Add me to the list of those not quite understanding all of the hoopla surrounding the death of and memorial service for Michael Jackson.
He died on June 25th, the same day my husband, The Dawg, died. It’s been 12 days.
Yes, Michael Jackson died at what our society considers an early age: 50.
Yes, Jackson’s death was a surprise; it was unexpected. We knew Farrah Fawcett was seriously ill and nearing death, so when she died on the same day, it was not a shock.
Perhaps some people thought Michael Jackson was healthy. As the clips of Michael Jackson from the last year or so fill the television screens, I see someone who walked as though he were drugged on occasion, or on several occasions. He didn’t look healthy to me.
Yes, there are questions and suspicions about Jackson’s death. How did he get the drugs found in his system? How did he get those quantities?
Michael Jackson was a talented musician and a terrific performer, but other performers have died in the last few weeks: Karl Malden, Gale Storm, Billy Mays, Fred Travalena, Ed McMahon, David Carradine, for example. Were they as sensational as Jackson?
Nor were they as controversial. Questions and allegations were a big part of the last several years of Jackson’s life. Some even described him as “freakish.”
Still, the coverage of the aftermath of Jackson’s death has gone beyond the pale. (No pun intended.) Today the three major networks are changing regular programming to cover the memorial service.
This kind of treatment is usually reserved for presidents and royalty. The last time I remember so much hoopla was in 1997 when Princess Diana was killed in a car crash. But, of course, Jackson was royalty of a sort; he was the “King of Pop.”
Probably more influential to music, though, was James Brown, the “King of Soul.” There was no such extensive coverage for him.
Yesterday, seven American servicemen were killed in Afghanistan. Those are the heroes and they are the ones who deserve the coverage.
Where are our values?
Jackson photo from Wikipedia.