As you have noticed, I have yet to weigh in on the whole Michael Jackson cluster-fornication. There’s not a day that goes by without me hearing about it on the television, radio, or reading about it in the newspaper. I’m asked at least once a day to express my opinion. It just won’t go away.
“How has Michael Jackson’s death affected you, Eugene?” asked my mail carrier.
“What is your favorite Michael Jackson song, Eugene?” asked the cashier at Lowes Foods.
“Will you be watching the Michael Jackson memorial on television, Eugene?” asked the proctologist during my examination.
“Do you think he really touched those kids, Eugene?” asked the drive-thru attendant at Long John Silver’s.
“Is it possible that Michael Jackson’s soul soured when caught his hair on fire during the filming of that Pepsi commercial, Eugene?” asked the store manager of Dude’s adult book store.
Honestly, I was just as shocked as everyone else when I learned of his death. Someone from Fox 8 called Shark (Majic 94.1 / afternoon drive) about 30 minutes before official word got out. I figured that the skinny one had been swept up by a dust devil and was snapped like a twig when he met a telephone pole. I never expected a cardiac issue.
I watched a little bit of the coverage on Time Warner Cable’s News 14 Channel when I got to Jamie’s house. I couldn’t believe that the fans were pouring into the streets around the hospital and trying to gather at MJ’s star on Hollywood Boulevard (covered by construction equipment). I thought to myself… What dumb asses!
The guy wasn’t Elvis. He wasn’t a Beatle. He was a talented guy with a lot of problems and I gave his death about an hour of my time.
I didn’t break out any of his CD’s. That’s because I don’t have any.
I didn’t turn on the radio to hear any of his songs that started to immediately show up on stations across the dial. I even heard, through unreliable sources, that country station WTQR threw the song “Dirty Diana” into their rotation.
And unlike the sheep-like masses, I wasn’t interested in going out to the stores to waste my money on any of his music. Like every other person with O+ type blood, I had a copy of ‘Thriller’ in my LP collection. I even have copies of ‘Off The Wall’ and ‘Bad’ arranged chronologically on both sides of that massive seller.
I don’t have anything by The Jacksons.
I cannot understand why there’s so much fuss about this guy. Sure, he was a talented performer and songwriter. I’ll give him that, but I just don’t get the big public outpouring of emotion. He didn’t change music that much… But he did get a black man other than J.J. Jackson on MTV. In my opinion, there was nothing groundbreaking about his music.
Lots of groundbreaking crap in his private life… Attending events with Emmanuel Lewis as a lap ornament and Brooke Shields by his side… He practically married a monkey named Bubbles… He tried to purchase the remains of Joseph Merrick (the “Elephant Man”)… He took the songwriting rights away from The Beatles and made enemies with Paul McCartney… His skin went crazy with loss of color (somehow that didn’t seem keep Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rev. Al Sharpton out of his surrounding lime light)… He created his own home with a theme park… Invited kids over for sleepovers and allegedly gave them alcohol, slept with, and molested them… His nose gave him more trouble than a previously owned Yugo with a leaky gas tank… Let’s face it, the guy was a freak.
But I don’t think it was because he was crazy. I think it was because he grew up as an entertainer around other freaky artists. He perceived those types of shenanigans as normal things and he became a product of his environment.
If anything, he deserves our collective pity and hopefully he will find the peace in the life after this one.
As for my favorite MJ song… I’ll go with “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough”.
I remember that song blaring over the speaker system at SkateLand USA as I was putting the prepubescent moves on a girl named Ashley. I remember the mirror ball throwing dots of light around the cavernous room. The sounds of video games like Asteroids, Space Invaders, and Death Race 2000 in the background. And gee, her hair smelled terrific.
But I didn’t get the girl and I guess I’ll never fully get the fuss about Jackson’s death.