Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson

I saw a posting on Facebook, Michael Jackson was dead. Was it a rumor? Different news organizations were reporting different things. About an hour later it was confirmed, he was gone.

My first reaction was muted—he hasn’t looked so great in years. He had become very hard to like. This was big news, but not necessarily surprising. Michael was a tortured man, unable to fit in. With his death though I was left with his legacy: the music and performances that he left behind in recordings.

Michael Jackson, part of the soundtrack of our lives, an icon.

I thought of “Thriller," then watched the full 13 minute video on You Tube.

Wow. He could dance!

It was the end of the day so I took Jake to the beach. I have the Internet but no broadcast TV or radio in the Airstream. In my truck I listened to reports from CNN and NPR. A local San Diego station was playing a tribute series of his songs.

I found myself surprisingly moved by his music. Here was a guy I hadn’t thought much about in years. When I had, the thoughts were of pity and disgust. Yet he was so talented, so much bigger than life. At his best he represented the best of life: passionate, driven, purposeful.

Michael Jackson, dead at 50.