Downer Dude

Much like the dreaded Debbie Downer, Downer Dude may bring the general mood of things down a few notches, but things need to be said. The other day I was reading an awesome post by Franco Beans about the Michael Jackson death and the world-wide mourning process. F.B. said, “If you don’t get it, you don’t get it.  There are a lot of people who don’t and I understand that.” I agree with him, because I am one who does not understand.

I come from a very different perspective than most, in fact my outlook is a very “gallows humor” approach. I have been trained to be detached from death and very often laugh at it, because if you don’t it will take you down. The day MJ died, I received several text messages from people who know me extremely well, such as my Sister. The messages read, “Did you hear Michael Jackson is dead?” Me, “Why do I care about the death of an alleged pedophile?” Now, this could be perceived as a hostile statement, but what I was really trying to say is everyone dies and your status is no different. I realize he was acquitted, but I still will never let it go. Any grown man that slept in a bed with other peoples kid’s is suspect.

Why did I fixate on this accusation? Because the only thing that gallows humor cannot protect you from is the death of a child. Unfortunately, I have seen and have been greatly affected by the many tragic deaths of kids; one huge contributing factor of me leaving the trauma center, as it was starting to really affect me in a very negative way. I have pumped on the chest of a 23 y/o male who was struck by lightening, and many, many teenage car accident victims, without flinching. The whole time cracking jokes. A 2 y/o that drowned or was accidentally smothered in their sleep? That will absolutely wreck you.

So why can I differentiate between child death and other death? Simple, it has to do with your innocence value system. At what realistic point do you consider innocence lost? Is their a definable cut-off? The answer for me is yes. When one can make and be held responsible for their actions. My line is around 14 or 15  when the desensitization sets in for me. How does this tie in with MJ? Simple, anyone who challenges the innocence of the defenseless, in my opinion, deserves what they get, regardless of their “iconic status,” because at this point, in my opinion, they are irreputable scum. This does not just apply to children, Michael Vick and those defenseless dogs, had me off the reservation angry. All because they couldn’t fend for themselves.

The second issue I have is the general public and the media that feeds their frenzy. Seriously people, MJ was your life? You are lost without him? When was the last time you two hung out and broke bread, aside from that Halloween in the Hills, where everyone was dressed like him? This is not something new. I remember when Kurt Cobain offed himself and they had a suicide hot-line open for his fans that could not cope with the loss of Kurt. Bradley Nowell, Pac, Biggie and many others have had similar demise followings. I. Don’t. Get. This. At. All.

I will mourn my family, friends, and those who lost their lives through no fault of their own. Military, Fire-fighters, and to lesser extent Police Officers, who are out their trying to retain innocence will get my respect and admiration. Hell, I have told my friends and family if they get cremated, I would incorporate their ashes into tattoo ink, so I can carry them with me forever. I am not completely soulless, just very detached. This is why when I watch the news and see people melting down over someone they never met or had a symbiotic relationship with, I don’t get it. I know music and entertainment is fully incorporated into our lives something fierce; however, it doesn’t mean it IS our life.

Yes, everyone should mourn the dead in their own way. Mourning a death, tragic or not, of someone you do not know, I can dig it. Though, if you are on t.v. telling everyone “you will be lost without him” or “he was my life” I am fairly sure you are a candidate for a restraining order at some point in your life. Seriously, the last time we heard from the man was 2001 with his release of Invincible, which is kind of ironic.

This entire post has the intentional tone and hue of cynicism for a reason; that’s just the way I am. My distanced approach to things of this matter, have cost me many things such as sleep, relationships, and the faith that people are genuinely good without question. I agree 100% with Franco Beans, that this man did things for entire groups of people that no one can fathom and I will not take that from him. In fact MTV, Hip-Hop, and various forms of other entertainment just would not exist; though racial boundaries still might.

I guess my conclusion of a somewhat cohesive post would have to be, that I just don’t get or understand people on such a base level. Either my experiences have stolen that from me or they protect me from such connection. I have never understood why people still dress up and believe Elvis is god, nor have I understood an obsessive fan that cries out that they are lost without said person. In my mind, to cherish a performer, or to revert back to the image you have of them, it is far easier to listen to their music and or watch them on film. This would allow one to revert back to the period in time when they were on their game.

Yes, we should remember them for their good, but never forget their bad.

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16 Comments

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16 responses to “Downer Dude

  1. Here here. I just have a hard time with it–lots of conflict. This was not a good man.

    This is not an isolated case. Plus, I wouldn’t have thought about it until I received the texts.

  2. While MJ definitely had some severe psychological problems and it is possible he commited pedophilia, the validity of the accusations are difficult to prove. (Those kids could have been put up to it by their parents so they could get MJ’s money.)

    But, yes, I agree. Some people are just crazy psychophants. It is sad when your celebrity heroes die, but its not the end of the world. They should spend their energy on their close friends and family. People who actually know and care about them personally.

    Agreed. I realize there are many factors, I just can’t grasp the emotional investment in a celebrity.

  3. f.B

    Good look on the mention.

