‘Shocked and saddened.’

Jesus Christ, my brain is going to explode before MJ gets planted. This will be like Princess Diana with three-quarters of the IQ points sucked out, worse accents, bigger phonies and more baldly obvious money-grubbing. Who ARE these mutants? Do I share a country with them? How soon can we move to Denmark or Uruguay?

Even with the TV only murmuring in the background, the stupidity seeped through the room like a toxic gas. After a while I started jotting down the lines that penetrated my concentration. Entirely out of context, of course:

He’s credited with changing the way music videos were done…with changing how artists were marketed. …These people have come here to recognize this.

Are radio stations deciding it’s time to play Michael Jackson music? …It’s comforting to hear this.

(Kissing Lisa Marie Presley on MTV was) the kiss heard around the world. It became part of the dialogue of your home…

He wasn’t a human being, he was a phenomenon.

…And I was wearing these beaded socks by Bob Mackie, and he kept telling me, “Cher, I just love your socks.”

Larry King was really in a class of his own, running what he called “this special, sad edition of Larry King Live.” He asked one guest, a doctor: “What could be done to bring someone back from cardiac arrest?” (The doc replied: “Resuscitation.”)

He pushed his celebrity guests through the mill like sports-talk radio callers the night a big coach gets fired. Disco icon Donna Summer. Donna, you knew Michael, did you not? What are your thoughts, Donna? Donna, what was his greatness? His greatness was perfection, Larry. Will you be doing a tribute song tonight? I will, Larry. Thank you, Donna. Joining us now is Sheryl Crow, who knew him well. Sheryl, how are you feeling tonight?

Randy Jackson called it “one of the biggest shocks of my lifetime.” The helicopter took off from the hospital, bound for the coroner’s office. Where is this helicopter going? You wouldn’t happen to know, Randy? Randy didn’t know.

Madonna “couldn’t stop crying.” Maybe she can draw on this memory the next time she’s called upon to act.

Write it down: Drug overdose. In true Hollywood fashion, his stomach contents will consist of brown rice, organic vegetables and Fiji water, while his bloodstream coursed with more industrial-strength opiates and tranquilizers than you could find in 10 hard-case mental hospitals.

I’m turning off the TV, and I won’t turn it back on until Elizabeth Taylor has been wheeled home from the funeral service. You all carry on, but like Forrest Gump, I think this is all I have to say about that.

Posted at 1:39 am in Current events, Popculch |

132 responses to “‘Shocked and saddened.’”

  1. LA Mary said on June 26, 2009 at 1:49 am

    I watched the housewives of NJ being inexplicably petty and nasty and then the movie “To Die For” so I could escape all the MJ stuff. It’s my son’s birthday today, so he will forever remember that MJ died on his birthday, just like I will always remember that Dizzy Gillespie died on mine.

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  2. Dexter said on June 26, 2009 at 2:14 am

    LAM: Jimi Hendrix died on my 21st birthday, so my first legal Lucky Lager ( I was in Cal) was drunk with that pall of gloom in the little bar.
    I heard about it today when the local Toledo CBS station broke in at 1814 with a TMZ report. CNN was last to call, at about 1828.
    Brian Williams was ready to go with a full report at 1830. Lester Holt joined him shortly thereafter. Holt is the same age as was Jackson, and he reported about the people who LIVE IN VANS near wherever Michael Jackson happened to be.
    This was their life! Hoping for just an occasional glimpse of Jackson…that won’t leave me for a while…I have never heard of such a thing.
    Ed McMahon, 86. Fair age.
    FF, 62, too young, it seems not fair at all.
    M. Jackson, 50, seems way too young, but I was not surprised at all.
    Elvis Presley, 42.—I was 27 and 42 seemed like an appropriate age to die.
    It’s all in our minds, ain’t it? Life and death…perceptions.

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  3. Hattie said on June 26, 2009 at 2:18 am

    Oh, cripes. This is filling me with Boomer hatred.
    Guess we needed a diversion from all that war stuff in Iraq and social turmoil in Iran.
    Back to your beddy-byes, kiddies.

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  4. Dexter said on June 26, 2009 at 2:22 am

    Hattie…72 people killed in an Iraq explosion Wednesday and US troops must cease “city involvement” in 4 days, nation-wide. We don’t forget what Bush got us into, believe me.
    Do you mean you hate us Boomers?

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  5. Hattie said on June 26, 2009 at 2:44 am

    No, I feel sorry for Boomers. Sold a load of garbage and told how great it was.

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  6. Hattie said on June 26, 2009 at 4:15 am

    P. S. I do apologize and do not mean to offend. It’s been a long day. Actually, it’s been a long life of seeing pop icons come and go!

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  7. Brandon said on June 26, 2009 at 5:04 am

    “How soon can we move to Denmark or Uruguay?”



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  8. Linda said on June 26, 2009 at 5:42 am

    Hattie–a lot of the freaks who slavered over MJ were/are not boomers. Fills me with the creeps, though, since I was born in ’58, too. Now I read obits and check out the ages to see how close they are to me.

    But lost among this is that Jackson was a really good entertainer. He had a fine voice, and his early training at Motown prepared him for the video age of the 80s. He learned to dance, do costumes, and put on a good show with sound and visuals. Compare him to a group I saw in a club that had a big pop hit in the 80s, Modern English. They refused to do their big pop hit–the one that drew most of the crowd–till the last number–yet spent some of the show chiding the audience for their lack of enthusiasm! I always liked entertainers who were not ashamed that they were there to show folks a good time, and MJ never forgot that. He was rewarded for a lot of crazy later in his life, but he entertained like hell.

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  9. coozledad said on June 26, 2009 at 6:07 am

    I wonder how many times the guy went under the knife just to wind up looking like a damn Batman villain. I hear the administration is collecting health-care horror stories. Well, there’s a good one.
    Didn’t T.C. Boyle write a story based on Michael at some point?
    Yeah, yeah. Maclovio Pulchris. From “A Friend of The Earth”.

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  10. ROgirl said on June 26, 2009 at 6:14 am

    His life had gotten so surreal, the announcement of his death is mainly a continuation of the strange circumstances of his existence. It’s sad because of how far removed he ended up from his phenomenal successes, but it’s not surprising. Fame is a bitch.

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  11. Dorothy said on June 26, 2009 at 7:14 am

    Talk about full circle, Mary (your son’s birthday/MJ’s death). Princess Di died on my 40th birthday. And MJ was born 363 days after I was born, so we’re close in age, too.

    I’m sorry he died, but he was a past-his-prime entertainer who had freaky dispositions towards plastic surgery and young boys. Here’s hoping his death might allow his three children to grow up with some sense of normalcy. I think I just heard something a week or two ago about his eldest son putting his foot down and refusing to wear the gauzey scarves over his face anymore.

    I always assumed someone had molested him when he was younger – hence his tendency to have young boys around him. He should have been getting therapy for that, but it seems there was no one in his inner circle to lead him in that direction. Just a sad end to what could have been an even bigger career than he had.

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  12. Colleen said on June 26, 2009 at 7:51 am

    Yeah, the news is going to be Princess Diana Obnoxious for the next few days.

