Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Bookmark Days

It's interesting how we remember days that are bookmarked in history.

Early on a July morning in 1981, I got out of bed to watch a woman walk down the aisle to marry a prince. I, along with most young women in America, was fascinated with Lady Diana - who later that day became Princess Diana.

On a September morning in 1997, I got up early again to watch Princess Diana's funeral. She had hard times, but I think over all she was a good person, who tried to do a lot of good in the world.

I remember being pushed into a room to watch Neil Armstrong take his first steps on the moon, and though I didn't really know what was going on, I had a sense that it was very important.

I remember watching the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The verdict of OJ Simpson.

The fall of the Saddam Hussein statue in Baghdad.

The Challenger explosion.

The Columbine shootings.

Those were bookmark days - at least in my life, if not for the world. And every one of them had an influence on my life.

(Strangely I don't remember anything about Elvis' funeral. I wonder if that's because it didn't have an impact on my life, or because I just didn't watch it. Let's face it, my mom was not a really big Elvis fan.)

I'm sitting here watching the coverage of Michael Jackson's funeral with mixed feelings. Is today a bookmark day? I mean, let's face it, the man was not exactly a saint. True, he had a huge influence in the music world, but it didn't seem like that ever gave him or anyone else peace.

Is this an event my girls will remember watching, like I remember watching Princess Diana's wedding?
And do I even want them to?

Is this hoopla for someone who was famous for being eccentric, reclusive, and downright strange impacting their lives in a way I would be happy about? We are talking about it as we watch it. About how the world has different standards of what is important. And what did this man do, really, that's worth all this fanfare?

And yet, we watch.*


*update*

*Well, we watched. Until 1:04pm mst when some congresswoman stood up and said that she was introducing a resolution on the house floor to proclaim MJ a hero. At which point, my kids got to see their mom walk across the room and flip off the tv - I mean TURN off the tv (though either one could have applied here)- and proclaim this whole thing a bunch of hoo-ey.
The take-away lesson was a bookmark day, but not in the way I expected.

(Seriously? A hero? I think the Catholic church has a good rule about waiting however many years before anyone is proclaimed a saint. Let's just give it some time and see if we feel the same way about it later, shall we?)

*updated again*
I went and read the resolution. It doesn't say hero, it says humanitarian, leader and contributor. Sorry, I went a little crazy-deaf there. Still wrong though, imho.

25 comments:

Beverly said...

Frankly, this is one day I'm glad my kids are grown and my grandchildren are too young. It's not because it's Michael Jackson. I just can't understand the status and importance we give to celebrities. It disturbs and confuses me.

Rebecca Talley said...

I think he was extremely talented, but for all of his fame and fortune, he never seemed at peace or to have joy in his life.

I didn't realize it was even on TV.

And, I agree with Beverly, I don't understand why we revere celebrities the way that we do--it is disturbing.

Amy Peterson said...

"bookmark" days, I believe change the way I live life! They make me better, they inspire me to do good!

Heather of the EO said...

Some would say talent does serve the world, bringing happiness and all that. But recognition and reverence to this extent? I don't know...

I wish we saved that for people who lived their lives to serve and love in selfless ways. But we just don't. It's sad.

mormonhermitmom said...

I'm so thankful my kids are more interested in QUBO. Not watching the funeral, I change channels when I see yet another "investigative piece". Thankfully it will all be over soon and we can get back to real life.

Lara said...

He was a man of unusual talent, yes. But I still don't quite get the hoopla. I'm not watching the funeral. I suppose it's not really a bookmark day for me, but I imagine it will be for many, many people.

Jillybean said...

I haven't watched TV at all today, and I forgot that this was going to be on.
I agree with Beverly. The importance given to celebrities is mind boggling. There are so many other things going on in the world right now that will impact our lives more than the passing of MJ, and yet this is what the news media is focusing on.

I don't think anyone in our house will remember this day too much because of MJ. My kids are currently in the basement playing instead of weeding the flowerbeds like they were supposed to do. If they remember anything about today it will be that it's the day they didn't do the chores that they promised to do and therefore they didn't get to go to the amusement park this week.

Barbaloot said...

My bookmark day is Sept. 11th. I remember watching the planes over and over as they hit into the buildings.

JustRandi said...

Barbaloot! Yes! How could I have forgotten that one!?

Dave said...

there are many times flipping off the tv is the right choice

Celeste said...

A hero?? I'm still slightly in shock/laughing at that idea. Since when do we make people who can make provoactive pelvic thrusts and change their skin color and nose shape heroes? Good choice on the flipping. =)

Lee said...

I agree. that is all...

Tay said...

Congress seems to be looking for new ways to waste time and money.

A hero. Poop.

Carrie said...

A hero? Perhaps we need to revisit the definition of hero because it seems that it has changed - drastically - from what I remember... A hero?? The thought makes my brain hurt!

Stacey said...

MJ was very talented,but all of the coverage is too extreme. It's been almost 2 weeks,it's time to move on and focus on more important news.

I would have flipped off the tv as well! I think a lot of people need to be reminded about who a hero REALLY is.

9/11 was a huge bookmark day for me. I still have a lot of vivid memories and details about that day.

Heather said...

I didn't watch it. Don't get me wrong, I like his music and he was a great performer/entertainer but that doesn't exactly make you a good person. I think the Catholic church is totally on to something.

Yvonne said...

I didn't watch the funeral. Was he an extraordinarily talented man--DEFINITELY. Did he have a profound effect on the music world--ABSOLUTELY. Am I sad that he died--CERTAINLY. I must say it is not a bookmark day for me.

Sarah said...

I watched part of the funeral, mostly as a way to put off doing other stuff. Like work. Then I took the kids swimming. It wasn't hard to leave.
Later I was watching a show that basically said the media whipped the whole thing into a frenzy that didn't match the public's fervor level. I think this was a perfect example of 'fame' taken too far. And considering how much money the government of California doesn't have, I think it was a real waste. I hope if I'm ever rich and famous {snicker} they make a huge donation in my honor instead of a huge circus.

Rachel O said...

Amen! I feel bad for the guy, I think he had a tumultuous life, and my whole family likes to dance around to a bunch of his songs... but a "humanitarian, leader, and contributor"? Please. I can think of SO many other people that deserve that title!

Linda said...

Such a sad commentary on the times we live in.

Janell said...

There was a group standing around the office and one person remarked, "This is one of those times that I'll remember - what I was doing when I learned Michael Jackson died." I couldn't agree. To me, the Michael Jackson that I listened to in the 80s died years ago and what was left was a creepy pedophile.

goddessdivine said...

I only caught what was shown later on the news and for political analysis. What gets me? The total race card being pulled. This is not black vs white. It's simply a musician who died. Overall, the coverage has been way overdone.

"Q" said...

Watch this video and wait for MJ to come in, then you will remember. I had forgotten. This is what made it a bookmark day.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmxT21uFRwM

Loralee and the gang... said...

So, I grew up with MJ's music, loved Thriller, etc, but sure wished he'd stopped the plastic surgery at that point (before would have been even better). Sounds superficial? I know. But it points to the kind of crazy he was. And I'm sorry for that. He wrote great songs, great. He gave lots of his money to charities. Even better. But to esteem him SO much is a little out of control, in my opinion.
:~D

Sue said...

Um, the guy was a pedophile.
The TV was on during my lunch hour at work so I took my hearing aids out (one of the few benefits of being nearly deaf) but I did glance up and saw a beam of light onto the 'stage' and I thought it was his assention but of course he didn't go up...