I just finished watching what should have been the ultimate celebration of the phenomenon called Michael Jackson, but turned out to be a paint-by-numbers, made-for-TV funeral service for somebody. Except for the words of a few friends and the tears of his daughter, it was so devoid of soul that not even the expected “We are the world” at the end could drum up any magic. A slick choir, a predictable preacher and safe hymns. Windows-wallpaper lighting effects, some automated slides and a few sound bites. There was no connection between the man in the pictures and what was being acted out in front of the screen.
He cut across practically every culture in the world but his epitaph was spoken from an insular soapbox. He revolutionized the music video but his last one was an AV that any trainee editor could have put together in a day. It surprises me that it makes me so furious, but I feel as if a final, irrevocable injustice was done. He never got to make his come-back tour - this was it, his last concert, and they kept him off the stage. The King of Pop should have been moonwalked off it.
They should have probably called the Brits in for this one – the Diana memorials were (are still being) done impeccably. No matter what you think of the reason for it, the event itself is always moving and eloquent and all those other words that the TV channels are already brazenly, shamelessly using for this one.
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