    It dawned on me while the early “is he dead yet?” coverage was going on…this constant news coverage is….well…crap. There was NOTHING TO REPORT, other than he’d been taken to the hospital. So we’re treated to a lot of garbage, speculation, opinion, made up crap and cursory medical reports.

    I may be wishing for the days of special bulletins and not constant coverage of nothing made to look like something.

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  13. James said on June 26, 2009 at 8:14 am

    Ewwwwww…. All that press coverage for someone who was an (unconvicted) child molester, but a creepy, creepy self-multilating freak. So many people die each day who contribute positively to society…

    I know people live lives of quiet desperation, and idolize the rich and famous, but seriously? Michael Jackson?

    I can’t stomach this celebrity crap.

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  14. jcburns said on June 26, 2009 at 8:17 am

    Yeah, when you get Charlie Gibson—Charlie Gibson! telling us on his news broadcast of record that Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ “is on almost everyone’s iPods”…well, first, I checked to make sure some sort of Jacko virus hadn’t struck, but no, my iPod remains refreshingly Thriller-free, but with a couple of early Motown Jackson 5 cuts, phew.

    My sense of it as, well, a boomer, is that his 80s record-hustling success (undeniable) was as much a tribute to the gargantuan machine built up around him as his own (again, undeniable) talent. And, uh, MTV, which was in the right place in the right time, was a big part of that machine.

    I think I’ll have to shift my media consumption over to the BBC and thereabouts to avoid this stupidity-fest. By the way, I keep hearing about this “Jon and Kate”. You’ll let me know if I’m missing anything there, too, right? Thanks.

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  15. mark said on June 26, 2009 at 8:29 am

    Thank you for your post. I agree 100%, you said it better and it saved me the nausea of trying to say it at all.

    I am embarassed for my country.

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  16. derwood said on June 26, 2009 at 8:47 am

    I enjoyed watching Wolf Blitzer say the words “Beat It” over and over.

    The coverage is over the top…Media was getting bored, this will give them something to chew on for a few days and give the rest of us a chance to read a good book.


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  17. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 26, 2009 at 8:57 am

    Brandon, thank you.

    Smokey Robinson had better get a week when the day comes.

    I watched two old Sherlock Holmes/Basil Rathbone movies to escape the coverage, Hound o’ Baskervilles and Pearl of Death. Sure enough, woke up to Morning Joe doing the racial politics of “Black and White,” so i didn’t miss much.

    Cap and trade debate, y’all?

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  18. MarkH said on June 26, 2009 at 9:40 am

    I agree with Nancy whole-heartedly. And (lower case)mark. And Jeff(tmmo). The Woman in Green is one of my favorite Rathbone/Holmes flicks. Was that the one with Rondo Hatton?

    I always thought “Off The Wall” was a masterpiece, befitting both his talent and that late-’70s music era. But after

    But, I’m back to my usual financial channel surfing this morning.

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  19. Sue said on June 26, 2009 at 9:47 am

    It was interesting to see the generational reaction among people I know. Everyone younger was talking about Thriller and silver gloves (or whatever), and for some reason I couldn’t get the song “Ben” out of my head. Of all the legacy songs to remember… “Ben”? Even “Rockin’ Robin” would have been better. But I’ve always seen him in terms of early career, not the rest of the stuff.
    I’m kind of embarrassed to say this, but some people are not of this world and leaving early might not be the tragedy it seems.
    I’ve been watching ESPN.

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  20. Julie Robinson said on June 26, 2009 at 9:49 am

    The TV and radio were both off last night and I listened to the cast recording of the new West Side Story (meh). But I was surprised at how devastated both my kids were. They are both musicians so I guess that’s part of it.

    Back when our son was about 10 he happened to see a clip of the early Jackson 5 and came to us with this burning question: “Michael Jackson used to be black?”

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  21. 4dbirds said on June 26, 2009 at 9:54 am

    My sister, a nurse practitioner, told me that if you need CPR and aren’t in a hospital or really really close to one, your odds aren’t good. So when the news broke that he was found in his home not breathing and having suffered a heart attack, I figured he wasn’t coming back.

    Michael Jackson was a true talent. A weird troubled person but no one can deny that he wasn’t talented. I did hear some commentator say yesterday that his truly weird behavior seemed to manifest itself after the Pepsi commercial where he was burned.

    Another death on a birthday. Timothy McVeigh was executed on my father’s birthday.

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  22. Joe Kobiela said on June 26, 2009 at 9:59 am

    More famous dead than alive.
    Like Elvis, brilliant career move.
    Check out Ken Levin blog.
    Pilot Joe

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  23. Linda said on June 26, 2009 at 10:01 am

    Julie,, I can beat the one about “Michael used to be black.” When my nephew was little, he was unclear on Michael’s gender. He thought there was a male Michael, and a female one, in different videos. MJ just bent all kinds of barriers.

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  24. nancy said on June 26, 2009 at 10:03 am

    “Only in America can a poor black boy grow up to be a rich white woman.” — Source unknown.

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  25. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 26, 2009 at 10:09 am

    Has anyone seen LaToya and Michael in the same place? If no one sees LaToya in the future, hmmmmmm…..

    Rondo Hatton was The Creeper in “Pearl of Death,” the large fellow with the grotesquely misshapen head. “Woman in Green” was based on the “Empty House” story, the first one after Conan Doyle brought Holmes back, and i think was the first Moriarty appearance in a movie. (BTW, if you’ve not read the Michael Kurland (sp?) novels about Prof. Moriarty as the protagonist, of which there’s, i think, three — very fun reading.)

    Journalese alert — can we ban “violent storms batter”? Thank you.

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  26. alex said on June 26, 2009 at 10:19 am

    “Only in America can a poor black boy grow up to be a rich white woman.”

    Joan Rivers, back when she was being groomed as Johnny Carson’s replacement. I remember it well.

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  27. Connie said on June 26, 2009 at 10:23 am

    I’ve had the TV off for about two weeks now, and plan to continue for a while, so if Michael Jackson is still dead all weekend I won’t see it. So why watch TV indoors when it’s a perfect pool day outside? And I’ve got the pool, after all. My guy is in Louisiana for his VietNam buddies reunion, my daughter is going to visit her grandmother in Flint, AND I AM HOME ALONE!

    When my kid was young and they asked me what I wanted for Mother’s Day I used to say for them to go away and leave me home alone.

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  28. 4dbirds said on June 26, 2009 at 10:23 am

    I wouldn’t be more famous dead but I’m certainly WORTH more dead than alive.

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  29. adrianne said on June 26, 2009 at 10:49 am

    Nance, your riff about the contents of Michael J.’s stomach had me laughing out loud. My short take on Michael to my boys, who had vaguely heard of him: great performer who later became creepy child molester.

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  30. Danny said on June 26, 2009 at 11:00 am

    Yeah, me too, 4dbirds. I sometimes wonder why when we quarrel, the pupils of my wife’s eyes change in shape from 0 | 0 to $ | $. Odd, that.

