Why Can't We Let Dead Musicians Be Dead?


The holograms are another matter entirely. It's using the likeness of the dead to perform movements and actions that they never did and possibly never would in life. Would Jackson have plotted out that performance at the Billboard Music Awards, or would he have found it beneath his exceptionally high standards? No one can ever know, but we still see "him" doing it, because someone used his image to do it.

This sort of resurrection is tantamount to putting words in the mouth of the dead. It's like using a sound-alike to record new songs and releasing them under the deceased artist's name. It's like painting a fair imitation of a Picasso and signing it in his own name and handwriting.

It's just a little bit sick. It raises ethical quandaries all over the place, but more importantly, it shows our inability to let go. We are a society that struggles with the idea of our own mortality, and we refuse to let our stars suffer their inevitable fate.

We refuse to see death as a fact of life, and instead work as hard as possible to prevent it by ludicrous resurrections like this. But death is as much a part of any human being's life as change is, and these two insurmountable forces cannot be bargained with.

As painful as it might be for fans, we have to accept that our idols will fall, just as every human being who has ever lived will. We have to accept that they aren't coming back. And in accepting that reality, we need to stop this shameful practice of dragging their legacies through the mud with holograms. It's not seeing them one last time, because it's not really them; it's refusing to accept change and move on.

It's a cruel reality, but holograms aren't the answer. Form a tribute band, write a song that might sound like something Michael Jackson might have recorded, or even go out and become an impersonator. Whatever we do to live with the loss of the exceptional talents of the dead, let's stop trying to pretend with the use of all these creepy computer generated versions of them. Let's let the dead be dead, and rest in peace.


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