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Thursday, July 23, 2009

  • How our lives are remembered
  • Limitations of a film adaptation
  • Work place experience versus schoolroom education
  • Social Networking
  • The constructs of family...
  • Mythology
  • How we perceive crime...
  • Potential of the horror genre in a TV environment
  • What defines art...
How will you be remembered? How do you hope to be remembered? Obviously, most of us probably hope to be remembered for the good our lives brought to the people around us and the world as a whole, however - it is more likely that we'll be remembered, at least partly, by some secret shame which plagued us at some point in our lives.

This topic comes to me because of the recent deaths of Michael Jackson and Steve McNair. Obviously, this discussion alters slightly because of the celebrity involved, but I think the principles remain relatively the same. Is it best for us to remember Michael Jackson from his days in the Jackson 5 to about 1989? Is it reasonable to do so? Is it more important for us to remember the past 20 years? The questionable law suits, the very questionable plastic surgeries, the completely oblivious nature of his reality versus the rest of the worlds? Should this tarnish his legacy, just be a part of it, or should we apply a bit of revisionist history in order to create the cultural hero he was at the height of his popularity? Couldn't we look at this as some kind of cautionary tale of celebrity, addiction to pain killers and the life of excess as a whole? Would that be an insult to his accomplishments as a singer and songwriter? I think, as I believe I mentioned a few posts ago, that it will be very fascinating how history treats Michael Jackson for future generations. I don't think there's any denying that he will have a future presence, much like the Beatles have lived on well past the actual life span of the band and thus far, two of it's members. The influence is undeniable, therefore his music will certainly live long past my time on Earth, but will just his music survive or will his confounding lifestyle be carried along with that memory?

In a similar story, although one with a much shorter last act, we have Steve McNair. I understand some of you may not be fans of American football, but Steve McNair was a very accomplished QB for the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans. He came about a yard short of reaching a tie in the closing minutes of a Super Bowl after willing his team down the field with only a minute remaining. He is regularly regarded as one of the toughest players to ever play the position, often playing injured. He's also a well known philanthropist, with multiple charities with his name attached and a dedicated family man with a wife a four sons. For these reasons, it was a complete shock when he was found shot to death in the company of another woman. As it was later discovered by the police in Nashville, McNair was shot four times while sleeping by his girlfriend, who then committed suicide. The revelation of the affair was probably the greater shock after news of his sudden death spread. So how should we remember McNair? He did a lot of great things in his life, many accomplishments, however in a final questionable act of judgement, which unsuspectingly led to his death, we were revealed a skeleton in his closet he would have likely stayed hidden. Do we crop this picture of his life or do we have to take things as is?

This brings me back to my original point - how do you want to be remembered? Let's face it, we're not perfect and occassionally we do things that we may be ashamed of, or at least think better of avoiding after the fact, but what if we then die as a result of this poor judgement, or even just in the same time and place and maybe nothing to do with our actual decisions...would you want your skeletons revealed by your death or would you rather they die with you? How do you want to be remembered?

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