It's a sign of the times. I was sitting in the doctor's office and I could hear "Thriller" blasting from someone's iPod -- so could everyone else in the room. A few people were tapping their feet.
Christina Montoya Fiedler: The day before that, I was on my way home from running errands and spotted two tipsy bar-goers maneuvering a crosswalk and shrieking the words to "Man in the Mirror." It's hard to get away from all the Michael Jackson-related hoopla these days. It's on every channel, playing in every store, being sold on every corner. Call it what you will -- a cultural phenomenon, a historic passing, or a moment in time that no one will ever forget. And, while Michael Jackson might have been the King of Pop, the Gloved One, and the World's Greatest Entertainer, he was also just a person, a son and a father.
Surprisingly, the person who should be the closest to him, his father, Joe Jackson, seems to be the one that is forgetting this the most. At all the press conferences, he has not once referred to Michael as his son, but rather as an icon or a pop superstar. And the focus has been less on mourning and more on memorializing for profit, or promotion of his new record label. As a new parent, seeing the disconnect from the reality that his son is no longer on this earth is hard for me to believe. The death of a child is one of the most devastating events a parent can go through, and the lack of emotion from Michael's father is frightening.
What's lacking here is the memory that Michael Jackson was just a man, just another person as real as you and me. Oftentimes when celebrities pass, or are in the news for one reason or another, we forget that they are just human, and we begin to immortalize them.
Calling to mind the tearful, heart-wrenching goodbye by Paris, Michael's daughter, really put the situation into perspective. To her, he was just her daddy. The best daddy she could ever have. Her words.
I'm not justifying whether Michael was a good or bad person. No one can know that about someone unless they actually know him or her. It's just the manner in which Joe Jackson speaks of his son that sheds light on the way Michael must have grown up -- under unspeakable pressure to perform and succeed.
Family dynamics have a funny way of showing themselves. They sneak up in the weirdest of situations, and I think this is one of those cases. Judging by the way Joe Jackson speaks of his son, it's easy to see why their relationship was strained. Maybe it's time for Joe Jackson to look at the "Man in the Mirror" and realize that he has lost a son, not a meal ticket.
|Christina Montoya Fiedler resides in Los Angeles, CA, with husband Andy and her son Joseph. She juggles baby and work from home as a freelance publicist and attributes her strong love for life and sense of humor to her loving familia.|