Saturday 27 June 2009

A few interesting Michael Jackson links

Ok, well if you're looking for some way beneath the MJ myth, you might want to start with this. Oh, love of Lisa Simpson has revealed some of the finest humanity in many human hearts, and this is very sweet indeed.

MJ wrote "Do the Bartman"! because he loved Bart Simpson so much. Well I feel Michael Jackson's heart here. This is lovely.

A journalist who knew MJ personally for years, talks.

Lisa Marie Presley is having a unique experience of MJ's death. (via LA Times)

This is pretty mesmerising. I wondered on facebook how MJ might have looked if he hadn't been interfered with, and Tabitha came up with this and this. Wow. How open and plain human those possible versions of himself look. The Mail version looks the most plausible to me. That kind of fame does not lead a person to looking like a binman. It has its own sheen, its own patina.

It all went arseways after Thriller. A generally good wnyc Soundcheck show, looking at Thriller, and the impact it had on MJ's career. Specifically, the crippling effects of success. He never made another great album again. It's such a pity. He clearly had it in him, still. The man was a phenomenon.

An article about the album he had (partly?) recorded when he died.

Man, his affairs are so messy. So much debt, and motherless children. There is some talk that Debbie Rowe will probably reclaim the two children of hers, and she is likely to get custody, being their natural mother. So what of the third child? Is the family to be split up? Isn't the whole situation bad enough? It's a mess.

So. He sold over 800 million records in his lifetime. His appeal spans generations of childhoods. Off the Wall and Thriller are such profoundly groovy records. I mean, they just groove.

But I don't know what he was trying to pull off with the London gigs. I think his whole relationship with fame was so deeply enmeshed with his own sense of self worth and existence, that it was just folly all the way down. How can a man of 50 try to recreate the kind of spectacle that he was famed for 25 years previously? It is a pity he could not just start with what he actually was, rather than endlessly clawing for the next thing that could kick his fame into what it had been. That time is gone, probably forever, for everybody.

Because deep inside all that crazyshit that Michael Jackson had become, there was this:

Thursday 25 June 2009

A balloon on Houston street

Less than a minute later, a yellow cab ran over it and it burst.

Wednesday 24 June 2009

Oh the jetlag

Ok I got up early today but I am absolutely fecked. I'm hoping an early night tonight can do it.

The guy in the middle was a depressed fish in the window of a restaurant on 5th ave around the corner from us, who just stayed in this position the whole time I stood there gazing at him. It is like he knows.

I never saw him again after this.

The man in the blue suit; the man in the white suit

So the security queue at JFK was a nightmare of inefficiency and chaos, with a guy in a blue suit and blue latex gloves in a desk in the middle of it all, looking around at anyone who sniffed and took everybody's passports and put a little mark on them. I suppose they had to give him something to do. His job was to look out for sniffles. Seriously.

It's not going to be so easy to get rid of swine flu but they have to look like officialty is making its moves to get the situation under control or some other suitable platitude. The lousy news is that swine flu is expected to run riot this winter. The good news is that fatalities are commensurate with any other normal flu, which is to say, very very few.

I cannot believe I am blogging about swine flu. It is so hard to care. It was the guy in the blue suit in the madly inefficient JFK queues what made me do it. Here's a picture of David Byrne's gig at the Prospect Park Bandshell a couple of weeks ago. Yes, I know you can't see David Byrne. He was wearing white. He's in the middle.

Tuesday 23 June 2009

Wing of the plane as dawn broke


Radiolab has made a fantastic episode about stochasticity, the nature of chance and randomness. They pack a hell of a lot of stuff into 59 minutes.

Monday 22 June 2009


Delicious dancing.

That's all you're getting out of me today, after 3 whole minutes of sleep in the past 24 hours and more. The Jetlag gods are tossing me like a baby seal between the noses of playtime whales. Too many trains (2) planes (2) airports (3) cars (2) and now, a bed I can splay out in. Tar is playing it cool. I will try to bribe him with great big American chewtreats. Meanwhile, he licks pee with great tenderness, so tender and loving I cannot stop watching him. He knows.