General Question

Master's avatar

Where were you and where did you learn of it?

Asked by Master (1358points) June 25th, 2009
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

37 Answers

cak's avatar

I understand the question because of your tags, but you might want to add more detail to your question.

My daughter told me, I was just waking up from a nap.

Tink's avatar

I was fluthering and I stumbled upon a question that said “How do you feel about the death of Micheal Jackson” or something like that. Then later I heard on the news that he died

eponymoushipster's avatar

on top of “Who gives a shit?” mountain.

mcbealer's avatar

I heard it on NPR… as I pulled into the parking lot of a health food store.

seVen's avatar

I was on the net checking something when I seen a post of MJ being dead, I went to Wikipedia and they changed the info that he’s dead, than went to his official site and the tour dates were still on, so I checked CNN on tv and he was in hospital but yet wasn’t declared dead but after like 7 minutes. I checked MJs site after like 3 hrs later and they removed the tour dates.

Master's avatar

I heard of it from Twitter, @aplusk (Ashton Kutcher).

eponymoushipster's avatar

@Master that’s like the perfect storm of celebrity news

Bluefreedom's avatar

I had just arrived at work and while looking over the shoulder of a former supervisor in his office while he was on his computer, he went to his homepage,, and there was the big news story of Michael Jackson’s passing. I don’t like it when people die but I have to be honest here. When I saw the news of his death, I felt indifferent more than anything else. Don’t hate me, I’m only human.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Right before karate class, one of the girls had come in and breathlessly told us MJ was in hospital, and I thought, “Oh, some more BS so he can get out of more concerts.” After class, I went outside and was talking with another classmate and checked my NYTimes app on my iPhone, and it had the AP report that he was dead. “Oh my goodness, he’s dead!” We just looked at each other. “N’uh-uh, no way!” “No, it’s true. Wow. 50’s a little young to go, isn’t it?” We didn’t speak for the rest of the block; just trying to take it in, I suppose.

My classmate is younger than me by at least a decade, so she remembers the punchline he became. I remember seeing the video for “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” on Soul Train as a child. I barely remember The Jackson 5 variety show. Or maybe it was them on Mike Douglas. I would’ve been 3 or 4 in those days. I don’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t know who Michael Jackson was, and I still don’t know all his brothers’ names! I do own a copy of Off The Wall, though I’m pretty much Indie Rock Chick. I never play it that often, and I haven’t played it now, either.

It’s just weird to know that he’s really and truly dead, but John Lennon’s death when I was 11 was more painful to me, actually.

knitfroggy's avatar

I had 8 text messages on my phone when I went to my dinner break at work. Then I had to call my grandma to make sure 8 people were not shitting me.

Tink's avatar

I haven’t checked my texts in a while. There might be alot of those, ahhhh

knitfroggy's avatar

@Tink1113 You can probably count on some mean MJ jokes too…I’ve gotten several and they piss me off!

Jack79's avatar

I was online chatting (it was 3am here) and one of the Americans sort of mentioned it casually (this was already 40–50 mins the event and the shock was over for some of the other people). I turned off the TV assuming there would be some special announcement, but all I got was telemarketing at that time, so I went back online and read yahoo or nbc or something.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@knitfroggy you mean like he requested CPR from Macauly Culkin – twice? lol

