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The King of Pop Joins the King of Rock-and-Roll
June 25, 2009 3:03 PM   Subscribe

Reports: Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, has died. He had been preparing in Bel Air for a 50-gig run at London's O2 Arena, his first shows in 12 years when he collapsed due to cardiac arrest and was rushed this afternoon to UCLA Medical Center.
posted by ericb (319 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: We have a keeper. -- cortex



 
More! More!
posted by gman at 3:04 PM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Man, cortex's fingers must be burnin'
posted by eyeballkid at 3:04 PM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


I just hope they saved all those spare Michael Jackson parts over the years. Perhaps they can reassemble him?
posted by snofoam at 3:04 PM on June 25, 2009 [11 favorites]


Apparently you should stop when you've had enough.

I'm gonna milk this joke for all its worth
posted by furtive at 3:05 PM on June 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


I vote we keep this one.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:05 PM on June 25, 2009


Could this be the one?
posted by GuyZero at 3:05 PM on June 25, 2009


Cue, Cortex.
posted by run"monty at 3:05 PM on June 25, 2009


Also, LA Times sez coma.
posted by GuyZero at 3:05 PM on June 25, 2009


What the fuck do the mods want in an MJ obit post? A full career retrospective and fresh autopsy photos? Leave this one up so we can get on with posting dots and pedo jokes.
posted by bunnytricks at 3:06 PM on June 25, 2009 [18 favorites]


I was wondering how well he'd cope with a 50 gig run. That would have been harsh on a man half his age.
posted by Jilder at 3:06 PM on June 25, 2009


What's the record for most deleted threads on one topic?
posted by friendlyjuan at 3:06 PM on June 25, 2009


I vote that he STILL hasn't been confirmed as dead and that this is still a weak and shitty post for such a storied career and fascinating figure. FLAGGED.
posted by padraigin at 3:06 PM on June 25, 2009


Fuck it, it's better than the last three.
posted by cortex at 3:06 PM on June 25, 2009 [21 favorites]


This one is marginally better, but until somebody other than TMZ reports the guy's death, maybe we're being premature.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:06 PM on June 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


This post makes me want to "Scream."

Michael are you ok, are you ok, Michael?

ET FUCKING CETERA.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 3:06 PM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


In before deletion!
posted by kaseijin at 3:06 PM on June 25, 2009


Because I'm dead, (he's dead) I'm dead (he's dead). I'm really, really dead.
posted by hal9k at 3:06 PM on June 25, 2009


At least there's a chance we'll be spared endless Farrah Fawcett tributes if this turns out to be accurate.
posted by Lolie at 3:06 PM on June 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


Fuck it and move on.
posted by GuyZero at 3:07 PM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


I know it takes a lot to try to ignore the past twenty years of his life, but if you do, what an enormously talented musician and performer he was. Wow.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 3:07 PM on June 25, 2009 [5 favorites]


I kind of don't trust TMZ. Can't we get some tweets from LaToya or something?
posted by booknerd at 3:07 PM on June 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


You broke cortex. You bastards!
posted by maudlin at 3:07 PM on June 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


Fuck it dude, mark it a 0!
posted by TungstenChef at 3:07 PM on June 25, 2009


No.
posted by fixedgear at 3:08 PM on June 25, 2009


What AZ said. Seriously, TMZ?
posted by box at 3:08 PM on June 25, 2009


Lots of death on the blue today. Weird.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 3:08 PM on June 25, 2009


Well, at least the embalmers will have it easy.

Too soon?

Well, we can finally lay the question to rest: white.

Seriously?

They should exhume his corpse to recreate the video to Thriller!

Ok, I'll stop now.

On a more serious note: .
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 3:08 PM on June 25, 2009 [5 favorites]


He's molesting angels now...
posted by infinitywaltz at 3:08 PM on June 25, 2009 [13 favorites]


Sadly fitting to have his time of career death called by TMZ.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:08 PM on June 25, 2009


In Neverland, death isn't real.
posted by moonbird at 3:08 PM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Culture vultures, we.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 3:08 PM on June 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


It's not certain yet - FLAG! Major news services say he's alive.
posted by Ber at 3:09 PM on June 25, 2009


Not one site or news organization other than TMZ (the epitome of gossip schadenfreude) is reporting that he's died. WashPost.

Can we please can the posts to unverified gossip columns until something official is released?
posted by zarq at 3:09 PM on June 25, 2009


Just as in nature, only the strongest, most hardy threads can survive long enough to spawn massive amounts of comments.
posted by malaprohibita at 3:09 PM on June 25, 2009


Yeah, other sources right now are saying he wasn't breathing when he arrived at the hospital and so far, the only people saying he died are people quoting TMZ.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:09 PM on June 25, 2009


Ease on down the road, little scarecrow.
posted by snofoam at 3:10 PM on June 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


I guess this means we'll never get the giant robot mechajackson wandering the Vegas desert, shooting lasers from its eyes.

A moment of silence for my dreams of mechajackson…
posted by klangklangston at 3:10 PM on June 25, 2009 [7 favorites]


I know it takes a lot to try to ignore the past twenty years of his life.

Which is why I won't be.

I can't wait to see the skeletons that come out after this if it's legit.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 3:10 PM on June 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


WAS HE ALONE?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:10 PM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


I hereby declare all Michael Jackson jokes to be "too soon."
posted by Phssthpok at 3:10 PM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


As crazy and sad as he was in his later years, he still gave us "Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough," and for that I'm grateful.

.
posted by kaseijin at 3:10 PM on June 25, 2009 [7 favorites]


Wow.
I'm kind of shocked.
I didn't listen to his music, and thought he was crazy as hell, but... wow.
RIP, Moonwalker.
posted by Ratio at 3:10 PM on June 25, 2009




There are Conflicting reports.
posted by anazgnos at 3:10 PM on June 25, 2009 [7 favorites]


Bet you a dollar we don't get through the thread without a pedophilia reference

Which is a shame, considering the music the man made in his early days. It was good, and it deserves to be remembered. But people are going to remember him less as a musician and more as a plastic-faced, youth-obsessed freak. The fact that he made some good songs in the 80s isn't really why he was still newsworthy.

I've reconsidered it all, and here's a . for him, in memory of his music. If you look close you can see that it's wearing a single sequin-bedecked glove.
posted by caution live frogs at 3:11 PM on June 25, 2009


Dead or not, this event has put Michael Jackson's music in my head, making today a bad day.
posted by gurple at 3:11 PM on June 25, 2009


TMZ? Srsly?
posted by TungstenChef at 3:11 PM on June 25, 2009


LA Times says he's in a coma.

So now I think he's probably dead.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:11 PM on June 25, 2009


TMZ reports you've gone away
I don't listen to a word they say
They don't see you like I do
I wish they would try to
I'm something something something
If they had a friend like Ben Michael.

