I Don't Want to Hear It!
by Peter Zelchenko June 26, 2009

Hey, did you hear?


Michael Jackson just died.

Shut up!

No, really! He did!

No, I mean shut up. I'm tired of all of this crap coming at me when I don't want to hear it. News, news, news. It's not news!

Well, it's news to me.

Look. I don't care about Michael Jackson. I don't want to hear about it.

That's pretty insensitive. You don't care that a fellow human being died? Is it because he's black? Are you racist?

Oh, please. That's not what I mean.

Well, it sure sounds like that's what you mean.

Look. I forswore what we know of as "news" a few years back. I mean, I pledged to stop pursuing it, because it turns out that the news pursues us.

How do you mean?

Look. You think this is the first time I heard about Michael Jackson?

Must be. It just made the news about five minutes ago. I got tweeted by ColonelTribune, and he knows people at the LA Times, so he gets this news before anyone. You were alone in the house, and your TV was off. In fact, you don't even own a TV.

Right. But, guess what: I went outside to take the trash out, and walking down the alley were two people blathering about it. "He died?! No way!" So, I already knew about it like moments after it happened, probably even before you did. That's disgusting. It'll take longer for me to hear about my own death than the death of a pop star 1,739 miles away.

I think it's a testament to the triumph of technology. News when it happens.

Right. That's just great. Whatever happens, you'll be inundated with it, piled up in it. I know all about what's happening in the world just by standing here. It comes rushing at me. I don't need to Twitter the news junkies or anything like that. I want to get away from it.

Creepy. You're like the Unabomber.


You hate society.

I do not!

You do. You couldn't care less about Michael Jackson.

Listen here. I'm only a few years younger than Michael. I remember before he got weird. I remember that beautiful, shiny brown face and the perfect green velour shirts. I remember his angelic voice, how impeccable he was. It was the middle of the Civil Rights Era. Black was beautiful. I was in an Episcopal school, with like real nuns in gray habits and rulers for our knuckles and paddles for our behinds. They were very strict. But for some reason they let us go crazy for the Jackson Five. Michael was born nearby in Gary, so we identified. "Ah'm go-in-back-to-Indiana / Indiana, here I come..." Damn, just like it was yesterday. I can remember Courtney Townsel singing it from the seat in front of me. We loved Michael best, because he was young like us, and then Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, all of them. I miss the Jackson Five. They were role models for poor kids of all races nationwide. It doesn't matter if it was all image. We believed it and it inspired us.

Come on, man. He was a freak! His dad----

No. I don't want to hear about the man's skin, or his abusive dad, or his relationship problems, or his dangling babies off balconies, or anything. I don't care about the scurrilous crap they gab about in People and "Good Morning, America." What is that?! You know what made him that way? Half the world. The half made up of people like you, who scour the tabloids and vomit up what they just saw on the pop culture channels like a hawk. Or a vulture. Vomiting vultures. What the hell is that?!

It's the life of a wacko pop star, man. And you just don't care about it.

Well, if, as you say, that was his life, then you're right, I don't care. I got my head in the sand.

Holy mother.


You're not the Unabomber. You're a friggin' ostrich.

Fine. The sand feels cool and moist down here. And I can hardly hear you. Best go away.

I'm going away.

Goodbye. I think that's your ass vibrating.

*flip* -- Hello? Yeah, did you hear? Crazy, isn't it? I heard about it like five minutes ago and, like, can you believe...

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