126. Michael Jackson, Frankie Valli, And The Zombie Apocalypse

1. twistedcolumnheader  20. Jacksonescape

1. Music…Michael Jackson…Xscape: The Album
Michael Jackson Dances Onto The Pop Scene!

21. Jacksoncolumnheadercollage   16.jacksonportrait

This is a headline that you expected to see thirty years ago, not this week. Sony Records paid 250 million dollars for Jackson’s unpublished songs. 100’s weren’t released because Jackson was a perfectionist. These songs seem to be headed for a myriad of different packaging strategies.

Their first strategy was to create The Michael Jackson Channel on Sirius XM. TMJC is the newest addition to this expanding music domain. The station will be playing hundreds of songs from Jackson’s wide-ranging songbook.

14.jacksonbieber   13.jackson slave to the rhythm

Strategy two is the release of a new Michael Jackson album called Xscape. It was released on May 13th. The album has received scathing reviews from artists in the music world saying Jackson wouldn’t have released these new pieces. Music is in the ear of the beholder. And Hartley Funk does do the dance introduction to the album. So let the public decide! So far they have decided positively with their pocketbooks.

aaajackson      aaaaa4art

Three is Love Never Felt So Good, a Justin Timberlake video of a new Michael Jackson song. It is getting a tremendous amount of play on the Internet. Portraits from Jackson’s life are the background as fans lip synch the song along with Timberlake.

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Xscape features Slave To The Rhythm, a great duet and dance number with Justin Beiber. Slave seems better suited for the number of women who have covered the song, though. It is the story of a woman’s motherly duties being interrupted by this same mother’s love of dance. One Day In Your Life and Show You The Way remain our Michael Jackson favorites in a world enamored by Thriller.

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2. World News…The Zombie Apocalypse…America Prepares!

We held this week’s column to confirm this story.
We had to check all three main news’ sources before chiming in with our $2.25! In this case, fact is ten times stranger than fiction.

6. dead6    2. Dead2

Someone just released a secret document that shows the United States formed a special committee to plan for a zombie apocalypse. Yes, zombie spelled Z O M B I E! The plan called for shutting down towns, moving the Capitol and important politicians, and preparing medical facilities for the preparation of antidotes not anecdotes as was written incorrectly on a document. We may have added that one without checking, just to show the stupidity of the committee.

Here are two conversations that were recorded between congressmen, family, and interested parties during the committee hearings:

Congressman: “Honey!…Do you remember that Walking Dead show that I forbid you to watch? Can I, please, borrow the tapes you recorded of the show? I need them for ‘show and tell’ in Congress!”

14 Year-Old-Daughter: “Daaaad! (screaming).”

3. Dead    4. dead4

Congressman: “Ms. Meyer!…You write extremely well about vampires and werewolves in your Twilight Series. Would you happen to know anything about zombies? We are looking for ideas to defeat them in the upcoming war.

Stephanie Meyer: “Congressman Smith…I look forward to sharing my extensive zombie notes with your action committee. Oil of Oregano seems to be working well in our underground labs.”

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3. Movies…Mom’s Night Out
Sarah Drew, Sean Astin, And Patricia Heaton!

Mom’s Night Out filmed in Birmingham, Alabama sounds like a movie where housewives tired of the daily grind of baby-care and lack of appreciation have a ‘one night throw down’ with the bar and club crowd, bikers, tattoo artists, crazy friends, and the local police.

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All this is true! However, the real story seems to have religious overtones that seem to be upsetting the liberal left. Whateveeer!…As half a high school class would voice. The movie was supposed to be a Mother’s Day salute! It has turned into a firestorm of debate. There are two series of outtakes at the end of the movie you should stay to see. There is, also, a great speech about motherhood that the biggest and most ferocious biker delivers to the stressed mother heroine at the movie’s conclusion.

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4. Art…Ebony Magazine Features The Best Black Female Artists!

Multiple award winning artists Mickalene Thomas, Rene Scott, and Meta Fuller have jumped to the forefront in female black artists who are embracing culture, family, and voice. Meta, who died in 1980, was the first black female American artist to embrace African themes and folk tales for her drawings, paintings, and sculpture. Mickalene and Renee have taken Meta’s groundbreaking ideas and moved them ten steps forward as they depict contemporary themes.

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Hopefully, their work, that we have featured throughout the column, will encourage you to research their careers in art and add one of their pieces to your office or home wall. The Marshall University art site has another group of black female artists you will enjoy, too. The site can be found at: (www.art.ccsu.edu/marshallc/Research/AAWomenList/AAWomenThumb.htm)!

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5. Television…Twisted…#3
Choice Of The Local High School Crowd!

Twisted is high school the way 16 year-olds see high school. The sub-plot is a young child criminal, 12 at the time, returns to high school after a five-year incarceration. He is hated and ostracized by all. Even his two best girlfriend pals from five years ago are early members of this hate group.

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The girls are soon to join the former criminal in solving a friend’s murder and the reason for their friend’s earlier crime. We like being obtuse so as not to give away additional plots and future happenings. Freak out your high school prodigy and ask to watch the show with he or she. It will never happen! Watch Twisted on your own on the local On Demand or re-listing channels that we mention each week. The channels are free and have a number of sub-levels you can explore. The major networks continue to list every one of their show’s episodes for after-the-fact viewing.

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6. Music II…Big Girls Don’t Cry! The Frankie Valli Retrospect!

