Did the ’80s really die?|Column

Published 7:33 pm Wednesday, July 8, 2009

By Staff
Kerry Whipple Bean
When Michael Jackson died two weeks ago, in the same  three-day span as Farrah Fawcett and Ed McMahon, for folks of a certain age — mine — part of our childhood died with them.
Coming of age in the ’70s and ’80s meant sharing in a frothy culture that brought us together, even if it didn't exactly elevate our sensibilities.
I think the endless coverage of Jackson's death — from the speculation about a will to the wall-to-wall coverage of yesterday's memorial service — is not so much about mourning a man but mourning a culture.
Michael Jackson's been back on the top of the charts — owning iTunes downloads and Amazon sales — since the day he died.
Our culture is no less superficial than the days he truly ruled the airwaves, but it is all the more segmented.
The idea of gathering around the television to watch the debut of a music video seems awfully quaint now that we have downloadable music and online TV shows.
It makes me wonder if my son will ever have that feeling — that moment when it seems as if the whole world is watching together, whether it's to see a man land on the moon or a man do the moonwalk.
The night Michael Jackson died, I found myself dancing with my 15-month-old as MTV showed videos for the first time in years. He bounced on his heels and clapped his little chubby hands, oblivious to the fact that the music was 30 times his age.
Some things, thankfully, are timeless.
Kerry Whipple Bean is publisher of The Brewton Standard. She can be reached at 867-4876 or by e-mail at kerry.bean@brewtonstandard.com.

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