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My Memories of Michael Jackson

So today they had this huge memorial/tribute for MJ. I guess how I found out he died was when we came out of a work meeting and my friend Danny checked out CNN and said, “hey dude, Michael Jackson just died”. I guess my first reaction was “no friggin way, so I had to check for myself”. So we spent the day blasting out his tunes in our office, and that was that. But my earliest memories were during the 80’s. We had pretty much barely moved to America, and my first glimpses of him on TV were when they played the “Billie Jean” videos where he was walking on those steps and they all lit up. All I remembered was the glowing sidewalk, in a really dirty city, (which I assumed was Los Angeles). I didn’t really understand why they lit up, and I always thought right in the beginning of the song, MJ said a bad word! They lyrics are as follows: ”

“She was more like a beauty queen from a movie scene
I said don’t mind, but what do you mean I am the one”….but to me, the way he sang “don’t mind” sounded a lot like I said ‘do ma’, which is pretty much a really bad word in Vietnamese, so every time he said that I was like wooooo, he said “do ma”. I was a young Vietnamese kid who was in ESL, and English was a second language, so I guess the only thing I recognized were English words that sounded like Vietnamese words, and haha.. “Do Ma” was definitely one of them (which translates to F’ yer mom’).

Then comes Halloween. Well, my first Halloween costume. We couldn’t afford anything so my mom put a big white sheet over me, and cut holes for my eyes, so I was a ghost. My brother on the other hand got to be MJ. He got this glove, and it was so ghetto, we had to use elmer’s glue to put together the sequins. Then when the “Bad” album came out, we had purchased the tape. (Ok, for younger blog readers out in the world, tapes (aka cassettes) were what we listened to. They usually have two sides (A and B), and often times if your tape player sucked, the tape would get caught and would get all messed up. So you’d roll it back in, and hope it doesn’t sound too funky after wards. Pretty much google walkman. Anyways, I digress…So I would take my brother’s “Bad” tape and listen to it on my Walkman at night before going to sleep, and I’d imagine myself singing those songs to countless adoring fans. I guess it all sounds so silly now, and it’s strange. I guess some people still consider race something of a barrier he broke, and I guess coming from an 1st generation immigrant family, race to me really wasn’t that big of an issue. I didn’t even understand it. He wasn’t black, white, red, or yellow. To me, he was just a badass dude that sang. Oh and the one dude that said “do ma” on national TV.