They Called Him Freak!

This Was Recently Shared On FB. I Saved It Because Jodi Gomes's Sentiments Express A Profound Truth As To Why Those Who Love Michael Continue To Fight For His Total Vindication-And Respect. But How Can The Above Words-And The Word "Freak"-Possibly Describe The Same Human Being? If You Have To Ask The Question...Then Welcome To The Life, and World, of Michael Joseph Jackson!
This Was Recently Shared On FB. I Saved It Because Jodi Gomes’s Sentiments Express A Profound Truth As To Why Those Who Love Michael Continue To Fight For His Total Vindication-And Respect. But How Can The Above Words-And The Word “Freak”-Possibly Describe The Same Human Being? If You Have To Ask The Question…Then Welcome To The Life, and World, of Michael Joseph Jackson!

Strangers came and scorned his joy
With ridicule and banter they tried to destroy
What in their minds was a skillful ploy
With cruel darts they tried to plunder
To suffocate and strangle his innocent wonder
Fighting hard, despite their blunder
Again and again to steal his thunder
Despite their attacks, they could not break
With all their barbs, they could not take
God’s gift of love, which they could not fake
Not knowing his strength of what he sought to seek
They complained aloud and called him a freak-Michael Jackon, Excerpted From Dancing The Dream, “Magical Child Part 2”.

I love a recent comment  I read that said: “AEG promised that things would get ugly. But so far, they are the ones who look like jerks!”

By the way, my title isn’t a typo. I intentionally left out the article “a” just as Shakespeare did in the famous line from Othello.  The line comes when the villain Iago asks Desdemona why she weeps, after having just had a confrontation with her husband. But the chaste Desdemona cannot bring herself to speak the word “whore.” “It abhors me now, that I speak the word.”

So the blunt and far more liberated Emilia does the job for her, effectively explaining all that needs to be said about the cause of those tears. “He called her whore.”

Sometimes I am reminded of the beauty and stark power of Elizabethean verse. By removing the article, the word takes on more significant power as a label. For Desdemona, being called whore was more than just an unfair accusation. It was a label that shook the very core of her self-identity. From that point forward, she would become a vulnerable victim-tormented and subject to doubting even her own innocence. Shakespeare’s play is a fascinating glimpse into the complexities of the human psyche, for as Othello and Desdemona both learn, if one is led to believe something long enough, and convincingly enough, it becomes their truth. Labels have the ability, and the power, to define us-if we let them.

The Power Of A Word. In Shakespeare's Othello. Desdemona Is Destroyed By A Single Word-"Whore."
The Power Of A Word. In Shakespeare’s Othello. Desdemona Is Destroyed By A Single Word-“Whore.”

Here is the write-up that CNN’s Alan Duke did on the story:

Los Angeles (CNN) — A top AEG executive referred to Michael Jackson as “the freak” and another called him “creepy” just hours before their company signed the pop icon to a huge concert deal.

The revelation brought an audible gasp in the Los Angeles courtroom at the wrongful death trial Wednesday and left fans crying.

Jackson’s mother and children are suing AEG Live for what they say was the negligent hiring, retention or supervision of Dr. Conrad Murray, the physician convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the singer’s death.

Katherine Jackson watched from the front row as her lawyer questioned AEG Live Senior Vice President and General Counsel Shawn Trell about an e-mail exchange with his boss at parent company AEG.

The Jackson family matriarch began weeping when Trell returned to the witness stand Thursday morning. She left the courtroom and did not return.

“Is it the policy of AEG to talk in derogatory terms about the artist you’re going to do business with?” Jackson lawyer Brian Panish asked.

 “No,” Trell answered.

Panish then showed jurors an e-mail Trell sent on January 28, 2009, to Ted Fikre, AEG’s chief legal officer, letting him know he was about to go to Jackson’s home for the signing of the contract for his “This Is It” concert tour.

“Does that mean you get to meet the freak?” Fikre replied.

Trell responded: “Apparently. Not sure how I feel about that. Interesting for sure, but kind of creepy.”

The e-mail exchange happened less than four hours before Trell and other AEG executives visited Jackson’s Los Angeles home.

“This is a man you hoped to make millions and millions of dollars from?” Panish asked Trell. “Didn’t your mom ever say if you don’t have anything good to to say about someone, don’t say anything?”

