Who paid for Michael Jackson’s flamboyant funeral?

We did. Los Angeles did. I’m so disgusted by this ostentatious funeral/memorial display! Shutting down part of the city, motor cascade, stars mouthing off, TV show, news coverage, blah blah blah. Not to mention the WASTE of money, when California is completely broke, with layoffs, warnings, etc by the state.

Michael Jackson's memorial cartoon aftermath
"Michael Jackson's funeral cost the city of LA $4 million! LA is asking for Paypal donations. Mayor Villaraigosa says, why didn't Michael die somewhere else? Now Schwarzenegger will really be on my case." ©D.Barstow 2009

No doubt Michael Jackson would have loved it. I’m embarrassed to be living in this city. Doesn’t LA asking for Paypal donations sound like a cartoon or joke all by itself? But it’s true! Los Angeles is a dreamer, all right.

This cartoon is kind of an in-joke to Californians: Mayor Villaraigosa was gone, touring, traveling, who knows what, during the whole Michael debacle. He’s out of the city a whole hella lot. I have no idea if he and Schwarzenegger are friends, enemies, BFF, or avoid each other. Fun to imagine, though.

Here, some Facebook friends and I discuss the issue:  

Me: I find it revolting that part of LA was shut down, and tickets were given out through a LOTTERY for a singer who retired and lived abroad. I hope he’s out of the news now so I don’t have to do a cartoon about MJ.

J. MJ was an icon. You can’t deny him that. Celebrated pedophile, yes, but he did live in California for quite a while. It is what it is.

G. He never retired, Donna. He retreated. And what’s wrong with holding a lottery? You can always turn off the TV.
Like him or not, stars don’t get any bigger and there is no denying his talent and contribution to humanitarian causes. As for the charges and accusations that were brought against him, we live in a country where a person is innocent… Read More until proven guilty. I don’t know what truly went on in Jackson’s personal life. He may have been a pedophile or he may have been a childish man with a kind heart who exercised some very bad judgment.
The bottom line is that the world lost an icon. Fortunately, he left us the gift of his music.

J: Clever PR? Oh God, Donna…. the guy is dead. :(

G:  You’re just chomping at the bit to do an MJ cartoon, aren’t you?
This is going to get interesting.

Me: Both of you brought up that he was a pedophile! Not me. I don’t believe it.
What I do believe is that the entire SPECTACLE, televised funeral, memorial, TICKETS was all carefully orchestrated, and I really resent all this excess manufactured adoration that is treating him like some kind of saint. I don’t find him interesting, and his funeral is certainly not worthy of this hype.

J:He was amazing. He was a pedophile. He had addictions. He was a human.
Jesus said he who is without sin may cast the first stone.

Famous New Yorker Cartoonist: Oh, oh…tell me that’s not MJ’s portrait they’re carving on Mt. Rushmore.

Me: Rev Sharpton wants to make it a national holiday! Oh, PLEASE.

G: I was addressing J’s comment, not yours, Donna, when I replied about the accusations.
It’s not “manufactured adoration” and I don’t see him being “sainted.” (In fact, I was surprised that one of the speakers at the memorial mentioned the negative aspects of Jackson’s life.) His music MOVED generations of people, all over the world. People are genuinely, deeply saddened by his passing.
As for the so-called “spectacle,” have you forgotten that The Jacksons are a show business family and AEG a leading entertainment company? Of course, the memorial was carefully orchestrated. Events of this magnitude and caliber don’t happen by accident. From a business aspect, with a stake in their fallen superstar, I’m sure AEG wants to boost public interest for future DVD sales. And The Jackson Estate has many outstanding debts to pay…. Read More
But NONE of this diminishes Jackson’s impact and legacy as a performer. And billions of people find him worthy of this grand farewell.

Not me. Now, get out of the news, Michael.

* LAObserved reports that the Mayor has stopped begging for money at Twitter. No word on if the Paypal Donation requests remain up. :)

9 thoughts on “Who paid for Michael Jackson’s flamboyant funeral?”

  1. Yeah, try living in the Big Apple. The money they spend on protecting foreign and domestic dignitaries when they come to the UN is staggering. And how much did hosting the Republican Convention in 2004 cost?

