Michael Jackson’s Pranks or The Pains Of Creating A New Reality
Quote: “David, I really admire you work ethic and skills. You have a knack for seeing through b.s. and exposing it for what is it. I am forever posting links to your articles on my blog. Tremendous thanks for all your hard work!”
My name is Helena. I am the admin of this blog and have been writing here for three years under the username of Vindicatemj together with David, Lynette and several other authors all of whom joined me at a later time.
Thank you for your words of support for our blog. A lot has indeed been done for Michael and hopefully this work will continue in this or that form.
However the ethics of the author you referred to is exactly the issue which has begun to raise questions, at least for me as the admin of this blog. Though the problem manifested itself mostly in some of his outside activity it concerns this blog as well, as a person’s behaviour should be ethical wherever he is – especially if we talk about someone who carries the proud name of a Michael Jackson supporter.
The problem of ethics had been an issue between us for some time, but it was brought to its culmination when the author we are talking of sent a public tweet to Deborah Kunesh of the Reflections On The Dance blog, writing to her in a manner so hostile, rude and insulting that I absolutely could not agree with it both as a human being and the admin of this blog.
Since the username of Sanemjfan was firmly associated with our blog I made a statement here distancing myself (and the blog) from his behaviour and hoping that it would show him that he had crossed all acceptable boundaries.
However instead of realizing the need for a change which was the reaction I very much hoped for, my message was met with a torrent of hate and twisting my words and intentions both from sanemjfan and those who support his style and evidently encourage him to go on with it.
This campaign was carried out not here, but on my Facebook page and in the process of it my message and positive comment were deleted from this blog while the negative reaction remained intact thus distorting the truth and the subject of the discussion.
Even now you can see only the odds and ends of what was left of that discussion in the comments on the About the blog page. The reason cited for this deletion was the need not to hurt the blog, however keeping all negative replies to me though the message was actually missing proves that the reasons for this move were somewhat different. The very least it was doing was presenting a one-sided and highly distorted view of the situation.
Now the initial message has been restored – with one slight correction though. Now the apology to the ROTD author is made on behalf of this blog only and not on behalf of me and sanemjfan as it was initially meant. By mentioning him I simply tried to do for him the hardest part of saying “I am sorry” to the person he insulted and hoped that he would simply join the apology this way. The matter would have been more or less settled then – however the events took a different turn.
ETHICS, TRUTH AND HATE AS A PHENOMENON
The practice of distorting the truth to one’s liking as well as having two different types of ethics – one for the blog (where the authors are civil) and another one for the outside of the blog (where the same people are rude) – is incompatible with the principles of absolute truth this blog has always employed in advocating Michael Jackson and the clean methods we adhered to in supporting justice for him or anyone at all.
The principles of honesty and integrity followed by us were indeed the maximal and highest of all humanly possible. If you are only half-true in what you are saying, it is better not to speak at all. If you cannot be selfless, impartial and ethical in everything you do it is better not even to start. If your methods are not clean in each detail of your work forget about doing it at all.
And if you – while standing up for Michael Jackson and defending him against his haters – cannot adhere to the principles of love and tolerance towards people, you should know that you use the weapon which is not Michael’s, you step on the ground which is not yours, and you subject yourself to a grave danger as in the process of the fight you can very well turn into a hater yourself.
This is what probably happened to some of our authors.
I see the events taking place in this blog and on my FB page as part of the general process of hate, injustice and uncalled-for hostility spreading over a big part of the Michael Jackson community. The reason for the process is of course the example set by the media and its ridicule, mockery and insults towards Michael Jackson which raised whole generations of people in this hateful style. By and by this hateful pattern of behavior became an accepted norm for many people, including Michael Jackson’s supporters who did not notice that by acquiring it too they became no better than the people they are actually fighting.
My message, restraining David from further hate and rudeness to others, was trying to shield him and the blog from hate as a phenomenon and was a desperate attempt to snatch him from the fire of it. The intention behind my message was to take him back into a different reality our vindicatemj blog was aiming to create – yes, create – thereality which Michael Jackson’s supporters should one day be able to make both for themselves and everyone else.
