In the year that Michael Jackson died, his songs were played throughout radio stations all over the world. Twitter updates were of nothing but memories of his music. Facebook statuses were overwhelmed with people in disbelief that the king of pop music has passed. How did it happen? Who’s really to blame? Many articles have gone forth about his passing and many accusations have went forth about how it really happened. Amidst this tragic event it still seems that after two weeks or so, a major publicized funeral, and countless tributes and songs and memories shared… like most other people, eventually the storyline shifted to someone else. Someone of less notoriety passed, someone of less stature has fallen. Where’s the pomp and circumstance for them? Do we just celebrate the memory of those who made the greatest impact on our lives?
In the year that Michael Jackson died so did Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, Walter Cronkite, and Senator Ted Kennedy. I remember where I was when I heard that Walter Cronkite had died. I was at my family reunion in my hotel room and I first heard the report live on CNN. I was astonished and amazed at this occurrence, and yet I wondered… what is going on with this era’s elite artists? It seems that over the last year or two, major artists, athletes, and people of influence have left this earth. Could it be that there’s a shift happening in the world and no one is aware? Could it be a sign that the next wave of artisans, athletes, media moguls, and other people of influence are on their way to the scene? Not if we have other instances such as Chris Brown and Rihanna… or scandals such as the steroids fiasco that we’ve seen in the baseball sector… or the basketball fights with incidents including Ron Artest and any other knucklehead that has a hot temper and can’t keep the peace for a game that only lasts 48 minutes. No sir, no ma’am, if this is the new era then we better work on the next era fast.
In the year that Michael Jackson died we somehow took note of the world around us. The recession that was going on in the United States seemed to be getting better, even if just a little bit. The Dow Jones Industrial Average which dropped below 7,000 and scared the daylights out of anyone who had any minute investment in the market… has been steadily increasing. People haven’t really been putting money back into the economy because… well… they’re not making that much to begin with, and to boot, when taxes in your city or your state keep rising, then you’re trying to keep as much in pocket to begin with. I mean really… cash for clunkers?!?! How about cash for citizens? We need God’s help on this one.
In the year that Michael Jackson died, Elvis apparently was completely forgotten, if just for two to three weeks. I mean the king of rock and roll, the one who people have created a theme park for in Memphis called Graceland, the one who was the biggest name to hit the 1950s, 1960s and some of the 1970s outside of the Beatles, the Temptations, and the whole Motown era… was actually… forgotten. Not once was his name mentioned. But then again, neither was Tupac, Biggie Smalls, and any of the other big artists who have passed before them. Is your music only as good as you’re alive? You don’t hear too many people mentioning the songs of the dead anymore. It’s not like artwork where your work is invaluable long after your dead. With music it seems to only be valuable to those who lived in the era where that art could be appreciated, somewhat a reverse of the way it works in the world of visual art. As soon as the radios stop playing it, as soon as the lyrics are forgotten, as soon as the artist is dead… apparently so is the music.
In the year that Michael Jackson died, we are just now beginning to learn what’s important in life… and that thing is that you need to make sure the life you lead is a happy one. I’d hate to think that Michael Jackson’s life was in vain, but perhaps it was. Sure, he had a number of songs that impacted many, some would even go as far as to say he was a gift from God, and others would just say he was the man who was dark one day and light the next. However you want to look at it, before he was a musician, he was a man. The question is was he a happy man? That’s all that really matters. Yes, it’s important that we touch lives and that we make an impact and that we leave something for the children and grandchildren and generations that are coming up behind us, but more important than that… was your life meaningful to you? I’d hate to look in God’s eyes and realize I could have had so much more. I’d hate to stand before God and think I did all this work for nothing. I’d hate to realize any of this right before it was too late to do anything about it.
In the year that Michael Jackson died, many started to look at their own lives and make adjustments, so that the music that they create – the life they live – isn’t being put on repeat but not making impact.