Haven’t we all sold ourselves to the external? Seeking gratification. in the form of materialism and outside acceptance, when all along Love was always there? Yes, in fear and ignorance, we’ve all been made to be “whores” to the outside, to the “system”, and forgotten the love that has always been within, the only thing that truly matters…
May 30, 2013 | Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: AEG, AEG Live, Anschutz Entertainment Group, Death of Michael Jackson, Katherine Jackson, Kenny Ortega, michael jackson, Michael Jackson's This Is It | 2 Comments
“What about all the peace
That you pledge your only son…
What about flowering fields
Is there a time
What about all the dreams
That you said was yours and mine… ” ~Michael Jackson (Earth song)
All still possible, sooner then we think, if we wish it so… All it takes is a change in the way we ‘think’… Live from Love… always… That’s all it takes…♥
They hated the Wall, but what could they do? It was too strong to break through.
They feared the Wall, but didn’t that make sense? Many who tried to climb over it were killed.
They distrusted the Wall, but who wouldn’t? Their enemies refused to tear down one brick, no matter how long the peace talks dragged on.
The Wall laughed grimly. “I’m teaching you a good lesson,” it boasted. “If you want to build for eternity, don’t bother with stones. Hatred, fear, and distrust are so much stronger.”
They knew the Wall was right, and they almost gave up. Only one thing stopped them. They remembered who was on the other side. Grandmother, cousin, sister, wife. Beloved faces that yearned to be seen.
“What’s happening?” the Wall asked, trembling. Without knowing what they did, they were looking through the Wall, trying to find their dear ones. Silently, from one person to another, love kept up its invisible work.
“Stop it!” the Wall shrieked. “I’m falling apart.” But it was too late. A million hearts had found each other. The Wall had fallen before it came down.
MARIE-FRANCE BORNAIS, QMI AGENCY
NEW YORK — If people knew everything that Michael experienced growing up, Jermaine Jackson thinks they would have thought about him differently.
“He hated the titles,” Jermaine said in an exclusive interview.
“They were calling him names, ‘Freaking Wacko-Jacko’ and all these kinds of things. That hurt him because here’s someone who’s taking the time, with his fame, to give a message that is so divine and so pure for the world, and for children, and for people. And all they can do is look at things that are not important, like the colour of his skin.
“It’s horrible to be accused of horrible things, false allegations of child molestation which (were) just horrible. They tried so hard to bring him down on so many other things… That’s just horrible because they knew he loved children and they tried to bring him down on the very thing that he loved, which was kids.”
Jermaine said that Michael donated hundreds of millions of dollars to charity, before his tragic death in 2009 at age 50.
“He would go to any hospital, anywhere in the world, and walk down the emergency corridors, and find who needed operations and he would pay for them, and give lung transplants and all kinds of things. And liver transplants. That’s what he did. And people who couldn’t afford burials in our industry, in the music industry, he would bury them (and pay for it).”
Jermaine, 57, recalls his family’s beginnings in a poorly insulated bungalow in Gary, Ind., like it was yesterday. Michael and Jermaine had seven siblings — Jackie, Tito, Marlon, Rebbie, La Toya, Randy and Janet.
“Going back to the Gary days and writing about our childhood was very easy, because it’s something that will never go away in our minds, and the Jackson Five days were some of the most incredible days in our lives.
“It was just the beginning of us wanting to be like the Temptations, and Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, and The Supremes, and all these (artists that) we grew up wanting to be like. And we were on our way, and that’s because the Jackson Five gave us that international fame — and that gave Michael an incredible launching pad to become Michael Jackson.”
When Michael was young, all members of the musical family thought he was something special.
January 2, 2012 | Categories: Interviews/articles/videos (MJ related) | Tags: Arts, Bradley Cooper, Free, Hangover, Limitless, M (New York City Subway service), michael jackson, Television | 6 Comments
What has Michael Jackson been trying to tell us all these years? Through his music, art, speeches, etc? This series of videos does a great job of explaining. There was more to Michael then just music and entertainment; he tried to awaken us to the reality of our world. Most of us remained blind, until now….
Yes, these videos have a heavy Muslim message, but I always say “keep an open, question everything, research, research, research…” Let go of all your prejudices and view things in an objective fashion. It’s the only way you’ll find the truth…
November 18, 2011 | Categories: MJ's Messages, NWO/Secret Societies/hidden agendas/conspiracies/Big Pharma/Banks, Videos/ Music | Tags: Arts, cirque du soleil, Death of Michael Jackson, Ivan Reitman, John Branca, Los Angeles, michael jackson, Music | 1 Comment
The lyrics say it all……. RBTL (read between the lines)
Uh Now get down. Hey, let’s start it up. See my phone might leave you in a coroner. But, we aint here to kill. We are here to do what we can .I keep working and do it for my fans. Bang Bang Oh Now let me hit it ladies. Chains hang low. We here to get it baby. They aint gonna try and stop my team. We Gonna roll like bigfoot . Can’t stop, know what I mean? He’s so good, but they can’t see why. I’m in a zone 13 feet high. Wanna Start Something, but they looking sloppy
I’m all over the place boy. You can’t stop me. O-Bee keep bangin like a rifle. Can’t stop, Won’t stop. I’m being like Michael. I can do cool, and missing the action, Don’t talk. Listen to Mr. Jackson.
Yeh, Yo, attitude of a chimp, skowl of a monkey, gorilla flo, I’m crocodile dundee, I’m playing. But, never testing you fool. Run for cover homie, it’s best that you do. I never stop playing, I’m always in the game. And out they came, along with cocaine. I’m evicted. It aint hard to know
Time to step together and give them O-bee oh..you see, I’ve just started something, and stop the bull. Slow Down. We aint stoppin noooooooooo. It’s time to raise the level. Come on ya’ll. Never, I praise the devil. Hell No. East, West, North, South, feel me man. Can’t get enough so they peel a man. We right here. They can’t shake us down. We comin, we comin to break them down.”
November 3, 2011 | Categories: Interviews/articles/videos (MJ related) | Tags: Bellingham Washington, Bhati, Jackson, Janet Jackson, michael jackson, National Enquirer, Original equipment manufacturer, PRWEB | Leave a comment
Although this is a Michael Jackson site, there are other artists who also gave us the same messages Michael did. Time we LISTEN!
Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, Bob Marley are but a few of the artists CRYING out to the world to open their eyes , see the truth, and CHANGE things. There are no excuses EVER for war, assassinations (and then gloating about them), hunger, etc… We have the power to change things, through LOVE, pure and simple…
October 21, 2011 | Categories: Interviews/articles/videos (MJ related) | Tags: Bob Marley, Christina Aguilera, Death of Michael Jackson, Los Angeles, Marvin Gaye, michael jackson, Paris, YouTube | 2 Comments
It’s mid-September and Jermaine Jackson is winding up a grueling U.K. book tour, which has seen him spend the last four days making back-to-back television and radio appearances. Securing an interview slot has taken three days of negotiation between Jermaine, his publicist and publishing reps on both sides of the Atlantic. When his car picks me up in Wood Lane, London and drives us into the BBC Studios, he has just appeared on Loose Women — Britain’s answer to The View — and is on his way to be interviewed by BBC Radio Five’s Richard Bacon.
