Sorayama, Michael Jackson and 50 foot robots

Thousands of people hold their breath as they watch a gleaming white spacecraft descend. It touches down in a cloud of steam and the door drops to reveal a beautiful shiny humanoid, chrome helmet and armor. He emerges, reserved, as the screaming swells all around him. Is this the Second Coming? Holy fuck-christ, is it Xenu!?

No, little ones. Look on in awe as rows of marching helmeted men line up all around. Look and know that you’re about to let Michael Jackson rock your very asses. And know that you’re lucky, because there will never be another tour in the history of music like the Dangerous tour.

Let’s all put aside, for a moment, the media circus and the various accusations. Pretend it never happened and just marvel. Not one, not two but three pairs of metal knee-pads. A Sorayama Gynoid-inspired mask. Full armor with a chrome cup, some of which he removes before he starts dancing. Silver and gold, shamelessly together. Shin guards, for the love of science! A rocket. A rocket.

I will always admire this man in that period of his life and career. There are a thousand better, socially responsible things he could have done with his ludicrous money but, no matter what, I will love him for wanting to build a 50 foot robot to roam the Nevada desert in his own image. A robot that shoots lasers, no less. That’s right Michael, I love you and your crazy, shiny, jangly ways.

Michael’s sad, overly airbrushed visage is on the cover of Ebony this month, but I’d much rather think of him this way, leaving the stage via jet pack, off to adventure in space where he’s always belonged.

Oh and Janet? Yeah, she learned a thing or two from him. Or was it the other way around?

27 Responses to “Sorayama, Michael Jackson and 50 foot robots”

  1. Ben Morris Says:

    More rock stars should use jet packs, this is a fact.

    On a related sciencefictionalmusic note I will always love Man or Astroman! for using a bigass tesla coil in their live shows (not to mention rocking out wearing lab coats).

    Also re: music had a post on Victor Tsoi and Kino this past sunday

  2. Mer Says:

    This post touched me inappropriately where my bathing suit covers. (Thanks, I needed it.)

    Ben, you are today’s MVP for mentioning Man or Astroman! Long live Coco the Electronic Monkey Wizard!

  3. Zoetica Says:

    Mer, I’m with you. That first image is making hot under the helmet.

  4. Jerem Morrow Says:

    Wasn’t his flick called Moonwalker? I seem to recall him going all uber Transformer in it. Of course, I ate it up.

  5. Jerem Morrow Says:

    Dear gawd…

  6. Ben Morris Says:

    Mer: its always great to run across more people who love that band. The best new years eve I have ever had (2001 transitioning to 2002) was spent seeing Man or Astroman! live at the Echo Lounge in Atlanta.

  7. Jerem Morrow Says:

    Sorry Zo, that was supposed to take ye to ze robot scene. Rechecked it und it still doesn’t. No idea why. Drat.

  8. Mer Says:

    Definitely more palatable than his ground-humping, knob-grabbing, fly-zipping, car-leaping, vintage medical wrist brace-wearing, auto-erotically-undulating, creepily anthropomorphic Smoov Criminal Whut Breaks a Bunch o’ Shit For No Apparent Reason While Yelling “HOOOOOOOO” phase…
    [kml_flashembed movie=”” width=”400″ height=”330″ wmode=”transparent” /]
    (Uh. Actually, I really dig the wrist brace.)

  9. Chesney Says:

    I’m not too proud to admit that I watched Moonwalker more times than was probably appropriate. You know, in between Pee-Wee viewings.

    That said, its come to my attention that I have very little pride left at all!

  10. Zoetica Says:

    Yeah. I’ll take the brace, and the HOOO. Hell, he can even keep the breaking of shit. I think it’s just him trying to…transform.

  11. Dysphem Says:

    Doesn’t this piece clash with your mission statement a bit? I don’t know about the rest of you, but it’s pretty disappointing to me when someone can just buy a 50-foot robot, made in his own image, no less, the only point of which is to say “hey, look at me, I’m so rich, and so powerful, worship me”. Especially when there are people like Mark Pauline going unnoticed and unmentioned, who have done similar things, and who actually research the technology themselves, build everything from the ground up with their own hands and their own time, and actually have more of a purpose in doing it than just sheer narcissism. Isn’t that the ethic behind alternative culture in the first place?

