Tuesday, January 18, 2005

$100 for Michael Jackson

The top portion of my browser flashes an ad: "Is Michael Jackson guilty? Enter to win a $100 gift certificate!"

For $100, I would ask that Michael Jackson find a place to live in peace and quiet, and stay off my browser. Off my television. Off any news outlets.

How do individuals become models for others? Michael Jackson was a creative boy in a group of brothers, the high voice in pop music of the '60s, and then a creative young man in the 1980s. His music will last through our generation, and probably serve as a musical marker for the late 1900s. But he fails as a model for living, for personal choices, for ethical living. He became a persona rather than a person: a creation of the entertainment business as a little boy, a creation of the exploding entertainment culture for two decades. He has performed very little new material in years. His impact is not from his musical contributions. His impact is as a curiosity.

And no, I would not venture a guess about his criminality. I care little, actually. He needs to re-identify who he is and find a life to live. He does not need to be on the top of our browsers.

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