Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Anne Rice's Return to Lestat and Michael Jackson's Hologram

If there are two artists I love, it's Anne Rice and Michael Jackson. I've been meaning to blog about Anne Rice's return to her vampires for...ohhh...about two months now (since the night she announced the upcoming book on her facebook page) and I've wanted to say something about the hologram performance on the Billboard Music Awards since I saw the clip of it on youtube last week. I also promised a return to normal on this blog in the last post. So here I am, killing three birds with one stone, metaphorically speaking...
To explain how excited I was when I saw Anne's post in March about the release of The Prince Lestat in October, I need to go back to 2002 or 2003 when she announced that she was releasing Blood Canticle and it would be the last book in the Vampire Chronicles...Ever. Those of us that love her vampires were very upset but those of us that would stand by her work regardless of the subject stayed loyal to her even as we tried to imagine a world where a new book featuring Lestat would never exist. Am I being dramatic about this? Probably. But it was one hell of a shocking announcement none the less. I got the book and I read it cover to cover, feeling a bit sad knowing it was the end. Then, as I read the end of the book, I felt like Anne wasn't so sure that it would be her last. If she had been sure, the ending would have been final. She would have found a way to wrap it all up to where no sequel could be possible and anyone who has read Blood Canticle knows that this wasn't the case at all. It was wide open for something more and that gave me hope that maybe, one day, Anne would again go back to her world of vampires. One has to remember that at the time she said she was ending the series, her husband had recently passed away and Lestat was based on Stan so it made perfect sense that she would need time before she was able to return to the fictional representation of her husband. Over a decade I waited... I read about Christ, a hit man on a mission from God, and werewolves. I enjoyed all of it. But I missed Lestat as many of her fans did. Then, at last, months after asking us cryptic questions about our love of Lestat on her facebook page, she told us what we all wanted to hear...The Brat Prince was returning. I almost wish she had waited a few months to announce it. The anticipation is already killing me. But I have no doubt it will be worth it. And how delightful that the book is dropping in my favorite month, three days before my favorite holiday. 
I have read the information available on the book so far. I know that the Talamasca is making a return and that the vampires, for reasons I probably won't understand until I read it, want Lestat to lead them. There is much I have forgotten about the last three books or so in the series so far. Some of the Vampire Chronicles I've read so many times I have them memorized but those later ones I read only once over a decade ago. So I am reading them again to make sure I know what's going on when I read the new book. That's been fun in itself. Right now I'm reading Merrick. I forgot how good that book was, though Lestat was no more than a shadow in the novel. Unfortunately all the crap I have going on right now makes little time for reading so I can't devote entire days to it the way I did when I read it at fourteen. I wish I could. I get lost reading it when I set time aside but I always do with Anne. At any rate, Prince Lestat is already available for pre-order on amazon.com. Ten dollars has been knocked off the list price:

I do not watch music awards. The last time I watched an award's show it was the Grammy's in 2004, I think, when Melissa Etheridge performed for the first time since she went into remission and she did her bad ass tribute to Janis Joplin. Even then, I watched only because there was no youtube and I couldn't miss seeing one of my favorite singers pay homage to my beloved Janis. So last week, when I got on facebook briefly and I saw what appeared to be a newly released Michael Jackson song, I clicked on it having no idea that I was about to see a hologram of the King of Pop performing before a live audience nearly five years after his death. Yes, I suppose you miss some shit when you refuse to watch award shows. Anyone that has read my previous post about my love of Michael knows that this love runs deep so when I saw "him" appear on the stage, I got a little teary-eyed thinking, 'I like the song but this is horrible!' It was too soon, for one thing. When I saw the Tupac hologram sixteen years had passed since his death and it still disturbed me. But Tupac did not have a young daughter that just tried to take her life a year ago because she cannot handle her father's death. He didn't have two sons that are still trying to figure out how to live without the man that raised them alone. If I was upset by what I was watching, what must Michael's kids think? I think the hologram was a perfect example of the fact that we, as a society, do not see celebrities as human beings. We do not think of the people that know them and love them, of how they hurt when that celebrity is gone, we think only of ways to be entertained. I stand by my initial reaction. I like the song. It's actually really good. But the way it was presented was horrible. I hope his kids missed it. I hope his family realizes that, while they are trying to milk each dime from Michael's death, they are supposed to be making life bearable for the kids he left behind. Signing off on live performances by their dead father is probably not a good way to accomplish that. Michael was known for recording many songs that he never put on an album which is where this song came from. The family probably has enough material to release many albums in the years to come. I don't think that is disrespectful to his kids or his legacy. They should stick to that if they are worried about money for themselves or for the kids. Either way, I think it was wrong. That is just my opinion, of course. Maybe Michael himself is somewhere disagreeing with everyone that shares my opinion. He was all about entertaining, after all. 

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