Thursday, August 02, 2007


I was going to post some pics from Conestoga, but I take really boring pictures, so never mind.

So, typical night of websurfing last night. My daughter asks if I want to see her do a new kind of disco dancing, then does dome silly rolling around on the floor. I say it looks more like break-dancing than disco; she asks what break dancing is.

So I hunt around on YouTube, find some breakdancing clips to give her an idea of the flavor. She thinks it's pretty cool. The Wife comes up in the middle and asks if we've seen the Philippine prison guys dancing to "Thriller."

So I look that up. We watch it, along with Mom-In-Law, who is not familiar with the original video in question. So I look up the original, just to compare the dancing, and watch that, then read about it on Wikipedia.

Interesting bit on Wikipedia: To qualify for an Academy Award, "Thriller" was debuted at a special theatrical screening, along with the 1940 animated motion picture Fantasia. It was met enthusiastically by the audience with a standing ovation, and most patrons left without staying for the main feature.[citation needed]

I doubt if this will count as the necessary citation for Wikipedia's sake, but I was there that first night. It actually ran for a week or two. The theater was in Westwood, and I went there along with my college roommate and several of his friends. They were all classical music majors, so we were actually there to see "Fantasia," which had been reissued with a new digital soundtrack conducted by Irwin Kostal. We stood in line outside the theater for a long time, and I remember being somewhat surprised that so many people were there to see an old Disney film.

We went into the theater, and it filled up quickly until it was literally standing room only. The lights went down and "Thriller" came on, to shouts and applause. Fifteen minutes later, it was over, and people started leaving. I was amazed. Every person in that theater, as far as I knew, had paid full price (five or six bucks, I can't remember now) to see a two-hour feature, and they were leaving already. By the time "Fantasia" started, there were maybe twenty of us left in the theater. About half of those apparently only stayed because they had paid full price and figured they'd get their money's worth; they left in the first half-hour.

By the time "Fantasia" ended, there were less than ten people in the theater, and most of them were in our group.

After watching the original "Thriller" last night, I watched part of a version made with animated Legos: funny but frustrating, because it was out-of-focus the entire time. By that time, I was thinking about a bit of another video Jackson had done, of which I had seen only a tiny clip on TV years ago; it featured Jackson in a haunted house, in monster make-up. I looked it up and found it.

"Michael Jackson's Ghosts."

Fascinating and strange. More about that tomorrow.

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