Yet another article about Michael Jackson

Garrison Ebie

Does it bother anyone else that Michael Jackson’s decaying corpse has still not been put into the ground? The possible ironic jokes involving a zombie song-and-dance with “Thriller” playing out of a coffin-shaped stereo system are so painfully easy to muster up, to make one here would be foolhardy.

However, after two months of Jackson’s body quite literally chilling in what is probably an ice-cold refrigeration unit, the planned burial date of Aug. 29, his birthday, was pushed back for unknown reasons to tomorrow, Sept. 3.

In other words, we still have not heard the end of this epic glorification of a man who, a few years before, was accused of molesting children by the same media outlets now referring to him as an icon. If only the controversy and overbearing attention to details would be laid to rest with this man’s unusual physical appearance, I think then a lot of people would finally have a good night’s rest. Plenty of others would sadly have to wait until the next high-profile celebrity blunder to have anything to talk about.

Jackson died June 25. No matter how extensive an autopsy may be, no matter how many hours go into analyzing the last seconds of his life hopped up on medications, nothing will change the fact that he is as dead as a doornail. Dead. Just like the other millions of people who die each year and didn’t happen to sell untold millions of records in their lifetime. Although People magazine tries to convince us otherwise, celebrities are just as boring as the rest of us.

It’s unbelievable how disrespectful the treatment of dead celebrities has become. Mainstream media have been salivating at this case in 24-hour newscasts, gossip-filled checkout-aisle magazines and even student-run newspapers like the one you’re holding in your hand or reading online right now.

Most media use the guise of defending the well-being of whoever is listening and pretend their content actually matters. Unfortunately, the main prerogative is not unlike any other business in the world – to make money – lots of it. I’m no psychologist, but there must be a link between the relentless broadcasting of dead people and the consumer’s willingness to accept it for news.

A tragic consequence was in 2007 when “breaking news” flashed on the television screen after the untimely death of the beloved dingbat, Anna Nicole Smith. At the same time of this uninterrupted coverage, $12 billion in shrink-wrapped hundred dollar bills was misplaced after being flown to Baghdad. This, however, received little attention in the mainstream media because, clearly, being repetitively beaten to a pulp with the fact that someone who used to show her boobs in a magazine had died is more important.

I believe that what is the most ludicrous of all in Jackson’s case is that to most people, he might as well have already been dead. Ever since the closure of his last court battle and the ditching of Neverland Ranch, the man was practically invisible.

Who could blame him, though? He’s been thoroughly embarrassed enough that keeping out of the limelight might have been the only way to live. Making another breakthrough pop album after that public relations disaster would have been about as likely as Jackson just giving the rights of all the Beatles songs back to Paul McCartney and saying, “Hey, sorry about that one.”

Those on the fence with Jackson’s career probably couldn’t have cared whether he was alive or dead. And yet, for some reason, an entire summer was dedicated to reminding us all that, indeed, the King of Pop is very much dead. He was just a man, a very odd man perhaps, but still not worthy of the God-like attention he was given his entire life and after.

In essence, I say throw the old wad of skin and bones into the ground and finally get it over with. Any death is tragic, but moving on is important as well. I hope that in less than 24 hours this will come true, and Jackson can meet up with Billy Mays and Ted Kennedy in that great subterranean waiting room to the stars.

Garrison Ebie is a senior electronic media production major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].