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MICHAEL JACKSON 1958–2018 – what does his 60th birthday mean to us?

August 28, 2018

MJ age 10Today, on August 29th 2018, we celebrate Michael Jackson’s 60th birthday. It could have been a day for him to celebrate this special birthday with a huge party like the one he had on his 40th birthday at Neverland – with a lot of music and many guests. Sadly, he is no longer here to be part of his own birthday celebrations.

For those who are interested, here are a few celebrations officially announced on the occasion of his 60th birthday:

The musical “Thriller Live” in London plans special perfomances for Michael’s 60th birthday:

“Further celebrations and prime-time TV appearances are also planned to mark what would have been Michael Jackson’s 60th birthday in August as well as the show’s 4,000th West End performance later this year.

Inspired by the life and music of Michael Jackson, the show recently announced a new West End booking period, taking the show up to September.”

In Las Vegas Cirque du Soleil and Michael’s Estate prepared a special “ONE” celebration :

“For this year’s very special Diamond Birthday Celebration, the Estate has decided to honor Michael’s well known desire to help disadvantaged people around the world, especially children, by welcoming The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation to the event. We will join forces to support the work of GAIA Elizabeth Taylor Mobile Health Clinics which brings accessible and free health care to those living in rural Malawi.”

Also in London the art show “On The Wall” at the National Portrait Gallery devoted to Michael already has opened to mark his 60th birthday. See here and here.