Sad news regardless.
posted by Metroid Baby at 3:12 PM on June 25, 2009


Someone please compile a better obit post, please.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 3:12 PM on June 25, 2009


We're going to find out in a couple of days that he had his testicles replaced with rhinestones the size of baby fists, and his sequined glove covered the withered zombie-like transplanted hand of Howard Hughes that Elizabeth Taylor bought for him from some West Hollywood ghoul.
posted by bunnytricks at 3:12 PM on June 25, 2009 [5 favorites]


I'm upset, I've already gone bowling today, so I can't go "Fuck it, let's go bowling."
posted by hellojed at 3:13 PM on June 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


(...aaaaand, I was right)
posted by caution live frogs at 3:13 PM on June 25, 2009


well, I think this is really tragic and very sad if true. The guy went loony in his later years but he recorded some of the most awesome music ever IMHO.
posted by bluesky43 at 3:13 PM on June 25, 2009


He's HIStory?

Or maybe reports are premature and we'll see TMZ backsliding on this one.
posted by 7segment at 3:13 PM on June 25, 2009


He was such a beautiful little boy, with such a wonderful voice.

.
posted by rtha at 3:13 PM on June 25, 2009 [9 favorites]


What the hell? There is no confirmation of his death. Why does TMZ have "RIP" at the top and then "he's not dead" in the actual "story".

It's nuts though. I would like to think 50 is young, especially since my parents will be hitting that mark in like a year or 2.
posted by djduckie at 3:14 PM on June 25, 2009


autoerotic asphyxiation?
posted by exlotuseater at 3:14 PM on June 25, 2009


RIP MJ
posted by cholly at 3:14 PM on June 25, 2009


Written just this morning...

Rolling Stone: Inside Michael Jackson’s Troubled London Comeback.
posted by ericb at 3:14 PM on June 25, 2009


I know it takes a lot to try to ignore the past twenty years of his life, but if you do, what an enormously talented musician and performer he was. Wow.

I remember being a teenager in the seventies and all the US teen magazines constantly running "King of Pop" type stories comparing David Cassidy, Donny Osmond, and Michael Jackson. One of those teen idols went on to earn that title. It is sad that his musical genius is now so overshadowed by his personal failings, but his contribution to the music of his time will make for some awesome retrospectives.
posted by Lolie at 3:14 PM on June 25, 2009


(...aaaaand, I was right)

Yes, you were right that someone would mention pedophilia in a discussion of Michael Jackson. Your oracular powers are truly astounding.
posted by mr_roboto at 3:14 PM on June 25, 2009 [7 favorites]


Jeezy Creezy. TMZ IS NOT A VALID NEWS SOURCE.
posted by elfgirl at 3:14 PM on June 25, 2009


I hope someone is preparing a decent obit post in case this winds up being true, and that a legit obit knocks this one off the board.
posted by sjuhawk31 at 3:14 PM on June 25, 2009


now I'm just spreading rumors.
posted by exlotuseater at 3:14 PM on June 25, 2009


I had kind of hoped for a redemption where he makes a big comeback and we all love him again. Sad ending. Seems like he could use the rest though.
posted by frenetic at 3:15 PM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Bet you a dollar we don't get through the thread without a pedophilia reference

But how long til we invoke Godwin's Law?
posted by moonbird at 3:15 PM on June 25, 2009


I think I'll deactivate my twitter account for the next 24 hours...
posted by kolophon at 3:15 PM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


.

(you stay classy metafilter)
posted by felix betachat at 3:15 PM on June 25, 2009


Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett on the same day? Who will care about Mark, or Mike, or Mick San-something now? Oh, the news. Gotta admit I always liked Michael singing "I Don't Know why I Love You," when he was a child.,
posted by emhutchinson at 3:16 PM on June 25, 2009


Are we going to trust the 'razzis?? STOP CLICKING ON TMZ's STORY so we can get some answers..
posted by JaiMahodara at 3:16 PM on June 25, 2009


Maybe he just looked dead?
posted by nomisxid at 3:16 PM on June 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


TMZ IS NOT A VALID NEWS SOURCE.

My guess is that TMZ is jumping the gun so they can claim to have broken the story. But even if it is a coma my guess is he's not going to do those shows in London.
posted by GuyZero at 3:16 PM on June 25, 2009


He's faking.
posted by chugg at 3:16 PM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


My guess is that TMZ is jumping the gun so they can claim to have broken the story.

It worked for Drudge.
posted by smackfu at 3:17 PM on June 25, 2009


Techno music called it 17 years ago. They just got the cause of death wrong.

Obscure FM - Michael Jackson Is In Heaven Now (RADIO EDIT)
posted by DefendBrooklyn at 3:17 PM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


I second Guyzero, TMZ has taken a chance.
posted by elpapacito at 3:17 PM on June 25, 2009


Who's going to be the new champion of beer reviewing now?
posted by porn in the woods at 3:17 PM on June 25, 2009 [5 favorites]


He went from black to white to blue.
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:17 PM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Celebrity tragedy coming in threes: Ed McMahon. Farah Fawcett. Michael Jackson.
posted by ericb at 3:18 PM on June 25, 2009


TMZ IS NOT A VALID NEWS SOURCE.

For Michael Jackson, it kind of is.
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:18 PM on June 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


Farah Fawcett, Ed McMahon and Michael Jackson? God's looking for the best fucking Tonight Show ever. Watch out Don Rickles!
posted by geoff. at 3:18 PM on June 25, 2009 [5 favorites]


Well so much for the 'realtime' usefulness of Twitter because their search stream is useless.
posted by PenDevil at 3:18 PM on June 25, 2009


Whether his death comes now or not, I can't help but thinking that at least, and at last, someone who ultimately had a VERY troubled and wacked-out life is getting some peace.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:19 PM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


I've never seen a soon-to-be-deleted post. The blue goes crazy! I love it.
posted by AzzaMcKazza at 3:19 PM on June 25, 2009


LA Times confirms.
posted by smackfu at 3:19 PM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Holy crap. Weird thread. I'll save my eulogizin' for later.
2:46 PM PST: Pop star Michael Jackson is in a coma and his family is arriving at his bedside, a law enforcement source told The Times.

Jackson was rushed to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center this afternoon by Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics.

Fire Capt. Steve Ruda said paramedics responded to a call at Jackson's home at 12:26 p.m. He was not breathing when they arrived.
posted by jabberjaw at 3:19 PM on June 25, 2009


Bet you a dollar we don't get through the thread without a pedophilia reference

Which is a shame, considering the music the man made in his early days.


Past successes should overshadow more recent improprieties? I'm guessing that in this thread we'll end up talking about both (and hopefully get some nice personal anecdotes in the process).
posted by ODiV at 3:19 PM on June 25, 2009


No less a source than RADAR ONLINE has confirmed it.
posted by granted at 3:19 PM on June 25, 2009


.
posted by ColdChef at 3:19 PM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


I heard Perez Hilton twittered that MJ wasn't breathing and people called 911 across the country and 111 in a few other places.
posted by GuyZero at 3:19 PM on June 25, 2009


L.A. Times now saying he's dead.

rest easy, michael
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:20 PM on June 25, 2009


Well, then:
3:15 p.m.: Pop star Michael Jackson was pronounced dead by doctors this afternoon after arriving at a hospital in a deep coma, city and law enforcement sources told The Times.]
posted by jabberjaw at 3:20 PM on June 25, 2009


.
posted by starman at 3:20 PM on June 25, 2009


He made some great songs and helped define an era, but for many, if not most, his music was overshadowed by the incredibly larger-than-life freak show that he became. It's sad to see another human die, but his loss at this stage is no great tragedy unless you work for a gossip paper.

