The King of Pap died? I must have yawned and missed it.

June 27, 2009

You’re kidding me, right?

Grown men crying at the death of Michael Jackson?

Grown white men?

Grown straight men?

Again: You’re kidding me, right?

People, the guy hasn’t even used his own face for the past, what?, 35 years and his passing is plastered across the global media? Here in New Zealand, not one, but three commemoration services are planned. What can I say? It’s winter. Our brains have frozen.

I can hear my future grandchild now:

“Gramps, what did this Michael Jackson fellow do to become so popular and famous? Cure cancer?”

“Uh, no?”

“Bring peace to the Middle East?”


“End the recession and find you a job?”

“Actually . . .”

“So what was with all this wailing and weeping and general silliness when he died? Was he the second coming of Christ?”

“Well, Bitemymoko the Third, he might have liked to think of himself in those terms. In reality, he sang. And danced.”


“And that’s it.”

“You’re kidding me, right?”

“My sentiments exactly.”

“That’s it?”

“That’s it.”

“People really are stupid, aren’t they, Gramps?”

“You have no idea.”

I had no use for Michael Jackson. King of Pop? More like the Joker.

He was Freakshow Incarnate and I’ve always liked my music gods to be a little more, oh I don’t know, normal. And by normal, I mean diddling teenage groupies not little boys.

Truth be told, I can’t think of a single song of his that I didn’t detest.

See these teeth? Cut on rock’n’roll. Sixties rock’n’roll. Singers who make high-pitched noises like their shorts just shifted and squeezed a testicle are not now, nor will ever be, on my iPod. I have standards. They’re low standards, mind you, but I have them nonetheless.

If you told me Bruce Springsteen or Tom Petty or John Fogarty died, I would shed a tear. Michael Jackson? Meh.

Oh, sure the guy had talent. I can admire someone for their skills without leaking bodily fluids at the sound of their name. His dance moves were exceptional (I once tried to moonwalk and fell on my asteroid) even if his voice scared horses.

A music god? A legend? An entertainment icon? Am I the only person in the entire world who didn’t drink the Kool-Aid? Or mainline the Demerol?

I remember where I was when man first walked on the moon. When JFK was assassinated. When Team Canada won the Summit Series. When I first heard that Elvis and, later, John Lennon had died.

Where was I when Michael Jackson died? That was only two days ago and I’ve forgotten already.


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