It's been almost 2 weeks since news of the death of Michael Jackson, and yet the news is still news. It's still being splashed on the billboards, CNN, music networks. His albums are still top of the charts and his pictures (the sightlier, not-so-recent ones, interestingly) are everywhere. All over the world people held memorials and candle-light vigils mourning the loss of this music icon. Tears were shed from L.A. to Tokyo, and some even travelled from Australia to stand with a crowd outside the Staples Centre - without a hope of getting in to watch to memorial service.
Why the hype, you ask?
You see, Michael Jackson, talented musician though he was, was more than a musician and dancer with some fancy moves. I remember the cover art of one of his albums, History. It was an apocalyptic scene where a statue of Michael Jackson stood towering against a night backdrop with tiny helicopters flying around and bright flood flight lit the area, though unable to capture the entire statue. On his right arm, the number 777, tatooed in all its arrogance.
They say there was not a person in the world who was not in someway touched by the character of Michael Jackson. He represented so much for so many people. Perhaps, in the final analysis, all he was a stark reminder of the idolatry that our generation is guilty of. The making for ourselves, images which we are familiar with to mask the terror of divine reality. In our day, we have seen great men. Human rights activists like Martin Luther King Jr, but few tears are shed for him; political heroes like Ghand and Winston Churchilli, but few tears are shed for them. In our day, who is the one in which lay so much of our concern and for whom we shed the most tears when he is gone?
The one who was a sparkle to our eyes as we watched from the television screen or on the stage. We've along way it seems, in the opposite direction. The world seeks a Messiah. It always has. We seek a noble ruler, an unshakable kingdom; one in whom to pin our hopes. The world has lost the king of pop, and the mourning continues until today.
How very, very sad.