Unless you live under a rock, you know Michael Jackson died this week. As many of you, I watched it unfold on Twitter – “MJ went to the hospital”, “MJ suffered cardiac arrest”, “MJ is dead”, “Is he dead?”, “Can anyone confirm he’s dead?”, “Can anyone BESIDES TMZ confirm it?”.
And, you know… I didn’t really have a feeling about it.
Once the death was confirmed, I didn’t have a feeling about it. People are sad for sure, but I’ve been meh about it all. It’s not that I don’t understand what it’s like to mourn the passage of a music icon (and in the height of grunge I was so saddened by Kurt Cobain’s suicide that I should be embarassed that I lacked any reaction at all to Michael Jackson, but I’m just gonna say: I was a teenager and teenagers are stupid).
The thing I did have a feeling about was the media feeding frenzy and how horrible it would be if a member in your family was in the hospital and millions of people felt they had a right to know how your family member was before you did – that in some way they were seeking ownership of your family member at a time that was particularly brutal to you. I understand the curiosity involving people in the public eye - and know that Michael Jackson kind of was a hat full of crazy at times – or at least that is the perception he gave the public in recent years.
But, crazy people are still people too. And that’s still someone’s son. Brother. Father. Friend.
I read People magazine. I watch trash on television. I consume pop culture by the handfuls in various ways – and I love it – but for the first time, I was bothered by how some people react.
So, that’s my opinion on it. It’s sad that the maker of a lot of great music will no longer be making great music. But that great music is still there and people are still listening to it (and if you don’t believe me, check out the Top 100 songs downloaded on iTunes – when I checked Friday, 45 of the top 100 were Michael Jackson or Jackson 5 songs. Dang).