Inner Michael » The New Newsweek (almost)

The New Newsweek (almost)

I knew that Newsweek was going to publish a tribute issue to Michael Jackson and I got the word that it had been released. I had hopes for the reporter obviously new to the “Michael Jackson story.” After a rocky and schizophrenic confusing moment, it seemed there was an authentic interest in what was “important for his legacy.” I cheered and held my breath hoping the real Jackson, as I had come to know, would finally be revealed.

I got a message it was published and on its way to the stands and I went out with great anticipation to get my copy. I began reading a piece from the reporter who seemed momentarily anyway, a convert from the usual tabloid-informed brain to a reasonable and open mind and mindset about Jackson.

The story I read was accurate and laudable. I then began reading the magazine from the beginning… I was encouraged by the accolades published by those people who actually knew Michael Jackson– the people who count in re-counting his personality, generosity and genius. Some of the material was truly inspiring.

This magazine was turning out to be a worthy tribute– finally. And it was until– alas– the last entry.

It seemed that despite a few minor misinformation glitches, there was to be no snarky commentary about his appearance, race, skin color or the tabloid myth of his other-than-paternal-and-mentoring interest in children.  (What sick child in a hospital or anywhere for that matter wouldn’t be excited and inspired by the most famous man and entertainer in the world coming to see him or her?) They all seem to forget the man was found innocent on charges 14 times– 14 times “not guilty” rang out. Nobody gets off on 14 charges if truly guilty unless they are empty charges and there is no case as many have said of Jackson’s trial. The charges were piled on by a district attorney known to pile on charges hoping something will stick and who had a vendetta against Jackson and who didn’t like minorities in his elite, premiere and very white city. And he certainly didn’t like a black entertainer owning property that he and his real estate cohorts wanted for a vineyard in the winery-peppered foothills of the Santa Ynez Mountaings. Hurray, I thought and congratulations to Newsweek for a very close to completely unbiased issue of Newsweek featuring a man about whom nobody seems to know the truth or care to know it.

But as I read the very last article, this stellar story and publication of the real Michael Jackson was not to be. It seems they can’t help themselves– they just have to go there despite profusely documented extortion, exoneration, and media malfeasance. “Finding Neverland” made snarky references to Jackson and his life citing his journey “from the most adorable of kiddie performers to the most ‘sinister superstar.'”

And “as a singer, Jackson was too much of a chameleon”(instead of versatile and widely talented) which reduced him to simply just a ‘giant’ in the shadow of great ‘demigods’ like Sinatra and Ray Charles,” say the authors of the final article. Is one a competing musician and singer?

Before I continue, let me inform you that the writer who assisted David Gates (is this the same David Ashworth Gates who formed the band “Bread?”) was Raina Kelley, a black woman who is so outraged about race and racial bias that she has written about it everywhere she has worked or contributed. It’s not that the outrage isn’t warranted given the history of racism in America and its mythology about black men (actually mentioned in the story.) It’s that she has a half white-half black son whom when he was born, she initially wished he would get darker and look black instead of Caucasian like her husband so he wouldn’t be mistaken as white. She feared the eventual scenario of a white young man kindly helping an elderly black woman across the street– that everybody would think a stranger rather than his mother.

But why the outrage against Jackson and the racial hate in this article? Is it the same sentiment that once swept the black population when Jackson began to look more white than black that labeled him a traitor to his race? Is it the mythology of the “bleaching cream” that was supposed to make him more attractive to whites? (His attractiveness to whites is even mentioned in this article and is viewed as “contrived.”) Nobody apparently researched his fans and their history and certainly nobody asked the well behaved and articulate ones. Nobody bothered to see the documentary about his trial or speak to its filmmakers about how the fans felt about Jackson.

Between them, authors Ms. Kelley and Mr. Gates managed to Make Jackson a hermaphrodite or asexual: “when he was a grown man his apparent lack of adult sexuality;” and “sexually unassertive;” and “never had the sexual credibility of a James Brown or a Wilson Pickett, in part because of his high-pitched voice, in part because he never seemed to fully inhabit himself– whoever that was.”

Jackson fans all over the world might disagree with those words as they found his sexuality thrilling. It was the kind of sexuality that was bold at times, hinted at others, was often sexually aggressive and was mixed with a bold tenderness that thrilled women. It worked with his wife Lisa Marie Presley who called him proficient in bed (though not in those words) and who loved him very much and stood by him until the concierge doctors showed up. And there was his second wife, Debbie Rowe, with whom he had children. Neither of those women complained about his “lack of sexuality.” In fact, Donald Trump observed when Lisa Marie and Michael were married, they spend a great deal of their time inside in their hotel room and emerged with the glow of newlyweds that couldn’t keep their hands off each other.

They write that much of what Jackson achieved seems now “baldly symbolic” and “acts of appropriation and mastery if not outright aggression– growing up in the Midwest to marry Elvis’ daughter, and acquire the Beatles Catalogue.” (Would those comments be made about an extremely successful white man?)

And of course, they referenced his displaying Prince II from the balcony of the German hotel (“dangled to the horror and fascination of fans”) as once again, the tabloid meme makes it into a “legitimate” magazine like Newsweek. And that act that was supposed to be a private moment between him and fans begging to get a glimpse of his new baby was also symbolic to the writers: “seemed like a ritual attempt to dispose of his younger self.”

Journalists can’t have it both ways– you can’t “dispose of your younger self” and live a Peter Pan existence! Which is it oh great media gods?

The magazine cites Nelson George as his biographer. While it could have been worse, George is not the ultimate authority and his book is not unbiased. Michael did not like him. In a meeting in a hotel room with Janet, Michael came to pick up his sister for an event and George was in the room. George introduced himself and Michael replied “I know who you are.” Michael proceeded to dismiss him as royalty would dismiss a commoner, and collected his sister. (There is a question raised whether this meeting was with George or Bego.) At any rate, Michael respected people who told the truth. No one at Newsweek bothered to seek out Joe Vogel, the latest professional author and biographer, nor director Spike Lee who just put together a biographical film.

And there is this– allowed to leak into this article in part by a black woman: “he performed his dance of death as a central figure in America’s long racial horror show.” “A messianic superstar” (Jackson never saw himself that way nor has anyone who ever personally knew him or worked with him called him “messianic,” but quite the opposite– as polite, respectful, generous and gracious to everyone he ever worked with.)

