Me and Pippi are standing at the train station, waiting to board our train. I check Twitter on a whim and what do I see? Michael Jackson is dead.
Then we hear one of the other passengers talking about him being taken to the hospital, in bad shape. Cardiac arrest, we found out later. Once actually on the train and moving, those who had laptops began checking every media site they could.
Everyone waits, several people are praying, hoping that it is just one of TMZ’s hasty rumours. That he would recover.
Then the AP wire confirmed.
Next the LA Times.
The King of Pop was dead at 50.
There was a moment of disbelief. Then someone burst into tears. Someone found a live newsfeed and turned up their speakers so everyone on the car could hear.
Now I’ve always had a mixed opinion on the man. Nearly my entire life he has had those accusations of pedophilia hanging over his head. Do I believe them? Not sure but I have to lean more towards no. The man always seemed too childlike. I’m not saying he didn’t have serious issues, he did, just not sure pedophilia was one of them.
However, I did grow up listening to his music despite being nonexistant/too young to remember the early days of MTV when his videos dominated. I remember watching Thriller when I was a small child and trying to mimic the moves, falling flat on my face. I remember buying his greatest hits as my first ever CD at the age of 11. I remember his surprise performance at the 2001 VMAs when I was 13.
The man was a worldwide phenomenon as evidenced by the Internet pretty much choking (especially Google, Twitter, and Wikipedia) with a huge surge of traffic. Talking to my mom later, I hear that many networks including MTV had pulled programs to pay tribute to him.
So when someone pulled up their iTunes and began playing “Beat It”, nearly everyone in the compartment between the ages of 9 and 50 were singing along. I myself could be found dancing with a brunette woman in her 30’s, whose name I did not actually found out until I reached my stop.
About 20 plus strangers dancing and singing together, with similar scenes repeating up and down the train. A rather fitting tribute to the man who is easily one of the greatest performers of all time.
Whether it’s that crazy half-fall during “Smooth Criminal”, the hat and glove, his gorgeous album covers, or the classic moonwalk. He will never be forgotten.
Now that he’s passed on, I’m sure that him and James Brown are breaking it down in the afterlife.
“Music has been my outlet, my gift to all of the lovers in this world. Through it — my music, I know I will live forever.” – Michael Jackson
Dear New York Post,
The copy editors saw nothing wrong with this before giving it the OK to print?
If that’s the case, then you (the management) completely deserve the shitstorm headed your way.
Maybe you (the artist) thought you were being witty because of the recent chimpanzee mauling and how you thought Obama was crazy? Apparently you’re pretty short-sighted since it never occurred to you that likening a half-black president to a monkey was a very very bad idea.
I could ask why the cartoonist thought this was funny but I’d probably just be more infuriated by the answer. Quite honestly, I didn’t believe my mother when she called in full rant mode about this. I didn’t think any major paper today would actually be stupid enough (not naive enough to think no one would think about it, just that the collective staff was smarter) to not pull the plug on it. Then I saw it myself this morning.
Congratulations, you made a self-proclaimed motormouth speechless.
When the only reply I can make to my mother’s tirade on the evils of white men is that it was one idiot, a response which sounded weak even to my ears, then the line has been crossed twice. I could go into how despite the fact that this was the action of one man, it reflects poorly on a whole group of people but I just don’t have the energy.
Sometimes, there is really nothing you can say.