Until now, 1600 has stayed out of this controversy, but we can ignore it no longer. Yes, because you may not have been getting enough coverage of the untimely death of the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, some news sources are going out of their way to make absolutely certain that no stone is unturned, no angle is not analyzed exhaustively, no unsupported hearsay, unsubstantiated rumor, or tidbit of gossip is too meager or scandalous to be pursued by their crack team of journalistic sleuths!
As Stephen Colbert put it, "I'll never forget where I was the first ten times I heard Michael Jackson had died." I feel your pain, Steve. And now this, the latest twist in a the Jackson saga, following Janet's story that she had staged "an intervention" but her brother instructed his bodyguards not to let his family on the premises, and Toyota's subsequent (and unsubstantiated) claim that he was murdered by one of his entourage. Jermaine on Larry King, swearing he had no clues that anything was out of the ordinary. Joe on seemingly every channel, talking about how he was responsible for his childrens' success. CNN even tracked down Bubbles for his reaction! Is it any wonder the chimp refused to comment?
Then the toxicology results reveled high-octane sedatives in his system, the revelation that Michael took ten Xanex each night. The doctor, the last person to see Michael alive, fled, now under indictment for his complicity. Rumors of track marks, addiction, hair loss (was that famous pompadour really a wig?), a collapsed face from an overindulgence in plastic surgery, the often-sordid legal battles. The autopsy results withheld.
Yes, he was a cottage industry gone wild, keeping the tabloids ever busy with mortifying accusations, and a team of doctors, lawyers, spin-specialists, servants, and handlers employed around the clock keeping him on everyone's radar, expectantly anticipating his next word or gesture, and out of trouble.
"It burns! IT BURNS!!!!"BUT since the mainstream media has totally dropped the ball yet again on their ubiquitous "All Michael, All The Time" coverage, we're stepping in!
As the picture at the top of this column recently unearthed by the diligent 1600 research investigative team graphically demonstrates, long before his life started spiraling out of control like a dream-catcher on meth, Michael's folks, Katherine and Joe Jackson, were "Stepping Out!" Yes, you heard it hear first, after years of watching his children in the Jackson 5, and later in their solo careers, grabbing Grammys and headlines, the patriarch of the Jackson clan went to the UK, donned a skinny tie, and began his own musical voyage, from power pop to classical and jazz, even covering classics such as "What's The Use of Getting Sober" and Fleetwood Mac's "Oh Well." This is the kind of bitter jealousy that led poor Mike to estrange himself from his dear old dad, trying to steal his thunder on Billboard, and cater to a crowd of angry punkers and new wave poseurs "His Weirdness" never could reach. But as the years wore on, and his Al Jolson make-up wore off, Michael began to resemble Joe more and more, his skin approaching a translucent, ivory shade usually reserved for albinos, Republicans and vampires.
So, now the custody battle has begun, maybe someone who is borderline normal can take care of little Paris, Prince Michael and "Blanket" (Blanket? are you f***in' kidding me?! This guy had the nerve to name his kid after the rag Linus used to carry around for security? Good thing he didn't have any more kids, as he was clearly running out of other celebrities and inanimate objects for names...) Mom appears to have won the first round, but the court is now considering appointing a guardian ad litem to represent the childrens' interests, which may be contrary to Mrs. Jackson's. Really? People, can I get a "DUH?"
So where was Grandma when Michael was doing this?
Now some Aussie is planning the mega-tribute show, so we can all relive the high points, hysteria, and subsequent horror of his life and untimely death. And the Jacksons are now united in saying "waitaminnit, put on the breaks, here- we're not sure if we're ready to start making a deal." The circling vultures crow back: "If we can't get this signed five minutes ago, it could spoil the public's insatiable need for more dirt, speculation and innuendo on his last hours," etc. Right- we really need another VH1 special on "the heartbreak behind the hits." Not a dry eye in the house!!
Are you still there? Do I hear snoring! What's the matter with you? Have you maxed out on Michael already? C'mon- he hasn't even been dead two months yet! What are you going to do next year if the US recognizes June 18th as "Michael Jackson Memorial Day?" Do you support Congresswoman Sheila Jackson (no relation) Lee, who famously offered:
"Resolved, That the House of Representatives
(1) recognizes Michael Jackson as a global humanitarian and a noted leader in the fight against worldwide hunger and medical crises; and
(2) celebrates Michael Jackson as an accomplished contributor to the worlds of arts and entertainment, scientific advances in the treatment of HIV/AIDS, and global food security."
Does all this seem just a little bit over the top??? Um, with two wars going on, an economy still reeling from years of excess and avarice and health care out of control, do ya think the House of Representatives might have more important things on their plate than proposing more meaningless gestures toward someone who has created so much ambivalence over the last twenty years of his career?
Seriously, enough already. The guys' dead, OK? Just let him go.
"Michael Jackson in Disneyland
Don't have to share it with nobody else
Lock the gates, Goofy, take my hand
And lead me through the World of Self
I don't need no one