Tuesday, October 17th 2017

Will Michael Jackson’s funeral transcend Diana’s?

7 Reasons why Michael Jackson’s shocking June 25, 2009 death will become a larger event than Princess Diana’s

BY PAUL KAIHLA — Diana, Princess of Wales, had one of the most famous funerals in living memory — and the memory of the ‘Peoples’ Princess’ was celebrated in saturation TV coverage of her public vigils.

But the public outpouring for Michael Jackson has grown much larger and widespread than that for his friend, Diana, even though he was far more controversial than she. Within minutes of the Reagan UCLA Medical Center’s DOA announcement, networks called Jackson’s death “the story of the year.”

Here are 7 reasons why Jackson’s June 25, 2009 death will become a larger event in the global village’s collective consciousness than Diana’s 1997 tragic demise in Paris:

1. Michael Jackson became known when he was 11 years old; Diana, age 20. Jackson touched a much wider swath of humanity for a far longer period of time.

2. Jackson’s ticket to fame was music and dance, Diana’s was a title. Songs touch people more viscerally — indeed, archetypally — than photo-ops.

3. Jackson had an innate, world-class talent; he could actually do things. A public debate has raged over whether Diana’s biggest talent was, variously: her looks, “marrying up”, or conducting sly damage-control of her public image.

4. Jackson enjoyed a larger base: his home country’s population is 5x the size of Diana’s in Britain — and even after all of Jackson’s scandals, he remained insanely popular from Asia to Africa.

5. Four decades before Obama, Michael Jackson was the first American black hero of a different brand. Like Obama, Jackson had a mass appeal across generational, gender and racial lines.

6. Speaking of generations, Jackson became an icon of the largest one in history, the Baby Boom. (He was born one year before the post-WWII baby boom peaked in 1959). Jackson defined the music video, and helped make MTV a household name. In fact, you could argue that he defined the “MTV generation” and its pop culture spin-offs, including reality shows from Cribs to The Hills.

Suleman Mizra, Britains Got Talent, May 2009

Suleman Mizra, May 2009

7. The “King of Pop” replaced “The King” (Elvis) as the most-impersonated singer, ever. Look no further than the line-ups on American Idol and Britain’s Got Talent who have based their acts on Michael Jackson.

As grandiose as Jackson seemed in public and on stage, his energy anatomy was more like that of a child. His inner evolution stopped at 11, before adolescence, when he became a pop star in the Jackson 5. He was poured, from then on, into a public alter ego. What character did he identify with, by his own admission? Peter Pan, the male who never grew up.

May his soul be sanctified . . .


Like a prayer: Madonna shares about Michael

The mourning begins. . .

The New York Times

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40 Comments on “Will Michael Jackson’s funeral transcend Diana’s?”

  1. This is great! Very good way to tie news/pop culture to Soul's Code.

  2. Interesting story. But you're missing the point about Michael Jackson and the Baby Boomers. It's not that he was an emblem of the MTV-Boomer generation.

    It's that Michael Jackson was 50, and he's dead.

    If you study demographics, you'd know that there are more 50-year-olds in American than at any other time since the country was created. Here's another way to put it: compared to all of the other age groups in the pyramid, 50-year-olds rule, proportionally speaking. Demographers call this peak cohort of the Baby Boom "the meal in the python." It's the battle-of-the-bulge that will bankrupt the Social Security Administration.

    So Michael Jackson's death has a fear factor, it has an emotional charge because it's shocking to the largest age-cohort in America: the headline awakens their fear of their own death.

    This was the generation that was supposed to live to 100, Wired Magazine says. Here is its most scientifically-endowed scion, dead at 50!

  3. The death of Michael Jackson, is, in one sense, just another death, or perhaps just another premature death brought on by immaturity and wrecklessness. It becomes iconic because of who he was seen to be. Indeed, who he was seen to be had a huge effect on who he tried to be - and all the confusions that followed.

  4. I think this would start a very lively discussion between those who have worshiped Princess Diana and those who have followed Michael Jackon's rise and fall. My mom and dad were debating this over dinner tonight!

