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Comments

Az

You know, your observations on Michael Jackson were the ones I was waiting for the most. And, as usual, you didn't disappoint. Thank you!

Julie Kang

I am so glad I got to read this before I went to bed. This is some gorgeous writing! And I wholeheartedly agree: MJ's story is ultimately a human story, amplified by a million appliqued Swarovski crystals. I was surprised to find myself very saddened today, not because "a part of my childhood died" like a lot of people are tweeting, although I don't know for sure why. Anyway, thanks for being so eloquent.

Sarah

This was the analysis I really needed. You really encapsulated the timelessness and ultimate isolation of Jackson's work from his personal life. I mean, think whatever you want about him, but the man changed pop music forever and ought to be remembered for that.

lizard

I was hoping you had a post about this. I knew a fourfour blog would say it the way it needed to be said.

Parker

I actually didn't think he molested anyone either and I've been really surprised to read so many people talking about it so definitively. So safe to do it now that he's dead I guess? I had assumed the pathetic allegations were dubious enough and if people really thought he molested children would they really be ok making all those pedophile jokes?

AC

I like your input about Michael Jackson. After the scandal back in 2005, MJ's image has fallen into a dark pit. People perceived him as a soulless pedophile weirdo. Luckily, there are people who didn't recognize him in that matter. I have not seen many of his works but when I did, I enjoyed all of his performances.

Alicia

Rich, thank you. This is beautiful, and right, and it celebrates exactly what none of us will ever forget.

Dr. Goncho

Beautifully written. I am also in the minority of those who do not believe the molestation allegations were true - I mean it is so easy to tarnish anyone's reputation that way, especially if they are weird and famous. I am absolutely appalled at Todd's blog post at http://www.idontlikeyouinthatway.com , it pretty much represents the ignorance and willingness to believe absolutely everything the news tells you. Michael's story was a tragic one, but he blessed us with the most magical music. RIP.

Gwen

When I heard about this today, I couldn't wait to read your response. You hit the nail on the head for me. I found your blog through my love of ANTM & ProjRun and have kept coming back for incredibly written music & movie reviews. I will miss Michael. I will miss what music that might have been. I will always miss the poster I had hanging in my bedroom of him in the yellow. The same poster featured in your interview with Sheenah, if I'm not mistaken? Wow. Everything IS connected. Beautiful piece. You are a great pop music writer!

amanda

I guess I just can't relate because I missed the whole MJ thing--being born in 1983 but sheltered from any music except classical until I was 15, I didn't grow up listening to MJ songs from the eighties and early nineties. I learned who Jackson was in 1993 when he was first accused of molesting an adolescent boy. Since then, I've heard his songs, and yeah, they're good, but I always associate them with his odd personal behavior. And let's face it, it's not like he has been all that prolific the last eighteen years--I don't think he has made enough new music to crowd out the memories of all of these allegations. I don't claim to know if MJ actually molested any children, but the things he has said about himself to reporters such as Martin Bashir make clear that he did not have a healthy idea of what it means to be an adult, or of how adults and children should relate to each other. For the sake of his family I am sorry he's gone, but now I hope McCartney can get his songs back.

lucy

Like many who have posted before me I looked to your site to sum up how I was feeling about the news... I also like to believe that MJ was a true Peter Pan- identifying himself as pre-pubescent.... regardless-- he was a true artist, one whose music, especially his Jackson 5 and early albums, never fails to make me joyous.

thanks rich.....

lucy

PS thanks for using a clip from my favorite song and video!
I wanna rock with you... all night!

AntBee

I knew I could count on you, Rich, to come through with an appropriate and touching tribute to Michael Jackson. I was waiting on it last night, but went to bed before it was published.
I will never forget seeing him on his Bad tour in Houston. He was spectacular and that night was truly magical. I never thought for one moment that I would see a world without Michael Jackson in it. My he rest in peace.

Staci

Thanks, Rich. Out of everything I've read about Michael in the past 12 or so hours, this is by far the best. I agree with you, I've never thought that MJ was guilty. We took and took and took from this man and were then so ready to grab our pitchforks when the allegations surfaced. He gave up his childhood to enhance that of so many others. I will have nothing but fond memories of Michael Jackson. It's likely that people younger than us will not understand the significance of his death. They didn't grow up with his music. This is our Elvis. And as Questlove of The Roots said yesterday, "Elvis got revisionist media treatment. I expect the friggin same for my hero."

Mouchois Melvin

I've got to say, hearing the news was almost surreal. First Farrah Fawcett, who I also feel should be remembered in a way, but soon after, someone that is a common household name. I don't really care what he's done to upset the world. He came from unusual circumstances and because of that became eccentric. Who doesn't have a dream? Michael Jackson just lived it.
Not only that, he never truly showed the signs of a rapist. I believe that he just loved all that was pure and childlike because he never had that and children were the only beings that weren't there to take a part of him away.
His music has touched everyone in a way, whether they know it or not. Unlike Elvis, Michael Jackson can be found in every genre of music via samples or covers or tributes.
The only thing that I can say about Michael's death is that at least our future generations will remember Michael in a purer sense and hopefully all his amazing work that he's done and care that he's shown will outshine all the tabloid crap. As some may say, when you die you become a legend... So what is to be said of Michael Jackson? Because he already WAS a legend.

neob

Thank you!! Thank you!! THANK YOU!!!

The negative responses to yesterday's news is a great example of everyone's general lack of skepticism.

Regardless his music was something that stood so completely on its own that he ought to be respected for that if anything.

B!

I was really shocked when I heard the news but even more shocked when after work yesterday and walking through Times Square, people were lined up in front of Hard Rock Cafe and such, staring at the ABC news front reading the ticker tape that announced his death.

I totally underestimated how many people actually gave two cents about Michael in the recent years but you know realize how much of an effect his music had on people. All night all you could hear was his music playing.... EVERYWHERE.

tigermachine

Thank you so much for this Rich. Very well put. Michael was something special.

Tammy

VERY well said. I think you are right, both about the music and the sad, broken man.

(I came here via the Cute Overload Winston link, and was bowled over by this.)

kanderso

I was waiting for your response and it is beautifully written as I suspected it would be. I am also in that minority that never believed MJ did those things to those kids. I always kind of thought he absolutely was weird enough to try to find close friendship with children because he could not fit in to the adult world around him. I always thought he was taken complete advantage of by those around him. The comments to the contrary make me ill, but I suppose everyone is entitled to an opinion, and I of course don't know the truth either. But that was always my gut instinct when all of the controversy was going on.

Well, anyway, it's a beautiful tribute and I enjoyed reading it very, very much.

Sarah G

Perfect tribute!

Erin - Idyll Hands

No one could have said this better.

Nick

I was actually starting to think that I was the only person in the world who knew of this remix of "I Want You Back," and I have been making it my personal mission to make everyone I know listen to it. To me, it is the pinnacle of pop music and, hands down, the best remix ever created. It expands on the original and somehow makes it more itself than it was before. Perfection.

In short, thank you for exposing more people to the genius of this song.

aniktwo

I totally agree with you - I do not believe that Michael Jackson was molesting those children. I've spoken at length with my father, who is a doctor of clinical psychology and also from my own observances, I just do not think he was a sexual predator at all. He was asexual, if anything. Obviously he was quite a disturbed individual, but he is a tragic figure, not a monster. :(

celena

Well said. Thank you for this post. RIP MJ

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