A friend of mine the other day reflected some of what many have read, opinion polls indicating that coverage of Michael Jackson is overblown.
The argument was, sure, he was a great entertainer, but his time had passed.
What’s all the fuss?
Jackson’s cross-cultural appeal was well-illustrated during this afternoon’s memorial service. He became an entertainment icon in a time well before the Internet, creating an audience what the Web world defines as viral when that term was only reserved for diseases.
The memorial had Christian overtones with Jackson being referenced to in the context of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-27) and proclaimed as a representation of making the best of a life by Martin Luther King III in the words of his father.
There are undoubtedly dark days ahead for the Jackson family. Indeed, they’ve already begun with questions over his estate and custody of his children.
There’s also hate out there, echoed in the remarks of Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) referring to Jackson merely as an overhyped pedophile. Even if King believes that is true, trying to voice that opinion right before his burial is tasteless at best.
As a counterpoint, consider the tearful reaction of 11-year-old Paris Jackson toward her father. Say what you want about the spectacle, but a child’s grief isn’t faked.