Inner Michael » Tikkun and Irony

Tikkun and Irony

The world is in need of fixing. The most prominent cutural issue in the world is bullying. The mistake most people make is thinking it is only for playgrounds. It’s not; unless you consider the world your playgound. And clearly, there is someone who does…

“The media ignored Rupert Murdoch’s attempt to buy the American presidency.”

Rupert Murdoch is the media mogul transplant from Austrailia and then Britain, who targeted Michael Jackson for ridicule in the British tabloids. It was Murdoch’s papers that used the first “Wacko” headline. Murdoch specifically targeted Madonna and Michael in order to gain market share in the youth demographic. He knew that if he targeted celebrities beloved by youth, he would get young people to read his newspapers.

For Murdoch, those close to him in Britain would say, it’s not about money or market share; it’s about power. Murdoch had access to the back door of Britain’s prime ministers for decades because his endorsement of their party gained them the coveted political seats. It is also reported that Murdoch dispatched his enemies unceremoniously and with relish.

Now a transplant to America, Murdoch seeks to implement the same culture across the pond. His newest venture was an attempt to hijack the American election and prevent the first African American president from serving a second term. Does anyone else detect a hidden agenda here? An agenda besides the prominent one of political influence?

Just in case you missed the racist undertones, here are three cartoons by Delonas run by the New York Post- Murdoch’s newspaper.


















And here is Dan Rather on the media:


Bullying is so insidious in the cutlure as to be all but invisible in some places.
(See Rev. B’s article in the Huffington Post)

There’s a sour irony to all this bullying. If its evidence is not glaring now, it will be. Read on…

If there is a poster boy for bullying, someone known worldwide, Michael Jackson qualifies. The man who caught the imagination of millions, was a child prodigy and impacted the world in ways that are truly immeasurable, demonstrates for the world and to the world, its own false sense of values. It is easier, one supposes, to point to the “train wreck” of a life than it is to acknowledge the “train wreck” of a world that permitted the wreck to happen. Even encouraged it.

For profit.

People say they want a world that is destined for peace, prosperity and human dignity; but that world cannot exist side-by-side with a world that devalues humans, reduces them to classes and commodities, buys and sells them in slavery to their own kind, and holds them up for humiliation to turn a profit. A world that recoils in horror when school children are slaughtered by guns yet turns a blind eye to millions of children sold as sex slaves, exploited as cheap labor, and languishing from a lack of food, shelter, water and safety.

Childrens’ suffering is everybody’s business. Or ought to be.

Before some would cite the world’s children as an overwhelming problem, they would do well to examine what one human being on the planet was able to acocmplish worldwide all by himself while being hamstrung by a media unable to restrain its own shameful uncontrolled and destructive wilding. It is close to impossible to calculate the damage done to Jackson by an out-of-control rabid media in financial terms. What career advancements were pre-empted? What movies didn’t get made? The tendency is to think of losses in terms of future earnings and career detours. But more devastating than that is the damage done to unnamed children the world over who did not benefit from Jackson’s perpetual healing ministrations: visiting orphanages in other countries to donate toys, equipment, playgrounds and buildings; his donation of a major piece of equipment to one major hospital in every city during his world tours; his visits to sick and terminally ill children in hopsitals around the world; his charitable concerts that raised money for children, clinics, medical equipment, charities, the families of those lost on nine-eleven.

Nobody stopped or called for restraint in order to ask “What if he’s not guilty?” “What damage is being done by false accusation and repeating that false accusation over and over simply to sell copy?” Or, “What if he’s not a monster? What if he is a man who just loves children and wants to see them happy? Fed? Sleeping on clean sheets? Drinking pure water? Playing with real toys instead of sticks and rocks? In good moods and entertained in hospital playrooms in order to facilitate a positive attitude and stimulate brain chemicals that assist in their own healing?”

Jackson was a one-man humanitarian army. His charitable acts number in the hundreds and thousands and they cross racial, cultural and ethnic lines the world over. Jackson was never overwhelmed by the magnitude of the job. He just kept doing it. He kept on. Even in the face of the most protracted and vicious bullying this world has ever seen toward one individual, he kept on. Looking back on it now, it’s as if this singular figure arose from the ranks of humanity to respresent all the worlds’ ills and humanity’s worst traits and most degraded acts. It’s as if he was drafted by a civilization to represent all it hated about itself while it mistook its self-loathing for heaping contempt upon an individual. It’s as if he became a convenient distraction so we didn’t have to look at the lack of real empathy and compassion in the world. And it’s as if the world went into a frenzy trying to keep the truth of its festering internal infection from being eviscerated and revealed, and so began a campaign of wilding instead to take the focus off the pain, to keep the frenzy going and the truth hidden from itself. It’ still trying to hide from the truth of what happened.

