July 7, 2009

"It was an unbeLIEVable motorcade. I mean there were 3 Rolls Royces — FIVE Rolls Royces in it. 3 Escalades."

Yes. I'm watching the Michael Jackson Memorial. Isn't everybody?

12:15 CT: ABC takes us to the "service." Smokey Robinson is stumbling through reading condolences from Diana Ross, Nelson Mandela, etc. Now, nothing's happening, and the ABC newsfolk decide maybe that wasn't the service already beginning. So let's question Martin Bashir, the documentary filmmaker whose work led to Michael's arrest. Yeah, great to see you, Bashir. You're certainly welcome on this occasion. Bashir rambles, and Charlie Gibson interrupts with the assertion that Michael Jackson "probably had the singular greatest influence on the music business over the last 25 years as anyone." "Singular greatest influence"? Shouldn't that be "single greatest influence"? And if he was the single greatest influence, what do the words "as anyone" mean at the end of that sentence? Can't anybody talk anymore?

[I'll update this some more later, with a DVR assist. I can't sit in front of the TV all afternoon.]

UPDATE: It's 9 p.m. now, and I've fast-forwarded through the show, pausing occasionally. I listened to a bit of Brooke Shields talking about going out on dates with Michael when the 2 of them were teens. I listened to a bit of singing by Stevie Wonder and Jennifer Hudson and much of the "We Are the World" extravaganza. And I cried when the young daughter paid her tribute and broke down. Exploitative? I can't say it's not, but still...

101 comments:

John Burgess said...

Watching it? Why, no!

Wishing it were already five months over? Most certainly!

Kylos said...

No.

The Crack Emcee said...

Sorry, Ann:

I got a life.

TMink said...

Nope. Not interested.

Trey

Salamandyr said...

I hope they paid their carbon credits.

Methadras said...

Nope. Not watching it and frankly I just don't care that much anymore. There are more important things in the world to worry about. It's not like we are burying DaVinci or Kennedy. He was a talented and yet highly disturbed man who was incapable of coping with the issues in his life that manifested themselves in the bizarre behavior we had the misfortune to witness throughout his adult life. It's sad he died this way, but he really joins a cadre of other sad figures in recent history/memory that have died the same way.

Frankly, I wonder how many millions the city of LA is dumping into this circus, which they don't have and I also wonder how much the Jackson family is chipping in. What do you want to bet it's zero on their part?

traditionalguy said...

Man born of woman is like the grass in the fields which withers and dies. So long Michael.

Beth said...

No.

Kev said...

(the other kev)

So, how much money is the city/county/state gonna net from this circus? Maybe dead celebs could get California out of the red!

rhhardin said...

John and Ken will cover it live starting at 3pm Eastern over at KFI, coverage which is likely to be mocking. Let us hope so.

Crimso said...

No. He's still dead. I'm working on lecture notes. If zombie Michael leaps out of the coffin and starts moon-walking and break dancing with an army of zombies behind him, that I'd probably feel compelled to watch. Life imitating art is always compelling.

rhhardin said...

What will women watch? That's always the question in the media.

Meaning their usual women, a large and idiotic tribe.

peter hoh said...

Not watching here.

no634 said...

Nope.

JAL said...

No.

ricpic said...

The strange and horrible heros of the underclass strut their stuff.

jayne_cobb said...

I'm watching major league lacrosse.

Triangle Man said...

You have a TV in your office?

NKVD said...

I was working, had the radio on, the liberals were mocking the event and its attendees.

Now I am in the house, have the tv on, and what a bizarre mess that thing is.

I am going back to work. The hokey bullshit can carry on without me. I'll never remember where I was when I heard that Michael Jackson overdosed.

Marcia said...

"greatest influence on the music business over the last 25 years"

Leaving out Gibson's verbal stumbles, this is still a ridiculous statement.

25 years ago was 1984. Thriller was huge then, but after that, nothing that could be called remotely influential came from Michael Jackson.

If you're talking about influence on the actual music, I'd say Kurt Cobain has had a lot more lasting influence in the last 25 years than MJ. So did Madonna. Michael Jackson sold a whole lot of albums, but he didn't take the world in a different musical direction. (He did take MTV to the big stage, but that impact has faded over time.)

If you're talking about the business part of "music business," then Steve Jobs has had a bigger impact than Michael Jackson.

In short, he was a huge star. But huge stardom and great influence are not the same thing.

Clyde said...

