The last two days, the news of the passing on of Michael Jackson seems to have dominated TV, radio and even the blogosphere. Indeed, everywhere you look, there is a tribute to the King of Pop and rightly so. I am not a fan of MJ’s but it is indisputable that he was an extremely talented individual and his impact on the music scene, on culture and on millions of people is quite indisputable.
It is regrettable that towards the latter years, the focus had been more about his idiosyncrasies and problems in his private life. Yet, his positive legacy is what I believe will take central stage again with his passing.
A few of us was at a coffeeshop in Kuala Lumpur and we were wondering who else would have such a global impact and response upon his death besides MJ and we had trouble coming up with a name. MJ’s influence really seems to have crossed many divides. He reached out to both blacks and whites and other cultural boundaries. He was huge even behind the previous Communist block nations including Russia and even China.
In Malaysia, one cultural legacy of MJ’s is a drink that is named after him. The drink consists of soya bean milk and cincau (a black colored grass jelly that is made from boiling grasses from the mint family; specifically Mesona chinensis). The result is a black and white concoction which in honor of MJ’s hit song “Black and White” was named the Michael Jackson.
And so, my small circle of friends raised our glasses of Michael Jackson and toasted the King of Pop, wherever he is…..may he be at peace.