Saturday, June 27, 2009

Michael Jackson

Listen to some of his music once again and we all know why Michael Jackson will be missed. Although he made music in 2001 his most memorable music dates back to the 1980’s so perhaps we have missed the musical Jackson for many years in lieu of the wacky Jackson.

I wasn’t intending to write about this news item. I have postponed the post for one day while the momentum of his loss builds. Based on unconfirmed TMZ reports I twittered the following comment moments before the CNN official announcement on Thursday. “Michael Jackson has died. He was 50. Strange man but iconic figure to millions. Watch the world mark this moment. That is stranger yet.”

While I was convinced that the international music immersed community would celebrate the death of this music and dance man, I had no idea how over the top the sentiment of loss would be. Although not on stage for many years his popularity was undiminished.

It’s right up there with the passing of Princess Diana,” was one of grieving comments by fans in Los Angeles during the vigil last night, marking the death of Michael Jackson. Someone else said, “Michael changed the world.”

TV journalists interviewed scores of celebrities for comments and to a person, each had high esteem for the entertainer and sympathy for the man during the low points of his life. Larry King spoke with many of Jackson’s friends. Madonna said, “"I can't stop crying over the sad news. I have always admired Michael Jackson. The world has lost one of the greats, but his music will live on forever!It’s paradoxical, almost a mockery that so many speak like friends about one of the loneliest men on the planet. (Video: The Way You Make Me Feel)

Five of Jackson's solo albums – "Off the Wall," "Thriller," "Bad," "Dangerous" and "History," are among the top-sellers of all time. During his extraordinary career, he sold an estimated 750 million records worldwide, released 13 No.1 singles and became one of a handful of artists to be inducted twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Guinness Book of World Records recognized Jackson as the Most Successful Entertainer of All Time and "Thriller" as the Biggest Selling Album of All Time. Jackson won 13 Grammy Awards and received the American Music Award's Artist of the Century Award.

So it’s unanimous. Michael was an extraordinary talent and a universally acclaimed star. He had a distressed and complex life and notwithstanding his talent, he remains for me a deeply tragic figure. It may be that this boy compelled to miss his childhood in place of work, finally with his wealth produced a childhood for himself with Neverland and child friends all which we deemed strange but should have found quite understandable. He wrote a song that you seldom here called 'Childhood' in which he pleads for people to see his childhood and not judge him. It's worth a listen. The media that had a field day with him is now concentrating predictable praise for his life. Visuals of his excellence during his prime years will celebrate his life.

He died $400 million in debt, casualty of outlandish spending, blatant unwise behaviour, scandalized by charges of child molestation from which he was acquitted, father of three children, subject to paranoias, physically unwell and hooked on prescription drugs and victimized by callous reporting and misguided counsel.

He was about to make a comeback. Now he won’t. But his music may experience revival.
"How would you characterize the life of Michael Jackson?" That's the question Jack Cafferty asks. You can answer him. Does anyone contemplate what lies beyond this life? You see, I do! It is natural to my worldview. My worldview maintains that life is not just about this world.

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