This week marks the five year anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death; it seems weird to think that it has been that long since the world was shocked by the news of his passing. While Michael Jackson the person had become something of a punch line in his later years, his music had endured. One of the bittersweet moments that I remember in the days after his death was that his music was suddenly ubiquitous again. It took his death to finally have his music once again overshadow his questionable and bizarre personal life.
I grew up listening to Michael Jackson; in my early years of listening to pop music, he was really the biggest thing on the planet (followed closely by Madonna). I was in second grade when Thriller dropped and even at that young age I knew that this was something important. For some reason, the Vincent Price portion of “Thriller” terrified me and I would make my parents skip that part of the album (Yup – I had Thriller on vinyl). I even twirled a baton to “Beat It” for our second grade talent show, which is hilarious on many different levels. His music was at every birthday party at the roller-skating rink and his videos helped make MTV into a viable channel. He was so popular that our teachers actually used his music as a reward; they bought us Thriller on cassette tape and we were only able to listen to it if we behaved and followed instructions. Inconceivably, this actually worked.
As I got older and Michael got weirder, I started to pay less attention to him. He never really recaptured the universal acclaim that Thriller brought him, though he continued to have legions of dedicated fans around the globe until the time of his death. However, even as I stopped following his newer music and actively paying attention to what he was up to, I would still stop and smile whenever I heard some of his older music.
In honor of this sad anniversary this week, here are my top five Michael Jackson songs:
5. “Man in the Mirror” – Bad
4. “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) – Thriller
In retrospect, the song title raises some eyebrows.
3. “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough” – Off the Wall
2.”Billie Jean” – Thriller
1. “The Way You Make Me Feel” – Bad
What would your favorite Michael Jackson song list look like? Sound off in the comments below.
So as I mentioned yesterday, I’m spending the week in training for my job. It somehow feels longer than a day at work, which may have something to do with the fact that we are trapped in a second floor classroom that doesn’t have any air conditioning. You read that right – 9 hours a day the second week of July in a room that doesn’t have a/c. The room doesn’t even have screens on the windows, which at least means some semblance of a breeze is generated when people swat flies away. It’s hard to concentrate on the finer points of project management when you are ready to pass out. I may just have to roll a cooler into class with me tomorrow.
While I consider options for beating the heat, enjoy your bi-weekly roundup of pop culture stories.
Jay-Z’s domination continues – not only did he singlehandedly get the RIAA to change how they count sales, but the MTV movie awards are getting a special statue for their Brooklyn debut. I have no proof that Jay-Z had anything to do with the Moonman remodel; let’s just call it a hunch.
Speaking of Mr. Carter, turns out we share a cereal preference:
These Game of Thrones mini LEGO figures would look nice to my Walter White and Omar Little figure on my desk. It is really amazing that they give me any responsibility at work – between the bobbleheads, Yankee paraphernalia and other toys, my office doesn’t exactly scream professionalism.
I can’t decide if this maid of honor toast is fantastic or terrible. One the positive side, it is original and memorable. Negatives are that it takes attention away from the bride and it is hard to understand. You decide.
We’re in the home stretch – the Academy Awards are this Sunday. All I have left in my quest to see all of the Oscar nominated films are some foreign films and some documentaries. If everything goes according to plan, I think I am going to come up two movies short of my goal. It’s proven to be impossible to find the foreign film No and the documentary The Guardians. The closest that either film is playing is NYC and unless I want to take the day off to make the trip downstate (which I did actually consider), I think the dream may be dead. But still – I’ll come pretty darn close!
As I frantically try to find some Oscar screeners, enjoy your biweekly roundup of pop culture stories you may have missed:
A happy belated 75th birthday to author Judy Blume!
I don’t know that it was in doubt, but It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia will be back for a ninth season.
So, is everyone else watching The Following and kind of getting obsessed with it? Intellectually I have a ton of problems with the show, but damn it if it doesn’t manage to drag me in every Monday night.
SNL continues to be dreadful; I only made it about halfway through last week’s episode with Christoph Waltz. I did, however, really enjoy this digital short:
Whoo-boy. Things are not going well for Renee Zellweger. Lifetime just passed on her pilotCinnamon Girl. Let that sink in for a moment. The network that gave us Liz & Dick passed on a pilot featuring an Oscar winner. I think we may have just found rock bottom.
PBS is trying to become the first nonprofit organization to reach one billion views on YouTube.
HBO may have pulled the plug on Luck, but it lives on in blog form. Added bonus – no horses can die online.
I guess they had a lot of fun filming Silver Linings Playbook; Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper are reuniting with director David O. Russell on his next film (and holy hell – this film has an amazing cast!).
TV Land had become the go-to network for 90s sitcom stars. They have ordered a new comedy starring Kirstie Alley, Rhea Perlman and Michael Richards.
NBC’s new drama Hannibalwill debut on Thursday April 4th.