Friday, June 25, 2010

MJ, I Can't Help But Love You...


As I sat in my boss’ office on June 25, 2009, I pretended not to listen while his daughter talked to him on his obnoxiously loud cell phone. I had been in his office for around 10 minutes and because I had pretty much accepted, when it came to him, my time wasn’t valuable I sat there doodling on a pad of paper.

I had actually stopped earhustling and began concentrating on my drawing that would only make a right handed five year old, who drew with his left hand, jealous. It must have been at that moment that the television flashed the words “Michael Jackson has been pronounced dead,” because I heard her scream through the phone. “OMG! MICHAEL JACKSON DIED!”

Immediately my eyes shot up, from my drawing of dreams deferred. MICHAEL JACKSON!?! Like, seriously!?! I was still saddened by the news of Farrah Fawcett passing earlier that morning and I had promised to check back on Twitter for MJ updates after I had learned of his cardiac arrest that afternoon. I figured he would be ok, because 1) He was Michael Jackson aka immortal and 2) someone famous had already died today. Don’t judge me because of my effed up reasoning.

Suddenly, while sitting in my boss’ office, my time seemed a little more valuable. I had to move around, do something, so I could stop myself from crying. It was around 4:30 and I had an hour and a half left at work, but I was wondering how I could do anything at all. It felt like someone just told me a member of my family died.

I don’t say that to pretend I was some overly obsessed MJ fan. I can admit that I laughed when Katt Williams went on his epic roast of MJ that Black Folk since have vehemently denounced o__O. But still, when I heard MJ died, the part of my soul dedicated to appreciating the aesthetic beauty of his timeless talent, gave way and created a black hole. No one can deny the musical genius that was Michael Jackson.

For me, to know the man died, who gave us countless hits with the Jackson Five, then went on to give us songs like (in no particular order): Butterflies, You Are Not Alone, Baby Be Mine, Billie Jean, Dirty Diana, Girlfriend, Pretty Young Thing, Off the Wall, Black or White, Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough, Smooth Criminal, The Lady in my Life, The Girl Is Mine, Will You Be There, Bad, Human Nature, Dangerous, Thriller, Wanna Be Starting Something, Rock With You, Heal the World, The Earth Song, Man in the Mirror, Leave Me Alone, Scream, Rock My World, Beat It, They Don’t Really Care About Us… I MEAN DO YOU SEE WHERE I’M GOING WITH THIS???

Yet, even as I take into account all of MJ's talent, I find myself conflicted. Despite the fame, in light of the jokes, there is something extremely solemn about knowing even in the midst of brilliance, Michael was also addicted to prescription medication to the point he needed them to sleep. We sympathized with MJ when he asked "Have You Seen My Childhood?" Yet we critiqued him for finding comfort in the company of children. We place blame on his father, but we continue to rock to the sounds of the Jackson 5.

Even in an attempt to immortalize and pretend MJ is without imperfections, we cannot fail to acknowledge that his trials and tribulations were a necessary condition to his artistry. Without the fire, the coal never produces a diamond. A year later and I still can’t believe that he is gone, but I'm glad that I appreciated him while he was here.

Rest in Peace, Michael Joseph Jackson. The King of Pop. #GoneTooSoon
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