Farah Fawcett, Ed McMahon, Billy Mays, Steve McNair, and the biggest one, Michael Jackson. All dead in a matter of a week. I’ve heard some chatter this week about celebrities as deities. Is it true? These days, you have to wonder. Michael Jackson possessed something magical, otherworldly. His talents and supposed perversions made him seem alien to us, like a lizard, like someone we could only watch but not share anything with. Now that he’s gone, we don’t seem to know what to think. We have overflowing post-mortem reverence for him, perhaps driven as much by our guilt over how we made a fool of him throughout the latter part of his life. In the wake of his death now, 12 people have committed suicide in his memory, a huge shrine has been built for him in Moscow, Russia, and Jesse Jackson Jr. called for a moment of silence in congress. The question everyone is reckoning with: Does the fact that we made a fool of him for so long make more love for him in our hearts now, with his absence? I think the answer is yes.
Celebrities are like deities in so much as we make them into what we need them to be. They are vessels for our wishes, carriers of our desires. Michael Jackson goes down with the big ones: Elvis, Marilyn, JFK. He might even be bigger than them all.
Here’s something wierd too. Jesse Jackson Sr. making a plea not to kill yourself in memory of Michael Jackson. Strange World we’re living in!
Keep Killin’ It. -Paul