Wilding” in case you’ve forgotten, means a degenerate and hedonistic form of individualism expressed with antisocial behaviors such as marauding in bands to swagger, bully and terrorize strangers. That was the media then and it is the media now. More subdued than in Jackson’s case, but still rabid in its appetites for a fresh pound of flesh to feed to those who consume it without questoning it and without recognizing their own oarticipation as cannibalism– feasting on the flesh of other humans.

This world that feasts on and consumes its own kind, is the same world where drugs rein as both preoccupation and pastime. The drug industry as big business produces enough drugs to numb that same human spirit either legally with prescriptions that kill pain or elevate mood or with illicit drugs that do the same. Wouldn’t it make more sense to repair our world than to support industries that numb us from its effects?

Tikkun, anyone?

Treat Everyone as a Human Being
The first thing that has to happen is that all human beings need to be embraced as equal, important and family. We must recognize that we are all in this journey called life, together. We have to recognize that all humans are deserving of humane treatment. ALL of them. And that includes celebrities.

The recent incident by the paparazzi during Ann Hathaway’s premiere of Les Miserables demonstrates a virulent kind of depravity that is regularly consumed by a public unaware of its impact on them and their humanity. The comments on so many of the websites that chose to display the “wardrobe malfunction” were just as nasty as the intent of the column in exploiting an oops moment. In a world helped to become so tainted and cynical, the comments blasted Hathaway more than the paparazzi. Have people forgotten what paparazzi chasing the “money shot” did to Lady Diana? What kind of depraved mind points a camera not at a star’s beaming and triumphant face, but below her waist hoping against hope that he captured her most vulnerable and unfortunate moment at an event that should have been a pinnacle of achievement for her?

Don’t people realize that by commenting at all, and particularly with negative and blaming comments, people are feeding the very cultural vibe that makes them so cynical in the first place? A civilized culture would not be looking up a lady’s skirt, and would indict anyone who did and in particular, the cad who photographed it. And it would refuse to participate in yet another campaign to “take down” another celebrity in the tabloids because it’s profitable.

“Celebrities” are those people who have emerged from a society and stand out as artists who reflect culture back to itself. Musicians provide the soundtrack of our lives– the music that accompanies our being and our doings. Poets put into words what our hearts feel but don’t know how to say. Writers script the past and future and expand horizons in a way that little else does. And actors are people we pay to play us in movies to we can examine ourselves more closely to see what and who we have become. The arts are ultimately in service to humanity. And Humanity.

Ann Hathaway had occasion to question that very humanity on a few levels because of the mishap and the the wilding in the media that used her vulnerable moment to cause more destruction to humanity and our humanity. She was unaware that as she stepped from her limousine onto the red carpet… a paparazzi had positioned himself at just the right angle…

Instead of focusing on the fact that Hathaway’s acting is likely to win her an Oscar in a timeless film from a timeless classic novel, the paparazzi focused the lens on her crotch. Here is what a dignified Anne Hathaway said about that moment:

“It was obviously an unfortunate incident. It kind of made me sad that we live in an age when someone takes a picture of another person in a vulnerable moment and, rather than delete it, sells it. I’m sorry that we live in a culture that commodifies sexuality upon unwilling participants. Which brings us back to Les Mis because that’s who my character is. She is someone who is forced to sell sex to benefit her child because she has nothing. So let’s get back to Les Mis.”

Here is what Susan Milligan of U.S. News and World Report had to say:

“The fact that Hathaway was able to bring the question back to the  reason she  got up before the crack of dawn to begin with—to peddle the  movie, as the  studio expects her to do—was impressive. The fact that  she drew attention to  the boorishness of paparazzi—especially  considering that they will be more  predatory with uncooperative  victims—is even more laudable.

