Michael Jackson’s Brain Is Missing

The world just witnessed the memorial concert to Michael Jackson at the Staples Centre. I am sorry to say it, but I know some of you were thinking, “Was the golden coffin shaped like an office stapler?” Ok sick jokes aside, we all know that the man (not “Man-Child’ purleeease….)  was one of the most talented, innovative and frankly amazing performers of his generation. 

But would the congregation have been so reverential to the corpse in the golden coffin if they had known that the casket had all the last remains of Michael Jackson minus his brain. I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but then of course I am by even raising the issue, but we have some strange notions when it comes to talent, brains and soul.

The pathology investigation is incomplete and the scientists need to find out what killed the superstar. So Michael will be buried minus his brain (for the moment). I don’t know how many times I have heard that someone  is a musical/sporting/ political (delete as appropriate) genius because of their brain. As far as neuroscientists are considered, we are our brain. You can almost transplant any other part of your your body and remain almost the same individual but without your brain, then you do not exist. 

Does that mean there may be another memorial for the burial of Micheal’s more important organ or will it be tossed in the incinerator? Having a second memorial would challenge people’s intuitions about the mind, the body and of course, identity. Where is Michael?

Of course, we could just plastinate the brain and visit it in awe for the amazing entertainment it once produced. I would prefer this last option as a reminder to the consummate truth that we are only meat machines (regards to Marvin Minsky).

But if you really need to believe that Michael has not left then take comfort that he has decided to spend his time in a tree stump in Stockton, CA (though some neighbors thinks it looks like Jesus).


Thanks to Laurie Santos for the lead.

UPDATE: Well, I never thought the Mirror would stoop to such humor but after a lengthy discussion of why brains are removed and how they are processed in these sorts of cases, the article ends with the following factoid about MJ

“- MICHAEL Jackson starred as the Scarecrow in The Wiz, the 1978 musical version of  The Wizard of Oz – playing the character without a brain opposite Diana Ross as Dorothy.”

Way to go Mirror!


Filed under In the News, Weird Story of the Week

8 responses to “Michael Jackson’s Brain Is Missing

  1. haha. you’re funny. i think the stump image does look like michael jackson.

    interesting questions you ask. of course, i don’t have any answers.

  2. To me it looks like a tree stump. Or a breast. But I’m talking to my analyst about that.

  3. Arno

    Can someone please show me a diagram of what part of the stump corresponds to which part of Michael Jackson/Jesus? Because all I see, is a tree stump with a stained centre.

    And about the brain bit… I don’t know. Considering a past case in the Netherlands though, I’d say that the family will hold a small, private ceremony to bury the brain later on and give the case the emotional closure it deserves.

    The Dutch case was interesting, actually, and rather relevant in the context you mention, Bruce. A young girl was murdered some years ago and her body was held for forensics for a longer time than expected due to stupid administrative errors and the police being a bunch of lazy douchebags. Finally, the body was given to the family and buried. However, the case is still running because police, due to said administrative errors etc have been unable to find the murderer. Some people were arrested, charged etc, but all were released due to things like having an actual alibi, different DNA etc. When the family demanded to have all files on the case opened so they could see at what point the police had started making these huge mistakes, they discovered not only that things had gone wrong as soon as the investigation started, but also that the brain and organs from the body were actually missing: the police had never put them back in, and they were still in spirits as part of the evidence. The organs that were inside the body, were not those of their daughter! They have demanded the original organs back, which had been stored as evidence, and got these returned to them. However, even now they are still afraid that these organs might actually those of someone else.

    So the family is furious, and for good reasons: if the police force hadn’t spend so much time dicking around, they probably could have found the murderer very easily. The failure to even know which organs belonged to whom, was an illustration how poorly things had been organized: all evidence had probably been contaminated and was absolutely worthless. But in addition, the family felt terrible about having buried some remains with the remains of their daughter, which as now turns out weren’t the daughter’s!

  4. Looks like a tree stump to me, but then, I have been known to be dense when it comes to sightings such as these.

    As for Jackson’s brain, for my part, I believe it to be the only part worth considering. He stopped being a black man a long time ago. Who knows the demons that caused such self-mutiliation. But the body has been buried in a glowing golden probe. The brain, though . . . repository of the soul? Is there a soul? Can the musical genius be identified in some part of the brain? Can the whackness be identified in some other part? Are these parts conjoined?

    What do you want to bet that ten years from now some story will be leaked about someone taking some of Jackson’s brain tissue for cloning?

  5. Funny… looks just like a tree stump to me as well.

    Unlike this, of course, from that most august of research publications, The Super Soaraway Sun:-


  6. Nobbly,
    I am in envy of the lucky man with Jackson’s image on his car bonnet. Obviously, Jackson flew transcontinental immediately after departing his body and accidentally landed on the car instead of in the Queen’s loo, which is where he planned to take up residence.

    • Lucky old queen, if you ask me! (that’s Liz that I’m referring to, not Jacko…).

      Mind you, the chance to dump on the spirit of Jacko is one not to be missed.

      Maybe if times get hard, and the civil list gets trimmed back, then she could be onto a money making scheme here. Turnstile on the door of the loo at buck House…?

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