I’d been holding off on writing this, I didn’t want to, I hoped I wouldn’t need to but I am beginning to wonder if it’s just me?
Michael Jackson died on June 25 (really…he did). He did die unexpectedly, he was a successful entertainer, I would add musician but that would be false. He was a talented singer and a talented dancer. He did die at a young age. It’s understandably tragic for his family especially his children.
All of that however, is not justification for the equivalent of a state funeral, this is not a signal for a media campaign that has essentially ignored 75% of all other global events ever since the man died. Today is July the 9th. It’s 15 days since Michael Jackson died, I’m in the States so can only speak about the media here, but exactly when was this determined to be a nation grieving collectively? Who makes that decision? Is this a watershed moment for the Western world or the whole world? Is it better elsewhere?
I’m trying to resist a tirade about these events and I’m doing really well so far, this blog is meant to be about The Clash. Does anyone share my thoughts?
Joe Strummer passed away in December 2002. Also unexpectedly, also far too young and also leaving behind family members. Fans of the Clash, Joe Strummer, world music, social awareness, punk rock, rock and roll grieved collectively. It hurt like hell and speaking for myself, it still does. Joe was important, Joe was a musician, you can make a case for The Clash saving music from where it sat bobbing about in 1976. In 2002 Joe was still making records, Joe was still in the public eye and held opinions, Joe was still making a difference. Joe still had work to do. Can you honestly say the same about Michael Jackson?
The point of this post isn’t that Strummer deserved 15 days of wall-to-wall coverage when he passed, a bit more than 15 hours he received would have been appropriate. The point isn’t that he should have had a state funeral, I’m not convinced anyone should. Gandhi maybe…not many people impact a whole nation or world.
I guess I’m writing to say the death of Michael Jackson should have been downplayed by about 80% and the death of Joe Strummer should have been far more noted. You can say the same for a tennis player, an actor or a school teacher I realise that. Maybe we get the media we deserve? I just don’t know when this became the event of the decade.
I apologise that this wasn’t very Clash focused, but I don’t apologise for saying I’m sick to death of hearing about a very talented but incredibly odd singer/dancer. Where was the interest in him in 2008?
Normal service will be resumed shortly….