Wednesday, July 08, 2009

The Michael Jackson Memorial

My earliest Jackson memory was that he was, in the first part of his solo career, referred to as the Prince of Pop in the press. He wondered why he couldn't be the King of Pop, which was considered musical blasphemy since the only "King" then was Elvis. But over time Michael became The King of Pop. Either that or Prince the singer was all, "Yeah, I don't THINK so. Get your own fucking name."

This is not a happy peppy review because I don't do happy peppy. This is wonderment how addicts like Elvis, Heath Ledger, Chris Farley, John Belushi and Michael Jackson get deified in the face of all the people who loved them and turned a blind eye to their addictions. But as an addict myself I know one thing, the only person who could stop me was me.

I have no idea how they pulled this memorial off. It was a testament to the Jackson Family's attention to detail and perfection that created the Jackson 5 in the first place. This family was driven and disciplined and it accounts for their enormous fame. And pain.

But the event was over-staged to clearly allow Michael's memory to resonate in a positive way. LA shut down FREEWAYS and we usually only do that for white Ford Broncos. We are, after all, the second largest city in the United States.

There was a plea couched in a speech from one of America's most loved athletes, Magic Johnson, who told a very funny story about having dinner with Michael. But then he went on to mention the aunts, uncles and cousins the 3 Jackson children will now have to play with, the subtext telegraphing that Michael's children belong with Jackson's mother. They know full well that California law will likely give the children to their bio Mom unless they can prove Debbie Rowe is unfit.

The only thing Reverend Al I'mAlwaysScreamingAtSomeone Sharpton did was screech about Michael changing the rules for black people on MTV. Fine, but dude, dial it back an octave. And Lionel Richie, pack it in. I can't look at that mustache for one more minute. And John Token White Guy Mayer, your 15 minutes was up 2 years ago. Mariah, stop already with the hand gestures and the boobs falling out at a memorial. We're seen them. Many many many many many times.

A Democrat from the House of Representatives was called to the podium and emphasized that in the U.S., you are innocent until proven guilty. Talk about out of left field. Brooke Shield's speech was lovely and touching but highlighted that the PRESS GOT IT WRONG about her and Michael's relationship. As in, "everything you've ever heard about Michael has been wrong."

I tend to be cynical about things that don't seem to originate directly from the heart but come with an agenda. I know they miss their brother and son and I'm not saying they didn't love him, but this was a commercial. A positive spin on what the future should hold for these 3 children. No one knows who Blanket's mother is. Are you fucking kidding me? AND STOP CALLING HIM BLANKET.

The last vision of Michael's daughter Paris crying, saying her Daddy was the best Daddy in the world and that we had no idea how great he was as a parent was a questionable decision and Janet Jackson hustled her off stage immediately afterwards. People blasted Sarah Palin for parading her Down Syndrome child before the RNC and only time and reviews will decide if allowing Paris Jackson to speak had the same effect on people. I've been watching TV all day and they've repeated this little girl crying over and over and over. The exploitation is ironic in that Michael never allowed them to be used by the media. We didn't even know what they looked like.

I watched the NBC special on Dateline and one of the saddest things was Martin Bashir saying as Michael was growing up and realizing he was starting to resemble his father, the father who beat him constantly, that's when he started the skin bleaching and excessive plastic surgery. If you look like your abuser, you don't need to see That Man in The Mirror every day. Michael once said, in an interview years ago, that it's not IF a parent loves a child, it's how that child remembers that love. That seems to sum up what happened to Michael. He didn't remember his childhood with a lot of love.

This is what I will take from his life and leave the rest to karma. In a one hour interview on a radio program, Michael said, "If you're surrounded by negative people, get rid of them. You can never succeed with them around. What you think is what you become."

That is good advice, no matter who he really was. R.I.P. Michael.

28 comments:

  1. "it's not IF a parent loves a child, it's how that child remembers that love."

    Wow. How true.

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  2. I felt bad for being so cynical when Paris spoke. It felt like that moment was such a "show" the way they were telling her to talk into the mic and then grabbing her and smothering her afterwards.
    I think she was speaking from her heart but the family made it less so.
    I watched part of Dateline Friday night and caught that part about the surgery and whitening to erase his father's features and thought that was incredibly sad.
    I've only seen snippets online and on tv - didn't get a chance to sit and watch it live.

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  3. well done, Suzy. well done.

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  4. You did sum up a lot of my thoughts very nicely!!