Trell earlier testified that he was excited to meet Jackson for the first time and was impressed with his “good, firm handshake.”

“I may not have necessarily agreed with some of the life choices Michael Jackson made, but I certainly had enormous respect for him as an entertainer.”

Most of Wednesday’s session was a dry review of Jackson and Murray’s contracts as AEG Live’s defense team worked to convince jurors that Murray was not hired by the concert promoter. Jackson chose, hired and supervised the doctor, they contend.

Murray signed his contract the day before Jackson’s June 25, 2009, death, but AEG executives and Jackson never put their signatures on it. Jackson lawyers, however, argue he had been already working for two months based on an oral contract.

The Jackson lawsuit contends that AEG Live executives ignored red flags that should have warned them that Jackson was in danger from Murray’s treatment.

The coroner ruled that Jackson died from an overdose of the surgical anesthetic propofol, which Murray told police he was using to treat the singer’s insomnia.

Panish — the Jackson family’s lead lawyer — questioned Trell Thursday about his previous testimony that there were no “red flags” to alert AEG executives about Jackson’s declining health.

He showed jurors an e-mail sent to AEG Live President Randy Phillips and Co-CEO Paul Gongaware by “This Is It” stage manager John “Bugzee” Houghdahl on June 19, 2009 — six days before Jackson died.

“I have watched him deteriorate in front of my eyes over the last 8 weeks,” Houghdahl wrote. “He was able to do multiple 360 spins back in April. He’d fall on his ass if he tried now.”

Another Prince

The name of Prince Rogers Nelson — the artist commonly known as Prince — came up when Trell acknowledged that while AEG Live had promoted about 100 tours, it had produced only one other concert tour the size of Jackson’s shows.

When Panish suggested Prince had not had “a very favorable experience” with AEG, Trell said he’d not spoken to him about it.

Panish: “Did you ever try to get a doctor for $150,000 a month for Prince?”

Trell: “No.”

Panish: “And is Mr. Nelson is still alive today?”

Trell: “Yes.”

http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/23/showbiz/jackson-death-trial/index.html

For years, the media mocked Michael Jackson and labeled him “freak.” I am not going to get into all of the why’s and how’s of this conspiracy, a conspiracy that determined to knock Michael Jackson down once he became too powerful in the industry-or, more aptly, as a black man who became too powerful. That is all ground that has been covered quite thoroughly in other posts, and by other writers-not to mention, this post would be a million miles long if I got into all the back history.

For A Musical Genius and Iconic Legend To Be Labeled as "Freak" And "Wacko" Remains One Of The Great Tragedies Of Our Time
For A Musical Genius and Iconic Legend To Be Labeled as “Freak” And “Wacko” Remains One Of The Great Tragedies Of Our Time

But it has become one of the great-and sad-ironies of our time that one of the greatest musical geniuses of our time has also been saddled with such a derivative label. While some may point to the personal choices Michael made, nevertheless, the label derived from a deep-rooted desire to knock him from his pedestal. Of this, I am thoroughly convinced, because the media backlash against him began as soon as Thriller became the biggest selling album of all time-or to be more precise, right about the time that his then manager Frank Dileo began planting stories in the press about hyperbaric chambers and the Elephant Man’s bones. While at first intended to simply create a harmless mystique and the idea of an eccentric genius, the strategy backfired. Instead, these stories became like a wildfire that, once started, had no end in sight. It didn’t help that we were seeing Michael’s skin color getting lighter and lighter-with no explanation at the time, and that he was wearing more eyeliner with every subsequent album release (but, hey, it was the 80’s, after all!). All of these factors combined just in time to satisfy the jealous people in the industry who wanted to see him knocked from his throne.

Michael was not only acutely aware of the label, but even began to embrace and own it. Part of his public bravado, as evidenced in songs like 2 Bad, Is It Scary, and Threatened, was to say, “I will proudly be a freak, if that’s what you want/need me to be.” In other words, he was giving us permission to project onto him whatever we desired him to be. In doing so, he was holding up a mirror to ourselves, so that we might see our true human nature-and our driving need to have a scapegoat. “Freaks,” after all, have always served a vital function in our society. They show us the best and worst of who we are.

That Michael was well aware of his public perception as a “freak” is further evidenced in this clip from “Ghosts” in which he literally has a showdown-with himself. It is no coincidence that much of the dialog in Michael’s showdown with The Mayor (who, in turn, is simply Michael under a different guise) revolves around the liberal use of the word “freak” and “freaky.”

