Wednesday, January 14, 2009

King of Pop(ular Rumor)

Have you heard that Michael Jackson is dying? Well who isn't these days?

If the former King of Pop is edging closer and closer to drawing his final "Teeee Heeeee"s, I believe the term would be "slowly decomposing" as plastic tends to do, rather than slowly dying.

I've checked "Funk & Wagnalls," "Encyclopedia Britannica," and "Google", and apparently it takes only 10-12 years to decompose (incredulous, even for the most wimpy, willing plastic.)) Another source says 450-800 years (a margin of error of an astounding 78%.) Yet another source says 1000 years exactly, give or take a few hundred years. Apparently, there is some debate about the definition of "decomposed." The truth is, however, that plastic never fully decomposes, but instead just degrades into increasingly small pieces over time as it slowly loses its original pigment.

In this sense, Michael Jackson has been dying since his "Thriller" album.

Renewed interest in a recent photo, showing "Wacko-Jacko" being pushed around in a wheelchair with his face concealed behind a make-shift surgical mask and mane tamed by a trucker's hat (see photo above), has generated more publicity for the crazy man with the crazy dance moves since he clumsily dangled his small child over a high-rise balcony all while trying to conceal him with a cup towel.The fact that Michael looks so pathetic now doesn't really imply anything, though, as he has had more faces over the years than a hecatohedron and has transformed himself more than a Deceptacon with Turets. With his numerous run-ins with the law, entertaining young boys at his Neverland Ranch is no longer a wise thing to do, perhaps he has simply developed a penchant for medical mobility products and Nylon-mesh hats?

If he really didn't have the energy to moonwalk, I doubt he would have had the energy to scoot his wheelchair around with his magical feet for the reported 20 minutes or so in the store he was shopping at . . . which reminds of an old joke from my middle school day, "Why did Michael Jackson shop at K-Mart? . . . . because he ". . . well . . . you know the punchline.

This time, I believe, Jackson was shopping with the whole family, his wheelchair orderly (who looks a LOT like Cuba Gooding, Jr.), his three adopted children, and a large cardboard cutout of Lisa Marie Presley. Based on the "new" outfits they are all donning, it appears they were shopping at the local Goodwill Thrift Store.

I can't imagine why anyone would assume that the family photos indicate anything more than a happpy family outing. The only one dying would be the surrounding bystanders . . . of laughter.

On a serious note, though, it is sad to see Jackson as such a fraction of what he used to be, reduced to purchasing standard wheelchairs and house slippers off the discount rack at Wal-Mart. The same person who gave us "ABC easy as 1-2-3," "Beat It," "Bad," "Black or White," "Smooth Criminal," and so many other songs that sound the same, the person who invented a new genre of dancing zombies, the moonwalk, and exaggerated toe pointing is now relegated to hiding behind tacky threads being pushed around by a hired hand.

As much plastic surgery as Michael has had, when he finally does leave this world, it might be better to recycle rather than to throw away. We'll miss him when he goes like we miss the outcome from a Mike Tyson fight or a Tom Cruise interview, but until that day we'll all continue to be fascinated with the strange, misunderstood creature and continue to sing his songs under our breath, lest someone hear us.

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