So, I've been avoiding writing a post about Michael Jackson. But, I can't hold back any more. Here is my quick take.
Like most children of the 80's, I have strong memories of Michael Jackson. For a period of time watching the Thriller video every hour on the hour was not only a top priority, but also a major bonding experience for me and my brother. So I was quite sad to hear of his death. I choose to remember the good. I truly believe that while he did some questionable and even inappropriate things, he never did anything to hurt a child in any way. I just don't think he was capable of that. A few years back I had the unique privilege of working at a party held for Cher and all her tour crew. One member of the entourage was a costume designer who had worked with Michael Jackson. He felt that MJ was a really good person who was completely out of touch with reality. (Not earth-shattering news, but interesting to hear that from an insider.) I think that pretty well sums up his life.
I was struck by Al Sharpton's words. When speaking to Michael Jackson's children, he said that there was nothing strange about him. Huh? This man won countless awards, gathered many records for his albums and singles, had a giant amusement park on his home property, lived with lots of different exotic animals; the list could go on and on. That's all pretty strange. Strange, unique, different, dontcha think? I get what Rev. Sharpton was getting at- he was telling the kids not to think about the negative things they are going to hear; as well as telling the world not to bother them with that. His intention was good, but the wording wasn't quite right. I wish I could tell those kids to embrace the strange. (at least the "good strange") Because the strangeness is what made him who he was. And the same is true of all of us. Our unique idiosyncrasies are what make us who we are. Don't think you are strange? Well, either you are wrong or I feel sorry for you. We are all created unique. Embrace the strange.