Sunday, June 28, 2009

The idolization of Michael Jackson

The idolization of Michael Jackson has been and is a problem.

It seems the world’s attention has been focused on Michael Jackson’s life, his career, his death, and even a concern over his last will and testament …. Not only the tabloids, but also respected world news coverage have had a heyday over his passing. Everything Michael Jackson has been above the fold for three days now, and the focus will most likely continue ad infinitum. The accolades postulating his falsely arrived at contributions to our life will continue for many years, much the same way as Elvis Presley.

The adulation is an indication of some very deeply entrenched problems with the world. I witness this in my family, with my friends and acquaintances. The obsession is not only with Michael Jackson, but also with the reverence they pay to so-called idols. It’s readily observable in television programming, in movies, and in what reliable magazines and news broadcast are headlining. It’s reflected in our insatiable taste for schadenfreude and voyeurism, as exemplified in soap operas and reality shows.

Michael Jackson was a great entertainer. There is no question about that. It was newsworthy. However, that’s all. He was not a great musician, or father, and did not present a role model for life. I certainly would not want my children, grandchildren, or any human being to emulate their lives, other than that of an entertainer, after Michael Jackson.

Entertainment is an important aspect to human growth. It is important to our cultural evolution; but it has value only when that entertainment is of probity and represents good behavior. Entertainment is also an important divergence from the vicissitudes of life. However, when our lives become preoccupied by worshiping the Michael Jackson’s of our world, when we put more important issues that affect our well-being on a back burner, it, for me, becomes a very far-reaching and serious problem.

An exceptional article by Deepak Chopra, A Tribute to My Friend, Michael Jackson, is very good. It may seem to those reading his article that he is expressing a view contrary to my view, but he is not. It’s a view that I felt must also be included with this writing. I don’t think fundamentally that Dr. Chopra would disagree.
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