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Michael Jackson

What a sad moment. Michael Jackson may not have been perfect, but he was part of the soundtrack of our lives the last 40 years. At his best, he was the best.

Not long ago I showed my kids a YouTube video of Michael Jackson demonstrating the moonwalk, circa 1983. Like that talent scout said of Fred Astaire: "Can dance a little."

My kids never knew Jackson at his peak, when he was the most popular entertainer on the planet, and millions of copies of "Thriller" flew out of the record stores. It wasn't as good an album as "Off the Wall," which got heavy rotation at the dance parties at my college, but when "Thriller" came out, music videos were the rage, and everything came together to propel MJ to the highest level of the business -- what you might call the Elvissphere.

What a rough life, though. He never knew a normal childhood. His personal travails, legal problems involving accusations of child molestation, plastic surgery obsessions and other eccentricities turned him into a punch line.

So maybe some people forgot over the years just how great he was. He was amazing at the age of 10, when he was singing "ABC." But he was even better in his early 20s, when he had Quincy Jones producing him in "Off the Wall" and "Thriller."

He lived to be 50 years old. But maybe he was always really 10. He never seemed to know how to live life as an adult. For now, we'll put all that aside, and think of him at the height of his power -- singing and dancing so well he seemed to defy the laws of physics. I'm pretty sure there's never been anyone else like him.

By Joel Achenbach  |  June 25, 2009; 5:58 PM ET
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I wonder when the good lord, started to call him home. If he broke out and started singing "I'll Be There"

He He

Posted by: dashriprock | June 25, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

I wasn't as big of a fan, but that is almost beside the point. Jackson was so huge in the early 1980s that his music formed the soundtrack to much of my young adulthood. I mean, Thriller, for good or for bad, was everywhere. It saturated the airwaves in a way that I can't even imagine happening today.

In the movie "Back to the Future Part II" the characters end up in 2015 and show up in a "Cafe 80s." Three icons from the 1980s are featured. Reagan, The Ayatollah Khomeini, and Michael Jackson.

Like Joel, and others clustered around the half century mark, I grew up with Michael Jackson. For him to be gone, weird as he was, is just, well, weird.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 25, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Rest In Peace

Posted by: cjgilmore | June 25, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Despite his troubles, he had a true musical gift. The next time you are out and Billy Jean or some ABC/123 comes on look around you and notice that people just tend to start dancing to those classics.

Sadly, he provides more proof that fame and the music star lifestyle are hard on the body. I hope his soul finds peace in its next realm.

Posted by: soulrebel | June 25, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

RIP Michael Jackson

This was a very thoughtful and respectful post about an entertainer still adored by many fans.

Posted by: dcet | June 25, 2009 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Nicely put Joel. As for reader "dashriprock" -- nothing says CLASS like making fun of the dead.

Posted by: rimbaud1 | June 25, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

RIP, Michael - there really is no other entertainer like you!

Posted by: readersrwe | June 25, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Another Day "the music died".
I once met Michael as the gentle soul he was!!

It's a sad day

Posted by: hotdad14 | June 25, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Watching that Motown 25 clip again really takes me back. Wow. I had forgotten how dynamic of a dancer he was at his peak.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 25, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

The world has lost a major talent. Michael Jackson dies at 3:15...

Posted by: InformationDesk | June 25, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

He was a couple of months older than me. I loved the J5 records and wore out needles playing them over and over. The later solo records were sonic marvels.

There was no more talented nor tragic entertainer in modern memory. Heartbreaking.

Posted by: CallMeLiberal | June 25, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Repeating from the last Boodle, I've told the Boy how different Michael Jackson was back in the day, when he was a consummate entertainer, before things got weird. I remember when he was 10 and we were too, all my girlfriends and I singing along to "Rockin Robin". Tweet tweet tweet.

Posted by: Ivansmom | June 25, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

The King of POP is dead. Long live the King!

Posted by: VAcitizen | June 25, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm truly shocked and sad at Michaels sudden passing. His music, dance moves and videos are simply the best! R.I.P. Mike!

Posted by: bobby20 | June 25, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

A very talented guy.

As a young teen, I played "Off the Wall (1979)" all the time. IMO, an even better album than "Thriller". Jackson was only 21 then. He looked normal then and it seemed his future was limitless.

There are many great artists and geniuses that decline and have latter lives that just don't match the hopes and accomplishments of early years. Nikola Tesla died broke, nuts, a bum. Fat Elvis died on a toilet. Dylan Thomas died a pauper alcoholic.

Like them, we should try and expel latter decline. The kiddie-creepy stuff in his later years and remember the good, brilliant Jackson. The young boy that made Motown more than any other of Gordy's artists. The young man who was a true Superstar of undisputed talent and who made an indelible contribution to the musical arts, dance, and American culture.

God bless his troubled soul and may his transgressions be forgiven some day so that he can take his rightful place. Singing and dancing with the angels..

Posted by: ChrisFord1 | June 25, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

and on third day he rose and ascended into heaven.... only the rock gods will be pleased. I think he was as misunderstood as a certain disciple from Bethlehem.


Posted by: pharrison1 | June 25, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Oh please - far be it for me to speak ill of the dead, but he was only 'king of pop' because he insisted MTV call him so to get his videos. Anyone calling him a great dancer has never seen a good broadway musical. The 'moonwalk' is just basic pantomime walking that any high school drama student can do. There is nothing in his music that was as good as the Clash, Patty Smith, the B52s or many other groups in the late 70s and early 80s. Like Rush Limbaugh, Jackson was the king of self promotion, and once he was wealthy we squandered his millions on plastic surgery and a little boy seduction park. Sadly he won't live long enough to redeem himself, but please, in the world of music jackson was a minor talent who's music will be long forgotten.

Posted by: marcedward1 | June 25, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

The tragedy was that we always loved the young, un-cut, un-bleached Michael far more than he ever could. That's the Michael I'll try to remember (and the one who, yes, gave us that soundtrack)-- not the self-loathing freak he became. So sad.

Posted by: Omyobama | June 25, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

RIP Michael. One of the most popular Americans known around the world. It's very sad to hear such tragic news. This guy had fans around the globe and people loved him.

May God forgive him and bless him.

Posted by: rodeo23 | June 25, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Bless you Michael...

Posted by: dhenry2 | June 25, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Somehow the alleged molestations of young boys doesn't make me choke up about this person. Bad taste, bad choices, bad decisions. And, bad music. Ironic that he wanted so "bad" to be "Bad."

Posted by: mmmmm999999m34e56ee91099 | June 25, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

I never liked Michael Jackson a lot (except for "Ben" - great stuff) but a local TV channel's web site is giving him credit for "breaking the race barrier on MTV." C'mon - was there ever a race barrier on MTV? I remember Bob Marley videos in '81 or '82 - "Three Little Birds" is still a great movie video.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | June 25, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I have songs from "Off the Wall" and "Thriller" in my collection. Still listen to them. It's just too bad he bought the hype and tried to re-create "Thriller" every time after that singular confulence of pop hooks and music videos.

