When did we decide that research and study, commitment to finding truth and understanding translated into fanaticism? How did we come to accept the premise that earned devotion and loyalty translated into lies? Who convinced us that cynicism, distrust, negativism and no research at all should not only be acceptable, but required to be believed. Someone recently told me that the media has a job to do…this coming after a published article included 10% reality and 90% distortion and lies. I was told that they are NOT fans and therefore ARE NOT expected to print positives. WHAT? POSITIVES? HOW ABOUT TRUTHS! After reading the article, cloaked conveniently in a HEALTHY LIVING magazine, I wanted to ask the writer, “Did you do ANY research at all?” I must confess that the hairs on the back of my neck stand straight up when we accept that the media not only does, but SHOULD, be excused when they print untruths. That is okay with us…we expect it. COME ON! This is a profession we are talking about. Would we accept that kind of sloppy, lazy behavior from any other profession? Would we accept our pharmacist’s lack of research and study when he/she prepares our prescriptions? Would we accept that lack of study and research from our teachers as they prepare to educate our children? NO! Where Michael Jackson is concerned, the media has made an art form out of lack…lack of research, lack of study, lack of understanding. They have a formula based on myths they themselves created, and perpetuate decade after decade. Clearly, they have spent NO time trying to gather the facts, even though the avalanche of information is so easily found. As long as the article has a larger percentage of negatives than positives, it is accepted as unbiased writing. HOW PATHETIC IS THAT! Fortunately, in this high tech world we live in, those who choose to find the truths, can. Michael Jackson Fans include those who have taken enormous amounts of time and effort to seek information that is reality. We see for ourselves hundreds of hours of footage of real events. We read thousands of words written and spoken by Michael and others. We listen attentively and study lyrics, music, short films, interviews. We watch hours of footage of performance and Fan interactions. Through this research and study, WE KNOW THE MAN. WE HAVE COME TO LEARN WHAT HIS CHARACTER IS. This isn’t a “cut and paste” technique. This is a dedication. This isn’t sloppy. This is precise. And, what happens to a person when they have taken all this time to see and hear…to look and listen? THEY BECOME A FAN. Not the other way around. FIRST, the knowledge of the man and THEN, the love and devotion. So once again, the media gets it wrong. This is not idol-worship. That might be something that happens temporarily to people. Commitment, devotion, loyalty and LOVE are all earned over time. Michael Jackson Fans are in it for the long term…there is nothing temporary about it. What is it that WE know that the media’s ignorance so clearly reveals. IT IS THE ARTIST IN THE MAN…that strength of character and unconditional love for his art. This ART translates into every part of Michael Jackson’s professional, personal and humanitarian life. It genuinely is THE ART OF LOVE.
HOW I MAKE MUSIC
“People ask me how I make music. I tell them I just step into it. It’s like stepping into a river and joining the flow. Every moment in the river has its song. So I stay in the moment and listen. What I hear is never the same. A walk through the woods brings a light crackling song: Leaves rustle in the wind, birds chatter and squirrels scold, twigs crunch underfoot, and the beat of my heart holds it all together. When you join the flow, the music is inside and outside, and both are the same. As long as I can listen to the moment, I’ll always have music.”
Michael Jackson DANCING THE DREAM 1992
Michael looked at his art through the eyes of a complete artist. The Foreword to Michael Bush’s book KING OF STYLE…Dressing Michael Jackson, described Michael’s abounding creative energy which he brought TO EVERY MOMENT OF HIS LIFE…his limitless well of creativity. Michael saw art in every part of his life…heard music in every part of his life. That unparalleled vision touched everything he did…from music to dance to word to film to performance to rescuing children and the planet. Those who want to hurt Michael blame him for not knowing the word, “NO”. But, the truth is, Michael saw no limitations when it came to creativity…no boundaries no borders when it came to healing the world…”A VERY REAL MAN WITH A DEEP LOVE AND APPRECIATION FOR ART, SOMEONE WHO VERY MUCH EMBODIED THE DREAMS HE INSPIRED IN OTHERS.” (Michael Bush) I have written many articles and quoted from many places. Today’s article touches on truths I have found with Michael Bush, a man who spent his life with Michael for decades, day in and day out. Why would this book be a good vehicle for telling Michael Jackson’s truths…because, MICHAEL JACKSON WAS ART INCARNATE. He was a work of art. He was a consummate artist. His life was lived artfully.
