It’s sometime around one o’clock when I arrive at the Riff-Raff. A friend of mine, who is already there, holding a beer, informs me that Michael Jackson has died. I try to estimate his credibility as a source of such information, but his face remains sealed. This is huge! I think for myself, and although I can’t quite believe it at first, internet enabled cell phones begin to transform rumors into facts soon enough. Twitter is going to have a field day over this…
The death of something which is more than human is a humbling event. Michael Jackson was rich, powerful, talented and famous. He was adored by millions, but in a single instant it was all over. As if life hasn’t got all of its day-to-day problems, we are once again reminded about its temporal and grim nature. I finish my beer, while the DJ pays homage with a remix of ‘Billie Jean’.
Later, at home, I turn to the tube to see how many TV specials are already on the making. As I’ve expected every station has already rushed someone to the archive in order to fetch some Jackson 5 videos and pop star footage from the nineties. No one is really sure about what happened exactly, and no new information is available, so each network conducts it’s own collection of bizarre interviews.
One of the 24hr news channels displays real time live footage from outside of the UCLA medical center, where hundreds of people begin to form a curious mob. This distant image of people walking aimlessly, taken with a cheap video camera from some rooftop reminds me of zombie movies. I’m instantly reminded of the ‘Thriller’ video as well. I note to myself that the same footage could have been easily labeled ‘The dead walk the earth’ or ‘zombies attack!’ and I guess that such an event would not have been much more surprising than the death of Michael Jackson. Both events seems huge and unreal (and both are dead/undead related!)