Friday, June 26, 2009

Maybe It Says More About My Nerdiness...

"Isn't it awful?"

"Can you believe it?"

"I'm totally in mourning".

No, it isn't. Yes, I can. Really?

I had a Michael Jackson poster. He was wearing a yellow sweater. It's the only poster I remember having that wasn't a picture of REM torn out of Sassy magazine or the placard of a Broadway show.

One of the only father-daughter memories I have involved a day in Columbus buying stereo speakers, a fancy lunch at the Brown Derby (the salad bowls were chilled - impressed the hell out of me), and the purchase of Thriller. It was conspiratorial and exciting. It was on tape.

I was concerned about him when his hair caught on fire - I was at Nan's house when I first heard the news.

The conversation around the lunch table today (with people who were all at least a little younger than me) was mourning the loss "our generation's first icon". Hmmm.

The Michael Jackson that lived to the right of my bed has been gone a very long time, so I just can't muster up a personal sense of sadness about his passing that is any greater than that of any other celebrity. While I appreciate MJ's musical talent and influence (PYT is a pretty bad ass song), I've heard his death compared to such shocks as Princess Diana, JFK, and my favorite, 9/11 (via Twitter from Chad "Ocho Cinco" Johnson). I suppose it's a mark of time passing - when someone who helped shape your childhood dies suddenly and young it must connect you a little with your own mortality. I dunno. I was more upset when Kurt Vonnegut died.

It seems like Mr. Jackson's life is shockingly similar to that of Mike Tyson and others who have been surrounded in their childhood by those who recognized their talent and ate it up. They end up adults with no capacity to keep their stuff together, and their greatness gets tainted by it. That's what's sad to me.

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