Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Michael Jackson, R.I.P. (yes, from me too)

Okay, so another rant for today, and then I promise I'll post something else on top for those who just want to see pretty pictures.

I had the most emotional lunch today. As soon as I had started eating, Michael Jackson's memorial service had started. I was not prepared to see his coffin. Coffins and body bags deeply disturb me. I was sad and depressed for a couple of weeks after Heath Ledger died, even though I can't say that he was one of my favorite actors. And I'll always remember somberly watching Princess Di's funeral. Today, I was nearly bawling when Mariah Carey was singing 'I'll Be There'. Then I was turning red because I was so mad at the inconsiderate ladies next to me complaining about hearing about Michael Jackson so much (even though it was his memorial service for goodness sake, with his coffin and his family in attendance). Both of these emotions sort of surprised me.

The thing is, I was never a Michael Jackson fan in any respect. I didn't grow up on his music, I don't own any of his albums, I didn't see 'Thriller' until less than a year ago, I couldn't recognize any dance moves as being his, and I couldn't name/identify a Michael Jackson song if my life depended on it. All I knew/thought about him had been gleaned from the media. And it wasn't until a day or two after his death that I realized how sad and depressing it was that the public's opinion of him was solely media based. Not only that, but I can only vaguely imagine how that fact affected Michael himself, knowing that us, the audience he performed for, already had a preconceived idea of him, no matter what he did. He had enough issues to deal with from having no childhood/being abused as a child/drug addiction/failed relationships/etc. aside from such a widespread condemnation. And I was one of those people who automatically found him guilty, simply because 'weirdo' and 'Michael Jackson' were quite synonymous to me. When I heard last week that the main kid that had caused the whole child molestation case admitted that his dad made him lie about it, I immediately decided that my whole mindset about Michael Jackson had been unfair and wrong. Furthermore, I'm surprised I didn't even know about the immense humanitarian work he did until this past week. Goes to show what wearing media blinders does to a person.

I don't necessarily think that celebrity deaths deserve more mourning than the hundreds/thousands of regular good people that die every day. But I also don't think that celebrities' mistakes and shortcomings deserve to be blown into scandals and talked about by people who don't know them at all. Michael Jackson deserves to be remembered and respected for the good he did, and mourned for leaving us too soon, just like any other human being. I, for one, have jumped on at least the back corner of the M.J. bandwagon. And as my personal apology for being another ignorant person, I shall go out and buy at least one or two Michael Jackson albums, when they are finally available again that is.

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