Michael Jackson and Sarah Palin?????
One of them has been a positive role model for Americans -- Sarah -- and the other -- Michael -- was something much less. Sarah's motto has been, "Serve the people." Michael's motto apparently was: "Serve yourself."
On the terrific Black Conservatives Group on Yahoo, David S. wrote the following: "My challenge is explaining to my almost 15-year-old kids about the "other" Michael Jackson because the only one they know is the circus freak show he became over the last 10-15 years. I am not sure they grasp just what a huge deal he was as part of the J5 and then in his Off The Wall/Thriller/Bad days...."
Here's what I wrote about Jackson:
DS, you defined the "two Michael Jacksons" very well. I find the national donning of sackcloth and ashes over Michael's death to be almost as creepy as he was in the last 15 years of his life. Celebrities -- including Michael and Elvis Presley -- fall into a pattern of life, complete with drug addiction, that is unsustainable. Yes, Michael was a very talented singer and dancer, but there many other people, much less well known, who are contributing a great deal more to humanity.
Let's be real: Michael didn't find a cure for cancer. He didn't write something equivalent to Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. He didn't paint the "Mona Lisa." To pretend that his accomplishments in "pop culture" were a sign of greatness is ridiculous. Ten to fifteen years from now he will have become "Michael Who?"
Michael was spending tens of millions -- per year. He was reportedly $500 million in debt. What if even a portion of that money had been used for causes other than self-indulgence? For example, what if he'd contributed, say, $100 million (pocket change to him) to reward exceptional students in the Black community?
Exaggerating Michael's accomplishments is itself part of the "culture of corruption" that afflicts our society. Rest in peace, Michael, the peace you never achieved in life.