Famous actors have always had to put up with a certain amount of  unwanted  attention (and some of it, of course, is indeed wanted). But  the demand for  embarrassing photos—and the high price paid for them—has  turned  photographers into professional harassers. It’s not just the  camera stuck  directly into the face. It’s the paparazzi who scream  insults at a female  actor, trying to provoke the man she is with, so  they can get him on camera  doing or saying something angry in response.  It makes for a better photo and  more money.

Hathaway was a money-maker for Hollywood as a Disney princess. Now  that she’s  shown how much more she can do, she’s a money-maker for the  paparazzi hoping to  get an embarrassing picture of her. The only people  who should be embarrassed  are those who feed off other people’s  celebrity. The rest of us should look  forward to plunking down 12 bucks  to hear Hathaway’s captivating voice on  screen.”

The prolific American author Upton Sinclair said of Victor Hugo’s Les Miserable: “So long as there shall exist, by reason of law and custom, a social condemnation, which, in the face of civilization, artificially creates hells on earth, and complicates a destiny that is divine, with human fatality; so long as the three problems of the age—the degradation of man by poverty, the ruin of women by starvation, and the dwarfing of childhood by physical and spiritual night—are not solved; so long as, in certain regions, social asphyxia shall be possible; in other words, and from a yet more extended point of view, so long as ignorance and misery remain on earth, books like this cannot be useless.”


Go see Les Miserables. I won’t spoil the rest of the irony for you.



  1. Lynaire Williams said . . .

    Once again Barbara, thank you for your post. The words stir something inside me that can only be “my panther”. Sleek and black and beautiful. New Year’s day has dawned here, sunny and bright. With the brisk breeze that I have always loved so well.

    To all Michael followers on this page I wish a happy and productive 2013. And to the rest of humanity of course. It is my belief that this is “our” year. We will see our efforts of emulating Michael’s purpose in the world multiply and take a firm hold on the energy of the world. Pull it down from the ethers, as Barbara so aptly puts it. (What a great visualisation that image would make) Together we can do it.
    Love you all.

    Posted December 31, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Permalink
  2. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Power to the panthers! ~B

    Posted December 31, 2012 at 9:52 pm | Permalink
  3. Robbie M. said . . .

    Every time I think of Les Miserables, I see parallels with Jean Valjean and his relationship with Javert, and Michael and his relationship with “DS” Both law officers going out of their way to hound an innocent man beyond all sense of reason. Likewise Michael and Jean Valjean share similar qualities of living for the service of others and sacrificing so much for the greater good. Art imitating life?
    To all the Inner Michael family a very happy, peaceful and productive New Year.Thank you Rev. Barbara for being an island of sanity and reason in a world gone crazy! Love and blessings from Scotland.

    Posted January 1, 2013 at 12:10 am | Permalink
  4. gertrude said . . .

    Rupert Murdoch makes me believe in Satan. almost. Shouldn’t the Navy Seals be paying this guy & his minions a visit a la Bin Laden? Surely he is at least as harmful as that public enemy was? maybe in a parallel universe …
    I’m not sorry for saying that. We’re talking about Murdoch.
    I can’t do more than I am and wish a ground-level whisper campaign could be started so that none of this entity’s publications are watched or bought or read anymore. It seems the pocket book is the only way to topple His Satanic Majesty
    We’ve all been blogging and posting and petitioning our cans off, and what has it stopped? Seriously! What? Everyone is still looking up ladies skirts, for the love of God!

    There has to be another way. What about the stealth of infecting the collective unconcious as something to take a more solemn look at? Buddhist monks are often decried because “all they do is meditate”, but what if their vibe and that of others like them has been one of the only things keeping us at the top of the cliff instead of heading headlong over it? What if we are in such a mess because there aren’t enough of THESE entities here right now, or enough of this type of practice? Where is Spock’s mind-meld when we really need it?

    And I’m not throwing in the towel, or my hands up in despair, inspite of the choking revulsion that has reached “critical mass” in me from the relentless and revolting wretchedness. There is a lot of what your expose on this page covers Rev B, and I feel more and more that we’re missing something. Something more effective than commenting and giving these media thugs nothing much other than the clicks they want.

    Posted January 1, 2013 at 12:59 am | Permalink
  5. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Speaking of vibe… I edited because you are correct about adding to the vibe that is out there. Or negating the one you are trying to amplify. I know you understand.

