What Were You Doing When Michael Jackson Died?

June 25, 2010
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So what were you doing when Michael Jackson died? Leave reader thoughts and stories in the comments and one entry will be featured in this post on Monday. See your name in lights, just as MJ did during his fabulous career in front of adulating fans like you.

Michael Jackson Legacy


The death of Michael Jackson is hailed as one of the historic days in American cultural history. It ranks somewhere below the death of JFK, on par with Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe, and well above the passing of John Wayne, Clark Gable and Jimmy Hendricks. Why that should be is a different question entirely. I have my own simpleton view on the value of Michael Jackson to our culture but I’ll save that for below the fold.

One of the great water cooler questions is “what were you doing when JFK died?” Now Right Celebrity ask you, what were you doing when Michael Jackson died?

What was I doing when MJ died? I live with my primary squeeze who society quaintly calls a “husband” on the west coast in California so we were able to follow the breaking news when MJ was rushed to the hospital early that afternoon on June 25th, 2009. TMZ was on top of the story, the first site to break the news as they often are for southern California news. Within a few hours it was clear that the King of Pop was a goner.

So I was sprawled on the couch with my swollen feet elevated as usual and my first thought was, gee hubby, this is a big story. We need to get our bloggers on it. They already were which did not leave much for me to do except go to the pool.

But yo, listen up now. I confess loudly that my first reaction was not “oh no, this is terrible.” This girl possesses no heart-fluttering love for Michael Jackson. I bought not a single album of his ever, and neither did anyone in my posse. I’m a Lynyrd Skynyrd and Cheap Trick chick who prefers dancing barefoot in a barn. Those MJ fans strike me as the sort who prefer straws and umbrellas in mixed well drinks with funny names. By God they wear velvet!

My first thought was this is a news story. My second thought was I’m going to the pool.

What is so perplexing is why are so many people who never knew him, never bought an album and never learned how to moonwalk are still grieving over his death. Why do so many care to read about the ongoing claims against his estate, how much money Katherine Jackson receives per month to raise his children, what crazy thing Joe Jackson is up to as well as reports of how many flowers are delivered to his grave on a monthly basis?

Why do we care so much? The fact of the matter is that even in death Michael still remains popular by his fans as well as others who now show interest in his life and music when they were never interested in before. We want to hold a bit of history in our hands … even if means we “Don’t stop until we get enough.” At least some of us. Not me.

In 1982 I was a little sister in a frat house. Free beer and free boys a-plenty, but that is another story. The occasion was a bunch of bros and chicks like me gathered around a big-screen (24″ was HUGE) for the historic first showing of the Michael Jackson Thriller Video. It was MTV’s biggest market share in history even to this day with a big countdown like the Time Square ball drops each year.

Finally it came on. MJ talking like a girl to a girl. MJ looking freaky. MJ and monsters. I watched it. It was long. It was over finally and I was ready for the beach. But other WASPs like me were wildly enthusiastic and even overcome with what they just witnessed. To each her own. We will all remember MJ in our own way.

What is your way? What were you doing when Michael Jackson died? What thoughts were racing through your obtuse minds? What is Michael Jackson’s legacy one year after his passing?

Right Celebrity welcomes reader comments.



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