So, Michael Jackson is dead.
Forgive me for reacting to Darren’s blog post so late. I have an excuse. I was at Glastonbury festival when they reported the news.
The manner in which I first heard of Michael Jackson’s death was thoroughly surreal; a thousand people were chanting ‘Eeeeeh heeee’, Bo Selecta-stylee, throughout the field in which I was camped.
Far more surreal than this, was my ability to pursue this news and gather further information quickly and easily. Despite being in the middle of a field, I and everybody else had total, total access to the news media. I didn’t have access to a decent toilet or any way to wash, yet I had access to Twitter, BBC News and a printed newspaper.
Grubby, sweaty and smelly, I spent the following morning catching up with the news in the Guardian in The Tiny Tea Tent. I’m therefore proud to have combined five of modern Britain’s favourite pasttimes in one go: Drinking tea, sitting down, being at an open air festival, reading the weekend papers, and obsessing over trashy celebrity stories.
It’s well known that celebrities that die before their time have a way of shining up and looking less grubby; freed of all the dirt and intrigue that plagues them during life. I think this is true of Jacko, poor chap. The news media had to mention the alleged child abuse, of course. But few people would deny that Michael Jackson seems to have acquired at least a partial halo since his death.
And the man has never seemed so fascinating. I’ve already got hold of a copy of his greatest hits, and shall probably buy the first posthumous biography.
Y’know, it’s funny, but now that he’s gone, I think we’re all going to miss him. Whatever you might have thought of him, he was an amazing performer, and a true otherworldly, iconic, untouchable entertainer of the old school, like Liberace, Marylyn Monroe or Mark Bolan. In the words of The Bard, ‘we shall never again see his like’.