THE NEW REALITY
This is a reality of patience and general tolerance to people (with the exception of the few real villains), understanding human frailties and forgiveness for them as well as our complete refusal to harass anyone for the missteps all of us make. The fate of Michael Jackson who was slowly killed by people’s hatred for nothing at all was a horrible example meant to teach us to be different.
And this blog was based on the principles of goodwill and mutual help, selflessness and giving up one’s ego, patience with each other and love instilled in us by the man whom we sincerely love and respect, and whose own style and way of thinking influenced us in most of our actions.
All this kept this blog going for three years almost without a hitch. Out of these three years two years or so were spent in a beautiful cooperation between three major authors of this blog – Vindicatemj, Sanemjfan and Lynande51, so in a way we did manage to follow Michael’s example and presented to the world the picture of what joint selfless work is capable of doing when the main driving force for it is love and respect for each other.
Love in the meaning of forgiveness and understanding between people was what Michael constantly called for and following his example I repeatedly asked our authors and readers to adhere to tolerance to others, no matter whom it concerned – Frank Cascio with his book, or the Estate lawyers with their Michael album, or even such personas non-grata for most Michael’s fans as Aaron Carter and Arnold Klein.
I stood up for these people because it is my huge belief based on an extensive independent research that many of Michael’s friends and associates were deliberately slandered by the media in order to discredit them and make Michael’s fans fight over these harmless people instead of handling Michael’s real enemies.
This conclusion quickly brought me to a fundamental principle to always look at who the media hates in Michael’s surrounding most in order to learn whom they consider most dangerous for restoring the truth about Michael’s innocence or finding information about the real circumstances of his death.
This is why I always tried to focus not on persons per se, but on the processes going behind these persons’ backs – the people themselves were often slandered by the media in the same way as Michael Jackson was and the big idea was to compromise them as key witnesses, as well as shift public attention from the real problems concerning Michael Jackson’s harassment and his strange death to some insignificant matters meant for distraction only.
This is why I always called for tolerance towards many of those who found themselves in the centre of media scandals and asked my readers to give them all the benefit of the doubt they could. Most of these people were the victims of media hate too and Dr. Arnold Klein, for example, seems to be one of them. In contrast to what many Michael’s fans think he does not seem to be an ultimate ‘villain’ in Michael’s surrounding. The extensive research I’ve done makes me think that Arnold Klein was deliberately compromised by someone who knows that his testimony may be dangerous for establishing the truth about some matters, in particular concerning the people who contributed to Michael’s death.
Sorry for this deviation from the main topic but I had to say it in case I have no chance to say it again.
THE PROBLEM OF PRANKS
Despite all my efforts to keep the readers of the blog and our authors in the realm of love, tolerance and forgiveness, hate turned out to be a much stronger power and began to take over. My colleagues’ dissatisfaction with my “apologetic” style was only growing with every new day and people kept telling me with some annoyance that I made mistakes in my assessment of some Michael’s acquaintances and even Michael himself, and my opinion was even “causing problems” in the blog.
This slow shift towards hatred and intolerance contributed to misunderstandings which started arising between us due to our too big differences in the approach to one and the same problem. This controversy concerned even Michael Jackson as a human being.
One of the reasons for our major fall-out with Sanemjfan, for example, was my sudden discovery that he was strongly against regarding Michael as a man of high morals and ethics. As far as I know this sudden shift in his attitude towards Michael was due to the water balloon and supersoaker pranks which Michael (probably) played on someone in his younger years.
Here are some of David’s views on Michael’s pranks from the public discussion on the ROTD thread which he himself made screenshots of and sent to me and others. Frankly after reading this I am no longer surprised why some people stopped talking to him soon after that:
“ I’ve had a problem with this “let’s follow MJ’s example” for a very long time now. Not just me, but a LOT of people I’ve talked to as well. MJ was an ordinary man with EXTRAordinary talent, no doubt about that. Yes, he was very loving, caring, blah blah blah, but he also acted in ways that are TOTALLY INCONSISTENT with his public image.
