Today's post was going to be light and happy — and dammit, I'll still give it a shot — but what else can one say about the sad passing yesterday of 70s glamour icon Farrah Fawcett and then, by day's end, 80s music legend Michael Jackson?
Farrah's place in pop culture history is secure but Jackson's is more problematic, as people argue over his legacy. Was he a genius? Was he a pedophile? Was he both? While you'll be hearing his 80s classics non-stop this weekend, his 90s output was largely a cry for help:
Despite his towering achievements in pop music, Jackson was largely a tragic figure — sick with too much fame right from childhood and a survivor of abuse. It's grimly symbolic that he died on the eve of Pride, since I'm not sure he'd been left with any. The "King of Pop" title, the grandiose megalomania, the messiah complex and, of course, the ongoing cosmetic plastic surgery — all of it pointing to a gaping emptiness.
This is the opposite of Pride. The whole point of Pride, one we sometimes have to strain to see past all the beer tents, perfect abs and designer sunglasses, is to love and accept whoever and whatever you are.
Divine understood that. John Waters' favourite drag icon was going to kick off my original plan for today — a series of Pride carols, the songs we play every year on our high holy holiday. Here she comes:
It seems no one made a video for Carl Bean's classic but, as you give this Motown classic a spin, picture Michael Jackson at his most flamboyant. We don't know what his sexuality was but this is a song he should've sung regardless:
Because ultimately, it all boils down to one simple statement:
So Happy Pride everybody! Be good to yourselves and each other. I leave you with out singer Jay Brannan's tribute to the King of Pop and then my own favourite Pride anthem — a dream of a place I hope Michael has now found: