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Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Happy Birthday, Elvis. . .Sort Of

My husband is an Elvis Presley fan.  Not a rabid 'would-collect-a-piece-of-his-used-dental-floss' kind of fan, but pretty serious.  He is careful to avoid the hero worship side of Elvis' legacy, but very much enjoys his music and early history.  He knows a lot about the man.

I, on the other hand, sort of get all green and sweaty and shaky when faced with any reference to the 'king.'  It's kind of sad, really. . .he has a beautiful voice and several of his songs are truly lovely.  Some of his early movies are also very enjoyable, and his devotion to his mother was absolutely heartwarming.

So, really, my aversion to Elvis really isn't an aversion to him at all.  It's to some of his more, um, vehement 'fans.'

Some just seem, well, a little over enthusiastic.  And over involved.  And kind of, well, prone to making Elvis an idol.  (and not the American kind!)
It just sort of gives me the willies when people elevate some humans above others.

Don't get me wrong, I don't believe that admiring an athlete or artist or writer or whatever is inherently bad.  But there is a marked difference between appreciating a talent or ability or accomplishment or character quality and just plain deifying a person.

So, though I appreciate those fans who admire and love and value Elvis' ability, talent, and legacy, I am a little uncomfortable with the current vigils and tears and fanaticism of people 35+ years after he died tragically young.

He was a talented, complex, gifted, and flawed human.  Kind of like you and me, really.

And that, alone, makes him worthy of a birthday greeting.

(Image on this page is courtesy of www.publicdomainpictures.net.  You can find it here: Elvis)

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