The Penny

Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.

[Wednesday, July 8, 2009]

Too Strange to Be True

Seriously? Did this really happen? Singing to a coffin? To a COFFIN???

OK, let me just say that I thought Michael Jackson was a great dancer. Phenomenal. Groundbreaking. Of course, I don't dance, so what the heck do I know? I also think he was a very good singer when he was young. As an adult, he was an OK singer. His music was catchy in the 80s and 90s, but you can't argue that his voice was amazing at that time. So recap: good singer, great dancer.

With that out of the way....

What are people thinking?? A choreographed show, with the coffin on stage? Is this for real? I did not watch the whole thing, but having seen clips (Live at the Compound did an entertaining "recap" of the highlights), I was confused and a wee bit horrified. Let me make sure I understand.

-The coffin was on stage (empty, I assume).
-People sang and danced to and around the coffin.
-At one point the stage was filled with children. To celebrate an alleged kid toucher.


I know this is an unpopular position to take, but I can offer no apology. I have a fundamental problem with a herd mentality. I'd rather think for myself.

During his energetic eulogy, Al Sharpton claimed that Michael Jackson:
-taught the world how to love
-broke down the color curtain
-brought the races together
-made "colored" people comfortable with voting
-made us love each other
-taught us to stand with each other

I had no idea.

Sharpton also stated that "there wasn't nothing strange about [MJ]." Now, Al, you're pulling my leg.

Look, I'm not saying Michael Jackson was a bad person. (Al Sharpton, on the other hand, is an opportunistic, racist media whore.) I'm not even saying Michael Jackson would dislike the televised extravaganza. He'd probably get a kick out of it; after all, he apparently liked to start rumors about himself when his name was out of the press. Look, he had a crappy upbringing and became a messed up adult. He crowned himself "King of Pop," which was brilliant branding. He danced and sang (years ago). But really, this is all too much. I don't have a problem with Michael Jackson himself. I have a problem with the way his life, actions, and impact are being blown so out of proportion as to be unrecognizable.

A month ago, he was a washed up, has-been freak--a creepy relic, the butt of jokes. Yes, he sold out an arena for 50 shows in London. Genuine fans + curious rubberneckers = ticket sales. But you cannot tell me that Michael Jackson is not way more beloved now than he was a month ago. Why? I don't get it.

And a word about the media. Talk about opportunistic... Were I a betting woman, I would lay money on the fact that the people currently praising him so effusively would have been more likely to pick Michael apart than to adulate him during said London installation.

No wonder the world accuses us of being a celebrity-obsessed, media-driven country. It's because WE ARE.


Hetha | July 10, 2009 at 4:15 PM

I concur with every word you've written. I watched the think (Ethan and I were sick that day and happened to lay on the couch watching the whole thing) and it was a total circus once Al took the stage. I'm pretty sure that his body was IN that coffin though. Totally.

Annie | July 10, 2009 at 4:53 PM

Ew, you think it was in there? I guess it's possible. Have Fear Factor and the like desensitized this country to creepiness?

Megan S | July 17, 2009 at 11:38 AM

There've been a bunch of sources saying he actually was in the coffin. Freaky-deaky in typical Whacko Jacko fashion. I didn't watch the memorial service. Jacko's been a has-been for almost 15 years, for crying out loud.

You're too right on Al! lol. So true.

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