Bing Blog

Why I'm missing the Jackson memorial

Michael Jackson

First of all, I wasn't on the mailing list. So I didn't get the chance to go to the parking lot in downtown LA to get my wrist band. If you don't have a wrist band, you're not going to be able to get past the cordon near the Staples Center (SPLS). The tragic thing is that I am in LA right now, and could have been there if somebody had gotten me my wristband. But they didn't.

I also don't think that the $100,000 price tag for the ticket on EBay (EBAY) is that compelling. In better times, maybe. But the New York Times keeps running stories every day now about various things that are going to "threaten the recovery." One day it's this, next day it's that. Oil prices. Unemployment. Every day something else is going to threaten the recovery. The green shoots are shot, apparently. So I don't think I'm going to be splurging for something that costs $100,000, even something as worthwhile as the Jackson memorial concert.

Frankly, as exciting as the whole Death of Michael Jackson marketing event has been, I'm getting a little tired of it, and it hasn't even been on the racks that long. They're already rolling out old interviews with his mother, for instance. And how many "Jackson insiders" can there be? Not to mention his father, who is a real buzzkill as far as I'm concerned. I just feel sad about it, and not the kind of sad that makes me want to spend money.

Most critical, I think, to the entire strategic plan of the thing, is the fact that they may have timed the big event in the Staples Center one or two days too late. This may not have been the planning team's fault, of course. They had to get all the big entertainers that loved Michael so much to clear their schedules and make it to LA in time to do some pre-publicity.

I'm not trying to be overly negative about the job they're doing, though. In an event like this, nobody is really in charge. We all kind of contribute to play things out while a variety of parties stand by the action to see where the money is going to land. This one is delivering on its potential better than most, maybe because we have some great examples to work from. Elvis, for instance, timed his death perfectly, and is arguably more successful in death than he would have been in what was left of his sorry life. Contrariwise, back in 1980 Yoko completely blew the whole assassination of her husband John. I bet she didn't make a nickel. All those mourners gathered near the apartment building where he died? How was that monetized?

The Jackson people are doing a whole lot better. He has all the top songs on the Billboard charts and this event should start off another great chapter in his career, one that's significantly more profitable, in the end, than the upcoming 50 concerts in London would have been, and a lot less fatal to his image.

51 Comments Add Comment

Hey! I have a wrist band. I went for annual clinical tests and I kept it on after my visit to the lab. Can I go to the Staples?

Whoa...the monetization of death...dignity be damned, let the profiteers loose!

Little bit of a chilly write-up, but alas it is true.

When John Lennon got shot, I for one was very moved. John did not kill himself--a troubled young man took his life from him. What syphnter would want to profit from that???

Jackson was a weird guy, but there is no denying his talent. I am sick of the circus around his death, but yeah...there is money to be made, I sad is this whole thing?

Why is it so difficult for some to see the truth, good and bad. He added much to the music world - he was a very poor model for the human race. All I want is for them to get out of my face.

I fully agree. Enough of this idiocy. No wonder California is teetering on bankruptcy. Who pays for all the police to close off the streets and highways for his hearse. Certainly not the Jackson Family!!! The Jackson 4 tour will be up in running within 6 months

Im betting some people who read this wont get the sarcasm.

While there aren't a large amount of ads present here on your Blog, I would still be curious how much money you may make over the norm (if any) just because of the topic.


Bottom line ........... you (or I) will never be the draw that MJ was and will be for a long tme. Give the man and his family and fans a break and leave $$$ out of the equation, eh? Nuff said.

I agree completly.
I am so sick and tired of MJ this and MJ that. He died, to bad, now get back to work.

I did not miss the circus this morning, i had no intention of watching it. I am so fed up with all the hype and publicity his death has created. Hopefully, once he is planted things will return to normal. He had all the opportunity to be a great performer but, he chose to be strange and weired.


Please make it stop.

Eric, I think a couple will get the sarcasm (as did I).

The article is so articulate and I agree. In addition, I do not want to hear the City of Los Angeles cry they have no money. They found enough to celebrate the Lakers and Jackson. Don't come crying to the State of California either. It's a choice they made. I don't want my services cut because the Jackson family didn't pay for this fiasco. He was a great talent but he didn't save a Holocaust victim, he didn't cure cancer, and while this whole thing is going on some young soldier is losing their life for this.

Folks have a tendency to glorify the wrong people.

We have a doctor in NC that helped invent Robot-Assisted Heart Surgery. He used it to repair my mitral valve and save my life.

The poor guy will never be famous outside the medical community because people are too busy watching weird little guys sing and dance.

Am I the only one who sees something wrong here?

touche' You nailed it. We cannot afford a victory parade here in LA for the Lakers, but we can afford this extravaganza for a probable child molestor? His music was phenominal but you cannot ignore the rest which is occuring....there's just too much to ignore.