[tube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnEmzNYc-1w[/tube]

If you are interested to learn more about “Ghosts” and what this scene perhaps tells us about how Michael viewed the “freak” label, you can read it here:

http://www.allforloveblog.com/?m=201202

Michael once said that he had rhinoceros skin. But despite all the public bravado; despite all the show of having embraced and “owned” the label, there can be no doubt. Labels hurt. Kids learn the power of names, from the time they are old enough to bully on the playground. True, names are not sticks and stones…but contrary to what the nursery rhyme teaches us, they have the power to bruise.

Micheal spoke out publicly many times about the pain and humiliation of these labels, as well as his suspicions of their origins:

[tube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OBUgE6EDFo[/tube]

[tube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-mXsCIoVyw[/tube]

But you might say, well, what can one expect from the tabloids? Sure, the press relished in calling Michael “freak.” But what about the people in the industry who worked with him? Surely we could expect higher standards of human conduct from them? Well, the bombshell dropped last week during the AEG trial. The revelation of the  email exchange between AEG Senior Vice President Shawn Trell and AEG chief legal officer Ted Fickre sheds light on something even infinitely sadder than what Michael had to deal with in the press. It shows the extent of disrespect that Michael had to deal with even from those within the industry-from the very people who stood to make millions off of his talent!

michaeljackson336961635
Sadly, It Had Been The Reality Of Michael’s Life Since Age 5

Sadly, I wish I could say that this was an isolated incident. But it is pretty much the story of Michael Jackson’s life from the age of five. I am not trying to add to the chorus of “poor Michael.” But it is a fact that his entire life became subjected to people who would gladly use him for what they could get out of him, with little to no respect for him as a human being.

Look, I have read all the excuses from the AEG apologists. But I’m not buying them. It doesn’t matter if this was a private exchange and never intended to be made public. When Michael said that Jews were leeches, that was a private, off-the-record remark never intended to be public, either. He was venting in an unguarded moment over some of his acquaintances whom he felt had betrayed him. But it didn’t stop his detractors from ripping him apart over it (yet these are some of the same people who now defend Fickre and Trell’s exchange on the basis of it being a private email!). Michael’s remark may have had some mitigating circumstances, but that still didn’t make it right. And you know what? Nor does the same excuse wash now, with what Trell and Fickre did.  The logic that it was a private exchange, and therefore above reproach, is as ludicrous as trying to defend something stupid that someone might blurt out while drunk by excusing it with  “oh, they were drunk.” Okay, maybe they were under the influence. But as we all know, alcohol only lowers inhibition; it doesn’t plant the thoughts in our heads!

In short, people can offer a lot of excuses. But words-once recorded or in print-are there forever.

In other words, it shouldn’t matter in the least if this was a private email between Trell and Fickre; it doesn’t matter if Fickre was joking; it doesn’t matter if it was never intended for Michael or his family or fans to know the remark was made. It doesn’t even matter if Trell made his comment based on preconceived notions before he met Michael (which he claims to have been the case).

The fact is, none of that matters. The comment was made. And no matter how some try to justify it, it wasn’t right. In fact, it was downright dehumanizing.

And let’s not forget, this is a mere few hours before AEG is set to sign a huge contract with Michael.

I can’t emphasize the sad irony of this enough. Michael would basically spend the last months of his life at the mercy of people who thought of him as “freak.” This isn’t merely a case of, say, two immature, college frat boys having a laugh about a geeky roommate.

Let’s reiterate Panish’s statement again:

“This is a man you hoped to make millions and millions of dollars from?” Panish asked Trell. “Didn’t your mom ever say if you don’t have anything good to to say about someone, don’t say anything?”

And let’s reiterate what stage manager John “Bugzee” Houghdahl stated in his June 19th, 2009 email to Randy Phillips:

“I have watched him deteriorate in front of my eyes over the last 8 weeks,” Houghdahl wrote. “He was able to do multiple 360 spins back in April. He’d fall on his ass if he tried now.”

I believe, as many do, that Michael’s health actually deteriorated from the time Murray began treating him on a daily and nightly basis. Which gets us right back squarely to the heart of what this trial is really all about. Michael’s death was ruled a homicide. So who is responsible? It seems to me that Murray was under just as much pressure as Michael to deliver at all costs-not that this in any way absolves him of his own guilt. But clearly there were strings at work, and someone was pulling them. The picture is emerging that Michael spent his last months bullied and pressured by people who had no respect for him other than as a commodity (and this by no means lets the Jacksons off the hook, either; he was a lifelong commodity to them, as well. But at least they were his family, not a corporate entity whose only personal interest in Michael was to see what “the freak” was like in person, and how much money can “the freak” make for us?).

Michael Shined In His Last, Few Nights Of Rehearsal. But It Seems His Health Had Deteriorated At An Alarming Rate Since April of 2009-Exactly When Murray Began "Treating" Him
Michael Shined In His Last, Few Nights Of Rehearsal. But It Seems His Health Had Deteriorated At An Alarming Rate Since April of 2009-Exactly When Murray Began “Treating” Him

Of course, I will agree on one thing. As many have pointed out, this email exchange only sheds light on the character of a few individuals behind the scenes. It can’t stand as evidence that AEG is responsible for Michael’s death, or that AEG hired Murray-which, after all, is what the jury will have to ultimately decide.

AEG attorney Jessica Stebbins Bina said that the emails served no function except to “embarrass AEG.”

Well, perhaps they should be embarrassed. Perhaps they need to be embarrassed. It doesn’t exactly reflect well on them for the public to know that this is how they privately discuss the entertainers they sign.

AND…

Let’s not forget that there is a valid reason why character assassination is such a vital part of both prosecution and defense strategies. Juries are comprised of human beings, who of course are susceptible to the same prejudices as all of us. Didn’t AEG’s attorneys promise to reveal “ugly things” regarding Michael? I say, turnabout is fair play.

Knowing that AEG executives blatantly disrespected Michael may not determine the company’s guilt.

But it sure succeeds in making them look like a__holes.

Which just may make it seem all the more likely that they held his life in as little regard as they held him.

As for Shawn Trell, after agreeing that Michael was a “freak” and that meeting him was going to be “kind of creepy,” what impression did he ultimately walk away with?

Shawn Trell was questioned by both sides.

“I won’t forget meeting Michael Jackson,” said Shawn Trell.

“He seemed very personable when I met him. I thought it was

very interesting when he got up and met me at the door,” explained Shawn Trell.

https://twitter.com/ABC7Courts

He had also mentioned, as noted, being impressed by his “good, firm handshake” (this doesn’t seem like much, but in the business world, it is everything).

Trell also stated that he had “enormous respect for him as an entertainer” even if he didn’t agree with “some of the life choices he made.” But hmmm. That’s an interesting choice of words. What life choices, exactly? He was never convicted of anything, and didn’t even indulge in most of the wild excesses of so many of the celebrities that I’m sure AEG deals with on a daily basis. It would still seem to me that this was a prejudice based on reputation alone.

Just how badly can words hurt? It was reported that Katherine Jackson left the courthouse weeping on Thursday, and was unable to return. Fans were reported openly weeping in the hallway, saying that animals are treated better. No doubt, these reactions were the culmination of hearing so many painful details, stacked one upon the other. But you know it has to be hard for any mother, especially one who has buried her child, to have to sit and hear him called “freak”

[tube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQzEmelPVa4[/tube]

Trell Described Meeting A Humble Man Who Met Him At The Front Door; Whose Handshake Was Firm; Whose Demeanor And Hospitality Was Every Bit A Gentleman. A Far Cry From The "Creepy Freak" He Expected To Meet.
Trell Described Meeting A Humble Man Who Met Him At The Front Door; Whose Handshake Was Firm; Whose Demeanor And Hospitality Was Every Bit A Gentleman. A Far Cry From The “Creepy Freak” He Expected To Meet.

But it’s not the word itself. “Freak” is, after all, merely a five-letter word. However, its implications have the power to stretch far beyond its diminutive appearance. It says everything about the world that Michael Jackson-one of the greatest musical geniuses of our time- had to live, work in, and face on a daily basis. Somehow, it just shouldn’t be this way.

The interesting thing about trials-barring the fact that they have very serious consequences for those involved-is that they are a lot like watching a really good tennis match. One side serves, and they are off, slinging back and forth until, ultimately, one side comes out victorious. AEG will be working overtime to prove their case, and in the months ahead, they will be unloading every weapon in their arsenal to make Michael out to be the jerk. But right now, they have some tough hurdles to overcome.

