Did you hear that? That was the sound of the 24 hour news machine’s erection slamming into the under side of their anchor desk.
You know, say what you will about the man, but Michael Jackson was a consummate performer, right up to the end and beyond. The man never stopped giving and now he has given us one more lunatic circus media event, as an LA judge has ruled that the upcoming involuntary manslaughter trial of his former personal physician, will be televised! My only regret is that Michael can’t be here to dance on top of his car in a surgical mask and pajama bottoms for us one last time. But he knew that he had to go away to give us this one final gift. Now who’s ready for the prosecution’s photographic evidence of the King of Pop’s ashen, wigless corpse? Who’s ready for a t-shirt of it!? You’re god damned right I am!
Of course immediately after the announcement (if not long before in anticipation) network graphics departments whirred to life, news pun writers retrieved their special dehumanizing pens from their exotic, hand crafted boxes made from the hollowed out remains of their dignity. Joe Jackson fired up his bootleg merchandise warehouses and is in the process of flooding the cheap gift shop markets with anything he can glue his dead son’s likeness to. Music licensing prices are as we speak being set and negotiated, and if there aren’t already at least 3 news vans bolted to the sidewalk outside the upcoming trial venue then I don’t know shit about shit.
Now you may say, “But please kind sir, you ever so handsome and well endowed bringer of truth and knowledge, this is certainly no Orenthal James Simpson level trial extravaganza. Where is the star power? The headliner in this trial is long since mulch, with what organic materials that remained of him well on its way to unrecognizable worm bedding.” To which I propose that if you were to crack open the Tomb of Pop this afternoon I am certain you would still have no problem identifying the Head of Pop which, at the time of his death was composed almost entirely of man-made polymers. And it is because he can’t be there to be an embarrassment to the proceedings that he will be the real star of this circus. The unblemished, wholly forgiven ghost of Michael Joseph Jackson will always be present in that court room.
You see, the only thing that we as Americans love more than someone who makes us happy, is when something horrible happens to that person. Sure, the price of celebrity is a high one. The loss of privacy, having every human frailty scrutinized and mocked by the very public and entertainment machine who has granted you your standing in the first place, premature death. But in exchange, most, if not all, of god and man’s laws no longer apply to you. Want to run a red light while drunk and high with a back seat full of prostitutes of every color of the rainbow taking turns giving you the ol’ “back seat driver”? Sorry to bother you Mr. Sheen, on your way then. Would you like free reign to wander disaster ravaged parts of the world, armed and searching for justice like it’s your own little make believe post apocalyptic survivalist play date? Absolutely Mr. Penn, we have a shotgun reserved for you right this way.
Every celebrity that has ever starred in a movie that has grossed more than $200 million dollars domestically is taken into a room where they are presented with a selection of the finest newborns and given their pick of the litter. The child is whisked away as the celebrity is escorted to an immaculately set table where, seated across from the star struck parents of the chosen infant, the movie star is permitted, no, encouraged, NAY, required, to devour the entire baby. This is done both as a direct affront to god himself and as a way of nurturing the celebrity through a ritual as old as Hollywood itself. Jeff Goldblum’s eaten a baby. Shia LaBeouf rarely eats anything but.
So then ultimately, the celebrity’s final sacrifice and reward, is a mysterious, often embarrassing death that can be used to rechristen an often tarnished brand through a white washing of misdeeds with a thick coat of nostalgia. Michael lived his part more completely than most. He spent decades giving of an honest, un-natural talent. And for that a great deal of eccentricity was forgiven. Then, when his deposits were over taken by his withdrawals he was paraded around as the freak and monster that we had all helped him become. Until at last he was granted forgiveness by the masses who wanted so much to just forget how much alcohol he allegedly shared with “minors” on unsupervised date nights in his petting zoo mansion and just wanted to remember that he could make pretty enjoyable music a long time ago.
Over under of the song “Man in the Mirror” being played through out these proceedings: 4.8 million.