In addition, as I read, many national events in many countries are planned for today to honor MJ – the man is still good for special events!
However, unfortunately his birthday celebrations include some more stupid TV documentaries full of old lies and inaccuracies, as we already could see on German TV!

~~~

I also had my 60th birthday this year, so I felt the wish to honor Michael on this day with at least a short post. Well, I’m sure his 60th birthday means something different for everyone, but perhaps some of my views can be shared by others, too.
Since we were born in the same year, I was interested what connects us with this year of birth and looked a little bit into the history of the year 1958.

A few events of that year are quite interesting and have even some kind of MJ connection. For example, a couple of Michael’s strongest competitors in the music industry of his time were born in the same year: Prince and Madonna, Madonna was even born in the same month (August 16). Sadly, Prince also is no longer with us, but Madonna could celebrate her 60th birthday two weeks ago.

The Bee Gees, who belonged to Michael’s best friends, were founded in 1958 as a child band. So they already were in the business when Michael was born.

Nelson-and-Winnie-Mandela-009

Nelson and Winnie Mandela married in 1958 (Photo: Api/Gamma-Rapho via Getty)

In 1958 Nelson Mandela married his second wife Winnie Mandela, the first black medical social worker in Johannesburg (who passed away just a few months ago). The man who later became a good friend to Michael began his marriage with his famous wife in the year Michael was born.

For me it is quite interesting that Elvis Presley came to Germany in 1958 to serve as a US soldier. The man, whose daughter later married Michael Jackson, created a hype in Germany that year. One day before my 60th birthday in March this year I visited the house in Bad Nauheim where Elvis had lived for some time during his stay in Germany in 1958. It is still a hotel with a small restaurant in it, which still hosts the piano Elvis had played on.

In politics this year was marked by the “space race” and the nuclear armament of the superpowers. Some noteworthy events in world history of 1958 were:

In Brussels, Belgium, the “Expo ’58” took place and became famous for the “Atomium” which depicts a unit cell of an iron crystal. It was the hope of its designers to present it as a symbol for the peaceful use of nuclear energy contrary to the nuclear armament. But there were heavy debates about it.

Atomium

The Atomium in Brussels, designed for the “Expo 1958” (Photo: Wiki)

Around the year 1958 also the space flight competition between the US and the Soviet Union began taking up speed (“Space Race”).

Sputnik 1, the first artificial earth satellite, was supposed to be sent to the orbit by the Soviet Union in 1958 – at least Western experts expected it to be started in mid-1958 -, but then surprisingly it was launched already in October 1957 and burned up in January 1958 when reentering earth’s atmosphere.

As a result, in the US the NASA was founded on July 29, 1958, and also the manned space flight began in 1958 with Project Mercury.

peace signThe peace sign was designed in 1958 by the British artist Gerald Holtom on behalf of the British Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and later became and still is of worldwide use.

 

Anna Politkovskaya

Anna Politkovskaya, born on August 30, 1958 (Photo: Wiki)

Another person of interest was born in the US one day after Michael, on August 30, 1958. It is Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, born in New York and murdered in Moscow on October 7, 2006. She would have been 60 tomorrow. Many of our readers may not know her, but I mention her here because of the symbolic link she is between America and Russia (she also had the US citizenship her whole life) and because of her significance for our Helena. Her brave journalistic work especially on Chechnya made her a target and led to her assassination – like it happens to many Russian journalists.

In 2005 she was a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize together with a group of others.
Anyone who is interested can read her story here.
This year the European Court of Human Rights ordered Russia to pay 20,000 € in damages to her family because it didn’t carry out an effective investigation into her killing.

 

For the development in politics from 1958 until today, which was shaping for us in the West who become 60 this year, I want to present the case of the John Birch Society as an example. The John Birch Society was also founded in 1958 and is usually described as a far-right, even radical organization. It’s main activities were in the 1960ies, among others against the civil rights movement in the US. Being very influential at the beginning, it lost members and influence in later years. The Western world mostly had developed into a different direction, accepting human rights, civil rights, equality and peace as a primary goal. However, since Donald Trump has become president, the John Birch Society is reinvigorating, especially in Texas.

This can be seen as an exemplary case for the changes that are taking place all over the world, where far-right and nationalistic views are on the advance and many of the humanistic achievements of the last decades since 1958 are getting lost in the heat of nationalistic ambitions and hate speech between people and nations.

In many countries racism is again socially acceptable and openly propagated, so that we have to ask ourselves if we are going back straight to the 50ies and the time we were born, to relive the whole development – unnecessarily, because we already should know better what it did to the people.

This leads us to the question: How would Michael see today’s political situation and the state the world is in and what would he say of the Trump administration? What kind of person would he be today?

