The Blogosphere Reacts To Michael Jackson's Death

I'm just old enough to remember the death of John Lennon, and I'm just jaded enough to remember the eyerolls I exchanged with my cousin the day Kurt Cobain died as if to say, "Oh yeah, big shocker there." Admittedly, I've never been a Michael Jackson fan. Sure, I watched the circus his later years had become, and of course I can acknowledge the genius and the musical legacy he leaves behind. But mostly his music provided the backdrop to a large chunk of my childhood -- cueing up "Billie Jean" on the jukebox at someone's birthday party, lame 5th grade attempts at moonwalking -- it was always just there. Digging through my feedreader this morning, I was treated to many moving tributes, some touching on the legacy, some on MIchael Jackosn's troubled and far too often controversial personal life . Here are some of my favorites:

Kim from Kimblahg writes:

Back and forth online, people were defending him as a legendary, revered figure because of his record sales and talent. The media seems to be grabbing on to this perspective and when I flipped on MTV (since they actually started playing his- gasp- videos!), the VJ (are they still called that?) repeated he was a legendary artist whose bizarre personal life and legal troubles had eclipsed his earlier accomplishments. The fans that mourned the loss of the musician had to excuse themselves from his messy personal life because how can you mourn the loss of what most assume to be a pedophile? Some stood up to say he was never convicted of any crime but c’mon. If he wasn’t a child molester, he still admitted to wildly unacceptable behavior around children. Some argued you couldn’t mourn the loss of someone who had probably committed heinous acts and seemed indignant that anyone would continue to like his music. They argued you couldn’t separate the artist, the sinner from the art. That’s not true. There are countless works of art, literature and music created by people we have pretty much forgotten.

Carrie Brownstein of NRP's Monitor Mix:

For many of us of a certain age, Michael Jackson's Thriller was the album. The music contained therein wasn't relegated to the turn tables we played it on. (These were our first turn tables, usually part of some crappy combination stereo system that featured dual cassette players, a giant roving stereo dial, and cheap speakers barely better than megaphones). No, those songs on Thriller informed more than our musical taste; they taught us our dance moves, gave us a sense of style, and transformed what we saw on television and in the movies. Michael Jackson was our first superstar.

Heather Browne of I AM FUEL, YOU ARE FRIENDS:


So first I was all, “Wow, that’s sad news but I am not qualified to blog anything about this musician, since I never could’ve honestly counted myself as a real fan.” And then I went home and the first thing I typed into my iTunes search box was “Michael Jackson” and then before I knew it I was mouthing, “I’m not gonna spend my life bein’ a color,” dancing around the kitchen. It happens.

More Links:

Michael Jackson: A Life In Pictures (Jezebel)

Dear Michael (Citizen Of The Month)

Remembering Michael Jackson (A to Z)

Collected Twitter and Facebook thoughts on Michael Jackson's death (Rock Insider)

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