Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Villaraigosa's begging bowl: shame on you, Jackson family and AEG...

This is what Mayor Anthony Villaraigosa is reduced to. Basically grovelling on the streets of cyberspace with a begging bowl.

It is good that we had a trouble-free Funeral Of The Century (tm), with not even a single drunk-in-public arrest, let alone a violent crime arrest. But that was accomplished by deploying a small army of LAPD: 3,000 cops on foot, in squad cars and on horseback. This kind of response costs lots and lots and lots of money. The peaceful nature of the gathering means the costs are merely staggering but not crippling...closer to the $2 Million lowball figure than the $4 Million "holy cow it's a riot" figure.

So now Villaraigosa is reduced to begging for help from Jackson's huge fan base to defray costs. Never mind that AEG is going to recoup its costs with sales of merch that would have been sold at the 50 "This Is It!" concerts in London, UK. Never mind that the video of the funeral was recorded in HD and will probably be released in Blu-Ray and DVD. There is even talk of a live show ala the Elvis Live! touring show, using video from the recorded dress rehearsals at Staples Center to stand in for Michael Jackson, which would make AEG tons and tons of money. And don't cry too much for the Jackson clan: Jackson's albums are selling strong again, and will likely dominate the charts the next time Billboard puts them up. In short, lots of people are going to make lots of money from Michael Jackson kicking off this mortal coil.

So why shouldn't LA City be reimbursed for this? This isn't cold, this is justice. We ponied up the law enforcement, now AEG and the Jackson Family need to pony up the dough. The alternative is just plain insulting to the city that Jackson lived in from childhood. And it will mean that LA schools and LA basic human services will suffer further deep cuts as a result. Since much was made about Michael Jackson the humanitarian during his funeral, I would think that he would be upset that the circumstances of his death would be a cause for Angelenos to suffer. Do the right thing. Cough up the bucks. Thankyoudrivethrough.

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