“THERE IS NO UNKNOWING WHAT WE KNOW.”
Attempting to explain what lies in the heart, ascribing definitive language to an indescribable truth, revealing secrets to the magical, putting the depths of love into words…often reduce us to stammering, or even worse, silence. With so much inspiration to go around, how can that happen? For me, stampeding emotion tramples any intelligent or reasonable communication. And so, I have found solace at the page.
The massive population of Michael Jackson Fans confounds, more often than not, defying any understanding or acceptance. It is easier to discredit or disrespect the loyalty and love, in an attempt to create dissention…using the CON in controversy as a weapon. Since the media and those that hate do not rely on education or truthfulness, the general public is often bombarded with lies. The New York Times statement, “There is Michael Jackson and there’s everyone else,” applies to everything in Michael’s life…the unparalleled genius of his artistry, the unparalleled work ethic, the unparalleled catalog of music, the unparalleled performance, the unparalleled humanitarian efforts, and, the unparalleled attacks and false accusations and efforts to destroy. For Michael Jackson Fans, everything, everything, is taken personally, felt personally. The loyalty felt has been earned and is therefore unbreakable. The love that is felt has first been given and is therefore unbreakable. The determination and steadfastness that is felt has been taught and is therefore unbreakable. Elizabeth Michelle Billeaudeaux describes it as grokking…to understand something intimately, profoundly, and completely through intuition or empathy. THE RUSH OF WONDER WE ABSORB FROM MICHAEL GLISTENS WITHIN US. I wrote several articles some time ago and they still resonate in my psyche. John Shelby Spong describes it as LOVING WASTEFULLY. We in the Michael communities keep keeping on, never giving up, knowing that not everything we do works…but, also focusing our lens on respecting all that give even when some cannot.
Since beginning MICHAELJACKSONCHOSENVOICES, my mantra has been: If someone shares something of value and you benefit from it, you have a moral obligation to share it with others.” This Chinese Proverb was given to me by my dear friend, Inge. It has meant recording thousands of words written about Michael by scores of amazing people, providing a modest repository of Michael Truths. Michael Jackson Fans Are A Rare Breed taken from Fantam Blog 2006 is a piece that comes the closest to describing this LOVE PHENOMENON we often find so difficult to describe.
“Michael Jackson Fans are a strange breed. One would be hard pressed to fnd another fan community whose object of admiration is the subject of so much unnecessary condemnation. Over time, Michael Jackson enthusiasts have watched their beloved’s seemingly global idolization transform into apparent worldwide mischaracterization and mistreatment by the press and the public alike. Yet, through it all, true MJ fans have abandoned him not. If anything, the harder Michael’s opponents try to shove him to the depths of despair, the harder his devotees love him, if only for summoning the courage to persist in the midst of it all. Michael’s continued endurance is an exercise of strength and resilience in the face of adversity and uncertainty. Michael’s fans have learned well the lesson, as they steadfastly brave the almost daily emotional roller-coaster ride that is requisite experience of every Jackson supporter. They marvel at his seemingly inexhaustible talents, and applaud his victories. They laugh with him in his happiness, weep with him in his sorrow, and pray for him in troubled times. Their hearts are warmed when he is embraced and bleed when he is ill-treated. Despite the stratospheric highs and seemingly cavernous lows that come with being a Michael Jackson Fan, they remain loyal.
They, like Michael, refuse to allow naysayers to steal their joy, obstruct their way or shape their opinions. They, like Michael, refuse to have their destiny defined or dictated by another. They also refuse to stand idly by, as others attempt to deny Michael his rightfully earned legacy. Simply, Michael Jackson Fans are just like Mike in that they will not be deterred.
By nature of their calling, Michael’s fans are constantly summoned to put on the full armor, stand on the front lines, and fight. Oftentimes with their pen as their sword, they fight alongside and for Michael’s right of humanity. By so doing, they fight for tolerance over prejudice, unconditional love over criticism, wisdom over ignorance and justice over inequality-not only for Michael but for themselves as well. The battles are never-ending, hard-fought and oftentimes mentally and physically exhausting. Still, rather than surrender or reconcile, Michael’s fans resist. They resist the desire to abandon Michael when all seems lost. They forsake the notion that theirs is a lost cause. They refuse to throw in the towel and resign themselves to the path of least resistance, which so often involved renouncing their fan support for Michael. When the going gets tough, with weary minds and heavy hearts, they press on. They press on through Michael’s tribulations and the attacks to which he is subjected. They press on despite mockery and question as to why they bother to fight at all for MJ, a man some deem undeserving of their adoration.