  5. Now, what´s the use in discussing whose death will touch more people. this is cynic and disgusting.

  6. The discussion isn't, and shouldn't be about whose death will touch more people. It's about the way people react when someone famous dies. Death is death no matter whether the person who dies is famous or not. Someone called death "The great equalizer". But look at the media. Both Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson die on the same day. Farrah's death was after a long and, some said, noble struggle. Michael's was sudden and possibly the result of addiction to pain killers. And yet Michael's death has taken over hugely in the public psyche. This says a lot about the human psyche.
    Both Michael and Diana became huge icons. And, it seems to me, in very different ways. Of course, I must admit to not being a pop music fan, and therefore perhaps prejudiced. I saw Diana as a wounded soul who used her iconic "stardom" to advance causes around the world. Michael too was a wounded soul, but it seems that he never transcended his wounds but continued to be a victim of them even while transforming the music world.
    Meanwhile, Farrah will be mourned by a smaller number, but may have been a witness for noble dying that will touch many.

  7. Interesting way of looking at it. Still, I do not agree with Michael's death being 'sudden'. It had been 'predicted' more than once, which is not surprising considering what extensive surgery he has been through. Very sad to be that unhappy with their 'looks'.

    Final thought:
    I may be wrong, but does the writer try to establish WHO was more 'important'? Michael or Di? Di or Michael? NO ONE is more important. We are ALL equal.... Death is just a Transformation.

  8. Like Farrah Fawcett, whose death yesterday has been eclipsed by Michael Jackson's, Mother Theresa died within a week of Princess Diana and her death was all but lost in the media frenzy of shock. I've always thought that was the ultimate act of humility, to die in the shadows unnoticed by the world, just as she had lived her life.

    I think we all do ourselves a disservice when we raise ordinary human beings to iconic levels. We strip away their humanity and create monsters and then blame them for becoming so. May none of us ever have to live up to the expectations placed on celebrities. I'd much rather keep my humanity.

  9. The media circus of it saddens me. His death was covered with the same overhyped absurdity as his trials. It made me think more of Marilyn Monroe than Princess Diana...more of someone fragile and emotionally damaged by their own images and reflection in the media.

  10. To be honest, I could not care any less about MJ’s death or anyone other celebrity’s death. The only thing I’m wondering about is death itself.

    Society is making a thing about it because they think that they should, but then again I ask myself, what message did MJ communicate to us and what message does his death bring and what can I learn from him, if I should learn anything from him?

    I guess that how you think about it is up to you to explore...

  11. It once again highlights that we are mere mortals, regardless of how great our achievements may be, we are all faced with the realization that none of us are immune to death. No amount of prestige can prevent it. That fills me with great sadness, an with a fear of being forgotten once I am also faced with death.

  12. He will live on in people's hearts, but hey who knows.. maybe John Belushi, Elvis, and Andy Kaufman are having a few cold beers right now.

  13. This word death is really being well over used, cannot we just appreciate that he was here and that he enjoyed himself in this life journey, and take from that a near perfect example of how we should live our own lives which is in happiness, I for one am not saddened by his soul deciding to return from where it came, instead I am excited in knowing that one could achieve such joy in life even with the contrast that fell before him, this only gives me broader respect for the fact that I am, I can, I will become, and I will be at any point in time anywhere and anything I wish, Thank you Michael and swift journey to you.

  14. His passing does not remind me of my own mortality. Rather, it reminds me of my age -- 35. I'm not "old," by any stretch of the imagination, but the Elvis of my generation is gone, and I don't know where the time went. So for the moment, at least, I'll be darned if I don't FEEL really old.

    I swear to goodness, I remember the Jackson 5 cartoon. I remember when the video for "Billie Jean" had its world premiere. And even though I also remember the molestation allegations and charges, I also remember that I was too quick to judge, and have found myself considering his side of the story in a serious way.

    It's a conflict for me -- how do I reconcile my absolute love for his music with the thing that I fear he became? I wasn't terribly fair to him in life, so I'm trying to be fair to him in death and hear both sides of the charges. But I'm also trying to avoid the trap of excusing him because he makes me dance. It's tough.

