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Posted by on Jul 7, 2009 in Media, Society | 7 comments

Pop Killed the King of Pop

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Watching the coverage of the death of Michael Jackson has disgusted me. It wasn’t the horrific OK! Magazine front page, or the so called ‘Friends of Michael’ speaking to anyone who wants to listen or a US congressman’s comments that engulfed me with the deepest sense of green vomitry but its the way the coverage has been conducted– with the disrespectful tone in which they have shown their ‘respect’.

I have watched and read numerous accounts on the death of other public figures such as Princess Di, Frank Sinatra and of course Elvis, but none of those accounts of history have they shown this ill-executed form of ‘respect’.

You want an example?

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How dare Al Sharpton accuse the media of not showing the Jackson Family any respect? Why shouldn’t the media speak about the child-molestation trial? The coverage has been largely favorable? Oh the audacity of the reverend.

Lets forget that you and hundreds of other world-wide media outlets are camped outside the Jackson residence, speculating who are the biological parents of Michael Jackson’s three children and whether Michael Jackson was gay, straight, both or asexual (remind me why that is anyone else’s business again?). Also let’s forget that Michael Jackson was found innocent in court of law against the charges of child molestation – but there in lies the rub.

According to Congressman Peter King, Michael Jackson is a pervert and a lowlife. Peter King like many others in the western world does not believe in the democratic courts system. To Mr King and many others, Michael Jackson was a freak, he was not like other normal people and he wasn’t like other guys. And I agree to a certain extent. But I ask you how normal would you be if you had been in the public spotlight for 41 of your 50 years? How would you know what normal is if every aspect of your life was anything but? How can you be a normal kid, a normal teenager, a normal man if you were the global pop superstar that Michael Jackson was?

Make no mistake about it, the culture we westerners live in today, the pop culture, the media centric, image conscious, build ‘em up and knock ‘em down world killed Michael Jackson.

Ironically the ‘king of pop’ was killed by his subjects.

So Al Sharpton is right to say that the media have not shown Michael Jackson any respect, though I believe he did not go far enough. We have not shown Michael Jackson the respect he deserved both in life and in death.

While we can separate other popular figures’ popular coda from the actual personality, with Michael Jackson we couldn’t separate the superstar from the man. To us he has always been the child prodigy, the talented teen, the global superstar and the freakshow – never just a human being. To many JFK was a great leader, an inspiration but his womaniser ways are just his humanistic flaws – he was just human after all. Why wasn’t (isn’t) the same formula applied to Michael Jackson?

Make no mistake, we all killed Michael Jackson. Everyone who consumes popular culture dealt a blow to which I believe was a very fragile human being. The pressures of having to perform at such an early age, the overbearing pressures of success, the indecent accusations and ultimately being rejected from the institution that once praised him – one way or another we all played a part.

I for one wish the man and his family nothing but peace, but the kingdom in which he once ruled will find it difficult to do the same.

The cartoon by Petar Pismestrovic, Kleine Zeitung, Austria, is copyrighted and licensed to appear on TMV. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

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Copyright 2009 The Moderate Voice
  • Jeck08

    I guess everybody wants to see him for the last time. Thanks for sharing this. I found this Michael Jackson comeback book that will surely become a valued collector’s item.

  • FiveOTrader

    Excellent analysis! The best I’ve read yet and trust me, I read everything Google serves up, thanks.

  • Give me a f-ing break. Jackson may have been forced into the limelight as a child, but he made a decision as an adult to further his entertainment career. The “coverage” of Jackson’s death has taken fawning to new levels. He’s been compared to JFK, Martin Luther King, Jr, and Jackie Robinson. The truth is that he was none of those. He’s not even in the same universe as those men.

    Also let’s forget that Michael Jackson was found innocent in court of law against the charges of child molestation – but there in lies the rub.

    Let’s also forget that several of the jurors said at the time that they thought he had molested children but they lacked the evidence to convict. Let’s forget that he openly admitted to having children sleep in his bed with him. Let’s forget that this was after he had already paid one family over $20 million to make another court case go away. Let’s forget that there were other confidential agreements negotiated to buy the silence of other accusers.

    You are entitled to believe anything you want about Jackson. He’s just another man, and that’s all he ever was. But to say he hasn’t gotten respect is about as disrespectful to the intelligence of the reader as anything that could be printed. Freaking Congress stopped to honor him! They don’t even do that for our soldiers that get killed in action!

    But I ask you how normal would you be if you had been in the public spotlight for 41 of your 50 years? How would you know what normal is if every aspect of your life was anything but? How can you be a normal kid, a normal teenager, a normal man if you were the global pop superstar that Michael Jackson was?

    It was a spotlight he sought for most of those years. He could have retired from public life in the mid-80s and had all the normalcy he wanted. As far as handling fame is concerned – there are plenty of people who manage to do it (as well as many who do not). Let’s not somehow pretend the man had no control over his life or that he was somehow helpless.

    Give me a f-ing break.

  • hdhs1992

    I am sick and tired of hearing of Michael Jackson. He may have never been convicted but the idea of him sleeping with young boys implies such a weird and troubled man. Had this been the “average Joe” off the street he would have been convicted and the key thrown away. Enough is enough. May he not rest in peace.

  • kritt11

    I think Michael’s death has gotten far too much attention from the media-some of it fawning, some of it demeaning. He was a very talented but very troubled individual who at the time of his death had issues with his health, legal troubles, financial troubles and issues with his sexuality.

    I remember reading during his trial that members of the jury were invited to party with the family to celebrate MJ’s acquittal in court. And some did. Like that’s ever appropriate.

    Sorry, but for me, he was a very talented weirdo who couldn’t deal with it when his money started running out and his health started failing him.

  • rudi

    Also let’s forget that Michael Jackson was found innocent in court of law against the charges of child molestation – but there in lies the rub.

    He was found not guilty. That didn’t mean he was innocent. The jury found him less of a liar than the kids dysfunctional family.

  • evenmoredisgusted

    I’m beginning to see O’reilly’s point. MJ despised his african-american look so much, he didn’t want to look like any of his relatives. He is probably laughing up or down on everyone of us, and I strongly disagree on “We all killed MJ”, ultimately, the almighty dollar did, that his father wanted so much of when he sensed MJ’s potential. Maybe, I should say that his Dad put him where and what he was and where he is now.

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