Friday 26 June 2009

Fallen King of Pop

Upon exiting this world, the light in which people are shown often suddenly changes hue. Michael Jackson has been viewed as an incredible humanitarian, a wretched child molester, and a performing demigod.

Of course, in the past 48 hours, the words associated with his name have frequently been "icon", "talented", "compassionate", and "revolutionary". While my generation may have more or less missed the boat on Jackson and his music, it's obvious, even to me, that he was both exceptionally talented and active in bringing social change. It doesn't take much speculation to realize he was an incredible dancer, singer and performer. My AP English class learned that this year as we attempted to learn the Thriller dance.

Several of his songs expressed the need to accept and celebrate diversity, one being "Black or White". He not only participated in, but actually wrote the song "We Are the World", performed by a supergroup of popular artists, which benefited Africa and promoted the need to end Africa's poverty and hunger. The King of Pop was also a conservationist, writing "Earth Song" about the need to save our planet and minimize our damage to it.

Prior to his cardiac arrest yesterday, many had recently viewed Jackson in a considerably different light. Between the well-known child molestation charges, his large amount of debt, altering his appearance to be relatively grotesque, and his obvious personal turmoil, he could easily be seen as creepy. I think the child molestation trials alone ruined the image of him for me, and many others. So while he was talented, it's hard to honor a person who was associated with such horrible things.

Anyhow, it's often the case and rightfully so that people are viewed as their best after their death - it's how you would want to be thought of, right?

One thing that does bother me, however, is how Farrah Faucett's death was overlooked by this. We're told Farrah was a strong, brave woman, who was willing to be completely honest and open while creating a documentary about her battle against cancer. Her death occured just hours before Jackson's. This morning on one talk show or another, I saw a slideshow of photos of BOTH Faucett and Jackson, which I think is outrageous. I would absolutely hate to be associated with Michael Jackson forever just because of my - or his - untimely death.

In conclusion, we all have good and bad characteristics and things we've done. This is even true of the King of Pop himself.

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