Friday, December 23, 2011

Michael Jackson's Greatest Engrish Hits

Is everyone ready for Christmas? We've been very busy preparing for the big day. It's extra special this year because this is Raelynn's first ever Christmas. We know she won't remember everything (or anything really) but when she looks through the countless photos we've taken thus far in her life and watches the videos that will perhaps be embarrassing to her as a teenager, she'll know that she is the best gift that my husband and I have ever received.

Our small tree would have looked tragic without gifts underneath it. And so began the process of purchasing enough presents to make it look like the kind of Christmas you could be proud of. I'm still wrapping everything since a certain adorable someone has been making bedtime unreasonably difficult lately, but when I'm done, the tree will want for nothing with such an abundance of material goods blossoming beneath. Stuffed animals, toys, books and clothes await our little angel who will most likely delight in shredding the wrapping paper from each one more than the gifts themselves.

And then, there are gifts for Lane and me. There are no surprises. We know exactly what we got each other because we picked our own gifts. A Dolce & Gabana make-up compact waits patiently for me, among other lovely make-up items. For Lane, he has a Chinese-style hackey sack, some underwear (I know, snore, but I can never buy him enough. He is ALWAYS tearing holes in them, presumably from farting too much...) and a 3-disc Michael Jackson CD set.

My husband, like many Asians you'll meet on their native continent, LOVES Michael Jackson's music. You could come to China, not speak a single word of Chinese and just say "Michael Jackson" and they will TOTALLY understand you. Indeed, he was the "King of Pop" for very good reason. Whatever things he did or did not do in his personal life, there is one thing you can't dispute and that was his musical and dance-related talents. He was iconic and always will be until the end of time.

Incidentally, Lane thinks so much of Michael Jackson that one day when we lived in Seoul, he decided to bust a move. Moving forward with his arms extended stupidly in front of him, he proclaimed: "Look Honey, I'm Michael Jackson." He kept dancing around our kitchen and I stared at him, amused and perplexed until I realized he was trying to do the Moonwalk. Only he was moving forward instead of backward. And even if he had begun to propel himself in the proper direction, he looked utterly ridiculous. And they say that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. Whoever said that did not see my husband dance, that's for sure.

Back to the present, and the Michael Jackson 3-disc CD set for Lane's present. He snatched it up from the shelf at the book store and declared this is what I could get him for Christmas. "Let me see that," I tell him because the cover seems a little off. Take a look, won't you?
I love love LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE that this cover has his name as "MICHAEL JACK SON." I am also equally amused by the BMW logo in the upper left corner. If you look at it more closely though, you will see it actually says "BMH."

But it's the back of the album that wins in the Engrish department. Yes, we struck pure gold when we discovered Michael Jackson's little-known-about greatest Engrish hits. Check out the back:

Let's zoom in on each disc's contents, shall we?

Disc A:
You might be looking at this first disc's list and thinking, "so fucking what?" If so, you obviously aren't the meticulously anally retentive former professional senior copywriter turned English teacher that I am. Or you need glasses. Allow me to point out that track 6 says "UN BREAKABLE." And that track 12 says "MDNEY" which should say "MONEY." If those were too subtle then check out track 14. "She's DUT of My Life." "DUT?" Sigh. I love that Chinese people confuse the "D" and "O" so easily, as you can plainly see from this disc.

Disc B:
"They Don't Care A BOUT Us," or correct English. No, no, no. But I'm glad they don't because if they did, Engrish as we know it would cease to exist. Allow me to point out what caused me to laugh myself into tears in the store: "BEARK Of Dawn." And just when I thought I couldn't possibly make more of a scene, I saw "You ABE Not Alone." Oh. My. God. Can we institute an annual Engrish Awards? Seriously, this might just win.

Disc C:
As funny as Disc B is, I believe Disc C wins it. It totally goes in for the kill. We should have a song called "Privacy," but instead, we have "PAIVACY." Chinese people love to confuse "A" and "R" just as much as "D" and "O." And let's not forget to "GRY." Which should be "CRY." But again, the Chinese person who made this odd bootleggy item (to be fair, all the songs on the disc are indeed Michael Jackson but I can't imagine his camp authorizing the use of them in this fashion) apparently thought they had good English skills. The extra "B" in "BBLOOD on the Dance Floor" is just a careless mistake in my opinion. Beneath that, we have "SPEEGHLESS." Indeed it left me speechless. But not for long because "Wanna Be STRARTIN'SOME THIN" gave me plenty to make fun of.

So, will any of our other presents contain Engrish? Well, we'll just have to wait to see what we unwrap under the tree. Happy Holidays!

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful. But why is, " They don't care A BOUT us" different from "You abe not ALONE"? Should it be, You abe not A LOON?