    You know, I’ve been thinking about the fact that Thriller is the best selling album of all time and it occurs to me that this would not be the case if it weren’t for the video(s). I’m not denying talent, but I don’t think the music stands up well just by itself.

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  31. Connie said on June 26, 2009 at 11:09 am

    We’ve had a goofy conversation going here at work this a.m., as to which MJ song is stuck in your head. So far I have heard, Beat It, Smooth Criminal, and PYT. Unfortunately some blog I read mentioned a song that is my earworm of the moment: Ben. A song about a rat.

    Perhaps I should just go watch the Korean prisoners do Thriller on Youtube.

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  32. Dorothy said on June 26, 2009 at 11:11 am

    Connie I know just what you mean. My husband is driving into Pittsburgh tomorrow to visit with his dad for the day. (His dad refuses to come out and stay with us even though it’s just a 3 hour drive one way.) His birthday is Tuesday and he’ll be 81. But all I can think about it is how great it’s going to be to have the whole damned house to myself for about 12 hours.

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  33. jeff borden said on June 26, 2009 at 11:18 am

    I will cop to owning “Thriller” and including “Billie Jean” on a few of my party tapes, but otherwise, I gave the guy’s music pretty wide berth. I was in my punk/New Wave phase when he was ruling the discos with “Off The Wall,” so I tended to view him as dismissively as the other disco purveyors.

    Two quick points:

    Jackson did break the color barrier on MTV. This is lost in the haze of time, perhaps, but MTV was exclusively devoted to white rockers until the videos from “Thriller” arrived. It always frosted me that those original “veejays” never acknowledged that black artists had more or less invented rock ‘n’ roll.

    Family patriarch Joe Jackson was, by all accounts, a monster. Maybe because he was the youngest and the most talented, Michael grew up the weirdest and the creepiest, but the whole clan is odd. Again, not forgiving anything Jackson did, but I think his childhood may have been far more tragic than he ever let on.

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  34. Sue said on June 26, 2009 at 11:18 am

    Connie, do you need help with the words? I remembered every damn one.

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  35. Danny said on June 26, 2009 at 11:20 am

    Well, however Joe Jackson is viewed, Jeff, I think we can all agree that “Is She Really Going Out with Him?” was a great song…

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  36. Connie said on June 26, 2009 at 11:26 am

    Nope. Sue, I know all the words to all the songs. Really, not just Michael Jackson, but the organ lesson pop songs from the 20s to the 60s, all the old hymns, anything Mitch Miller did, and the pop of my teen years. Wish I could clear out some of that brain storage for more important stuff, but oh well. Sometimes it comes in handy.

    See the Pyramids along the Nile……
    Franky and Johnny were lovers……
    There is a tavern in the town….
    Ben, most people would turn you away….

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  37. Sue said on June 26, 2009 at 11:39 am

    Funny you should say that Connie. My nemesis songs, the ones that haunt me because they’re so awful and so infuriating, are the “desperate women” songs of the 60s, and they will not go away. They pop into my head several times a year, all together to torment me.
    Vickie Carr’s “It must be him” (let it please be him, oh dear god it must be him…);
    That one they swiped for a perfume commercial a few years back about how he put his hand near mine and then he touched me and suddenly nothing is the same;
    The Dusty Springfield one about wearing your hair just for him and doing the things he likes to do because that’s how you catch him…
    What is wrong with these women? Yes I know they came out pre-women’s lib but even as a kid I thought they were nuts.
    Well, at least “Ben” is out of my head now. Now I need to go lie down in a dark room.

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  38. Dave said on June 26, 2009 at 11:43 am

    Does anyone else remember the Motown reunion show where Michael unveiled the Moonwalk dance. I think that was before Thriller and the BIG superstardom came his way. Wasn’t Thriller the longest music video made at that time, I remember when they debuted it on NBC’s Friday Night Videos. Yes, I watched it.

    The Motown reunion show was also known for the on-stage reunion with The Supremes, where Diana Ross more or less tried to push Mary Wilson aside.

    Not LaToya, but I remember reading stories about not seeing Michael and Janice in the same place at the same time. Of course, as Michael continued to make himself more weird looking, that proved out to be completely unlikely.

    And, MMJeff, you know Smokey Robinson, when the time comes, will never get this kind of play.

    “Is She Really Going Out with Him” is a great song, Danny, good line.

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  39. Jolene said on June 26, 2009 at 11:47 am

    The Motown 25 show was, indeed, terrific. Also notable was a performance by Marvin Gaye, looking fabulous in a white suit.

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  40. Catherine said on June 26, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    Summer of 1984 I spent in Greece. In the light of day, I was more of a Joe Jackson/Talking Heads fan, but at night, we always knew which club to pick — it was the one playing “Billie Jean.”

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  41. ROgirl said on June 26, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    At Motown 25 Di didn’t TRY to shove Mary, she gave her a big old heave-ho. It wasn’t shown at the time, but I remember seeing a clip of it a few years ago.

    Speaking of Motown, Monica Conyers has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery and is facing up to 5 years in prison.

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  42. LA Mary said on June 26, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    That’s Wishin’ and Hopin’, Sue. A classic. And Connie, Mitch Miller provided me with familiarity to all sorts of songs you never hear any more. My kids are in awe (or something) when I know all the words to I’ve Been Working on the Railroad. Hymns stay stuck too. My younger son went to a pre-school next to a Presbyterian Church,and often when I was there to pick him up, there would be a hymn being played on the chimes. How on earth do I still remember the words to “Have Thine Own Way, Lord?”

    Off the wall had some songs that were good party mix dance songs back when it first came out. Thriller didn’t do anything for me. MJ was very talented and original, but he was just so sick and had the money to not do anything about it.

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  43. Connie said on June 26, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    TMZ as quoted on Huffington: Family says it was daily Demerol shot.

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  44. Sue said on June 26, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    Best headline so far:
    Jackson dies, almost takes Internet with him (from CNN.com)

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  45. nancy said on June 26, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    Hank gave us a shoutout over at the WashPost chat. Thanks, Hank. He’s going to be a busy boy for a while.

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  46. beb said on June 26, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    39 comments by noon. This has clearly touched a nerve. But more like the nerve touch of a spinal tap. Write it down, Nancy said, drug overdose. And, lo, this morning TMZ is talking about Jackson having injections of dermerol. Wow! At least it wasn’t auto-erotic asphixiation.

    Dexter at 2 sums things up nicely. Elvis was only 42? Man, I thought he was older since he had come, gone and had Vegas revival. Seemed like he’d lived a lifetime. Christ, I mean my one and only daughter was born when I was 42. My life started when the king’s ended. That’s sobering.

    Jeff(TMMO) can we ban “violent storms batter”? Sounds better on Catfish, if you know what I mean.

    The 24/7 MJ-athon has been pre-empted in Detroit, the City that keeps on giving, where Monica Conyers has plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery. The FBI has issued a statement to evil-doering that they’re coming after them. Normally the FBI refrains from melodramatics so maybe they’re been watching Public Enemies again. Interestingly the big debate is between whether she does 3 years or 5 years of jail time. Amazing since Kwame only got a couple months. Of course people are speculating that “City Official A” mentioned in today plea deal is in fact Kwame, which if true will put an end to any posh job in Dallas.

