Michael Jackson And The Media

-A +A

[Michael Jackson's Passing]

The airwaves are ablaze with the news of the sudden passing of entertainment icon Michael Jackson at age fifty.

Cable news giants CNN and MSNBC stopped their regular propaganda spins to focus on Michael Jackson’s life and career.

MTV the musical media behemoth which ironically prior to Michael Jackson’s Thriller Album refused to play black music or black artists also joined the interest in Jackson. VH1 will play Jackson’s videos non-stop all weekend beginning Friday. Jackson reportedly suffered cardiac arrest and was taken to UCLA hospital were he was subsequently pronounced dead Thursday afternoon West Coast time.

Jackson had been in LA rehearsing for an upcoming fifty concert tour in the UK. Reports indicate the rehearsals were going well although the concerts were pushed back a week. Fans and the curious gathered outside UCLA hospital and CNN showed crowds outside Harlem’s legendary Apollo Theater stunned by the news. Various friends, spokespersons, media hounds and entertainment types are rolling out old footage of Jackson and talking about his career as a pop icon.

Jackson’s death is taking center stage just as at one point in his life Jackson was crowned the King of Pop and enjoyed global recognition and stardom. Jackson was a talented child whose creativity and ingenuity catapulted his family band The Jackson Five to fame and fortune after they were discovered by one of the Motown Acts Bobby Taylor of Bobby Taylor and the Vancouvers and signed by Berry Gordy to a recording contract.

Even though he was the youngest member of the group all eyes were on Michael because he moved so fluently, he projected an energetic and effervescent personality and he enjoyed being on stage. Jackson grew up in the entertainment industry and the Jackson Five experienced a phenomenal success: sold out concerts, recording deals, a variety show and an animated series. When he left the Jackson Five to go solo, he became even more famous and he blazed trails as a cross- over artist never seen before. His legendary collaborations with Quincey Jones propelled his career even higher.

With stardom came closer scrutiny and once under the microscope, Jackson presented conflicting images of a super star with major issues. Jackson's life, success and eccentricity has been fodder for the media for years. Jackson was so big they are now saying he was a precursor to Negroes like Tiger Woods and Barack Obama who supposedly transcend race!?  How does one transcend race in a racist society?

In a way saying Michael Jackson transcended race reflects the insane notions of race, racial power dynamics and aesthetics that still pollute our minds. Michael Jackson mutilated his face and body because he had the financial wherewithal to try to make himself look like something he was not, a white man. I often say black folks are so tricked up by  oppressive Eurocentric values and self-hatred if more of us had the money and contacts Jackson had, they would carve themselves up just like he did. They would do anything not to be African! Michael Jackson was extremely talented but he was also a victim of menticide and self-hatred.

Now he is gone. He will be eulogized and the subject of numerous stories and discussions about his life and career. It will be interesting to see how the corporate media handles this in the next few days after the initial news and shock wear off. Will they keep stoking the fires of controversy and curiosity about Jackson’s sudden death and eccentric behavior over the years?

Will they use his death as a distraction to deliberately take our minds off  the economic crisis the US and much of the world are experiencing? Will his demise be used as a diversion, a Star Wars Jedi Knight slight of hand mind trick to keep us ignorant about the mischief and mayhem US is creating and causing around the world in places like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, North Korea, Iran or Somalia?

Will the corporatist mind control apparatus take advantage of Jackson’s death to keep us bamboozled and taking sides with or against their depictions of him?  Will we fall for the okey-doke? Time will tell.

Please feel free to post your comments directly online or submit them to milton@blackstarnews.com for publication

"Speaking Truth To Empower."

(From The Ramparts)


Also Check Out...

Lehman College students
Lehman College Continues
Cyber Monday and Black Businesses
Cyber Monday: Supporting Black
book, # Take A Knee: The Political Awakening of Colin Kaepernick
New Colin Kaepernick Book “# Take
Republican Redistricting And Voter Suppression
Republicans Using Redistricting
West Indies cricket great Michael Holding said his book "Why We Kneel, How We Rise" was hard to write
Cricket Great Holding Urges Honest
25 Black-owned businesses that you can support this year
Black Friday\Cyber Monday: Support