Magic Johnson

Michael Jackson dead at age 50

Michael Jackson has died after going into cardiac arrest, according to TMZ. It’s one of the least surprising shocking stories I can ever remember. The guy never looked healthy, but people with access to the best doctors in the world never seem to die this young unless they’re suffering from cancer.

What happened? Was he taking too many meds? Was it just a freak occurrence brought on by a stressful, unhealthy life filled with what seemed like an unbelievable amount of heartache and pain for someone who had reached the top of the world? And with Farrah Fawcett dying early this morning at 62, who’s next? It seems like these huge celebrity deaths always seem to come in threes. Tom Cruise would be a likely candidate, but robots don’t die.

Sorry, this is no time for humor. MJ himself has been the butt of so many jokes over the last decade, and it’s been his own fault. Child molestation is perhaps one of the worst crimes someone can commit, and if he wasn’t the “King of Pop” he’d have been behind bars long ago. His own childhood was pretty awful though, and there’s no denying the guy was the most influential artist of the 1980’s. Hell, I was just at a wedding five days ago where everybody was dancing to “Thriller.”

Bringing it back to sports, one of Jackson’s best moments was when he teamed up with the “Other MJ” (at the time, anyway), Michael Jordan, for the “Space Jam” video. Watching Jackson with a basketball in his hand was great intentional comedy, but the song was pretty cool. Magic Johnson (another MJ, sort of) also made an awkward cameo in the “Remember The Time” video, another classic.

However, maybe the most memorable Michael Jackson moment in my life came when the “Black or White” video was broadcast as a primetime event. My whole family was totally into the song and all the face morphing, happy that Jackson was back doing what he did best — then the video ended with that bizarre crotch-grabbing, window-smashing scene on that dark street. That’s when we knew Jackson had lost it, and that the biggest entertainer in the world might soon become a bizarre sideshow. The guy was definitely in pain. Hopefully he’s in a better place, and his children can find a way to live somewhat normal lives.

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