I was not a big fan of Jackson's music, nor did I approve of his questionable behavior with children toward the end of his life. His overall odd eccentricity was not enough to endear me to his causes, either. But I think there are some who have turned what was already a circus of epic proportions, into a self-serving event with no regard for anyone, but themselves.
If you are in need of a media whore or a race pimp, look no further than J&S Inc. for all your needs. Most people already know that when you think you have been wronged because you are black, give Al and Jesse a call. If they think they can get enough media coverage, you hit the jackpot.
So how's this for a marketing strategy? If a black musical superstar who bleached his skin white dies, you get both of them competing for attention in the spotlight.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rev. Al Sharpton have converged on Michael Jackson's family since the King of Pop's sudden death last Thursday, acting as semi-official spokesmen and advisers.
Now the two preachers — who have spent decades jockeying for the unofficial title of America's leading black activist — appear to be auditioning for a role in Michael Jackson's final act: his funeral.
It remains unclear just what they are hoping to do for the clan in mourning as they offer their services to Michael Jackson's family, but both have been vying for a prominent position.
He's not the only one who wants to cash in on the Michael Jackson cash cow and media circus. The mayor of Gary Indiana (Michael's birthplace) let it out early what he wanted.
The mayor of Michael Jackson's childhood hometown says he'd like to see the pop singer buried in Gary, Ind. Mayor Rudy Clay tells The Associated Press that short of a burial, he hopes Jackson's body can at least lie in repose at City Hall.
The 73-year-old mayor says he also hopes the community of about 96,000 along Lake Michigan becomes a mecca for Jackson fans, similar to the way Elvis Presley fans flock to Graceland in Memphis, Tenn.
I don't know if you who read PYY can fully appreciate it, but Gary is the armpit of the earth. Violent crime is rampant, it is second in the nation in homicides per capita. Only New Orleans ranks higher. Who in the hell would want to visit a grave in a cesspool like that?
As shameless as this behavior has been, I find Jackson's death and the manner in which it occurred to be extremely unfortunate. But in the larger scope of things, I have to ask some things along the way.
What did this man do for mankind other than entertain us? Did he find a cure for some dreaded disease? Did he educate or inspire anyone to do great things? Did he die protecting others? Was he a hero in the true sense of the word? The answer to all of these questions is no. (Note-If you want to read about some real heroes who died with little fanfare, take a look at this post by Mustang.)
As an ardent music fan, I can appreciate Michael Jackson's contribution to the music world, despite the fact I was not a fan of his. But other than that, I cannot get overly emotional. I cannot feel anymore sadness than I would for any other human being. And believe me when I tell you, I have lived to see some very great men and women die.
These are men and women whose loss made an impact on personal lives. Some were people who made this world a better place, maybe in little increments -- but better nonetheless. They made sacrifices, many times they were unknown to their friends and neighbors. They were not interested in getting their pictures in the papers or hearing their voices in 10 second sound bites. They did the things they did, because they were the right things to do. They reeked of integrity.
Where was the media when these people died? Probably looking for someone to smear. Where were Al and Jesse when these people passed from this life? Probably out trying to generate a racist situation, where there was none to begin with. But one thing is for sure. They were all trying to look important, when they were not.