Sunday, June 21, 2009

Michael Jackson and a Choir of Young Children

I told you there would be new weirdness surrounding Michael Jackson's upcoming concert series in London. There is! And it's weird all right! And if it's not weird, certain aspects of it are at the very least, extremely questionable. Not much of it sounds like a good idea. But let's begin!

Every performer who puts on some sort of concert usually has a theme for the show. It seems to often center around whatever the 'theme' is of the most recent album that they've released is. (Are we still calling them 'albums'? I know CDs isn't right because we're kind of past CDs and onto MP3s. But are they still albums? Please advise.) As you can imagine Jacko's theme is centered somewhere in the middle of his swirling universe of disconnected reality. But you can decide after reading the headline from over yonder across the pond at The Telegraph: "Michael Jackson Issued Demand for Choir of Children." Ewww. Oh, and what the hell?

What now? Swine flu? Seems that Michael needs the "choir of children" for his performances. (AT THE CONCERT! Try to focus!) In an email that was sent by Michael’s promoters to the casting agents, they requested a group of children for the show and "...that the group should be made up of “exactly equal” numbers of black, white, mixed-race and Asian children." Because we have to be fair even during a comeback tour of a pop music super icon? I'm not thinking it's that so much as it is that Michael's just weird. Maybe weird is too harsh of a term. Damaged. He's definitely damaged.

So he wants a whole bunch of children to surround him while he's on stage? Is he going to be able to remember to sing? That seems awfully distracting for him. It'd be like a fat guy on stage surrounded by pizzas, wouldn't it? If it's not distracting for him, I think it might be a little bit for the audience. Especially since, according to the specifically worded email, "...the child choir must comprise singers ranging from five to 13." So, parents....are you going to let your five to thirteen year old child participate in Michael Jackson's comeback tour child choir? They'll get to be on stage with him! He might spend a lot of time with them! I'm sure there will be sleepovers in the hotel and all kinds of fun! Egads.

Now, he doesn't want to be surrounded by just any equal numbered, wide selection of varied races of singing children. Oh, no, not Michael. Not only should these children know how to sing, it's imperative that the group "...should include six marching snare drummers who must be “young adults, clean-cut and of mixed ethnicity”. Because he's going to launch into some sort of comeback production number of The Little Drummer Boy as well? Snare drummers? Who needs six snare drummers? Who needs one snare drummer?

Michael does. He needs six and he's serious, as the email also stated "They must be real drummers so please do not waste our time suggesting people who are not.” Do people DO that? Send in drummers that aren't real drummers? That seems like a futile effort. I'd like to see those auditions. ("You're the snare drummer?" "That's me!" "OK. Here. Show us what you can do with this." "What is that?" "It's a SNARE DRUM! NEXT!")

So what does he want exactly? A bunch of five to thirteen year old children who are of different races with each race being represented by the same number of children so that they can sing onstage with him. (Is he starring in a new Coke commercial? Is he teaching the world to sing for his comeback tour?) He also needs nicely groomed, young adult snare drummers to compliment his underaged choir there. It seems like a lot, but I think it's do-able. Oh, wait. I was wrong. No, it's going to be a pain in the ass because there's also " insistence that every child can do sign language."

Sign language?! At a music concert?! They don't have Jumbotrons That would be the Sign Language formation of WTF.over there in London? He can't have the words on a screen like one big karaoke night?! Why does a five year old who can sign need to know sign language? Who is going to be able to see them signing anyway? Have you ever seen a five-year old child's hand? It's approximately the size of a golf ball. You'd never understand what he was saying or gesturing or whatever it is. Are you kidding me?! Of course not. Because we're talking about Michael Jackson where nothing makes sense...until you remember that it's Michael Jackson and then, oddly enough, it all makes sense.

But even with the Michael Jackson disclaimer, would it make sense if I told you that the folks over at the extreme British tabloid The Sun were reporting a bit more in depth on a rumor that Jacko had also wanted a "disabled child" to appear with him on stage. They're saying he is "...looking for a child who is missing limbs or in a wheelchair to appear on stage with him at his O2 gigs." Um, wait. What now?

Yep. The Sun is saying that Jacko's promoters sent another email to "....London casting agencies asking for a kid for a film. But a source said it’s a decoy to stop tour secrets leaking." While that could be a possibility, the decoy part, I'm thinking that they could have come up with something a little less twisted and bizarre to serve as a decoy! Throw Brooke Shields back into the mix! Where's the Home Alone kid?! I think just about anything would be better than saying that he's on the hunt for a limbless youngster. It's really just in bad taste all the way around, true or not. Besides, what if the kid they find has no arms? How are they going to do all the sign language? I don't think they thought this one through!

