A guest blog by Stuart Waterman from My Chemical Toilet…
Last week saw Michael Jackson finally announce his live comeback, with a string of ten shows at London’s O2.
Those are the bare facts, but as with everything involving Michael Jackson there was a whole screaming funfair of blazing mentalism surrounding the five-minute ‘press conference’. One man actually flew from the Americas to London just to see Michael Jackson wave and talk for five minutes. You’d hope there were a couple of decent movies being shown on the plane over, but if all he got was Bride Wars and Leprechaun 4: In Space it kind of serves him right.
Because if there’s one incontrovertible fact I’ve learned from writing a music blog, it’s that Michael Jackson fans are so collectively brainshagged that they could almost be mistaken for trying to outcrazy their idol in order to make him appear more normal.
As a youngster I was actually a big Michael Jackson fan myself. Like every kid, I tried to do the Moonwalk. I wanted to own a sparkly glove badly. I sang songs to rats.
Do you know what happened then? I grew up. But like 40 year-old provincial goths who refuse to give up the leather trenchcoats and purple make-up, Michael Jackson and his most hardcore fans never did. They’re locked together in some twisted eternal feedback loop of arrested development.
And it’s not just people old enough to remember MJ at his peak who bring the berserkism – there’s a whole new generation of anonymous, youthful insaniacs happy to throw themselves online and perpetuate the image of Michael Jackson fans as caps lock lunatics.
On the music blog I write, it’s always with a sick mixture of glee and trepidation that I flex my fingers and prepare to write a post about Michael Jackson. As soon as anything hits the web with so much as a passing reference to him, an alarm goes off on the computer of every frothy-mouthed Jackonaut across the globe.
When the recently-announced shows were being mooted, I wrote an article with the headline “Would you pay a fortune to see Michael Jackson at London’s O2“? In the ensuing copy I concluded that I, personally, would pay ?50-?60 to see Michael Jackson live (since I’ve just been laid off I reserve the right to change my mind on that).
One of the comments somehow interpreted this as a diss on their eccentric overlord:
“WHY DO PPL KNOCK MJ? I MEAN IM 18 NOW BUT I REMEMBER WHEN I WAS 5-12 YEARS OLD ALL THE KIDS COULD TALK ABOUT WAS MJ AND HIS HISTORY TOUR ETC ETC ASK NE ONE AND MJ IS STILL AS KOOOOOL AS IT GETS!!!”
While ridiculously defensive, that comment barely regsiters on the derange-o-meter. For premium furniture-throwing, tits-out, knickers-off, doorstep-defecating insanity, it’s better to write a short article drawing attention to a “Wacko Jacko” Halloween mask that resembles Michael Jackson.
Comments on this post ranged from the intriguingly solution-based:
“Yes, Michael is King. It seems that humans like to make fun of people who are different. It has always been that way. I think he should make a video, but paint his head green, then get a computer to make him look exactly how he wants to look. That would be awesome.”
To the enraged:
“FUCK YOU YOU FUCKING TWAT HOW WOULD YOU LIKE IT IF SOME ONE MADE A MASK OUT OF YOU WOULD PROBABLY BE ACTUALLY SCARY DICK HEEEEEAAAAADDDDDD!!!!!!!!!”
To the confusing, yet still inventively insulting:
“WHY COPY THE LAST COMPANY. YOUR JUST AS BAD AS THEM.YOUR ALSO A BUNCH OF SPAZSTICKS. JUST LEAVE THE POOR MAN ALONE. HE IS A HUMAN. HE HAS FEELINGS TOO, SO WHY HERT THEM. THE NEXT MASK THATS ONLINE IS THE ANGRY MOB OF FANS FOR YOU BUDDY.”
To the arousing:
“Hey Michael Jackson isn’t Scary at all… Have u guys seen his latest vogue magazine photoshoot He is smouldering hot in those pics… “
In case you were wondering – yes, that is the first and only ever reference to Michael Jackson as “smouldering hot”.
Considering the rumours and controversies surrounding Michael Jackson – and the fact that they are never really going to go away – I can’t think of any other person who can inspire such blind, scary adoration (I’m not counting God, because he’s made up). One suspects that if Michael Jackson was broadcast on television, live, taking a nine-inch serrated blade to a newborn kitten’s throat, an army of laptop automatons would immediately march all over the internet denouncing the baby pussy cat as a hater who deserved it.
What’s fantastic, of course, is that this summer is going to be relentlessly, unavoidably Michael Jackson-shaped, which means there will be plenty more opportunities to write about him and therefore plenty more opportunities for his entertainingly unhinged fans to keep us all amused.
This happy little discussion was a guest blog by Stuart Waterman from the really very good My Chemical Toilet. Go read now.