The year 2014 in retrospect – what does it tell us?
Dear readers, you didn’t read as much as usual from us on this blog this year, and we want to apologize for it. But before the year ends I would like to find a few words about what happened during the year, what kind of résumé could be drawn from all the events and which impact they have on us, at least from my point of view and also in the name of Helena, who hopefully will be able to come back to us and continue her valuable work.
The world in turmoil
When we look at the situation the world is in, we realize that this was a terrible year in many parts of the planet. We’ve had and still have new wars, new crises and conflicts, much hate and intolerance and inhumanity spread in many countries.
We had another war in Gaza between Israel and the Hamas in which more than 2,200 people were killed within 7 weeks, the vast majority of them Palestinians, and probably more than 500 of them children.
There is the horrible war the ISIS is waging on innocent people, controlling territories in Iraq and Syria, even killing women and children without the slightest qualm, based on a religion they claim to be Islamic, but which is a completely inhuman ideology. – However, it should not be forgotten that this situation was created to a large extent by a war that was brought to Iraq from the West – an unjustified war based on lies following 9/11 that led in its consequence to an outbreak of Islamic extremism in this area.
The Middle East and parts of Africa are burning; the poor people in Syria, Libya, Egypt, Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries cannot find a moment of peace.
There are re-inflamed racial tensions in the United States resulting from several killings of young black men by white police officers who were never indicted.
There are millions of refugees fleeing from their precarious situations all over the world, immigration problems burden many countries and xenophobia and racism is increasing.
There is a completely underestimated war going on in Eastern Europe between Ukraine and rebels in Eastern Ukraine, who are very obviously supported by Russian troops and military equipment. It was even admitted by a Russian military leader that he was sent to Ukraine to start the war. According to an UNHCR estimation more than 1 million people in Eastern Ukraine had to leave their homes, the number of people killed is not clear, but must be above 2,000 meanwhile, including the noninvolved passengers of a Malaysian Airlines flight. It led to a new crisis between the West and the East and already induced a new cold war. Our own blog is affected by this crisis because Helena was and still is occupied with a disastrous development in her country and even in danger to get disconnected from us.
There are many more political and economic problems in the world as well as many threatening natural disasters due to climate change and global warming, which mankind is not able or willing to turn around. Let’s not forget the Ebola crisis with more than 6,000 victims so far that caused fear and insecurity not only in Africa.
We have many fundamentalist, ultranational, racist, extreme groups who try to manipulate and force dissenters or just regular people to live according to their views, or who feel they have the right to oppress others. We have criminal corrupt systems and state violence like in Mexico where a long series of murders recently peaked in the sudden disappearance of 43 students who seem to be killed by drug gangs in cooperation with police.
To me it sometimes seems that in many places our progress in civilization, democracy, tolerance, empathy and understanding is getting lost and we are straight on our way back to the Middle Ages. The year 2014 definitely brought us a big step backwards.
MJ legacy under fire
In addition, in the MJ world we learned this year that nothing can stop some people from continuing to drag a good soul through the mud even after his death.
We had the questionable, untruthful autopsy program aired in the first days of January in Great Britain and repeatedly shown since on several TV channels.
We saw the despicable actions of Conrad Murray, like his interview with CNN on the fifth anniversary of Michael’s death.
The Robson and Safechuck cases are still pending. We have seen several court documents which show that the accusers go to extremes to manifest their intentions, even to the point of absurdity. Some allegations are so implausible that I wonder who they expect to believe them. Do they really want to make us believe that the violent sexual acts they describe (like anal rape) would not be recognized by a young boy as abuse, as a crime – a crime that inevitably leads to immediate physical and psychological injuries at this age? Injuries that a mother had to have noticed. A crime that is so painful and humiliating for a child that it would never be able to take it as an act of love and would avoid any further situation of being alone with this guy again, let alone taking his own family later to this guy’s house for a barbecue. And don’t forget, Robson denied that it is repressed memory, he said he didn’t forget it, but just didn’t perceive it as abuse because he was brainwashed.