dalepetrie's avatar

I had to go down to the UHaul store to buy a trailer hitch and my wife called me right as I was pulling out of the driveway…our brother in law had called her and said that Michael Jackson was about to die and then hung up to spread the news far and wide. Well, he’s one of those really gossipy gay guys, so I wasn’t sure, maybe MJ was just in the hospital and that was him jumping to conclusions as he is wont to do. So, I searched the radio stations, couldn’t find anything on FM talking about it, not even NPR, so I went to AM and a couple of guys were going on about him, but they didn’t actually say he was dead. So, I go back to FM and I hear them talking about him on NPR, and again I can’t tell if he’s actually dead or what, and they say that again the news is that he was rushed to the hospital. So I get to another public radio station that plays music and it happened to the the time of day they do their news updated (5:25pm central), and the newsguy said that they wer eholding off on saying he was dead because only TMZ had reported it, but now the LA Times was reporting it too. Then they played Billie Jean, and this is kind of a college/alternative station so it was kind of a shock to even hear that on that station. I go in and buy my trailer hitch and come out and flip to the urban (hip hop & R&B) station and the DJ is saying it’s now everywhere reporting it, and he was really choked up. By that time pretty much everyone was saying it was confirmed. Funny thing was, I was more shocked that I had any feelings about it than I was that he died…I’d kind of written him off so long ago, but like I’ve seen other people have been saying, it was kind of like a piece of my childhood dying….Thriller was such a big part of the culture right when I hit my teen years.

Tink's avatar

@knitfroggy -Ugh I know thats why I don’t even wanna look at my phone

cookieman's avatar

My handy-dandy Associated Press news application alerted me on my iPhone.

irocktheworld's avatar

i was eating an ice cream sandwich when i realized that i spilled and learned that i should keep a plate with me =)

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

I walked outside my front door and heard Thriller blasting… which would be totally unusual on any other day.

pats04fan's avatar

I was on fluther, and came across a question about it and it intrigued me.

cyn's avatar

I heard it on the radio. I was working at Day-Care playing musical chairs with the kids and then everyone stoped playing. We all just froze. I had Goosebumps/chills. It sounds stupid, but I cried… so many memories(I was in a Quinceanera my best friend’s and it brough back memories about Thriller that was our surprise dance from michael J. and really it’s really sad how many people treated him like crap. For God’s sake HE WAS THE KING OF POP

dalepetrie's avatar

@cyndihugs – yes he was the King of Pop, a talented singer, a talented dancer, did things no one else has even come close to matching, and maybe never will.

But when you share your bed with a variety of 12 year old boys, and one of them accuses you of molestation, so you pay HIM off and then 12 years later, ANOTHER boy does the same thing, it tends to make people a bit edgy.

cyn's avatar

@dalepetrie But then again,he was never found guilty.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

A truck driver coming through my gate told me about it, with a snide grin on his face. I replied that he was shitting me and he said “No, I just heard it on the radio.”

I gave it some thought, and answered, “Well, that’s too bad, the man was a musical genius. Say what you want about him, he created a lot of incredible songs and dance moves in his career.” This of course shut the trucker up, as he was expecting me to be gleeful of his death and to make some crude comment about Michaels’ alleged child molesting charges. Why should I? I liked his music, and own several of his CDs. I might not agree with his politics, but then, I just hope that none of those boys that accused him of molesting them were telling the truth. No one deserves to be fondled against their will, especially minors by a trusted adult.

Then I said something about feeling bad for MJs kids, and the trucker decided he had to go make his delivery.

I’d be much happier if Dick Cheney had died. He is responsible for a lot more dead kids than MJ ever was. In fact, MJ never killed anyone, and thanks to Dick Cheney, lots of US soldiers have come home in body bags, many of them young men and women that served their country for an unjust war.

knitfroggy's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra I think you are spot on about Dick Cheney. Much Lurve! I can’t imagine anyone being happy MJ died. I’m still tore up.

dalepetrie's avatar

@cyndihugs – I didn’t say he was “guilty” of anything or that he actually “did” anything, what I said was:

1) He shared his bed with 12 year old boys. 100% true, he admitted to it.
2) He was accused of molestation by one of those boys. 100% true.
3) He paid that boy several million dollars which made the accusation go away. 100% true.
4) He was accused of the same thing by another boy. 100% true.

I didn’t SAY he was guilty of anything. I implied that it justifies a fair amount of suspicion and explains why people treated him like crap.