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  47. Brandon said on June 26, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    To Jeff (the mild-mannered one), you’re welcome. I found those papers through Newseum’s Front Pages: http://www.newseum.org/todaysfrontpages/

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  48. Sue said on June 26, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    A comment on the other hot topic of recent days:
    Finally, a political wife who’s doing it right. A (so far) perfect combination of grit, class and whup-ass. Show us how it’s done, girl!

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  49. Scout said on June 26, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    If I let it, the media would completely ruin my tasteful nostalgia for these two icons of the era of my coming of age. The passing of FF and MJ affect me mostly because the retrospectives bring back memories of the person I was then more than who they were. So I will pass on the 24-7 blitz and blather that is already in infestation stage and filter carefully.

    MJ was a big talent but a tortured soul and the bizarre (or maybe not really, put in context) ending is likely fitting. And yeah, I’m betting OD. Thought so even before I heard the scuttlebutt.

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  50. Rana said on June 26, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    My own sense of Michael Jackson (from someone who was in high school in the 80s): Thriller, moonwalking, the glove… big gap… creepy, sad person with all kinds of mental issues. I didn’t have much of a sense of him while he was in the Jackson 5, but certainly many of my classmates found him compelling back in the day. Even if you weren’t a huge fan, learning to moonwalk was almost de rigeur. (I still remember Michael J. Fox’s character desperately moonwalking after being told to “dance” by thugs in one of the Back to the Future movies.)

    A lot of my friends are expressing their dismay and shock that he’s gone; it all makes me wonder how much of this is an expression of grief for the loss of a person, or of a nostalgic regret for a youth that’s receding in the mirror. I’m not someone who has ever had a crush on a celebrity to that degree, so mostly I feel bemused. I’m keeping quiet in my circles because I don’t want to upset them further with my disinterest, so I’m glad you started this discussion, Nancy.

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  51. LA Mary said on June 26, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    Sue, Mrs. Sanford not only had a career of her own before she married Mark, she is the heir to the Skil power tool money. She’ll be fine.

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  52. Catherine said on June 26, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    Thanks for the link, Sue, and I’ll just echo LAMary: It helps to have your own money in these situations. You come at BS like that from a position of strength. I think that’s at least part of Elizabeth Edwards’ motivation with her book deal. In my top 5 list of things I’d like my girls to believe: Don’t ever let a man be your meal ticket.

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  53. Sue said on June 26, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    I’m just happy to see the way she’s handling the situation. Too many (ok, all) recent political wives have stood grimly next to their husbands, looking miserable but Doing The Right Thing, and some of them had resources that would have allowed them to do what Ms. Sanford did. This is some steely-eyed, head-held-high class here, and I like it.

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  54. Hattie said on June 26, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    If there is a lot of nostalgia around Jackson’s death, then I have to agree with Simone Signoret, who wrote a book called *Nostalgia isn’t What It Used to be.*

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  55. 4dbirds said on June 26, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    All these ‘adoring’ fans ‘think’ they’re grieving but of course they aren’t. They get to feel sad and put pictures and candles out without actually experiencing the gutwrenching knot of loss. I say this because I never knew what true grief was until I lost one of my sisters three years ago.

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  56. Danny said on June 26, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    Saw this on Slashdot:

    yeah – “he touched a lot of people”

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  57. Brandon said on June 26, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    All these ‘adoring’ fans ‘think’ they’re grieving but of course they aren’t. They get to feel sad and put pictures and candles out without actually experiencing the gutwrenching knot of loss. I say this because I never knew what true grief was until I lost one of my sisters three years ago.–4dbirds


    As for nostalgia, I think there’s a generation gulf between people who wonder what the big deal is and those who grew up in the seventies, eighties, and early nineties. Remember that Thriller and MTV fueled each other’s growth: MTV provided a venue for MJ’s videos from that album and Michael, in turn, attracted viewers to the young network.

    Even before that, Michael Jackson was the most charismatic child star since Shirley Temple.

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  58. moe99 said on June 26, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    I’m so darn busy w/ a new puppy (miniature dachshund and perhaps some beagle) that I don’t have time for tv.

    But good to know that Gov. Sanford is taking a biblical angle to his defense, i.e. David didn’t resign after Bathsheba, so why should he?


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  59. Dorothy said on June 26, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    Okay someone brought up Dusty Springfield’s name. Forgive me if I’ve told you all this before but I’m gonna tell it again anyway.

    She sings a song that has a line that goes “You don’t have to say you love me, just be close at hand.” My husband re-wrote the line to say “You don’t have to say you love me, just pull down your pants.”

    I can’t hear that song on the radio now and NOT sing Mike’s new lyrics. I just have to be careful not to do it in public.

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  60. James said on June 26, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    OK Nancy, you called it.

    (But it was an easy prediction)

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  61. ROgirl said on June 26, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    Maybe this is where Sanford contemplated his parallels with King David.


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  62. nancy said on June 26, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    Calling an OD on MJ is like predicting winter in Michigan will have some sub-freezing days.

    As for Sanford, I take all my sympathy back. Sooner or later, these guys all revert to GOP form, and play the religion card. (Not to mention comparing himself to King David.) If I were Mrs. S., I’d be calling my lawyer with a one-word message: “File.”

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  63. Sue said on June 26, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    When Sanford said there are moral absolutes, and that God’s law is there to protect you from yourself, I thought that was a clear indication that he understood the enormity of what he had done, from his own religious perspective. He wasn’t using his religion to weasel out of anything, and he was taking responsibility as a religious person rather than assuming forgiveness based on his Christianity.
    The King David angle throws him right back in the pond with the rest of the scumfish.
    An imagined conversation:
    “But honey, King David did it!”
    “King David wasn’t married to me, asshole”

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  64. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 26, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    Rana had “or of a nostalgic regret for a youth that’s receding in the mirror” as an option for understanding the mediorgy that’s apparently still on my TV — oh, to listen to Wolf Blitzer read in Blitzerian tones the breathless Liz Taylor statement. I’m laughing so hard i need oxygen, like in a hyperbaric chamber or something.

    The “man in the mirror” is receding faster than your albums are warping in the hot sun, but there’s Hillary Rosen, Donna Brazile, and Wolf literally comparing their album collections on “The Situation Room.” Hello, take it to “The View,” OK?

    I’ll have to catch up on what Sanford is blotting his copybook with now, but i can tell from what i’m reading here that it’s reason number 27 for grieving that they won’t make more “Kings” episodes after they burn off the next few Saturdays what they have in the can. Aside from Ian McShane, i wanted to see how their take would handle not only the whole David & Michal relationship, but where they would go with Bathsheba (in the third season), but it is not to be.

    I guess it’s time for my daily Demerol shot.

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  65. jeff borden said on June 26, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    Oh dear God, but Mark Sanford is an asshole. He’s the governor of a strange little state but compares himself to King David? Well, he certainly has the chutzpah for which David was known. What.A.Creep. Almost makes me wish I lived in S.C. so I could vote against him.

