In early July, from the corner of my vision, I caught glimpses of various efforts staged to memorialize the late Michael Jackson. Several friends commented to me during that week on the surreality of the intense displays of devotion. Among ourselves, we lamented the reverence accorded Jackson by the media, but we also had the disturbing sensation that it would have been a sacrilege to raise questions in public about the alleged magnitude of Jackson’s talent, let alone about the unseemliness of our culture’s adulation of a man with such a malformed life. During our conversations, I kept recalling observations from a number of books and articles I’d read about the idolatry and confusion evident in the culture of celebrity.
One . . .
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