The passing of icons  

Posted by Laya in

Ed McMahon - June 23, 2009
Farrah Fawcett - June 25, 2009
Michael Jackson - June 25, 2009

As the fourth week of June 2009 drew to a close, I had just finished helping with an event on the Thursday and was looking forward to the weekend. But what I started out thinking of as T.G.I.F. when I left home has just become "Black Friday" as I arrived at the office, turned on the computer, and was met with news of the deaths of three icons.

Ed McMahon I hardly knew about, although I knew that Johnny Carson's Tonight Show was always introduced with "Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeere's Johnny!" Something that I think other shows may have imitated to some degree, as I got confused at a younger age hearing Johnny Litton being introduced in the same way. Well, now I know, and the world bids farewell to the man whose voice and laughter introduced the original Johnny show.

I first encountered Farrah Fawcett's name in one of those jokes/ quotes readers send in on Reader's Digest, where a mother said that when one of her kids said that she (the mom) was prettier than Farrah Fawcett, for a few seconds she did feel prettier than Farrah Fawcett. So I thought, "who you?" The first thing I found out was that she had been Lee Majors' wife and later Ryan O Neal's partner. Then I lucked out on old Charlie's Angels reruns on cable while in Cebu sometime around 2001-2002, and there she was. The young and lovely Angel, Farrah Fawcett. Farewell, lovely lady. Now you're really an Angel.

I can't exactly remember the first time I heard a Michael Jackson song. There is no defining moment--- seems I have been hearing his songs through my childhood although I only found out later who sang them. Perhaps though the first time I heard a song and knew that it was Michael Jackson's was "Heal the World," way back when I was in my first year of high school, which accounts for why I always associate the man others had dubbed the King of Pop with socially relevant music.

There is no denying the impact Michael Jackson made on music since he first toured with the Jackson 5 at age 8. Millions, perhaps billions, have sung and danced to his songs (including the Cebu prisoners to Thriller). People remember "Thriller," "Smooth Criminal," "Bad," and "Billie Jean." I'd like to remember him more with "Heal the World," "Black or White," "They Don't Care About Us," and the song that always makes me cry ever since I first heard it, "Earth Song."

When I watch the videos of those songs, I always see symbols. I see Michael Jackson reaching out to the whole world. I see him bring attention to the marginalized. I see him pleading for the cause of the environment. That is the music I am truly grateful to him for. The king is dead... long live the king! The king is dead... and now he will live forever.

Thank you, Michael Jackson. Go on now, to a place brighter than tomorrow where you'll feel there's no hurt or sorrow.


"No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were. Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee..."

John Donne
Meditation 17
Devotions upon Emergent Occasions

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July 1, 2009 at 7:41 AM

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