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 25, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

I'm Starting With The Man In
The Mirror
I'm Asking Him To Change
His Ways
And No Message Could Have
Been Any Clearer
If You Wanna Make The World
A Better Place
(If You Wanna Make The
World A Better Place)
Take A Look At Yourself, And
Then Make A Change

Amazing man and what a legend...

Posted by: glitch83 | June 25, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Death comes for us all. Yes, even for kings he comes.

-- A Man for All Seasons

RIP, you poor poor man.

Posted by: enaughton27 | June 25, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

I was never a fan, but Frostsis#1 idolized the young MJ so the Jackson 5 provided the soundtrack to our tweenhood. Frostson was 6 the summer of Thriller and was hooked after one viewing of an MJ video on MTV. Like all his Nordic forebears he was a whiter shade of pale than your average white kid, but he sported one glove and a leather jacket through a long hot Tennessee summer. He now denies all this, but unlike his early support of Reagan there are pictures to prove it. (I should noted every first grader loves the sitting president, he really wasn't that much of a rebel against parental influence.) As for musical taste, I think his actually holds up better against my own fixation with Duran, Duran in the same era.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | June 25, 2009 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Wow, that moonwalk is still an amazing move. He was a prodigiously talented singer and dancer in the 80s. In the mid 80s I was still under the age of 10 but I loved MJs music. I remember when Thriller came out on music video, it was so cutting edge I was scared out of my pants. RIP.

Posted by: jabreal00 | June 25, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

In the life of Michael Jackson and Britney Spears, I can see how the devil destroys a person. Liberalism, homosexuality, promiscuity, etc.

Anybody who bought his album is an accomplice to his tragic death. And if people are not careful who they idolize, they may end up with that person in his "resting place" where sadly, there is no rest.

I feel sad for the people who are mourning his death. The guy will lead you to his "resting place" where sadly, there is no rest and that's FOREVER.

Posted by: spidermean2 | June 25, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

what an amzing life


Posted by: dummypants | June 25, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Oh frosti, you are a gem.

Posted by: Yoki | June 25, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Well said. 10 Reasons to Remembering MJ:

Posted by: greenius | June 25, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

What a nice tribute Joel, very strange moment tonight when my daughter came downstairs to tell me Michael Jackson was dead, had not looked at the computer, TV or listened to the radio for a while so I had completely missed the news. That my daughter left her room to share the news is a signal how big the news was.

Like many I was not a fan, never owned an album - I do vaguely remember the Jackson 5 show and the cartoon - but I acknowledge the impact he had and the joy his music brought to many.

Maybe now he can finally find some peace, something so missing from his 50 years here.

Posted by: dmd2 | June 25, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse


I'm going to be staying with the love-drunk governor while this boodle proceeds.

Anybody wanting a change of subject may feel free to visit.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | June 25, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

This is rather sad
part of me Can't believe it
even though i wasn't a huge fan

Posted by: ohwelloldstem | June 25, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

"At his best, he was the best. "

Yeah he was.

Posted by: mikem1 | June 25, 2009 8:07 PM | Report abuse

As an entertainer, he was in a class by himself. That 25th anniversary Motown special would have been one of the best nights in TV history, even without Jackson. In a night of great performers doing great things, he stole the show.

I wasn't phased by his eccentricities. Strange I can deal with, no problem. But he 100% lost me with the sexual molestation. Yes, he was acquitted, but even the jurors said they believed he had done what he had been accused of. Its a line that I won't cross for anyone.

At his best, he was the best. Trouble is, there was another side. For me personally, I can't get past that.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | June 25, 2009 8:17 PM | Report abuse

He contributed mightily to the coarsening of the popular culture. If I were to say how he did this, my comment wouldn't pass the Washington Post's filters that are applied in determining whether or not a comment gets posted.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | June 25, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

He was one of the greatest entertainers of all time, a once in a lifetime talent, we'll never see the likes of him again. He was 3 months older than me and he was as much a part of my childhood, teen years, and adulthood as members of my own family. His music was and is literally a soundtrack to my life. I still can't beleive it, it is so unreal. For some of you to say his music wasn't all that, and all of the other negative comments, well your just not facing reality and are extreme racists and pathetic sick individuals. May God forgive you. RIP MJ, everything is alright now, it's alright.

Michael Jackson
King of PoP
"Gone Too Soon"

Posted by: 72Redskins | June 25, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Very good Kit Joel. I was too old to be a fan, but I did admire the young Michael Jackson for his music and dancing. Sad that he became so strange, but probably unavoidable if you believe the stories of his childhood. In a different way Elvis too, went from a talented young man to a freak show. Fame is a cruel mistress.

Poor Farrah, she doesn’t even get a whole day to herself. May they both rest in peace.

Posted by: badsneakers | June 25, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

It's hard to realize how big Michael Jackson was in the mid-1980s unless you were there.

While it's of course a loss and terrible shame that he couldn't overcome the scars of an dysfunctional family and lost childhood, I prefer to think of how extraordinary it was that he rose out of tough circumstances to become one of the most famous artists in the world. At least we had (and still have) the chance to hear the music and the gift before it was taken away.

Posted by: bpai_99 | June 25, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

sorry, but no lip syncing performance could ever be considered great - just ask jessica simpson's sister

Posted by: Dan48 | June 25, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

I don't suppose that this means that Paul McCartney gets the rights to his music back.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | June 25, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

bpai_99, if you think it's tough to rise from the ashes of a career as a child Motown star, tell me how tough it must be to rise from the ashes of an upbringing by a single parent who works full time at Wal-Mart or Tyson, often (increasingly often these days) six days a week at the plant.

I have no sympathy whatsoever for this ruined royal.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | June 25, 2009 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Well, in fact unless you are drunk at a disco, Jackson wasn't that good. Schlokie tunes, self absorbed vocal quavering, stage histronics that were at best odd. This the older Jackson. As a child star he was good tv but certainly not rock and not seeing live. Superbowl act comes to mind, cheese.

Posted by: AIPACiswar | June 25, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Here's to an incredibly gifted performer who morphed into an incredibly disgusting circus freak.

Fair winds, Michael - better luck where ever you end up.

Posted by: VirginiaConservative | June 25, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

I have the Thriller album on cassette. It is song for song one of the greatest albums ever recorded. I never rebought it on CD because I refused to contribute to his pedophile defense fund. Somehow I found putting money in his pocket more reprehensible than contributing to the bank accounts of the other drug addicts and criminals and similar denizens of the music industry.