I'm looking forward to seeing a nice little retrospective piece on the news covering his amazing music career. But the thing I'll Tivo will be the 2 hour tour of his crazy past 20+ years.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 3:20 PM on June 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


Michael Jackson was the ultimate pop star when I was kid in the early 80s -- I loved his music then, and the "Thriller" video remains one of the best ever made. I still listen to and love his better tracks now and then, including "Dance With You", "Don't Stop Til You Get Enough", "Billy Jean", and "Beat It". He was a weirdo, but he was an enormously talented, fascinating weirdo. I'm sad that he's dead and I'm sorry for those who loved him.

.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 3:20 PM on June 25, 2009 [8 favorites]


LA Times confirms.

I fail
posted by granted at 3:20 PM on June 25, 2009


.
posted by threetoed at 3:20 PM on June 25, 2009


Yea Guy.

Elfgirl, I meant stop clicking on their story so they stop making $$ on ads and a different, reputable source will get paid for doing better journalism than is currently underway..really though I'm slowly becoming more and more saddened as I give up on dreams of a dance song that can rival Billy Jean..

J Tims has just never been bad enough for me.
posted by JaiMahodara at 3:21 PM on June 25, 2009


. One of the finest musicians of the twentieth and twentyfirst centuries.
posted by By The Grace of God at 3:21 PM on June 25, 2009


publicity stunt
posted by Capt Jingo at 3:21 PM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


TMZ IS NOT A VALID NEWS SOURCE.

I totally agree with that, but the thing is, TMZ has a way of getting inside information. They knew all sorts of things about Anna Nicole's death, they got the police photos of Rhianna's face after she was beat, and they knew the peculiar circumstances in David Carradine's hotel room, all before anyone else reported it. The epitome of journalism they are not; but the skeezy bastards seem to have their ways.
posted by Ugh at 3:21 PM on June 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


CNN: In a coma.
posted by uaudio at 3:21 PM on June 25, 2009


You're a vegetableeee you're a vegetableeee
posted by pwally at 3:22 PM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


.
posted by Sailormom at 3:22 PM on June 25, 2009


I wish we could restart this thread.
posted by lalex at 3:22 PM on June 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


"There have been concerns about Jackson's health in recent years but the promoters of the London shows, AEG Live, said in March that Jackson had passed a 4-1/2 hour physical examination with independent doctors."*
posted by ericb at 3:22 PM on June 25, 2009


AP is quoting his father and police officers as sources. No confirmation of death but it isn't unusual to go the futile life support route or to delay announcing celebrity deaths.

Who on earth would get custody of the children?
posted by Lolie at 3:22 PM on June 25, 2009


.
posted by fixedgear at 3:22 PM on June 25, 2009


Jesus, the King of Pop deserves an obit post about 47,000,000–109,000,000X better than this one.
posted by NolanRyanHatesMatches at 3:23 PM on June 25, 2009 [7 favorites]


Well, we should all be limbering up now. I imagine we'll all be dancing with him in a few hours.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 3:23 PM on June 25, 2009


I am personally sad that he has (in all likelihood) died at so young an age, but nothing about his lie makes me think he was meant to or likely to grow old and wrinkled and wise, so perhaps this was the most fitting end. We'll see.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 3:23 PM on June 25, 2009


The Wiz, Ease On Down.
posted by jabberjaw at 3:23 PM on June 25, 2009


The news today has really made me feel old and sad.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:23 PM on June 25, 2009 [6 favorites]


ABC NEWS in NYC just confirmed.
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 3:24 PM on June 25, 2009




BBC is now saying the LA Times has confirmed his death..
posted by jontyjago at 3:24 PM on June 25, 2009


So the LA Times has confirmed Michael Jackson's death.

Quick question: if someone does put together a proper obit post for Michael Jackson, will it get deleted? We're 100+ comments into this one.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:24 PM on June 25, 2009


Something something, kids pants, half off.
posted by joelf at 3:24 PM on June 25, 2009


Where is Bubbles in all of this? Won't someone please think of the monkey?

seriously,

.
posted by moonbird at 3:24 PM on June 25, 2009


I must have listened to Thriller about a million times when I was a kid.

.
posted by LeeJay at 3:24 PM on June 25, 2009


I will be going home and listening to The Mike We Like.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:25 PM on June 25, 2009


Hauntingly beautiful: Jackson 5 - I'll Be There

His voice will absolutely send chills down your spine. Whatever your opinion of the man, never forget he was a gift to the music world.

.
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 3:25 PM on June 25, 2009 [5 favorites]


Jesus, the King of Pop deserves an obit post about 47,000,000–109,000,000X better than this one.

-5,123,000,000 coming right up.

This is a fitting obit post, given his career. We just started from the crazy recent past and we'll work our way up to the brilliance.
posted by maxwelton at 3:25 PM on June 25, 2009


I had this stuck in my head all afternoon. Still one of the best fucking pop songs ever recorded. I was still humming it (and trying to arrange it for a four-piece in my head) when I heard the news on my metro-shuttle. I'm kind of shocked at all the jokes in here, but whatever.

In any case, it's not like other media are choking on their journalistic ethics as of late. If this were true, we'd be hearing it from someone more legitimate than TMZ.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:25 PM on June 25, 2009


.
posted by kestrel251 at 3:25 PM on June 25, 2009


I watched some youtube vids of the Jackson 5 the other day. Michael looked like the personification of childish joy and happiness. And sounded like it when he sang. It's very sad to think that the last 35 years of a 50 year old's life have been all downhill - in every respect.

If MJ really has died today, then I suppose it's sad. But if there is a tragedy anywhere in this story it's that the breathtakingly talented little boy died a few decades ago.
posted by tim_in_oz at 3:26 PM on June 25, 2009 [7 favorites]


He's one of those guys that I never ever thought would die. He wasn't a person to me, until just now.. He was some sort of icon, snippets of media.

Jackson 5, pepsi ads, his hair on fire, thriller on mtv, moonwalker, that bizarre video with the exploding cars, mcauly caulkin, neverland, his nose, his marriage, kids and exile..


But he wasn't a person until just now...

It's like as if god was an awesome musician but then got old and crazy, moved to dubai, and then had a heart attack..

Or something like that.
posted by Lord_Pall at 3:26 PM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Agreed that we need a better obit post. Matt? Mods?
posted by elfgirl at 3:26 PM on June 25, 2009


if someone does put together a proper obit post for Michael Jackson, will it get deleted? We're 100+ comments into this one.

For what it's worth, I vote deleting this one in favor of a decent obit post. Not much here to miss really.
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:26 PM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


I want him back.
posted by gerryblog at 3:26 PM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


All snarking about TMZ aside, though, MJ was an amazing musician. As awful as it sounds, I almost wish he had just died at his peak so he could have the respect he deserves and be admired for his talent, rather than ridiculed for his substantial mid-life crazy.
posted by booknerd at 3:26 PM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Michael Jackson was my first serious love interest.

.
posted by peggynature at 3:26 PM on June 25, 2009


At least Farrah got the nightly news reports to herself, for a proper remembrance.
posted by smackfu at 3:26 PM on June 25, 2009


Okay, so it's confirmed then. God damn.