  12. D Says:

    It’s egomaniacy on such a grand scale it turns into alt, no? Never liked this artist much, nor the music – that said, I own a couple of albums.

    Fun video (Jerem…wow, that was not quite long enough ago, fun link, thank you) and nice images.

  13. Jerem Morrow Says:

    Dysphem: Agree to a degree. But, this is one of ze things that influenced me before I’d caught on to alt culture, such as it was back then. Today, I think Jackson blows dirty goat cock, but I’ve gotta pay him his credit due. Much like shitty old sci-fi, that’s STILL shitty now.

  14. Zoetica Says:

    Dysphem: I don’t see anything disappointing about someone being able to buy a 50-foot robot, nor how it clashes with the mission statement. While I wish we could all afford or build 50 foot robots, for now all I can do is be happy such technology exists. And with the amount of publicity BoingBoing gives Mark and the ever-excellent Survival Research Labs, I would have never thought they were unnoticed, nor unmentioned :)

  15. the daniel Says:

    And you know, some lucky engineers and craftsmen get the awesome task of building this robot, even if they are doing it for hire. It’s great that he’s building something insane and not just another big house in the hills!

  16. fatalfury Says:

    music aside, michael has a pretty solid proto-fascist/cyborg thing going for him on the regular. if i were to forget about all historical context, i might mistake him for the governor of one of the space colonies with his epaulets and shiny shoes.

  17. Nadya Says:

    We write about alt culture, but that doesn’t have to be limited to alternative artists. For example, I’m interested in the different ways that the mainstream appropriates trappings of alt culture.
    It infuriates me to see rich talentless musicians being able to afford things that alt musicians to whom certain aesthetics truly belong can only dream of – like this My Chemical Romance Black Parade music video – but in the case of Michael Jackson, I think that his weird extravagance has transcended the usual frivolous celeb spending by far, and gone to a place that’s much more… weird. He truly is, as fatalfury has said, some sort of weird science fiction character now.

  18. Mer Says:

    Dysphem, I do understand your distaste. And it’s great that you’ve brought up Mark Paline and SRL. (Despite all the coverage they get elsewhere, I’ve been meaning to throw some accolades their way, and at the Madagascar Institute in Brooklyn as well.)

    I’d like to think that Coilhouse balances out its more pop/mainstream posts with attention to somewhat more obscure, homegrown fare.

    Regardless, a reminder (since you directly referred to the mission statement):
    “because [alt culture] longer exists, we take from yesterday and tomorrow, from the mainstream and from the underground.”

    I see no reason why the stranger-than-fiction antics of delusional celebrity mutants like MJ shouldn’t be grist for the mill. It’s all fun and games until someone gets a laser beam in the eye. :D

  19. Dysphem Says:

    I hope you’ll all forgive me for playing devil’s advocate a little bit. I’m not here because I want to start shit over something piddly, I’m just the type of person who usually comes up with more critical questions to ask when ends don’t seem to connect right. And in this particular case, we have something that touches ever so slightly on one of the things that really bugs me deep down about pop culture, which is that it’s all about people who have talent doing things for people who have money. And who knows why that is, really, I mean maybe it’s just that deep down in the perverted nether recesses of my mind, I think that the people who have money ought to be the ones doing things for the people who have talent. But that’s not the point, I guess. What I really wanted to say was thank you all for considering the question at least somewhat seriously, and taking it into consideration. But who knows, maybe I really am just a fool who ought to keep his dirty mouth shut.

    P.S. The real joke about Jack-o…. …is he’s transhuman. Remember, kids…Jack-o is our future.

  20. Nadya Says:

    Dysphem, you bring up a lot of really great points that I hope to address in various posts as time goes on. Although, when it comes to “people who have talent doing things for people who have money,” I’m curious what you mean. Do you mean in the music industry, or in general? Are you talking about the relationship between artists and consumers (like if I go pay to see a show of a band I like), or the relationship between artists and the corporate-entertainment complex (like when a studio executive hires talented people to make a safe-for-consumers talentless piece-of-crap look good, as in the case of that My Chemical Romance video I linked to before)?

