Friday, June 26, 2009
The Thriller Zombies Come to Chew on the Corpse
Say what you will about the long and surreal life of Michael Jackson. Most of the circus show tabloid fodder will fade and disappear. This is what history shall preserve - one of the handful of greatest pop albums in history.
To a slightly lesser degree, I would add On the Wall and Bad, as well as the Jackson 5 days, but it's all about Thriller. That album was huge. This globalized, atomized world will never see anything like this again. It was such a spectacular success that it completely destroyed him. I saw the handwriting on the wall 25 years ago. Didn't everyone?
I really don't feel like getting into the whole Michael Jackson thing. The mass media are playing their roles as celebrity vultures, and they've been picking on his bones for the last 20 years. The Michael Jackson that was loved, the boy genius, the pop superstar, the fractured man-child, he died long, long ago. "Michael Jackson" became a figure of myth, a spectre from beyond the grave, cursed to carry the world and the burdens of parasitic fame upon his shoulders. The real human being, that young boy who could sing and dance and enthrall the whole world, is gone.
And now television news will go back to what it does best: mindless celebrity gossip. Anchors will shed crocodile tears while chewing on his bones, all to be broadcast to your idiot box, 24 hours a day, every day. No more worrying about boring, depressing, petty things like the fascist thugs crushing Iran. No more worrying about that young woman who was shot in the chest, or all the faceless bloggers and Twitters and reporters and activists. That's boring. Let's talk about Bubbles instead.
Have I mentioned that the Arctic ice will completely melt in the next four years? Booo-ring!! Get me my makeup! Is this my best angle! Somebody get a crowbar and pry open that coffin! Here it is folks - get this on camera, stupid! - Here it is folks! The actual decaying hand of Michael Jackson! Let's get a close up of this! Where's that glove?! Who's got the glove?! I need more makeup!!
I've never noticed this before, but on the cover of Thriller, Michael Jackson looks so...sad. I'm not sure if I'm merely projecting, but there may be something there. He was a tragic figure, a fallen saint, burned at the stake for the amusement of the dumb proles. And that fate was sealed by the very first time you saw him on a television screen, a million years ago. The boy never had a chance. Buy yer tickets, get yer kicks. You've been champing at the bit for this moment for years. Now watch the Thriller zombies chew on the corpse.