(wrote most of this last year when Castro stepped down as leader of Cuba never posted it)
Elvis was a hero to most but he never meant
Fight the Power - Chuck D
Been thinking some random type thoughts lately. Was just on the bus last week or was it lounging around the house when something occurred to me. Actually I think I was thinking about music and my favorite mcs and how some people have elevated some of these guys to hero and icon status. Of course that got me thinking about Kris and this foolish Celebrity fat thing and I came to a conclusion.
You can only live on as a hero and icon in the hearts of the public if you die young. Well not only but it increases your chances by quite a bit. Think about it; Che Guevara, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, even Tupac , Biggie, Bob Marley. Why all those fellows have icon status? Yes they were great men to some extent but it also has a lot to do with them being cut down in their prime.
I not feeling to really go into a lot of detail hopefully but the point is its easier to lionize these
young dudes. These only the good die young, cut down in their prime , showing so much promise, with possibly great futures ahead of them types.
Why? 'Cause of the unfulfilled promise mostly. We think wow they achieved so much in so short a span what would they have achieved if they had lived longer? We imagine all sorts of lofty achievements all sorts of greatness ensuing from these cats and it is possible they would have become greater but I beg to differ.
I really think that its also possible that some of these fellows would have crashed and burned, fallen the bleep off. Would have become footnotes rather than the icons they are presently. Is possible n'est pas?
Think about it. If Martin Luther King had lived on, was alive today he would probably be as irrelevant as Jesse Jackson is. Actually Prof Dyson made a very good point at his speech two weeks ago when he said that King had become disliked before his death mainly because of his stance on Vietnam in 68. Its only that the media has crafted his image to reflect his 1963 I have a dream speech and thats the lasting image we have of the man today.
Bob Marley would have probably made some horrible album that everyone hated or tried to fuse reggae and grunge or something and we would be cussing him as a sellout or we might have just said boy your time has past and moved on to more relevant artists.
Same with Malcolm. To be honest I love Malcolm but at the end I see a man with very little in the way of a coherent ideology. In a sense death saved his legacy.
I know people not going to agree with me but thats just the way I see things. Che would have become fat and old like Castro and we might be thinking of him today as some throwback to the old ways not a revolutionary icon. Biggie could have been eclipsed by Jay Z, Pac might have ended up in jail again and could have become a crazy Mike Tyson like figure who didnt know to quit when he was ahead.
The point is dying early without fulfilling their dreams and goals really to me saved some of these guys. Not that they wouldn't have made further useful contributions just that at the end of the day odds are they might not have been placed on the pedestals we keep them on. Not that one can second guess history in a What-if manner but just consider the one's who lived
and how they turned out.
Plus who does the lionizing, the canonizing with these public icons? Is usually the young and the young usually idolize those like them or just older. Ok so Nelson Mandela is a bit of an anomaly in my argument but he spent a few decades in jail. Would he be as big if he had not been incarcerated through those years or would he have petered off into irrelevancy in our thoughts?