According to this highly dubious source, the Discovery Channel is planning to air a dramatic re-enactment of Michael Jackson's autopsy. This has spawned an outcry from people in the Jackson estate who are accusing the Discovery Channel of being exploitive and in poor taste, among other things, while also claiming that the Discovery Channel is attempting to "dupe the public into believing that this show will have serious medical value."
Where to begin? I'll tell you, right off the bat, that I'm not interested in what you think, because a fair number of you I know are Jackson fans, and let your love of his music - even the later, crappy stuff - dominate your feelings about him. I do think that anyone who allows themselves to believe that anything they see on the Discovery Channel has serious medical value should be caught and sterilized immediately. Also, anyone who believes - as has been alleged that some will by the Jackson estate - that this is an actual photo of anything authentic is an idiot and deserves the pablum pumped down their brainstems by cable TV. If you're a sucker who believes what you see on TV, then fuck you.
I think we're asking the wrong question in regards to the airing of this dramatization. Is it exploitive, nasty, in poor taste, unprofessional, weird and wrong? Most assuredly. Is it unexpected? Of course not. I'm surprised it waited this long. We are a world of ghouls and ambulance chasers, and this is the programming we lap up and treat like ambrosia. What about inappropriate? Is it inappropriate for cable television to dramatize the autopsy of the deceased King of Pop? To sensationalize intimate details of Michael Jackson's life? No, it is not. Michael Jackson reached a point where he became a public commodity, a personality, a product. He made the drama happen and he could have gone away at any time, but he kept feeding the drama. This ugly little show will not be the last part of the drama - the drama will go on forever. But the dramatization of an autopsy, when measured against, say, marrying Elvis' daughter, keeping a chimp, sleeping with young boys because you're Peter Pan, letting a filmmaker follow you around for eight months, dangling your kids out of a window, making your childhood abuse public, borrowing tens of millions of dollars, naming your kid "Blanket," or releasing this song seems pretty small, and only grows beyond its petty borders in our collective mind due to its relative immediacy and its presence on television.
If you don't want to see it, don't watch. The world doesn't change because you love Michael Jackson. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go set my TiVo.