It's always interesting to watch how different people react to the deaths of various celebrities.
I have to admit that I loved one person's Facebook post, "Oh my God, a second plane just crashed into Michael Jackson!," because it totally summed up the level of domination his death caused across the media. It seemed especially odd, since it was mostly reported as a surprise despite almost every newsperson I know (including me in the days I still reported) thinking Jackson would go young (if only to satisfy his own psychological need for a Lennon/Presley level of tragic immortality).
Michael Jackson news drove so much traffic to the Internet (roughly 270% or so of normal usage), it actually took down major sites like the LA Times, took AOL's AIM service down for 40 minutes, and got a lot of people starting to think about what would happen to our now net-reliant communication if something crucial really happened. [More on that at the Wall Street Journal.]
Not that anything else important was happening at the time, just stuff like the rushing through of economic and health care legislation that will affect our families long after Jackson's music sounds as dated as Al Jolson's. Or the implosion of another South American government. Or any of the myriad international stories about issues that affect our safety and wallet that we no longer hear about because networks can't afford large-scale foreign bureaus anymore.
Pity poor Fred Travelena, who will barely rate a headline this week in the Parade of Celebrity Deaths. Or Gale Storm.
This was also a weird week since at one time or another I'd met pretty much everyone who died other than Jackson (who I'd seen at various times, backstage at Grammys and on lot at Universal, but never actually met). I met Billy Mays just last month at the Direct Marketing Association convention.
Now I have to see if I can find the negatives of shots I took of Farrah backstage at Battle of the Network Stars in 1978.
While I'm cautiously optimistic that no other celebrities died while I was writing this (I'm a fast typist), I still remember that nearly 30,000 children around the world die from preventable causes each year simply because they don't have access to clean water. And that's something we can actually do something about.