Michael Jackson’s life and death. IT IS EVERYBODY’S BUSINESS NOW…
VMJ: Let me introduce Susanne as our new author. The post she is making on Michael’s birthday will surely bring tears to your eyes and will explain a lot about how we feel.
When Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009, I never thought that I would once delve so deeply into this person. I had been no fan – I am not a fan type of person – and I always was sceptical about artists who so much operate with emotions and show in order to influence people. I had a problem to take this seriously, it partly seemed false to me, spurious – just a show! I didn’t take Michael Jackson seriously in his desire to make the world a better place.
And yet: I regarded him as a musical genius, I always thought his music is – wow – unearthly great. And a concert that was aired on TV enthralled and fascinated me almost against my will. He had an undeniable charisma and talent.
With the scandals surrounding him I didn’t occupy myself. I never was gullible with regard to the media, but somehow eventually you come to think there might be some truth to some stories. To be sure, I never believed the two cases of molestation. I always thought that this was about money, but I had no evidence. So I did not speculate and separated these scandals from his artistic works. Today I know that it cannot be separated at all. When the trial took place in 2005 I only thought: Why does he always bring himself into such situations? But I didn’t want to know details. It was awkward, speculative and embarrassing.
And then he died – almost exactly 4 years after his acquittal. For many longtime admirers “the universe suffered a crack”, as one friend expressed it. It dawned on me: This man was too famous, too influential, too world-shaking, too “controversial” – as many phrase it – just to skate over this. So I got involved in the story of his life, and my journey began.
What now has accumulated inside of me within these three years after Michael Jackson’s death, turned the picture I had totally upside down. And not only that: This work actually changed my life. I obtained completely new perspectives, I got to know a lot of new people, I see the world with different eyes – and I am infinitely aghast about the brainwash we were subjected to.
It soon became clear to me: Something is totally different here than with other superstars. This man is completely different from other famous and rich celebrities and cannot be compared to anyone. What happened to him in his life is unparalleled. There is no comparable life story where so many challenges had to be mastered.
And I tell it straight away: After all I know today, I have to go even further: There is no comparable witch hunt for a person in our modern times. There is no comparable case in our civilized world where a world-famous public figure was ruined in such a perfidious and malicious way and the whole world watched. Now, after three years, I gradually understand it better and better: There is more behind it, here someone was combatted purposefully who didn’t fit in the system and who perhaps was too influential. And here a massive manipulation by the media took place.
I learned to understand his supporters who always fought for him, who were called “crazy, rabid fans” and were never taken seriously, just because they would have done everything for him. But the committed fans knew what happened, they were the only ones searching for the facts. Today I know that the combative and partly aggressive dedication of the fans to Michael bases on the extreme unfairness Michael was treated with and still is on the part of the media and his accusers. It is unbearable to them, and meanwhile I also cannot bear it any longer.
In this period since his death Michael became my brother, he became “Brother Michael”, like many African-Americans call him. I adopted him posthumous, like many of his fans also see him as a family member. Just because I understood that an appalling, irreparable injustice was done to him.
On June 25, 2011, after two years, suddenly the idea of a written composition arose, a recapitulation of what mounted up inside of me within these first two years: an enormous amount of information and knowledge, findings and convictions, as well as emotions like grief, guilt and anger.
First I wanted to fathom it for myself, this development, this journey into a foreign world. Then I also had the wish to explain it to others, particularly those who see me as strange, who don’t understand the commitment, who regard the topic Michael Jackson as insignificant or finished.
And then, however, I realized: I don’t have to explain anything. I don’t have to justify myself, and I am tired of being looked at with consternation when I talk about Michael. I indeed saw people turning red when I mentioned Michael Jackson, as if he were a sore subject. I am so tired of it!
Of course there are perhaps more important issues that we have to stand up for. But this is about the root of the evil, about a social problem, not only about MJ. The “man in the mirror” became the mirror himself for what is wrong in our oh so civilized society. He is an example, the best example to show where intolerance, slander, decrial begins. And the best example to show where it can lead to: to death! And here, at this root of the evil, all the other problems originate – when people argue about issues, when they want to push through their own interests, when they want to impose their will, when it comes to power, when it comes to money and profit, when it comes to hate and envy, when they want to destroy others, etc. etc.