Plagiarizing my own blog post from about a half-hour ago:

I'm watching the Jackson coverage, and they just showed some politicians being photographed on the red carpet. It seems to be a very "L.A." kind of thing, very Hollywood. I think that many of those people aren't necessarily going to the shindig to remember Jackson but to benefit their own publicity. They've all got an angle, something to sell, something to shill. The circus is in town and the carnies are swarming. It's simultaneously unseemly and fitting, and I doubt that it could happen in such a way anywhere else.

And a golden casket! What, did they think he was the Boy King?

Where's Steve Martin when we need him?

Now, when I die,
Now don't think I'm a nut,
Don't want no fancy funeral,
Just one like ole King Tut.


Greta and Shep are talking about empty seats in the arena. "There wouldn't be empty seats like this at a Lakers game," said Greta. To which I quipped, "The Lakers had a better year."

Lem said...

Charlie Gibson?

The Palin interview Charlie Gibson?

I cant post what i have to say about him.

Pogo said...

"Funeral pomp is more for the vanity of the living than for the honor of the dead."
Francois de La Rochefoucauld

John Stodder said...

So, how much money is the city/county/state gonna net from this circus?

It's a minus number.

BigFire said...

unfortunately for me, this so co funeral go through my daily commute route. I was lucky enough to get to work before they shut down the freeway this morning. I can only cringe for the people downtown having to deal with the 'fans'.

ironrailsironweights said...

You want a truly unbeLIEVable motorcade, see how President Kadyrov of Chechnya travels. And it's not even a real country.

Peter

Mark Daniels said...

"Yes. I'm watching the Michael Jackson Memorial. Isn't everybody?"

No. Just took a break from work to see what you were blogging about.

Robin said...

I wonder whether the cops and firemen working this detail will be paid in IOUs?

Pogo said...

That's a lot of sham wealth being flashed around.

It deserves a sham wow.

AllenS said...

Some of us sent you money a while back, so you would watch this crap for us, and then comment.

Pogo said...

I'm sorry I missed it; I had to wash my hair.

Bill White said...

"Singular greatest influence" - you add syllables to superlatives to make them superlativer.

Original Mike said...

Could. Not. Care. Less.

Blue Collar Todd said...

What is truly sickening is that there is going to be a Congressional resolution to honor Jackson.

veni vidi vici said...

"Singular greatest flatulence"

Describes Charlie Gibson's verbal talents quite well, I'd say.

blogless said...

I am not watching either. I'm convinced (hoping) that the majority of Americans are as appalled as I am. I think the media knows that too, and is trying to rile everyone up by covering it the way they are.

Jeremy said...

Man, I could have swore he died sometime shortly after the Dangerous album. Next you're gonna tell me that Mick Jagger is still kicking around somewhere.

-The Other Jeremy

Pogo said...

Not riling them up, preaching to their remaining viewers, the ones who do in fact give a rip about fool's gold or its interment.

Freeman Hunt said...

Also no.

Freeman Hunt said...

But holy cow, FIVE Rolls Royces--dunno how I resist tuning in.

Ron said...

Lem -- Let's have Palin make a speech at Charlie Gibson's funeral!

I want Our Bloggeress to give MY funeral oration in front of my flaming Viking Longboat, where I'm decked out like Wagner's Parsifal with The Clash and The Ramones playing in the background while all these Grumpy Gus commenters moonwalk along the shore!

All on YouTube, of course!

Escalades and Rolls Royces, my ass!

essaybee said...

One of my co-workers actually went to LA from Sacramento over the weekend to see the circus. Her husband wanted to go because a friend of his wanted to go because he was a huge MJ fan.

So off they went, 4 SUVs full of families. They went to disneyland and magic mountain and drove by MJ's mom's house. She showed up at work yesterday wearing an MJ memorial t-shirt, and said she wished she had bought more MJ stuff while she was down there!

rhhardin said...

John and Ken wonder at 3:04 Eastern time ``who this screaming lady is.''

The question of the minute is whether MJ is really in the box.

Pogo said...

I hear the MJ memorial Underoos are big sellers.

rhhardin said...

"This is radio hell that we're in right now.''

BJM said...

Just what TV needs; more mindless dreck and empty hero worship.

I wonder how many fallen heroes of Obama's "right war" were buried today?

john said...

I heard on the radio that the Jackson family was driving to Staples with his casket.

I can see this turning into the "MJ Farewell Thriller World Tour!", or maybe the "World Ghost Tour". For sure, that family will not put him in the ground until all possible revenue is wrung from this.

