Some decent, humane sorrowing over that – a life gone nowhere, for all the fame; a life lived in desperate confusion – would not be inappropriate. And a little soul-searching, as well, on the part of those who must idolise before they know they are alive. This, too, has been gone over and over all week – the hellish compact between a star and those who worship him. We destroy those we inordinately admire. That is the cliche. I would put it differently. Those we inordinately admire destroy us.
It has been said that Michael Jackson changed the lives of millions of his fans. But I have yet to read an account of what he changed them to. Yes, he gave them songs to sing. Few of them remarkable. And he gave them a dance to dance. I can see with my own eyes that he moved unusually. So let's say he taught others to move unusually too. Perhaps we can say he liberated them into a bodily vitality they hadn't known before. That's not nothing, if it's true. But if it is true, you wonder where all that bequeathed vitality has gone to. After you've done your moonwalk, then what?
And there is certainly a lesson from his final line..
We should revere less and forgive more. There are no gods among us, and few devils. If we must do huge, let's do benign scepticism, hugely.