Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson 1958-2009 (RIP)

I don't know what to say... two pop culture icons lost in one day. I was leaving for the movies when I first heard the news (then but a rumor) so I'm just catching up now. Like many pop stars Michael Jackson wanted to be in movies and the Peter Pan obsession in particular was one he never shied away from expressing. His Steven Spielberg / Peter Pan project never happened -- well it did but without songs and without Michael Jackson and in a different form altogether -- and neither did the movies. But, like Madonna, he was a mammoth small screen star by way of the music video.

And a mammoth star in general.

I can't say that I was ever a big fan and the sordid tabloid problems turned me off as much as anyone but it was hard to live through the 70s or 80s without having some connection to his work. Here are four of my favorites from his oeuvre. I'm not claiming they're necessarily his best but they're four that mean something to me personally or bring back vivid good memories.

And finally Liberian Girl and Leave Me Alone. I include these not because they have special significance to me but because they perfectly illustrate Michael Jackson's obsession with celebrity in general and the family he found in other celebrities. There are tons of stars in the first video (including Olivia Newton John & John Travolta "acting" together!) and it's dedicated to Elizabeth Taylor, the lone Jackson obsession to which I can fully relate. She's one of the true immortals. La Liz also factors heavily into the second video.

Madonna's statement...

Well said.

Suggested reads
Towleroad have you heard Jay Brannan's sung tribute? It's beautiful
Arjan Writes is shocked
Roger Ebert has a great piece
The Disney Blog remembers Captain Eo
fourfour Rich is as readable as ever
If all the shit that he went through couldn't knock Thriller, Off the Wall, Bad and, to whatever degree, Dangerous and HIStory out of our hearts, minds and asses, a little thing like death isn't going to, either.
Scanners investigates the mask and the problems with adult stardom
IFC Daily collects the web obits
Gawker collects the headlines. God, the NY Post is an embarrasment
A Socialite's Life collects the celebrity reactions


Anonymous said...

I think I'll stick with Eberts tribute over this.


yeah, it's a goodie. Thanks for the recommendation.

Mike said...

I know there have been some made for TV movies(all of questionable quality), but I have to wonder how long it will be now until we get the full Oscar baity Bio Pic



that would be so controversial. I imagine playing him well would result in an Oscar nom for sure though.

Derreck said...

yikes indeed.

Not to speak ill of the dead, but would they use two different actors to play him through his adult life or just makeup? because he did have a drastic change of appearance throughout the past few years.

plus, there's not really much info out there to really produce a movie. His life was shrouded in tragic mystery. But lord knows, now that he has passed on, the basement will be opened and all sorts of allegations, rumors, and secrets will come pouring out..

Mike said...

they'd probably just sugar coat the whole thing and have Ron Howard direct.

Andrew K. said...

I hope everyone just lets him rest in peace. There will be absolutely no benefit in revisiting old news/wounds/pains &etc. There is no point of a post mortem after a death, lead the dead die.

Lily said...

I just hope he rests in peace. His music influenced so many people and so many artists. He was a MUSIC ICON and I really liked his performance in The Wiz.

Chris Na Taraja said...

I went to see THE WIZ tonight at the city center, and they announced that he died and offered the show in his memory.

He was the scarecrow in the movie version of THE WIZ. Though the film has it's problems, Michael was really great in it.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, I know this is a film site, but I think it would've been better if you had not written anything and just posted your favorite video or something or even showed a clip of his performance of the Scarecrow in The Wiz.

I don't care what you thought of him as a person or even if you didn't like his music. But you CANNOT DENY his influence over the music industry and over many artists that you probably listen to. He was a musical genius and it is a sad day for ANY music fan. Not to say Liz isn't immortal, but it is kind of in bad taste to state that in light of the King of Pop's death.

RIP Michael Joseph Jackson

Anonymous said...

I hate the fact that he wanted Whites to accept him soo much and they are the ones that believed the stupid tabloid rumors and the molestation charges from the extortionists.

I'm officially done with this stupid site. I will never give this site another fuckin cent.

Your beloved Madonna is in tears. All you can write about is Elizabeth Taylor.


pan's weed said...

um........didn't he touch little kids.

Anonymous said...

No he was found innocent shithead.


