Monday, July 6, 2009

Second Ranch to the Left, and Straight On 'Til Morning (aka A Trip to Neverland)

This past week when stories were running that there would be a public viewing on Friday, and possible Saturday, of Michael Jackson at Neverland I decided that I should try to get in. Being only a couple of hours away from there I knew that if it did indeed happen I would feel bad if I didn't at least try to be a part of it. Well, that just didn't happen. There would be no profit to be made by Joe Jackson if it was just a public viewing, plus the logistics would have been mad crazy. But with the odds against me in getting in to the Staples Center (and not having the day off), trying to get in then was just not an option. So it was decided to go ahead and go down to Neverland and just see what was going on there, and maybe even say good-bye.

We didn't know how to get there, and had only Google Maps to help out. We knew we were getting close when we came across this:

Plenty of SAT trucks, global news crews, crazies, fans and merchandise for everyone. What kind of merchandise you ask? The obligatory t-shirts bidding MJ farewell being sold out of car trunks by a guy yelling at a Thai news crew to put a real black guy on TV (you just can't make this stuff up); stickers, paintings, water, Red Vines and bird houses. Yes, bird houses. Don't ask why, just go with it.

As we approached the gate where everyone was gathered I did become choked up...

..until I saw a women dressed as Michael taking pictures with people at every turn as media from Mexico and France lined up to interview her. This of course as a kid (around 10 or 11 wearing a Dr. Suess hat) was yelling for people to buy a collectors edition USA Today. Apparently he wasn't loud enough because his mom/dad/not sure got mad at him and said, "Yell louder! You've got to sell it!" We then heard her/him/it yell the rest of the time we were there. I don't want a USA Today for $5, and for God's sake.. for the sake of the children, please put something on over your tank top that's waaay too loose.

It was a warm day and plenty of people had their potable awnings set up to try and keep the sun off of them. Especially the media. They were even sure to let people know that this was for them only by posting a sign on the tent:

Fair enough. Until you looked at the back of the sign to see that it was originally someone's memorial sign for MJ.


Well we finally made our way up to the gate to get some photos of it. Without the spectacle, without the controversy, without the just stand back and look, you see that this was a beautiful place. So I chose not to get in any pictures there. Not to have my picture in front of the gates or with women dressed as him.

We decided to just try to take mostly photos of not only the craziness happening (without the crazies because they don't need publicity), but the memorials that people had left there. People that did choose to leave something hopefully knew that it would never make it onto his property, would never be seen by his family and no one may even know that they did it. So I chose to share their memorials with you.

Those are just some of them. No matter what the outcome of what happens next with the property or what people hate/love about him. People will continue to flock to this area to leave their memorials. Perhaps then they can also move on with their lives. As long as they don't know that crazies are stealing the flowers off of their memorial, because they are. No worries though, there's someone right here to sell them another one with a bird house. Hopefully that other person will stop shouting now.

Weekend POP by Jungle Jesse

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