    Point is that aside from NYC, LA is the only city that matters in the USA. LA makes money off of being LA. Its only LA because of its major industry which is the “TMZ,” if you will, of Hollywood. Beverly Hills wouldn’t be there if it weren’t for the wealth generated by the entertainment industry.

    Yeah, there are other things, shipping ports etc, but Buffalo has shipping ports!

    And Yeah, somebody of mega wealth ought to stand up and say “I’ll pay” What’re we talking? A couple few mil? pfffrt! How many Beverly Hillionaires spend that on a “Super Sweet Sixteen?”

    Having the UN in NYC is like having a Royal Family. It costs alot, but it also generates a lot of direct and indirect revenue to the city. It is indicative of what NYC is THE International Capitol, THE International center of Capital and trade. And it is just one of the many things that make NY, NY! Without it, NY might as well be Boston.

    Having Michael Jackson’s funeral in LA, having OJ’s trial in LA, having Lindsay Lohan in LA… Without them LA might as well be Vegas.

  2. When I think of NYC I never think of the UN. I’ve been there many times. I think of museums and shows and theater, and even some of the actors that live there. But maybe not that many.

    You can’t compare the OJ trial to this boring crap. OJ was one of the most fascinating long-running serial stories in the century.

  3. When you think of the UN do you think of NYC? If you never think of the UN, then that reminds us why “Political Cartoonist” is not really your calling.

    Personally I find all “Hyper important,” “Of the century” stuff to be boring crap. I’m not a big fan of “celebrity” in general

    1. No, I don’t. I think of their purpose, but not sure they have the power when they need it. I never think of the physical place.

      And it sounds like you don’t really need a reminder, since your mind is made up.

  4. The difference being that while my mind may be made up, I constantly check all things that I “know” against the current facts. In the case of your punditry, it is the rare comment that disputes the prior data used to form my opinion.

    “The UN” is a landmark building, like the Sydney Opera House, or The White House, or the Eiffel Tower. The very mention of the word conjures an image (at least in my mind). Beyond that one can ponder the quality of opera in Australia, the actions of those in the White House or spring time in Paris. It would strike me as interesting, to say the least, that a person who considers herself an Artist does not automatically translate words to images in her mind. Not right or wrong, but interesting.

    The overarching point here is that the Michael Jackson funeral tab (for traffic, police and cleanup) is indicated at $1.4 million (Time July 27). It’s a small cost for a city that makes its living off the living and dying of “The Beautiful People.”

    1. My number that I heard on the news is $4 million. I’ve read even higher on the net, but prefer the evening news, ABC, for my news.

      I know the UN has a lot of flags in front. That’s all I remember of it.

      I’m a writer first. Most cartoonists are not – they are just artists. They buy gags from gag writers, at least the New Yorker guys & many other general cartoonists. I don’t know if this is true of editorial cartoonists. I only know a couple of them personally, and they do write their own stuff. But again, they think picture first, and I think funny. I admire some of them.

  5. After an audit, it was found Michael Jackson’s memorial *brought in* $4 million to L.A. (source: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2009/11/michael-jackson-memorial-brought-in-4-million-to-la-new-city-report-says.html), and his Estate as well as AEG ended up reimbursing/paying for the expenses.

    I also wanted to point out that, contrary to all the media hoopla, there’s been no evidence provided that Jackson was an addict. It should be noted that a dependency (which he was treated for in the 90s) is not the same as an addiction, these terms are often erroneously interchanged but mean different things. In the corner’s report, Michael Jackson’s vital organs were deemed healthy, negating long term substance abuse, likewise Propofol isn’t physically addictive, and had his doctor literally not abandoned his patient Jackson would still be here today.

    I could go on and on, but it turns out Jackson wasn’t that bad of a guy (I know in your post you stated you didn’t believe he was a pedophile, but for anyone that does need facts regarding the allegations this is a good place to start: http://vindicatemj.wordpress.com/real-story-of-the-1993-and-2003-cases-untold-by-larry-feldman/ ). After all the good he did for others (both in California and worldwide), and all hell that was returned, the very least he deserved was a good public memorial for people to learn or be introduced to the truth about him. It’s a shame he couldn’t even receive that with out undue criticism though.

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