Don't get me wrong -- I believe Michael Jackson was a really important figure in entertainment. He has been a part of the pop landscape for almost my entire life. But he was never really mine. My younger sister was crazy about the Jackson Five, but I was a couple of years too old to be caught listening to ABC. And by the time the "King of Pop" was born in the 80's, my formative years were behind me. Billie Jean, Man in the Mirror, and much of the other work done there is still some of the best video music that has ever been made, but the emotional connection for me is obviously not what it is for the thirty-something generation who learned what music is by listening to MJ.
For us it was the Beatles, and I guess the parallel event is the death of John Lennon. I was watching SNL in my new apartment with my new wife on my new pit sectional when I heard. And the world changed forever on that night. So while I don't have it, I get it. While we will all mourn the real American idol for myriad reasons, those of you for whom he provided the soundtrack for your coming of age have my sympathy. Bust out your one glove, crank up Thriller and don't be afraid to shed a few tears for childhoods that will never return.
Via con dios, little Michael.