It just occurred to me that while I was not a hardcore fan, I am moved somewhat by the entity that is (or was, if you believe he really is dead) Michael Jackson. See, there was a point in my life where I was in awe of the backslide and the gravity defying lean. The first horror flick I watched was the Thriller music video. Peering from behind my fingers as Michael turned into a werewolf, freaking out as the zombies did their dance and Michael’s girl screamed. Curiously, there were no nightmares after this, just the belief that Michael was the devil incarnate and that he could transform into a werewolf whenever the moon was full… then into a car (Moonwalker) then into a Panther (Black or White). I thought, shit, that guy is good… until the stories that he was a devil worshipper started to move around. Those were not special effects, that shit was real! Lucifer was at work!
The scales dropped from mine eyes soon enough, but as time waned, so too did my fascination with the king of pop. I didn’t become Anti-pop, that honour fell to someone else. I just didn’t think there was anything magical about Michael anymore. Sure I appreciated the awesomeness of the music videos, the depth of some of his songs, but I didn’t care to try and memorise his lyrics, which was just sad seeing as back in the day I had to keep rewinding the cassette, playing back and writing to get verses on paper. In the era of the net and concordantly easier accessibility, I didn’t care.
Anyway, long story short, I received a tonne of messages when Michael died and I was not as moved as I thought I should have been. I didn’t even play the sadistic replacement game that I usually sink into when someone famous passes on (Aaliyah shouldn’t have died, so and so shoulda, Left Eye shouldn’t have died, thingy shoulda! and so on and so forth). I just shrugged and continued sipping my drink, bugged no end by the plethora of textual activity that was stimulating my cell phone.
Somehow I managed to survive the eulogies that saturated the airwaves, my eyes violated no end by the headlines screaming at them from the newspapers.
It was only when I watched the video for the Earth Song that Saturday following his death that it started to sink in. You have to understand, of all the Michael Jackson videos, that particular one kept evading me. I never, EVER got to watch it from start to finish. This time was no different. I ‘caught’ it as it was about to end. Yet again, Michael had managed to elude me. No matter, I finally felt a tinge of grief, a smidgen of remorse.
On Sunday, the music channels were going all out, airing ALL his music videos. I plopped myself in front of the TV and waited; Earth Song, you shall hide no more. Sure enough, it came on. Around the same time my sister’s friend arrived with her two little nieces in tow. I hit the pause button and went to alert my sister as to the presence of her guests. When I got back, one of the toddlers had undone my recording and moved on to the Disney Channel in the pursuit of some stupid **** called Hannah Montana! Yet again, no Earth Song.
Last night, I resisted the urge to give in to the widespread Michael moments on Facebook where the average facebook status message ranged from Michael Jackson song titles, lyrics and blatant proclamations that his legion of fans would moonwalk with him to his final resting place.
I caught bits and pieces of the send off on the telly. Just enough to make me think, SHIT!
Dude is gone.