Episode 109. In which I discuss current affairs.

The fact is I haven’t blogged in a long time.  I don’t even know how long.  But a long time.  The other day something happened that I had an opinion of that I thought was blogworthy, and I thought I’d fire this monster up and get it going again.  Then more things happened, so this is a combination post.  Two deaths and an assault.

It has not been a nice news week.

So here it is.  Chronologically.

Perez Hilton.

Perez Hilton has made his career out of being nasty about people, making snide, petty comments about people, about their looks or their careers or their talents or their social lives, being judgmental and generally horrible about people.  This week, after quite some time spent being horrible about the Black Eyed Peas, he was at an event they were at, some things were said, and some guy with the BEP crowd punched Perez.

Perez called the police, they didn’t come quickly enough so Perez tweeted that he’d been assaulted, posted pictures online, and now he’s suing for assault and, I believe, humiliation.

I have a problem with this.

Assault is not OK.  Nobody should get hit.  I’m a firm believer in people having done unto them what they’ve done unto others, particularly where the victim was innocent and/or defenceless and/or smaller and/or had reason to expect better of the attacker, but in an ideal world nobody would get hit in the first place and therefore nobody would need to get hit back.

However, humiliation?  Really?  You’re going to sue someone for humiliating you, when the reason the whole world is aware of what happened is because you told them?  When you posted pictures on the internet so everyone could look at you?  When everything that you have achieved in the last however many years was done on the back of humiliating other people?  I don’t think so.  You can take that and shove it, Perez, you’re a publicity hound.

Apparently he actually said he didn’t tweet for the publicity.  Who on earth is fooled by that?  If you text your friends, that’s one thing.  If you tweet your X thousand followers (I do not care enough to check how many he actually has, I’m not one of them) knowing full well that amongst those followers are (at least) several journalists, then it is your fault when people find out about the fact that you got twatted as a direct result of your bullying.

In conclusion, if Perez Hilton gets any damages out of the humiliation side of this law suit, then the law’s an ass.

Hilton’s a hypocrite regardless of the outcome.

Farrah Fawcett.

Farrah Fawcett passed away on Thursday, after a long battle with anal cancer.  I don’t know anything about this woman at all, I know of a couple of roles she played as an actress and that her hairstyle was iconic.  However, knowing so little about her makes it all the more tragic to me, somehow.  Any death is awful, of course, and the sooner someone finds a way to stop people dying of cancer, which is a vicious disease, the better.  But in Farrah Fawcett, I’m not mourning an actress, because I wasn’t a fan of her work.  I’m not mourning a fashion icon, because I never actually liked her hairstyle.  I’m mourning a woman who, despite being massively famous, I never heard anything about other than the two things I just mentioned.  Famous people who are famous these days without being scandalous, or publicity whores, who are just well-known without coming across as desperate for attention, are rare.  And it makes me respect all the more those who maintain a life in the real world, or at least not in the tabloids.

Don’t get me wrong, not being a massive fan I’m not in actual mourning.  But I can respect her as a human being who went through something awful and she is in my thoughts.

Michael Jackson.

On Thursday, Michael Jackson died of cardiac arrest, seemingly without warning, at the age of 50.  And now half the world’s gone all weird.

I was never a Michael Jackson fan.  I did not like his music, and I thought he danced like a twat.  If, right now, you’re thinking anything that starts with the word ‘but’ then I would ask you to just stop right there.  Whatever you’re about to finish with, whatever achievement or memory or innovation you’re about to spit out, that’s what he was to YOU, not to ME, and this being the internet, I’ve just as much right to an opinion as anyone else.  You may think I’m wrong but then I think you chose a role model based on weirdness.

I have no idea whether Michael Jackson was guilty or innocent of the things he was accused of.  I do know, however, that he was seemingly incapable of living in the real world.  He was lucky, privileged, talented if you were a fan, he had everything he could have wanted, and instead of making himself a life anyone would be envious of, he insisted on constructing a fantasy world to live in.  Not content with being too good to spend his life in an office or on a building site or in a call centre, he decided he was too good to breathe our air.

He had his troubles recently and he leaves behind him three small children, who will now have to learn what the real world is in the absence of the father who prevented them from having to live in it while he was around.  I am not happy he died, I do not laugh at his death, I do not take this opportunity to accuse him of the most horrific of crimes, because I genuinely do not know whether he was accused justly or whether his own lack of ability to handle reality was turned against an innocent man by opportunists.

Neither am I wearing sack cloth and ashes, wailing in the street, crying on NBC or holding a vigil in his honour.

I did not know the man.  Let’s be honest, nobody knew the man.  To put a definition on ‘knowing Michael Jackson’, if you never met him and he never called you by name, or remembered your existence when you were out of earshot without being reminded of it, then you didn’t know him either.  He was utterly unique and he constructed a world around himself that few can comprehend in itself, never mind translate what was on the other side of it into the terminology of the life that the vast majority of us know.

