I heard it was a bunch of elephants that lead the funeral procession for Michael Jackson. I had imagined, if any animals would be involved, it would merely be Bubbles the chimp, standing on the sidewalk saluting as the casket went by -- in the same fashion JFK Jr. did.

I went to get a haircut and the TVs there had the funeral on. I could hear one barber in Vietnamese speaking to a customer. I only understand every 5th word, which was the name “Michael Jackson.”

And it was a sad day for me.

No, not the Michael thing, but the haircut. I have a receding hairline. The last thing I want to do is cut off the hair I have left.

Boy, I miss those times as a little boy, when you looked forward to going to the barber. You’d get a lollipop when you were done. You might get to sneak a peek at the Playboy nearby. But I digress.

I stopped at a friends house. He was mad that all the stations were carrying the Jackson funeral and celebration. He also had a problem with them using the word “icon” even whipping out a dictionary to show me the definition. I laughed. I told him I could understand all the coverage. This is huge news, and a huge event. He was the biggest thing in music, and has been, for numerous decades.

I did find it odd that Al Sharpton did a eulogy, in which he talked about the barriers Jackson broke down and the troubles he faced. Other than Jackson being the first black artist played on MTV, I really don’t know what barriers he broke down.

When the Jackson 5 started, there were already a lot of successful black musicians (one being Sam Cooke, my favorite vocalist of the early 60s).

Sharpton said “Everytime he got knocked down, he got back up.” Well…I’m not so sure about that. After all, those sleeping pills or whatever, knocked him down and he still hasn’t gotten up.

When he was “knocked down” with bankruptcy rumors, child molestation charges…he finally decided to do a series of concerts. And that simple task proved too difficult for him to muster.

I think the only thing he was “knocked down and got back up from,” was his hair catching fire during that Pepsi commercial (gotta love that gloved hand waving to fans as he’s being put into the ambulance).

But the weirdest thing Sharpton said, was telling Jacksons kids “There was nothing strange about your daddy. It was strange what your daddy had to deal with.” Uh…well, there was actually a lot strange about Jackson, from his nose all the way down to his moonwalking shoes.

I thought Jennifer Hudson and Stevie Wonder sounded wonderful. And it was heartbreaking to see Usher break down in tears. Even more so seeing his daughter, who many of us were seeing speak for the first time (gotta thing the kids are going to love to be able to go outside without veils or masks on.

The daughter cried as she claimed he was the best dad in the world. How could you not get choked up watching that?

I caught a few minutes of Mariah Carey singing a duet, when someone called and we we talked about the funeral. They said that Jacksons brothers were the pallbearers and wore gold neckties and one white glove on each hand, along with sunglasses. That’s some off the hook stylin’ they had goin’ on!

I always said when I die, I want them to play The Doors song “The End” or the Rolling Stones “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” But after hearing about these pallbearers, I’ve changed my plans.

I want the band Otis Day and the Knights (remember Animal House?), in gold lame tuxedos. As the casket is lowered they can sing, “Just a little bit lower now…just a little bit lower now…and a little bit lower now…”

The press is really getting hard up for interviews relating to Michael Jackson. On one show the other night, I saw the person that taught Jackson how to moonwalk.

Now, why couldn’t he have taught the pallbearers, so they could moonwalk backwards with the casket (wait…how many moonwalking references is that so far?)

I’ll close by saying, any person that wants to complain about how the media isn’t focusing enough on all the good things Jackson did for charity, or how he co-wrote “We Are the World,” and all of those other altruistic things…well, at the end of the day, I’m just left thinking about the three kids he left behind. All because he was careless with his life and his drug abuse. So it’s hard for me to muster sympathy for anyone but them.

More like this:


Ponzi July 8, 2009 @ 9:57 a.m.

A lot of myths get rooted when celebrities die. Although MTV was accussed of a "color barrier" there were black artists that had videos played on MTV --before-- Michael Jackson, namely Tina Turner, Donna Summer and Eddie Grant.

Not long after Michael's first video and before Thriller, Prince, Joan Armatrading, and the Bus Boys had videos in play rotation.


Josh Board July 8, 2009 @ 10:11 a.m.

Really? That's interesting to know. I just kept hearing...over and over...that Jackson was the "first black artist" to get a video played on MTV.

I sort of took it with a grain of salt, because he really wasn't "breaking down" any barriers.

It's similar to when Halle Berry won an Oscar and claimed to be opening the doors for African-Americans. I found that comment bizarre, as many African-Americans had been nominated well before she had. And back during a time when there really were obstacles they had to face.


Ponzi July 8, 2009 @ 11:14 a.m.

I saw MTV the first day it aired when the Buggles was the first video. I had one of the original big screen projection TV’s back in 1981. In the beginning MTV played videos 24/7 and I would just leave my TV on all the time like most people would a radio.

Back then the videos were basic shot of the bands playing music and maybe in some off costumes or interesting background or set. Nothing more than showcasing their songs.

