How did I feel about Michael Jackson dying? Relieved, as though a huge matter of collective guilt had finally expired and could be shrugged off at last. However baroque the revelations of the house-clearing are, however outrageous the posthumous exposés, he’s not going to do anything worse. The area of doubt which stops Billie Jean from going the same queasy-making way as I’m The Leader Of The Gang (a bigger area anyway, because Billie Jean is in entirely another realm of brilliance) might be able to stay intact.
Also interpreting and commemorating, but much less self-serving than I am:
k-punk on what changed with Jackson:
The death of this King – “my brother, the Legendary King Of Pop”, as Jermaine Jackson described him in his press conference, as if giving Michael his formal title – recalls not the Diana carcrash, but the sad slump of Elvis from catatonic narcosis into the long good night. Perhaps it was only Elvis who managed to insinuate himself into practically every living human being’s body and dreams to the same degree that Jackson did, at the microphysical level of enjoyment as well as at the macro-level of spectacular memeplex. Michael Jackson: a figure so subsumed and consumed by the videodrome that it’s scarely possible to think of him as an individual human being at all… because he wasn’t of course… becoming videoflesh was the price of immortality, and that meant being dead while still alive, and no-one knew that more than Michael…
MagCulture on how the most radical editorial line on Jackson is the most mundane:
But the cover of next week’s Time does something different. This cover is the best memorial for Jackson I’ve seen yet. No hype, no weirdness, no judgement. Just a stripped down normal-looking human posing and smiling in jeans and vest.