Friday, June 26, 2009

We Are The World, We Are The Children

Dad: Hey, 10 year old daughter -- do ya know who Michael Jackson is?

10YOD [snidely]: Yah-ah.

Dad: OK. Well, he died.

10YOD [dismissively]: I know.

Dad: Oh. How do you know that?

10YOD [airily]: There's these boys in my Sunday school class who are always talking about Michael Jackson, Michael Jackson, Michael Jackson. They like, love him or something.

Dad: ... But ... when did they tell you that? I mean, when did you see them? Because he just died today, so...

10YOD [energetically]: Oh! He did?

Dad: Yeah.

10YOD [morosely]: Oh.

Dad: But you know who he is, right? Or was, I guess.

10YOD [haughtily]: Yah-ah. Duh!

Dad: OK.

10YOD [warily]: How old was he?

Dad: Hmmm... I don't know, about my age, maybe a little older.

10YOD [nervously]: Really?

Dad: Yeah, I don't know, I guess he was a few years older than me. When I was a little kid he was a big star. You know, for as sad, twisted and bizarre as his life became, when he was a kid, he was really something. What a talent! He was just electric, you couldn't believe a little kid like that could do the things he did.

10YOD [impertinently]: Yeah, whatever.

Dad: Listen, by the time he was your age, he and his brothers were big stars with hit records, they were on TV all the time, and they bought a huge house in L.A. for their parents and all their brothers and sisters, and they all lived liked kings. What have you been doing these last 10 years?

10YOD [angrily]: Dad!

Dad: And by the way, when was the last time you practiced piano?

10YOD [testily]: ... Dad, I know who Michael Jackson is. You don't have to tell me these things. I know things, OK?

Dad: All right, all right. Did you ever see him perform? Wanna check out some YouTube?

10YOD [brightly]: Yeah!

Dad: OK, searching Jackson 5... Here's one.

Video begins. Dick Clark smoothly introduces a group of fresh-faced youngsters, led by an impossibly cute and charismatic munchkin with a stylin' vest and a foot-high Afro. They begin lip-synching "ABC."

Dad: Huh, huh? What'd I tell you?

10YOD [confusedly]: Wait a minute...!

Dad: What?

10YOD [earnestly]: Was Michael Jackson black?

Dad: ...

Dad: Umm....

Dad: Mmm...

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