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Couch Tomato

Michael Jackson

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Thought I'd make a thread - I don't think it's a story that is going away ever ..... between his life and music and celebrity, the complete and utter strangeness, the finances, the children, the cause of death etc etc.

It's weird but I kinda separated Michael jackson from his music a long time ago. I could always enjoy it even though it got harder and harder to even look at him. It's infectious and genius. When it comes to talent, he really had it all.

The things that are bothering me now is the celebs coming out of the woodwork - they were all Michael's best friend. Lou Ferrigno (sp) was on CNN talking about how he and Michael had a con nec tion even though before he started getting him in shape for his concert tour he hadn't seen him in 15 years...but oh by the way he wants to be on Dancing with the Stars. And his father - who is probably senile - was the worst - pitching some business venture before his son is is even buried. I think and hope the world will turn their backs on Daddy Joe.

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It's far too sad and weird for me. I loved his music at one time, but now something is just missing. Perhaps all the twisted things that have developed over the course of the past few decades. I only know that I can't watch anything further about it now. I just change the channel and yell at my TV ENOUGH! lol

Maybe it just seems too surreal, like one long drawn out circus or freak show with all these people coming out of the woodwork and all the pimping going on. And the adoration and idolization has been a bit OTT for me. I think he was a genius at one time. A truly good looking and talented guy. I believe he absolutely had a huge impact on the modern music video. But he didn't set out to make a difference with his money or his celebrity on any grand scale. He spent his $$$ spree spending garrish and orante "things", not to mention the multiple plastic surgeries that left him IMO disfigured. He was obssessed with his celebrity, power and thought of himself in terms of royalty.....and I still don't understand why he was so driven to be a father and hide the fact that they were not even his. And continue to abuse himself in so many ways. And the question continue....and you're right Couchie, this isn't going to go away ever. I can only imagine how many books will be written on the subject matter and what may come to light over the coming years. It makes me sad for him but most of all I feel for those children!!

I am so glad Clay appears to be grounded and has found other ways to use his celebrity and money. I hope he has a peaceful soul. I wish MJ had had the opportunity to develop one. Such a waste of a life and great talent. :(

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I can definitely understand why he would evoke all sorts of feelings in people. I have no idea how much money Michael gave to charity but he did choose to create music and videos that brought awareness to a lot of forgotten people in this country and all corners of the world. As the commercial says -- that kind of influence? Priceless.

I just always go back to why did no one step in when he was obviously sinking further and further into mental illness and drug abuse. I keep hearing the family tried -- but he has long passed the legal intervention stage. I think even trying and failing would have been better than what ultimately happened.

And I in no means see him as just a victim. But I lived with depression from my mom for 5 months and it was the worst thing I ever experienced - more than any of the physical ailments she has ever had. The person you know and love is just not there. And no amount of talking to them will work. You have to take joint drastic actions even if they are looking at you like they want to hurt you LOL. I can't even imagine self hatred and all that fame and legal troubles added to the mix.

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I can definitely understand why he would evoke all sorts of feelings in people. I have no idea how much money Michael gave to charity but he did choose to create music and videos that brought awareness to a lot of forgotten people in this country and all corners of the world. As the commercial says -- that kind of influence? Priceless.

I just always go back to why did no one step in when he was obviously sinking further and further into mental illness and drug abuse. I keep hearing the family tried -- but he has long passed the legal intervention stage. I think even trying and failing would have been better than what ultimately happened.

And I in no means see him as just a victim. But I lived with depression from my mom for 5 months and it was the worst thing I ever experienced - more than any of the physical ailments she has ever had. The person you know and love is just not there. And no amount of talking to them will work. You have to take joint drastic actions even if they are looking at you like they want to hurt you LOL. I can't even imagine self hatred and all that fame and legal troubles added to the mix.

Hi Couch Tomato, I don't post here often but do lurk and got the email notification of your thread and wanted to stop by to say I agree with how you feel. I too find it odd at how many are coming out of the woodwork now. I think the coverage is a bit of an overkill.

I wanted to mention, as I am sure you are well aware of, that it's hard to force someone to get help unless they want it. My brother-in-law is a hopeless alcholic and his long-time live in girlfriend often attempts to make the family feel guilty for not helping him even though we have tried & tried to in the past. One time I even thought I would try just writing him a scathing letter telling him that unless he went for the help he needed, he would alienate the entire family with his drinking and resulting mean, mean antics. (He is such a nice guy when sober.) I wanted to try to shock him into seeing what he was doing to his relationships with everyone who loved him. Well, that did not work and neither of them spoke to me for a couple years! Now we are on good terms again, but quite frankly, there is nothing more we can do or try to do to help. He needs to want to help himself first.

That said, I did not hear or see all these people who are now Michael's best friends trying to help Michael. IMO, Michael had few good friends that he seemed to trust and Elizabeth Tayor was one of them. I only want to hear from the celebs who were actually close to him and not those now jumping on the bandwagon.

I thought it quite disgusting that Michael's father pitched his new label and am glad he caught flack from the media for mentining it. Then when asked why he mentioned the label, he said he was asked about it so he answered but yet he was not asked about it by the interviewer. Again, before he said why he answered, he plugged the darn label again. I always felt that father was basically the root of Michael's difficulties.

I am glad someone finally made Brittany Spears get the help she needed and hope she never reverts back to her problematic years. Someone should have intervened with Michael.

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I can definitely understand why he would evoke all sorts of feelings in people. I have no idea how much money Michael gave to charity but he did choose to create music and videos that brought awareness to a lot of forgotten people in this country and all corners of the world. As the commercial says -- that kind of influence? Priceless.

It's fascinating how much of an influence he had on musicians and dancers, listening to them talk about it, watching the videos and noticing the specific steps which have become a part of current dance vocabulary, for example. I found this little bit in a article about the latest AI winner, who is a huge Jackson fan (and talked about it a lot before the death so it wasn't a case of "cashing in," so to speak): How Michael Jackson Helped Kris Allen Win 'Idol'. I've heard several young people say this, that his music just made them feel good:

What is it about Michael Jackson that appeals to you?

Every time you listen to this music you get this feeling and you always feel good. And as a kid, that's a captivating thing. His music was so easy to get lost into. I remember being 8 years old and dancing in my room to his music. Trying to dance like him, as well. It was ugly, but it was fun.

He also answered a question that I've thought about a lot. I was definitely affected by all the negative stuff myself, and it did make it difficult for me to enjoy his music as much. But I know that wasn't true for everyone.

It never turned me off against his music. Because it was always a separate thing to me. There were always things that I saw, that I'd be like: awww Michael, what are you doing?! But when you put his songs on, you completely forget about that. And the nice things was, my parents would see even more of that stuff than I did, obviously they're going to watch the news more than me as a kid, and they never turned me off on him.

I just always go back to why did no one step in when he was obviously sinking further and further into mental illness and drug abuse. I keep hearing the family tried -- but he has long passed the legal intervention stage. I think even trying and failing would have been better than what ultimately happened.

And I in no means see him as just a victim. But I lived with depression from my mom for 5 months and it was the worst thing I ever experienced - more than any of the physical ailments she has ever had. The person you know and love is just not there. And no amount of talking to them will work. You have to take joint drastic actions even if they are looking at you like they want to hurt you LOL. I can't even imagine self hatred and all that fame and legal troubles added to the mix.

I think people did try to do something. A couple of people who talked about him, sincerely IMO (although they are definitely TV "personalities") made that clear. One was a guy whose name I'm just blanking on right now, but a famous self-help, spiritual growth guy from TV who befriended him. He said that if you tried to confront Michael, he would just shut you out. He changed phone numbers all the time, and you just wouldn't be able to reach him anymore.

Another was Rabbi Shmuley: Jackson rabbi-friend: Singer was 'a tortured, tortured soul'. Here's a bit from that article:

I tried to be one of the good guys. Being a good guy meant if you had to risk your relationship with Michael, that you had to put your relationship on the line -- you had to look him in the eye and say, "Michael, you are killing yourself," or "Michael, you have -- there's no normality in your life," or "Michael, you have lost spiritual anchor."