    Thanks for playing devil’s advocate here, it’s always a pleasure to think about and discuss these kinds of things. I’m curious to know what you think!

  21. Mer Says:

    Here here. Dysphem, please don’t keep your dirty mouth shut! As long as a differing opinion is gentlemanly and well articulated, it will be cherished on CH.

    Rest assured, I feel the same way about bloated, boring pop celebs who shamelessly appropriate/buy out/benefit from the brilliance of unknown, infinitely more interesing artists.

    If any of us were posting loving, NON tongue-and-cheek accolades about the multi million dollar exploits of, I dunno, Paris Hilton or Panties! With a Dickhole or whatever, I’d worry that it clashed with our mission statement. But I don’t see that happening any time soon. :)

    Whacko Jacko is such an insanely extreme space dildo freakshow, how could he NOT fascinate us? Seriously, the dude is an Island of Dr Moreau-worthy example of how long term exposure to radioactive levels of celebrity combined with gobs and gobs of money can mutate a human being into something utterly alien. Like Liberace or Prince Ludwig of Bavaria, only more infinitely more warped.

  22. Zoetica Says:

    Just one thing to add, really – mm, Alien Space Dildo.

  23. Dysphem Says:

    I’m really talking about when both consumers and entertainment producers act like their money enables them to place demands on the artists. To me, this way of thinking is totally perverse, since sometimes people have money for really absurd reasons, but people never have talent for absurd reasons. People who have talent have it because they’ve taken years out of their life to develop it themselves. Even if they’ve only done it for the money, it’s still not so much an absurd reason to have talent, but totally one of the most absurd reasons to have money I can think of. Mainly because there are way easier ways to make money. But back to my original point, we have the fact that talent is attractive to the people who don’t have it, perhaps even more attractive than money. That puts the people who do have it in a unique position to demand just about anything in exchange for that talent. Can you see where I’m going with this?

    In short, I think that our media culture would be radically different if artists were less than cooperative in situations where people offer them money in exchange for their work. Or even better: what if the media actually respected artists and their work? I think that media consumers are probably just as guilty as media producers in this. Mainly because it’s the producers who listen to the consumers, and try to give them what will sell, just as consumers look at what’s being produced, and derive their opinions about what they want based on what’s in front of them, rather than thinking outside of the box and creating it for themselves. People have a lust for the artistic. This turns artists into prostitutes. Therefore, distributors are pimps, and everyone else has their dick in their hand. Metaphorically speaking. However, whereas an honest prostitute will say that the only thing that really matters to her in this world is money, I think that most artists generally place very little value on money, and this is where the system short-changes them the most. Venereal diseases aside, prostitutes have it pretty good compared to artists. Even successful artists. Wouldn’t it be totally weird if the industry revolved around giving artists what they wanted, rather than consumers?

    In Jack-o’s case, you think he might actually make enough money to buy whatever he wants, but then again, maybe he wants things that can’t be bought. I also think he’s become more of a mogul, or even an icon, than an artist, in a sense. I don’t know whether he’s transcended or just descended. Maybe all artists want is just to feel like they’re worth something, even if that worth is expressed in terms of money. The certainty, though, is that there’s a whole world out there that wants to take advantage of them, and it doesn’t care how much money it has to pay to do it.

  24. Dysphem Says:

    P.S. Hope you enjoy the essay. :P

  25. Nadya Says:

    Responding quickly at the airport before boarding! Dysphem, I feel that you put too much value on “talent.” It’s a skill, just like any other, and people should be free to do what they want with it: buy it, sell it, trade it, anonymously put it into a collective cause, and or give it away for free. I enjoy supporting the artists I love by buying their product, but I don’t expect them to meet my demands. Art should be free, but then again, as they say, everything should be free. Until that happens, we have capitalism. :)

  26. Dysphem Says:

    Meh. It’s just a theory I have.

  27. YoungMoney Says: