In the five years of running the death pool, Michael Jackson is the first celebrity to die in which I’ve actually felt bad.
In general don’t like faking reverence for someone I’ve never met, when thousands of people I never met die every day and death is a natural part of life (plus the whole humor as a defense mechanism thing, I guess).
But MJ was THE MAN in the 1980s. I had the Michael trading cards. I played Thriller non-stop. I pretended he and Kurt Cobain died the same day because the Michael of the last 15 years is NOT the Michael I grew up listening to. He was THE STAR in the world. We watched MTV 24/7 hoping Thriller would come on. And like every kid my age, I danced in my socks on the kitchen floor trying to moonwalk wearing one of my mom’s white winter gloves.
Funny story, as I was talking to my mom, and she was reminiscing on the sensation of Michael in the 80s (which coincided with many happy memories of her kids at the time), she mentioned how my neighbor Lisa, who is my age and was 5-7 at the time of Michael’s immense popularity, wanted to marry Michael Jackson.
We laughed at how Lisa probably had a better shot back then at age six than she did at age 18-24.
And that kind of made us both sad. Michael Jackson was a ridiculously gifted and talented dance, a musical genius and world-wide superstar. The 1995-2009 MJ was a tabloid freak who obviously didn’t even physically resemble 80s MJ.
I wish everyone in the world could remember him as just that musical genius and not as the plastic surgery warning poster, probable child molester, and psychologically messed up freak he was later in life.