I’m sure you’re probably really looking forward to reading more about Michael Jackson dying last week. I mean, its not like every single person on every single stupid fucking social network, cable TV news channel, blog, or street corner has been talking about it non-stop since it happened. Not to be a dick or anything, but I don’t really see what the big deal is. I mean, sure it sucks that he died right before he was about ready to redeem himself with a bunch of big arena shows or whatever, but he’s certainly not the first person to die before they did all the shit they planned on doing, and he definitely won’t be the last. Around 200,000 people die every day in this world, not to mention all the other worlds we don’t know about yet. And I’d be willing to bet that most of them probably had some shit left on their plate. So what if they didn’t make up a bunch of great songs or trademark dance moves. Maybe they did and you just never heard them. And besides, the fact that Michael Jackson was as famous as he was should make it far less tragic that he died. At least he got to do a bunch of badass stuff while he was alive, like bang all sorts of hot gash (or whatever he was into), have a pet monkey, buy the elephant man’s bones, and probably a million other things that were too cool to even talk about publicly. Where’s the tragedy in that. Most people are born into shit and die in shit, their own and other peoples. Shouldn’t we spend more time mourning them then some dude who lived life like the royalty of a bygone era, and probably died in part thanks to his gilded lifestyle? And what was it that people, other than his family and friends, really loved about Michael Jackson anyway? His music? His dancing? His larger-than-life persona? None of that went anywhere. It’s still recorded for posterity. That the source of it has died only serves to elevate to an even higher level of visibility; his death only makes his life seem all the grander. So what’s there to piss and moan about? Sure, he died. But everybody dies. You’re gonna die. Probably a lot sooner than you think. Now that’s something to get bummed out about. And ultimately, their own impending mortality is what people are really dealing with when they get all upset when Michael Jackson, or Billy Mays or anyone else mildly famous dies. After all, celebrities seem impervious to the sorts of threats that face mere mortals such as ourselves. A corollary to the American Dream is the idea that if you can just get rich enough, or powerful enough, you can transcend death. But even Walt Disney’s cryogenically frozen head is as dead as any mouldering skull in the Chico Cemetery or dead squirrel in the middle of the road. Rich and poor, famous and anonymous all die the same death. No matter our efforts, no matter our accumulated wealth or accolades, no matter how many Platinum Records hang on our wall, we all end up dust. There’s no escape, even for Michael Jackson. Or for you. Or for me.
As far as pissed of comments and hate mail and all that, go ahead and do it. Any time you talk about someone who just died, it’s de rigeur for at least a couple idiots to write in with some or another version of “Don’t you have respect for the dead?!” And the short answer is no. Because they’re fucking dead. Unlike most people, I try to worry more about respecting people who are still living. Likewise, when I die I hope they throw me out of the back of a truck somewhere up in the hills and let the turkey vultures and skunks and badgers eat my guts and eyeballs out. I hope someone comes along and pisses on my corpse and kicks me when I’m bloated and full up with maggots and desecrates me in any sort of lurid pagan ceremony they see fit. Know why? Because I’m sure whatever happens after I die doesn’t have shit to do with what people do here, especially since probably nothing will happen at all other than I’ll be dead forever. So have at it fuckers! Do your worst! Lambaste me in print; disrespect my memory all you want. It doesn’t matter. Unless it does, which would suck. But hey, you gotta pick a side when it comes to something like this, and Pascal’s Wager notwithstanding, I choose to not give a shit.
Tags: all sorts, bones, cable tv, dick, elephant, elephant man, family and friends, first person, great songs, larger than life, michael jackson, network cable, pet monkey, posterity, royalty, tragedy, tv news, visibility