Jake said...

Wow get a grip people. Oh, and the attacks and shoving words down other people's throats is getting old. KTHXBAI!

pan's weed said...

he was found inoccent by fans. You must of touched kids with him.

Anonymous said...

He was found innocent by a fucking jury only the racists are the ones who believed he was guilty, because it was never proven , but it was proven that the extortionists lied to get money multiple times.

The greatest artist of all time!

When are you going to do it!


Pissed me off.


Nate said...

Yeah, I agree this is a pathetic tribute.

M try not to get upset, I know you are angry and this is a terrible loss to the music world, but there are better ways to get even. I have shut down blogs before.

I rather not because I do like Nathaniel, but a lot of his readers are bigots they will do anything to tear a Black person down. Yes, he was found innocent and the accusers had a history of lies, but in the end Michael just wasn't White enough.


Nicole said...

There is no proof of MJ's molestation charges. He could've been innocent or guilty.

BUT there is full fledged proof that Elvis sleeped with underage girls. No one is attacking him.hmmmmmmmmmm

I for one would love for this blog to get shut down. Anna Nicole had a better tribute than this.

Nicole said...

Or should I say had sexual intercourse with underage girls.

pan's weed said...

elvis Presley is a douche. Never knew what was so great about him. Some drug addicted scumbag. He died on a toilet for god sake. He flew on a airplane just to get a sandwhich. Anyway, Why is nathaniel not responding to all the hate? Well I don't know why you guys are getting mad at him. He said he never was much of a fan. Isn't there better places to find solace in michaels death. but the tribute could of used more of an effort and mentioning madonna and Elizabeth Taylor was really unnecessary considering its about the death of a legend.

Glenn Dunks said...

Ummm... these replies are jokes right? Like, they can't honestly be real. Nate, you've "shut down blogs before"? LOL.

M, what does "When are you going to do it! NEVER!" even mean.

LOL. This is ridiculous.

Sad day for music, one of the greatest entertainers of all time and a revolutionary in so many arenas. Yes, his private life was famously unprivate and his legacy has suffered because of it but I'll be remembering him for the music - my god THE MUSIC! - and less so the sad details of his later years. You don't get called the "king of pop" for nothin'.

Dorian said...

I'm devastated right now. Michael's music was like the soundtrack to my childhood, and now it's like a part of that has died with him. This ranks up there with Elvis and John Lennon's death, and the likes of him we'll probably never see again in our lifetimes. RIP to one of the true greats, Michael. Your music will live on!


Michael Parsons said...

My first thought was "What will Madonna say". So typical me

Urey said...

What about the Broadway show "Thriller" that's supposed to premiere next year? That can't still go on now, can it?


I have no idea why people are upset. This is a movie site not a music site so when i talk about music stars (as I do occassionally), I try to relate it back to movies.

the only one i give a lot of leeway to is Madonna but that's because i'm obsessed with her ;)

couple more things

anon 1:42 i would never deny the effect he had on the music industry and never did

M (anon 1:54) it's a film site. I will always care more about Elizabeth Taylor than about Michael Jackson. That's the way it is and the way it always will be. And I should think that would be obvious?

I gave her two sentences and indicated that I shared MJ's obsession. i don't see what the problem is.

Here's why I write the film experience: to entertain myself and other people and to obsess on movies.


Only those that enjoy it should read it. It doesn't even make any sense to frequent a site that you don't like. you should always seek out the things you love.

Trust me you'll be happier. I used to go to sites that made me angry and I was finally like: WHY AM I DOING THIS? and now I enjoy the web more.

Nate it would help a lot if you stopped making grand assumptions about a huge block of strangers. I'm glad that you like me as you say but it's really not very nice to assume that a huge group of people that you don't know are bigots. I have been really proud of the diverse readership I have built here and whether i'm talking about black actresses and non-english language stars or ageing stars... I generally have a pro-inclusiveness bent. To suggest that huge blocks of people reading me are bigots doesn't really fit in with the worldview presented here.

Why would they like the site?

It seems to me in this and other comment threads that there is a block of readers who view all Oscar obsessed sites and forums as one monolithic site -- there are many well read Oscar sites including mine, in contention, awards daily, poland, wells, and they are all written by different people and have some overlapping but not exactly the same audience. To view every offense in comment threads and forums anywhere within any oscar site as something indicative of all oscar sites and all people who love to discuss oscars is weird and irrational.

