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"False Emotions" for Michael Jackson?

Monday, 29 June 2009


Are those claiming to grieve over Michael Jackson's death just pretending? Is this collective outpouring of grief from everyone everywhere around the globe all a big balloon of . . . hot air?

It's a hard question to ask, and the answer is even harder to tackle. But Hadley Freeman from the Guardian dares to ask and answer this question anyway. It's not easy given the current situation, where all TV and radio stations across the world broadcast the story of the life, music and death of the iconic Michael Jackson, hour after hour, over and over again. With Hollywood celebrities coming out of the woodwork to "pay tribute" of the "what a great man Michael Jackson was" variety, to "fans" gazing forlornly in front of the camera saying they love Michael Jackson so, and that they have tickets to his upcoming concert this year "This is it!"

Hadley Freeman thinks "that the desire for collective emotion leads only to false emotion" in the case of the death of Michael Jackson. Freeman touches on the "multiplicity" of media, saying "Jackson's was not an unblemished life and this makes it tricky for the news channels and tweeting celebrities who long for nothing more than to bathe in the soapy, sudsy pleasure of hyperbolic adoration and eulogies."

Many people share the same skepticism. While not in any way disdaining the feelings of truly grieving Michael Jackson fans, it's worth remembering that when he was alive, the Hollywood press fed Michael Jackson's quirky life unmercifully to the voracious appetite of fans. They consumed him and all that he was, but seldom was there a show of support for the man, more a show of mockery for his quirks. And now with his sudden passing and faced with all this belated tributes and accolades, well.... the irony of it is just too striking to ignore.

Source: Guardian (UK)

Photo: AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko

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