On cue, the white guys, Peter King, a famously moronic congressman from New York, and Fox's Bill O'Reilly, possibly after a few martinis, rushed to express head-smacking incredulity about how anyone could believe Michael Jackson was a figure worth commemorating.
Similarly, the grand hussars of the black community were claiming, with no small amount of eloquence, that Michael Jackson was one of the epochal figures of our age.
Michael Jackson is hereby transmuted--to the choir strains of a rather extraordinary send-off--into not just a holy figure but a living icon of the racial and political wars (two issues in which he never had any evident interest).
It isn't just the racist and moronic white guys either who are scratching their heads. The young downwardly mobile trying-to-be professional white people over at Gawker seemed hopelessly confused by the vulgarity and sentimentality and, well, mass media-ness of the Jackson funeral. My friend Peter Rutten points out that, in Europe, when Elvis died, "kids wore buttons that read 'I'm so glad, Elvis is dead' as a statement of disgust with America's celebrity culture."
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