On one of my earlist birthdays that I remember, my parents gave me a tape recorder similar to the one pictured above (but less curvy). Along with the tape recorder, I got my very first tape – a copy of Michael Jackson’s Thriller. For as long as I’ve been listening to music, I’ve been listening to Michael Jackson – and the songs have never gotten old. Michael’s music has accompanied me through every stage of my life. There are millions of people out there with a similar story regarding Michael and his music.
However, there are also millions of people without a similar story. As I browse through the various social networks I participate in, I am finding that when it comes to MJ, people fall into one of three categories. In category one are folks like me – folks whose lives have been greatly affected by his talent, folks who are saddened by his passing. In the second category are people who were not very much affected by his music, people who aren’t really moved by his death. I can understand where they’re coming from – if you were not affected by him and his music when he was alive, why would his death really matter to you?
The third category is made up of people who seem extremely annoyed and bothered that a likely child molester is getting so much positive attention. It seems ridiculous that people would mourn the death of a pedophile. The thing these people don’t seem to be understanding is that Michael was human. No human is just one thing. Michael was a troubled person, a talented musician, a father, and yes, a possible pedophile. Mourning the death of someone who has touched our lives the way Michael did does not mean that category one people approve of the things he was accused of, it simply means that that is not all we see of him. If Michael didn’t affect your life, fine, don’t mourn him. If you see him as a pedophile, that’s fine too, because there is some justification for that. However, whatever you feel about the man, it is not fair to hold it against the people who see more than the negative side of Michael Jackson.
I do think it’s pretty likely that Michael did molest some children and I have always been disgusted and disappointed by that possibility, but I can never forget the beautiful music he has brought to the world and to my life in particular. RIP MJ.