Like most memorial services, a bunch of people spoke. Unlike most memorial services, you actually knew who almost all of the speakers were. Rare was the occasion where you had to text your friend and ask who someone was. (And it was a good thing that it was infrequent because the friend usually answered me with a "dummy" at the end of the answer. We're very close.) But the thing about the speakers was that a lot of them didn't have any sort of "real" or currently "real" relationship with Michael. We started things off with Smokey Robinson reading letters of condolence from Diana Ross and Nelson Mandela.
In Nelson Mandela's letter, he wrote "...Michael became close to us after he started visiting and performing in South Africa regularly. We grew fond of him and he became a close member of our family." From what I can tell, Mandela met Michael Jackson maybe three times, the last time being 1999. As far as performing there, he did five concerts in 1979 and eight concerts in South Africa in 1997. I'm not saying that Michael Jackson didn't do great things to help the people in Africa, but I don't know if you can call two concert tour stops over the past 30 years as "performing regularly".
Mariah Carey who, even at a memorial service for the deceased, cannot seem to wear any article of clothing which does not highlight and damn near expose her ample bosom, performed "I'll be There". She seemed to have a little bit of difficulty at parts of the song due to her seeming a bit emotional. But according to US Magazine, "...she worked with Jackson on his 2001 charity single, "What More Can I Give" she wasn't close with the singer." Now, you don't have to be "close" to someone to sing at their memorial service, but you'd kind of think that, in the case of Jacko, that you'd want to have those who were close to him there.
I started to realize that there are plenty of folks out there who say that Michael Jackson influenced their method of performing and it is those same folks who wanted nothing to do with him when he was alive. But as soon as he was dead, there they were all teary eyed and weepy talking about his "influence". Nice.
Then there was Dana Owens, aka Queen Latifah. She was supposed to be "representing the fans who grew up loving Michael from a distance" according to the InMusic.com blog. And she really meant it, too, because she had NEVER met Michael Jackson. (This is pure speculation on my part, but I wonder if they picked "Queen Latifah" because the "King of Pop" needed a "Queen". Sadly, it's the only thing I can come up with that would be "logical" for this scenario.)
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee, who had also never met Michael as far as I could tell, used the memorial service as a highly inappropriate venue for her political aspirations in trying to get a House Resolution 600 passed to honor Michael Jackson. I'm thinking she let the "Jackson" part of her name drive her just a bit too close to the edge of reality there. There are two things that need to stay the hell away from memorial services. Politics is one of those. Al Sharpton is the other.
I loathe that man. He just has honed his speaking skills though. That man can come across as smooth, but not smooth as silk. (It's another four letter word that starts with S though.) He made a direct statement to Jackson's children when he said, "Weren't nothing strange about your Daddy. It was strange what he had to deal with." And I agree with fifty percent of that statement. It WAS strange what he had to deal with. That first part? About nothing being strange about him? Yeah, I'm going to have to disagree with you on that. He was the freaking Mayor of Strangeland.
Speaking of Mayer, John was there. Again, never met Michael, but he could play a mean guitar, so that was good enough I suppose. Fortunately, we didn't have to hear a word out of him, just a little instrumental number of "Human Nature" and then the be-vested John Mayer disappeared temporarily (unfortunately).
Brooke Shields came out and gave a very real and I thought very touching talk. She was back to looking fairly hot again as well. For a while there, she was sporting that Plastic Surgery Gone Wild look. I don't know if her new face had finally settled down on her old skull or if she had a little touch up work done, but she looked good. She talked about her relationship with Michael and what good friends they had been. And while I totally believed everything she said and I could tell that she was very upset over his passing, she hadn't seen him or spoken to him in the past 18 years. It struck me as quite sad because, the way that she described it, they had a connection that could only be understood by people in their position. People who had been in the public eye their entire life and had no idea what it was like to be just a face in a crowd. I don't know why the no contact for all of that time, but I'd guess that his behaviors became more and more "odd" or eccentric and she felt she had to distance herself from him. I'm merely speculating there. And while I wouldn't disagree with that standpoint, I find it sad because her stories that she told made it seem like they had a blast together. (No mention of the chimp, Bubbles, which I found disappointing.)
Stevie wonder performs "Never Dreamed You'd Leave in Summer". He also says "This is a moment that I wish that I didn't live to see come." And, in a way, if you think about it, he didn't. Oh, the irony.
Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant the Rapist came out. I don't remember what Kobe the rapist said and I don't give a crap what Kobe the Rapist said. Why in the hell was he there? Was R Kelly not available? Then, in a moment of just how far some people will sink in times like these, Magic Johnson said that Michael Jackson (wait for it) made him a better point guard. ::: blink ::: ::: blink ::: What now?
Magic also said that "...the greatest moment of his life" was (wait one more time) watching Michael Jackson eat Kentucky Fried Chicken. That's it! STOP!!
The GREATEST moment of your LIFE?? Michael Jackson with a bucket o'bird? THAT was the GREATEST MOMENT? None of those NBA championships? Not learning that you're going to be able to live a full and productive life with HIV? Both of those and many other moments in your life have all been usurped by Jacko and the Kentucky Colonel? Are you freaking kidding me? You're standing right next to a rapist as you spout that crap about some guy who is lying dead in a box in front of you. You're not exactly bursting with integrity there, Magic.
Jennifer Hudson did a hell of a job when she sang "Will You Be There", an unanswerable question before that day because she and Michael did not have any sort of personal or professional relationship either. She's just a chick that was brought in to sing. The most hilarious part about the Jennifer Hudson appearance is that afterwards there was all of the chatter online and in reports as to whether or not she's pregnant. She has declined to address those "rumors". And that's funny how? Here's Jennifer Hudson. Behold!
If you have to ask if Jennifer Hudson is pregnant and you have to keep asking because she is declining to comment, you're a idiot.
No Macaulay Culkin. No Lisa Marie Presley. (OK, that one didn't shock me.) No Debbie Rowe,
breeding sow mother of his children. No Elizabeth Taylor. No Diana Ross. No Quincy Jones. No Emmanuel Lewis. (Hey! I'm not saying that any of these are a great loss, I'm just saying they weren't there is all!) Instead who did we end up with? Corey Feldman, who felt the need to pay his respects by dressing like Michael Jackson AT the memorial service. Behold!
Good Lord. A friend mentioned to me the other day that out of all of the funerals that he'd been to in his life, there wasn't a one where people who were in attendance dressed up like the dead guy. I never have had that experience either! You know why? Because it would be weird! Think about it. You go to Grandma's funeral and everyone there is dressed like GRANDMA! Yeah, that's wrong. Just wrong. (And Corey Feldman in a fedora at any point and time is ALWAYS wrong. Period.)
So there was just a whole lot of nothing going on at that memorial. A bunch of people that the public was aware of, but the public might have been more aware of some of these people that Michael Jackson was. Brooke Shields, who hadn't seen the guy in 18 years, was probably the one who was the closest non-relative to him who was there and who spoke. 18 years and she still gets that designation. That's a sad statement of affairs, I'll tell you what.
And although it was nice of all of the speakers to attend and either speak or perform, it probably would have been a lot nicer for Michael if you had all showed up for him when he was alive. Sure, he was an odd duck to say that least, but to show up at the memorial and act as if he had some place in your life and/or in your existence or career is just pathetic. If he meant so damn much to you people, perhaps you should have let him know somehow.
There will likely be a lull in the Death of Jacko news until the toxicology reports come back sometime within the next few weeks. At that point, according to Liza Minnelli (who would know a thing or two about substance abuse), "All hell will break loose." Sounds good. Stay tuned, won't ye? Sphere: Related Content