Personally, #3 made me question him….I just can’t see ANY justification for someone who had SO much to lose (his reputation which was worth 100s of millions of dollars) wouldn’t actually countersue the accuser for libel rather then paying them what can only be seen as hush money, unless that someone was guilty. But I have no proof, which is why I didn’t say he was guilty in the first place.

knitfroggy's avatar

What’s to be said for the parents that allowed the sleepovers to happen? Not that it justifies it at all if any molestation happened, but what kind of parent would put there kids out there like that? I’ve never believed any of it, anyway. I could never believe he was a child molester

dalepetrie's avatar

@knitfroggy – I don’t understand that either. Especially after the first time though. Problem I have is when I get down to it, I can’t just say “I couldn’t believe it”, because I didn’t know him personally, what basis would I even have to make an assumption like that? Yes, most people aren’t child molesters, but most don’t host sleepovers for 12 year old boys at their personal amusement park/zoo either. Part of it always seemed a little bit like what a child molester would do if he were rich and powerful…I mean your typical molester might have a PS3 he could lure the kids to his house with…MJ had a frickin’ amusement park…same behavior, different scale.

But I would never demonize a person without some reason to do so. And try as I might, I just have not been able to come up with any reason he would have paid that kid if he wasn’t guilty…nothing fits. That, combined with a biography I read which talked about how he himself was molested by an uncle, and the statements of the LA Police officer who examined his ranch, and found among other things, a complicated lockup system on his bedroom door that would activate 45 minutes before anyone could even get to where his bedroom WAS, plus a secret room built off his bedroom which had a TV and Disney videos and a whole bunch of other things that kids would go for.

Not knowing the guy, I’m not going to give him the benefit of the doubt on THIS simply because he was perhaps the most electrifying entertainer the world has ever seen. I give him full props for that, but lets face it, there is no scientific reason that makes it impossible for a person to be simultaneously talented and sick. I can buy that a lot of what was in the press was sensationalized, and I COULD buy that he wasn’t a kiddie diddler, but just someone who pretty much stopped maturing at age 12, a manchild seeking to reclaim the childhood which was taken from him by an abusive father and a life lived on stage and in rehearsals…I get that, it’s plausible.

But I was a 12 year old boy once, and though I might like to hang out with 12 year old boys, I didn’t have any particular desire to sleep in a bed with them, or do any of the other innumerable things Michael ADMITTED doing. His behavior did not seem like the behavior of either a full grown man, or a man stuck in the mind of a 12 year old. And like I said, I’d even give him the benefit of the doubt on that, and I’d be the first to admit that some people see dollar signs combined with his odd behavior and it made him an easy mark, I get that too. But if you read the description of what he supposedly did, it was pretty detailed and graphic. The person charged with investigating it said that he had zero doubt that Jackson was guilty and the ONLY reason he couldn’t prosecute was that once Jackson paid the boy off, there was no witness. That seems pretty telling to me.

Because I simply look at it this way. If I were someone whose name could produce 100M+ a year, who basically had all the money, power and connections a person could have, and someone told an outrageous lie about something I would NEVER do, I would destroy that person’s credibility, it wouldn’t be that hard or expensive of a thing to do if I wasn’t guilty…it probably would have cost less than the settlement itself, and it CERTAINLY would have cost less than the difference between what he could have earned and what he DID earn from that point on. I just plain don’t see any reason whatsoever that makes me say, well maybe THIS is why he made the payoff. I don’t see that you would do what he did unless you had something to hide and someone could prove it….he never explained that and no one else has either. And the only arguments I ever get from fans who simply can’t believe it boil down to something like, how could someone so gifted even be suspected of such a thing. People don’t want to believe their idols have feet of clay, unfortunately more often than not, they do. I’d love to think the guy who entertained me so thoroughly when I was 12 was not diddling boys my age, but man the evidence just plain doesn’t look good, even if he was acquitted of the subsequent charges. After all, OJ was acquitted too.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@dalepetrie you make some great points, and I agree with you on most of them. In hindsight paying off the kid rather than go after his family for libel does seem suspicious. Michaels’ handlers aren’t above suspicion as to how his life turned out, as anyone who has followed famous people know. Look at Elvis’s handler, Colonel whatsisface.