Myself (and many others) feel that those pranks should be condemned, and should not be dismissed as “harmless”, because the people on the receiving end of those pranks surely were not amused, and personally I wish MJ and all of his friends would have been arrested and charged with assault for what they did, because that’s what they deserved.
Let me be honest: I’m upset with you because when I initially told you my feelings on the pranks, you suggested that both Ratner and Rishada Jones may have lied or embellished their stories just to be sensational and portray MJ in a negative light. Because of your reputation, I believed you. I got the impression that you thought that MJ was incapable of doing such things, as I did as well.
I don’t want to accuse you of anything, so let me ask you, and you can explain: I believe that you didn’t want me to know that Ratner and Rishada’s stories could possibly be true, and that there was corroborating evidence in the Rabbi’s book, so you deliberately didn’t tell me about the information contained in the book. Either that, or you just forgot. If you truly forgot, than I apologize in advance for the insinuation. But let me ask you this: how did you remember to use his book to get those quotes about MJ’s thoughts on women, which you used in a previous status update on MJ’s porn?
That is why I’m so suspicious, because it’s like you tried to suppress something that would portray MJ in a negative light. It seemed to me that you were acting more like MJ’s publicist instead of an objective journalist. It’s as if you’re infatuated with MJ, or “in love” with him, or “smitten” by him, and it’s clouding your objectivity. And if you really feel that way about him, that’s fine, I have no problems with that.
..Unlike many fans, I don’t see MJ as a “family member”. I’m not in love with him, and to me it’s not blasphemy to criticize some of his mistakes (such as the baby dangling incident, or letting other people’s kids sleep in his bed after 1993).
Many people on this page are CONSTANTLY saying things like “MJ wouldn’t do this or that”, or “We need to be more like MJ”, and they rarely get challenged. I see a lot of your posts like that, and they get a bunch of “likes”. Many fans, myself included, are disturbed by this EXCESSIVE behavior, and just feel that it’s unnecessary to defend him and present him in a truthful light. I spoke to someone about this earlier, and they described your page as a “cult”, but never said anything about this to you because they knew you and some of your readers would take it the wrong way because they think that you’re too emotionally attached to MJ, and can’t be objective, or accept any constructive criticism.
I’m not saying he’s a bad person, but my respect for him has dropped PRECIPITOUSLY. I’ll still defend him against the allegations, but I will NO LONGER defend him against people making fun of his looks, or his Vitiligo, or calling him “Wacko Jacko”, because as much as he complained about being verbally abused, he had no problem giving PHYSICAL abuse to those people.
I do not feel sorry for him anymore.
…And if you want to accuse me of hating MJ, then wait until next week, when I post a 75 page article that I recently completed which DEFENDS MJ against the false allegations! We’ll see how “judgmental” I am of MJ then! Why would I do that if I hate him?
…If you choose not to read Vindicate MJ anymore, that’s your decision. But either way, you’re gonna hear about my post, one way or the other, because it will be spread throughout the fan community, on FB, Twitter, and numerous MJ blogs, just as many of our posts are. And when you hear people talking about how great and wonderful it is, I’m sure you give in and give it a read or two!
If my comments tonight shocked you, then that says more about you than me. It really doesn’t surprise me, because you can’t have a civil conversation about criticizing MJ with someone whose FB page is literally a shrine to him!
…Hopefully this thread will still be here when I return, but if it gets deleted, I’ll understand. Most fans just utterly refuse to see MJ in any way other than their own. Fortunately, I’ve taken screenshots of this entire thread, so I can use it for future reference when I show my non-MJ friends what happens when you dare criticize MJ’s actions.”
Well, it this is how an MJ advocate sees Michael I really do not know what to expect of MJ’s haters!And if he indeed discusses Michael with his non-MJ friends in the same manner he does it here and makes screenshots of the conversations to show them “what happens when he criticizes Michael’s actions” I do not really know what to expect of him in the future as regards his attitude towards Michael Jackson at all.
