Tuesday, December 26, 2006

R.I.P.?? Mr James Brown...

Hearing of James Brown’s death, I must say that however in the dark I am as to his music career, I feel entitled to use him as an example of this pervading, typical inglorious death.
He’s reportedly died of a severe pneumonia of which he learned about after seeing his dentist. Now, being a superstar, he is prone to have scrapped the edge of death at least a couple of times before but such an abrupt and humdrum death really makes it even emotionally hard for me. This is not death, this is not even a demise because it’s so ordinary somehow.
He lived to 73. An age which cannot suit such a perceived superstar because what I think would be far more fitting would be something like him performing on stage and putting all his nerves and senses in a terrorist mode and thus, exploding all over into his constituent bits. Surely a cataclysmic and violent end, but hey is it not better that way?
Crazy as that may sound, unreal as it indeed is, would you not die like that, if you were in his place?

Being a pop star and ending up being shot or discovered hanged in your kitchen is simply a more glorious way to die. And it is not J.G Ballard writing this, so do not jump into some hasty, appalled conclusions concerning post-modernist perversity.
It may very well be that our lives are marked through the way we die. Indeed, death nowadays has been commoditized, just as is the case with James Brown. In a tiny, compressed in a minute or so interval, his life was skimmed like chocolate crust on the Six O’clock news, instantly being forgotten even before the interval itself finished.

His end is an end in the truest sense. And end of an era as his fans might say.
But judging by this end, I come to think of whether this era was worthwhile anyway? It’s very debatable indeed and you could shoot up a verbal arrow in my direction and try and force me to shut up with sentences such as: ‘Just let him rest in peace!’.
But how can I do that? Am I not actually doing him a favour with the fact that I’m writing this? After all, he’s supposed to live after his death because his death should be a conceptual one. It should take some time for us to accept it and make sense of it, and in this context, whilst my article may not be the most mournful of obituaries, it is certainly doing his memory and his image good. Therefore, the rather ravishing and unfair beginning of this article is now ‘healed’ with the glorious and elegant truth which prevails in its end.

I have, virtually, immortalized James Brown with my comments, pouring some tiny amount of gunpowder into the already-fading flame of his legacy. Now, the resultant smoke from this reaction would last for at least an eternity, if not more…

So now, with a golden-plated microphone in your hand, you can truly rest in peace Mr James Brown!


At 30 December 2006 at 06:06 , Blogger ¡Benjaminista! said...

I read a similar explanation for why people believe in Princess Diana conspiracy theories. THey just can't believe someone so glamorous could die in such a commonplace manner as a drunk driving accident. Alas, death is the great equalizer. Along with nudity: "Even the president of the United States must sometimes stand naked" - Bob Dylan


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