Who is the most famous man in the world? Indeed, who is the most famous man in history? There are many, many candidates, but, at this time, one comes to mind who really, really, really should not be there.
Whom do you think is the most famous man in history? Most would say Jesus Christ. Others, more topically, might say Barack Obama. The founders of various religions, come to mind: Prophet Muhammad, Buddha and so on. However, there is one man whose fame outshines them all - and whose fame really should not, at all. I would like you to think about who that man might be.
To decide this question, we first need a measure of fame. There is one that researchers into fame have come to agree on: the number of hits, on a search of the person's name, on Google. So, we will use that.
How many hits does the name: "Jesus Christ" get from Google? Well, on the 3rd July 2009, at 10.50 pm my time, in Singapore, it received 48,800,000 hits. That is a very respectable number indeed and does show that Jesus Christ is still uppermost in many people's minds. By comparison, the film star Ewan McGregor
received 3,170,000 at the same time. Ewan, while famous, is no Jesus Christ. Even Tom Cruise received only 28,400,000. So, quite happily Jesus Christ is more famous than Tom Cruise (though, perhaps, the great Scientologist
would dispute that).
So, is Jesus Christ the most famous man in history? Let us look at Buddha. He receives 29,100,000 hits. That is somewhat more than Tom Cruise - but rather less than Jesus Christ. Then there is the Prophet Muhammad. Here, though, we have a problem in that many people might be speaking of him, in Arabic and that won't appear in my search results. Thus, the results for Muhammad will be an understatement
since most of the activity will not be in English. This, perhaps, explains the relatively few 2,760,000 hits for "Prophet Muhammad" in Google.
Can we find anyone more famous than Jesus Christ? He has, in English, beaten the leaders of other religions...he has beaten one of the world's most famous film stars: who could be more famous than him?
Well, one name comes to mind: Barack Obama. A search on Google reveals an astonishing 102,000,000 hits for that name, meaning that Barack Obama is more than twice as famous as Jesus Christ, by this measure. Perhaps that is a reflection of the almost messianic quality he has and the fervour many people show for him. It is, also, because he is always in the news, as "leader of the free world".
So, is Barack Obama the most famous man in the world? Well, I thought so, except that a little suspicion came over me. There was one more name that I wanted to try.
This name had, at the same time as the other searches, 120,000,000 hits. So, there is one person more famous than Barack Obama, making this person, in fact, at this time in history, the most famous person on Earth and in history (though this fame may not endure). Can you guess who that person is?
Michael Jackson is now the most famous person on Earth, according to Google.
Now, that is really something unpalatable, in my eyes. You see, the question has to be asked: is a man who wrote songs and danced to them, really deserving of being almost three times more famous than Jesus Christ? Or over forty times as famous as the Prophet Muhammad in English? What, exactly, makes Michael Jackson more deserving of our attention than the founders of the world's great religions? It is absurd. Michael Jackson's fame is completely absurd.
Michael Jackson's significance
, in real terms, is dwarved
by Jesus Christ, Buddha or the Prophet Muhammad - yet he is, at this time, more famous than any of them. All he did was create rather simple songs and dance to them. That is all. His songs are not particularly
complex, not particularly
indicative of great musicality (to my ears) - as music, in fact, they are outclassed by the works of many dead European composers. Yet, Michael Jackson is feted, in death, as if he were God himself. Frankly, it is both silly and disturbing. Yes, it is sad that a man who had so many plans, should die before achieving them. However, it does not merit, in any way, the 24/7 attention by the news media, he has received since his unexpected death. The only kind of death that WOULD merit that kind of response is that of a great genius, the founder of a world religion, or a humanitarian
who had improved the lot of millions of his/her fellow humans. A song and dance man does not merit this kind of response.
There are those who call Michael Jackson a "genius"...well, to do so, is to kind of forget the nature of the contributions
of true geniuses in music and other areas, in the past. The work of true geniuses is, always, of greater richness, complexity, depth and value than the entire body of Michael Jackson's works.
However, nothing I say will make any difference to the avalanche of eulogies and praise that has followed his death. I have no doubt that the attention will roll on for many more years to come. The whole global population will be steadily brainwashed into believing that the death of Michael Jackson is one of the most significant events in the 21st Century - and that the world will never be the same without him. Yet, none of the media manipulation
will alter the bare facts of the situation: a song and dance man, of some skill, but not one of the world's "great geniuses" has died, somewhat before his time. That is all.
Of course, Michael Jackson deserves a fair measure of fame, simply for being one of the world's best selling "artists"...but he does not deserve to be the most famous person in history. That is ridiculous and, in a way, reflects how shallow modern society has become, that it should elevate to the position of "most famous" a man of such relative insignificance
, in the great scheme of things. Were we living in deeper times, with people who had higher standards for what they regard as important, Michael Jackson would have received, for one day only, a brief mention, in the middle of most newspapers - and then they would pass on, having said all that needed to be said. However, in these shallow times, the death of a creative minnow, has resulted in a whale of a response. Indeed, the response, in some ways, seems more of an entire ocean, than a single whale.
Watching the endless publicity attendant on Michael Jackson's death, I was left to wonder how did the world treat the death of someone who had truly made a significant contribution
: Albert Einstein? If you, my reader, were alive at that time and have memories of Albert Einstein's death, could you comment below about what the posthumous publicity was like? Was it as great as now Michael Jackson is receiving? If not, something is wrong with the world...for if a person of truly significant achievement receives less attention than a song and dance man, it says, most clearly, that the modern world doesn't know what is truly important (or that they didn't know in the 1950s).
Memories of Einstein's passing, below, please...if you have them.
(If you would like to learn more of Ainan
, a scientific child prodigy, aged eight years and seven months, or his gifted brothers, Fintan
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Labels: Buddha, Google, Jesus Christ, Michael Jackson, modern fame, President Barack Obama, Prophet Muhammad, shallowness of the modern world