ichael Jackson, to the generation that has grown up in the world of TRL as the main arbiter of popular cultures musical taste, is a joke of a person. Every year at two or three large events they wheel him out, resplendent in a costume that trumps any previous fashion faux pas that he has ever made to receive accolades for being himself. Except hes receiving these awards and recognition for a self that was fashioned almost twenty years ago.
This year has begun to turn the tide of all generations against him. His increasingly erratic public behavior and reports hinting at the fact that he may be in fact bankrupt all point towards the fact that Michael is in a dire situation. He needs something to bring him back to prominence- something hip, something fresh, something to make him not look like an extra from the Planet of the Apes.
Taking these points into account, here is a five step plan for Michael Jackson to return to prominence as a celebrity that we talk about, make fun of, but also still have an amount of respect for. The time is ripe for this, as it seems as though Jacko is headed for complete and utter ruin if his pattern of behavior keeps up.
1) Convert Neverland Ranch Into A Theme Park
Converting this absurd piece of property into a moneymaking venture is the first and key point in the plan. Jackson needs to regain his financial footing in the world. The most valuable holding that he could even consider selling has to be his home (selling part of the Beatles songbook seems like too valuable of a holding to give up). This seems to be probably not the most viable option in the world. Therefore, Jackson should pony up to get some food service sponsors and break open the gates of his home, Willie Wonka style to any family that comes by. But please, Michael, make sure all children are accompanied by a guardian. By making the Neverland Ranch a money making property, Jackson solves the problem of his economic woes AND gets to keep his dream house.
2) Record A New Album
Yes, Michael can obviously do this. Who he picks to do the production is key. Let me give you a hint, Michael: Theyre named after a planet...Yes, the Neptunes. These guys will pay to work with you! It seems like the obvious fit of the kings of pop music now to team up with the original king of pop, doesnt it? Hit up the Tunes for about 8 tracks on the album, pay them $10,000 for each track and tell them that they should be honored to be working with you, so they shouldnt expect anymore. Then go to Timbaland and get a nice watered down beat, such as Roll Out, and hit up both Rodney Jerkins and Teddy Riley for the last three tracks of the album. Sure, the record will then sound a bit scattered with some of the more eclectic producers working with each other, but you also have at least three hit beats in the bag- all you have to do is sing something suitable over them.
3) Publicly Denounce Justin Timberlake and Usher
Here is a not so obvious piece of the plan. By denouncing both Timberlake and Usher for shamelessly biting his style, Michael will invite a large amount of criticism. The pair are merely trying to make the entertainment world a better place by using some of the tricks that Michael used himself. By denouncing these clowns, however, Michael will then come out with the video to his new single, which will be a beacon in the night for pop music.
4) Release the New Video on TRL on May 31, 2003
One of the more key portions of this point is in the timing. Two words: Summer Jamz. The plan includes this: get a huge crowd (pay people if you need to) to flood Times Square on the day of your premiere. Have the largest crowd ever for a TRL taping and dominate the entire hour by answering all of the questions that Carson throws out to you in a middling and diplomatic way. Answer the tough stuff (dont worry, he wouldnt dare), answer the easy stuff, but most of all look like you are having the time of your life. The key to TRL is making the girls scream. At this point its going to be hard to go strictly on your looks, but I think its possible. The key: make it a scene, make it unforgettable, and make your name synonymous with spectacle again (in a good way). As for the video have it directed by Spike Jonze. Itll be both an unlikely pairing and something very interesting to look at. Trust me, Spikell know what to do to make it both interesting for the kids and the adults. Wait a month and then release the album on July 2, 2003.
5) Fake Your Death on July 1, 2003
This is the final and most essential point in the process. By faking your death the day before your album is released, you guarantee a huge number of sales in the first week. In fact, you may want to come back on the sixth day of each week of the first month of its release and then fake your death again each Sunday night. Besides, if the album tanks, youll be dead anyway.