Michael Jackson’s life equates Broadway musical ‘Chicago’ reality

Michael Jackson’s life equates Broadway musical Chicago’s reality and I was appalled at the circus that ensued. Yes, I said circus.

A golden coffin? Usher singing in sunglasses? The ‘Queen B’ Mariah Carey, herself, singing in a black sparkly, low-cut v-neck dress? Jackson’s family wearing sparkly gloves to commemorate their brother?

If Michael Jackson valued the privacy of his children, then why would his daughter, Paris Katherine Michael Jackson, take the stage to say a few tear-felt words to a room of thousands?

Is that really respecting the King of Pop’s wishes? Can you deem it ‘touching’ or ‘exploiting’ – which term do you prefer?

Granted, the sadness of a child is the purest and most heart-wrenching to view, but I ask myself – What would Michael do?

Maybe he would have done what the rest, and Cory Feldman couldn’t (sweet? or taking attention away from the deceased?) – maybe he would have a little respect for death like Diana Ross, or Liz Taylor and I have yet to hear about Macaulay Culkin, one of Jackson’s oldest and dearest friends (alongside Mrs. Taylor).

Is it fitting, ironic or is it slightly disturbing that the Barnum and Bailey Circus starts at the Staples Center the day after the Memorial Service, and the circus animals were ushered into holding areas the morning of Jackson’s event.

Yesterday, I was waiting for the CNN wire and alike to tell me Britney Spears showed up with her tour crew to reminisce “The Way You Make Me Feel” in a slinky green dress.

Is it me? Am I the only one who just can’t fathom making a mockery of death?

Marcus Antonius (Mark Anthony) said in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, “The evil that men do, live after them. The good is oft interred with their bones.”

No kidding.

Earlier, Congressman Peter King from New York called Jackson a pedophile and requested that the media stopped “glorifying” him.

So while, CNN is replaying the memorial service, instead of finding an alternate place to stream it – and the anchors of Good Morning America are tweeting their hearts out about every move from the memorial service, there actually were things going on the world of some more importance:

1. Queen Rania urged people to tune into the Gaza war crimes trial in Geneva via the Internet
2. Al Gore called for more public pressure for climate change deals
3. Random House Publishing released the jacket for “The Lost Symbol” by Dan Brown, which as a pre-sale is number two on Amazon.com
4. The Pope called for reform and a New World Economic Order… plus the Vatican is having trouble translating his text into Latin because of words like “globalization,” and “insolvency”
5. Iran’s president-select, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called last month’s Iranian Election, “the most free election anywhere in the world” in a press conference
6. The Feds eased restrictions on how stem cells can be used for research and alike
7. President Obama is in Russia, and some are questioning the public relations tactics and foreign relations strategies at hand with President Vladimir Putin
8. Republicans have torn into Sarah Palin, post-her decision to leave the office of Governor
9. There is unrest in China, very reminiscent of Tiananmen Square in the 1980s
10. And there is still an ongoing investigation into the two trains that collided at Disney World in Orlando, Fla. over the weekend leaving one person dead

But did you hear about any of that?

No.

I don’t doubt that you heard nothing. Nor do I doubt that you would believe me if I told you that while the ‘legitimate news sources’ have been covering Michael Jackson non-stop for three days (and the weeks prior), all of THAT actually happened.

And do you want to know why? Because fiction mirrors fact.

In 1975, there was a musical that opened on Broadway called Chicago. It was based on a play written by Maurine Dallas Watkins in 1926 that told the story about actual criminals and their crimes. More than anything, the play illustrated the lust for fame, attention and the lengths that some people will go to get it. The story also describes how far and how hard the fall from fame can really be.

Chicago illustrates the type of society we live in to the scariest, accurate degree.

A media more interested in popular culture than the news, people vying for the spotlight and attention, people willing to do anything for fame and the need to be seen.

Sound familiar?

With Michael Jackson having suffered through court hearings for child molestation, law suits with a Beatle, and a public who can’t decide whether to love or hate him (do you remember when Jackson was labeled “Wacko Jacko?”), it’s been rumored that he died from a drug overdose via his prescriptions.