But it gets worse: “he neutered himself racially too: His hair went from kinky to straight (whose didn’t in those days?) his lips from full to thin, his nose from broad to pinched and his skin from dark to a ghastly pallor.” And nowhere in this article is his Vitiligo or Lupus Erythematosus mentioned as the cause of his skin pigment and scarring problems.

While citing the quote by Anna Kisselgoff that he was a “virtuoso” and called a genius and a “natural talent” by everyone who worked closely with him, this article calls him an “artificer” or someone who is contrived, constructed or made up.

Am I the only one who reads more than a little Shadenfreude and projected shadow in this article? A black women who is upset that her son isn’t black enough and if it is the same David Ashworth Gates, singer and songwriter with the band “Bread” and it seems likely, for one of the authors of an actually truthful and complimentary article is Jeff Ashworth. Are they related? Why are there no bios of these authors?

At the end of the article, the authors wonder if Jackson was excited about re-mythologizing himself in “This Is It.” And end with a weird “Ask him sometime if you see him” remark.

This article isn’t all bad, but it’s definitely schizophrenic and full of unexamined assumptions by the authors.

It’s really too bad because the rest of the magazine is more truthful, factual and objective and avoids speculation, personal projections and tabloid-informed opinions. It does, however rehash old stuff published long ago instead of talking with those now, who worked with Michael then. There are a couple of exceptions and the magazine while reduced to mediocrity by the final article filled with innuendo and speculation that reflects the authors instead of Jackson, it is worth grudgingly collecting because of some of the other accurate and interesting entries.

Artist David Nordahl, interviewed by Jeff Ashworth who isn’t completely without previous tabloid taint but who looks to have made an honest attempt at neutrality in writing this work, tells of Michael Jackson’s great dream of a museum of his life and work– for the real story of Michael Jackson is hidden in plain sight and Michael knew that one day it would become visible in a museum as mass consciousness evolved to understand and decode it.

It seems a museum was really important to him and he saw a museum as his true legacy. It apparently meant so much to him that as he tried to navigate the demands on him in preparations for “This Is It” and even with all that angst, he found the time and energy to call Nate Giorgio and David Nordahl to tell them he thought he found the perfect location for his museum. Hopefully the right ears are listening to that, his fondest, long-term and apparently last wish. A friend of more than 20 years would know.

But no magazine yet has nailed the real Michael Jackson. And nobody has bothered to talk with knowledgeable fans and biographers who might enlighten a researcher but that might take real work instead of cobbled together halfhearted attempts with intentions to sell magazines more than intentions of truth. That work is yet to be released.

Too bad your last story couldn’t have been something other than a tabloid rehash. How very, very sad. But how naive to hope for something lofty when Newsweek merged with The Daily Beast and is now the Newsweek Daily Beast Company.

Nice try Newsweek. Close but not quite.



If you decide to write to Newsweek, please be factual and polite and congratulate them on what they did right as well as what they didn’t do correctly.

Newsweek Magazine:




  1. Judith Mason said . . .

    I wondered why Newsweek didn’t promote this Special Print edition series on its Web site where most readers now go for information about the magazine’s products. These print-only ‘specials’, we are told, are Newsweek’s foray back into the print business. Well and good. But, successful Marketing 101 requires promoting your specials online, providing links for both easy purchase and reader response/discussion in the internet age. Newsweek chose not to provide these functions. That says to me: “Buy it if you can find it and if you take issue with the content, send us an email which we might acknowledge. No ongoing discussion, please.”

    Thank you, Barbara, for your evaluation. I look forward to reading this ‘tribute’ issue.

    Posted March 15, 2014 at 12:01 am | Permalink
  2. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Yes, Judith (hello, by the way) I wondered the same thing about the lack of promotion. The biggest magazine/bookstore in our city didn’t know about its release. When I asked for Newsweek latest special edition, they pointed me to the hasmat bio error/terror special publication. You are correct that it’s not on the website. It actually doesn’t appear to be promoted anywhere. Not only does that suggest a lack of savvy but perhaps a trial run to gauge fan reaction? It’s odd. Maybe it’s just because it’s just, well, embarrassing.

    My theory is that there always has to be at least that one article that mocks or slams Jackson in order to keep the myth going so they don’t have to one day apologize for their mistreatment of a man the public is slowly discovering was noble, not menacing. A man who revered women and embraced and assimilated his feminine side (anima) instead of discarding the support and nurturing that men are capable of but alienated from. He found no need to join in rape culture and its jokes, the sexual objectification of women, the soldiering of children, the macho and machismo fighting and gang wars to prove one’s “manliness” nor the drumbeat of war talk or warmongering by leaders bereft of their humanity or compassion. And he saw no use for a philosophy of pillaging a planet precious in its uniqueness as the only known planet to support human life. And he dared to love that human life and proclaim his love for humanity and the planet publicly. Real men don’t need to “prove” their masculinity, bed groupies, talk tough or strut their sexuality. They exude another kind of passion entirely– rarely understood, and actually quite threatening, to men trying to be “real men.”

    Posted March 15, 2014 at 5:32 am | Permalink
  3. Joelle said . . .

    Dear Barbara,
    Thank you for the summary and your opinion of this special issue. Unfortunately, journalists will never change. Knowing that Newsweek has gone bankrupt and they try to come up with something exceptional to boost again their sales, they have most probably focused on 2 groups of readers (to sell more copies) 1) the fans of MJ and the 2) who are looking for tabloid junkie!!

    In this way they make sure hundreds of copies are sold.

    Also making the copies unavailable and rare will boost the sales. It’s a typical marketing strategy.

    So sad……

    It’s true that no one knows abt this special copy.. I have looked everywhere : “unavailable” ! Even bookstores don’t know it!!!
    Joelle, from Geneva Switzerland.

    Posted March 15, 2014 at 7:00 pm | Permalink
  4. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Hello Joelle and welcome to IM. Things don’t change unless people demand change. Demanding change LOUDLY works. Here is how:
    1.Don’t buy the product but
    2.TELL THEM why you aren’t buying.
    3.Call and complain
    4.Write, write, write letters EVERY TIME you are offended by something the media does. (Not nasty letters; factual and professional letters that state the facts and your reaction. State clearly that the offending party has offended you to the degree you will not buy their product nor will you support them in any way.)
    5.Write to the board of directors of the offender.
    6.Write to the sponsors who support the offending entity.
    7. Join a watchdog organization
    8. Join or organize a community to: protest or hold a vigil at the offices of the offender and carry signs while inviting the media to come and film your gathering.
    9. Join or organize a movement.
    10. Be very, very alert to opportunities that happen along that you can exploit for your cause.

