UPDATE: Click HERE.
“There are certain people in our popular culture that just capture people’s imaginations. And in death, they become even larger,” President Barack Obama told CBS while in Moscow. “Now, I have to admit that it’s also fed by a 24/7 media that is insatiable.”
“You know, this is part of American culture.
Michael Jackson, like Elvis, like Sinatra, when
somebody whose captivated the imagination of the
country for that long passes away, people pay
attention. And I assume at some point people will
start focusing again on things like nuclear
— President Obama
Indeed. And at some point. But not today. Elephants. Swat Team escort for the casket. World wide coverage. Facebook doing the Iran Twitter thing. It’s hard to take hold of the fact this is really just one man…a man-child weighing less than 140 pounds with an incredible talent and a messed up psyche. But still – it WAS just an extraordinary singing and dancing talent. He did not find a cure for cancer. He did not save lives from a potential plane crash. He did not end the wars in Afghanistan or Iraq. He did not “change the world” (and I don’t care what anyone says about that). But he made people feel good through his music and dancing. He generated excitement which always appeals to our base instincts. And now, now, he becomes larger in post life legend than he ever was while living. The media, for the past week, has served to foster his legend in non-stop 24/7 broadcasts in such a way that has his body of work soaring through the stratosphere.
He was, after all, only an entertainer. An entertainer. The degree of this present idolatry and adulation has exploded into something that is, in and of itself, even bigger than Jackson. An entertainer. Wow.
If you leave for mankind a legacy of being the King of Pop who sold tens of millions of records and generated billions of dollars, does that make you more godlike than the person whose legacy was that he/she found cures for diseases or any other thing that enhanced mankind?
What does all this say about us as a people? Not just Americans. But as people? One week a comparatively not so small percentage of the world’s population was impassioned by the events of the Iranian election. The next week – this.
Yes, Barry. At some point. At some point back to concern about real issues. One thing’s for certain. We won’t see a repeat of this magnitude in our lifetimes. And maybe never again. Maybe we will have morphed through technology and electronic gadgetry and medical science into a humankind devoid of its impassioned reactions to deaths of superstars or any emotion capable of exploding on a scale such as this.
Maybe. At some point. But not today.