Michael Jackson burial pictures are now all the rage on the Internet. Seventy days after he died, Michael Jackson was finally laid to rest, interred at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park. The King of Pop is among good company there — Sammy Davis Jr., Jimmy Stewart, Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, Carole Lombard, Red Skeleton and Nat King Cole. But before they committed the body to the vault inside the Great Mausoleum, the Jackson family held a short, private memorial outside with 200 invited guests. Media was not allowed in, but that did not stop helicopters from hovering above, journalists keeping watch, and paparazzi taking pictures of the burial service from outside the fence. With telephoto lenses and such, distance became a matter of zoom and focus, and a private ceremony became the Internet’s Michael Jackson burial pictures.
According to the New York Daily News, Gladys Knight presided over the ceremony, singing His Eye Is On The Sparrow and leading everyone in a singing rendition of “The Lord’s Prayer” when the body was committed.
Among the guests at Michael Jackson’s burial service were Elizabeth Taylor, Macauley Culken, Quincy Jones, Mila Kunis, Chris Tucker, Barry Bonds, Reverends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, and Stevie Wonder.
Michael Jackson’s three children placed personal letters they had written to their father inside the casket.
But pictures of the Michael Jackson burial are not hard to find, not as difficult as a “private” ceremony should have been.
Pictures of burial services have become quite popular of late. Senator Edward M. “Ted” Kennedy’s burial pictures were much sought after as were pictures of the memorial service of Tennessee Titans quarterback Steve McNair in Nashville and his burial service in Mount Olive, Mississippi. Paparazzi milled about outside the private ceremony of David Carradine as well.
Death is as photographable as life, it is true. But in death the deceased has lost the ability to deny or accept the image being rendered and thereby is more vulnerable to the attacks of the paparazzi and the casual photographer. Death places the burden of maintaining privacy on family and friends and, sometimes, social propriety.
But it seems that celebrities are not accorded even the subtle niceties of privacy, even in death. For their pictures at death are still commodities of exchange, exploitable for profit.
But Michael Jackson’s burial pictures aren’t the only exploitable commodity regarding his death. Burial vaults near that of the King of Pop have skyrocketed since the announcement of his final resting place. TMZ reported that vaults that were $7000 pre-Michael Jackson are now $9000 to $9900. One double vault near Jackson in the same mausoleum has asked for $34,000 and has had several offers.