So I ask you three things:
1. How far would you be willing to go, what price would you pay for fame?
2. Furthermore, if you got it, how would you deal with it?
3. And when, is too much attention, more than enough attention?

The Rev. Lucious Smith said something very interesting and, in my opinion exceedingly important, at the end of Jackson’s Memorial Service.

“The King of Pop must bend his knee to the King of Kings,” he says.

For remember, Michael Jackson was, believe or not, human.

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

 

 –

Sasha Muradali runs the ‘Little Pink Book’ . She holds a B.S. in Public Relations from the University of Florida (’07) and an M.A. in International Administration from the University of Miami(’08). She loves Twitter and all things social media, so you should find her @SashaHalima.

Copyright © 2009 Sasha H. Muradali. All Rights Reserved

Comments

  1. @mikeschaffer says

    For a “funeral” held in the building where the Lakers play (and that would be hosting an honest-to-goodness circus the next day), it was about as respectful and earnest as we would get.

    Pastor Smith, Barry Gordy, Smokey Robinson and Brooke Shields were exceptional in their speeches, showing several sides of Michael. Smith did a terrific job of seamlessly weaving in song titles and lyrics without making it sound forced.

    The musical performances were well-intentioned, but most of them just didn't hit home with me.

    I think I listened to Mariah Carey's 1992 “Unplugged” album, where she originally performed “I'll Be There,” about 10 times a day for six months. Yeah, I said it! Pre-teen Michael was a big Mariah fan. She didn't have it yesterday, though.

    Perhaps I was expecting a Tribute Concert and ended up with a Memorial Service, but I was hoping for more inspired, uplifting music.

    I hope that HIStory doesn't repeat itself and that the children return to a quiet, private life, away from the TMZs of the world.

  2. well said Sasha.. totally agree with what you said about…

  3. Well said, Mike. I agree with a lot of that.

    I didn't see it live, but I read it from the live blogs and Twitter feeds.
    Went home and saw the highlights. Needless to say, Paris, in my opinion, has
    been exploited — and as you said, Pastor Smith, Smokey and Brooke were on
    target.

    Mariah was a huge disappointment. I felt she was completely disrespectful
    and I wondered why Jennifer Hudson wore WHITE to a Catholic/Christian/alike
    funeral.

    Oh well, such said, such done.

  4. I may be the only person in America who didn't watch. Not a single minute. It was not an attempt at disrespect for MJ, though I would not be counted as a fan. I just tend to abhor what the media does to sensationize such events. Where once the media was guided by the “right to know”, they now seem to feel it's their purpose in life to not only display, but manipulate emotion. (We've all the seen the reporter sticck a microphone into the face of someone who just lost everything in fire and ask “What are you feeling right now?”) This story has been going on for two weeks now, which is excessive, to say the least. And from all indications, the “news” will continue to have something about MJ on every broadcast, even if it's just a stale recap of what's already been said over and over.

    I'm glad some have seen it as respectful, bit I chose to avoid the event. I decided to truly let (and me) RIP!

  5. I think you hit the nail on the head with the word 'sensationalize' — it
    was horrible.

    I think the entire Jackson clan and MOST of those who participated and help
    to put on yesterday's event — disrespected and mocked death. Not to
    mention, that his children were thrown into the spotlight — with even his
    youngest son, Blanket (aka Prince Michael II), holding a DOLL of his father.

    CNN — replaying it over and over again? Geesh. There were more than 10
    other radically more important things going on the world yesterday and they
    gained no coverage. I listed a few above. It's disgusting.

    I really have lost respect for a lot of those people who thought the
    ceremony was 'perfect' and NOT a 'circus' — did I see and read the same
    event they did?

    But then, you know what Bill, THAT and THOSE actions in themselves show a
    lot about how our society thinks and where our priorities are.

  6. @mikeschaffer says

    For a “funeral” held in the building where the Lakers play (and that would be hosting an honest-to-goodness circus the next day), it was about as respectful and earnest as we would get.

