Friday, June 26, 2009

The King is Dead

When he was a little boy, my brother, T., slept with a rented "Thriller" video cradled lovingly in his arms. He loved Michael that much. Though I was scared of the beginning sequence, where Michael turns into a yellow-eyed werewolf, I loved the song almost as much as he did. When we were a little older, we crouched, tense, by the VCR, waiting to hit the record button as soon as "Black or White" started. A music video, on prime time TV, in our cable-free home--it was an event, to say the least.

While T. was the real M. J. fan in our household, I must admit a twinge of saddness and nostalgia when I heard of the King of Pop's death yesterday afternoon. After all, we were the Michael Jackson generation. From the early days of "Billie Jean" and red leather to the later scandals, strange marriages, and court cases, we have never known a world without him. Even when he was a reculse, he was still there. Now he's not, and we have to negotiate that fact, fit it into our reality somehow. It's weird.

Of course, he wasn't perfect. He was, in equal measure, beloved, hated, and ridiculed...his face and his life were examined under the most powerful of microscopes, and he was always found to be lacking or wrong. And yes, he made some huge mistakes. But his artistry was undeniable, and his role in our childhood was indispensible. He will be missed.

1 comment:

Karen J. Weyant said...

Well said. I was never a huge Michael Jackson fan when I was a kid -- but I can't argue his importance. He was always there. And now he isn't.