the king and me: what michael jackson's death says about us
admittedly, i haven’t been as affected by mj’s sudden death as most others seem to be. while i’m saddened by his untimely end, the news registered with me more in a “damn. someone famous as f*ck just died!!” sense than a “he was a part of my life” sense.
(in fact, when my girlfriend first texted “m.jackson just died” to me, i assumed she was referring to “mark jackson“, which strangely made me feel a little worse than the actual truth)
despite this relative detachment, i’ve been mesmerized and amazed by the consensus public reaction to this news, and, by “the consensus public reaction to this news” i totally mean “the way we’ve, in our odd competition to be the best and most sincere at memorializing him¹, completely glossed over how f*cked up the last 25 years of his life were hawk the slayer online download “
mind you, i’m not attempting to throw more salt on michael jackson’s star-crossed life. if that were my goal, i’d merely spend 600 words juxtaposing his career, social, and public perception arc with r. kelly’s (they’re much, much, much, much, much more identical than you’d probably like to believe)
still, when a person has been…
a) defined by their abject weirdness for 90% of their adult life,
b) a lazy punchline for 50% of their adult life,
a suspected ***insert word that rhymes with “ghettopile”*** for a third of that time period
…i dont see how you can’t at least acknowledge this exaggerated freakishness when putting their legacy in context.
mj aside, his situation sheds a bit more light on the perception phenomenon discussed yesterday. while we don’t have definitive control over how we’ll be remembered, we can control what we remember about everyone else. you can even argue that our conscious choice to only recognize the positive aspects of a person’s life is our most desperate hope that this same luxury is extended to us.
thing is, whether you view this type of projection as practical or pathetic, you can’t argue the fact that there’s no bigger affront to what makes us fully human and no more disingenuous way to recall a person’s life…especially when you consider that our deeds usually come from the exact same place as our demons.
this is supremely true in regards to celebrities. the same visceral fervor that made tupac iconic basically killed him before his 26th birthday, and the hyper creative eccentricity that made mike moonwalk also contributed to his multiple self-mutilations, arrested development, and early death.
omitting these facts actually downplay and dishonor their accomplishments. there’s no such thing as an adversity-less icon. how can you fully appreciate malcolm x without being completely aware of malcolm little, and what future relevance would “black or white” hold without knowing that the song’s architect was actively attempting to be both black and white
i realize that this isn’t the most popular line of thinking, that some will see this as (at best) tactless and (at worst) malicious, and that its (extremely) presumptuous to tell someone how they should remember a person. still, this isn’t about michael jackson as much as my fascination with our peculiar reliance on technicolor memories. i just happen to prefer HD.
you know, with all this being said, i still hope that the half-page obit in the pittsburgh post-gazette honoring my (eventual) passing chooses not to include a half paragraph burb on my (future) infidelities and (present) p*rn addiction. lol, i guess i’m not so special after all.
yeti curse of the snow demon movie download on second thought… it might not be the worst thing in the world. at least it’d show i was human, and i think mike would have wanted the same thing.