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Today I was in a classroom for my day job when I got a text message saying that Michael Jackson had died. My first thought was “Who cares?” My second thought was to start making child-molestation jokes…which I did. But after a while, my phone really started blowing up from the news, so I shut it off.

As a person, I had no respect for him. Much like O.J., there is no doubt in my mind that he was guilty of the crimes he was accused of with those young boys. If you’re innocent of something, you don’t fork out over twenty million dollars in an out-of-court settlement. You fight tooth and nail for your innocence. And I also feel like Jackson never payed his dues for those crimes.

And let’s face it; the guy was a nut job. Google his images for fuck sake. Not long after I heard the news, I began to wonder about when they gave him CPR, if his nose ripped off. Crazy or missed childhood or not, most likely he had some kind of mental illness, and he probably needed treatment.

However, on the ride home from work I really started thinking about the impact of Michael Jackson on the music industry. The kid had an amazing voice when he was with The Jackson 5. You were hard-pressed back in the day to find someone who was not a fan of Thriller when it came out. The closest thing we’ve seen to an album that big since is Nevermind, and it still doesn’t stand up there with Thriller.

Michael Jackson was on top of the world. I remember how EVERYONE was upset when he caught his hair on fire live on television. You were considered lame if you didn’t like him back then. Period. One night about eight years ago my boss left me in charge of a bar I was working at while he was out of town. When I closed the bar, my friends and I hung out and had a few more drinks, but I put “Beat It” on the cd player and cranked it. We all smiled at each other and loved it. And we didn’t care if that was considered lame or not.

Here is a rare video of James Brown, Michael Jackson, and Prince on stage together. Who would have thought even five years ago that only Prince would still be alive?

Most of all, I feel sorry for Michael Jackson’s kids. First off, THEY’RE MICHAEL JACKSON’S KIDS! Secondly, the real truths of his financial status might finally come out now and this could burden them (and benefit Sir Paul…). Though the odds are against them, let’s hope his children can get a semi-normal life out of this. They are kids after all.

And to touch on the mental thing again, my cousin made a point in saying that perhaps people with whatever issues he had can relate to his life. I’ll take that a step further in saying that it gives hope for people that are diagnosed with mental issues or had broken/strange homes that there is hope and maybe they can accomplish huge things as well. Maybe not as big as what Michael did….but who knows? Positive regardless.

Michael was a big artist back in the day, but the guy hasn’t made a great album in nearly two decades, but what he did was truly incredible. He sold over 750 million albums. Pop music as you know it was partially created by Michael Jackson. He was an icon for a certain amount of time, and we’ll never see anything quite like that again, even without counting his personal actions.

In closing I’ll just say that it was unfair of me to make jokes about a person that I never met, as I wouldn’t want to be treated like that myself. So I apologize to the spirit of Michael Jackson for that. And I tip my hat to the greatest pop icon I’ll ever see in my lifetime as I have some really fun memories from that. This really is a huge day and I’ll likely remember it years from now.

If he was suffering in some way, then I’m glad that suffering is over. But as a person, I still believe in my heart that he did bad things, issues or not, and I don’t feel sorry for him that he died.

I cried when Kurt Cobain died, but I won’t shed a tear that Michael Jackson has passed away.

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