Inner Michael » Whose Myth?

Whose Myth?

We left the last post wondering why Michael Jackson admirers are so loyal, so fierce and so determined about his work and legacy. And we asked the question: Why are some not curious about how this man’s admirers, fans and acquaintances are so loyal to him. And we wondered why someone is not interested in finding out what’s behind that fierce allegiance and that unusual phenomenon.

Some wrote in to address why fans are loyal. I think there is more to it; I think it might go still deeper. Another question needs to be asked. And I’ll leave you to ponder it in this post. This is probably one of those 3 part posts with the deeper questions that need to be looked at from a wider scope. So another question surfaces…

Michael Jackson, had he lived, would have been 55 years old last week. Quite a few things happened on August 29, the anniversary date of his birth. Some people visited his gravesite (see photos,) some were at Neverland hanging out at the entrance. Joe Vogel, author of Man in the Music went to see “Michael Jackson One” Cirque du Soleil show in Las Vegas and wrote about it in the Huffington Post.

Vogel’s article mentioned how the new show completely refutes the “tabloid caricature” that was so cleverly and systematically built and employed through the last two decades of Jackson’s life to inform and shape public opinion about him, something that reverberates to this day.

Words and Violence, a project   hosted by Voices Compassionate Education contains a case study about Michael Jackson written by a fan. I was the editor for that case and we worked very hard on it. Since then (2009) everything brought forward in that case has proven true including the challenge that the caricature was a deliberate construction by a media that profited handsomely from the use of Jackson’s name, fame and illustrations. Those who personally knew Jackson keep weighing in claiming one after another that The Caricature bears no resemblance to the man himself.

Yet the media ignores these new revelations in favor of any opportunity to continue the fiction that they created and perpetuated for one reason only—it was profitable. It helped them to carry truckloads of cash to the bank. The greatest profiteers are now using that accumulated cash to buy politicians and elections and to thwart democracy itself. It’s dirty money. It was dirty then and it’s dirty now.

The mischief-making continues as tabloids now find new targets like Justin Beiber and Taylor Swift to peddle misery. They target the youth demographic because that is how you guarantee future readers and the continuation of mischief and misery. The consumer is blind to the fact that buying this stuff funds bullying and finances new-and-improved mischief on a nationwide and global scale.

The Michael Jackson case is proof that anyone and anything can be bought—for the right price.  Integrity, loyalty, truth, are all up for sale at the right price. It’s also proof that anyone’s name can be hijacked and held hostage—for profit. Just for the sake of greed. And you thought the Taliban were ruthless? And if you think it’s only celebrities, and that they deserve what they get, you are wrong and you are cynical and contributing to a world where dehumanizing and bullying has become sport. You are layering on more cynicism in the collective mind of the world. And if you are doing it in front of your children; you are teaching them that people can be dismembered for profit—whether that’s money or attention or power. You are teaching them to bully. And, you are caving in to the shadow side of human nature instead of promoting the brilliance (bright shadow) that is everyone’s birthright. Your birthright. There is only one reason to be jealous of the famous—they chose to cultivate their god-given talents as artists and you did not.  They choose to gift humanity with their innate talent and creativity through art—and you do not. Is that on them? Or is it on you?

People do not connect the dots of Michael Jackson then and the media today. Great sums of money went into the pockets of billionaires who now have amassed obscene amounts of cash by heaping misery on and making money off the backs of our most visible artists to fund their personal ambitions—controlling the world by controlling public opinion. The public has been duped. The people have been had. The manipulation is so sophisticated and the line of decency crossed so many times as to be invisible. The line in the sand between truth and  fiction has been so watered down that that the fiction dried to concrete in the minds of the public.

These billionaire financiers are the same people who oppose climate change legislation to protect the environment and the planet, who salivate at the resources and minerals of the indigenous peoples and their lands. These are the same people who think the resources of the planet are on the auction block instead of belonging to us all. These are the same people who pay to get politicians and corporations in their pockets, not to make the world a better place—but for one singular mission alone— greed.

