Did you happen to notice that Michael Jackson died? Huh. That's weird. I thought he was made of plastic. I guess not. You probably did notice thanks to the massive outpouring of grief. I'm not included in those numbers. I don't feel anything about his death. His music sort of defined a small era in my life and I was a loyal music fan (I bought Dangerous right around the time of his first molestation trial. I swear the check-out person thought I was a pervert.) but not much of a fan of him. Rarely can I make that distinction. If I don't like the artist for whatever reason, chances are I can't tolerate their music. But Michael Jackson wrote some of the best pop music ever written. His songs always make me want to dance. I don't know how he did it. It's unearthly.
I suppose his music is what people are mourning. It surely isn't him. He was the butt of so many jokes for so long people stopped connecting the two sides of him- the performer and the person. And despite his long music history folks seem to mourn only Thriller, the 1985 version of Michael Jackson. I heard three cars blasting songs from that album on my ten minute walk to work this morning. His last two releases sold poorly and I think that's because people stopped associating him with his talent. He was just Jacko. And that's sad. I'm sure his estate will pull a Tupac to try and pay off some debts. We'll never hear the end of "previously unreleased tracks" and we will never see the end of people buying them in droves. Maybe he died to pay off his debts and he's off on some island somewhere with a new pet monkey.
Though Michael Jackson was more of a presence in my life I'm much sadder about Farrah Fawcett. She had real life problems- divorce (after a real attempt at marriage,) a kid with drug problems, a fight with cancer. Those are the kinds of things real people can relate to. Or at least people I know can relate to. Sure she was famous but from all accounts she had a big heart and was down to earth. She tried to help others by bringing light to her terrible disease. And that is terribly courageous. My heart goes out to both families but my deepest regrets go out to Farrah Fawcett's.