He had no childhood but grew up to be a man without responsibilities or knowledge of the consequences of his actions. He traded his youth for a world without accountability. His money bought him license not available to others.

I don't know where his demons came from but they were real and he left a wake of ruin in his path. Whether the happiness he brought millions is worth the pain he inflicted on himself and those he preyed on can never be quite calculated.

Posted by: yellojkt | June 25, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Michael Jackson is dead and I don't feel so good myself.

For me, "Ben" was one of the last songs of his I *really* liked. [OK, maybe because I enjoyed the movie so much.]

Seriously, if there's a sequel to Elvis Presley's life - perhaps an echo of sorts - Michael Jackson might just have been it. Bubbles was no Scatter, I suppose.

But all the same, there is a price for fame, and it looks to me that sometimes the price is everything you've got.


Posted by: -bc- | June 25, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse

I was hardly getting over Roy Scheider, Bea Arthur... and now Farrah and the King of Pop?

Posted by: BettyBooo | June 25, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Such a sad day. Michael Jackson thrilled us. Rest in peace.

Posted by: Windy3 | June 25, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Wish everyone would just save all the fawning tributes. Jackson deserves none of it. Any talent he might have had as a young man was far eclipsed by his bizarre adulthood!

Posted by: OregonStorm | June 25, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse


Here's something for you to remember... Judge not, lest ye be judged. Your comments all seem to lack two very basic qualities, love and compassion, of which Christ had in abundance. Your tiresome and continual judgmental statements along with your smug and self-righteous I am saved and everyone else is not is a perversion of what Christ taught. I know this may be difficult you, but try to stop being such a jerk all of the time.

Posted by: JKJ88 | June 25, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

I have Thriller on tape cassette too. He and the Jackson 5 were too pop for me, but they were quite an act. I really love the Thriller album - remember watching Beat It on MTV over and over, and I like Billy Jean too. Not sure I know anything from Off the Wall. What turned me off was the premiere of some new song/video (which I can't remember the name of - in the early 90s?) - his audience was so young, and there he was, grabbing his crotch and smashing car windows - thought it was totally inappropriate.

Maureen Orth was just on MSNBC saying how chaotic his life was, and how it will most likely continue that way even though he's dead. Hope he can rest in peace.

Posted by: seasea1 | June 25, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Okey-doke. Meaning no disrespect to either Joel or the dead, I've said all I have to say about Michael Jackson - and, truthfully, read almost more than I care to as well.

Anyone mind if I move on to a different topic? I'd like to point out that, despite our tediously long streak of 100 degree plus weather, insane for June, I have so far kept the vegetables alive and even have a tomato ripening. This is a gardening first for me. It is important to set the bar low.

Posted by: Ivansmom | June 25, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Michael Jackson & James Brown are performing together in heaven tonight! R.I.P KING OF POP!

Posted by: bobby20 | June 25, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Yay Ivansmom! I have picked FIVE squashes and have a couple of tomatoes beginning to turn pink. They're the Romas, not the Early Girls. AND the beans are finally blooming!

Mr. T is watching the NBA draft. He says the Bobcats saved him bundles of money by not drafting Tyler Hansbrough. He will go see Tyler play when Indiana comes to town.

Posted by: slyness | June 25, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

We must have a garden celebration in honor of Ivansmom! Tomatoes are a long way off here, they've just started flowering. I myself am drunk with the scent of peonies in bloom-since there are but three it requires risking insect inhalation to get that close and take a good strong whiff. Roses in bloom as well, last year's shrub rose a deep purplish red very similar to our native roses with an old fashioned fragrance, and a new white variety-sadly scentless. Harvested all the radishes and replaced them with basil. Leaf lettuce ready to provide salad for a couple weeks then I'm going to treat myself to some new artemisia in its place. (I'm growing vegetables in the perennial bed until there isn't room anymore, then I'll move on to the next bed.)

Posted by: frostbitten1 | June 25, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

When I was 13, no one in the universe was bigger than Michael Jackson. Everyone owned Thriller and we all copied his dance moves as we watched his videos on Mtv. He was a star who dazzled us all. Now he's up there somewhere dazzling the stars.

Posted by: mfigiel-krueger | June 25, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like a cool plan, Frosti. I made lemon basil chicken salad for supper, with basil from my one plant. I need to use the herbs, usually I let them go to seed. But I bought a sage plant to have a supply for Thanksgiving, the chives are hardy, and I need to reduce the Greek oregano by about two-thirds, it's invasive.

The Shasta daisies have been lovely but Saturday will be time to cut them back. The gardenia is done too, so it gets whacked back also. Now there is a delightful scent! Good think the purple coneflowers and nicotiana are doing their thing. And I've got moonflower vines wrapped around the post, no flowers yet.

Posted by: slyness | June 25, 2009 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Slyness has Gardenias! I am so frenvious. I had a gardenia as a house plant for a few years. Such a gorgeous fragrance.

Working beside Mock Orange today, one of the scents that brings back memories of my youth - wonderful summer memories.

Like peonies a great bloom to get close to and take a deep sniff.

Posted by: dmd2 | June 25, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

BTW, MTV seems to be showing all the Thriller videos now - saw Billie Jean, Beat It, Thriller is on now (all 14 minutes, I presume).

I'm picking snow peas almost every day - have resorted to freezing them. I have sugar snap peas about ready to pick too. My radishes didn't do all that well - they're starting to bolt, so I've pulled almost all of them. I have beans just starting to sprout. I'm thrilled to report that my morning glory vines in the greenhouse are setting blossoms - earliest I've ever gotten them to do that.

Posted by: seasea1 | June 25, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

How terribly sad for us.

And for Michael. He was a major star but dying on the same day as Farrah means he will be a teensy little obit. It's a little like Aldous Huxley, who died on the same day as JFK.

I hope he gets some attention. 40 years ago, he actually did good work with the Jackson Five, and even some of the stuff he did later ("ThrillKill") has its moments.

RIP Mikey

Posted by: StaffSgtAmerica | June 25, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

StaffSgtAmerica, either you have a sly sense of humor, or you haven't checked out the big news story on CNN, NYTimes, WaPo, etc.

Either way, you gave me a laugh, so I thank you.

Posted by: Wheezy11 | June 25, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Anyone familiar with the Stranglers song 'Everyone Loves You When You're Dead'? It's rather appropriate right now.
'When you're alive they won't care what you said
All you deserved and all the blood you bled
But everyone loves you when you're dead'

Posted by: marcedward1 | June 25, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Yep, Wheezy, I was about to say the same thing. Poor Farrah.

Bet Sanford is kind of glad he's not the top story anymore. At least for now.

Posted by: seasea1 | June 25, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

The Florida A&M University Band moonwalked the Champs Elysee one Bastille Day.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | June 25, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Had he been a Roman Catholic priest, he'd have been in prison for quite some time, and might still be alive (I'm guessing that his death involved a reckless use of pharmaceutical products. Just guessing.)

