More Jackson; A Huge Moment in Culture

On cue, mystery surrounding the death of Michael Jackson is in full-swing, only adding to the already-enormous story on-hand. From the missing doctor to the medication, this story isn’t going away anytime soon. Prepare to learn more about Michael Jackson than you inherently knew just by being a part of humanity.

ESPN’s SportsCenter had Jackson as a story this morning (sports news?). On VH1, only MJ music videos, and will be all weekend. Nashville Top 40 terrestrial radio station (WRVW) was only playing Jackson, and discussing him ad nauseum in between songs.

Around 12 p.m. CT today on iTunes, Jackson held 14 of the Top 25 albums and 38 of the Top 100 songs. First screenshot is Top Albums at iTunes this morning, second shows Jackson’s individual tracks (sorted by artist) in iTunes’ Top Songs.

MJ albums

MJ songs 12 pm

All of this, plus the news of Jackson’s death yesterday literally slowed down the Internet. According to a Wall Street Journal story, “Beginning at 5:30 p.m. EDT [on 6/25/09], ‘the average speed for downloading news sites doubled from less than four seconds to almost nine seconds,’ said Shawn White, Keynote’s [Keynote Systems Inc.] director of external operations. The average availability of sites dropped from almost 100% to 86% before returning to normal by 9:15 p.m….Google Inc. also experienced difficulties as searches for Michael Jackson immediately after the news broke resulted in error messages rather than a list of results.”

Other than maybe the death of a president, I don’t see an individual tipping the scales this far for a long time.

Jackson’s death will be a milepost in the lives of everyone able to remember the day June 25, 2009, a day that redefined culture.


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