If you’ve been paying attention to the news, you’ll know that today would have been Michael Jackson’s birthday. I was reminded of the fact about ten times in the four hours I was listening to the radio at work this morning, and that’s no exaggeration. If anything, it’s probably an underestimate. I was also treated to a whole hour of non-stop MJ songs on Heart FM (well, I say non-stop. There was a pointless advert break after every third song- a reminder of why commercial radio and I don’t usually get along.)
Don’t get me wrong, I think Michael Jackson’s a talented performer, and one of the true musical legends of the 20th century. But even the most hardcore fan would be irritated at an hour of his music on the radio. I don’t know about anyone else, but for me the radio is for when I want to listen to a variety of artists. If I wanted to listen to Michael Jackson for an hour, I’d put his Greatest Hits CD on instead.
It seems that since his death, we can’t go a day without hearing one of his songs on the radio. Which is fine for me, because I like his music, but I’m annoyed that before, I’d maybe hear one song a fortnight, and that would only be on a station that played older music. Now I’m hearing him on Capital FM, which self-proclaims to play the hits, and from listening experience it’s all modern chart stuff. Apart from the frequent introductions of Billie Jean or Thriller, of course.
Yes, he was a legend, and yes, it’s sad he died so close to his concert dates and so many people missed out, but what the media (and rather a lot of the public) seem to be forgetting is that he was a person too. He had three young children, who are now having their lives thrust into the public eye and debate over whether the man that raised them was actually their biological father. But what do we actually get from knowing that? Nothing, except a bit of gossip and three children having their lives messed up even more than it is already. They need time to grieve, not have baby photos scrutinised in national media.
Michael Jackson’s dead. Can we please move on now?