I am glad, for his sake, that  Trell had an opportunity to get to know the real Michael Jackson. Like so many (I have heard this same story play out a million times!) he expected to meet a “freak” and instead, met a true gentleman whose decorum and manners left a lasting impression on him.

It would be nice to think that, somewhere in the back of his mind, he regretted those words. It would be nice to think he sent a follow-up letter to Ted Fickre that said, “We may have misjudged the guy.”

In a perfect and ideal world, maybe. But this is the real world, and it is the reality of a world where multi-million dollar deals trump any concerns for human respect, dignity, or even-in some cases-human welfare.

It was the reality of Michael’s world for forty-five years.

67 thoughts on “They Called Him Freak!”

  1. I reacted in the comment on the article in LATimes online. A lot of people don’t even realise it’s a big deal when our bosses, managers etc. call one of our co workers or client relations a freak. What happens is that very few will correct someone’s behaviour when they are higher on the hierarchic ladder when things go pearshaped for this person. Because it’s already open season for this poor person labeled freak. Or as I put it, it’s a license to kill. And we all know that’s exactly what happened.

    1. Thanks, sandi. I am thankful that my school break is giving me a chance to be a little more prolific on the blog, especially with so much going on.

  2. Raven, you are so kind, so judicious, so fair. Trell and Fikre hadn’t met Michael before their ill-fated project. And while they’re experienced Hollywood types who should know better, it’s sort of understandable that they would fall for the tabloid depiction of him, because it was unrelenting for years and years.

    But what’s Gongaware’s excuse? He workef for MJ on two big tours, evidently having no difficulty taking his money. He, like just about everyone else in the world, knew that MJ had been working his behind off since he was eight years old, saccrificing his childhood in the process.

    Gongaware called Michael “lazy”.

    In this day and age, one should be aware that there is no guarantee or even expectation of privacy for anything you email – ask General Petraeus. The hacks at AEG felt comfortable dissing Michael Jackson in a communication that could have been seen by countless individuals, inside and outside their organization. They almost deserve to lose this case on that alone

    1. Yes, and Gongaware isn’t off the hook by a long shot. I just focused on Trell and Fickre for now, as they were the ones who exchanged those emails in question. But Gongaware’s turn in the hot seat is coming up tomorrow, so I imagine this is ride is about to get even bumpier.

      1. Raven, I meant no criticism of what you have posted! I truly appreciate how you provide a forum for intelligent, in-depth discussion of Michael and his impact on the world.

        I can’t wait until it’s Gongaware’s turn to get ripped a new uh, orifice by Panish. And then on to Randy Phillips. Where oh where is Tohme Tohme?

        1. I hope Thome is a witness. He needs to be cross examined. I have had a very bad feeling about this man from Day One.

          1. I agree completely.
            I shall treasure forever of your post, it’s really capable of achieving sweetly to the heart of the painful matter and to do the center. Thank you Raven.

          2. I look forward to the day that Thome is crossed examined for the world to see and for history to record! Michael became fearful of him and fired him a month before his death due to his overly aggressive business dealings. I’ve always been uneasy about this very secretive and shadowy character and I feel he has a lot to answer for.

  3. ‘Ploy’ is the word at the end of the fourth line of Michael’s poem to rhyme with ‘destroy’, not ‘play’. This is just one of the misprints in ‘Dancing The Dream’ – they can’t even get his poetry right! Anyway ‘ploy’ is spot on with what AEG is trying to do. There are so many suspicious dark episodes, like the life insurance being applied for just before Michael died, for example! Ugly is right. AEG witnesses are squirming, evasive and nervous, and can’t give a straight answer. I still wonder why the CCTV tapes were wiped at Carolwood and whose were the unidentified fingerprints on the syringe?

    1. I made the correction. I should have caught that. I cut and pasted the excerpt from an internet source (it was easier and quicker than typing the whole stanza from scratch) but, yes, the downside of taking such short cuts is that sometimes, just as with lyrics, there can be misprints. And unfortunately, my eyes glazed over that one completely, so thanks for catching it. “Ploy” does make more sense, especially with the two previous lines ending in “joy” and “destroy.” It’s also a vitally important word because it changes the entire meaning of the line when you go from “play” to “ploy.” The one suggests a kind of innocent fun; the other something much more sinister.

