So, Michael Jackson has died at the young age of 50. Here is the story of my evening last night.
I come home from the pub with James and I hear he's gone to hospital on the radio with cardiac trouble. 'Looks like those 50 shows won't go on anymore!' I said, unknowing how right I was. Didn't really take much notice after that to be totally honest until, on Facebook, the news filtered through. Next came a few feelings: the realisation of the power and influence of the internet in this age, especially in regards to the media; that people, myself included to an extent, have become desensitised by things such as death in this age; that hundreds of thousands of people die each day, yet there is a global furore about this one man.
Who needs news in this day and age when we have internet rumours? I'm sure www.tmz.com had the most hits of it's history last night with people looking for their unconfirmed report (and as Dan says (see above), they are always right :S) and if you click on this link about Google trends, searches for Michael Jackson on Google skyrocketed just after midnight last night (25-6-09) when his death was confrimed (leading to 'volcanic' hotness apparently!). Indeed, the best self serving media source about, Twitter, was also flooded with Michael Jackson tweets, I watched for couple of minutes and saw around 100, 000 tweets go through about Jacko. The internet definitely had a work-out last night! Eventually, just as Google, Twitter crashed under the pressure.
Now, there were so many jokes about MJ, ironic, sarcastic and just plain morbid, for example:
General Facebook user 'Michael Jackson's dead?!'
Luke Penrose 'What's all this about Michael Jackson's dad?'
Luke Penrose 'Michael Jordan's dead?!'
Joseph Cluer 'Hey guys, Kevin and Perry is on ITV2!'
Luke Penrose 'Kevin and Perry are dead?!'
Hari Datta ' Tupac is dead?!'
They go on! Now these are funny in a parody kind of way (thanks guys who posted 'em, they were great). But there were others who posted sick and very insensitive jokes which were uncalled for. This just isn't in order. Especially when other people are brought into it: the reports that (one of my favourite actors (Jurassic Park, Independance Day)) Jeff Goldblum had died were obviously an off-shoot from the MJ news and may well have upset many family members, fans, not to mention the actor himself ('Jeff Goldblum dead' itself is Google's 7th hottest trend!). It just goes to show the desensitisation of the world in the 21st Century...
Michael Jackson has been called many things over night and this morning in the news, one term being musical genius. Now, I think genius is a strong word to use but his album, Thriller (1982) has sold 100-110 million copies worldwide, is the best selling album of all time and with internet downloads coming more frequent, is liekly to be the best selling album in history. He has had an effect world-wide, this is true, where radio broadcasters have broken down in Ghana and Nigeria, he has been given a life-time achievement award by Nelson Mandela and he is the icon of the freedom allowed in China in the 80s when the government began to let the world into the communist country.
But ultimately, he is just a mortal and in the after-life will have the same thing happen to him as any one else will. See the book of Revelation for more, but the main thing we need to know is that 'the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many' (Mark 10:45). Jesus Christ will take our place on the Day of Judgement, in a way he already has, we just need to ask.
If the King of Pop, at 50 years old, can wake up one day fine and end it having a heart attack and dieing, how long do we have? It could happen to anyone, anytime. Jesus said that 'the Day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night...be ready for the Son of Man will come at an hour you do not expect it' Matthew 24:36-51 (the Day of the Lord is the end of times but can go for the day that we die just the same). We need to be sure of ourselves and where we are with God because it could happen at any time.
Update: A great tweet posted by @richardwardman: The King of Pop has met the King of Kings. Are you ready to meet Jesus? It's as easy at ABC! Accept.Believe.Confess. http://is.gd/1ekKc