    Pastor Smith, Barry Gordy, Smokey Robinson and Brooke Shields were exceptional in their speeches, showing several sides of Michael. Smith did a terrific job of seamlessly weaving in song titles and lyrics without making it sound forced.

    The musical performances were well-intentioned, but most of them just didn't hit home with me.

    I think I listened to Mariah Carey's 1992 “Unplugged” album, where she originally performed “I'll Be There,” about 10 times a day for six months. Yeah, I said it! Pre-teen Michael was a big Mariah fan. She didn't have it yesterday, though.

    Perhaps I was expecting a Tribute Concert and ended up with a Memorial Service, but I was hoping for more inspired, uplifting music.

    I hope that HIStory doesn't repeat itself and that the children return to a quiet, private life, away from the TMZs of the world.

  7. Excellent ending to this post, Sasha!

    “'The King of Pop must bend his knee to the King of Kings.' He is, after all, HUMAN.”

    I think that is what people tend to forget when getting wrapped up in pop culture hype/celebrity gossip. These people are just like us. They are only human.

    I, personally, did not watch the memorial service, so I can't comment too much on the sensationalism and explotation that may have taken place. But I can say, I have been just as irritated by the overwhelming media coverage that has – for the most part – completely blocked out everything else that's happening in the world (which, as you noted, have been some important things).

    I will say (IMO) MJ was a true revolutionist of music and dance, and the world has truly lost an American icon. That simple fact makes me a little more tolerant of the excess media coverage than I am with other so-called “celebrities” such as John and Kate, Perez Hilton, and The Hills cast.

    However, I think it's important to note that the true root of this excessive coverage is the PUBLIC's obsession with celebrity gossip. If the public were more interested in the important issues happening around the world, that is what would be dominating media coverage instead of MJ tributes, news on John and Kate's divorce and Spencer and Heidi Pratt on the Today show.

    Sadly, people would rather talk/hear about celebrity gossip than the real issues in our nation. This is why MJ has been in the top three trending topics for weeks now. This is why tweets about the Bachelorette trend over the Iran election. When you think about it, the media is just taking advantage of a ridiculous, yet extremely prosperous, market.

    My hope is that, now that the memorial service is over and the issue of who gets the children is settled, MJ's children can lead a normal life without constant harassment by the paparzzi. MJ signed up for being a public figure. His children did not. I do believe (for a man who made his children wear masks and moved out of the country for their protection) MJ's final wish would be for his children to have a normal life. Unfortunately, that may be too much to hope for – a perfect example of our nation's obsessive behavior and the lack of respect we have for fellow human beings.

  8. Thanks for your comment Jessica.

    It’s so true. I told someone else earlier that I didn’t actually watch the
    Memorial Service live, but I saw the highlights later, and I read the live
    blogs and the Twitter trends off and on while it was happening. Believe me,
    like you, I am over and overwhelmed with the MJ-in-your-face action.
    Furthermore, I, like you, have a job – thus, we working young ladies…well,
    we work for a living and cannot perpetuate the ‘Wacko-Jacko Circus’ like a
    lot of others.

    In terms of his children – the day he died, from the looks of it, their
    ‘private’ and sheltered lives have ended. The Jackson family thrust them
    into the limelight. His kids used to walk around with masks for crying out
    loud – to allow an 11-year old little girl on stage in front of 27,000+
    people, not to mention millions more on television – well, that’s
    exploitation.

    I actually agreed to disagree with someone yesterday – that Princess Diana
    was of a larger ‘celebrity’ status than Michael Jackson, yet her funeral
    didn’t erupt into a media feeding frenzy and public trip down
    Neverland-lane. While, that person disagreed and said Michael Jackson is
    bigger, is not the point.

    The point is, that Princess Diana bought the world to its knees in mourning
    that went on for weeks. Her memorial service was carefully calculated, and
    there were no singers gracing the stage in low-cut, v-neck, sparkling
    dresses, or sunglasses and flashy dance steps. Her children walked beside
    her ex-husband, ex-father-in-law and her brother; they were silent and kept
    out of the limelight.

    My one hope, however, is that his kids don’t face the burn of the public and
    the limelight as their father did before them. Though, after yesterday, that
    now seems debatable.

