Come on, I really didn't need to have a story that involved death as my assignment on my first day back to work after these past two weeks.
Gee, Michael Jackson is dead. I don't mean it maliciously, but I find myself too numb from my own family's loss to have any strong feelings about this (or him) either way.
Covering his trial was cool. I dug having the opportunity to snap a few shots of him during my random visits to Santa Maria, California.
Yesterday I spent several hours outside the gate to the rented Holmby Hills mansion where he lived.
It was all pretty familiar. If you closed your eyes you could almost pretend you were standing out along the road that lead to the gates of Neverland Ranch (but don't do that, you might get run over by a mob).
People told me they saw me on the news on other stations in LA and also on stations in other parts of the country. Shooting video in one hand and shooting stills in the other.
Having survived "Octo-mom", this really wasn't all that bad. I know, I know, faint praise, but at least nobody with a camera grabbed onto the vehicle in an effort to breach the gate.
If I were the inner reflecting type instead of the boozy observer (hic!), I might wonder why I feel so disconnected to plain regular people who proudly admit to their curiosity/fascination/appreciation of who Michael Jackson was.
Instead, I can only look at the sad faces, snap a picture or two (dozen) and just accept that his death is a great loss for many, many, many people.
I've never felt that childhood's end (the state of development, not the apocalyptic novel written by Arthur C. Clarke. . .where was I? Sorry, I don't mean to ramble, but I was out there on the street until 4:00 in the morning)
Oh, yeah, childhood's end? The end of innocence? For many, that seems to signify the end to happiness and Michael Jackson fashioned a public persona of himself as the Peter Pan poster-boy for the adult struggle to embrace what many in age naturally leave behind.
He might not have had the childhood he wanted, but still he had a childhood.
Well, I was on a roll, but the clock is telling me I have to gear up for another day at work. I haven't turned on the news yet to see what new developments in Michael Jackson's death might drive my assignment tonight.
My condolences to anyone and everyone who feels sadness over the passing of Michael Jackson. He had friends and family who truly knew him and will mourn his death, but I have to treat his passing as a news assignment. Okay, I might actually play some of his music which I have on my iPod and I also reserve the right to feel some sadness when I look at the faces of those who never knew him, but feel strongly about him because of his music.
In every death we all lose some measure of innocence and maybe, respectfully, with his passing, maybe Michael Jackson will affect people in a better way from the example he set in life.
With Michael Jackson's death, I'm saying maybe we can all grow up just a little bit. Try it, you might not find it so bad.
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