I remember the first time I saw Micheal Jackson. It was on TV during news coverage of one of his events in the mid 90's. I remember my parents talking about him, I asked, "THAT is a guy?". My parents responded with an understanding "Yup." From that point on, I always saw him in the way that was popular. I regarded him very much so as a joke and couldn't for the life of me understand why it was that people were so enamored with him. I saw quite clearly just how loyal his fans were, the legions of people, young and old, screaming outside his concerts and appearances. I never understood the love affair for what I saw as some kind of freakshow milking his once epic stardom. When I first heard he died, I was in a bit of disbelief. Not that it could've happened, but that it did happen. How could such a figure, a household name, someone only months older than my own father, pass? My first thoughts went to remembering how tragic a figure he was. Pummeled in the media, talked about as a pedophile, turned into some kind of sad joke but still, his fans were there. It's true, I've heard his music before many times over, but as wives everwhere can tell you, "hearing" and "listening" are hardly the same thing. I remembered songs from the Jackson 5 like "ABC" and knew that Micheal was an impressive singer, but it took his death and the heartfelt words of his daughter Paris to actually get me to sit down and listen to one of his songs. Sitting here in my chair, I listened to the song "I'll be there" as sang by a pre-pubescent Micheal in the late 60's. It's true, I had never listened to Micheal's music, and for the first time I asked myself "Why?" I always saw and heard the joke of a man that had been built up slowly by the media and the countless people willing to take aim at an easy target, but never the music. For the first time, I understood why it was that so many people were willing to stand behind him even as he was berated and looked upon as some kind of oddity. I understood why his fans were so loyal, why Micheal Jackson became what he did. It's true, I never listened to Micheal's music, but I will be from now on.
Rest in Peace Micheal