I saw some really wonderful things in London, but the image below, plastered across countless billboards and Tube station walls was not one of them.
I'll admit that used to love Michael back in the '80s. I was the first kid in my high school who figured out how to do the Moonwalk. I wore out THREE cassettes of Thriller. I was a PYT, and I knew Billy Jean was not his girl. (Oh, was she ever not his girl.)
A lot of Jesus Juice-tainted water has passed under the bridge since those days of seemingly effortless, effervescent showmanship, and now these images of MJ simply strike me as sad and grotesque.
"THIS IS IT"? As opposed to what, all the great recording and performing he's done in the last fifteen years? He's finally going to take a curtain call? What does he need a break from? Baby-dangling? Obviously he's broke, and he's leveraged his catalog of the Beatles music to the point where Sony is about to own Strawberry Fields forever.
And when was the last time Michael had that healthy, muscular build? The early 1990's? We've all seen (or tried not to see, perhaps) the pictures of him in recent years. He's a frail, skeletal wraith this days, barely able to shuffle along in his pajamas though the shopping malls of Dubai while holding his nose on his face with surgical mask.
At least he's pared down his promised concerts to just ten. (The original rumor was that he was hoping to outdo Prince's "21 Nights in London" tour from two years ago.) Ten concerts means only eight or so arenas full of ticket-buyers will have their hopes dashed when he flakes out due to exhaustion, alien abduction or what have you.
Honestly, I hope he will be able to summon up his old magic long enough for one last run of great shows. That won't change the fact that he's a criminal pedophile and a complete wreck of a human being, but it would be nice, if also tragic and poignant, to see a glimpse of what once made him so special in the first place.