It’s Michael Jackson’s funeral today and while normally i don’t pay a whole lot of attention to celebrities, this particular celebrity death is hitting me hard – a harsh combination of sorrow shadowed by guilt. Since the news, I’ve found myself teary-eyed and nostalgic – there isn’t a period in my life from childhood to my 20s to which an MJ song, dance move or TV appearance can’t be associated.
And i’m not the only one: in the first days, everywhere i went strangers would randomly stop to talk about how sad we all were about Michael Jackson’s sudden death. Family members and friends from around the world contacted me to share the news or reminisce about which moments of their lives will be forever associated with which Michael Jackson song…
If you only know the MJ of the last 20 or so years – that ghostly, surgically sculpted figure with bizarre habits and a constant subject of questionable accusations and behaviours – then you might be confused at the worldwide outpouring of grief. If most of these people are like me though they’re likely grieving for the other “before” Michael – the young pop star genius Michael who won every award available and completely transformed videos and the pop music scene. The one who’s every song we can identify with some significant moment in our lives since childhood – the one who we’ve always wished could have found the inner peace necessary to live a more normal and happy life – THIS Michael:
I SO wish things could have turned out differently for him. I wish he was still making music. I wish he hadn’t ruined his career. I wish he hadn’t ruined his face. I wish he was still just being fantastically talented and musically brilliant in the way only Michael Jackson (and no one else) could be.I wish i could still listen to his music without that momentary flash of doubt and distaste. And I wish i could still feel the pure and innocent fan worship that kept this picture happily posted in my highschool locker:
xoxo R.I.P. Michael xoxo