Michael Jackson: Goodbye, or See You Soon?

Jackson gets a big, cathartic memorial--but that doesn't mean the media frenzy will end

Illustration by Francisco Caceres for Time ; Jackson: Rune Hellestad / Corbis

The most striking statement at Michael Jackson's memorial service was not his daughter Paris' tremulous and wrenching goodbye. It was not Berry Gordy's declaring Jackson "the greatest entertainer that ever lived," nor was it the Rev. Al Sharpton's assertion that Jackson's fame made a generation of white kids comfortable with electing a black President. It came before the encomiums and music began, after Motown singer Smokey Robinson took the stage, read testimonials from Diana Ross and Nelson Mandela, walked off —

And there was silence.

There was a long gap between Robinson's reading and the rest of the ceremony. The...

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