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Friday, July 10, 2009

Ruminations on Michael Jackson

So a friend of mine who rarely watches TV and is not really into popular culture asked me recently who Michael Jackson was and why everyone was making such a big deal about him dying.

I was saddened by just how many nuggets of wonderment my friend has missed out on and gave him the following list so he'd be up to speed on all that made MJ the King of Pop. Now, for your reading pleasure, I present said list to you:

1. Michael was the first man ever to walk on the moon. Later he incorporated this experience into his dance moves.

2. MJ's father, Joe Jackson, was a popular singer in the 70's and 80's with such hits as "Steppin' Out" and "Breakin' Us in Two".

3. The Gloved One (and only one) wrote the sequel to "Alice in Wonderland", which he called Neverland.

4. Michael Jackson was a child star on 70's TV show "The Jeffersons". He was just "Dyn-o-mite!"

5. MJ was the cousin of hockey great Bo Jackson, the nephew of that girl Victoria Jackson (who used to be on Mad TV), and the brother of Randy Jackson from American Idol (he's the mean British one).

6. Michael's first band, the Beatles, broke up after Lisa Presley and he married. She alienated Michael from other band members, and most of his writing during the period of their marriage did not live up to his previous work. Michael and the Beatles finally patched things up after Michael dueted with Paul McCartney on "The Girl Is Mine", a song about Madonna, who they were both in love with.

7. In the 90's, Michael was fond of smashing car windows while simultaneously, uhhh (how to put this delicately?), "treating his body like it was an amusement park". (See Neverland)

8. He was the inventor of the Commodore 64 computer. Or wait - scratch that. I think he was an original member of the Commodores. Yeah, that's it.

9. More recently, MJ got in trouble when in Europe he decided to dangle a blanket over the railing of his hotel room balcony. It's still not clear to me why this was such a big deal. Rock stars trash their hotel rooms all the time, so why can't MJ throw his bedsheets around, even if OFF the balcony? The media is so weird.

10. In 2005, while performing "Walk This Way" with Britney Spears at the Super Bowl, there was a wardrobe malfunction when Britney accidentally ripped of Michael's pants, revealing MJ's "Man in the Mirror" to an international television audience, for a few brief seconds. Multiple obscenity complaints and legal battles between ABC and the FCC followed.

As I explained to my friend, those are just a few of the myriad reasons why his passing is of such tremendous import to America.

***To ensure accuracy, all facts verified via Wikipedia.