No sympathy here, except that ordinary horror which creeps up the spine when realizing that soon enough we will all pass that way.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | June 25, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

The boy had talent, no doubt about it.

So sad that he did nothing after Jackson Five to keep an adult's attention.

And especially sad that he died on the same day as Farrah. True, he wasn't a star of her magnitude, but -- as I said -- the boy really had talent.

Give him some attention too!

Rocking Robin forever, Mikey!

Posted by: StaffSgtAmerica | June 25, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Somewhere "Adult Alarms" are being sounded in solidarity, and pedophiles all over the world are lifting one last toast of "Jesus Juice" in his memeory. "RIP: Your Name Here", Michael. If I believed in god, I'd hope you were in Heaven now, lip-synching in front of the Angels.

Posted by: cletus1 | June 25, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Poor Mikey. He genuinely had some talent in his early days. We must treat him with the same respect we show Judy Garland -- loving her for "Over the Rainbow" and forgiving her for all the queeny garbage that followed.

Forget the thoroughly unthrilling "Thriller." Forget his yo-yo trick with his new baby. Put on "I'll Be There" and you'll find a very talented boy. Let's always think of him that way, a five year old who never grew up.

Posted by: StaffSgtAmerica | June 25, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

The L.A. Times has waaayyy too much coverage on Michael Jackson's passing. There's an article on their website's front page about fans gathering at the wrong Hollywood star. Good grief!

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | June 25, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, he wasn't Farrah. But, at his best, he was at least Kate Jackson. That's not nothing!

Posted by: StaffSgtAmerica | June 25, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

I have three basil plants and need to acquire more. My extreme desire for tomatoes leads me to buy too many each week at the farmers' market, and copious basil use is one result.

I'm sure Sanford is somewhat relieved to lose the media focus - or at least his staff and family are. If one were so inclined one might say the deaths of Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett were in furtherance of a deep plot to take all eyes off Obama as he talks about health care. Of course it seems a little unlikely that the Angel of Death would stoop to that kind of cheap political service, but nothing is too unlikely for a good conspiracy theory.

Posted by: Ivansmom | June 25, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

First Ed McMahon, then Farrah, now Micheal,
such a shame.

More fish on tonight's river float.The river is high and I was able to paddle above our rapids and upstream a mile or so.Then float down back to where I started .It was glorious!!!

There is a whipper will outside in my yard now,so nice to hear his song!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | June 25, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Let's not overdo it. He was NOT Brian Wilson. He was NOT Bob Dylan. He was NOT Chuck Berry. He was only a few degrees better than Paul McCartney.

That said, some of his stuff was charming and he will be remembered as a delightful minor artist.

Posted by: StaffSgtAmerica | June 25, 2009 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Great piece, Joel. Spot on.

While I was not surprised, I was shocked. He was far too young to go.

No matter how far down the tube he got, I always hoped he'd rock the world with one more hit.

I just had to say, Elvissphere is now coined. Superb! Few ever reach those lofty heights. But MJ glided with an otherworldly talent. If you said to me MJ was the most gifted entertainer to ever moonwalk across this earth; I would have to agree.

RIP, Michael.


Posted by: BaileyReynolds | June 25, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Bailey! Wow, we haven't seen you in a long time.

This is refreshing-Mark Sanford's powermower is a mere 5 years younger than he.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | June 25, 2009 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Scottynuke, greenwithenvy and I watched the University of MD football team play Clemson just before Halloween a few years back.

At halftime, the UMD marching band played several songs of the season, concluding with "Thriller." For the song's break, all of the band members - except for the drums and rhythm section - dropped their instuments and did the biggest bestest Zombie Dance I've ever seen.

Personally, I'm not clear on what part of the movie of my life that MJ's music would be the soundtrack of. "Yakkety Sax," absolutely (for example, it'd work for today), but "Beat It," - Eddie Van Halen's guitar work notwithstanding - I dunno...


Posted by: -bc- | June 25, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Hey Frostbitten. Came across Joel's post and thought I'd add a comment.

MJ's behavior did get deplorable; but no one can deny how great an entertainer he was. Like Joel said.

Mark Sanford is lucky (and this is bad to say) that the heat's off him, now. His nuts were as hot as the rocks on Sullivan's Island on the 4th of July at high noon.

As a S. Carolinian, I think he should resign. Not for the affair; but because of his willfull dereliction of duty. THAT was inexcusable, in my opinion.

And I think his downfall is terrible. He was one of the few Republicans I still liked.

Posted by: BaileyReynolds | June 25, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

he was the greatest pedophile ever! rest in peace, creepo!

blah blah blah something about him being black blah blah blah that makes his sex crimes almost ok blah blah more apologies from guilt white libs...

Posted by: fred1000120031 | June 25, 2009 11:03 PM | Report abuse

The author is clearly enamored of the pop icon: "Michael Jackson may not have been perfect, but he was part of the soundtrack of our lives the last 40 years."

Really? Because I would have gone with The Beatles or The Rolling Stones, if you're going to hand out such a sweeping accolade.

Michael Jackson most certainly was a extremely popular performer among teenagers. But he wasn't "the soundtrack of our lives," not even close.

Posted by: bluicebank | June 25, 2009 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Rest well Michael! XOXO!

Posted by: BookerT2 | June 25, 2009 11:10 PM | Report abuse

OK...not done here...LOL: THERE we go!

Posted by: BookerT2 | June 25, 2009 11:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm bored out of my skull by ALL American pop culture.

Yet by chance I DVR'd a special about Farrah Fawcett's brave struggle against her cancer
"Farrah's Story"
and was moved by it.
I morphed from someone who would make fun of her (Charlie's Angels, etc)
to someone who admired and respected her, and wished her the best.

I was sorry to hear Farrah Fawcett lost her courageous struggle -

and now she gets "bumped" off the front page of American pop culture rags on the day of her death by this ...

today the world is missing:
1 brave woman who fought her heart out against the evil that is cancer;
1 talented-but-narcissistic pedophile freak

Posted by: daveque | June 25, 2009 11:33 PM | Report abuse

bluicebank -- please read the material. The man said "part of" the soundtrack, etc. Meaning the Stones and Elvis could be on that tape, and perhaps on the #1 and #2 tracks.

Posted by: nellie4 | June 25, 2009 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Love him or hate him he was without doubt the face of music video in the 1980s, period. Make fun of him all you want but his talent, cultivated by the great Quincy Jones, produced an album - Thriller - that some 27 years later still has the record as THE best selling album of all time. How many of you folks posting negative comments can say that about yourselves? As for Staffsgtamerica - better than Sir Paul? ROTFLMFAO. Still, the world will miss him, and, judging by the millons and millions of fans he still has, even after all he went through and the punch line he became, I'd say he made his mark, and the world is a better place for for it.

