This week, as the entire world is aware, Michael Jackson died. Thursday, I was walking through McDonald's for the second time in the last five or so years (babysitting for a young child), and I saw on the TV screen, "King of pop dead at 50?" I stopped and stared. "Uhh..." I said. I mean, I actually said it--very articulate of me. The little girl next to me had no idea what was going on, of course--she was five, and the artists her music knowledge consists of targets the closest she can get right now to her own age, little girls and boys who have grown up in the spotlight, like Taylor Swift, the cast of High School Musical, Miley Cyrus--the kids who have grown up in spotlight, as did Michael Jackson, but yet growing up in no way similar to Michael Jackson; those achieving adulthood and interesting careers, cultivating their own talent, but who may have no idea how Michael Jackson influenced them, their music, their dancing.
As a person, MJ was a mess. I think it's safe to say that. The entire world knew who he was, and the entire world saw his life. Even his privacy was public. Neverland, law suits, details coming out at all times; not to mention what the newspeople are now calling his anorexic tendencies. I saw a mention of Lisa Marie Presley's blog, after his death--she wasn't surprised. She said that he talked about death, talked about dying young. Well, so he did. Almost 51, with three young children--that's young.
So now, the world is still in shock, perhaps; it is a few days later, but nevertheless, it is unexpected to most of us. There are so many questions--how about his children? His come-back tour? Mounting debt? And what about Jackson himself--how did he die?
His death even overshadowed the death of Farrah Fawcett, pin-up of the 70s, taken too early, as well. In fact, he even overshadows her in this blog entry. Is that right? Why do we seem to mourn him more than Fawcett?
The truth of the matter is, both of these people were major stars. Had they died on their own at separate times, each would likely have gone through news blitz. And more so, had they died like Farrah, of a disease, with some warning--even though she had hopes of a cure--the case would be different.
But Michael Jackson lived and died a public mystery.
This isn't the case of one deserving more than another; it's the case of human curiosity outshining the sadness. And it's not something we can help, really. Can you always stop yourself from looking where you shouldn't? From reading what you're not supposed to? We can try, but that won't stop us from wondering, will it?
There are so many memorials for them both. And while I can't say that I am fast fans of both--I have nothing against them, and I enjoyed at least some of their work--I feel both had their role in this life, as we all do. Perhaps there was more publicity for them, more struggle and strife. Perhaps not. Perhaps it was just a different kind.
At any case, I am thankful for them, for their work here. I feel that we all have some potential, some way to touch the lives of others. They both did, and their memory will live on. Some of the bad will float away, gone with their lives. We'll remember the good, the sad, the tragedy, and we will forget how we thought when they were alive--how Michael Jackson's face looked at the end, how Farrah Fawcett was once apparently blacklisted.
We'll remember how they are now, in death--the legacy of their lives, their work, their family. And they will join the elite group of the famous gone and dead--Elvis Presley, Lucille Ball, Fred Astaire, Heath Ledger, and now, Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson.
They will join the stars in the sky. And we will remember. RIP.