Celebrity Deathwatch

Wow, it’s been a while since my last blog update! Been so very very busy. Sigh. Lot of stuff to cover.

First, it’s gotta suck if you’re Farrah Fawcett, Ed McMahon or Karl Malden. Not only are you dead, but you died pretty much the same time as Michael Jackson, so no one is going to take note. Not even this blog.

I was looking through my blog archives for any mention of Michael Jackson. On Dec 31, 2007, I rode a camel in Egypt named Michael Jackson. On Jan 6, 2006, one of those computerized photo matching services told me I look similar to MJ. On Sep 7, 2006, I mentioned how Adam Ant once gave MJ fashion advice. On Feb 1, 2007, I showed you the Indian version of the video for “Thriller”. And on July 25 of 2008 I mentioned that I had watched the Michael Jackson biopic.

What I didn’t mention, and what I’d expressed to friends at the time, was that I had been utterly convinced of Michael Jackson’s innocence with respect to all the various paedophilia charges against him. He simply struck me as an odd, naive fellow with more money than sense, and with a weird fascination with his own lost childhood. I doubt if he’s had more than two sexual thoughts per year in his adult life, and probably never acted on any of them.

A funny thing happened after his death was announced. First, much like the unrest in Iran, MJ’s death finally brought some relevance to Twitter. Second was the mindblowing outpouring of grief, both live and online. MJ reflections dominated the Twitterverse, Facebook and pretty much every blog I frequent. I know people who were moved to depression and tears.

It’s weird. Michael Jackson was only a few years older than me; I consider him to be of my generation. I grew up with his music since the 1970s. But his death, while tragic, really didn’t move me much. However, the people I know who have been the most affected are those under 30 years of age, who reached social awareness well past Jackson’s glory days. I’m not sure what this means, but it must surely mean something.

One Facebook comment really pissed me off, though. I don’t have the exact quote in front of me, but it was something to the effect that, “Why is the world obsessing over a dead paedophile? Have all the wars, rapes and injustices in the world been solved? Why is this news?”

This comment was objectionable on so many levels. First, Michael Jackson was never found guilty of any of the charges against him, so it’s unfair, incorrect and possibly slanderous to refer to him as a paedophile. Second, since when is “news” only “wars, rapes and injustices”? News is anything that is new and that people seem to care about.

What the commenter really, and obtusely, doesn’t get is that Jackson’s death (and life) were transformative events for a great many people in the world. Spontaneous expressions of genuine, public emotion, unspurred by media, are rare in our modern times. We should embrace them and indeed revel in them.

The Other Ray sends us the following video of the history of Moonwalk:

While we’re at it, here’s the best Moonwalk I’ve ever seen:

And Brother Bhash sends us some well-timed Michael Jackson death jokes, ’cause it ain’t the Internet age unless someone crosses the line:

Jockeys at tomorrows horse meetings will wear “black” armbands out of respect for Jacko, who rode more 3 year old than anyone in living history.

When Farrah Fawcett arrived at heaven, God granted her one wish. She wished for all the children to be safe. So God killed Michael Jackson.

Out of respect, McDonalds has released the McJackson burger, 50 year old meat between 10 year old buns.

Q: Why did Michael Jackson die on the same day as Farrah Fawcett?
A: He didn’t want her to be the only white woman grabbing all the headlines.

Toxicology report is out. It seems Michael Jackson died from an allergic reaction after eating some 12 year old nuts.

Michael Jackson died of a heart attack? What did he do, walk into a room full of pre-schoolers?

That’s all for today.