~While a part of his intent was obviously to entertain, there is a culturally intelligent and politically astute side of Michael Jackson that has not been seriously explored. Michael Jackson is the most inexhaustible humanitarian and lobbyist for change in our cultural memory~
Director of Rosa Parks Museum
“There is no age limit to love.”
Michael Jackson lead singer of the Jackson 5
Taking exception to Dodinsky’s words ~Sometimes distancing yourself from an argument is the best form of rebuttal~ we find ourselves in a constant state of reaching for the wider canvas. Also at odds with F. Scott Fitzgerald, we do not see Michael in ~Show me a hero and I’ll show you a tragedy. Instead, a thorough study of the life and legacy of the man produces fascinating insights calling upon us to be prepared for greatness of mind. It is a hero’s triumph over tragedy, for you see, Michael Jackson is an unparalleled influence in our world. Once introduced to the artistry, it becomes a part of you like nothing else can. His capacity to produce emotion and intimacy of heart upon others achieves even greater effect when led by circumstances in his personal life. He chose to make a path rather than following a trail, which meant reaching into uncharted territories, challenging the status quo, raising the level of debate in the world…and understanding full well the meaning of Socrates: When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Michael was willing to offer himself up for the greater good, winning the debate…knowing the price. That level of commitment has influenced masses of people of all ages and cultures and colors and religions, inspiring voices around the world to take on the messages Michael lived. Michael Jackson’s relevancy reaches beyond now and forevermore.
The range of Michael’s genius includes musical composition and songwriting, vocal landscape, rhythm mastery, poetry, prose, original dance and choreography, performance and visionary and creative storytelling, humanitarian outreach and Utopian blueprint. His fertile mind did not grasp defeat, but rather saw opportunity and potential in people who could achieve this better world. He guides us with his God-given gifts, chosen for a single purpose…to show the world how to love.
When we listen to his music, we find the loved stored there. When we watch his performances, we find the love stored there. When we read his words, we find the love stored there. When we watch his storytelling through dance and short film, we find the love stored there. When we see him sit on the floors of orphanages and hospitals all over the world, we find the love stored there. When we watch him with children, we find the love stored there. When we see him knocked down and watch him get back up again, the love is stored there. When we visit Neverland and see a Utopian world created for all, we find the love stored there.
“I believe Michael was sent here to earth to entertain us, to bring us all together and bring awareness to healing the world, and to dazzle us with his dance moves, just to inspire everybody to be a better person.”
Mengesha “Mystro” Francis pianist
~Watching Michael work was like watching what Michelangelo must have gone through. He was a genius~
“Michael wanted to revolutionize the way tours were being done. He was always thinking like a great producer, too. He was telling us we needed to design a way to maximize the audience that could see him with less travel time for him and the company. So, he proposed setting up the show for 2 or 3 months in a single location, make that portal, as opposed to being on a plane, jumping from city to city twice a week. Just as he did on the History Tour, when we went to Northern Africa. The idea was to get up in a region that was struggling and could really benefit economically from having us there. Everything Michael did came from a place of love and commitment to do good. That’s the way he was with us working on the show. You felt like you were being nurtured, constantly stimulated and encouraged to come up with the best ideas in a collective situation. And that’s where his art was coming from. His concept was not just to make a great song you could dance to. His way was to reel you in and get your attention so then you’d get the deep message. That was the science to it. That’s why his music transcended generations, appealed to children and older people…everyone.”
Travis Payne Michael Jackson’s This Is It Tour Plans
“When I was a little boy, he was my hero. When I was a young man, he was my sanity, taking me away from the pain of life and filling my heart with joy and wonder. When I was 13, I saw him live in concert and from the second he arrived on stage, I knew what I was going to do for the rest of my life. It was September 1987, and I have to this day never seen anything more extraordinary. To this day, I have never seen a reaction from an audience like the one he received. I’ve never seen magic and glitter through the air and witnessed that electricity start up hearts the way he did that night. And now, I’m certain the world never again will. Thank you, Michael Jackson, on behalf of the dreamers of the world. The world is a duller place without you. I’m privileged to have lived in the same lifetime to witness even a moment of your glory.”