    As you pointed out – I think too many people have forgotten he was human –
    just as Diana, Mother Teresa, JFK and Farrah before him.

  9. Well said, Mike. I agree with a lot of that.

    I didn't see it live, but I read it from the live blogs and Twitter feeds.
    Went home and saw the highlights. Needless to say, Paris, in my opinion, has
    been exploited — and as you said, Pastor Smith, Smokey and Brooke were on
    target.

    Mariah was a huge disappointment. I felt she was completely disrespectful
    and I wondered why Jennifer Hudson wore WHITE to a Catholic/Christian/alike
    funeral.

    Oh well, such said, such done.

  10. I may be the only person in America who didn't watch. Not a single minute. It was not an attempt at disrespect for MJ, though I would not be counted as a fan. I just tend to abhor what the media does to sensationize such events. Where once the media was guided by the “right to know”, they now seem to feel it's their purpose in life to not only display, but manipulate emotion. (We've all the seen the reporter sticck a microphone into the face of someone who just lost everything in fire and ask “What are you feeling right now?”) This story has been going on for two weeks now, which is excessive, to say the least. And from all indications, the “news” will continue to have something about MJ on every broadcast, even if it's just a stale recap of what's already been said over and over.

    I'm glad some have seen it as respectful, bit I chose to avoid the event. I decided to truly let (and me) RIP!

  11. I think you hit the nail on the head with the word 'sensationalize' — it
    was horrible.

    I think the entire Jackson clan and MOST of those who participated and help
    to put on yesterday's event — disrespected and mocked death. Not to
    mention, that his children were thrown into the spotlight — with even his
    youngest son, Blanket (aka Prince Michael II), holding a DOLL of his father.

    CNN — replaying it over and over again? Geesh. There were more than 10
    other radically more important things going on the world yesterday and they
    gained no coverage. I listed a few above. It's disgusting.

    I really have lost respect for a lot of those people who thought the
    ceremony was 'perfect' and NOT a 'circus' — did I see and read the same
    event they did?

    But then, you know what Bill, THAT and THOSE actions in themselves show a
    lot about how our society thinks and where our priorities are.

  12. Excellent ending to this post, Sasha!

    “'The King of Pop must bend his knee to the King of Kings.' He is, after all, HUMAN.”

    I think that is what people tend to forget when getting wrapped up in pop culture hype/celebrity gossip. These people are just like us. They are only human.

    I, personally, did not watch the memorial service, so I can't comment too much on the sensationalism and explotation that may have taken place. But I can say, I have been just as irritated by the overwhelming media coverage that has – for the most part – completely blocked out everything else that's happening in the world (which, as you noted, have been some important things).

    I will say (IMO) MJ was a true revolutionist of music and dance, and the world has truly lost an American icon. That simple fact makes me a little more tolerant of the excess media coverage than I am with other so-called “celebrities” such as John and Kate, Perez Hilton, and The Hills cast.

    However, I think it's important to note that the true root of this excessive coverage is the PUBLIC's obsession with celebrity gossip. If the public were more interested in the important issues happening around the world, that is what would be dominating media coverage instead of MJ tributes, news on John and Kate's divorce and Spencer and Heidi Pratt on the Today show.

    Sadly, people would rather talk/hear about celebrity gossip than the real issues in our nation. This is why MJ has been in the top three trending topics for weeks now. This is why tweets about the Bachelorette trend over the Iran election. When you think about it, the media is just taking advantage of a ridiculous, yet extremely prosperous, market.

    My hope is that, now that the memorial service is over and the issue of who gets the children is settled, MJ's children can lead a normal life without constant harassment by the paparzzi. MJ signed up for being a public figure. His children did not. I do believe (for a man who made his children wear masks and moved out of the country for their protection) MJ's final wish would be for his children to have a normal life. Unfortunately, that may be too much to hope for – a perfect example of our nation's obsessive behavior and the lack of respect we have for fellow human beings.

