Thursday, July 09, 2009

Late to the Party

I confess to being a little relieved that we can go back to getting some real news now that the Michael Jackson memorial is over.  I'm not sure what I thought of Jackson or his music--my very first introduction to it was seeing the Thriller video in Health class in middle school.  (Why would they show Thriller in Health class????  I have no idea, although I have a vague memory of it introducing sex education, which is in itself a frightening thought.  I'm sure that like every new trend in music, adults assumed it was promoting sex.)  As you can imagine, it was a confusing introduction, and I've really never gotten over it.  I neither loved nor hated any of the music and I never really knew what to think of Michael himself.
As a regular reader of JP's Tuned In blog on the Time Magazine website, I read his piece on the memorial.  I read it promptly, didn't glance at the comments, and moved on.  I thought it was typical of JP--circumspect, rational, insightful, and respectful.  
Today, I read JP's post about the new format Time has, in its infinite wisdom, applied to his blog.  One of the commenters said that if commenters could post video, it would drive more traffic to JP's blog, not that he needed it after the MJ hooplah.  I had been completely unaware of the hooplah, but went back to take a gander.  JP's use of the word "gaudy" in his blog writeup of the memorial generated lots of evil comments.  People called him racist, ugly (physically ugly--in as much detail as they could muster), and hateful.  Many, many, many people demanded that he be fired.  A lot of people made unkind comments about how many people would show up at JP's funeral, and a few of those went so far as to hope that someone made snarky comments about JP's funeral when the time came.  (Note to these people--if JP is buried in a gold-plated coffin, then you'll definitely get your wish.  But somehow I think it's unlikely.)  Lots of people thought the blog post was an article, and nearly all the commenters agreed that it was disgraceful.  Almost all of them were grief-addled diatribes that seemed to think that anything short of unadulterated praise was racist and Michael-hating.  But I think this comment sums it up for me:
In fact, it was a simple gold coffin - no embellishments, sedated flowers (I've seen more at nearly ALL funerals I have attended), and the service was extremely tasteful and understated.
Wow.  I think I'm going to print that up and post it in my cube.  Attention, Time readers.  We've now reached the point where someone can say "it was a simple gold coffin" with no trace of irony.  No embellishments...APART FROM THE GOLD PLATING. 
The next time I'm a little worried about wearing my new cocktail ring with jeans and a sweater, I will just look at this comment and say to myself, "It may be 5 carats of brightly colored, not-so-precious stone, but it's tasteful and understated."  And then I'll leave the house. 
I think I finally get the sequined glove.  Thanks, Jackie2000.

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