      Maybe we will get some of those answers before this is over.

      1. In my copy of Dancing the Dream, the line says “play” not ‘ploy.” Of it’s a typo/mistake made by the printers, I wonder if it got corrected in any later reprints (if there are any–not sure).

        1. Hmmm. Now I’m really confused. I will have to look into this further; maybe compare editions. I just checked my reprinted version (from 2009) and it says “play” also.

          Nina, do you have an older edition by any chance?

          I am intrigued now to wonder if this was a mistake made in the newer edition.

  4. How about these?

    John Lennon, on himself: “I’m not going to change the way I look or the way I feel to conform to anything. I’ve always been a freak. So I’ve been a freak all my life and I have to live with that, you know. I’m one of those people.”

    Bharati Mukherjee, on Mother Teresa: “The picture of Mother Teresa that I remember from my childhood is of a short, sari-wearing woman scurrying down a red gravel path between manicured lawns. She would have in tow one or two slower-footed, sari-clad young Indian nuns. We thought her a freak.”

    And this–part of the etymology of the word “freak” from the OED (Oxford English Dictionary):

    freak (n.)
    1560s, “sudden turn of mind,” of unknown origin, perhaps related to Old English frician “to dance” ; or perhaps from Middle English frek “bold, quickly,”; or from German frech “bold, impudent”).

    freak (v.)
    Sense of “capricious notion” (1560s) and “unusual thing, fancy” (1784) preceded that of “strange or abnormal individual” (first in freak of nature, 1847.

    “To dance”: when you think of that aspect of the word “freak” in relation to Michael, isn’t that kind of wonderful? And strange?

    Something to think about…

    1. However, imo that is not what the AEG execs had in mind when they used the word “freak” (as well as “creepy”) to describe Michael. Neither of them having previously met Michael Jackson, they both subscribed to the tabloid views of him propogated by a relentless media. Trell admitted as much when he testified about difficulty in obtaining tour insurance due to recent media articles. Having worked with attorneys in private offices for many years and been admonished countless times to “stay professional in the email world”, I can say unequivocally these two would be terminated for their egregious lack of sound judgment. But who knows how the good old boys network operates in the oftentimes sordid world of “concert promotion”.

      1. “Neither of them having previously met Michael Jackson, they both subscribed to the tabloid views of him propogated by a relentless media…”
        “But who knows how the good old boys network operates in the oftentimes sordid world of ‘concert promotion…'”

        To just add to this, I think that at the time when they were making these remarks, it was more in a joking sort of way, rather than malicious. Obviously, of course, they had no idea that these emails would be used against them four years down the road. It wasn’t professional, but as you point out, is probably just the tip of the iceberg of what goes on in “the good old boy network.”

        However, my problem with it is that, even if they were joking around, it still denotes a very blatant lack of respect for their client. The whole purpose of revealing these emails, of course, is to cast this kind of doubt upon their characters and intentions, to show that if they held their star in such little regard, it could be a reasonable conclusion that they held his life and well being just as lightly.

        1. Hi Raven, your article brought tears to my eyes and many thoughts and feelings that are difficult to put into words but I’m going to try. I’m not at all surprised by the apparent contempt that AEG executives had for Michael whether joking or not. And such exchanges are sickening especially when these executives are expecting a big pay day from their client as has been pointed out. Vulture is too kind of a word to describe these bottom feeding leaches. It also makes me even more dis-heartened by the comments attributed to Randy Phillips when he publically gushed about “his friend Michael” and how he would “miss him” when behind closed doors all he could do was complain about Michael and how AEG was paying for everything including the “toilet paper to wipe his a**.” Or disgraceful words to that effect. Not to mention the shakedown that occured at Michael’s house days before his death. At the end of the day AEG executives pursued Michael in order to do this concert tour, not the other way around. And apparently it took some doing to convince Michael to agree to such an adventure. According to Kenny Ortega, if I have my facts straight, it took about 2 years of negotiations to get Michael to say yes. For AEG to suggest their were no red flags insults ones intelligence. Really?!? There clearly were red flags but they were too blinded by $$$$$ to see. No matter what they were paying for up front they were initially filled with confidence that a big pay day was coming to cover their initial investment and just like with Murray that was all they could see. What ever the outcome of this trial I’m glad that these fools are being shown to the world for the unscrupulous b**t**ds that they truly are. The ethical and moral burden, if not the legal burden, will rest on their shoulders entirely. If any of these individuals has even a hint of a conscience then this fact will haunt them to their very core for the rest of their lives as it should.

