I am obsessed with Saturday Night Live. Chris Farley is my favorite, however Kristin Wigg has been approaching 2nd place quite rapidly (just behind Rachel Dratch).
GILLLAYY??? Oops. Sorry :)
Although I often vowed never to blog my “thoughts” on tumblr (because after all, who really cares what I have to say), I’m starting to think contrary to my initial assertion in light of recent events. I preface this with the fact that I still realize I am no authority in which to tell people how to think, but that this might be of interest to some:
The media frenzy over the last three weeks has me a little, well, confused. And I keep asking myself, would Michael Jackson have cared if I had died? I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess no.
I’m as big a Jackson fan as anyone. I can remember riding my bike to Rasputin Music on Bascom Ave. as a kid to buy the Thriller album as soon as I earned enough money to do so. I watched his music videos on repeat, went months listening exclusively to the Jackson 5 greatest hits album, and vehemently defended him in 2005. I was always the first to say he wasn’t sinister, and he wasn’t as disturbing as made out to be.
I’ll say it again, I’m as big a Jackson fan as any… wait. Fast forward now to July of 2009. Michael Jackson is dead, the world is up in arms, and the crazies are out in full force. Left and right, people are proving me to be much less of a “fan” than I once claimed.
A co-worker of mine drove down to Southern California for the big Jackson bash last Tuesday, one of thousands. Not having a ticket, he explained to me that when he realized he wasn’t going to get anywhere near the Staples Center, drove up to Neverland and paid a visit.
“Was it fun?” I asked. “Did you have a good time?”
He looked at me as if I had committed a mortal sin. He explained that of course it was not fun, how could it be FUN? it was absolutely terrible that he had to say goodbye to Michael. He was content he had paid his respects, but claimed it was one of the most painful trips he had ever taken. Wait, was he at Michael Jackson’s funeral, or his mother’s?
My co-worker had put me to shame. It didn’t matter that I had every record, or that I had spent months trying to moonwalk, or that I could tell you pretty much anything about Jackson that you wanted to know. The fact that I didn’t drive to Neverland to grieve and mope in Jackson’s death as if he were a close relative apparently makes me scum in the eyes of a “true Jackson fan”.
It amazes me when people are so emotionally impacted by the deaths of people they’ve never met. How can an individual have such an emotional attachment to someone they’ve heard sing or seen on television, but never had a conversation with. Amazing. It reminds me of those silly girls on the Bachelor who all vie for one man’s heart, and amazingly all fall madly in love with the same man, every time. Is that really adoration? Or just craziness?
Perhaps people should step back from this fantasy world, and take a look at reality. The reality is, celebrities are…gasp!… real people. They’re not better or worse than us, they’re one of us. They put on their pants the same way you do, they brush their teeth, they set an alarm clock. The only difference is they’re on TV and you’re not.
Celebrities are, however, icons as well. And for me, my icon was Michael Jackson growing up—loved his music and envied how he could capture a crowd with a single gesture. But that doesn’t make me so insane as to think his death is equitable to a death in my own family. Step back from this flight of imagination, and maybe try to take an equally intricate and passionate look into the lives of the people who actually care about you and work to foster your well being, the ones who actually ARE in your life, and not just on an album cover.