Thursday, June 25, 2009


Everyone is talking about it. The news is raging with it. It was one of those spectacular days that remain in the collective memory of us all. Michael Jackson has died.

Even if you did not know Michael Jackson, you knew him when you thought about it. When you heard a song via some electronic media and thought that the music was appropriate for the moment, a lot of the time you were appreciating Michael Jackson.

He was the star of a family of African-American musical performers from Gary, Indiana. He was a mystery as a person. He was inventive and his "moon walk" won acclaim from everyone who enjoyed music and dance. Go to and watch a video of his famous thriller performance.

Regardless of what anyone thought of him, Michael Jackson was the kind of icon that comes easily to mind as a symbol of his time.

He lived and died in the fifty year period stretching from 1959 to 2009. He was like the country and the world in which he lived; constantly changing and re-defining himself. He went from sweet little brother of the Jackson Five to make his own mark in his own right, but he was always a blur of change and many wondered if he really knew what he wanted. In this way, he was a reflection of his time.

Nevertheless, whether you considered him a deviant or a genius, his impact on the world was gargantuan.

And so it is with the world as we face intense changes in the way we inhabit our planet. Those changes haunt and chase us and will soon overtake us. While the future is no longer a concern for Michael Jackson, the remaining population of the planet must accept constant changes. And whistling past the graveyard is no way to achieve that acceptance. Reality cannot be denied. One thing is for sure, however. The journey forward will be better thanks to the music of Michael Jackson.