I mean, Campbell, Michael was a very spiritual, religious man. He was not only a Jehovah's Witness, he was a missionary. ... He used to knock on people's doors selling Watchtowers. Then suddenly he fell out with the church. So you had this mega attention and nothing to balance and nothing to correct it. Little by little he became more egotistical.

Brown: So what did he say -- when you confronted him, when you said these things to him, how did he react to you?

Boteach: Well, for a year he listened to me and used to tell me how much he loved me and cared about me and we were very close.

I mean, I cannot begin to describe the degree of friendship that existed between us. I tried to be a Rabbi to him. But after a year -- and I believed there was a lot of progress in that year. You know, Michael came with me to synagogue. He was never going to become Jewish but he needed some sort of spiritual base. He used to come for regular Sabbath dinners at our home.

But after a year he really began to see me almost as a nuisance. I would speak to him and I could see a complete difference in body posture. He would begin to cringe. He would almost curl up, evolve into an embryonic position. He was unaccustomed to hearing any kind of criticism.

I think his family, his friends, really did try to reach him and help him. I also think there were tons of enablers who made that more difficult, but I do think people tried. Sometimes you just can't get through to people.

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jmh, you're talking about Deepak Chopra. I've seen him on several shows this past week talking about his relationship with Michael. He's one of the few that I've watched who actually seems sincere about his relationship and how he tried to help.

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I think you guys are right and I'm being a tad judgmental because they couldn't fix him.

I'm so glad there's a will. Diana Ross as the backup caretaker? That was a surprise.

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There are some people in the media who have forever lost credibility with me in reporting and commenting on the death of Michael Jackson. I have heard supposed "news" reporters say some of the most preposterous things I've ever heard -- and with a straight face. A female reporter on CNN yesterday said that Michael Jackson broke the race barrier on Top 40 radio. She actually said that the Jackson 5 was only heard on black radio and Michael broke the race barrier with his solo career. Maybe she got this confused with the MTV situation, but she later repeated it and nobody corrected her. I was a child in the 50's and I had my turquoise transistor radio tuned to Top 40 and I loved Chuck Berry, The Platters, Jackie Wilson, Sam Cooke, Little Richard, Jimmy Reed, and the list could go on and on. And the Motown 60's followed, along with Memphis and Gulf Coast R&B. As a very young person I had the music of Bobby Blue Bland and Gatemouth Brown in my ears. It was certainly played on Top 40 radio in Houston, Texas. Maybe Houston was an anomaly?

Anyway, that asinine comment really bothered me yesterday. THEN, I heard this dude hosting a show on MSNBC this morning say that Michael Jackson INVENTED pop music. DUDE, before there was Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5 (and I won't even mention The Beatles) there was Little Stevie Wonder. Stevie went to the top of the charts when he was 13 with Fingertips Part 2 and provided a soundtrack for the next 20 years. Signed Sealed Delivered is one of my ringtones. Oh God, I've left out Ray Charles. My mother adored the music of Ray Charles and it was always in our house.

Then I heard someone say that Michael Jackson was the first black performer that was accepted by white kids. Are you kidding me? Jimi Hendrix was a god to the white kids of my generation, and I stress white kids because there weren't that many black kids into the psychedelic music Jimi was pioneering in the late 60's. And there was Sly Stone, who was HUGE in the late 60's. IMO, Sly Stone was the star of Woodstock.

More accurately, Michael Jackson was the first pop star to combine song and dance in a glittering extravaganza of excitement. But I don't forget Prince, who is still amazing -- he can sing, dance, compose, and plays a brilliant electric guitar. He's talented beyond measure. Michael Jackson was a record-selling juggernaut of the 1980's, but he didn't invent music, or even dominate the music of the 80's even though he had the top selling album. Pink Floyd probably had the top selling album of the 70's in Dark Side of the Moon, but that signifies what? MJ was a creative entertainer who wrote his own story and projected a magical aura that marked him for legendary status. He was a marketing genius in addition to his musical gifts.

