By Jeff Labrecque
July 08, 2009 at 06:58 PM EDT

The debt-ridden City of Los Angeles has set up a Web page inviting its citizens to contribute money to help defray the significant costs of Michael Jackson’s recent memorial. At the link, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa requested that folks “Help the City of Angels provide the extraordinary public safety resources required to give Michael the safe, orderly and respectful memorial he deserves…If you’re a Michael fan, consider giving a small donation to help us celebrate his extraordinary life and music.”

Hmmm. As much as I appreciate Michael’s artistry, and agree his life deserves to be memorialized, I’m not sure I’ll be logging-in to my PayPal account any time soon. Isn’t this like being invited to a friend’s New Year’s Eve party, and before old acquaintances can even be forgotten, your host hands you a check on Jan. 1? I was 3,000 miles away, so I can only imagine how the Los Angeles-areapeople feel about this after already being inconvenienced by the circussurrounding the tribute.

I understand L.A. is in a financial bind, and I know many of the city’s merchants inevitably profited from the event, but please explain to me why the public should shoulder the burden. Surely, Joe Jackson’s new record company can pitch in a few mil, right?


How much will you be donating to this cause?

More Michael Jackson memorial service:
Michael Jackson memorial: Ken Tucker’s review
Michael Jackson memorial: Who was that singing “Heal the World”?
Michael Jackson memorial: Which performance moved you most?