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Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson Dies

I was completely shocked to learn in the last few hours the news that Michael Jackson died. Apparently of a heart attack.

I was huge fan of Michael Jackson as a child and he's a huge influence. Of course we don't know what's happened exactly or what's led up to this, but I kept hearing stories over the last couple of weeks about this postponed tour of Michael Jackson and that he was not eating, was terrified of putting on weight and that he was working with Lou Ferrigno of Incredible Hulk fame to try to get his nutrition and physical self on track. Apparently, I'm just learning these eating difficulties originated 15 years earlier when allegations against him started, and I didn't know until I started reading about this, Jackson had at various times been taking a cocktail of different prescription drugs, although it's not clear if he was still taking any.

It's too early to say obviously, but I think it's kind of interesting and ironic that outlets like ABC News suggest that stress may have been a factor in this. And I just wonder where ABC think that stress came from ? I'd say it's come largely from the media itself.

As well as being a phenomenal legend in entertainment, Michael Jackson also seemed to do some things that were only going to raise an eyebrow or two. Even a hint of anything unusual to do with children is quite enough for any normal person to be aghast. And being aghast is absolutely a perfectly correct reaction, but at the same time it doesn't mean at all that anything actually sinister was ever going on. And from what I've read about this it seems there never was actually any real proof that anything sinister ever was going on, rather Jackson just simply wanted to be like a child.

I have heard it suggested some time ago on Michael Collins Piper's radio show that Michael Jackson may have been set up at some point with what would become allegations against him to extort money out of him perhaps by distorting the above into other allegations which he would have been very vulnerable to, and there certainly seems to be some case in that direction. And we know as well later on he had some financial difficulties.

The BBC in their coverage interviewed Uri Geller, who they describe as a 'close friend', but as I understand it Jackson stopped being friends with Geller some time ago and saw him as a problem and hanger on and someone who betrayed him and he blamed Geller for the dreadful Martin Bashir documentary that led to a court case against Jackson.

Later he was fully acquitted of any wrongdoing and I'm not surprised, if you really were a child abuser why on Earth would you go on worldwide TV and flaunt it around ? It seems more likely it was because Jackson's intentions were entirely innocent of that, albeit highly unusual and perhaps not healthy in other ways, that he did present himself the way he did in that film.

It's a very very bad thing when a huge personality, icon, performer, 'eccentric' and individual leaves this world, especially when the media has had a hand in attacking them as an individual and as an eccentric , trying to bring them down somehow, reveling in publishing negative headlines about them and treating them as a sideshow.

But it also shows that media don't always win these wars with the public.

BBC News interviewed Rob Levine, executive editor of Billboard Magazine who said that he doubted that the likes of Michael Jackson will ever be seen again. Another guest they had on, who's name I didn't catch, suggested that it was the end of an era, the end of the eighties and the music industry that was, the time of mass global stars was over, and that the music industry today is fragmenting, falling apart, and so diverse that it is extremely unlikely you will ever have a global hyper star in the way Jackson was. I don't know about you but I find this pretty scary, and I'm sorry to say I think there's some truth in it.

As I'm writing this I'm watching BBC News with a clip of Michael next to that guy who presents Big Brother. I mean this is not super stardom when people like Michael Jackson are rubbing shoulders with people like that, this is trying to adapt to a world that's changed and dropped these super celebrities in it.

I think the same thing applies to Madonna as well who managed to effectively dissolve a lot of her super star status by moving to the UK and marrying that guy she did. Yeah they still had a lot of pull in today's press, but it's a different kind of pull than they had in the eighties.

In this proletarian clamor for 'equality' led by one thread of the media for their own reasons, the nature of celebrity has changed somewhat, but this is bad news for everyone.

What do we have to look forward to in this scenario ? Boring plebs and trolls fighting for attention on Facebook, Myspace or Twitter dizzy with glee to be made 'equal' to their benign masters ? And that's as well as celebrities using those sites to try to 'communicate ' with the 'real people', almost afraid they will be stripped of anymore of their status if they don't comply with this new game.

A good job then that great artists of any kind will always just produce great work. They do it automatically and anyway and influence others.

RIP Michael.



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