My two friends and I were on a road trip across the United States, unaware for two days of Michael Jackson’s death. We were driving through his home state of Indiana when the news finally reached us via an unlikely source, a tabloid magazine. When I bought the copy of OK! Weekly with Michael Jackson on the cover of it and the headline, “Michael's Tragic Death,” I was confused. I found myself questioning the information since I have never thought of tabloids as reputable sources of information, the same feelings Hanson mentions people had with TMZ.com. We turned on the radio afterward just to double check and sure enough there was a King of Pop tribute hour.
When we drove through Gary, Indiana, the actual birthplace of Michael Jackson, looking for gas, it was incredibly strange and moving. There was no way you could be in that town, even just driving through, and not feel something; everyone seemed to be grieving for him. It was almost as if the culture of the town had passed away with him. The experience of just being in his birthplace, especially so close to his death, somehow made me feel much more connected to everyone else’s grief.
Since we were stuck in a car together my friends and I had a lot of time to do group communicating on the subject, and what we each thought about the messages we were receiving from the radio, magazine, and newspaper articles. My friends were feeling the same way as me, sad. The media played such a large role in it because even on the road we were constantly getting updates about his burial date and children’s custody. Although it wasn't unexpected for details on his burial to be made public, it felt strange to me to be part of an anonymous audience in regards to burial information, a matter which I generally associate being dealt with by close family members.
Passing through Gary, Indiana and seeing how much his death affected people there I felt guilty for having thought of him as a creepy guy, who was also an amazing musician. I thought about his kids and how they would miss their father. How many peoples lives he had touched with his incredible music and how he changed the music world today. The media was incredibly focused on his children, doctor, and family in the time after. They did an excellent job of helping me sweep away the questionable incidents that occurred during his life and focus on his music career .
image found at : http://bitteroldcrones.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/ok-magazine-michael-jackson-cover.jpg
image found at: http://www.mj-upbeat.com/FANPHOTOSMOURNINGMJAROUNDTHEWORLD.htm