It's true, that's totally MJ at the White House with the Reagans.
Michael Jackson, though he may have turned out to be quite odd, was indeed one of the greatest entertainers of all time. Even on NPR this morning, they did multiple stories and interviews about him. One of the people from Motown Records was talking about him as a child, and how he was just magnetic, even then. He was an original, there had never been, and won't ever be, anyone else like him. But someone also said that his house, at Neverland, was just filled with hundreds of enormous, life-sized statues, and how it gave everyone the impression that he was very lonely, which is really sad. They played a clip of him singing "I'll be There," as a little kid, and it may have made me tear up a little. It doesn't seem like someone who's already such a legend should die, I guess.
I used to work at this cafe here in the summers, and one summer this guy named Andrew was also working. Andrew was a teacher, so he was just using the job to make some extra money while he was out of school, and we often had the same schedule. He was really into music, and a little older than me, and he told me one time that when Kurt Cobain died in 1994, he was teaching at a boys school up north. It was a boarding school, and he said that day he was walking through the courtyard in the middle of the dorms, and suddenly all the windows flew open, and simultaneously, stereos in all the buildings started thumping that first rhythm of "Smells Like Teen Spirit," and the boys poured into the courtyard, shirtless, in a collective moment of teenage boy upset.
Listening to them talk about the crowds filling the streets outside of Jackson's hospital this morning, I thought of that story, and pictured somewhere on a campus collective stereos blasting those first synthesizer strains of "Thriller" into a courtyard, and everyone suddenly gathering to do that iconic dance on the lawn, arms raised with hands curling claw-like in time to the beat.
R.I.P., King of Pop.
Watch this. And, of course, this.