At least they won't have to worry about his body decomposing any more in death than it did in life.

rhhardin said...

For Nixon's funeral, Nixon wasn't in the box. He arrived by regular mail several days later.

srfwotb said...

You got me to take a look.

Anyone else find themselves wishing Michael would somehow make an appearance to liven things up? The Jacksons' gloves are a nice touch.

A resolution on the Congressional Floor which would do... what... exactly? Have him declared a legend? What does that mean? A MJ day? A Holiday? Or is that more along the lines of some meaningless twaddle that one passes to be polite at such times?

Looking away now.

mccullough said...

How much stimulus money is going to this funeral? Is Michael's casket shovel ready?

Joaquin said...

Not just no, but hell no!
I'm hearing a rumor that MJ is going to be buried sans a brain.
There's a scarecrow joke in there somewhere.

MadisonMan said...

Not watching.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I'm listening to the Ron Artest tribute song to MJ and I just have a question.

Is it impossible for rappers to do even a tribute song to a dead celebrity without inserting motherfucker every third or fourth stanza?

Just wondering.

Celia Hayes said...

I'm not watching it either ... the whole thing just seems to be monumentally vulgar, and tacky beyond words. Suitable to the way he seems to have lived for the last twenty years ... but I'm just not interested a freak show. I'll go to Etiquette Hell to get my fix of rich, vulgar people behaving badly.

That or the next White House press briefing.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I chuckled when the 'Reverend' Sharpton remarked on how MJ broke the color barrier. I mean MJ turning white and all.

Leland said...

So the "death" tag is another way of saying you don't have a life?

Not watching. If the RRs start street racing, doing drifts around corners, then maybe I'll tune in to see how the Escalades cope.

Issob Morocco said...

Hawaii Five O marathon on MeTV in Chicago has my attention.

AllenS said...

The last time a death was this big of a fuss, was when that other white girl, Princess Di, died.

Alex said...

I agree Palin should say something "small town hokey" about this extravagance. Middle America will eat it up.

TitusItisRainingYetAgain said...

How can anyone watch that crap?

Enough, already.

How long are we going to have deal with all this.

I am afraid to turn on my tv.

LarsPorsena said...

AllenS:
"The last time a death was this big of a fuss, was when that other white girl, Princess Di, died."

Post of the Day. Automatic nominee for Post of the Week.

rhhardin said...

Crowds are reported as surprisingly small. There's more people downtown for a Lakers game any night.

Have the media lost their touch?

A wave of revulsion has commercial possibilities too, after all.

TitusItisRainingYetAgain said...

Now if it was Madonna I would be suicidal but that bitch will live to 100.

DADvocate said...

I'm sorry MJ died. I wish he would have lived to be a forgotten old man, or at least remembered as a child molester and mediocre talent he was. I've avoided any news concerning him.

Pogo said...

"A wave of revulsion has commercial possibilities..."

Dramamine can help.
I prefer the newer non-sedating formula.

TitusItisRainingYetAgain said...

Was Madonna there?

She does sympathy incredibly well.

What was she wearing?

Something amazing, natch.

Nichevo said...

It's on where I am, I'm not watching it. Just came in from the pool, why would I be inside moping over some guy?

As for the funding, they can make that up by selling Pedo Pops. The first two flavors can be Jesus Juice and Glitterade.

...Look, I'm sorry, he means nothing to me. What can I tell you?

Oligonicella said...

I'm with the group here. Looks like you're in a definite select few.

john said...

I second Lars. AllenS - that was priceless.

In other news, excitable Andy (of the All-Sarah-All-The-Time blog fame) has studiously avoided the MJ story. That's too bad, as MJ's grave site could probably use an eternal flame of his quality.

Mark Daniels said...

"For Nixon's funeral, Nixon wasn't in the box. He arrived by regular mail several days later."

No doubt with an eighteen-minute gap in what was left of his conscience.

TitusItisRainingYetAgain said...

OK, I just watched a part of it where Jennifer Hudson was singing because I like her.

The choreography behind her was awful.

ricpic said...

Compared to the vomit in the White House Nixon was a titan.

Jeremy said...

For giggles I was listening to We Are the World on the ipod. iTunes Genius picked Queen's The Show Must Go On to follow it. That's fitting.

-The Other Jeremy

TitusItisRainingYetAgain said...

Nixon was a man in integrity and dignity.

Now we have a commie in the White House.

How far has this country fallen?

What's next?

Fags getting married?

Crimso said...

