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Michael Jackson and China — saying farewell to someone who had an impact on my childhood.
When I talk with my friends about the death of Michael Jackson, the most frequent first reaction is “what a pity”. Some of them asked how he died. And a few asked how old he was. But no one asked “Who is he?”

Not all Chinese like Pop music; people who like Pop music do not all love Rock; and Chinese who love Rock do not all appreciate Michael Jackson’s typical dance moves. In fact, many Chinese who heard of Michael Jackson have never listened to his songs.

In a Chinese context, Michael Jackson has become a special culture symbol and helped to open a window showing the world to the Chinese people. MJ was born in 1958 and earned his reputation in the 1980s. His impact lasted for 30 years. And this period of time has largely coincided with the period of exoncomic and social reform of China to its present prosperous state. After 1979, every social phenomenon in China can find a counterpart in him.

When Chinese first argued about flared trousers, MJ wore exotic costumes; when Chinese men recognized long hair as unconventional, MJ had shoulder-length hair; when Rock music symbolized “treason” culture in China, MJ performed exaggeratedly on stage; when the Chinese held “public discussion” on bizarre human behaviors, MJ was in court and all over the media with his problems of alleged sexual abuse. When charity project gradually became popular in China, MJ made his donations everywhere.

It was Michael Jackson who helped to China to the world. Thirty years later, China has gradually come closer to the center of the world. Now the Chinese are familiar with various weird social phenomena, where gossip has turned into an indispensable part of the media industry. And Michael Jackson finally recalled us by the last breaking news—his death. I say farewell to you with the echo of my favorite song “Heal the world”.
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