The King of Pop  

Posted by inkstainedhands in ,

People sometimes ask, "Where were you and what were you doing when the Twin Towers fell?" Some even ask the same question about the death of Princess Diana. I was too young when she died to even know about it, but I clearly remember what I was doing as the airplanes crashed into the Twin Towers on 9/11. I was sitting in school, in my fourth grade classroom. A couple of girls were picked up by their mothers, which obviously aroused our curiosity. One girl asked me to pass a note to some other girl sitting next to me, and I was waiting for an opportune moment when the teacher's back was turned. Then, the intercom crackled, and I was told to go to the office because my mother was picking me up. I hastily handed the note to the intended recipient, earning a glare from the teacher, and I rushed downstairs. As my mother and I were walking home, she explained what had happened to me. Back then, Manhattan seemed so far away, and I did not feel the full impact of the event. Once I got home, I realized just how major it was when I turned on the TV and was greeted by images of the falling buildings on every single channel.

There are many such historical events that are later vividly remembered and recounted. The most recent was Michael Jackson's untimely death and the speculation that followed.

I was sitting at my computer, probably blogging or checking my email, when my mother passed by me and remarked that Michael Jackson just died. I held back my surprise, and silently did a Google news search. Various sources had different stories. Some said he went into cardiac arrest and was currently being treated at the hospital. Others claimed that he was in a coma, but was still alive. And then, there were those who reported that he died that very hour. Online journalism is a strange thing; you never know which story to believe and which to carelessly toss aside. One of my friends then called me to ask if it was true; I did not really know what to say. But within a couple of hours, it was confirmed that Michael Jackson had died.

At first, I was a bit in shock, and it took a while for it to sink in. Every single time I went to my Google or Yahoo homepage, I saw headlines about his death, and I was reminded of it over and over again.

I first started listening to his music when I was eleven or twelve. I still remember sitting at my computer and listening to those songs while flashes of color danced before me on the media player's background. Even more than that... I remember the smell of air freshener in the room, which was later associated in my mind with Michael Jackson. His CD was one of the first I ever got, and back when I only had three CDs, I would play his over and over again.

It is sometimes funny to see what you remember from the past. Very often, I find myself thinking about some very random, minor memories that are seemingly insignificant, and I don't usually understand why it is indelibly stamped on my mind. I remember when I was twelve and I went to sleepaway camp for the first time. It was the summer after sixth grade. We went on a trip to an amusement park, and the ride back was late at night. I was very tired after an exhausting day out in the sun, and it was dark in the bus, so I put on my headphones and thought of resting a bit. I ended up falling into a semi-conscious state to the sounds of Michael Jackson's music. I still remember hearing those songs as I was falling asleep; they sounded as if they were coming from underwater.

As the years passed by and I discovered other artists and bands, I started listening to his music less and less. When he disappeared after being acquitted a few years ago, I stopped following him. I mean, if I saw news articles about him, I would check them out, but I just did not really care that much anymore, to be honest.


And now, I just can't help but think about it.

I walked past a newsstand today, and his face was everywhere. He was on the cover of almost every magazine, and there were dozens of headlines screaming out at me about his career, the mark he left on pop, his life, the scandals, the rumors, and his death. I took a good look at the sight before me, and just stood there for a couple of minutes, taking it all in.

Fifty years from now, I might tell my grandchildren about it.

This entry was posted on Sunday, July 5, 2009 at Sunday, July 05, 2009 and is filed under , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

6 comments

Hannah, I'm shocked. A Michael Jackson fan? You should be ashamed of yourself! Besides the fact that his music has been passe even to pop fans since 1985, that guy was known to be the most perverted/messed-up guy on earth since 1985!

Also: How was his death "untimely"? He's been (literally) falling apart for years..

About 9/11: ..I also thought it was relatively insignificant in the beginning...

July 6, 2009 at 6:41 PM

It eludes me how certain people can be so judgmental and negative when all they know is what is fed to them by the tabloids and they don't bother to even try to understand.

I am not ashamed, but you should be ashamed of yourself for leaving that comment and for insinuating that a person cannot be a fan because you are prejudiced against the artist.

Michael Jackson was working hard just before his death, rehearsing for a 50-show comeback. He was just about to get back into the music scene and prove that his talent as a performer is not gone yet. He had grand plans for the future.... And then he died. He was only 50. So yes, I would say it was untimely.

July 6, 2009 at 8:58 PM

What bothers me when pop-stars die is that most of them don't die normally. Don't get me wrong on this, I mean they don't die getting old as like 80-90. They die young. And although we aren't always told why, the usual reason is drugs. Drugs could come from different sides - could be stress relievers, painkillers (MJ; vocalist of Pantera used to take heroin for his back pain), sleeping pills (Eminem) or real drug addiction; but all of these always bring to the same result - early death.

But I really don't care much about their personal life and how they use/waste it. I care about music and songs they write where best stuff is always made under drugs....

And if they don't die but catch the rehabilitation on time they can't keep on the same level anymore - most always their stuff made on clean blood sucks.

July 6, 2009 at 10:10 PM

When I found out he died, it was because I subscribe to daily news texts.

I received a "news" txt that Michael Jackson died of cardiac arrest. I told everyone around me, and moved on with my life.

Its not news. Its pathetic journalists even waste time on this. WE have a war in Iraq and afghanistan. A crazy KOrean threatening to throw missiles at Hawaii, the Taliban trying to take over Pakistan (which has nukes), and our journalists are wasting valuable time talking about a guy whose lifestyle killed him; nevermind that his lifestyle hurt numerous little children.

Now, its one thing to be a fan. I understand that. But over a week after the guy's death... really now? Shouldn't our journalists cover actual news!?

In the meantime, they're giving the guy a public funeral, which will cost the city of Los Angelos $2 million for security.

California is bankrupt. Governator is paying with IOU's. And this perverts funeral is gonna cost how much!?

now THOSE are questions journalists should be asking "Why is the mayor of LA allowing this?"
"why can't the jackson family pay for it on their own?"

not focus on "OMG ...JACKSON IS STILL DEAD !"

July 6, 2009 at 11:12 PM

how can one compare the shock of hearing about a terrorist attack of planes hitting the WTC, and the "shock" of a pop-star dying?

July 6, 2009 at 11:16 PM

BTS -- I guess you can say the same things about many actors and writers. I feel bad for them as individuals... their lives are very sad, even though what they produce is brilliant and delights many future generations.

FS -- You don't care about it, and that's your choice. But many people do care. Many people grew up on this man's music, and he meant something to them. It's very easy for you to say that the news should cover other things and forget about him, but you don't understand what he means to millions of fans around the world.

"how can one compare the shock of hearing about a terrorist attack of planes hitting the WTC, and the "shock" of a pop-star dying?" -- Let's see... The Twin Towers fell when I was in 4th grade and had no idea what they even were. The first time I even heard of them was when they fell. I was too young to know much or care about something that seemed like it had no personal impact on my life. Michael Jackson was someone whose music I listened to and whose career I followed for a while when I was younger. It meant something to me, even though you might argue that it shouldn't have.

And this is one post where I just won't stand for any negativity in the comments section. So unless this stops, I will either start deleting comments or I'll just disable them for this one post.

I have said what I want to say and expressed what I felt, and that's it.

July 6, 2009 at 11:31 PM

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