The Spectator


The Spectator on the death of Michael Jackson

As Mark Earls writes on page 16, the rush to mourn Michael Jackson has been matched only by the surge of instant jokes about the singer — many of them in catastrophically poor taste. Our very own Taki lets one or two out of the bag this week (see page 44).

Some say these one-liners about a recently dead superstar are despicable. We beg to differ. They are a necessary corrective to the frequently silly and disproportionate wailing and rending of garments that follow the death of a global celebrity nowadays. It is sad that Michael Jackson is dead. But it is not, with respect to him and his family, a global catastrophe. We will all soldier on.

Second, it is hard not to feel a measure of pride at the lead Britain took in producing these gags. The nation may be in the grip of a dire economic crisis. Our political system is in ruins. We are governed by a decrepit Brownite junta. But let us moonwalk with pride: when it comes to sick jokes, we still lead the world.

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