"Now that's a real shame when folks be throwin' away a perfectly good white boy like that."
MJ had a huge impact on my life as a 12 year-old growing up in Columbus public schools. Back then, suburban kids were bussed into the inner city as part of the desegregation program of the early 80's. Michael Jackson brought the two groups of children together and bridged the gap. I was so obsessed with his music and dancing that I memorized every move, including the moonwalk (which I still pull out at wedding receptions to this day...lol) and I became known as "white Mike" or "little Michael" amongst the black and white kids alike. I was sort of like a little celebrity in the school. Everyone knew who "white Mike" was and I was constantly performing in the hallways. I had his Beat it zipper jacket. I had the black and red versions of the Thriller jacket. The glove. Everything.
Looking back, that could have been a very difficult time for me, but because of his music and talent, I instantly fit in and gained a whole new group of friends in the process.
He was my hero. He was magic. He was Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, my brother, my father, my uncle, my best friend. All rolled into one.
Coincidentally, I just recently had been playing old MJ videos from youtube and showing my 8, 5, and 3 year old's. I wanted them to experience that magic. Yesterday, with CNN covering the story, my 3-year old asked me why they were talking about Michael Jackson. Then he heard the reporter say that he was dead and he looked at me and said, "Michael Jackson died, Daddy? No, he didn't die.....he's like Spiderman and Spiderman doesn't die." It was so cute. I was touched that my child even knew who he was, just from the recent videos he'd watched.
I always knew this day would come, but I didn't think it would be so soon. I knew something would eventually happen though. His life was too full of drama that I knew it would be something shocking. I could just feel it. He did some strange things over the last few years and I tried to just ignore it, because I didn't want the magical image of him from my childhood being tainted. However, I never believed the accusations. I feel he was a gentle, kind, and child-like soul and a soul like that is just gobbled up by the cynical society we live in today. I agree with Wily Mo. He was more comfortable with children because he was a child at heart. He never really had the opportunity to grow up.
I never had the opportunity to meet the man, but I was deeply impacted by his life and, like many others (that grew up in the 70's and 80's), part of my childhood died yesterday as well.
We've seen this story so many times before. Enormous talent, lots of money, huge adulation and addiction to Rx drugs
2) Marilyn Monroe
3) Judy Garland
I expect Michael Jackson to join this list
I enjoyed dancing to his music at parties but I must say I've never bought any of his albums.
As I recall, technically Thriller was considered a movie and not a video. This made it eligible for Academy Awards.
Incidently my favorite song of his is not one of his more famous ones but is a beautiful ballad, She's Out of My Life
Even with all the money and fame, I am not sure he was ever happy. By most accounts his childhood was not good and he was seemingly never able to build any lasting relationships. Now at age 50 and rich while off the charts on the weirdness scale he ends up dying alone. Very sad.
What are you, people? On dope? - Mr Hand
I'm not ashamed to admit that I cried a bit when I heard the news yesterday. His music is a large part of the soundtrack of my childhood. My parents were huge fans of the Jackson 5 and having been born in 1981, I was able to be introduced to his music as a solo artist as well. I spent many hours trying to emulate him because Michael Jackson was the essence of cool at that point and time. There simply aren't words to describe the talent that he possessed and it's something that I'm confident we won't ever see again. I feel extremely fortunate to have been able to witness his career at its peak and being able to know him as something more than just the scandals that plagued him later on.
I've never believed that Michael Jackson was a pedophile. Comparing him to OJ is a huge stretch because while there was a preponderance of evidence against OJ, there never was against Michael. I believe that the charges weren't anything more than attempts for exploitation against a very vulnerable and naive man who in all reality was really a child that never was given the opportunity to truly grow up. One really has to look no further than the song "Childhood" to get a glimpse into how Michael saw his life and lack of childhood.
I wrote this somewhere else.
Michael Jackson the pop star died years ago. His music to the pop world has been there and will always be there. The comparison to Elvis is pretty appropriate. I kind of find the notion that he will be missed appalling. If he didn't have a great voice he probably would be sitting in jail right now anyway. I don't have a soft spot in my heart for child molesters. It may be a callous point of view, but I just can't pay any respects to one Michael Jackson.He was a whack job who was given multiple chances for redemption but never acted upon them.
Last night my wife kept saying "I can't believe he died". I just said I really don't care. He was a child molester and a nut job. She would tell me to just remember the good that came out of him. I couldn't. In all honesty there were probably thousands of better people who passed away yesterday. Teachers, parents, coaches, and true role models. These people will not get any press, any wide spread love, but will missed by the people important to them. Jacko had a talent that no one else had, did that make him a good person? NO!
While I think he was a wackjob with a capital nutball, I feel sorry that his family is feeling the loss of a loved one (however dysfunctional that family might be). I also understand that he wasn't exactly raised in such a way to set him up for long-term success.
There's not much else I can say that would be different ground so I'll toss out this question: Would he have been the "king of pop" had MTV not been coming onto the scene around the time of Thiller?
a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.
I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate
It's a fair question but I think he would have. He was a big star already with the Jackson 5 and Off The Wall was a very, very popular album. The thing that really gave him the boost from stardom to super-stardom was his performance at that Motown show which, I believe, was on NBC. I think that may have been where he moonwalked for the first time. He didn't need music videos to make him a superstar.
Im just sad that every single news channel has dropped every important subject from their coverage in favor for the guy. Sure, its a bumemr but cmon.... There's important, life changing legislation going on that im sure deserves some coverage to keep all our politicians in check.
Who the heck knows what they are sneaking into the bill last moment now with the news focusing on MJ now.
.... *sigh*. I digress.