Thursday, June 25, 2009

M.J. la vie après la mort

A sensationally gifted child star who rose to become the “King of Pop” and the biggest celebrity in the world only to fall from his throne living through a freakish Gothic novel existence as well as a series of scandals, died today. An immense talent who at a young age provided a racially divided America music that brought people of all races together only to become a beloved icon as well as a provide a kind of precautionary tale of the pitfalls of the decedent and hedonistic bacchanal that is super stardom. Feeling a bitter yet strangely satisfying sense of irony, I watched live coverage of his body being routinely transported from helicopter into a simple van that was to transport the man -that was known to most of our planet for decades- to the county morgue. Death is indeed the great equalizer. As a side item, a whole lot of other people died today.
People who also might have had unusual relationships with monkeys or small boys. People who may also have hired someone to create children for them. People who also didn't pay their bills on time and who required a court order for selling off possessions to pay back their debt owed. People who hung their children out over a balcony. People who wore surgical masks and bizarre get ups in public. People that died owing a pharmacist over a hundred thousand dollars for a single years worth of medication. Yup. Just ordinary good people, with immense talents of their own, who push on through life trying to leave it slightly better than it was when they found it.
It is an understatement to say that he made some really innovative, amazing, uplifting and astonishingly great music. What will be his lasting legacy? Surely the music, but I am fascinated that people feel so strongly about a man that was sadly incapable of a normal relationship with his family or associates. I am curious about the immense adoration and the sense of ‘loss’ people are talking about. Sadly, for almost a decade he has been nothing more than fodder for the gossip mills, and artistically silent, not uncommon for an artistic genius of his caliber, but given his quite public downward spiral, should we really be surprised at the 'untimely' demise of someone who was a self professed Peter Pan, someone who wanted to "stay young forever"?
My one encounter with this megastar was in 1985 when he and his entire family were staying in the Ritz Carlton where I also happened to be at the time. The King had the most lux suite in the hotel and the banquet kitchen was reserved only for his personal chef who prepared all the meals for him and his entourage, but one night his sisters, one of whom a year later would make quite a name for herself as well, were inspired to have one the bodyguards to pop out and retrieve a large bucket of the Colonel's secret spicy chicken. A while later, a call came over the security guards radio that there was some trouble on the twelfth floor. (I know this because the radio was on the nightstand at the time- don't ask) the security guard rushed up to find that the King of Pop had eaten too much of the delicious chicky chicky bok bok, saw a large palmetto bug in his room and proceeded to have what the security report described as a "Hissy fit", ultimately barfing all over the once beautiful antique Tabriz carpet -with a lovely fish design medallion if I remember correctly- in the grand foyer of the suite. A team of housekeepers and a expert rug cleaner tried but failed to remove the stains, soon afterwards the carpet mysteriously vanished. I have a feeling that it will join the Shroud of Turin in its veneration one day.

A true showman in every way, in his dazzling costumes and his quirky personal style of dress has been an inspiration to me over the years, so in his memory, I've made a solemn promise to myself to break from the gay herd and give up the habit of wearing that ubiquitous article of style-less clothing known as "cargo shorts" during the summer months -That is, once I am flush enough to afford a proper Hermes "Kelly" man-purse to carry my Demerol around in - and a Balmain Jackson-esque military jacket.

Bon Voyage.

Jesus Juice

4 oz Bell's® Scotch whisky

4 oz Smirnoff® vodka

4 oz Foster's® lager

4 oz Strongbow® cider

1 splash blackcurrant squash
Get a beer glass, and fill a 1/4 of it with the whisky. Add vodka until half full, then the Fosters beer until 3/4 full. Add the cider 'til glass is almost full. Add a hint of blackcurrant squash.

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zeitgeist, particular friend, perky libertine, animated trickster, iconoclast, rabble-rouser, object of worship, provocateur, capricious damp enchantress, idiosyncratic beloved reptile, whimsical saucy booze hound, bellwether, luminary, stoic, pensive illicit paramour, aloof, engaged, intuitive, curious, perplexing deranged mastermind, passionate, lasciviously adored offspring, amorous, sultry flamboyant charioteer, scholar, scribe, exalted thespian, voracious, considerable chieftain, impaired, cynical colleague, dreamer, procrastinator, loathsome glutton, artist, oppressed peasant, dainty heathen, narcissist, self-loathing...renaissance man