Sunday, 12 July 2009

Michael Jackson - Lose Your Hero, Lose Yourself?

Michael Jackson, rightly agreed the world over, is a legend and always will be.
If you put the man’s bizarre personal life aside and the fact that he made some terrible life decisions to the back of your mind, you are left with a star of totally insane proportions.
Jackson moved, sang and behaved in a way that no other will ever be able to replicate or indeed surpass. His performances from Motown 25, to massive sell out world tours to what was expected to be a spectacular residency at London’s 02 arena were extraordinary and his sudden death has left the world in shock, misery and in need of another King.

For me, the most saddening thing to come out of Jackson’s tragic demise is the devastating affect it’s had on many of his followers. With 12 reported suicides relating to the stars death being confirmed in America alone since Jackson’s death on June 25, many of his fans seem inconsolable during a time where the music world has been left scarred and un-whole. People are so desperate to ‘join’ their hero in another world that they forgot all about their current state, their families, their friends and undeniably their own life all because of the death of this star.

Being a hero to so many and with the lasting effect of his death still coursing through planet Earth, questions have to be asked, why did people rely on one man so much? Why do people feel the need to take their own life to be ‘nearer’ to someone they’ve never met? Why are people so unhappy with themselves that they feel they need to try and live through another?

Legendary rock critic, Lester Bangs once said: “A hero is a goddam stupid thing to have in the first place and a general block to anything you might want to accomplish on your own." While this anti hero’s words are true to a certain degree, everyone needs a hero, everyone needs someone to look up to, draw their influences from and aspire to. But when does this become too much? When does it get to a point that you no longer feel that your own image/voice/body is adequate?
As we are now in a time of celebrity obsession and disgusting publications such as ‘Closer’ judge people on their own simple life decisions it’s difficult to see when this spiral will stutter, when the obsession end and when will people begin to cry their own tears once more.
Identity is a key thing to every person and is something that Michael Jackson strongly believed in himself – just look at what the star did to his own body. If the man was alive today to see the world’s reaction he would not only be honored and happy that so many thought of him in the way they did but he would also be deeply wounded by the fact that this tragedy has not only damaged his own family but the families of those who have lost loved ones in the aftermath of his death.
None of this is down to Jackson of course, while the tabloids will endlessly create conspiracy theories relating to his death, use his name to sell their papers and prey on the people who loved him most, one thing can remain certain, this man didn’t want to die. He had a point to prove and he wanted to show the world that he was still capable of being the star we all need.

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