Nicole lol. I have never written about Anna Nicole ???? this comment thread is so weird. here is the one time she's been mentioned (in a link post)

Michael I noticed Madonna's comment being carried a lot so I thought I'd include it. In many ways they were the twin towers of pop cultures for an entire decade. I loved their brief flirtation with being friends and Madonna's desire to shake up his look a little bit... do you remember that?

Andrew K. said...

check out my take on his death

Nate said...


Umm you don't believe me try me?

Nathaniel, when I click on some of your readers tags and I find links to racist sites. What am I supposed to think?


nate please do point them out. I haven't seen any such thing and i do check out blogs by my readers quite frequently (i like to see what people are writing about on other blogs).

This is the most bizarre comment thread ever (and there have been many)

Nate said...

The latest one was from the Lyn person in the Jhud Superbowl thread(btw almost every lip synchs the National Anthem at the Superbowl, just in case you didn't know). He/She said Jennifer didn't have a music career or something of that effect.

His link was linked to a site all about hating Niggers, Chinks, etc and giving Whites back there power. Apparently his blog was shut down because when I clicked on it today it leads to a search engine. I guess my people did their

Glenn said...

Nate, Nathaniel does nothing to promote hate (here or anywhere) so I don't know why Blogger would shut it down. It's absurd. And my own blog doesn't do it either so I don't know what you intend to achieve with those threats.


NATE. omg. are you serious? I don't like to get riled up in the comments myself (i'm here to referee but you actually think that thread -- THAT THREAD? the second weirdest ever after this one) represents my readership?

or that blogs are responsible for the thousands and thousands of opinions of errant one off commenters.

how wrong you are.

that's like claiming that Oprah is responsible for all actions of any housewife who ever tuned in. ;)

Chris Na Taraja said...

You can't really talk about Michael Jackson's greatness with out also discussion the controversial things. it doesn't diminish his greatness, but it would be a dishonor not acknowledge the whole man.

And Liz Taylor was a huge part of his story. She was friends with him, and she stood beside him during the first molestation case.

Chris Na Taraja said...

And Nat, your tribute is perfect.

Anonymous said...

He's not dead he's pulling an elvis!
Michael Jackson not dead blog!

kel said...

In my opinion, Michael Jackson is the greatest entertainer of all time.

I have watched some of his performances a gazillion times on tv and youtube and remained in complete awe. I'm deeply shocked and saddened. Hours after the news, I'm still in a state of half disbelief. How I wish this were just a prank or cruel joke.

Nat- for someone who was not particularly a fan, I think your tribute was more than fitting and respectful. I can't imagine how Liz Taylor is coping with the news. My heart goes out to her.

To the person who wrote: "um........didn't he touch little kids."

I think you've gotten him mixed up with Pope John Paul II; and he died a few years back.

Rob said...

I for one am glad the child pervert is dead. He did nothing good for humanity. May he rot in hell

GorgeousMonty said...

I loved MJ so much, he was just so much a part of my childhood memories, with my VHS of Motown25 and rewinding his performance of "Billie Jean."

I am still in absolute shock and denial. I don't want it to be true. I agree with Madonna - I can't stop crying.

And this morning, reading Ebert's great tribute to MJ, forced me to realize it wasn't a bad dream. He is truly gone.

Not only do I feel for his family and children, but I also feel for Elizabeth Taylor, once again losing a dear friend in her life.

RIP MJ, I will miss you. Thank you for your genius music.

Nate said...

@Rob and I hope you be there serving the King's breakfast :-)

@Nathaniel that definitely wasn't the only one there were like 6 or 7
more like that. I'm not saying that YOU are responsible, like I said before I like you.I'm also not saying that every reader on here is like that (ignorant and racist). What I am saying is that a LOT of your readers (including regulars)are ignorant bigots mainly because of the types of comments that they leave on your site.

Take MJ's death as an example: comments like Rob and in Farrah's thread somebody said something about him being an evil man.Really?? Based on allegations that weren't proven to be true or false?? Whereas on other film sites, the readers are more sensible even the one's who aren't fans and believe those allegations they didn't make such horrible comments like they did on here. I would assume that people who come to sites like these are a bit more intelligent than the readers of TMZ and Perezhilton.

