Following confirmed reports of the death of Michael Jackson on Thursday, June 25, 2009, his impact is slowly and fully sinking in to my mind.
Jackson’s entertainment talents impacted countless people on a level that arguably will not be repeated. And now, his legend is only going to increase, especially as we continue to learn more details surrounding his untimely death.
Unfortunately, younger generations today only know of the Jackson constantly riddled by the abnormal; often of his own accord.
Spouting blame and pointing accusatory-fingers is the easy way to deal with the Michael Jackson of the past 15-ish years, but we all realize and accept that “famous people” live a different life. Not to say they aren’t “human,” but truly famous people, meaning zero privacy remaining, have an odd go at life.
I wrote a post back on April 28 of this year titled “Drugs and Creativity,” speaking to the impact of celebrity on human beings, especially ones that go the drug-route. The part that stood out most to me was a quote from musician Robin Guthrie talking about being completely naked at 6 in the morning in his living room, during winter, with all the windows open; then his little girl found him.
Celebrity is not an excuse. But when people genuinely refer to you as the king of anything, you start to view the world a bit differently. You start to think you really are. Nothing can stop you now, and nothing is too far.
Imagine being abused (hardcore) by your father; essentially forced into the music business by said abusive father; finding that you were SUPER-talented; finding that people LOVED to watch you perform (when you were 8!); then realizing you were REALLY talented; then releasing Thriller (!); then creating the “Moonwalk;” releasing “Bad,” “Billie Jean,” “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough,” “Black or White,” “Thriller,” “Smooth Criminal,” et. al; all the while becoming one of the most iconic individuals on earth.
Then the bad stuff started. Or was at least brought in to the open.
None of this is to defend Jackson’s apparent criminal actions, but to remind each and every one of us of this remarkable individual that changed the entertainment industry, and many of our lives, forever. Literally.
Today we have lost one of the great ones.
Try and focus on the greatness. There’s plenty to go around for all of us.