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If you’ve been living under such an awesomely powerful soundproof rock the last two days that you haven’t managed to hear about Michael Jackson’s death, please tell me where this rock is and how much I have to pay to borrow it from you.

I’m so sick of hearing about him. He died yesterday morning, my time, so I first heard about his death on the radio. I listen to the radio for the music, not for inane celebrity chatter nor for ads, and the sudden news of Michael Jackson’s death lead to, it seemed, all music being pulled from the radio. Except music by Michael Jackson. But even that was played only sparingly.

Pretty much the entire Internet seemed ablaze with Michael Jackson discussion, and seemingly none of the 100+ people I saw whining about this death seemed to realise they weren’t being very original. At least ten people’s statuses on Facebook included the phrase, “RIP MJ”. On the rare occasion someone posted a non-Jackson-related status, people would comment, “I don’t believe you, you didn’t write RIP MJ!” My friends on LiveJournal wrote about it. People on forums kept discussing it. The news, which I like to follow, was largely replaced by Michael Jackson tributes.

I did not see a single person saying, “I do not care.” I’m guessing my fellow uncaring people just chose not to get involved, as I did. After all, if there are 100+ people whining about the untimely death of someone they don’t know, you’re not going to get anywhere logically pointing out they have no reason to be upset. Logic and celebrity worship are worlds apart. You can’t try to make them mix.

In the end I turned off my laptop and tried to find something else to do. There was nothing else to do so this was a bit of a dud move. This morning I returned to the Internet, tried again to read the news… only to find it still swamped with Michael Jackson tribute pages. Oh my God people, shut up.

I don’t care about Michael Jackson’s death. I could not care less about Michael Jackson’s death. So far as I can see, he was a creepy man who revelled in his insanity and made passable music years and years ago. I can see that his death would be disappointing to anyone who was planning to see him in concert in the near future, and I can see that it would be upsetting to his friends and family. Guess what — none of those people are me. If I feel like listening to a Jackson song — and I never do, it’s not my kind of music — I’ll listen to an MP3. MP3s of his music exist whether or not he’s dead or alive. There is no reason I should be upset that he’s dead. How does Jackson’s life or lack thereof affect me? (I mean, apart from the resultant frenzy being so irritating that I’m writing about it.)

Even stranger is when people cost comments about being “so angry” about the “insensitivity” of people who don’t care about Jackson’s death. I mean, it’s one thing to be upset about the death of a creepy individual you never met. But being upset about others’ failure to be upset? I find that a little weird.

So many people die every single day, and yes, many of those deaths are untimely just like Michael Jackson’s. We can’t care about all of these people’s deaths — everyone would be depressed all the time. Why is this death anything special? Just because Michael Jackson is ~famous~? How is that a reason to care?

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6 Comments

  1. The man impacted millions of lives. Sure, we can’t be upset about every single death that occurs, but do not judge those that are mourning his loss. Everyone handles death differently and if those that believe that Michael Jackson’s music far surpasses that of something “passable” (which, by the way, is the majority) let them be. Totally cool that you don’t care, but the man has a family, friends, and had a pretty big purpose in life. Saying that you don’t care that someone has died is pretty cold hearted.

    • Yeah, I admit this entry is quite cold-hearted. I posted these thoughts here because I’m not going to post them anywhere else. I don’t believe there is anything wrong in explaining why I don’t care about this death. However it would be cruel and wrong of me to approach people who are actually grieving to tell them they’re a misguided fool.

      I care about lots of things. I care about wanton cruelty, violence, war, injustice, violations of human rights, poverty, the kinds of things that condemn people to live in misery and pain. It frustrates me a little that this is what upsets people when there are so many other causes that deserve more than a fraction of this kind of attention. If it wasn’t for that knowledge, I doubt I’d have cared enough to post at all.

  2. are you kidding me?! he was a pop/rock icon, and people mourn his death because he had a profound effect on their lives. sure, he transformed the music industry by combining rock and blues and soul and dance and video, but that is not why people mourn. sure, he helped raise over 100 million dollars for charity and raised global awareness for children in poverty-stricken countries, but that is not why people mourn. people mourn because even though he sang to hundreds of millions, his music had a way of speaking directly to the individual. the messages relayed by many of his songs… the lyrics, the melodies, his voice… were powerful. THAT is why people mourn.

    as for you… well, if you don’t care about his death, then don’t waste your time telling people how uncaring you are. it IS a big deal that the world has lost such a magnificent vocalist, lyricist, and performer. if you don’t even care about something this significant, then what makes you think ANYbody is going to even fractionally care about your oh-so-wonderful blog?

    as for me, i suffered the misfortune of stumbling upon it, and will be sure to stumble elsewhere in the future.

    • Okay, bye then.

      I’m not trying to stop people mourning. If people are grieved by the loss of a musician who touched their souls with his music, they can. It would be cruel to try to stop them.

      I care about many things, but not the deaths of people I didn’t hear about much and didn’t much like in life. I say so here in this blog because, theoretically, it’s not going to upset anyone here. Obviously that assumption of mine wasn’t accurate, but it’s not in reply to anyone specific, and it is clearly presented as my thoughts and my thoughts only on the matter. And people are allowed to think thoughts that differ to the majority’s, if they so choose.

  3. I’m in total agreement with you. Yes, it was sad… especially for people who knew him personally. It’s also sad for those who really appreciated his music. But how many days has it been since his death? And all they have to report in the news is that not only is he not the father of the children, the surrogate mother didn’t own the egg either. Not only that, it’s possible that his death was caused by x, y and z. Sure, he was a public figure therefore the media owes it to the public to report the real cause of his death but when every speculation is reported with the words “BREAKING NEWS”, it gets a little frustrating. What I dislike about the whole situation is that it has been covered by the media in ways and durations that other important deaths (like the genocide in Darfur) are not covered.

    • Yes, that’s exactly what irritates me about it too! It’s not like information on Michael Jackson’s death should be totally suppressed, but there are more important things in the world to report. News outlets report on some of them, but not everything, because I guess they’re constrained for space. But then they go and waste space on events like this. So long as information is still accessible (as it is on the Internet) I guess it doesn’t matter so much, but I’d like the more important stuff to be reported and Michael Jackson to be ignored, instead. I mean, there are about a million magazines that report on celebrities’ lives. Why can’t they pick up the story instead?

      In an aside, Michael Jackson’s not the father of the children? I didn’t know that. Shows you how much I’ve been paying attention!


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