This is so much bigger than Jackson. He is but one example (albeit a big one) of how people’s careers, lives and reputations can be traded, bought and sold for a price. And that seems to be true of much that was written about Jackson—in four years of research, evidence that he was “weird,” “bizarre,” a “freak” or that he groomed children or plotted to use them in unspeakable ways is just not there. What is there, is just the opposite—he was a nice guy whose life was not his own much of the time. He apparently trusted the wrong people who lacked character and who subjugated his best interests in favor of their own.

He was also the target of those who projected their own shadow onto him and of those who kept fueling the fictional scandals in order to line their own pockets and advance their own careers. Lots of people made money off Jackson. And they scramble to cover themselves to avoid naked exposure of their “mistake” or so their deliberate treachery stays hidden.

One day we will call this what it really was and sometimes still is—vampirism and cannibalism. Those who suck the life of others and who tear them limb from limb with flimsy excuses, unexamined assumptions or the projection of their own envy and shadow are cannibals and vampires. One day they will be exposed and there will be nowhere to hide. Meanwhile, expect them to scramble to cover up the truth and their part in this era of bullying as a pastime. They were, after all, the visible role models who brought it to the public—in newsprint and television.

There seems to be little debate about Jackson’s talent as everyone agrees he was the “greatest entertainer who ever lived.” So if he had all that talent and his gift to the world was to showcase it in order to “give people some escapism;” or “take them to places they’ve never been” through his art, it would take a huge well managed machine to pull off a world tour, let alone several of them. He employed an army of people and according to some of his team members, he insisted on feeding them well daily and hosting their families on Sundays. Since he was such a curiosity to the world—a soft spoken and shy guy off stage and a virtual dynamo on it, who wore his stardom with dignity and humility, guarded his private life and relationships as a “gentleman” as his mother had raised him—there were people in his entourages and his life who told tall tales to tabloids for cash payments.

It’s well documented that tabloid-type writers and TV reporters handed out cash for information and the more scandalous the information, the more cash that was offered, and crossed palms. It’s known as “checkbook journalism” and those employed by the yellow press had plenty of cash to hand out. Jackson was a cash cow for the tabloids. Why work for an honest day’s pay when you can make several years’ salaries by selling a tell-all story to a tabloid hack? It’s also well documented that the tabloid industry’s standard practice was to listen in on communications by planting listening devices in hotel rooms, on airplanes and by hacking phone calls. Anything to get a story and sell that story to a gullible public who actually believed it was true. Make no mistake, that industry is not in the business of bringing you light and showcasing human brilliance.

All this manipulation and posturing and jockeying for what, exactly? All this illegal, unethical and immoral behavior by an industry originally designed to bring people the news and trusted to do just that. And why cross these lines of decency and integrity? There’s only one answer to that—for money. Oh and yes, and the power to influence. For what reason?  Greed. Little does the average Joe plopping his money down, know how duped he has been by a clever industry built on creating mischief and misery for the world’s most gifted and recognized artists and then selling that misery to the unsuspecting who don’t know they are also being used—for profit.

What a clever and lucrative scam—to peddle orchestrated misery to miserable people who take pleasure in the scintillating details of manufactured or sensationalized scandal and slander and who will pay to consume that misery at someone else’s expense (usually a celebrity) in order to feel what? Less miserable?

The idea is to help some poor sucker with an uneventful life feel resentful of a celebrity because the celeb is being paid well for their extraordinary talent and has been able to trade that talent for a comfortable lifestyle. So the game is to find ways to feature celebrities and cause resentment and then tear down those celebrities with mayhem so that those harboring resentment can what—feel better? How does that help anybody? How does that feed the spirit, nourish the soul? Uplift humanity? Evolve the race? It certainly doesn’t instruct or inspire consumers of tabloid slag to better their lives by cultivating their own talent and brilliance. Or to cultivate their innate inner brilliance to develop powerful selves and lead a life that’s meaningful.