“IN MANY WAYS AN ARTIST IS HIS WORK. IT’S DIFFICULT TO SEPARATE THE TWO.” MICHAEL JACKSON MOONWALK 1988
One of the ever present media myths is that Michael was a plastic surgery addict, doing this out of some misguided self-hate going back to his childhood. The truth is the concept of BODY AS CANVAS. “MICHAEL JACKSON’S IMAGE WAS AS MUCH A WORK OF ART AS THE MAN HIMSELF.” (M.Bush) Michael wanted his music, his dance moves to be mind-boggling self- expression.(MB) Michael was a sketch artist in his own right and often jotted ideas down on anything to hand. Each ERA offered an opportunity for Michael to do something new, musically and visually. When we understand that Michael was a GENIUS in every conceivable way, then it becomes very clear. In an interview with MTV in 1999 he said, ” The idea is to take it a step forward and to innovate or else why am I doing it. I don’t want to be just another can in the assembly line. I want to create and do something totally different and unusual.” Study and research offers us the words from the man. When performing, Michael wanted the audience to focus on his feet and his hands…thus, the glove, the tape, the high-water pants, the white socks, the gray painted floor. The larger the audience, the higher the pant legs. “Michael knew the human eye gravitates toward light, which was one of the reasons he loved rhinestones and sequins so much. They caught light and manipulated it, and that fascinated him. If he could ensure his audience would focus on his feet, they could see the magic of his steps.” (M.B.) Every costume was to enhance the dancer’s body. WEARABLE ART. “Nothing could stay the same for very long.” (M.B) Because he noticed EVERYTHING, he wanted his audiences to notice and wonder. IT WAS ALL PART OF THE MAGIC. “Instead of waving a magic wand, Michael used his hands and his feet. Dancing fiercely, he used them like props, extending his average-sized 120-pound frame with every dramatic movement, furthering the illusion that he was larger than life. When you watched him dance, it was a pretty safe bet that your eyes were being led in one or two places; to a hand catching light around him or to his feet.” (M.B) IT WAS FUN. IT WAS ENTERTAINMENT. “He loved to keep people guessing because it meant they were paying attention. People thought that Michael ran around wearing his famous sequined glove, but it was only worn when he was moonwalking. He just didn’t care about wearing his show clothes beyond the purpose they were intended to serve.” ( M. B)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_VmQzVF-CI In the presence of such a genius…”Michael thought beyond the parameters of what you and I could imagine only in our wildest dreams.” M. Bush “He knew marketing and storytelling and performance better than anyone and those skills told him that once a mystery is no longer a mystery, people lose interest.” A constant media-myth has been Michael’s strangeness…sleeping with dolls and toys, etc. The truth is Michael was inspired by play. “If you couldn’t have fun or didn’t want to, then Michael didn’t want you around him.” M. Bush The freedom to create, the joy of the experience were key to making magic. And, MICHAEL JACKSON WAS MAGIC. There was a synergy of music and style in his genius. M. Bush The child-like play and innocence were present in the music, the style, the story, the charity. Michael loved people. “He loved hearing from the audience, gauging what worked, what didn’t, what they wanted more of. It wasn’t uncommon for Michael to do a stadium show for a crowd of 120,000, sometimes 180,000 people, absorb their energy, and let it fuel him for days on end. We always flew commercial and sat first class or business class. Michael had a fear of flying, and he liked to spend time chatting with his support team to take his mind off the altitude. Michael wouldn’t fly private jets because his rationale was the bigger the plane, the less turbulence. And a bigger plane was more comfortable and allowed him to get up and move or stretch around the cabin. Sometimes he’d even walk the aisles of the plane, back in coach and meet and greet fellow passengers.” M. Bush Media have painted Michael as reclusive and weird and strange. Often the mask is focused on. “Air travel was always a risk because there was a chance we could get sick. He picked up the idea to cover his mouth with a mask from the people in Asia, where it is commonly used as a germ guard. After a while I think Michael felt safe behind the mask, so its function evolved to become more of a protective shield.”
“Living with intention and meaning was what motivated Michael. Through the convictions Michael wrote and sang about, he inspired generations to seek a similar higher state of being. And when he took his show on the road, the exchange of energy between Michael and his Fans build a tight-knit, socially conscious community.”
