Details for Michael Jackson's public memorial service on Tuesday are shaping up right now at a press conference. What's important: it's going to be broadcast live on TV and streamed, and tickets can be applied for online right now.
The ticket system is already down at the official site for the Staples Center, where those who want to attend can apply for tickets now, and the window for applying closes at 6PM (PDT) tomorrow. Winners are going to be selected by random drawing, not first-come, first-serve. It looks like the system's already crashing for those who want to get in. The drawing is only for citizens of the United States, which is sure to be pretty hot-button topic; Jackson's foreign fans were far more forgiving of the absolute strangeness that was the story of the end of his life than his American fans were. Details on the actual goings-on of the memorial service are nil, from the press conference. It looks as though there's no way for them to circumvent scalpers and the like. Ken Sunshine, family spokesman: "Anyone who tries to take advantage of this system: shame on you."
Jan Perry, acting L.A. mayor, asked for donations to city departments to help the foot the costs of accommodating the city services associated with the memorial. California's broke, and they couldn't even pay for a Lakers parade, so it's pretty clear that the City definitely is trying to avoid shelling out for whatever bills they can avoid paying. The LAPD has noted that people without tickets won't be allowed access to the area; they'll be stopped at a "great distance" from the Staples Center if they aren't holding. The city is urging people to watch the memorial service from home, and Perry made it sound like downtown L.A. is basically going to be shut down.
No information on the costs have been released, nor who's footing them, whether it's Jackson's family or the concert promoter who was going to put up Jackson's London shows.
Am I the only one who has the slight inclination to consider the possibility that this thing's going to be a truly ugly shitshow? Between Joe Jackson's cold shilling of his son, the legacy, and not his son, the person - who the public is still trying to understand, let alone his own family - if this thing isn't in the right hands (which are probably in short supply around the Jackson clan right now) it could turn out to be utterly miserable, exploitative, and callous.
Let's hope for the best. At the end of the day, a guy is dead. In an ideal world, he'd get the dignity that escaped his waking life and the public eye after dying. Probably not a likely outcome, but: we can hope, right? Right?