Sunday, June 28, 2009

Michael Jackson: Making the corpse sit up for the weekend

Obviously, it's not as inconvenient for the Sunday papers as the death of Diana, when she left the planet so late they barely had time to pull the knocking copy off their front pages, but how frustrating for the Sunday titles to have to wait two days before they get to cover the Jacko story.

The News of the World offers what it considers to be a special tribute issue, complete with some lines from a Jacko song on its masthead:

Before you judge me
Try hard to love me
Look within your heart then ask
Have you seen my childhood?

Touching. And so, in this vein, it's going to be Jackson as a man rather than as sideshow, is it, NOTW?

Erm... not quite:
Jordy Chandlor's secret diary of sex abuse; "Family members searched for money hours after his death, says nanny. Oh, and this:
TORMENTED Michael Jackson wrote a chilling horror story about a CHILD ABUSER and SERIAL KILLER starring HIS OWN KIDS.

The sickening tale - called Kids on Swings - is a nightmare vision of Prince Michael II and Jacko's daughter Paris falling into the clutches of a fiend who slaughters children with a 'sling blade'.

That's quite a tribute issue you've got there, Mr Murdoch. Clearly exactly what he would have wanted.

The Sunday People seems to have a problem understanding how people react to grief:
Less than 24 hours after Michael Jackson died, his father Joe LAUGHED and JOKED for the cameras.

Joe, 79, shocked onlookers as he clowned around outside the family home in Los Angeles.

They said he looked "almost ecstatic" and "totally relaxed" as he trotted down the drive to chat to family friend the Rev Jesse Jackson who was giving TV interviews outside the house.

One fan said: "Millions are mourning around the world and he's laughing his head off. It's absolutely sickening."

No it isn't. People laugh at funerals. People react to loss in different ways. Are the papers so desperate to try and cram this story into a Princess Of Diana framework that the People are preparing a "Show us you care, Ma'amPops" storyline?

And perhaps - just perhaps - you might feel relief that someone whose life has been a total misery isn't twisting and turning any more?

I'm sure the Sunday Mirror has got something about Jackson in its pages, but I've been waiting for it to load in for ten minutes and still haven't got past a blank page. Sly Bailey will probably blame that on Google, somehow, too.

If you're looking for an unlikely-sounding story, the best place to turn is the Sunday Express (whoever would have thought the Express would outlive Jacko?):

FANS have called for Michael Jackson’s O2 arena shows to be replaced with tribute concerts.

Hundreds of the 750,000 ticket holders have flooded organiser AEG Live with emails and calls for commemoration events in place of next month’s sold-out 50-date This Is It tour.

Fan Jahan As said on Facebook yesterday: “I really hope all the other artists come together for such an amazing show and help Michael finish his journey and send him off the way he would’ve wanted to be remembered.

“I also believe the fans who were meant to attend his concerts will finally say their goodbyes.”

Yes. It's not going to happen. Fifty nights of tributes?

True to form, the Mail On Sunday realises that this news story - like all news story - is really about the prices of property:
Family and friends believe he was acutely aware that, once ensconced in Foxbury Manor, he would have had no option but to submit himself to the gruelling series of 50 concerts.

The property’s owner, businessman Osman Ertosun, and his wife and two children moved out of £15million manor in Chislehurst, Kent, more than a week ago and were preparing to stay elsewhere for a year.

The Grade II-listed mansion is among the largest private properties in Greater London. Jackson paid about £1million to rent it until next February. His concert venue, the O2 Arena, is just ten miles away.


Simon said...

Meanwhile, what an absolute bugger this must be for Q - Michael Jackson's face on the cover, then he goes and dies. Tch.

Simon Hayes Budgen said...

Strange thing about that is that it's the August issue, and the previous Q, with Bruce, still seems to be on sale - have Bauer brought the issue forward?

Simon said...

It would be the August edition, wouldn't it, though? Magazines are always dated a month in advance for some obscure reason, and that issue should be in shops at the end of this week, although recently they've been coming out a few days in advance. (And even further in advance for subscribers - there's been some big hoo-hahs this year because Uncut have on at least two occasions inadvertedly revealed festival headliner announcements a couple of days before they were due because their subscriber copies go out very early)

Simon Hayes Budgen said...

I know they're dated for the following month, but two months hence seems a little early for the thing to be in Tesco - especially selling alongside the July issue. And Saturday seems an odd day for the issue to appear. In his apology for suggesting that 50 dates at the O2 might not happen, Paul Rees suggests the issue was "already being distributed" when the story broke...

Does Q still do 13 issues a year?

Olive said...

I think the publication date for the August issue was bought forward to tie in with the July shows at the O2.

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