Posted by: harton | June 25, 2009 11:47 PM | Report abuse

It almost seems that God is lashing out at the Republicans. First Ensign does his Gingrich maneuver, then Sanford follows Ensign and then Michael Jackson dies.

Michael Jackson would have been perfect to head up the ticket with Palin in 2012. He's black, but he no longer comes off that way; and like Palin, he is not well versed in world affairs; and like the typical Republican teabagger. he's sort of icky and peculiar in a way that you can't really put your finger on, and he was rumored to like little boys - without going so far as to get busted for it.

All in all, a Republican's Republican.

Posted by: Ms_Morgan | June 25, 2009 11:54 PM | Report abuse

No one wants to be defeated.
I haven't given him much thought in years, and yet I cried when I heard it. My thoughts on the first pop star to ever register in my world:

Posted by: wideawakeinwonderland | June 25, 2009 11:57 PM | Report abuse

We are not likely to see your kind pass this way again. Rest in peace.
And for the local SLIMEBAGS:fred1000120031,StaffSgtAmerica,VirginiaConservative
AND're disgusting, uncivilized knuckle-dragging barbarians who need to learn when simply STFU>

Posted by: tjfrmla | June 26, 2009 12:10 AM | Report abuse

Sorry Bluicebank, possibly you have to be 90 for Michael Jackson not to have been the soundtrack of your life. I'm 32 and remember being absolutely terrified by Thriller as a kid and LOVING it at the same time. For all those who prefer to remember only the bitter...I'm sure there are some victims of the Apostle Paul who might like to remind you of his crimes against humanity. As for Spidermean, I am a born-again Christian but, unfortunately for you, I'll be in Heaven while I've no doubt you'll be rather suprised at the path your pride takes you down. I'm sure Jesus himself would get up and abdicate his throne to give it to its rightful owner, spideymean. This is all coming from a person who spent years working on-call in the middle of the night with abused children. I'm sorry, I missed the part where you did that Spideymean. You all should look at the man in the mirror because it is probably going on within your own family...but you'll never know because you are too fixated on what is coarsening America...or you are the perp and you won't have pedophilia (which is an actual illness and not the cause of most child sexual abuse) as an excuse. More children might be saved if you all actually educated yourselves on the subject of child abuse.

For what it's worth, RIP Michael. I believe in redemption. After all, it is the core of my value system and a permanent piece of my soul.

Posted by: jinnyc | June 26, 2009 12:15 AM | Report abuse

The Guardian (the paper to check when planning to do theatre, concerts, or dance in Britain) quickly came out with front-page adulation for Jackson. They might have been especially well prepped, what with the impending shows at O2.

Jackson is a bit young for me--my brain is infested with Bobby Darin, Sam Cooke, Booker T., and later the inescapable Beatles, James Taylor. And blundering into Mahler's first symphony complete with the hot-off-the-press Blumine movement.

It becomes astonishingly difficult to remember anything much after adulthood, unless maybe it's something utterly novel. Maybe Darius Milhaud. Janáček? Takemitsu?

In the yard, a string lily, Crinum americanum opened today.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | June 26, 2009 12:18 AM | Report abuse

All this praise is crap. If you had a band, would you rather do a cover of a Ramones song or ANYTHING by Jackson? Jackson was what used to call 'bubblegum' - he was the sort of guy who'd appear on the cover of 'Tiger Beat'. His dancing talent would have gotten him exactly ZERO rolls on Broadway. He was a great businessman, like Limbaugh and Madonna, but as for his music? Utter fluff. Seriously - would you rather cover 'Should I Stay Or Should I Go' or 'Billy Jean'? Jackson contributed nothing to Rock and nothing to HipHop, the 2 dominant cultural movements in Music. I'm just being honest. As for the Jackson fans, you all are just sick and need to get a life. Not only are you glomming onto a child molester, but you have lame musical taste - must stink to be you.

Posted by: marcedward1 | June 26, 2009 12:22 AM | Report abuse

ok, I loved the kit, I'm sad about MJ, but come on! Was it sneaks who said "enough is enough"? When the news about MJ's death was first off the wire Andrew Sullivan said that we are done hearing about Iran. I guess he was right.

Garden report: We are a couple of days away from eating about 8 tomatoes (stocked up on bacon at Costco yesterday!). Our vitex is simply stunning, the purple coneflowers are popping like crazy, the lantana are just blooming, my gorgeous hydrangea is just past peak, the catmint is toast, the geraniums and petunias are coming along, our verbena seems to be rabbit proof, the black-eyed susans are lagging behind, the Carolina beauty crape myrtle are right on time, the lamb's ears have some kind of bug and the stella d'oro lilies are gone.
It was a cr@ppy June but our gardens have been served well.

Posted by: Kim1 | June 26, 2009 12:25 AM | Report abuse

Kim, I envy you your tomatoes.

Posted by: Yoki | June 26, 2009 12:45 AM | Report abuse

I loved Micheal Jackson @ the 80's till now at his last time. The greatest singer of all time.May God be with you Micheal, I seem to have no words but to say your history you made it is impossible to repeat. R.I.P Micheal. From south Africa Bruce M Mametja

Posted by: marupingmametja | June 26, 2009 2:29 AM | Report abuse

Best wishes with your crapes. They may have come from Asia, but I suspect nearly all of the plant breeding was done in the US.

On the side, a couple of oregano plants, half-price at Lowes, stayed in their pots for a couple of weeks, which was a mistake--impossible to keep watered. Plopped on a mound and given hardly any water, they are prospering.

Now to figure out the identity of what seems to be a fast-growing shrub-sized thyme.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | June 26, 2009 2:56 AM | Report abuse

spidermean2: "In the life of Michael Jackson and Britney Spears, I can see how the devil destroys a person. Liberalism, homosexuality, promiscuity, etc.
Anybody who bought his album is an accomplice to his tragic death. And if people are not careful who they idolize, they may end up with that person in his "resting place" where sadly, there is no rest.
I feel sad for the people who are mourning his death. The guy will lead you to his "resting place" where sadly, there is no rest and that's FOREVER."

Thanks for the warning, YOU JERK! Perhaps you are confusing the term Liberalism with debauchery. But it is hard to understand anything of coherence from your rambling post.

Perhaps we can blame this on Obama, too?

Posted by: marecek | June 26, 2009 3:06 AM | Report abuse

StaffSgtAmerica: "And especially sad that he died on the same day as Farrah. True, he wasn't a star of her magnitude, but -- as I said -- the boy really had talent."

