1. The opening of the service bordered on the sacrilegious. (For those who didn't watch, Michael's golden casket was brought into the Staples Center as a choir sang, "Soon and very soon, we are going to see the King." It was unclear whether they meant God or the King of Pop.)
2. I enjoyed the performances, particularly John Mayer, which surprised me, as he is generally the sort of behatted hipster I avoid. However, his guitar-solo rendition of Human Nature was tasteful and beautiful. Jennifer Hudson's performance was also stellar. Lionel Richie, Mariah Carey, Stevie Wonder, and Usher also performed.
3. Of the speakers, most struck me as self-serving and sycophantic. Being from where I'm from, I'm accustomed to Sheila Jackson Lee's style of rhetoric, but I thought it was inappropriate. Al Sharpton and Martin Luther King III's speeches seemed out of place, somehow- they seemed more suited to a political rally than a remembrance.
4. Brooke Shields, by contrast, told of the personal, human side of Michael Jackson. The stories about their exploits as children and her sincere emotion was very moving.
5. Paris Jackson, in my opinion, provided the true memorial. She was in the spotlight for a few seconds, but it wasn't until she spoke that Michael Jackson was really, truly human. She didn't say anything about his fame, or the controversy, or his music...she just talked about her daddy. Despite myself, I cried. Also, despite myself, as I watched her being cradled by her aunt and her brother, I hoped that the kids will be allowed to stay with the only family they know.
So, really, for me the whole memorial could have been 30 seconds long. Just a little girl saying that she loved her daddy. There is some controversy today: some people saying it was staged, others insisting that it was bad for Paris to allow her to speak. That will be hashed out, I suppose, as people try to squeeze another couple of days' worth of headlines out of this.
I'm just going to listen to some music.