On the Death of Michael Jackson

First, I’d like to say that I never realized that there was a difference between cardiac arrest and a heart attack, but apparently, there is. I don’t know why I’m only just now finding out about that. Oh, I know… It’s because the cable news networks had to find every bit of information even remotely relevant to the death of Michael Jackson to cram into the airwaves, so they could pre-empt all the “other” world news with something that would get them higher ratings.

Don’t get me wrong, yes, the death of Michael Jackson is indeed huge news, but when it gets to the point that I’m watching a CNN anchor telling me that heart attacks are “bad” then maybe it’s time to move on to another story until you have some information on Jacko that has a little more meat to it.

Now for the meat of this post. I don’t have a whole lot to say, but dammit, I have to get on the Jackson blogging bandwagon. I never really considered myself a fan, but I will admit that Jackson’s impact on the music world was immense. Personally, I stopped liking Michael Jackson’s music in the late 1980s. Everything after that just seemed to me to be a cry for attention. But that’s just me.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen the death of a celebrity that has brought about such a duality in response from the public. When the news of Jackson’s death first became public yesterday, I was preparing to shoot a scene on the set of The Powderkids — well, we were having lunch — and immediately everyone began diving for their iPhones to check the accuracy of the report (at the time, the LA Times was reporting his death, but other sources were reporting that he was in a coma).

I hit some of the higher page-ranked forums, where the split public opinion of Michael Jackson was immediately evident. One post started out with “Michael was the greatest” and the next with “Burn in hell, Wacko!” and then they would inevitably trail off into how he was the best thing ever, OR the worst thing ever, his record in music or pedophilia being brought forth as evidence accordingly.

What does the death of Michael Jackson mean to me? Not much, really. Yes, he was one of the most important figures to ever hit the music scene, and his influence will be felt for generations of musicians to come, but in my opinion, if he was going to die an early death, it should have come in 1989, before he got really freaky, became a joke to a lot of people, and began firing off scandals faster than that insane vending machine from Maximum Overdrive.

I dare you to find anyone else who will give you Maximum Overdrive references in their Jacko-death-blog-post.

Darren Abate is a professional photojournalist and cinematographer based in San Antonio, Texas. He also likes to write, and his favorite candies are Junior Mints. He is represented by PressPhoto International.

~ by peakaction on June 26, 2009.

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