As we’re led inside, several dozen students on a BBC walkabout lose all interest in their tour guide as they spot Michael Jackson’s brother passing through the building. I feel self-conscious as their stares follow us through the foyer but Jermaine appears not to notice. It comes with the territory. As one of the figureheads of America‘s most famous family, he’s become accustomed to outsiders constantly looking in. The problem, though, is that what they see is often warped; a fragmented simulacrum presented by the media. This, he says, is why he has written his new book, You Are Not Alone: Michael Through A Brother’s Eyes.
“How was Loose Women?” I ask him, as we wait for an elevator.
“Well…” He half-grins and exhales loudly. “They were loose.”
The Loose Women interview, like many Jermaine has conducted in recent weeks, was somewhat combative. As Jermaine attempted to speak about his brother from a firsthand perspective he was repeatedly interrupted by the hosts. ‘But Jermaine, I think it’s fair to say he was quite a complex character…’ ‘But… there must have been something going on with Michael. He must have been a sick person.’
The assumption by many that they know more about Michael Jackson than his own family is a bug-bear of Jermaine’s. This attitude, he says, is the result of a decades-long battle against inaccurate media coverage. “This would become a recurring theme for the family,” he writes in the book, “a showdown of fact versus perception — and fact would always be the underdog.”
According to Jermaine, even his initial attempt to write a book, all the way back in 2003, fell flat because publishers were unwilling to print a factual account of his brother’s life.
“I had tried to write something with Judith Regan with Harper Collins in New York and they weren’t interested in the truth then,” he tells me as we sit down in an empty radio studio. “They were interested in the gossip and all the things that were not true. They wanted dirt and I said, ‘I have no dirt’, so they turned me down.”
Eight years later, Harper Collins has come around to Jermaine’s way of thinking. His book is described by the publisher as “an intimate, loving portrait of Michael Jackson.” But Jermaine hasn’t forgotten the 2003 debacle entirely. “They tried to put me on the Judith Regan show on this book tour,” he says. “I said, ‘No way.'”
In 2006 a document purporting to be Jermaine’s 2003 book proposal was leaked to the media and caused a furor. In it Jermaine allegedly branded his brother a ‘stubborn’, ‘harsh’, ‘cold’, ‘calculating’ and ‘devious’ drug addict who “purchased children like a sanctioned black market,” and “changed his skin color.”
For this, Jermaine blames his co-writer Stacy Brown, who he says changed the rejected manuscript to make it more saleable and then circulated it — all without Jermaine’s permission.
“That wasn’t my manuscript,” says Jermaine. “It was just horrible. My manuscript was registered with lawyers and we had proof. I said, ‘My manuscript is totally different from what this guy’s saying’.
“Because of that, publishers for this book, for verification purposes, wanted to see that proposal beforehand. I showed them my original proposal about what I wanted to do and it’s completely in line with the proposal for this book. So that was completely hijacked by somebody else.”
Jermaine isn’t the only person to accuse Stacy Brown of such behavior. In 2005 Brown co-wrote a book with disgruntled Jackson employee Bob Jones. When Jones was asked about the book under oath in Michael Jackson’s 2005 trial, he admitted that it was only “factual to a degree.” Of Brown’s work he said, “My co-writer also has included things that I didn’t approve of,” and added, “I’ve changed millions of things that were inaccurate that I didn’t say.”
Photographer: Harrison Funk – Picture used with written permission from Harper Collins
Even the new book has been mired in controversy. As Jermaine flew to London to begin promotion, a storm was brewing over a story he tells in his prologue. Speaking about his brother’s 2005 child molestation trial, Jermaine recalls how he was so paranoid that Michael could fall victim to a terrible injustice that he hatched a secret escape plan in case it looked like a guilty verdict could be on the cards. He arranged for a private jet to be on standby at the nearest airport, ready to whisk his brother to Bahrain, where he couldn’t be extradited.
However, many journalists — apparently too lazy even to read Jermaine’s eight-and-a-half page prologue in full — got it monumentally wrong. Stories wrongly stated that the Jackson family had planned to spirit Jackson away to the Middle East after he was convicted; a clearly nonsensical claim.
Nevertheless, copy and paste journalism took hold and the story was replicated hundreds of times by newspapers including the New York Post, NY Daily News, Denver Post and Washington Times. Among the more brainless headlines was this honker, which comes courtesy of Britain’s Daily Mail: ‘How Michael Jackson’s family planned to fly singer out of U.S. to Bahrain if he was jailed for child molestation’. Even the Press Association ran with the inaccurate version.
The nonsensical story made Jermaine’s book look like a work of fiction, a situation worsened when the subsequent controversy prompted Michael’s 2005 defense attorney Thomas Mesereau to speak out against the misquoted claims.
“One of the reasons I wrote the book was so that my words would stand for themselves, in context,” says Jermaine. “But even in the newspapers’ coverage of my book, my words were misreported. There was never a plan to get Michael out of the country ‘if convicted’. Thomas Mesereau had to issue a denial based on something that wasn’t true in the first place. That one change of context showed how one inaccuracy can snowball and how myths are made. I sat back and thought ‘This is what Michael faced all the time’.”
Update: Stacy Brown denies changing Jermaine Jackson’s 2003 manuscript. Responding to this article, he said, “Jermaine did indeed want to write a positive book and it was indeed sabotaged – but he knows it wasn’t me who sabotaged it. Jermaine’s money-hungry girlfriend changed the manuscript and he and I were left holding the bag.”
October 21, 2011 | Categories: Interviews/articles/videos (MJ related) | Tags: Bahrain, Jermaine, Jermaine Jackson, Judith Regan, Loose Women, Michael, michael jackson, Thomas Mesereau | Leave a comment
CPR must always be performed on a firm surface. NO bed is firm enough. A CARDIOLOGIST would know that. The only time you put your hand behind on a patient’s back and do compressions with the other hand is if you’re performing CPR on a neonate (and a small one, at that), NO ONE ELSE. Basic knowledge that any person, but especially a cardiologist, would know.
October 5, 2011 | Categories: MJ's death: investigation/court case | Tags: AEG, Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, Death of Michael Jackson, District attorney, Manslaughter, michael jackson, propofol, Testimony | 1 Comment
One thing I must make clear, neither Jermaine or this journalist has the expertise to talk about the effects of propofol. ONLY an anesthesiologist, who works with this drug, does. Even doctors of other specialties do NOT have the same expertise as an anesthesioligist. That’s why they’re consulted to be present during the administration of propofol and other anesthetics during medical procedures in controlled environments.
October 5, 2011 | Categories: MJ's death: investigation/court case | Tags: American Society of Anesthesiologists, Anesthesiologist, Anesthetic, Death of Michael Jackson, Lorazepam, Los Angeles, michael jackson, propofol | 1 Comment
Un des dix chorégraphes du spectacle, Rich Talauega (vidéo des danseurs à l’oeuvre)
Kevin Antunes, concepteur musical (gauche) et Greg Phillinganes, directeur musical (droite)
Michael Jackson à six ans
Blanket, le plus jeune fils de Michael, sur le tapis rouge lors de la première de Immortal Tour au Centre Bell
Entrevue donnée par la mère de Michael Jackson à propos du spectacle hommage du Cirque du Soleil
Copied from : http://blogues.canoe.ca/surleterrain/
How do you stage a Michael Jackson show without Michael Jackson? With high energy dancing and acrobatics, plenty of razzle dazzle, tons of ingenuity and lots of carefully selected video clips of Jackson himself.