Interestingly, shortly after I started to write down my journey, news broke about the media scandal in Great Britain with the tabloid “News of the World”. MJ supporters had signed petitions months before against the media mogul Rupert Murdoch, because NOTW had spread innumerable lies about MJ. Jackson’s advocates had denounced these methods of the media for years. But they hadn’t been taken seriously.
Jackson, who for example had his hotel suites checked by his security team before his check-in in a hotel, was proclaimed as crazy for that, but he experienced himself that hidden cameras had been installed in bathrooms and planes to film him secretly. So why did it take so long for the public to talk about these methods? Because celebrities are regarded as fair game?
Now, after these scandals, after these findings, everybody should be able to consider whether exactly someone like Michael Jackson might also have become such a victim. Now it actually should dawn on everybody how the falsified picture of this man came into being. And it is not only about a “phone hacking” scandal, to which the whole scandal in Great Britain was reduced, but about the persistent circulation of lies to ruin someone, and apparently lies are regarded as a harmless peccadillo, whereas phone-hacking is declared a crime. However, one has to wonder which one has the more severe consequences.
Bottom line, I had to write my journey off my chest, hoping that – in case somebody would read it – at the same time some people revise their manipulated views of Michael Jackson, but above all, that some people get aroused to turn their back on this factitiousness of media, politics and society, instead of participating in it. Michael Jackson is the perfect prototype for it to study.
Whoever studied Michael Jackson’s case in the years since his death and followed the internet activities around his person, realized that his death had massive effects on thousands, if not millions of people which cannot be compared to those of other stars like Elvis or John Lennon. There was also a lot of mourning for these persons and they are not forgotten, but in the case of Michael this was an unequaled larger phenomenon and first and foremost spread over all continents. Many of his supporters now get involved in charity activities, in environmental protection or against racial discrimination and wish to emulate Michael’s ideals. They are not only longtime fans, but also people who came to know Michael only after his death. Due to their investigations he became a role model to many of them – worldwide.
On me these investigations had effects as well.
It started with the fact that Michael brought music back to me. After I had constantly listened to music when I was younger, had made music myself and could not exist without music, I have not listened much to music for years. The stressful job I had took all my energy, wore me down and made me uninterested. Music faded completely into the background. Now I received music back from Michael as an elixir.
When I realized how Michael dealt with all the hostilities and cruel accusations and lies, he also became a role model for me. Watching how he endured this appalling trial, which most people wouldn’t have survived, with so much dignity, and how he fought for a future, makes him a shining example. It takes a lot not to lose the faith in humanity and yourself in this case.
I learned through him that despite a sea of problems in life you can go on as a decent person, without assignments of guilt, without guilt complexes, without encapsulating oneself, with your head held up, but also humble and grateful for what was successful.
I also learned through him how to reduce my own prejudices, how to be more tolerant towards those who seem to be strange, but who I don’t really know.
I learned to set priorities differently. All what we apparently regard as important and desirable in our society – a good education, a good job, the safeguard of our future and retirement, a good life on a material basis – is so shallow when in the process we become selfish and indifferent bastards who only care for our own interests and don’t give a damn about the fate of other people. We can look down on a person who couldn’t manage to get a foothold and who is a social outcast, but the important thing is if his heart is in the right place. In addition, being jealous of others who supposedly have a better life is a huge problem. It’s the source of a lot of hate and strife.
Life doesn’t make sense without standing up for others who are disadvantaged or treated unjustly. Actually, our society can only work with solidarity for each other. I learned that people who once were successful and achieved a lot, can also be pushed to the edge of society and become outsiders and underprivileged. When it comes to justice, Michael was hugely underprivileged. And to me someone like him has the same right to be supported, that we stand up for him and give him back his dignity and his place in society. Is there one reason that a worldwide superstar has no right to that, especially when he did so much for the world?