It does, in fact, keep them fattened and fed on a diet of misery and helplessness and it reinforces their own nihilism. And while they are gleefully witnessing a celebrity get lampooned or worse instead of admired for their talent and the gifts they risk to share with a sometimes fickle and sometimes hostile public, a billionaire tycoon somewhere rakes in the proceeds of the public’s gullibility and stupidity.

The problem in media and its trends today is that many of those coming up in the ranks got training somewhere along the way in the tabloid industry. The media is highly competitive for ratings and rankings, so they feel they must aggressively sell everything—including even “the news” in order to compete for market share. If the news is manipulated to sell it, is it really the news? Is it truth? When the Fox Network and Rupert Murdoch’s attorneys took a case to court against anchors become whistleblowers at their own station who refused to broadcast untruths to the public and refused attempts to pay them off for their silence, Fox broadcasters won the right to lie. The court ruled that the FCC provided “guidelines” not laws, and because it was not a law to tell the truth, they could legally lie to viewers.

Networks break their necks and stumble over each other trying to bring us the “breaking news” and the “exclusive story” when it’s not the un-manipulated truth and nobody cares or remembers by tomorrow who broke what story. The “breaking story” or “exclusive” is a legend in their own minds, a figment of imagination.

All of them used and abused Michael Jackson. All of them. They all cut and pasted stories without vetting them and without researching to find out who the man was really. They failed to deeply investigate his detractors and accusers and examine their motives. In a recent interview with Tom Mesereau on his show, Piers Morgan was discussing the wrongful death trial brought against AEG by Michael Jackson’s family. Morgan asked what was for him, a rhetorical question—“isn’t Michael Jackson in some sense responsible for his own death?”

Isn’t it curious that even though a doctor was found guilty of manslaughter and Michael Jackson is dead, that with some media types, there is a need to still paint him in the worst possible light? Or find him “guilty” of something, yet again? Testimony in the trial has revealed what fans already knew—Jackson implicitly trusted doctors because of their education and their oath to preserve life. He insisted to those who knew him that doctors have years of education and they know what they are doing and are to be esteemed with the utmost respect. Lisa Marie Presley tried to tell him otherwise and so did his second wife, Debbie Rowe.

Regarding the use of Propofol, Jackson told Cherilyn Lee who warned him about the danger of the drug, that ‘as long as he was monitored he was safe.’ Of course he believed that—doctors had used it before to give a man with malignant insomnia some relief. After several days without sleep an insomniac is a desperate man. It was not the best decision on the part of his doctors to start him on that regimen that he came to depend on to get through his tours. The doctors competed over him and their motivation was not his health or best interest; it was the guarantee of their place in his inner circle—for money or vicarious fame. In Murray’s trial it was revealed that he was a name dropper and used Jackson’s name to charm women into his bed. Jackson trusted his doctors and put them on pedestals. Apparently of all the doctors he saw over the years (he travelled the world, after all) only one was trustworthy. And ironically, it was the same one who testified on behalf of Murray—the doctor who killed the one patient he was responsible for while that patient paid him great sums of money to monitor his sleep. Jackson paid dearly and heavily for his trust.

Piers Morgan, who obviously had not followed any of the trial nor read any of the transcripts then made a statement about “but Jackson was known as an entitled, pampered, and spoiled superstar who insisted on getting his own way.” Mesereau, stoic and professional as ever ignored the bait and presented just the facts.

What Morgan and so many others said about Michael Jackson was a product of the caricature that Jan Carlson wrote about so long ago. Piers Morgan was a Fleet Street tabloid editor. What Morgan said and wrote about Jackson was a product of his own imagination and an externalization of Morgan’s own confession—of envy and projection. What it says is that if Piers Morgan was a superstar (he admitted to that aspiration,) he is the one who would feel entitled; he would be the spoiled one and he would expect everyone to bend to his will out of adulation and his status. That statement reveals more truth about Piers Morgan than it does about Michael Jackson. It also reveals his indifference to culpability and to causing pain for a real human being with your words. Words that are proving to be untrue.

