Morning Report, July 7 2009
Today is a day of national mourning, or so it seems. Michael Jackson is lauded as “America’s princess Diana.” The way we remember the dead–whom we honor and what we honor in them–says a lot about our priorities. What does this national outpouring of grief say about us? What are we grieving when we grieve the loss of Michael Jackson? A part of me suspects that when we look at Michael Jackson, when we look at how his fame and insecurities have disfigured him, we grieve the culture we have become. We do not grieve the loss of an entertainer. We grieve that children are raised under abusive and exploitative fathers like Joe Jackson (who used the attention garnered from his son’s death to promote his new music label–see the video below); we grieve that our celebrity culture drives its idols to drugs or madness or both. But we also grieve a person who was almost certainly a child molester. What does that say about us? Again I wonder whether we would respond differently if it were little girls he had (almost certainly) molested. We treat the molestation of little boys differently than the molestation of little girls, but in a case like this the power dynamics were just the same, and the likely distortive effects upon the child.
An entertaining take on Sarah Palin from Roger Simon at Politico.
And finally, I leave you with Marvin Olasky’s comments on Calvin and politics: