Thursday, July 29, 2010

"I Find it Kind of Funny, I Find it Kind of Sad": A Neverland Ranch Slideshow

It was kind of a perfect storm. A couple of nights ago I was going through the channels and ran across a news story about the proposal to turn Neverland Ranch into a California state park. Then, just a few channels later, I caught Donnie Darko right at the beginning of the famous "Mad World" sequence. Realizing how seamlessly those two things could be blended together, I came up with an idea and ran with it. The result can be seen in the following video (you can watch it in full-screen, but the pictures are sharper if you keep the viewer small):

The images you see in this little slideshow were collected while I was researching my blog posting about Michael Jackson's death. As I mentioned in that post, Neverland has always fascinated me - not because of the controversy around it or because Michael Jackson lived there, but because it's so genuinely bizarre and impressive. Incidentally, I've only collected photographs that convey the scope and mood of the place (the gates, the statues, the train, the signs, the slow descent into ruin, etc.) I'm not really interested in the main house or Michael Jackson himself. Thus, if you're an MJ fan who wandered into this post expecting a fan vid, you have my apology.

By the way, anyone who shares my obsession with bizarre properties and estates should check out The House on the Rock. It's the latest entry on my "Places to See" list.


Due to website limitations, I lost some video quality during the upload. If you want to see a better version, just ask me to play it on my laptop next time we hang out. Or, send me a blank DVD and I'll burn you a copy.

Also, does this photo set remind anyone else of those sad music videos they used to play in the middle of Sesame Street? You know what I mean. One minute you were counting candles with the Count, and the next minute there was some slow-motion footage of kids from the 1970s playing on merry-go-rounds in dim sunlight. What was that shit all about, I wonder?


The bulk of the pictures contained in this video (i.e. the really good ones taken at night) were taken by Jonathan Haeber and Scott Haefner. Check out their websites for more incredible urban exploration pics.

The soundtrack, in order, consists of the following songs: (1) "Mad World" by Gary Jules; (2) "Jynweythek Ylow" by Aphex Twin; (3) "Avril 14th" by Aphex Twin; (4) "Opus 36" by Dustin O'Halloran; and (5) "Opus 17" by Dustin O'Halloran.



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