Michael Jackson passes at age 50.





WHY?: You already know why. Let's just hope the vultures don't rip the legacy apart too much and that historians and journalists and teachers capture the breadth of this man's legacy so folks can remember. On remembering, the first thing that came to my mind was when my man William did the moonwalk one time in our elementary school "program". William was a black boy with no real family to speak of. He came to school smelling like garbage everyday as if he were homeless. I guess even though he had a house he kinda was "home"-less. But this night that boy shined. In the "play", I had the role of some kid in a "gang" spraying graffiti on cardboard "walls" -- chosen by and my friends because we were "too cool to be singing and dancing and shit."

We came on stage first, with no real parts to perform we just walked to the fake wall and sprayed the silly string our teachers handed us on it. Then the lights went dark, the music start blastin and William/"Michael" entered the stage to cheers, then approached us and proceeded to show us how "bad" he was by doing the moonwalk in circles around us. Our role demanded we run off stage. William proceeded to control the crowd of 30-something parents and teachers, grabbing his crotch, doing spins, leg spits. I will never forget how amped Will was -- and we were kids born in the early 80s. Shows you a sliver of the enormous reach this man had. I distinctly remember William getting his props at lunch the next day in between bites of folded rectangle slices of school lunch pizza, and something about that day was very right -- everyone has something valuable to contribute, it's all about opportunity. Mike was fresh. But I'ma remember him most for the way he made those around me feel and the effect his art has had on my little bubble of friends and loved ones on Earth.

The [LA Times is sayin] they are delaying tribute due to a screening of a new Sacha Baron Cohen movie. Wow.