Monday, June 29, 2009

Mourning Michael Jackson (with Karaoke)

By far, the chief topic of conversation over the past couple of days has been the loss of “Son Majeste, le roi du Pop.” The radio had a Michael Jackson-a-thon, where they played his songs, interspersed with phone calls from listeners in mourning. They talked and sobbed about how much Michael meant to them over the course of their lives.

That night, the Bora Bora Beach Club, the favored destination of expats and wealthy Burundians, had a Michael Jackson party. I didn’t go to that, but I did go the next night, when the first secretaries of various embassies held a fundraiser for a couple of orphanages. The catch was that it was all centered around karaoke: pay to sing, pay for someone else to sing, or pay to make someone stop singing. (The latter was a wonderfully merciful idea.)

Of course, in the wake of Michael Jackson’s death, the evening was dominated by his songs—and it was priceless to see diplomats and NGO bigwigs sing such classics as “We Are the World” and “Bad”…or, at least, try to. (As for me, I was somehow coerced into joining a rendition of Prince’s “Purple Rain,” and thankfully, someone paid for us to stop.) I have to say—listening to Michael Jackson on the radio is a welcomed change from Celine Dion!


Blogger Julia H said...

I'm going to an MJ tribute at the local expat bar tonight--the Bull and Bush. I hope there is something equivalent to the MJ karaoke you had :)

And as for the peaches and cream...this place definitely doesn't feel like typical Africa.

6/30/2009 10:18 AM  

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