Tuesday, 7 July 2009


I have been sitting, with a sore back, watching TV this afternoon. How delightfully decadent, aside from the shooting pain. Most of the big American stations have featured the memorial service for Michael Jackson(1958 - 2002). As Natasha said, on her All in the Mind blog re: Schumann,
"As I mention in the first show, I'm hesitant about the effort to posthumously hunt for signs of mental pathology in the work of artists long gone."

One blogger bemoans the joy and love heaped on the late Michael Jackson .
I wonder why taxpayer dollars went towards the celebration of life in the stadium, but that is another issue! I cannot begrudge the honour anyone bestows on a life. No matter how many children we have, there is enough love to go around. This is true of mourning. We can find enough love for this act: to honour a human being who has passed.

The highway memorials are significant is you travel in Ontario. We must laud those who do good works, aside from the mistake they have made. (Let she who is without sin...) MJ was a philanthropist, and to share your wealth is an honourable thing. There will be much written about the fight over his millions of dollars, and the custody of his children, but, again, many families fight about many things. Those in the spotlight are in an even worse position. It is the public's right, those who helped this family achieve fame and fortune, to mourn and experience their grief. For those who disparage him, they need to turn the page or the channel. I have made mistakes in my life. I hope they will not be held up at my death, for I try to learn from them.

This aforementioned blogger complained that
"Yesterday, seven American servicemen were killed in Afghanistan. Those are the heroes and they are the ones who deserve the coverage."
Again, there is enough coverage for all to be lauded as heroes. I am proud of the ramp ceremonies, as well as the people that line the highway from Trenton as we bring soldier's bodies home in Canada.

For example:

Ramp ceremony farewell for soldiers killed ...7 Jul 2009 ... TheStar.com | Canada | Ramp ceremony farewell for soldiers killed in chopper crash. Ramp ceremony farewell for soldiers killed in chopper ...

Highway convoy rolls to honour fallen Canadian soldiers- 3:13pm31 May 2008 ... Highway convoy rolls to honour fallen Canadian soldiers ... representing the number of fallen soldiers, led the memorial drive, moving under...

Perhaps her disapproval should be directed at American governments that do not allow such in their world. Everyone deserves to have their lives lauded. It is hard to explain the attention. Perhaps, because of all the media hype that has surrounded him in the past. Brooke Shields spoke fondly of their common child performer/media star lives. It cannot have been easy. It is said that he was a perfectionist. he must have been lonely, troubled, and I wonder the lessons we learn from these stories?

Certainly, it is crucial that we honour the good things a person has done. MJ was a philanthropist, aside from his problems later in life. We saw him grow up and, like other entertainers who have died before their time, we wonder why. I, like Sherry, wonders what went wrong in this case. It is something the Americans must ponder.

For all those who mourn, I hope you receive comfort. I hope that you mourn with dignity, respect and in privacy, for MJ's family has no choice in the matter. The family raised their voices in song, as I did at my Mother's service. There was nothing more joyful to her than having us all sing. It is what we did as a family.

My father's service was sparsely attended. It was painful at the time. That others mourn MJs passing may or may not be comforting to those who grieve. He was a public figure. Those who do mourn are to be respected. Those who must take away from such ceremonies should be ashamed. Turn off your TV. I'll be humming the Thriller, he's bad, so bad!, music that had young men and women danced to in the streets, celebrating the spirit of those in the entertainment industry, mimicking their hero, and raising the profile of those who face racism in the US.

Visit RedFridays.ca, to view the memorial pages for fallen Canadian soldiers. We know how to honour our soldiers.


Derrick said...

Hi Jenn,

I try to see both sides of this. There are many who will genuinely mourn Jackson's passing and I do not belittle their feelings.

There are others all too eager to "cash in" on this type of event and show little dignity. The family could show more diginity and conduct themselves in greater privacy. We had reports that the coffin might be brought to the stadium. I don't know if it was but I hope not!

There is nothing wrong with having a memorial concert or a service of thanksgiving for a life but they could let the man be buried first.

Jenn Jilks said...

That is another issue, Derrick. Those who will try to benefit financially.

Actually, his family was in the front row, and they were going to take the gold-plated casket (honest!) to the plot to be buried right afterwards.

A troubled life, and we do not really know what went on that was wrong. The fundamentalist right is certainly jumping on this in that respect.

I had my mom's Celebration of Life months after, and it made more sense. But people do need to mourn and make sense of death. Parents must model it, too.