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Everyday Ethics

I asked it before when people were searching for David Carradine’s hanging photos. What makes people so crazy to see celebrities’ post-mortem moments? Now rumor is spreading that Michael Jackson’s autopsy photos are about to be leaked, and the internet is afire with the news.

So, is it innocent curiosity, or…


…are people really sickos?

Maybe there’s a third option. Maybe, when someone was never really real to us in the first place, like a pop icon or a movie star, their passing feels as ephemeral as their glamorous life. We feel a need for concrete evidence that they’ve met their end to prove they really existed in the first place; that they were real people, like us. We’re trying to connect, in some warped way, with the humanity of these celebrities whose lives seemed so far removed from our more humdrum existences.
Or so goes that theory. 
Even if it’s true, I think that the decent thing to do is to get past it, look away, and leave the deceased some decency. While I did say I thought it was OK to keep making Michael Jackson jokes after he passed, I argued that as a matter of avoiding hypocrisy. When it comes to splashing pictures of a mutilated corpse across the world wide web, I think we have to draw the line, morally speaking. He’s got children, parents, and siblings who’ve been through quite enough. Whoever is leaking those photos has no heart. 
To those whose morbid curiosity is driving them to take a peek at Michael Jackson’s autopsy pictures, I say, if you must look, keep a moment of pity in your heart. Keep a spark of humanity in your mind. One day it will be you on the cold slab.
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