Michael Jackson – Rest in Peace June 25th, 2009

It’s been awhile since I’ve written a post. Twittering and work has kept this blog at bay. But recent incidents have really compelled me to put down my thoughts on the keyboard.

I was on Twitter at 5:40 when rampant news about Michael Jackson’s supposed death started circulating. It was a bit of a frenzy on twitter as the community continued to post news articles, which were conflicting. No one jnew what to believe. TMZ first came out with the story but most of us waited for CNN to come out with an official word. It took a while to get through all the postings to figure out what was true. I called my sister to check the news to verify the reports..it took some time ..anyway, when it was all said and done and all news sources confirmed the inevitable it came with an overwhelming shock to me. I didn’t know what to think. I spent the next few hours just glued to the TV and my laptop just watching all my favourite videos and pouring over the accolades and reminiscence. I finally broke down Friday night…don’t exactly know why but I guess the realization that MJ was gone really hit home.

Let me step back…..I have always been a huge MJ fan. My reclusive childhood meant that going out with friends was a luxury, so I spent lots of time in front of the tube watching videos….specifically MJ, replaying the dance moves and mimicking the choreography, particularly the backslide aka moonwalk. My sister was a much better dancer than I so she was the standard I could only aspire to.

I still remember the Victory Tour 1984, Detroit. My sister and I won tickets through the local radio station. When the day finally came we showed up — one glitter glove on each of our hands, black jeans, white T-shirts and the signature single glove earing —- with keen anticipation when Michael would descend from his helicopter. When he did come on stage, utter frenzy erupted.  Our dance moves did not really play out since most of the fans, including my sister, were constantly screaming at his very presence. His style, his presence, his music was sheer genius. It was one of the most spectacular shows I’ve ever seen. Since then my love for this artist has not waned.

The controversy that raged some years back did not change who he was to me. I agree he was a still a child at heart that, however naive, wanted to make people happy either through his music or his philanthropy. His influence touched millions: artists, generations, young, old. Even the famed viral Cebu Inmate videos, which drew millions of views for the Thriller rendition drew attention 2 days after Michael’s passing with another tribute video for Michael of “We are the World”.

Ultimately, the man who lived, in my mind, equalled, if not surpassed, the influence of Elvis Presley. He died young and the pressures he must’ve lived with as a celebrity, as a man trying to shed the cloud of scandal and constant negativity, must have been overwhelming.  Very few people could influence culture as he did; could corral millions into doing good and making a difference with his deeds. This video is what he has encompassed as a human being. “Heal the World” by Michael Jackson.

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