Regarding this week’s Dustinland, you know, a lot of people were quick to make jokes and be all cynical and dismiss Michael Jackson’s death as just that of another celebrity. And hey, I make fun of plenty of stuff, so I totally understand the urge to make jokes, and hey, go for it. But don’t dismiss this. People are sad that Michael Jackson not so much because of who he was as an individual or as a celebrity, but because what he represented.
For one, he was a huge part of my childhood, and I think anyone in my general age range can say the same thing. So when he died, we all just got a little older, a little sadder. It was bad enough when he started getting all weird and creepy — already a lot of the magic was gone after that. But now he’s dead. Beat It, Thriller, Man In The Mirror, PYT, Wanna Be Startin Something… all that joy, all that fun… gone.
Two, it’s the end of a tragic story. Yes, it’s easy to see him as just another celebrity freak, but he was a person. Someone raised in the eye of fame since he was a child. We see what just a little bit of fame can do to people who star in sitcoms as children. From the time he was a child, Michael Jackson was wrapped up in a level of celebrity that only grew until you could seriously argue he was the most famous person in the world. And what started out as a happy little kid with a great voice ended up a haunted, drug-addicted, self-mutilated ghost with sexual issues that likely led to criminal behavior. It’s a tragedy of epic proportions that someone who brought so many people so much joy ended up the way he did.