Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pop Cultured: Michael Jackson Trial

Preface: I know I haven't blogged in some time, I'm just too busy.  I know that's not a good excuse, just as it wasn't the other hundred times I've said it.  Between school work and my work at my university's newspaper The Contraband, I literally have no time, nor the urge to write anything else.  To hold you over until a time when I might be more willing to write something again, here are some pieces that originally appeared in The Contraband.  I write a weekly pop culture piece, sometimes they are funny, sometimes they're not trying to be.  Although I think if you look hard enough you'll see some of me in there.  I hope you enjoy them, as I'm posting them one right after the other.

   Conrad Murray the man accused of the wrongful death of beloved pop star Michael Jackson, has finally gone on trial for his alleged crimes.  It’s not hard to believe that this is turning into one of the trials of the year, as Michael Jackson news has been permeating our collective consciousnesses since his death.  The reason for this is obvious; Jackson was simply our template for how talented people seem to fall down the hardest.

  I do not believe that Murray is wholly innocent, nor do I believe that he is wholly to blame.  Clearly Michael Jackson had a dependency problem that was only rivaled by his talent.  Which of course begs the question, why is it that so many talented people that we’ve decided to turn into celebrities, have dependency problems?  Is it the fast paced lifestyle of millions of people caring about you?  Is it the money and fame that enables you to pretty much do whatever you want which leads you to your own destruction?  And if this is the case, why are we looking to blame someone other than Jackson for his death?  Clearly he knew what was happening, when an audio recording has been recently played in front of the jury which shows him crying out for the drugs that killed him.  

   That is not to say that I believe that Murray is without fault.  Obviously Michael wasn’t injecting himself with lethal doses of Propofol (although a large part of Murray’s defense hopes to prove that the final dose which killed him actually was administered by the pop star).  Clearly Murray is partially to blame, even in a world where many celebrities go “doctor shopping” to find the medical professional who will administer the right drugs for the right price; a world in which Jackson would have likely found someone to do it if Murray were unwilling.  Murray still enabled Jackson to do things that were highly unethical, and highly dangerous, for which he should be held accountable. 
We live in a society that holds celebrities in a higher ranking than politicians, higher than religious leaders, higher than teachers, mothers and fathers.  I believe that even when most people assume that Jackson was in some way responsible for his own death, they still need to hold someone accountable.  You just don’t get over it when the person who moon walked his way into your heart, gets ripped away from you just as it seems he may be coming back.  It’s probably good for Murray’s sake that this trial is being judged by a jury and not by public opinion; because it’s highly likely he would have been hung two years ago. 

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