Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Mourning the King of Pop

I joined the untold millions who paused yesterday to watch Michael Jackson's memorial service on television. I expected a touching spectacle that celebrated his life and his music, but I must confess I became increasingly emotional over the two and a half hour tribute. Below is a journal entry from late last night that hopefully captures the spirit and essence of the day from my perspective here in Bushwick.

7 July, 2009

Today has been an extremely emotional day. I sat transfixed to Michael Jackson's memorial service on television. I shed tears for a tragically flawed man I had never met. I almost wept as Paris Jackson gut-wrenchingly expressed her love for her father. I continue to get goosebumps as the news continues to rebroadcast her sound bite. It was truly a heart-breaking moment that capped off an unexpectedly emotional day.

Some unexpected solace, however, in the form of roughly two dozen people who gathered in front of a music store on Knickerbocker Avenue earlier tonight to watch Michael Jackson's videos. "Thriller" topped off the scene. People sang along, tapped their feet to the beat and even danced on the sidewalk. Young and old gathered around to celebrate a man (they may have once seen in concert) they had never met. They shared anecdotes about the first time they saw him perform on television or how old they were when he released "Thriller." This corner of Bushwick joined many parts of the world in which people mourned and celebrated Michael Jackson. It indeed was a cathartic way to cap off an emotional and dare I say surreal day.

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