Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Michael Jackson

I figured I might as well address the subject of Michael Jackson's death. I was holding out to be the last blogger on the planet to do so. I think I have succeeded. Its not that I don't care that Michael Jackson is dead ... well, maybe it is. I have never wished him ill, but I just can't seem to get over the amount of attention his death has received. Was he the king of pop? Sure, I guess. Did he electrify a nation with his dancing? If you say so. It is just a tad unsettling that Jacko gets more press attention than the folks that have a meaningful impact on humanity. It seems that the American public took the advice of "Don't stop 'til you get enough". I would almost say that it reminds me of when Princess Diana was killed in a car wreck in Paris. At least she poked around looking for minefields in Africa (Insert Dirty Diana reference here).

Let's take Ronald Reagan, for the sake of comparison. I was deployed to Iraq when he died so I didn't see all of the press coverage. We shall agree (for this argument) that he received the same amount of press coverage as Michael Jackson. This man brought down the iron curtain that led to a brand new way of life for generations of eastern European and Russian people.

Hmmm ... Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness or a rhinestone glove?

But Doug, think of the hundreds of millions of lives he touched with his songs. I am thinking about them. And I still don't get it. It's not even the allegations and weird rumors that swirled around him for so long (Was he truly a Smooth Criminal?). I can table that and give him the benefit of the doubt. Still ... nothing. Although, I believe that most people's opinion of MJ changed after they learned of his death. Below is a graph from graphjam.com that satirizes this.

song chart memes

Am I sorry that he is dead? Yes. Do I feel for his family? Of course. It was completely appropriate for the Black Entertainment Network to honor him at their awards show so well for the art he performed. I don't mind SirusXM playing 24 hours of non-stop Michael. If VH1 wants to play Thriller 10 times in a day, so be it. Who I don't feel for are the thousands of people that showed up outside the hospital the day he died. Fox News probably didn't need to run three hours of 'breaking news' that night. I know that media are just giving folks what they want to know more about. And, that, is the saddest commentary of all.

Rest in peace, Michael. Oh, wait! Gotta Beat It and go turn on the TV. I just heard Billy Mays died.


gregandlori said...

I pretty much agree with your sentiment, but step back a second. You closed with the media just giving the people what they want. I'd say the media decides what the people want. When I see Jacko and Farrah getting more press the Mike Monsoor or Ross McGinnis (recent Medal of Honor winners), it becomes quite clear that the media creates "kings" using their own criteria, intending to further ONLY their own agenda.

What's worse is when "we the people" watch what's on TV and believe it has anything to do with us...

Doug H. said...

I have to disagree. The media knows what sells. Shoving stuff down our throats only works in the short term. A great article in the WSJ today emphasizes my point (thanks WSJ for getting my back!)


Indiana Lori said...

Clearly the first comment was left by Greg of GregandLori. You're both heartless bastards.

I love you Princess Di,

Lori of GregandLori