    Fans have a tendency to “cave” under the magnitude of the task. They tend to collapse into despair. That is not an option. Movements take time to create, organize, spread, reach a critical mass (tipping point where everybody catches on) and create change.

    We need to ask ourselves: ‘What is the alternative?’ The answer is: “put up with it.” Are you for that? Not me! I am too much of an idealist. Michael said “I believe in us!” Remember that he also said the cure was love. We are capable. Humans are hard wired for empathy. Some are disconnected from their hearts and many of them disconnected because feeling was just too painful. Many, many people who were disconnected from their hearts or disconnected from their spirituality found or re-discovered their hearts and souls when Michael died. What a gift he gave! So to abandon him and his vision now would be the wrong thing to do.

    Besides– there are reasons to be encouraged:
    * The “Miss Representation” Project was released as a public campaign in 2011 and they are very successfully taking on the media and its portrayal of women. They have made a film and even created a curriculum.

    * Avaaz (an activist organization changing the world) started as a fledgling organization and in 3 years has 5 million supporters.

    *The Charter for Compassion was invented after Karen Armstrong won the TED Prize in 2008. The Charter was publicly unveiled in 2009 and the Charter now has more than 200 cities have joined, many countries are joining including India and Mali as the newest. I recently spoke to a woman in Botswana who, in a small country and with no money, is changing the world through education. She has personally built a an in-country matrix recruiting people through arts festivals, poetry festivals, and has instituted education programs in schools with their Virtues Project. (In some places in the world corporal punishment (beating with canes) is how school children are punished. One person is personally changing that.

    *Pachamama is awakening people in the trance of consumerism and indifference to human rights and they are inspiring stunning personal changes in people through education inspired from the Indigenous wise elders.

    If all the people and organization I know who are working on Climate Change, Sustainability and saving this planet caved and gave up, the planet (and humanity) is doomed. That is simply not an option.

    So- what I am saying is that there is a grass roots movement because people are tired of the bullying, cynicism, immorality, corruption and indifference. They have a longing for compassion. A more compassionate media is part of becoming a more compassionate global community. Never doubt that where the people lead, the leaders will follow.

    On a lighter note:
    You know what Gandhi said when they asked him “what do you think of Western civilization?”
    He answered: “I think it’s a good idea.”

    So what do you think of a civilized global community?

    Posted March 15, 2014 at 9:12 pm | Permalink
  5. Nina Y F said . . .

    In this Special issue of Newsweek, I was especially delighted with an excerpt from what’s apparently Steve Barron’s forthcoming (I hope!) book, ““Eggs n’ Chips and Billie Jean.” The excerpt is called “Saving Billie Jean,”and appears on pp. 28-30 of the magazine. Here it is:

    “Now it’s time to lip-sync. To mime to playback. Time to perform the chorus. This is the two blank frames for Michael to dance. And everywhere he goes on the pavement the stones will light up, just by pressure, just by standing on them, right?


    “ ‘Michael, I’m sorry but we weren’t able to do the pressurized stones lighting up.’ He listens as I walk him toward the set. ‘The electrician, the spark—‘ I’m pointing at a tough-looking, middle-aged guy o the other side of the studio squatting down with a sandwich in one hand and a panel of switches on the floor in front o fhim, ‘—he will follow your movements and switch the light on as you touch the stones—-‘

    That’s so crap! I’m furious with the art department for springing this on me so that I have to spring it on Michael. That’s embarssing. How’s that gonna work?

    “ ‘Okay.’ Michael’s soft voice seems even softer.

    “I walk along the paving stones with him. ‘This one will light up, not these two, then this one will, not this one, then both of these—‘

    “I’m trying to put a positive spin on this but this is so crap. We’re about to do the main performance in the video and there’s all these messed up last minute hurdles to negotiate. Maybe this Midas Touch idea is just stupid. Maybe it’s going to be crap. Maybe I should have kept it simple. Maybe I have screwed this right up.

    “ ‘Shall we rehearse it a few times, Michael?’

    “ ‘No—I’d like to film it straight away.’

    Oh. Really? Is that a good idea? We haven’t even seen what Michael intends to do. Won’t we be awkward and unrepared?

    And how many rolls of film have we got in the budget?

    Don’t worry about that. Michael’s more comfortable with filming. Let’ shoot. Rolling playback. The sound of Billie Jean fills the studio for the first time. That hypnotic beat. Those breathless vocals.

    “I pull the 16mm Arriflex camera onto my shoulder, press my eye to the eye-piece. Through the lens I see Michael standing on the sidewalk set, gently moving one leg in rhythm to the beat of the track, holding, static, waiting for the verse to finish, for the bridge into the chorus to kick in.

    “Now it does. And so does he.

    “And how does he?

    “With a staggeringly different energy running through his veins now. He engages my camera. Staring straight down the barrel of the lens. He is singing and dancing. Is that dancing? That is not like and dancing I have ever seen. That is out of this world. That is extraordinary. The world is going to see that and stop. The world is going to watch this and hold their breath. I know because right now I can’t breathe. And adrenalin running through my veins is heating up the camera I am glued to. And it’s literally steam up the lens I’m looking through. But through the mist I can still make out Michael as he rises up on his toes, as he spins, and twists the reflexes of a cat. With the skill of Ginger Rogers and Gene Kelly and every one who has ever moved. Now he’s even improvising. He’s incorporating his trepidation into the moves. He certainly didn’t practice this in front of the mirror. He’s playing with the way the poor electrician in the corner of the studio is trying ot keep up. He’s playing with the way the paving lights up,merging it with the speed and invention of his dance. He is stunning. He is brilliant. He is Michael Jackson.

    “Cut. Cut. Wow. Wow.

    “Thirty years from now, those images will be indelibly burnt into my brain. That’s for sure.”

    In light of this Newsweek issue, as well as (at least) three major books on Michael Jackson that are forthcoming this year, I wrote, on another site:

    “Reading over these descriptions now, it occurs to me that Michael Jackson—whatever might have been said of him while he lived (and might still be said by a few outlying stragglers)—–is actually extraordinarily lucky in his afterlife.

    “Most stars of this calibre (and this level of controversy) have had to wait ten, twenty years to receive these kinds of reassessments. With Michael, it’s been less than five years since his death, and people are already massively writing about him in ways that reveal new approaches to the poor publicity that dogged him. This shows a renewed interest and appreciation of his brilliance—-at all levels.”

    This is what I believe to be true, Barbara. And bearing this perspective in mind, the last few pages of the Newsweek magazine—which on the whole conveys a *favorable* view of Michael (when you read it in its entirety)—-barely registers as a blip on the screen.