Anyway, I've reached an age where I've heard enough and read enough to question anything I hear or read. And the last four or five non-fiction books I've read have contained egregious factual errors. It creeps me out when I read a book and the narrative veers into an area where I do have some knowledge and find glaring misstatements. Who's editing books these days? There's something insidious about non-fiction and journalism without honest fact-checking. Is it any wonder we live in Tabloid World? I don't know if I even trust half of what I see anymore. Maybe 1/3.

Well, I'm off to the ranch this afternoon for a few days. Surely Clay will surface while I'm gone!

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kf, did you see this from The Daily Show? 'Cause your post really reminded me of it...

The Rippy Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Obitutainment

kf, I think much of what you are suggesting really IS part of where you grew up. I'm a bit younger than you, but I NEVER knew who Jimi Hendrix was until I got out of college. That just wasn't who I, or any of my family, listened to. My sister supposedly loved Pat Boone for Christ's sake! So many of those artists you mentioned listening to on pop radio -- just didn't happen in my neck of the woods -- and MJ WAS in many ways the one who broke that barrier.

JMO, of course.

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The reporting is pretty ridiculous. Even them screaming a day after he was dead that there was no will.

It will be interesting to see how this all falls out. I tend to think he will land in the Marilyn, Elvis categories -- maybe because he also died before his time.

I've seen it both ways though..the "self-proclaimed" king of pop with that derision in their voices ..I've seen that as well. I think the thing with Michael was that he was a world wide phenomenon and not just an American one. And he had a career that spanned 35 years.

Can you just imagine how many un-released songs there are out there. I bet every label he's been with has some.

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Just want to chime in with kf a bit - most of the singers I listened to in the 60's were black.

Rock and roll, Motown, that's what I bought, that's what was on the radio.

I grew up in and around Philly, looks like about the same time as kf.

I loved to watch MJ sing and dance right up until that car-smashing crotch-grabbing stuff. Then I just liked to hear him sing, I am not a fan of the crotch grab.

All the glorification doesn't bother me, though, because it hurts no one. And I suspect that Michael is getting a lot more understanding and support in death than he ever did in life.

The other end of that spectrum - someone is releasing a book that says MJ was skeletal and gay and had no voice left. Feeding frenzy.

Fact remains he was a fabulous entertainer. Period.

I caught a bit of the BET tribute and for some reason it creeped me out the way Jamie Foxx dressed up like Michael. I couldn't watch it.

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I grew up in the segregated south and we had black musicians on the radio in the 50s and 60s. Not only that, but every Saturday night when I was a teenager white kids went to the Memorial Auditorium to see the Four Tops or the Platters or Smokey Robinson and the Miracles--all the great black groups came to perform there. I did also listen to black radio (WLAC in Nashville, TN), but there was no shortage of black musicians on the radio.

LOL, if Wikipedia is correct, I and a bunch of other folks were fooled:

By the 1950s, however, WLAC would achieve a distinctive notoriety of its own. The station became legendary from a quartet of nighttime rhythm and blues shows hosted by Gene Nobles, "John R." (John Richbourg), Herman Grizzard, and Bill "Hossman" (or simply "Hoss") Allen in the 1950s and 1960s. Thanks to the station's clear channel designation, the signal reached most of the Eastern and Midwestern United States, although African-American listeners in the Deep South were the intended audience of the programs. Further, several foreign countries, particularly islands in the Caribbean and southern Canada, were within range of the station's nighttime signal; it was said to have played a considerable role in the development of reggae music as a result. WLAC was particularly popular with some young Euro-American teenagers; some believe that the nightly shows laid the foundational audience for the rock and roll phenomenon of the late 1950s.