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  66. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 26, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    Well, let’s be accurate — David probably ruled over about a fifty mile by hundred mile kingdom, and not quite all of that. SC is a bit larger!

    Robert Heinlein — Man is not a rational animal; he is a rationalizing animal. Sanford has shifted back into self-justification, more’s the pity.

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  67. MichaelG said on June 26, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    My former wife once lived with Ian McShane in the South of France. We never talked about it much but she did say that he was a “wonderful man”.

    I’m still trying to think of something to say about MJ other than to note that I do not own any of his records.

    I always liked Farrah Fawcett. She was a lovely woman who deserved better than Ryan O’Neal.

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  68. moe99 said on June 26, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    You know, Jefftmmo, I lobbed you a softball. Oh well.

    How’s this for starters:

    The man needs to read his Old Testament again if he thinks David walked away scot-free from his sins. The immediate punishment levied on David for his wrongful actions with Bathsheba included plague and famine upon the land of Judea, and the death of David and Bathsheba’s first child. The long-term punishment included the rape of his daughter Tamar by her half-brother, Amnon, and the murder of Amnon by David’s son Absalom, who was himself later murdered by David’s general (and nephew) Joab during Absalom’s rebellion against David.

    And David, as the king anointed by God’s direction, didn’t have the option of resignation.

    So which of his kids does Sanford want to execute?

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  69. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 26, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    And you know what? Moe has it spot-on — this kind of behavior kills kids. Not right away, but in overdoses and car wrecks and domestic murder-suicides years later. Which is what i hear Jenny Sanford saying: i have a fulltime job trying to make sure our sons still know that they are loved by at least one parent who takes their lives and development more seriously than they do than someone’s magnificent globes on the other side of the globe. What those boys must think about their father, about what it means to be a husband and father when they grow up . . . what it means to love and be loved.

    Of course, if i were of an inappropriate frame of mind, i could describe two families off my desk today that make the Sanfords sound downright Cleaverish, even as things stand right now, but the tragedy is that the outcomes are possibly going to be much the same for the kids.

    He shouldn’t resign because he schtupped an Argentinian, or even because he was clever enough to launch a South American economic development initiative in the wake of his blossoming e-mail dalliance, or because he technically should reimburse at least some of a trip that might have had a justification, but was used for an indiscretion — he should resign because he just isn’t thinking rationally at all, and i hope Cubby Culbertson or someone he still listens to can tell him that.

    Is anyone else watching CSPAN right now? Since that’s the only channel serving the public interest right now, whether you’re for Cap and Trade or agin’ it. 3:09 am, indeed.* And Blitzer’s albums, asking Brazile “do you have this one? What about the original cover for “Off the Wall”? It sounds like kids trading Pokemon cards.

    *When the 300+ page bill was dropped off for members to vote today on Waxman-Markey.

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  70. James said on June 26, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    Just saw this cartoon. Funny one, about generic response to celebrity deaths.

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  71. Jolene said on June 26, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    Great cartoon, James! Really like it.

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  72. joodyb said on June 26, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    ink-stained wretches herein will get why this is the wire bleat that sent us all into stitches last night around 2330CDT:

    In Hollywood, about 75 fans gathered at what they believed was Jackson’s star on the Walk of Fame, only to discover it belonged to the Los Angeles radio personality of the same name. Jackson’s star turned out to be covered by scaffolding for the premiere of Sasha Baron Cohen’s “Bruno.”

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  73. alice said on June 26, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    The MJ of great performances died a long time ago.

    Last night Obermann was saying how MJ’s 2 minute role in Men in Black showed he had a sense of humor about himself. No, honey, he read 3 lines somebody else wrote for him to say. I don’t think MJ had a sense of humor at all.

    I am sorry about Farrah.

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  74. LA Mary said on June 26, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    Joodyb, those people didn’t leave the wrong Michael Jackson star even when they were told it was the wrong place. The local CBS news guy was interviewing them and telling them about the mistake and they all stayed and kept saying they just needed to be there.
    And Farrah did deserve better than Ryan O’Neil. He seems to be a real asshole and a very bad father. Three kids, three very messed up adults.

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  75. brian stouder said on June 26, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    The young folks and I just returned from visiting Grandma, and I repeated to her what I remembered of the day we got the flash that Elvis Presley was dead – and she immediately added to the story. She recalled that it was late afternoon (another MJ parallel), and that when she saw it was breaking news from Tennessee (maybe they had a map of Tennessee up? I don’t recall that) – her first thought was “Oh, great! Has James Earl Ray has ‘escaped’ from prison??!” – so that the realization that the news was that Elvis was dead was almost (oddly) reassuring – even as EP’s death stunned her.

    I just never would have made that particular jump….but thinking about it, back in those immediate-post Vietnam, post-riot, post assassination days, an avid reader and news consumer such as her can’t be blamed for expecting any sort of bad news, when “SPECIAL REPORT” popped up on the screen.

    I remember the day I got home for lunch (from my full-time job at the Maloley’s store #16 at Hessen Cassel and Paulding Road!) and popped on the TV – to see the dreaded “SPECIAL REPORT” banner, and a cheesey map of the middle east plastered across the screen, accompanied by the restrained urgency of a telephone-receiver-voice of a reporter.

    I remember thinking it must be war, and it must be bad….it was almost a relief that it was “only” the assassination of Anwar Sadat.

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  76. Kirk said on June 26, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    Didn’t see Farrah in a lot of things (and never could stand to watch more than a couple of minutes of “Charlie’s Angels”), but I was impressed by her work in “Extremities,” an intense 1986 film in which she plays the intended victim of a would-be rapist and turns the tables on him.

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  77. Deborah said on June 26, 2009 at 10:54 pm

    In 1977 when Presley died I was in the hospital recovering from surgery. My then husband came to visit groggy me and told me that Elvis had died that day, I was stricken because I thought he was talking about a woman at our church named Elvis. I was so drugged it took me a while to sort it out.
    I was never an Elvis fan but I am in an Elvis movie. I was in the crowd at the Orange Bowl Regatta boat races in Miami, Florida on New Years day in 1967 which they used for scenes in the movie Clambake (really bad movie). I was 16, on a blind date with some creep who was a friend of my sister’s boyfriend. I’m the skinny blond in the stands with my hair in a flip and wearing a pink shift and pink hair ribbon. Good luck trying to find me.

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  78. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 26, 2009 at 11:09 pm

    “His career is no concern of mine.” Wow. In context, that’s an awesome thing to say. Quite a lady.

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  79. brian stouder said on June 26, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    Hah! I’ll have to watch Clambake!

    There is a truly bad racing movie called “Driven” -with Sly Stallone (is HE still alive?) and Burt Reynolds, and I was at the race at Chicago that they used in filming many action scenes.

    When you see the full grandstands – I’m surely one of the blurry specs – but who knows which one!

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  80. Kirk said on June 26, 2009 at 11:28 pm

    A legitimate claim to fame, Deborah, but you’re right: “Clambake” really sucks, like most of the rest of his movies. “King Creole” is the only one that’s any good, but it’s weird seeing Walter Matthau play a heavy. Carolyn Jones, though, is smokin’.

