This is a bit of an annoyance for me and has been for quite some time since Diana died and I really became aware of it. Ever noticed how when someone famous or “famous” dies, people go into this bizarre trance of exonerating the person of all their wrongs and praising them for seemingly everything they can think of? Seriously, it’s a matter of time before someone starts saying that Micheal Jackson invented a cure of cancer or something. Ok, maybe a tad too far there. For those of you not in the loop, it was announced on the news not too long ago that Micheal Jackson had passed away.
Anyways, I was only made aware when my Facebook friends decided to start spamming their statuses talking about his death. I’d seen earlier in the evening that Farrah Fawcett had died as well. Anyway, suddenly my Facebook was being spammed with all these people wittering on about how awesome Micheal Jackson was. Ok, he was a talented artist and dancer. I had respect for him for that but his personal life left me a bit… well, weirded out. Aside from the whole child porn, paedophilia and the like, there was still the fact that he was quite bizarre with how he acted as a parent. I mean, dangling a baby off a balcony? Dressing his children up with veils over their heads? Not being funny, but there’s a lot of people who were more famous than him who didn’t do such extreme things with their offspring. Sure, he could have been concerned about their being recognised by paparazzi, but isn’t that the concern of every celebrity parent? Plus surely with the amount of money he had, he could afford decent security, even if their faces were ever seen.
I don’t doubt that he had a difficult life. I remember watching a documentary a few years ago about the childhood he had with his dad being so pushy in regards to his music career along with those of their siblings and the amount of pressure he was under. I felt a great amount of sympathy for him. I realise he had a great struggle and his life was blighted by the media, speculation and much controversy. I do feel sorry that he had to go through so much, but I’m sorry, I refuse to worship someone.
When my nan died, I felt a large amount of grief because it was a personal loss. How many of us actually have personal links on the same level as family ties to celebrities? Not very many. We only see what the media allows us. It’s kinda like knowing someone only online. You only see what you’re “allowed” to see. A lot of people ridicule online only relationships, yet they are very often the same people who will indulge in this hero worship on behalf of someone they never really knew or even had any personal contact with. Say an online friend of mine died. I’d be upset as I’d had personal interaction with that person, but by no means would I claim that I knew them completely. This is a large issue I have with the grievers or celebrities. They tend to speak of the deceased as though they had a personal relationship with them.
I know it can seem as though someone is “speaking” to you via their music or what they write, but very rarely do you know someone completely. Hell, that hardly happens in couples or families. You never completely know someone. However, having an intimate relationship with someone, in my eyes at least, requires a certain amount of one on one interraction that is unique to the two parties. To me, this is a world apart from what most hysterical grievers claim to have with celebrity figures.
It’s not just celebrity deaths though, also with some major events such as 9/11. Bad things happen and people die. It’s part of life. How often do you see such things as the Holocaust remembered? Or the Great Plague of 1665? The death of Shakespeare? Very rarely if ever. The media looks for a marketable death, next thing you know there’s bandwagoners.
People accuse me for being overly harsh about the deaths of others. To me it’s like this: if I died, I’d want people to be light hearted about it. I’d be pissed off (should I still be capable of it) if people just sat around moping without cracking a few jokes at my expense. But that’s just me. As I said earlier, I had a great amount of respect for Jackson as a artist and sympathy over his troubled life. The fact that I’m going to laugh at jokes doesn’t mean I respect him any less.
With so many problems in society, people need to learn to laugh more and stop being so serious about everything. Laughter is good for you. More so than being down, depressed and wailing about every tiny little drama.