Moonwalking off this mortal coil


Dunno ’bout you, but I’ve taken more blurry photos than I’ve cared to count. For every gorgeous red rocket glare that I captured exploding over the Hudson this weekend, there are 10 or more fizzles or unsteady streaks of intermittent color. I deleted those rejects faster than you can say Macauley Culkin.

Not so the person who held onto a blurry picture of Michael Jackson with one foot in the grave and the other unable to do that little point-and-twist move anymore (unless a playful coroner on the overnight already has done it when no one was looking).

In this case, the British tabloid “OK!” bought itself priceless publicity by snatching up that blurry pic, while lightening its wallet by $500,000. What did it get? Why, a point-and….shoot, you shouldn’t have exceeded the boundaries of good taste and printed that, you bushwackers!

My side literally hurts as I laugh at the hypocrisy of “the media” telling this little player what it should and shouldn’t do. I LOVE how they question its taste and talk about drawing lines and considering families.

Do you REALLY want me to call each and every one of you out for some of the slimier things you’ve done?

Must I point out instances of reporters posing as students, or even as medical personnel, in order to get close to a subject? Or helicopters flying too close to the ground for the lastest celeb wedding?

Someone — likely an EMT — had the presence of mind to pull out a cellphone and snap away as the King of Pop lost his carbonation.  A tabloid with a pair of stones (and I don’t mean Fred and Wilma) was then willing to push a half-mil to the middle of the table and see what it could collect.

So pay up, suckaz: Buy this mag or they’ll shoot another photo.

Plenty of people bought plenty of tickets for the freak show when Michael was alive. His head blazing like a matchstick during the making of a soda commercial was deemed the Golden Fleece — not only for Enquirer types but the “traditional” media, as well.

Now that he’s 10 toes up they want to suddenly reverse course and treat him differently. Which, of course, creates a dichotomy: If you treat him as human,  you must take into account his transgressions. I remember one day, in particular, when I would have loved to grab those skinny ankles of his and hung him out the window, with nothing but a towel between his Missing Johnson and the rest of the gawkers below. Ain’t no balcony high enough.

We saw pics of Dead Elvis, his royal King of Chicken Wings stuffed into a XXX coffin after his heart — clogged with fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches — literally toppled him from his throne. Truth be told, I was hoping for a shot of MJ in a hospital bed, or on a coroner’s slab, not being dumped into the back of a meat wagon with a mask over his face (ironic, eh?).

Which brings us to the true joke of this entire episode: Let “the family” have some peace.

Come again?  (Not you, Michael.) You mean the family that makes the Osbournes look like the Huxtables? The family that stages dueling press conferences, wardrobe malfunctions and countless other sleazy, slimy, stupid gimmicks to bring attention to itself? The family that leeched onto those Sgt. Pepper’s coattails and never let go? (Ten gets you thirty that the monkey is one of the pallbearers.)

Show the family respect after they essentially pissed on the public? Give them room to grieve? Stay away from the Massive Christian Burial at the Staples Center (which most definitely was NOT named for Mavis, Pops or the rest of that exemplary family) and watch it on TV?

Here’s an idea: Why not cart his dead bony ass around the country for a month, like Nancy Reagan did with Ronnie Ray Guns? Record every second of it and produce a documentary: “Never Can Say Goodbye.” Think of the merch you could sell on that coast-to-coast procession! T-shirts! Bobblehands! Michael’s last words recorded and sold on CD: “Hey, I can’t….. (thump).” Everlasting gloves — two for the price of one…. Dramatic stuff here.

Then you could cryogenically freeze MJ and bring out the glass box — oh, 18 or so months from now — and do it again. Badder and deader than ever.

These tears you see aren’t from sorrow. It’s just that if I laugh any harder, I swear, I’ll split a gut.

Tito, bring me some tissue.


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Hudson hues and views: Macy’s fireworks spectacular

FWORKS1It’s been nearly a decade since New Jersey witnessed a spectacle like tonight’s Macy’s fireworks display, which drew tens of thousands to the riverfront and countless more atop the Palisades

Countless spectators had front-row seats on the balconies of condos and apartment complexes facing Manhattan, where once piers blighted the waterfront.

Others, meanwhile, began staking out vantage points as early as 8 a.m., from Fort Lee to Jersey City.

The moon offered a soft backdrop above midtown, as the Macy’s barges slowly floating south, sending off brilliantly colored rockets oe’r the land of the free and the home of the hearty, who toted coolers, tripods, blankets, boxes lunches and radios down to the riverside.

Security teams in brightly colored shirts kept watch, along with local police. But it was no different than a holiday parade, as strangers in lawn chairs became fast friends, sharing home-cooked meals, scooting over to make room for others, and turning a warm afternoon with high clouds and low humidity into a day at the beach.

The best seats in the house belonged to those in West New York, Weehawken and Hoboken, as the barges quickly drifted south after the first launch at 9:40, Coast Guard and NYPD patrol boats clearing the way.

After all of the shows along the East River, Jersey welcomed its turn — and didn’t waste any time claiming vantage points. It was like New Years’s at Times Square — only with bikinis and croks replacing hoodies and parkas.

In our complex, the languages gave way to smiles and warm greetings, as Germans, Middle Easterns, Asians, and even local New Jerseyans gathered on the terrace facing the Intrepid as if at an outdoor festival. Even the security guards got a home-cooked meal, courtesy of one of the condo owners.

(Photos by Jerry DeMarco. Use by permission only.)

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High-priced hookers hit the Heights

callgirlsA nondescript, cereal box of a building in Jersey City’s Heights served as a call center for customers who paid up to $3,500 an hour for hookers they selected online, authorities said, in shutting down the operation.

Joseph Ruis, 43, took in roughly $250,000 a month operating World Party Girls from the three-story Sherman Avenue building, where he also sold cocaine to some of his hundreds of listed customers, said Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio.

Most of them paid with credit cards after selecting the woman of their choice from a web site (photo left), the prosecutor said. Keep reading→

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WNY robber kicked in door, locked up postal clerk at gunpoint

postal2A man wielding a handgun kicked in the back door of a West New York post office and made off with an undisclosed amount of cash and valuables after locking the clerk in a back room early this afternoon, authorities said.

The robber kicked in the back door at 1 p.m., pointed the weapon and locked the lone employee in a back room, said Josh Shandler, a U.S. Postal Service inspector.The clerk wasn’t injured, Shandler said.  The bandit was described as black, about 5’10” with a medium build and no distinguishing features, other than large, square designer sunglasses, he said.

U.S. Postal Service inspectors are at the facility now, where they must “go through and do all the accounting” to determine exactly what was taken, Shandler said. They do know that some personal and postal property is missing but are unable to put a dollar figure on it yet. KEEP READING→


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UPDATE: Investigators probe WNY post office holdup

U.S. Postal Service investigators are at a postal facility at 60th and Park Avenue in West New York that was held up earlier today. Initial details are sketchy, but no injuries were reported. The amount taken wasn’t disclosed. Keep reading…..

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Lady Liberty’s special guests

Statue of LibertyMembers of “Liberty: The Musical” will perform selections from the show Saturday during the re-opening of the Statue of Liberty’s crown. Broadway’s Sasha Allen (“Hair) and a chorus of city youngsters also will participate in the event, which will include “Liberty’s” group of “Huddled Masses.”

The ribbon-cutting ceremony is at 9 a.m. on the Fourth, when people will again be allowed to visit the crown.

But beware: The opening weekend of visits has long since sold out.

You can still make reservations to climb the 168 steps another time by calling 877-523-9849. Or go to

Crown tickets cost $3 above the regular admission charge, which is $12 for adults and $5 for children. Seniors get in for $10. All include the ferry ride.

The base, pedestal and lower observation deck have been reopened since 9/11, but this is a symbolic American gesture — telling the world we won’t blink in the face of any threat.

Only 240 visitors will be allowed each day. A lottery will determine the 30 visitors an hour who can climb the narrow, spiral staircase to the crown each hour. A National Park Service ranger will shepherd them in groups of 10.

In two years, the crown will be closed again for further renovation, federal authorities said.

“Liberty: The Musical” is, as its originators call it, “the story of America’s most famous immigrant, who arrives from France in 1884 amid anti-foreigner fervor. Liberty wins over the people of the U.S., who raise the money to build her pedestal.” Continued→

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Lisa Marie Presley: Her toughest choice ever was to leave MJ “and let his fate have him”

lmp2Today’s guest blogger isn’t a friend or relative.  She’s never heard of me or my blog. But she’s a woman I’ve admired, an icon who has had her own immense struggles and overcome ridiculous odds. She touched me by the way she opened up in this entry from her MySpace page:

“I can’t recall the exact subject matter but he may have been questioning me about the circumstances of my Fathers Death.

“At some point he paused, he stared at me very intensely and he stated with an almost calm certainty, “I am afraid that I am going to end up like him, the way he did.”

“I promptly tried to deter him from the idea, at which point he just shrugged his shoulders and nodded almost matter of fact as if to let me know, he knew what he knew and that was kind of that.

“14 years later   I am sitting here watching on the news an ambulance leaves the driveway of his home, the big gates, the crowds outside the gates, the coverage, the crowds outside the hospital, the Cause of death and what may have led up to it and the memory of this conversation hit me, as did the unstoppable tears.

“A predicted ending by him, by loved ones and by me, but what I didn’t predict was how much it was going to hurt when it finally happened.

“The person I failed to help is being transferred right now to the LA County Coroners office for his Autopsy.

“All of my indifference and detachment that I worked so hard to achieve over the years has just gone into the bowels of hell and right now I am gutted.

“I am going to say now what I have never said before because I want the truth out there for once.

“Our relationship was not “a sham” as is being reported in the press. It was an unusual relationship yes, where two unusual people who did not live or know a “Normal life” found a connection, perhaps with some suspect timing on his part. Nonetheless, I do believe he loved me as much as he could love anyone and I loved him very much.

“I wanted to “save him” I wanted to save him from the inevitable which is what has just happened.

“His family and his loved ones also wanted to save him from this as well but didn’t know how and this was 14 years ago. We all worried that this would be the outcome then.

“At that time, In trying to save him, I almost lost myself.

“He was an incredibly dynamic force and power that was not to be underestimated.

“When he used it for something good, It was the best and when he used it for something bad, It was really, REALLY bad.

“Mediocrity was not a concept that would even for a second enter Michael Jackson’s being or actions.

“I became very ill and emotionally/ spiritually exhausted in my quest to save him from certain self-destructive behavior and from the awful vampires and leeches he would always manage to magnetize around him.

“I was in over my head while trying.

“I had my children to care for, I had to make a decision.

“The hardest decision I have ever had to make, which was to walk away and let his fate have him, even though I desperately loved him and tried to stop or reverse it somehow.

“After the Divorce, I spent a few years obsessing about him and what I could have done different, in regret.

“Then I spent some angry years at the whole situation.

“At some point, I truly became Indifferent, until now.

“As I sit here overwhelmed with sadness, reflection and confusion at what was my biggest failure to date, watching on the news almost play by play The exact Scenario I saw happen on August 16th, 1977 happening again right now with Michael (A sight I never wanted to see again) just as he predicted, I am truly, truly gutted.

“Any ill experience or words I have felt towards him in the past has just died inside of me along with him.

“He was an amazing person and I am lucky to have gotten as close to him as I did and to have had the many experiences and years that we had together.

“I desperately hope that he can be relieved from his pain, pressure and turmoil now.

“He deserves to be free from all of that and I hope he is in a better place or will be.

“I also hope that anyone else who feels they have failed to help him can be set free because he hopefully finally is.

“The World is in shock but somehow he knew exactly how his fate would be played out some day more than anyone else knew, and he was right.

“I really needed to say this right now, thanks for listening.”

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