Of the people who personally knew Jackson—all of them say over and over how humble, how shy, how generous, how dignified, how spiritual and how magnanimous he was. Those in the inner circle do not describe a tantrum-prone and power-drunk diva at all. They describe a remarkably self-aware and other-aware being who showed care and concern for all those whose lives he touched. At the same time he knew who he was and the genius he inherited—giving the credit always to his creator. He knew his power and fame and he leveraged it to benefit humankind in his lyrics and to contribute financially and emotionally to holding children in esteem as the most precious of the human family.

Those close to him in his inner and outer circles were direct recipients of his generosity and compassion. He made sure his crew was taken care of. He sent his staff out with pillows at night, umbrellas in the rain and pizzas at mealtime, to fans camping outside his home or hotel rooms. He sent generous gifts to those who supported and inspired him—many whom he didn’t personally know. He invited the underprivileged to Neverland and everyone he thought might benefit from revisiting their own inner child. He bought cars for poor families, paid for surgeries for people with no insurance, paid for the funerals of children he never met. And that’s but a sample. The “diva” and guerilla-decontextualized Michael become caricature never existed. The fictionalized Jackson that existed in the mind of a media hypnotized through fascination and indoctrinated via repetition, built the scaffold of that caricature with unexamined (and projected) assumptions. There were hundreds of assumptions that are fictions carried forward and regurgitated by a media in a frenzy back then, and even today, determined to grab their seat on the Michael Jackson gravy train. The name “Michael Jackson” gets attention and the cynical and storied know that.

If Piers Morgan read any of the trial transcripts, he would have discovered a different Jackson and would have been compelled to take a long look at himself and at his past behavior. He would have to examine his assumptions under the magnifying lens of a moral compass and he would have to stand in the pain of his own contribution to that guerilla-decontextualization and perhaps even face a moral or spiritual crisis. He would have to examine himself and that would take some tremendous courage.

Morgan has admitted publicly that he wanted to be a rock star and that he envied those who were. He was a tabloid editor for 3 of those yellow rag newspapers during his career. It was his job to find and peddle scandal and shadow about people like Michael Jackson. And he did his share of stabbing at Jackson and carving him up on the front page. In fact, Morgan did that to hundreds of people for years. Piers Morgan wants to believe that Jackson was that diva he imagines in his mind, that shadow being that he projects. His interview with Mesereau reveals that he is either unwilling or not ready to let go of the fiction that holds the fictional view of his own superego intact.

Morgan is not the only one who has some soul searching to do. There are many who, in the light of what has been revealed and in the reality of the physical and emotional pain Jackson suffered, need to search their souls. The existential crisis that arises from a truthful examination and psychological autopsy of oneself can go one way or the other—it can serve to tighten the defense and resistance to the truth (often triggering illness) or it can marinate the human in their own human capacity to inflict harm and to come out the other side of that soaking in shadow’s fuel and its corresponding scorching examination of self—a better person. Who is willing to bet on which path those guilty will take? It presents the opportunity to change one’s life and undergo a complete makeover. It can exorcise one’s demons, karma and past transgressions. What will those who used up a man until there was no life force left choose?

Man Behind the Myth from Walking Moon Studios on Vimeo.
How exactly does it make the world a better place to peddle and foster human resentment, jealousy, lies and greed? That looks more like fostering the seven deadly sins than the redeeming qualities of admirable and capable humans. They certainly aren’t lofty ideals that all humans might aspire to. The capacity to create a spiritually fulfilling life and a kind of transcendental affiliation with all of humanity is the same in everybody. When a life is born, those potentials are born with that life.