    Your last thought was the best about surrounding ourselves with positive people!!! Just so hard to find positive up beat people. I stay away from the negative which leaves few to really hang out.

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  5. Oh good gravy Marie, Suzy...you fookin rock!

    Every word a gem.

    Peace - Rene

    weird that the word verf is Mical

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  6. Very Well said and written :-)

    I too had to scatch my head when they led Paris up there and said "Speak up Baby"...hummmmmmm

    Bottom line the 3 children did lose their dad and I do feel sorry for them ... what lies ahead...

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  7. Very nicely put. But if you are responsible for Mariah putting her boobs away I will never forgive you.

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  8. Michael Jackson's dead?!

    (nice post, red chair stealer)

    Boss O xxxx

    (friggen word verification is back!?)

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  9. Incredible talent...sad life.

    Selling tickets for a funeral though? Come on.

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  10. Suzy will be speaking for me today.

    Oh and you know what the code word for me today is on your page? Menses. What the hell is up with that? I haven't had a visit from Aunto Flo in 25 years. Tell her to stay home and swim in her own pool. ;)

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  11. I'm so glad I wasn't able to watch the memorial. I have enjoyed reading your description of it much more than I would have enjoyed watching it.
    Negative people will suck the life out of you, Michael summed it up well.

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  12. Wow! Your post was absolutely perfect - exactly what I've been thinking about since he died, but have not been able to put in to words so eloquently.

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  13. I didn't even watch that mess yesterday, but I completely agree with every thing you said in your post. From the everyone else's agenda parts to the poor little kid that became a very talented, yet troubled man. Your post was flawless in how it captured so many facets of so many lives and injustices, and perceptions.

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  14. Word verif is 'rabings', how close to the word 'ravings'...

    So true, Suzy Soro, thank you!

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  15. thx suzy... and amen to mj's comment

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  16. Okay - he's in the ground now, right? Can we just be DONE with it?

    God, I hope so.

    Let me know when it's safe to turn my TV on again, okay?

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  17. Suzy,

    That was a wonderful post. Funny, thoughtful, and eloquent.

    I just love ya to death...

    P.

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  18. Best summation of the mess and god-awful spectacle I've read. I felt like Paris was the only authentic and "real" words of the whole mess. I hope whoever ends up with the kids acts in their best interest. But I'm doubtful. Hope I'm wrong. Joe is probably already planning little Blanket's career.

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  19. Easily the best summation, hands down.

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  20. I didn't watch the event on tv; I like your "take" on it, though. And after seeing the kids' photos and videos splashed all over the media, I, too, thought it was sad. After M.J. devoted his life to keeping the kids' identities private so they could have a hope of going about their lives without a posse of papparazzi following them, here they were being spotlighted and photographed and filmed and... exploited.

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  21. Anonymous10:42 AM

    Goddammit, I loved your post. So bloody real. "tend to be cynical
    about things that don't seem to originate directly from the heart but come with an agenda." Me too honey, me too. And this whole Jackson thing is typical of the bullshit that is spoonfed to us daily. As for your point about the daughter....how true is that. Never seen until now, and suddenly plastered universally on every television and website that's working. Disgusting disgusting disgusting. "Is nothing
    sacred?"

    No.

    Braja

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  22. Jesus, woman that was a fantastic and fascinating post.

    You are one shrewd, no bullshit woman who knows what she knows and why she knows it.

    Awe-some.

    I don't know why their aren't 50 comments or even 100 comments here. Seriously, Its that good.

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  23. feels like the end of an era to us. Mysweet was sound crew chief for him during the Bad Tour. We had just met...it was odd watching the memorial, such a mix of crap and sincerity (cheers for stevie wonder, Mr sincerity himself...)
    His children already seem to have been fed into the publicity mill and will doubtless be ground small, poor things...

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  24. I'M BACK!!! My computer!! It's fixed!! Yes!!

    OK I've calmed down now.

    Well hell, it's been THREE FREAKIN' WEEKS.

    And just so you know? I'm gonna copy and paste this comment and post it on all the blogs I visit....:))))

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  25. Oh, and yeah, that Anonymous was MEE!!!!

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  26. Well said- I didn't watch any of it. I like to remember the black boy I was in love with and how cool he was with that glittery glove grabbing his junk on stage. I heard the little girl on the radio- i cried, but not just because of what she said but that yes, you could hear her being coached in the background. I'm just surprised Janets nipples didn't come out as the finale!

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