So I must admit something. It's not easy to say, and in fact as an American I feel kind of bad about it, but...
I don't miss Michael Jackson that much.
It's a very sad thing that he died. It truly is. I think that with our medical system, when some passes before the age of 75, there's a feeling that remains of things undone, life unlived. There's tragedy to be felt in the sense of someone's time cut short. No doubt, I sense this for Michael Jackson. He was and is a human being, a sacred existence, and for this reason I have profound respect for him in the wake of his death and I would hate for my thoughts to be misconstrued. That said, I also sense a sort of gross exaggeration regarding the world-wide impact of his death. I take major issue with this, and with the overblown display of grief that took place today at the Staples' Center in LA.
First of all, I can't stand the Staples Center, because it costs so much to park there, even for a Clippers game. So just starting out, I've got some bad feelings about all this.
Second, a wise friend made the point that for all intents and purposes, Michael Jackson died 20 years ago, and only now are we mourning him. For the last 20 some-odd years (at least the whole of the 90s), this man has been a walking spectacle that the media has made a fortnue off of, simply for his strange and really disturbing antics. Even if he wasn't all that famous, this guy would still make headlines. He was weird.
From his troubled youth in the spotlight, to his inexplicable transformation into a white man, to his get-me-the-hell-out-of Neverland Ranch, to his inappropriate friendship with McCauley Kulkin, to his uncomfortably over-sexualized marriage to Lisa Marie Presley, to his multiple molestation trials, to his holding a babychild over the balcony of a hotel... this man has been a living, breathing, tabloid cover. A hott-mess, some would say. I mean, the guy was a freak of nature. Both his talent and his ability to like, be decent at life, are off the charts out of this world. But in different directions.
No lucid American (or Chilean for that matter) over the age of 10 can say they don't know of Michael Jackson. And of that group, I'd hedge my bet that 98% of them remember all the weird shit that he did, brought to us in our living rooms in the form of "News." But was any of that remembered today? Absolutely not. Because posthumously, one's inherent crazy-freaking-nuttiness is apparently forgotten. He was arguably the best entertainer of the 20th century, and perhaps, since Entertainment is a relatively new phenomenon, the best of all time. This is without question. But guys, MJ was a whack-job. He just was, you can't tell me he wasn't.
I guess being a whack-job earns you a big fancy-ass funeral with Bono in attendance, and regards from Nelson Mandela, and a Father Of The Year award. All you have to do is change the way people listen to music.
This is almost absurd. Except for that it's Michael Jackson, and by now absurdity is to be expected.
And another thing that sort of bugs me about all this fussing over this one man (keep in mind, he is ONE MAN) - people that couldn't have possibly known him all that well were performing at his funeral. This is what bothers me about people in that ridiculous industry. They just want attention.
Case in point: Jennifer Hudson.
Ok, so Jennifer Hudson is a talented singer. She's also African American.* SO WHAT?! Does this qualify her to be singing the Free Willy Song at MJ's funeral? I seriously doubt it! Guys - she was a contestant on American Idol. After she LOST, she somehow landed a part in "Dream Girls," and the rest is history. Did you catch that? SHE DIDN'T EVEN WIN, and she's singing the Free Willy Song. At Michael Jackson's funeral. This is the man who, at age 5, was singing "ABC" and "I Want You Back," and that's all I can think of. The Free Willy Song is epic. Epic! And yet, somehow, by some stroke of fate, Jennifer Hudson - the worst actress in the "Sex and the City" movie (and that's pretty bad) - sang the Free Willy Song. At Michael Jackson's funeral.
I can't express more fully my confusion and anger that this was allowed to happen.
To make a shorter point, I think all this blabbing about Michael Jackson's passing is kind of a lot of bunk. His music is awesome. His dancing is awesome. His strange sense of fashion is at the very least memorable.
But the dude was a little bonkers, and I just think we should all take a moment of silence and remember that.
*She's totally playing the race card here, so don't get all butt-hurt at me for mentioning it.