My World of Religion, Politics, Entertainment and Social Issues

If you are visiting my blog, expecting to see 'Toward a Progressive Catholic Church,' I have changed my title to reflect my wide assortment of interests. Having retired from my secular job, I hope to devote the rest of my life to my hobbies, ministries and perhaps a part-time job that makes good use of my communications skills. This blog will be designed to address my multi-faceted interests.

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Location: Rochester, New York, United States

I have an M.A. in Theology and an M.Div (Master of Divinity) from St. Bernard's School of Theology and Ministry. I am currently a media consultant and promoter of classical music. I am also certified as an officiant by the Federation of Christian Ministries for baptisms, weddings and funerals and minister independently of the Rochester Diocese. My life has encompassed many interesting paths: broadcasting, free-lance writing, video-production, music, ministry and a secular job in government. In addition to this blog, I have a YouTube site at www.youtube.com/priestray and I have a Facebook page.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Celebrity Complex



Dear Blog Visitors:

For the past few weeks, we have been saturated with news about Michael Jackson.  Like many around the world, I mourned his passing and I extend my sympathies to all the family members, friends and fans he left behind.

While I was not a big fan of Michael Jackson, I did in fact recognize the fact that he was a musical genious.  I recall from my days as a part-time disk jockey at a nightclub in the late senveties and early eighties, that patrons would often request tunes by Michael Jackson, and I was more than happy to honor their requests.As controversies surrounding Mr. Jackson continue to infiltrate the news, I hope in the final analysis, he will be remembered for his talent.  Being a genious can often have tragic consequences, and we saw that with Michael.  He was not alone. 

The gift of creativity can be both a blessing and a curse.  As a person who favors classical music, my heroes include persons who were indeed geniouses, but at the same time, had experienced multiple traumas in their personal lives.  For example, when we look at the lives of Mozart, Beethoven and Tchaichovsky, we see musical triumph mixed with emotions of despair and the pressures of society in general.

In a more contemporary mode, I had huge respect for the late Frank Sinatra. Like Michael Jackson, many stories saturated media outlets following his death. I admired Mr. Sinatra for his multiple talents and his charitable generosity. I was personally bothered by all the attention the media paid to a few of his controversial friendships. In the final analysis, I recognized Frank as a genious and I was very honored to have been able to correspond with him on a couple occasions and get personal responses.

The autographed photo above from Frank Sinatra was in response to the tribute I paid to him on a nightly basis when I worked as a part-time disk jockey. I closed each night's music by playing some of his biggest hits. It became a tradition over several years, and Mr. Sinatra kindly thanked me with this photo. (You will need to click onto the photo to get an enlarged image.)

As we remember Michael Jackson, and all the celebrities who preceded him in death, let us try to see the good in their lives, as opposed to focusing on their faults. After all, none of us are perfect.

Peace to all,
Ray

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