In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 30, 2009 / 8 Tamuz 5769

America's Princess Di moment

By Wesley Pruden

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Good career move. The Hollywood assessment of the death of Elvis Presley 30 years ago eerily applies to Michael Jackson, too. Every great entertainer knows it's important to get off the stage before the hook.

The death of Michael Jackson, with its unanswered questions and the exposure of the smarmy troupe of freeloaders, hangers-on and cockroaches crawling out of the dark places of his life, make this the perfect Hollywood tale of sex, money and sudden death. The media, including even newspapers that once could be counted on to put events in proper context, are throwing one long, drunken, inky bacchanalia, endlessly indulging round after round of trivia and manufactured sensation. P.T. Barnum lies green (with envy) in his grave.

Oscar Levant's description of Hollywood — "it's made of tinsel, but once you get beneath the tinsel, you'll find the real tinsel" — is writ large, and we all live in Hollywood now. The death of Michael Jackson is our Princess Diana moment. Such vast outpourings of alligator tears and synthetic sincerity were once reserved for mourning presidents. In the age of Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, the small looms large.

Celebrity grief, like the real thing, unfolds in stages. The first stage is the work of Michael's fellow celebrities. They're doing their jobs well, as we expect professional actors to do. Elizabeth Taylor, still famous for once having been the most beautiful woman in the world, led the way. "My heart … my mind are broken," she said. Madonna "can't stop crying." Lisa Marie Presley, basking one more time in the eminence of the ex-wife, is "sad and confused with every possible emotion possible." Justin Timberlake, wary of verbal malfunction, "can't find the words."

Mocking authentic grief is unforgivable, of course, and it's possible that somewhere, in a fantasy factory in a galaxy far away beyond the man-made stars, a genuine tear is coursing down a glittery cheek. But many of the sentiments sound like the work of unimaginative press agents, anxious to brighten the dimming luster of clients pushed by the passage of time to the edge of the spotlight.

When the inevitable shadows beckon, you have to step into whatever reflected light you can find. Jane Fonda is "stunned" by grief, but not too stunned to remind whoever is listening that "[Michael] lived with me for a week on the 'Golden Pond' set after 'Thriller.' " Britney Spears planned to take a break from her own show in Europe (tickets available at a box office near you) to visit him in London, but now his star is just a scorched place in the firmament. Paris Hilton is laid low with grief, and she reminds everybody that "Michael Jackson and his kids were just at my house, only a few months ago."

The second stage of this mourning exercise begins with the arrival of the major-league scam artists. The inevitable reverends, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, have landed and even now are erecting competing circus tents. Rev. Al, always on the scout for the racial slight, says, "Michael Jackson made culture accept a person of color way before Tiger Woods, way before Oprah, way before Barack Obama."

Mr. Jesse hints at what's coming next. "The family has questions … There is concern about what happened the last 12 hours of Michael's life … the doctor did not confer with the family … he was missing in action … he surfaced with a lawyer … No one is in a position of accusing the doctor … There may be plausible answers, but we don't know … ."

Unanswered questions there may be, but it's not too soon to wake up and smell the money. There's got to be some dollars scattered around here somewhere. What we do know is that the ghouls have just begun. The television camera misleads the masses to think they're buddies with the objects of their fantasies. Princess Diana became "the people's princess" because London shop girls imagined that "she's just like us." Hank Williams' widow recalls how the death of the country-music legend became a circus when Nashville twinklies showed up with guitars and "everybody who could croak a note wanted to sing at his funeral."

Timing is everything, and Michael Jackson departs with the bang he couldn't have made with his remaining talent. He leaves behind a mountain of debt, feuding relatives, greedy promoters, angry creditors and the legacy of a bizarre, drug-addled life, of pursuing a walk to the moon with little boys, to what end nobody can be sure. We can well imagine. And of course the legacy of considerable talent.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Washington Times. Comment by clicking here.

Wesley Pruden Archives

© 2007 Wesley Pruden