More thoughts on Michael Jackson's death
I'm still working on some special Michael Jackson features for the blog, most likely coming next week, but in the meantime I thought I'd post some thoughts I shared on Twitter. It's not yet confirmed that his death was drug-related, and as a literally lifelong fan I am extremely hesitant to talk about any speculative, scandalous, or tabloid-esque rumors. Michael detested the endless speculation... I recall these lyrics from Tabloid Junkie:
You say it's not a sword
But with your pen you torture men
You'd crucify the Lord
And you don't have to read it
And you don't have to eat it
To buy it is to feed it
So why do we keep foolin' ourselves
Just because you read it in a magazine
Or see it on the TV screen
Don't make it factual
Though everybody wants to read all about it
--Michael Jackson, Tabloid Junkie
In this celebrity gossip obsessed society, those lyrics apply even more fifteen years after they were written. As I was saying, I don't want to talk about anything negative in the wake of his death, and especially not anything unconfirmed and speculative. But even just the idea that his death was anything other than one of natural causes... is devastating to think about. And in response to that, these were my thoughts:
"We never deserve these unbelievably talented stars, yet we demand more and more from them. Then we lose them to the pressures and/or drugs. We need to take care of our celebrated public figures just as we care for our own beloved family members--there should be some protection against the yes-men and money hungry doctors who furnish these fragile souls (Elvis, Michael Jackson) with the drugs that end their lives. Those who seek celebrity (myself included) are lacking something to begin with. We seek to fill that void. Few fill it and transcend. He was an artist of escapism, and he has finally escaped all that burdened him, but I wish the world had been more understanding and caring. He wanted so badly to heal the world, but the world never wanted to heal Michael Jackson. Now, too late, we'd give anything to change this."
--posted by @poeticonic on Twitter, 6/30/2009
Our most cherished celebs are often remembered in a much better light in death than they were celebrated in life, and unfortunately for at least the last fifteen years that was the case with Michael Jackson. There were things we didn't understand and things we were afraid of. His appearance changed drastically, there were frightening allegations, and his perfectionist ways meant very long breaks between albums so there wasn't a whole lot to keep our society's short attention span focused on him. Now the world remembers. They're literally dancing, and crying, in the streets. I guess I just hope that all of this reminds us to treat everyone in our lives a little more gently and with a lot more love. We honestly never know which breath will be our last.
Some well-composed thoughts on MJ coming next week rather than these random thoughts! Have a good 4th of July weekend!
photo credit: Valerious on flickr