"Do not be a respecter of persons," the good book says, and yet being respecters of people is, by definition, how America rolls. Celebrity fame long ago became the American dream. Identifying one's life with the life of a celebrity figure has become a vicarious way of life for more and more people. American media provides the daily fuel needed to maintain that way of life.
Which brings me to Michael Jackson and his untimely death.
I find the American media's blanket 24/7 coverage of Jackson's death over the last 2 days very revealing. It's not that other more important national and international news stories aren't out there, they are. There's renewed and troubling violence inside Iraq, there's the ongoing Iranian crackdown, there's the passage in the House of an energy bill, there's the affairs of two prominent GOP'ers, etc., etc., .....much more important stuff for Americans to know about than looping "Michael Jackson is dead" chyrons and asking endless "in the know" lunkheads what they think about it.
The truth about Michael Jackson, just like the truth about the war criminals, Bush and Cheney, may never be allowed to surface in the mainstream. Too embarassing and too costly. Today's Akron Beacon Journal puff piece on Jackson is typical of how media protects celebrities from their own sins being revealed.....even after death. The headline: "Jackson might have pushed heart too hard." How purposely misleading can a writer get?
Here's part of the truth about the gloved one....
Michael Jackson was "heavily addicted" to the powerful pain killer Oxycontin and received "daily doses" of it and of another pain killer, Demerol, according to a senior law enforcement official briefed on the initial investigation of his death.
The Los Angeles police were told Jackson received an injection of Demerol one hour before his death, the official said.
At 50 years old, Jackson's heart stopped because he was addicted to narcotics. Michael Jackson was a drug addict, and probably was a drug addict for the last 20 years. Demerol is a synthetic morphine and is extremely powerful and Oxycontin isn't called "hillbilly heroin" for no reason.
In a society where possession of an ounce of harmless marijuana can land a person in prison for a spell, I don't want to hear any "reasons" why Jackson got hooked or continually needed such high-potency narcotics. I don't want to hear about the "pressures" Jackson was under. I don't want to hear about how Jackson was "enabled" by his closest associates.
Jackson was a drug addict. Like Elvis, Michael had his own personal doctor. Like Elvis, Jackson's doctor was breaking the law by prescribing and administering such powerful dope. Yet, in the age of celebrity, all of this is to be expected and excused,.....it's simply what celebrities do.
After a refreshing beginning with the Jackson 5 in the early 70's, the talented singer and dancer came into his own in the 80's. Though he sold 50 million copies of his "Thriller" album and made the "moonwalk" famous, Jackson's songs, at least to me, were never very impressive. Jackson's major contribution, in my opinion, was his choregraphy and costuming. The pageantry.
Nothing much of value was produced by Michael from 1990 forward. Instead, his freakishness, .....the plastic surgery, the skin coloration thing, his "marriage" to Lisa Presley, his "children", the attention to underage boys, the drug addiction.....dominated his life over the last 20 years. In his most recent appearances at his trial where he was acquitted of molestation charges, Jackson looked and behaved oddly, to say the least.
American celebrity rules must be followed, however. There's a lot of post-mortem money still to be made from the dead star. The ugliness of Jackson's life will be shrouded from public consumption, and as much as possible, kept away from prime time. The toxicology report on Jackson, we're told, will take 4-6 weeks. Just enough time to spin a positive narrative about the freakish, drug-addicted entertainer. Just enough time to "create reality."
Michael Jackson is dead.....but the bizarro world of celebrity inside America lives on.
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