Sunday, June 28, 2009

Michael Jackson: A thing of beauty is a joy forever

Thanks to Karl T, who brings a story from the Mail On Sunday to my attention - indeed, the science section of the Mail:

Michael Jackson set to be embalmed at the O2 Centre after missing the deadline for cryogenic freezing

Perhaps unsurprisingly, this total bollocks is just credited to a "Daily Mail reporter" - nobody is going to want to have this one following them around for the rest of their lives:
Von Hagens said that he spoke with representatives of the Jackson family 'many months ago' and it was agreed that his body will be plastinated and placed next to Bubbles, his late pet monkey who was plastinated a number of years ago and is exhibited at The Body Worlds & Mirror Of Time exhibition at the O2 Centre in London.

Von Hagens also confirmed it was one of Michael's final requests to be reunited with Bubbles.

Ah. It's handy to know that the Jackson family were making plans for his corpse to be plasticated many months ago. And that Michael - apparently aware he was about to die - was busy making final requests. The Mail doesn't bother to undermine its own fantasy by trying to come up with a plausible explanation as to how Von Hagens is supposed to know what Jackson's final requests were.

As if this wasn't shameful enough tosh for the paper - which once used to at least pretend to be serious - to be slapping out, it then swerves into a discussion of cryogenics, which at least it has the sense to accept isn't happening. It includes this line:
No-one has ever been revived using this process although it is a popular subject in science fiction films such as Forever Young featuring Mel Gibson.

Presumably the Mail is suggesting that Forver Young featuring Mel Gibson is some sort of proof of concept? I'm looking forward to next week, when the paper informs its readers that nobody has yet lived forever, but if they did, it'd be a bit like Highlander III, the one with that Daniel Do in.
So with an autopsy on Michael Jackson expected 24 hours after his death, it's already too late for the Peter Pan of pop who never wanted to grow up.

Oh, lord. Even if you can't get the science right, you'd have at least thought the Mail would be able to tell the difference between Cliff Richard and Michael Jackson.

Karl's email:
Either the Sunday Mail has started channeling The Onion, or has given up any pretention to serious journalism.

Apparently, Gunther Von Hagens is going to plastinate Michael Jackson for display at the O2 Arena. Yo know, someone in the Jackson camp should really have checked the non-performance clause in the contract for the summer shows.

Disappointing headline too. I would've gone for 'World's creepiest human being to embalm world's second creepiest human being', or 'Human freakshow to appear in, er...'. That's probably why I'll never get to write for a wholesome family newspaper like the Mail


Anonymous said...

"Bubbles, his late pet monkey"

That would be the same late pet monkey who, according to The Telegraph, "will miss him now". It's like they've got an envious monkey to sit down and write the story. The Mail monkey... hmm... it's almost believable if it weren't for the fact that there probably aren't any monkeys native to Britain let alone ones they can train in xenophobia.

anon #1 again said...

Actually, it suddenly dawned on me there that they also called him a "monkey". He isn't. He's a chimpanzee. They are completely different things. To most people that might seem like a petty and pedantic point to make (even if it is an important distinction) but this is supposed to be the "science" section of the Mail. Are there actually any words in the article that are true? I realised I hadn't read it but now that I've looked at it I also notice that their description of cryogenics is total bollocks too. I could be wrong but I'm pretty sure that most people-freezing companies these days use a process of vitrification to avoid the ice that the article describes.

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