Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

MJ fever: How to lose three customers


The scene: lunchtime today at Mr. Sushi in the Tower District. I’m meeting two colleagues for a business lunch/interview. When I walk in, they’re already seated, and I notice that the big-screen television behind the bar is turned to the live Michael Jackson memorial service.

The sound: the TV is turned up to an astonishing volume, with the voice of the speaker on the podium pounding out with something close to sonic-boom enthusiasm.

The problem: I say hello to my colleague sitting directly across the table, and when she replies, I catch about 15% of what she says. We raise our own voices, and pretty soon it sounds as if we’re in a shouting match.

The request: When the server asks for our drink order, I ask, “Do you think you can turn the TV down a little? It’s too loud and we can’t even hear each other talk.” She gives me a vague look and a barely commital nod.

The result: The sound is turned up even more.

The outcome: We leave and go to Irene’s across the street. As we head toward the door, I tell the server, “It’s just too loud.” She looks at us as if we’ve just proposed a law against moonwalking.

The snippy comment: Isn’t the “All Michael Jackson All the Time” onslaught today going just a little too far?

Photo: AP

Responses to "MJ fever: How to lose three customers"

DLR says:

It’s a really stupid planet we live on!

famous says:

I had a similar experience at Mr. Mr. Sushi (did you know they opened up shop in north Fresno too?) only it wasn’t Michael, it was some random diner doing a wonderful(ly) loud karaoke version of Madonna. So loud. Plus, the mic kept feeding back until someone yelled “shut it off.” It was really quite horrible and should have kept me from going back. Alas, I am a glutton for auditory punishment I guess.

Chase Sanborn says:

I’ve been camped in front of The Edge. What happened to Michael Jackson!!??

CW says:

Enough is enough. This MJ crap is very revealing about the state of our society. Yes a talented man died young and that is a horrible thing but he was by no means worthy of what he is receiving. He was also an accused child molester who even admitted to certain inappropriate and bizarre behavior. Any normal person would justifiably be a societal outcast for that. How about we focus on some people who have made REAL contributions to mankind??? With our dunbed-down, celebrity crazed society I doubt that will ever happen. Scariest part is that these morons out there have a vote.

mdub420 says:

“Scariest part is that these morons out there have a vote.”

Pretty much explains how Obama got elected.

adam says:

I think it’s a form of escapism. The economy is s—, N. Korea is posturing like a bully on the playground, people are dying in riots in China, Honduras has an ongoing coup, Iran is still troublesome, plus Iraq and Afghanistan. A little nostalgia and mourning go a long way in assuaging people’s concerns about the world.

Staci Louise says:

I can’t stand Mr. Sushi, and the awful music too loud is one of the reasons. I thought the Tower would have something with a better atmosphere.

Heather says:

My god, you’re giving people way too much credit for knowing what’s happening in the world. Guaranteed nine out of ten people know more about what happened on “American Idol” this season than what’s happening outside of the U.S.

A fan says:


I think it’s up to the people who actually knew him ( and didn’t believe what was printed in the papers over the years) to decide what he deserves. Obviously this man had a great connection with his fan base, and for you to say it’s just crap and then bring up the filth that people tried to pin on him when he was alive is just wrong. He was innocent and never proven guilty. And as far as making REAL contributions, you obviously only know Michael Jackson the target of the tabloids, not Michael Jackson the person, performer, or humanitarian. He was a great man who made an amazing contribution to the world through his music and charitible actions, that’s why it’s such a big deal to so many people.

CW says:

Did you actually know him? Do you have proof that the bad things printed about him are actually false? Do you personally know for a fact that all of the positive things being said about him now are absolutely true? I really doubt that you do.

Why is it some people always rally behind celebrities and think they are innocent when accused of something? No, he was not convicted. That just means that the jury could not see undeniable proof of guilt. It has been suggested that victims and witnesses were paid to go away. Is that true? I don’t know. I did without a doubt here him say he liked to share his bed with children though. A man his age should have known better but he didn’t see anything wrong with it. People would avoid me like the plague or kick my a** if I said that that.

The truth is likely somewhere in the middle. My guess is that he was a troubled individual with both some great qualities and some demons. He seemed to have issues with his appearance, sexual desires, drug addiction and other things. Many of the stories about him, both good and bad are likely true. Do I know that for a fact? No, it is just my take on him.

Point is, you don’t know anything about him for sure either. Let MJ rest. It is a predictable end to an all to familiar story line.

This celebrity obsession is out of control. People seem to worship them. How many celebrities have dug habits, drinking problems, can’t keep a marriage together, commit crimes, are narcissistic, etc.? In our daily lives we tend to avoid people who behave like that but we obsess over them when they are on the radio or TV. We need to stop and focus on the people and things that really are important before we all go off the deep end. Be a fan, enjoy the entertainment they provide but don’t put them on a golden pedestal.

