Today was a fairly eventful day even before I returned home and turned on WCBS-DT's news. My last delivery of the day had a name of "Doorman" and a 64th Street address on the work radio. And it wasn't until I made the pickup when I found out who it was going to. Ruth Madoff. The wife of Bernie, as the mailroom guy at the pickup spot verified. I figured it would probably be signed for by the doorman since Ruth Madoff wouldn't risk the stalkerazzi to pick up a simple envelope from a certain media outlet. And I was right, although the doorman looked at that envelope like it was a payoff or something (it wasn't).
I turned on the news after I got home to find out Farrah Fawcett had died and that Michael Jackson was taken to a hospital in Los Angeles after undergoing "major cardiac arrest". I don't remember much of "Charlie's Angels", but I do know nearly every guy who came of age in the 1970s had a pinup of Farrah on his wall. In real life, she was involved with (although not formally married to, in a violation of her Catholic faith) another actor named Ryan O'Neal. The most telling footage of her death came when Ryan O'Neal approached the stalkerazzi and informed them that "she's gone" and drove off. For the sake of their family, I hope the stalkerazzi doesn't camp out in front of their house or her pending funeral Mass.
By 6:20PM EDT, WCBS was reporting that Michael Jackson was pronounced dead. It took about a half hour for other news outlets on the internet to confirm the story. Despite his sickening personal life, Michael Jackson was a very major force in American popular music, right up there with Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra. His 1982 album Thriller (which I still have in my CD collection) is the biggest selling album of all time. He combined music, dance, and the then-new music video in a way no one had done before or since. There are very few people in the civilized world of my generation that don't know what a Moonwalk is or who could name at least 10 of his number one singles.
But let's not forget that Michael Jackson did have a very sick personal life. He was a probable pedophile. I didn't take many liberties when I wrote a parody of his 1980 hit "She's Out of My Life" called "They're Out of My Life"- they referring to the boys of what he called sleepovers. It was another Thomas surnamed Sneddon who never forgot what Michael Jackson did to those boys. And Jackson repaid Sneddon with a snuff song off his 1995 HIStory album called "D.S.".
I would not be surprised if after this Gay Pride Week, Michael Jackson is outed as bisexual. His kids were not conceived the old fashioned way. About the only wife who will admit to sleeping with him was Lisa Marie Presley, although that brief marriage was more of a failed business merger than anything resembling traditional marriage.
But Michael Jackson is gone now. To paraphrase my Godmother (who actually used this saying about her dead father, my grandfather)- It is going to be very weird without him around. And for a week or so at least, the craziest media circus in America won't be in the Senate Chambers of Albany, NY.