I’ll admit it. I was not a fan.
Perhaps it was a matter of timing, other influences, or that my taste in music has always been a bit more eclectic, but I feel like I’m the only person in the country that hasn’t been gnashing my teeth in grief over the passing of Michael Jackson. It’s sad, yes, and I feel for his children and family, but I never did feel personally connected to the whole King-of-Pop juggernaut.
But on a global level, maybe the time was right for a period of mourning. Many things have gone by the wayside over the past couple of years. Across all social strata, and on every continent, there’s been a significant percentage of personal wealth lost, and the ripple effect from the economic situation has touched many facets of many lives. A level of security, a bit of bravado, an element of enthusiasm, a measure of confidence… lost. And when, as a people, have we had the chance to grieve those losses?
Thank heavens we haven’t had a vast catastrophe, either natural or manmade, large enough to make the world stop for a moment in order to grieve together. Maybe that’s what today was about. There is something cleansing and cathartic about the rituals of death, even if they are preceded by specials on Insider, even if they take place in the Staples Center with 15 news helicopters hovering overhead (and I’m told that their sheer numbers were even disturbing the paparazzi-proof horses at some of the nearby equestrian centers).
Michael Jackson was a child-like personae. Perhaps his passing, and the timing of it, is symbolic of the global need for the human race to step out of its childish role, clean up its room and become adults more responsible for our actions, each other and the world as a whole…. But we needed something of a ceremony of passage to commemorate the end of one era and the beginning of the next.