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Celebrating in poor taste?



Whether you liked Michael Jackson or not, there is no mistaking the fact that he was definitely a presence. He lived his life in the spotlight of critics and fans alike, while remaining even today, two years after his death, still “dancing on the floor in the round.”

On Saturday, Oct. 8, in Cardiff, Wales, a city 150 miles west of London, a tribute concert was held to honor the late singer. “Michael Forever” hosted three generations of Jackson’s family, including his three children. Brothers Marlon, Tito, Jackie and sister La Toya, and many chart-topping celebrities sang some of the biggest hits of the King of Pop. Jackson’s 81-year-old mother Katherine was in the audience, as well.

According to an article picked up by The Huffington Post, blaringly absent were Jermaine, Randy and sister Janet, who felt holding the tribute now, during the trial of Jackson’s doctor, Conrad Murray, was in poor taste. 

Murray is accused of giving Jackson a lethal dose of the anesthetic propofol and other sedatives in the bedroom of his rented mansion on June 25, 2009. 

While fans didn’t seem to have a problem with a celebration to honor the pop sensation during Murray’s manslaughter trial, they did seem to mind the price of the tickets (starting at $100) and the out-of-the-way location of the concert; fans’ collective scream of “Why Cardiff, Wales?” was probably heard around the world.

So was the concert in poor taste? Or was it, like brother Marlon claimed, meant to celebrate the positive side of his life and the positive things he did. 

And at this point, does it even matter? I mean, it’s not like Michael Jackson wasn’t used to controversy; half his life was spent under the gun, with a barrel loaded by his own actions. 

He was a larger-than-life spectacle that was beyond ordinary, no matter how hard he tried. He was an undeniable talent, a man who gave his fans 150 percent when he performed, and enough fodder for their gossip mills to last lifetimes. 

He was an enigma. 

And the continued in-family disagreements and PR-induced (I’m convinced anyway) shroud of mysteriousness surrounding his children only feeds that image, even after his death. Michael Jackson became more than even he could deal with, I believe. And I think it’s sad that his image began to overshadow his talents. 

His antics, whether it was marrying Lisa Marie Presley or holding his then-infant son, Prince Michael II, over a hotel balcony in Berlin became more ludicrous and dangerous to his career and his sanity as the years went on. 

He seemed to be a man in search of something (normalcy maybe?) and unable to find it.

So whether or not the members of his family that were in agreement with this tribute had ulterior motives or not (riding Michaels’s gravy train maybe), it just continues the legacy of a man we will probably never quite understand. 

It’s just sad that “the Man in the Mirror” no longer has a reflection to try and change.

Angela Rogalski is a senior print journalism major who lives in Abbeville. Follow her on Twitter @abbeangel.