. . .but I'm really sad that Michael Jackson is dead.
I remember where I was when Elvis died--driving down I-75 in Kentucky. We were on our way to Lake Cumberland. I can absolutely remember the stretch of road we were on when they announced it on the radio.
I remember where I was when President Reagan was shot--7th grade math class at Worthingway Middle School.
And I'll always remember that I was descending Vail pass on my way to Denver when Eamonn called to tell me that Michael Jackson was dead.
I had heard on NPR that Michael Jackson had received CPR at his home and rushed to the hospital so the call wasn't out of the blue, but to hear that he was actually dead was a little shocking.
For the remainder of the drive (which stretched to an epic three hours becasue of construction traffic--my tax dollars at work thanks to the ARRA--and bad weather--people seem to be flummoxed as to how to drive in the rain), I was able to tune into a Denver radio station that began playing Michael Jackson music non-stop.
I found myself tuning into every newscast and retrospective show to learn more.
And for the record, I feel bad for Farrah Fawcett that she totally got shortchanged because they both died the same day.
As a child of the 80s, Michael Jackson was huge in my life. Who didn't drive around town with one of his zillion top 10 hits blaring from their (parents') car radio? I'm certain that when I go to Ohio this summer, I'll still find plenty of Michael Jackson vinyl on the shelves in our old rooms.
When I've brought up Michael Jackson's untimely death to several people though, I have found them mostly unsympathetic. One even commented, "One less pedophile in the world is a good thing."
I have no idea if Michael Jackson was a pedophile or not. I saw news coverage of people who accused him of things, bizzare behavior at his trial, his strangely changing appearance. No doubt about it--he was one weird dude.
But really it all just makes me sad because he had such a bizzare life from the get go. Again, I really only know what the media feeds us, but it's not like he had a normal upbringing or family, and he was pretty much a prisoner of his own fame.
So I'm sitting here watching a Michael Jackson retrospective on VH1 and feeling nostalgic. Hilariously, I'm seeing many of these videos for the first time. We didn't have cable growing up so the only time I ever saw music videos was when I babysat for the Kriegers, who did have MTV. As soon as the kids were in bed I used to sit for hours watching videos (because that was back in the day when MTV actually showed music videos). And if the Kriegers were actually out of town and I was staying the night with the kids, I usually stayed up nearly the whole night getting my video fix.
Anyway, personally, watching the videos, either for the first time or the 50th, and listening to his music like I haven't in years, I'm reminded of his huge talent and musical genius. And it makes me sad for him and his family. And for me because frankly, a little of my youth died last Thursday, too.