Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Requiem For A Fallen King

I sit here, 5 days after the passing of not one, but two iconic figures in our history. Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett. We've all had time to digest, and let this sink in. We knew Farrah's health was declining. So, when the news came out, early that afternoon, most of us reacted basically like, "Aw, that's too bad" or a simple "RIP, Farrah."

Later, that afternoon, around 3 PM-ish, I got an alert on my phone that said Michael Jackson had gone into cardiac arrest, and was being rushed to the hospital. Being that it was TMZ.com reporting, I had a faint hope that it was some kind of mistake. My brother was down here from Jersey, so I took him, along with my parents to dinner. The TV's in the restaurant had ESPN on them. So, with the initial news still in my head, I thought, "Well, it HAD to be a mistake. They would have it on every channel, if it was real." During conversation with my family, I heard a gasp go throughout the restaurant. I didn't even bother to look up at the TV. I knew what the gasps were for. Right then, we prayed for Michael and his family. Subsequently, there was some confusion as to whether he had been officially pronounced dead. But, I knew...

There are not too many of us walking around, that have not been touched, entertained, or amazed by the peerless entertainer, named Michael Joseph Jackson. I say "entertainer" because he was not a technically masterful vocalist. But...that man would ENTERTAIN THE COWBOY DOGSHIT out of anyone! Anything Michael did, when he performed, made you say "WOW", or just left you with a wondrous smile and feeling like a kid, no matter your age.

If you simply say, "Michael", most people know exactly what you mean. The only time it could even come remotely close to being confused, was when Jordan was playing. And that was only when they did the "Jam" video together. Jordan was basketball's "Michael." Jackson was EVERYBODY'S "Michael."

Michael transcended everything. He never tried to. He was just infectious that way. You'd see the most hardened cats, in the street, imitating his moves, or talking about one of his videos. Even if it was just for that fleeting moment, the rage of living with their circumstances took a back seat. I know Michael made more than one bigot rethink their philosophy about race relations. Michael captivated a nation on many occasions, including one of, if not the most memorable Super Bowl halftimes in the 43 year history of the event.

We all know Michael made mistakes and a bad career decision, here or there. But, who the hell hasn't. We joked about him, sometimes cruelly. The tabloids stayed after him. People came after him and slandered his name. But, that skinny kid, from Gary, Indiana kept coming back, giving us his all. He gave and gave, until his body broke down. Even then, he was still trying to give us "Michael." He was trying one more time, when the angels stepped in, and said, "You've given enough. You've suffered enough. Let's go home." And Michael was gone from us.

If you have ever seen Michael's performances, like the Bucharest, Romania concert that aired on HBO (still one of the network's highest rated ever events), you'd know that Michael had sleight-of-hand with him. He loved magic, as I do, and he incoporated it into his shows and videos. With this, he became a magical figure, to a lot of us.

I watched the 3 hours of fuckery we called the "BET Awards" show. I had picked up my remote, and had my finger on the "TV OFF" button, when I saw Jamie Foxx, walking back out on stage, holding the hand of a figure, clad in white, with very long hair. I thought at first, "what the hell is this, more coonery?" Then, I saw that it was Janet. I knew the fuckery was over. She made a Thug Rocker's eyes a little moist, with her courage and emotion. Since Thursday, I think we kinda hoped Michael would be magical one more time...but Janet let us know. Michael's not coming back, y'all...

1 comment:

  1. This was a great post. Michael was a universal icon and I know this touched everyone. When Janet came out it basically confirmed everything for us. Mike ain't coming back. I think that was when everyone even the people at the awards show realized that because of Mike they're able to do what they do. Entertain. It's like we lost that weird uncle, we never understood the things he did but we loved him because he was family.