Clearly I used that post title for shock value.
I’m actually writing this on the day of the death of Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett, but I refuse to post as soon as I’m done with this simply because I think there are more pressing issues to deal with in life.
I received a text message from a good friend that read “Welp, we lost two white women today Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson done slipped on into glory” and I couldn’t help but laugh. I literally hooted and hollered for a couple of seconds. Call me calloused or what not, but when I seriously say that my life has not and will not be affected by the death of Michael Jackson and most certainly not Farrah Fawcett now that both of them have died.
I’ve always wondered why do we as a country have all of this effuse outpouring of emotion when the death of a celebrity occurs. I remember that some of my friends scolded me last fall when Jennifer Hudson had to deal with the public murders of her close family members and I wrote a scathing post about how is it that churches across the country and most certainly back in my hometown were putting up signs about how the Hudson family was in their prayers all of a sudden. I called the thought process into question because I was concerned about the nameless children from Chicago Public Schools who had been senselessly murdered, but there wasn’t even remotely the amount of outpouring of grief nor outpouring of rage in our communities.
I understand that the families of both of these celebrities have real feelings that are no more real or no more fake than any other families’ emotions and gut wrenching pain they experience when a death occurs. I’m not at all saying that they shouldn’t be expressing emotions, I’m just left scratching my head as to why so many people who have no real human connection to Michael aside from a concert or two, and many of us just saw him on our TV screens, are experiencing and expressing such deep-seated emotions.
By all respects, Michael Jackson, and even Farrah Fawcett were icons for their generation. And of course Michael Jackson was very much a part of of Americana. Many adults in their 30s and 40s grew up with Michael Jackson as far as his music being a soundtrack to their lives, but still I question just how and why do we attach ourselves to celebrities to this level? The reality is that the same people who have this outpouring of emotion toward a man they never met on Facebook and Twitter, are the same people who had nothing but mean things to say about fathers on this past Sunday for Father’s Day–what’s the disconnect?
I’m not at all asking us to diminish the fact that yet another human being has made a transition, or rather succumbed to the ultimate statistic that befalls 10 out of 10 people, but I do question to what point do we really draw the line. I fully understand the death, and most certainly the murder of individuals such as a John F. Kennedy, his brother Robert, a Medgar Evers or a Martin Luther King simply because a community and even a country’s collective hope had been placed (or maybe misplaced) in a human. Aside from breaking the color barrier on MTV with “Thriller” I’m not sure that the quality of life of anyone black or white, young or old was substantially affected by Michael Jackson.
And I hold the same standard for any celebrity.
Y’all know I love being the dissenting opinion, so would you have expected anything less from the Uppity Negro? I think being the dissenting or opposing opinion (except maybe in the case of the chronically and critically confused Clarence Thomas) prevents groupthink, or the idea that because one or two begin to engage in one train of thought that a discussion should be had in order to get both sides of the opinion. I’m sure many people will find this post, dare-say, irreverent, is that not appropriate for much of the life that Michael Jackson lead? One fraught with this weird skin color change, the horrid effects of plastic surgery, someone who clearly “had a lot on his mind,” and we most certainly didn’t have any problems when Chris Rock included a Michael Jackson joke in his comedy of his movie “I Think I Love My Wife.”
And while I’m here at this point–every black person I knew would have laughed at some type of Michael Jackson joke. In fact, I’ve heard him being referred to as a “white woman” long before today–so because something that really is a natural occurence of life has happened–death–all jokes are off?
Gimme a break.
Let the jokes continue. Why? Because yesterday, two famous white women died.
It would be nice if I got a crapload of comments following this post. I don’t mind the good, the bad, the ugly and even the downright nasty. But I won’t tolerate the personal attacks from trolls, so lemme here it. I would really, however, appreciate it if you would actually engage the ideas that I presented in this post rather than just sound off at me, but to each his own, I’d love to hear from you.
Keep it uppity and keep it truthfully radical, JLL