Over the past few days CNN has done not a few hours of live coverage of James Brown’s funeral, both outside the Apollo Theater in New York and in Augusta, North Carolina. At the same time there was limited coverage of Gerald Ford’s funeral. The contrast went beyond race and culture into the realm of different Galactic disparity.
While one Galaxy was filled with somber old White men in dark suits hanging around black limousines listening to military bands play depressing music, the other Galaxy had a throng of thousands following a white funeral carriage drawn by a white horse around the block in Harlem.
As old White people filed past a closed casket in the Capitol Rotunda to choir music, in the other Galaxy James Brown’s open casket lay in front of the stage of the Jame’s Brown Arena in Augusta as a ten piece guitar driven funk rock band wailed in the background.
While the widow of the president quietly choked back tears and received a folded flag from a few military men standing at attention, the widow of James Brown took the stage to do a rocker behind his coffin, often leaning over to kiss him.
As such notables as Henry Kissinger spoke quietly of Gerald Ford, MC Hammer got lost in the music and slid across the stage in front of Brown’s coffin with moves that made Michael Jackson seem old.
After a few hours of the 8000 in the arena and the thousands more out in the street doing their funk rock best, it finally settled down as Reverend Al Sharpton took to the podium for the main eulogy. He hit the crowd and the culture hard with Jesse Jackson and Michael Jackson standing beside him.
He said he had talked with Mr. Brown just a few days ago on the phone. Mr. Brown asked what happened to us all being Black and Proud? And why has our music have us calling each other blacks, ho’s, pimps and witches? Sharpton said Brown told him we need music that we can sit down and listen to with our grandkids and our grandmothers.
Michael Jackson, out of hiding in Boystown, Burundi, made a few comments. Mike needs a new DO. He has been locked in that Mary Tyler Moore look now for far too long.
Gerry Ford made Richard Nixon feel good by pardoning him.
James Brown made hundreds of millions feel good with his music.