Death of a Flawed Icon

Michael Jackson's half century was lived almost wholly in the glare of the media searchlight, so hardly surprising that his death tonight is causing a real stir. It's odd, really. I'm not a fan, although I like his music. Obviously I've never met him, never even seen him in concert. But the news of his death has definitely made an impact. The means of news spreading in the early 21st. century has ensured that his death was first tentatively announced on a showbiz website, spread quickly across the blogs, was given coverage before it was confirmed on 24 hour news sites like Sky and the more cautious BBC, and has resulted in loads of status comments on facebook. The status comments are both ones of shock (usually a brief RIP), some regret, and quite a deal of humour and referenes to the controversies of his legal battles over his actions with under-age boys.

Watching some of the old pop videos, there's certainly no doubting the talent that was Michael Jackson in his youthful prime. But what a wretched, freakish waste of a man he became. His three kids all artificially brought into being, the youngest of an unknown female donor. Strange, white, tortured skin and odd face staring out under his lanky fringe. A compulsive addiction to spending. The old Jackson of musical genius seems to have long gone.

Now, of course, we get the celebrity memories. The most ridiculous so far has been Uri Geller being interviewed by the BBC, making a big deal about being too upset to carry on and hanging up, then coming back after the death was confirmed, then going through the routine of being too upset again, having to go.

And, finally, he wasn't old. He tried to arrest his ageing, but he was even so only 50. I think we are shocked by his death. It is unexpected. And it is the stuff of modern, internet news. Even Iran's bid for freedom has to take a back seat now - now that really is an ironic respite for the mullahs.


It's Farrah Fawcett I feel sorry for in all of this. Poor planning on her part, really.
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