Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson - Part II

After reading my bloggy friend Blue State Cowgirl's comment on my post from yesterday and in light of a discussion MB and I had last night, I felt it appropriate to make a follow up post.

MB is still saddened over the loss, so I will need to tread lightly, although he rarely ever reads my blog. He was such a big fan that he has been receiving calls from friends and co-workers all morning. Everyone knew about his fascination with all things Michael Jackson related. Which makes me feel like crap because he just pointed out how awesome it is that everyone is calling vs. my "lack of consolation" or what I prefer to call "spirited debate."

My question is whether the mainstream press is now over-glorifying the life of Michael Jackson? Do we need to look at both sides of the "man" or, now that he is gone, focus only on the positive? There is no denying he was a musical genius whose songs played a pivotal soundtrack to those of us who came of age in the 80's. But anytime someone goes this far off track in their personal life, one can hardly ignore it all together.

Listening to the morning news programs today, there were many "reflections" read on the air from other stars. The one that struck me the most was from Dick Clark, saying that Michael Jackson was the "most outstanding" person that he ever met. Really? As I said to MB last night, the guy was no Mother Theresa. I find it hard to ignore the whole molestation issue when he paid what was rumored to be around $20 million to one of his "victims." I am very suspicious by nature and find it hard to believe someone who is innocent would pay that much money to make the "problem" go away....

My question to you this morning is: Do you find that the news coverage in the wake of this tragedy has been too slanted to the point of glorifying the star while minimizing the unpleasantries that were so much a part of his life? Is it disrespectful to look at both sides of the issue now that he is gone?

One thing's for sure, Gov. Mark "I wasn't on the Appalachian Trial, I was chasing Argentinian Tail" Sanford is probably breathing a sigh of relief as he gets pushed from the front pages - and Kate Gosselin can pack away her tiny blue bikini and go back to wearing more comfortable duds around the yard for a few weeks at the very least...


Kathie @ my net finds said...

I am actually surprised that the media is focusing on the positive of Michael Jackson! The media usually gets in a frenzy over pointing out the negative about anyone or anything to the point they're beating a dead horse. I think this happens when anyone dies....people only the say the good about the deceased. Sometimes it's a matter of respect, sometimes it's just because that's how it seems to be in society. Just my thoughts! :-)

Suburbia Steph said...

I wonder what Dick Clark had to say about his bff Ed McMahon??

What I've seen hasn't all glorified the life of MJ. They keep rehashing the child molestation charges, etc. which I'm personally tired of hearing about. It's not for us to judge ~ he's already met his maker for that judgement. According to MJ, that trial could've continued on for YEARS & he was advised to basically make it go away. I think the sleepovers & stuff are odd to say the least, but he most definitely led a very unordinary life. Besides, the parents of the child/children - whatever it was were caught conspiring against him for the gain of money. I say let it die, right along with him.

Anyway, regardless, he is a legend, and I would expect the coverage to continue for DAYS to come ~ at least we won't be hearing (hopefully) about those Gosselin's! Whew! I really needed a break from their shizz!

:) Jamon it!

Yankee Girl said...

I found a good editorial in the Huffington Post today that says it better than I ever could.

Amanda said...

THANK YOU for pointing out what I have been thinking.

He IS a pedofile!! How dare this screwed up country glorify him??? He dangled a baby, he had more plastic surgeries then any human should, he fathered children and gave them screwed up names and divorced their mother and ran his estate into the ground and may be in debt for millions.

Just cause he made some music doesn't make him a great person!!!


This makes me ill!!!

When are people gonna wake up and get their priorities straight???

Karie said...

I guess in my opinion since he is dead, what is the point of being negative? It won't fix anything he did, it won't solve any problems, and there is enough negativity in the world as it is. I think it's good they are being positive and just letting it be. I'm sure eventually there will be conspiracy's but for now, I'm happy people are focusing on the positive. Besides, he is gone... anything negative will all be things his family has to deal with now. I would feel very bad for them if that happened.

Blue State Cowgirl said...

Maybe it's easier for me because I was never a big fan, but I can't get beyond the child molestation thing. Even with his screwed up childhood. There are a lot of people with screwed up childhoods who lacked his resources,yet never crossed that line. The taint of that crime (and c'mon, we know he did it) will forever overshadow his talent.

The coverage is definitely glossing over the crimes. All I"m hearing is "his personal problems aside, he was a great talent". But how can you set them aside?

While there is redemption for almost everything, child sexual molestation is that one crime that can never be forgiven.