“Michael put so much into every performance, because he wanted it to be the one, the only, the most amazing show on Earth. Out of respect to the fans, he had to be full out. His mind, like the sky, simply knew not the concept of boundaries or limits. Limitations, I learned through him, are either self-imposed or predicated by the limited visions of others.” M.B.
Michael’s childlike innocence has been analyzed by many. For me, I see a man who had the gift of believing that humankind was innately good…a man who could see potential in every living creature without exception. Often, Michael is criticized for this. People become frustrated. But, if we truly believe in the character of the man, we cannot be frustrated when he behaves true to character 24/7. And, that is what he did. When he said he wanted children to be saved, to be loved unconditionally, he meant it and he did just that. When he opened his heart and his home, there were no limitations to his generosity and hospitality. The media did all they could to cast shadow over a grown man wanting to be with children…and, still are. But, the truth is, it was pure love.
THIS IS IT
“Our initial meeting at CenterStaging in Burbank for THIS IS IT was the first time I had laid eyes on Michael in four years. It was hard to believe we were both fifty years old, except I had the unfortunate privilege of aging less gracefully. And when he entered the room wearing his Michael uniform, a fedora hat, sunglasses, Michael zeroed in on me, walked right over, held my hands and bowed. He took off his glasses, which signaled to me that there was no barrier between us, even though we had gone several years without seeing each other. He had that twinkle in his eye, the one that said, ‘Fasten your seat belt,” and it was like no time had passed. We picked up our familiar pace like the old days, except our timeline to get everything done was supersonic…the shortest we were ever given in the four tours we did with Michael. It was May, and the tour’s promoter wanted everything ready by July. We had two months to make it all come together.” Michael Bush I have recorded this from Michael Bush because we all know that Michael did not agree to a project unless he was ready because he wanted every single thing he did to be the best that had ever been done. Michael didn’t know the word mediocre. He was a perfectionist, a workaholic…the CONSUMATE PERFORMER. “WHAT A LOT OF PEOPLE MAY NOT REALIZE ABOUT MICHAEL IS HOW GOOD A BUSINESSMAN HE WAS. THE TOUR HE WAS PLANNING IS A PERFECT EXAMPLE. HE WAS A PERFECTIONIST, AND HE KNEW EXACTLY WHAT HE WANTED AND HOW TO GET IT. EVERYTHING REGARDING THE TOUR HAD TO BE APPROVED BY MICHAEL. JUST BECAUSE HE HASN’T BEEN ON TV OR OUT IN PUBLIC A LOT RECENTLY, THAT DOESN’T MEAN HE WASN’T BUSY AND ACTIVE. A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE SPECULATED HE WAS REALLY STRESSED OVER THE TOUR, BUT I DON’T THINK HE WAS. HE WENT THROUGH THE SAME ROUTINES HE DID FOR THE PAST TOURS.” Miko Brando “Above all, Michael was a very caring person. He had a lot of love in his heart. He cared about everybody, especially the people in the street. He wasn’t stuck up…he had no ego, and he tried to make time for everybody because he didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. If he thought he did something wrong, it would really bother him. He had more love than anyone I know. The Michael I saw every day was one that love his kids. They were his main focus. He was a very busy man, but he always made sure the kids were looked after.” Miko Brando The information I have recorded here from Michael Bush and Miko Brando gives the true picture of the man, the artist, the character. It is information readily available to all who seek it. I have studied intently for more than six years. That study is what created a MICHAEL JACKSON FAN. Michael said in his NAACP speech in 1994 that the truth would be his salvation. We, the FANS, THE NEW MEDIA, have been drawn to Michael Jackson and each other because of truth. The more we study and share and PAY MICHAEL JACKSON FORWARD the stronger the love grows.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCzFUT17P8o And, so, My Dear Friends, my answer to those who say that it is acceptable for the media to be sloppy and UNresearched, it is acceptable to define objective reporting as that reporting that sees the negatives, it is acceptable that the truth doesn’t matter, I say, “NO!” Michael Jackson Fans see positives because those positives are the truth. Our world needs positives and truth, it needs magic and play and it needs charity and unconditional love. I love you all! Jude HIS tory MYstory YOURstory OURstory