June 26th, 2009
05:11 PM ET

Michael Jackson's enemy was time

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/SHOWBIZ/Music/06/25/michael.jackson.international.reax/art.sydney.gi.jpg caption="Pedestrians in Sydney, Australia, watch a TV screen announcing Michael Jackson's death on Friday."]

Gene Seymour
Special to CNN

Seconds after the news first hit the airwaves, your own shock merged with everyone else's in the immediate vicinity. And you could feel it rolling through the rest of the planet like a runaway diesel.

As with most things you neither expected nor wanted to hear, you thought that there had to be more to it than what was being said.

Especially because it was Michael Jackson, who seemed too dominant, too other-worldly and, more than anything, too complex to be brought down by anything as simple as cardiac arrest. And also because most of what we'd been hearing about Jackson's personal life over the last decade and a half had been bizarre, sordid and sad.

It was to those aspects - the deepening isolation, the child molestation trials, the financial woes, the "Wacko Jacko" moments like that 2002 interlude on the balcony with the baby - that the talking heads on TV devoted tentative attention within minutes of the official announcement.

The commentariat presumed it had a responsibility to poke those embers for clues of something beyond the single, dreadful fact of Jackson's death. Even if we didn't care for this conversation, we had been conditioned by the most recent events to wonder, deep down, if there was something stranger or more unpleasant attached to his passing.

Keep reading...

Filed under: 360° Radar • Michael Jackson
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Annie Kate

    Time is everyone's enemy – we all need more but we are only allotted so much. Right now the image of Jackson in the last few years is still easy to remember but give it a few years and you'll find that Michael will be remembered in the long run as a great entertainer who was bigger than life with his music – at least with the time he was given he accomplished that and that is what he will be remembered for.

    June 26, 2009 at 7:46 pm |
  2. Rob Barkhouse

    I'm glad that Michael is at peace...
    something denied him
    by some, but not all, of his family
    By some, but not all, of his supporters,
    by all the media.

    June 26, 2009 at 7:08 pm |
  3. Jann

    "It’s unfortunate when anyone passes away, but we spend more time mourning people we’ve never even met because they are celebrities..Why not spend that time loving your own family?" Well I cant stand MY family, so I'd rather mourn somebody I LIKED. These dead celebraties at least gave me a few moments of joy during their careers, unlike my family who is just a bunch of idiots.

    June 26, 2009 at 6:57 pm |
  4. Connie

    Unfortunately we took his talent for granted and now that it is gone it leaves a huge hole in our world. I hope that he is remembered for his talent and not eccentricities.

    June 26, 2009 at 6:57 pm |
  5. Fred Buhl

    I seriously doubt that any one of us was capable of predicting the untimely demise Michael Jackson.I never knew Michael Jackson, but I wish I had. I experienced his music and his songs. I’ll Be There is a beautiful song. Thriller changed my life. Michael seemed complex and sensitive. He was a musical genius and an icon. His childhood was lost to him. He was human. He made mistakes. He touched the lives of millions, and gave us all he had. Though I never knew him, I feel as though I did. He was my friend, and he shall be sorely missed.

    June 26, 2009 at 6:48 pm |
  6. Jennifer

    I can't stop crying over the death of Michael Jackson, I feel like the whole world has collapsed upon me. It's like a nightmare I would never wake up from. Everytime I watch your videos and listen to your music I feel like It's a dream. Michael was an embodiment of talent and professionalism. Rest in Peace MJ.

    June 26, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  7. debi

    It is so weird to think that something our culture created is loathed by so many. Michael Jackson was created, just like we create so many other things …to be worshipped. If you need to be disgusted at someone I guess we should look who created “Michael Jackson”, not the poor person who was Michael Jackson. Many say that “I didn’t worship him”, maybe so, but in reality we all irrationally adore someone whether it be a sports hero, actor/actress, writer, singer, deity… enough

    June 26, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  8. khalid.h.matar

    i feel bad i can belive't i am soo sad :(:( bad bad ...... Michael Jackson is death that shocked millions around the world :(:| sorry . but he has stolen my heart ... The first time I heard the song it was on 90 :(:(
    Many of the people here are shocked really want to cry I was wish if I could meet him even once in my life ... he's gone
    khalid matar
    jeddah saudi arabia

    June 26, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  9. Jason

    It's unfortunate when anyone passes away, but we spend more time mourning people we've never even met because they are celebrities..Why not spend that time loving your own family? I'd hate too break it too you, but these people don't know who you are nor do they care who you are, how your health is or how your family is getting along. It's the same as sports, it's "entertainment" and while it's fun to watch from time to time there are a lot of more important things out there too occupy your time if you really analyze it. A grandma you haven't called in a couple months, parents, playing catch with the kids at the park etc. Just food for thought :)...Have wonderful weekend, I know I'm going too!!!!

    June 26, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  10. asela

    it is unbelievable that he is gone the world loves you michael and may you rest in peace brother

    June 26, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  11. nibardo munoz

    Life creates icons, death creates legends. Rest in peace MJ.

    June 26, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  12. Darlene

    Jackson had a song on his Dangerous album titled...Gone too soon. It really fits the loss of Jackson way before his time.

    June 26, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  13. sue

    It got to a point where he could not do anything right without the press shredding him. The baby over the balcony incident was NOTHING.
    He had a firm grip on the baby and briefly showed the baby to the fans who would not go away. You can drop a baby accidentally while you are walking down cement stairs too. That was SO blown out of proportion, like suddenly aliens would take control of his hands and the baby would be flug, out of Michael's brain control, onto the ground.
    That whole incident was unfair.
    RIP Michael.
    Billions love you.

    June 26, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  14. Jaap Bartelds

    Especially because it was Michael Jackson, who seemed too dominant, too other-worldly and, more than anything, too complex to be brought down by anything as simple as cardiac arrest.

    Excuse me, but that's just nonsense. I saw it coming. I was very suprised it took more than ten years for MJ to overdose and die. Sounds harsh, but I have given him up a very long time ago. Just like Lisa Marie Presley I think he was struggling with life. Stress caught up to him. And then he died. Poor MJ. Rest in peace.

    I'm Dutch. If my English is poor, that;s the reason...

    June 26, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  15. geoffrey sandler

    it's not for me or anyone to decide.. he lived his life like many talented
    music and movie stars that die to young. the list is just a little longer.. this
    with the passing of three more... I enjoy each one growing up... and
    will alway remember them... may god bless ...as only he can decide

    June 26, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  16. Kris Elliott

    Nothing truly lasts forever as we will all someday pass. But the memories of Michael Jackson, The King of Pop, will always live on through his music and peaceful demeanor. He will never be forgotten. He will live in the hearts of his fans always!

    Rest in peace brother!

    Portland, OR

    June 26, 2009 at 5:28 pm |