Hazrat Inayat Khan once said, ‘God breaks the heart again and again until it stays open.’ Michael’s devotees can see him as living proof of this idea, as he seems to be the embodiment of the notion. His own heart has been broken much, and his fans personally feel the sting of each break. By the grace of God, Michael’s heart does not become hardened as a result of its frequent fractures. To the contrary, his shattered heart allows for its tenderness and openness. Since out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks, Michael’s Fans are able to truly see the fullness of his heart when they listen to him articulate his desire for acceptance, understanding, positivity, love and peace through song and speech.
As their efforts to break Jackson have continued to prove unsuccessful, some Michael Jackson opponents have turned their focus to attempting to disband the fan community by attacking defenders. Time after time, the press uses condescending, defamatory terms to describe Michael’s Fans…being referred to as ‘delusional’ and +++++ is not foreign to Jackson supporters. However, Michael’s devotees choose to ignore the juvenile name-calling and taglines bestowed on them by the media.
The fans refuse to allow the press to project its negative, inaccurate perception onto them. This is because MJ fans realize that such inflammatory terms do not depict their true nature as intelligent, grounded individuals with a healthy admiration for Michael’s music, vision and humanitarianism among other things.
Interestingly enough, MJ’s influence is global and thus, so is his fan base. His detractors are under the false impression that his fan base is minuscule as well as one-dimensional. To the contrary, MJ enthusiasts are nothing if not vast and multi-dimensional. They can be found on every continent, in every country worldwide. MJ fans transcend racial, age and socioeconomic boundaries. The fact that Michael’s fans are so diverse adds to their beauty. Few entertainers, if any, can lay claim to having the type of dynamic and varied fan base of which MJ can boast.
If it is true that our lives are open books for others to read, then the fan’s study of MJ has taught them more than they ever could have imagined about life, love and survival. Michael Jackson is a living testament of the notion that whatever one dreams and desires for his or her life can be achieved. Michael lives by the mantra that love should have no limitations- no conditions.
Michael has shown all who dare take notice, that it is possible not only to stay alive, but to thrive, with grace and fortitude despite adversity. By merely existing, Michael Jackson has taught his fans what it is to dream without fear, to create without boundaries, to listen without prejudice, and to love without judgment. Simply, Michael Jackson fans are a hard act to outshine.
Their loyalty, enthusiasm, intelligence and genuine adoration of their musical idol is unparalleled by other artists’ fan communities. However, for all their attitudes, when it comes to one particular matter, Michael Jackson’s admired fans will always be bested. For, try as they might, no matter to what infinite degree they say and believe they love Michael Jackson…The King of Pop, in true regal fashion, will always say and prove he loves them more.”
I give you these words because I believe they DO NOT FAIL in describing who we are and what we stand for…why we are here and why it is forever. I love you, Michael. I love you, Michael Jackson fans. OUR KNOWING IS IN THE WORLD TO STAY.
“MAKE LOVE YOUR WEAPON TO OVERCOME ANY EVIL.”
That was written in 2006? Oh how I wish I was there for him then, but it truly describes my experience over the last five years. Yes, yes, and yes to all of it.
Thank you Jude. <3
Thank you, Jude…for your continuing posts about Michael. I am inspired by your steadfastness…which is what he was. Always steadfast. My admiration and love for him grew every day…he could not be matched in any endeavor. I watched as he became more and more famous…also when the nastiness began. He did become the most famous person on the planet…and although he didn’t pay much attention to all that, many did. In the award shows, I watched how some people’s expressions changed when he was called up to the stage….One could just hear their thoughts….”Michael…AGAIN?” I was delighted, but others were so jealous… one could just see it on their faces. And he went on and on….there was no stopping that young man…as he grew into a mature artist. Never satisfied with just one take in a recording studio…he often did as many as twenty. Perfectionism is what he was about…and the ability to do all that was unparalleled…..!!!! Plus the stamina that it takes to have a career such as his…and perform the mammoth shows that he staged. I recall watching him sing and dance so many numbers with NO break, and marveling that he COULD do that. I didn’t then and still don’t know anyone who was as strong as he…or as determined. He insisted that everyone rehearse FULL-OUT every day…and run the show at least 3 times!!!! (This is on the days when there were no performances). So he and his crew never stopped or rested…except on their one day off. And then Michale went to hospitals to visit sick children…and bring gifts. The schedules he set for himself always inspired me to get up every day and practice the piano many hours…and never slack off. Whenever I am tempted to stay in bed and sleep, I think of Michael, and then I get up…ready for the day. THANK YOU…my dear Michael. I will never forget you and your steadfastness…and unselfishness…..NEVER!