Maybe now they’ll leave him alone……..

If you were one of the reported 1 billion that tuned in to watch Michael Jackson’s memorial service, than you were witness to a genuinely moving spectacle. I didn’t think I would feel such sadness, not for his passing, but for the unfortunate turn of events that shaped the later part of his life. The media had not been too kind to him lately, and in watching the many television specials that were aired detailing his life story, you can’t help but notice the correlation between the height of his fame and his perceived instability. Reflecting on his monumental artistic accomplishments, everything that he contributed to popular culture, all the important causes he stood for, and the personal sacrifices and hardships that comprised his childhood,  and then seeing the way he was judged, ridiculed and ostracized by the society that once adored him showed that life, even for the most blessed among us, is rarely easy. Michael fell prey to one of the most malicious and twisted aspects of our nature. It seems that we can only place a man so high up on a pedestal until we feel the need to knock him down. Even I myself am guilty of writing Michael off as some crazy who had lost his golden touch.  As a matter of fact, a week or two before he died yahoo had him on the homepage of their site cracking on his appearance, that’s why when I saw his picture on the home page again, I didn’t bother to read the story. Later that day I found out he had died, and the world commenced to mourning. It’s funny how people seemed to forget just how special Michael was until after he was gone.  The same young man that accused him of the sexual misconduct that stained his reputation now wants to tell the world that it wasn’t true. He was nicknamed Jacko the Wacko and called a pedophile and in his death is now regarded as one of the greatest performers, and humanitarians to walk this earth. Before now, the mainstream didn’t mention Michael unless it was within the context of a joke or some scathing critique of his wardrobe or habits, and now most major networks are dedicating their news and radio broadcasts to celebrating the genius of his legacy and the memory of his life. Through the heartfelt speeches of his family and friends we got to see him as the sensitive, gentle, caring and human soul that fame obstructed from view. Like his brother Marlon said at the end of the program, maybe now they will leave him alone, and maybe a closer look at the story of his life will prompt us to have a little more compassion and understanding for the entertainers who devote countless hours, vast amounts of energy and risk their sanity to put smiles on our faces. We tend to view these individuals as super human, idols to be worshiped and fantasized about. The cult of celebrity can often cause us to forget that for all their money, power and respect, at the core they’re just like us. ……


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