And how can we do the same vindication job for Michael Jackson if our views on Michael as a human being (and his pranks among other things) are totally different?
Throwing water balloons at people from a balcony or at homeless people at night is outrageous of course, but just for a start I doubt most of the details of these stories told about Michael. After his first interview about the pranks Brett Ratner, for example, called Howard Stern’s show again and admitted that he had “got carried away” in the first interview, used some “embellishments” and said some things “for show only” and it wasn’t a “homeless” person he was talking of, but a surfer, and no one threw anything but the car stopped and Michael got out of it in a mask and it was not meant to be demeaning …..
Well, the rest of the disclaimer we simply didn’t hear because that vicious Stern clown didn’t allow Ratner to explain himself further, evidently for fear of him refuting the whole of his story. If Stern had not taken the conversation in another direction I am more than sure that we would have heard an admission from Ratner that the whole story was a huge exaggeration from beginning to end.
Here is the disclaimer interview, the conversation about the pranks starts at around 5:00
But even if those pranks have some grain of truth in them they may still be viewed from a totally different angle and can be turned into a good vindication tool by a Michael Jackson advocate. They explain to us and to the general public why Michael liked so much to hang out with youngsters and why many of them were boys.
The pranks do give a unique insight into Michael’s way of thinking and behavior. As usual the pranks were publicized by the media to show Michael in the negative light, but instead they showed why Michael was keen on having friends of the Macaulay Culkin type or girls like Rashida Jones. Rashida practically grew up by Michael’s side, was a willing participant in his boyish games, and was therefore very much welcome into the gang.
What the pranks prove is that Michael remained a big child for a very long period of his life, had a huge problem with growing up and liked “hanging out” in a manner all teenagers do.
Due to the limitations his fame set on him they often did it at night as during the daytime he was mobbed (and he couldn’t sleep at night anyway), so all of them hang out in his huge personal quarters where some of them dozed off after their escapades – and hence all those improvised slumber parties.
And of course it was Michael’s totally ruined, crooked and twisted childhood which was one of the reasons for the teenage style he adhered to even when an adult.
THE “BLA-BLA-BLA” ABOUT HIS CHILDHOOD
This theme is what David scornfully calls “all this bla-bla-bla about his childhood”. Well, some people regard it as “bla-bla” while Michael’s ruined childhood was indeed the root of many of his problems including the pranks (if we can call it a problem at all).
Pranks and all that “hanging out” with children gave Michael a chance to relive again the childhood stage of his life which he fully missed when he was young and which he wanted to somehow compensate for when becoming an adult.
Everything was upside down in Michael’s life – he supported his huge family and performed at three in the morning in some night clubs at a tender age when other children go to kindergartens and have their water balloon fights there. However he had a chance to relax and play children’s games only much later when the people of his age had already passed over to the next stage. They became grown-ups and got interested in the games played by adult people – while Michael’s desire was to go back and reverse to a younger age to enjoy all the loveliness of childhood, with all its foolishness and carefree attitude that go with it.
He was reliving the joys of childhood with the help of kids like Macaulay Culkin, Frank Cascio, Emmanuel Lewis or Rashida Jones. They were simply living their age and he was there to relive their childhood together with them. And though intellectually Michael was very bright and business savvy as he read contracts at a time when others read only comics or adventure novels, emotionally he was still a teenage prankster and was a little insensitive to the consequences in the same way teenagers often are. All they see is the fun of it, especially when they get too carried away.
He was a good-natured teenager though. When told to behave himself and not keep people waiting at meetings, for example, as he initially did, he felt remorseful, understood and corrected his ways (as John Landis, Kit Culkin and many others say about him). And when staying in hotels he used to send huge surprise dinners as presents to some of the hotel visitors. What if it was his way of apologizing for soaking these people with water ballons the night before?
Whatever it is but these pranks are absolutely no reason to consider Michael unethical and a man of poor morals – all of us were teenagers in due time and it was only Michael’s role to be a teenager which was somehow misplaced in time.
