By Luke Thomas
June 26, 2009
As a friend and I were having lunch yesterday, we heard the tragic news of Michael Jackson’s passing. A fellow patron stood to announce the legendary King of Pop is dead. At just 50 years of age, Jackson reportedly died from cardiac arrest following several years of Class-A pain medication abuse, medications his lawyer said were used to treat physical maladies sustained during various sold out performances.
But the sad truth is, Jackson died a broken man, emotionally and financially. He spent the last few years of his life alone, trying to mask the pain of humiliation after accusations of child molestation were lodged against him, allegations that were never proved true.
And though I wasn’t one of his millions of die-hard fans, I recognized Jackson for his sublime talents, his ability to transfix audiences across the world, and the volumes of music he created that will be played for decades to come, not to mention his signature Moonwalk that proved Jackson was more than a consummate artist and performer.
And though Jackson was eccentric, never comfortable with his identity and forever morphing from his boyish good looks into an unrecognizable reflection of his inner turmoil, he was largely misunderstood, a man-child trying to create in other children the childhood he never had.
As the shock of Jackson’s passing turned into disbelief, a patron in the restaurant stood boldly to proclaim: “Michael Jackson was bigger than Jesus. And though he may have died today, he will rise again.”
Rest in peace, Michael. The world is mourning the loss of a true and great legend.