At first I thought, while sad and tragic, this death (like the death of Farrah Fawcett as well) will merely solicit a "Wow!" from me. No soul searching or personal reflection would result from it.
As I was reading the first reports of AOL late this afternoon, I realized that this had some form of effect on me. When I was a kid [pre-teen], I enjoyed listening to Michael Jackson (circa-1983).
As a kid, I remember having Prince's Purple Rain tape. My brother got the Michael Jackson tape. I always coveted his tape. I recall going to a friend's apartment in our complex and we both danced in front of his parents to Beat It! Honestly he had all the moves [black] and I just tried to mimic his natural ability to little avail.
My father had the Thriller album. Which I would lay on the floor and read the lyrics while the songs were playing. One that always sticks out in my head is the effort with Paul McCartney This Girl is Mine. Next to the lyrics were drawings of Michael and Paul tugging on a woman enforcing their God given man right to claim any woman they please.
I had the "Yellow Sweater Vest" poster on my wall.
I got a pair of parachute pants that I wore once. When I walked, you could hear me coming from three blocks away. When I realised how embarrassing they were to wear, I never wore them again. Thank God for my growth spurt in 5th grade. I did not feel so bad that my grandma had probably spent 70 bucks on them.
She probably spent 120 bucks on the Red Zipper Jacket that I wore out in public just until the bus pulled up to bus stop. I realized that I looked like a dork wearing parachute pants and a red zipper jacket. I then proceeded to trade my brother for his jacket right before we got on the bus. He was in second grade, who cares what second graders think about you.
I enjoyed his album in the early 90's (which I only borrow from my friend Ino). I was confused and disappointed with "Moonwalker." With the last positive memory about him was the video Scream with his sister Janet.
Other than that, I relegated him to headlines. Would make the jokes and laugh at what he was doing next. I now wonder if there is going to be a moratorium on the Michael Jackson jokes for a while.
Regardless of what happened in the headlines and in the courts since his fall from grace. It is sad that he is now gone. His kids, even though they wear Spider-Man masks when they go out, no longer have a father. I don't know how much he was involved in their lives or if he made the right choices for them, but it's sad none the less.
I pray that he made right with God before his death. I'd hate to see all the talent that he had be wasted even in the afterlife.