You've certainly heard the news by now.
Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson, both dead.
You can either take Ed McMahon as the third (these things come in threes, as my fellow Irish-Americans know), or we should think seriously about organizing a 24 hour medical/security force stationed around Bruce Springsteen.
People in the street.
And me sitting on the couch, staring at the TV, feeling like the World's Only Cold-Hearted Bastard.
Michael Jackson was someone's child, brother and friend. For his family, his mother, his father, his brothers and sisters, his old friends, this is a terrible, terrible day.
Michael Jackson was one of the most purely gifted raw entertainers in the history of show biz. No one, no one, could move like him. Thriller is the greatest selling album of all time. Can't deny that combination of talent, craft, instinct and anticipating what the market wants.
But he's dead now, at 50, after this great career, and let's think about this for a second.
What is the "loss" we find ourselves bemoaning?
At 50, at 86, at 12. Every one of us. We don't want to think about it, naturally, but, come on. Jackson is no exception.
Would it be worse if he lived another 20 years, another 30 and then died all old and broke?
Was he on the brink of some extraordinary comeback, resulting in new music, a new sound, that is now lost to all of us?
Maybe. Overwhelming odds suggest no, probably not.
And again, doesn't matter, a man is dead and for those who knew him, grew up with him, knew him, it's a terrible day.
But for the rest of us, for the crowds in the street and all of the babbling heads on the TV screen, can we all just get a fucking grip and shut the fuck up for a second and admit that the only thing that really happens when an icon dies at 50 is we realize with a terrible jolt that we're getting older and that we too will someday die?
"If Michael Jackson can die, well then, Jesus... Maybe there's something to this after all..."
Icons go past the human, and when they die, then all bets are off. And that scares the shit out of us in a very, very deep way.
And, folks, let's be completely straight here. Let's not forget everything we know just because we're a little stunned that someone we've placed in a position Beyond Human while he was living here with us has succumbed to the Inevitable Eviction.
Michael Jackson was a pedophile.
Maybe not legally, but, come on.
Never proven, never admitted, but absolutely fucking no-doubt-about-it true.
Michael Jackson was right out of his own fucking mind for the last twenty-five, thirty-five years.
Not his fault, maybe, who knows? But a fact.
So we mourn a pedophile who can dance and sing like that for forty years but we think it's rough justice when some talentless pedophile gets beaten to death in prison?
I know, cold-hearted as all hell. Why not just join the chorus and remember Where I Was When I Heard the News? Can't do it.
If you knew him, a very bad day.
If you think you knew him, you really, actually, didn't.
Good luck on the Big Tour, Mr. Jackson.
I hope, sincerely, that the Critics are kinder than me.