    I think we draw a lot of lines using someone else’s pen. What I mean by that is that we make assumptions about people (especially celebrities) and the lives they lead without having any firsthand knowledge whatsoever. Best example? We all think OJ did it – myself included. But none of us *know* that.

    And so with MJ, I know what I *think* happened with him and kids, but what I *think* happened is unfounded, personal opinion. I have no evidence whatsoever. All I can confirm is the music, the charity and the civil rights aspect; things I actually witnessed.

    It was a good post.

    I thought of OJ while mentioning the accusations of MJ.

    Correct. This is where my conflict lays, because admittedly, I sometimes evaluate a situation based on all aspects. Sometimes, that includes preconceived notions. I am trying to work on it, but when it involves kids or animals, I struggle.

  4. You most definitely have a point and I can only imagine how horrid it is to work in the trauma unit. I’m guessing you really have to learn to distance yourself from what’s going on or else you’ll break down often.

    With Jackson I think some of it has more to do with the memories people formed while listening to his music (kind of like Elvis and the Beatles way back), that he was a big part of our generation growing up (if one listened to his music).

    I personally didn’t cry and didn’t think my life was over when he passed. In fact I was extremely saddened and teared up when I heard of the DC metro crash last week. But I did have some pretty awesome times as a kid while listening to his music and those memories with my friends are the ones that I treasure.

    Oh and the media? They LOVE to feed on anything, it’s sickening.

    I listened and appreciated his music. However, his actions and overall weirdness was very off putting. Like I said to F.B., I struggle with things like this, because I have seen too much. I typically don’t write about it, but in this case, the feeling is strong. “Who’s Bad?”

  5. Thanks for taking the wind out of my ‘they’re sealing Billy Mays’ casket with Mighty Putty’ joke.

    Jerk.

    Lol! Now that is funny. Though they should polish it with Oxyclean first.

  6. You really do make an excellent point. For me, it’s usually about the music, not the person. And the beauty of the music is that 1)it’s the best of the artist, and 2) it’s essentially immortal.

    Amen!

  7. I’ll remember the music…

    But the man’s been dead to me for quite some time now.

    Since 95 for me.

  8. Matt

    So what youre really saying is- if I die, you wouldnt care?

    I would care and it would be a great loss… But yea, basically.

  9. Krysta

    I think you are my new hero.

    I grew up with Michael Jackson’s music, along with a lot of other great musicians. When I heard that first Farrah and then Michael were dead I felt a bit sad because it was like another part of my childhood was gone. If that makes sense…

    Thanks. Makes total sense. Cheers and thanks for dropping in!

  10. I appreciate the tone of this post so much.

    I don’t know if you read mine or not but I think that the point that I was trying to make was that there is a time and a place for everything.

    The tasteless comments were not the time and the place for me.

    I think that F.B. said it best with the some people dont get it. I think that *that* goes across the board.

    For me, music is everything. When I love someones music, they do feel like family to me… even if I dont know them personally. Because something about their music touched my soul on a deep level.

    So, not just with MJ but Aaliyah or Tupac or Ray Charles or Bradley or Kurt … I feel like a small piece of me went with them.

    I get where you are coming from though and I appreciate the thought and the tact that went into this post.

    I did read yours and it was well stated. I felt this was more of an exercise or exploration of why I am cynical about things of this nature. There is no disrespect, just commentary on myself.

  11. 🙂

    I really like your blogs.

    Thanks!

  12. Dude, you penned (…typed) my thoughts exactly. Thank you. I appreciate the music and am bound by my maybe-sketchy morals to respect a life lost, but I am among those in the “I don’t get it” crowd. To each his own, but I’m pretty much with you on this one.

    After a while you get used to saying “I don’t get it.” Cheers!

  13. I am lost without him. But I would also be lost with him. This is just because I have a bad sense of direction.

    You know what I thought was funny? Some people were apparently camped out not at MJ’s Walk of Fame star, but at some other dude’s star who also happened to be named Michael Jackson. Heh. Research, people!

    Might I recommend GPS?

  14. theblacktulip

    What kills me is the people who say things like, “well he was abused as a child by his father so we should forgive him for being inappropriate with children because he was a tortured person and never stood a chance of not being a child molester”. Um, excuse me? there is NO EXCUSE for harming a child, physically, mentally, or emotionally. NO EXCUSE. (sorry, just needed to get that out)

    yes, lets stick to remembering the music and not the man himself.

    The only thing in your post I didn’t love was the “to a lesser extent, police officers”. but that’s cause I’m a “to a large extent, police officers”…what can I say, my dad was a cop, I have a different perspective than most.

    Agreed. I am a firefighter, so ripping on cops just happens naturally.

  15. Kudos to you for calling a spade, a spade. I’ve never understood any of the celebrity frenzy – living or dead.

    Btw, good to see you invested again 😉

    I can only call it like I see it. Thanks babe, I think I have my groove back!

  16. I haven’t batted an eye since he passed.

    I feel for the people he left behind because death is always hard on friends and family but I don’t agree with MANY of the things he did or didn’t do in his life.

    Thanks for calling out the elephant in the room for me. Great post.

    I am here to serve!

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