26 June 2009

Michael Jackson dies - and I really don't care that much

Everybody seems to have gone bananas today over the sudden death of Michael Jackson. I suppose I should be used to the media-fed bouts of public hysteria we get these days, but it has still managed to surprise me. I think in this case it's because lots of people really didn't seem to care very much for Michael Jackson, and just used to use him as an easy target for all manner of jokes and slurs, but now they're all spouting exaggerated eulogies about "the world losing one of its greats", today being "the day music died", and Alexandra Burke of X-Factor fame (sic) even went as far as "Sometimes God needs to call his angels home".

What?? Have I missed something?

I'm not saying he didn't write some good songs. Some of his songs are actually very good indeed. But most of them are from 20 years ago, and since then it's been a slow decline into debt, lawsuits, child molestation charges, and public ridicule.

Maybe people just feel bad for being so mean about him. I don't though. I think it's hypocritical to switch to "oh he was a lovely person" just because someone dies. It doesn't make it all alright.

He was clearly a troubled man whose behaviour was erratic, and who at the very least had boundary issues with regards to children. Fine fine, he was acquitted of all charges, but by his own admission he used to share his bed with young boys. That's not normal! That's not OK! And no amount of "he never had a normal childhood, so he still behaves like he's a child" is going to change that!

And he named his children Michael Joseph Jackson Jr, Paris Michael Katherine Jackson and Prince Michael Jackson II. That's crime enough in itself.

I don't know why anyone believed he was going to be able to do 50 concert dates every other night when he hasn't completed a concert tour in 12 years and could barely even walk the last time I saw him on television. Even if he had lived as far as July, that would have finished him off for sure.

I don't believe he just "turned white" either. He was mentally unwell, and that was just another feature of it. People say Susan Boyle shouldn't have been allowed to perform, or should have been better protected at least, because she doesn't have the faculties to cope with the pressure. But they're also quite happy to milk certain celebrities and their instabilities for their own amusement, and they'll just lap it up until they either die or are committed. Like Britney Spears and Michael Jackson, who apparently are/were fair game for anything.

So anyway, Michael Jackson is dead. My only reason for caring is that now my television is going to be crammed full of insipid tributes for the next week. It's not nice that anyone should die, but I don't see why it results in automatic beatification these days.


pete_c said...

Well said sir! Clap clap clap

Anonymous said...

I agree with most of what you've said, & although I wasn't a massive fan, I think most people just remember that he used to be great when we were growing up. Their memories of him are from childhood & they try to forget his later life.

I used to LOVE Michael jackson & had a poster from Billie Jean on my wall. His life from then on was definitley tragic, but I think, because of his earlier contribution to music, he warrants more media time than most of today's homogenized, banal, insipid singers. Hopefully it'll knock the bloody expenses stories off the front page anyway!

dave. said...

you could say the same thing about air france 447 as well.


i think it is newsworthy enough to report on MJ but i do get sick of the don't know what you got til it's gone syndrome. he was mental for years- i knew that the moment i heard his duet with rockwell, (i always feel like) someone is watching me.

rest in peace, MJ, as we all eventually will.

jimmy said...

I know.
I'm more sad that Farrah Fawcett died on the same day!