It hit like a tactical nuclear strike when we stepped off the plane in Paris ... Michael Jackson is dead.

Wow. It's not like I knew the guy personally, and I never saw him in concert or anything. But hearing that he was dead made me feel like I'd lost a relative or something. Holy crap. I didn't even think I liked the guy that much.

Then it occurred to me that I have nearly every track he's recorded since he left the Jackson 5 (thanks in some part to "HIStory"). "Thriller" was the first LP I ever bought with my very own money. And "Man in the Mirror" was a song so profound to me (at the time) it caused me to rally my church youth group for some charity work.

So the King of Pop was, somehow, connected to me, even if in a sort of wispy, ethereal way.

You know, the odd thing to me is that no one's really talking about how this guy was sort of a parody of himself in the end. He looked a little like a year-one sculpting project gone horribly wrong. Skin disease my buttocks ... that dude just wanted to be white. And what's up with the chin?

Is this too soon?

Anyway, it's a little unreal to leave the U.S. with a Michael Jackson firmly in place in Neverland, and then about ten hours later step off the plane into a world without the King of Pop. It's like we traveled through some rift in space-time. And now I can only think of one thing ... "Who will take care of Bobo the chimp?"

Then I hear the stories that after his death, people seeking news and information, not to mention downloading videos and music, nearly managed to crash the Internet ... worldwide.


Name one other figure, currently living, whose death would even come close to that? Obama could die today and you might have outages in various parts of the U.S. Heck, the Pope died and I never heard a peep. Would Madonna have that kind of impact? Oprah? Maybe Oprah.

So that's the question I leave you with. What other possible even in all the world do you think would get enough attention from a worldwide audience to actually crash the Internet? If Michael Jackon's death couldn't do it, what could? Leave me your thoughts in the comments.

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Kevin Tumlinson is the author of numerous novels, novellas, and non-fiction books, and the host of the Wordslinger Podcast. Try three of his best books for free when you download his starter library at


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