Iconic Demise

This week you would have had to be living under a rock to not have heard about the deaths of Michael Jackson and Farah Fawcett. Farah Fawcett wasn't really my era so until recently all she was to me was a name to a face, but recently I read in the paper about her experience with cancer, described as "an experience nobody should have to endure." It's interesting how Michael Jackson's death completely overshadowed hers on the news. Yet another case of men attracting more publicity, even after death.

Ever since I can remember, the music of Michael Jackson has always been in my life. I was born in '82. I have patchy memories of Michael J Fox moonwalking in one of his films. One thing that has struck me this week is how unavoidable these two press stories were. Within 24 hours, TV stations were running special documentaries about the King of Pop. It reminds me of when Jade Goody died of cervical cancer, a case all the more poignant for me as she was the same age as me when she died. With technology developing all the time, we can have our news on the go, see what all our friends are doing with the entry of a facebook password; twitter is the new keeping up with the Joneses.

Everyone has an opinion on this and they want the world to know. I find it very hypocritical how, as with Princess Diana, journalists who made Jacko's life hell are now singing his praises. I have much more respect for people who admit they never liked him. Farah Fawcett and Michael Jackson's deaths were polar opposites. Hers was long, painful, and drawn out - his was instant and sudden. It didn't take long for the sick jokes to start filling up people's inboxes.

For the purpose of this blog I'll disregard all the controversy surrounding MJ's life and, now it seems, death. I know people will read it say 'how could you disregard that s**t?' Because the bottom line is; someone has died. A human being who had children, parents, and brothers and sisters. Celebrity or not, you don't lose the capacity to feel.

Often with devastating news, the reaction is shock, or laughter. Is this our way of coping, to make light of the dark, glass half full mentality? Or are we cruel spectators of an unkind world? Everyone has different ways of dealing with grief, there is no rulebook for the heart.

Our obsession with celebrity seems to have grown tenfold over the last few years. My title poem for my collection 'Starstruck by Poets' has never been more relavent. I've heard rumours that Peter Andre and Katie Price are in talks to film a tell all documentary about their split. Talk about flogging a dead horse.

Whatever the media say and whatever mistakes they made in their lives, Michael Jackson and Farah Fawcett were cultural icons of our times. The entertainment industry provides escapism for us mere mortals. Shame it was only in death that these two could truely escape.


Popular Posts