I'm really pleased with how the memorial turned out. It would've been a lot more fun if I could've been there myself, but watching on CNN sufficed. It's really chilling hearing people scream "Thank you Michael" and "We love you Michael". B/c they are right. They aren't psychos, they're right.
We owe Mike. Ever since he was 10, he's sacrificed his sanity and any chance at a normal life to let us enjoy his gift. If anyone was ever too famous, it was Mike. He couldn't do anything normal people do. Nothing. So it's not surprising that he turned out as an abnormal adult. He is more like the biggest, baddest lion at the zoo. Everybody always watched him with awe and admiration, but were secretly terrified. If you've ever been to the zoo, you understand. You're terrified of what's been done to such a remarkable creature. Mike, like he was in the zoo, was taken from reality and placed into an artificial cage. Everybody could watch his every move and gasp and cry and cheer, but he couldn't escape. Not even for a second.
I can't think of anyone recently who's sacrificed as much and as publicly as Mike did. He literally gave up everything in order to become everything. And that's why it pains me to read the news of the past week and a half. One side is ridiculing his fans for deifying him. Mike can never be thanked enough. A trillion teddy bears and cards and memorial concerts could never make up for the titanic sacrifices Mike made. He deserves the gold caskets and the stadium-status funerals. He deserves the Congressional bills and charities started in his name. He deserves more than we could ever give.
What hurts most of all though is the outpouring love. Hindsight is always 20-20, and it's in bad taste to trash Mike so soon after his death, but why did we wait until after he was gone to show the proper appreciation? If Mike had been given this type of universal love and respect, maybe he wouldn't have turned out so screwed up. All of us who made baby-raper jokes and called him white and called him a sellout have a stake in this. Maybe if we'd given more than just album sales and concert tickets to Mike, he wouldn't have died broke, sedated punchline.
But those are all maybes. He was a punchline, and he damn sure was broke. But he was the King, and that's how I'll remember him.