Forthcoming Michael Jackson tribute event to remind everyone that Michael Jackson is still totally dead


Gimme Noise and the greater world are in general agreement on at least one thing: it's important to honor the dearly departed, to celebrate the legacies left behind, the artistic and humanistic heights scaled, et al. But it's equally important to let the dead rest in peace, because while paying tribute to an icon once, twice, or twenty-thousand times may help keep that person's spirit alive, it isn't gonna bring him or her back. Even Sublime tribute bands and the clubs that routinely and inexplicably host "Sublime tribute nights" - hopelessly stoned and out of touch with post-1996 reality as they surely are - know as well as Kurt Loder does that the re-animated corpse of Bradley Nowell won't stumble out of the shadows during "Too Joints" for a monster bong hit. Why? Because Bradley Nowell is stone dead.

You know who's also dead and not coming back, ever?

No, not Elvis.

Michael Jackson.

[jump] There's some sort of big-ass tribute to Jackson going down in Wales on October 8; Janet Jackson and some of the Jackson brothers won't be participating because MJ's enabler will be on trial of manslaughter at around that time. Which is a pretty valid reason to skip out on this shindig; but there are plenty of others, such as, well, between the macabre spectacle of the King of Pop's death, and then the funeral, and then the crap Frankenstein-esque nature of Michael (see this and this), and then that movie that was supposedly pretty good, haven't we all had enough sequined-cadaver humping to last a lifetime? I don't care who you are and what your relationship to Jackson or his estate is: do you really, truly need to witness Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, and Smokey Robinson trying on HIStory, Vol I for size?

Sure, Jackson himself liked things big, certainly: big stage sets, big hits, big promotion, video treatments that were less video treatments than short films. But I can't help but think that he would've wanted us to move on, to focus on making the world a better place in all sorts of ways. In case you hadn't noticed - and I'm sure that, drug- and surreality-addled as he was, Jacko pondered this too - entertainment is mostly spectacle, despite the nourishing nature of some of what's out there; it's distraction, diversion, pacification. It's frighteningly easy to tune the real world out and tune into any number of programmed alternatives (thanks cable, thanks internet) instead of taking any kind of action to help the helpless or improve another person's lot in life, something as small as doing an invalid neighbor a favor or as big as putting on a for-charity punk show in your suburb. 

A Michael Jackson tribute concert in Wales - and all the surrounding chatter and noise and bullshit - plays into further distracting everybody from living the lives we were put here to lead, fulfilling the tons of potential so many of us as happy to waste. And that's a damn shame.