That seems to be more or less the recipe adhered to by the Cirque du Soleil in creating Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour which had its world premiere at the Belle Centre last night (Sunday, Oct. 2, 2011). It plays here again tonight before moving on to Ottawa, then to about 60 other North American cities.
This $60 million arena show that sold $40 million worth of tickets within 24 hours when it was first announced, is not like anything the Cirque has done before, although its genre is similar to that of Viva ELVIS and LOVE (the Beatles show) in Las Vegas.
This MJ show has circus acts, but it’s not a circus. Nor is it a rock concert or dance show, exactly, either. Insofar as people are expecting any one of the above, they may feel a bit shortchanged. But if they go with the performance art flow of it all, they are not likely to be bored.
This is a dazzling, fast-pace spectacle for people with short attention spans, flitting from one song to the next, seldom settling down with one for a whole number. All is deftly rearranged, using live music and Jackson’s recorded voice. The audience is overwhelmed with images, some of them on screens, others created through maniupulation of quirky props, like a mega-sized white glove, a huge Jackson hat that conceals several dancers or a pair of giant shoes and socks, with dancers inside.
There’s no real attempt to tell Jackson’s life story, but it does begin with a five-clown band, evoking the Jackson Five. (Not the most successful idea in the show, given their moves aren’t nearly as slick as the originals and their bad afro wigs don’t become them well.)
The show offers a fairly comprehensive sampling of Jackson’s better-known songs. Early on, there’s a poignant rendition of Have You Seen My Childhood? Some songs, like Dancing Machine and Black or White, get more of a workout than others. Fantasies of Neverland come alive, one after another, sometimes at very high volume. There’s quiet time, too, with Jackson speaking his own lyrics.
A solo dancer/acrobat in sparkling white does mime shtick that reminds us where the moonwalk came from. He returns again and again throughout the show, at one point doing a series of startling backwards cartwheels. (Do not try this at home.) Aerial acts are used frequently to conquerthe cavernous space of the Bell Centre. A single contortionist worms her way out of a giant book, in one clevelry staged scene.
Unlike most Cirque shows, this one, directed by Jamie King, is prepared to do a couple of encores. And on Sunday night it was clear that 15,000 people wanted more. And more.
Massive Michael Jackson Immortal tour kicks off in Montreal
Updated: Mon Oct. 03 2011 9:28:52 AM
MONTREAL — Michael Jackson’s mother, his siblings, and his children were among those attending the premiere of Michael Jackson: The Immortal World tour, produced by the Cirque du Soleil at the Bell Centre Sunday evening.
Daniel Lamarre President of the Cirque du Soleil, was particularly excited that the late king of pop’s mother Katherine Jackson was at the show.
“She played a deciding role choosing the Cirque du Soleil for this project and disappointing her is out of the question,” he said.
Jackson’s two brothers, Jackie and Tito were also at the show.
Fans watched dancers and acrobats pay tribute to about 60 songs from the vast Michael Jackson songbook, ranging from his earliest material with the Jackson 5 to songs from his final studio album.
Plenty of video, including never-before-seen video from the This Is Ittour, was presented.
The organizers ruled out hiring an imitator for the show.
“We refused to do that, and were very clear, as was the family. There’s only one Michael Jackson and we’re going to see him plenty on the video,” said Daniel Lamarre.
The show will stop at about 50 Canadian and American cities by July 2012 and will travel with a $60 million budget.
Altogether, 38 trucks — three devoted entirely to costumes — will roll throughout North America as 76 artists, including 15 musicians will participate in the show.
Fans who missed opening night in Montreal will have plenty of other opportunities to catch the show: the tour is scheduled to return to Montreal in March and July of 2012.
With files from The Canadian Press
Michael Jackson, The Immortal World Tour en images
Critique from Radio Canada:
btw, cardiac arrest can happen often in this type of procedure (PTCA), one would think Murray had to have had performed CPR several times in the course of his career…
Robert Russell — Dr. Conrad Murray’s Former Patient Testifies
Updated 9/30/11 at 9:30AM
Russell claims Murray operated on him twice in March and April 2009 to install several stents in his heart after he suffered a heart attack — and Russell was pleased with the results.
But Russell claims it went downhill from there — when Murray canceled two follow-up appointments in June 2009.
Russell claims Murray finally called and left a voicemail at 11:49 AM on June 25th — about 30 minutes before Alberto Alvarez dialed 911– explaining he would be leaving the country .
After Murray canceled the appointments, Russell claims he never saw the doctor again.
October 1, 2011 | Categories: Michael Jackson death hoax, TMZ | Tags: Conrad Murray, Death of Michael Jackson, Las Vegas Nevada, michael jackson, Murray, Myocardial infarction, Patient, Russell | 3 Comments
Weird because I’ve never seen a pulse oximeter without an alarm. I even went to the Nonin website, and can’t find anything that says “no alarms“. You can choose the option to silence alarms, but as far as I know, they all come with alarms. But this is just another “weird” thing in this whole case. Propafol (and getting it in mid day, no less), cardiologist that doesn’t know CPR and who calls 911 a long time after MJ is unconscious, security cameras that disappear (has anyone heard what happened to them?), LA airport that closes just at the right time that day, etc, so why WOULD”T they have a pulse oximeter without an alarm? LOL My common sense tells me this is all too fishy to be real. Way too weird!
The guy who manufactures the medical device that Dr. Conrad Murray allegedly snapped onto Michael Jackson‘s finger — after Alberto Alvarez called 911 — claims it was the wrong device to monitor MJ.
It’s called a pulse oximeter — and Bob Johnson of Nonin Medical Equipment testified today … Murray was using the wrong model for the job.
Bob claims the model Murray used to monitor MJ had no alarm — so if anything went wrong, Murray wouldn’t know.
October 1, 2011 | Categories: Michael Jackson death hoax, TMZ | Tags: Conrad Murray, Death of Michael Jackson, Medical device, Medical equipment, michael jackson, Murray, propofol, Pulse oximeter | Leave a comment
And what do you “see” in this video? Or “hear”?
I can’t help it, I feel only JOY when I watch these performances!
June 25th is a day to remember LOVE , not loss…
Thank you, Michael! I heard you, and because of that I’m a better person doing what I can to make this a better world. My deepest gratitude!
LOVE IS the answer—LOVE is a state of Being; it’s who we ARE…When we all understand what that means and embrace it with all are Being, then this world will change in a blink of an eye…
Thank you to the makers of these videos!
In lieu of the second anniversary of Michael’s “death”, I’ve been busy posting what I believe his messages are to the world.
Michael, I HEAR and UNDERSTAND , and I pray more people will… It’s not enough to just hear the messages, though. Time to turn inwards, open our hearts, and heal this world!
People of the world, MAKE THAT CHANGE!
