Last night I was hanging out at a friend's July 5 BBQ in Brooklyn. In between eating roasted corn and sipping on some Blanc someone suggested Michael Jackson didn't really die. This someone introduced the possibility that MJ set up his own death to remove himself from the horrors of mankind forever. Of course, no one was trying to entertain that kind of ridiculousness, but it did make a few folks take a moment and ponder. Including me. An hour later, while enjoying my third plate of chicken wings, someone suggested for the host to play some MJ. He was not having it. In fact, he said he was burned out. In fact, he said if he had to listen to Thriller or Beat It one more time he was going to start shooting bullets. In fact, he said the recent overload of MJ reminded him how much he didn't like pop music. Michael was cool and all, but the music was irking his nerves. Several people agreed and continued to discuss climate change, the Federer/Roddick Wimbledon Match, and why babies, beer and dogs are taking over Brooklyn.
An hour later the host moved the gathering to his spacious kitchen and someone pleaded for him to log in to Rhapsody and play Ben. He frowned and then said: twenty years from now, when some edgy scribe writes a piece on the psychological and cultural impact of MJ, we'll all realize MJ did more bad than good to the black American psyche. Interesting point, I thought. I also thought the MJ overload seemed to be stirring up some MJ resentment. He's not even buried yet and some of us are already frustrated.
Keith Josef Adkins is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter and social commentator.