The MJ Phenomenon

OK. I don’t get it.

Michael Jackson’s music was wonderful. He was an amazing entertainer. I was thinking today that I used to use “Heal the World” as background music for warm-ups for my students taking ballet and musical theater.

I used to use “Black and White” to wake my children up.

I loved his music. I used to think, watching him dance, that he had no bones! Such fluidity. It was amazing to watch.

But a week after his death, the media is still consumed with him. North Korea is firing missiles. American troops have pulled out of Iraq. The president of Honduras has been thrown out of office. The election of Ahmadinejad has been declared valid and a winner in the senator’s race in Minnesota has finally been declared.

But we are stuck on Michael Jackson.

CNN’s Larry King is at Neverland as I write this, talking with Jermaine. Matt Lauer was there this morning. Anderson Cooper and Sanjay Gupta will talk about Michael’s possible prescription drug addiction. We are hearing about Debbie Rowe and her possible fight for custody for her children. We have heard about the will; we have been teased with the rehearsals Michael did … it goes on and on.

The memorial service is on Tuesday and we will have non-stop television coverage of that as well.

Someone help me understand.

Was it his music? And if it was, what was it about his music that has so captivated the world and pre-empted all other news?

Someone was even criticizing President Obama for not commenting on Michael’s death before today.

Excuse me?

I think I am a fairly intelligent person, but this phenomenon I do not understand. We have been in Michael Jackson’s house at Neverland, and also in his rented house in Los Angeles, Holmby Hills, to be exact.

We have been in the bedroom where alledged incidents of child molestation took place,and we have been in the room where he allegedly took his last breaths.

So, I need for someone to explain. What is this phenomenon. What is this that we are experiencing? It is unlike anything I have ever seen. I loved Michael Jackson’s music. I loved watching him.

But he was an entertainer, for goodness’ sake. He wasn’t a head of state. He didn’t bring us out of a war, improve the economy, invent anything.

But it seems that his impact on the WORLD is immeasurable.

It seems that Michael Jackson, if he didn’t change the world, certainly made a unique and powerful impact that is, at least to me, inexplicable.

It’s a candid observation that I do not understand.

Someone help me.

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Comments

  1. JEFF OSTACH says:

    I always DVR NBC Nightly News. When Brian Williams told viewers that after the final break, Matt Lauer sits down with Jermaine Jackson, I erased the tape. Enough. I avoided Keith Olbermann, Larry King, and the special on MSNBC. In recent years, MJ was the “King” of Late Night Comedians doing jokes about him. The Molestation Trial, the special where he’s shown in a store saying: “I want this, and this, and this.” He was ridiculed by many as Bizarre, Weird, a nutcase. So here we are at this moment in time just beginning of what will be days of coverage leading up to his Staples Center Memorial Service. I have never witnessed a total focus on a story like this in my life. He was a drug addict, and take away his musical talents, this was someone who had a plethora of psychological problems haunting him throughout his life. ABC Radio’s Alex Stone has filed reports daily from the Neverland Ranch. I hear objective reports from him daily, then, as a Facebook Friend, he posts photos of he and his crew outside the ranch smiling, as if these are his souvenirs, his own self-indulgence in a story where he has, IMO, overstepped the line between an objective reporter and one who is soaking in the moment by taking personal photos like some tourist standing in front of George Clooney’s home. I am sad that the Media is so ratings-driven and just follows whatever the viewers crave while ignoring the unemployed, uninsured, wars in Afganistan and elsewhere, all in the name of the almighty dollar. I also have Harvey Schiller as a Facebook Friend, totally unaware until last week that he runs TMZ. He’s constantly giving “status” reports on every news angle to the MJ story. I read none of it, looking for Howard Kurtz, Chris Cilliza, and anyone reporting on the important news affecting people’s everyday lives. I’m so discouraged that they have also dropped everything for this endless, mind-numbing story. As a graduate in Mass Communications, I’ve never been this sad about the state of Journalism, both broadcast and print. Please go away already. Will it take North Korea actually striking Hawaii with a missle for this nonsense to subside?

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