Michael Jackson to be plastinated?

According to the Daily Mail, admittedly not the most reputable of sources, Michael Jackson's body will be plastinated by Gunther von Hagens of the controversial Body Worlds exhibition. We'll see. From the Daily Mail:
Von Hagens said that he spoke with representatives of the Jackson family 'many months ago' and it was agreed that his body will be plastinated and placed next to Bubbles, his late pet monkey who was plastinated a number of years ago and is exhibited at The Body Worlds & Mirror Of Time exhibition at the O2 Centre in London.

Von Hagens also confirmed it was one of Michael's final requests to be reunited with Bubbles.

'There is no better place than to do this at the venue where Jackson was due to perform his world record 50-date tour,' said a spokesman for Von Hagens.

He added: 'Von Hagens has hinted that a moonwalk pose would naturally be favoured. 'It is hoped the exhibit will be unveiled towards the end of July.'
"Michael Jackson set to be embalmed at the O2 Centre after missing the deadline for cryogenic freezing"
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  1. Error #1 in this story: Bubbles is still alive and living on a ranch in California with an animal trainer.

  2. I’m not shocked by this at all. In fact, if I read that there was going to be a closed casket ceremony for close family & friends, followed by a quiet burial.. THAT would have blown my freaking mind !

  3. The Mail’s fault, not yours, but: Ape, not monkey.

    While it seems morbid to some, there’s something to be said for becoming your own funerary sculpture, after any transplantable organs have been harvested. It really isn’t _that_ much weirder than casting a death-mask. Question is, do they dress him, skin him, or do they let everyone who had a fantasy get a good look at his (ahem) physique?

    (Passing thought: I’ve always sorta regretted that our culture doesn’t let dancers and athletes of either gender perform nude — not that it would suit everyone or every performance, but the point is to watch what the animal is capable of and toward that end I’d like to be able to see all the interplay of musculature. Though Jackson might actually not have been a good candidate for that, since he did a good job of using costume to enhance and extend his dance.)

    As far as plastination in particular is concerned: I have mixed reactions to Von Hagens. On the one hand, his exhibits really can be a fascinating educational experience — most of us never do a gross anatomy lab, and even highly detailed models just aren’t fully convincing. (See a real smoker’s lung next to a healthy one and you won’t question whether smoking is hazardous.) On the other hand, Von Hagens sometimes tries a bit too hard to create “artistic” dissections (yes, I understand that he’s deliberately referring back to early anatomy sketches which also leaned in that direction), and frankly I think he tends to cram too much into a given exhibit without clear enough organization — about 3/4 of the way through I was starting to say “Yeah, you’ve showed us that already”.

  4. Larry’s readin’ Rolling Stone
    Cooper acts as if he cares
    and Jimmy wants to know
    how to immolate his hair
    Someone hit the doorman
    square across the jaw
    and Billo wants to know
    what the doorman saw
    Everyone is so exited
    to see him bite the dust

    It’s just like Michael
    told me once
    Everything
    Everything
    Everything
    they know
    is money and lust

    Breakdown
    Oh!
    Breakdown
    Oh!
    Watch the
    TV
    Freak out show
    Breakdown
    Oh!
    Breakdown
    Oh!
    Watch the
    stinking
    sewage flow

    Deepak’s down on getting high
    Wolf is asking why
    Reverends Al and Jackson too
    glorify his pain and blues
    And Everybody waits
    for the autopsy report
    Who screwed who
    and who will get the blame
    It’s our favorite international sport

    It’s just like Michael
    told me once
    Everything
    Everything
    Everything
    they know
    is money and lust

    Breakdown
    Oh!
    Breakdown
    Oh!
    Watch the
    TV
    Freak out show
    Breakdown
    Oh!
    Breakdown
    Oh!
    Watch the
    bloody
    river flow

    Things like this don’t happen
    everyday
    But when they do
    We throw a holiday
    Hang out by the cooler
    Hang up yards of crepe
    Chill and mortify
    with friends and
    treat our famous victim
    to one last
    digital rape

    Now
    at last
    at last
    he can’t escape

    It’s just like Michael
    told me once
    Everything
    Everything
    Everything
    they know
    is money and lust

    Breakdown
    Oh!
    Breakdown
    Oh!
    Watch the
    torture show
    for free
    Breakdown
    Oh!
    Breakdown
    Oh!
    Such a
    happy autopsy

    Money….
    Lust…
    Money…
    Lust…

    (Van Halen guitar lick, and fade…)

    PKL

  5. This reminds me so much of House of Wax which starred Vincent Price and was one of the few successful 3D movies.
    After Roy Rogers had his horse Trigger stuffed and mounted there were open questions about what Roy might do to Dale or Dale might do to Roy but they both had conventional funerals.

  6. He’s already got a bit of plastic in him already – maybe they’d offer a discount on the plastination procedure.

  7. I heard there was already a big fight brewing in the Jackson family. Some of the family simply wants his remains cremated. The other ones want him sent out for plastics recycling.

  8. The plastination part is bogus but I have no doubt that the Jackson family will try to build a shrine to Michael Jackson somewhere complete with wax figures of Jackson and Bubbles. If Elvis could have Graceland why not Neverland for Michael? Anything to keep milking the fans.

  9. Weird, disgusting über-creepy – yet somehow, in a bizarre way, strangely fitting.
    I personally would prefer the Shrine for Michael, but if that is something he actually wanted, he should get it.