.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:26 PM on June 25, 2009


No mere mortal can resist the evil of the thriller.
posted by the_bone at 3:26 PM on June 25, 2009


There's bound to be 40 more weak post attempts on this. But its Michael friggin' Jackson. I think the second somebody does a comprehensive, well-thought out, honorable post, we should migrate there. There's much more to say than the fact that he died (which isn't even confirmed yet). Also, I'd recommend that if you are working on a 'anthology' type post, you let the mods know so that they can let you know if they've been contacted that its already being worked on, which it most likely is.
posted by iamkimiam at 3:27 PM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


well, i've been saying this for the past twenty years or so, but never so sadly as now: Michael Jackson, I Want You Back

.
posted by jammy at 3:27 PM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


I guess you people think Elvis is dead, too.
posted by cnjnctvsynth at 3:27 PM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


LA Times reports MJ is dead.
posted by Hovercraft Eel at 3:27 PM on June 25, 2009


Jeebus, 50 is young. Not like he had the best health, but still shocking. *surreal*
posted by Space Kitty at 3:27 PM on June 25, 2009


This is too much. How many Stars I Idolized In My Youth are going to die today?
posted by ahdeeda at 3:27 PM on June 25, 2009


.

(Since it seems official now, with the LA times report...

That's for Michael Jackson, the incredibly gifted, sweet-faced little kid who sang 'Ben' and whose dad beat the living fuck out of him all the time for no reason at all when he was growing up, not for the pitiable monster the world turned that cute kid into.)
posted by saulgoodman at 3:27 PM on June 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


Jackson 5's "Dancing Machine" is top drawer. RIP, Michael.
posted by porn in the woods at 3:27 PM on June 25, 2009


Dick Clark said Michael Jackson created the first conceptual music video. Dunno if that's true, but it is pretty good for its time.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:27 PM on June 25, 2009


I feel bad for all the kids coming up today who only know MJ as a freak. He was a brilliant performer. They'll never really know just how BIG he was.
posted by LeeJay at 3:27 PM on June 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


Fucked up life, fucked up obituary post.

Umm, I feel right Brian, I feel right.
posted by Antidisestablishmentarianist at 3:28 PM on June 25, 2009


Have fun with the jokes.

While I agree that his personal life was ripe for ridicule, his professional life was one of wonder.

Laugh and snicker all you want, but let's not forget that he leaves behind a distraught family: brothers, sisters, parents ... and his own children.

Bring on the pedo jokes. Bring on the skin bleaching and plastic surgery jokes.

In the end, though, when you go to bed tonight, praise yourself for vying for the crown of KING OF MEFI SNARK!
posted by ericb at 3:28 PM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


gerrryblog, i owe you a beer - wish it was for a happier reason :(
posted by jammy at 3:28 PM on June 25, 2009


LA Times reporting Michael Jackson dead; Leon Kompowsky released with clean bill of health.
posted by klangklangston at 3:28 PM on June 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


My favorite celebrity ever. This is really sad.
posted by item at 3:29 PM on June 25, 2009


I just wanted to make sure and register my disgust that Reuters cited TMZ. Ugh.

UGH!
posted by haveanicesummer at 3:29 PM on June 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


Hauntingly beautiful: Jackson 5 - I'll Be There

I prefer the Jackson 5 version of Doctor My Eyes to Jackson Brown's. That song was such a great coda to their carreer as a group.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:29 PM on June 25, 2009


I vote for a do-over on this post.
posted by jabberjaw at 3:29 PM on June 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


For what it's worth, I vote deleting this one in favor of a decent obit post. Not much here to miss really.

To be clear, I'd love to see a better post, but I don't really want to spend the next hour or two deleting a dozen more middling-to-crap ones and dealing with the inevitable metatalk on the assumption that it's going to come into existence and vindicate that slog.

If someone wants to make a really solid post, I'm down with that. I'd like to think we could skip the shittiest low-hanging-fruit stuff the second time around, if that happened.
posted by cortex at 3:30 PM on June 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


At least James Brown is still with us.
posted by humannaire at 3:30 PM on June 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


He was deformed as a child by bad parenting and fame.

For what it's worth, I vote deleting this one in favor of a decent obit post.

I agree, not because he didn't damage lives, it seems pretty certain that he did, but because he was crazy and terribly complicated, and a tragic, tragic figure and not a life that can be summed up as 'he was the king of pop'.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 3:30 PM on June 25, 2009


I can't believe nobody's mentioned the amazing Remember the Time, with a nine-minute music video featuring Eddie Murphy, Iman, and Magic Johnson!
posted by Muffpub at 3:30 PM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wow, this is just weird.
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:30 PM on June 25, 2009


.
posted by fistynuts at 3:30 PM on June 25, 2009


I will choose to remember him as he was in my youth, before the crazy.


.
posted by exlotuseater at 3:31 PM on June 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


Slideshow: Michael Jackson’s life and career.
posted by ericb at 3:31 PM on June 25, 2009


CNN is holding out on pronouncing...I kinda want to remain in denial, like them.
posted by sjuhawk31 at 3:31 PM on June 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


They'll never really know just how BIG he was.

I think they will. There's no way there aren't going to be a shitload of musical retrospectives which will expose this generation to music of Michael Jackson.
posted by Lolie at 3:31 PM on June 25, 2009


...cremation of his remains are on hold pending a substance analysis by the EPA...
posted by Osrinith at 3:31 PM on June 25, 2009


Damn!
posted by OmieWise at 3:32 PM on June 25, 2009


is, are, whatever
posted by Osrinith at 3:32 PM on June 25, 2009


another vote for a do-over. This after all isn't the Drudge Report
posted by Artful Codger at 3:32 PM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wow, what a thriller. Oops, bad taste. I'm bad, I'm bad, I know it.

But seriously:

.
posted by jamstigator at 3:32 PM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's dark to say, but death will be the best thing that can happen to his memory. Once he's out of the public eye, people will forget the freakshow he became and remember the amazing music he created.
posted by quin at 3:32 PM on June 25, 2009 [4 favorites]



world news tonight on ABC announced its official.

.
posted by fizzix at 3:32 PM on June 25, 2009


CNN : Michael in coma
posted by elpapacito at 3:33 PM on June 25, 2009


Jesus, the King of Pop deserves an obit post about 47,000,000–109,000,000X better than this one.

Jesus is not the King of Pop. (I assume you meant to include another comma.)
posted by The World Famous at 3:33 PM on June 25, 2009


An utter nutjob, but a cultural touchstone.
posted by potch at 3:33 PM on June 25, 2009


He was a legend. The tragic thing is that his later craziness always prevents people from realizing just how important he was (and how much of that craziness was due to his own horrific childhood). I mean, he invented the music video (yeah yeah, he wasn't first but he was the first person to really make it a proper genre), he invented the synchronized group dance (hands up--who can do the "Thriller" dance and spent hours learning it as a child?), and he recorded some of the best pop songs ever. We'll miss you, Michael. At least you can finally be at peace.

.
posted by Go Banana at 3:33 PM on June 25, 2009


In the end, though, when you go to bed tonight, praise yourself for vying for the crown of KING OF MEFI SNARK!

