Michael Jackson. Never in the history of human beings (ok, mankind) has one person influenced so many generations across so many continents in the planet Earth. Even a 10-year old bear like me knows his music (I like his Ben in particular for obvious reason, although it was really about a nasty rat).
"How would you remember him?" I asked Mr. B.
"Many things! So many memories!," he replied. "I'll Be There, Rockin' Robin, The one and only Jackson 5 Christmas album which I had to borrow from my classmate, Give Love On Christmas Day, dancing to Thriller in discos with everyone immitating zombies, We Are The World of course, his first concert in Taiwan where many fans fainted because of heat and exhaustion even before the concert started, the ground-breaking Black or White video. Oh! and gloves! I use to wear that in the 80's too..."
"But you know what?" I said. "Some people remember him for other things too. His endless rhinoplasty, his whitening skin, trying to look like Diana Ross, Jordie Chandler, his dubious marriage with Lisa Marie Presley, how his children were conceived, Gavin Arvizo, People vs. Michael Jackson, millions of dollars in debt...those kinds of things."
"It's sad isn't it?" said Mr. B. "People called him a pervert when he was living then a legend after he died."
"Maybe there are 2 groups of people." I started to wonder.
"Maybe. But I know of only one. The one who remembers him for his music. In the end, it is all that matters. How you were able to influence other people's lives with yours." he said.
"Like I influenced yours?" I grinned.
"Yes," said Mr. B. "But you can't moonwalk."
I am sure history will be kind to Michael Jackson. Regardless of his eccentricities, I know people will always have fond memories of his music at some points in their lives. And like Mr. B. said, it is all that matters.
God bless your beautiful soul, MJ!