We’ll miss you Michael…

Posted by jimi on July 1, 2009

We will miss you Michael. You have taught us so much about ourselves…much that we will be realizing for years to come.

I grew up with Michael, dreamed about being a singer like him, and indeed, when I began singing at all, I was usually singing one of his songs. Just the beginning riff of “I Want You Back” would get my blood going so much I would have to get up and either dance or start singing…”when I had you to myself…” I still have a slightly tattered copy of the LP, Diana Ross Presents…The Jackson Five. Michael seemed very much like a part of my family.

So Its both interesting and painful to see the images in the mirror Michael continues to hold up for us. Look at what we are fascinated with!

Speculation abounds about whether he overdosed. Seeing as how we have lost Anna-Nicole Smith, and Heath Ledger just in the last 2 years to drugs, the fascination is understandable. Yet, there is considerable banter about whether or not a doctor is negligently responsible for it. I’ve heard repeated over again that this is a death investigation, not a crime investigation, but the “search” still lingers. We do have a “crime-drama” mentality, don’t we? No matter what happens, an ass needs to be found…and kicked for it.

Also in this time of mourning/celebration, people are still saying Michael wanted to be “white”. An author even stated on a news network today that Jackson didn’t want to have anything to do with black people unless they were “the help”. Is it necessary to say this, even before we’ve had a chance bury him?

Although Joe Jackson, his father, is obviously in pain, anchors are not making any efforts to clarify his mentioning of the record label being established to publish Jackson’s remaining catalog. At these press gatherings, you can’t always hear the questions that were actually asked on air, which could explain why it seemed so out of the blue. He’s even clarified twice since then that he was answering a question.

Why is there such a need to paint him as a villain?

This punctuates the constant flow of news surrounding his money, his will, his lawsuits, and continual assertions that he molested children, despite the fact that he was found innocent. I shouldn’t be surprised, but I’m a bit mortified.

I’m trying to keep my view constructive, however. On another level, this gives us a unique opportunity to reflect and heal.

Researching information about music industry contracts and how and who he may actually have been indebted to may open the way to understanding more about how the system “really” works. We have more information at our fingertips than ever now. Do the research and begin to connect the dots. God knows many of us are trying to remedy our money situations right now.

As one who has been accused of “speaking white” on numerous occasions, by both blacks and whites, (what can I say…? I was born and raised on Air Force bases, moved half-way around the world, went to a British school while living in Germany, and then moved to Texas where they say “y’all” and “fixin’to”. It’s a wonder you can understand me at all…) Perhaps this will open the way for a few to have a more honest conversation about race.

Our collective homophobia might also be eased a bit as we realize Michael probably was trying to protect himself from this as well.

As much criticism I have heard of him over the years over all of the above issues, it is clear that our love up to this point has been conditional. We had NO idea what it was like to be in his shoes, and yet collectively felt that just because he had the world at his fingertips, we DID know. He HAD to have been happy…all that money…right?

I see very well-to-do people here in Los Angeles with relatively uncomplicated lives who are simply miserable. It’s not easy for anyone these days…from the richest superstar to the average Schmo.

Maybe his death and the celebration of his life and work will be another spark we all need to collectively, and peacefully, transmute our issues of race, looks, money, homophobia, and the need to judge someone before we have all the facts. Maybe this will in turn help us in our own quests to feel love.

I know we can do better than this.

Thank you for all you did Michael. Thanks for waking us up.

I know you are in the place you always wanted to be right now…


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