You've already won for worst MeFi obit post. Was there a crown?
posted by eyeballkid at 3:33 PM on June 25, 2009


I think I might be one of the few who shares this opinion, but HIStory is a monumental piece of work. Not only did MJ produce most of it himself, but it's layered with an abundance of creativity and brilliance. Have a listen if it's been awhile, especially to songs like "Little Susie," which probably shed more light about the man than most anything else he's done.

.
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 3:34 PM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


people will forget the freakshow he became

Not bloody likely.
posted by item at 3:34 PM on June 25, 2009


But what about Sky Saxon?!

looks like a bad day to die.
posted by Max Power at 3:34 PM on June 25, 2009


Oh, goodie. A pop legend dies, and I get to play Find the Farkers.
posted by aftermarketradio at 3:34 PM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


MichaelJackson.com: Michael Jackson Tickets Still Available

Anyone up for the zombie Michael tour? Group Discounts!

Don't miss your chance to see Michael Jackson live and in concert!
Waitta second...
posted by niles at 3:35 PM on June 25, 2009


Today, Tito's phone will ring for the first time in years.
posted by klangklangston at 3:35 PM on June 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


CNN is holding out on pronouncing...I kinda want to remain in denial, like them.

CNN: Michael Jackson has died at 50.
posted by ericb at 3:35 PM on June 25, 2009


.
posted by Hartham's Hugging Robots at 3:35 PM on June 25, 2009


This post, it feels a bit vulture-y.
posted by MasonDixon at 3:35 PM on June 25, 2009


.
posted by curse at 3:36 PM on June 25, 2009


.
posted by gmm at 3:36 PM on June 25, 2009




Yeah, no kidding, Max P. Tragic about MJ and Farrah, but if any celeb death made me say, "Aw, man!" it was that of Sky Saxon. Talk about one-of-a-kind nutjob greatness.
posted by Dr. Wu at 3:36 PM on June 25, 2009


If The Plank's suggestion of another round of child labor laws covering entertainment ever goes anywhere, they should put MJ's name on it.
posted by gerryblog at 3:37 PM on June 25, 2009


Thriller was the first album I ever owned.

.
posted by chillmost at 3:37 PM on June 25, 2009


quin - Regarding your second sentence: I certainly hope so. Actually, I hope they get cracking on that now.

.
posted by May Kasahara at 3:37 PM on June 25, 2009


This makes me very sad. As a child of the 80s, it was so sad to seem him disintegrate. I really just wish he had been able to go out on top, rather than the images that I now have of him in my head.
posted by hazyspring at 3:37 PM on June 25, 2009


A hell of a life, for better or worse.

.
posted by futureisunwritten at 3:38 PM on June 25, 2009


empath - ebony and ivory is Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartny. Which one did you think MJ was :)
posted by batou_ at 3:38 PM on June 25, 2009


Are we supposed to pretend he didn't very likely have terrible things about him?

Making some fantastic songs, and make some fantastic songs he did, isn't an all out pass to not be remembered for anything else. The world is a better place because of "Billie Jean". Do you think it is better enough to make up for the ways he may have made the world worse?

There may well be some kids out there who may have some strong opinions on that from personal experience, and pretending otherwise is misplaced kindness at best and disturbing indifference at worst.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 3:38 PM on June 25, 2009 [7 favorites]


.
posted by Big_B at 3:38 PM on June 25, 2009


I heard Perez Hilton twittered that MJ wasn't breathing and people called 911 across the country and 111 in a few other places.

OMG Will.I.Am killed Michael Jackson?!
posted by Sys Rq at 3:39 PM on June 25, 2009


I think Michael Jackson was a good songman. I don't care that he was a crazy weird dude.
posted by I Foody at 3:39 PM on June 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


.
posted by afx114 at 3:39 PM on June 25, 2009


Really really sad to hear this news. I don't care how 'weird' he was or any of that bullshit, and I don't believe the molestation stuff. We'll never have another one like him. What other 'weirdo' completely remade our pop culture from the very center of the mainstream? Is that even possible anymore?
posted by sleevener at 3:39 PM on June 25, 2009


an amazingly talented musician and a troubled soul. R.I.P. MJ

.
posted by gnutron at 3:39 PM on June 25, 2009


Interesting that NBC, AP, and the LA Times are all using TMZ as a source in their reports... no, not interesting... pathetic.
posted by Huck500 at 3:39 PM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Michael Jackson, what have you done?
posted by jontyjago at 3:39 PM on June 25, 2009


Oh my god, this is terrible. Sad, sad day.
posted by gushn at 3:39 PM on June 25, 2009


For those who want to...

Thrill The World.
posted by hippybear at 3:39 PM on June 25, 2009


CNN isn't confirming yet.

(CNN) -- Entertainer Michael Jackson has died after being taken to a hospital on Thursday after suffering cardiac arrest, according to multiple reports including the Los Angeles Times and the Associated Press. CNN has not confirmed his death.
posted by merelyglib at 3:39 PM on June 25, 2009


>I will choose to remember him as he was in my youth, before the crazy.

I wish I could too, but his larger-than-life status meant that the coverage of his life was also proportionally as large. And when his life took such extreme and bizarre turns for such a long period of time, it's hard not to focus on the past half of his life and not the first.

I love those J5 albums and Off the Wall was a favorite, but when they come up on my MP3 shuffle I still smirk because of what he became. I feel for his family and those close to him, but it's really hard for me to separate the cartoon media figure from the troubled human being. I'm trying - and I look forward to seeing some heartfelt tributes that could move me closer to those that he meant so much to - but it's not going to be easy.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 3:39 PM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


.
posted by Drasher at 3:39 PM on June 25, 2009


Paul is dead.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:40 PM on June 25, 2009


.
posted by mrzer0 at 3:40 PM on June 25, 2009


This just in, Latoya now officially creepiest Jackson.
posted by klangklangston at 3:41 PM on June 25, 2009


Only the death of Michael Jackson can cripple Twitter and bring the blue bird to it's whale failing knees... :(

I'm kind of weirded out by this whole thing...I mean, now when I see the videos in the bar that make all the girls dance, they're dancing to the beats of a dead man...

I mean, a lot of great musicians have died and left behind dance songs but I think MJ has a lion's share of them.

I mean, the only songs I hear more than MJ's in the poppy bars are Bon Jovi and Bryan Adams.

Well, have fun Michael with the Great Gig in the Sky. Maybe you and Freddie M could reincarnate as the best vocalist ever?

