Friday, June 26, 2009

The Dead, The Unfaithful, and the Society of the Spectacle

Is it terrible that I really don't have much of an opinion on Michael Jackson's passing? I really love the Jackson Five's Greatest Hits, like Off The Wall, find Thriller vaguely embarrassing, and don't care much about the rest. I guess I should care that he integrated MTV and FM radio. But I don't really. That was hardly the same thing as integrating, say, the Montgomery bus lines or Greensboro lunch counters. There was money to be made for everyone involved by letting Jackson's videos onto MTV, and everyone got rich. Jackson got rich enough to turn himself into a reclusive weirdo who may or may not have been a child predator. So, uh, yay? I suppose his children deserve our sympathy, but jeez, when didn't they deserve our sympathy? I feel a little sympathy for him as the survivor of an extremely fucked-up upbringing, but, to tell you the truth, it's like feeling bad for polar bears at the zoo. I can see that they're in an alien environment and don't know what to do about it, but neither do I.

I feel empathy for Mark Sanford, a guy who I actually despised before his humanity cracked out of him during his press conference the other day. Good for that guy for having a real heart underneath his unfeelingly grey bureaucratic exterior. Perhaps he could use it to help the people of his state who need help rather than following it halfway across the world after a love that he knew was doomed from the outset. I hope that, if he was sincere, he resigns from his job. I hope he doesn't reconcile with his wife for the sake of his career. I hope that other Republicans learn something about the messiness of real life, as opposed to the Platonic ideal of interpersonal relations to which they hold everyone who isn't themselves. This may be akin to hoping that pigs will fly to my house to personally donate bacon to the cause of my breakfast tomorrow, which we'll have to postpone while we enjoy the late-June Texas snow on the ground in the morning.

And tough for Sky Saxon of the Seeds to pass on the same day as Farrah Fawcett and Jacko. Fawcett wasn't much of an actress, but she was decent in Altman's Dr. T and the Women. Saxon was a rock deity, albeit a minor one. Here's to letting all three of the celebrity deceased rest in peace.


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