Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Pop Star Dies, A Nation Disappears...

Now THIS is social commentary - for the past weeks Iran has been the number one story - now it's faded from the headlines over the death of a washed up, and apparently drug-addled and financially ruined pop-icon who the media have spent the past 20 years vilifying - what's THAT all about? Guess they are mad they won't have him around to kick anymore.

CNN dedicated the whole night Thursday to Michael Jackson, the proclaimed "King of Pop" - Iran was reduced to ticker status. The Iran posts on Twitter dried up, replaced by RIP MJ...

What does it say about our society when a nation is in revolution, trying to free itself from oppression, that world economies are near ruin, and we forget that completely so we can mourn a musician? Yes admittedly a musician who in his prime changed the music industry (some would say saved the music industry with "Thriller" - I own one of those 100 milion copies sold) and pop culture, paving the way for a generation of stars.

Michael Jackson will probably be the last of the great icons - there will be no more Elvises, or John Lennons, or Michael Jacksons - those stars who many remember where they were when they died. Here is an interesting article on that subject from the New York Times carried by my local paper - Fame Will Never Be The Same.

I give Michael Jackson full dues for who he was and what he did, but he was at best a shell of himself when he died and the media revelled in that, spending most of their time the last twenty years vilifying him as a child molester and for being just plain weird - now all of a sudden he was a genius and an icon who will be missed - that's the real story - the hypocrisy and gnat-like attention span of the media, and of society as a whole.

And what of Iran? Has it disappeared from Western consciousness? Is it yesterday's news? Even the Twitterverse has dried up and the number of green avatars is shrinking. Yes, much of the drying up of news is likely due to everything being shut down in Iran, but where has the World's outrage gone? Oh yeah, it's been put aside for MJ. Rest in Peace Michael - maybe now you will have the peace and joy that seemed to elude you in life.

Let's mourn for Michael Jackson and his family, he will be truly missed and remembered by millions of people. But let's not forget the millions of people strugglingto be free either. Time for the media to get their eyes back on the stories that matter - Iran, climate change, the world's failing economic systems and so many more that will impact us in the following days, weeks, and months. Hmmm...

(Map from Iran Tours)

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