(Editor’s note: I began writing this blog post the day after MJ’s death, but then I put it on hold for some reason. Even I don’t know why. So forget the fact that it was written for a particular time and date, and soak in the words. The words, people. Salud.)


Like many people, I was saddened by the news of Michael Jackson’s death on Thursday. Despite his increasingly bizarre behavior in his later years (not to mention the criminal allegations), he remained a very strong influence on the world, myself not excluded. I mean, the man ushered in the Age of Jheri Curl and zippered attire! He proclaimed himself as the King of Pop – and no one argued with him, ’cause the shit was true as hell. Like Martin Lawrence once said, “Who else can say they’re jamming in Bucharest?” For a long while, he was the Pied Piper of popular culture, and the world followed his merry tunes like heat follows light.

Beyond his musical and overall entertainment impact, he had a social and cultural impact that transcended race, age, gender, nationality, religion, and every other social barrier that we humans work so hard to maintain. He broke those barriers down, routinely and effortlessly, and did it in such a way that we all were happy for the service. He made music three-dimensional; we didn’t just want to hear his songs, we wanted to experience them. We all wanted to do the moonwalk. We all wanted to do that sick gangster lean from the “Smooth Criminal” video. We all wanted to spin around and turn into a pillar of sand like in “Remember The Time”. And we all did the bad-ass zombie dance from “Thriller”. Yes, even you did it. Don’t lie. We did not, however, want to grab our crotch 3087948903 times and turn into a panther (“Black Or White”). That was probably a stretch. Think of it like this: he was so huge, Weird Al Yankovic had TWO absolutely enormous hits by mocking MJ’s songs, thus establishing that even the by-products of his success could become successful in their own right (see Jackson, LaToya; Jackson, Janet; Jackson, Jermaine; Jackson, Randy; Jackson, Tito. Okay, scratch Tito.) A complete cottage industry evolved around people mimicking his dance moves and looks, and some folks (Alfonso Ribiera and Chris Tucker spring to mind) became known, in part, due to their ability to move like him. People wanted to dress like him. How many people did you know with red leather jackets covered in zippers, or with a single white glove covered in sequins (or Elmer’s Glue and glitter, if you grew up on the poor side of the tracks)? He was what so many entertainers yearn to be: he was ubiquitous. Look it up.

Yes, he was strange in his adulthood. But since age 4, he was in the burning spotlight, and you have to surmise that it affects the way he grew up, much like it affects nearly every other child star who is raised under its penetrating glare. How could a kid worth millions (by his own talents) be anything but abnormal, particularly considering his family situation?

And as I sit here at the airport, something occurred to me: as bad as the tragedy is for him, his family, his friends, associates, business partners, pets, and fans, there’s one person in particular who is by far the most directly affected by Michael’s death:

Farrah Fawcett.

Now, before you get into an uproar, please note that while I am indeed about to make a joke about the deaths of two very famous and influential people (I defy you to say that Farrah wasn’t influential to every horny teenage boy who had her posters on his wall. If you don’t believe me, I guarantee a blacklight would definitely show off all her “influence”), I plan to be as tasteful as possible so as to only offend 50% of the audience, rather than the projected 84%. I’m nice like that.

Farrah suffered. She suffered from anal cancer, which pretty much sounds like the worst cancer you get besides Random Penile Explosive cancer. She dealt with her condition with dignity and pride, even after losing the hair that in part made her so renowned.

Yeah, this hair. The HAIR, pervs.

Yeah, this hair. The HAIR, pervs.

“Farrah’s Story”, the documentary covering her 3 year battle with cancer, got 9 million viewers and earned her an Emmy nomination. When she finally passed on June 25th at 9:30 am, she had become the celebrity equivalent of a saint, canonized by popular culture in death to an even greater degree than she had been in life, quite possibly. From media darling, to star, to icon, to victim, and back to media darling again, Farrah had come full circle. The peaceful bliss of death propelled her across the skies of our mind like a shooting star, and the whole country paid attention and homage.

And that lasted approximately 3 whole hours.

Once word hit the street that Micheal Jackson had died at 12:20 pm that very same day, Farrah got bumped from Page 1 to Page 3, below the fold, just beneath whatever the hell Lindsay Lohan had done the night before. She was utterly marginalized – hell, she couldn’t even GET space in the margins after the King of Pop winked out of existence. I’m betting that she was even overshadowed in the waiting line for Heaven.

Farrah: “Wow, I’m finally here…it’s even more beautiful than I could’ve ever imagined!”

St. Peter: “Welcome, Farrah. Please step this way, into our VIP area….wait, what’s that over there?”

Farrah (looking around): “Um, I’m not really -“

St. Peter: “Holy crap, is that Micheal Jackson? ‘Scuse me, Ferret…”

Farrah: “Seriously?! It’s FARRAH! Farrah Fawcett!”

St. Peter (moonwalking away): “Yeah Farley, I heard you. Be a dear and grab that Welcome Kit and Executive VIP packet for the King of Pop, please and thank you.”

I bet she still has a sternum bruise from where MJ elbowed past her to get in, grabbing his crotch, singing “Leave Me Alone” and looking for Bubbles the chimp.

Let me just eeeeeeeease by you, Farrah...sha moan...

"Let me just eeeeeeeease by you, Farrah...sha moan..."

Rest in peace, both of you.

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