    We have many, many, many things to confront when it comes to the media’s complicity in propagating a culture of violence and destruction—not the least of which is the fact that they don’t report much *news* anymore, but instead squander journalistic talents and energies on keeping us distracted and rendering us even more passive, with celebrity reporting: whether “negative,” “positive,” or anywhere in between.

    And it’s THIS problem to which, in my view, we should direct our organizing efforts.

    Posted March 16, 2014 at 2:11 am | Permalink
  6. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Thanks, Nina.

    That excerpt illustrates the intuitive genius of Michael Jackson that has been the consistent refrain from everyone who ever knew him or worked with him. I look forward to hearing that story as well. And there are many good vignettes in Newsweek. My objection is the perpetuation of a meme comprised of unexamined assumptions, projected shadow and the need to make Jackson always a villain based on lies and tabloid innuendo. It’s that much of that abuse was deliberate and for profit. The “distraction” is the media’s propensity to find a cultural villain and hold him or her up as a shadow archetype for projection that lets us all off the hook for creating any real sustainability and lasting change. Jackson had his turn and the piling on was obscene and relentless. The cold war and nuclear threat scared us and instead of fixing it, the powerful gave us distraction. And in the distraction, we came close to oblivion.

    It’s the inhumanity of it all and how frightening and protracted the viciousness can be. It moves us away from instead of closer to unity as a species that is capable of solving the human and human-made problems on this planet. It is not a narrow issue and extends far beyond Michael Jackson. Michael is just the poster boy.

    And I agree that the media likes to propagate a culture of violence and fear and offers us sophomoric distractions from the real issues threatening social justice, democracy, and the survival of the planet itself. Much of the intent in that is so as to diffuse the focus on the inequality and the distribution of wealth and to keep consumers gobbling up toxic products that keeps the balance of the wealthy to the rest of the world at a 1% to 99% ratio.

    That’s why the diversity of subjects and contributions in “Words and Violence,” the work at “Charter for Compassion” and Pachamama. I cheer that people are catching on.

    Posted March 16, 2014 at 12:22 pm | Permalink
  7. Nina Y F said . . .

    Barbara, you said:

    “And there are many good vignettes in Newsweek. My objection is the perpetuation of a meme comprised of unexamined assumptions, projected shadow and the need to make Jackson always a villain based on lies and tabloid innuendo.”

    I guess my point was that when you read the sections you’ve quoted above in their *entirety*, they hardly reveal “projected shadow” and “villainy,” but rather a complex human being who, like most of us, harbored all of the contradictory impulses that often beset those of us who are involved in sincerely and creatively questioning the world around us.

    None of what this article said about Michael was particularly “bad” or “negative,” in my view. For example, and the particular brand “sexual assertiveness” (or lack of it) that Michael presented onstage, according to Gates, in no way renders him any the less “sexy” to those of us who believe him to be so! And by no means has this anything to do with his relationships with women (including his two wives) in real life. Gates is simply referring to the kind of *image* that—in his view—Michael Jackson projected as a PERFORMER.

    In no way does this cast aspersions on Michael as a person, as I read Gates. And the continued emphasis (by fans) on Michael as an example of perfect victimhood needs to be challenged if we’re EVER to move forward with the real problems (of the media and beyond) that we’re faced with. The evidence right now—as this Newsweek and other developments attest—shows us that Michael Jackson’s image has at this point largely *transcended* the dark cloud that once hovered over it. Indeed, there’s talk of the US Postal Service putting out an MJ stamp in 2016. An imprimatur of official recognition, I’d say!

    This is what I was getting at, Barbara.

    Posted March 17, 2014 at 7:11 am | Permalink
  8. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Exactly, Nina. We agree more than disagree.

    Yes, the dark cloud is lifting– now. The article we are speaking of was written in July 2009, a short time after Michael passed. It’s old and it reflects much of the “then” and not the “now.” While it is complementary in many respects, it is also characteristically passive-aggressive.

    The linguistics of this article are nuanced. (please see the piece commissioned by our “Words and Violence” project) and

    Biographers often find inconsistencies and paradoxes in their subjects. They often startle at the confusion because they initially forget (and even skirt) the true humanity of their subjects. My complaint is not with Jackson or with the paradoxes of his life, personality, artistry, etc.. My complaint is the perpetuation tabloid memes established long ago and never investigated that show up in articles like this over and over by reporters who just parrot the gibberish they “heard” but never investigated. It’s about a media that takes liberties with the truth and doesn’t feel responsible or compelled to accuracy, all the while hiding behind the first amendment.

    It’s with a media that, because it has to now fill 24 hours a day with information, recruits “experts” who speculate and then play that theory over and over until the next morning, it is everybody’s “truth.” Just yesterday I heard an “expert” say that having a cockpit simulator in your home is just not normal”– implying it is suspicious. The comment took on a sinister life of its own– implying the pilot was guilt of something sinister and that is why flight 307 is missing. “Pilot error” is often the “cause” of an accident because the pilot is not there to refute it. We don’t know yet if the pilots are involved in any conspiracy. (They can’t request to fly together as that is not how it works. The cockpit is a workplace.) Actually, my son had a simulator when he was learning to fly, was a flight instructor and while studying a new airplane he was expected to fly. The pilot is not proven guilty. Of course, they have to look into the pilots’ homes and backgrounds; it’s part of a thorough investigation. But for the media to point prematurely and without substantiation to guilt, harms people. It harmed Richard Jewell, accused of the Olympic Park bombing. (He wasn’t responsible.) It harmed Patsy Ramsey. (They now apparently have indisputable evidence of an intruder in the Jon Bennet Ramsey case.) It harmed the Central Park Five who spent from 6 to 13 years in prison for a rape they didn’t commit mostly because of the media attention to the case in New York (they were minorities.) And the unexamined assumptions surrounding Michael Jackson all his life, caused him harm.

    Jackson was a true artist and his work, taken out of its full context is that tendency toward “guerrilla decontextualization” that Aberjhani speaks of. Probably the greatest artist of the twentieth century, he has not fully been appreciated as an “artist.” The “reporting” that took place over decades on and about Michael Jackson and cited and pasted over and over was designed to diminish his humanity and nullify him, and for that matter, his family. It is intended to diminish, not elevate. To marginalize not embrace. It is happening to Barack Obama as we speak.