I read an interview this week with a man who claimed to have known Michael Jackson, and he said they’d sneaked him out of his hotel to wander around shops and suchlike, because he was so eager to know how it felt to be normal.  He had every opportunity to feel normal.  Britney Spears is huge, she used to be massive for her music, then her scandalous lifestyle, now her efforts to get back on the straight and narrow, but she still goes to Starbucks.  The Queen still goes to Ascot and holds hands with her husband to sing Auld Lang Syne and breathes the same air as her subjects.  Michael Jackson wore a surgical mask, and allegedly slept in an oxygen tank, and called all three of his children after himself.

I do not mourn Michael Jackson for the things he did which people have interpreted as the miracles required for his sanctification.  His children are in my thoughts, and I am not happy he died, but I am not capable of putting either his life or his death into a context that relates even vaguely to my own sphere of reference, and so the outpourings of grief strike me as ridiculous.

That’s just my opinion.
And that’s the kind of week it takes to get me to blog again.

Diabetic moment of the day

Today I had a caramel frappucino from Starbucks.  It was sugary, but it was icy and it was lovely.  Today was a hot day and I am sunburned.  But I am not sunstroked, because I had my caramel frappucino.  And I’d do it again.

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6 Responses to “Episode 109. In which I discuss current affairs.”

  1. expatter Says:

    michael jackson is the most famous and extravagant example of what can happen to a person when they’re abused as a child. the entire jackson family was put on display and forced to perform by a father who beat them savagely if they didn’t do well enough. they were not raised as children, but prisoners and money tickets. because of when this started, the older jacksons are weird, but michael and latoya and janet are fucking broken.

    over 90% of pedophiles were abused themselves as children. not necessarily sexually, but beaten and treated like dirt. i don’t know if he ever acted on sexual urges with children, but the way he lived his life (the childlike demeanor, the amusement park and zoo on the grounds, the sleepovers, the shopping sprees at candy stores) point to someone who didn’t feel like he got a childhood (which he didn’t) and tried to recapture it.

    but you know what? this doesn’t make him a hero. just because i can understand how he ended up the way he did, doesn’t excuse his behaviour or make him perfect. he’s a sad figure, because he wasn’t really given a chance to be normal. but so are a lot of people. he recorded a couple of influential albums twenty years ago. that doesn’t make him a messiah, it makes him a successful singer.

    if anything, people should look at him as proof that being rich and famous doesn’t fix anything. in fact, it probably never got over to the uk, but by the time i was aware of farrah fawcett, she was famous for being in abusive relationships, getting naked on a pay-per-view playboy special at an ‘advanced’ age, and acting like a total drugged-up mess on the david letterman show. these are flawed people. the fact that a lot of the public know their names doesn’t make them saviours. the fact that they died and it’s sad doesn’t make them role models. i almost feel like all this self-involved western wailing about dead celebrities is a good way for us to once again ignore everything else that’s going on in the world. we’re so damn good at that.

    sorry. you know i’ve been making jokes and being pretty distanced from this whole thing, but you blogging about it made me want to rant about it, too. i seriously want to shake some people and snap them out of this. if people understood what michael jackson really was, maybe they wouldn’t be so fucking blind to kids who get smacked around at home. instead, let’s put up a huge fucking tribute to him and pretend like everything with him was ok. it’s ok, because he was on television.

  2. diabetses Says:

    I am eternally grateful that I am not able to put his life into a context I have any experience of. I am sheltered and inexperienced and incredibly selfishly glad of it.

    And I don’t doubt that he was a product of his upbringing, but it’s like what I said about Perez Hilton, in an ideal world nobody would be mistreated and result in them being fucked up later on. Him being fucked up was understandable, but that doesn’t make it OK.

    Again this is all just my viewpoint from my angle which I freely admit is one from the back row without my glasses and some guy talking on his mobile right in my ear.

  3. “Wanky Frappacino”

  4. I have a slightly different viewpoint to this.

    Farrah Fawcett as well as being about the hair etc… actually did a massive amount of work for domestic abuse charities, and even left them money in her will. She was also a big supporter of feminism.

    Michael Jackson – well, he was found not guilty by a jury, so, if we are to have faith in the judicial system then we must accept that he is innocent.

    He is a far bigger star than anyone else in the world. He was probably the most famous person in the world. As for being able to be out and about, how could he? It would be quite obvious given his looks as to who exactly he was. Say what you want about covering his kid’s faces up, but at least it means that when they go out they can’t be recognised as his kids and must therefore be able to have some sort of normality. I saw their godfather on This Morning today, and he reckons they have frequently been out with him and his kids and no one has been any the wiser. This is not me by any stretch of the imagination saying he was a great father, but as none of us where there or know what really happens behind closed doors.

    As for his music, even though he’s not released anything new for a long time, the music he did produce was ground breaking at it’s time. Billy Jean is structurally and musically one of the best pop songs ever written, if not the best. Also, don’t forget that he was the first real black superstar after the civil rights movement and will have had to contend with the prejudices of the time. Yet, he managed to become famous and loved across the world.

    I guess what I am trying to say is this, there was more to him than all the weirdness and I can understand why there has been such an outpouring of grief.

  5. diabetses Says:

    See, this is what I meant by “If, right now, you’re thinking anything that starts with the word ‘but’ then I would ask you to just stop right there.”.

    You’re perfectly entitled to have your opinion, but I didn’t ask for a lecture on it.

  6. Not a lecture, merely a differing viewpoint. Remove it if you wish, I will not be offended.

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