Vincent Safuto’s Weblog

Notes and observations

You’d think John Lennon had died again

It’s a rule that if you’re a blogger you have to write a column about how Michael Jackson was such a genius and how the world will never recover from his death.

Well, I find it hard to feel that way. I confess, I laughed at the jokes about the glove, the music (I’ve heard endless parodies – some obscene – of his songs), the children, Neverland, etc. You can’t say he was cut down in his prime, because I think his prime was long past.

Let’s face it, maybe he would have found a future career playing Vegas or an Indian casino for an aging cadre of fans – others have, and made a good living at it – but Michael Jackson was hardly an artist.

I told someone at work today that you’d think he was John Lennon. Now, there was a tragic death that shouldn’t have happened. Who’d expect a nutso fan to go after Lennon? I mean, I’m sure every celebrity worries that every smiling fan they encounter may turn out to have serious mental problems, but to have someone pull a piece on the walrus and blow him away, well, before Dec. 8, 1980, it just couldn’t have happened.

I was more broken up about the death of Farrah Fawcett, whom I keep calling in my mind Farrah Fawcett-Majors. Sorry, that was who she was back in the 1970s.

She defined the look of that time, and nearly every teenage girl from that era seemed to want hair like hers (of course, all the girls from that era had no interest in me; not much has changed), though there was one I remember who showed up for school one day with her hair cut shorter than mine. Sorry, the Marine look was pretty awful on me and even worse on girls.

My favorite memory of Michael Jackson and his family was in 1984, when he and the band were going to play New York City. The hysteria was pretty wild, and there were stories going around that some schools (private schools, maybe) had threatened dire levels of discipline to students who went to the concert. They didn’t like Jackson’s religion and thought he was a bad influence.

There were always those who despised Jackson for his music, his commercial appearances and the growing weirdness. He was a tragic figure, but he brought it all down on himself.

As someone in the news media, you have to realize that the only thing celebrities fear worse than having the media dogging your every step is the media not dogging your every step. Of course, I find that kind of reporting to be total junk and always wanted relegated to the back of the paper, but if there’s some interest, well, we have to do what the people want.

The supermarket tabloids will go into editorial orgasm and I bet right now there are page layout people (in India, maybe) designing pages with “MICHAEL’S LAST DAYS” and “HIS FAMILY IN TEARS” splashed across pictures of the gloved one.

I won’t miss Michael Jackson. I never bought his music. I feel bad for his family, though, and the kids.

But Michael Jackson had it all, and totally blew it, and he’ll get no sympathy from me.


June 27, 2009 - Posted by | Living in the modern age | , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. This was a really great read, I am very glad I came across your site.

    Comment by how to cook | July 2, 2009 | Reply

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