Don't read my blog if you mourn for celebrities.
I should have written this blog a few months ago, but I was busy. But the death of Captain Lou Albano reminded me that I need to write it.
I was in Europe when Michael Jackson died. More specifically, I was in Denmark. We had lunch in Roskilde when I saw a tabloid sized newspaper with his picture and the words, "Michael Jackson Død." Since it was tabloid sized, I wasn't sure what it meant. My best guess was dead, but it didn't seem likely. I didn't really think too much about it.
That night I had my first internet access in a few days. Since Yahoo! pops up as my first page, I saw the news first thing to confirm. I became curious as to what the reaction was. When I left the United States, we weren't too big on Michael. He had been seen dangling his child off a balcony. His face had things dangling from it that hadn't previously been dangling. He had been accused to playing with boys' dangling parts.
Somehow, his death made us forget the all of the dangling.
But here's the thing. Michael Jackson isn't dead.
What? Am i implying some kind of conspiracy theory? He's alive somewhere? Jackson's head was frozen until sometime in the future?
No. You didn't know Michael Jackson the person. His death had no impact on you whatsoever. The Michael Jackson you knew was on an album or tape or CD or mp3. His image was on your TV. And all of that is still there.
Oh, some of you might be be concerned that now he can't make new music. Really? Do you want more of Michael's music? Have you heard any of the new stuff? He has some pretty good older stuff. I dig listening to the Jackson 5 every now and again. I listened to Smooth Criminal just the other day at the gym. But his better days as a musician were behind him.
Some might be sad that you'll never get to see him in concert. I guess I feel the same way about Jimi Hendrix, Elvis Presley or original Paul McCartney (I did see the fake stand in many years ago.) But it can't be that big of a deal for me.
I actually have seen Michael Jackson, just not in concert. I was at Disneyland many years ago waiting to travel across to Tom Sawyer's Island. On the island, I could see a huge group of people. It looked odd, since there usually aren't that many people on the island. It's usually a great place to get away from everyone.
Coming back from the island was a raft with only three people on it. That seemed strange, since so many people were waiting to get back. On this really hot day, two of them were dressed in suits. The other in a heavy fur coat. As they got closer and started to get off the raft, I saw that it was Michael Jackson in the fur coat.
So really, I feel like I have more reason to mourn him than most of you. I practically knew him as a kid. Though... that's not something most people would want to admit to...
See? Funny. Definitely not too soon.
You could also argue that you feel bad when any person dies. Ok, sure. On a planet with almost 7 billion people, thousands dying every day, you must be a really sad person.
Yes, that's callous. But it's reality. The Michael Jackson I knew (outside of Disneyland) is still alive, and I still don't really care. Britney Spears in rehab? Don't care, same thing. Mel Gibson calls a cop "Sugartits?" Funny. But I don't care. Michael Vick fights dogs? Don't care.
Except for Phil Hartman. He would still be making me laugh today if he were alive. How about we all take a moment to think about the memory of Phil Hartman?