--michael joseph jackson
it's taken me ages to post this. i have been in denial since the news of michael jackson's illness came in last night. writing down the date of his death means accepting that he is gone. i keep expecting to wake up and realize this has not really happened. this morning, when i told my sister the news, she paused...was silent...and said 'it's funny, ever since i can remember knowing about death, i always wondered where and how old we'd be when michael jackson died.'
it was the unthinkable, then. he was invincible. he was so much an integral thread in the fabric of our young lives. he is the first music most of us remember hearing, loving, and learning.
for many of my generation, we all have a memory associated with a michael jackson song or album. 'thriller' is the first album i remember my sisters and i owning (and by 'owning' i mean, 'jacked from my parents') and i have distinct memories of weekends spent at our friend's flat down the hall, listening to it on her parents' record player, trying to learn words (most of which we made up), and gazing dreamily at this poster:
i don't want to speculate about who he was as a man. i know he was flawed and troubled. i just want to take this moment to give thanks for everything he meant to me, everything he meant to my youth, everything he contributed to the world of music and dance. i want to thank him for the music we danced to, and the music with a message we will never forget. to thank him for fearlessly thinking and inventing beyond boundaries and borders and becoming truly international. there is no artist who has not felt his influence--whether musically, through choreography, or through showmanship. he has permeated our collective conscious and has left an indelible mark.
i have no choice but to always love and remember him. he was glorious. and i am saddened by the fact that he passed before his comeback tour. it was meant to be his final curtain call, and i know it would've been a true spectacle that would have silenced those who doubted his ability to do what has always come to him so naturally.
i hope you left this world knowing how much you loved, michael.
there will never be another king of pop.
rest in peace.