Point to yourself. Don’t question that request. Just do it. Stop what you are doing and stand up and understand that someone (me) just asked you to point to yourself. DO it. I’ll wait.

So now that you’re back with me, I want to ask you a question: When you pointed to yourself, where did your finger land? Where did you point? Did you point to your head to indicate your brain? Did you point to your face? Did you point to parts below the belt—to the baser instinctual drive that lives there? No? So where did you point?

My guess is that you pointed to the area somewhere around the region of the heart. When you pointed to “me” you likely pointed at where your heart is housed. You identified “self” with the heart of the human. So if that is the indicator of “me,” “you” and “us,” then why are we spending time and money affirming or cultivating those other areas?

Is it because we have been habituated to it? Are we groomed to gravitate to the baser part of what it means to be human? Or not? Or what? And what now?

* Note: Guerrilla-decontextualiztion is not my idea. It is a brilliantly precise term coined by author and poet Aberjhani who is in the process of writing a book on the subject. My understanding is that it means with a hidden agenda, deliberately degrading someone’s humanity or maliciously attacking credibility in the service of ruin.

** Next stop the what and why and script of the “Man Behind the Myth” Documentary Film


  1. Marlena said . . .

    Nigdy nie zrozumie miłości , wierności fanów Michaela Jacksona , ten kto nie widzi w Nim tego i takiego człowieka jakim widzimy Go my <3 … To nie chodzi o Jego muzykę , taniec , głos … bo to może przeminąć … Tu chodzi o Jego wnętrze , piękno wewnętrzne w Jego oczach , uśmiechu , gestach <3 Kocham Go tak bardzo za to , że był człowiekiem szalenie ambitnym , a także niespotykanie hojnym , bezinteresownym <3 Można by wyliczać w nieskończoność 🙂 Dziękuję ci losie , że żyłam w czasach MJ'a i miałam możliwość oglądania Go w Warszawie na Bemowie <3

    Posted September 8, 2013 at 4:11 pm | Permalink
  2. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    I started with Russian, Marlena but you are from Poland, correct? Welcome! Translation:

    To never understand Michael Jackson’s fans’ love and fidelity– the person who does not see it in such a man as greatly as we can see it (it is not in terms of his music, dance, voice …) because it can be missed. there. It is about the inside, the beauty inside the eyes, the smile, gestures- I love it B

    Am I close? Thanks for writing. Kochamy was więcej. ~Barbara

    Posted September 8, 2013 at 9:10 pm | Permalink
  3. Robin W. Smith said . . .

    Through Michael’s suffering and profound art, he collected the souls who were ready. Those who are headline believers failed the test. Should we convert those who don’t understand?


    Posted September 11, 2013 at 1:13 am | Permalink
  4. Anonymous said . . .

    We may HAVE to convert those who don’t understand.

    So far, being fair and reasonable hasn’t done squat. We live with psychologist-created ideas that are designed to shut down critique of unethical behavior, just because that critique is uttered.

    The fact of the matter is, we’ve spent so long forgiving those who do evil that now we live in a society where people can trample over others…and then allow those others to protest, but only in terms set by the tramplers THEMSELVES.

    This is like a husband beating his wife, and then saying that his wife is allowed to protest the beatings, but she has to protest only in a way the husband deems acceptable, and usually this involves forcing the wife to blame herself along with him, lest he be made to feel too uncomfortable.

    I think unfortunately the American people simply cannot be persuaded rationally in any matter that might involve getting the American people to apologize for wrongdoing, because too many of them share the “abuser’s mindset”: I get to have my cake and eat it too. I get to hurt people, and if I understand the concept of self-blame I can force the people I hurt to blame themselves. That is, the American mindset is “I get to trample over others, and only I get to determine what acceptable way there is for them to respond to me.” This from writer Arthur Silber who addresses this phenomenon in his “Let the Victims Speak.”