Nobles began the move, in 1946, toward what were considered at the time "race" records, a euphemism intended to deter supposedly respectable audiences. But he and the others discovered the large numbers of African-Americans in places like the Mississippi Delta, the Carolina Lowcountry, Louisiana, Chicago, and Detroit, people whom practically no other radio stations were serving. Gradually phasing in artists like Amos Milburn, Chuck Berry, and Fats Domino in the early 1950s to supplement the big-band artists of the era such as Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller, the WLAC announcers presided over the development of what became "rhythm-and-blues" music. They did this mainly to attract advertisers who serviced the African-American community, such as hair-care products like Royal Crown Hair Pomade or chicken hatcheries, which packaged baby scrub roosters and other undesirable stock in large quantities for sale. The jockeys developed a reputation for colorfully pitching those products on-air; some product slogans lent themselves to sexually suggestive double entendres, which only increased the announcers' popularity among teen listeners. The jockeys conducted the advertising sales on a "per inquiry", or commission, basis, meaning that ratings per se did not play a major role in the programs' successes.

Performers of later years, such as Johnny Winter, credit the station as being a valuable source of inspiration for their artistic development. A strange irony about the phenomenon was unknown to most listeners of that time: all four disc jockeys were in fact middle-aged Caucasians, not African-Americans, as their Southern, gravelly, drawling voices suggested. Richbourg and Allen in particular made frequent use of colloquialisms most familiar to their audience, thereby convincing many that they were "soul brothers," as a common expression of that day would have it.

Like those teen listeners the quote mentions, one of the attractions for me was the commercials. My favorite DJ was John R, and he would do spots for White Rose Petroleum Jelly. He'd list a bunch of things you could do with it, and would always end with the catchphrase, "1001 uses and I know the one".

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"1001 uses and I know the one".

BWAH!

sorry, carry on

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I hate how the media always seems so secretly gleeful when someone at all famous dies. I remember when Anna Nicole Smith died, I just couldn't stand watching any tabloid-esque shows because they all seemed so fake-sad, so happy that they had something to cover. Maybe it's just me reading that into it. It could be that they just have the same emotions when they're covering any kind of news, but I found (and still find) most "news" coverage of a celebrity's death appalling.

As for Michael himself, I think I should keep my mouth shut since I don't really know much about him, but I did want to make one comment. For me, and probably for a lot in my generation, he's always been the "wacko Jacko" not the genius musician. But I've always found him to be incredibly sad--the epitome of money can't buy happiness.

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the epitome of money can't buy happiness.

Ain't that the truth--hopefully that will sink in to some who didn't get it before now.

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Don Henley's Dirty Laundry lyrics.....

I make my living off the evening news

Just give me something-something I can use

People love it when you lose,

They love dirty laundry

Well, I coulda been an actor, but I wound up here

I just have to look good, I dont have to be clear

Come and whisper in my ear

Give us dirty laundry

Kick em when theyre up

Kick em when theyre down

....

Kick em all around

We got the bubble-headed-bleach-blonde who

Comes on at five

She can tell you bout the plane crash with a gleam

In her eye

Its interesting when people die-

Give us dirty laundry

Can we film the operation?

Is the head dead yet?

You know, the boys in the newsroom got a

Running bet

Get the widow on the set!

We need dirty laundry

You dont really need to find out whats going on

You dont really want to know just how far its gone

Just leave well enough alone

Eat your dirty laundry

Kick em when theyre up

Kick em when theyre down

......

Kick em when theyre stiff

Kick em all around

Dirty little secrets

Dirty little lies

We got our dirty little fingers in everybodys pie

We love to cut you down to size

We love dirty laundry

We can do the innuendo

We can dance and sing

When its said and done we havent told you a thing

We all know that crap is king

Give us dirty laundry!

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As for Michael himself, I think I should keep my mouth shut since I don't really know much about him, but I did want to make one comment. For me, and probably for a lot in my generation, he's always been the "wacko Jacko" not the genius musician. But I've always found him to be incredibly sad--the epitome of money can't buy happiness.

As I can see from you're profile, you're only a year younger than me, I thankfully am glad that I have been exposed to the musical side of Jackson. I just love the fact that I did get exposed to that side. (but then agian I am a Motown fangirl), but sadly there are going to be kids from this gen that only know him as the wierd guy.