He finally got heard in “death”… And what he always wanted, to make the world a better place, is going to be fulfilled. Right now, with all the senseless wars, crashing economy, “natural” disasters, etc, it may not seem so, but in reality, the world is in the process of waking up and shedding the evil. Believe with all your hearts this is so, and it shall be…
Oxford University, March 2001 by Michael Jackson
We hear you, Michael. We’re continuing to spread your message…
Thank you, thank you dear friends, from the bottom of my heart, for such a loving and spirited welcome, and thank you, Mr President, for your kind invitation to me which I am so honoured to accept. I also want to express a special thanks to you Shmuley, who for 11 years served as Rabbi here at Oxford. You and I have been working so hard to form Heal the Kids, as well as writing our book about childlike qualities, and in all of our efforts you have been such a supportive and loving friend. And I would also like to thank Toba Friedman, our director of operations at Heal the Kids, who is returning tonight to the alma mater where she served as a Marshall scholar, as well as Marilyn Piels, another central member of our Heal the Kids team.
I am humbled to be lecturing in a place that has previously been filled by such notable figures as Mother Theresa, Albert Einstein, Ronald Reagan, Robert Kennedy and Malcolm X. I’ve even heard that Kermit the Frog has made an appearance here, and I’ve always felt a kinship with Kermit’s message that it’s not easy being green. I’m sure he didn’t find it any easier being up here than I do!
As I looked around Oxford today, I couldn’t help but be aware of the majesty and grandeur of this great institution, not to mention the brilliance of the great and gifted minds that have roamed these streets for centuries. The walls of Oxford have not only housed the greatest philosophical and scientific geniuses – they have also ushered forth some of the most cherished creators of children’s literature, from J.R.R. Tolkien to CS Lewis. Today I was allowed to hobble into the dining hall in Christ Church to see Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland immortalised in the stained glass windows. And even one of my own fellow Americans, the beloved Dr Seuss graced these halls and then went on to leave his mark on the imaginations of millions of children throughout the world.
I suppose I should start by listing my qualifications to speak before you this evening. Friends, I do not claim to have the academic expertise of other speakers who have addressed this hall, just as they could lay little claim at being adept at the moonwalk – and you know, Einstein in particular was really TERRIBLE at that.
But I do have a claim to having experienced more places and cultures than most people will ever see. Human knowledge consists not only of libraries of parchment and ink – it is also comprised of the volumes of knowledge that are written on the human heart, chiselled on the human soul, and engraved on the human psyche. And friends, I have encountered so much in this relatively short life of mine that I still cannot believe I am only 42. I often tell Shmuley that in soul years I’m sure that I’m at least 80 – and tonight I even walk like I’m 80! So please harken to my message, because what I have to tell you tonight can bring healing to humanity and healing to our planet.
Through the grace of God, I have been fortunate to have achieved many of my artistic and professional aspirations realised early in my lifetime. But these, friends are accomplishments, and accomplishments alone are not synonymous with who I am. Indeed, the cheery five-year-old who belted out Rockin’ Robin and Ben to adoring crowds was not indicative of the boy behind the smile.
Tonight, I come before you less as an icon of pop (whatever that means anyway), and more as an icon of a generation, a generation that no longer knows what it means to be children.
All of us are products of our childhood. But I am the product of a lack of a childhood, an absence of that precious and wondrous age when we frolic playfully without a care in the world, basking in the adoration of parents and relatives, where our biggest concern is studying for that big spelling test come Monday morning.
Those of you who are familiar with the Jackson Five know that I began performing at the tender age of five and that ever since then, I haven’t stopped dancing or singing. But while performing and making music undoubtedly remain as some of my greatest joys, when I was young I wanted more than anything else to be a typical little boy. I wanted to build tree houses, have water balloon fights, and play hide and seek with my friends. But fate had it otherwise and all I could do was envy the laughter and playtime that seemed to be going on all around me.
There was no respite from my professional life. But on Sundays I would go Pioneering, the term used for the missionary work that Jehovah’s Witnesses do. And it was then that I was able to see the magic of other people’s childhood.
Since I was already a celebrity, I would have to don a disguise of fat suit, wig, beard and glasses and we would spend the day in the suburbs of Southern California, going door-to-door or making the rounds of shopping malls, distributing our Watchtower magazine. I loved to set foot in all those regular suburban houses and catch sight of the shag rugs and La-Z-Boy armchairs with kids playing Monopoly and grandmas baby-sitting and all those wonderful, ordinary and starry scenes of everyday life. Many, I know, would argue that these things seem like no big deal. But to me they were mesmerising.
I used to think that I was unique in feeling that I was without a childhood. I believed that indeed there were only a handful with whom I could share those feelings. When I recently met with Shirley Temple Black, the great child star of the 1930s and 40s, we said nothing to each other at first, we simply cried together, for she could share a pain with me that only others like my close friends Elizabeth Taylor and McCauley Culkin know.
I do not tell you this to gain your sympathy but to impress upon you my first important point : It is not just Hollywood child stars that have suffered from a non-existent childhood. Today, it’s a universal calamity, a global catastrophe. Childhood has become the great casualty of modern-day living. All around us we are producing scores of kids who have not had the joy, who have not been accorded the right, who have not been allowed the freedom, or knowing what it’s like to be a kid.
Today children are constantly encouraged to grow up faster, as if this period known as childhood is a burdensome stage, to be endured and ushered through, as swiftly as possible. And on that subject, I am certainly one of the world’s greatest experts.
Ours is a generation that has witnessed the abrogation of the parent-child covenant. Psychologists are publishing libraries of books detailing the destructive effects of denying one’s children the unconditional love that is so necessary to the healthy development of their minds and character. And because of all the neglect, too many of our kids have, essentially, to raise themselves. They are growing more distant from their parents, grandparents and other family members, as all around us the indestructible bond that once glued together the generations, unravels.
This violation has bred a new generation, Generation O let us call it, that has now picked up the torch from Generation X. The O stands for a generation that has everything on the outside – wealth, success, fancy clothing and fancy cars, but an aching emptiness on the inside. That cavity in our chests, that barrenness at our core, that void in our centre is the place where the heart once beat and which love once occupied.
And it’s not just the kids who are suffering. It’s the parents as well. For the more we cultivate little-adults in kids’-bodies, the more removed we ourselves become from our own child-like qualities, and there is so much about being a child that is worth retaining in adult life.
Love, ladies and gentlemen, is the human family’s most precious legacy, its richest bequest, its golden inheritance. And it is a treasure that is handed down from one generation to another. Previous ages may not have had the wealth we enjoy. Their houses may have lacked electricity, and they squeezed their many kids into small homes without central heating. But those homes had no darkness, nor were they cold. They were lit bright with the glow of love and they were warmed snugly by the very heat of the human heart. Parents, undistracted by the lust for luxury and status, accorded their children primacy in their lives.
As you all know, our two countries broke from each other over what Thomas Jefferson referred to as “certain inalienable rights”. And while we Americans and British might dispute the justice of his claims, what has never been in dispute is that children have certain inalienable rights, and the gradual erosion of those rights has led to scores of children worldwide being denied the joys and security of childhood.
I would therefore like to propose tonight that we install in every home a Children’s Universal Bill of Rights, the tenets of which are:
1. The right to be loved without having to earn it
2. The right to be protected, without having to deserve it
3. The right to feel valuable, even if you came into the world with nothing
4. The right to be listened to without having to be interesting
5. The right to be read a bedtime story, without having to compete with the evening news
6. The right to an education without having to dodge bullets at schools
7. The right to be thought of as adorable – (even if you have a face that only a mother could love).
Friends, the foundation of all human knowledge, the beginning of human consciousness, must be that each and every one of us is an object of love. Before you know if you have red hair or brown, before you know if you are black or white, before you know of what religion you are a part, you have to know that you are loved.
About twelve years ago, when I was just about to start my Bad tour, a little boy came with his parents to visit me at home in California. He was dying of cancer and he told me how much he loved my music and me. His parents told me that he wasn’t going to live, that any day he could just go, and I said to him: “Look, I am going to be coming to your town in Kansas to open my tour in three months. I want you to come to the show. I am going to give you this jacket that I wore in one of my videos.” His eyes lit up and he said: “You are gonna GIVE it to me?” I said “Yeah, but you have to promise that you will wear it to the show.” I was trying to make him hold on. I said: “When you come to the show I want to see you in this jacket and in this glove” and I gave him one of my rhinestone gloves – and I never usually give the rhinestone gloves away. And he was just in heaven.
But maybe he was too close to heaven, because when I came to his town, he had already died, and they had buried him in the glove and jacket. He was just 10 years old. God knows, I know, that he tried his best to hold on. But at least when he died, he knew that he was loved, not only by his parents, but even by me, a near stranger, I also loved him. And with all of that love he knew that he didn’t come into this world alone, and he certainly didn’t leave it alone.
If you enter this world knowing you are loved and you leave this world knowing the same, then everything that happens in between can he dealt with. A professor may degrade you, but you will not feel degraded, a boss may crush you, but you will not be crushed, a corporate gladiator might vanquish you, but you will still triumph. How could any of them truly prevail in pulling you down? For you know that you are an object worthy of love. The rest is just packaging.
But if you don’t have that memory of being loved, you are condemned to search the world for something to fill you up. But no matter how much money you make or how famous you become, you will still fell empty. What you are really searching for is unconditional love, unqualified acceptance. And that was the one thing that was denied to you at birth.
Friends, let me paint a picture for you. Here is a typical day in America – six youths under the age of 20 will commit suicide, 12 children under the age of 20 will die from firearms – remember this is a DAY, not a year – 399 kids will be arrested for drug abuse, 1,352 babies will be born to teen mothers. This is happening in one of the richest, most developed countries in the history of the world.
Yes, in my country there is an epidemic of violence that parallels no other industrialised nation. These are the ways young people in America express their hurt and their anger. But don’t think that there is not the same pain and anguish among their counterparts in the United Kingdom. Studies in this country show that every single hour, three teenagers in the UK inflict harm upon themselves, often by cutting or burning their bodies or taking an overdose. This is how they have chosen to cope with the pain of neglect and emotional agony.
In Britain, as many as 20% of families will only sit down and have dinner together once a year. Once a year! And what about the time-honoured tradition of reading your kid a bedtime story? Research from the 1980s showed that children who are read to, had far greater literacy and significantly outperformed their peers at school. And yet, less than 33% of British children ages two to eight have a regular bedtime story read to them. You may not think much of that until you take into account that 75% of their parents DID have that bedtime story when they were that age.
Clearly, we do not have to ask ourselves where all of this pain, anger and violent behaviour comes from. It is self-evident that children are thundering against the neglect, quaking against the indifference and crying out just to be noticed. The various child protection agencies in the US say that millions of children are victims of maltreatment in the form of neglect, in the average year. Yes, neglect. In rich homes, privileged homes, wired to the hilt with every electronic gadget. Homes where parents come home, but they’re not really home, because their heads are still at the office. And their kids? Well, their kids just make do with whatever emotional crumbs they get. And you don’t get much from endless TV, computer games and videos.
These hard, cold numbers which for me, wrench the soul and shake the spirit, should indicate to you why I have devoted so much of my time and resources into making our new Heal the Kids initiative a colossal success.
Our goal is simple – to recreate the parent/child bond, renew its promise and light the way forward for all the beautiful children who are destined one day to walk this earth.
But since this is my first public lecture, and you have so warmly welcomed me into your hearts, I feel that I want to tell you more. We each have our own story, and in that sense statistics can become personal.
They say that parenting is like dancing. You take one step, your child takes another. I have discovered that getting parents to re-dedicate themselves to their children is only half the story. The other half is preparing the children to re-accept their parents.
When I was very young I remember that we had this crazy mutt of a dog named “Black Girl,” a mix of wolf and retriever. Not only wasn’t she much of a guard dog, she was such a scared and nervous thing that it is a wonder she did not pass out every time a truck rumbled by, or a thunderstorm swept through Indiana. My sister Janet and I gave that dog so much love, but we never really won back the sense of trust that had been stolen from her by her previous owner. We knew he used to beat her. We didn’t know with what. But whatever it was, it was enough to suck the spirit right out of that dog.
A lot of kids today are hurt puppies who have weaned themselves off the need for love. They couldn’t care less about their parents. Left to their own devices, they cherish their independence. They have moved on and have left their parents behind.
Then there are the far worse cases of children who harbour animosity and resentment toward their parents, so that any overture that their parents might undertake would be thrown forcefully back in their face.
Tonight, I don’t want any of us to make this mistake. That’s why I’m calling upon all the world’s children – beginning with all of us here tonight – to forgive our parents, if we felt neglected. Forgive them and teach them how to love again.
You probably weren’t surprised to hear that I did not have an idyllic childhood. The strain and tension that exists in my relationship with my own father is well documented. My father is a tough man and he pushed my brothers and me hard, from the earliest age, to be the best performers we could be.
He had great difficulty showing affection. He never really told me he loved me. And he never really complimented me either. If I did a great show, he would tell me it was a good show. And if I did an OK show, he told me it was a lousy show.
He seemed intent, above all else, on making us a commercial success. And at that he was more than adept. My father was a managerial genius and my brothers and I owe our professional success, in no small measure, to the forceful way that he pushed us. He trained me as a showman and under his guidance I couldn’t miss a step.
But what I really wanted was a Dad. I wanted a father who showed me love. And my father never did that. He never said I love you while looking me straight in the eye, he never played a game with me. He never gave me a piggyback ride, he never threw a pillow at me, or a water balloon.
But I remember once when I was about four years old, there was a little carnival and he picked me up and put me on a pony. It was a tiny gesture, probably something he forgot five minutes later. But because of that moment I have this special place in my heart for him. Because that’s how kids are, the little things mean so much to them and for me, that one moment meant everything. I only experienced it that one time, but it made me feel really good, about him and the world.
But now I am a father myself, and one day I was thinking about my own children, Prince and Paris and how I wanted them to think of me when they grow up. To be sure, I would like them to remember how I always wanted them with me wherever I went, how I always tried to put them before everything else. But there are also challenges in their lives. Because my kids are stalked by paparazzi, they can’t always go to a park or a movie with me.
So what if they grow older and resent me, and how my choices impacted their youth? Why weren’t we given an average childhood like all the other kids, they might ask? And at that moment I pray that my children will give me the benefit of the doubt. That they will say to themselves: “Our daddy did the best he could, given the unique circumstances that he faced. He may not have been perfect, but he was a warm and decent man, who tried to give us all the love in the world.”
I hope that they will always focus on the positive things, on the sacrifices I willingly made for them, and not criticise the things they had to give up, or the errors I’ve made, and will certainly continue to make, in raising them. For we have all been someone’s child, and we know that despite the very best of plans and efforts, mistakes will always occur. That’s just being human.
