He was a dream come true for us. All proud and dazzling. Fearless with millions of eyes—our eyes—the world's eyes upon him. In a land where fifteen years before, a Black boy his age was murdered for “sassiness”, there he stood...and shimmied...and spun, again “commanding girls (and really...every grown-ass woman watching that night) to 'Get up! I think I love YOU!'”
Maybe it was different for you. It was just a bunch of catchy tunes perhaps. But it—he was a lot more than that to many. Me, included. This is said, knowing the full of him, flaws and all. I acknowledge them fully. The mega-talent and the messiness. It's like family. You love them because of who they are to you, but if you keep it real, you recognize the humanity in them, and in so doing, deal with the screw-ups. Some will hold that family member to their bosom forever, while others rightfully will have to push him or her away. “Sorry...I can't deal with you any more.”
And in those quiet moments in our minds, even if we push one away...we think back—even with all the hurt—on the happier times. When we loved that person unconditionally. We mentally anesthetize to keep from letting anger consume us entirely. We go back...and yes, we can't help but smile...
-The Curious Case of Michael Joseph Jackson
This really, truly, is the best summation of Michael Jackson that I've read. It's long, but I encourage a read if you find the time.