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Tuesday, May 21

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flange / June 25, 2009 11:30 PM

i'm hoping the children he molested get a better night's sleep.

R / June 25, 2009 11:55 PM

I think MJ's death is bringing out a lot of ambivalence. On one hand, his early work is genius and his place in history is so remarkable, while the second half was...well, see Flange's comment. His last 20 years were a complete contradiction to the first 20. He just seemed to be an abused kid who never got help and spent the rest of his life baffled that the world (and legal courts) didn't understand him as he descended into isolation and mental troubles. I wonder what will happen to his own kids and pray that the kids he abused are at peace. Truly.

Tonight I brought out my copies of "Off the Wall" and "Thriller" and am listening to them nonstop.

LittleJill / June 26, 2009 12:06 AM

I'm remembering that he was found not guilty of child molestation, and I'm playing my favorite songs of his (there are a lot of them) and marveling at his talent. I hope he is at peace now.

megs / June 26, 2009 12:09 AM

In the end, he'll be remembered for his music. Music transcends and lives. People will forget the details of his life. The musical perfomances will be whats visualized and remembered.

Dubi / June 26, 2009 12:13 AM

I heard the coroner determined boogie was the cause of death after ruling out sunshine, moonlight and good times.

Seriously, I think Thrill The World is a good way to celebrate his contribution to pop culture.

Jill / June 26, 2009 12:37 AM

It's been a YouTube-o-rama at my house (both him and Weird Al....if anyone can say Michael made his career, it's Al). The genius in his early stuff makes you wonder what happened to him. Interestingly enough, the Wall St. Journal had a good profile of Neverland Ranch the other week, which talked a lot about Jackson's debts and assets.

PMan / June 26, 2009 12:45 AM

I was never a big fan, the Jako bug just never bit me.
I'm glad to see some ambivalence on this site. His wild materialism and creepy beliefs about children just seemed very sad to me.

Lori / June 26, 2009 8:02 AM

I am surprised that it hit me as hard as it has... I'm not sobbing and standing outside of his hospital, but I did spend some time on Youtube, and feeling a little bummed. Like everyone, MJ of the last 20 years creeped me out, I found him to be sad and disturbed and painful to see. But I loved him when I was a kid, and remember dancing like crazy to Off The Wall and Thriller.

It's sad that he's dead, but not surprising. I never thought he would age well, and assumed he would go young, either by his own hand or through surgery complications. It's unfortunate that there is now going to be a media feeding frenzy over the autopsy details.

didn't he own a lot of the beatles catalogue? or had he sold that off?

dm60462 / June 26, 2009 8:04 AM

Celebrating there being one less child molester in the world this morning. Good riddance, pervert. You can't hide behind your money and fame any longer.

Mimi / June 26, 2009 8:30 AM

By illegally downloading his early music.

Pete / June 26, 2009 8:33 AM

By trying to decipher the lyrics to the Minutemen's "Political Song for Michael Jackson to Sing." Slow going so far.

David / June 26, 2009 9:30 AM

As a human being, which is apparently more than some on this thread can admit.

Yes, he may have been deeply weird. But he was a son, and a father to three kids. And like it or not, haters, the guy was found not guilty. You have every right not to like the guy, but don't slander him while his body is still warm.

And yes, dm60462, I'm talking to you. Asshole.

mike / June 26, 2009 9:33 AM

Michael Jackson died nearly two years ago.

flange / June 26, 2009 9:42 AM

right on, david. and damn the art institute for not adding a wing for those lovely john wayne gacy clown paintings. in the meantime, let's have a parade for OJ, who was not guilty of slaughtering nicole simpson and ron goldman.

jennifer / June 26, 2009 9:56 AM

the michael jackson i loved died over 20 years ago.

dm60462 / June 26, 2009 10:05 AM

"The most loving thing to do is to share your bed with someone. It's very charming. It's very sweet It's what the whole world should do." Dirt nap, Jacko.

eee / June 26, 2009 10:09 AM

I've been spending the morning wondering if Jeff Koons' sculpture "Michael Jackson and Bubbles" has increased in value.

retrotrasher / June 26, 2009 10:12 AM

wow. I hope someone speaks so "highly" of you when you die.

Meems / June 26, 2009 10:24 AM

I love the Jackson 5. It's like instant happiness. And I remember the video of Thriller scaring the crap out of me. I loved Black or White and Remember the Times videos, still do. I performed Beat It at a dance recital in high school that I still break out at weddings sometimes, but my boyfriend kicks my ass at dancing to that song. Good times.