But with Michael Jackson’s Billy Jean, Beat It and Thriller he raised the bar significantly and set a new standard for videos. He didn’t just sing, he danced. His videos were mini-productions. That is certainly the barrier he broke. Now it was just as important to be pretty as it was to have good music.

MTV and the age of music video also made it more difficult for homely and overweight artists to break out. You didn’t just hear the artist like radio, now you saw them too. They had to dance, have attractive faces and bodies and be able to do more performance art in their videos. (No more Mama Cass’s and Meatloaf’s)


Josh Board July 8, 2009 @ 3:34 p.m.

Well Ponzi, yes and no. It certainly was harder for the ugly musicians. I remember reading a story about how the record label didn't want Christopher Cross (Sailing, Arthurs Theme) on the cover of the album, because he was overweight and not the most attractive. And I'm sure with the musicians being seen, that played a part. But just a small part.

Obviously, Jackson had great production in his video (I mean, homeboy hired John Landis, a filmmaker, for cryin' out loud). But...I doubt Jackson was THE FIRST artist to do videos that weren't just bands like the Pyschadelic Furs and Duran Duran standing their with hairspray and guitars they're pretending to strum.

I seem to recall other videos before Jackson, that had stories that showed more than just the band performing.


Ponzi July 8, 2009 @ 4:58 p.m.

I’m with to Josh. No he was certainly not the first. Elvis, the Beatles, Monkees, Beach Boys, David Bowie and so many more did some fairly elaborate productions for “inserts“, videos to promote their music, before the actual “music video“ in-and-of-itself became popular.

Once MTV launched it made for a fast way for bands to get their music and style in the mainstream. The so-called “English invasion” of New Wave and Synth-Pop like Duran Duran, Peter Gabriel (Shock The Monkey) and too many more to mention would have probably not climbed the Billboard charts without MTV air play. But video also brought us catastrophes like Milli Vanilli.

But, hey weren’t you a DJ or something?

Oh, here the list of the first 100 videos as they were aired on MTV http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_music_videos_aired_on_MTV


Josh Board July 9, 2009 @ 12:47 a.m.

I liked seeing that list. I know all those songs, but geez, most of the videos I can't really remember. And when MTV first came on the scene, I often watched it.

I was surprised, at the YES concert tonight, the keyboard player of Asia turned out to be the keyboardist of The Buggles (first ever MTV video). So, they performed Video Killed the Radio Star. It was cool.

Anyway...back to Michael Jackson.

I just heard the city of L.A. spent millions on everything. Can't they bill the Jackson estate for that?


Ponzi July 9, 2009 @ 9:55 a.m.

Good question. Since they allowed the general public to attend (for free), albeit not everyone was able to attend the service, I think it’s on the taxpayers dime. AEG Live furnished the Staple Center use for free.

Had it been private or for-profit then there’d be a case for reimbursement. I read it cost $1.4 million.

Stadium promoters always claim a Superbowl makes the city all kinds of money from hospitality and tourism, if that’s true I’m sure 100,000 people pilgrimage to Los Angeles for MJ should have had the same effect? (I’m being sarcastic, because personally I don’t believe those Superbowl economics.)


Ponzi July 9, 2009 @ 1:41 p.m.

I wonder which buddy was last to be with Michael J, Bubbles or Brooke Shields? "The Pretty Baby" star was at his memorial but last time they were together was 1991.

Bubbles, when he got too big for Michael, was placed in an animal retreat in LA and later relocated to Florida. Here is the Bubbles story: http://www.cnn.com/2009/SHOWBIZ/Music/07/02/michael.jackson.bubbles/index.html

And in breaking news, Michael Jackson has reportedly left his ex-pet Bubbles the chimp 1.25 million pounds in his will. (Not 1.25 million pounds of bananas, but $2 million US dollars) http://sify.com/movies/hollywood/fullstory.php?id=14898538


Josh Board July 9, 2009 @ 3:17 p.m.

I wonder how much ANY ONE will get in his will, after creditors are all paid off.


Josh Board July 20, 2009 @ 12:51 a.m.

Mindy, you bring a lot of interesting things to the table here.

I seriously think they need to get some laws to keep the paparazzis in check. They are getting so out of control. Of course, they'll wait until they rear-end someone and that person dies, before the laws are changed.

Speaking of Burl Ives, one of my racquetball partners had a long running debate with his cousin, who insisted Ives had died. Then, when Ives finally died, I was reading the obituary in the sauna. He freaked out, saying he needed to send the obituary to his cousin as a joke.

Anyway...I think people would've had more sympathy for Michael Jackson, had he become a crazy freak the way, say...Howard Hughes did. He locked himself in a room, kept his finger nails in a jar, didn't change his clothes because of his fear of germs, and all that good stuff. Instead, Michael Jackson locked himself in a room, with a bunch of little kids!!! This makes all that a lot harder to accept.

I have all the sympathy in the world, for someone that has such abusive parents (I think the mom needs to take some of the blame, as she left her kids in situations where they had to deal with Joe Jackson).

So, they interview the woman who made the glove, huh? How long until she makes replicas that she's selling on eBay? I'm guessing two weeks, tops.


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