Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson Dead at 50

TMZ was reporting it first (The Blog Prof has links and Memeorandum), and then the Los Angeles Times, "Michael Jackson is dead [Updated]." Both Fox News and CNN held off on reporting, until a few minutes ago, absent confirmation. I was never one to be too hard on Michael Jackson. Reclusive and enormously wierd (and perhaps criminal), Michael Jackson, and earlier, with The Jackson 5, was more than a cultural icon in my family. Like Farrah Fawcett, Jackson's death engenders "wistfulness." I truly feel older today.

18 comments:

Dave said...

Michael Jackson: Born a black male and died a white woman.

-Dave

Donald Douglas said...

Be kind in death, Dave ...

The Vegas Art Guy said...

I was never a big fan of his but I hope he finds the peace he never found here on earth.

Wow, Michael, Farrah and Ed in three days?

Philippe Ohlund said...

My condolences, Donald! :-)

I loved Michael Jackson's music, but I never understood his strange undertakings concerning his own proper person.

Philippe Ohlund said...

Sorry, the :-) sign should have been :-(

Donald Douglas said...

Happy face is okay, Philippe. Send out the good vibes ...

Tim said...

A tough day for cultural icons. Have to say that this really strikes home. I respected Farrah a lot, but never had much to do with her career. Michael, on the other hand, was one of my first, if not my first, musical heroes. By the age of 10 I was already a fan of music, and "Ben" was the first album ever given to me as a gift. I wish I still had it! I watched all the variety shows in the 70s and never missed an appearance of the Jackson 5. I bought the Dancing Machine single as well, one of my first purchases from my allowance. Later, as a student in London, I went to Madame Tussaud's museum when Michael showed up for the unveiling. A few years later, was seeing Starlight Express in the theatre in London, and M.J. was in the audience! Very interesting night. Also, my wife and I saw him in Milton Keynes around '88, when Sheryl Crow was still his backup singer. There was always electricity around this guy. The crowds loved him.

His talent lives on.

Dave said...

Michael Jackson contributed much to the music world, and as a former classical vocalist, I am not without a certain appreciation for said contributions, even though I was never a fan of his, or of the pop music genre itself, as I have never been into entertainment for the masses.

However, tomorrow, our elected "representatives" in Washington are going to be casting their votes on a "historic" bill (Crap $ Tax) that, if passed, will probably result in the permanent destruction of our nation's already sinking economy, and shortly thereafter, will contribute to the death of the America we all grew up in.

I am guessing that they will take full advantage of the unseemly celebrity-worshiping, American Idol watchers among us being rather distracted, and vote for this hideous piece of shi..., I mean, legislation, in droves.

If we are going to mourn those who truly matter, then let it be these people:

http://projects.washingtonpost.com/fallen/

-Dave

Rusty Walker said...

Michael Jackson was so much more than his personal demons. I met Michael Jackson, it is quite a story really, not the forum here - I had my family with me. He was such a tender gracious person. One would never know he was a legend.

This is no excuse for possible improprieties, this boy who never grew up never had a chance. People around him wanted litigation money and there are a lot of predators out there, I never really believed he was one of them, more a victim – I could be wrong. Nonetheless, unsubstantiated accusation were never proven, and never convicted. We will never really know, so, can we agree we don’t know and put it to rest? And enjoy the genius of his music!?

Of male super-stars, and genius musical talent, one can debate this, but there was Frank Sinatra, Elvis, (insert my bias – Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder), John and Paul, and who else? Michael Jackson! God rest his troubled, genius soul!

Tomas said...

Dave claims he's not interested in "entertainment for the masses"

Apparently, if the masses happen to be entertained, there is an inherit inferiority complex intertwined within the source of the entertainment?

I get the feeling Michael Jackson was just easy prey for racists, bigots, and corporate media whores who saw a persons' eccentricity as a source of exploitation to sell tabloid news stories.

Musicians of all genres would, without a doubt, respect this man's inate abilities for creating music. Yet, it is unfortunate that, western society seeks some forms of conformity to certain useless "social norms", to be considered as a legitimate and respected figure in public life.

Michael Jackson could be this classic sociological study regarding celebrities and non-conformity to some superficial set of social norms that all of us should apparently follow.

Tomas said...

Rusty,

You're right. An eccentric, sometimes reclusive, black man with an amazing talent, fame and lots of money.

It doesn't take much to figure out ways to exploit such a character.

Rather laughable, that someone commented above about MJ being a black male/white woman, and further down comments that he is not interested in "entertainment for the masses".

Yet, the source of his apparent "Joke" stems from the worst form of celebrity obsession (ie tabloid media whoring).

Hypocrisy is a funny thing really.........

Rusty Walker said...

Hi Tim, your comments are interesting again.

Geeez, everyone, chill out. This is an American moment. This isn't political.

All these icons I grew up with. Farrah, was someone we all fell in love with in those heady days of Viet Nam fueled 1960s and 70s.
I was studying abroad, 1962-1966 in Australia, and so I had a rare opportunity in 1965, at a small venue, the Beatles and Stones before they ever set foot on Stateside soil. Yet, my biggest musical regret is that I never saw Elvis, and a generation later - Michael Jackson, live in concert. Life gets in the way and then you think – what is the cost of a ticket.

Maybe we should remember that when our kids say, hey, can I see Britney Spears, but the tickeyt s and go (That one I thankfully gave into).

God Bless MJ. Both of them.

It was Stormy Thursday Blues for sure.

Rusty Walker said...

Right, Tomas!

Philippe Ohlund said...

Thanks Donald! :-)

repsac3 said...

Michael Jackson was more of a guilty pleasure for me.

I can't say I was a fan like Tim & some others here, but I did enjoy some of his music and admire his talent. I didn't understand his way of life so much, and was even put off by some of it, like his outbidding the Beatles themselves for the rights to their music (& then to allow them to be used in commercials?) I owned the Thriller album of course, but I think that was the only one I ever had...

On the other hand, I remember some of those variety shows from the 70s, and watching the Jackson 5 cartoons... (Michael shined wherever he was, but I'm more in tune with that older Jackson Five music, even still.)

As others have said, between MJ & Farrah--the way I remember it, every girl (and a few of the guys) in jr high had that hair style, or somethin' like it--it was a bad day for 70's icons, and for my youth...

Rusty: Have you always made this much sense, or have these deaths brought something out in you? (It's probably the former... I tend to give too much weight and attention to the bomb-throwers in a hostile room.) Great comments in the last 24 hours, regardless...

Mike said...

MJ will live on forever through his music and videos. A tribute to his life: http://tinyurl.com/MichaelJacksonPortal never forget!

Rusty Walker said...

Thanks, repsac3, I appreciate that. I am finding that this can be a rough format – sometimes best to try to "keep your head, when all about you are losing theirs."

Erkin said...

I grew up listening to his songs, watching his dance. I hope, your songs will live in our generation.. You will be remembered through your music forever. Everyone loves him from all over the world! Rest in peace...