Prologue to Act II:
"...The black man should no longer be confronted by the dilemma, turn white or disappear...if society makes difficulties for him because of his color, if in his dreams I establish the expression of an unconscious desire to change color, my objective will not be that of dissuading him from it by advising him to "keep his place"; on the contrary, my objective, once his motivations have brought him into consciousness, will be to put him in a position to choose action (or passivity) with respect to the real source of the conflict-that is, toward the social structures."--Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks
Act II: Mask In The Mirror
"I'm hearing rumors that his coffin is coming, and that would be insane if it happened!"
--A giddy mourner/fan, talking to an MSNBC reporter,
outside of the Staples Center, 7 July 2009.
Tuesday, 7 June 2009, 9:05 am, PST, and I'm tuned into MSNBC, watching the throngs of fans on the periphery of Los Angeles freeways and side streets cheering the quiet luxury armada of the Michael Jackson funerary motorcade. Minutes later, members of the Jackson family and other mourners file out of the Hall Of Liberty, on the grounds of Forest Lawn Cemetery. Funerals are the closest thing to slow motion in real-time; like falling through a bottle of invisible embalming fluid. We talk slow and move slower, as the life of the decedent scrolls across the reels of our revisionist recollection. Give your roses to the living y'all, because they can't smell them at the graveyard, or when the cremated ashes walk hand in hand with the wind.