Chitown60647 / June 26, 2009 10:38 AM

I still can't wrap my head around this. Yes Michael Jackson did contribute to the history of music but so what, just yesterday, the body of the missing two year old girl was found, the day before a nine year old girl was shot in the back while washing her dog. All day long (besides the local news) no matter where I went you never heard a peep about either death or the countless others just in this city. Then yesterday afternoon, everyone is talking about MJ, a woman at work screamed when she heard the news, on the train people are talking about it., when I stop at a bar Keith Olbermann is talking about it while horrible cell phone video of an ambulance is playing. Finally I get home and various stations are doing specials on Michael’s life. I just don't get this culture where people accept celebrities and athletes are better than everyone else.

annie / June 26, 2009 11:04 AM

I'm bummed. And I can't find my MJ t-shirt which has me bummed but I did listen to a bunch of his music last night and reflected on the time when it was ok to walk around carrying a MJ purse and wearing an MJ t-shirt ...which I did. And, I'm very curious to see if there are any celebrity tributes, like maybe from JT??

Anon / June 26, 2009 11:14 AM

Thanks Chitown60647 for putting it into perspective. No one can deny his contribution to music and I will be listening to my faves for a while, but there are other headlines that deserve attention and respect.

Mucky Fingers / June 26, 2009 12:07 PM

I've been reminiscing back to 3rd and 4th grade when Thriller was all the rage. My most prominent memory is the buttons. It was all about how many Michael Jackson buttons you could fit on your jacket. Everyone had a jacket covered up with MJ buttons. Some of the wealthier kids even had Michael Jackson school supplies.

We thought the absolute coolest thing in the whole world was the Beat It zipper jacket. You freaked out when you saw that jacket on the street, it was so rare.

I've enjoyed the radio and hearing people share their own stories. I believe he is the last of his kind. The success and phenomenon of Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, The Beatles and Michael Jackson will never been seen again.

My wife, however, said "Fuck that pedophile."

Dan / June 26, 2009 12:28 PM

I'm all for giving more attention to innocent lives being lost (especially if those lives are children), but I don't think anyone is claiming that Michael Jackson was "better" than the 9-year old that was shot on the street yesterday. In fact, some of the local news programs ran with that story first, followed by the MJ and Farrah Fawcett story. I wish that more attention was brought to the murdered children in our city (God knows it doesn't seem to be on our mayor's radar.) and we should actually make it a real focus of discussion and action (instead of the Olympics).

All that said, Michael Jackson did have a profound cultural impact for decades. Sure, he was a very flawed and troubled person, but his music and art brought a lot of happiness and joy to millions of people. There seems to be a dearth of that in today's popular culture, and I think it should be acknowledged.

We do know for a fact that he was a philanthropist, and raised millions for impoverished people both in Africa and in the States. You can say or believe what you want about the allegations that have dogged him. (It seems damning to me sometimes.) But, for chrissakes, can't you see some good in what he was for a moment?

I mean, the corpse is barely cold, and already you have folks here making incendiary comments that are basically asking for a flame war. There's no reason to write what flange wrote here unless you're just trying to provoke people. Can we just acknowledge the death of a human being with some amount of civility?

As the illdoctrine's JaySmooth said yesterday, "After a lifetime of having us eat up his pain and struggles like it was candy, can we please let him be treated with dignity just once now."

If you wanna discuss the allegations and innuendo, fine. But can you take a couple days, and let the people who remember him and music fondly have a moment to grieve?

Carlotta / June 26, 2009 12:49 PM

I wasn't too much into Michael Jackson but I'm still amused about a broadcast incident in the early 1980's when he was going to perform here. Larry Lujack on WLS-AM was live on the air with Brant Miller although the latter mistakenly wasn't aware of this. When Lujack asked Miller's opinion of the upcoming concert Miller responded "Let's hype the shit out of this!!" After Lujack's and Catherine Johns' alarmed outcries, Lujack "clarified" that Miller had "actually" said "Let's hype the spit out of this."

Spook / June 26, 2009 12:51 PM

I wish you hadn’t asked this question! But I am compelled to answerer
coming of age post Jackson-Five, I remember how hard I tried to resist all humanly urges to “love” Michael Jackson, and in fact went out of my way to drink Michael Jackson Green Hater-Aide daily.

Back then break dancing defined me, and provided an Island of urban safety for a select few good enough to master those gravity defying moves.
Then Off the Wall and Thriller dropped (like bombs) producing a continuous Tsunami wave leaving no kid behind. And M.J’s moon walks erased break dancing in Chicago for good.

But I remained a purist while my crew crossed over with the “King of Pop”. I also resented how M.J. produced and combined both universal infectious musical Zen Magic with clean white HOT Dizzy happy Fury, that reduced and transcended the economic grit and rage that defined hip hop. Because unlike hip hop, Michael didn’t need to fight battles. He was above it all. Sh*t yall! Mike danced over our daily grind with out looking down, while inviting us to join him in the stratosphere, but how could we? Ohhhhh, but every one (except me) tried! The glittered gloves and socks, the buttons, those cheap red jackets that every kid in the ghetto owned. O.k. yea I admit it! Even I Mimicked those beautifully executed dance moves alone in the mirror pretending I was HE. It was only later that I admitted how much I loved/LOVE his music!!!!!

