It's been a year since the death of The King of Pop. Do I weep for Michael--the "five"--his eighty-year old mother now faced with raising "his" children, Joe Jackson's lack of income, thanks to the will, from the movie This Is It? No, I continue to weep for Farrah Fawcett--her body was barely cold when the announcement came about Michael's departure--all media and celebrity attention turned to the Jackson Tragedy--Farrah Who??
I'm not cold hearted--it's more lukewarm actually. As a late 1960ish baby, I grew up listening to the funky beat of the Jackson 5...I donned a Hefty Garbage Bag and performed a dance tribute to the freaky sounds of Thriller at the annual MAA Talent Show in 1984...I tuned into MTV each and every time a world premiere video ala The King of Pop debuted...as a fan, I was the real deal. As a grown up, I'm a bit cynical...yeah, yeah, just a bit. But, I still have questions...many, many questions. And, a year later, they still remain unanswered.
- What could this man possibly have done during the day that would require a dose of Propofol to ensure a good night's sleep? Now, I digress...I've never had a serious problem with sleep--my head usually hits the pillow and I'm out. I'll admit I can count on my left hand the times I suffered from occasional insomnia--these were very stressful times. Did the lack of sleep due to stress require Propofol? Nope, not even an Excedrin PM. One night of tossing and turning followed by an early a.m. wake up necessary to get the kids to school meant an early bedtime the following night--and, of course, I never counted out the possibility of an afternoon nap the next day. Can you even imagine what weight this fellow was carrying around on his petite shoulders??
- Where were all of his celebrity fans' sad faces and words of tribute when he was serving a self-imposed exile in Dubai? As of June 24, 2009, Hollywood wanted nothing to do with Michael Jackson. I don't recall anyone reaching out to him. The media portrayed him as a monster/weirdo/alleged diddler of little boys. If I remember life before the King of Pop's death correctly, the general feeling was he was lucky to be free in the Middle East--coming back to the States was not recommended--we didn't want his kind here. Liz Taylor is the only celeb that gets a pass in this department...but, really, lets be honest here--the only freak flag flying higher than Michael's is Lady Liz's.
- Has the Jackson Camp learned anything from the early departure of Michael? Obviously not. How can they parade these children of his in front of the cameras and the public he tried so desperately to hide them from. I heard Momma Jackson in an interview recently complaining about the prospect of homeschooling these kids--no way Jose...Katherine wants absolutely no part of that. Mark Momma Kate's words, come September the Jackson Three will be attending school...the way regular kids do. In an interview today, she mentioned Paris' love for piano--she'd also like to give acting a try...Prince Michael would like to try his luck behind the camera. I've got some advice for Katherine--one--don't let Joe near these ambitious kids...and two, instead march them to the Drama Department of their new school in the fall...Drama Club can serve the purpose two-fold--they'll meet kids with their same interests while at the same time give their love of performing/producing a chance to be nurtured. And, without Joe under the same roof, Mrs. Jackson can give motherhood a try...although she may be in for a shock--things are much different in 2010--something tells me she's going to wish she had done it right back in the 70's when she let Joe rule the roost.
- Do you suppose Mike is haunting the family from the grave...err mausoleum?? You don't have to look farther than the reading of the will to know if he's not haunting them, he's definitely toying with them. None of the brothers and sisters are getting anything--with the exception of Rebe--the oldest and furthest removed from entertainment--she gets the trio in the event Katherine bites the dust. Which should be sooner rather than later seeing she'll probably have added responsibilites she never counted on...most eighty-year-old gals look forward to travel, knitting, and an occasional game of bingo, not to mention the discount a day of shopping will offer on Senior Wednesdays--the phrases Room Mom...Lunch Mom...Field Trip Chaperone...Back-to-school-supply-shopping-list-holder were more than likely foreign to her when she raised her own--she's going to need a crash course this summer before the fall semester officially begins. If ever she wanted to get even with Joe--now would be the time, but I'm sure Joe would have other plans which is why Michael really stuck it to his Dad from the grave.