    And I sort of think I’ve seen part of “Driven,” though there are plenty of bad racing movies.

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  81. joodyb said on June 26, 2009 at 11:38 pm

    LAMary, all i could think of when i read that was Nathanael West.

    I hereby rank this thread No. 1 for Amazing Commenter Trivia.

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  82. CrazyCatLady said on June 27, 2009 at 12:45 am

    I was sad when Freddie Mercury died on my birthday. My sister-in-law’s birthday is on Nov 22, the day of the Kennedy assassination.It is what it is. Life goes on.

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  83. Dexter said on June 27, 2009 at 12:52 am

    Olbermann was stunned after he got done i’viewing Deepak Chopra . The i’view starts at the 2:14 mark of this video…it’s all you need to know, as KO told Chopra at the end of the interview…stunning, must-see interview, trust me.


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  84. CrazyCatLady said on June 27, 2009 at 1:13 am

    Yes, indeed, MJ’s death will give his career a new boost. Perhaps the Jackson Family will fix up Neverland Ranch and turn it into a California Graceland. Elvis has made more money since his death than he did in his entire career due to clever financial moves and smart marketing. My daughter and I made a pilgrimage to Graceland last summer. I wanted to have a bonding adventure with my all-too-soon to be on her own girl. It was a very good trip and she came away with a respect for Elvis, his talent and his tragic demise. Yes, it was a learning experience. I could imagine that with the proper handling, Neverland could be a gold mine. MJ’s bills will be paid, and his leech-like family can continue to ride the gravy train. Too bad. Because I have no doubt that bastard father of his was abusive and MJ was mentally warped by it.

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  85. Catherine said on June 27, 2009 at 1:28 am

    I’m not sure the molestation associations can ever be wiped clean from Neverland (and I sure as hell can’t imagine a latter-day Paul Simon singing about a trip there). I would say the best outcome might be splitting it into 5-acre ranchettes and selling them as wine-country property. Sorry, I probably have too much information about Central CA real estate.

    Also, Joe Jackson Sr.? Is no Priscilla Presley when it comes to business.

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  86. ROgirl said on June 27, 2009 at 6:41 am

    Deepak…amazing! He clearly got through to the human being inside of Michael Jackson’s heart and head, but Michael was too damaged to escape by that point. He could just throw money at whoever or whatever he wanted at any moment, but he wouldn’t face the demons he was carrying with him from his childhood.

    The parallels with Elvis are striking. The sad demise of a mega-phenomenon who didn’t have the inner resources to deal with real life. Who clearly loved being in the spotlight, but was exploited by those who knew they could get something out of him.

    MJ was much more savvy and self-aware than Elvis, and his behavior wasn’t just self-destructive, he also exploited others, having lived in the world of fame and mutual exploitation for almost his whole life.

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  87. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 27, 2009 at 9:37 am

    The Pacific coastline surf
    was tattered like a roadie’s old t-shirt,
    I am leaving Santa Barbara
    up the highway
    through the heart of TMZ’s biggest scoops,

    I’m going to Neverland, Neverland, Neverland near the sea,
    I’m going to Neverland . . .

    Small boys and children and parent-free,
    and we are going to Neverland.
    My traveling companion is nine years old,
    he is the child of some passing tourist,
    But i’ve reason to believe
    that we both will be received
    at Neverland.

    He comes back to tell me he’s gone,
    As if I couldn’t guess that
    As if I didn’t know my own greed,
    As if I’d never noticed,
    The way he brushed his hair from his sunglasses,
    And he said losing the bid
    on the Elephant Man’s bones,
    Just leaves you blown apart;
    Everybody sees the cash blow (away),

    I’m going to Neverland, Neverland, Neverland near the sea,
    I’m going to Neverland . . .

    Small boys and children and parent-free,
    and we are going to Neverland.
    And my traveling companion
    wears epaulets and lots of pockets,
    I’m looking at a ghostly guy already;
    But I’ve reason to believe
    We all will be received
    at Neverland.

    There’s an accountant in the city,
    Who says this is like a trampoline,
    the cash flow’s falling, flying,
    Or tumbling in turmoil I say
    Whoa, so this is what he means,
    He means we’re bouncing into Neverland,
    And I see losing your home
    Is like a window in your heart,
    Everybody sees you’re blown apart,
    Everybody feels the wind blow,

    In Neverland, Neverland, I’m going to Neverland,
    For reasons I cannot explain
    There’s some part of me that wants to see
    Neverland, [give the ending back to Paul Simon…]

    And I may be obliged to defend
    Every love every ending
    Or maybe there’s no obligations now,
    Maybe I’ve a reason to believe
    We all will be received
    In Graceland.

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  88. Danny said on June 27, 2009 at 9:57 am

    Jeff, brilliant… Wow.

    Hey, not to dilute everyone’s awe, but in the last thread, Nancy mentioned that Farrah’s poster had displaced Carly Simon’s album cover. I had to look that up because I thought she that was talking about this album, Playing Possum. I don’t know why I’m drawn to this. Let’s just say it has a certain Je ne sais quoi.

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  89. coozledad said on June 27, 2009 at 10:01 am

    I always wonder if the response to celebrity death, with all that vicarious grief, isn’t just another way for idiots to try to distance themselves emotionally from their family and friends.
    I have an idea, however, of how you can restrain Wolf Blitzer and Larry King’s pending festival of grief for the next sadass entertainer: Have them eat a piece of the deceased. As soon as the body hits the slab at the LA coroner’s, lop off a forearm or a calf and run it through the Hobart, pack it in ice, and distribute it to the outlets. The genuineness and depth of the various broadcaster’s grief would be as easy to assess as watching them eat a cheesesteak. Sort of a put up or shut up thing.
    Besides,the risk of contracting kuru is pretty small if you avoid CNS tissue.

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  90. Jolene said on June 27, 2009 at 10:19 am

    If nothing else, Jackson’s death has prompted some good writing. Many good pieces on the WaPo web site and at the LA Times. Elsewhere, too, I’m sure, but there’s a limit.

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  91. Catherine said on June 27, 2009 at 11:34 am

    Good writing at WaPo? Didja see Jeff’s masterpiece?!

    My kids came running, asking me what was so funny, when I read, “he is the child of some passing tourist.”

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  92. deb said on June 27, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    jeff, that was absolutely brilliant.

    and danny, i thought nancy was referring to the carly simon “no secrets” album cover. that had a certain je ne sais quoi, too. i think it’s called nipples.

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  93. basset said on June 27, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    uhh, Danny, whoever had that Playing Possum pic up is not happy. Go look.

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  94. Brandon said on June 27, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    “There is a truly bad racing movie called ‘Driven’ -with Sly Stallone (is HE still alive?) and Burt Reynolds, and I was at the race at Chicago that they used in filming many action scenes.”

    Yes, Sylvester Stallone is still alive. I don’t know Driven, but does anyone remember Over the Top, about arm wrestling?

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  95. Deborah said on June 27, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    So funny jeff (tmmo) and Coozledad the thought of eating the next dead celebrity is hilarious.

