In passing, I made the argument that because an individual’s life project was closed, we no longer have any right to vilify him for his shortcomings – that we should be honoring his contributions of society instead, especially if we (media and public) have been vilifying him the entire time until his death.
Before death, an individual’s life is an open book, a project to be completed. That’s when we have free reign to disparage and criticize for the wrongdoings or failures. After death, the meaning of the individual’s life is complete, a closed book, and finished.
Michael Jackson’s death has closed off all his possibilities, and puts him at the mercy of others – us. As long as he was alive, he could, through his actions, change the meaning of his future, and his past as well. Continue reading Do you praise or condemn the dead?