Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson RIP

I've never been a particular fan of Michael Jackson.
In the 70s, when I was a teenager, the girls seemed to followed the Osmonds or the Jackson 5 and I looked down on all that music (though now I'll admit they were in rather different leagues). I was a Rock fan, and prog rock at that.
In the 80s I could see the skill of the dancer and the great showmanship of the videos, and I realised that this was popular music of some influence and quality, but it never really got to me. I never bought one of his records, never downloaded an album, and never even played one on Last.fm or Spotify.
But there is one thing we had in common, and that is we were born in the same year. So, in a bizarre and incongruous sort of way his life has run alongside mine. There are very few comparisons to be drawn, but I suppose this little fact has made me just a bit more interested in the life of a celebrity than I might otherwise have been.
I've noticed not so much the music, but the bizarre way in which this life has unfolded in the media. The accusations. The operations. The increasingly bizarre facial appearance. The dysfunctional husband and father. I've not followed this avidly, but - probably like many other people - I have been unable to avoid the news, the gossip, the information.
In a society which values celebrity most highly, and in which young people yearn for fame, here is (yet another) casualty. He had some achievements, certainly, great ones, and they should be remembered and celebrated, but he was also a victim of the age (and he too, perhaps, had his victims along the way). He was talented, but wounded  - not by his talent and ability, but by the lifestyle which the fruits of this talent made possible for him.
Today, and for the next few days, there will be much said about his abilities and achievements, which are real.
But for me, much more real, is the sadness at a wounded and damaged individual, never quite at terms with himself, for whom wealth and fame certainly did not bring happiness.

1 comment:

shadowlands said...

Dear Jesus,May he be at peace or on his way to it.Amen.