Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Michael Jackson: Autopsy of fame

After the brouhaha over the Iran elections, the world media has been focused on the sudden death of Michael Jackson at the age of 50. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad must be thanking Jackson for shifting the spotlight!

The whole world plunged into sadness mourning the untimely death of this pop icon, especially when he was about to make his comeback. His planned concerts in London were sold out.

The global reaction to Jackson’s death reminded me of the accidental death of Lady Diana not long ago. Her death also had spawned a similar global reaction. Strangers were crying for her. I found it bizarre because, just like Diana, for as long as I can remember, ever since Jackson became Whako Jacko, nobody (in the media) had a good word to say about Jackson. He was weird. He had lost his genius. He was tried for child molestation. An icon of black music, he was bleaching his skin. He was in financial dire streets. His marriages fell apart. He dangled a child from his hotel window in Germany (the country of defenestration!). He was a bad boy. And when he died, suddenly he was back in business, with the halo: a hero, a genius, a pop icon. His songs were topping the charts.

What is this phenomenon? Does the shock of an untimely death wash away all the dirt from a celebrity’s life? The dirt that media was too keen to heap on him? Let me see why. Because it sold copies, because it was hot?

I had seen the same thing happening in Lady Diana’s case. She was reviled by the media for her various romantic associations. When she died, suddenly the light was gone from the world.

Is this all real or a media creation?

Celeb news helps media (many sites had crashed after Jackson’s death was announced) sell more copies, get more eye balls. So create a frenzy?

Now that Jackson’s autopsy report is out, everybody knows to what frailty the man had been reduced to. Where is the dignity for this iconic figure? No dignity even in death? Now that his autopsy report has become a commodity for the ever hungry media monster, wait to read more on the autopsy of the autopsy!

1 comment:

Zafar Anjum said...

Message from P N Balji, well-known Singapore journalist and editor:

"I like this piece a lot.
This is what the world is all about. When u lare alive, all the bad things are said about u.
When u die, all the good things. And u don't even get to hear or read them.
I think we should start writing obituaries before people die. Then they can at least see what people will write about them when they are gone.
I remember a Malayalam movie where Mammooty, who plays the role of an editor, writes his own obituary and then commits suicide.
Balji"