Public mourning really is commonplace now. As with most things that are bloated by the media, grief - a traditionally private, painful experience - is not handled delicately but plastered everywhere like the face of an over exposed celebrity from In Touch Weekly. Like vomit outside of a university campus. It is revolting that everyone has swarmed around the death of a man like flies on feces. The buzz surrounding MJ's death is going to be consumed as ferociously as his life was. Then everyone will forget, move on, and fabricate something juicier. This isn't mourning. This is affirmation of what killed Michael Jackson in the first place. He was suffocated to death. His life was raped of privacy. His death is just as empty.- Maya, a primary school friend.
I loved many of his songs. But the world's grief for him has been spread thin. The more lavish the display of our sadness, the better we feel about ourselves. We're jealous of such a giant life. I do not think I am the only one who finds this behaviour poisonous.
My response to the commotion is this: I keep my grief personal. My own respects for MJ manifest the same way they do for other human beings who died in his shadow: with quiet thoughts and with the TV turned off.