- Following the aftermath of the death and subsequent burial (and, yes, I'm including the Funeral Freakshow here), am I the only one left wondering if Michael was the only normal one in the family?? In all things Jackson being reported today, the one year anniversary, the tidbit I find most intriguing is the story regarding Jermaine's son...who lives at Katherine's house along with his assorted brothers and sisters and step-brothers and step-sisters...it seems Jermaine and Randy share an ex-bride...and the result are brother/sister/cousins. Sounds like a story out of Tennessee. Anyhoo, the way this story became public knowledge was when Child Services showed up on Katherine's doorstep after Jermaine's kid received a stun gun via USPS that he apparently ordered via the internet...(hello...acting-mother-of -the-year---yoo hoo)...seems the crazy kids wanted to make a movie and this made a perfect prop...I'll bet Prince Michael was the guy running the camera...and I'm sure Paris the piano player was responsible for pounding out the theme song while she doubled as leading lady...not sure of Blanket's part--poor kid doesn't get much press time...Jermaine and Randy's kids along with their mother are moving out of Grandma's house...Child Protective Services says the trio can't remain if the others are there.
- Who would have thought a Michael Jackson Museum would be the economic stimulation Gary, Indiana has longed for?? Poor Ravi Baichwald from ABC 7 News...he must have drawn the short straw...there he was reporting from Jackson Drive and Michael Jackson Avenue in the heart of Gary this evening. Katherine Jackson has had the old homestead refurbished...she made a heartwarming speech thanking the fans for helping her family through the past year's pain (theatre receipts in the billions probably have nothing to do with their coping skills)...the guy who usually hawks shirts/buttons/other assorted crap set up a booth selling all things Michael Jackson. My favorite--the umbrella fashioned with assorted pictures of the odd one. My favorite interview had to be with the fellow who couldn't have been older than thirty-something recalling the evening practice sessions of the Jackson Five in their next-door garage...I could be wrong, but I don't think he was telling the truth--his glazed eyes and slurred speech told another story.
- How long will the remaining Jacksons ride on Michael's dead lifeless coattails?? You could chalk Joe Jackson's hawking of an album at BET Awards/Michael Jackson Tribute in the days following the "tragedy" up to the ramblings of a grieving father--but when the source is considered, you step back and realize Joe was always about making a buck while the the gloved one was alive--why not raise the stakes now that the kid has left to meet his maker. Fast forward a year later when the grieving father files a wrongful death suit on the anniversary of his son's death while the rest of the family is paying tribute via memorial and the writing on the wall becomes clearer to the doubters. The reality show on basic cable featuring the remaining Four never really panned out--no one was ever interested in the back-up singers--they were foolish to think anyone would care now that the frontman was gone. Animal Planet featured LaToya recently as she reunited with Bubbles, Michael's prized chimp...the reaction of Bubbles was priceless...the little chimp wouldn't even give LaToya the time of day...even an animal knew what was going down was wrong.
- When will the circus surrounding Jackson's life/death end? Based on this morning's special tribute to MJ via the rants via the hens on the View--not anytime soon. How super cool that Sheri (I-know-all-things-afro-american)--hey her words NOT mine--Shepard guest moderated as they remembered Michael--where they were when they heard the devestating news (my first guess was working on the show to honor Farrah that would never air)--a heavy discussion on the "poor children" left behind and how after years of wearing masks they could possibly assimilate into a normal life (sadly it was only an hour episode...not much headway was made)--and what a wonderful, wonderful guy he was. And when Sheri informed us via the voice in her ear that Michael actually had a booming low voice--not the high-pitched squeak he often spoke in--she wondered aloud if Michael was "acting"...welcome to Hollywood, Sheri--be sure to pick up a gift bag, I turned the tv off. I wish I could access tapes from the hot topics following courtroom antics in the early '90's...something tells me the gals back then had a much different opinion regarding the alleged child diddler.
The tributes continued all day long and into the night--what a talent--what a loss--with all this love is it any wonder all ticket sales regarding his farewell tour could only be sold in foreign lands. Too bad the love didn't come years earlier--he wouldn't have been forced to auction off pieces of NeverLand and Bubbles would not have been forced to reunite via Animal Planet--he'd still be with his master.
I saw a billboard outside a church today that read "A guilty conscience is the worst hell imaginable"...my guess is Michael Jackson is most likely in heaven--he lived in hell here on earth. And if he's not in heaven, my second guess would be that he might be somewhere in Wisconsin sitting on a bar stool next to Elvis enjoying a drink and laughing his ass off. Wherever he may be, I sincerely hope he has found peace.
Now, Tito--please hand me a tissue.