Nationality: Italian American/Cape Verdean/Azorean
Occupation: Warehouse Worker
Residence: Los Angeles, CA
Date of Performance/Collection: 4/1/2011
Primary Language: English
What does Michael Jackson and Walmart have in common? And then you say
They both have kids pants half off.
How do you know when its bedtime in Michael Jacksons house? When the big hand meets the little hand.
The informant is a 24-year-old warehouse worker, equipment operator in the Navy Reserves, and a painter. He grew up in the outskirts of Boston, Massachusetts until he moved to Los Angeles, California about a year and a half ago.
The informant learned this joke at a Navy Reserve weekend in Quincy, Massachusetts. Michael Jackson had just died so it seemed like a good time to make some Michael Jackson jokes. Told them because they are freakin hilarious. The informant says that Michael Jackson was a pretty crazy dude. Examples of Jacksons freakiness included, he was black then he was white, then he was a girl hanging his kids over the side of the building, molesting kids, which Im pretty sure he did do; hes just a freak. He finished by saying, I dont care if he died I have no respect for the guy.
At other times when Ive asked him where he learned it he wasnt sure if it was when it was in the news that Michael Jackson had draped his kid outside his window or after he had died. He would have had to have heard them between March and early October 2009, because these were the only times he drilled in Quincy, MA. As Michael Jackson died June 25, 2009 this corroborates the context surrounding the informant learning the folklore. The informant has told this joke on the way to movies, and in moments of quiet I cant remember exact contexts, but these are probably some of the informants favorite jokes. I think its interesting that he heard them in the military as the military can be stereotyped as a mans world, where gay men are not allowed to be out. It may be that Michael Jacksons presence in the world was a threat to that. But on a deeper level I think that the allegations of molestation got under the informants skin in particular. While the informant does not like being in the Navy Reserves in the least, he appreciates his role in the Navy as a SeaBee, an Equiptment Operator because the emphasis is not so much on killing as it is on rebuilding and frequently in humanitarian causes. Michael Jackson may have also represented a threat to the informants social justice focus.