Breaking News: Michael Jackson is dead.
I was in fifth grade when first I heard Beat It. I had a crush on the King of Pop for the next 3 years. I even wrote a letter adorned with butterfly stickers and addressed it to Michael Jackson somewhere in Encino California.
Being from a staunchly conservative Christian home, I was not allowed to listen to the music of Satan. And for good reason. But what are friends for? Every video, poster, book and song that even referenced MJ, I devoured with stalker like obsession. Small photos of him were taped in secret places and on locker room mirrors. I loved the yellow vest.
I tried to Moonwalk. I had a crush on any boy in my class that could.
I wore parachute pants.
I'd hover over my radio turned low just waiting to hear PYT.
I was jealous of anyone named Billy Jean or Diana.
Thriller was my magnificat.
I could name all the Jacksons in birth order.
But then I grew up. And got grossed out. But you have to appreciate the genius behind the music. Michael Jackson is an icon, a focal point, a common denominator for many generations.