This was the sky around 8:45pm tonight. The strangest, brightest sky I’ve seen over NYC in a long time. It started off this eerie golden color, then shifted to orange, then pink and purple. Apparently there were really weird bumpy clouds too, but they must have been localized over Manhattan because I didn’t see it, but heard reports of people all over the city stopping, gawking at the sky and snapping up photos and uploading them all over the internet like mad.
Yesterday was a strange day, yes? But the manner in which events unfolded was fascinating. If you were on your computer yesterday afternoon around 2ish, then you know what I’m talking about. Like many of you, I learned about Michael Jackson being hospitalized on twitter when all the social networks were ablaze with chatter on rumors that he had already died. Like we were all trying to figure out what happened together. I had a big lump in my throat and started crying when it was confirmed. I don’t remember feeling that way with any other celebrity, not even when Kurt Cobain died and I clearly remember where I was, in the recording studio at school working on a session with my class when one of our classmates came in and broke the news. This was at Evergreen in Washington, a school that Kurt used to hang around, so it was especially sobering news since it was so close to home. John F. Kennedy Jr? Jeff Buckley? Elliot Smith? Sad! And I still lament over the loss that is Jeff Buckley, so it surprised me that I felt so overwhelmingly heartbroken when I heard about Michael, considering I hadn’t really thought about him too much in recent years. But who doesn’t have some kind of connection to Michael Jackson? I grew up on repeats of the Jackson 5 cartoons and religiously watched their variety show in the 70s. They were my first real band crush. Even my parents felt compelled to buy the Thriller album on vinyl because it’s just what everyone did when it came out regardless of whether or not you were a fan, and so the record sat there filed among the classical and Korean records, the one lonely American pop album in the collection. Like most people of my generation, he was a huge part of my childhood. I guess this is why I’ve been mostly watching the older stuff with the Jackson 5 and the Off the Wall days on YouTube and showing it to the kids. There’s something about watching 10 year old Michael sing and dance before the crazy fame, the accusations, the character assassination by the media, that is particularly sad.
And one more thing? What is up with people trying to make those of us mourning his death feel bad? Yes, we know that he’s been monopolizing the news when there are people being killed every day and extraordinary things are happening in Iran, but what, we can’t acknowledge his life and death?