Archive for June, 2009

The King is dead. Long live the King.

You are looking at an original Thriller picture disc (in original packaging), the very first full-length album I ever owned. I had previously purchased Twisted Sister’s 45 of We’re Not Gonna Take It and Van Halen’s Jump/Panama 45 split (Edit: I’m so old, I’m already beginning to forget important details. Both these 45s came out in 1984, after I got the Thriller disc, so Michael was my very first album!) This piece of Americana, pressed into vinyl, was given to me by my parents on my fourth birthday. All my pre-school friends were at the house and we put it on my Fisher-Price record player and danced around. What a fantastic memory!

As I type this, I’m listening to Number Ones and Michael’s unwitting presence throughout my life is crystallizing. His influence snuck up on me, from my pre-school dance party to my favorite college bar, where I would play Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough, each and every time I was there, on the best jukebox in Lawrence. I was always a fan, but I was never conscious of how much his work touched my life until today. It wasn’t Michael himself (thankfully) that made an impression on me. It was his pervasive presence in world culture, his undeniably excellent music. Regardless of his misdeeds and extreme creepiness, both of which cannot be ignored, that cultural impact is indelible.

Still, I didn’t give him a second thought after Scream was released. As far as I was concerned he was done as an artist at that point; the freak-flag-flying had won the war. But his legions of fans carried on and many are devastated around the world today. I can’t help but think that those who are so very sad today shouldn’t be.

The Michael Jackson that we all loved and were so influenced by died years ago. The “man” that died yesterday was trapped in a body he clearly despised, existing in a state of pseudo-humanity. He is finally free. In spite of any folly or mischief that may have led to this end, we should be happy for him. He could finally stop; he’d gotten enough.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Quotable: Eric Arthur Blair

War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength…Eric Arthur Blair
AKA George Orwell (from 1984)

It is George Orwell’s birthday today and his words have never rung truer. He would have been 106.

Thanks for the reminder, @tmorello!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tell me again, why are newspapers failing?

Video: The Daily Show

Evidently, The Times is unfamiliar with The Daily Show.

1) Seriously, Bill Keller, why would you agree to this interview? Did your kids want to see you on the funny news show?

2) Rick Berke: you really never considered that a newspaper contains “aged” news? Your web staff just threw up in their mouths.

3) Kristin Mason: for future reference, the coordination of communications involves the ability to deviate from script.

This was amateur hour with the senior staff of one of the biggest media companies in the world. They got their asses handed to them by the same actor who stole Ted’s fiance on How I Met Your Mother. Perhaps if Keller didn’t spend so much time at the Baghdad bureau, he could turn the news organization he runs into a 21st century operation. Goo.

Disclosure: This was written by someone who occasionally does his own reporting, but usually does get by poking holes in the shoddy work of others.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,