Mommy24cs said...

I don't know whether he did what he is accused of or not. His actions seem to point towards guilty but there are only three people who will ever really know the truth. I think since he is no longer here and able to defend himself then it shouldn't be rehashed. It all goes back to the saying "Never judge a man until you've walked a mile in his shoes" We really have no idea who the real MJ is. Only what he allowed us to see.

Amanda said...

Lets make this personal for a moment.

Suppose YOUR child is the one that he "alledgedly" molested, and you turn on the news and people are ranting and raving about what a great guy he is.

Who ever said that we don't need to be negative is mostly right... but then the opposite is true. There is NO need to glorify a man who made such irrational and hasty and often dangerous choices in his life. Choices that HURT others.

He HURT innocent children and treir families.

I think the accolades and praise are just sick and disrespectful.

Blue State Cowgirl said...

All this glorifying of Michael Jackson puts me in mind of Duke Ellington's tribute to Louis Armstrong: "He was born poor. He died rich. And he never hurt anyone along the way."

Can't be said of Michael Jackson. Revere the talent. Yes, he had it. (Although all his moonwalking moves were cribbed from Chitlin Circuit Black entertainers of the 30s, 40s and 50s like the Hines Brothers.) But his weirdness and his shocking treatment of children -- his own and others -- should also be front and center as it's a valid part of his "legacy".

Blue State Cowgirl said...

Ooops. Meant to credit the Nicholas Brothers and Honi Coles as some of the original Moonwalkers. The Hines Brothers were a little later although equally talented.

~Kristen~ said...

I don't know if he did it or didn't. As another commenter noted, now we will never know for sure. Do I think he was capable of it? Probably. But I can't say for sure since I don't know him. And I won't villify a man who is now dead, at too young an age. He still has children and family left behind. Should he be getting ripped to shreds now? Yes, he was odd. Yes, I think his best music was made years ago. But what point does it serve now that he is gone to crucify the man? Let him just rest in peace. We will never know if he did the things he was accused of. He was never convicted so to call him a pedophile is pretty cruel. Amanda you seem to be overly excited about this...I think you need to let it go.

Alicia said...

Maybe I'm old fashioned, but out of respect for the dead, I find it tacky to rake over all the negative aspects of his life. We all know about it, why rehash it? His poor family doesn't need that at this time...and at the end of the day, he was a musical genius, which is the way I hope to remember him.

Melissa B. said...

The man did have an impact on popular music, and I think we need to acknowledge that, but I'm already sick of the "talking heads" on TV. To fill air time, they prattle on about the most senseless things! I got my MJ fix earlier today while watching old videos on MTV. That was the proper kind of tribute, I think. And no, I don't think MJ was better than the Beatles.

Amanda said...

Hey Lady... hope you don't mind me hovering over your comment section for the day. Each time I check it seems there is a new a fascinating persepctive from one of your loyal readers.

I just have a few words for Kristin. I did not "villify" MJ... his actions speak for themselves.
Did you know that he has settled out of court in a NUMBER of cases of child abuse???
One? Maybe it was money hungry parents. Two? Maybe there was a misunderstanding. Three? Four? Five? There is a serious problem.

That being said...

I am disgusted at how the media and other celebrities (and apparently everyday folk who like his music and feel the need to jump to his defense) are PRAISING HIM and GLORIFYING him-I think it is sick and demented that someone can have criminal behavior and people still think they are awesome.

To me, it is the equivalent of having memorials and tributes for Ted Bundy upon his passing.

I will always stand up for the innocent and the broken.

Anyone who has ever dealt with child abuse and molestation and child rape does not take such topics lightly.

Joy said...

I said to my husband yesterday when we heard about it that I hoped the media wouldn't rewrite history and uber-glorify him. The celebrity statements flooding in have confirmed my suspicions. :o(

Lucy said...

It will all settle down and books will be written with all different perspectives and people will come to their own conclusions.

The only thing that cannot be denied is that when a person dies we tend to not talk about the bad stuff first off and we focus on the good. He did have a great career.

I hope when I die my family talks about me favorably in the beginning and then overtime they can remember my bitchy moments.

Believe me no one will ever forget the guy was creepy but gosh, let the people who loved him grieve and then pull all the stuff out of the closet later.

Blue State Cowgirl said...

