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Creepy Gimmick or The Ultimate Fan Toy? Karishma Sundaram | , 11:12 p.m. Nov. 8, 2009 2009-11-08

During his life Michael Jackson hit both ends of the spectrum of good and bad publicly; he shot to fame as a cute child singing prodigy, and he stayed on top for many years. Most people who grew up in the 80s and 90s probably remember grooving to his catchy numbers and velvet voice. Then of course, there was the disastrous nose surgeries, the association with questionable nurses, talk of child abuse and overnight he became synonymous with paedophilia. We will never know what really happened where Michael Jackson was concerned, because he finally keeled over and died of a heart attack earlier this year. 

While most readers will be wondering why exactly we are bringing up Michael Jackson of all people on a website dedicated to mobile phones, it is mainly because of the extreme horror we felt when we clapped our eyes on the latest Vertu knockoff. 

Limited edition, of course, and only available in China, thankfully, the new MJ Vertu is copy with a lot of jazz. And when we say ‘a lot’, we mean the phone looks like gold was smelted down in vats and the phone was repeatedly dipped into the molten metal. 

Purely gold, the phone has accents in diamonds and a silver metal. There are ridges, fluted edges, stylized buttons and motifs emblazoned in a design that makes no pretence toward subtlety.  The truly frightening aspect of the phone is evident when looking at the design as a whole, instead of the individual elements: the design is meant to represent the iconic singer distinctive dressing style. This means, seeing as the design stops short of being a figurine, the phone is actually reminiscent of a headless Michael Jackson. See what we meant when we called the phone creepy?

The only good news of the deal is the DVD that comes packaged with the phone. It is a recording of one of Michael Jackson’s live performances. On the whole, the entire package will appeal to die-hard Michael Jackson fans, who are into memorabilia of this sort and have significantly large amounts of disposable income. 

Sadly though, the business of cashing in on people’s grief isn’t restricted to popstars and music icons. An iPhone app called Pocket Cemetery was released around the same time that the King of Pop passed away. The app allows grieving users to create virtual tombstones and compose epitaphs of dearly departed friends, relatives or pets. The users can decorate their pocket tombstones with flowers and have a collection of them in a virtual graveyard. The app is restricted to each user’s phone though, and has no capacity to share the tenderly bedecked gravestones with anyone else. 

While the thought of carrying around a graveyard, however virtual it may be, in one’s pocket sends shivers down our spines, there are people who’ve apparently found the app a ‘positive’ way to deal with loss. The app has received top ratings, although we strongly suspect the designers may have a hand in that. 

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