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(China Daily)
Updated: 2009-11-17 07:52

Society must tolerate geniuses like MJ

The other day I went to a cinema to see the most expensive documentary ever made - This Is It, a film on pop star Michael Jackson.

The film was originally a recording of MJ's three-month-long rehearsals for his world tour named "This Is It". It condensed some 100 hours of recordings into a 115-minute feature in which MJ was no longer surrounded by magnificent special effects and screaming fans.

He was standing right there, alone (or sometimes accompanied by a dance band), well dressed, singing, dancing and intoxicated with whatever he was doing, which made him even more charming. People said, "you've never seen him like this before". Indeed!

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Since I was born during the late 1980s, I hadn't become a MJ fan until his death raised my curiosity about this "king of pop". Now, I kind of regret that I will not get a chance to see some excellent shows by MJ.

After his death, I started thinking deeply about his life and career. MJ got very little positive coverage during the recent decade. Plastic surgery, bankruptcy, pedophilia and drug addiction until his sudden death, all of them not only provided enough fun topics for people to talk about but also earned a fast buck for the media.

"He looks freak, he could have done any of those things" - many people thought so and believed every scandal about MJ even without reflecting. MJ looked abnormal, but what's wrong with that? He was special. Forty-five years of singing and dancing, nine albums reaching all corners of the globe, eight Guinness records and support for 39 charities - not everyone can achieve this. Although we had scores of pop singers in the past century, we had only one MJ. And in the next 100 years, there probably won't be any more.

In other words, with all the surprises and inspirations he gave us, why should MJ have to be normal? Talented people like MJ should be tolerated by society even if there is something abnormal yet harmless about them, because their "shortcomings" may be the same specialties that make them outstanding.

Tolerating genius is of special importance. People, driven by a desire for absolute equality, are trying to abolish any kind of differences. Sometimes they go so far as to not only demand equal opportunities, but also equal achievements from everybody.

Thus, when these people fail to be successful, they turn their jealous and angry eyes on celebrities. When they point fingers at a genius and his "scandalous ways", they feel it is their moral right to do so.

In order to protect people like MJ, and other such artistes, we should be extremely cautious not to abuse our hard-won liberty.

Naomi

via e-mail

(China Daily 11/17/2009 page8)