"A resolution on the Congressional Floor which would do... what... exactly?"

Distract them so they have less time to do any more damage.

section9 said...

What's the over and under on Jackson ending up.....

....in HELL!!!!

section9 said...

Dammit, Titus!

Leave Nixon out of your fantasies.

Those rumors about him and Bebe Rebozo were all lies!

Lies, damn you! LIES!

Anthony said...

Some poor intern had to bear the brunt of my rant a few minutes ago as CNN was in full ALL MICHAEL ALL THE TIME mode.

Fred4Pres said...

Michael who?

He is still dead, correct?

Okay, just worried that a zombie or werewolf attack might be coming. Oh yeah, his brain is missing. Either way we are safe.

But Al Sharpton and Joe Jackson are still out there.

Dan said...

The loss of Billy Mays had more current day cultural significance than the loss of MJ.
I would wager the average consumer of American culture would think Spiderman when they saw MJ, BTW. That's how little Jackson mattered to post-millennial America.

Joe said...

Should we mourn the deaths of self-destructive personalities?

Methadras said...

Chad Vader in Darth Vader voice: I have two fingers. Now I have four fingers.

Methadras said...

TitusItisRainingYetAgain said...

Now if it was Madonna I would be suicidal but that bitch will live to 100.


She already looks like she's 100.

TitusItisRainingYetAgain said...

Corey Feldman thinks he is some sort of "star" again for a brief moment.

When is he getting into gay porn anyway?

jpr9954 said...

I'm surprised Obama didn't declare a national day of mourning given the way the press has treated this like a State Funeral.

paul a'barge said...

not watching

jr565 said...

I iust hope they don't cremate Michael. Because, I'd guess, all that burning plastic would be harmful to the environment.

jr565 said...

Is MJ being buried with the red Thriller jacket? They should make the body up to look like his zombie character. And when people walk into pay their respects, they should play the opening of Thriller.

Deb said...

Was that today?

Penny said...

I turned it on when Brooke Shields was giving her thoughts on her friend, Michael, and I was seriously moved. We really don't have a clue what it must be like for children thrust in front of microphones and cameras, and just how hard they need to try to be the kids they are. I was already feeling weepy when a stage full of people sang "We Are the World", and that song ALWAYS makes me cry. By the time his ten your old daughter, Paris, took the microphone to tell everyone how much she loved her dad, well then I cried right along with her.

RIP Michael, and much love sent to his young kids, and those feeling great pain in their hearts for the loss of their son, brother and friend.

onparkstreet said...

Walking in the hospital today, I saw televisions in a waiting room tuned to the images. The waiting room was empty. I kept walking by, into a hall filled with hesitant patients looking for the correct floors, busy interns, food service workers pushing carts. Gleaming polished floors, people moving, the sounds of the television behind me.

I am genuinely sorry for his loved ones. There is genuine sorrow. For this, I am sorry and wish only peace and respite from the grief.

However.

The media freakout is embarrassing and insane. We deserve better from our media. Perhaps this all some dastardly plan to say, "if you don't provide us with government subsidies, see what you will get?"

Goodness.

rhhardin said...

John and Ken cover Bubbles, real audio.

Penny said...

It really is a media freakout, but can we blame them?

I don't mind that they cover events like this. I don't mind that they MILK events like this. They are broke, with the rent due, and with lots of "kids" to feed, whose faces turn to them when they go to bed at night feeling scared.

The prostitute's kids never ask where those Cheerios came from, until they grow up and need to put something on their own kid's breakfast table.

What's not to love about that Sugardaddy and that Sugarmomma, Peter?

Perhaps you would prefer Never-Never Land, Peter Pan?

Your Government welcomes you with open arms.

Penny said...

Everybody's selling something, and most of us are buying exactly what is for sale.

The very LEAST we can become are friggin', bitching customers.

M. Simon said...

Jesse Jackson died? It is news to me.

NKVD said...

It was $omber, $piritual, $trange and total freak $how, just like the dead guy. Except the $piritual part.

Rob said...

Vanity, all is vanity.

Chris Althouse Cohen said...

I found that statement from "his" daughter quite convincing. I believe he was not a pedophile, or at least didn't act on it if he was.

But did you know that Michael Jackson is being buried without his brain?

Joe said...

What is it with damn sunglasses?

NKVD said...

Good question - I assume the whole lot of them are on drugs.

Methadras said...

Chris Althouse Cohen said...

But did you know that Michael Jackson is being buried without his brain?


Well, at least he is now zombie proof.