I’m not sure what happened to Michael Jackson as he aged, but what he became is nothing like what he was. For the past few years the only thing people had to talk about when it came to Michael were comments about his child-abuse problem and the fact that he has undergone such an enormous amount of cosmetic surgery. In fact, I remember a few years ago there was a joke that his nose fell off.
It’s true that he really sank low before he died, but the first time I saw Michael Jackson I thought it was the best thing ever. I was about 8 or 9 years old at the time and living on Hahn Air Force Base in Germany. In Germany we only had one television channel (in English) and every day at I think it was 2:50 PM, there would be a few short Warner Brothers cartoons and then from 3:00 to 3:30 there would be one long cartoon. My brother and I would rush home from school to make sure we caught those cartoons because there weren’t any others to be had. On trips to the US to visit family we would record Saturday morning cartoons to bring back with us, or our grandmother would record them and send them to us.
Well, one day, instead of the usual short cartoons there were two music videos. I don’t remember what the first one was, Thriller maybe, but the second one was Remember the Time. It’s the first music video I clearly remember seeing. I was fascinated. The music was great. The dancing was great. The costumes were great! My brother and I sat there, fascinated, half fearful that for some reason our parents would tell us to stop watching it, but they didn’t. We went to church every Sunday and lived a pretty sheltered life on an Air Force Base in a foreign country, so something about the video seemed a little dangerous. I loved the whole thing and when it was over I was disappointed. Somehow the cartoons that day weren’t all that entertaining.
Michael Jackson was my first exposure to mainstream American music and I loved it. I also wonder if that video has anything to do with my interest in history? If you’re not familiar with it, the video had an Egyptian theme. It’s a shame that a man that was able to influence so many people around the world through his music is dead, but I get the feeling that he brought it on himself, so I can’t really feel too badly about it. Regardless, R.I.P. Michael. I hope you’re in a better place… and if you are… don’t chase the cherubs!