Since this is a film site, I guess I should provide film-related examples.

For instance I can remember someone said that they can't help that Black directors make shitty movies and White ones make good ones. Another one, only Whites see White movies and only Blacks see Black films, um if I were White or Black I would find that comment offensive. All the hatred Jhud has received and harsh things said about her for winning an award the ACADEMY awarded her. Another one, that fat bitch got a nomination ( referring to Nikki Blonsky's Globe nod). I can understand being a bit sarcastic or snarky to folks you don't like, but a lot of readers on this site go to the extreme in tearing someone down, specifically people who are not White or Skinny.I honestly don't see a whole lot of stuff like that on Incontention and Awardscircuit. It mainly stems from the readers of this site and awardsdaily. But even the awardsdaily members were more sensible in the whole MJ death response than Rob. Anyway I've been coming to these sites for years and throughout those years there were a lot of comments made that show who your readers really are and maybe they don't realize what they are saying, but it makes reading your site an unpleasant experience.

I'm not planning on shutting your blog down because I haven't been there. Like I said, I don't want to do that to Nathaniel because I like him. I made that response because you seem to be in disbelief that I actually could do it. I work with a group of people who constantly tries to stop hate and help the underprivileged. This hate can come from anywhere and anyone from racists to homophobes to sexist. We've even shut downs sites that hates Whites. You don't necessarily have to be a hater yourself if your readership is also like this than we have other ways of shutting down the site if they don't improve. Obviously huge sites like Perezhilton are difficult, but it seems like he is going down a path of self-destructive anyway. Yes, I know there is Freedom of Speech, but there are also consequences.

Sorry for the delay, I was at work.

Anonymous said...

"Most people who believed those allegations didn't even FOLLOW the trial. It was a freaking laughing stock on the boy's side of the story. "

I agree with this I never believed those allegations. I would like to remember him for his music and not the way the media tore him down.


Anonymous said...

the first boy was drugged up by his father and only when he was drugged up witha suggestable drug did he give a "confession" to being molested, when he was sober he denied it.

The second boy claimed he was first molested by Michael during the time Michael was shooting a rebuttal(defensive) documentary to the Martin Bashir documentary where Martian depicted him as a child molester..seriously michael would have to be one mother F***ing idiot to actually molest gavin AFTER the documentary that sparked such controversy.

Not only that, but other children who were at the Neverland Ranch thought that those allegations were ridiculous. So Overall the evidence was more on the innocent side, but you know how the media is. They put you on this pedestal just to tear you down.


Anonymous said...

Sorry, for hijacking but from Mojo the words of someone who FOLLOWED the trial.

"seriously, you people claiming he's a child molester as a fact need to look at the trials in detail. Especially the timeline of events in the second one

firstly the boy said he was molested at a certain time, then the defense proved that Michael wasnt even in the same country as the boy at that time, then the dates of the supposed molestation totally changed and were moved forward to when Michael was shooting a video (with gavin included) in defense to the martin bashir documentary which depicted him as a pedophile with gavin.

So according to the prosecution. Michael invited gavin over to his house to be interviewed for a rebuttal video to help clear his name after the controversial martin bashir doc, which depicted him as a pedo with gavin as a child he molests...THEN Michael Jackson decides to molest gavin for the first time whilst they are shooting this video


can people not see the two major black holes here? "

He/She is It was pretty clear that they were after his money.

Anonymous said...

Bottom line is there were so many inconsistencies and holes in the story on the boy's side that there was no way that a jury could've found him guilty. It had nothing to do with fan worship. Even if they disliked him and wanted him to go to jail. There was no evidence at all. Plus the boy's family has lied like that to get money before.

Now I believe R.Kelly should've went to jail and he had a tape. People didn't bring him down like they did MJ. But that's how it is sometimes, I guess.

Anonymous said...

I will miss Michael

United We Find A Way!

LB said...