    Still, my reflections are not all serious. Among the many things I've been considering since I first learned of his death, one thing that rises to the fore is my commitment to live a life of joy. I had resolved to do so prior to his death, but events have forcefully reminded me of my vow.

    So tonight, even though I'm swamped with work, I'm going to "leave that 9-5 up on the shelf, and just enjoy [myself]. . . ." I'm going to "groove, [and] let the madness in the music get to [me]." "Life ain't so bad at all, if you live it off the wall."

    Amen to that.

  15. I agree that this event is over-hyped. But at the same time, I know many people have been affected by Michael Jackson's impact on Dance as much as on Music (which with MTV Videos have been combined). Many young people (my own neice, for one) have been greatly influenced by his dance style. And they, for the most part, ignore his personal life.

  16. He was an icon for such a long period of time. He revolutionized the music industry and had such a great impact on millions around the world. He was an artistic genius and no one sold as many records as "Thriller". The people are grieving the world over. He will never be forgotten.

    I don't think one death is more important than another - it is just that he had greater impact on millions in such a positive way - for such a long time. He earned his fame and he will not be forgotten!

  17. Perhaps the biggest motivator is that we all, to some degree, relate to the pain he displayed on a regular basis.
    Why would anyone disfigure and embarrass themselves so, if they were not in a tremendous amount of pain?
    Others are mirrors for ourselves. What we see in those we choose to elevate or villify is simply a caricature of that which we know to be in us, for the good or the bad.

  18. Death can only be said to have had an impact when we change the ways in which we live. D left us more than 10 years ago, 9/11 is almost 8 years old, and the talented (yet somewhat pathologically narcissistic) Michael Jackson left us this week... has there been a fundamental change in ways in which you express your potential because of these losses?

  19. To me it just means that someone famous died...millions of people die every day, from hunger, disease, age. It doesn't make me sad that he died because he was a human just like me.. The fact that he was famous doesn't exclude him from being mortal, although through fame he will forever be immortalised in our memories.

  20. I adore Michael and was due to see him next month at the O2 in London. I pray that wherever he is..he is at Peace.

  21. What a tragic end to a tragic life - interesting paralell drawn between princess Diane and Michael Jackson - both lived lives in the public sphere, both had conflicting relationships with fame and now both are dead, before their time.

  22. You asked what his death means to me? It means another child molester has bit the dust. The fact that he was a pop icon means nothing to me. That people still idolize this pervert sickens me. How people can dichotomize his sickness from his talent is just a sad comment on our society. As for me he's just another in a long line and now he's dead. Good bye and good riddance. I'll be glad when all the chatter about him is over and we can get back to more important discussions.

  23. Michael Jackson touched millions of people with his music, and his legacy will live on. What is sad is that those people who die from war may not have a legacy to pass along. Any untimely death is to be mourned whether it is a pop music star, who has had scandals follow him for years, or someone who was in the wrong place at the wrong time in times of war.

  24. Namaste, Soul Coders
    I feel sad when I hear of this.
    As a faithful practitioner of ho'oponopono and soul alchemy - I realize what it is that makes me sad - not just of the physical ending of his lifestory in this plane - but responsibility for what I 'took' from his life energy. I hero-worshiped him in the 80s, felt a bit ashamed of him in the 90's and today have been sitting in forgiveness for myself for dehumanizing him with my projected constructions.
    Michael Jackson - I am sorry I thought you were an untouchable superstar - perfection, inhuman, a product of my own sense of worthlessness. I am sorry I thought of you as a freak as I watched your appearance change to something more and more unrecognizable. I am sorry to myself that I devalued my own life in the process. Please Forgive Me for these acts of unconscious and traumatic compulsion.
    I love you, and me, without condition. Thank you for teaching me humility, acceptance, and non-duality. Thank you for living the life you have lived in my eyes to show me where I hold back compassion for myself, for you.
    Thank you all for witnessing me.
    Big Love,
    dawn dancing otter