And when I think about this, of how I hope that my children will not judge me unkindly, and will forgive my shortcomings, I am forced to think of my own father and despite my earlier denials, I am forced to admit that me must have loved me. He did love me, and I know that.
There were little things that showed it. When I was a kid I had a real sweet tooth – we all did. My favourite food was glazed doughnuts and my father knew that. So every few weeks I would come downstairs in the morning and there on the kitchen counter was a bag of glazed doughnuts – no note, no explanation – just the doughnuts. It was like Santa Claus.
Sometimes I would think about staying up late at night, so I could see him leave them there, but just like with Santa Claus, I didn’t want to ruin the magic for fear that he would never do it again. My father had to leave them secretly at night, so as no one might catch him with his guard down. He was scared of human emotion, he didn’t understand it or know how to deal with it. But he did know doughnuts.
And when I allow the floodgates to open up, there are other memories that come rushing back, memories of other tiny gestures, however imperfect, that showed that he did what he could. So tonight, rather than focusing on what my father didn’t do, I want to focus on all the things he did do and on his own personal challenges. I want to stop judging him.
I have started reflecting on the fact that my father grew up in the South, in a very poor family. He came of age during the Depression and his own father, who struggled to feed his children, showed little affection towards his family and raised my father and his siblings with an iron fist. Who could have imagined what it was like to grow up a poor black man in the South, robbed of dignity, bereft of hope, struggling to become a man in a world that saw my father as subordinate. I was the first black artist to be played on MTV and I remember how big a deal it was even then. And that was in the 80s!
My father moved to Indiana and had a large family of his own, working long hours in the steel mills, work that kills the lungs and humbles the spirit, all to support his family. Is it any wonder that he found it difficult to expose his feelings? Is it any mystery that he hardened his heart, that he raised the emotional ramparts? And most of all, is it any wonder why he pushed his sons so hard to succeed as performers, so that they could be saved from what he knew to be a life of indignity and poverty?
I have begun to see that even my father’s harshness was a kind of love, an imperfect love, to be sure, but love nonetheless. He pushed me because he loved me. Because he wanted no man ever to look down at his offspring.
And now with time, rather than bitterness, I feel blessing. In the place of anger, I have found absolution. And in the place of revenge I have found reconciliation. And my initial fury has slowly given way to forgiveness.
Almost a decade ago, I founded a charity called Heal the World. The title was something I felt inside me. Little did I know, as Shmuley later pointed out, that those two words form the cornerstone of Old Testament prophecy. Do I really believe that we can heal this world, that is riddled with war and genocide, even today? And do I really think that we can heal our children, the same children who can enter their schools with guns and hatred and shoot down their classmates, like they did at Columbine? Or children who can beat a defenceless toddler to death, like the tragic story of Jamie Bulger? Of course I do, or I wouldn’t be here tonight.
But it all begins with forgiveness, because to heal the world, we first have to heal ourselves. And to heal the kids, we first have to heal the child within, each and every one of us. As an adult, and as a parent, I realise that I cannot be a whole human being, nor a parent capable of unconditional love, until I put to rest the ghosts of my own childhood.
And that’s what I’m asking all of us to do tonight. Live up to the fifth of the Ten Commandments. Honour your parents by not judging them. Give them the benefit of the doubt.
That is why I want to forgive my father and to stop judging him. I want to forgive my father, because I want a father, and this is the only one that I’ve got. I want the weight of my past lifted from my shoulders and I want to be free to step into a new relationship with my father, for the rest of my life, unhindered by the goblins of the past.
In a world filled with hate, we must still dare to hope. In a world filled with anger, we must still dare to comfort. In a world filled with despair, we must still dare to dream. And in a world filled with distrust, we must still dare to believe.
To all of you tonight who feel let down by your parents, I ask you to let down your disappointment. To all of you tonight who feel cheated by your fathers or mothers, I ask you not to cheat yourself further. And to all of you who wish to push your parents away, I ask you to extend you hand to them instead. I am asking you, I am asking myself, to give our parents the gift of unconditional love, so that they too may learn how to love from us, their children. So that love will finally be restored to a desolate and lonely world.
Shmuley once mentioned to me an ancient Biblical prophecy which says that a new world and a new time would come, when “the hearts of the parents would be restored through the hearts of their children”. My friends, we are that world, we are those children.
Mahatma Gandhi said: “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” Tonight, be strong. Beyond being strong, rise to the greatest challenge of all – to restore that broken covenant. We must all overcome whatever crippling effects our childhoods may have had on our lives and in the words of Jesse Jackson, forgive each other, redeem each other and move on.
This call for forgiveness may not result in Oprah moments the world over, with thousands of children making up with their parents, but it will at least be a start, and we’ll all be so much happier as a result.
And so ladies and gentlemen, I conclude my remarks tonight with faith, joy and excitement.
From this day forward, may a new song be heard.
Let that new song be the sound of children laughing.
Let that new song be the sound of children playing.
Let that new song be the sound of children singing.
And let that new song be the sound of parents listening.
Together, let us create a symphony of hearts, marvelling at the miracle of our children and basking in the beauty of love.
Let us heal the world and blight its pain.
And may we all make beautiful music together.
God bless you, and I love you.
June 24, 2011 | Categories: MJ's Messages | Tags: Albert Einstein, C.S. Lewis, Christianity, Heal the World Foundation, History, Kermit the Frog, michael jackson, Oxford, People, Physics, Religion and Spirituality, Ronald Reagan | Leave a comment
-The American Public Must Demand Honest Journalism.-
-by Forbes Everett Landis
Do you think it is a good idea to keep silent about the attacks on one of the most visible achievers of the American Dream? Are we not forfeiting our children’s future into the hands of bullies? Is it not time for us to speak up about the damage opportunistic journalism is doing to our culture? —
Last year, the news of pop-superstar Michael Jackson’s premature death shocked the world. As I am a classical music fan, not a connoisseur of pop music or any of its stars, Jackson’s death did not immediately evoke any particular emotion in me. I just let it go.
But as the days went by, and as I passively soaked in more and more news reports on Jackson’s death, I began to feel increasingly uncomfortable. A man had passed away: What need was there for the media to so eagerly show humiliating images of how Jackson would have looked on his death-bed? I was prompted to look into the case more thoroughly.
After more than a year, although I am not a Michael Jackson fan per se, on closer inspection I have come to admire his scale of contributions and humanitarian messages espoused within songs of his. And despite my hitherto skeptical view of the sometimes frenzied remarks made by Jackson’s hard-core followers, I feel the need to say this :
To keep the American dream alive for our children, we should stop abusing our talented and creative spirits out of jealousy and misunderstanding.
Jackson had to deal with the media condemning him as strange, weird, and even labeling him a fr.eak, both figuratively and literally. My opinion about this is clear: Though at times, to subjective eyes, Jackson might have looked ‘different,’ half of this eccentricity was due to the fact that he was born to be an artist inevitably different from others because of his imaginative and creative nature, and half because he was forced into being so unconventional by a degree of media pressure and fame few, if any, have ever experienced. Being different from others does not equate being harmful to others. As long as one does not violate others’ human rights, one has the right to be him or herself. In a society that prioritizes human rights and freedom, I find no justification for hurtful attacks on people who are perceived to be ‘different.’ These kinds of attacks are especially sordid when they involve the spreading of knowingly false rumors for financial gain. After Jackson’s acquittal on alleged child related charges in 2005, several journalists, such as Aphrodite Jones, came forward to confess that most of the media in attendance intentionally put objectivity aside in covering the Michael Jackson case by fragmenting the facts divulged in court, presenting only anti-Jackson reports.