THE MAN WHO WAS IMMUNE TO HATE
Michael was the man of infinite goodness, exceptionally clean soul and a deep and sincere belief in God. In fact Michael was the embodiment of inner goodness and was indeed an innocent little dove, only with some ruffled feathers on the outside.
There is one crucial thing to know about Michael. Despite the twenty years of his totally inhuman harassment he was so full of love and goodwill towards people that he never fell a victim to hate – even despite all the mockery and tortures people subjected him to. He suffered physically because hate was killing him like poison, but spiritually he remained the same loving and gentle man he was before and this is the most amazing thing about him of all.
He did display some outbreaks of anger which were very few, but he forgave even those who behaved towards him like his worst enemies (La Toya, for example). And as regards his accusers and most vicious harassers he eventually said that he didn’t hate them but was bewildered by their attitude towards him as he simply could not understand why…
In fact we saw it with our own eyes in the This is it footage that after the decades of his deadly character assassination Michael still remained the epitome of gentleness, love and respect for people. His humble spirit, never-ending desire to help others and let another person “shine” when his moment came, his good nature and belief in the goodness of other people is what amazes you most, especially when you remember that he himself was treated not as a human being but as someone worse than an animal…
He never turned nasty, revengeful and spiteful though of all people in the world he had the most reasons to turn that way.
He showed us the example of a totally different type of stoicism – the one based on love and understanding, forgiveness to people and gratitude to others even for the tiny little good they ever did to him.
Please compare it with the amount and degree of hate some people feel for others, and often for no reason at all, and you will see all the difference in the world between Michael’s behavior and way of thinking, and that of the people who say they are his supporters but look at the world with the blind eyes of hate.
It is this incredible Michael’s stoicism and immunity to hate which I absolutely admire in him as a human being. I do not “worship” him as David Edwards claims I do, but I look up to Michael’s resistance to hatred as the example of behavior I could never even imagine in a human being. To me it is a standard of the top possible ethical and moral strength which is superior to anything else I’ve ever seen in life.
Unattainable as it is for us poor mortals, the example is here, right in front of our eyes, displayed in every painful detail for all of us to see and learn from it. Yes, learn from it because it was exactly this Michael’s feature which opened to him the hearts of millions of people, got them to return their love to him and show themselves at their very best.
If Michael had grown nasty in reply to all the dirt, venom and cruelty he had to face, we would have liked him all the same as a genius of a composer and dancer of course, but it would have been without that sincere and deep love we have for him now. Because you cannot really love a genius if he spits hate – even if this hate is fully justified by some circumstances of his life.
However Michael turned out to be exactly the opposite – despite all he had to endure he was still radiating love, light, hope, encouragement for others and displaying exceptional resilience and strength. And you know what? His example is something which now helps many of us to survive and keep going in our own moments of utter despair too.
Is this probably why we love Michael Jackson so much? Because this frail, humbled and harassed man helps us to survive now?
THE END OR NEW BEGINNING?
This blog was started in the spirit of unity and love for the man all of us dearly loved and respected, so the changes we and the blog suddenly underwent have taken me somewhat unawares and became a huge blow and disappointment to me.
After all the disagreement we have had between ourselves where can we go from this point?
The only way-out I see at the moment is leave the blog in its present state for fear that if we go on with it, it might turn into something opposite of what it was always meant to be – a little space of love and new and clean reality created for Michael Jackson by his supporters.
If we cannot go on in this spirit any more it will be wrong to proceed. If this spirit miraculously returns to us one day then it will be the moment to resume the blog again. However until that moment I suggest we close it.
This blog is a beautiful chapter in the life of all those who contributed to it – so let it be a kind of a monument to the work we did day and night standing up for the man whose greatness all of us fully understand, but whose purity some of us are yet to grasp.
Each of us will go his own way now and do something different if he has the strength for it, of course. I for one have been reduced to such an unhappy state by all these circumstances that most probably will not be able to ever resume the work.
However never say never as the saying goes.
And though I announce this blog officially closed now, we will always be there for Michael, won’t we?