Generation X Loses Icons
Michael Jackson died yesterday and Generation X mourned the loss of a childhood icon. Every radio station in Oklahoma City played Ben, Beat It or Billie Jean, but I had these words from a Randy VanWarmer’s song running through my head:
But I miss you more than I missed you before
And now where I’ll find comfort, God knows
‘Cause you left me just when I needed you most…
It sounds silly, but stay with me.
Melanie Dewey, my BFF from high school can confirm it. I was the biggest Michael Jackson fan at Caney Valley High School in 1983, the year Billie Jean and Beat It became #1 hits two months apart. Jackson was plastered all over my locker. Nobody danced wilder and crazier than me when his songs were played at the Barnwarmer, Snowball and homecoming dances. I loved Michael Jackson.
Then, one day, I woke up and Michael Jackson’s weirdness reached a tipping point. I could hardly stand to look at him. He was not the same person whose picture hung in my locker. I left him. I missed him. I never stopped waiting for the Michael Jackson I loved to reappear. I always thought he might, but it never happened. He died. And, although some have said he died a long time ago, that is just tragic literature. He did not die a long time ago. We left him a long time ago, in the moment he evolved and changed into something we did not like, and there is a big difference.
Michael Jackson’s Fan Base
And, it goes without saying Michael Jackson left his Thriller fan base, also known as Generation X. And, now he is gone forever, and whether I cherish it or regret it, his music wallpapers the memories of my youth.
This is what we do. We change. And when we do, some people to leave us. And, this is what we do. People change and when they do, sometimes, we leave them. And whether we were leaving or being left we still mourn. And, as the song says:
What Generation X icon do you mourn?