Michael Jackson beats it

I´ve been watching my Twitter account and my Facebook updates with a suspicious eye lately. First Yasmine, a lovely Belgian singer died. Though all my sympathy goes to her relatives and friends, the internet frenzy that followed was crazy and horrifying. Not only were all the sinister details of her suicide smeared all over the net, hundreds of people started to comment on the why, the how, and the-who-should-be-blamed. Nobody considered apparently the grief and horror her loved ones must experience while reading…  Sympathy pages popped up like mushrooms on a dying tree in a rainforest, generating more sympathy and generosity than most of the charitable causes on the web…

And the day after, the self proclaimed King of Pop died… The social media craziness following the first announcement was mind boggling: Twitter reporting well over 30 percent of all conversation dedicated to Michael Jackson, and having to shut down some of its functionality to keep from fail-whaling. Facebook updates showed signs of mass hysteria as a gazillion people expressed whatever they felt like sharing in their status lines. I dotted down updates like “disaster”, “horror”, a “black day”, “my world ends” (!)… I need to go back to the web just post 9/11 to see so much emotion expressed. It largely beat the social online concern right after the tsunami…

Michael beat the charts big time, not only are his songs propelled right back at the top of the iTunes charts, but his death generated more compassion than the passing away of thousands of dying kids in dark Africa.

I´m not sure I like that… maybe we should recalibrate our priorities…

13 thoughts on “Michael Jackson beats it

  • 03/05/2010 at 20:02
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    i will really miss the King of Pop. michael jackson is truly the best pop artist in this lifetime.:~-

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  • 03/05/2010 at 14:40
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    there is no doubt that Michael Jackson is the best ever pop music artist of the Centruy`,:

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  • 27/04/2010 at 08:01
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    I really miss Michael Jackson. He is truly the greatest pop singer of the century. Farewell king of pop..

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  • 22/02/2010 at 09:37
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    Michael Jackson would always be the King of Pop. He is one of the greatest figures in the pop music industry and we will never forget about him

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  • 11/02/2010 at 16:30
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    He brought so much joy and peace to so many people, yet could never find peace himself. Hope you are at peace wherever you are now Michael. x

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  • 10/01/2010 at 14:49
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    Michael Jackson is one of the greatest singer in our time. He is really the King of Pop and we would really miss this great person.

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  • 31/12/2009 at 08:43
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    Michael Jackson is truly the King of Pop. He made a lot of great songs in the area of Pop Music. His death is a great loss to the music industry.

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  • 14/12/2009 at 17:43
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    Michael Jackson would always be the best popstar ever. i love all his songs and his live concerts.
    *

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  • 02/11/2009 at 02:10
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    I have been thinkin about him alot today, and I feel alittle down about him being gone. I just want to send him love and tell him I LOVE HIM WITH ALL MY HEART AND MISS HIM SO MUCH, you are the BEST Michael!

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  • 30/06/2009 at 11:44
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    I think we agree 🙂 I was talking about the pure emotion, and the cheap snowballing of that. There is no hierachy of pain indeed… but too often the filters are set in a way that what pain is selected to be voiced is so…. well, you know ;-).
    SoMe and online media were almost silent on the recent deaths of the earthquake, and volunteers helping out in emerging countries hardly find a canvas, even on SoMe for their causes.
    With all due respect for the fans (in fact, I am one :-)). But if people do claime that the death of MJ is the worst day in human history, the blackest day of their life, if they voice on their FB pages that life now has no porpose any more… etc and at nauseam, well in that case referring to suffering and pain that conveniently does NOT make the headlines these day should put things in perspective.
    And I agree, referring to the children, and selecting that particular picture is playing with emotions, and tilting the argument way out of context. But it got everybody´s attention…. most be the die-hard journalist in me 😉

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  • 30/06/2009 at 11:00
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    Not entirely convinced that the “it could be worse, there are children starving in Africa” argument is valid. If we judge all human experience by the standards of the worst excesses, then aren’t we saying that no-one can claim to experience suffering or pain (“cheer up, there are children starving in Africa”) Are we – in fact – establishing some kind of hierarchy of pain and suffering; whereby (for example) an innocent child has greater claims to our sympathy than an innocent adult, who has greater claim than a wealthy person, who has greater claim than a criminal?

    My argument is v. poorly thought through. Sorry

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