Ballardian: "Michael Jackson's Facelift"


To commemorate the alleged death of the reclusive Hoosier sex wizard Michael Jackson, the dude at Ballardian has updated one of J.G. Ballard’s 1970 “surgical fictions,” a cut-and-pasted thing called “Princess Margaret’s Facelift,” originally published in New Worlds but most readily found in the appendix of modern editions of The Atrocity Exhibition. As Ballard told Penthouse back in ’70 (when porn mags were quite literally worth reading, from time to time):

“I feel a tremendous rapport with pop artists and in a lot of my fiction I’ve tried to produce something akin to pop art. For instance, I’ve just published a piece in New Worlds called ‘Princess Margaret’s Facelift’, in which I’ve taken the text of a classic description of a plastic surgery operation, a facelift, and where the original says “the patient”, I’ve inserted “Princess Margaret”. So I’ve done precisely what the pop painters did, using images from everyday life — Coca-Cola bottles, Marilyn Monroe — and manipulated them. The great thing about pop painters is their honesty. They’ve turned their backs on the traditional subject matter of the fine arts — which had hardly changed since the Renaissance — and looked at their own environment and decided: yes, the shine on domestic hardware, like the refrigerator or the washing machine, the particular gleam on the mouldings of a cabinet, the moulding of doorhandles, are of importance to people, because these are the visual landscapes of people’s lives, and if we’re going to be honest we’re going to use reality material instead of fiction. I want to do the same.”

So you can see how this might work with the legendary plastic surgery hobbyist and “dancing king,” yes? What with his multi-decade transmogrification from “ebony” to “ivory” to some sort of troubled anime being. Click here to read “Michael Jackson’s Facelift” over at Ballardian — complete with more creepy plastic surgery photos and annotations from other Ballard interviews — or take a gander after the jump.

Continue reading