Michael Jackson passed away yesterday.
I was sitting on my couch with my laptop and saw it on twitter pretty much right when the word was out. I saw Perez Hiltons twitter first, saying he'd gone into cardiac arrest. I spent the next hour or two looking online, where TMZ was first to break the news. Twitter was crazy with everyone reporting what they'd heard, learning the news, etc. Then I started seeing that reports went from "not looking good" to he had passed.
I felt so weird.
So weird. It was surreal. A few hours later I started reading various tweets and status updates where people didn't care, made jokes, said to "get priorities straight and forget the celeb and think of Iran", to stop pretending like you care when you weren't truly a fan.
First of all, whether you loved him or hated him, it's really gross to make a joke of death. The posts telling us to forget him and think of Iran? Way to soon. It had only been a matter of hours. It's not like a week's gone by and since you weren't a fan you're sick of the media coverage. Let his fans fucking grieve and deal with this! And the stop pretending like you care? Would people seriously mention it and feel sad over it if they didn't care?
It seems, of course, people are very divided. That not everyone out there realized that he still has a huge fanbase! I'm not going to play the pretentious game today that his celebrity pales to what really matters in the world and Iran. Somebody who influenced me since I was little is gone. This is a huge impact to me and many people I know.
Family members of mine in their 40's are mourning because they feel he was the icon of their generation, and strangely enough, I feel the same way. He was timeless. I remember first hearing him in my late elementary, early jr. high years, when my dad let me borrow a CD (that I never gave back & still have in my collection.)
In high school, every weekend my group of friends would go disco roller skating and they played plenty of old school MJ. We knew every song, we bought his videos (still have them on VHS), we tried to learn his dance moves...I had both female and male friends that were fantastic at it (Amber, McGarren) and I can't tell you how many times they'd take off skates, get out in the middle of the rink and wow everyone. I remember one of my aunts giving a pair of MJ autographed shoes to my high school best friend, Amber who was his greatest fan. She had an MJ doll and wanted to get an MJ tattoo when we were old enough. :)
I associate his music and his videos so much with high school.
I also remember being 15 years old and kissing a cute blonde boy I had a huge crush on at a dance to "Earth Song". When you're so young, discovering...everything is brand new and exciting.
I still list "Earth Song" as one of my favorite songs of all time.
As I got older and became a professional performer, I borrowed from him as I learned to really appreciate how fucking talented he was. I can't tell you how many times I've watched "Bad", "Beat It" and "Thriller" to steal a move here or there. Yes, I can do the thriller dance. Yes, I did a homage performance to him last August for Voodoo Darlings Burlesque to "Bad" (see above picture).
I can type this right now, today and honestly tell you I am a fan. I love his music, I own it all. I love love love his dancing. Nobody moves like him. He invented something new and different and beyond entertaining.
I learned a lot yesterday. There are so many opinions out there and that's great. I think that's extremely beautiful and interesting. We all take something a very different way. On the same token, let's be kind and respectful to each other with this. It's all hit us a different way. We may not understand why it has effected someone particularly hard. We may not understand what memories or personal experiences are associated to this person and this passing. I read a quote the other day that I think very much comes into play right now...
"Be kind, everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle".
I hope Michael is remembered for his talent.
He inspired us performers and impacted us very, very much. RIP.