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UPDATE! Jacko tribute will be in Prospect Park this Saturday

for The Brooklyn Paper
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City officials have told hordes of Michael Jackson fans to beat it from Fort Greene Park — and head for Prospect Park’s Nethermeade for Spike Lee’s posthumous birthday party and memorial this Saturday.

As The Brooklyn Paper reported last week, the filmmaker’s tribute to the singer quickly grew bigger than the little Olmsted and Vaux jewelbox in Fort Greene, prompting city officials to spend most of Friday scrambling to relocate the memorial to the larger field in the center of Prospect Park.

A spokesman for the Prospect Park Alliance said the Nethermeade can hold about 20,000, but would not confirm whether that’s how many people are expected at the Aug. 29 memorial / party / tribute / concert.

“Police are consulting with the Parks Department right now to determine configuration and capacity,” said the spokesman, Eugene Patron.

It is unclear whether there will be live music at the event, Patron added, though there will be a Jumbotron-style video screen.

The confirmation that the event had moved to Prospect Park calmed Fort Greene concerns. Last week, Councilwoman Letitia James (D–Fort Greene) told a New York Times blog, The Local, that Lee’s memorial would clearly attract more than the 2,000 people anticipated on the first permit request (perhaps you could blame it on the boogie, as Jackson himself once sang).

“This was supposed to be a small-scale community event,” said James.

Word continues to spread over the Internet like a speed demon (that’s a Jackson song title, silly) of Lee’s homage to the pop icon. Lee directed in the video for the 1996 single, “They Don’t Care About Us.”

It remains unclear how many people are expected at the newly expanded event. Lee’s 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks has not answered The Brooklyn Paper’s numerous requests for comment in time for our thriller of an online deadline.

But a full-out tribute to the one-time King of Pop could attract tens of thousands, given Jackson’s vast popularity.

Aug. 29 would have been Jacko’s 51st birthday. Jackson died on June 25 under mysterious circumstances.

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Reader Feedback

Bosuns Mate from Red Hook says:
Can't wait to see the mess! What a way to end the summer, oh great Parks Department! Who's paying for the pickup?
Aug. 24, 2009, 12:19 pm
Laurie from Albany, NY says:
Please show some respect and do not call him "JACKO".

Thank you!
Aug. 24, 2009, 1:26 pm
Howard from Park Slope says:
Any idea when the tribute is supposed to begin and end?
Aug. 24, 2009, 4:22 pm
Rocky from South Brooklyn says:
2 Best NY Post Headline Ever:
WACKO
JACKO
BACKO

after
HEADLESS BODY
IN TOPLESS BAR

PS: The southeast portion of Prospect Park was an ungodly mess Monday morning. Just wait until next Monday ....
Aug. 24, 2009, 4:40 pm
Sam Jacoby from Schaefer Brewery Esplanade says:
I enclose a small contribution from me to this event , selected with great care from my cats litter tray, as an expression of my utter and complete contempt for this pointless event
Aug. 24, 2009, 5:59 pm
BK_TH from Ft. Greene says:
I'm requesting that this site does NOT refer to Michael Jackson as Jacko or Wacko!!!!! He HATED that name given to him by the tabloids and it deeply hurt him when people would refer to him as such!!!! Please show some respect for him as a human being and his legacy.

Thank you.
Aug. 25, 2009, 4:34 pm
Ed from Brooklyn says:
BK_TH from Ft. Greene says: "He HATED that name given to him by the tabloids and it deeply hurt him when people would refer to him as such!!!! Please show some respect for him as a human being and his legacy."

You can't control how people, or the media, view celebrities.
To be really fair/respectful, you'd have to censor all nicknames-hated-by-their-subjects: No more “Jimmy” Stewart, “Abe” Lincoln, “Teddy” Roosevelt, "Lucky" Lindbergh, "Jackie O," "John-John" or "JFK Junior," et al.
[For pete's sake -- the media often called Pope John Paul II "JP II"; Jolie Pitt are gonna be Brangelina - which they hate - as long as they stay together; Nixon will forever be "Tricky Dick"; and I'm sure that "Dubya" Bush and "Bubba"/"Slick Willie" Clinton would rather be George and Bill.]

When people willingly stick their necks out to become public figures, they've gotta expect some lumps in exchange for fame, power, and wealth. If they leave a real legacy, the nicknames become irrelevant. (And dead people are beyond "hating" anything -- including some nickname.)
Aug. 26, 2009, 12:47 am

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