So, about yesterday’s Michael Jackson memorial service: It was pretty tasteful, wasn’t it? Touching, even, that the majority of the celebrities who spoke or performed seemed to be there to pay respect like normal human beings rather than to bask in the spotlight of just another star-studded affair. There were exceptions, obviously, like Brooke Shields, who wasn’t so much disrespectful as she was, um, bad at speaking and not nearly as funny as she thought she was, or Corey Feldman, who… well, yeah.
But the day’s worst offender wasn’t even there in person. Queen Latifah read a poem by Maya Angelou, written specifically for the occasion, and it was embarrassing—full of juvenile truisms and overused devices. Like, whaaaaat?!?! It’s crazy how there’s a Birmingham in Alabama and another one in England. And whoa, Pittsburgh and Johannesburg, despite being thousands of miles apart, both physically and ideologically, end in the same syllable!
Full text, courtesy of MTV, is after the jump.
Beloveds, now we know that we know nothing, now that our bright and shining star can slip away from our fingertips like a puff of summer wind.
Without notice, our dear love can escape our doting embrace. Sing our songs among the stars and walk our dances across the face of the moon.
In the instant that Michael is gone, we know nothing. No clocks can tell time. No oceans can rush our tides with the abrupt absence of our treasure.
Though we are many, each of us is achingly alone, piercingly alone.
Only when we confess our confusion can we remember that he was a gift to us and we did have him.
He came to us from the creator, trailing creativity in abundance.
Despite the anguish, his life was sheathed in mother love, family love, and survived and did more than that.
He thrived with passion and compassion, humor and style. We had him whether we know who he was or did not know, he was ours and we were his.
We had him, beautiful, delighting our eyes.
His hat, aslant over his brow, and took a pose on his toes for all of us.
And we laughed and stomped our feet for him.
We were enchanted with his passion because he held nothing. He gave us all he had been given.
Today in Tokyo, beneath the Eiffel Tower, in Ghana’s Black Star Square.
In Johannesburg and Pittsburgh, in Birmingham, Alabama, and Birmingham, England
We are missing Michael.
But we do know we had him, and we are the world.
Oh, no you di-in’t, Maya Angelou. I know you did not do the “we are the world” thing at the end. Latifah put that shit in on her own, right?