Tuesday, July 07, 2009

skewed priorities

It's impossible to avoid the massive festival of grief-for-profit that is the Michael Jackson memorial in Los Angeles. The corporation that was footing the bills for Jackson's now-canceled "final" tour stands to make millions of dollars by milking their star's death and it's a certainty that there will be a multi-DVD package of the event that may make as much money as the concerts would have.

I find it difficult to stomach all of this weepy eulogization of a man who was about as psychologically unhealthy as it is possible to be and who really wasn't as gifted a musician as he is being portrayed. Groomed for stardom like an Iron Curtain gymnast of the Sixties, Jackson grew up to be a popular performer not so much for his musical talent but for his image and ability to stage a spectacle of proportions suitable for the ancient Colosseum. Being lauded for his abilities as a musician is a bit odd, since his primary contribution was as an entertainer rather than as a composer.

Regardless of how he became famous and for what, the most tragic part of all of this is watching the state of California (which is now sending IOU's to state employees, welfare recipients, and many of the most vulnerable people in one of the wealthiest states in the union because of its dysfunctional and debt-ridden government) foot the bill for this incredible display of insipidity.

Bread and circuses for the suffering masses, but millions of dollars in support of wealthy private citizens and companies that are profiting like mad off this ginned-up festival of grief. This is how empires die.

2 Comments:

Blogger Ronni said...

~passes the popcorn~

5:37 PM  
Blogger Clarissa said...

Great post!

12:18 PM  

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