You are not going to believe me of cause, but anyway,
I like Jackson, but guess what I wouldn’t go there even for free.
Too much of stupid publicity and money making.
Show respect to a dead man.

I predict it will be years before we know the truth behind how MJ died. I mean, how long has it been since Jerry Garcia died and we only found out last year it was from acid indigestion.

The media is making way, way too much of his death. He was a singer, not a head of state. TV coverage of the service -- ugh. I wouldn't watch it if I was paid to.

Once the hysteria of the moment is over, MJ will fade into oblivion. He was no artist, just an entertainer like Liberace or Wayne Newton. His family needs to grieve, not make money.
Sadly, many very talented artists will create art in almost complete anonymity and without much financial support. They beautify the world with wonderful creations just for the sake of making their art and trying to stay fed. If you take anything away from this nonsense, support your local artists rather than throw money at the Jackson family who don't need any more of it.
It is sad that so many great musicians have passed on with little fanfare yet we are hit with this disgusting abomination of an event. Can the media create any bigger hype without them foaming at the mouth with excitement? Greater musicians like Jerry Garcia, John Lennon, and others left us a legacy of artistry and dignity in their deaths.

Could anything less newsworthy take up more of our time?

This memorial is such a sham, are there actually people out there crying over MJ's death? I'm not. I wish the news could be news and I could listen to the songs on the radio that I used to be able to. I have never been a fan MJ's music and certainly not a fan of the man. If I have to listen to anymore of the MJ story and music tributes, I'm going to get sick.

I guess I should probably balance some of this. I liked Michael Jackson. I particularly liked the Jackson 5 and Thriller, although he had some great songs after that too, and there's no question that his Moonwalk at the Grammys was one of the great moments on television, ever. He meant a lot to a lot of people. And the feeling in the hall right now, which I am watching, is for the most part genuine and very moving. I don't want to put down people who feel grief at his passing, or want to celebrate what he meant to them. But I am pretty grossed out by the whole commercial aspects of the thing, and some of the grandstanding from people who clearly did nothing to make Michael's life happier or easier. This promotional agency that's running this Memorial is the one that pushed him to do 50 gigs in London, not 10, which was a significant cause of his anxiety and despair in the last days, I think. I find it interesting that Stevie Wonder sang a song called "They won't go when I go," which is about an artist surrounded by leaches and sychophants who do not share his destiny. It's an old song, and an odd one to have chosen. The bottom line is that people mourn their own deaths when they lose an artist who shaped their lives. There's nothing wrong with that. And everything in our society comes down to money, doesn't it? So why should we be shocked by this grotesque exploitation of a lonely man's memory, and the revisionist history that is already being written for the economic benefit of all those debtholders?

In 1952, when "Hank Williams" died, we witnessed the sombre and premature passing of a country music artist whose music touched every facet of musical entertainment at that time.

If "Hank" could only see this extravaganza now! Meo mio......

With all due respect to his family, I wish that more coverage was given to our soldiers dying at war this week. While this man was a great entertainer, our young men and women are dying to give another country freedom. There are greater tragedies in the world. Maybe he rest in peace, and may we learn whom to truly praise endlessly.

Once last chance for the Jackson family (mainly papa) to get their meal ticket punched.

As in life so in death. Making money for others.

I already contributed to LA Police to cover the cost. $.02. Everyone should do the same.

Elvis is dead and I'm not feeling so good myself.

It will take a lot of resolve for MJ's clan to cash in as well as The king has with mass marketing of velvet paintings and Graceland over the years.

To me MJ was a relevent talent ...when I was in college like 25 years ago. Elvis faded a little at the end what with the meds and chicks inthe jungle room but that is more sellable than hiring breeding stock to have kids, dangling them from a balcony of a luxury hotel and I'm pretty sure Graceland was never used to bait young boys and there families into unsupervised sleep overs. I thought California was having financial trouble. Dropping $4 million for a selfexiled icon when they won't even cough up $1 million for Coby and the boys when they win the trophy sounds kinda wack even for the granola munchers..

I have to say, after all is said and done, that it was a pretty moving event.

Can't we all just move on, get over it, he's dead.

Didn't care much for the Man myself . Now if I could just go on record as being the first in line requesting a wrist band for the Stanley Bing Memorial Extravaganza . I mean lets start planning these things timeously !

Bing, I give you credit. You called the event, and then you were willing to share feelings, after watching.

I was never a big MJ fan, though he undeniably had talent. Lots of it. Just not my cup of tea, but that is OK too.

If I could do that moonwalk, by golly I'd do it -- entering every meeting at work. How great would that be? It still seems like magic, watching him do it.

Yes...I am moved...I agree we see our own mortality through the death of an icon...and Michael indeed was an icon, with all the pomp and circumstance that surrounds him, now even in death.