The play Jersey Boys chronicling the life of Frankie Valli is ready to jump onto the big movie screen next month. Its producers think it can break the top five list of greatest movie musicals. That is a giant leap of faith! Mamma Mia, the story of ABBA another musical group, made $606,000,000 worldwide. It is in fifth place all time for musicals. Mamma Mia made four times the grosses in Europe that it made in the United States. This four times the American box office is a rarity. The play Jersey Boys premiered in London and, also, has a European audience that will drive the overseas box office.

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The Frankie Valli Show is at the New Brunswich, NJ State Theater on Saturday May 18th as the show kicks off a fourteen city cross America tour. The music, his four fantastic young performance partners, and the slide show showing segments of Frankie Valli’s life and driving all the performances are outstanding. The show’s online ticket site lists a show close to everywhere. Here are the top five all time musicals. “Will Jersey Boys replace any of them” is a good question?
Les Miserable
Mamma Mia

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7. Black Box…A Column Apology!

The number one thriller on television is Scandal followed by Blacklist and then House of Cards. This list does not match anyone’s favorites at the office. In introducing the first three shows for the first time on this column, we were somewhat flippant. This flippancy did not offend anyone. Our favorite show of the new television shows is Black Box. We think everyone should watch it. Objections to our flippant review (column #123) are noted.

The shows three cases each week are an amazing look at the brain’s construction and inner turmoil. The young brain’s malfunctions and view of the world are just as revealing as the adult’s problems that are presented. We shouldn’t have tried the circular route to get people to watch the show. The ABC show is on at ten o’clock on Thursday. Three shows are in the can and can be scene on the ABC network re-watch channel. Let friends know about Blackbox so we can win our naysayers back.

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8. Critical Thinking…Business Design…Creative Writing!
This Week’s Challenge
Your Business Name Is Your Best Business Introduction

jutting          monstrous                        pavement              gullible
muttered      sarcastic                          frustrated               shrugged
maroon        senseless                         awkward                contempt
fetch            Count of Monte Cristo     N.Y. Yankees          ransom
stark            rafter                                 uncanny                 inflated
boughs        aflame                              identity                   emergency

This is a great summer activity to go with any venture into the world of business and critical thinking. We use it in school as a spelling list challenge. It is great for school to career projects. Copy any words in the blanks below. Try to think of a business, product, creative idea, or movie that would have each as its title. Explain your businesses on the lines to the right of the answers. On the back of this sheet, illustrate your five favorite businesses. Design a storefront illustration of one of your businesses or a collage of four like our illustrations that support this column.

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Inventive Word            Movie/Business/Creative Project

1. Pavement                           Shoe store for easy walking choices
2. Fetch                                  Store that sells dogs and pet supplies
3. _____________          ______________________________
4. _____________          ______________________________
5. Inflated                              Special occasion balloon business
6. _____________          ______________________________
7. _____________          ______________________________
8. Sarcastic                            New drink that bites your taste buds
9. _____________          ______________________________

aaaaa2art    aaaaa3art

10. ____________                ______________________________
11. Uncanny                                 Grocery store
12. Boughs                                   Tree-trimming business
13. ____________                 ______________________________
14. ____________                 ______________________________
15. Gullible                                   Library storytelling hour
16. ____________                  ______________________________
17. Awkward                                 Our town’s new dance school
18. _____________                ______________________________
19. _____________                 ______________________________
20. Listen                                       Headphone store
21. Senseless                                  Name of the town’s garbage truck
22. _____________                 ______________________________
23. _____________                 ______________________________
24. Identity                                    Passport-making business

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9. June Contributors!

Join our yearlong 20th Anniversary celebration of writing and creative discussion by contributing a story suggestion, book review, movie write-up, art piece, award notice, photography portfolio, game grabber, business join-up, multimedia purchase, travel tidbit, or theater ‘can’t miss’ for our Let’s Talk column.

22. art mickalene4      22. artmick7

Your ideas and suggestions should be sent to Tom Palumbo at tjpalumbo@aol.com. Please send a photo or two with your two-paragraph contribution. We’d love to display your art and photography on Let’s Talk over our discussions. Thank you for adding your work and expertise to this column! Your varied ideas, experiences, products, and insights will surely bring a larger audience to the column and make the column’s content more interesting and far reaching. We subscribe to the concept of reflected glory! Ask your friends to drop their email in the follow box in the bottom right hand corner of the opening page.




About tjpalumbo

Tom Palumbo is a nationally known and award winning author, teacher, technology designer, administrator, and grant writer. He has taught for thirty-five years in preschool through 12th grade classrooms throughout the quad state area. His ideas have made a difference in the way thousands of teachers, parents, and children read, write, do mathematics, use technology, and think creatively and critically. Tom’s twenty books on reading, writing, critical thinking, and mathematics have won four national book awards. 5,000 teachers and home schooling parents have matriculated through his graduate courses/lectures. 12,000 have signed up for his website. As Director of Pennsylvania’s Parent Information Center and New Jersey’s Citizen’s For Better Schools Resource Center, Tom received over two hundred commendations for his presentations to thousands of teachers, parents, and administrators throughout the Florida, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland area. Workshop participants receive idea loaded CD’s, access to hundreds of videos, PowerPoints, curriculum links, games, and lessons on his website, and an activity booklet filled with common core curriculum in line with local, state, and national standards. Instruction, on each of these resources, is presented during his presentation. Mr. Palumbo has over two hundred learning centers, bulletin boards, and project developers in reading, writing, poetry, literature, and math in make-it/take it item format that can, also, be part of any workshop program. Call or email Tom to set up a workshop for your organization. Tom Palumbo tjpalumbo@aol.com 215-262-9986 aimtjp.wikispaces.com
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