Marty says:

I guess I’m in a minority here – not in world terms but in ‘Hive terms – but I don’t get the outrage at fans of Michael Jackson who want to remember him and hear his music. I definitely got sick of Anna Nicole coverage, but she didn’t contribute music that I – and millions of others – grew up enjoying. When another Beatle goes I’m sure I’ll enjoy listening to all their music everywhere for a while. What’s the big deal?

Jason says:

I would say today and maybe the day or two after he died were the only days in which the all-MJ all the time would have been appropriate. The last 10 days though could’ve and should’ve seen a dip, but, they didn’t. I think covering the memorial service the way they did was wholly appropriate, especially since it wasn’t accessible for the fans. Much better than a mob down at the Staples Center.

I would also point out that Mike was one of the greatest environmentalists, animal rights activists, and humanitarians of all-time. In addition to being a great entertainer he was deeply concerned to and committed to people and the planet. All anyone wants to talk about is the accusations…why? THAT say more to me about our society/culture today than the wall-to-wall coverage. The constant decision to focus on scandal/downfall instead of the positive/uplifting things.

Besides, people who think “celebrity worship” is a new phenomenon in America need to brush up on history.

Andres says:

The music and the television is always extremely loud there. I stopped going because of that.

MsJoey says:

Oh so true.

bradley says:

i thought this was about volume levels. does it really matter what was on the television?

i will never sit at a table at mr sushi again. i sit at the counter because the table service is so horrible.

astonishingly bad.

if there was a better sushi place in the tower, i would abandon mr. sushi completely.

Solitaire says:

The funeral was a nice memorial, but now it’s time to stop. Stop the noise and let the man rest finally!!! Oy!

Tudor S. says:

Donald, I think you’re just too darn neurotic!

I’ve seen you at various Summer Arts events and notice how you turn to look at people who are talking during a performance, even when it’s a small comment made to another. I can understand your sentiments but still stop being so uptight and lighten up.

Just get up and move on.

Donald Munro says:

Tudor, I’m intrigued by your Summer Arts comment. Could you possibly be talking about the Gary Schocker flute/guitar concert last Friday? Could you possibly be referring to the extremely clueless and extremely rude older gentleman sitting behind me who spent half the concert talking — not whispering — to the woman sitting next to him, offering a running commentary peppered with such insights as, “Wow, she plays the flute well!”? Could you possibly be defending someone who in this age of television treated the concert as if it were merely an extension of his living room? Could you possibly BE this person? Just wondering.

Heather says:

I haven’t attended a Summer Arts performance (yet), but I’m already on Donald Munro’s side in this conversation. Movie theaters, restaurants — doesn’t matter where I’m at, it seems that there are more and more people intent on making everyone around them share in whatever inane observations they feel the need to make at top volume.

I could lighten up, but so could you STFU.

adam says:

Balance that cynicism with some hope, lady!

I’m pretty sure people know the major events of what’s going on these days, especially considering they all happen on goddamn Twitter.

adam says:

This is the real life outcome of Twitter now that I think about it.

People spend all day spouting inane 140-character comments into the ether and they’re bound to start verbalizing at some point.

It’s only a matter of time before we start removing extra words.

“Me like flute.”


Erica says:

I would be really hesitant to give the general public that much credit. I mean have you ever seen Jay-walking?

Donald Munro says:

Marty, I don’t have any problems with televising the memorial service live. For me, the overkill factor has been the days of wall-to-wall coverage on TV. Part of this is the tendency for television news (and to a lesser extent the print/Internet media) to go to blanket coverage for “big stories.” Thus we get way too many minutes for the available content, so the same clips/stories/rumors just keep spinning around until they’ve made everyone slightly seasick.

ed says:

whoa, don’t break your neck when you fall off that soapbox, letter to the editor boy.

shoot, the letters to the editor would be better constructed, more well thought through, and probably make more sense if they were limited to 140 characters.

Heather says:

My god, it’s ugly on the Beehive today. Twitterers vs. non-Twitterers, loud people vs. quiet, hetero lifemate vs. hetero lifemate …

So this is what it’s like to live in a post-Michael Jackson world.

adam says:

Maybe once. Is that done by the unfunny guy that was ruining the Tonight Show for like 17 years?

adam says:

Oh Ed, if only you knew we were the dynamic duo of absurdist debate, you could clearly see that I was joking.

Although, on your serious contention of shortening the letters, they went from 250 to 200 words a while back and I think they got noticeably worse.

People are probably less likely to try and formulate well thought responses when they really only have enough room to yell pithy phrases about the kids on their lawn or dirty Republicans or those danged illegals.

Marty says:


Yeah unfortunately the overkill will really get bad now. You think, ok, 2 weeks, that’s about enough, it was fun to hear all the music again, but I get to work today and hear discussion about his brain – in a lab somewhere or something? – and this doctor and that doctor, and that stuff is just going to go on and on … and on. Luckily I don’t see TV much on days I work!