My Mind on Shuffle: No rocks at the throne

Posted 6/27/2009 by CtotheB in Labels: , , ,

The surreal state of shock is still in the atmosphere.

I was on my way to the Garden on Thursday, to pick up the vibes outside as everyone anticipated the NBA Draft. Walking down 34th, I felt the buzz start to pick up as news of Michael Jackson's health started to spread. Street vendors stopping people on the street to let them know he suffered cardiac arrest. By the time I got in front of the Garden, I heard scalpers proclaim, "How am I supposed to sell this stuff? The King is dead." Yet still, I didn't want to believe it. I noticed a lag in my cell phone's network as I sent out texts asking about this news, assuming many others were doing the same. As my frat brother made his way down the street to me we both blurted out "Did you hear?!"

And by that time it was confirmed. My Mom returned my phone call, with tears in her voice, "Christopher, he's gone." In the same voice, no doubt, she'd use if a family member had passed. I didn't want to accept it, and in many ways spent this whole weekend denying it, but an icon who very much framed the expectations my generation has for icons, is gone.

For us 80s babies, who are too young to remember Thriller but too old to forget images of people fainting at his concerts, Michael Jackson has been a constant. In many ways, understanding his death is like hearing that the Sun just died. Of course he's mortal but don't front like you too didn't wonder, "Michael Jackson is dead?"

I can't remember any celebrity whose death has stopped the world like this. We've felt shock, and even horror, but I have never seen so many people take it this personally. There are reports of Times Square groaning as the crowd read the breaking news. Over the weekend I've realized how so many moments in my life had the King of Pop's influence.

Watching concerts on video. Countless attempts at Moonwalking. Friends dressed up as Michael Jackson for Halloween (one Halloween where three girls dressed up as Moonwalker, Mike from Thriller, and "Off the Wall" era Mike)

My senior year, my frat's winning show had a Thriller homage. The runners-up used that Smooth Criminal lean.

As I turn on video channels, read the news, you see so much love poured out for a man who tragically did not always feel this love in life. Even in this mourning, there are still those expressing their foolishness through tasteless headlines, ignorant facebook statuses; a barrage of tweets from twits. All revealing the hypocrisy so common in the human condition: a perverse readiness to dish out that which you'd never receive.

Michael Jackson was not a perfect man; like all of us he fought his demons but had the misfortune of wrestling in public. To those who still bash him and are quick to bring up his controversies, understand this: Nothing that you say can take away from his legacy.
Most of your heroes are complex and ALL of them have something they were ashamed of. If you have no reasons to mourn him, then you have even less reasons to tarnish his legacy. It is a shame that we often give flowers when the recipient can no longer smell them, (as a friend of mine remarks, we give flowers to the dead but no soup to the sick) and is cowardice to speak ill of one who is unable to retort.

Let's do more than play his music, let's listen to the words and express a love for one another that he undoubtedly possessed.

0 comment(s) to... “My Mind on Shuffle: No rocks at the throne”


Free Blog Counter