Monday, July 06, 2009

Michael Jackson is dead. Let the fame-whoring begin.

Not even a week, and every jerk who's ever had anything to do with Michael's inner circle is ready to spill the beans for a quick buck.

Jackson's ex-wife Debbie Rowe just revealed (get ready to bust out the shocked face) that the two never had sex, never kissed on the lips and the children she bore him are not biologically his. They were, she says, the result of a sperm donor. Also, she doesn't ever want them back as she was just 'a womb' paid for her services (about 8.5 million, by the way). Debbie Rowe, you're all class. Can you entirely blame the woman though? I mean, she was absorbed into a circumstance and a lifestyle that itself was simply not normal.

Then again, so was Michael. From the time he was 6 years old he was in the spotlight. A child star without a childhood and a lifetime attempt at trying to compensate for it. The irony is that, for kids of the 80s - he was such a huge part of our own childhoods. It's why we feel such a connection: the music is a piece of our own past too.

It's funny how it affects you when a huge celebrity dies. Princess Diana, John Candy, Phil Hartman, Aaliyah, Heath Ledger - all shocking, all tragic, all too soon. In my case I feel like a piece of my own history has dimmed. Growing up, it was all about Michael Jackson. I was crazy about the guy! The posters plastering my bedroom walls, my replica red 'Thriller" jacket, the pins, the t-shirts, the name it, I had it. I was even MJ for Halloween one year.

He was untouchable, remarkable, adorable, spellbinding and genuinely gifted. I honestly haven't been this touched by a celebrity death since John Ritter died 6 years ago. John Ritter was my first TV crush, the reason that Three's Company remains my favourite TV show of all time and why "funny" is in the top 3 on my boyfriend criteria checklist.

He was brilliant. One-of-a-kind. In fact - like Michael - he too was ramping up toward his own comeback career. Sadly, we'll never know what the future might have held for either of them.

We've certainly heard the rebuttals from the post-80s crowd. Wondering why we're so affected by the death of a man whose eccentricities evolved into full-fledged creepiness. To them, Michael was always a weirdo. It's almost impossible to think of the iconic 80's Michael as being the same person: the mask-wearing, surgery-addicted frail little man, dogging molestation allegations and drowning in debt.

If you're one of them, hopefully the headlines will make you dig deeper and explore the music and not the media circus. Judging by the way his albums are being snapped up these days, I hope that's the case.

It's surreal to think that for kids born now, Michael Jackson will always be a dead guy. Just like Elvis to many. And JFK to others. Personally, I consider myself lucky to have lived through the time of Michael's meteoric rise to pop stardom and to have such a brilliant soundtrack to my formative years. That's the Michael I'll choose to remember.


Amy said...

Thank you for remembering dear John Ritter. I was just thinking about him yesterday. My favorite episode is Up in the Air - Jack took a tranquilizer, then had a drink, leading to a most hilarious dance. Ah…

Ma Horton said...

Well said N@ and well loved. You and Liz Taylor have a lot of class. She has chosen to remember the bond she had with MJ in her heart and not some garish public display.