Most Utahns were sad to learn of Michael Jackson's untimely death on June 25. But likely no more sad than to learn Charlie's Angels bombshell Farrah Fawcett died the same day.They got over both in time to mourn The Streets of San Francisco's Lt. Mike Stone (Karl Malden) who passed on July 1.
In other words, while some might have dug MJ's music and his moves, his following was not all that passionate here. Utah is home to so few blacks, let alone rich and famous black people. Many here can't fathom what his rise to the King of Pop means to people of color. Plus he was a Jehovah's Witness--a strange religious cult, right? So for many of the conservative stripe, Michael Jackson was simply a decadent oddball whose melodies and rhythms often got lodged in their heads.
The past few days, while the MJ media tsunami swept the country (trust me, just in time to pump up July's normally flagging ad revenues), Utah has seemed removed from it all, like a mesa, high and dry. News outlets have been scrambling for a local MJ angle and frankly, many stories have been a stretch.
Simply put, we have our own pop royal. And oddly, he knew and understood Michael Jackson better than most.