Legends & Icons - Indispensible to Society
Michael Jackson was a huge talent and he deserved the fuss and the clamour he received; besides being a great entertainer he seemed - despite his decriers and his critics - to be a nice human being. But the bigger our world population grows and the more we lose spiritual and cultural roots the more we need to have legendary people and more than that, legendary ceremonies when they depart. This takes nothing from the MJ’s of our world and what they did, it says more about our appreciation of people who really stand out, who dare to take the time to be uniquely talented and different. (And yes often it is a question of taking the time and the effort to polish and practise end become extraordinary).
The iconoclastic need in society is geared towards deity, whether it be mortal or not. We want gods and god-like figures, and maybe those becoming godlike find it harder and harder to take the strain. Look at the list of the hugely talented in and out of show business who have died untimely deaths (if there is any such thing). To live is one thing but to live not fearing our own potential greatness is another. When there is a death of someone who brought light and life to others there is reason to grieve - whether we knew them personally or not, because often we can’t be bothered to do that for ourselves. That is what the arts do for us in all their forms, especially the performing arts - they close gaps and span Continents, as was pointed out by erudite speakers in Jackson's memorial service.
We need the Michael Jacksons of this world, we need the fact that people like him are larger than life and are bigger than the sum of their parts. The discrepancy between the on-stage and off-stage personna is almost an inevitable price to be paid for the mega publicity and attention of a massive world public. And it would be odd if celebrities like him didn’t become eccentric or a bit weird: a release valve for the mental/emotional pressure of just being who they are. Those aware of the metaphysical in life will know that to be thought about is as powerful as being approached. Since thought and feeling are an approach of sorts. The resonance from a world view, the sheer volume of frequency is massive. It is not for nothing that we need Messiahs, Saviours and Martyrs. We need people to take from us some onus of the sadness or great emotion that we cannot carry, so we sing their songs and hear their words and look at their philosophies and we are energized, and therefore to a great extent healed.
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