Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett: Too Soon. Too Much

Too soon. Too much. A downpour of sorrow in one day. Farrah Fawcett, an icon in my teen years, gone, dead from cancer at 62. Then comes the rumor that the pop culture icon of my generation has been rushed to a California hospital, Michael Jackson. This is where the reversion comes, the falling back to teen screams like, "Oh my god!" and then the realizations of an older woman, "Oh, Jesus."

What is it about these people? Is it that we see them grow and then go and it's our own youth dying in an instant before our eyes? We feel like we know them, Farrah and Michael, that family members have passed away.

By the time Farrah Fawcett's star arose in the 70s in print and on TV, the Jacksons were well-established music royalty. However, Michael had broken away from the pack. By then, I had stripped my walls of the Jackson 5, but I had not stripped my heart of Michael and his star grew brighter and brighter.

Over the years, though, I grew up myself, had babies, and Michael changed, and I became less interested in him as The King of Pop. He'd become the distant friend you rarely call in my world but remember always, and yet, when news came today that he'd gone to the hospital in cardiac arrest, I found myself unnerved. When the news worsened, coming fairly quickly that he was in a coma and then that he'd died at age 50, I unraveled a bit. I had told myself that he'd recover, but I was wrong.

Now come the news stories, the reviews of both their lives, the keepsake magazine issues, and memories played back on CNN,and local TV, and out pop the CDs, DVDs, MP3s, and vinyl. There will be days and days of this. Most likely I will not watch it much on the news, but visit clips later online and dig through my own collection when the moment's quiet and people are talking less.

My prayers are with both these families, Farrah's and Michael's, and with us who feel we too are part of the family. I can't write more. Megan Smith at is building a good retrospective of Michael's life.

Added this Michael Jackson with James Brown clip at a tribute to James Brown.


Gena said...

I would watch the Jackson 5 on TV. Ed Sullivan. The Jackson 5 cartoon show. I think we all had that kind of relationship with him.

He was in 16 Magazine and Jet. He and his family were part of the soundtrack of my life. In a sense he was family.

I don't know or understand the man he evolved into. At some point, I had to separate my connection from him into the past and a very distant present.

There is an untold story that I will never know. It is probably not the time to reflect on the fact that he worked very hard as a child. What was the cost to him as an adult?

I bid his spirit peace. I'm not ready to watch the videos or hear the talk from people who did not know him at all.

I guess it just hasn't sunk it that he is really gone. I'm not ready.

Vérité Parlant said...

I was a complete Jackson 5 junkie and was the first person in line to buy Michael's solo album in my neighborhood. My cousins and I used to fight over who would Michael choose as though we had a chance of ever getting close to him, and I went to three J5 concerts, had seats in the rafters. They looked like ants for at least two concerts. Got closer for one.

When he got older and was soaring up the charts, I was getting married, but even while married I'd make time to watch his music videos. Like many others, I was concerned about how he changed. I'm going to remember the joy he brought to me and others. I don't think it's sunk in for me yet either.

Thank you, Gena.

Megan said...

Like Gena, I also think of who the man inside really was and whether now we'll ever know.

Thanks for your recollections Nordette.

le0pard13 said...

Nordette, I believe you and commenter Gena have said it beautifully. May they both rest in peace.

MrsGrapevine said...

I watched this clip the day before he passed and I was all teary eyed, because Michael never shows that emotion. For Michael to be star struck it was crazy for me.

Then the next day he's gone. He and James Brown. Nostalgic, right?

To Farrah you fault a good fight, and I know the pain you were in, thanks for the fighting message of hope. One day longer is one more day.