Memories and Michael
I've been in my bed all day. Reading and reading and reading some more. All about MJ. Oh, and I've also been making my credit card company and iTunes very happy by downloading songs that are a part of the soundtrack of my life. True, I already have a good collection of Jackson's hits, but there are a few songs that I love that I let slip between the cracks, plus there are some favourites that were never 'hits' so they did end up on later compilations.
"Thriller" is a 7-year-old buying his first album with his own money he'd save. It beat out the "Flashdance" soundtrack. "Beat It" is Dana's elementary-school talent show performance, sequined glove and all. This is the year before she scandalized the PTA with her pre-pubescent performance of "Like a Virgin." The "Bad" album is my brother Steven and Christmas 1987. I cannot hear "Man in the Mirror and not think of Kristi K.' s 1988 birthday party when we all loaded up her mom's car and were driven around town to toilet paper some friends' yards. "Smooth Criminal" is study hall in the 7th grade. We tried to figure out how Michael and his dancers could lean over so far without nails through their shoes. "We Are Here to Change the World" is my sister, Melissa, and I enjoying Epcot Center in 1994 before I went off to college. It was the final family holiday before our family was irreparably severed. "You Rock My World" is a frustrating and lonely volunteer experience in El Salvador. "The Way You Make Me Feel" is me wishing that Britney would sing live. "Speechless" is, well, BMac. Peace Corps Uganda (2002-2004)!
With all his flaws, I loved MJ. I didn't do my usual morning browse of the online newspapers yesterday morning before I went to school because I overslept. I was stunned when I saw the notice written on the board in the staff room: Michael Jackson has died... a genius. I really thought it was some very unfunny joke. I refused to go online at work yesterday. I didn't want the news to be real. Of course I didn't know him personally (but I did know one of the dancers from the "The Way You Make Me Feel" video who is now a foreign service officer) but it did seem like I lost someone important in my life. I waited until I got home to deluge myself with internet news and speculation.
Good or bad, like it or not, this man had a huge impact on the world. At this moment, I choose to focus on the positive contributions. He will be missed.
"My heart ... my mind ... are broken. I loved Michael with all my soul and I can't imagine life without him."
(I think this is an amazing photo of Liza. Her makeup is simple but fantastic.)
"He was just a really splendid man," she said. "And a brilliant performer who changed theatrical history. And I will miss him, I cannot tell you."
Liza also said: "All of us who knew him well really know what he was like," she said. "And I'm sure that now the accolades are going, and I'm sure when the autopsy comes, all hell's going to break loose. So, thank God we're celebrating him now."
Thank you for the music.
My whole life is just one big song.