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My Rejected Michael Jackson Eulogy

July 7, 2009
"...Of my friend, I can only say this... of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most... Human." - Kurt Cobaine

"...Of my friend, I can only say this... of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most... Human." - Kurt Cobaine

Ladies and gentlemen of Los Angeles who clearly had nothing better to do, we come here today to mourn the death of a true American legend, Michael Jackson.  Or rather, we come to mourn a highly selective version of him, cherrypicked from his childhood of forced labor and glory days of musical success during a time when even Hall and Oates could reach double platinum.  Today, we will remember fondly the ways in which Michael inspired us while willfully omitting all the horrible things about the last 20 years of his existence.  Using the rosiest-tinted glasses conceivably possible, we are going to celebrate 60% of our dear friend Michael’s life.

Some of you may be wondering why I was asked to speak at this funeral.  I didn’t know Michael Jackson personally, nor did any of my relatives.  I wasn’t even a specific fan of his music, having been born several years after the peak of his popularity.  In fact, the only music video I even really remember of his is the stirring “Black or White”, which features Macaulay Culkin blasting Cheers‘ George Wendt through the ceiling of a house with a strum of his guitar.  Still, that song remains with me to this day, and likely still plays in the hearts of all of us who, one day, wish to see George Wendt blasted through the ceiling of a house with a guitar.

While it would be pushing it to even call my connection to Michael tenuous, I strongly believe that what was truly special about Michael was that his gifts belonged to all of us: His music will stick in our hearts like so much arterial plaque, his dance moves will curse our night club floors like so many spurned mummies, and his emotionally scarred children will remain burdens on the state for years to come.  And if that doesn’t convince you why I should be up here then I don’t know what will.

Figure 1: Jackson's brief stint as Mayor of Halloweentown

Figure 1: Jackson's brief stint as Mayor of Halloweentown

We’ve heard so much about Michael’s youth as a puppet in his father’s nefarious get-rich-quick scheme and his time as the butt of every horrible standup’s joke about homosexuals during the 80’s, but I think it’s worth it to remember Michael Jackson as I knew him:  In the short period where he remained the butt of horrible 90’s comedians’ jokes about pedophiles but before he totally transformed into the hellish ghoul that sits festering in this casket, even as we speak.  It is this Michael, with his gigantic goth boots and seemingly useless wrist-cast, but not quite his Chinese-person surgical mask and baby-dangling ways that will be what my generation remembers.

And while we may celebrate his life, his death, too, has much to teach us about the nature of our lives, and of our own mortality.  Or, wait, actually it has much to teach us about the nature of the lives and mortality of elven flesh-golems that shamble on in a perverse mockery of human movement.  Sorry, I read that wrong.

Figure 2: Jackson doing A Weird Thing

Figure 2: Jackson doing A Weird Thing

But if we are to take anything from Michael’s death, let it be that life is a fragile, highly unstable mess.  One look at a series of photos of Michael’s life in chronological order says it all, appearing as it does to be the stills from the melting Nazi face from Indiana Jones.  It might be easy to make a joke that Michael died as he lived, with a Demerol drip coursing into his arm, it would be entirely inappropriate.  Everyone knows he died from a dose of Propofol, the anesthetic they use to kill horses.

So as we cast mutual friend into the earth, let’s just all take a moment to reflect on how much time and how many resources we have wasted in throwing this dead entertainer a high mass while forgetting his legacy of totally walling himself off from reality in an entirely unhealthy fantasy world.  In fact, actually, let’s all go home.  I’ll admit that he made undoubtable strides in the acceptance of blacks in entertainment, but Sammy Davis Jr. probably did too, and he didn’t spend the last two decades of his life as a barrow-wight maintaining questionable-if-not-highly-illegal relationships with children in his Candy Theme Park Castle.  So, maybe let’s just all go home then.  Okay?

Have a good rest of the funeral!

[bow, exit stage]

[get killed by fan who has made atrocious life choices]

1958 - 2009

1958 - 2009

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