackson mania (the good kind). I can remember hearing Michael Jackson’s “Bad” playing from our neighbors car across the street on a warm summer night when our neighbor Mr. Nebel came home from work. For whatever reason, in my 8-year old enthusiasm I ran up to Mr. Nebel and asked him- “Mr. Nebel- do you know about Jesus?” He quizzically looked down at me, and probably towards my mom, who may have been embarrassed, may have been proud at my direct question, and smiled- “yes Jessica, I do know about Jesus.” Excited I looked up at him replying, “Jesus is even cooler than Michael Jackson!” And then I think I started hopping around with excitement that our neighbor Jason was still playing Michael Jackson from his car stereo.
What are your MJ memories? Did anyone get to see him in concert back in the day?