Tuesday, July 07, 2009

So I caved and watched the Micheal Jackson memorial service

First off, let me establish my credentials, or lack thereof, in regards to how I relate to Micheal Jackson.
  • I own a copy of "Off The Wall".
  • I was amazed by his performance on the Motown special when the moonwalk was unveiled.
  • I never bought "Thriller"; never needed to because everybody else did and I still heard every song over 100 times.
  • I saw "Captain EO"
  • I thought "Bad" was okay.
  • Between the kinda overblown-but-mediocre music and increasingly bizarre behavior, with or without actual convictions, that followed, I kind of tuned out after that and kept up with his exploits almost entirely via jokes.

By 1989 or so, he wasn't someone I could really relate to on any level. I liked him for a long time and then he got too weird for me. I think that lands me real close to smack dab in the middle of average when it comes to opinions on him. So while I wouldn't classify myself as a fan per se, I still recognize that he's my generation's Elvis. There's no debate over who's bigger or better; when it comes to pop cultural impact, it's Elvis, Micheal Jackson, Muhammad Ali and the Beatles (collectively, not as individuals) sitting all alone on the top of the mountain. So I felt like I had to watch.

For the most part, it was very nicely done. Sadly, the aspects that were tacky symbolized showbiz at it's absolute worst. CNN's coverage leading up to the ceremony was clownishly over the top, consisting of pundits topping each other with anecdotes that sounded more Paul Bunyan than Micheal Jackson. Too many people who you just know wouldn't have accepted an invitation to have lunch with Michael Jackson two weeks ago went to great pains to be seen outgrieving each other. And any time Al Sharpton, whose main connection to Micheal Jackson is that "I'll Be There" is the song he sings to himself whenever a media opportunity presents itself, shows up on my television, I feel the need to hose it off with Lysol afterward. But when the whole thing wrapped up with a little girl crying over the loss of her father, surrounded by her aunts and uncles...well, how does someone not relate to that?

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