The human race has quite often owed its scientific or artistic progress to the “weird” and the “eccentric.” Let us consider, for example, Galileo Galilei, who was charged for openly discussing Copernican theory, a concept seen as sinful and roundly condemned at that time; later, of course, this theory went on to become the accepted standard of scientific understanding of the universe. We might also stop to consider how treasonable the very idea of democracy once was, how dangerous the aristocracy felt it to be; later, democracy became the world’s prevailing political philosophy. We can also remember that the concept of equality between : women and men, among different ethnicities, or diverse religions, was derided when it first emerged. Had she not thought differently from others, might Mother Teresa not have been a stay-at-home mom instead of traveling to the slums of India and risking her life for humanity?
Keeping the history of these exceptional ideas and people in mind, I can almost guarantee that if one had killed all the “freaks” among our Australopithecine ancestors 3.5 million years ago, our species might not have made it to the 21st century. We might very well have remained a much more primitive species, one without the use of fire and the wheel, let alone an orchestra, or democracy, or computers. Is it not, after all, diversity that allows for evolution?
In other words, “weirdness” is sometimes the inevitable result of an exceptional imaginative ability that sees no boundaries in search of all the creative possibilities. As long as such individuals do us no harm, we should let them be. It is our duty to be respectful of those who are different not only because every human being is entitled to freedom, but also because diversity is at the root of human survival; diversity or “difference” is what allows for new ways of looking at things and indeed for innovation and progress to occur.
To those who think that Jackson’s spoken voice was peculiar, I would say that I see no significance to it. The spoken voice cannot be uncoupled from the singing voice that so many lauded. It might also be helpful to consider this information in order to broaden understanding of the global context: there are countries where people respect those who speak softly, in a calm, non-aggressive manner. The American standard, where a loud voice is seemingly necessary to assertiveness, is not the only standard in the world.
To those who criticize the ‘King of Pop’ for purchasing Neverland, I pose this question: Would you have survived without buying a Neverland-sized residential property if you were in reality never able to explore any place alone without being horded by an ensuing media and public frenzy whenever you stepped out of your front door? A huge residence with a vast garden might have been the only possible way for this worldwide megastar to relax and enjoy some fresh air without constant intrusion from the public. In conversations such as with famed animal welfare activist Dr. Jane Goodall , he spoke of his love and concern for animals and nature, which he simply enjoyed surrounding himself with at his personal retreat. After all, Jackson earned his money through incredible hard work and a perfectionist work-ethic. In light of his Guinness record-making support of no less than 39 charities, it may very well be hypocritical to criticize his spending habits. It is noteworthy that Jackson regularly donated his share of proceeds from his concerts to charity and during his career, he gave away upwards of 300 million dollars to philanthropic efforts.
Having demonstrated that there is nothing inherently wrong with living unconventionally, the question now turns to whether or not Jackson ever harmed anyone with his behavior. Here I will discuss the child related allegations leveled against him. —
In discussing the two instances of allegations Jackson was faced with, I would like to focus my attention primarily on the 1993 case due to the fact that the more recent (2003-2005) accusations ended with Jackson receiving a full legal acquittal on all counts, the extremely low credibility of the accuser’s mother being one factor in this exoneration. In other words, Jackson was found not-guilty so I believe we must discount this case.
Considering that the laws of most U.S. states set down one’s right to sue anyone without being counter-sued solely in retribution for one’s lawsuit, getting sued is relatively easy. Thus, the extortion of popular and wealthy persons is an increasingly attractive ploy for those seeking a quick buck. Fast and easy money may once have come at a personal price, that being distrust from one’s community. But, with cities growing ever larger and more impersonal, an individual’s local reputation is of gradually thinning importance, resulting in more room for thievery. To some mischief minded, the risk of exposure as an extortionist might thus seem lower when compared to the potentially enormous financial benefits of a scam. As a result, a millionaire, especially one whose professional value is greatly magnified by fame, is more vulnerable than ever. According to the National Center for Child Abuse and Neglect, in 1998, 71% of the abuse reports were revealed to be false or unfounded. The false accusation rate even rises to over 90% when a custody battle and money is involved (as was the case between the plaintiff’s parents in the 1993 allegations against Jackson, who was a friend of the child’s mother). In the 1993 case, the charges never went to trial but were settled out of court.
The record illustrates that the financially troubled accuser’s father had previously approached Jackson’s representatives with a monetary request well before he sued for the alleged molestation, demonstrating that he would have refrained from filing suit in exchange for money. Would any parent with real care for justice and the well-being of his or her children make such a deal?
As evidence for my position, I present the recorded phone conversation in which the accuser’s father is heard saying that everything [is] going “according to a certain plan,” that he would “win big time” and that Jackson would be “ruined forever“…if he did not get what he wanted. In the same conversation when asked how this would affect his son, the father replied, “That’s irrelevant to me…” This sounds far more like the words of a mercenary than those of a father concerned with justice for his son.
Geraldine Hughes, who had worked in the office of the prosecuting team in the 93’ case against Jackson, reveals what really happened behind the scenes, with all the details the media failed to acknowledge and report, about how the boy’s father very early on went to Jackson demanding 20 million dollars for a movie deal otherwise he would make claims of molestation. When Jackson refused, the boy’s father went not to the police, but to a civil attorney and not long after the claims leaked to the media. It was only after the coverage of the story really blew up that Jackson was strongly advised by his attorneys to settle the civil suit and a settlement was paid by the singer’s insurance carrier. Concerns which factored in this advice to settle was the violation of Jackson’s Fifth Amendment right to not testify against himself in a criminal matter; the damage relentless one-sided media coverage of the charges was doing to his reputation and career; his rapidly declining health from stress during this period and potential jury bias. Also to note is that statistics indicate that around 95 % of civil suits get settled out of court and pertinently, civil settlement cannot be construed as an admission of guilt.
After settlement of the civil suit, Jackson was prepared to fight in the criminal court. In any situation, a criminal case cannot be settled out of court. After the settlement was paid out, however, no criminal charges were ever filed by the boy’s father, and the 13-year-old boy at the center of the allegations refused to testify in a criminal case.
It should be emphasized that Jackson was never indicted even after an intensive 13-month investigation including interviews with over 400 witnesses in and out of the country, extensive searching of his residential properties, and even a 25 minute full-body examination. Two grand juries refused to indict the singer for lack of evidence, and in the six years before the statute of limitation had expired, no criminal charges were ever filed.
The FBI which had investigated the singer during the 1993 and 2003 charges also found no evidence against him , as was revealed when Jackson’s FBI file was made public after his death.
