One thing I never seem to fully learn about this world is the fact that change is going to happen constantly, ready or not. Three icons in as many days and the world keeps turning, but it sure seems a little bit different. I had the Farrah poster on my wall as a kid, until my mom saw it and made me take it down. At the time I really didn’t understand her attitude towards a nice picture of a smiling pretty girl, but upon reflection, that sure was a good poster! Ok maybe I’m not being entirely honest about the poster, I also watched Charlie’s Angels and not because I thought they were really good detectives!
At the same age, my bedtime would coincide with the start of the Tonight Show and many nights I would lay in bed listening to my parents’ television in the living room and not fall asleep until I heard Ed McMahon say, “Heeeerrees Johnny!” Michael Jackson was always there. The Jackson 5 cartoons, the duet video with Paul McCartney, the Beat It video, Thriller, the marriage to Lisa Marie Presley, the Martin Brashears interview that pretty much moved Michael from the realm of music innovator to circus sideshow that his life became. I was never a huge Michael fan. I liked a lot of his songs and admired and respected his talent but I was more of a Prince fan. Buddy and I used to argue about who was better, he liked Michael and I liked Prince, but whenever we saw each others “favorite” perform, we’d just look at each other and say “He is a bad m*****f****r though!”
I know how our culture treats dead celebrities and I dread the onslaught of tasteless jokes that will start to show up. For the record, I’m not interested in hearing them, so if you got some, please keep them to yourself. The down side of having 24 hour news channels is that as they eulogize Michael they’ll run out of immediate family members and close friends and eventually you’ll be seeing interviews with the mailman from Gary IN that used to deliver the mail to the Jackson household back in the early 60’s. Our culture, what I call The Culture of Right Now, makes it difficult or even unnecessary to say goodbye to passing celebrities. They live on through CD and video forever. Hopefully that will be the best and kindest part for Michael Jackson; that his music, dancing and entertaining will outlive the strange final chapter that wrote. Rest in Peace Michael and thanks for sharing your talent and art with us!