Thursday, 25 June 2009

Michael Jackson. Honestly.

Okay, it's easy to be cynical about the press coverage around Michael Jackson's death, but all I know is I'm still trying to get my head around those 3 words: 'Michael Jackson's death'. And it's not like I'm crying or sad or that I was a particular fan of his later work. But he was the first pop idol that I remember loving, he practically single-handedly legitimised the music video medium - and by extension, MTV - and he's always just 'been there'. I mean, 50 years old??? At a time when people tout 50 as the new 35? What???

It's funny - I think the reason people go mental when icons like Jackson die suddenly is because they act like background beacons - constantly giving out a signal which we miss when gone. So much so that all the platitudes I'm hearing simply don't convey how much emotion is there just swelling up like grief. I remember feeling that when living in London at the time of Princess Diana's death. The connection (because I see reporters asking people, 'why are you connected to him?') is simple - he was one of those beacons, a signal, always present, just a global pulse beat that people continually checked in on because of who and what he was.

I tell you what: I feel like I've been given a piece of information that my internal programming doesn't quite know how to process. I don't have the words, but felt the need to blog...

Does this make sense?


  1. Makes perfect sense. It actually took me 24 hours to process the loss. MJ was one of those beacons you thought would always be there (picture: golden cane in hand or wheelchair ala Larry Flynt).

    He was so young (yes, I agree 50 is young!) and so talented. He was an icon in our culture, not just in the music industry.

    It's been un-be-liev-able watching this unfold in Social Media.

    We all gathered around on Twitter watching the details unfold, collectively holding one another's hand–albeit virtually.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


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  3. Behind all of the achievements and controversies, he was like any other man, trying to reach past beyond his personal horizon. Although he was 50, he walked on a highway that seemed longer than anyone at his age. At least, from a certain point of view.