Having discussed the mischaracterization of what people might dismiss as “weird,” and having made plain the falsity of the allegations made against Jackson, accusations that in my view look suspiciously extortionate, as highlighted above, I would now like to consider Jackson’s moral conduct with reference to the caricature presented of him:
Regarding integrity, Jackson’s deeds and lifestyle, apart from the media’s fabricated stories, remained innocent and appropriate. In fact, his decency made him look almost old-fashioned, even when he was young, when compared to many entertainers’ indulgence in sex, alcohol, or drugs. In interviews, Jackson indicated that he felt it highly inappropriate to remark publicly on his sexual life. This strikes me as an example of his dignity and modesty. However, this very reserve may ironically have fueled further baseless speculation about Jackson’s sexual orientation. I wish to ask : is publicly questioning a person’s sexual life not way more improper than that person’s choice of silence out of a desire for privacy regarding the same? The fact that Jackson was not involved in a multitude of sex scandals with women, a fact which should normally invite respect, seems unfairly to have been justification for the media to pathologize Jackson. It is beyond ridiculous to construct the lack of lasciviousness and scandal as itself scandalous and suspect.
People who knew the entertainer have remarked that it was a rare thing for Jackson to curse, especially when he was younger.Only after suffering numerous hate campaigns founded on falsehoods did he insert a very small amount of profanity into his songs, in response to a world which had betrayed him so deeply. Even then, his use of profanity stayed away from vitriolic attacks, but came across more as an artistic expression of deep anguish in songs which described his frustration with the situation. For instance, songs such as “Scream” or “Tabloid Junkie”, both from his HIStory album . Some lyrics from the latter song go thus :
“It’s slander with the words you use
…Assassinate and mutilate
as the hounding media in hysteria
…You say it’s not a sin
But with your pen you torture men
Then why do we keep foolin’ ourselves
Just because you read it in a magazine
Or see it on the TV screen
Don’t make it factual…”
Jackson also faced many accusations regarding his appearance and changed skin tone. But, turning this around, what might this suggest about those themselves who so scrutinized the way he looked? What does it say about their own biases and prejudices? And about the people who claimed to know details of every surgical procedure Jackson allegedly had, calling him a freak without even having seen him in person? Or who refused to acknowledge the pigment destroying disease Vitiligo which he was a sufferer of?
After the 2003 allegations, the media repeatedly displayed pictures of Jackson looking worn out, not out of questions about his state of well-being, but it would seem, simply in order to taunt him. Now while Jackson may have begun to look rather gaunt during the trial, does not taking somebody’s tired physical appearance as direct evidence of inner abnormality only reveal our own superficiality ? Maybe , just maybe anyone else would have looked equally fatigued had they suffered the anguish of having to relentlessly fight vicious and false allegations all the while being condemned in the court of public opinion even before being found guilty by the legal system. Whereas under the laws of the land, one is granted the presumption of innocence until they are actually found guilty.
On the topic of morality : Which is more admirable, giving people hope by regularly visiting and donating to hospitals and orphanages, or telling scandalous stories based on speculation or lies? Which is more despicable, pursuing an exceptionally rigorous dedication to artistic perfection, or giving in to jealousy and greed to bring down an artist? The tabloid press, of course, uses this strategy on most celebrities and public figures. One might argue that Michael Jackson had learned to use the press as cynically as it used him ; that he , especially in the early days, once believed that “all publicity is good publicity,” One might even go so far as to say that Jackson purposely flaunted his eccentricities to generate press and in turn album sales. He did, after all, have a fine artistic sense of the dramatic. Maybe so, but this seems true up to an extent only : it might be the case that being an international headliner he could not escape the tabloid press any where he went and so he attempted to make lemons into lemonade. Here my issue is what the media’s handling of Jackson devolved into, ultimately devouring him. And what this says about societal norms and ethics.
In this matter , critics have suggested that Jackson did not oppose false information adamantly enough. Pondering that charge, I suspect that having been abused by media intrusiveness from his early days in the spotlight, Jackson might have come to feel vulnerable and victimized. He reported feeling very uncomfortable giving press interviews since he said his words were often taken out of context and even misquoted. As he resignedly confided to an associate that the press would not highlight good things because to the press, good news did not sell. No matter what he did, or what he accomplished. Rather the accent was always on sensationalizing even the trivial, leaving him to deal with an equation where visiting the burns unit at a hospital where he had made donations and where he was casually inspecting the equipment got translated into outlandish headlines of ‘Wacko Jacko’ bizarrely sleeping in an oxygen chamber. Realistically speaking, had Jackson attempted to fight every rumor reported or printed about him, he would be left with no time or even resources to do anything else. Instead he stated having to “run the race of endurance” to withstand all the assaults made against his name throughout his career. In the end ,we must ask ourselves, what is more faithful and true, labeling someone a freak without even having met them personally and without possessing any evidence of wrongdoing by that person? Or showing fortitude in the face of hostility and simply expressing who one really is by letting their work speak for itself ?
Some might argue that the attacks Jackson had to suffer from the media and from consumers can be justified as a natural price to pay for the fame and fortune. No, I say. That is too high a price being charged from a human being. Those who knew Jackson said that the 2005 trial and its coverage had a very devastating impact on him. Those attacks had after a point exceeded all justifiable limits . To live under such harsh scrutiny, what kind of psychological and emotional damage might that inflict on the recipient? May I note that he was not paid to endure pain, but for his relentless efforts and dedication to his craft.
The American media have disgraced themselves by displaying to the world the schoolyard bullying of a talented and creative soul with great achievements . Now consider how this public bullying of a legendary figure might present itself to a new generation of youth, how it might play out in their minds and affect their morale … Might this type of public bullying not discourage youngsters of today from pursuing their own creativity, their own inner diversity, for fear that they themselves might incur such abuse ?
The coverage of Michael Jackson’s life poses among other things, these questions to America: Does fulfilling the American Dream require that one subject oneself to unending media intrusion, to lies about one’s self so that newspapers get sold, and where one unproven accusation is enough to undo years and years of achievement and all the hard work and initiative that would necessarily have been part of the process? Do you want your children to live in a world where pursuing the American Dream involves the risks of a nightmare of mistrust and exploitation?
I refer again to the journalists who later admitted their purposely distorted and biased reporting on the Michael Jackson child molestation cases. If we recall for a moment the enormous number of journalists who surrounded the Santa Barbara County courthouse, one can surmise that the handful of journalists who came clean about their deception makes up only a tiny fraction of those involved.
I suspect that there were hundreds more who remained silent and who knowingly bent the truth to sell papers and boost network ratings. I also suppose that there are multitudes of people who, having received one-sided information, once believed the larger than life Jackson to be no better than a freakish criminal, but who, after his death felt compelled to research the facts themselves, and have now come to see him just as one of us, a burdened human being and a caring parent, who also happened to be a uniquely talented artist and a devoted philanthropist, who had remained for many a global ambassador. Perhaps these now better-informed members of the public have come to doubt the veracity of the media itself, not just when it comes to Michael Jackson, but in general.
I speculate that there is a pervasive feeling that it is safer to say nothing when it comes to Michael Jackson for fear of being promptly stigmatized. However, we need to address the implications of such silent behavior. What does our silence about the attacks on one of the most visible achievers of the American Dream say? What does it say in light of the American Constitution’s declaration of the inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness ? If we play it safe, we are forfeiting our children’s future into the hands of bullies. It is time for us to speak up about the damage opportunistic journalism is doing to our culture. As Edmund Burke once penned, “all it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”
April 24, 2011 | Categories: Interviews/articles/videos (MJ related) | Tags: Aphrodite Jones, Business, Galileo Galilei, Manslaughter, michael jackson, Michael Jackson death, People v. Jackson, United States | 1 Comment