This sounds so ridiculous that I doubt the common sense of any judge in the US if this case goes forward.
We also had new defaming articles written by Stacy Brown who uses any chance to spread lies about Michael Jackson and the Jackson family and who seems to have pleasure in wallowing in his own dirt he creates about people he obviously is obsessed with. His style and his attitude so blatantly show that his intention is not to inform, but to slander, that he is no person of integrity and should not write in any newspaper. Tabloid style of the worst kind!
The same obsession we saw again with Diane Dimond who used Tom Sneddon’s death to remind everybody of her friendship (and cooperation) with the DA, whom she called on her FB site “a man of integrity”, claiming Sneddon “had the courage to do the right thing even though law enforcement knew for years about Mr. Jackson and his misbehavior with young boys.” With this she publicly stated the allegations again as fact, although Jackson was acquitted of all charges. This is nothing else but character assassination. She also calls it “a testament to the facts” that “five young men have now come forward to claim they were molested at the hands of Michael Jackson when they were young boys. Five. Five. I’m betting there are more.”
(Oh my God, what an overwhelming number compared to real child molesters – and not fictional ones like MJ.)
This way she construes her own reality which doesn’t include that three of these five young men were refuted in court long ago (Jordan Chandler, who never wanted to be a witness and refused to present any accusations to the court; Gavin Arvizo, who was caught in lies in court and showed himself to be much more angry at Michael for avoiding him than about any “molestation”; and Jason Francia, who only talked about “tickling” and was laughed out of the courtroom because he couldn’t be taken seriously).
And the other two (new) accusers – Robson and Safechuck – denied molestation for years and now changed their mind after the “molester” is dead and left an Estate worth billions of dollars behind. They have not yet proven their case (and will not be able to), and still Dimond calls their accusations “fact”. So she gives them the benefit of the doubt she never gave to Michael Jackson? This makes her a highly immoral, biased person who doesn’t care for civil and human rights, at least not in the case of Michael Jackson.
She also calls MJ’s supporters “childish and ill-informed”, only to distract from her own twisted reality and disinformation.
This shows again how tabloid journalists try to manipulate public opinion and use their position for personal agendas.
For this reason, I now want to remind everybody that Diane Dimond clearly has no interest to pursue real pedophiles (where is her investigation of Rodney Allen or her decrial of all the other convicted or suspected pedophiles?) and even cooperated with a suspected pedophile – Victor Gutierrez – , who has a connection to NAMBLA and of whom she doesn’t want to hear today (if you mention him as her collaborator you are blocked). This again makes her a highly immoral person.
You can find a lot of information about all of this on this blog.
To remind you, please also see this link about the connection between Sneddon, Dimond, Gutierrez and Allen.
We also saw how the usual haters tried to strengthen their forces to support Robson and Safechuck and to destroy Jackson’s legacy and undermine the success of the MJ Estate.
I want to recommend again Raven’s series of posts on the Allforlove Blog on the actions of these haters and how all of them are connected: Part 1, part 2, part 3.
MJ legacy on the advance
But I don’t want to dwell on all this negativity, instead I wish to point to some positive events and developments which show us that MJ’s legacy is not really in danger on a worldwide basis.
The good thing is that all of this could not damage Michael Jackson’s posthumous success.
We had some positive events and publications about Michael this year and it turned out that all the mean efforts of his few haters didn’t influence the general public or find much attention in the mainstream media.
The Immortal World Tour of Cirque du Soleil was a major success. With 501 shows in 27 countries it became the 7th highest grossing tour of all time. It ended in August in the US.
In May we saw the release of “Xscape”. Whether you liked the album or not, it was quite a success and became number 1 in 52 countries.
Of course, like with all posthumous releases of MJ, the fan base was divided about it, and other controversies followed, like the Hologram controversy and the sale of Neverland controversy.
But this was primarily within the fan base, the general public saw Michael Jackson mostly as number 1 of the top earning dead celebrities (according to Forbes) with one of the most successful Estates.
