Monday, July 06, 2009

So Long, Michael

Michael Jackson will be buried tomorrow, and the world is fascinated. Fans and the merely curious have submitted their requests to attend the funeral, and the lucky (?) have been chosen, most to honor someone they had neither met nor seen. The hoopla over the “services” strikes me as odd at best, pathetic at worst. Yes, he was a public figure. Sure, he influenced pop music for years. Of course, we are saddened—50 is too young to die, especially when you look backward, not forward, to 50.

But I am not mourning his death. MJ was a decent musician. He could carry a tune without a lot of electronic processing, but much of his music was hardly uplifting. He was a talented dancer, but his costumes and movements could be found under the dictionary entry for “lewd,” especially in his later years. His personal conduct was hardly admirable, with multiple accusations of pedophilia, a couple of sham marriages, and less than stellar parenting methods. He should have been rich beyond counting, but he did not manage his fortune and was deeply in debt. If news reports are to be believed, he also had a problem with prescription drugs, and seemed to be obsessed with transforming his appearance from black male to white female. He was most definitely not a role model for our children.

Our reaction to Michael Jackson should more properly be pity, not admiration. We cannot judge what his ultimate eternal destination will be, but we cannot reasonably say that most of his adult life brought glory to God or caused his fans to think of anything that was true, noble, right, pure, lovely, or admirable. He had great potential and squandered it along with his fortune. The willful waste of his life is the real tragedy.

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