    To begin an article with “legendary oddball” is subjective and it is a parroting of the invented cultural meme. “Now that he is gone, perhaps we can finally answer the question: “Who was Michael Jackson?” Actually, Michael Jackson told us who he was. He wrote a book early in his life telling us who he was. It was rejected. He told us what he believed in. His sincerity was mocked. He demonstrated evolution in his lyrics and used genius to call attention to himself for the sake of disseminating the message. His art was diminished. To say “he was the King of Pop– a term supposed to have originated by his friend Elizabeth Taylor” when there is ample recorded evidence of that is another diminishment. That is all part of the first paragraph.

    The “asexual” Michael Jackson is part of the cultural meme. So is the P-word. They are covert attempts to neuter a powerful, wealthy and threatening black man.

    Yes, there are many accolades in the article, but they are followed by flourishes that diminish. That is why I said “schizophrenic.” It was a superficial piece. And while there was much to applaud in the issue, many of the quotes cited are more than twenty years old. It would have been nice to have all fresh information from people who actually knew or worked with him, especially if it is billed as a “fifty year anniversary.”

    The intentional neutering of self so as to not be a threat sexually, especially for a black man has its roots in racism. To bring it up over and over and present again and again without its proper context, is itself, racism.

    Jackson knew exactly what he was doing; in order to get his message out, he had to avoid certain things in the culture in/of those times. He had to be careful of the imaginary line, and that it not be crossed. But he walked directly up to that line and leaned way, way over it. And he flirted with putting a toe over, occasionally a foot, maybe a leg and sometimes a crotch. ~ (She said grinning.)

    Posted March 17, 2014 at 3:32 pm | Permalink
  9. Nina Y F said . . .


    I’ll shortly be getting a second copy of the special issue of Newsweek, devoted to Michael Jackson.

    If can somehow provide your email address, I can then get your mailing address, and send you one of my extra copies. I’d be happy to do this at no charge.

    You should at least have every opportunity to actually READ the (*offending*) articles before you undertake a letter-writing campaign to this publication, or any other.

    I also have a vast collection of *all* kinds of articles on Michael Jackson (published in English) on disc, as well as some 30,000 photographs of him, if you’d be interested in those. I think Barbara has my email address, so perhaps you can get in touch with her if you are interested.

    Posted March 18, 2014 at 5:36 am | Permalink
  10. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Nina is right. Before writing, (and that goes for anyone) one must read the material. I should have made that clearer; I’m sorry I didn’t. Always verify information. Never write or join a campaign without having looked at the material yourself. (There are exceptions to that- see below.) Because of how the media functions, one must never take things completely at face value. Discernment is a skill that must be honed. And one must use critical thinking. And research. Verify the material and investigate the sources. Journalism (think Walter Cronkite) used to require 3 credible sources before printing anything. That is no longer the case. Now publications cut-and-paste unverified stories.

    The one place you should NEVER check out or visit for any reason is TMZ. There are sources for the information from TMZ that do not require clicking on the direct link to TMZ. There is a cynical campaign right now at TMZ targeting Michael Jackson fans. They know the fans; they know their mind-set. They use that knowledge to manipulate. They know if they publish something flaming about Michael Jackson, they will get clicks on their site. Clicks to TMZ= money to TMZ. The way to dry up TMZ’s business is to ignore them. All things “Michael Jackson” and “Michael Jackson’s fans” is a game to them. How to end the game? Stop playing.

    If anyone can’t get a copy and is interested- let me know. I won’t pair you publicly but will share private emails with permission.

    Posted March 18, 2014 at 1:29 pm | Permalink
  11. Nina Y F said . . .

    Thank you, Barbara.

    You are welcome to forward my email address to anyone here; and I’d be happy to share my research materials with anyone who’s interested. As I mentioned, I’ve put together a fairly large collection of articles, essays, and photographs on Michael Jackson that I’d be glad to share.

    Posted March 18, 2014 at 8:54 pm | Permalink
  12. Diana said . . .

    Hi Rev. Barbara,
    I wanted to wait until I had the chance to read the magazine through fully before commenting. I see the situation differently. Yes, that final article is unpleasant…BUT it is a reprint of one written shortly after Michael’s death, and several other articles are reprints of much earlier articles as well. My overall takeaway, like Nina’s, is positive.

    We would all, I think, like for journalism to be immaculate, but a move in the right direction is to be commended. Yes, there were some scattered factual errors, and yes, *I* would have liked to see at least mention of his humanitarian work, which gets far too little press. But the photographs were all respectful and generally, the tone was, too. I’d say 95% is something to be pleased with. And, as Nina above pointed out, at only 5 years after his death, I think the media is moving in the right direction more quickly than we could have predicted. A move in the right direction is still a move in the right direction.

    Posted March 18, 2014 at 9:43 pm | Permalink
  13. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    This has sparked a great discussion. Agreed– 95% positive. It was good to see that.
    Some food for thought:
    Does that mitigate or change the damage done or penance due?
    Someone’s life was shortened.
    Someone’s contribution to art and culture was derailed.
    Is 95% truth like being “a little bit pregnant” or is 95% truth good enough?
    The media has a constitutional right to lie to you. How does that comport with your civil rights? Do you believe you have a fundamental or civil right to the truth?
    If the media exploited Michael Jackson and lied to you, do you ever wonder who else is being exploited as we speak and what damage it is doing? To them? To us?
    Do you ever wonder what else you are being lied to about?
    In the bigger picture of things:
    Michael Jackson was hamstrung by the media; what was it that he wanted to give us that we didn’t get?
    Jackson was out to change the world. What changes didn’t happen because of his nullification by the media?
    His message was: LOVE and the evolution of consciousness. If his message had not been interrupted, mocked, discounted and watered down, where would we be right now?
    Who’s responsible?
    Who is accountable?

    Posted March 18, 2014 at 10:16 pm | Permalink
  14. Nina Y F said . . .

    “If the media exploited Michael Jackson and lied to you, do you ever wonder who else is being exploited as we speak and what damage it is doing? To them? To us?
    Do you ever wonder what else you are being lied to about?”


    As I may have already written in a private note to you some months back, I have been studying media and its effects my entire life. I am myself an independent filmmaker, and I teach media study and filmmaking at an American university; among other things, my teaching includes analysis of diverse genres and types of film, from Hollywood cinema to the outer fringes of avant-garde filmmaking.

    As I was learning to read in the first grade, I was critical of the very primer, “On We Go,” that taught me literacy: I believed that in many ways it was “lying” to me. And it went on from there: the books I read, the movies I saw, the TV shows I watched.

    So, in answer to your question, “Do I ever wonder who else is being exploited?”, the short answer is: yes. All the time.

