Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Legacy



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.

10 comments:

Slyde said...

very beautifully said...as a child of the 80's, i will always remember jacko (and farrah) as fond iconic personalities from my youth....

Random Musings Of My Life said...

I will always remember where I was when I found out the news. My heart hurts a little....

Its like princess Diana all over.... I do not have a child hood memmorie that does not include his music

wekeepsaying said...

i couldn't have said it better myself. personally, i wasn't a fan of MJ, but i can appreciate and understand the mourning and wonder at who he was, both good and bad. but i agree, nobody is just one or the other, everybody's got their highs and lows, his just happened to be publicized world-wide.

It's Me! said...

It was strange to hear he died (and in such a normal run-of-the-mill way...I always expected headlines to read "Michael Jackson found dead at Neverland Ranch trampled by minagerie"), but to be perfectly frank, I think the real tragedy is how his tarnished reputation (whether legitimate or false) overshaddowed so many of his accomplishments. It's impossible to hear an MJ song without thinking "I love this song...too bad he's such a wacko". The Michael from our childhoods died 15 years ago. This seems like closure.

P said...

Whatever he may or may not have done outside of his music, the guy was a legend and a musical genius. I still can't quite get my head around the idea that he is dead.

...love Maegan said...

I think all nastiness will be forgotten and he will be remembered as a king. .. a strange and bizarre king ...but maybe that's exactly what he wanted. ...I loved him

LiLu said...

For me, his legacy will be his incredible music, and nothing more. All that crazy stuff in his personal life doesn't affect the fact that he was one of the greatest musical geniuses of the century.

Candy's daily Dandy said...

As the days pass, the more I choose to remember his music and the effect it had on my life.

I will not cannonize him because, as you so eloquently said, the jury is still out on him.

I will remember how much I enjoyed his music and the rest remains a mystery to me much like he was.

Meghan said...

Slyde- I think we all will.

Random Musings- I think we all remember the day for Princess Di.

wekeepsaying-the glass fishbowl effect.

PirateJess-good point.

P- he was ahead of his time.

...love Maegan- often the most brilliant are the most eccentric.

Lilu- agreed

Candy- I don't think any of us will truly 'understand' him but will remember the music fondly.

Organic Meatbag said...

I'm sure that ultimately, his music will persevere over the bat-shit crazy stuff he did...as for me, I think my legacy will be that of hamburgers, farts, and 70's music...