*If you feel any sense of loss regarding the death of Michael Jackson, please stop reading. This post, as most on this blog, is written for myself. You may find some of this content offensive. I'm sorry for your loss.*
I think I'm a bad person.
Earlier today a friend IM'd me informing me that his first crush had passed on. I had already known that she was given last rights the night before, but other than a passing thought I gave it no mind. I never watched 'Charlie's Angels', but I still found it sad that someone had to pass from such a horrible disease.
My IM name states 'St Erik, patron saint of ______." I usually fill the blanks daily with a politician who upset me or any various news story, personal anecdote, or the name of someone famous who has passed on. So I updated it to reflect the passing of Farrah Fawcett, wishing the Angel would rest in peace.
Later this afternoon news broke about the death of Michael Jackson. A friend IM'd me telling me the news and it came as kind of a shock. I hadn't known of any ailment he may have gone through, nor was he that old. It was toward the end of my work day. I gave a quick thought to updating my IM name, but decided against it.
I never was a Michael Jackson fan. Yes everyone believes he was incredibly talented and that his music is the pop equivalent of Mozart, but I, like a fat girl in middle school, missed the party. I didn't have MTV, nor would my parents let me listen to modern music. Every time I tuned the radio to any top 40 station I was soundly told to cease with the devil's music. While I constantly sneaked away to listen to whatever it was I enjoyed at the time Michael Jackson's music never moved me in any way.
I came home and opened my laptop and found my Facebook feed exploding with status updates from many who were willing to share the news that everyone already knew. My phone was going crazy with text messages from people who are well aware that I'm a news junkie.
I had to get away. I wanted to get an update on the situation in Iran or check the market. Each and every news station on TV has decided to devote their programming to the King of Pop. It's okay though. I knew Cash Cab would still be on.
My mixed emotions about the death of Michael Jackson baffles me. On one hand it's a human life that's ended too early, but it's someone I've never met. I don't mean to sound holier than thou or cold. I'm not immune to the culture of celebrity. My best friend called me to inform me of the suicide of Hunter S Thompson. Even though his writing has entertained me like no other I was not the least bit surprised. He wrote about ending his life often and most of his fans, while heartbroken, saw it coming.
The public's reaction to the death of Jackson is different though. I find it odd that in today's culture where parents demand all sorts of ridiculous laws that protect their precious little snowflakes from each and every possible danger, real or imagined, are somehow in mourning over the death of an alleged pedophile. Sure we may never know if he did it or not, but do they feel comfortable with him watching their kids? Do they think OJ is guilty? Bin Laden? The LAPD?
Now I'm watching the Rev Al Sharpton get another excuse to get on the pulpit and be an attention whore while glorifying the King of Pop.
I don't have a black heart. There are many people out there perishing, some for noble causes. An entire country is under siege for the simple right to have their vote heard. Soldiers are dying, children are starving, and strife is happening all over this planet. That's old news though. These events will always happen and it's easy to lose perspective. It's days like these I wish our culture would shed tears for those causes and the people that fight for them.
It's easy for many to associate art with life. Many in my generation have already taken the idea of romanticising their past and Michael's music reminds them of a simpler time, a happier time. I can understand that, but we should quickly get over it and certainly not spend hours of broadcasting time on it.
But if you need your time to mourn over people you've never met, so be it.
I only liked one of his songs and I'll post it here.
"And I remember going to the record studio and there was a park across the street and I'd see all the children playing and I would cry because it would make me sad that I would have to work instead." - Michael Jackson