    The same goes for whatever else we are being lied to about: events in the world, cultural and political developments of more or less cataclysmic orders of magnitude, disinformation campaigns have much more far-reaching consequences than some tendentious reporting and a few ambiguously worded notions about Michael Jackson.

    For more on the depredations of the corporate news media, this organization, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, may be of some benefit:

    You write:

    “Some food for thought:
    Does that mitigate or change the damage done or penance due?
    Someone’s life was shortened.
    Someone’s contribution to art and culture was derailed.”

    Barbara: many, many people’s lives have been shortened every day; and many of these people—though certainly less well-known than Michael Jackson—are artists whose contributions to art and culture were derailed.

    Some food for thought for you:

    You said in your initial post you hoped “the real Jackson, as I had come to know, would finally be revealed.” Might other people, perhaps, also have their “real Jackson”? As they had come to know him? Does your critique of the “subjective” nature of Gates’s words take into consideration your own, and others’ equally subjective and impressionistic assessments of “who Michael was”?

    You also mentioned “penance.” I’m afraid somewhat in the dark here. What sort of penance might you be looking for, so that justice can be served in ways that you would find productive or satisfied with? Who would do this penance, and how might penance serve the overall goal that I believe we are both striving for, which is media *reform*?

    Posted March 19, 2014 at 5:36 am | Permalink
  15. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Thanks for the information and your thoughtful answer. Regarding your query about “subjective”- all consciousness is subjective. That includes even scientific thought as a consciousness in the vicinity of an experiment impacts the outcome of that experiment. So much for “objective” and science as definitive.

    Regular readers know that “As I have come to know him” implies through research and investigation and actually looking into rumors, innuendo, and salacious memes to find another being altogether. Fans were trying to tell me and I listened; they asked me to look and I did. It refers to discovery of how cavalierly the media approaches their responsibility. It refers to the realization many had after his death, that he was not what the media told us he was. Many people are still under that illusion. Much of what occurred hides a racist agenda. Or manipulative and financial interests.

    Michael Jackson is a poster boy for bullying on a global stage. But he is only the poster boy. As you have pointed out, many are harmed by reckless journalism and media. That is why I have featured and widely disseminated Terri Schwartz’s article from UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. She is calling for more conscious and responsible media from the people who make it. There is, I think, a sliver of light peeking through the darkness.

    Media that deliberately conscripts shadow and peddles it back to humans does not advance the human race culturally or spiritually, but quite the contrary– harms and inhibits its evolution. Jackson attempted to peddle bright shadow and was vilified for it. From my work with Pachamama and Charter for Compassion, it appears that people are now very hungry for compassion, kindness, and community.

    When Lady Diana died, the tabloid admins admitted they had created a culture that allowed her death to happen. She too, was mocked, publicly humiliated, excoriated and relentlessly hunted. One day she was hunted to her death. The tabloid media, in a moment of vulnerability publicly took responsibility for the milieu they, themselves established and honed that led to her death. They publicly pleaded “guilty.” That is when true responsibility and penance (acknowledgment and change) should have happened and taken over their consciousness and future actions. The death of a figure so well known and beloved was a moment of truth and vulnerability that they could have seized. They didn’t. It was a tipping point ignored. A fulcrum for change that went unheeded. Instead, they continued. It appears the money was more important than human life. That makes the continuation and practice even more contemptuous.

    It is my belief that if people were educated, awake and aware and realized the extent of their deliberate manipulation, there would be an uproar and demand for change. Jackson is one poster boy (and a very well known one) whose story revealed might lead some to question their own naivete, vulnerability and complicity in a dirty game played to extract not just their money but their humanity.

    Posted March 19, 2014 at 3:22 pm | Permalink
  16. Nina Y F said . . .

    “The magazine cites Nelson George as his biographer. While it could have been worse, George is not the ultimate authority and his book is biased. Michael did not like him. In a meeting in a hotel room with Janet, Michael came to pick up his sister for an event and George was in the room. George introduced himself and Michael replied “I know who you are.”

    Barbara. Nelson George is an eminent writer who, having started his career as a music critic at Billboard magazine (the first African American to hold such a position at that magazine), wrote a biography of Michael Jackson in 1984. But he is not the individual you’re speaking of.

    The writer in question is Mark Bego, who wrote a book titled, simply “Michael!” that was published shortly after Nelson George’s biography came out. According to the account that we both (apparently) read, Bego was in the room to speak with LaToya when Michael appeared.

    A word about Nelson George:

    Another word about Nelson George.

    In addition to writing the liner notes for the Michael Jackson “Ultimate Collection” box set that was released in 2004, he also wrote “Thriller: The Musical Life of Michael Jackson,” (2010), a book that detailed the recording process by which Michael and Quincy Jones worked out the songs on Thriller, interspersed with George’s own reminscences on the Jackson 5 concerts that he attended as a child, growing up in Brooklyn, NY.

    Nelson George also spoke about Michael on a panel for “After the Dance: Michael Jackson’s Black America,” a symposium that was held at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, in Harlem in 2010:

    And he was also interviewed in Spike Lee’s documentary, Bad 25.

    In addition, George produced a documentary film called “Finding the Funk,” which is about the roots of the soul/funk movement, including Sly and the Family Stone, Parliament/Funkadelic, and other msuicians of note.

    In addition to his work on Michael Jackson, he has also written number of books on R & B, Motown, Hip-Hop. I look very forward to his new book, due out March 25, “The Hippest Trip in America,” which is on the history of Soul Train, a TV show on which the Jackson 5 (and Michael Jackson, solo) appeared a number of times.
    Yes, Barbara; what you say is absolutely true: discernment, critical thought—as well as accuracy—are all important elements in our efforts to write about Michael Jackson (or anyone, for that matter) in a way that is fair and thorough.

    Posted March 19, 2014 at 9:58 pm | Permalink
  17. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Nelson George on Michael Jackson:

    “Orson Wells’ rich, brilliant & ultimately doomed character Charles Foster Kane died, alone and unloved, in his California mansion. At the time of his passing he was a deformed, corrupt and far removed from the genius displayed in creating his mass media empire. In the aftermath of Michael Jackson’s I couldn’t help but think of ‘Kane..’ Michael’s Zanadu had been stripped from him a few years back, leaving him wandering from rental to rental home, such as the one he died in in Los Angeles yesterday.