I could cite a story from a one Daryl D who writes over there at The (and has some pretty interesting tidbits from his source(s) that I haven't read anywhere else. Good stuff!) and delve into how he was originally schedule to perform the song "Dirty Diana". Shirtless. But for reasons which we should all just be thankful of regardless as to what they were, that segment of the concerts has been scrapped. Whew! Had me worried there for a minute. (Had me screaming there for a minute , too. Good Lord, could you imagine?) But I'll just skip over that for now because there are a couple of other things that he's going to need as well. Hopefully they won't be as difficult to obtain and secure and the children will (strictly figuratively speaking). Yeah, he's going to need an elephant. I'm not kidding.

My eyes! My eyes!
Again, our friends over there at The Telegraph tell us that Michael plans " make his entrance on an elephant and have panthers led on stage on gold chains." ::: blink ::: ::: blink ::: Of course he does. You think he's just going to stop at an elephant and what would appear to be more than one panther? No way. He's come this far. No sense in going ahead with everything unless he can "...engage the services of 100 Masai warriors for the 50 gigs in July." Masai warriors? From Masai?! I mean, Kenya. From Kenya?! But wait! There's more!

In addition to all of the warriors and the panthers and the elephant, he is also said to be wanting, "...snakes, tropical birds and three monkeys for a set that will have a jungle, circus and weather theme." Of course he does.

What happened to Bubbles? Wasn't he a monkey? No, he was a chimp. Chimp. Monkey. Does it really matter? If you're at this concert, you're not going to know where to look or what to focus on. Michael Jackson. An elephant. Panthers. Gold chains. Masai warriors. Disabled children. Underage children. Sign language. Snare drummers. Parrots. A monkey. A snake. Another monkey. Bubbles the chimp. Emmanuel Lewis. Brooke Shields. Harry Houdini. A tornado. The rainforest. PT Barnum himself. I think it's entirely possible that people's heads could really explode!

Seriously, what happened to Bubbles?
According to the paper, "He hopes to make it the most spectacular gig ever. For the jungle section, he wants to ride out on an African elephant with panthers led on gold chains. Parrots and other birds will fly behind him. If it goes to plan it will look incredible." Oh, I guarantee that the whole spectacle will be just that. It will be spec-tacular. But I'm not so sure that it's going to be in a good way. Just out of curiosity, these parrots and "other birds" that will be flying behind him? Yeah, how's that going to work? Birds don't tend to get in line and "fly behind" people. This isn't Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs meets Mowgli and the Jungle Book, you know. Has he not heard of props? Mechanical....things?

But naturally, since animals are involved, we have to hear from the Captive Animals Protection Society and their director, a one Craig Redmond, who said: "Exploiting animals in this way really is a thing of the past and not something that someone like Michael Jackson should be doing." Who should be doing it? (By the way, speaking of all of the exploiting of the animals, where does one get a panther to lead an elephant on a gold chain these days?)

Mr. Redmond added, "It would My God, how did I forget about Elizabeth Taylor?be like a circus act – a practice opposed by most people in the UK – and we are appealing to him and his management not to spoil the show by using animals." Why, yes. Yes, it would be like a circus act. It's Michael Jackson. Hence the term "circus act." He is a circus act! But don't you worry, sir! I can pretty much guarantee that even if he uses animals in his show, it's pretty much a given it will not "spoil the show". It's going to be spec-tacular. (And I'm not necessarily referring just to the talent that I know that Michael once had and maybe he still does. I don't know. I just know that if people are entertained by the oddity that is experienced when Michael just ventures out into public to buy a new hyperbaric chamber to sleep in, imagine the entertainment when he gets to orchestrate his appearance! Getting rid of the elephant won't stop the "circus act" from occurring.)

Did we not think this was odd at the time? I think we did!Eccentricity is fine. But when it takes you to a place where there is no relief from said eccentricity, you're kind of just a step or two away from full blown insanity, really. I mean, how realistic is all of this, really? It doesn't seem to be very much so at all to me. His first concerts are about a month away. And he's just NOW trying to secure an elephant?! That seems like something you'd have wanted to put your deposit down on a long time ago. Don't these creatures have to be tamed and trained to do things? Oooh! Maybe four of the animals that he comes up with can be taught how to sing and he can sort of impromptu some Jackson 5 stuff! Like the Country Bears Jamboree! It'd be just the same as the real Jackson 5. Only with animals and it would sound nothing like the Jackson 5.

Good luck with all of this Michael. Maybe someone will put a call out to Macaulay Culkin and see if he knows how to beat your snare drum (no pun intended). Maybe that'll help. At the very least, it'd probably make him feel better.

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Eat One said...

See...the good thing about MJ is that he doesn't try to disguise his creepy-ness AND he doesn't discriminate.

What did we REALLY think he would do? Be normal? Have adult back up dancers, pyrotechnics, mature content? He is running a three ringed circus...not for the children for his own damaged self. But, who doesn't like when the circus comes to town?

I would pay to see this trainwreck.

Enjoyed your blog!

Anonymous said...