  25. Thank you, Dawn for this observation. Much of what Michael Jackson became, beyond being a musician/dancer, was a result of the "dialogue" between his inner soul journey and the pressure from his family and the public to be "bigger than life". Even if he was a "child molestor", that too comes from deep conflicts that are a combination of inner drives to be loved and outer pressures as to where love can be found. And, although each one of us has to take responsibility for what we choose in life, the rest of us have to take responsibility for the expectations and restrictions we create drain rather than nurture life in an individual. No one wakes up one morning and says "I think I want to be a drug addict, or a child molestor.". Having compassion is the only spiritual response. Each of us has gotten to "this place" as a result of events beyond our control, choices we have made in response to those events and GRACE. This awareness in ourselves can lead to true forgiveness of others.

  26. I don't get it.

    I have a hard time with the kind of hero worship we lay on people. Remembering his contributions is one thing; mass mourning is another.

    What about all the people who die each die of starvation, violence, drunk driving, suicide?

    We are each important.

  27. Viola; no, we are not saying that Michael Jackson was more important than Princess Diana. By this site's standards, in fact, many psychologists would argue that Diana was the psychologically and spiritually healthier of the two, in terms of her emotional resilience, self-acceptance and social skills.

    Rather, our story makes a prediction: if people were blown away by the spontaneous public expressions after Diana's death, the same for her confidante and contemporary will be an order of magnitude greater. We pinpoint some of the sociological and psychological dynamics that are at play in our collective consciousness.

    We thank you all for the discussion and debate, and for keeping it more civil than the violent altercation that erupted on a Florida bus over the same subject:

    "Jackson remark prompts knife threat"

  28. As I was getting a serious boogie-on to Michael Jackson's Black or White http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZI9OYMRwN1Q it occurred to me that this song is a perfect metaphor for how I view him. On one hand he was a musical, marketing, and dance genius. The joy, movement and change in consciousness "Black or White" can evoke in me is incredibly powerful. (Check it out and see how you feel while listening to it.)

    On the other hand Michael Jackson was obviously a deeply troubled man who injured himself and may have indeed deeply wounded others. I think that is the challenge, how can I stretch myself big enough to embrace all that he was without making him Black or White? For all of us the truth is always somewhat closer to a shade of Grey. I imagine, like all of us, Michael had the basic need to love and be loved. I choose to celebrate him and his music and at the same time hold space for his dark, wounded, shadow side.

  29. Because I am in my 40s now, I have a clear recollection of watching the Jackson 5 on television in the 1970s. Anyone who saw Michael Jackson sing and dance his little heart out knew they were witnessing a true genius and a great talent. The adorable little boy who stood apart and in front of his older brothers on stage and subsequently captivated our hearts was clearly headed for superstardom.

    There were many more subtle factors that touched me about Michael. Aside from being a really cute boy, the songs he sang provided a narrative for my own development, teaching me about love.

    The songs “Stop the Love You Save”, “I’ll Be There" and “I Want You Back” offered me clues about the nuances of relationships. His unique talent modeled for me what was possible and was a shinning example of human potential even at an early age. I listened to my Jackson 5 album and eight track tape until my record was too scratched to listen to and the 8 track player became obsolete.

    My college boyfriend bought me the Thriller album and being a dancer I tried to figure out the Thriller chorography for fun. Thriller was a phenomenon and once again put the bright spotlight back on now adult Michael. It was then that “The King of Pop” moniker began to take hold.

    For me, the “Black or White” song became an anthem for my inter-racial relationship and “Man in the Mirror” provided a heartfelt lyrics for the social changes I passionately wanted to make as a social worker. "The Way You Make Me Feel" still makes me smile and excites for me those feelings of being in love.

    Sadly, as a social worker for the LA County Department of Mental Health, I remember the surreal buzz around the accusations made towards Michael who by then had become enigmatic and reclusive. In the office, I would overhear details of the investigations which always left me feeling disconcerted.

    Unfortunately, the song “Leave Me Alone” seemed to say it all and its lyrics shared little in common with the innocent and idealistic lyrics I once heard from the Jackson 5.

