In case you've been under a rock for the last 24 hours, Michael Jackson dropped dead of heart failure.
A sudden unexpected death can do wonders for your image. Yesterday morning, Miichael Jackson was a long faded star, his glory days decades behind him. Beset by financial woes and accusations of child molesting, he was the object of much derision due to his creepy appearance and often bizzare behavior.
Now he's much beloved. An icon who will be greatly missed. Millions of people are gathering to mourn his loss and profess their undying love.
Watching the news footage, I can't help noticing that a lot of these mourners were born long after Michael Jackson topped the charts with albums like "Thriller" and "Bad." I suppose they heard his songs once in a a while on their parents' Mellow Rock stations, but for them, Michael Jackson had always been a "has-been," they have no memory of turning on the radio and hearing "Don't Stop" or "Beat It" for the umpteempth time that day. What is exactly do they miss? He was never there when he was there.
And of course, he had the gall to die on the same day that Farrah Fawcett lost her long publicized battle with cancer. Poor Farrah. After all those death watch specials, she had to share the obituary spotlight with the King of Pop. And every single story about her death featured ancient footage of her one year on "Charlie's Angels," a show that they don't even show on cable. Her whole life comes down to just a poster, a cheesey television show and a hair style. All from thirty years ago.
I still think Michael Jackson is weird and creepy, and his life was a cautionary tale about the perils of too much fame and wealth too soon. And Farrah Fawcett was more than a swimsuit model.
But, they are now both dead, and beyond all of the hype. And eventually we will be too.