Thursday, June 25, 2009

burn bright, burn steady, burn long

Today's news of Michael Jackson's death really spun me around. I drove home blasting the tribute mash-up on Kiss FM (and yes, crying), totally stunned by the number of amazing songs and the depth of my love for and attachment to each one. With Marianne, Heather, Jessica and others, haven't we spent joyful hours dancing and singing along to these songs? They never fail to make me happy.

He didn't have cancer. He wasn't sick that we knew of. He was about to start some intense show-schedule at age 50. I thought he'd be among us, unraveling in his dramatic fashion, for a long time to come.

It really got me to thinking about something Sarah said on the radio years ago about Angelina Jolie (and which I've clearly remembered all this time) -- something about how when Angelina was with Billy Bob Thornton, she "reached her freaky fruition," i.e., she managed to travel the entire arc of her innate freaky by a young age and blow it out, get it over with. At least that's how I interpreted what I heard.

With Michael Jackson, did we ever see such an arc of freaky? What was left? How much crazier could he get? Maybe, as Joe said, it's kind of a relief for him, having travelled his entire arc, to finally get to be done.

But still I think it's just sad. He really was a genius of pop. There are few things that make me so consistently happy as "I'll Be There" or "ABC," or that make me bust out a helpless happy Snoopy dance every time without fail, no matter where I am, like "Working Day and Night" or "Billie Jean." Just genius.

RIP to the King of Pop who burned too bright and too fast. I so look forward to the next opportunity to shake my body down to the ground.

Long live the King.