Friday, June 26, 2009

who will blog about michael jackson today?


And everyone will have their reasons. Is his death blog worthy? Yes.

Regardless of his freakshow persona, Michael Jackson was a STAR. Anyone between the ages of 35 and 45 cannot disagree with that. In the 80s he was everywhere all the time. His performance of the moonwalk on the Motown anniversary special was extraordinary. No one had seen that move before. No one in mainstream North America, anyway. We were sure he was magic. There was no PVR instant replay and everyone jumped up off their "chesterfields" and shouted "What the hell was THAT?!" Based on that one thing MJ did the world of dance opened up. It's thanks to him that we have breakin, poppin, lockin, street, crump. And, if it weren't for MJ doing that one move on live TV we would NOT be seeing it on prime time television today.

The Thriller video premier was an EVENT. Everyone stayed in to watch it that night, like it was the Superbowl or the Royal Wedding. It changed the face of music video, which was like this before Michael Jackson came along and showed us how it could be done. Not only was Thriller a great song but there was a story attached to it, preceding it, wrapped around it.... and Michael was going to tell that story the best way possible. He wouldn't do it any other way. Sure, MTV shortened the video and played that regularly but he made history with the 14 minute version. 14 minutes!! Unheard of. John Landis? A cinematic director? Unheard of. Even wiki calls Landis' Triller Video a "short film". It was so popular MTV had to air it twice an hour. People wanted to see it but there was no way to show it without planning around it. It was just too long. How can you sell ads when you're taking up all your time showing content? Announce that you're showing it and make people wait. We sat and watched those ads because we couldn't stand the thought of missing even a moment of that video. The reaction was astounding. Everyone wanted to be like Michael. Everybody did their own version of the moonwalk in their paneled basements. Everybody was talking about it the next day.


People cried because they couldn't stand to see Michael looking so horrific. The special effects like that were unheard of in music video. The cinematography. No blue screens! The make up. His cat eyes. Holy shit, the dancing. The choreography was so sophisticated people are still inspired by it 25 years later. People like Wade Robson.

Every video was a song first and the Thriller album is still the best selling album of all time and if you were around to buy it on vinyl you remember how excited you were to open up the jacket and see Michael reclining in the white suit. (I still have the portrait of Michael Jackson I drew using that jacket as inspiration. And I still have my original copy of Thriller. Track number one is a different colour than all the others because it is so worn down. I will never give away that album. I've kept it for 25 years for a reason. It was special. But I might sell the portrait if the price is right ;)

I'm not discounting all the freakshow antics neither - the endless surgeries, the baby dangling, the allegations. That's not what this blog is about, though. This blog is about what made him a star right up until his death.......

Why will everyone blog about MJ? It was impossible to google his name when the news broke. Impossible.

A Google spokesperson confirmed: “Some Google News users experienced difficulty accessing search results for queries related to Michael Jackson.” This difficulty occurred between 10.40pm and 11.15pm UK time.

During this period Google News did not go down, but users searching for Michael Jackson related information were asked to verify they were indeed a human and not a computer attempting to launch a spam attack.

The last time there was such strain put on the web was in the aftermath of 9/11. However, despite certain individual sites being unable to cope with the pressure in 2001, most notably the BBC which went blank for a period, people could still surf the rest of the web.

(That's a snippet from here.)

Twitter tweets doubled. Facebook traffic tripled. Another first for Michael Jackson. Someone needs to add that to his wiki. He broke the Internet.

RIP Michael Jackson but this post is dedicated to Farrah Fawcett.

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