Last night my girlfriend and I walked past a man on his cell phone who said, "I heard he was dead but they hadn't confirmed it yet. After the autopsy they'll confirm it." He was talking about Michael Jackson, but there wasn't any hint of sarcasm in his voice. There wasn't any hint of craziness in his voice, either, so what exactly did he mean?
One of my favorite man-on-the-street quotes so far about Jackson's death was in an Associated Press story on Thursday, the day he died. "It's like when Kennedy was assassinated. I will always remember being in Times Square when Michael Jackson died," the 36-year-old New Yorker said. One thing this man can't remember, of course, is where he was when President Kennedy died—because he wasn't born yet! Jackson himself was barely five years old in November of '63.
The self-appointed King of Pop's 1979 album Off the Wall is one of my favorites, but his untimely death shouldn't be compared to the assassination of a president. Elvis's death, maybe, but not Kennedy's.
Of course, Kennedy was a democratically elected president. Elvis and Michael, on the other hand—they were kings.