Apparently Twitter was pretty much overloaded with the news that Michael Jackson had died.  From Toronto, Shawn gets in an early word of warning:

There is no need to compare MJ & Iran – completely dif, just intersect on same medium, not a social/moral lesson to be learned.

Guy captures the mood:

im feeling weird about Jacko dying. he was too weird and too great and it feels strange.

Was surprises me, is that somehow I am not more surprised.  By the time I got to know his music in the late 1980s, he had Thriller behind him and was already stratospheric, categorized alongside other immortals like Elvis Presley. Horrible to think it, but a premature death seems somehow appropriate for the narrative, the modern folklore.

Michael Jackson

5 Replies to “Jacko”

  1. Premature, but I think he's beaten Diana, and Elvis and Lennon. And Marilyn. And Grace Kelly. And James Dean. And River Phoenix. And Heath Ledger. And Michael Hutchence, and Kurt Cobain. He was practically an old man by modern folklore standards. You should have been surprised he made it this far. And it would appear to be natural causes, so that makes it different from most of the above. If you're not surprised, you should be. Unless you'd paid enough attention to know his health was failing.

  2. Well, I don’t mind saying I was shocked, even though I never was a fan. The man survived the critical age-range within which most celebrity premature deaths tend to occur. He should have been home and dry. It’s not like he lived fast and loose or anything. I think your lack of surprise has a hint of poetic license about it.
    I always thought it amazing, even in the eighties, how his stupid too-short trousers and white socks, his embarrassing crotch-grabbing habit and all the little high-pitched squeals were ever considered cool. And at the time all that zombie graveyard business and toe-pointing was just weird. And then, in the new-skool rap/hip-hop era, he tried to tell us that he, up there in the stratospheric mainstream, was “Bad”. Yeah, right.
    And now he’s being hailed as a musical genius. No, sorry. Weird, yes. An icon, yes. But chiefly for the scale of his fame, I would say.

  3. I would just like to add, that having seen some of the retrospective coverage of his career over the last few days, the aspects of his performance that I have mocked above take on a totally different meaning. If each part of his career is understood in the context of what went before, it all begins to make a lot more sense.

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