          1. I agree their hypocrisy is what I detest the most.

            I would say more, but I am working on a new post that I think will put it all in better perspective than what I can say, here, on the spur of the moment.

            I’ll just say that I’m not ready to throw out my copy of TII (I still think it is a precious documentation of Michael’s last days-both good and bad) but I do feel somewhat betrayed by the hypocritical game AEG played. I believe they really thought that all of this would be swept neatly under the rug, that they would put on a great public show of support for Michael and regret over his “tragic” loss, and all would be forgiven and forgotten, never to be probed any further.

            However, I still have some troubling questions. If Michael was indeed the physical wreck that both AEG AND his family are trying to paint him as, then wouldn’t his autopsy have revealed this? Instead, he was described as a healthy, 50-year-old man with only the typical ailments of any 50-year-old, and that his death was a direct response only of what Murray had given him that night-thus, the “homicide” ruling. Everything about the autopsy results pointed to a man who would have been destined for a normal life span, had it not been for the fact that he was overdosed on propofol and sedatives.

            All of the eyewitness testimonies-testimony after testimony-of the weak condition he was in are hard to ignore. But then, so is the autopsy results. I still ask myself: How can it all possibly jibe?

            The autopsy is what continues to fuel the speculations of the conspiracy theorists who believe his death was intentional murder. I certainly don’t know, but it is all very puzzling to me.

            I personally think their remarks had more to do with the “good ol’ boy” mentality of their profession than outright maliciousness, but as the testimony and evidence continue to stack up, it is becoming very obvious that they did not have much respect for Michael. And again, where it seems there was so little regard for him as a working artist and human being, how much regard did they have for his life?

          2. Yes, I will keep my copy of TII and yes, AEG didn’t have much concern for Michael other than what they could get FROM him. As to how the autopsy report (relatively healthy 50 yr old male) jibes with testimony (rapid decline in health over 2 mnths)? The testimony of Dr. Cziesler answers that question. It’s clear that only so much can be concluded from observing someone’s physical remains. The affect the Propofol was having over time to Michael’s mental/cognative/emotional/physical abilities could never be observed during an autopsy. Yes, it was clear he lost weight and it was clear he didn’t have organ damaged from alledged drug abuse. It was also clear what drugs were in his body at the time of his death. His remains clearly showed these things. Mental confusion, loss of physical agility, hold/cold sensations, etc. Of course, these neurological effects of Propofol could never be observed during an autopsy. The autopsy report and observations of Michael before his death have to go hand-in-hand. I think too many look at the autopsy report as a stand alone ducument and the one thing that explains everything and of course it can’t. It does a very good job of telling part of the story only. Dr. Cziesler has helped, in a very credible way, bridge the gap between pre and post June 25, 2009 observations of Michael’s overall health and subsequent decline at the hands of Dr. Murray…and the blindness of AEG executives to the clear red flags being waved from a number of sources. A necessary bridge indeed.

    2. Wonderful info, thank you!

      Lennon’s quote reminds me of how in the 60’s, it was considered cool to be a “freak.” I think the word had somewhat of a different connotation culturally back then, although it still depended on which side of the fence you were on. To the establishment, “freaks and hippies” were bad people. But at the time, there was a kind of universal embracing of uniqueness which we lost as the political pendulum swung right again. If you were a freak in those days, you were part of the “in” crowd.

    3. I believe I understand what you’re saying, Ara.

      Obviously the AEG representatives weren’t using the word “freak” in any way we might consider expansive or enlightened. But language isn’t a fixed system; it can be fluid and supple, more than we often imagine. If we wish to yield up power (in this case, the power to define a person through words) to these executives, we’re free to do so, of course.

      Why accept their decree, their version of reality, as if it were an immutable fact? It’s not. To go along with their narrow definition of “freakdom” is essentially to put ourselves under their boot heels. We can instead take a note from John Lennon and even Lady Gaga, who readily calls herself and her fans “freaks” and “monsters” as a way of reclaiming and repurposing what were once pejorative terms.

      The idea of the “freak,” freakery, and freakdom has been long studied by cultural analysts and critics who have formulated substantial challenges to the ways certain discourses frame the “Other”: as a freak. At the same time, much has been found to celebrate in freakdom.

