Friday, June 26, 2009

Threes

Bad things, so they say, tend to happen in threes. It does seem to work out that way. When Hollywood lost Ed McMahon earlier this week, the entertainment world was a bit on edge, wondering if there might be two more lost. I know that I will forever associate the Tonight Show with his opening line, "Heeeeeeere's Johnny!" He was a television icon for decades, and will be missed.

Yesterday morning, Farrah Fawcett passed after a lengthy battle with cancer. A battle that she captured on film, one final piece, a gift to the world from her and on behalf of all the families out there struggling with cancer. Love her or hate her, she was passionate about her beliefs. She was beautiful and captivating. And she starred on one of the most famous shows in the 70's, one that my parents happened to watch quite a bit, and the one that they chose my name from. Charlie's Angels. She is one now for real, and pain is no more.

The third of the deaths came more as a shock. Michael Jackson. Again, almost everyone seems to have strongly held beliefs about him. He was a strange and unique guy, for sure. But the truth is now and will always be that he is a legend. He is one of the few musicians who you can honestly say shaped the entire industry. He was an artist, truly. And his music was in large part the soundtrack of my childhood. I can think of few people my age that have not at some point in their lives owned the Thriller record.

He had a bizarre childhood, if one could even call it that. And that childhood, or more frankly, the lack thereof, I believe is the main precursor to all the weirdness that followed in his life. Neverland was his desperate attempt at having a youth, the one that was taken from him and replaced with a stage, choreographed dances and tour dates. His inability to form normal adult relationships was evident. But as twisted as his outward showing of affection seemed to be, it was hard not to feel sorry for the guy. Did he molest any of those kids? I don't know. He may have, but I also know that there are plenty of people out there willing to lie about harm being done to their children just to make a quick buck. The sad realities of fame.

He will be remembered for his charisma, his charm, his amazing song writing and yes, he will be remembered for his quirks. He didn't earn the nickname Wacko Jacko without good cause. Over the years, he has had more than a few opportunities to demonstrate that it wasn't a falsely placed label. Normal people don't dangle a nine month old over a balcony. But he wasn't normal. He was Michael. And the world lost today a piece of culture, a piece of history.

Rest in peace, Michael. We all know that you had too little of it while you were here.

Thriller Video - the complete version. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtyJbIOZjS8

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