Thank you, Mr. Jackson

This morning when I woke up, I heard on the news that Farrah Fawcett had died. I have to say that it really didn’t affect me, because I’m a) female, and b) I was too young when Charlie’s Angels was on to remember anything about her being on the show. I think that My earliest memories of the show was when they added Shelly Hack. But this is all besides the point. My first thought, when I heard that she died, wasn’t “how sad” or even ” I wonder if she died with her family around?”. It was, in typical ghoul fashion, “who’s next?”. They say that celebrities die in threes — the old guy you thought was already dead, the obscure one and then the one from left field — that is, the person you’d least expect to die suddenly. I quicly went over the lists of celebrities in my head — Is Debbie Reynolds still around? When’s the last time Lindsay Lohan made the headlines? Wow, I haven’t seen Danny Devito in a movie lately, is Richard Branson still planning to try to go to space? That’s dangerous, right?… Then I thought about the celebrities that I’d appreciate it if they died, and then the ones that I’d really feel bad if they did, like Stephen Colbert or Jon Stewart (why do we always say their names together, as if they’re a matched set or something) or George Romero. But then, my sister called me to say that Michael Jackson was in the hospital. I got kind of worried. I guess for my generation, Michael Jackson was about as big as you can get. If God was to go into music, he’d be Michael Jackson. I wouldn’t say that I had the Jackson bug bad back in ’83, but I was by no means immune. I definitely sported a “Beat It” t-shirt back in the day. I stayed up late to watch the premiere of “Thriller” on NBC’s late night video show (the name of the show escapes me suddenly). I have a copy of Moonwalker. So, although I’m reluctant to admit it, I am a fan. My thought, when my sister called me wasn’t he’d make the three — it was, “My god, I hope he’s ok”. It seems that there are people that you don’t want to die. It’s weird, that when my sister called me again to say that he had, I didn’t believe it. I kind of still don’t. How can Michael Jackson be dead? I can imagine the deaths of just about anyone else — my parents, some of my philosophy professors, that dude from my favoritte band, Kurt Vonnegut, even myself (and as an existentialist, I am quite prepared for that), but not him. There are some people that seem to exist in some other realm, somewhere where other people like me and everyone else don’t. Some sort of land of immortals. Like once you reach a level of popularity you become transcendent. I don’t know. It’s really hitting me more weird than I expected it to. I feel kind of bad for eagerly awaiting the next celebrity death this morning. I just feel kind of bad altogether. I’m not going to say anything more than to thank Mr. Jackson for putting out some of the most infectious music that has ever been given to the human race (and I mean that in a good way). I’ve never seen kids get up and dance to any other music as quickly as I’ve seen kids spring to their feet the instant someone puts on “Billie Jean”.

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