Someone asked if I was going to weigh in on Michael Jackson. So here I go, because here on charleysblog, we try to give the readers what they want, since there are so few of them.
1. MJ was incredibly talented. I know you’re going to hear that all day and for weeks to come, but he was seriously, by any standard, unusually gifted. Even though I didn’t really start liking his music until later in his peak years, I had to give him credit. Which I’m sure he appreciated.
2. MJ was incredibly weird, to the point of being creepy. Sorry, that’s just the way it was. Being weird and creepy doesn’t take away from his talent in any way. Unfortunately, being talented doesn’t take away from his creepiness either. I’ll just say it – I think he was guilty of the child molestation charges, even though he was acquitted. There are just too many strange, creepy things he did and said over the years involving children.
3. Unfortunately, it’s #2 that people think of, rather than #1, when they think of MJ. Admittedly, I’d have to include myself in that.
4. The news today and the attitude of people in general reminded me of August 1977 when Elvis died. I was driving on Pacific Coast Hwy toward Long Beach when the news came on the radio. It was hot, and I didn’t have air conditioning so my windows were down, and there was traffic so I was stuck for awhile. All around me I heard people playing Elvis music on their radios. Today was sort of like that, except there was no Elvis music. And I wasn’t driving around that much. But there was a lot of MJ music playing, even on stations that normally wouldn’t play his music. (Oh yeah, Michael was married to Elvis’ daughter for a year or so. I forgot about that. Just another little connection).
5. A friend of mine today wrote some very compassionate things about MJ, and Farrah Fawcett, about those who loved them needing comfort, and about the fragility of life. I agree completely with her.
6. It was noteworthy that within minutes of the announcement of MJ’s death, Al Sharpton held a little news conference at the hospital. Very handy that he was there; I guess Jesse Jackson was unavailable.
7. One little mildly humorous note, one of those “only in L.A.” things. This afternoon people began gathering around Michael Jackson’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and leaving flowers, cards, etc. The problem was, it was the wrong Michael Jackson – it was the star honoring a local L.A. radio personality also named Michael Jackson. The area around the star honoring Michael Jackson the singer happened to be roped off today – not because of his death, but because the movie “Bruno” was premiering at a theater in Hollywood near MJ’s star. Just a coincidence.
8. It’s funny how many times very talented people are also very strange. Not always of course, but often enough to make me wonder if there’s a correllation. It happens often enough in actors, writers, musicians (even including guys like Mozart), that I can’t help but notice the connection.
9. When I heard the news today I was a little surprised, but not all that surprised. I’ve said for years that MJ wasn’t going to live very long; he has seemed incredibly weak and frail for quite a while.
10. I’ll stop with this one, because 10 is a good place to stop. It’s sad to lose anyone. MJ’s fans will grieve, in a fan sort of way, for a while. MJ’s brothers, sisters and parents will grieve for the rest of their lives. And his children, unfortunately, will need a lot of help. My thoughts and prayers go out to them.