Michael Jackson is dead.
Did you hear?
Well, if not, you're lying, because you're reading this on the internet and there's no way in hell you could have connected to the internet today at any point and not seen it somewhere.
Anyway, I don't have much in terms of emotion regarding this news. I loved Thriller as a kid, but I never owned a red zipper jacket and I never got motivated to dance or sing or anything based on him. He was a constant presence on the radio and TV when I was a child, so in that I feel some sadness that we've lost an icon... But we kinda did already, didn't we?
The moment I saw MJ on TV talking about how he never touched that little boy, it was over for me. He was wierd before that, and strange before that, and larger than life before that... But right then, he was over. It didn't matter if he did or didn't. It was over, and that's that.
But I read an article by Andrew Sullivan this morning that really nailed how I feel about Michael Jackson. He was an abused child who had his childhood taken from him, and spent the rest of his life trying to get one back. And that's really the price of fame, isn't it? The bigger you get, the more you belong to the public. And the more of you they own, the more you owe them.
I never feel sorry for celebrities who make their own careers, and then get all pissy when they have no privacy. You did it to yourself, so suck it up and perform, monkey. But in MJ's case... He never had the choice or a chance. He was a star from childhood, because his father forced him into that position. True, his talent made him lovable, but who knows if he would have chosen to display that talent on his own?
So to that end, I have always felt a little bad for Michael Jackson, but after reading Sullivan's article about his death, I really do feel bad for the guy. He had all the money he could have ever wanted, and it was never enough to buy his own freedom. He was loved by everyone and hated himself. His misery changed music and dance forever.
I do hope he rests in peace.