My world view has changed to a great extent. I am extremely cautious and distrustful regarding media coverage. In the first instance, I almost don’t believe anything anymore what I am told in the media. When I want to know something for sure, I do my own research, which is nowadays much easier with the help of the internet. Of course the internet is also a fishy soup and full of untruth (especially if you think of such dreadful websites like Topix, which masks as a news site and only exists to offer a forum for all kinds of disturbed personalities to defame others), however, it is much more possible now to gain access to sources and to search for origins of stories.
I learned that media cannot be differentiated anymore between tabloids, who never had been believable anyway, and mainstream media, whose news was once considered trustworthy and accurate. The boundaries got obliterate, as well as the methods. All mainstream media today have only one aim: ratings. And they resort to extremes to outdo one another. It’s like the development in professional cycling: At some point some started with doping to gain better results, and in the end everybody did it to remain competitive. However, the dramatic consequence is that we are manipulated by the media and treated like a flock of sheep that swallows everything that is served to them. With this we completely lose our ability to think independently and to reflect. And this is dangerous for democratic processes.
We have to ask ourselves: What’s that got to do with us? Why should we still give so much attention to what happened to Michael Jackson? I know it is too arduous and time-consuming for most people to look below the surface. When there is no real interest, people don’t do it. This interest must be sparked off by something, in order to dig deeper. To me Michael’s death was that trigger. Something about it seemed sad and unjust – and I started to dig. And this happened to a lot of people. They woke up through Michael’s death. The sad thing is, of course, that it needed his death to wake up.
But whether there is interest or not, I think it’s everybody’s business, because everybody has talked about MJ at some time in his/her life, because everybody is part of this society that condemned a man who was just different and lived differently, but who did never harm to anybody – on the contrary: who did so much good to the world.
What happened here can happen again at any time. It can happen to somebody else, for the same reasons. As long as this is not worked off and clarified, as long as people only shrug their shoulders and say: What do I have to do with it? – so long nothing will change, and so long the case Michael Jackson will not be closed. This is not the problem of a megastar, this is a human problem, a problem of society.
Indifference is worse than hate. Hate is visible and can be exposed, but indifference is not tangible, it leads to mass stultification and mass manipulation and impedes change and enlightenment. History showed it again and again.
It’s now three years that I devote myself to this cause. And it is very difficult to bear when I see some 5 minute superficial and inaccurate report about MJ on TV for which they obviously researched not more than half a day and used the wrong sources. I really wonder how Michael coped with it. You need to be extremely thick-skinned. I hope for his children that they won’t have to deal with it in the same way.
Eventually, I want to quote a comment left by a person named Lizard76 on PositivelyMichael on April 12, 2010, because I cannot say it in better words:
“It’s vitally important to me that I not forget — and that the world doesn’t forget — what happened to Michael. I was thinking about all the destructive lies that have led to war, murder, torture, political assassinations, and economic devastation in the last decade. Compared to some of those things, I know that people think Michael’s death is no big deal. But the similarity, to me, is that lies and the manipulation of the press can be lethal. In that way, Michael’s death seems almost worse, because it was hatred, injustice, and outright lies aimed at bringing down a human being we all knew. It’s easy to dismiss a nameless, faceless cabal of “terrorists” or political parties, but this was Michael — we watched him grow up. He was someone we knew.
And just like when we go into a sovereign country, bomb the heck out of it, and then blame that country for not being able to get back on its feet, society “bombed” Michael Jackson every day, then reacted with disdain when he couldn’t get back on his feet, and dismissed his death as something unconnected to our own actions.
If Michael really did pray every night that he would be vindicated, then I am taking over that prayer for him tonight. Vindication won’t bring him back, but my hope is that it will force individuals to keep looking at what happened and how we let it happen. Maybe that lesson can translate into some of the other areas I mentioned. I know people’s hearts can change, because many have already. If they can change towards Michael, then maybe they can change towards each other.”
Happy Birthday, Michael!
May the Heavens have a great party today celebrating you together with the help of all the great musicians that followed you within these three years.
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Truth Prevail has sent a birthday present to the Michael Jackson community:
Another great birthday present is from Walking Moon Studios, sent by Sanemjfan:
It is due to Mike that people rediscover the playfullness of life….
And learn to fly and be daring….