Sorry, StaffSgtAmerica, I'm sure you were much more in to Farrah (as was I), but you are a bit confused. MJ was not a star of her magnitude - he was much huger. He was one of the biggest stars in the second half of the 20th Century and enjoyed worldwide adulation for decades. Farrh was little more than a 1970 flash in the pan pin-up girl who got a big bump at the end for her tough fight against cancer. His fame will continue on for decades, and her's will be soon forgotten. Anyone want that bet?

Posted by: marecek | June 26, 2009 3:26 AM | Report abuse

God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Good morning, friends. A nice tribute, JA. I, like many others, am in total shock, although for the past couple of years, to me, Micheal Jackson, looked very frail. I remember his earlier years of good music. I've danced a many nights(long time ago) to the sound of Micheal Jackson. His life was sad, and toward the end, a joke to many. None of us are perfect.

The last day for VCB school. Time to get cracking. Scotty, Martooni, Slyness, Mudge, Yoki, and everybody, have a great day.*waving*

Posted by: cmyth4u | June 26, 2009 5:30 AM | Report abuse

May not have been perfect? Maybe he was? And simply not perfect? Talk about understatement. The man was a talented, successful star. He also had some huge psychological problems. Fans were quite willing to overlook an unhealthy relatinship with children. As usual, we overstate the importance of celebrities to the world. On CNN last night, Celine Dion equated Jackson's passing with the death of Pres. Kennedy. Sorry, but that's incredible hyperbole.

Posted by: Sutter | June 26, 2009 6:30 AM | Report abuse

micheal jackson is the biggest and most honerd man in the whole of the golbe ...teaching younger and older men and woman to be more confident and strong within your heart and self esteam heart sorrows for the jackson family and pray for them just to remember that were ever you go carry on micheals confidence and dance moves to the world and making sure they never forget what the 50 year old chapion pop star ...did for us ....and we can now return the favour and show micheal how much we did deply enjoy the life and soul of dance and singin !

Hannah McMeechan 13 years old :( x

we will never forget you our lovin friend ! xxx

Posted by: hannah1230 | June 26, 2009 6:43 AM | Report abuse

The dance ....
the pop...
the laughs...
the crys...
the honers...
the dispachment...
the blaime ....
the truth ...
the set up ....
the smiles...
the love ...
the hope ..
the life ...
and now the death .....this means micheal can explore and realise what a cruel world can be .....btu only now can he rest in peace .....

WE love you micheal ...
thank you for changig our lifes anad making us realise what an honer it was too even speak your name ....xxxxx Hannah McMeechan 13 years old :( x

Posted by: hannah1230 | June 26, 2009 6:50 AM | Report abuse

Morning all, and happy Friday. If that's possible after all the events of yesterday. Whew! Achenblog hasn't had a day like this since Rovestorm. Mudge will remember when that was...

Kim, your garden sounds divine. I need to get a couple of crepe myrtles. And tomatoes already! The 4th of July is about as early as we can hope for a ripe one.

Healthy in the ready room this morning: a big batch of steel-cut oatmeal, with your choice of additions on the side. Enjoy!

Posted by: slyness | June 26, 2009 7:08 AM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle and guests, lets not get too wrapped around the axle about staying on topic.

Serious frenvy over Kim's crape myrtles. They are my favorite street or specimen tree, when they are allowed to be trees.

Ah, tomatoes by the 4th of July. I have determined that since I am not interested in canning tomatoes I will only grow cherry tomatoes and hope to have some by the 4th of August.

NPR's morning edition running a story on rhubarb, back later.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | June 26, 2009 7:28 AM | Report abuse

*peering through the bunker's periscope to see if it's safe to emerge*

bc, ya beat me to the punch on that College Park afternoon performance... I'm still smiling at the thought of it!

*TGIF-for-sure-and-growing-excitement-over-NukeSpawn's-arrival-next-week Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 26, 2009 7:40 AM | Report abuse

i don't know slyness, we had some wild ones during the election season. perhaps you've selectively forgotten them? :-)

Posted by: LALurker | June 26, 2009 7:41 AM | Report abuse

Only 105 comments so far... Just a momentary downpour.

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 26, 2009 7:49 AM | Report abuse

I was shocked when I heard it on NPR on my drive home. Saw tributes on TV, but didn't make me emotional. Sad, sure.

But then I went upstairs, watched a few music videos of him in YouTube, and the memories started flowing, of me holding the cassettes/cds, brand new, of Thriller, Bad, Dangerous etc. How excited I was to listen to his music back in India.

Watching the sheer talent on my computer screen, I knew I was lucky to have his music in my life contemporaneously. Tears did come.

May you find the peace now, Michael. And Thank You for the Music.

Posted by: Pillai | June 26, 2009 7:52 AM | Report abuse

With every newspapers having each multiple articles on MJ simultaneously the number of comment will never reach its true potential...

It's hot here; I hope the announced rain will come. I've hard a forecast of 33C/91F for Warshington, is it true?

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | June 26, 2009 7:59 AM | Report abuse

SCC CommentS, heard *sigh*
Where's that second coffee?

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | June 26, 2009 8:03 AM | Report abuse

SD, today's forecast here says we'll reach 92, so yeah, 91 in Warshington isn't out of line. Must truly be summer.

LALurker, you may be right about election comments, but Rovestorm sticks in my mind. Now that was a day!

We're no longer on the front page, so life may be back to normal. FWIW, I'm okay with that.

Posted by: slyness | June 26, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

slyness, this kit is still on the front page--it's leading the opinion items, in fact.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | June 26, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

As soon as I post, the front page is updated and we're back on...bunker is open and ready for business...

Posted by: slyness | June 26, 2009 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Got the news about MJ late last night when I logged on to check email. Maybe this will finally allow him to escape his demons.

Slyness, Kim, am seriously frenvious of your gardening successes. So far my squash plants produce only blossoms--no fruit. And the tomatoes are small and green. OTOH, I've got basil and chives in abundance on my deck.

MJ's music made up the soundtrack of the most diabolically painful (albeit effective) aerobics class I ever took. So whenever I hear "Billie Jean" I unfortunately think of inner thigh stretches.

Posted by: Raysmom | June 26, 2009 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. They Say it will reach 103 today, and be above 100 tomorrow. Sunday we'll have a cold front and just hit the low 90s. Anyone wanna trade?

Frostbitten, I envy your confidence that if you plant tomatoes you'll have to decide whether to can them. I plant tomatoes and hope that I get a few to eat over the summer. Good thing I'm stubborn.

Speaking of which, I didn't go out late last night and water, so I'd better go now before the sun is too high.

Posted by: Ivansmom | June 26, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

"...may not have been perfect..."

May not have been perfect?!

After that nose job and skin bleaching you mean he wasn't perfect yet? "Skin condition" my left foot: he hated being black and paid to have his blackness eradicated. No one wants to say it, but it's undeniable. The way his plastic surgery turned out, one might conclude he was equally repulsed by having male facial features as well.

