Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Odds

I was talking with a coworker today about Michael Jackson's untimely death. She told me that earned her 50 points in the "dead pool" in which she is participating. In case you don't know what that is, at the beginning of each year there's a pool, like a football pool, in which the participants make a list of celebrities they think are going to kick the bucket during the upcoming year. Since the odds increase with age, younger ones are worth more points if they happen to pass away than are the older ones. Whoever has the most points at the end of the year wins whatever money is in the pool.

"I bet not too many people had him on their list," I said.

"Oh no, are you kidding? He was on lots of lists. The way his health was with all those medications he was taking, lots of people put him on their list."

"So did you have Farrah on your list, too?"

"Yup, sure did."

"What about Ed McMahon?"

"Argh, you know, I did have him but for some reason I took him off."

"David Carradine?"

"No, didn't have him."

She said whenever a celebrity dies, her dad calls and asks her if she had them on her list. How morbid.

It's very sad to lose someone as talented as Michael Jackson at such a young age. I wasn't a big fan of his but I do feel he was an extremely gifted entertainer. Many would point out that he was also very weird and accuse him of being a pedophile, among other morally bankrupt things.

That may be true but I can't help thinking that may have been in large part a result of his stardom and the kind of life it brought on, as well as from all of the pressure from his fans.

One thing I want to say is that Michael Jackson may have been weird, but these people standing outside the coroners office doing the moonwalk and talking as if Michael was God are even more weird. Don't they have a life? They remind me of the scene from the movie Independence Day in which all the freaks and flakes are waiting at the top of downtown skyscrapers for the alien saucers to land and Elvis to emerge from one of them.

With fans like that, no wonder Michael exhibited such strange behavior. You can say that there are plenty of other celebs who act normal and the he was responsible for his bizarre ways. True, but that's a lot of pressure to put on anyone. Also, how do we know how "normal" anyone really is? What Michael wore on the outside could just as easily be what others keep hidden, but their minds are still in the same place.

The time to honor and respect someone is when they are alive, not dead. It's sad to think of the little kid singing lead for the Jackson 5 and how things got so twisted for him.

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