Rest in Frivolity

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I have tried to avoid writing this post for some time because I envision that it won't go over well. But, I've bitten my tongue as much as possible. Feel free to stop reading at any point, I just need to rant a little.

Michael Jackson died last week, as everyone in the world knows by now. And yesterday he was buried. With greater fanfare than I can recall of any other deceased human being, including celebrities and presidents. Here's the thing: he was just that- a human being. He was a singer, he wasn't an inventor, he wasn't a god or a religious prophet, he was a SINGER. And I know that he contributed greatly to African-American singing, but also? the man was, for the vast majority of the time, a shitty role model.

I mourn him as I do any one else in the world. He was a man- a father, a son and a brother, and he is dead. He is dead, likely of his own sad addiction. He leaves behind huge debt largely due to his tangles with the law, particularly in regards to child molestation claims. He also spent frivolously and lived lavashly. And now he is gone.

And I think that his family did us all a disservice yesterday. Michael's life could've easily been celebrated without the Staples Center being packed with fans. He could've been memorialized without an online scramble for tickets. Without scalping of said tickets. Without hordes of people descending on Los Angeles.

He could've been celebrated without his daughter having to bear her pain for the entire television world. And he sure as hell could've been celebrated without the city of Los Angeles having to spend 1.4 MILLION dollars for SECURITY ALONE.

Those of you who are up in arms about taxes right now should be appalled, hell, I think we all should be. Generally, I do not argue about taxes, generally I do not bitch about giving my money for the greater good. However, I can't chalk Michael Jackson's funeral up to the greater good. It was one family's parade, show of mourning. It was a public display of frivolity and I resent that my tax dollars were involved. In a financial crisis like the one we are deeply stuck in, it makes no sense to waste whatever funds we have for one singer's funeral.

I understand that he will be greatly missed by many, and I understand that he had an impact for some of you. I even realize that he had a family. But if you really want to let him rest in peace as so many have trumpeted, let him rest, stop spending money to memorialize him. If he has such a great legacy, let it speak for itself.


Sara said...

Oh my god...someone out there finally agrees with me. Yeah, he was an influential part of entertainment history, but he was still just a man, with several struggles in his life. I am sick of this being the only thing on the news lately. I mean, seriously, is there nothing else more important going on in the world than this? Surely this is not the most noteworthy, breaking news going on in the world. Let the family mourn and grieve. Appriciate his memory. But, get all of this off the TV and move on to much more newsworthy material. Does anyone even know that President Obama was in Russia this week. If you know he was you know why? Odds are...probably not. I'm sure everyone has been too wrappped up in Michael Jackson to pay attention to world affairs.

Sorry for my rant, I'm just getting a little tired of all this.

Meg said...

I don't understand why he's being treated like the Messiah. You know, the Messiah who was charged with molestation.

It's just so...weird.

joanne said...

Thanks Katy, it needed to be said..

Anonymous said...

Amen! Well put. He was a train wreck for the last several years. Child molestation is NOT okay, ever. Seems like some people forgot that....
Peachtree City, GA

Becs said...

I don't doubt that Jackson's children mourn him, but did anyone else find something...forced at the end of her little speech?

Marysienka said...

What? Michael Jackson is dead??


Good post! I completely agree with what you said.

Renee In Canada

Becs said...

Yep I completely agree. I had people ask me if I watched the special on tv and were appalled that I did not. No, my grandfather passed away on Thursday so I am mourning him. Not some man who meant nothing to me.

Sue G said...

I have had a blog post swirling around in my head for two days and haven't had the time to write it (I also wondered if it would be appropriate for my CB site since I don't really have a blog).

I thought the memorial service was touching. There was a tremendous amount of love and respect pouring out of people's hearts that day.

I just couldn't help but wonder why we put on lavish celebrations of a person's life, accomplishments, and humanity AFTER they die??? Perhaps if the same love and caring and respect had been vocalized during his life, Michael Jackson might not have spent his life tormented and in pain. Perhaps he might have been able to love and accept himself for who God made him to be rather than feel it necessary to chip away at his face until it morphed into a bad replica of Dr. Sardonicus. Perhaps he would have found peace in life rather than death.

I think we waste a lot of time glorifying people after they die instead of taking the time to honor them while they are alive. I can't help but wonder what this world would be like if we searched our hearts for words to lift up our friends and family in life as we do when we eulogize them.

We didn't have a choice about how much money was spent on security for his celebration. And we don't have a choice about where our tax dollars go (other than in selecting who we elect to make those choices). But we do have a choice to lift up our loved ones with words of support and faith while they are here with us. We have a choice to tell the people we care about how they have contributed to our lives and what affect having them in our lives has had on us. We have a choice to edify or destroy people's spirits with words.

We have a choice to celebrate the lives of the people we love and admire. Why wait for the funeral?

Anonymous said...

Couldn't. Agree. More.

Carol, W. Palm Beach

Anonymous said...

Absolutely agree. The media had lost their minds with all this coverage. I am happy to see others who think enough is enough. I particularly agree with your statement he was a shitty role model!!!


Anonymous said...

I don't care so much that his family chose to make a spectacle of the whole thing, by my GOD, isn't Janet or SOMEONE rich enough to just pay for damn thing out of pocket? I mean, really...someone has gots the mon-ay. They want to have a ridiculous show? PONY UP.

Unknown said...

I TOTALLY agree! Seriously. The ONLY other person I think of with an ELABORATE "funeral service" is Abraham Lincoln.... but then again, ... he did a LOT more for everyone (then and now) then Michael Jackson has.

stacey said...

I only have a few things...if it wasn't done this way, it could have turned out very very VERY bad. The family could have tried to do something private, but you know that the media would have found out where, and when, and it would have been mass chaos with millions trying to get there, and the funeral of this man would have been a riot.
Let it be known that I haven't ever been a HUGE fan of Michael's and I respect everything he has done for the music industry. HOWEVER...there is a STRONG possiblity that the original child who claimed he was molested has come out and said that he did it because his dad made him, for the money. The other kids have been pretty much proven that their parents did it for the money. Yes I realize he did admit to sleeping (non sexually) with kids that were not his own and that IS wrong, but he was mentally unbalanced and needed some serious help that he was unable to recognize. And sadly no one near him was able to get him the help he desperately needed.

Just some thoughts to chew on, or ignore. As I told people yesterday everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and I try not to judge people that I don't really know. :) :)

addy said...

As a fellow taxpayer in Los Angeles, I am SO with you at being angered by the public memorial. How dare they have the audacity expect the city of LA (or rather, the taxpayers of LA)to pay for that? If they wanted something that big, it should have come from his estate. Ridiculous.

nola said...

Such bitterness! Sheese. I've said my peace on my blog about MJ, and won't rehash here. But I am certain his musical legacy will live on.

The Floydster said...

I so agree with you! Wish I had been as eloquent on my post about it. Mostly I was pissed. You and Sue G. have said it best.