It's time. I was going to do this last night but I just didn't have the words. I'm still not sure if I do. Thursday afternoon, Michael Jackson died. It came as a shock to everybody, and I don't think anybody really wanted to believe it when - ugh - TMZ broke the story.
I found out on facebook, actually, when I signed in and saw somebody's status saying that he died. I searched Google News and the only story I found was the aforementioned TMZ article. Everybody else was just reporting that he'd been taken to the hospital. I believed everybody else over TMZ. I turned on Headline News as Caroline walked into the room. I told her, "TMZ is reporting that Michael Jackson died. Everybody else says he's alive and just in the hospital." We sat and watched as Headline News told us that the LA Times and CBS reported that TMZ was right. When the HN anchors started treating it as though he was gone, that's when we started to believe the horrible news.
We eventually turned off HN and put on MTV, who had pre-empted all of their regular programming to show Michael Jackson's music videos. At 9PM, the Viacom owned music channels all broadcast a special look at the life and times of the King of Pop. I took a break from the coverage to watch TNA iMPACT! wrestling on Spike TV, but came to work at 11 to find that CNN was on, and talking non-stop about Michael, taking fifteen minutes every couple of hours to talk about Farrah Fawcett, who passed away hours before Jackson. Friday morning, I was expecting a package from UPS, so Caroline and I sat around and watched Michael's music videos across three or four different channels - and by the way, fuck you, VH-1 for stopping your Jackson block to air "Daisy of Love." Luckily Fuse and MTV Jams stepped in to pick up the slack.
Earlier in the week, a movie about the Jackson 5 was on television. It led to a conversation on Wednesday about the child molestation allegations that Jackson faced, how neither of us thought he actually did that. The man was a 50 year old little kid, who had sleepovers with his friends. Creepy? Certainly, but that doesn't mean that he's touching them or doing anything inappropriate. He was a big kid because he never had the chance to be a little kid - he was a performer by the age of five.
I called my mother while we were watching the video marathons, and I asked her if the news channels went this crazy about John Lennon's death. She told me they didn't even go this crazy when Elvis died. That's how much of a cultural icon this man was. Bigger than The Beatles. Bigger than Elvis. Probably the biggest star the world had ever known.
Michael Jackson trancended race, gender, religion, culture, language, and any other barrier you can think of. He was often called "The King of Pop," but he trancended genres. I'm a metalhead without question, but I was busting out my best Michael Jackson moves Friday morning while watching his videos. Hell, I even busted some out at Club W a couple years back when Jorge and I hit up a performance by The Fracture. When he danced, the man was the very definition of liquid motion, and he defied the laws of physics at times. When he sang, you knew who it was immediately, he had such a unique and iconic voice. He's influenced and inspired so many artists who came after him, and there will never be another one like him. Thank you, Michael, for making this world a better place for the short time you were in it.
Michael Joseph Jackson