If you have access to a television, radio, Internet, twitter, blogosphere or facebook you probably know by now that Michael Jackson died today of a heart attack.
Wow. Didn't see that one coming.
It wasn't even ten minutes after TMZ reported it, and http://www.idontlikeyouinthatway.com/, followed that it started to spread like wildfire and for once the rumours appeared to be true.
It wasn't even twenty minutes afterwards that facebook statuses spat out everything from, "MJ, you truly were the king of pop" and "Where were you when Michael Jackson died?" to the more cryptic humour of, "A million little boys can sigh a breath of relief tonight" and "But his nose was so young."
In the last few hours of listening to radio and other news outlets there seems to be a divide in the reaction. Shock by all, but slowly he is shaping as either the hero or the villain.
The boy wonder turned pop star who blew people's minds with his iconic song, dance and sense of entertainment. A man who was beyond his time and courted the public and media better than any coked out starlet now (remember when MJ and Madonna went to the Oscars together? holy publicity batman!).The Elvis for our times. A humanitarian, a confused soul, a man who never knew how to grow up, a father and an icon. A legacy.
The man who mocked us with his face but claimed natural beauty. The man who had children over at his house in inappropriate scenarios. The pedophile. The recluse. The bankrupt shell of what he was. A man with all ego. The self proclaimed victim. Jacko the Wacko. The poor father. The bad example. The eccentric. The crazy.
Why does he have to be one of the other? Why is history trying to typecast his stone so soon? We like our celebrities to be one dimensional as it makes them easier to relate to. The good guy. The bad guy. But people are not built that way, as we all have layers, we all have secrets and love and shame and good days and bad periods.
He spent almost forty-five of his fifty years in the public eye. What will his legacy be? Verdicts out, but I don't think it can be summed up in one sentence even if we wanted to. Suddenly people are talking about him as if he was a high school friend. He was a childhood icon, but just because he died doesn't mean I know any more about him today that I did yesterday. I don't know him. I don't know what his thought were and am in no place to try to summarize him as a person.
But we on the whole are the ones that create his legacy. Who will tell our children one day about the man whose poster was on my wall. The man who created a scary music video and dance that revolutionized all content to come afterwards. The man who once had so much love from the public was castrated by the media and courts and the reputation of a molester never truly went away. A father. A brother. A son. And really at the end of the day, he may have had air in his shoes and glitter on his hand but he was not Invincible.
What do you think Michael Jackson's legacy will be?
*I also say this also in light of Farrah Fawcetts passing today as well. She fought cancer hard and she fought it with class. I suspect her legacy will always be that of one of Charlie's true Angels.