“Michael Jackson did something that no one else in history has managed…he connected with people of every level imaginable…all over the world. He seemed to speak to people at their very core and achieved the impossible. He reached people on a deep emotional level. And that is what any great artist or showman dreams of doing. That is why Michael Jackson was so special to me.”
“As I think back to all the musicians I’ve done music videos for, I cannot think of anybody that has had that electrifying a presence when they kick in.”
Nick Brandt, Fine Art Photographer and Film Director
Michael not only set music alight, he has set us alight. His influence inspires us to strive to be our better selves. Through his work ethic, we have learned preparedness. Through his enormous heart, we have found ours. We look to Michael for answers when the winds of challenge tear at the very fabric of our faith. Because Michael’s legacy is a vast tapestry of artistic endeavor touching on every aspect of the human condition, his influence connects worldwide. “He was a messenger, and like all messengers before him, the message was clear, and we often persecuted them for it…Joan of Arc, JFK, Gandhi, MLK, Jesus, all were saying the same thing and were extinguished because of it.” Dan Reed.
Michael Jackson’s artistry, his humanitarian efforts, his generosity and kindnesses are etched on our souls. His influence reaches far beyond his passing. We are the messengers of his legacy, crying out as one voice. Producing efforts in us, his unconditional love will never die.
“You give of your talents, of your ability. The talent that was given you by the Heavens. That’s why we’re here, to bring a sense of escapism in a time of need. If you’re a painter, you paint. If you’re a sculptor, you sculpt. If you’re a writer, you write. If you’re a songwriter, you write songs. If you’re a dancer, you dance. You give people some love and some bliss and some escapism and show them that you truly care from the heart. And, that you are there for them. YOU ARE THERE FOR THEM. And, that’s what I did. It’s an important thing.”
Michael Jackson October 2001
“Let’s take this love and give it to all the people everywhere, in every corner of the earth. And, that’s what we can give. And, that will make the difference. That will make the change. It’s very important.”
And change the world he did. I can’t think of anyone who affected as much change, improvements, extraordinary events as Michael. His fertile brain never stopped working; he NEVER stopped! Never! He didn’t sleep so much….he wasn’t dependent on the usual 8 hours per night. (As I was… have to say I loved the act of going to sleep.) But not Michael. He was a night owl and prowled around the bedroom (which was huge) and the house. Much of the time a piece of music would have entered his head and he would be anxious to record it into his tape recorder (complete with background percussion)….he was very adept at ‘beatboxing.’ (And could make all sorts of sounds with his mouth and tongue!) I always marveled at his incredible energy… it seemed boundless! He taught me how to work the soundboard and, in that manner, I could assist him when he was rehearsing. In fact, I became very expert in this business. It was so interesting and totally different from concert work and practicing the piano. Actually everything connected with Michael was fascinating! I loved it all! My greatest wish, if it were possible, would be to re-live those days! But alas, that is NOT possible….very unfortunately…that is….only in my mind is it possible. I don’t think I will ever know another like him. He was one of a kind!
Diane.I love that you always comment on Jude’s wonderful posts. You always speak of Michael with such love, and for those of us who weren’t able to know him personally. that makes us feel a little closer to him. Enjoy your wonderful memories. albeit they must be tinged with sadness.
Thankyou Diane ,and thankyou Jude for yet another perfect post
Michel’s influence on us, on the entire world really WAS boundless. There’s nothing I can add here, Jude said it all perfectly in her valuable article. We may see while reading a giant figure of a genius rises up, we hear the chorus of the voices saying how Michael influenced them, how much he has brought into their lives, what he taught them., the chorus that turns up into a huge choir of love and appreciation to that incredible man who showed us how to love. We need to continue to bring Michael’s love into this world if we want to survive. Michael not only influenced millions of lives, he revolutionized them, changed them fundamentally. Many of us found the way to go in our lives under his influence. And he was always here for us. His heart was always here for us. And he is still here for us. For all time. Jude, I marvel over your ability to embrace unembraceable! Bravo, sister! <3
Dear Michael, HAPPY NEW YEAR to you! I am always thankful for having known you and been one of your best friends!! Love you forever!