This demented child star reclaimed his lost youth by sleeping with children, of his own public admission, and then bought his victims' silence. He ran his own private amusement park to lure in his victims. He hired a surrogate to (he claimed) birth his own children who he proceeded to dangle over a balcony like a prop.

"Not perfect" would be the world's greatest understatement. Let the media B.S. tsunami begin -- America needs to be distracted from the imminent disaster we're facing.

Why do we attribute sorrow and loss to a person of this character only for the music they created? Why can't we tell it like it is? What did this guy do for society besides set the poorest of examples?

I've heard him described as a modern Elvis. Well, that's about right, times ten.

Posted by: dgblues | June 26, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

i think i'll come back later, too. i can't speak well of the dead, so i'll refrain.

sanford has lucked out, but i don't feel like talking about him either.

Posted by: LALurker | June 26, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

i mean lucked out in the sense of having media attention diverted away from him.

Posted by: LALurker | June 26, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

I never believed that Michael was guilty of abusing children. He was a sitting duck for people trying to get money out of him. People all over the world felt his vibe and loved him. He was a special human being and was the greatest entertainer of all time.

RIP Michael.

Posted by: jhnsnrt | June 26, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Morning all,
I was talking with Mrs SW last night and it occurred to me that it is entirely possible that more people were exposed to Michael Jackson's art than any other artist in history. No matter what anyone thinks of the merit or value of his music, the vastness of his popularity was phenomenal.

Posted by: Southwester | June 26, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Yesterday's news about first, Farrah Fawcett's death and second, Michael Jackson's death clearly eclipsing hers reminds me of when Elvis Presley died. IIRC, Elvis died on the heels of Groucho Marx's death and if there was *any* news at all about Groucho, it may have ended up in a small column on, say, page A23 of any major newspaper of the time (and, yes, we can acknowledge that there were many, many more major newspapers around then). I recall that Dick Cavett, who was a huge fan of Groucho and had a very strong and warm friendship with him, was exceedingly pi$$ed at the media's clear preference for covering Elvis' death at the expense of Groucho's. I agreed with Cavett about that.

Gotta get to work. Cya later.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | June 26, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Hi all.

Only two days until I leave for DC. I'm still getting my schedule organized...

Yes, sad that MJ will be remembered as a freak by so many. He was a victim, IMHO.

I was mad that NPR juxtaposed the MJ story with the Farrah story, and said she was famous for her "cheesecake poster" from the 70's. No need to use derogatory terms, really.

Posted by: abeac1 | June 26, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

MJ was surely part of the soundtrack of our lives, but I am with bc, feeling the last best of his work was 'Ben'.

And in other news, my tomatoe plants are blooming and my peas are up and starting to make tendrils. Soon they will bloom too. I must rush now, or they won't be watered before I leave for work, and that would, of course, be the end of any hope of tomatoes and tomatoes.

Posted by: --dr-- | June 26, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Hey, ftb! Did you get your new 'puter?

Posted by: Yoki | June 26, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Nope, not yet, Yoki. It's on its way, though. I expect to get it sometime early next week. I did, however, get the Mac version of Office and the VMware Fusion. I still have to get the OS for the PC side of the Mac. I only have one or two programs that I have to run on Windows (like Timeslips) which have no Mac equivalents. I have found out that Microcenter carries XP, so I'm going to carve out some time over the weekend to go get it.

There may be others in the firm who will convert to a Mac, but it won't happen soon enough to use the Mac version of keeping track of time. Too bad, that, because otherwise I wouldn't use anything on the Windows side, which is, after all, the point!

Okay, now I *really* have to work. Stop distracting me! *snort*

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | June 26, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

*not faxin' shiny things to ftb* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 26, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Who are you trying to convince? Jackson stole every move he knew from James Brown, Little Richard, and countless others that came before him. I saw J. Brown on numerous occasions, and every move he made was faster, cleaner, and better executed than any Jackson ever made. James Brown's voice was much stronger and more mature and had ten times the range of Jackson's. By comparison Jackson's voice as a ten-year-old boy was better than average, but absolutely no better than Donnie Osmond's. Yet, Jackson never grew up, and neither did his voice. Jackson lived in relative exile and died as an accused child sex offender. Where is Donnie Osmond today? Oh, Donnie is probably at home with his family living a normal happy life. Sorry Donnie. But then, mama always said "If you can't say something nice..."

Posted by: JD15 | June 26, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Joel, you've nailed it as usual. I feel the same way--and remember rewinding that clip over and over again as a kid, certain that the moonwalk was some kind of special effect.

Posted by: TheGeans | June 26, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse


The way the industry is today, no one will never even come close to to selling as many records has him. No matter what genre of music they are in. Let alone obtain 8 GRAMMYS IN ONE NIGHT!

RIP Michael Jackson - The REAL King!!!!

Posted by: BigSmooov | June 26, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

It is a sad day. I'll remember M.J. for all the good music and the pleasure I experienced listen to it, the aw and envy I felt watching him dance and perform. People usually only remember the good things when people look back on a persons life, i will also.

Posted by: StevG | June 26, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all.

I showed DC the Thriller video. Her reaction? "Mummies and werewolves. Charming."

Off to dive into paperwork. Have a happy day all.

Posted by: LostInThought | June 26, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Off-topic, Brag might be pleased to know that Chile is likely to join OPEC (the rich-country club) this fall. That means it's joining the first world. Like California, but southern-hemisphere.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | June 26, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Am on the road, but new microkit coming momentarily.

Posted by: joelache | June 26, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Here's a quote from the article by Monica Hesse.

"In the end, sometimes our reactions were divorced from reason and rationale, and had nothing to do with how we felt about him. They were reactions born of the raw emotion that comes when a seam in the fabric of our culture unravels, when someone as undeniably monumental as Michael Jackson dies."

I think there is a lot of truth in this.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | June 26, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

I'm still waiting for the day when JA posts a comma as a Kit. Or perhaps a semicolon if he's feeling his oats.

Posted by: Scottynuke | June 26, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse


Before I talk I should read a book.
But there's one thing that I do know.
There's a lot of ruins In Mesopotamia

Posted by: russianthistle | June 26, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

We could find plenty to say about a comma, or even a semicolon (my personal favorite punctuation), but we'd manage to go off kit just as quickly as ever!

Posted by: -TBG- | June 26, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

New kit!

Posted by: -TBG- | June 26, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

I remember sitting at a party in Coldwater Canyon in 1979, listening to "Off the Wall" on a very good stereo. I hardly knew anyone at the party and the "host" was a R&B musician who had yet to appear. I remember being amazed at how much more sophisticated this work was compared to what I'd considered Jackson's "Bubblegum Motown" sound. It was bright pop with a jazzy edge and seemed to pioneer a new direction in R&B. I don't remember anything else about that party.

