I was at work. I opened the Internet to go on to a work database, when I noticed a headline on my Yahoo home page: "Michael Jackson Hospitalized." Reading further the article said Michael Jackson was pronounced dead by an unknown, unofficial source. Thinking this would not be the first odd rumor posted about the man, I did a search "Michael Jackson Dead." And there it was, a confirmed article stating that Michael Jackson had indeed died. I was in shock. How can my childhood hero be dead?
Over the past couple of days, I have deeply reflected on the influence Michael Jackson had over my generation. The white glove, the red zipper jacket, the moonwalk, the short pants with white socks. Michael Jackson had numerous trade marks, which will always live with his memory. Michael Jackson was an 80's icon. What he did with "Thriller" is untouchable. No one has ever created such an imaginative, creative, and unique video. We were obsessed with it; everyone was. We knew the words, we knew the dance routine. We watched the video and the making of the video daily. The Thriller movement consumed our society. I don't know what it would take to top that one; I don't think anyone ever will. And yes, initially I was scared to watch it.
Another huge part of the 80's was "We Are the World" in which Michael Jackson was a big part of. I think I am very lucky to have lived during the times of these two videos.
I know Michael Jackson had developed a negative reputation over the last few decades, and lived a cryptic life of mystery. Undoubtedly misunderstood. No doubt at times I would see pictures of him and think "he is so weird." But this man needs to be remembered for all of his positive contributions to society, especially in the 80's. He needs to be remember for his powerful influence over people and the pure magic he created with his music.
Thus, I give you my Top 10 Michael Jackson Songs:
10. You Are Not Alone
9. Smooth Criminal
7. Beat It
6. Billie Jean
4. The Girl is Mine
2. Man in the Mirror
1. Don't Stop 'till You Get Enough
Ethan with his M.J. jacket:
Hard to see it, but that's me with my M.J. buttons:
"Gonna make a change for once in my life. Gonna feel really good, gonna make a difference, gonna make it right."
You sure did.