I got my hair cut yesterday and we all know that perming, braiding, weaving, and cutting can take hours, so I was there for awhile. In that time, the television was tuned to all the news channels and their headlining story was, of course, the passing of Michael Jackson. What a day that was, beginning with the death of Farrah Fawcett and then ending with the confirmed death of the King of Pop.
A few ladies in the salon told stories about taking the train from Philadelphia to the Spectrum to see Michael in the late seventies. “He was a treat to watch,” my hairdresser said, “just an amazing man.” I became a fan of Michael in the nineties when my older brother tried to moonwalk across the living room one day. I asked him where he learned it and that’s when I was introduced to someone incredible.
When I watch his music videos, see his performances with contemporary pop artists, and just listen to the his songs, I understand why the world is reeling. Yes, there is civil unrest in Iran, and yes, the economy is currently going down the shitter, but it’s important to stop and pause when a musical great has left us. He’s a huge part of US pop culture, and the world embraced and loved him just as much as Americans.
And wow, the way that man moved. There was fluidity in his limbs that couldn’t be replicated. He commanded the stage and dared you to try to stop watching. But he didn’t just make you stand in awe, he also made you dance, feel passion, feel soul, and to know what it’s like to sense music run up and down your body. Even now as I listen to Billie Jean writing this, I can’t help but groove along in my chair.
Thank you, Michael Jackson. I hope you have finally found peace.