Friday, June 26, 2009

Please Restrain "Flaming Me" about "Jacko"

Wikipedia Definition: "flaming:" Flaming is a hostile and insulting interaction between Internet users. This is the short definition; see link for more details.

Over the past 48 hours three entertainment icons have died. The "big C" (cancer)played a major role in, or was the cause of, death in two icons [Ed McMahon (The Tonight Show), Farrah Fawsett (Charlie's Angels)]. As a so-far cancer survivor myself, I, and many others, refer to cancer as the fear-filled verdict, "big C."

But this post is not about cancer.

The third person, who somewhat unexpectedly died, was the world King of Pop, Michael Jackson, also called "Jacko" [Thriller]to the British. Some will argue he superseded Elvis Presley as the musical star who defined and changed popular music and entertainment. Jackson's Thriller, is the bestselling album of all time (to date).

Nor is this post a tribute to Michael Jackson vs. Ed McMahon or Farrah Fawsett.

This post my perception of how the U.S. media and citizens' response to Jackson's death is perceived by our global community.

Yesterday about 5:30 p.m. I left the house for a city council meeting. The news channels had just broke the news of Jackson's cardiac collapse into unconsciousness and transport to a hospital.

As the council arrived after me, the informal conversation, including myself, evolved around the news of Jackson's death.

After the council meeting I returned home and reflected how our council reaction was a microcosm of the U.S. and, to some extent international, media's response. The purpose for which we were to assemble was momentarily suspended for our immediate reaction to untimely death of Jackson.

Every broadcast and cable news channel had canceled their normal programming to covering the unexpected death of Jackson, from speculation of "real" cause of death to his personal debt, controversial life style, impunity of his troubling legal cases, and his defining music.

The deaths of McMahon and Fawsett were shelved, cryptically mentioned as a footnotes to broadcasts.

Fawsett had documented her cancer battle in video, photos and interviews. Although controversial, she considered it her contribution to the subject of "Big C". I have seen clips of this footage; as a cancer survivor of 14 years, it is exceptionally difficult to watch.

However, I wonder how our adulation of a "pop" entertainment icon and blanket media focus is perceived by Iranians dying in the streets for freedom of expression, or starving millions in many countries like Zimbabwe, or tyrannical suppression in countries like Sudan which takes from the impoverished and gives to the oppressive governing powers.

If you every lived in a third world country, as I have, you would realize how the U.S. is perceived immoral, overtly wealthy, ungodly, status seeking and status worshipping, evil country to be scorned by cultures with differing ideologies.

Envy may play a part in this perception, but sit back and try to see this event unfold through the eyes of persons totally unacquainted with western culture, particularly US culture. As this adulation is played out over the next few days, try to see this media blanket coverage, which has superseded military casualties in two wars, death on the streets of cities in Iran, daily deaths attributed to chronic malnutrition and starvation and oppression on nearly every continent, through the eyes of our global community.

In my advanced years I have few heroes, because the pedestals of too many of my "heroes" were made of clay. If I have "heroes", they are the everyday people, who toil anonymously to live and work responsibly, dwelling among us without acclaim or identity; their only "acclaim to fame" is their obituaries: neighbors, husbands and wives, teachers, laborers, clerks. retirees, and children.

Please allow me to acknowledge these three deaths as I would any one's death. Death is a common denominator which equalizes us all.

" Thriller" (You Tube Video)


Amber Star said...

Did someone flame you about this? That's not right...and they would probably be the first to scream about First Ammendment Rights. I'm a 45 year survivor.

NitWit1 said...

Amber Star: No, no flaming,but I feared that if I did not fall down at the feet of Jackson and worship, I would be flamed. I tried not to be too negative although I never liked his or a number of other pop artists' work.

His early work and Elvis's later work I liked. I never was too much rock N'roll pop, or even more recent evolution of music which attracts young people.

I would hate to have children and monitor their listening or viewing habits, because I never "heard" the words; however I recognize lewd behavior including dancing when i see it.

Carol @ TheWritersPorch said...

MJ was a young man blessed with tremendous talent who for some reason, lost his way. The guy was a very strange and twisted person whom
I pray is at peace now!

Arkansas Patti said...

The only song he sang that I liked was "Will YOu Be There" the theme from Free Willy. This is a beautiful song that really lays bare his feelings about his feelings of loss. Other than that song, he never touched me the way he touched millions.
You are so right about death being the "common denominator."

Pat - Arkansas said...

I live in a self-selected state of unawareness, except for those things that really matter to me. When the internet news headlines stated that the "King of Pop" had died, I had NO idea about whom they were speaking. Hope you receive no flames over this post on "Jacko."

We are ALL going to die, of one thing or another. Every day is a gift.

D Anderson said...

This has certainly been a tough week for celebrities

Liz said...

I was amazed at the fuss about Micheal Jackson's death. I suppose I am too old to appreciate what his music meant to some.

He was a very sad and strange character.

Mik said...

Here via the Screwed up Texan's blog.
Jacko (I'm a Brit) was never one of my favorite singers and I can't say I have listened to a lot of his stuff, he was a strange and unusual person. I am surprised at the surge in buying and downloading of his music, didn't these people like him when he was alive?

NitWit1 said...

Nitwit to those who comment: I guess the only Jackson song to which I related was WE ARE THE WORLD, (I think I got the title right!).

The media in US is re-running and re-playing many of his performances and music 24 hours a day on some channel. I have heard some songs to which I can relate.

Jacko comes across as a tortured soul and mind. Whatever caused his death, his choices contributed to his demise.

As his private life becomes exposed to public scrutiny, his private, isolated hell will become more transparent.

One thing is certain, his wealth was stolen by his "handlers" and his own free spending.

I would not trade my life, as imperfect as it is, with his.