It is a sad day today as Davy Jones, the lead singer of the Monkees, died today. I used to watch the Monkees TV show and liked it almost as much as the Banana Spilts show. Everybody knows Daydream Believer, Last train to Clarksville and so many more. Their music was pop, easy to sing along with, and made you feel good to hear it. While not a band that rose to the top through long nights of gigging in unknown cities, the band were essentially put together in an effort to be the American Beatles. Also unlike the Beatles, they didn’t write many of their own songs, although with Neil Diamond writing I’m a Believer and Carol King co-writing Pleasant Valley Sunday, it would be wrong to suggest that their songs were weak.
Davy Jones was 66. He died of a heart attack in Florida. He was of an older generation, one that didn’t grow up with computers, who didn’t tweet what they had for breakfast and was never caught in a tabloid scandal. He was the token Englishman in an American band. His peers, those who still are breathing and upright, range from those who have long since faded into history, far from the heavy spotlight of fame, to those who still tour today. Maybe the Monkees didn’t make as big a mark as some of those around them but they still had an impact.
While it is a sad day for anyone who has a love of music, it horrifys me how the media, appear to not only reporting the death but looking for tweets from famous people as if some of these people had ever met Davy Jones. What is it about society today that the news is not enough, an interview that is a few years old doesn’t cut it, that we need the opinions of users of twitter. Why not find out what his band members think and feel? Why not interview his wife or two ex wives? He had four daughters, are they not famous enough for a quote?
I am certain that within a week there will be photographs of his death bed online. Those scandal magazines that line the way to the check out in Walmart will claim that he was gay, or had a love child, or was really a woman. TMZ will probably get hold of the death certificate.
Why is it that we can’t simply allow our heroes, faded or otherwise, to die peacefully and have society be not want to know what their list meal was, and who they were sleeping with. I understand that with news at our fingertips media outlets try to outdo each other with their reporting. There was a robbery? Were you in the bank at the time? What did you see? It is no longer enough to report the news. Now we need blurry video, shot on a cell phone, of something that might or might not be interesting. Now we need comment from famous and not so famous people about things they don’t know about and people they didn’t know. Now we have media outlets who believe that those who are famous simply for being famous are worth more time and coverage than actual news.
You can imagine the newscast. “Today a meteor was spotted heading towards earth. The impact will wipe out all life on the planet. The force of the explosion will be enough to split the planet in two and send the moon off into space. But first, here is a video of Kim Kardashian plucking her eyebrows. Not only that but Paris Hilton has just fallen over and we are first with this exclusive interview with the trash can accused of tripping her.”.
Am I the only one who believes that our priorities haven’t so much become twisted as much as having them replaced with the attention span of a goldfish and the willingness to learn of an ostrich with it’s head in the sand. If this is our world today, the future doesn’t look so bright.