The bedroom door thing is suspicious, the attraction to young boys less so. Some men are attracted to youths in a romantic way, and that leads to problems when people assume the worst about their intentions. When I heard about the first instance of MJ alleged molestation, I did a lot of research on the subject, and found some interesting statistics. But I won’t hijack this thread with any of that, and the points you make are valid. Thanks for putting in your two cents.

Tink's avatar

WOW!! You guys…

dalepetrie's avatar

No problem…and like I said all along, no matter what else he might have been, you can’t deny his talent. Two separate issues, and I’d love nothing more than to hear from his alleged victims now that they are sorry for what they did and none of what they said ever happened. I just won’t hold my breath. Either way, I do hope his legacy is more about what he created and accomplished…there have been a number of talented people who weren’t exactly good people whom we remember fondly given time, and he certainly deserves as much.

Jack79's avatar

Today I had my radio show (I have one every Saturday and Sunday) and spent quite a big part of it talking about Michael Jackson and his career, and of course played several of his songs.

But after all these years, the tonnes of ink upon ink written about him, the gigabytes of internet space allocated to him, the thousands of hours of precious TV time spent talking about him, I realised I still knew nothing at all about Michael Jackson. It would have been a lot easier to make a radio show about David Byrne (of the Talking Heads) or the Beatles’ first drummer before Ringo Starr, a guy whose name nobody remembers.

Particularly when it came to the molestation charges, I was stuck. I have been very outspoken in the past about the particular issue, as I have a particular sensitivity towards children and a daughter that has been through a lot herself. But was Michael Jackson some sick bastard who just used his money for a cover-up, in which case my role would be to uncover the whole thing and call for people to go pee on his grave, or was he an innocent victim, molested himself, with the best intentions and true love for children, misunderstood by the media and wrongly hated by millions, in which case we should honour him and beg for his forgiveness?

I was not able to answer that question, and as hard as it was, tried to be neutral when talking about one of the most controversial figures of the 20th century. I ended by characterising him as the person who “married Elvis Presley’s daughter, bought the rights to the Beatles’ songs, yet managed to have an album that outsold both of those”. I presume that “Thriller” will now go on to sell even more copies, and it will be decades before anyone else manages to break that record.

dalepetrie's avatar

@Jack79 – having had time to reflect on it now, I’ve come to the conclusion that even if he were the worst kind of child molester, even if he had hundreds of victims, even if he did things that were unimaginably evil and sick (for example, perhaps those kids of his were nothing more than sex toys to him…be they his flesh and blood or not)...whatever the sickest, cruelest, most evil twisted things turn out to be true, and his victims come out of the woodwork now with all the evidence anyone would need to convince the most ardent fan, now that he’s dead, no matter what he was or might have been, I’d still have to respect what he did for music, dance and popular culture…I’d have to acknowledge his talent, I’d have to feel that he still has a legacy which I could not deny. And let’s say he was truly an innocent who didn’t do anything we’d consider wrong…even if all the rumors about him were just rumors, not just the sex stuff, but EVERYTHING that hasn’t been confirmed, he was still, just with the things we KNOW to be true about him a freakishly messed up and weird individual. So the way I look at it, when I “mourn” I don’t mourn the loss of the man, but the loss of the talent, the loss of the icon, the loss of the legacy. The only sense in which it “matters” now is that if he did have “victims” it would be nice if they were able to get the help they surely need, but really, what the man was (freak, child molester, misunderstood), really doesn’t affect what I think most of us mourn in losing him.

cyn's avatar

@dalepetrie Sorry if it sounded like I was going against you…I was just trying to add to your answer :))

dalepetrie's avatar

@cyndihugs – not at all, just posting the counterpoint….I love to have every side put down and let people make up their own minds…that’s the whole point of Fluther if you ask me.

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