Yikes, this thread is a mess. I guess if you're going to do a half-hearted tribute to someone like Michael Jackson, you'd probably been better off not doing one at all, b/c with fans like his, yeah, you either come correct with an adoring tribute or nothing at all. His legacy is such a conflicted and complex one, but I know that this world without him in it will never be the same again, and his music helped define a generation. I can't even watch the news channels or the music channels tributes. It's still too raw. RIP to one of the greats.


LB... i disagree.

Had i not mentioned it I would've gotten flamed too. it was a lose lose for me so i posted what i felt. no biggie. i've reread it and it's not in the least bit offensive -- and sometimes i reread things and go... uh, yeah. people were right. what was i saying there???

but if i hadn't mentioned it everyone would have been like "I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU DIDN'T MENTION MICHAEL JACKSON. BLAH BLAH.

lose lose. but i've moved on.

now i just have to survive the fact that no one else will ;) My neighborhood has basically been transformed into Neverland overnight and everywhere i look i see Michael Jackson's face.

Anonymous said...

Michael Jackson In-Memoriam

Michael Joseph Jackson was born August 29, 1958 in Gary, Indiana, an industrial suburb of Chicago. The son of African-American parents Joseph Walter "Joe" Jackson and Katherine Esther Scruse, he was the seventh of nine children. His siblings are Rebbie, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, La Toya, Marlon, Randy and Janet. Joseph Jackson was a steel mill employee who often performed in an R&B band called The Falcons with his brother Luther. Jackson was raised as a Jehovah's Witness by his devout mother. Joseph Jackson has an additional daughter named Joh Vonnie Jackson who is actually the youngest sibling of Michael Jackson. The family lived at 2300 Jackson St., near Roosevelt Park; Michael often reflected that he wanted to play with neighborhood children but was rarely allowed because of the incessant rehearsals demanded by his father.

Books of Michael Jackson can be found at

Jackson had a notable impact on music and culture throughout the world. He broke down racial barriers, transformed the art of the music video and paved the way for modern pop music in his own country.

Music of Michael Jackson can be found at

For much of his career, he had an "unparalleled" level of worldwide influence over the younger generation through his musical and humanitarian contributions. Jackson donated and raised millions of dollars for beneficial causes through his Heal the World Foundation, charity singles, and support of 39 charities.

Sales of any item at; will be donated to charities

On June 25, 2009, Jackson collapsed at his rented mansion at 100 North Carolwood Drive in the Holmby Hills area of Los Angeles. Attempts at resuscitating him by his personal physician were unsuccessful. Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics received a 911 call at 12:22 p.m. (PDT), arriving three minutes and seventeen seconds later at Jackson's location. He was reportedly not breathing and CPR was performed. Resuscitation efforts continued both en route to the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, and for an hour further after arriving at approximately 1:13 p.m. (20:13 UTC). He was noted to have been in cardiac arrest by the paramedics who attended him at his house. Jackson was pronounced dead at approximately 2:26 p.m. local time (21:26 UTC). Rumors and news of Jackson's death broke web records, triggering a cyberspace traffic jam and creating severe traffic spikes to websites such as Google, Facebook, Twitter and Wikipedia. Vigils were held by members of the general public after the death.

You can find many things to remember Michael Jackson at

Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009), his music will live forever.

Michael Jackson Lyrics said...

A very well put tribute. You are right about his importance to the media of music videos. It is a shame that film was never made.

rinki nandy said...

MICHAEL JACKSON is INNOCENT, i never doubted him anyway. MJ haters and people like Martin Beast are stupid ignorant fools who find it difficult to accept/tolerate that there existed a genius with a beautiful soul, a child's heart and at the same time so giving and innocent. He is the greatest to have ever existed and this dirty/crazy for money world never deserved him.i thank god for letting us all a chance to admire, love and adore him. he lived his life in reverse, as a kid he was surrounded with adults and as an adult he wanted his childhood back and would get emotional and sensitive every time he saw a child suffering as he saw himself in that child. he wanted to give children all the love and caring which he was deprived of, the simple and normal life he never got. his love for children was in a way love for himself. he didn't see it coming, a naive person, innocent person unable to see the dark side of the world, where there are people who would go down to any level for money. it's such a shame, disgraceful what those families and the media did to him. Mj was beginning to hate america and never wanted to return, it's the nation which killed him. love you Mj,now and always rock in paradise.