  30. All human beings have a destiny to fulfill. Ultimately, the inner meaning of that destiny is what profoundly affects their journey. Speaking to all from this space of wisdom goes beyond the outer appeal or picture that we see of this person. Michael Jackson, Diana or whoever are only known to those who know them and whose hearts they touched, the rest is media and projections that just allows this sense of outer dualism to take us away from the real person that I am sure only a few knew.

  31. There are exceptional people born into a path that affects the world in ways for a higher purpose. Their death I am sure, is part of the plan.

  32. His death reminds me that every minute is precious and how important it is to be present in it. It reminds me how one person can touch so many lives. It reminds me that when we don't feel like we can create what we want anymore we can leave. It reminds me it is all a gift to be enjoyed.

  33. I do not quite understand the purpose of writing about which persons death transcends another- How can that be measured?

  34. I curiously did not register any response to the passing of Michael. I remember the passing of Diana quite well and the subsequent outpouring of grief, but then she did represent the loss of the great princess archetype. Michael, on the other hand has just realized that we all must die... even him.

  35. Michael Jackson's death showed us that being rich and famous is not a recipe for happiness. It is like Elvis, John Lennon or Princess Diana all over again. Attaining that great fame and then becoming a prisoner to it may not be something most people are prepared for.

    As for me, I stopped listening to or buying MJ's music when the child molestation allegations arose. Perhaps I was being judgmental, perhaps I had a sense he was guilty, perhaps MJ was just misunderstood.

    However, I now forgive Michael Jackson, not so much for him, he doesn't need my absolution, but for myself. Holding anger and resentment is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. When that person is dead, who is suffering now? I forgive you Michael and hope you can forgive me for judging someone I didn't even know.

  36. Michael Jackson was a wondeful artist but he lost his desire for life many years ago. In other words, the combination of childhood traumas, presure and demands from society, family, and most important our ignorance about life. We prepare our children to become financially very successful without the spiritual awareness.

    He spend most of his economical abundance to fulfill what he never had; a free, healthy, and playful childhood with his siblings. In life there is not victims, villains, accidents, nor coincidences, but only creators. We create or co-create everything in life even our own death (our transition) However, in this unforgiving society, they will find someone or something to blame Michael's death such as drugs, family, or people to take retribution or revenge.

    No one's death is more important than another because we are all ONE and we all go to heaven sooner or later because heaven is all there is. In addition, death is an illusion because the soul can ever die. Nothing dies in this universe or life (energy), but it can only change form.

  37. Based on the news reports, it appears that Michael Jackson was a prescription medication and drug addict. Whether or not he was any other kind of addict (e.g., to "fame"), this is a disease that millions suffer.

    A drug/presciption pill addict's body, brain, heart, neural networks, are not normal. In essence, the mind of an addict is insane, and a practicing addict's actions can cause harm to everyone that the addict encounters.

    Nothing I am writing above says that the addict is not responsible for his actions. However, the addict's ability to recognize what he is, the addictive thinking, the illusions and delusions, all are part of the disease.

    In contrast, in recovery, the addict can be a completely different person.

    Isn't spirituality the process and practice of awakening and being awake, awareness and unification of intentions and actions of non-harming?

    One doesn't have to be an addict to be caught up, hooked by, illusory attachments and afflictive and harmful thoughts, feelings and emotions.

    Kosho Uchiyama said:

    Martin Buber spoke of "I and Thou." The self that meets other people as part of "I," he called by the name "Thou."

    Michael Jackson and all like him are "I and Thou."

  38. I think everyone's death effects someone and I think it's sad to focus on the death of one individual because he was rich and famous. Thousands of people died the same day as Michael Jackson and were not recognized. I would like to take a moment to honor all of those souls as well.

  39. While I agree MJ's transcends Di's, perhaps they might be both sharing beers upstairs along with Elvis, John Lennon, and company....

  40. Comparing people is first of all impossible. We must look at the world and at ourselves to understand that we are apart of the whole universe. The whole thing is you and you are it.

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