Wow. What a tragic loss. 3 in little more than 24 hours. Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson. The first two, I think people were somewhat expecting, as they both had cancer, but what a shock to the world of MJ's passing. I remember my mom talking about where she was and what she was doing when JFK was shot, when Elvis died, when John Lennon was gunned down. These are things I have only read about. While undoubtedly tragic, they are not from my generational experience. But MJ --- MJ I remember.

I remember the performances, the amazment of the video Thriller, the moonwalk, the Pepsi commercial.......everything. And I cannot help but be incredibly saddened. Especially for the children left behind. I believe their mother gave MJ full custody, so I hope his will is in order. And it is also so tragic that this great musical genuis, instead of continuing his rise, became tabloid fodder in his remaining years. I don't know if the child abuse allegations are true --- that is between him and God now. I choose to remember him for what he gave to us in music and dance; a pure entertainer who will likely never be matched. He seemed a gentle soul. Not designed for the incredible fame that would come his way.

Every now and then it seems true greatness emerges to shine among us and amaze us mere mortals. Remind us of all the possibilities of what one can achieve. Shakespeare, an Einstein, an Elvis, the Beatles, a Marilyn Monroe, a Hendrix.......and those still among us...... a Wayne Gretzky, a Tiger Woods, Johnny Depp, Stephen King, even a Bill Gates. But how steep the price of fortune and glory. Funny how I just posted about train wrecks........ the inevitable crash and burn that seems to follow fame these days. But how can anyone be prepared? Especially, when like MJ, they start as child stars. So much attention and money so fast and so young. The talent cannot compete. We love our heroes.....and we even need them. But what is our media obsessed culture.....our huge appetite to know everything about them....beyond their work.....what is it doing to them? I am thinking of young Mr. Pattinson right now. So much attention.....and while I am sure the perks are fantastic.......there must just be a crushing weight too. But how can you convince, what a billion Twilight fans? to step back and give the man some breathing room? Does it take him getting hit by a car to wake everyone up? He is just a man afterall...yes, a young handsome one, but trust me, still just a man. I just hope he makes it.

Because of course, there are those who do. What is the difference? How much responsibility do we really have in their rise and fall? We make them, we can break them. Is their some fatal flaw that comes with such immense talent? I can't help but wonder if it is true that once you have flown so high, there isn't anyplace else but down. It sad that it seems the brightest stars are the ones that inevitable burn out. The shine for us for awhile and brighten our lives, but then they are gone. It is up to us to keep perspective. As for me, I prefer to think that we are always the better for their light having touched us; even if only for awhile.
RIP. thoughts and prayers to all.