The Daily 750









. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. .
Stars-As-Archaeological-Digs

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Canadian political and cultural columnist Mark Steyn never fails to inform and entertain. Today, posted on macleans.ca, Steyn reviews NY Times columnist Margo Jefferson’s new book, “On Michael Jackson” -- duly noting that Jefferson wasn't actually "on" Michael Jackson, "a position few, if any, ladies are known to have assumed", and wondering whether there is less than meets the eye to her child-star-as-archaeological-dig theme:
On the whole, I prefer straightforward celebrity obsession to prettified metaphorical celebrity obsession. Too often, the latter's an archaeological dig in an empty hole. You'll recall that, during the trial of O.J. Simpson, Mr. Jackson's forerunner as culturally significant celebrity defendant, his attorney compared the Los Angeles Police Department to Adolf Hitler. As points of historical reference go, that seems relatively modest when you consider that one early piece on the O.J. case by a New York Times colleague of Ms. Jefferson managed to haul in Jean Genet, Dostoevsky, Milton, Shakespeare and Sophocles. Or as the deathless prose of Newsweek put it: "Was this another case of power/money/fame's wretched song of impenetrability?"
In 1994, '95 and '96 (probably even later), AOL allowed companies to host forums on its service. These were the halcyon days of Court TV -- 24 hour courtroom coverage, gavel to gavel -- and it was one of the forum hosters. I dug up my archives for a glimpse at what a few regular posters, writing in January 1995, had to say about OJ's significance (the names are changed):

From:DukesTakeum
From the dictionary
ICON: also ikon (ì´kòn´) noun
1)a. An image; a representation. b. A simile or symbol:
O.J Simpson was an icon. Good, bad, ugly or rival.....he was an icon.

From: DeejayDobie
so oj was an image, a representation, a similie or symbol of what? a great football player turned bit-part actor turned accused murderer?

From:DollieLlama
I live in CA, I like football....he was not an icon to me.....of course I was at UCLA not USC....

From: DukesTakeum
So he was an enemy icon....of course

From:DollieLlama
Oh Duke...you have no mercy