Today, the most culturally relevant event was scheduled to occur. I was going to be at work when his memorial service was going to air on the major networks, preempting scheduled television. I turned the televisions at work on so that we could watch his memorial service.
This is a man that could do anything and he did everything. While his personal life overshadowed his professional life, there is not a person on the face of the Earth that can deny what he accomplished with his music.
At least, that is what I thought. Until a guy at work came in and asked if this was the only thing on television. I explained that it was on all the major stations and his response was, "Why? He's not even worth it."
In that moment, I felt like everything that I love about pop culture had been punched. I don't give a crap about who he did in his personal life. All I know is that he was the biggest star in the world. There was someone who said once that the three most famous people in the world were the Queen of England, the Pope, and Michael Jackson. I find this to be true. This memorial and the insanity that has surrounded his death is the most culturally pervasive global event that has occurred since Princess Diana died, and I argue that not even she was so globally recognizable and cherished as the music that Michael Jackson made was and is.
Having said all of that, I have no respect for that guy at work any longer. I just can't look at him the same way. You have to recognize the importance of a person who literally touched the world. You don't believe me? Watch the news. There are memorials to him all over the entire planet. People are standing in the streets of London and New York watching the memorial.
Side note: We all know that MJ wasn't the most religious of men. If he was, then he kept that to himself. But I do find it interesting how central God is in the memorial. Perhaps its something that makes people feel better about themselves to say that he is with God now. But I find it interesting that so many public figures feel free to talk about God in this situation but in their everyday life, He takes the backseat. Maybe if we kept Him in the front seat, the early death from painkiller dependencies and prescription drugs wouldn't have occurred.
But I will say this. Praise God for Jennifer Hudson. If nothing good comes from this at all, we know that Jennifer Hudson got to sing the song from Free Willy.