A couple of years ago, I fell in love with the older Jackson Five stuff. I watched him in old Soul Train Videos on You Tube “ I Wanna Be Where You Are, The Love You Save, I Want You Back, I’ll Be There ,etc, etc, etc.!

Now I believe that although Michael Jackson was technically human, he was never one of us.

O.K., I know that after my nuclear posts (on the Abbate Sentence) concerning not tolerating any atmosphere of violence against women will come back to haunt me, when I say this, so go ahead and like Hamlet let your daggers enter my ears. See, I USE to swear that Jackson was a child molester and should go to jail. But four years ago a progressive psychologist who I use to kick it with told me that she thought that Michael was innocent. She said that he had been so traumatized by sexual abuse (at least at the hands of his father), that while he was perhaps a latent homosexual, his utterly damaged soul had not progressed enough to allow him to carry on/engage in any sexual “relationships” of any sort, except enough to produce his children, so that he could revert back to childhood with them. In other words, he sought out the companionship of young boys like any young boy below the age of ten would. Call me naïve, but this I believe. But I know I might be dead wrong. And my Apologies if I am making light of sexual abuse by saying this.

Any way I hope every body raises a glass to Michael tonight!

Peace Michael "We Hardly Knew Ye!

SR / June 26, 2009 1:05 PM

I remember Thriller being used for a game of Musical Chairs at my 9th Birthday Party!

mikely / June 26, 2009 1:16 PM

Whenever a celebrity dies, my first reaction is disgust at all the attention it's given. People who never would have known Jackson are waving white-gloved hands around and crying in the streets. Ugh.

And his death (at least for a little while) seems to have eclipsed the historic protests in Iran, and N. Korea's maniacal threat to wipe the U.S. off the face of the earth.

It's always hard for me to wrap my head around -- how lousy our priorities are. But I'm also reminded of "Celluloid Heroes," by Ray Davies and the Kinks. It's about movie stars -- seven in particular, most of whom led unhappy lives or suffered tragic deaths. Davies has sympathy (not awe) for the dead 'heroes' he sings about. They're still just people. The public project themselves onto famous people ... worship, jealousy and hatred result when people are elevated to such a ridiculous level. Some we idolize forever. Others who we once loved we now laugh at their failure. I've never heard another song like it, where the author reminds us that these people, at the end of the day, were just flawed human beings, some of whom just wanted to be left alone. When they die, many of us need to talk about it because they were supposed to live forever, or because their song was playing when something eventful happened in our lives. Instead we're reminded that whatever gift they may have given us was just a lucky thing ... something that had just as much to do with timing as it did talent. They can die in sad, mundane or pointless ways, just like anybody else.

Celluloid Heroes

daruma / June 26, 2009 1:34 PM

Danced to Billie Jean at Neo last night.

Spook / June 26, 2009 3:09 PM

I generally don't drink( alot) except on weekends. But I had to pour on some liqour on the ground for M.J.!

So I went to a bar where they don't allow D.J.request( because it was the only bar around me with a D.J.) and annoyed the bartender to the point where he got the D.J's to play lots of M.J. Sad thing was no body was moving except me. I had to restrain myself from creating my own personal dance floor.

Seriously I am not into celebrity worship but M.J. was a cultural phenomenon

fluffy / June 26, 2009 7:18 PM

Only in America.
I only liked Off the Wall,so I didn't keep up with his stuff/music.

Lori / June 26, 2009 7:37 PM

today at the beach I learned that MJ was 5 years old when the Jackson 5 was on the Ed Sullivan show.

all around me 5 year olds were rolling around in the sand, playing in the water, crying, eating, needing to pee etc... all of the things that 5 year olds do. Michael Jackson was 5 years old, a baby, and the lead singer of the Jackson 5. That doesn't happen without someone doing a whole lot of pushing, even if the 5 year old is a super talented musical genius who liked to perform.

Spook, nicely written.

mike-ts / June 27, 2009 11:03 AM

Oh, who knows anything. I'm no head shrink, and neither is anyone else in the world analyzing his life right now (I'm not singling out GB'ers on this thread, it's everyone. One thing this thread proves is that one can't talk about MJ without it always going to his lifestyle. And while I empathize with his rough childhood, I wonder why one person goes through it and ends up sleeping with little boys and owning elephant man bones while another is pushed from toddler age to golf, becomes a golf great, then in his private personal life marries a Swedish babe, settles down, and has a pretty gray, hum drum life outside of sport.

As far as "I'm remembering that he was found not guilty of child molestation," R. Kelly was found not guilty, too. Maybe when his time comes, people will rush to his defense and excuse away his diversity in regards to sex partners too. Meanwhile, Roman Polanski can't come to the US because of a one time incident that happened 30 years ago, and even the model says let it go. But when he dies, you'll hear two things ; his wife was killed by Manson and he banged an underage chick. And when Paul Reubens dies, I can already hear the song Beat It playing in the background...

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