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  • Pink captures President Bush's callous disregard with heart-rending accuracy. This song makes me cry every time I hear it.
  • Jackson Brown's new song is fabulous! Lives in the Balance truly touches on the choices facing America today.
  • An Arlo Guthrie classic! You'd be amazed at how it fits our modern war ethics.
  • Bruce Hornsby's finest. We are treating the Katrina survivors the same way.
  • By Phil Ochs. Not what you'd think. He wrote it following the murder of three civil rights workers in the mid '60's. Still pertinent today, I fear.
  • This one's by Lindsay Buckingham. All hail the 4th estate!
  • Song by the late, great Harry Chapin. It references Vietman, but remains pithy.
  • By Bright Eyes. One of the best protest songs to come along in years.
  • From the musical, 1776.
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June 28, 2009

Comments

The Fat Lady Sings

It took me a while to organize my thoughts. My reaction to all this has been quite complex - more so than I realized. I hardly even know where to begin..... I applaud his genius, repudiate his behaviors and abhor where the media is taking this. I certainly don't mean to sound uncaring or mean. I truly am sorry the poor man died....but I'm sick and tired of the media reaction to any celebrity driven, prescription related incident. There are legitimate uses for pain medication. A distinction should be drawn. Instead you get a knee-jerk reaction: let's throw the baby out with the bathwater; no more pain meds for you! The rich and famous will always be able to indulge themselves. It's the rest of us that suffer. I cannot begin to describe my frustration!

Then there's the music, the man, and the media response to his death as a thing separate from the addiction question. All have hit me quite differently. I'm sad, I'm angry, I'm frustrated. Shades of Anna Nichole, I'm afraid - with a touch of Elvis and Howard Hughes thrown in for good measure. Will someone tell me when exactly it was our society embrace the concept of 'virtuosity' in lieu of what’s really ‘real? In fact - 'real' hardly seems to exist any more. Truth has become what the media defines it to be (and that changes from subject to subject, network to network and day to day). Can one really say ‘anything’ without fear of repercussion? Anything at all? *sigh*

My prayers are with his children. What a hard row they’ll have to hoe these next few years. Everyone’s gonna treat them like gold filled piñatas.

Joanna

I totally understand both of your respones: the anger at the public misrepresentation of his death. My personal theory is that he was so far gone with his debt that he scheduled these shows in London, and then was terrified that he would fail in public because he was so drugged up he was a shadow of his former self. I think he either committed suicide through an overdoes intentionally or completed the long suicide process that is addiction heavy enough that you're on the verge of overdose every day. I have kept my own public response on my blog to a rememberance of what his music meant to me and my sister when we were young because frankly, I despised MJ the adult. Yes, he had an abusive childhood, yes, he was subjected to the stresses of unnatural fame, but so are/were many other people and they did not spend decades orchestrating publicity stunts, spending millions for empty self indulgence, and buying children, either as companions or as personal pets. Understanding the roots of his behavior does not excuse it for me, and I don't care what kind of genius he was, Michale Jackson was the circusmaster of his life, and he was a manipulative asshole.
He was an addict who exploited people--he did exactly what my addict relatives did: got multiple prescriptions from many doctors-- and was encouraged by millions to think he was above any kind of judgement because of his talent. Well, frankly, I'm sorry for the people he left behind, and especially for those three kids whose existence he created out of other people's genetic material.

As you say, now those of us who live with chronic pain will continue to live with the fallout of his abuse. I do not experience the levels of pain that you do, but mine has been bad enough this past week that I wished I had some medication, but I can't get anything stronger than ibuprofen. I have to suck it up, as you say. Even to get the sleeping medication that is the only way I can sleep at all, involves rituals of humiliation with the prescription bureaucrats.

Jude

I'll always remember Michael the Superstar and how talented he was, a joy to watch.

As for the rich getting so much more than the rest of us NEED when it comes to pain meds, that's just so wrong. If you absolutely need it to get through, then you should have it. I'm so sorry that you are suffering like you are honey. (((((hugs))))))

Ronald Horvath

Pain. Yes, the whole situation, indeed his whole life, reeks of pain doesn't it, from the mobs of "adoring" fans all crying out for a piece of the idol, to the accusations of pedophilia, to that horrific mask of a face, a twisted disguise carved out of his own flesh to escape and evade an all-consuming world. And God knows what pain his children will go through living down, and up to, the myths and realities of their father's life.

Yes, it's all about pain and his attempts to sing, dance, and fantasize it away. How fitting, how Elvis-like, that he should die in the attempt. And just how many of these sad, tragic, pain-filled legends does this celebrity obsessed society need? Exactly what purpose do they serve, what emptiness do they fill? And why can't we all get past this monstrous, superhuman co-dependency between fans and their chosen gods that makes such a black comedy out of our lives.

No, just bury him and be done with it, though I know they won't. They'll deify him, another Orpheus, a mixture of passion, creativity, genius, and too many personal demons, magnified by the public lens, all twisted together into a "virtual" human being, too unreal to exist, and too human to survive it all.

JACK  KNIGHT

WHEN YOU MESS WITH MOTHER NATURE SHESOANGETCHY AND SHE GOT EEM . FATJAX

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