Gimme Noise and the greater world are in general agreement on at least one thing: it's important to honor the dearly departed, to celebrate the legacies left behind, the artistic and humanistic heights scaled, et al. But it's equally important to let the dead rest in peace, because while paying tribute to an icon once, twice, or twenty-thousand times may help keep that person's spirit alive, it isn't gonna bring him or her back. Even Sublime tribute bands and the clubs that routinely and inexplicably host "Sublime tribute nights" - hopelessly stoned and out of touch with post-1996 reality as they surely are - know as well as Kurt Loder does that the re-animated corpse of Bradley Nowell won't stumble out of the shadows during "Too Joints" for a monster bong hit. Why? Because Bradley Nowell is stone dead.
You know who's also dead and not coming back, ever?
No, not Elvis.
Sure, Jackson himself liked things big, certainly: big stage sets, big hits, big promotion, video treatments that were less video treatments than short films. But I can't help but think that he would've wanted us to move on, to focus on making the world a better place in all sorts of ways. In case you hadn't noticed - and I'm sure that, drug- and surreality-addled as he was, Jacko pondered this too - entertainment is mostly spectacle, despite the nourishing nature of some of what's out there; it's distraction, diversion, pacification. It's frighteningly easy to tune the real world out and tune into any number of programmed alternatives (thanks cable, thanks internet) instead of taking any kind of action to help the helpless or improve another person's lot in life, something as small as doing an invalid neighbor a favor or as big as putting on a for-charity punk show in your suburb.