Today is official "Michael Jackson Sucks Day"

And it pains me to say it.  I've been an unironic and unabashed fan of his music since I bought the cassette tape of OFF THE WALL in the early 80s. As soon as I heard it was happening, I made plans to attend the Michael Jackson Estate Auction in Hollywood.  I bought plane tickets, got a hotel and even paid the premium to be holding a paddle in the exclusive Julien's Beverly Hills live auction room.  This morning, news hit the wire that Jackson's lawsuit against Julien's would be settled out of court and the 2000 memorabilia items would be returned to Michael Jackson.  Jackson is now flush with cash after selling out 50 straight shows in London, so I guess he has the right to take it all back, even though Julien's legally claimed all the treasures when Neverland was liquidated last year.  But Jesus man, I was this close to owning my own little slice of MJ.  Maybe not a sequined glove or the totally awesome articulated mask from the Moonwalker video, but I had my eye on a few things.  Since I'm not going to be rolling home in Michael Jackson's conversion van full of giant wax figures and awkward artwork, I thought I'd share with you all the items I was going to be owning.

First off. The conversion van.  What the hell was Michael Jackson doing with this?  I hope that maybe it was his incognito Burger- King-run car.  The catalog estimated that I could pick this baby up for $2000.

My other favorite MJ fleet vehicle was this sweet pimped-out golf cart with MJ as Peter Pan airbrushed onto the hood.

Now on the the real goods, the objets d'art.

Now there's a hell of a lot going on here - Monkeys, children, angels, a fucking fierce looking parrot, the damn space shuttle and some weirdo Illuminati-style iconography.  I was ready to go to the mat against any Johnny-come-lately Arab-oil-shiek-variety MJ fan for this one.  To me, it's the jewel of the collection.

Above is one of MANY paintings in the collection by Santa Fe artist David Nordahl, the unofficial court painter of Neverland.  If you can't make out the inscription in the center panel, it's atributed to Michael Jackson and reads, "I am the thinker, the thinking, the thought.  I am the seeker, the seeking, the sought.  I am the dewdrop, the sunshine, the storm.  I am the phenomenon, the field, the form.  I am the desert, the ocean, the sky.  I am the Primeval Self in you and I."  Holy shit.  What else can I say?  The very definition of fine-ass art.

And then there are a whole bunch of creepy paintings of MJ hanging out with kids.  Some in the Norman Rockwell Style, some straight-up Mao-Tse-Tung-Happy-Family-style that reek of some sort of sinister kiddie mind control.

Last but not least were the seemingly hundreds of life-size statues that must have been tucked in every nook and cranny of Neverland, at least the crannies that didn't already house one of his dozen-or-so Dance Dance Revolution machines.  The first batch I was drawn to was the weird stoic old people collection.  The lady in the pink bathrobe is carrying a copy of "Men are From Mars, Women are from Venus," and the geriatric glassy-eyed chef is wearing a novelty carrot hat.  Not one of them do I understand MJ ever acquiring, but he is clearly a more complex man than I previously assumed.

These were probably all out of my price range, but I still wanted to give it a go.  All are life-size statues of MJ in the various phases of his career and some of the worst likenesses I've ever seen.  The 4th MJ is the spitting image of Lou Reed, MJ #3 looks more like Bob Saget than the king of pop and "Thriller" MJ has a certain John Stamos quality to him.  The first two are clearly street-walking transvestites.

Needless to say, I'm a little depressed to have missed out on all this loot.  I'm still going to LA, but now just to eat noodles and buy T-shirts.  Screw you Michael Jackson.  I'm setting a reminder on my phone for April 15 and for the rest of my life, I will frown at you on this day.