.
posted by Khazk at 3:41 PM on June 25, 2009


Goodbye, Michael.
posted by Kevin Street at 3:41 PM on June 25, 2009


Wait is TMZ still the only source saying he is dead? I'm really confused on this, because the linked to CNN article even sites other sources that are siting TMZ.
posted by djduckie at 3:41 PM on June 25, 2009


TMZ IS NOT A VALID NEWS SOURCE

And Twitter is... ?
posted by Zambrano at 3:41 PM on June 25, 2009


.
posted by sperose at 3:41 PM on June 25, 2009


This is a merchandiser's dream here. End of financial year sales are on at the moment so shoppers are out in force. There won't be a single copy of Thriller available in Sydney within an hour.
posted by Lolie at 3:42 PM on June 25, 2009


Michael Jackson was challenging in a lot of ways, mostly because he was both way awesome and an insane homosexual pedophile, as if there were a God and he just wanted to ask us the question "would you listen to a pedophile's music if it was way awesome."
posted by Optimus Chyme at 3:42 PM on June 25, 2009 [22 favorites]


Why the fuck is CNN holding out? Does Wolf Blitzer have to personally hold a mirror over the corpse's mouth before they confirm a death?
posted by item at 3:42 PM on June 25, 2009


I didn't mean to come off like some starstruck teenager. But through his career, whether inadvertantly or otherwise, MJ has garnered more international respect for America and done more to support American culture than just about any living person I can think of. That's gotta count for something, right?
posted by aftermarketradio at 3:42 PM on June 25, 2009


___________________ .






(cuz it moonwalked, you see)
posted by Senor Cardgage at 3:42 PM on June 25, 2009 [8 favorites]


Seriously? Blanket? Really?
posted by Afroblanco at 3:43 PM on June 25, 2009


The child in me who owned the life-sized cloth poster of MJ and still hums Off the Wall tunes says:

.
posted by nuala at 3:43 PM on June 25, 2009


I know I'm just an old fart now, but it's hard to explain how much of a phenom Michael was when the Jackson Five first came out. The kid was talent personified; great voice, great moves, great presentation.

No matter how weird he got later, he was trailblazer.

R.I.P.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 3:43 PM on June 25, 2009


moonbird: Where is Bubbles in all of this? Won't someone please think of the monkey?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bubbles_(chimpanzee)#Later_life

Today, Bubbles is said to be living at a ranch in Sylmar, California. "Bubbles is an adult chimp and a wild animal," animal trainer Bob Dunn stated. "We don't let him out to play." Jackson and his children visit the chimp, and also play with the other animals."He still acts like a kid around them," Dunn added. In December 2003, it was reported that Bubbles had tried to commit suicide. The chimp was taken to hospital in time to be saved.
posted by anazgnos at 3:43 PM on June 25, 2009


Captain Eo
posted by jabberjaw at 3:43 PM on June 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


Off The Wall was the first album I ever received, for Easter when I was 4.

:(
posted by autodidact at 3:43 PM on June 25, 2009


New York Times confirms, based on LA Times report.
posted by Ian A.T. at 3:43 PM on June 25, 2009


I think I might be one of the few who shares this opinion, but HIStory is a monumental piece of work. Not only did MJ produce most of it himself, but it's layered with an abundance of creativity and brilliance. Have a listen if it's been awhile, especially to songs like "Little Susie," which probably shed more light about the man than most anything else he's done.

.


Little Susie
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 3:44 PM on June 25, 2009


I've always felt that, in a thousand years or so, it is entirely possible that somebody like Michael Jackson could be looked back upon with a reverence and legacy akin to that of Jesus, a deity, king, or other elevated form. No, seriously, I mean it. I can't think of a single person's face that is more recognizable on the planet. He has hundreds of thousands of fans from all walks of life. He fits into the hero narrative, the celebrity narrative, the fallen hero narrative, the persecution narrative, the redemption narrative, and countless others. He lives in a remote palace-type resort called "Neverland." His messages (ie. songs) are that of togetherness, peace, diversity, and generally being a badass. And in the context of a society that values and idolizes 'celebrity' and 'music', he is up there at the very top. What do you think society 1,000 years from now will think of weekly mass gatherings of sometimes tens of thousands of people, all eyes focused on a single person, reciting words in poetic form and with melody? Also not to mention the level of globally accessible and distributable documentation we have today, differentiating this time from any before. I could go on and on, but you get the idea. And granted, this is hypothetical crazy talk. But if I could look into the future and see, I wouldn't be at all surprised if it all panned out that way.

.
posted by iamkimiam at 3:44 PM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


.
posted by Malice at 3:44 PM on June 25, 2009


Michael Jackson Best Dance Moves. A brilliant talent. RIP.
posted by binturong at 3:44 PM on June 25, 2009


This is what I'll remember of Michael:

1. My first 45 (yes 45) was "Dancing Machine" and my cousins and I wore that record out and did the Robot at every family barbecue for an entire summer.
2. My first kiss occurred while at a friend's birthday party. I was dancing with the boy to "Got to Be There."
3. One of my first concerts was Michael at Madison Square Garden. I don't even want to know what my parents had to do to get those tickets.
4. He still, in my opinion, made some of the best music in my lifetime.

If we go about examining the lives of some of our best artists, we'd be hard-pressed to find one whose life was without complications. (Miles beat the shit out of women; Jimmi was an addict, etc.) I'm not apologizing for Michael's behaviors but I'm thankful for the body of work he left behind.
posted by notjustfoxybrown at 3:44 PM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


BBC just confirmed it, for what that's worth. Never been a great fan, but this is pretty sad.
posted by jontyjago at 3:44 PM on June 25, 2009




About a half hour ago I was on line at a bookstore in soho and the guy behind me goes 'holy SHIT' so I turn around, and he looks at me and goes ok, my friend who works at tmz just tested me to say michael Jackson just died.' so I say '...what?' and everyone on line and within earshot starts freaking out. Everyone whips out their phones. I go outside to get a better network signal and while I'm standing there everyone gradually stops dead in the street because they're all on the phone. People without iPhone or blackberries are wandering up to complete strangers asking if it's true, has it been confirmed. A woman pulls over in her car on prince street and yells over to me out her window, excuse me, did michael Jackson die? And by this time it's been confirmed so I say yes. She states at me in shock and the few passers-by who haven't heard also stop in shock and whip out THEIR phones. Traffic on prince is at a standstill. By the time I get back in the bookstore the old cd has been pulled and replaced by Billy Jean.

Say what you will about the man, but I doubt that people will react like that when, for example,I die.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 3:45 PM on June 25, 2009 [66 favorites]


TMZ IS NOT A VALID NEWS SOURCE

And Twitter is... ?


And I said that where?
posted by elfgirl at 3:45 PM on June 25, 2009


Wait is TMZ still the only source saying he is dead?

No.

ABC News: Michael Jackson Has Died at Age 50.

CBS News: Michael Jackson Dead At Age 50.

CNN: Michael Jackson has died.

NBC News: Singer Michael Jackson dead at 50.
posted by ericb at 3:45 PM on June 25, 2009


.
posted by lapolla at 3:45 PM on June 25, 2009


.
posted by anonaccount at 3:45 PM on June 25, 2009



posted by FritoKAL at 3:45 PM on June 25, 2009


Sadly, at the precise moment Michael Jackson breathed his last, Norm MacDonald's best joke passed away.

.
posted by bunnytricks at 3:46 PM on June 25, 2009




.
posted by ahdeeda at 3:46 PM on June 25, 2009


Wow, in a ghoulish bit of coincedence, I was just at Cedars-Sinai getting blood work done when the receptionist apparently got a call from a friend of hers in the ER at UCLA, who told her that he'd died about five minutes before it went out over the airwaves. We could tell what had happened because she started screaming.

Man. Super-weird. Two totally larger-than-life icons of my youth gone in less than eight hours.
posted by scody at 3:46 PM on June 25, 2009 [6 favorites]


Michael Jordan and Michael Jackson together... My favorite part is when Jackson kicks the basketball in without looking.