Jackson's last years were a strange mixture of collossel self-indulgence and meager self-awareness. He seemed to me more pathetic than predatory. His amorality came with an absense of guile. His contradictions are what make him controversial still.


Posted by: jp1954 | June 26, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

! ... ?

Posted by: kbertocci | June 26, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Michael Jackson will not be missed by thinking, normal people. Maybe the freak-obsessed media might miss him, maybe they are working through issues of their own and have normalized pedophilia, anti-social and dangerous behavior. Maybe they want to idolize ANYONE who is black, which does a tremendous disservice to those who did succeed who are also black and have managed not to sexually abuse children, committ financial fraud, tax evasion, and pathetic amoral behavior. Please spare us the rationalization of a psychotic sociopath.

I would rather salute Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Gladys Knight, The Commodores, Earth Wind and Fire, Smokey Robinson. They managed not to molest children while having brilliant careers.

Michael Jackson is not worthy of hero worship.

Posted by: Cornell1984 | June 26, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Michael Jackson will be missed by normal people because I'M NORMAL AND I MISS HIM. Even though, I'm only 25yrs old, I grew up listening to all his music and have been a huge fan as long as I can remember. Michael was the best entertainer for both the 20th and 21st century, he will always be the King Of Pop and like Elvis he will live forever through his music.

As for the charges of molestation, MICHEAL JACKSON WAS FOUND NOT GUILTY TO ALL CHARGES. It is sad to say that the parents of those children were only after money. Jay Leno who admits to not liking Michael Jackson testified on his behalf stating that the family of this child tried to get money from him and was sure they were trying to do the same to Michael Jackson.

Rest in Peace Michael, your true fans will always remember you for the great entertainer you were!

I feel as a part of my childhood has gone with him, since he will always be my childhood hero.

Posted by: jazzyhay | June 26, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

The man was a pedophile for God's sake! scuse me, an "alleged" pedophile. $25 million buys you a lot! Many crimes in this world are forgivable but this is not one of them.

Posted by: JohnMike | June 26, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

It's strange. From about '91 onward, Michael just fell off a cliff, chased & embraced by his private demons. At that point, I no longer looked to him for the next hit. He was just too creepy. However, since his death, I haven't thought much about his turmoils and transgressions; instead, I have reminisced on his extraordinary catalog, clips and talent and how much he affected the lives of so many. His impact on music and the world is beyond measure. It's just tragic that he was never allowed to be the normal kid he should have been. I'm sure he would have turned out much differently if he had been given unconditional love and that chance.

I choose to remember MJ at the height of his talent; and for the music he made that really did help form the soundtrack of our lives. May he rest in peace, finally.

Posted by: BaileyReynolds | June 26, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

And you are so sure because you saw him do it and have proof of it. There was no proof the law of the land "innocent until proven guilty." So what your saying is that if I say JohnMike molested my child then he shoud go to prison because i said so, eventhough there is no physical or psychological proof. Hearsay is not liable in court. He had right to fair trial and jury end results were INNOCENT, unless anyone can prove otherwise he was and is innocent.

Posted by: jazzyhay | June 26, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

I was 7 in 1984 and my best friend and I went to Sears looking for white gloves. We figured we could buy a pack of two and split them. We attempted break dancing to the Thriller album. I may have been the only Jewish 7 year old break dancer...maybe not.

Posted by: authorofpoetry | June 26, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

I agree with you, but let the small stuff go. Write us a great column with your feelings. That's what MJ would want you to do.

Posted by: robinhood2 | June 26, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

two the family of michael jackson, i am so sorry for your lose and i wanted to let you no that you are in my prayers,

Posted by: seattleseahawks83607 | June 26, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Michael broke the color barrier on MTV. They would not play any r and b just rock yes they played Bob Marley but that was it. When MTV was threaten by CBS records that if they did not play him they would pull all there video's.
They relented and of course the rest is history. He was the best thing that ever happened to MTV. You look at any other video's that came out the same time as his early 80's video's and they all look so dated. His stand the test of time.
Michael I could go on and on how much joy you brought me through your music.
RIP and I truly hope you have found peace finally.

Posted by: mmalewitz | June 26, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

In the life of Michael Jackson and Britney Spears, I can see how the devil destroys a person. Liberalism, homosexuality, promiscuity, etc.

Anybody who bought his album is an accomplice to his tragic death. And if people are not careful who they idolize, they may end up with that person in his "resting place" where sadly, there is no rest.

I feel sad for the people who are mourning his death. The guy will lead you to his "resting place" where sadly, there is no rest and that's FOREVER.

Posted by: spidermean2 | June 25, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse


OH PLEASE SHUT UP!! What the hell is wrong with you? Save your sanctimonious BS for and issue deserving of it!

Posted by: Angryman | June 26, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Such a brilliant talent, and such a sad life. What inner demons drove such a handsome young lad to morph into the bizarre creature he became? And what profound need caused him to seek love so inappropriately? May his sins be forgiven and his troubled soul now rest in peace.

Posted by: indvoter37 | June 26, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

As I write on my blog,


My first and sustaining reaction to Michael Jackson’ apparently drug-induced death is good riddance. Yes, good riddance. The world is better off without him as this reduces the world by one person who has a history of homosexual pedophilia.

Jackson will forever be remembered for his abuse of little boys. While his money paid off victims and secured legal freedom to avoid accountability, he cannot, even in death, avoid the terrible stain of his actions.

Good riddance.

Posted by: MatthewWeaver | June 26, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Hey Mathewweaver or whatever! I ditto Angrymans response above your post. SHUTUP! Why can't you just acknowledge the mans talent. Cause ya see you can't really slam him like you did & then just pretend like he wasn't the biggest musical GENIUS of our time. You can try but you just end up sounding well let's see....san ctimonious BS pretty much sums it up. Truth is my friend MJ contributed not only huge amounts of money but his time & talent to causes which DID make this world a better place. What the h... have YOU contributed??? Enlighten us PLEASE!!! Oh that's right you run your mouth so you can set all of us straight, right?? Look at the comments. Most people "get it" so I guess you've got alot of people to "straighten out". Better get to work!

Posted by: jlalewicz | June 26, 2009 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Altough I was not blessed with the oppurtunity of growing up with the King of Pop, I have grown not only to love him as an entertainer, but also as a person and humanitarian. Even if he really was a predator,(which I strongly believe he wasn't), that doesn't put a damper in the love I have towards him. If anything it reminds everyone that he isn't perfect,and sins just like everybody else.I have respect for anybody that breaks through boundaries, and MJ did the unthinkable. He shows what hard work, dedication, and talent can do for a person. The entertainment industry will never be the same without him. My heart goes out to his children.

Posted by: snowcone366 | June 27, 2009 2:25 AM | Report abuse

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