God rest his soul, along with all the others who are now no longer here...

Remember "Bloom County?". I loved the series where Opus traded place with Michael...that was awesome...

His memorial is a travesty! He was exploited by his father beginning when he was a child and he is still being exploited in death not only by his family but by the media. I am appauled that the tax payers are paying for all of it too! The state and city are how many millions in debt and it is costing how much???? Glad I don't live in California!

I'm gonna be a freakin' wreck when Bob Dylan where can I buy advance tickets to that pending memorial service?...

When taken to the extreme, Capitalism does indeed suck, doesn't it?

There really isn't anything unusual about a 50 year old african-american male dying of heart related illness, regardless of lifestyle.

As for the drugs, it is possible that it wasn't the drugs that led to death but that a dying man may take many drugs in the last 6 months of his life. something was wrong and he took drugs to ease it, nothing strange about that.

Great entertainer, fantastic dancer and song writer, people are too obsessed as to the why he died. As to his trial, he wasn't convicted anyway, so celebrate a great american, we need the diversion. It is sad that he was treated like such a monster in the end of his life and so appreciated at death its a lesson to us all about hate and scapegoating because he never knew how the public would feel after his death. I, for one am sad to lose such talent and all his good qualities, never mind the bad and the speculation.

welcome back bing, big e-hug to you.

Back atcha, Laurel.

Two birds 1 stone:

10. Leave #10 empty to let my bloggers complete my job... Truely an executive trick... Well done and Congrats on that one

Regarding the MJ media marketing hype...SALES = Tell me your pain...the pain is the icon of many has passed, get your last run at while you can... yeah pretty F$%^^&g sad when we need top profit from someone's death not from the existing documented talent left behind, but from the actual event related to death, the memorial and funeral. Consider the reflection of what it means as a human, to profit from a family's loss... The show must go on...
no matter how sick it might be to sustain its life...
the show must go on...

I'm gonna Puke...Bing welcome back buddy, it gonna get gritty between the economy and the need to top the next headline...

Sorry he's dead, but I generally feel that way about ALMOST anybody's death. Other than that, I don't really care. Without his talent, and money, he'd have just been another convicted sexual predator with a duty to constantly report his whereabouts to the authorities. As it is, it's basically a pretty rough break for the vultures that depended upon him for their meal-ticket. Boo-Hoo.

As for me, I'm gonna start running my toaster non-stop...I'll really hit paydirt if I can produce a likeness of MJ while the market's hot.

And Bing, welcome back. We missed you.

Thanks, Mike. It's good to be back. I will have to say, though, that the little girl at the end of the Jackson memorial really gave me something to think about. Somewhere in all the exploitation and hype, there was a person there who actually was a father to his kids. I don't know why, but that surprised me. And it's kinda sad that it did.

Yes, in every notable death there's human tragedy that has nothing to do with market hype. Too bad he had the misfortune to be an icon.

Yes, Mike. It's a heavy burden.

My god, Bing, you're not sick are you? MJ, Farrah, Malden, and now you; I don't think the world is ready for that kind of loss.

You know, I did think I saw your face in a cloud over Montana last weekend...was it a sign?

Of course, at the time I thought it looked sort of like a head smoking a cigar...but it's all crystal clear to me now.

Bing, I think it's important that you stay away from physician/financial advisors with the same first and last names.

I am so sick of this whole thing.

On the day of this death, I warned my friends of all the marketing ploys and how we will hear more of him in the next 10+ years then if he stayed alive.

Wishing people would just move on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i see things too mike and bing. turn the icon upside down and there is an ominous blue duck with an evil eye (by bing's cuff). It looks like it is going for bing's throat! creepy. hide in the closet, gird your loins, whatever it takes, till this passes.

In the wake of MJ's extravaganza, let's have one big round of applause for the the "Entertainment Promoters".

Golly gee, I didn't think the 4th of July fireworks could be out done!

Thank you "Entertainment Tonight" and "Insider"! Golly gee!

For my entire life people have been asking me to moonwalk. If not that, it's where's my glove? If not that, it's how are the children or something worse.

If I had been named Hitler, I doubt it would be as bad as all of this, and seriously it seems like I have had to deflect a Michael Jackson joke every day of my life.

Is it finally over? Will the nightmare stop? Can I finally go by Michael?

I don't know, Mike. Take a look at the man in the mirror.

Okay...doesn't look like it's gonna stop.

Not with this group...

Mike Jackson -- use your middle name. It is your only hope.


Gosh, I sure missed you guys while I was on holiday. Drank some great, and I mean great Canadian pinot noir. Elegant beautiful wine from Long Dog in Milford, Ontario.

As for the profiteering, his mentor, Ms. Ross sang it best....

You can't hurry love.
No you just have to wait.
Love don't come easy.
It's a game of give and take.

Resume taking.