I haven’t been following the Michael Jackson funeral-a-thon for a couple reasons. One is that I’m accessing the internet through a horrible connection offered by the public library. The library’s asthmatic connection is further strained by the gold-piece collecting efforts of several World of Warcraft players and a girl updating her Webkinz page. Apparently libraries have replaced internet cafés as places to go and not read. For the record, two of the three WoW players are well overweight and should go outside and run around a lot.
The other reason is the absolute hypocrisy that the media is putting us through. For the last decade or so Mr. Jackson was mocked, belittled, laughed at and generally denigrated as a freak show by any outfit you can name. Then suddenly he dies, and it turns out the media loved him all along. The bizarre behavior, the melting nose, financial chaos, the awkward camaraderie with young kids – all forgotten and/or redefined as superstar quirkiness.
Now, it’s too bad he’s dead, but people have gone nuts. This is like Anna Nicole Smith times ninety. They’re going to make a Papal funeral seem like an impromptu clambake.
What seems like an insane ceremony is underway. I’m only experiencing it via the play-by-play updates I see on Twitter, but I’m finding the tweets astounding. It sounds like a circus, with SWAT team escorts and Staples Center and throngs of fans and helicopters and gold coffins – and the best part: LA’s mayor asking for money from Mr. Jackson’s fans to offset the costs of the memorial service they’re putting on.
So, you have the mayor of a city that can’t afford it in a state that is bankrupt, spending a fortune on a memorial service for a musician who just a couple weeks ago was pretty much considered a laughing stock by lots of people.
And they’re asking the very same people who bought millions of songs in the days since his death to cough up even more money to pay for all this stuff. Just can’t beat it.