It's official. The House Foreign Affairs Committee is seriously weighing a 1,500 word resolution in Michael Jackson's honor.
Why is this something that the Foreign Affairs Committee should possibly care about? Perhaps it’s because the resolution calls Jackson a "global" humanitarian. The resolution was introduced by Republican Lee of Texas. It praises the entertainer's many charitable activities that took place throughout his life. It states: Resolution Number 600-- honoring an American legend and musical icon.
Clearly, people tend to get carried away when someone famous dies. And, this resolution seems a tad over the top. But, this seems to be par for the course for Michael. I just heard this morning that a grassroots effort in Jacksonville, Florida is now underway to rename the city after the fallen pop star.
The media have also covered Michael's sad story (in both positive and negative ways) nonstop on a 24/7 basis for two solid weeks.
All of this has led to countless blogs, emails and just plain conversations from many that they are sick and tired of being forced to watch this story everywhere. I've heard some rant a few days back that after a week of coverage, no one cares any more. And, others grumble they are simply annoyed that this entertainer's death should receive the same CNN-like headlines as "more important" real stories like the Iran election battles, American journalist abductions in North Korean and our President's diplomatic discussions in Russia.
I don't disagree with any of this. But, on the other hand, I'm kind of surprised that so many people can't understand why news about the Prince of Pop has reached epic proportions.
Our culture has always been obsessed with celebrities and especially entertainers. And, that will never change. Some might claim that this is a chicken and egg question. (Which came first?) They believe the Jackson feeding frenzy is happening simply because the media won't stop reporting on it. Thus, the public are forced to consume it. On this topic, I tend to disagree. According to Nielson Media Research, over 31 million viewers watched Jackson's funeral on TV (and the Staples Center was completely sold out as well) and CNN.com served out 4.4 million video streams to a ravenous public who simply could not get enough of this story’s details.
Michael's ratings drew more views than two Presidents' memorial services (Reagan and Ford) and came in a close second to another beloved celebrity like figure years back (Princess Diana) who had 33 million people watching.
The bottom line is that after Elvis and The Beatles, Michael Jackson might be the next most influential rock/pop icon ever. The deaths of both Elvis and John Lennon incurred tremendous public interest also. And, I'm sure if either had passed away in today's age, we'd be experiencing similar 24/7 obsessions across the globe as well.
Entertainers create controversy. The media love to cover all of it. And, we consumers eat it up. Call it crazy. But, all this craziness surrounding Michael Jackson's posthumous interest seems very normal to me.
It will start to slowly fade away. My suggestion to all those people who are pulling their hair out-- turn it off whenever you can and just tune out all the time. But, stop fighting it. This is a continuing big global news story because our international society wants it. Whether you like it or not, that simply won't change.