Well, I was driving to Sea Isle City last night after work & the lady DJ on one of the radio stations was sobbing uncontrollably on the air while breaking the news about Michael Jackson's death.
It's weird how people can be so affected by someone they never met or even seen in person... but especially with today's media, making a personal connection to a popular figure is just human nature.
Michael Jackson's Thriller was the very first album my parent's ever bought for me when I was about 5 years old & I listened to it all the time. As I also just posted recently, the Thriller music video scared my ass off as a kid in a way I'll never forget. Hearing all his songs being played the radio again is a reminder of what a legend he has been in the world of music and entertainment.
As one of the most iconic people in the world, and as someone with such a 'unique' personality & life it was unavoidable that he became a caricature in alot of respects. Not only was he eccentric and creative in his own right, but he inspired (for better or worse) other artists to comment on his phenomenal existance.
For example, when I first saw the sculpture pictured above, I simply thought of Jeff Koons' "Michael Jackson and Bubbles" as a humorously ridiculous piece. However, I have come to recognize it as an image of sublime beauty and deep meaning about the illusion of appearances and the mysteries of nature, fame, mortality, and the idea of a " True Self". Besides, the very concept of a porcelain & gold statue of Michael Jackson with Bubbles the chimp is absolute craziness that ascends to the level of genius. Wacky art & monkeys are two things I can truly appreciate.
On the other end of the spectrum is the completely awesomely disturbing episode of South Park titled "The Jeffersons," in which Jacko tries to disguise himself & his children while in South Park- to both hilarious and horrifying effect. The most insane part of the episode is where his face starts falling off & he chases the kids like a Thriller zombie. Watching it the first time I don't even think I could laugh because it was so over-the-top.
Michael's appearance must have been the most torturous part of a life in which his image predominately defined the public's perception of him. It is impossible to comprehend the triumphs and the troubles he faced during his time, but it is definitely fascinating.