Sunday, July 12, 2009

Michael Jackson is not really dead

Michael Jackson is not dead – at least not in the way that most of us know him.

Unless somebody got the chance to personally meet Jackson (click here for more information on him), we only knew him through the media.

Whether it was his music, his videos, his interviews or the reporting of his personal life, none of us had a close relationship with him. For some, it may feel like they had a personal relationship with him, but they did not.

He was only an idol that they worshipped.

Because of this, our relationship will continue with Jackson as if he never really died.

He definitely will continue to be a presence when it comes to the news media. Despite polling data that indicates Jackson's death has been covered too much, media outlets continue to bury us in it.

The 24-hour cable news channels certainly are eating this up. A week or so before his death, these channels were convincing us that the election protests in Iran were historic. They told us that change there would impact the fundamental fabric of the Middle East.

However, these stories disappeared into the night when Jackson died. It became all about Michael for several days, and he remains a staple in their programming a couple of weeks later.

Additionally, the Internet has exploded in Michael Jackson coverage. Just a casual search of cyberspace reveals that he remains a king.

So, our relationship with him continues. In fact, a person can make a compelling argument that he is bigger than ever. He certainly has a larger place in our lives.

Before his death, he was only a lurking presence in the background. True, he had been in the news because of the comeback concerts he was planning in Europe.

This was much bigger news over there than it was here. In America, we took notice of what he was doing, but he was not much more than a blip on the radar.

Now, he is back and is getting as much exposure as he did back in the 1980s.

This is not that unusual when it comes to performers. The rock band the Doors saw a revival in interest in their music almost a decade after it broke up in the aftermath of singer Jim Morrison's death.

When the revival took place, it became so potent that Rolling Stone magazine put Morrison on its cover with the title: "He's hot. He's sexy, and he's dead."

Of course, the magazine was cashing in on Morrison's popularity, and this should continue in Jackson's case.

There have already been reports that tons of unreleased music are in the Jackson vault. These are likely songs rejected by Jackson for inclusion on his albums. Despite this, expect the songs to hit the market soon.

Whoever gains control of his unreleased music, they will likely have material to release for several years. We saw this with Elvis, Tupac Shakur, and Jimi Hendrix. My guess is that Jackson fans will be opening gifts this Christmas that include his 'new' music.

And let us not forget about existing Jackson product. Albums like Thriller, Off The Wall, and Bad have already zoomed back up the chart. Despite his immense fortune, Jackson has a chance to make more in death than in life. That is pretty staggering.

The marketing of the next phase of Michael Jackson's 'life' should be interesting to behold. Though it will be different, it will remain the same in many ways.

It will be all about pushing the Jackson image and his music.

In other words, our relationship with him will be the same.


Joltin' Django said...

Jackson was a certified freak, and he was an accused child molester -- man, that video of him holding hands with a small boy, whilst talking about bedding-down with other small boys, still makes the hair stand up on my neck. Thus, I don't think he's deserving of all the "he was the greatest" accolades he's been getting as of late.

I will say this, however: "Off the Wall" is a great album. It's the only Michael Jackson CD I have in my collection. I don't dance, but I'll readily admit that my toes start tapping -- rapidly -- whenever I listen to "Off the Wall."

Larry J. said...

Great music. Bad personal choices. That about sums it up.