Michael Jackson is dead. Which is strange because if there was ever a strange, girl-like pop star that I thought would live forever it would be him. He was a musical genius for 15-20 years and then an eccentric pedophile for another 15 or so. Quite a career. From the CNN article, Reverend Al Sharpton:
“Michael Jackson made culture accept a person of color,” the Rev. Al Sharpton said. “To say an ‘icon’ would only give these young people in Harlem a fraction of what he was. He was a historic figure that people will measure music and the industry by.”
Yeah, Al but what color exactly? Dude was beige in his later years and last I checked that’s not a hip color in Harlem. Sigh.
Better still, Swindle:
The hard part about memorializing a pedophile who made awesome music for a fifteen year period in his life is this: he is responsible for the ten stroke drum intro to “Rock With You,” the song that always played in my head in 1981 when Papa Swindle drove the Caprice Classic through downtown Atlanta on the way to a Braves game. And then: he also gave some kids a trust fund the hard way.
I dressed up as Michael for Halloween one year because his “Beat It” years were that influential (not to be confused with his “Beat It While Having The Neighborhood Kids Over To Neverland” years, a slightly less influential but still important era). I don’t think I got much candy that year. I had the jacket and the glove and the sad white kid attempt at walking backwards while making it look like you were walking forwards, a move so unbelievably awesome at the time that it was a harbinger of my 9 months of breakdancing on cardboard boxes on the street corner. I’ve never been one of the cool kids.
Of course, he hasn’t been relevant since I was in high school so I’d be hard pressed to say he meant much to me. Still, it’s a little weird that he’s dead. I always thought he had turned into a zombie around 1995.