Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Michael Jackson and American Excess

Too much has already been said about Michael Jackson, the woman man, white black, child adult -- he of odd, bizarre behavior, that sad, tragic idol who always wanted the approval of his abusing father, who thought if ever he were ordinary, people would not love him, who in the midst of the adulation of crowds was lonely, in whom there lived a kind, gentle child who never had a childhood, and who required tranquilizing drugs to relieve his pain.

But that is not my text today. I wonder if the attention worthy of a President given him in death bespeaks of a celebrity-intoxicated culture whose excesses approach pathology. He offered, say some, moments of transcendence and good will that united followers with humanity, but in my view was exhibitive of a quasi-religion whose "yoke is easy, whose burden is light," that makes no moral demands, judges no behavior, and whose exalted moments are shallow and ephemeral.

That is my text for today.

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