    Michael was prepping to try to recapture his once elevated status with 50 sold out shows at London’s massive O2 arena. But that was not to be. In fact I believe that the stress of preparing for that show, after his long performing layoff, played a role in his demise. With the music, videos and event tour that supported ‘Thriller’ Michael re-invented the art of the blockbuster album, creating an international stardom that endures. And, sadly, for the last twenty five years of his life Michael was in a losing battle with himself, trying to match that magical year even as the culture changed, the record industry imploded, and his personal demons ruined his reputation.”

    You are welcome to revere Nelson George if you like. I do not. What I see is a tendency toward gratuitous opportunism. If credentials are the measurement, then Margo Jefferson, a Pulitzer Prize winner might have been more circumspect in examining Jackson’s “self loathing” in: “On Michael Jackson” Mark Bego is a prolific and consummate opportunist; no comment.

    Jackson gave the thumbs up to only two books besides his own autobiography: Michael Jackson: American Master by C. Mecca and Michael The Complete Story of the King of Pop by Lisa Campbell.

    There are newer books available with some actual depth: Armond White acknowledges Jackson’s world-shaping impact on culture; Karen Moriarty explains how a unique individual copes in an impossible ecosystem; and Joe Vogel examines Jackson’s artistic merit.

    Interesting how much commentary somewhere previously deemed self-serving and vacuous. I too am a filmmaker, writer, artist and impresario. And I have produced a large body of work that reaches 140 countries and 40,000 people per week which examines those big questions you raise that reach far beyond Michael Jackson. It is not we who study media that need to ask the questions and examine our involvement; we are already aware of media’s impact and need for reform. It’s those who remain in the trance. Jackson is a vehicle for that awareness and I think he might be pleased to know he jump-started such a reform if not revolution. So, now shall we hear from others?

    Posted March 20, 2014 at 5:04 am | Permalink
  18. Carol Hodges said . . .

    I’ve read other people’s comments here, and I’ve seen various comments on Facebook. Normally, I don’t comment on articles nor do I engage in this type of conversation, but this time I can’t seem to remain quiet. First, Newsweek is not a tabloid, and it shouldn’t be compared to one. Whether Newsweek is “trying” to get back to being a printed publication or not is trivial to me and something I don’t think of as relevant. To comment about why they didn’t advertise this magazine also seems pointless. At the same this beautiful magazine about Michael is on the shelves, there is also one on Madonna, the Pope, and Jesus, yet none of those were advertised, either. The fact that it’s hard to find right now might have something to do with this being an April/May issue. I imagine it will be widely available soon. The ones we’re lucky to have found now were because the store opted to put it out early. About the magazine itself, I think it’s a beautiful treasure and I’m blessed to have a copy of it. It’s a 100+ page magazine with beautiful glossy pages. Not too long ago, this magazine would not even been published, and if it had been published while Michael was still alive, I’m sure it would have had a lot of unsavory information in it. But, now, to have this out for the public to enjoy is nothing short of a miracle. And to have 99% of it be positive . . . . WOW!! Let’s please not keep focusing on one page of tabloid junk, but focus instead on the other 99 pages of Glorious Michael. Think of it this way. You’re dressed to the 9s and looking fabulous and everyone knows it, including you, yet somewhere along the way you acquired a piece of lint that stands out on your outfit. Would you want everyone to talk about that lint, or how awesome you looked otherwise?

    Posted March 21, 2014 at 5:23 pm | Permalink
  19. D Anderson said . . .

    Though I ordered mine on line and just received it, I also found it yesterday at my local Smiths grocery story – same as Ralphs on the west coast so its finally hitting outlets. On a cursory look, there are many beautiful pictures and laudatory stories about Michael; however, I have yet to read the last article and am disappointed to hear that they had to resort to the same toxic judgments and dark aspersions in the very end. So many people that are now sharing remarkable stories about Michael’s unparalleled talent and heart (eg, Brad Sundberg, Vogel, et al) that they chose to ignore. They just couldn’t help themselves, could they?

    Posted March 21, 2014 at 6:31 pm | Permalink
  20. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Thanks, Carol for your thoughts. Mainstream media is not Walter Cronkite’s journalism nor the media it used to be. There is a strong consensus that it has become infected and “medialoid” and I think that’s true. It’s all about getting eyes on the page or on the screen. I don’t think people regret that Michael is being featured and sometimes vindicated; they resent that he had to die to get there. They resent that he should need to be vindicated at all. It never should have happened. There is a lesson to be learned from words used in service of violence for profit, that ultimately harms people. I hope it is assimilated and soon.

    Posted March 21, 2014 at 7:01 pm | Permalink
  21. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    I’m not sure it was malicious, D. I think just like much of what is written, it is an ignorance about the truth because the meme is so embedded. It looks like filler material to me. It is outdated and incomplete. A newer article by one of those you cite who actually knew him or studied his work would have better served a legacy in need of truth.

    Posted March 21, 2014 at 7:42 pm | Permalink
  22. D Anderson said . . .

    Barbara: “But he walked directly up to that line and leaned way, way over it. And he flirted with putting a toe over, occasionally a foot, maybe a leg and sometimes a crotch.”
    While I agree with much of what you’ve expressed here, that line, IMO, is the best line in this whole post. Humorous, yes, but right on point that Michael knew exactly what he was doing directing his life and crafting his image, but also pushing the boundaries as he always did.

    Nina: As always your thoughts are studied and succinctly stated. Thank you. What are the 3 books that you are referring to that are being released this year. ZOG, the bodyguards, but what is the third? Barron?

    Posted March 21, 2014 at 11:01 pm | Permalink
  23. Nina Y F said . . .

    Diane, The third book is Susan Fast’s study of “Dangerous,” which is part of Continuum Press’s “33 1/3” series, where a writer undertakes to study a single album in depth (they’ve put out dozens of these books so far).

    But now that you mention it, yes…. Steve Barron’s book “Eggs n’ Chips and Billie Jean” is also something we can look forward to (I haven’t seen it listed anywhere online yet; I hope it’s really in the works)!

    Posted March 22, 2014 at 3:01 am | Permalink
  24. Brenda Jenkyns said . . .

    I am dedicated to sharing the truth about Michael Jackson. I find this magazine to be a great way for anyone to learn about Michael, especially someone who doesn’t know much about him yet. We each have come to know his truth, in spite of negative press, because of his own legacy, his own words, speeches, songs, concerts. We made up our own minds didn’t we? All that’s needed is the opportunity for someone to seek the truth and it is all there for the asking. This magazine puts his face on newsstands in a positive light for people to discover and that is enough for me. I hope everyone will buy a copy for themselves and one to leave in a doctor’s office or coffee shop for others to discover.