    It’s not just about Michael Jackson. If he had never existed, the press would’ve torn somebody ELSE apart. Maybe someday we would’ve been reading headlines about “Wacko Eminem” or “Wacko Prince” or something. Maybe we’d be reading gossip about how Elvis supposedly molested children, instead of Michael Jackson.

    This happens because, as Arthur Silber points out, we ironically feel that people who do wrong should not be made to feel uncomfortable, even as they make others feel uncomfortable. And it actually makes sense for us to feel that way: if we acknowledged that there really were victims in the world, then we might have to apologize for the people WE harmed, in our daily lives. And above all else, this we will not do.”

    Posted September 11, 2013 at 3:44 pm | Permalink
  5. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    I’m not sure it’s just America. Nor just ethics. Certainly racism and patriarchy helped this along. Elvis imported his wife while she was under-age. Prince was controversial and Eminem- well no comment needed. There was something special about Jackson. We’re all still trying to decode it. ~

    Posted September 11, 2013 at 5:19 pm | Permalink
  6. gertrude said . . .

    I feel the assault on Michael Jackson was particularly virulent because he was a particularly bright light – and racism was definitely as much, if not more, in play than the abuser’s mindset Silber speaks of. If a white guy had been that bright a light, the assault would not have been as virulent. Michael emanated big, big love, which garnered massive love back for him from the public, AND he was black. Death sentence. Sorry, but that IS the racist planet’s way.
    that being said, Anonymous makes an important point, I would say.

    Posted September 12, 2013 at 6:35 am | Permalink
  7. Victoria said . . .

    Decoding Michael may be almost impossible. Just like the golden mean and the spirals that are found in nature, Michael continued to evolve in harmonic proportion and progression which was consistent with nature around us. He considered himself an “instrument of nature”, part of the Sacred Geometry of life. Sacred Geometry reflects the universe, its pure forms and the relationship of ourselves to nature. His movements, his spiraling upwards, his precision, his own natural proportions, I believe, if studied closer are all part of the Golden Mean.

    He was otherwordly and he knew it…


    Posted September 12, 2013 at 2:38 pm | Permalink
  8. Anonymous said . . .

    It’s certainly possible that racism played a humongous part in what happened to Jackson.

    I didn’t mean to minimize that.

    What I meant was I was trying to bring up a larger phenomenon in “the way we think and interpret reality.”

    Our “meta-thinking”, as it were.

    And unfortunately, the meta-thinking Americans engage in is that they do not properly understand “causality.”

    Recently there was an article, I forget in which publication, in which a drone operator was told to hold fire because there were children in the way, and he angrily responded that in that case, “the parents shouldn’t take their children to battle.”

    But, that makes no sense. It was the drone operator’s decision to fire, so he is ultimately responsible if people die.

    But the crucial point I was trying to make is that, to Americans, it DOES make sense. After all, thanks to the field of psychology, we think a person’s problems always must be in his head.

    Ergo, that must mean that Michael Jackson’s problems (and, as Gertrude pointed out, the problems of black people in general) must all be in their heads.

    That’s if we’re not borrowing from the Greek philosopher and Stoic, Epictetus, instead. Epictetus created the idea basically that if you get robbed, it was your fault since you were displaying lots of nice possessions, and thus interfering with the order of the universe or some such.

    Essentially, Americans think the cause of a harmful action lies with the person it happens to, rather than the person committing the harmful action.

    And thus, if Michael Jackson defended himself against accusations of child molestation, that MUST mean he was guilty.

    For what would we have to admit if we were wrong, if Michael Jackson really was innocent? Why, if he really was an innocent victim, if he really WAS too good for us…then how many people have WE harmed, in our daily lives, and then forced them to believe they MADE us hurt them?

    Maybe Americans don’t wish to acknowledge that Michael Jackson was a martyr, for if they did, they might have to start listening to the claims of THEIR OWN victims, in their daily lives. Maybe, instead of looking at victims as though they are self-righteous and holier-than-thou, we would have to acknowledge their pain, and acknowledge that they really were, in fact, NICER THAN US.

