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Join us in Neverland........
by Dimitra Karantzeni
2009-07-07 09:14:18
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mj01_400The king of pop is dead. Breaking news spread all over the world causing sadness, distress or even panic, while at the same time the hidden aspects not only of the cause of his death but also of his personal life are being unstoppably questioned day per day. Was he mentally ill? How many plastic surgeries has he done? How many children did he really have? Who will now take over the management of his money and belongings?

The truth is, that we don’t know, or maybe we’ll never really know but finally, we don’t have to know, we mustn’t care. On the contrary, we must for once stick to the point, by deeply thinking of what kind of role models does this world cultivate at last? How manipulated we are in fact, by all the massive – material or immaterial – products, smartly fabricated by the giant music, TV or cinema industries, in order to prosperously exploit  our money, our feelings, our thoughts, our hopes and dreams, in order to expand their budget.

I’ve even heard that a few people committed suicide just after they were informed of the sudden death of their beloved pop idol. I found it completely unacceptable and outrage, that the love, admiration or even identification with a pop star, could be ever transformed into such a self-destructive feeling and action. Maybe it’s one of the hundreds of examples that confirm the fact that mass and impersonal communication usually creates a game that resembles the Russian roulette. We are all part of the game, we are all at risk and we can’t escape. And by we, I mean the fans, the audience, the star icons, their producers, their managers etc. Michael Jackson proved to be a victim of his own will for success, to become as greater as it gets, an option almost utopian, the exact point where the danger stands for all those who taste the luxury, the fame, the glory, the absolute recognition and appreciation.

mj02_400These people are trapped in a vicious circle, where the limits between reality and fantasy are almost lost, where “nothing succeeds like success”, where they are gradually transformed into objects of idolatry, where the impossible suddenly seems so possible and feasible, where superpowers and the ability to rule the world deceptively do exist. Through this illusion, super stars like Jackson are made to believe that people will kneel respectively in front of their magnificence. And they did. Thousands of times. Because as I’ve already mentioned, everyone, without exception, is part of this game.

If everything has its price, then fame has its own, as it will punish the ones that have gone too far, a punishment that is merciless, whether we consider in example that the king of pop, was a king without a crown, a desperate 50-year-old man, bald-headed, who suffered from anorexia – nervosa and the Peter Pan syndrome, who had a totally deformed figure, completely dependent on pills and injections, a person who had become the terrifying ghost of his own self. In accordance to this, he was accused of child molestation, and though he won the trial by spending large sums of money, the heavy shadow of the possible commitment of the worst crime against innocent souls still exists, creating mixed and controversial feelings, as it is clear that no one could ever cry and pity for the loss of a pedophile, but only feel relieved that the society has been cleared of one more criminal and dangerous personality.  

mj03_400The point is that Michael Jackson – although it was artistically unique – is not the only example of a star that has reached the top and then collapsed and fell. As far as he represents a category of people who de facto take over the responsibility to stand as role models for millions of young people, as paradigms that the youth is identified with and tries to imitate, as idols it tries to reach and icons it follows, the importance of the life and acts of Michael Jackson should be regarded and judged strictly and less sentimentally, as well as valued farther and beyond his extreme shows, his hits, his unchallengeable talent and the scandalous and spicy aspects of his personal life.

When the cries and sorrows about the loss of an international pop idol will eventually come to an end, maybe we should start crying for the loss of healthy, real, positive, inspiring exemplars that could really make the world go round. Or else, we will remain trapped in our personal Neverland forever…

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Asa2009-07-07 12:32:05
I have found it strange that the age of these die-hard and loyal fans must have grown up with MJ over the past 15 years, which were hardly the most endearing 15 years of the man's life. I wonder what attracted them to such a controversial figure.

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