    Posted March 29, 2014 at 9:46 pm | Permalink
  25. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    And your work, Brenda, is tender, truthful and beautiful. It seems some think I was too harsh in my criticism of the magazine. Maybe so. Maybe after all the work on “Words and Violence, and immersion in the study of yellow journalism for many months, (not an easy journey) I just wanted to believe the media might be capable of fairness and finally treating Michael Jackson with a deserved dignity. That’s because I want them to treat all people with dignity and to just tell the truth and vet the information as best they can. What happened to Michael is one example of why media reform is needed. They are countless. Lies and the hiding of truths has put the life of the planet and humanity itself at risk.

    I want to believe in humanity’s capacity for self governing ethics and the media’s ability to clean up their own act after decades of dirty business (and not just in the case of Michael but many who have been harmed by the recklessness and greed.) The public deserves no less. Occasional ethics is well… just not good enough. As I was reading the issue, I thought finally! A fair publication from people who knew him and could speak with authority! So the last article was a let down. The issue suddenly became, for me, a backhanded compliment. Backhanded compliments are like saying “You throw pretty good for a girl.” Or “You have such a pretty face, if you would lose some weight…” For a kid, you sing pretty well.” “Hey, you’re a good dancer for a white guy.” It’s like giving a compliment and then taking it back. It’s not really a compliment. It’s passive-aggressive criticism masquerading as a compliment.

    Yes, we all must make up our own minds. I would like the opportunity to do that from a place of feeling secure in knowing first- I am being told the truth. Then I can decide. Everyone reading the magazine must indeed come to their own conclusions. While I can print some excerpts, I can’t reprint the article here for everyone without permission. Someone sent me the whole article expecting exactly that, which is a copyright violation and not ethical. While I may stumble or make mistakes in my humanness from time to time, I try very hard to maintain certain ethical standards as best I can. I would like the people who are responsible for feeding me information to remember their obligation to me. I want them to remember my, and their humanity; and to first, do no harm.

    Posted March 30, 2014 at 4:07 am | Permalink
  26. Greet Boete Belgium said . . .

    How I see, after reading everything here :

    A positive edition, oh well, let’s say 95% positive and truth, and 5% rubbish, to me is like cake-mix or anything prepared with eggs : 95 eggs of super quality and then 5 rotten eggs added. I wonder if you would eat the product with taste….

    I think we should strive for perfection. Details sometimes make the difference, and apparently some “details” were missing or in error in the last article. But I did not read it, so I cannot judge.

    If they were talking about the baby “dangling,” I wish I could give those writers MY perception of the story. Michael Jackson showed me how to carry a young child (6-12 months) safely down the stairs. There is no better way to do it: the face and feet are fee, the grip solid and safe, and I have one hand free to hold the bannister. Thank you Michael! A pity others did not see what I saw!

    Posted March 30, 2014 at 7:04 pm | Permalink
  27. Greet Boete Belgium said . . .

    I only wanted to emphasize that 5% of wrong material can sometimes spoil the whole thing…

    Posted March 30, 2014 at 7:07 pm | Permalink
  28. Brenda Jenkyns said . . .

    In thinking about this more overnight and this morning, maybe there is something meaningful in that last article being a contrast to the rest of the magazine. Imagine yourself being someone new to Michael and reading from the front, all the amazing things he accomplished, how unique and ground breaking he was, then you come to the last article which interprets him somewhat differently, leaving you to choose what feels right. If they are honest with themselves, they will know the truth by then. We all have the right to think what we choose to think. The last paragraph in the last article sums it up:

    “Whatever his life felt like from inside, from outside it was a work of genius, whether you want to call it a triumph or a freak show–those are just words. We’d never seen anyone like this before, either in his artistic inventiveness or his equally artistic self-invention, and we won’t forget him–until the big Neverland swallows us all.”

    Posted March 30, 2014 at 8:30 pm | Permalink
  29. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Fascinating perspective, Brenda. Hadn’t thought of that. You raise an interesting issue– of intuition. Those of us who are sensitives or empaths can FEEL INTO what we are consuming (in this case reading is the consuming) and we have this meter inside (some call it a creep-meter or truth-meter) that knows. The body has access to information that our conscious minds don’t capture. The body intuitively knows. And the soul knows with that same FEELING INTO.

    Most of us operate out of our intellect which is often ego-based and quite narcissistic. Massaging the intellect constantly can keep us from developing this faculty. It can actually provide a convenient way to avoid feeling. That disconnect is a problem. We continually employ the intellect to distract us from deep feeling because we fear pain when it’s couched in truth. We fear feeling that pain fully. I watched that exercise of avoidance at a recent screening of “Twelve Years a Slave” which is a film that is difficult to watch. It is, however the truth of our American history– a history based on piracy, kidnapping, genocide and slavery. We can’t heal if we can’t acknowledge the wound. If we can’t stand in the fire and bear witness, we are in deep trouble particularly with human created climate and resource issues on this planet.

    This hidden (or sometimes dormant) intuitive sensory faculty is not developed in everyone which is too bad. It would be wise if we learned to exercise it just like we exercise muscles. I believe that will be the case in the future. That faculty will be a fully developed “radar” and will know when something is truth or not. I intuitively feel that the future will reveal the truth of this story. I feel Michael believed that too. The coding in his work is hidden in plain sight. He was aware that his real legacy would outlive him; he passionately and insistently wanted a museum.

    Posted March 30, 2014 at 9:00 pm | Permalink
  30. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Thank you G. The last article was an opinion piece (editorial) just as my review of the magazine and interpretations here at Inner Michael are my unique perspective from my website, — clearly stated in the introduction. I do not pretend that this is a news site or entertainment site. It is spiritually and metaphysically based and examines mostly the art which is subjective and in the eye of the beholder. It is depth semiotics and metaphysics– soul stuff. It organically grew as a response to letters and requests received from hundreds of fans all over the world who wrote to share their grief and who asked me to address their concerns and questions.

    My problem with the last article in Newsweek was that the rest of the magazine was factual information or commentary by those who actually knew Michael. The last piece was an opinion piece written just after his death (and before the autopsy and coroner’s report.) The only way it could be identified as an “old” article (July 2009) was by a date on the opposite page. In a tribute or a publication dedicated solely to an individual, one expects the “last word” to be a summary or synopsis with some kind of conclusion or resolution. The “conclusion” in this case was old and preliminary as much material has surfaced since then and incorrect assumptions have subsequently been corrected. The delineation(s) were not made clear.

    Posted March 30, 2014 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

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