At some point, we've got to let Michael Jackson go ... for a little while, at least. Sure, he was an amazing talent -- a flawed hero -- but the circus that came out of his death has now spun into an all-out marketing blitz that milks every last dime of the King of Pop's fans' money and the artist's spotlight. If I see one more Jackson being interviewed on a tabloid TV show or another clip of his daughter crying at his overblown memorial service, I'm going to -- pardon the blatant use of an MJ song -- "Scream." I wish it stopped there. Case in point: has there been an awards show Joe Jackson has missed since his son's passing? That doesn't even begin to touch the surface.
Next month the much-hyped This Is It will hit theaters, and I have no doubt that it'll be a smash success, and more importantly, a fitting final chapter in Jackson's roller coaster legacy. The film will reinforce what a remarkable talent he was. I'm sure it'll be poignant and entertaining. Still, it doesn't take a genius to realize the film's release is a mere calculated marketing move to cash in on Jackson's popularity, which is at an all-time high. While director Kenny Ortega seems very sincere about the whole thing, the timing is off. This Is It has been hyped since minutes after the MJ memorial service. I'm surprised a trailer didn't air during it.
MTV hyped that trailer during its lackluster Video Music Awards last month -- a nice bookend to an awards show that started with Madonna ranting about her fellow '80s comrade's lack of a childhood ad nauseum. Ever since then, TV stations have shown teasers of teasers, teasers of the trailer, and trailers for the trailer. It's enough already. Everyone preaches how people wanted a piece of Michael when he was alive, and that still rings true in death tenfold. I think the movie was just made so that it could score in the box office, fly off DVD shelves three months later, and sell posters and T-shirts in between. It's all very sad. The media, like the mourning Jackson family, love this and can't get enough of it.
The Jacksons have always lived in the spotlight, and feed off of it. The media give into them each time. It's a rinse/repeat cycle that will continue forever. That said, I'm hopeful with This Is It that we'll finally be able to close the door on Michael Jackson's death. I'm not saying we forget the man and his music, and the good that he did do, but I'm saying it's time we move on with our lives. We've lost so many talented stars recently yet they're already off the front pages. Farrah Fawcett and Patrick Swayze's courageous battles with cancer -- aside from a well-intentioned but mediocre dance medley on "Dancing with the Stars" for the latter's -- is yesterday's news and it stinks. Yet, Michael Jackson's still making headlines. This Is It should be it for awhile. It's time to mourn on our terms - not the media's nor the marketers nor the Jacksons.
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