Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson died today, and I am writing this down because I think it's important to keep track of where we are when big cultural events happen. And this, to me and clearly many other people--like that guy in LA who was interviewed on CNN tonight wearing one glove--is a big cultural event.

So, to make it official, I was at work today when the New York Times Breaking News Alert came in to say that Michael Jackson had been rushed unconscious to the hospital. And then TMZ announced that he was dead and everyone in my office forgot that we are not actually there to talk about and Google Michael Jackson. At 6pm, 4 people were in my office, one of them screaming "REFRESH!" every 7 seconds because (despite the early call from TMZ) CNN, the NYT, and the AP were not yet showing an official death. "Get out of my office!" I finally yelled.

Michael Jackson has become a tragic, controversial, frightening, and even comical figure. And I never, ever knew him, which is fine with me. But just like I'll always remember that I was about to pack up and leave the office when the LA Times finally refreshed, I also remember where I was when I first became a fan at age 7. My friend Beth and I used to put her Thriller record on and dance like crazy people in the living room. And that may have been one of the first experiences I had branching out from my parent's music and finding some of my own. Not a unique experience, I'm sure. Just something I'm thinking about today.

2 comments:

RC said...

That's the album that got me, too. If I remember correctly, it did fairly well on the charts.

Jay Nicolosi said...

And where were you when Billy Mays stopped shouting?

The album "Thriller" was no match for the cleanser "Oxy Clean."