I'm not sure which is more stunning - the incredible number of people who showed up for Michael Jackson's funeral, or CNN's non-stop coverage of the whole thing. I didn't believe it when I saw it on Fark.com, so I tuned in to see if it was true. Sure enough - CNN has basically become MTV. In fact, CNN has played more music in the few minutes I've had it on than I've seen on MTV in years.
People are very, very strange, and I don't get them at all most of the time, honestly.
Hey CNN? Have you heard?? There's a WAR on! Two, actually. And there are revolutions going on in Iran, Honduras... and you're spending all this time and energy on a musician who hasn't been musically relevant in 15 years (and that's being generous)? Really? Really?
I guess CNN reports on what people will watch, and the average American is more interested in celebrities than the historic things that are going on all around us. I don't understand our cultural preoccupation with the famous. I really don't. I mean, like everyone I was madly in love with the New Kids on the Block... when I was 12! To see grown adults crying over someone they've never met, well, it strikes me as immature, frankly. I read that people (adults!) have actually taken their own lives because Michael Jackson died. Seriously. Are these peoples' lives so empty that they have to live vicariously through someone they didn't even know?
Sure, he probably gave a lot of money to charity, etc. But so does Bill Gates. So does Warren Buffet. So do a lot of people. They're not going to fill stadiums when they die. They won't rate 24/7 cable news coverage.
Sure, he was born poor in a miserable city, and rose to the highest heights of wealth and fame. Pretty typical "American dream" stuff. But I don't think that explains the level of obsession that I've seen since he died.
Maybe the fact that I don't get it just means that this isn't about me, or people like me. I can accept that. I did grow up during the 80s, though. I grew up about 30 minutes from Gary, Indiana, where he was born. I'm not African American, but many of his fans were white.
Maybe I'm just not the target demographic. It all makes me really wonder, though, about the target demographic's priorities. Are we this shallow, as a culture? Don't we have more important things to think about?
Can anyone explain this to me?
Updated to add: I just read that the bankrupt state of California is paying for this circus! Are you kidding me??