Michael Jackson: the king is dead

By Razib Khan | June 25, 2009 8:59 pm

I was out and about doing errands when a friend called me to tell me that Michael Jackson had died. My first reaction was to utter an expletive. I wasn’t sad, I didn’t think this was a false report. I didn’t know how to react. It’s as if a friend calls you and tells you that the Rocky Mountains had disappeared. The very configuration of the pop culture firmament has shifted before our very eyes. Jackson’s music career had long waned in the United States, for most of my lifetime he’d been more of a cultural than musical phenomenon. I didn’t think of Michael Jackson very often, but I always assumed he’d be around as a background condition. I noticed that even the professional sidewalk signature gatherers were departing from their script and were chatting up strangers about Jackson’s death instead of the environment or whatever they normally talked up.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Culture
  • sueanne

    May Allah bless his sould and bless us all.

  • toby

    Elvis is dead, & two of the Beatles has passed away.
    It is as if the angels that smiled over my youth have departed.
    Now a new generation will mourn the passing of their own angel who lit up their formative years with his music.
    I was never a fan of the music, but I instinctively felt a bond with the handsome, sexy black youth and then man. What happened after that was terribly sad, and I only hope he is at peace.

  • http://bluetenlese.wordpress.com M. Möhling

    > May Allah bless his sould and bless us all
    Someone thought so, too. Or didn’t he? Funky tunes, though. Else, nil nisi bonum.

  • http://www.rs-item.com runescape money

    Even in death people still have bad things to say runescape accounts. Cant we accept and move on he lived his life not pleasing to most of us runescape gold, but it was his life and his journey now it’s over let him go and rest in peace.

  • http://www.garantitatil.com Likya Turu

    Our youth is a real phenomenon that was a real king, he was.
    I think that drugs caused his early death

  • Josh

    You captured exactly how I felt about it. “Like the Rocky Mountains disappeared” was perfect. It’s just a weird reality check when even such an ingrained part of our culture can disappear like that.

  • http://too-write.com Ben

    The world is a little darker now the spark of creative genius that was Michael has left us forever.
    I’ve put a tribute to him up here. Feel free to visit and leave a comment.

  • Bob

    Of course now with MJ gone, it’s just Walmart that has little boy’s pants half off!
    I guess the little boys will just have priests now to take care of their needs.
    cus.gus@hotmail.com

  • mnuez

    Impressed by how quickly news of Jackson’s demise spread such that I and everyone on the bus I was riding on knew the news before the New York Times did (I was on my G1 searching “jackson” on Google News as soon as the story broke and NOBODY had it) I chanced on an experiment. Curious to see how fast news actually CAN travel, I furrowed my brow while staring intently at my G1’s screen and whispered in horrified shock: “Obama’s been shot.”
    The experiment had to be cut short after only three seconds considering how I was in New York on a bus filled with black people.
    As for Jacko… I mean, I’m glad he’s dead of course but really, how is it possible to care? Or to compare him with the Rocky Mountains or anything else of longer-standing permanence? He was a momentary fad and nothing more, we’re not talking about Ancient Egyptian Civilization or South America here. We’re talking abut a useless, silly little fad that excited young spongy minds for a few months. Absolutely Nothing.

  • Woody Tanaka

    Not to pee on the party, but come on, now. Anyone who paid the least bit of attention over the last 15-20 years HAD to notice that the man was a train wreck waiting to happen. I’m surprised he lasted as long as he did.

  • tork

    Cripes, even ScienceBlogs is infected by this celebrity shit now.
    I didn’t know how to react.
    Some famous singer died. What’s to react? I went “huh” and continued my day. I avoid celebrity gossip like rape, and even I knew the guy was headed for an early grave.
    It’s as if a friend calls you and tells you that the Rocky Mountains had disappeared.
    Are you completely high? Recent head injury? Was that comparison supposed to contain even an atom of sanity?
    You captured exactly how I felt about it. “Like the Rocky Mountains disappeared” was perfect.
    No, it is insane celebrity worship.
    It’s just a weird reality check when even such an ingrained part of our culture can disappear like that.
    You need a reality check that a self destructive person can drop dead? Is this science blogs or People magazine?
    The world is a little darker now the spark of creative genius that was Michael has left us forever.
    The spark was gone 15 years ago. Where have you been? There’s other talent out there, much of it better and more relevant. And more is born every day.
    I’ve put a tribute to him up here. Feel free to visit and leave a comment.
    Here’s some advice: get a life.

  • sage

    “As for Jacko… I mean, I’m glad he’s dead of course”
    Said the anonymouse.
    *yawn*

  • sage

    Tsk tsk, tork! Unloading passionate disdain towards a singer you pretend you feel indifference towards is so unbecoming. Chill out and go listen to your Foreigner vinyl collection. It’ll pass, I promise you. :thumbsup:

  • http://entitledtoanopinion.wordpress.com TGGP

    I’m impressed by the MMORPG spam-bot and indifferent to the news story.

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This blog is about evolution, genetics, genomics and their interstices. Please beware that comments are aggressively moderated. Uncivil or churlish comments will likely get you banned immediately, so make any contribution count!

About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at http://www.razib.com

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