Monday, December 22, 2008

Celebrity and Near-Death

So after my post yesterday I saw something today on Idolator about how Michael Jackson may be near death. And it got me thinking about the flip side of yesterday's post - namely that I would not feel bad if Michael Jackson died. The entity that currently exists and calls itself Michael Jackson is so far removed from the young man who made Off the Wall (still a great album, by the way) and has done so much damage to his reputation, it would pretty much take him giving all his money to charity, or to me, to change my opinion of him. I feel a similar way to people like Britney Spears and Tom Cruise, who are not close to death, but clearly have such gaping personal flaws that it hurts how I react to anything they are involved with. And yes, much of Ms. Spears's music is not very good, but that's not the point here.

Basically, to switch from sports to art, don't be Ty Cobb. He has two legacies that he will forever be known by - he was one of the greatest hitters of all time and he was a huge asshole. There's no way this will ever change. So there is a lesson here:

1. Don't be an asshole or a nutjob (Bruce Springsteen, for example, is neither. I do not listen to his music, but I can respect his relative normalcy as a human.)

2. If you're an asshole or a nutjob, cover it up well (Most people don't know much about Michael Jordan. He is by many accounts a less than charitable person who has a huge huge gambling problem, but most people don't know this and that's how he wants it to stay. )

3. If you screw up, be classy about it (Charles Barkley also has a gambling problem, but after losing a whole buttload of money, he has come forward about his problem and is at least giving the impression that he is trying to rectify the issue.)

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