  10. The fact that Bubbles is alive doesn’t mean that Jackson’s body can’t be plastinated in fulfillment of his final wish to be reunited with Bubbles’ plastinated body.

    If servants could be buried alive in the pharaohs’ tombs, then I think Bubbles can take one for the team.

  11. Bubbles is alive. Also, skinless Jacko will haunt my nightmares forever more.

    A skinless chimp next to a skinless person, however, would be pretty cool. I saw the BODIES exhibition when it was traveling but that was only people. It was a great exhibit and a fantastic learning experience, despite the controversy.

  12. i’ve missed seeing BodyWorlds everytime it has toured near me (true north strong and free) but i have clipped every newspaper (remember those?) article and done a bit of research on the plastination process. It kinda reminds me of what Rick Deckard (in the book, remember those?) does to his sheep when it dies but without the positronic brain and pseudo consciousness upload.

    Anyway, i really do think that humans need to lose the stigma associated with the leftover husk after the final software update of the soul. Plastination may help humans see the beauty that is the body inside and out and Micheal Jackson may be able to bring this to the mainstream with his last request. However, exploitation is expected and demanded. Just think of the possible late night monologue joke stream of consciousness…

    “Sources close to the family have reveiled that Micheal Jackson’s last will and testement instructed his remains be plastinated by Gunther von Hagens of the controversial Body Worlds exhibition… guess he figured he should finish what he started back in the mid-80’s…” etc, etc…

    This process would also provide a 21st Century “Tussaudsesque” Mecca for all his disciples and followers to slowly moonwalk by and transmute the “King of Pop” into the “Patron St.Micheal of Pop”.

    In the end, this will just be a new and improved method of dead celebrity exploitation and when i get famous enough to be eccentric (and not just the weirdo i am now) i will surely request to be added to the BodyWorlds exhibition providing the positronic brain consciousness upload is not available when i’ve finally, to quote the great John Cleese, “…run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisibile!!”

  13. so, once again, the only way to show Jackson you cared is to pay attention to him. He likely planned this from the moment he saw the Elephant Man’s bones. If a pop star falls in the forest and there is no one to see it, does it make a “wooo!”

  14. Weird Al will be creating a musical tribute, “Man Doll in the Wind”.

    Your candle burned out long ago / but your plastinated body never did.

  15. I was so totally over this guy in 1987. Here we are 22 years later and I’m still tired of him.

  16. It won’t take much to finish the job.

    What kind of pose will Gunther put him in?

    Will there be a plastinated kid accompanying him on the exhibit tour?

    It’s sufficently odd to be believable.

    I think we should form a touring Super Group of well preserved famous people (Lenin, etc.) under the banner: We’re Grateful They’re Dead.

    Just a thought.

    Cheers.

  17. Lazlo Panaflex, for real though, you can donate your body to medical science and it can be used for anatomy training or research. (It generally can’t be combined with organ donation because of the way they have to preserve your body. But you can register for both, and if they can’t use your organs for some reason, they can still use your body.)

    Admittedly I would kind of like to be in a bodies exhibit though. I don’t know, I just think the human body is that cool.

  18. The plasticine will rival John Griffin’s novel exploits with the Title “White like Me”

  19. Does this mean I can look forward to seeing MJ on display at Herr von Hagens Plastination Museum? Hope not.

    @Kehaar: What the frakking hell does this have to do with the man’s race?

  20. I recently visited a Body Worlds exhibit in Houston and learned the process involved. It takes several months to years for the plastination process to be completed depending on subject size. Essentially, there is NO WAY the exhibit would be ready anywhere remotely close to July.

  21. With all the comparisons to Elvis flying about, has anyone ever noted that Elvis’ monkey had a much more delightful name, “Scatter”?

  22. Um, not to be grim, but the body will have been subjected to two autopsies… They don’t actually put things back the way they were, so um, this is so not happening.

  23. I agree with the comments stating that there’s no way the body would be ready for July and that the autopsy has probably destroyed the possibility of a full body plastinate. And even if this had a shred of truth to it, there’d likely be no way to tell what body was his if it did end up in the exhibition. The Body Worlds plastinates never have the donors name acknowledged and I doubt an exception would be made for Jackson. It would just deter from the exhibit’s ultimate goal of education regarding the human body. There are no individuals on display in Body Worlds, but examples illustrating what we’re all composed of on a biological level.

  24. Plastination is an interesting idea.

    However, I draw the line at seeing my dead loved ones’ bodies cut up, covered in plastic, and put into interesting poses in a museum.

    I would NEVER want to see that. I would far rather have them cremated, buried, or even left to rot naturally.

  25. Say what you will about Michael Jackson, but there is no doubt he the most squalid icon in the history of American civilization.

  26. I’m surprised by the themes of this comment thread. I admit, I’ve never cared much for Michael Jackson, and so far, in spite of the media saturation on his passing have felt only the sadness due to another individual being crushed by the final entropy.

    But when I saw that Michael Jackson was denied cryogenic preservation I was beyond horrified!
    It doesn’t matter how minuscule the chance of revivification is, to take away a chance at furthered life from someone who desired it fills me with an existential dread.
    Imagine stopping a devout Catholic from receiving a Christian burial. Depriving a body of cryogenic interment is more likely than that to deprive one of an afterlife.

  27. if Michael wanted it he should get it but isn’t it to late cause the cells in his body would have died by now ?

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