Friday, June 26, 2009
RIP MJ, We'll Always Have Pareidolia
I know, I know this is just adding flame to the raging fire that is the media coverage devouring the death of Michael Jackson. Regardless what you think of his music and/or his eccentric behavior no one can deny he will go down as one of the most famous human beings of all time. His image, as varied as it has been over the decades, has disseminated across the globe with the same verve, reaching the same point of saturation, as the images of Jesus and the Virgin Mary.
So it should come as no surprise that an example of Michael Jackson pareidolia exists. The first mention of this strange facial apparition appeared back in April at Forgetomori. A reader who had been watching the legendary 1974 “Rumble in the Jungle” boxing match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman noticed what looked to him like the face of MJ (circa 1990s) suddenly appearing in the crowd.
The motion GIF above isolates the apparition’s appearance. Hoax or genuine pareidolia – what say you?
On a personal note, as someone in his mid-thirties my sense of self and my own quirky tastes had just started to take shape when Thriller came out. I’ll never forget kneeling on the floor with my brother, a little tape deck between us, as we listened to the title track over and over again, grinning with demented delight at Vincent Price’s voice and then dancing around the room like zombies. Hearing the choice tracks from Thriller and Off the Wall, along with such Jackson 5 classics as “Never Can Say Goodbye” over the past 24 hours or so, the soul and energy of these songs hold up against the test of time.