I don’t want to start a discussion here on Michael’s political views or speculate what he would say regarding certain people and developments. But this question is one which is asked quite often by his fans and advocates in view of the substantial changes that took place since his death and during the last couple of years. Next year marks Michael’s 10th death anniversary, and the historical changes of this decade are amazing.

To me, one thing is clear: Michael would be very sad because he would have to recognize that we didn’t manage to “heal the world”, that the planet is far away from his desires for a better world.

MJ and kidsFrom the outspokenness of his children regarding political issues we can assume that politics and social issues were discussed at their home while Michael was with them. It is obvious that he instilled in them an interest in the problems of the world and how they have to be addressed. His children tell us a lot about Michael’s views because he laid the foundations for their views and opinions. And I’m glad his children let us know their opinions. Not that these kids don’t develop into independent individuals with independent opinions, but I think it still gives us an insight into what Michael would think.

When news came this year about the thousands of children of “illegal immigrants” being separated from their parents at the Mexican border – many of them transported thousands of miles away from them, without proper documentation and care for a reunion – , I immediately thought of Michael and his song “The Lost Children”.

Michael would have been devastated! Even if Michael had been quiet all the time during these last years, I’m almost sure he at least would have said a word on these cruel decisions made in his mother country and would have tried to step in and make his former “friend”, the president, change his mind.

Not to mention all these refugees and their children drowning in the Mediterranean Sea and the world watching without the will to find real solutions or showing empathy.

In view of our world’s problems I only can hope that Michael is in a better place. Let us honor him on this day and celebrate his legacy, not only his music but also his activities to heal the world. He is terribly missed!

Happy 60th Birthday, Michael Jackson!

 

 

 

18 Comments leave one →
  1. August 29, 2018 6:52 am

    You are right, Susanne, Michael would have been devastated to see what the world is like today.
    Hopefully in a couple of years things should turn for the better (after first getting much worse) and this makes it all the more sad that Michael will not be able to see it happen.

    For me the prevailing feeling about his 60th birthday is the awareness that he was too young to go away, just too young. Somehow the more time passes since his demise the more acute this feeling is. And the realization of how much he missed for the past ten years – like seeing his children growing up, for example.

    But what’s added to it is also the realization that many of the things that have happened since then are a price to pay for what was done to Michael, a kind of retribution for it.

    Fake news? Remember that the media generated lies about MJ in millions and the nasty false stories were first tested en masse on his name, ‘successfully’ contaminating everyone’s minds following the agenda of some people.

    False accusations of child abuse? But now a horde of real child abusers has suddenly began to be revealed everywhere in sight and most characteristically in the places that were the most zealous in Michael’s character assassination.

    The stories about Michael dying of ‘drugs’? But he was absolutely clean of them and died of the inhuman exertion of his physical abilities and total inability to sleep due to his worries. And look how many great artists have died since then and exactly of narcotics – which doesn’t even speak bad of them but is a sign something is wrong about the entertainment industry and the way artists are treated there. Remember that Michael was as much as slapped by Randy Phillips of AEG Live for unwilling to attend an unnecessary press-conference.

    Nine years later everything in the world seems to be upside down and the reason for it are of course Lies, Hate and Disregard for basic human ethical principles.

    Well, Michael Jackson saw it all and while he was alive even managed to provide us with a recipe for a revival. His diagnosis was correct and now it remains for us to listen to him and do it. The way to heal is to reach for the truth and turn it into the most valued and fundamental principle of life. Most of the rest will take care of itself.

    Faces fill with madness
    Miracles unheard of, hold on
    Faith is found in the winds
    All we have to do
    Is reach for the truth, the truth

    You change the world (I can’t do it by myself)
    You can touch the sky (Gonna take somebody’s help)
    You’re the chosen one (I’m gonna need some kind of sign)
    If we all cry at the same time tonight

    And when that flag blows
    There’ll be no more wars
    And when all calls
    I will answer all your prayers

    You change the world (I can’t do it by myself)
    You can touch the sky (Gonna take somebody’s help)
    You’re the chosen one (I’m gonna need some kind of sign)
    If we all cry at the same time tonight

    Change the world

    (from ‘Cry’ by Michael Jackson)

    Like

  2. susannerb permalink*
    August 29, 2018 10:56 am

    Oh yes, Helena, he was definitely too young to go, much too young! He could have been such an important voice today! Perhaps, with growing older, people even would have listened to him more than before.
    It really feels as if the world turned upside down immediately after he died.

