Farewell my summer love

Prince of Pop

Prince of Pop

The King of Pop has died. The guy that superseded normality, who was, like the title of one of his lesser-known albums, invincible, it seemed. His oddness only added to his sense of unreality, making him appear as god-like or surreally brilliant to so many millions of people across the world. Seriously, how many people can you think of that have actually changed colour and managed to brush off multiple child abuse accusations? His global fan base, both black and white, remained loyal, enabling him to sell-out 50 dates at the UK’s biggest venue at the age of 50.

Now he is dead he will join the handful of modern artistic legends that have died young and divided opinion. His untimely death will only add to the sense of injustice to his true fans, the most recent public floggings in the media feeling more than a little too close to the bone. Already I have heard jokes about him dying and even when the news broke on the radio, people phoned into say it was a hoax.

Whether you love him or hate him, MJ was the definition of idiosyncrasy. He dared to be different in a music world where punters are fickle and want their beauty skin deep. He stubbornly refused to change and conform – insisting that climbing trees was normal and that hanging out with teenagers was just what he innocently enjoyed doing.

Some might argue that the constant judgement of Michael Jackson – the lack of understanding about who he was and what he wanted to be – was almost biblical. It might be a little extreme, but we all, myself included, questioned that someone could appear so full of love for children as a grown man and still be innocent.

We all took a ride on the bandwagon and mocked him. Society rejected his personality and character, deeming it weird, even evil. There are some who will always regard him as guilty, but others, like myself, may just feel a twinge of remorse at the news of his death.

I too easily chose to readily forget the magic I felt as a child when dancing and singing along to his legendary tunes and lyrics – I let the cynicism of adulthood and the destructive nature of the media take hold and the doubts creep in.

The very shock and irreversibility of my condemnation is humbling. I was never a hater. I always loved his music and stood by the idea of his innocence when he was on trial. Yet I did have doubts. I queried why he was so odd, so unlike any other bloke I know in his 40s.

Ironically though, his death has spared him from a further public mauling – the O2 shows, which would have surely ended in disaster, would have had the media going for blood and fans angry and disappointed. I personally am glad that he won’t have to become a circus yet again and has gone out with a blast – to be remembered as a musical genius and one of a kind – a zeitgeist of the 20th Century.

I am hoping that his death has taught me a lesson – to not question the good in people quite so readily again. MJ’s death will act like a Jiminy Cricket to me – a reminder to believe in the good and the innocent – the man in my mirror when I am feeling judgemental.

Listening to some old Jackson 5 stuff this morning, I heard these lyrics… I hope he finds what he was looking for…

Everything has its season,
Everything has its time.
Just show me a reason
And I’ll sing you a rhyme.
Cats fit on the window sill,
Children fit in the snow.
Why do I feel I don’t fit in anywhere I go?

Rivers belong where they can ramble;
Eagles belong where they can fly.
I’ve got to be where my spirit can run free;
Gotta find my corner in the sky.

Every man has his daydream,
Every man has his goal.
People like the way dreams
Have of sticking to the soul.
Thunder clouds have their lightning,
Nightingales have their song,
But can’t you see I want my life to be something more than long?

Rivers belong where they can ramble;
Eagles belong where they can fly.
I’ve got to be where my spirit can run free;
Gotta find my corner in the sky.

So many men seem destined
To settle for something small.
But I – I wont rest
Until I know I’ve had it all
So don’t ask where I’m going —
Just listen when I’m gone,
And far away you’ll hear me singing, softly, to the dawn:

Rivers belong where they can ramble,
Eagles belong where they can fly.
But I’ve – I’ve got to be
Where my spirit can run free;
Gotta find my corner
Gotta find my corner (yes, I do)
Gotta find my corner
Gotta find my corner of the sky

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