I agree with wanting to remember the good in the early days after a celebrity's death. But unfortunately, Michael Jackson committed the crime that cannot be forgiven. By his own taped admission, he brought little boys to his bed. And one of his young accusers identified, in detail, his penis, so, in some way shape or form, he showed his privates to a child. Even if there wasn't penetration, both incidents are behavior that come under the umbrella of child sexual abuse -- placing a child in a sexualized position. Abuse victims will tell you, it can be traumatic.

I'd feel sorrier for his family, except they were enablers in this. Someone close to him should have stepped in and stopped this behavior -- which they all knew about. But he was such a meal ticket.

HIs talent can never excuse these actions. And it sends a bad message to sweep it all under the carpet because he's dead or because he was a superstar.

curiousmind said...

MJ led a tragic life that is not too perfect--I mean, not perfect at all but he did great music and we must commend him for that. what I don't like is that the media goes on and on glorifying him as a person instead of focusing on his work; as far as I could remember, they're the ones who labeled him as "wacko jacko", so i find it weird hearing them now talking about how good a person he was.

angelcel said...

"Wacko Jacko" - yes, that's precisely what was crossing my mind yesterday. Having gone down one track, how will the press react now? I actually knew the answer already - he will initially be practically deified ... until such time as those who want to make a fast buck out of 'The *Real* Michael Jackson' stories start crawling out of the woodwork. (And there will be *plenty* of those). I'm afraid the Press are predictable and, I have to say, so are the public.
I'm sad for his family, I mourn the loss of a part of my youth and the talent that he showed back then but as a person? Basically the jury is still out. .. All I can say is that knowing what we do now, I wouldn't have left *my* children in his care.

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Christina said...

Well, we have opened quite the can of worms here haven't we?!?

You know what they say about opinions.... everyone is entitled to one.

Now, that being said...
My biggest problem with the whole MJ coverage is the lack of equality. Nary a word is mentioned about Farrah, and Ed... Ed who? Hardly anyone even realizes Mr. McMahon passed away.

I believe you must separate the man from the musician. You do not appreciate art for who the artist is... you appreciate it for its quality and beauty.

Consider Pablo Picasso, Edgar Allan Poe, and even more recently Robert Blake, and Phil Spector ... although each of these men has a troubled personal life we continue to purchase/view their paintings, literature, television shows, and musical productions. I could go on into other historical figures, but I believe you get the idea.

Michael Jackson was truly a talented musician and an important part of musical history. He influenced many musicians and should be remembered for his accomplishments and contributions to the music world.

{I shall now step down from my soapbox}

BIBI said...

Ditto what Kathie said. I am too surprised that the media is covering positive things about Michael Jackson.

I too am saddened about the news about MJ. So much so that I totally screwed up my final in accounting class. But the worse case scenario is not saying a proper goodbye.

How does one do it? And I so totally agree with you on the suspicious thing. How do you say good-bye to someone who undoubtly was talented in the music arena, but his personal life was IN a shambles?

Do you still celebrate the artist while ignoring his personal life as well? They both seem to be tied up into one don't you think?

In answer to your questions, no I don't think that it is the media being slanted, they are just scooping for the best story coverage. But I doubt that it will be yesterday's news next week.

Heather said...

Just because someone has died does not wipe out their "mistakes" in life. To put this guy up on a pedestal and to ignore his many issues is stupid, and as far as journalists go, irresponsible. I'm tired of all this news coverage, it's sickening. Did former President Ford get this much attention when he passed away? Or Reagan? Or Nixon? I think not. There's something wrong with that.

Beth said...

Michael Jackson definitely wrote some of the music that makes up the soundtrack of my childhood. I always saw him as a tortured soul. Without a doubt, there had to be some mental illness going on. That doesn't make it right if he did or didn't do inappropriate things to children but it does make it sad that he had such demons to battle.

I'm not jumping on the media bandwagon but I do think it is okay for the world to mourn this character in whatever way they see fit (even though it is a tad annoying).

As for me, I will just continue to thank my lucky stars that my family is MY family. I feel sorry for Jackson's kids.

Roshni Mitra Chintalapati said...

I think you're absolutely right! I agree that he was a pop icon and he gave us some great music (well, to some people), but he also made some huge mistakes, bad decisions and unsavoury stuff. He is by no means a saint and the attempt by his fans to make him into one at this point is ludicrous! Where were they when he was alive and going through all that negative publicity?

jodifur said...

I think the whole thing is insane. LA spent 1.5 million dollars on the "funereal" and is now asking for contributions. It was a spectacle. And I felt terrible for his children who were forced to grieve in public. Sorrow like that should be private.

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