Is wasting potential a sin? If not, it really should be.
The other day I found myself listening to a Michael Jackson song on the radio. Now I’m not a big fan, never was, but I could certainly appreciate his talent, his vision and his amazing voice. I appreciated it again as I listened.
It’s not hard to argue that he changed music the way Elvis changed music… and strikingly, sadly, the two amazingly talented artists share something else.
Dying far too young, and as a result of their own weaknesses run amok.
It struck me as I listened what an utter waste this was. What other wonders would a talent the likes of Michael Jackson have done if he’d stayed healthy and not had the resources to indulge his demons? We’d certainly have more music, specials and performances… maybe a few select protégés to watch and admire… other artists would have learned from him or collaborated with him… the good he might have done, both financially and as a role model… all this is lost.
What a stupid waste.
The worst of it is… Michael Jackson is not the only one, he’s one of many who don’t value their talent as much as something else… who are surrounded by enablers and have the resources to break the rules, indulge as they wish. They throw away the incredible good fortune of having made a success in their chosen field; a despicable waste of talent that’s especially insulting to all those millions who struggle to make it and never do.
Not only that, our star-struck, scandal loving society reveres these people… if you doubt it, look at all the attention they continue to get. Michael’s fans mourn as if his demise was not at his own hands, and though he died several years ago, he has a Facebook page. Fans still flock to Graceland, Elvis’ home, with no signs of this slowing down anytime soon.
Embarrassing that we continue to be taken in by these spectacles… the current coverage of Lindsay Lohan and most recently Amanda Bynes proves the draw it is to see talent be wasted and genuine sickness or supreme self-indulgence take over. We watch, all disapproval and morbid fascination, mixed in (if you’re honest) with a tiny amount of pleasure at the idea of the mighty falling from privileged pedestals.
Such fascination is as much a sickness in our world today as anything else.