There, I’ve gone and done it, finally worked out what I wanted to say and where this post was going. It’s not as bizarre as you’d think – linking Michael Jackson with rats that is…. Despite what you may personally think about his private life, there is no disputing he was an amazing performer. In fact, when I heard the news on the radio about him passing away – rather than being sad, my immediate thoughts went to a colleague who had invested time and effort in buying tickets for his “This is it” O2 concerts later this year!
Image from BBC website
So, Michael Jackson and rats… not even a tenuous link, it’s a pretty good one! Well, you know his song “Ben”, it is actually the theme tune for a film of the same name from 1972, and a sequel to one called “Willard” from the previous year. Basically a young boy befriends a rat who he calls “Ben”. The rat becomes a friend to the lonely, bullied child. However, things begin to go pear shaped when Ben starts to control the boy and the mischief (did you know a group of rats is called a mischief!) become irrational and violent. Much like the rats from the previous movie, won’t tell you what happens in case you decide to watch it – would spoil it for you!
Cue the police destroying most of the infestation (why didn’t they call us?), and the remainder going to testing labs. [So actually the song is not autobiographical as my husband had me believe!]
And now, according to the PETA Files (a blog for the PETA organisation), they are applying to MJ’s estate to obtain the rights for this song so that they can raise awareness about rats. In a statement, PETA Executive Vice-President Tracy Reiman said:
“Michael Jackson’s hit has always been a moving testament to the power of empathy for animals. If more people could be inspired by his song to stop supporting the cruel and ineffective animal-testing industry, it would be a fitting and enduring tribute to this talented performer.”
Hmmm, not sure about that one – the rights to the first successful solo single that MJ released? What are the chances of that being given up?
Ooh, we have just had a brainwave here in the office, perhaps we can approach UB40 for the right to use their tune “Rat in my kitchen” for our next pubs, bars and restaurants campaign?!? I’m sure there must be loads more songs out there that would work well too, but that was the only one we could think of on the spot.