A face changer in so many ways

June 27, 2009 

On Thursday, I got my news from MTV. Reliving a time decades past, I found MTV, once again, to be the most relevant source for what was important in my life. For there, between the commercials for Verizon and the latest Jonas Brothers movie, were the music and videos of Michael Jackson. The channel that owes the "King of Pop" its very existence knew that on the day of his passing, the respectful thing was to focus not on his scandals, his eccentricity, his mystery, but instead on his music and videos that changed the face of music, dance and music-video production all over the world.

I am no super-fan. I never made it to a concert, nor did his trials bring me to tears. But "Off The Wall" was my first album, and my sister and I could act out every scene of the "Beat It" video by heart. My first experience with documentary was "The Making of Thriller," which I recorded on VHS when it was presented commercial-free. And I watched it until the tape ribbon wore through.

I idolized him before I even started kindergarten, laughed at him with the help of Weird Al, really hoped the allegations weren't true, and I cried a little when he died. It is not that I expected him to age gracefully, but perhaps a tiny bit of me held out hope that he would fade from the public eye, only to resurface years later on the sidelines of Blanket's soccer match fatter, healthier and, well, normal-er.

Though my dream will not come true, I hope you will join me in honoring the legacy he left.

Amanda Howard

Raleigh

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