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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Eternal Child vs. Old Man

I must be getting old.

I woke up here in Japan on Friday morning to see the news breaking about Michael Jackson’s death. After some meetings I came back to the hotel with a couple of hours to spare before Shabbat. So I decided to go downstairs to the gym. I turned on the TV in front of the treadmill and tuned in to BBC News.

For the entire 40 minutes or so that I was on the treadmill, the only thing on BBC News was Michael Jackson. That included two or three “world news” updates, which updated only on Michael Jackson. And ever since – it’s been 3 days now – I still see Michael Jackson pretty much everywhere I turn: newspapers, internet or TV.

OK, I know he was popular. I think I even bought “Thriller” when I was in high school (or at least listened to it quite a lot). But is his passing away really so important as to overshadow practically everything else that is going on in the world? He was only a singer, for Pete’s sake! And one that was seriously disturbed and socially inept. He was pretty successful in mutilating his own body though… But a cultural icon? Give me a break.

So to many he might be the “eternal child”. But this old man really has had enough. May he rest in peace (and leave us in peace).

(PS – I was much more saddened to hear about the passing away of Jo Amar, whose songs I grew up with and who was a personal friend of my father’s).

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