Friday, July 24, 2009
The King of Pap
1. "Cardiac arrest" may be a meaningful and useful term for coroners as a cause of death, but to a layman it means nothing more than that Michael Jackson died because his heart stopped.
2. Hyperbole is permissible in eulogies. Some people's lives would seem awfully pointless without it. But just because Michel Jackson was probably the most popular entertainer of his era does not make him the "greatest who ever lived". For the record, Georg Solti personally won 31 Grammy Awards, 12 more than Jackson.
3. The Reverend Al Sharpton should know by now that dying doesn't absolve sins. All it does is bring an end to sinning. And Jackson was strange. Only his fame made it acceptable or excusable.
4. Diana Ross, whose absence from the Staples Center event was conspicuous, paid her respects more respectfully than anyone that day by grieving in private.
5. We don't know when we're going to die. But one of the ways we can measure our distance from that eventuality is when people our own age die. Jackson was three months younger than me.
6. He complained that his childhood was stolen from him. He found his revenge by refusing ever to become an adult. His Neverland Ranch was an obvious nod to Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up.
7. My respect for the man grew unexpectedly (I am not a fan) when Brooke Shields pointed out that Jackson's favorite song was "Smile", a song written by my candidate for the greatest entertainer who ever lived, Charlie Chaplin.