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Wednesday

Michael Jackson, finally in Neverland...


So much will be said about Michael Jackson over the next few weeks that I am reluctant to comment at all. Like most writers, I didn’t know him. I was just a fan. That being said, as I watch all of the tributes to Michael and listen to the music I am moved to write.

Like everyone else, I have been riveted to the television, watching endless coverage of his life. The media has been relentless in trying to dissect every aspect of his life. It seems like everyone whoever watched MTV is now an expert on Michael Jackson’s deepest desires and his demons.

It is undeniable that Michael Jackson lived a complicated life. However, one thing can’t be disputed. He was the ultimate entertainer. He gave us all that he had. However, when we had him, we loved him, but we treated him bad.

Michael grew up in front of us. And we experienced everything with him along the journey. He taught us our ABC’s. He made us dream. He made us dance. While we believed that he was more than a little off the wall, we always believed in the music. After he began to change, we judged him harshly. However, we still longed to be thrilled again.

Michael Jackson knocked us off of our feet. Every artist with potential since “Thriller” has been compared to him, but they haven’t come close. He was in a class by himself. As the ticket sales for his concert tour that was scheduled this summer indicate, we wanted him back.

He represented the best of us and the worst of us. We longed for what he made us feel. We missed the man who made us think it was OK to be dangerous. We were relieved that someone encouraged us to keep our secrets in the closet. However, we wondered what secrets he was hiding. We wanted more of the man that made us believe that we were free to love whomever we wanted whenever we wanted—because it was nobody’s business.

Michael asked us to look at ourselves and to make the world a better place. He criticized racism and made us question whether color mattered at all, even though his own skin became increasingly lighter.

His life was paradoxical. Indeed, eventually, it seemed as bizarre as it was incredible. There’s no doubt that Michael gave us cause to question a lot of things. However, at the end of the day, millions of people feel a great loss.

We are in shock. I think that it’s because for good reasons and for odd ones, Michael didn’t seem quite human. It’s as if we believed that he wouldn’t stop because he would never get enough.

Ironically, his death humanized him in a way that his life never did. Even though we all had him, he was alone. Watch the shows chronicling his life, his maturation, and the evolution of his face is incredibly sad. On earth, Michael was searching for something that he never found. Now, that he is in Neverland I hope that he has found what he was looking for.
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