Posts Tagged ‘Michael Jackson’

King of (soda) Pop?

In Essays, The Daily Drool on July 7, 2009 at 6:59 pm

Of all the things going on in the world right now, it is particularly interesting to me that we are scrambling to suffer the loss of a pop icon.  I understand the man touched and changed lives.  I do.  So I’m not proposing that the adoration isn’t unwarranted.  I’m just a little blown away with the ferocity with which people are abandoning the “real” in their pursuit of grief over a man who lived much of his life immersed in fantasy.

And it’s tricky to explore this notion without it seeming that I’m passing judgment on the man or his fans… it’s really not for me to shout opinions about it one way or the other.  Everyone should be entitled to experience his passing.  I’m merely trying to say that I find the global spectacle of Jackson’s death an interesting phenomenon considering all the other horrific events currently happening.

It’s as though his final gift to us was one of nostalgia; offering us all an opportunity to look back at what he once was and cheer.  To remember the good and toss out the bad.  To, in fact, chastise those who would remind us of the strange or unpleasant and instead remind them of all that he once was.

I can’t help but notice similarities between this and our current battle with ourselves.

Struck by devestating economic stagnancy, much of America is trying to fight its way out of the dredges.  People are homeless, bankrupt, unemployed… We find ourselves drifting further and further away from the “Glory Days” of Hummers and limitless credit, forced to downsize our own wants, needs, and base of operations.  We are topic for much speculation overseas, and our shiny halos are holding up their “Needs Maintenance” signs.

It’s no wonder we want to reach back and resurect some hope… some gold dust… And enjoy the success of a man who represented The American Dream-  because right now dreaming is hard.  We are tired.  We are poor.  We are hungry…. hungry for some relief, for some inspiration, and for some magic.

Perhaps what we are grieving is not really the man, but our own innocence…  If ever there were a Peter Pan, he was it.  What will the world be like without his (at times surreal) reminder that maybe we don’t all have to grow up?

The soberness of our current situation is enough to send anyone running down memory lane in search of happier times.

So perhaps the fans have it right.  Let’s celebrate the man and his music.  Let’s do away with the bad or embarrassing and embrace the beauty and the good… if only to remind ourselves what it felt like as we struggle to find our way back again.