In Memorial -Michael Jackson: August 29, 1958–June 25, 2009

June 26, 2009 | Comments (0) | by Arcturus

In case you were in a cave with Osama Bin Laden yesterday, Michael Jackson suffered a fatal cardiac arrest. He was 50 years old. Every news organization in the free world is going to try and sum up the legacy he leaves behind, both the musical one and the dark acid trip his life had become. All I want to say is that when I think of Michael Jackson, I don't think of the child abuse allegations, the bizzaro children, his strange personal habits, or the utter ruin of the man's face. Instead, I think of Las Vegas, 1983/84. I remember living at 5 Erwin St. on Nellis AFB and my mom driving my brother and I into the city to the Thomas and Mack Center to see the Las Vegas Stars play baseball or the Americans (lame ass name, right?) play indoor soccer. I also can remember driving to the pool in the base's Area 2, (which was in the middle of the desert and not off limits like Area 51). I remember playing soccer in the AYSO for a team I believe was called the Thunderbirds and going to the water slide across the street from the field with my little brother.

What does all this have to do with Michael Jackson? My mother had bought the album Thriller and she played it constantly. Hell, even when we listened to the radio, half the time they were playing "Thriller", "Beat It", or "Billie Jean". (The only other song I remember hearing as often was Van Halen's "Jump"). So some of the best memories from my childhood, I tend to associate with the music of Michael Jackson. He was always around, either on the TV or the radio. It seemed like everyone was either moonwalking or attempting to. I've never seen another musical phenomenon like what surrounded Michael Jackson. I missed out on Beatlemania and the Elvis craze, but I saw the Jackson fandom first hand. Love him or hate him, every one of us who grew up in the 80s was touched by it.

As far as I'm concerned, I've already mourned the loss of Michael, the man whose music was a part of my life, both as the little kid with the big afro with his brothers on the oldies stations I lost myself in during my early teenage years to the jeri-curled popstar with one glittering glove that he later became. That man disappeared a long time ago. (To the aliens who kidnapped Michael after the release of Bad and replaced him with one of their own, I can only tell you that the impostor has passed. Can we please have the real Michael back now? I would really appreciate it). In all seriousness, like Elvis before him, Michael Jackson remains an icon of the American Dream and of the bitter price that often comes with it. Like many, I will choose to remember the music he gave us, rather then the sideshow his life became.