Friday, June 26, 2009


I must be getting older... Issues that seemed to be nice and clear cut before are starting to look all sorts of shades of gray. Even seemingly the simplest issues can cause controversy, and I am having trouble choosing a definite side...

As an example, take yesterday's news of the death of MJ. Now, I am far from being the world's biggest fan of the guy, I don't think I've ever even owned any of his albums, never made a point of listening to his music. Still, I have been known to hum along to "Smooth Criminal", or "Billie Jean". In most recent years, I've shaken my head many a times while hearing news items about the guy, not able to figure out what was fact and what was sensationalism. So much about him seemed truly bizarre, but then again, who knows what I would have behaved like if I had been a child star and a multi-gazillionaire, and had never gotten to know the more mundane side of life.

And yet he's touched so many people around the world. He had an undisputable musical talent, appreciated by young (and not so young) people all over the planet. And bringing people together is one of those things that are hard to quantify and even harder to force. Yet I do believe that we need more common ground like that (for example music, art, nature), to ease our transition into a healthier global planet. From that perspective, MJ has done more to unite the world than I could ever dream of accomplishing in 100 lifetimes.

On the other hand, is his death any more tragic than that of the thousands of people dying of preventable causes all around the globe every day? Children dying of hunger, war, genocide? Is it even something that can be compared? I like to believe that we are all equal in death, but is that really true? We do mourn the people we are familiar with a lot more than the quickly flashing faces on the nightly news. It is human nature I guess. In truth, most of us are probably not able to handle thinking every day about all the people dying unjustly - I know I'd probably be crumpled in a heap on the floor. So maybe in a way we use the deaths of celebrities as our vehicle for mourning? A chance to grapple with our own mortality, and the unfairness of life and the world and

Not sure where I am going with this. In truth, I am not really all that saddened or upset by the news, maybe just a little shocked. It just got me thinking about all of this peripheral stuff, and people's reactions and things...

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