Today is the one-year anniversary of the death of Michael Jackson. You needn’t be a fan to know this: every newscast has mentioned it. Some programs like CBS’s The Early Show came close to acting as though nothing else was going on except that anniversary.
I watched an interview from a network package shot at the site of Jackson’s boyhood home where fans gathered to mourn. One of the people interviewed, a twenty-something that might have been a late-teen-something, was in tears as she spoke to the reporter.
“I just can’t believe it. I still can’t accept it.”
This child needs help. Professional help.
I don’t say that to disparage Jackson’s memory. He was unquestionably talented and left a major mark on the world of music.
But the fact remains that if, after a year, you’re still this torn up over someone you never knew personally, something’s wrong with your level of grief. And to the most dedicated of fans who followed the superstar’s career from its early days when the child star mesmerized the country to the very end, in which he had become an enigma of talent an eccentricity: you did not “know” him. You followed him. You enjoyed his work. You admired him. In some cases, you did so a little too hard.
But you didn’t know the guy.
If you lost a family member, would you honestly carry on this much?