And please don't hate me for this, but I kinda hope that the media will calm down with the story although i now have a huge fear that I would go as long as the Anna Nicole smith death coverage. I love MJ as much as many of his fans do but I hope that It does'nt last as long or turn into a spectale like that. Although It just might and more.

Now back to lurking......

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oh I think we all hope it will die down..but if Anna Nicole went on for as long as it did - I mean really what is she famous for? -- then this will go on much longer. They will do everything they can to find the details of the trust for one thing. The custody issues will go on forever most likely. The battles for control of the estate. The law suits from every tom dick and harry. Not to mention that I've already heard they have hundred hours of taping from the rehearsals that they are already speculating will be packaged into some sort of documentary. Can't tell much from a photo but the pictures from the rehearsal belie a lot of what's being said -- then again Michael was always a totally different person on stage. The record companies will start unlocking their vaults -- the never before heard songs of Michael Jackson will start popping up. They are still putting out Luther albums so I know there are a ton of Michael songs out here.

I know there is a generation out there that only know the "jack-o" and as weird and hopeless as he seemed even to me those last 15 years or so (I honestly can't stand to look at him) -- I think the music will survive for current and future generations. A lot of his stuff just doesn't seem at all dated.

ETA: Took a break from the MJ stuff today..watching late news..and damn if they didn't find out what's in the trust already.

40% mother

40% kids

20% kid's charities.

And rehearsal video. He looked frail and nowhere near his peak but not like he was about to drop dead in 2 days.

Blanket? Is that a real name?

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I can't watch anything MJ related any longer. I'm kinda fed up with it all now, especially since it seems more like an "event" than anything else. So Hollywood, but I guess he is far more deserving than some of the others the media seems to devour in death. Who's paying for this? I sure as hell hope it's not my state taxes. Perhaps an IOU from the state will cover it? :cryingwlaughter:

Have they mentioned anywhere if the rights to the Beatles' music was indeed reverted back to McCartney in the will? I believe I read somewhere that was supposedly MJ's intention at one time.

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That's understandable. So far it doesn't "feel" hollywood although yes it's an event. Some of the things like the BET event right after he died was disgusting so I didn't have high hopes.

I doubt very seriously that Michael gave Paul McCarntney a billion dollar asset. LOL. I didn't even realize he "stole" it out from under him. I have heard nothing other than the original split I listed above. And I'm glad that his estate went to someone outside the family to manage. I think the people Michael chose will do a good job.

But, I have been really moved so far by the music today --especially Lionel Richie (Jesus is Love), Jennifer Hudson and John Mayer. Also..the first strings of Soon and Very Soon -- oh lord we sang that song so much growing up. It was our choir's go to song. LOL. Anyway there is a sincerity of song and emotion that I find surprising for some reason. Hell Mariah as well.

What's so so sad to me is looking at the Jackson 5 -- Randy, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon... plus (fat head) Randy. They look fabulous! Other than Jermaine I haven't seen the rest in years. Marlon was always my favorite (when they were the Jackson 5).

As for who is paying -- well the actually rental of the building, the flowers, etc -- I'm sure that's the family or his estate. But who pays for police security, crowd control -- that is the City of LA. I hear they are collecting donations to help out. It's their jobs to cover public safety for any large event. Their only choice was to say we are not providing police escorts or crowd control.

Jermain sang Smile -- Michael's favorite song. where's my tissue.

I wish people would STOP screaming I LOVE YOU MICHAEL at the quiet moments like they are at a Clay concert :lilredani:

ETA: I have to say -- I tune out the politicians. I could care less about them and especially that ambulance chaser Al Sharpton. I'm sure Jesse will have his turn at the mic too.

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It's a really moving ceremony. The music has been wonderful, and the videos they created are cool too. Even the speeches.

I don't have the deep attachment to Michael that so many have, and the later years of his life were something of a turn-off to me, but when he was younger he was amazing. The sincerity of the love that so many feel for him is obvious, and the importance that he holds in their lives--I respect and appreciate that.

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I Owe You.

I'm not really watching, but I have it on background on my computer while I've been working. John Mayer impressed me.

But I'm with couchie on Al Sharpton -- shudder.

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