.
posted by banished at 3:46 PM on June 25, 2009


"L.A. Times Reports Jackson Is Dead | 6:24 p.m. The newspaper cited “city and law enforcement sources.”

From the NY Times Link.
posted by MasonDixon at 3:47 PM on June 25, 2009


Like Anakin Skywalker, he died a long time ago.
posted by Artw at 3:47 PM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh man.
posted by boo_radley at 3:47 PM on June 25, 2009


Forgive the million typos, iPhone no good for fast-talking.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 3:47 PM on June 25, 2009


.
posted by edmcbride at 3:48 PM on June 25, 2009


sdfgdsfgsdfg
posted by kuatto at 3:48 PM on June 25, 2009


LA Times Blog

Paramedics were called to a home in the 100 block of Carolwood Drive off Sunset Boulevard. Jackson had rented the Bel-Air home for $100,000 a month. It was described as a French chateau estate built in 2002 with seven bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, 12 fireplaces and a theater.
posted by zippy at 3:48 PM on June 25, 2009


ericb: When you put up this FPP, TMZ was the only one saying he had died.
posted by zarq at 3:48 PM on June 25, 2009


On a more serious note - now that he's dead, I'll actually feel a little better about listening to his music, knowing that the proceeds will be going to his kids and not an insane pedophile.
posted by Afroblanco at 3:48 PM on June 25, 2009


people will forget the freakshow he became

Item : Not bloody likely.

It'll happen. Probably not in my lifetime, but in a couple of generations, people will remark about how important his music was and his weird peculiarities will be just an interesting footnote.
posted by quin at 3:48 PM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


My very first concert ever was the Jackson 5 at the Pocono 500 Racetrack in 1973. I remember it like it was yesterday, or at least last week. I also fondly recall that cartoon they had on Saturday mornings, even if the pet mice and snakes did creep me out a little bit. And the Wiz, a favorite.

Then there was the time I was wearing lace gloves (oh, come on it was the 80s) and one of my friends asked, so you think your Michael Jackson? It would have been funny but I was wearing both gloves. Then, there was the time my Mother swore that part of the lyrics to Billie Jean meant something nefarious and she kept asking me for endless what "we danced on the floor in the round" meant... I still have no idea.

Rest in Peace Michael.
posted by goml at 3:48 PM on June 25, 2009


I'm not sure I can joke about this. More and more of my childhood is vanishing into the void. It's like losing the ground from underneath you. My father and grandfather both talked about this happening to them. How you cede your cultural relevancy and grounding to another generation and it makes you feel a little rudderless and lost. They were right.

Micheal. That poor bastard. The final cruelty is that mean old son of a bitch of a father out lived him.

Off The Wall. For that alone I can't make cheap shots at Jackson.

.
posted by tkchrist at 3:49 PM on June 25, 2009 [13 favorites]


I wonder if he donated his organs? Because they can even do face transplants these days, I've read.
posted by gnome de plume at 3:49 PM on June 25, 2009 [2 favorites]




.
posted by krautland at 3:49 PM on June 25, 2009


He was gifted, and cursed. Sad to say I never thought he was going to live very long.

And he gets the dot. Here -> .

Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, and Michael Jackson are all waiting at the Gates of Heaven. Saint Peter looks up from The Book, and says, "Well Hello..."
posted by Xoebe at 3:49 PM on June 25, 2009


My parents wouldn't take me with them to see the Jacksons when they were on tour. She took me to see Prince on the Purple Rain tour after I cried about it for weeks and weeks and weeks.
posted by empath at 3:50 PM on June 25, 2009


The final cruelty is that mean old son of a bitch of a father out lived him.

God, you said it. That SOB will probably outlive every one of those children he damaged so badly.
posted by scody at 3:50 PM on June 25, 2009 [10 favorites]


I think this is where Jackson was: http://is.gd/1dx7g (Google maps).
posted by zippy at 3:51 PM on June 25, 2009


She's out of his life.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 3:51 PM on June 25, 2009


I saw an 8 year old kid showing his mom that he could moonwalk just this morning... .
posted by mzanatta at 3:51 PM on June 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


Wow. I couldn't have anticipated how sad this has made me. Chris Cornell recently recorded an acoustic cover of Billie Jean that is worth listening to, especially in the light of this tragic news.


.
posted by inconsequentialist at 3:51 PM on June 25, 2009 [2 favorites]




Sadness.

Question: did MJ show public signs of being mentally ill before he became superstar famous? I always thought his later weirdness to be a cautionary product of his becoming so powerful and wealthy. There was pretty much nothing the guy couldn't do. It wouldn't surprise me if social norms and limitations are a requirement for sanity, and that MJ was an otherwise normal and talented guy who lost those limitations, driving him mad. I prefer to think of him this way. It means his earlier work was untarnished at the point of its creation, and I think it makes his life more Shakespeareanly tragic. But then again, maybe there was something deeply wrong with him from the get-go. Does anyone know?
posted by painquale at 3:52 PM on June 25, 2009


.
posted by jquinby at 3:52 PM on June 25, 2009


HELLO ELVIS 2.0!
posted by loquacious at 3:52 PM on June 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


.
posted by Balisong at 3:53 PM on June 25, 2009


ack. sorry about the Goldblum death. erk.
posted by jettloe at 3:53 PM on June 25, 2009


.
posted by dsword at 3:53 PM on June 25, 2009


And though you fight to stay alive
Your body starts to shiver
For no mere mortal can resist
The evil of the thriller


It all went terribly wrong, but when he was in his prime and I was DJing he was a guaranteed floor filler.

.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:53 PM on June 25, 2009


Great, we get to listen to another round of custody battle as to "who gets the kid(s)" after a celebrity dies.
posted by 6:1 at 3:54 PM on June 25, 2009


.
posted by eustacescrubb at 3:54 PM on June 25, 2009


To paraphrase Lewis Grizzard, Michael Jackson is dead and I don't feel so good myself. :(

.
posted by UseyurBrain at 3:54 PM on June 25, 2009


The King of Pop is dead...

.
posted by jonp72 at 3:54 PM on June 25, 2009


.
posted by bouvin at 3:54 PM on June 25, 2009


err, custody battles. my bad
posted by 6:1 at 3:54 PM on June 25, 2009


.
posted by azarbayejani at 3:55 PM on June 25, 2009


I am so sorry to hear that she is dead. I hope the other Supremes are taking it well.
posted by flarbuse at 3:55 PM on June 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


Yahoo is opting for the early '90's photos of MJ. Looks good. Like thin elvis.
posted by cavalier at 3:56 PM on June 25, 2009


.
posted by lord_wolf at 3:56 PM on June 25, 2009


And really - he touched your lives, didn't he, for you to have to snark like this? Ha ha a childhood legend of enormous talent (hello? Thriller didn't write itself, y'all.) later turned out to be whacked out on fame and lack of childhood and wishes he was a lady and WOOOSH let the jokes fly in. Gosh, to think what his shrinks have heard. I hope it went out quickly without much pain, as some arrests can have.
posted by cavalier at 3:57 PM on June 25, 2009


Michael Jackson was the most recognized human being to have ever lived...it is also possible that nobody will ever achieve the level of fame that he reached.
posted by Chuffy at 3:57 PM on June 25, 2009


Not the most relevant point but I wonder what'll happen to his 50% share in the Beatles catalogue?