This year also brought us a couple of positive new books about Michael that again divided the fan base, but I think the fans should more often see such books from the public’s point of view. In my opinion all of them contributed to a better understanding of Michael and his life. Even if we have to assume that they are mainly read by fans, there is a possibility that more people learn more about MJ and may change their mind.
“Michael Jackson Inc.” by Zack O’Malley contributed to the fact that MJ was a savvy and farsighted businessman who was in charge of his work, a musical genius who reached his success and wealth by talent, cleverness, endurance, discipline and hard work for decades.
“Remember the Time” by B. Whitfield and J. Beard presented Michael as a human being, a great father and a man interested in women. It contributed to the fact that the trial of 2005 brought him into a terrible situation with all its consequences of financial, social and psychological troubles. From this book we can see how Michael tried to keep his empire together to make a new start, but lost overview and influence on his own assets as a result of this trial and ended in the hands of a ruthless company like AEG who used this situation for themselves.
In addition, the co-author of the book, Tanner Colby, wrote a great article here.
“Michael Jackson’s Dangerous” by Dr. Susan Fast contributed to the fact that MJ was an intelligent and “incredibly versatile” artist who had a lot to say, but was very misunderstood and had to fight against prejudice and a white-dominated entertainment industry that undervalued his genius and at the same time saw him as a threat.
“Otherness and Power: Michael Jackson and His Media Critics” by Susan Woodward contributed to the fact that Michael was regarded too powerful by his critics and so was portrayed as a threat to the world. Woodward describes how media critics reacted to the perceived power and otherness of MJ and what they are projecting onto him.
A quote from her recent conversation on “Dancing with the elephant”:
“[…] let me just note that none of the writers that I analyzed in my book were tabloid writers. It’s shocking that so much hatred was spewed at him from people who write as if they were offering good reporting and thoughtful analysis. And it is disappointing that so much of the public accepted lies and distortions as the truth.”
(The latter two books I have not yet read, but read reviews on them.)
Michael Jackson ONE, which premiered in Las Vegas on June 29, 2013, became “the latest piece of a postmortem empire”, as Zack O’Malley called it. A Las Vegas show like that can become a lucrative permanent source of income for the Estate for years and provide Michael’s children a secure future.
I know there are different opinions about all of these Estate efforts among Michael’s supporters and some steps might be in fact disputable, but it is a clear fact that the efforts of Michael’s detractors since his death could not really damage his legacy and the financial success of his Estate, which is probably their intention. They try hard to ruin the Estate, and the Robson/Safechuck case is a real challenge for the Estate, so I support the petition to hire Tom Mesereau and Susan Yu in case it goes forward, but what is obvious is that the general public is not following these cases much. On the contrary, we can read many comments that show that the public is tired of these accusations, which are always only allegations and never proven and illogical at that. Simply allegations of the same kind as those of several women who claimed he had fathered their children. People now respect Michael more than 10 years ago and rather want to have good memories of him than hear all this new garbage. They are no longer interested in it.
Michael is celebrated and honored in school events, sports events, music events, dance events, casting shows, symposia, in university studies, cultural studies, academic publications. As we can see from many YT videos, he still inspires kids and young people, and even CEOs like this one.
Just have a look here on Joe Vogel’s list of Michael Jackson studies.
So there is one thing at least that struck me as a positive outcome of this year: I very strongly could ascertain for myself that Michael Jackson’s legacy will survive all the malicious attempts of his haters to damage it. I always feared it could take decades to be sure of it, but you already can see it now. It became clear that the group of haters is small, they may be well-organized and use the effective methods of propaganda, but they don’t reach the influence they wish to have. They should learn the lesson that hate does not pay off.
This does not mean that we can stop our vindication work and our efforts to inform and tell the truth. We hope to be able to continue writing on this blog whenever it is necessary to respond to lies, half-truths, vilifications and misrepresentations about Michael.
What can we learn otherwise from this year?
The condition of the world shows us that it is more than ever in need of the messages of an artist and human being like Michael Jackson. This means, of extraordinary people – visionaries – who are able to approach the world’s problems and conflicts and misunderstandings with a completely different attitude than it is usually the case in politics, economics and society. With an attitude that is composed of honesty, sincerity, empathy, love and understanding, but also courage to speak the truth.