  13. Thanks for your comment Jessica.

    It’s so true. I told someone else earlier that I didn’t actually watch the
    Memorial Service live, but I saw the highlights later, and I read the live
    blogs and the Twitter trends off and on while it was happening. Believe me,
    like you, I am over and overwhelmed with the MJ-in-your-face action.
    Furthermore, I, like you, have a job – thus, we working young ladies…well,
    we work for a living and cannot perpetuate the ‘Wacko-Jacko Circus’ like a
    lot of others.

    In terms of his children – the day he died, from the looks of it, their
    ‘private’ and sheltered lives have ended. The Jackson family thrust them
    into the limelight. His kids used to walk around with masks for crying out
    loud – to allow an 11-year old little girl on stage in front of 27,000+
    people, not to mention millions more on television – well, that’s
    exploitation.

    I actually agreed to disagree with someone yesterday – that Princess Diana
    was of a larger ‘celebrity’ status than Michael Jackson, yet her funeral
    didn’t erupt into a media feeding frenzy and public trip down
    Neverland-lane. While, that person disagreed and said Michael Jackson is
    bigger, is not the point.

    The point is, that Princess Diana bought the world to its knees in mourning
    that went on for weeks. Her memorial service was carefully calculated, and
    there were no singers gracing the stage in low-cut, v-neck, sparkling
    dresses, or sunglasses and flashy dance steps. Her children walked beside
    her ex-husband, ex-father-in-law and her brother; they were silent and kept
    out of the limelight.

    My one hope, however, is that his kids don’t face the burn of the public and
    the limelight as their father did before them. Though, after yesterday, that
    now seems debatable.

    As you pointed out – I think too many people have forgotten he was human –
    just as Diana, Mother Teresa, JFK and Farrah before him.

  14. @mikeschaffer says

    For a “funeral” held in the building where the Lakers play (and that would be hosting an honest-to-goodness circus the next day), it was about as respectful and earnest as we would get.

    Pastor Smith, Barry Gordy, Smokey Robinson and Brooke Shields were exceptional in their speeches, showing several sides of Michael. Smith did a terrific job of seamlessly weaving in song titles and lyrics without making it sound forced.

    The musical performances were well-intentioned, but most of them just didn't hit home with me.

    I think I listened to Mariah Carey's 1992 “Unplugged” album, where she originally performed “I'll Be There,” about 10 times a day for six months. Yeah, I said it! Pre-teen Michael was a big Mariah fan. She didn't have it yesterday, though.

    Perhaps I was expecting a Tribute Concert and ended up with a Memorial Service, but I was hoping for more inspired, uplifting music.

    I hope that HIStory doesn't repeat itself and that the children return to a quiet, private life, away from the TMZs of the world.

  15. well said Sasha.. totally agree with what you said about…

  16. Well said, Mike. I agree with a lot of that.

    I didn't see it live, but I read it from the live blogs and Twitter feeds.

    Went home and saw the highlights. Needless to say, Paris, in my opinion, has

    been exploited — and as you said, Pastor Smith, Smokey and Brooke were on

    target.

    Mariah was a huge disappointment. I felt she was completely disrespectful

    and I wondered why Jennifer Hudson wore WHITE to a Catholic/Christian/alike

    funeral.

    Oh well, such said, such done.

  17. I may be the only person in America who didn't watch. Not a single minute. It was not an attempt at disrespect for MJ, though I would not be counted as a fan. I just tend to abhor what the media does to sensationize such events. Where once the media was guided by the “right to know”, they now seem to feel it's their purpose in life to not only display, but manipulate emotion. (We've all the seen the reporter sticck a microphone into the face of someone who just lost everything in fire and ask “What are you feeling right now?”) This story has been going on for two weeks now, which is excessive, to say the least. And from all indications, the “news” will continue to have something about MJ on every broadcast, even if it's just a stale recap of what's already been said over and over.

    I'm glad some have seen it as respectful, bit I chose to avoid the event. I decided to truly let (and me) RIP!

  18. I think you hit the nail on the head with the word 'sensationalize' — it

    was horrible.

    I think the entire Jackson clan and MOST of those who participated and help

    to put on yesterday's event — disrespected and mocked death. Not to

    mention, that his children were thrown into the spotlight — with even his

    youngest son, Blanket (aka Prince Michael II), holding a DOLL of his father.

