The Man in the Mirror by Chris Hedges

by Chris Hedges
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
July 13, 2009

In celebrity culture we destroy what we worship. The commercial exploitation of Michael Jackson’s death was orchestrated by the corporate forces that rendered Jackson insane. Jackson, robbed of his childhood and surrounded by vultures that preyed on his fears and weaknesses, was so consumed by self-loathing he carved his African-American face into an ever changing Caucasian death mask and hid his apparent pedophilia behind a Peter Pan illusion of eternal childhood. He could not disentangle his public and his private self. He became a commodity, a product, one to be sold, used and manipulated. He was infected by the moral nihilism and personal disintegration that are at the core of our corporate culture. And his fantasies of eternal youth, delusions of majesty, and desperate, disfiguring quests for physical transformation were expressions of our own yearning. He was a reflection of us in the extreme.


via Truthdig

Copyright © 2009 Truthdig

Chris Hedges, who spent nearly two decades as a war correspondent for The New York Times and other newspapers, is the author of “Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle,” due out in July.

from the archives:

The Truth Alone Will Not Set You Free by Chris Hedges

8 thoughts on “The Man in the Mirror by Chris Hedges

  1. Pingback: Retribution for a World Lost in Screens by Chris Hedges « Dandelion Salad

  2. Pingback: Michael Jackson is dead, it is too late to develop a conscience By Roland Michel Tremblay « Dandelion Salad

  3. The concentration on Jackson, to the exclusion of news, was intentional and macabre.

    Capitalism is disgusting. plain and simple. The only thing “free” about our corporate culture is self-loathing.

    I dont “get” the celebrity culture, either. I never have. My friends all thought it was wierd that I never had a “favorite ” Beatle or even a “favorite ‘Jackson”—I either like music or acting or I dont…I just stayed away from my usual
    “news” outlets, from the minute the blitz started–again!!—even “The Progessive” did it, with the lame. “We know its awful” or something like that—yeeach!!

    The one thing that really made me physically ill, because I normally respect her, was Rep Jackson Lee …wtf was she doing?? there was no question about his pedophilia nor his bizarre self-hatred. Joe Jackson should be kept as far as possible away from these already-,messed-up kids…poor kid is even named “Paris”…BTW—Happy Bastille Day!!

  4. This is an excellent article. Human beings are treated like commodities in a capitalist society and there is a definite attempt to divert their attention from matters of great importance. Marx realized one important difference. Human beings are different from other commodities in one respect. They are able to work and to increase the wealth of the capitalist.

  5. Chris , if you are reading this …please dont waste your time like the media at large does on Micheal Jackson . just writing about him diverts us from real issues. stick with the issues. Jackson died. 100% of every generation dies. so what ?

  6. Superb bit of writing, which succinctly sums up my own disgust at the celebrity circus of Jackson’s life & death

    “King Of Pop”? … no, just another commodity, used & abused, then repeating the cycle himself

    Sad, but no more sad than the millions of others who are in an even worse condition worldwide

    Cheers Lo … good to have you here!!

  7. This is an exceptional piece.

    I’ve never personally understood the cult of celebrity, I see stadiums full of fanatics and run the other way…

    Fascinating to me is how the counter-culture was co-opted by our celebrated clebrity consumeristic marketing machine which corrupted so completely our cultural identity, starting perhaps with Elvis, and ending (hopefully, and finally) with this macabre ‘man in the mirror’ of public infatuation with celebrity and its inevitable destruction.

    Oddly neither Elvis nor Jackson were close to the best of musical talent this country produced. Perhaps the cult of celebrity was, for a time, a unifying nationalistic idea for a nation lacking typical ethnic nationalistic identity.

    Let’s hope this latest implosive decadent obsession with celebrity death will spell the death of celebrity and our implosive national decadence.

    Let’s also hope we can stop hearing about poor miserable Michael Jackson for a while… shame on the news media for using this horror-story to sell ads.

    Excellent piece.

    (So after Anna-Nicole Smith, Heath Ledger and now this, all inside of a year, can people get it straight that our national pusher-man, big pharma, isn’t fooling around, and shouldn’t be fooling anyone with their ‘prescription’ chemistry?)

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