Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson Death Circus

I first saw Michael Jackson and his brothers at the Central Park Zoo. It was the same weekend they made their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan show.

I can recall vividly the hype and promotion. They were discovered by Diana Ross. Actually they weren't but what better way to sell them to the public. My siblings, friends and I bought every record and I still know the lyrics by heart.

Was he gay? Were he and Clifton Davis lovers? Why did he marry Elvis' daughter? Only one nose job? No way. Why are his kids' faces hidden? Did he molest children or was it innocent love as he claimed?

It will all be replayed ad nauseum. Celebrity worship is a sickness in our culture and it is about to be on full display for days, weeks, months and years on end. I recall joking with a friend and telling her that I hoped Jackson lived well into old age. If he died young, it would be like Elvis and Marilyn, but on steroids.

I don't want to watch the news tonight or tomorrow either for that matter. I can't think of anything else that will be the lede story. Iran is off the front pages. As my sister just pointed out to me, the philandering governor of South Carolina knocked Iran off the front pages.

We will see that insanity sells. Despite his legal problems, Jackson had millions of fans and had sold out more than 50 concerts scheduled to take place in London. Those fans are even now finding ways to make spectacles of themselves and weep on camera. Former employees and distant cousins will sell stories to the press.

It will be a hot mess. Too bad. Jackson had enormous talent and was an icon of popular culture. May he rest in peace and may we get back to thinking about what is important in our lives and in the world.