    And of course, most of us would rather pull teeth than acknowledge that, to borrow from the Greek definition of sin, we’ve “missed the mark”, and caused pain.

    Posted September 12, 2013 at 3:15 pm | Permalink
  9. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Much food for thought. I don’ think America is the only place that uses the “blame the victim” projection as defense against personal shadow. In parts of the Middle East, a raped woman must be killed by a family member because her victimization brings shame to the family. Often it’s her brother who must do the elimination of family shame.

    I have always loved that definition of “sin”- it’s an archery term meaning just simply “off the mark.” And I have wondered what kind of world we would have if the theologians had simply said to “sinners:” ‘You were off the mark; God says– try again’ instead of: ‘You are going to burn in hell unless you _____________’ (fill in the blank)

    Nobody has ever taught us about shadow, our shadow, where it comes from, how it manifests, how we project it and why, or what to do about it. What if we could examine, embrace and integrate our shadow instead of needing to project it? There would be compassion for the victim and the prison industrial complex wouldn’t exist.

    Shadow is the part of the ego that we disavow, deny and project onto others. We invent an imaginary idealized self and believe ourselves to be that. And when we don’t measure up, it causes dissonance and pain. And of course we are taught that pain is a bad thing so we must get rid of it- sometimes by lying to ourselves, blaming others, trying to feel superior, or consuming- to give ourselves relief (maybe if I have more or most, or better, or best that will alleviate my unrecognized pain) Very few people can sit with their pain and let it teach them. Our very planet is in peril because we disconnect and refuse to feel our own pain. Our appetite for consumerism is killing us and the planet. We fund greed because we can’t tolerate feeling.

    Michael Jackson challenged all the norms, crossed all the lines, asked all the uncomfortable questions about– color, race, misogyny, power, ethics, morality, complacency, ignorance, prejudice, indifference and more. America still has a problem looking at itself or accepting a black man in power.

    Posted September 12, 2013 at 8:10 pm | Permalink
  10. B. Kaufmann said . . .


    Posted September 12, 2013 at 8:12 pm | Permalink
  11. gertrude said . . .

    Amen yes. Lots of interesting, thought-provoking commenting Marlena, Robin, Anonymous, Rev. B. … a great friend recently said to me “you have pain? GO to the pain. It will save you.” He sits with his pain and his evolution has rocketed. With his and Michael’s inspiration – who sat with his pain and allowed it to sculpt him from the amazing to divinity (divinity is what I saw in This Is It), I, although not sinking my teeth into it yet, am starting to gnaw around the edges of my pain. It feels right.

    And Victoria pointed out something so interesting!

    Posted September 12, 2013 at 10:55 pm | Permalink
  12. Poca said . . .

    Amen again. Pain is what brings us closer to God and God gives us the grace and strength to sustain it.

    Posted September 14, 2013 at 1:14 am | Permalink
  13. Gennie said . . .

    Barbara, I feel like your blog is one of very few places that has not been consumed by hatred and anger, and yes I mean MJ fans as well. Unfortunately people who choose to admire Michael, do not always choose to follow him and his example.

    And I have to ask, if we cannot do it ourselves, if people who claim to value Michael greatly, to study his life and to know everything he stood for – if we cannot stop ourselves from bullying and hating on other people, like Jackson family and some people who were close to Michael and who some fans happen to disagree with, how can we ask that of others? Others who are not really invested in any of it and who dont have to make their bullying coexist with being a fan of one the greatest humanitarians.

    You asked in another post how come Jackson fans are so loyal and why the world doesnt always see that as a sign of Michael’s greatness… Well, the answer is probably that the world thinks that the fans are crazy and obsessed and gullible too. The ones who get attention sure act like it a lot… Remember, people can be so loyal to some ridiculous idea as to commit mass suicides in the name of it, so loyalty and dedication alone are really not worth much in the grand scheme of things – its easy to dismiss. And unfortunately, we are not walking the walk, we bully ourselves while complaining that MJ was bullied.