    You mention very important points and we definitely should keep them in mind for next year’s anniversary of his death. All these points should fill our memories when we remember Michael’s death on this blog after 10 years, and we should recall and point out everything again what the world did to him and why he is this big loss. We should throw every single blame again to the feet of the society that killed him and tell it why the world always hunts down the good ones and falls for the real predators. It’s a job we owe him, and after 10 years a reminder is necessary!

    Like

  3. Des permalink
    August 29, 2018 11:07 am

    Happy birthday Michael,your gone but not forgotten,thank you for inspiring me and activate so strongly that feeling we call LOVE you leave in my heart forever

    Like

  4. JT Harris permalink
    August 29, 2018 12:58 pm

    I’ve been thinking about all the good that Michael did to change the world and that’s what I miss the most. I’m not a millionaire but I give what I can as well as my time and talents to worthy causes and encourage others to “pay it forward.” Happy 60th Birthday to the greatest humanitarian, Michael Jackson.

    Maybe you and I can’t do great things
    We may not change the world in one day
    But we still can change some things today
    In our small way

    (From ‘In our Small Way’ by Michael Jakson from the Anthology: The Best of Michael Jackson album)

    Like

  5. susannerb permalink*
    August 30, 2018 10:27 am

    I would like to include this snippet of an interview with Michael’s son Prince where he talks about going to Las Vegas for his dad’s birthday celebration and especially for the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation from which his dad is going to receive an award for his humanitarian work. I think he said it exactly right that Michael above all wanted to be remembered for his contributions to humanity and that this is a proper way to honor his birthday. Very well said, Prince!

    Like

  6. August 30, 2018 12:26 pm

    The Russian-language BBC website published a simple, but very good article to mark Michael Jackson’s 60th birthday anniversary. Here it is in Google translation (with a little bit of editing on my part): https://www.bbc.com/russian/features-45347846#

    How Michael Jackson changed the world: on the 60th birthday of the King of Pop
    Ahmen Khawaja
    BBC
    August 29, 2018

    On August 29, Michael Jackson would have turned 60. The King of Pop died nine years ago, in June 2009.

    Michael Jackson is the holder of 15 Grammy Awards, his records sold a billion copies and brought him worldwide fame. But his true influence on the popular musical culture can not be measured by records circulation and prizes.

    He was not only a singer, but also a songwriter, dancer, screenwriter and actor. The main thing is that Michael Jackson changed the world of music.

    Many musicians, including Kanye West and The Weeknd, talk about how much Jackson influenced their creativity

    1. He fought against racism

    Michael Jackson opened a new era for black performers. In 1982, he released a clip for the song Billie Jean. Then for the first time the video of an African-American artist received a wide rotation on the MTV channel.

    This opened the doors to many other musicians. Today, performers Kanye West, The Weeknd, Usher and many others say that Jackson’s work influenced them very much.

    Fans all over the world are still parodying dances from the video “Thriller”

    2. He made a revolution in the world of video clips

    Thriller’s video clip changed the perception of what a music video could be like. Jackson showed that this format is a great opportunity for experiments, creativity and self-expression of a musician.

    The 14-minute video, where Jackson dances as a werewolf in a zombie company, has become one of the most important moments in the history of music television. The budget of this video was 500,000 dollars.

    Jackson’s dance moves are known no less than his songs

    3. He invented “moonwalk”

    Jackson popularized sophisticated dance techniques, including the famous “robot” and, of course, the “moonwalk”. Michael glided over the stage so easily that it seemed as though the artist was using hidden special effects.

    Scientists realized how Jackson conquered gravity in the famous clip
    His choreography even became the subject of research by scientists, who eventually came to the conclusion that the secret was in the special shoes, the artist’s strong core strength, and of course, the many hours of practice.

    Scientists studied dance movements from the clip Smooth Criminal https://www.bbc.com/news/health-44195073

    4. He created the legendary shows
    Michael Jackson went down into history not only with video clips, but also with live performances on stage. At concerts, he drove his fans to hysteria, some of them fainted during his performances.

    The announcement of the final tour of Michael Jackson shortly before his death caused a mad rush among the singer’s fans

    Michael Jackson became one of the first pop musicians who decided to go on a large-scale world tour. In 1992, ‘The Dangerous World Tour’ lasted five months, during which Jackson gave 69 concerts.

    Shortly before his death, he planned to go on a new tour and give 50 concerts. They say that the singer could have earned $ 50 million for the first 10 of them.

    Unfortunately, the tour did not take place, the legendary singer suddenly died.

    5. He remained irreplaceable

    Michael Jackson has not been with us for nine years, but during this time no other musician of the same magnitude has yet appeared.

    Rare is the artist who wasn’t named the successor to Jackson. One was the Canadian Abel Tesfaye, also known as The Weeknd, who is renewing the sound of modern R’n’B. Another was Bruno Mars with his love for disco funk, and many others.

