I instinctively rankle at the slavering, obsessive media coverage of Michael Jackson's death. But I can't criticise people for being affected by his death. When I heard Princess Diana died, I was annoyed at myself for actually feeling a sense of strange kind of empty sadness. I didn't know her! I barely even knew what she did apart from oppose dresses and wear land mines. I'm a staunch Republican and hate the idea of royalty. So why did I feel *anything*?
I came to the conclusion that it's because the mega-celebrities you've grown up with have just always been there. You couldn't miss them even if you were trying - Princess Diana and Michael Jackson's megastardom seared them into the very conciousness of any child growing up in the 80s. So when they're suddenly not there, it makes one involuntarily think how nothing is permanent, and then reflect on mortality. There's no emotional connection - just a sense of something being different that you never expected. Like an unfeeling, distant echo of a parent dying.
My trickle of thoughts will join the ocean of comment, most of which, it should be obvious, I care less about even than people will care about mine. Regardless of what you thought about him, I think this is the best approach: commemoration through creativity.