If you read just one thing about Michael Jackson in the wake of his untimely death, make it this beautiful rumination by Utne visionary Adrienne Maree Brown. “Michael Jackson, who’s loving you?” is a lovely personal remembrance, and a gentle reminder of the role we all played in his fall from grace. Here's an excerpt:
When the rumors and the truth were all too prevalent (the children, both his and others), and he wasn’t getting the psychological support and accountability he needed, we turned from him and derided him. We made the distinction of loving the child, but ridiculing the man.
How many times did his heart break before this? How many times did he experience happiness, community, belonging and love in his life, in his off-the-stage life?
My entire life is framed by his songs. I have had ecstatic moments to his music while high, while drunk, while sober, while sad, while in love, while in heartbreak. It seems silly to feel this way over a pop singer, and yet it's crucial to feel this way over an artist who reshaped how we understand music, movement and communication. He was at every good party I ever attended (which is where I have felt more release and unity with other people than just about anywhere else).
I suspect he always will be.
Image by stylespion, licensed under Creative Commons.