Earlier this summer, I'd gone to my local Walgreens to satisfy a craving for peanut M&Ms. As I stood in the candy aisle deciding just how big of a bag I should purchase, a woman and her two small children joined me in the aisle. The mother stood there looking over the sale items as her two kids, a girl and a boy, argued over candy. Then, the young one, the boy, suddenly walked towards the magazine rack, and pointed to a picture of Michael Jackson. He screamed, "Michael Jackson! Michael Jackson," then pursed his lips, started loudly breathing through his mouth, and began what must have been his version of dancing like Mike.
Now, this little boy couldn't have been more than three. There's no way that he could remember Michael the way that you and I remember Michael. Yet he shared such a pure enthusiasm for the MJJ, such a love that I couldn't do anything but smile at him and think about the ways that Michael continues to live and touch lives. Little boys rocking out at the sight of Michael Jackson on a magazine cover is exactly what legends are made of.
I’m not sure why, but U.S. holidays don’t particularly care for the month of August. Maybe the holiday gods think back to school shopping and Labor Day sales will tide the American public over until it’s time to buy afro wigs for Halloween costume parties. I don’t know about you, dear reader, but I ain’t with it. August needs a holiday, a three-day weekend we can all support. Which is why I’m suggesting that we honor the life of Michael Joseph Jackson by making the last Monday in August a federal holiday. He's done a lot for us, for the world. The fact that "Billie Jean" still bangs, that his jheri curl mullet (still?) looked really good make MJJ worthy of a holiday. Those facts combined with his philanthropic endeavors should make him a shoo-in for federal acknowledgment. Lesser men have been honored with parades. (Seriously, America, Columbus Day? That's just a incredibly arrogant way of dissing indigenous people and saying to the rest of the world, "Dude, we may not be a legitimate country, but we're going to throw a party, anyway.")
Yesterday was Michael Jackson’s birthday. Many of us moonwalked our way into insobriety as we honored the gloved one all night at the club. Others changed their Facebook profile photos to dancing Michael or Michael in a tux and afro or Michael in a fedora. Many of us tweeted at least one shout out to the GREATEST ENTERTAINER OF ALL TIME on his birthday in some internet version of pouring out libations. Still, I think there’s more we can do, more that Michael deserves. Michael doesn’t need another mixtape; he’s needs a Monday off--which he can accomplish vicariously through us.
It's prime time for another black person to have a holiday. Instead of waiting for Barack Obama Day or for his face to appear on some money, I urge anyone reading this to contact their local Congressperson or whomever it is that helps federal holidays become federal holidays in an effort to commence the MJJ Day movement. I’m sure there’s a wiki article about this floating around somewhere on the internet about how, exactly, to do this. (Un)fortunately, my recently amplified nihilism precludes me from contacting the government about anything, otherwise it might appear as if I believe something other than nothing has meaning. I’ve no idea how well my crusade to increase The Lovers and Friends Show following is going, but I hope this latest effort trumps that one.
In the meantime, I suggest the we continue informally celebrating Michael's life until the government gets its act together and responds to the letter writing campaign that will undoubtedly commence after enough people read this blog. Be sure to mention a day of service; BHO loves days of service. We've already got the party part down, here are some other suggestions:
- Brush and gel down your baby hair.
- Try to toss a coin into a jukebox from fifty feet away.
- Put tape around a few of your fingertips. I used to do this as a kid. It’s so much fun.
- Everybody loves pink and red ribbons. Screw that. Honor Michael by pinning a little white glittery glove to your lapel.
- Tar and feather Joe Jackson.
- Add a “Shamone” to your statements. For example, when asking your boss for a raise, say something like, “I’ve saved this company $2 million in the last two quarters alone. I deserve a 4% raise. Shamone!”
- Jazz it up on casual Fridays: wear some white socks with black dress shoes, preferably penny loafers.
- Two words: FLASH MOB!
- After your workout, you know when you’re all sweaty and gross looking, scream “Michael!” at the top of your lungs and pass out.
- Petition the city to get the sidewalks to light up when people step on them. If they can turn the Chicago River green for St. Patrick's Day, I know they can do some concrete magic once a year. Can you imagine how awesome you'd feel about yourself if the sidewalk glowed as you walked on it? Mental health benefits!
- Try to moonwalk. Here’s a hint: don’t practice on carpet.
- Pick an MJJ song at random. Then, try to decipher ALL of the lyrics without the help of Google.
- Watch this. The greatest music video of all time: