Hypocrisy + Irony…

Life is full of little moments of hypocrisy and often it’s acted out by those who think they’re so much more clever than those around them. Life is also full of irony sometimes its the smirking “I knew it” kind or the “I can’t believe that came round full circle” kind. Every now and then though it’s the depressing kind. Of course I’m going to touch on the depressing kind, because I saw something in the news this week that made me shake my head at the stupidness that I saw.

I’m of course referring to the celebration of what would have been Michael Jackson’s 53rd birthday (if he was to be still with us) in Gary Indiana. The Jackson family saw it as an opportunity to get some free press and thought it would serve best if they paraded Michael’s three children in front of cameras and microphones to discuss life without their superstar father. (seen here).

Michael at 6 years

Now isn’t it ironic that Michael’s parents are repeating the process of putting their kids in the limelight with his children as they had done all those years ago with Michael and his brothers? Forget the irony for now though… let’s look at the sheer hypocrisy that’s so obvious now…

Yeah I’m talking about the behaviour of the press and the people who pay for or subscribe to these media sources. For years Michael Jackson was hounded by the press, followed intensely whenever he ventured into public view and to protect his children and effectively hide them from the surreal world of super stardom and tabloid trash press he chose to cover them with veils. For this he was ridiculed and bullied by news groups who labelled the whole idea as just another “wacky” thing from their favourite so called “wacky pay check.” (In other words they were pissed that Michael was taking away their chance for the “money shot”).

Now that he’s no longer here to protect his children they’ve been unveiled if you like and subsequently become regular press fodder and boy do the press just love it. From the tearful farewell at their father’s funeral to the “spotted on the street” happy snaps, to the organised interviews with Oprah and morning breakfast shows… these kids have become unwitting semi-celebrities and as a result, replacing the pay checks that dried up when their father passed away.

I watch all of this as it plays out in magazines and internet gossip sites and I can’t help but ask questions. When did it become okay to make celebrities out of children who are only famous for being the off-spring of a famous parent and nothing else? When did we as a society say we were okay with random paparazzi photos of children? More so would we like it if it were our own children on public display? How can we be so hypocritical to call Michael Jackson “wacky” for wanting to block his children from this fake/false world? Aren’t we the wacky ones for wanting to read and hear about these children?

Why couldn't we be content with just the images MJ consented for release?

More than anything I keep asking myself… What is wrong with his parents and his relatives? When they witnessed first hand the damage that was done to their own child through being thrust in the limelight… why would they agree to repeat the process with his children? Why is Joe Jackson getting his grandchildren to market his new “perfume product”? What makes a family stoop to the level of using their children/grandchildren for financial gain…. and above everything else… how is it that we the audience are so accepting of this behaviour? With all this going on… suddenly Diana Ross as a parent to these kids doesn’t sound like such a nutty idea after all.

I’ve tried to look for positives throughout all this and part of me thinks, well at least looking at the kids you can clearly see that they are his children. But then I think that with that one thought it means buying into the tabloid rubbish that fought so hard to build rumours and innuendo about the legitimacy of his kids. Though I had no doubts to begin with nor care, it did make me wonder why others invested so much time into caring whether they were really his.

Is the loss of a childhood a socially acceptable thing?...

I’m sure if Michael could see what’s happening now he’d be rolling in his grave. To think his kids are walking financial profits for some people. That his kids are on twitter with clearly no real clue as to how to protect themselves from online nasties. That his family are constantly looking for ways to profit from his name, profit from his children and profit from his fans (most recently and notably with the ill-fated and fan-club slammed so called “charity tribute event”). I can only hope that somehow someone magically arrives to provide a solution.

For now though I’m just hoping that justice will prevail in the trial of Dr Conrad Murray. How ironic is it that a case where all the evidence points to a man being innocent of molestation makes worldwide coverage for months… yet when the evidence is actually in existence that he was murdered through the ineptness of another… it makes a footnote in only some press stories? (Read about the case here).

Yes, I’m afraid in the upside down world of Michael Jackson and dominant tabloid press, irony and hypocrisy are plentiful whilst truth and justice scarce.

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