Watching the funeral of Michael Jackson was more sobering than I expected. When it started, Alec & I were talking about how kick ass it would be if he popped out of his casket with fireworks exploding to the tune of “Thriller”, pulling off the ultimate comeback. The ’68 Comeback Special would have been surpassed. I was expecting more of a Cirque du Soleil casket diving service. However, that did not happen. MJ’s comeback was never realized.
I wouldn’t call myself an MJ fan. I’m a child of the late 80’s & 90’s. I didn’t grow up with the Jackson 5, I don’t remember the debut of the Moonwalk, but I did see the first broadcast of “Remember The Time” on Much Music, I bought my copy of “Dangerous” and I was witness to the demise of a musical genius. Now, I have witnessed his funeral.
The world watched as his sell-outs family, friends and colleagues said good bye. Al Sharpton yelled at us for a while – I guess that’s just his way, announcing “there was nothing strange about your daddy” (addressing MJ’s kids). Dude, MJ was a whole encyclopedia of strange, that was an applause grab. Smokey Robinson felt the need to pontificate on how he wrote “Who’s Lovin’ You” and I was about done when people seemed to make the funeral their own platform – and yet I couldn’t stop watching. I was mortified to see the children MJ had gone to such extreme lengths to protect were paraded on stage.
MJ’s brilliance & effect on musical history cannot be denied. Watching the old clips of the Jackson 5, one has to wonder “what the fuck happened?”. Seriously. The cute, talented lead singer of one of the first boy bands grew up to be, arguably, the worlds most eccentric citizen.
I’m not sure how he got from here to there, perhaps one of the first casualties of the American Celebrity Machine? Todays celebrities have someone to balance them or at least balance the crazy. I mean, Lindsay’s got Britney. Zac’s got Leo. Winehouse has…uh, put her on the watch list of next most likely to be gone too soon. But who did MJ have? Bubbles? Who would’ve had the guts to say no to MJ during his formative years? I think the douchebaggery of Joe Jackson is well established, his brothers didn’t have the kind of talent MJ did, his mother didn’t seem like the disciplinarian who could have reined him in.
A classic tale of too much too soon? Having no limits? I don’t know. An entire dissertation could be dedicated to Michael Jackson.
I do know that I felt sadness for what his life had become. I feel for his children, and hope I don’t see them again for a very long time…or at least until one of them decides to write a book. MJ seemed to have a tortured spirit, one that had seemed to have seen too much and yet lived so little. I do hope he has found some rest.
My little one dancing to Stevie Wonder’s tribute
PS – Why the fuck was LaToya wearing a black lampshade?