Commenter Thefoulness hits on what will likely become a common refrain:
I gotta object to all this...love for the man. I dig the music as much as anybody, and long live the music, but as for the man, good riddance. T
Am I wrong to say you're all weeping over a child molester? I mean, I'm no expert on the case, but I don't see too many people defending him on those charges. And that's not a small thing. It should be the first line in any obituary, and is every bit as heinous as what OJ or Bernie Madoff did. Worse, really. We're talking about children here.
I say all this as a big fan of the music, I grew up with it, too. And still listen to it, and found the discussion of his place in music history very interesting last week.
But the man's flaws are not the kind you overlook. If anything, they are the kind of thing you hope he burns in hell for.
I don't want to relitigate Mike's case, but I will say a couple things. I'm sure there will be plenty of MJ condemnation, and people are welcome to do it. My own perspective is formed by two factors.
1.) I've, at times, heard of the death of awful people and thought "Good riddance." But upon reflection, that feeling rarely keeps. When Jeffrey Dahmer died, I initially thought it served him right. And then I got to thinking about the internal torture that must have made him who he was, and I lost my righteousness. When the mountain falls on people who've spent their lives inflicting pain on others, I am rarely comforted for long.
This is a point of religion, for me. I don't expect everyone to see it my way. Death is fucked up. I don't wish it on anyone. I don't have much use for evaluating who deserves the sword, and when they should get it.
2.) Ray Lewis may well be an accessory to a man's murder. But when I watch him run up and down field on Sunday, it sparks something in me. Woody Allen wooed his wife's adopted daughter, and may well be a child molester. But I think Bananas makes me laugh. Mike Tyson is, among other things, a convicted rapist. But I had not lived until I saw him demolish Trevor Berbick. And so on...
I guess I could peel these people out my life. I guess I could stop seperating art from men. Regrettably, I think, I wouldn't be left with much art worth admiring. Sometimes awful people, do beautiful things. One doesn't cancel the other. And mourning the loss of human life, does not excuse the sins of that life.
People who don't feel that way are welcome to their opinions. I'm not sure why they insist that others share them.
UPDATE: Lots of comments on whether Mike actually was a child molester. I left that argument alone because it's not going to be settled in any way here. Some of us will, quite fairly, point to the courts. Others, quite fairly, will point to the behavior he admitted to. (Sleeping with young children, who aren't his own.)
Before you comment, consider whether your likely to get anywhere with the argument. At some point, we end up with He said/She said.
UPDATE#2: Closing comments on both MJ posts. I don't think this is going anywhere interesting. Moreover, we're mostly hearing from people who just registered today, or yesterday. I think that says something.