Now from the “Bandwagon of the Month” club…

Well, I suppose it had to happen: I’ve got to talk about Michael Jackson…I’ll be honest, I really don’t care all that much that he died – I mean, any more than I care about all of the roughly 146,000 people who also died that same day . Yeah, he did some nice songs…a quarter century ago.1 But frankly it’s been nearly that long since the man made a parody of himself…and apparently never noticed.

Mind you, apparently the media never noticed either, as he’s still called “The King Of Pop” for no coherent reason, decades after he stopped having any real effect on the music world.

Anywho, you could see the first twinges of – for lack of a better word – “madness,” really, when he did that Captain Eo thingy for Disney, when he played about the least likely SF hero ever. Sure, much of the stupidity in that short was a) because it was done for Disney and, b) because it was done mostly to show off 3D special effects. But the fact that Michael actually seemed to think he was some sort of space superhero came through.

Then a couple of years later came Moonwalker – perhaps the most ego-trip film ever made that showed somewhere other then YouTube. And apparently Michael wanted to show he just wasn’t a “gangster,” or a super space hero, but he was really a giant robot too…

No, the film makes no damn sense – see “ That Guy With The Glassesreview of it – but if anything marks the beginning of his fall from “Pop Icon” to “Joke Clich é” this is it .

And as the Ninety’s – and later the Zeroy’s – wore on, the man just went from one bit of weird-ass shit to another. I won’t bother repeating all of it, because everyone pretty much knows it anyway (even if only to deny parts of it), and because it’s what makes up the “Joke Clich é” that is Michael Jackson.

Now he’s going to get a huge funeral and people will be going on for weeks about how great he was, how terrible his loss was, etc. Really, though, what he was was a pretty good singer and a really good dancer, whose heyday was over before a good chunk of the world was even born.

So to sum, kinda sorry he died, but no more than for the other 145,999 who joined him that day, many of whom probably had more beneficial effects on the world than “The King Of Pop” did.

1 That, honestly, I only listened/listen to on purpose when “Weird Al” sang/sings them…


Ben Bova: Maybe leaders should read more science fiction

This is from, of all places, the Naples Daily News, where Ben Bova has a column:“If our political leaders had been reading science fiction, we might have been spared the Cold War, the energy crises, the failures of public education and many of the other problems that now seem intractable because we were not prepared to deal with them when they arose.

We could be living in a world that is powered by solar and nuclear energy, drawing our raw materials from the moon and asteroids, moving much of our industrial base into orbit and allowing our home world to become a clean, green residential area.

But very few of us read enough science fiction to learn how to look into the future and see the possibilities of tomorrow, both the good and the bad. Certainly our political leaders are constantly surprised by each new crisis. They don’t look into the future any farther than the next election day.

Science fiction, at its best, is an experimental laboratory where you can test new ideas to see how they might affect people and whole societies. To my mind, it should be required reading for everyone.”

Bravo, Ben…