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Listen Closely Today You Will Hear Michael Jackson

June 26, 2009

Yesterday when I received a text message from my girlfriend that Michael Jackson had been sent to the hospital in a state of cardiac arrest my heart sank. I was struck. I’m not much of a Michael Jackson fan, but that doesn’t mean his cultural wand hasn’t touched my life. I used to play acoustic renditions of “Billy Jean” with a good friend of mine. I can’t say that I haven’t attempted to moonwalk once or twice or butcher the “Thriller” monster walk. But no more than the average person.

That’s Jackson’s ultimate impact on all of us. No one could escape the reins of the self-proclaimed King of Pop. Every person I waited on last night had their eyes glued to their phone reading the latest; everyone was talking about it. Everyone was struck–so struck that Twitter crashed and Google thought it was under attack.

Shortly after I heard that Michael Jackson was sent to the hospital, a co-worker of mine told me that he had passed away. One of the maintenance workers, a burly man from Togo in West Africa, butted into the conversation.

“Who’s dead?”

“Michael Jackson”

“Really? Oh no. I can’t believe it. No. That can’t be.”

This normally imposing man who has spent the majority of his life in Africa was shaking his head and close to tears. Michael Jackson draws us together even in his death. Listen to the sounds coming from cars with their windows rolled down today. You’ll think its 1982 all over again.

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