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  96. brian stouder said on June 27, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    Today’s adventure in execrable exposition:


    The proprietress goes after Big Foot dolts-in-Journalism, a task for which she is fully accredited; and as an uncredentialed news-consumer, I think small-time hacks like this old guy are within my permissible range of criticism.

    This fellow presents a veritable buffet of racism and fear and prejudice….and the question is, how many of his readers are nodding ‘yes’ as they read him? One hopes that the answer is “Not many”; maybe he IS perceived as the village idiot that he clearly is…..but maybe not.

    A few morsels from his essay, with the somewhat unwieldy headline “As Rome went so the United States goes”:

    the opening:

    I have lived long in America. I have seen its greatness, and I have seen its weaknesses. I have seen good times and bad times. The bad times always used to turn around so we could see the good coming again, but this time we are in trouble that politics as usual will not get us out of.

    at this point, one is tempted to criticize the writer’s odd grammar, but I wanted to see what “bad times” this fellow thought was so unique in 2009 America – as opposed to 1863 America, or 1934 America, or 1942 America, or 1969 America…..and then we come to

    One of the biggest troubles we have right now is that we have laws we do not enforce. We have immigration laws that are null and void because of politics. It seems the politicos would rather leave our borders open than close them. The reason, of course, is the Latino vote.

    and THEN I knew where this one-track railroad was going! And note the specificity! Latinos, I tell ya!!

    Many of these people are cold blooded killers, and some of them are undoubtedly terrorists. (Do you remember 9/11?) One of our government’s main jobs is to protect the citizens of America. They are failing miserably in that respect for purely selfish reasons.

    and then there’s a pungent dash of financial myth to mix into this xenophobic melting pot

    Another trouble is that government has been derelict in its duty to oversee the lending habits of our banks. In fact, our government is guilty of forcing banks to make bad loans even when they were reluctant to do so.

    For the record, this guy churns out pap like this with dull regularity; for all I know, the Pharos-Tribune doesn’t even pay him. But even if they don’t, it’s wasted space

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  97. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 27, 2009 at 10:49 pm

    Sylvester Stallone is still alive?

    (Ok, to be fair, i thought Rocky Balboa, aka Rocky VI, was amazingly good; and he doesn’t get enough credit for the last scene in “First Blood” with Richard Crenna, the oft forgotten original Rambo movie, which is pretty good storytelling.)

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  98. coozledad said on June 27, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    Walter Cronkite is getting ready to die. Robert Trout died a couple of years back. What they brought to broadcast news would be dismissed by the flakes who run it now.

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  99. brian stouder said on June 27, 2009 at 11:38 pm

    btw Jeff, let me also add my compliments; your Neverland homage to Graceland was superb!

    Speaking of Neverland, did you see this?


    an excerpt:

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A gun-toting Kentucky pastor says it’s OK to bring weapons to church — at least for one day. Ken Pagano asked his flock to bring their unloaded handguns — in holsters — to New Bethel Church in Louisville for a celebration of the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution that guarantees the right to bear arms.

    One supposes that in a nation of 300 million people, lunatics such as that pastor will be ‘in the mix’.

    Possibly there is another who urges their flock to bring (unloaded) liquor bottles to church, to celebrate the 21st Amendment.

    One wonders if Pastor Pagano is a gung-ho supporter of the 19th Amendment; more power to him, if he is

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  100. MichaelG said on June 28, 2009 at 12:11 am

    The media’s orgy of adulation and revisionism over the barely cool corpse of Michael Jackson continues apace. The autopsy results are not even in yet and Jesse Jackson is already demanding a recount. He may not know anything about forensic medicine but he knows a photo op when he sees one and he’s certain, as are we all, that the County of Los Angeles is determined to bury the truth about poor St. Michael’s victimhood.

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  101. CrazyCatLady said on June 28, 2009 at 12:12 am

    Jeff (The Mild Mannered One) That was brilliant! Kudos!!!!

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  102. Rana said on June 28, 2009 at 1:47 am

    *applauding Jeff (tmmo)’s opus*

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  103. Danny said on June 28, 2009 at 2:21 am

    Weird, basset. Funny how that site doesn’t actually own the copyright to the image (presumably Carly Simon does or the record company), but then they’re bitchin’ about how me linking to it violates their copyright.

    Nancy, when you get time can you edit my post to refer to this link?


    Geesh… Amazon won’t cry.

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  104. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 28, 2009 at 8:05 am

    Most churches i work with, like the one i’m supplying this morning, have a sign at each door made necessary by the bulging brains of the Statehouse Gang, saying that the “concealed carry law” they passed a few years ago does not apply. A bare handful of large, hyper-conservative churches told them that they didn’t want a general exclusion in the law, so we, like 24 convenience stores and school buildings, are required by law to put up a sign saying that the law’s provisions are not valid inside our structure.

    http://is.gd/1gUmP [pdf warning, but if you want to see the obnoxiousness that churches, schools, and nonprofit orgs had to put up all over the state, here it is.]

    I guess i should be glad they even let us have the sign based exclusion, but they really aggravate me. At any rate, since they all are signed, i can’t think of any who would have a “bring your piece to worship” Sunday.

    Now, on Memorial Day weekend, the Methodist Church i supplied had a color guard bring in the flag (fine, i don’t let it bother me), and they had two men with their funeral service M-1s at shoulder arms walking down the aisle. I asked myself “if i were pastor here, and somehow didn’t know this was happening before right now, what would i do?” It was very queasy making, and i had a period in my life where i got to learn the valuable job skill of disassembling and reassembling an M-16A1 in the dark.

    Asked one of the lay leaders if they thought carrying rifles down the center aisle was a bit off for Christian worship, and she replied “well, they’re both members here!” That was either a non sequitur or a perfectly adequate response in her context.

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  105. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 28, 2009 at 8:29 am

    Holy crow – just scrolled back enough to see all the kind words; you are all too kind, given that Paul Simon did the heavy lifting, and i just repurposed some phrases here and there. I toyed with just a few lines at first and was going to post that, then i went and found the full lyrics (almost had it all in mind, but not quite) — when i saw that last stanza on the page, the one i didn’t change any of, i thought i should finish the deal in memory of the poor fellow.

    But if you have a taste for such stuff, here’s my Lenten discipline from last spring (as usual, you see the last one first, in this case, the last of 50-some; it ended up being more than the projected 40): http://lindenplaceacademy.blogspot.com

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  106. jcburns said on June 28, 2009 at 8:40 am

    (I checked out Jeff’s PDF.) Gee, Ohio has ordained an Ordnance Ordinance? (Yes, Nancy’s name subliminally embedded twice in one sentence.) And since I have this sign in our backyard, I should probably put up one of those, just so’s there’s no confusion.

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  107. brian stouder said on June 28, 2009 at 10:58 am

    jc – y’know, a few weeks ago Pammy joined in the neighborhood-wide garage sale extravaganza. More often than not, we skip it, but every 3rd or 4th year, we’re “in” – and usually other family members take the opportunity to bring stuff over and take advantage of the genuinely large amount of shopping activity to sell their odds and ends, too.

