This should interest culture studies people. When Elvis kicked the bucket in 1977, people were confused and a spate of Elvis sightings were reported that continues on to the 21st century. The scientific explanation for this is that Elvis impersonators flourish everywhere. In the Philippines, you just have to see RJ! Jacko is rightly or wrongly compared to the King or Rock and Roll. But we have had a few reports of Jacko post-mortem sightings. One hospital janitor is convinced that he saw Jacko slip out of the UCLA Medical Center ER dressed as a nun!
Elvis and Jacko are American cultural phenomena. But Elvis kicked the bucket in a time when the fastest way to get news was through satellite broadcast (in the Philippines it was mainly by microwave) or if by print through TELEX (If you are from generation Z you will ask "What is that?"). Fax machines I believe had been invented but weren't in commercial use.
Looking at the history of Elvis sightings, very few have claimed to see his ghost, but the real Elvis.
Wacko Jacko kicked the bucket in the age of 1) Internet, 2) Facebook, 3) Twitter, 4) SMS and my mom (who's turning 80) got the SMS less than 5 minutes after the death was announced. Imagine being greeted at breakfast "Michael Jackson is dead!" In other words, we got the news almost instantly.
Which leaves us a question, why do people now see his ghost? Do ghosts come out of the Internet via YouTube?
In the Medieval ages, people saw ghosts since they were 1) hungry, 2) have eaten ergot, 3) scared by the Church, or 4) drunk. In this post-modern but still secular age, we shouldn't see ghosts.
Now cloning mammals has been a reality for more than 20 years. Success in cloning your dog and cat is no longer news. I did expect some wacko to suggest that we resurrect Jacko as a clone. Before this wackiness was limited to movies such as "Boys from Brazil" where Dr Mengele tried to clone the Fuhrer! Maybe the whole idea of cloning Jacko is extremely bizarre that fans won't even contemplate it. I really did expect someone to steal his nose and clone this (oooooops that's the plot of Woody Allen's 1973 comedy "Sleeper"!) But still I wonder do the fans have a boundary they won't cross? While Jacko fans won't be thrilled by impersonators, they probably will be by the ghost!
The Medieval still lives. The Funk of 1000 years and every ghoul will seal your doom!