    CNN — replaying it over and over again? Geesh. There were more than 10

    other radically more important things going on the world yesterday and they

    gained no coverage. I listed a few above. It's disgusting.

    I really have lost respect for a lot of those people who thought the

    ceremony was 'perfect' and NOT a 'circus' — did I see and read the same

    event they did?

    But then, you know what Bill, THAT and THOSE actions in themselves show a

    lot about how our society thinks and where our priorities are.

  19. Excellent ending to this post, Sasha!

    “'The King of Pop must bend his knee to the King of Kings.' He is, after all, HUMAN.”

    I think that is what people tend to forget when getting wrapped up in pop culture hype/celebrity gossip. These people are just like us. They are only human.

    I, personally, did not watch the memorial service, so I can't comment too much on the sensationalism and explotation that may have taken place. But I can say, I have been just as irritated by the overwhelming media coverage that has – for the most part – completely blocked out everything else that's happening in the world (which, as you noted, have been some important things).

    I will say (IMO) MJ was a true revolutionist of music and dance, and the world has truly lost an American icon. That simple fact makes me a little more tolerant of the excess media coverage than I am with other so-called “celebrities” such as John and Kate, Perez Hilton, and The Hills cast.

    However, I think it's important to note that the true root of this excessive coverage is the PUBLIC's obsession with celebrity gossip. If the public were more interested in the important issues happening around the world, that is what would be dominating media coverage instead of MJ tributes, news on John and Kate's divorce and Spencer and Heidi Pratt on the Today show.

    Sadly, people would rather talk/hear about celebrity gossip than the real issues in our nation. This is why MJ has been in the top three trending topics for weeks now. This is why tweets about the Bachelorette trend over the Iran election. When you think about it, the media is just taking advantage of a ridiculous, yet extremely prosperous, market.

    My hope is that, now that the memorial service is over and the issue of who gets the children is settled, MJ's children can lead a normal life without constant harassment by the paparzzi. MJ signed up for being a public figure. His children did not. I do believe (for a man who made his children wear masks and moved out of the country for their protection) MJ's final wish would be for his children to have a normal life. Unfortunately, that may be too much to hope for – a perfect example of our nation's obsessive behavior and the lack of respect we have for fellow human beings.

  20. Thanks for your comment Jessica.

    It’s so true. I told someone else earlier that I didn’t actually watch the

    Memorial Service live, but I saw the highlights later, and I read the live

    blogs and the Twitter trends off and on while it was happening. Believe me,

    like you, I am over and overwhelmed with the MJ-in-your-face action.

    Furthermore, I, like you, have a job – thus, we working young ladies…well,

    we work for a living and cannot perpetuate the ‘Wacko-Jacko Circus’ like a

    lot of others.

    In terms of his children – the day he died, from the looks of it, their

    ‘private’ and sheltered lives have ended. The Jackson family thrust them

    into the limelight. His kids used to walk around with masks for crying out

    loud – to allow an 11-year old little girl on stage in front of 27,000+

    people, not to mention millions more on television – well, that’s

    exploitation.

    I actually agreed to disagree with someone yesterday – that Princess Diana

    was of a larger ‘celebrity’ status than Michael Jackson, yet her funeral

    didn’t erupt into a media feeding frenzy and public trip down

    Neverland-lane. While, that person disagreed and said Michael Jackson is

    bigger, is not the point.

    The point is, that Princess Diana bought the world to its knees in mourning

    that went on for weeks. Her memorial service was carefully calculated, and

    there were no singers gracing the stage in low-cut, v-neck, sparkling

    dresses, or sunglasses and flashy dance steps. Her children walked beside

    her ex-husband, ex-father-in-law and her brother; they were silent and kept

    out of the limelight.

    My one hope, however, is that his kids don’t face the burn of the public and

    the limelight as their father did before them. Though, after yesterday, that

    now seems debatable.

    As you pointed out – I think too many people have forgotten he was human –

    just as Diana, Mother Teresa, JFK and Farrah before him.