Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Michael Jackson Memorial: The Twitters

I was torn this morning, not knowing whether to attend the Michael Jackson memorial in person, or to watch it on television, not a part of the Staples Center congregation in downtown Los Angeles, but a part of a bigger celebration, that of tens of millions of fans worldwide who were touched by the biggest entertainment icon the world will ever know. My indecision forced a decision, and I have no regrets. I watched from my desk, digesting it all and sharing what I experienced with the online community. Here is my experience of the Michael Jackson memorial, as told via my Twitter account...

The motorcade is pulling into the Staples Center now... The hearse didn't use a blinker. I hope it doesn't get pulled over.

The motorcade is an eerie procession of dozens of black limousines wrapped around the Staples Center as they pull in. Surreal image.

CNN analyst Bryan Monroe agrees with me: "Off The Wall" is his favorite Michael Jackson album.

Based on posthumous sales and projections, CNN is reporting that that the Michael Jackson estate could be completely debt free within months

Smokey Robinson is opening the ceremony by reading a statement prepared by Diana Ross, who is not in attendance

It is astonishing how many people worldwide, so many cultures and languages, are celebrating Michael Jackson's life right now, all together

2200 credentialed journalists are covering the Michael Jackson memorial and surrounding events today.

Gospel choir sings "no more crying, we are going to see the King," casket is rolled to center stage shortly after 1030 am PST...

Mariah Carey singing "I'll Be There" - I'm sure this isn't the last time I'll have goosebumps watching from home. Must be magical there.

Queen Latifah "representing all the fans... Michael never felt distant... Michael was the biggest star on Earth... A human being first"

Lionel Richie singing "Jesus Is Love" ...Is he in training to be a Minister?

Berry Gordy on Michael Jackson: "King of Pop isn't big enough for him, I think he is simply the greatest entertainer that has ever lived!"

My dog doesn't care that I'm glued to TV, she wants to go out... I told her to be reverent of the moment - she went and curled in her bed!

Video montage ended with "You Are Not Alone," goosebump moment number three... WOW. Here's comes Stevie Wonder...

Stevie Wonder performing "Never Dreamed You'd Leave In Summer"

Kobe Bryant: Michael Jackson in Guiness Book of World Records for most charities supported by a pop star.

Magic Johnson: "Michael made me a better point guard and basketball player..."

Magic: "Chef brought me out grilled chicken, and brought Michael a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken...That was a greatest moment in my life"

Jennifer Hudson "Will You Be There" - Holy gospel pipes, she is owning it! CNN showing footage of people dancing in churches. Mo goosebumps!

Michael Jackson voiceover at end of "Will You Be There" - I'm shocked the ovation wasn't bigger, unless people too stunned to respond...

Rev Al Sharpton "It was Michael Jackson that brought blacks and whites and Asians together... Michael Jackson made us sing We Are The World"

Rev Al Sharpton: "Michael outsang his cynics, Michael outdanced his doubters..."

Rev Al Sharpton to Jackson children: "There was nothing strange about your daddy, it was strange what he had to deal with!" Standing Ovation

Based on the tribute Reverend Al Sharpton just gave, I'd join his church...

NEWS FLASH: John Mayer owns a tie... And he's wearing it while he plays "Human Nature"

John Mayer has a smile as wide as I've ever seen. He's the first white person to take the stage, and has as much soul as anyone. Goosebumps.

Other than him being @JohnMayer, not sure what his connection to Michael Jackson was, but it worked... Brooke Shields up now, talking, teary

Brooke Shields: "I used to tease him that I started when I was 11 months old and he started when he was five, he was a slacker..."

BS: "We never filmed a video or recorded a song, but we laughed... MJ's laugh was the sweetest and purest laugh of anyone I'd ever known"

Brooke: "I said, 'What up with the glove?' If you're going to hold my hand, it better be with the other hand..." VERY nice tribute...

Brooke: "He was referred to as the King, but I always thought of him as the little prince..." (read excerpt from book "The Little Prince")

Brooke Shields closed with mention of "Smile," now Jermaine Jackson singing with one white sequined glove... Both powerful and tender...

Martin Luther King III and Bernice King... I just ran to get a cup of coffee--I wonder if they're selling concessions in the Staples Center?

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (TX): "On behalf of representatives, we know law, and we know that people are innocent until proven otherwise..."

Usher performing "Gone Too Soon" at side of casket. Very emotional performance... Smokey Robinson up now, remembering meeting Jackson 5

Okay, I'll bite... Who is Shaheen Jafarghol, and why is he singing "Who's Loving You"? I guess there had to be someone I wouldn't know...

Shaheen Jafarghol sang "Who's Loving You" on Britiain's Got Talent this season, and Michael Jackson personally invited him to London shows

"We Are The World" This is going to be HUGE...

Ok, "We Are The World" wasn't huge, singing was done by his touring band. "Heal The World" now. MJ's kids, more kids, and all guests onstage

Jesse Jackson has ZERO rhythm (just saying)

I wasn't blown away by "We Are The World" or "Heal The World," but Michael has to be beaming down on the Staples Center right now...

Jermaine Jackson: "We thank you. We thank you very much."

Marlon Jackson: "A part of you will live forever in all of us..."

Paris Jackson: "My daddy has been the best father I could imagine, and I love him so much!" (forget goosebumps, now I'm crying)

As they wheel the casket out to instrumental "Man in the Mirror" there is a lone spotlight on an empty microphone at center stage...

Larry King: "It exceeded any expectations I had..." Said Al Sharpton was the standout of event. Looks like I wasn't alone in that thought!

The memorial was such a moving celebration of everything Michael Jackson represented as an artist and entertainer. Phenomenal.

It feels so good to revel in the joy and magic Michael Jackson brought the world, not the tragedy America encouraged and sensationalized.

I love it! There's some guy in a Lamb Of God t-shirt being talked to on CNN as he leaves the Staples Center...

I would love to see a picture of what the sky looks like above the Staples Center... There have to be too many helicopters to count!

Michael Jackson demonstrates America's divide: Half want to defile him, and the other half want to celebrate him. I'll celebrate, thank you.

If this clip doesn't break your heart, you don't have a heart: http://tinyurl.com/mrohqd

Michael Jackson memorial highlights (for me): Rev Al Sharpton, Brooke Shields, Jennifer Hudson and Magic Johnson. And, of course, Paris. RIP

Follow Paul Gargano on Twitter: @PaulGargano

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