The Michael Jackson bandwagon

Michael Jackson: news, concerts, albums, tour dates, reviews, gossip, pictures, downloads – Telegraph

Even the Telegraph, one of Britain’s more intelligent newspapers, has jumped on the Michael Jackson bandwagon. Oh, it’s sad when anyone dies but – come on! he was a pop musician, nothing more.

Was he a medical researcher who invented a cure for an illness? No. Was he an astronaut who forged travel links between Earth and other planets in the solar system? Most definitely not. Was he an engineer who invented a new way of building bridges or and architect who discovered a new method of building cheap, social housing? What he did was entertain the masses, the uneducated multitude who rarely, if ever, watch an opera or listen to a live concert by a famous orchestra. In the great scheme of things he wasa very ordinary player, indeed, and a damaged one.

We saw the same sort of reaction in Britain after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. The same sort of hysteria and religious fervour. But maybe that was a bit more understandable as Diana did some impressive work for charities in promoting minefield clearance and showing that those with HIV and AIDS are not to be feared. How many times did we see Michael Jackson walking through burned-out villages in Somalia or The Sudan? How many times did he call meetings of world governments to plead with them to help alleviate poverty or disease? I can’t instantly recall any, whereas I can when I think of Diana.

No, Jackson was a self-obsessed reclusive, afraid he’d get diseases if he met other people face-to-face. Whacko was, without doubt, the most suitable description ever applied to him. And whacko will describe the obsessive hero-worship that will erupt after his untimely death, behaviour which will verge on that of members of a messianic, evangelistic religion.

Yes, he was a great performer. But let’s keep it in perspective.

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