    I’m just trying to offer another perspective here – if Michael did not manage to convince his own fans that hatred and bullying is not the way, then its really a tough case to argue with others.

    Posted October 3, 2013 at 9:47 pm | Permalink
  14. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Hello G,
    Welcome. I try to keep this blog free of the drama and in the light as much as possible. I have been bullied by those inside the fan community and accused of plagiarism by a fan and that accusation went to my editor. The fan thought I had taken work that I asked her to submit for consideration in my Voices “Words and Violence” project. She did not bother to ask or investigate the work because if she had, she would have discovered that I had already published a piece on the subject of bullying the previous fall and had a whole body of work (about a 600 page resource program) about bullying. I had no need to plagiarize anyone. My editor asked to handle it for me and dismissed the charge and was very supportive, but the damage was done. This plot involved 2 individuals and one of them wrote to a colleague behind my back a few months ago and attempted to damage my reputation behind the scenes. The same person requested that I “friend” them at a professional site . Really?

    What would have happened without the backing of my editor is that I would have been censored from writing anything about Michael during the Conrad Murray trial and I was one of the very few voices that spoke on his behalf. The majority of journalists were uncomplimentary. The long term consequence of their actions would have harmed MJ but that was not considered. These “fans” didn’t act, they re-acted. Had they come to me and asked the appropriate question/s the whole thing could have been avoided. Needless to say, the contributor was “uninvited” from my project and is no longer welcome. The Director at Voices became a target of that same bully. We never received an apology even after my editor intervened.

    Someone just recently wrote and quoted all kinds of scripture to let me know where I would be located after death. Let’s just say I will not need a jacket. I assure you what this person wrote (volumes) was sincere and this person believes the indoctrination they have been a target of over a lifetime.

    I receive letters all the time from fans who exercise more maturity and restraint that complain similarly about the nastiness, bullying and immaturity within the fan community. There is a lack of savvy, inadequate impulse control, a lack of critical thinking skills and a territorial mindset about who “owns” Michael and/or his legacy. I will have more to say about that soon.

    Reasoned and reasonable response is respected. Reactionary and ignoble response is not. The media, guilty of harming Michael Jackson and determined to justify their past behavior and assuage their guilt, have learned to seek out the most vocal and irrational fans because that helps to keep the myth going that Michael and his fans are crazy and freakish. So many so-called fans play right into their hands. And anyone who might have become a savvy spokesperson for the fan community has said “no thanks” to trying to deal with the craziness and drama of fans and their infighting. I know, because I asked some legally astute and savvy people who would make good reps and have been turned down each time.

    Michael would be horrified by some fans’ behavior particularly how his mother has been disrespected. His family may have been difficult to deal with a times and they may have all been dependent on him for both right and wrong reasons, but they were his family and the only one he had. And in 2005, they were all there for him. That’s how black love works.

    Many of Michael’s fans are changing the world in amazing ways as his namesakes. Those are the fans who understand who Michael Jackson really was and what he stood for. My question that you bring up here was about the media and how they label fans (sometimes deservedly) but never question why they have been so loyal so long to a man who is supposed to be such a dark figure. No fan can be so besotted as to overlook a real monster. You’d think they’d have to wonder in quiet moments. But none has the courage to ask the question and research an honest answer with the exception of Aphrodite Jones.

    It’s not that the world actually “thinks that the fans are crazy and obsessed and gullible too;” it’s the propaganda they’ve been fed and the indoctrination they have been subjected to. It’s actually that they DON’T think.

    Posted October 3, 2013 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

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  1. […] decontextualization, she pointed out that, “The ‘diva’ and guerrilla-decontextualized Michael become caricature never existed. The fictionalized Jackson that existed in the mind of a media […]

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