Sunday, July 5, 2009

Questionable Sanity During Public Mourning

(Due to the yahoos over there at ESPN constantly talking and attempting to do their own commentary rather than just piping down and letting the God of competitive eating commentary, George Shea, be heard, my inevitable update on the Nathan's 4th of July Hot Dog Eating Contest at coney Island will be delayed until I can find some audio of George Shea sans boring ESPN guys. "Oh, look. He's eating another hot dog. And another. My God, he just ate another. How hungry is that man?" Morons.)

The sudden but not all that shocking recent demise of Michael Jackson has brought the media to a point of practically orgasmic joy and glee. You'd have to expect that with a character like Michael that there would be more rumors than facts floating around, and there are. And it would appear that the media doesn't care which is which. No time to research! No time to fact check! Just publish! Publish! Publish! NOW!!! Worry about accuracy later! Or never! It doesn't matter! We're the media! We write words, ANY words, for a living! Ugh.

And while pathetic and sad on many levels, on the trite scale of sad and pathetic, the media is really blowing over an opportunity to showcase the mindset of the grieving. sometimes people grieve for other people that they've never met in their lives in private. They do so because it makes them seem less like a freak if they just sit at home watching a marathon of The Golden Girls to pay homage to Bea Arthur rather than going out into the streets and sobbing profusely at the news of hisher passing. But folks who feel the need to remember Michael Jackson will have none of that staying at home stuff.

No, those folks are out. Out and about. I think that some are just gunning for a little media exposure that will please no one more than themselves to see that 1.5 second clip of them on the news as they hover over Michael's Walk of Fame star. Some appear to be fairly normal, but they're certainly not acting like it. But the majority of these folks and their "tributes" or their "memorials" are likely borderline mentally ill. They definitely need a hobby or some more friends. (Really, they should have at LEAST as many real friends as they do imaginary friends. And yes, their World of Warcraft characters count as imaginary friends.)

Here we have some shots of Michael's Hollywood star and some of the items left there in memoriam. Behold!

Yep. Because nothing says you care like an angry inflatable panda, some grocery store Jesus candles and two Popsicle sticks conjoined to form a cross. (Much like the Popsicle stick cross you read about in the Bible, I would imagine!) Oh, and the meaningful note scrawled on a piece of cardboard is a nice touch, don't you think? Looking at the photo below, it would appear that individual countries sent their own condolences. Wow, the miracle that is the mail system. Amazing! Look there's Mexico. And Haiti. And Ecuador. (Sure! Michael LOVED Ecuador!) I'm also a BIG fan of the freestanding candles that are just dripping wax right onto the star. (Yes, yes, I am aware that people WALK on them. It's an irony thing. You know, they're supposed to be there to "pay their respects" and I just don't see dripping candle wax all over the thing as very

In that photo above, what is the object that I have the arrow with the question marks pointing to? I can't figure it out. Perhaps it's some replica of one of Michael's ornate surgical masks that he frequently donned in public. (You know. To keep a low profile. Because nothing causes one to blend in to a crowd like overbleached skin and a surgical mask.) If it is a surgical mask, someone had clearly gotten carried away with their new Be-Dazzler. But what is that?

And look at the crowd that has gathered around the star. While I get great amusement from the news reporter guy on the left with the completely perplexed look on his face, the rest of it is quite sad. Seriously, look at those folks. Did they all just come from a state fair? You've got the guy sitting practically right on top of the thing and he's talking on his cell phone. Most likely he's telling whoever it is "Turn on CNN! See if you can see me! I'm right here! Yes! Dead!" But they all appear as if they're waiting around for something. It's as if any moment now Michael himself is going to come bursting up through that star. And they'll be ready for it!

This chap was spotted outside of the UCLA med center shortly after Michael had died. He appears to be paying homage to Michael with the sign and to Notorious B.I.G. wtih his apparel. The thug look. Appropriate for mourning of any individual. I think he's a rather new-ish MJ fan, however. I never would have known, but his misspelling of "Michael" on the sign was what tipped me off. (Hey. Wait a second. Is that one of President Barry's daughters?)

These folks wanted to pay tribute to Michael outside of his Neverland Ranch that he hadn't lived in since 2005. Sure, that makes sense. That's why they got all dressed up to hold candles are the sun goes down. They're not very seasoned vigil holders, otherwise they'd have that little paper disk that goes over the candle that prevents the hot wax from dripping onto your hand and burning the crap out of you. (And nothing's more embarrassing than yelling, "Holy S! That's hot!" in the middle of a silent tribute. So I've heard.)

This artist in Indonesia has painted a picture of Michael Jackson and is putting it out for sale right there next to Osama bin Laden's portrait. (Is that guy below him supposed to be Scotty from Star Trek?) I wonder if he painted that picture after he had seen some of the photos of other tributes. I think he had seen some of them because it appears to be an angry panda on his belt there. He's also painted a look on Michael's face that seems to say, "I'm bad! I think. Am I? Wait. Let me ponder. Hmmm...bad?"

I call this tribute simply "Pic on a Stick". Behold!

See, I just don't get that. Someone felt the need to print out a picture of Michael Jackson and staple it or attach it picketeer style to a stick and go out into public with it. For the purpose of what? Is there a parade later? Will you be the grand marhsall? Is it a puppet show? Are there Macaulay on a Stick Pics for that?

Someone felt it necessary to put their message to Michael on a bedsheet and then use rope to attach it to the walls outside of the Jackson family home in Encino. It's a strange message, let alone a strange message for a bedsheet. But it's one of those examples of how spelling and grammar ARE really important. Allow me to go through the first half of this message (sponsored by Bed, Bath and Beyond!). Ahem....


Isn't it UNFAIR that U had to go cause all the

STRESS finally took a toll? IF u ever HAD

to take medication is to EASE the INTENSE

PAIN that LIES caused U. I only HOPE

that one day JUSTICE will come to "people"

that made U SUFFER.

First, it can't be THAT personal if you're willing to put the message on sheet and then sprawl it out in front of the family home. Outside of the family home that Michael WILL NOT BE AT ever again, might I remind you. Second, it's as if you are blaming him for something when you write "Isn't it unfair that you had to go cause all the...." I believe that the word you're looking for there, Captain Words-A-Lot, is BECAUSE. Third, allow me to introduce you to your friends, the comma and its cousin, the period. Their neighbors, the capital letters, will be along shortly. And finally, by putting "people" in quotes, I can only assume that you're referring to Bubbles the Chimp, correct? Of course. Nice sign.

(Honestly, how full of yourself are you if you think that it is perfectly OK to put your textile based banner there up in front of the family's home. Not just put it up, but use rope to physically attach it to the property? Clearly, that is an individual who has NO concept that things dealing with death are often the same as things dealing with life. It doesn't make it OK to hang a 6'x8' banner in front of a house that isn't yours REGARDLESS as to who did or did not die! It's not OK! Trespassing laws? Still in effect after death!)

The folks below plunked down some lawn chairs right there in the middle of Times Square for the purpose of....I'm sorry, what are they doing? He's dead and it just so happened that they were traipsing through New York that day with their magenta accented lawn chairs and decided to stop for a breather and watch the news ticker? They'd have more fun if they'd go shop in that Sephora shop next door to the ticker if you ask me.

And a Michael Jackson tribute showcase wouldn't be complete without a sand sculpture from the beach in Puri, India! It's Michael Jackson as we remember him. A large floating head that has lost his hat, surrounded by kumquats and, as always, with a dual colored lute off to the side of the head. He was never without that lute! It's so touching. I think I must go weep now. Weep softly for the loss of humanity as we once knew it. Good Lord....

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