Today’s Michael Jackson funeral was a true mirror of his life. Since he was a kid he lived for show business, and the farewell his relatives and associates prepared for him was probably his biggest show, with the broadest audience he ever reached. A show that I think might have delighted him.
Nothing was missed from the big event: the $25 million bathed in gold casket, the long caravan of black cars that drove through Los Angeles until the Staples Center, the fans and policemen at the doors of the stadium, the mourning family and friends, the songs and teary speeches.
A memorial that was supposed to last one hour was prolongued finally to two hours, and by the way some of the performers and relatives clang to the microphone, I guess some of them would probably wanted that it lasted even more.
I am not particularly fan of pop music, even though I acknowledge Jackson’s talents as a singer and a dancer. But, as millions around the planet, I could not resist the temptation of becoming a witness to the funeral of a celebrity. Why? Plain curiosity? Probably. The fact is that the expectation was sowed somehow in our minds. Knowing the taste of MJ for the bizarre, and the secrecy that the organizers maintained about the program, we were waiting for a non conventional memorial service. It was.
The thing that amazed me most was the presence of the casket at the stadium. During the last days, the newspapers spread the version that the artist would have a private service and burial. Only this morning we around the world knew that the family had decided to take the body first to the Staples Center. What role can play a casket (a gold one, remember!) in a musical show? Well, the answer came soon: it was placed on the stage by the brothers of the deceased actor, and all the perfomers made their speeches, sang, told anecdotes and cried at him…
I cannot avoid to compare the whole show to the funeral of Lady Di, also followed by millions around the world, which was an example of austerity and elegance… Well, but the Jacksons are not part of the European nobility, they are a working class family from Gary, Indiana, that struggled to achieve success in the competitive American show business. They had to do their son and brother’s funeral into their own style, and they did it. Even Michael’s children, the ones he always protected form the paparazzi appeared on stage and his little daughter Paris spoke and cried. After all, this was the funeral of the son of a problematic and very talented American family… a family with flaws and greatness… a family from the show business.
(Ooops! Esta nota me salió en inglés...)