Today is the memorial service for Michael Jackson. The King of Pop passed away on June 25 (in case you haven't heard) and will soon be interred, although the embalming process actually began in late 1988.
Jackson's career began as a child, where he upstaged all of his siblings in a vain attempt to escape his father's physical and mental abuse. With young Michael at the mike (of course the pun is intended, what a silly question) the Jackson 5 exploded onto the charts. Their talent was immense. So great, in fact, that I will forgive them from enabling follow-up child acts such as Hanson, The Jonas Brothers, New Kids on the Block, and all the other lame kid-bands that have had unfortunate influence over the nation's youth.
Jackson's success carried on to his young adult years, where he shattered numerous records with the release of "Thriller" and, among other things, he inspired yours truly to learn to moonwalk - a talent I retain to this very day.
Jackson's success helped him tear down racial barriers on MTV, and his string of music videos continued his path of wanton destruction of records (the Guinness kind, as opposed to the musical kind) as he solicited top filmmakers to the director's chair and drew millions of new viewers to the fledgling music video network to watch Beat It, Billie Jean, and that other one about the zombies, I forget the name. (NOTE TO YOUNGER READERS: The MTV network once played music videos. Really, they did!).
His collaborative efforts fused his genius with other artists, ranging from Eddie Van Halen's guitar work on "Beat it", to Paul McCartney's song about the dog-gone girl that was his, his, his. Michael's music gave us such hits as Eat It and Fat. Weird Al owes Jackson his career; without the aforementioned parodies, he would still be playing an accordion version of "My Bologna" on the Dr. Dimento show.
Jackson's new-found fame and fortune was not without its drawbacks, as he pretty much went insane in the decades that followed. But the depths of his madness will never overshadow his genius. He was a gifted singer, dancer, and songwriter, and it is clear that the world will always carry his tune.
May he rest now in the peace that avoided him in his latter years.
And may the TV networks eventually revert back to their regularly scheduled programming.