Another Tack: Poster child of razzmatazz-land

Vast multitudes of fashion-following quasi-junkies are lulled into an artificial calm.

The only thing I ever admired about Michael Jackson was his doll collection. He had a hoard of vintage 1930s-era composition Shirley Temples that I shamelessly envy. Otherwise, I confess to being underwhelmed. That probably marks me as hopelessly out of sync with most of humanity - to judge by the media-hyped hysteria about the self-inflicted demise of yet another showbiz oddball. So sorry to be a killjoy at a time of an obvious international mourning fest. That said, I did heave a great sigh of relief upon learning that the live-in cardiologist who attended to the king-of-pop at his deathbed wasn't a Jew. That was all the Jewish people needed - another deicide to be blamed on us. When it comes to Jews, there are no individual wrongdoers; the fault is insidiously collective. Just imagine if the eccentric who sang "Jew me, sue me" and "kick me, kike me" was actually supplied drugs by a "kike" M.D. It would have been another irresistible pretext for innuendo. Just imagine the inevitable subtle accusations swelling into unrestrained rants about the Jewish vendetta against the frail saint who sought solace in Bahrain, who perhaps soulfully sympathized with Islam, who surrounded himself with guards from the milieu of Louis Farrakhan (of "Judaism-is-a-gutter-religion" and "Hitler-was-a-great-man" fame), whose family friends are Jesse Jackson (of "Hymietown" fame) and Al Sharpton (of the Crown Heights pogrom fame). The hypothetical ramifications are frightening, especially given that Neverland's bizarre misshapen kid-wannabe was the ultimate icon of the image-is-all-that-counts mindset. The real Michael never mattered - apparently also not to himself, and hence his obsessive self-mutilation in search of supposed beauty. Grotesquely sculpted by cosmetic surgeons, he was the perfect poster child of razzmatazz-land, where truth mustn't interfere with the mass fantasy, fiction is serially superior to reality, and appearance to substance. JACKO DULLED his mind with chemical cocktails rather than endure the aches and hurts suffered by lesser mortals. The substances he used to soothe whatever unsettled him weren't substantially different from the kitschy catchphrases which serve as the proverbial painkillers in our geopolitical reality. Facile formulations for peace on earth and goodwill to all villains and despots are just as common among respectable unthinking denizens in the world's democracies as prescribed narcotics are in Hollywood. They are just as addictive, no less imbecilic and every bit as dangerous. Like their stoned superstars, vast multitudes of fashion-following quasi-junkies are lulled into an artificial calm. It's too difficult to exert indolent gray matter, study history's none-too-simple lessons and come to terms with the realization that instant remedies can't be prescribed for all trials and tribulations. Not every crisis can be magically wished away, managed or even minimized. Some afflictions demand struggle, but struggle isn't what the Jackson crowd countenances. The strife-shy inclinations of a self-delusional pseudo-free world, led by a sappy-slushy Barack Obama-entranced America, are lapped up with undisguised delight by Teheran and its satellites. The American president purveys sweet cure-alls to his citizenry, and cloyingly seeks to impress the ayatollahs with his evenhandedness. However, no matter what his message, he breeds nothing but contempt among his would-be Iranian interlocutors. They'll extort exorbitant prices for even condescending to civil conversation. Not intoxicated themselves, they recognize that Obama's America - hooked on superficial solutions - is bereft of moral fortitude. They know that when push comes to shove, Obama's diplomatic raison d'etre is to make nice in order to purchase a modicum of their cooperation. He needs their tacit nonintervention in Iraq (so that he can vacate it) and in Afghanistan (so that he can appear to control it with least effort). In return, Obama won't make too much of a fuss about their nukes, presumably on condition these only be directed against Israel. AND OBAMA will make Israel look bad. It will seem to deserve threats and punishment. It will be judged as bringing misfortune and menace upon itself. Small price to fork out for Iranian compliance with obligatory Obamasque stage-setting. Obama's premise is that paying with an Israeli coin will eventually buy an ayatollah dialogue of sorts. The dialogue will be marketed to America and Europe as progress. After all, "keeping the channels of communication open" is a narcotic worth sacrificing Israel for. In a world of shallow facades, propping up the pretense is the name of the game. In that world, regardless of how ruthlessly they crush the pro-democracy movement, Teheran's tyrants will be appeased. The totalitarian regime for which Mahmoud Ahmadinejad fronts is assured preferential treatment to that accorded irritant Israel - the antithesis to Obama-brand opium for the masses. Ironically, Obama will undermine precisely those moderate factions in the region to whom his beguiling rhetoric is ostensibly geared to appeal. The so-called temperate Palestinians in Mahmoud Abbas's entourage can posture as forces to be reckoned with only because Israel buttresses them. By weakening Israel, Obama won't strengthen those who depend on it. Willy-nilly Obama will render Abu-Mazen increasingly vulnerable to Hamas predations. Obama functions as the de facto enabler for Iran's proxies. During the entire Obama presidency, Israel is guaranteed to be universally deserted and to remain chillingly alone. For the sake of sedating America, Obama will offer real perks to the Arab/Muslim dictators and will try to coerce Israel into real concessions that will undercut its survival prospects. This reality is bitter enough to cause many Israelis to seek the seductive comfort of blunted cognition. Dealing with the real hardships of our predicament may be too much. Escaping torments, unremitting adversity, treachery and defamation is ever-tempting. It's not easy to acknowledge existential peril. Being unpopular is agonizing. Jackson craved the safety of acceptance, the bliss offered by potent psychogenic tonics, to the point of deliberately deadening all discordant sensations. Nevertheless, Jackson - like other celebs, i.e. Anna-Nicole Smith - isn't held responsible for his choices and resultant downfall. It's as if they're not masters of their fates and not liable for their failures. According to conventional narratives, they're at the mercy of merciless manipulators. Just like world opinion. News consumers aren't held accountable for their cerebral sluggishness. They're not expected to think, but to routinely run with the herd. That's why they fall for anti-Israel machinations, and why we ought to be thankful that the pill-pushing doc wasn't Jewish. A Jew would never have enjoyed the leeway accorded Jackson when he resorted to slurs every bit as offensive as the dreaded N-word. All Jackson had to do to get away with his "Jew me" and "kike me" lyrics was to chirp that he's "not anti-Semitic because I'm not a racist person. I could never be a racist. I love all races." That sufficed for those besotted with him. In the same razzle-dazzle reality, no more is demanded of king-of-political-pop Obama.