It seems people begin to realize Michael’s significance.
During the recent protests in the US, after Grand Juries declined to indict white police officers for killing unarmed black men, we could see how people began to remember Michael’s messages. Several articles appeared that talked about Michael Jackson’s songs and their relevance to the current situation.
In an article published in the Baltimore Sun, in which he laments the inactivity of black celebrities, D. B. Anderson wrote:
“Michael Jackson was never afraid to put himself out there for the truth as he saw it. We could always count on Jackson to be the global leader of the band, to give voice to everything we were feeling. His adult catalog is a trove of social activism. Starvation. AIDS. War. Gang violence. Race relations. The environment. It was Jackson who put on concerts for war-torn Sarajevo. It was Jackson who put together a group charity song and concert after 9/11. It was Jackson who used every ounce of his global celebrity to make a difference. He was there.
What happened to Jackson for his politics was so much worse than losing sales. For in speaking truth to power, Jackson made himself a target, and he took a pounding. The worst shots at him were taken by a white district attorney in California who pursued him relentlessly for 12 years and charged him with heinous crimes that were utterly disproved at trial.
No one ever seems to connect the dots: A very vocal, very influential, very wealthy black man was taken down by a white prosecutor on trumped-up charges.”
It is amazing that this was allowed to be published in a major US newspaper.
In an article on “Parents United for Public Education” a mother talks about her 9 year old son’s favorite song “They don’t care about us” and the meaning of its lyrics today and says:
“My son will never look at ‘Michael Jackson: The Experience’ the same again. He will be reminded every time he hears the song about our conversation in the kitchen. He will be reminded of his fear of the “they.” He will be reminded of the images that he continues to see play on the television screen. He will come to understand that the lyrics were written to be heard not just danced to.”
In his article “What needs to happen after Eric Garner” Mike Muse analyses the situation on the basis of MJ’s “Black or White”.
D.B. Anderson closes his article in the Baltimore Sun with the words:
“On Twitter, #TheyDontCareAboutUs is a hashtag. In Ferguson, they blasted the Michael Jackson song through car windows. In New York City and Berkeley last weekend, it was sung and performed by protesters. And In Baltimore, there was a magical moment when the Morgan State University choir answered protests with a rendition of Jackson’s ‘Heal The World.’
The price has already been paid, but the check was never cashed. Maybe we just need to finally listen to Michael Jackson.”
Yes, we finally should listen to Michael Jackson, not only in the US, but all over the world.
As most of the conflicts worldwide are based on lies and propaganda, we first need to evaluate the reality honestly, find out the truth and expose the lies. When the lies are exposed, most of the reasons for the conflicts are removed. People would realize that they were angry at their alleged adversaries for wrong reasons, and a mutual understanding could begin. By studying Michael’s life we already learned how the system of lies works, and the same happens in politics and conflicts between nations and religions.
I know we can’t change the whole world and we can’t change people who have no interest in this mutual understanding and just care about their own benefit. But we ourselves, who wish to make a difference, can make our contribution and do our part so that the world despite all the terror is still a world worth living in. We can do that in our own small environment and we can do it in the worldwide web with its great chances to make our voices heard.
We need to establish a balance to the actions of those who spread negativity and falsehood, and we shouldn’t stop. Michael is gone and other greats are gone who had visions for a better world, so we have to take over and become the visionaries inspired by them.
I now wish everybody a Merry Christmas and – despite all pessimistic prospects – a better year 2015. I wish it especially for our Helena who urgently needs our encouragement that better times will come back and human rights, truth and democracy will be re-established. Let’s simply visualize it, even if it might take years.
I also wish it for our African-American brothers and sisters in the US who are still defending their equal rights against white predominance. And of course I wish it for all nations, groups and religions that are oppressed and persecuted. So let’s pray for peace on earth particularly at this Christmas 2014.
Peace – Friede – paix – paz – світ – мир – שלום – سلام