    But none of the many imitators and followers of Jackson has so far been able to achieve the same status and deserve the unofficial, but no less honorable title of the king of world pop music.

    Therefore, the influence of Michael Jackson on contemporary pop music and now, nine years after his death, is difficult to overestimate.
    https://www.bbc.com/russian/features-45347846
    ~

    Surprisingly, no such thing was published on the English language BBC website. But why? Are they shy to admit to the English-language audience that Michael was indeed unique? Or do they understand that they too, like everyone else in the media, were responsible for what was done to him and are a little ashamed of it?

    Well, it’s high time the media faced the truth. Michael is indeed irreplaceable and everyone in the media put their hand to his demise.

    Like

  7. Jason permalink
    August 31, 2018 5:33 pm

    Hi

    When you said “He invented the Moonwalk”, I hope you don’t say that in the meaning where he is first man to do this dance move ! ‘Cause the boys of the street and also “Jeffrey Daniels” trained him to make the “Back Slide”

    I hope you known that !

    Like

  8. susannerb permalink*
    September 1, 2018 3:00 am

    @Jason:
    This was not said by Helena, it is a translation of the article of the Russian BBC site. The article is written by a certain Ahmen Khawaja.
    We are aware that the Moonwalk move was danced before Michael Jackson, but Michael perfected it and made it famous.

    Like

  9. Jason permalink
    September 2, 2018 3:54 am

    Ah ! I am relieved ! And his kids have celebrated his birthday ! Too bad these two first children aren’t his biological kids (only Blanket “Bigi” he is) ! But this is not important, MJ educated them all of three together and this is the most important !

    Like

  10. September 2, 2018 1:15 pm

    thank you Helena for these atricles

    Like

  11. September 3, 2018 2:31 pm

    “Too bad these two first children aren’t his biological kids (only Blanket “Bigi” he is)!” – Jason

    Good that you’ve finally shown your true worth.

    Like

  12. September 3, 2018 3:15 pm

    “thank you Helena for these atricles” – kaarin again

    I must apologize to all the readers that my next post is taking longer than expected – after the one about the power grab in the 90s I had huge technical problems with my computer. Have caught lots of Trojans and some “hack tools”, so needed much time to fix it.

    Like

  13. sanemjfan permalink
    September 9, 2018 2:46 pm

    It’s a damned shame that, even on his 60th birthday, you have these so-called “journalists” STILL speculating about whether or not MJ was guilty of the allegations! Utterly ridiculous in light of all of the publicly available information!

    Like

  14. September 21, 2018 6:00 pm

    I never understood why “The Wiz” was a flop. I saw it with my then young son and found it good family entertainment.My present feeling is that it was because of racism.. If you only knew how this has flared up again under president Trump.You cannot believe what is going on in Disqus blogs.
    -Also that Geffen was bad news.He was a master manipulator.I know his name came up long time ago ,that Michael had been affiliated with him ,but they then they broke up..
    -And thank you again for keeping up this blog-

    Like

  15. Paul permalink
    September 27, 2018 10:50 am

    Why you removed my message I wanted just to show you the blog french to denounce ?

    Paul from France

    Like

  16. September 29, 2018 12:55 pm

    “Why you removed my message I wanted just to show you the blog french to denounce ?” – Paul from France

    Paul, here is your message again:

    Hello !
    Do you understand the french langage ?

    My answer is: No, I don’t (unfortunately)

    Cause there is a french blog who’s attack Michael Jackson like MJFacts since 2014 n’y thinking MJ had molest the children and in one of her article, she speaks of you to say that all of yours articles go at your own senses and she says the MJ’s fans said your blog is stupid.
    I hope you can say something about because she translates all what MJFACTS speak for say her own views which is worried…

    The way I understand it someone who has a French blog translates articles from a MJ hater site and says bad things about me and this blog. Well, I am not surprised – MJ’s haters don’t like me. But is it supposed to be anything different? No, it isn’t, so there is nothing that can be done about it.

    As to the French blog itself I see not reason why we should disseminate information about them more than they do it themselves. MJ’s haters are so many that you see them on every corner and his advocates are few, especially now that Michael has been gone for nine years already.

    As to “denouncing” their blog, the idea is unworkable in principle, because lies are a myriad while the truth is only one. When you denounce one lie haters fabricate a hundred new ones intending this trolling/distraction process to never end.

    Frankly, I refuse to follow their lead and prefer to explore the areas which Michael Jackson’s haters intend to avoid by all means. The areas where the truth is really hidden and which they don’t want us to know.

    Like

  17. Paul permalink
    October 1, 2018 4:07 pm

    Thanks for your explication !
    And about Wade Robson, he has restarted to accuse MJ of molestation this year…

    What’s you can say about that… What’s his problem by knowing the trial is stopped and he cannot again to accuse MJ one more time ! I don’t understand….

    Like

  18. October 3, 2018 8:14 am

    “What’s you can say about that…” – Paul

    So you want to know what I think? Okay, I’ll make a post about it.

    Like

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