Michael Jackson’s death will no doubt go down in history as one of those moments when everyone remembers where they were when they heard – just as when the first man walked on the moon, the Berlin Wall came down, Princess Diana died and 2 planes flew into the Twin Towers.
I was in the gym, peddling furiously away on a bike when I clocked the 3 TV screens above me and realised that something was amiss in La La Land. It took a moment to figure out exactly what was going on as the volume was turned down and my lip reading skills aren’t what they should be.
I immediately sent an SMS to my husband (which is not an easy thing to do whilst going uphill on Level 7) to ask him if he’d heard. He simultaneously called me to tell me the news. Apparently by this stage we were the last 2 people in this media led world to have heard the news.
Unsurprisingly enough, what has followed his death has been nothing less than the full blown media circus that you might expect. Every single TV channel has so far leapt with both feet onto the bandwagon, and bled the story dry for every last sensationalist drop. Tasteless jokes flooded the Internet before his time of death was even called, and desperate ‘comedians’ and talentless talk show hosts thought that the news was the perfect fodder for a few quick and cheap laughs.
Oh what a charmed and hypercritical world we live in.
A place where no matter how famous, successful or talented you are, the media would rather look for a way to break you down and pull you apart. That is of course, when you are alive. Should you die, preferably in an untimely, or even better, dramatic fashion, then every red carpet commentator and entertainment presenter will sure enough have something to say.
They will stand there, all primped, preened and ready for their moment in the spotlight, as they sing the praises of the dearly departed and talk about the travesty of a life lost. Oh please, what a load of cra*p. These headline loving vultures are about as sincere in their grief as Hannibal Lector would be giving a rousing speech at a Pro-Vegetarian Convention.
If Michael Jackson had been in the news the day before, it would have been to make some snide reference to his weird appearance or spiraling debt. A chance to snicker over his eccentric behaviour, dredge up his checkered legal history or make even more assumptions as to why he did what he did.
If he had been on the news the day before, it certainly wouldn’t have been to commend his genius lyrics, his skill on the dance floor or the 5 decades worth of contribution he has made to the music industry. These sort of accolades, sadly, only come with death.
It would be nice to think that a man who has provided so many people with the musical backdrop for a lifetime of memories, be remembered for what he has achieved and not what he so royally buggered up.
OK, so maybe he did look rather odd, and for some strange reason chose to sleep in an oxygen chamber with a chimp called Bubbles. But for heavens sake, the inhabitants of Hollywood are powered by silicon and Botox, and half the stars are already onto their 2nd face. Joan Rivers certainly looks like an extra from Thriller, and no one seems to give her such a hard time.
And perhaps Michael Jackson did somehow manage to get himself into millions of dollars worth of debt, and then have to sell off his ranch and glittery glove to bring in some cash. But so what. Who are we all to judge? After all, those who live in houses built with credit cards, wear clothes bought with store cards and drive cars paid for by legal loan sharks, really shouldn’t throw stones.
Really, if you take comparative salaries into account, Michael Jackson buying a Ferris wheel and a couple of tigers, or a pair of 6 foot solid gold flamingos for his front lawn is really no different to the average person slapping a $1000 handbag or the latest Plasma on their plastic. Especially when they know all to well that there isn’t a hope in hell of ever being able to pay it off before the interest charges double the actual cost.
Michael Jackson lived his life on the stage, lost his childhood as a result and probably never really had a chance to grow up and experience the real world. Many would say that that was his choice, that he chose the life he lived. But those same people were also probably happy to sing along to the music he made and try their hand at a spot of moon-walking.
So lets hope, that instead of dragging his death through another media rumour mill, with endless ‘explosive’ new allegations and ‘shocking’ breaking headlines, he will finally be given a little respect and laid to rest in peace, and we can get back to our regular TV viewing.