    One member of our family, who metriculated at some little college in Ada, Ohio, brought many things, including a black and white reflective road sign with a silhouette of the great state of Ohio and the number 49 on it.

    On the back of the sign, there was a small sticker that said something about being the property of Ohio, and sternly promised a stiff fine ($2500?) for defacing or stealing it.

    On reflection (about 1.75 seconds) I withdrew that piece of merchandise from our offerings!

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  108. alex said on June 28, 2009 at 11:01 am

    Overheard in Huntington:

    Didja hear Michael Jackson died of food poisoning? He ate a ten-year-old wiener.

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  109. jcburns said on June 28, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    May have to talk to you about that sign, Brian. I’ll hide it here south of the mason-dixon line. In other news: Billy Mays. Twitter tells me he is no more. Welcome to the summer of odd celebrity passings.

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  110. Joe Kobiela said on June 28, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    Their dropping like fly’s. Now Billy May’s The oxey clean guy is dead.
    Pilot Joe

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  111. brian stouder said on June 28, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    Joe, US Airways might be getting some scrutiny over the Mays thing; apparently he was in an exceptionally hard landing at Tampa on Saturday – tires blew and debris was left on the runway – after which he was interviewed by a local tv station, and he related how he took a hard clunk on the head.

    Who was the famous woman who clunked her head skiing, and then died of a closed-head injury?

    edit: from this msnbc article


    “All of a sudden as we hit you know it was just the hardest hit, all the things from the ceiling started dropping,” MyFox Tampa Bay quoted him as saying. “It hit me on the head, but I got a hard head.”

    U.S. Airways officials said Sunday they could not immediately confirm that Mays was a passenger.

    Born William Mays in McKees Rocks, Pa., [Dorothy – he’s one of yours!] on July 20, 1958, Mays developed his style demonstrating knives, mops and other “as seen on TV” gadgets on Atlantic City’s boardwalk. For years he worked as a hired gun on the state fair and home show circuits, attracting crowds with his booming voice and genial manner.

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  112. ROgirl said on June 28, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    Natasha Richardson

    Gee, why couldn’t Dick Cheney have bumped his head? or Bernie Madoff?

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  113. 4dbirds said on June 28, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    My hubby and I always called him Billy Mays Hays because of the movie Major League where there was a character Willy Mays Hays.

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  114. Dexter said on June 28, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    Too bad…I always thought Michael Jackson was a creation of Berry Gordy to be used to siphon cash out of the parents of little pre-teen girls. I never understood how adults could get into his shtick. I never understood how a 1994 civil suit could end a criminal case, either. The kid never recanted, as I recall. Then the 2005 case—exonerated , and right away the jurors held pressers saying they voted wrong—they were convinced Jackson was a pedophile!
    So he’s dead, and then Billy Mays, who I hated with a passion, now is dead.
    From what I gather, Jackson was a terminal junkie, hooked on hillbilly heroin, demerol, perhaps morphine, and he had a fondness for Elvis’s standby, dilaudid.
    And poor loudmouth Mays gets conked on the noggin courtesy of US Airways, eh?
    C’est la muere.

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  115. mark said on June 28, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    RO girl-

    That’s what I love about all you enlightened progressives: the amount of time you spend wishing for death and suffering for people you don’t like.

    Yeah, I know, you don’t really think that. It’s a joke. Ha ha. Such wit.

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  116. beb said on June 28, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    My wife and I heard a variation of the food poisoning joke as we were leaving a 7-11. The teller was a young woman to another customer. The farther we got from the building the more appalled we were

    Billy Mays dead? At this point I think I should go back to bed and hope that when Monday arrives life will be a little more normal.

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  117. coozledad said on June 28, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    Seems to me Cheney done gone out and stirred him up a heap o’ death and suffering, while his fanboys beat off into a towel and prayed for bombs to fall on Iran. I don’t care what happens to the bastard as long as he stands before a criminal court. But old five deferments will never have to answer to anybody.
    At least we know that he’ll go to his grave one of the most roundly despised world-historical douchebags of sweet fuck all.

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  118. Dexter said on June 28, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    What the hell? USA leads Brazil 2-1 at the 70 minute mark? This is impossible!
    Last week USA beats the best team in the world and now this? I guess I better try to find it on TV….

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  119. moe99 said on June 28, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    oh, mark. you really don’t need to confirm your bona fides like that.

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  120. Kirk said on June 28, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    Gale Storm bites the dust, too. Anyone remember her? My Little Margie?

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  121. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 28, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    My mom tried to change her name as a kid to Gale she liked her so much (and disliked her birth first name, which i will respectfully not repeat here). So i feel i know of her, but can’t think of anything i’ve ever watched with her in it.

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  122. Bruce Fields said on June 28, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    “C’est la muere”

    Lost me there. “C’est la mort”, maybe?

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  123. Dorothy said on June 28, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    I take no glee in Mr. Mays’ death (and I don’t give a rat’s ass that he’s a former Pittsburgher), but I for one am pleased beyond reason that I won’t have to hear his loud-assed voice anymore for any new products on television. Now if only the guy who does the commercials for local company called American Freight would just SHUT UP already!

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  124. Kirk said on June 28, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    Dozens of other obnoxious loud-asses are ready to fill the breach.

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  125. ROgirl said on June 28, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    I always switch the channel when he comes on. No joke.

    At least he didn’t die past his prime, sick, on drugs, broke, or surrounded by sycophants.

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  126. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 28, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    What on earth makes any of you think his ads will stop running? Billy will live on . . . he just won’t add new product lines.

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  127. Dexter said on June 28, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    Sorry, Bruce! It’s my “pidgin-French”! I thought muere meant “transitioning through death…” or something like that…looks like my memory let me down and I got my languages mixed up, too! I know one thing, I ain’t smart enough to argue your point.

    Oh hell yes, Gale Storm. LOVED the name, loved the show…Mom watched it on the B &W Motorola and we kids did too…loved that show , as we loved “Our Miss Brooks.”

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  128. beb said on June 29, 2009 at 7:37 am

    OK, the death of Gale Storm at 87 is not so bad. She had a great life and a long one. As obnoxious as Billy Mays was, no one deserves to die at age 50 from stuff falling on his head.

    Coolzedad, what up? You’re sounding more and more like caliban.

    Is this the longest thread nancy has ever had?

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  129. brian stouder said on June 29, 2009 at 8:40 am

    Is this the longest thread nancy has ever had?

    I think she reported plucking a record-breaking-length ‘Andy’ a few weeks ago…

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  130. nancy said on June 29, 2009 at 8:54 am

    How soon you all forget. It was Goeglein, by a mile — well over 500.

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  131. brian stouder said on June 29, 2009 at 8:59 am

    But this could be a silver-medalist, eh? Although come to think of it, during the election cycle we might have a had a few 130+ deals

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  132. coozledad said on June 29, 2009 at 9:37 am

    Soory, beb. It’s the phony political correctness oozing from the right that really gripes my ass. They’ve undercut their own arguments in this regard so many times it’s just transparent nihilsm. Maybe that’s what they mean when they shout “freedom”. I suppose the absence of of any ideas constitutes a sort of freedom.

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