News of the death of Michael Jackson is unavoidable. It is dominating every media outlet; it is the thread of a thousand posts on a thousand internet forums. I’ve not yet ventured onto any of the giants of internet social networking, but I can only tremble at the thought of the Jackson-mania running rampant and spilling in bursts of one hundred forty words or less from the fingers of the horde as they sit at their computers and tweet (without the beauty of birdsong). The members of the notorious meme factory ‘4chan‘* must be working double-shifts this weekend. This is how an icon of pop-culture dies in the era of the Internet: a timeless cannibalistic ritual: the machine consumes its own.
I sat in the library yesterday, writing. A man – whom I took to be Jewish – sat across from me reading periodicals from the United States of America: The Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal. The stuffing from a much-loved child’s toy plumed from the top of his head; his face could have been a model for any number of gargoyles perched atop Gothic castles.
In his eyes there was kindness.