26 June 2009

Goodbye Michael

Michael Jackson's death was one of those monumental do-you-remember-where-you-were-when-you-heard-the-news things. And this being the modern world, it was a moment that was marked by me flipping open my laptop and logging onto Yahoo. Weird, huh? Kinda takes all the glamour out.

I've waited a few days to post about this because I kind of wanted to watch and see what the reaction "out there" was. And as the reaction was big as I think it should be, I've got to say I don't get those people who's first reaction was to join a big crowd standing outside the hospital where he was pronounced dead and hold a "vigil". I mean what the hell? Did they expect him to resurrect? Or (as I strongly suspect) did they want to be in the thick of things when the news cameras came?


Well I for one think MJ was pretty amazing. He was the first guy I ever had a crush on. In 1984 I got to work "T-Shirt Security" for 2 nights at Mile High Stadium during The Jackson's Victory Tour. I was stationed backstage just a few meters from where all the Jacksons arrived and got out of their limos for the show. As they all got out in their sequined jumpsuits I kept thinking, "Is that him? Is that? Is that?"...But when the Michael got out of the limo there was no mistaking him. He had the most amazing aura I've ever seen on a human being. And I'm not saying that because he's just died. I've told this story to friends many times, and that's what I always remark on: It was like this HUGE cloud of white light emanated from him. Later one of the roadies got me these plastic wrap around sunglasses that he had been wearing and I smelled them over and over again like a smitten teenager. And yes, those would be worth a pretty penny now if my dog hadn't eaten them a few years later. I never believed all those allegations of pedophilia. I think he was literally a little boy inside and incapable of intentionally hurting anyone. Inappropriate and weird? Yes. A predator? Not at all.

So anyway here are what I consider the best Michael Jackson Tribute videos. They are both done by 1500 inmates of the Cebu Provincial Detention & Rehabilitation Center on the east coast of Cebu Island in the Philippines. The first one was a tribute they seemingly choreographed in one day after MJ's death. I cried like a baby watching it (yeah, I'm a pushover for sweet sentiment being dramatized by the criminal element). The one below is their version of Thriller which they apparently did a while ago. It's got everything Thriller should have: spot-on choreography, prison-issue coffins, and an erstwhile Filipino LadyBoy playing the love interest. Enjoy.

P.S. Just had to add this one too:



Lilacspecs said...

The guy was eccentric at the very least, but he had an extraordinary amount of talent and an amazing ability to perform. I think it's sad that he never got the sort of help he probably needed.
Mostly I hope his kids turn out okay. He did an amazing job of protecting them from the media and I hope they don't get bombarded now. I hope they all get to stay together and go to a home where someone loves and cares for them.

Diane said...

Great videos...really!

Suzy said...

The first time I saw the original Thriller I was so blown away I bought the CD. Good thing, they're sold out everywhere.