07 July 2009

The Michael Jackson Lesson: Spectacle Has A Price

2135.And it's up to the City of Los Angeles, California, to pay for a good sized chunk of it. From Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's website:



I note this in passing for a few reasons: one being the above graphic – actually, that's the biggest reason. I'ts pretty nifty! The treatment is a monotone, everything grayscale, but you can see that it's indeed possible to create a sort of color with shades of gray. The pose of MJ is a classic one.

The other reasons coalesce around my uneneding ensorcelment with popcult and all of its hypnotizing spectacle. I don't care who you are, if you've heard of MJ, you have some sort of feeling about it. Watching the development of MJ's afterlife is just wicked fascinating. He died as he lived: amazingly, flashily, gaudy touching on the gauche, with a huge spectacle, and under mysterious circumstances. How could you not be enthralled – or at least interested?

Somehow this says something about who we are and where we're headed as a culture and a society. I'm not sure what, and I'm not sure I want to find out. But it does.

Oh, and if you want to help the City of Los Angeles pay for the amazing overtime for public safety professionals they're going to incur over this, here's the Mayor's website, with a PayPal link:

http://mayor.lacity.org/PressRoom/PressReleases/LACITYP_005598

I'm sure it'll probably go down in flames later today as it gets hammered and the MJ memorial service breaks the intarweb, but that's the way it goes, peoples.

Damn but Los Angeles is a fascinating place. I'd like to visit there someday.

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2 comments:

pril said...

Los Angeles is, on one hand, a fun and fabulous place to live, and on the other, the skeeviest, dirtiest, most self-centered armpit in the universe. (having spent 22 of my formative years there and making many return trips since, I feel I can say this with all the authority of any other Angelena who has a passionate, schizophrenic love-hate relationship with the place)

Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

What you said there is the heart of the reason why I can't stop watching what I can see coming out of LaLa Land (nothing personal there–as a native Oregonian, you know we have a cultural imperative to mock everything south of Sacramento, so we give it a cutesy name).

I always had the feeling that Cali – particularly SoCal – is the kind of "nice place to visit, hate to live" place for an Oregon kid like myself. And, actually, just about every nifty media memory of my youth – Adam-12, the great West-coast SF literati, 70s and 80s daytime game shows – things which I actually sincerely un-ironically love – come from that great cultural source.

There's just something that's amazing and indefinable about Los Angeles that makes people want to go there just once in their life, and something that makes people who came from there (like you) and who still live there remember it with both love and hate it simultaneously in equal measure.

There's something about LA, I've noticed that causes everyone to write a screenplay just to say they have a screenplay in development. Even if they don't know how.

That's why LA is nifty, even if you don't want to have anything to do with it.