Can Someone Other Than A Robot Please Give Paris Jackson A Hug?

The XX Factor
What Women Really Think
July 8 2009 3:25 PM

Can Someone Other Than A Robot Please Give Paris Jackson A Hug?

Sorry Dana , but I’m with Jess on Paris . The contrasts contained in the moment of her speech, to be really eloquent about it, freaked me the eff out. Here’s a young girl, a daughter, having a genuine, raw moment of grief and she’s surrounded by a bunch of… actors. Her authenticity was matched in pitch only by the performativeness in the people surrounding her, these totally dysfunctional family members putting on a show of solidarity, projecting protectiveness with their shoulders, but wholly aware they were making a YouTube moment with their minds. Janet Jackson done up like Jackie O, specifically, made me feel like I was watching some David Lynch dream sequence likely to give me nightmares.

While watching the funeral it also occurred to me that the saga of Michael Jackson’s death has followed the exact same arc as his life: What began as wholesome, heartfelt, feel-good celebration of talent and music has transformed at break neck speed into a twisted, creepy kind of mass denial about the dark side of celebrity. This whole thing has gone pear shaped, fast.

Willa Paskin is Slate’s television critic.