Here's the piece I did for the Spectator on what the Jacko story tells us about ourselves…
Hope you like!
Your article shines in what I find a rather dismal journal. How it gets its rep for “fine writing” when its serves up dross like; “Our political system is in ruins. We are governed by a decrepit Brownite junta.” I don’t know. But I digress.
A couple of points on your article itself. The first was the thought – yup, from Michel Maffesoli – that what the response to Michael Jackson’s death goes to show is that we live in an era in which the truth is that when nothing is important, everything is important. In this respect the people on BBC’s Newswatch berating the editors for focusing on this rather than ‘real’ news may have been right by their own lights, but hadn’t twigged that for a lot of people (a huge lot of people) it really WAS news. That said, I think there is a generational issue to the Jackson death, and that has been well brought out in some interesting African-American commentary on the death. A lot of people “grew up” with MJ and his death hits them in a way that their elders may not understand.
The second was about Wikipedia. In January 2008 Wikipedia noted that a certain player was a Bolton Wanderers player and that his squad number was … .
The transfer of said player was only announced the day after I found this out from Wikipedia and the Wikipedia details were all accurate. I’d never heard of the guy and had only turned to Wikipedia to find out who he was. I now go to Wikipedia to check this sort of stuff out. Do agents use it?
Thanks, Mike. Yet again, Maffesoli has the thing nailed.
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