& (er, that's a sparkly glove instead of a ".")
posted by Jaybo at 3:58 PM on June 25, 2009


I'm a little surprised at how affected I am by this - I haven't been a fan since I was 12.

.
posted by never used baby shoes at 3:58 PM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


And though you fight to stay alive
Your body starts to shiver
For no mere mortal can resist
The evil of the thriller
posted by TheFlamingoKing at 3:58 PM on June 25, 2009


Man, there was better decorum when fuckin' Falwell died.
posted by boo_radley at 3:59 PM on June 25, 2009


Wasn't there a theory that he was castrated at an early age so he could sing like that and that's why he was so... wierd about children?
posted by dunkadunc at 3:59 PM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


people will forget the freakshow he became
Item : Not bloody likely.
It'll happen. Probably not in my lifetime


Do you know who was a great comedic film star? "Fatty" Arbuckle. That guy could act. That's why I remember him.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 3:59 PM on June 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


Wow, Twitter really is becoming my primary news source. I should probably do something about that. OK, I'll go to Metafilter.

Oh.
posted by desjardins at 4:01 PM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


The same feeling, never used baby shoes.

My brother and I were big into MJ about that time. We listened to his music on 8-tracks. My brother learned the moonwalk before I did, and consistently wowed all the parents at all those weddings we had to go to. The little bastard was amazing.

I hope Thrill the World does something nice with this. Skews it as some kind of organized tribute. That could be amazing.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 4:01 PM on June 25, 2009


Yeah, this made me sadder than I expected too. I guess he really did seem immortal to me when I was a kid and playing the grooves off of Thriller.

.
posted by treepour at 4:01 PM on June 25, 2009


RIP .
posted by Liquidwolf at 4:01 PM on June 25, 2009


oh wow.


.
posted by lunit at 4:01 PM on June 25, 2009


Beat me, hate me
You can never break me
Will me, thrill me
You can never kill me
Jew me, Sue me
Everybody do me
Kick me, Kike me
Don't you black or white me

All I wanna say is that
They don't really care about us
All I wanna say is that
They don't really care about us


Some of us cared about your awesome career, Michael.


.
posted by crossoverman at 4:01 PM on June 25, 2009


A collection of video interviews with Michael.
posted by elpapacito at 4:01 PM on June 25, 2009


Prince wins.

.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 4:01 PM on June 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


Man, there was better decorum when fuckin' Falwell died.

I guess Falwell at least had the decency not to be "weird."

What's it called when a blog trolls itself?
posted by gerryblog at 4:01 PM on June 25, 2009


Question: did MJ show public signs of being mentally ill before he became superstar famous?

Definitely not in the seventies. But he achieved a kind of mega-stardom which was rare in those days and maintained it over a long period of time. The abusive childhood, the unimaginable wealth, the growing cult of celebrity, the entourages of "yes-men" may have all played a part in the flawed human being he became, but his musical talent was his alone.
posted by Lolie at 4:01 PM on June 25, 2009


His early stuff was really exceptional. He deserves a lotta credit for it.
posted by Liquidwolf at 4:02 PM on June 25, 2009


Wow, and here I was bitching at how bad the 405 was, as I was on the freeway when he died, and I live a block away from UCLA Medical Center.

I can't tell you how crazy it is right now. There's a siren going off about every minute, there was a huge bunch of fire trucks and ambulances about ten minutes ago, and there are three or four helicopters hovering over my apartment (and, of course, over the medical center). It's insanity. If a person's worth could be measured by the number of sirens howling, Michael Jackson would win it all.

On a less grumpy note, . He made beautiful music that will outlive us all, and I'm sorry to see him go even though he's finally free of the torment that his life became in later years. To his family, especially his children, condolences.
posted by librarylis at 4:02 PM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


I know it takes a lot to try to ignore the past twenty years of his life, but if you do, what an enormously talented musician and performer he was. Wow.

Yeah. I can't help but be sad.

The first records I owned (yes, youn'ns, 45 RPM records) were Jackson 5 songs. I watched every time they were on TV (Mike Douglas, anyone?) and watched the Jackson 5 cartoon every Saturday morning. Those things are always part of one's life no matter what happens later.

His behavior as an adult was indefensible, and when it came to light that's when the Michael Jackson I knew died.
posted by The Deej at 4:02 PM on June 25, 2009


MetaFilter: Fuck it, it's better than the last three.

Oh and: .
posted by falconred at 4:03 PM on June 25, 2009


Grabbing my crotch mournfully.
posted by naju at 4:03 PM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure I can joke about this. More and more of my childhood is vanishing into the void. It's like losing the ground from underneath you. My father and grandfather both talked about this happening to them. How you cede your cultural relevancy and grounding to another generation and it makes you feel a little rudderless and lost. They were right.

This is interesting. Jackson's music was very much a huge part of my musical upbringing, but so was Nirvana. Cobain died when I was 10, so I wonder if losing pop icons is not as big a shock to me.

In any case, for all the issues he had, he and Quincy worked magic in the 80s, and his style is still very much a part of current music (just look at Justice -- "D.A.N.C.E." is heavily inspired by Thriller).
posted by spiderskull at 4:04 PM on June 25, 2009


Man, there was better decorum when fuckin' Falwell died.

Did Falwell touch kids too?
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 4:04 PM on June 25, 2009


RIP
posted by Artichoke Dance Off!! at 4:04 PM on June 25, 2009


He and I are/were the same age. My friends and I worked out dance routines to all the Jackson 5 hits as kids. and, just wow...

.
posted by readery at 4:04 PM on June 25, 2009


> but in a couple of generations, people will remark about how important his music was and his weird peculiarities will be just an interesting footnote.

We can but hope, but on the other hand Marilyn Monroe's death is still a source of rumour and speculation today.

> Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, and Michael Jackson are all waiting at the Gates of Heaven. Saint Peter looks up from The Book, and says, "Well Hello..."

And Steven Wells, hiding at the back, has the grace to look at bit embarassed. For a couple of seconds, before launching into a tirade about emo kids.
posted by Electric Dragon at 4:05 PM on June 25, 2009


Did Falwell touch kids too?

No, he just damned the gay ones to hell.
posted by scody at 4:05 PM on June 25, 2009


Michael Jackson was the most recognized human being to have ever lived...

That always surprises me when I travel. No matter how back water or off the grid all the kids in third world countries at least knew who Micheal Jackson, Micheal Jordan, and Muhammad Ali were. You could always have a pantomime conversation by moon walking, playing basketball, or shadow boxing.
posted by tkchrist at 4:05 PM on June 25, 2009


Honestly, I think a whole lot of people of my generation will now reclaim him as an icon and feel OK about doing so. I hope so.
posted by Lolie at 4:06 PM on June 25, 2009


Hey, look, a better post. Pack up and head over there, folks.
posted by cortex at 4:06 PM on June 25, 2009


I always thought his later weirdness to be a cautionary product of his becoming so powerful and wealthy.

I've always thought his later weirdness was a product of being beaten often as a child, and the almost total lack of a "real" childhood.

I've never been able to summon up anything but pity for him. An amazing talented, amazingly broken child who grew up to be a broken, isolated, unhappy man.

.
posted by anastasiav at 4:06 PM on June 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


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