Did I particularly like him? No, he was weird to say the least. Not exactly someone easy to relate to, with all the plastic surgery (non-existent nose), weird skin pigmentation and questionable dress sense (hello, sequined glove), not to mention the marriages (Lisa Pressley kiss, yuck!) and the Nordic looking kids (genetic miracles for a black man?). But, he was an icon, whether you liked him or not.
I remember when the Thriller video came out - one word: wow! We were living in Dubai at the time and so we had to actually rent it on video to watch it. I was pretty young, and the dancing zombies coupled with Vincent Price's creepy voice terrified me. The Sri Lankan housekeeper, though, was a fanatic and she insisted on watching it a hundred times despite my terrified whimpers. "Look, look at the dancing," she said, as if that were supposed to take away from the fact that they were zombies! Let me tell you, to an eight-year-old, dancing zombies are frightening!
That night, my parents took us out and walking through the garden, I was terrified a zombie was going to pop out of the bushes and grab me - the thought of it singing and dancing did not assuage my fears. My mom asked me why I was so jittery and I told her and she started to laugh. I took offense to that because she is the chicken of the family and can't even watch shows like CSI. So, when I got back home, I was determined to sit through the video ... again. This time without squirming. "I watched A Nightmare on Elm Street when I was seven," I told myself. I was afraid to sleep for a week, but I watched it! And now I was letting a music video get to me? This was unacceptable. Pathetic even. So, I put in the video before going to bed, watched the whole thing and went to sleep. I don't remember what I dreamt about, but I do know that nary a zombie made an appearance!
Oh well, good bye Michael Jackson. Despite everything, your entertainment over the years has been thrilling!