    All the writing is making a difference. Michael is more respected because people are finding out the truth. Here is a suggestion- take some of the information from the post and put together a comment about how people who comment and ‘put down’ celebs are being led by the tabloid press into a dehumanizing campaign and that celebs are not caricatures (as the press tries to make them) but they are real live artists who are giving a gift to their culture. Then when you have perfected it, save it and use it to post during other occasions because you are now an educator.

    And make a commitment to go to website EVERY TIME something like Ann Hathaway’s incident happens. EVERY TIME!

    And yes, G; I have wondered about the appearance of the antichrist myself. ~B

    Posted January 1, 2013 at 5:12 am | Permalink
  6. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    I wasn’t going to reveal the irony but let people who attend the box office for Les Mis to figure that out for themselves. But perhaps you have just enticed more to go… ~B

    Posted January 1, 2013 at 5:15 am | Permalink
  7. gertrude said . . .

    Oh yes I do know what you mean Rev. My primitive mind just snuck right in there didn’t it? Good Gertrude has to apologize for letting Bad Gertrude take the reins – she’s really not supposed to be given those ha ha.
    Thank-you for your suggestion, its a good one. That way I can just get in and get out – guerilla love instead of warfare?
    so back in the self-healing saddle I go; still need to do so much work on becoming fierce in a happy, cheerful, unemotional and non-angry way!
    I don’t know about others but its only a fierceness that gets me through the constant onslaught. If it could just not be coupled with despair and anger …
    Thank-you for all you’ve done for so long. I wish for blessings to be showered on you in 2013 Rev, and on all Inner Michaelers. this place has been, and continues to be, a God Send.

    Posted January 1, 2013 at 6:30 pm | Permalink
  8. Lynaire Williams said . . .

    Well, I have now been enticed to go and I cannot say it was ever on my mind before.The story is not known to me except it was about an orphan child. So thank you Gertrude, I am sure there is some lesson in there for me.
    The cartoons of President Obama gave me pause. Try as I might I was unable to see any humour, dark or otherwise. Do you have a race=relations Ministers in America? Where people can register complaints about blatant racism? Is that little, shot monkey meant to represent the President of the US, or have I missed the point?
    On Fox news the day Hillary Clinton was admitted to hospital, I watched a gentleman insinuating that he was suspicious about the timing. That it was engineered to prevent her having to answer some tough questions! Unbelievable.

    Yesterday, I read some of the New York post and there was an article on Lady Gaga and her campaign against bullying. That sounded positive. (How did that get past the Editor?)

    Is RM the anti-christ? We have a saying, “if the shoe fits, wear it”.And maybe we are the ones to let him know.


    Posted January 1, 2013 at 9:17 pm | Permalink
  9. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Glad you’re going. Everyone should. The irony is inescapable. This book was considered the novel for a century. The characters and actions are unmistakable in exclusion, class and archetype.
    And is there irony in Anne Hathaway playing a woman who has to resort to the age-old standby of selling her body to feed her children and then paparazzi unwillingly sexualizing her body and selling it to the highest bidder?
    This is going to get interesting.

    I see no humor in the Obama cartoons either. Blacks have been considered inferior in intelligence and related to apes. The monkey is a racial slur. The president in the third cartoon is running away from a white man on a horse. That is a thinly veiled reference to runaway slaves and the Klu Klux Klan. The Louis Farrakahn cartoon gleefully waits to carve up a Black Muslim who is outspoken. When Farrakan speaks and says something “outrageous” to white people, members of his own race are often recruited to silence him by denouncing racism or equal opportunity as a legitimate social problem. Yet when a white man complains about a social ill, they don’t recruit white men to denounce him. Think about it.

    Hillary Clinton has a blood clot on the brain. Yes I am sure she planned that to get out of testifying on Benghazi.

    Lady Gaga has been campaigning against bullying for awhile now. You will remember her song (and short film) “Paparazzi.” Lady Gaga is white and blonde. I wonder what the response would be were she a black woman.

    I am not sure about the anti-christ but I find nothing Christian about the man, his morals or ethics.

    Posted January 2, 2013 at 12:35 am | Permalink
  10. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    I know. Sometimes I let go of the leash too. I love the idea of fierce guerilla LOVE. Ready… aim… MUAH!

    Posted January 2, 2013 at 12:39 am | Permalink
  11. victoria said . . .

