Friday, July 10, 2009

"When We Grow Up": Michael Jackson

My blogging friend Jennifer's tribute to Michael Jackson on her blog, Broken Bananas, made me think of one of my memories of him.

When I talked to my sister the other evening, she told me how much she had been affected by his death--much more so than her husband had been. I think it has a lot to do with a person's age. Those of us who were his contemporaries, or close to it, might be more likely to be touched in some way by his passing. Women in general seem to be more nostalgic than men. It reminds us of our own mortality...and it also makes us remember how he touched our lives in some way.

I remember when MTV became all the rage--and "Thriller" was one of the most exciting movie videos of that era. I remember the sweet little Michael Jackson of the Jackson 5 era. And my sister and I were obsessed with "Free to Be You and Me" in grade's a video of that sweet little Michael Jackson and Roberta Flack singing "When We Grow Up"--who knew how ironic a statement that would be about his life.

Michael Jackson never seemed to have a real childhood, and he never grew up either. I don't know whether he was perverted or morally corrupt. I don't know whether he bleached his skin or had a skin disease. Who am I to know these things? But he was an amazingly talented human being. When I had heard he had died at the age of 50, I was not surprised in the least. He seemed to be the kind of person who was destined never to grow old--to go out in the prime of his life. I will not hold him up as a role model to my children, but I do remember the music he made and how it affected our lives.


  1. Niece piece.

    Whilst I realise you weren't particularly a fan of Michael - the man, you clearly appreciated his talent as myself and many around the world did.

    R.I.P. Michael

  2. Niece piece.

    Whilst you don't particularly appear to be a fan of Michael Jackson - the man, you clearly appreciated his music, just like myself and many of his fans around the world.

    R.I.P. M.J.

  3. hi, I'm Caroline the president of Michael Jackson's Army of L.O.V.E.® Are you stellerblues on haox forum?

  4. I like that you can appreciate his music, but the second half of your entry struck me... and not in a good way. Jackson was not "perverted or morally corrupt". The only people who believe that he was, or might have been, are those who haven't researched the facts (for information about the 2005 trial and failed extortion attempt, please read "Michael Jackson Conspiracy" by the New York Times bestseller author, and recognized authority on true crime, Aphrodite Jones. Jackson also really did have Vitiligo (as confirmed in the autopsy report, and visually apparent in many photos of him over the years).

    If less people had let themselves be spoon-fed salacious headlines by the media, if less people had judged him and took the time to check the facts, perhaps he would have still been here today. With all the lies spread about him, it's no wonder the man had trouble sleeping at night. He was after all, only human. How much can one person take? It's a shame. However, throughout his life, Jackson displayed perseverance in the face of obstacles, dedication to his craft, and charity to those less fortunate. These are all excellent qualities for an individual to possess, and I will happily hold him up as a role model to my children.

  5. Carolina, no I'm not stellerblues on haox forum.

    E.L., sorry you didn't like my post. I did not say he was perverted or morally corrupt. I do not presume to pass judgment on other people, especially those who I do not know personally. The reason I said I do not know if he was a pervert or morally corrupt was that I do not know him personally or have first-hand evidence of his life. Clearly, he did practice questionable judgment at times (dangling his baby over a hotel railing, or inviting boys to sleepovers), but one could surmise that this was partly because he was a victim himself...and did not think through the consequences or perceptions people might have.

    I am a fan of Michael Jackson and in fact, my 7-year-old son is a huge fan. I've encouraged that. Michael Jackson was a remarkable musician and artist. By the way, I hold up very few public figures as role models for my children!