(disclaimer: I am hereby outing myself as a person who does not and never has liked michael jackson. initially, it was purely a matter of musical preference; the later dislike due to my tendency to question those who buy and sell human beings. turn away, jacko fans.)
I don't watch the news regularly. I find that I am a happier person when I don't watch the news. I stay somewhat current via magazines and the occasional accidental listen on npr. sometimes I'll hear of a story and follow along, as in the case of neda soltani. I often find myself surprised by what moves the public to grief and action. never so much as last week.
the important story about neda was overshadowed in an instant by the death of m.j. what's up with that? in our lifetimes we rarely get the opportunity to experience martyrdom in action (and I'm speaking of real martyrdom, not that watered-down-drama-laden-victim-faux martyrdom we've become accustomed to). don't we owe some moments, some reverence, some attention here? can we pay attention to something meaningful for once?
instead, we are a silly nation moved to tears by the demise of a freakish, probable pedophile with questionable musical talent. I blush a bit with shame at our priorities.
(I understand that people love m.j. and I feel for people who sense a loss here. I am also sorry when one dies before coming clean. that's all I'll say on this topic.)