Today marks the five-year anniversary of Michael Jackson’s passing, and I’m not sure what I want to say about that.
That I still miss him? That my little bits of MJ memorabilia–the Michael light switch cover my sister-in-law Paula gifted me, the Best Of Michael Jackson 8-track cassette turned key holder hanging in my kitchen that I bought myself, the MJ in Billie Jean regalia hologram poster my sister Sarah gave me on a recent birthday–are teetering into fanatic fan territory? That I’m grateful that so many of my friends tag me on photos and highly creative videos involving all things Michael on Facebook? But, that I sometimes tire of having to defend Michael’s standing as one of the most talented entertainers of this century because a mostly younger generation only remembers the post-way too much plastic surgery Michael, or the pedophile rumors?
As for the last question, I know the Michael that even I long for most, is the Michael from the Jackson 5, all the way through his peak in the 1980’s. I remember hanging his Off The Wall album cover–my favorite–on my college dorm wall, and dressing in a vintage tuxedo jacket with the sleeves rolled up when I went out dancing. I can freeze Michael there, and not have to worry about the sadness that creeped into his life, the price of fame, the emotional and physical pain that he sought to escape, and fix by remaking his identity over and over again, until there was barely anything recognizable left of him.
Except his talent, and his passion, and his mastery of his art. That never waned. His music, and the small tokens around my home remind me of his greatness. Today I wear my MJ earrings. Proudly.
Here is a link to a wonderful piece that Rolling Stone Magazine put out this week in honor of Michael: 50 Best Michael Jackson Songs.
What do you want to remember about Michael? Share your comments here.
Photo Credit: www.onehellofaneye.com