    Les Miserables is an incredible epic, the story of man’s own struggle with his dual nature and the force of good and evil. My grandfather, who this year would be 120 years old, read Victor Hugo’s masterpiece 7 times during his lifetime. He died at 95 while reading this story for the last time. I can still see him, sitting on his porch, his weathered, hard cover copy in hand, with an expression of complete surrender on his face. Les Miserables is a story I have always loved.

    Mercy. The ability to be merciful. Showing mercy to ourselves as well as mercy to one another. Jean Valjean epitomizes the rise of the human condition from its small, indulgent, separate self to a highly evolved, merciful spirit, no longer concerned with self but with the other, someone who dedicates his whole life to serving an orphaned child.

    How noble, how kind, how heroic, how loving!

    This concept of saving a child, of serving a child, of devoting oneself to creating a safe haven for children is what this magnificent work of literature is all about. The idea that children could exist, unprotected out there, alone in the world, is unimaginable. It was for Victor Hugo as it was for Michael Jackson. And yet, to this day, it is a reality for many children. Children need to live in our protection. Protection from harm, both emotional and physical, is necessary for the development of secure, happy and loving children. Childhood is a time when the young are totally dependent upon others for their own well being. They depend on us as role models. And what roles are we modeling? Where are our heroes?

    What has happened? What has happened to the importance of serving our young? If we as a society have abandoned our own, then what chance do we have? Don’t we see what is happening? It is everywhere. The incredible selfishness that exists when we continually put our own needs and desires ahead of our young is a travesty.

    “Please don’t, the children are watching”, should be a mantra for all of us. We know it when we see it . Inappropriate behavior, inappropriate music, nasty movies, trashy books, violent video games, incivility and misleading advertisements. Why have we not outlawed beauty pageants for toddlers? Who is watching these shows that sexualize young children? Why are we “just not buying it” when it comes to inappropriate clothing for very young children, or for that matter, ourselves, and what about video games???

    The most glaring answer is that we know not what we do. That the culture is in a trance so deep and impenetrable that not many are awake. It is imperative for those of us who ARE aware to make the change whenever we can, where ever we can. And to continue on even when we become discouraged.

    I have a vacation home in Connecticut, 20 minutes from the Sandy Hook Elementary school. This was a home we purchased to get away from the hustle and bustle and the perceived dangers of living in a post 911 New York City. A place that we thought was safe, not only for children but for everyone. But we were wrong. Because the danger is not coming from “OUT there” but it is coming from “IN here”. Our society and our spirits are suffering.

    So what could I do? I had to do something. I did the only thing I could. I drove up to that little community with an Angel statue that had been sitting in a local NYC memorial for the 911 victims of my community. An Angel that I had donated eleven years earlier memorializing my cousin who perished that day. I drove that Angel up to Newtown, Connecticut to show my love and respect for a community reeling from the loss of their own twenty baby Angels who were gunned down in a single day. I drove 3 hours up and 3 hours back in a single day to that little town and delivered that Angel to the local church where services for 11 of the little ones were to be held. And I drove that Angel up to that stricken community as a way to express my love to those who gave their lives to jump start the awakening process. My angel is on loan to that community for as long as they need her, she is a symbol of love from one American town to another.

    As for our heroes? They were there in those classrooms, in that school in Sandy Hook that day. The women who gave their lives to protect the children. Who died cradling them in their arms. Who, because of their bravery and sacrifice protected many more innocent lives from being lost that fateful day. I will never forget those women.

    We at Inner Michael are obligated to continue to be the voice for the voiceless, to be the help for the helpless, to bring hope to the hopeless. In Les Miserables, Jean Valjean tries, through his own effort to bring others into the light. Offering his love and his protection makes a difference, makes that change. We must continue, in our own corner of the world to be the light and the change that we want to see in the world. We have an obligation both to Michael and his legacy, and especially now to the legacy of all children who have been the victims of violence to “Make that Change”.

    God Bless you Barbara and your work

    Posted January 2, 2013 at 6:10 am | Permalink
  12. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    It’s hard to swallow past a lump. God bless you for your little gesture of love- delivering an angel. What if we all just stopped and delivered an angel. I volunteer. ~B

    Posted January 2, 2013 at 3:46 pm | Permalink
  13. Lynaire Williams said . . .

    An Angel delivering an angel. That is a beautiful image to keep in our hearts. Thank you Victoria. Yes Barbara, at least one angel a day from us all would be perfect. I am in also.
    With love,

    Posted January 2, 2013 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *