Ok, so of course I wrote my Michael Jackson blog ‘Is Michael Jackson Really Dead? If So, Could Kanye West be Behind it?’ in the hope that it would be read by a wider and different audience than my usual work. Of course I was deliberately contentious, with a view to provoking some responses (although precisely what sort of responses I would receive, I didn’t really consider). Of course it was an absurd suggestion, to pin Jackson’s death on lamecore rapper Kanye West. I didn’t feel the need to explain that I was mocking targets left, right and centre: the media, the conspiracy theorists, West and, yes, Jackson and his ‘fans’. Of course it was rushed. I knew that there would be an insane media frenzy – it was already in full spate while the news was still breaking. And yes, I’ve long maintained that a good title counts for a lot.
At the time, however, I didn’t truly appreciate just how good my title was, although had I thought about it, it would have been quite apparent. As is the case with every dead celebrity, people are incredulous. Ok, fans and the gullible are incredulous, the conspiracy theorists simply refuse to accept what the media present as ‘fact.’ If Elvis isn’t dead, Diana isn’t dead, Richie Edwards isn’t dead and Jesus Christ isn’t dead, why would Michael Jackson have popped it for real? The circumstances surrounding his death, not to mention the way in which it happened, were truly ideal for the formation of conspiracy theories. So half the world took to the ‘net in search of theories, and facts that they could use to piece together half-baked theories of their own. Within a matter of days, it was abundantly clear that the phrase ‘is Michael Jackson really dead?’ had serious currency, and my article, being one of the first published under this title, shot toward the top of any Google search using that phrase. Bingo!
Right now, if you simply type ‘is Mic’ into Google, it will offer ‘is Michael Jackson really dead’ (without quotation marks or question mark) as a popular search above, amongst others, ‘is Michael Schumacher the Stig,’ ‘is Michael Ball married,’ ‘is Michael Buble married’ and ‘is Michael Jackson a Muslim.’ Taking the first option yields some 409,000,000 hits. My article is at number two.
Almost a year on, and that phrase remains incredibly popular. The hits were tailing off, though, and the comments were only being posted very occasionally. Still, I’d had my fun, made my point, wound up a fair few idiots who had completely missed the point, and… what’s that, a new conspiracy theory? Jackson is alive and on national television as a burns victim who was friends with the late star? Jacko even paid for some of this guy’s reconstructive surgery? Brilliant! David Rothenberg had even changed his name to Dave Dave to ‘erase’ his past, a man intent on breaking free from his past by adopting a new identity…
Suddenly, my little article, banged out in a couple of hours as a wind-up, which had settled down to receiving a steady 20-30 hits per day, is back up to the region of 150 hits a day… and rising. Jackson may well be dead, but this article is definitely alive and kicking!
And if you’re loving my work, there’s more of the same (only different) at Christophernosnibor.co.uk.