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Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson 1958 - 2009

There are plenty of important things to worry about in the world right now. North Korea is making aggressive militaristic threats against the United States. In Iran, the misguided authorities in power are shooting innocent people in the streets. The United States economy is still melting down and the "stimulus" concept of the federal government appears to be nothing more than wishful thinking. However.....ALL of these things will be ignored for a few days due to the death of pop music superstar Michael Jackson. No offense to the families of Ed McMahon or Farrah Fawcett, because I'm sure they were nice people, but their deaths will go largely unnoticed this week... simply because they were NOT Michael Jackson.

It is easy for those of us who live here in Los Angeles to get a little casual about meeting celebrities. My brother met Marlon Brando in a camera shop. I chatted with Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton for a few minutes at Rocket Video one time. Neither meeting caused a great deal of excitement. I mention this because Michael Jackson still had the power to drive normal people into a frenzy over seeing him. I last saw Michael Jackson a few weeks ago on Rodeo Drive. He was shopping in a store and left in a blue SUV. People were sprinting at high speeds towards his vehicle and screaming hysterically. They were running from several blocks away to get to Rodeo... that is how big Michael still was. They were running for a simple reason. In the 1980's, Michael Jackson's "Thriller" became the best selling record album of all time, and along with accomplishing that feat, Michael Jackson became the biggest star in the world.

That is not something that goes away... ever. Ask Mickey Rooney. You can occasionally see him at the Farmers Market, where he is always happy to tell people that he was the "biggest star in the world"...and he was...back in 1939-41. He is still alive and telling people about it over 65 years later. It is a rarified status that only a few people in the world will ever achieve. Kobe Bryant could win 10 NBA titles in a row, and he still wouldn't be anywhere close to Michael Jackson. Only a few people in the history of the world have ever known what it was like to be Michael Jackson, and even then, they had to do some guessing. Elvis Presley knew what it was like to be Michael Jackson. The Beatles knew what it was like to be Michael Jackson. But none of them knew what it was like to sign a record contract with Motown records when they were only 10 years old.

I had been somewhat of a fan of his after seeing him do his "moonwalk" on a Motown TV special in 1983. It was one of those moments you never forget. People still talk about it to this day. In 1992 I was living in London, England and heard that Michael Jackson was performing at Wembley Stadium. On a whim, I decided to go and see if I could get in, even though I did not have a ticket. Some fast talking and quick bargaining with some exiting reporters ended up with me wearing their press passes and making my way to the front row of the show. The show was amazing and Jackson left the crowd overjoyed. I thought about that show when I heard that he had died today. I felt very bad thinking that other people would never get to experience that again.

This video shows Michael at the peak of his skills, performing at the Rose Bowl during the halftime show of Super Bowl 27. Hundreds of millions of people around the globe watched his performance that day. There is a good chance that you were one of them.


Anonymous Anonymous said:

Phil aren't you too busy gathering recall signatures to be spending your time on this?

How many signatures do you have as of today?

How many volunteers do you have as of today?

Last week you said that you have "plenty of time" to get those quarter million signatures, but it sounds like you're hedging on giving us an idea of your progress. So finding you writing about something that everybody else is already writing about suggests that you haven't made an ounce worth of progress. What is the truth? Your public awaits an answer!

June 26, 2009 9:24 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Phil is relying on Kevin James to do the work for him. Every night, you can check on the KRLA/Townhall podcasts, he collects stuff for his "recall file" on Antonio, including things about the failures of LAUSD, anything and everything they don't like about L A and California now.
James is expressly trying to get his listeners to influence the politics of this city, and Phil is just his one-suit errand boy and professional City Hall commenter.

June 26, 2009 12:17 PM  

Blogger Michael Higby said:

I really like both Phil and Kevin (even if he did get all pissy on the air about Mayor Sam) however the recall Antonio movement is stupid.

I think that Phil and Kevin would be better served to start a "Refund Walter" movement, that is, everyone who donated to Walter Moore, including my C note, should be refunded for Walter running such a lousy, wasteful vanity inspired campaign.

That would be a better use of time so the next time someone comes in and charms the talk show hosts and old people they are full well aware we're going to hold them accountable.

June 26, 2009 1:46 PM  

Blogger Michael Higby said:

BTW, we should probably stick to discussing M Jax here. I can not celebrate Michael in the sense that he did some really evil things in his life however there is no doubt Michael will be considered a musical genius on the likes of Beethoven, Mozart, etc.

June 26, 2009 1:48 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Wait a freaking minute higby.

I don't recall you ever mentioning that you donated to Walter. If you did mention this, my apologies. But if you can't point to your mentioning this in the past, that is a serious blemish on your credibility.

Where did you mention this donation on this blog? I surely missed it. Did you do this more than once?

It also is a blemish on your credibility if you donated to someone without doing enough diligence beforehand, and later concluding that you fucked up by doing so.

June 26, 2009 2:09 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Yes we should stick to celebrating M JAX here but fact that Phil posts something other than his usual diatribe and recall visions makes it distracting. And James just spews hate and can't get over Walter's loss any more than he can, blaming it on everyone else, not accepting responsibility for a lousy campaign by an unlikeable individual. Who's never run let alone won for any other office. James is a bigoted partisan hack who makes a mockery of rightwing "journalism." Rightwing hatchetry and vindictiveness, more like it. Boy are he and Berger AND Trutanich campaign advisor nasty, mean-spirited, vindictive winners.

Jackson the artist was amazing in his prime, apart from his scandals. Of which he was acquitted, but during the 04 trial when he showed up in pajamaz and doped out of his head, that should have been seen as a warning sign about abusing his body and drugs.

June 26, 2009 2:09 PM  

Blogger Michael Higby said:

Mmmary/Haikook @ 2:09 pm -

It's really freaking dumb of you to ask a question I've already answered on the blog before.


Anyway - that's all the posts you get for now. Back to obscurity for you.

June 26, 2009 3:58 PM  

Blogger Rita Of Sunland/Wally Wharton said:

QUESTION: What lesson can we learn from the death of Michael Jackson?ANSWER: Don't take Demerol while you're jerking off to re-runs of "The Little Rascals!"

June 26, 2009 7:28 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

C'mon, he was a druggie pedophile who could sing and dance with exquisite grace when he was on.

He spent his life tryng to please us, but, so what?

This is not a great person like Mother Teresa, let's not beatify him.

Sorry he's gone, sorry he was used and was a user.

Let's all move on.

Back to the Governor with the conservative mind with the liberal penis.

June 26, 2009 9:42 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Michael Jackson was overated. If he had not of lived. We would still have Pop Music. His Music was overated. I never liked it and I don't care that he died. He was a pervert who never grew up and had a penchant for under age boys. I can't think of MJ without thinking pervert child molester who sang well and danced well.

If Elvis did not live modern music would be very different. MJ only influenced pop music. He did not break any new ground. Sure he could sing and dance but his queerness was so strong that you could not see him without think about it.

Music videos would of become popular anyway, even without him.

June 27, 2009 11:32 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Wow, that last poster with his anti-Michael Jackson statements was just creepy.

I guess this is the first, last and probably only time I'll ever agree with Phil.

Thriller was awesome as was MJ.

June 28, 2009 10:44 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

What an awesome video! You can't watch that and then try and compare that talent to Ed McMahon or Farrah Fawcett, I'm sorry.

June 28, 2009 10:52 PM  

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