Monday, June 29, 2009

Stirring the Echoes

The Michael Jackson tributes were everywhere over the weekend. Radio stations were playing his music, there were TV specials, had something, a Team USA soccer player paid homage after scoring a goal in the FIFA Confederation Cup finals in South Africa, there were the BET Awards, and even my Church got in on the act. For close to 40 years Michael has been in the public consciousness so such outpouring was assured for the unexpected death of the King of Pop.

The death was unexpected by the public, but if the reports coming out are correct, it shouldn’t have been unexpected by the Jackson family and their inner circle considering his deteriorating health. It’s obvious that with all these tributes the fans and the media are overlooking the last fifteen years or so and are, instead, stirring the echoes of what Michael was in the 1970s and 80s. That image of Michael was how they wanted to remember him. The persistent pedophilia allegations and the self mutilation via plastic surgery (13 facial procedures in all), have been put aside. That is only natural consider how people tend to react to unpleasant things in life. How often have couples lingered in relationships because they focus on what they were in happier times? In doing so they avoid the unpleasantries of the present. We do the same with our jobs and even the sports teams or athletes were root for.

I was conflicted when I heard about his death because I had both images of Michael in my mind. It was hard not to sully the earlier by the latter. If we are to believe the reports, Michael was trapped in the circle of abuse. I hope he is freed of his inner demons. Let him rest in peace.

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