      As teenagers in the early ’70s–rejecting the word “hippie”—my friends and I reveled in being “freaks.”

      1. Sometimes words originally meant to diminish or exclude become like an honorary title.
        But the connotation or feel of words like freak, redneck, kike or nigger depends heavily on who is saying it to who.
        The bottom line is what a word(a message)means to the addressee and to the sender.
        I dont think the narrowminded execs of AEG consider freak a title to own and neither did Michael.

        “The minute I started breaking the alltime records sales ….. , overnight they called me a freak, a homosexual, a child molester, they said that I bleached my skin…..they did everything to turn the public against me. This is all a big conspiracy.”

  5. How come no one has gotten Leonard Rowe, Michael’s actual manager to testify? I also tried to search the internet to see if he has a twitter or Facebook account, and I found this one on Twitter: @Leonard_Rowe. I wonder if this was his actual account because he kept posting new things about the new book at that time (What Really Happened to MJ), but the site is discontinued as well as his Facebook accounts. I hope nothing has happened to him! Also, he hasn’t been active on Twitter since 2011. The reason I’m saying this is because no one is spreading his word about the dark side of the entertainment industry, and no one in California is willing to take Mr. Rowe’s case of discrimination because no one wants to shake up the “system” of things in Hollywood.It seems like the knowledge of what really happened to MJ is being kept among his fans (or rather, the fans that are not Pro AEG). I know the truth is all coming out in the trial (or most of it), but it just doesn’t seem like anyone other than the fan community is paying attention. It’s frustrating!

    1. He seems to be laying low, for whatever reason.

      It is frustrating, but the main reason the public at large isn’t paying attention to this trial is several fold: It’s a civil case, as opposed to a criminal trial; there are no high stakes in the outcome (no big name celebrity is facing prison time) and, for most of the general public, there is no clear-cut villain to hate. Unless someone is a diehard MJ fan, they aren’t going to know enough details about this case to really make it compelling, and the average person simply isn’t going to have enough vested interest to really care about the outcome, one way or another. I do agree that people SHOULD care, because this trial may well set a precedent for the entertainment industry, but then again, most average, working class people aren’t duly concerned about what goes on behind the scenes with big name entertainment corporations.

      The media is mostly burying this story for two reasons. It’s not a guaranteed ratings bonanza (for all the reasons listed above) but, perhaps more tellingly, they are going to protect AEG. It’s a lot easier to trash “those greedy Jacksons” than one of the biggest corporations in the industry. What they are really gearing up/holding out for is when the defense presents THEIR case. Any salacious details about Michael-his medical records, his personal life, etc-will be ratings fodder, and that is all they care about. They do not care about truth; that is (and has always been) the furthest thing from their agenda.

      1. We as fans have to find SOME way to unite with celebrities and stand AS ONE to the authorities about how artists are cheated, mistreated, and discriminated against in the entertainment industry! I feel like I can’t just let this stay in the fan community because even non fans-everyone-is manipulated by the media, the press gets away with slander, embezzlement is covered up,and the authorities turn their heads and say ‘not our problem’, but the problem is if you know too much there is the chance that you may be killed like MJ. This is just as serious as any other crime is. Big companies get in the way of people’s creativity when they’d actually be NOTHING without the artists! I don’t know why, but I feel like everyone needs to be made aware whether they are MJ fans or not. I’m just so angry at this because I am an artist and people think they can just tell the artist what they think the fans will like, or not even care, but steal money. It’s highly OFFENSIVE to me. And I’m sorry but I just need to rant, but I’m serious with this… we need to find a way to get justice done.

  6. I think the word that hurt Michael the most was ‘pedophile” not “freak”–if I had to find a single, most devasting and debilitating word that was thrown up in his face–the ‘p’ word would be the one.

    I think there’s a lot of emotion going on here and it clouds rational thought processes. I thought that the comment “didn’t your mother tell you if you can’t say anything nice, etc” was really lame. Everyone calls other people at some point a name–in public, in emails, on the phone, in all the various ways we communicate. We all slip or just plain express our prejudices,our annoyance, our anger, our frustration. To crucify/condemn someone else for what we do is just plain hypocritical. Personally, I think that remark has no bearing on this case, which is about much more serious issues. Someone in an email calling MJ a freak did not cause his death.

    Also, to say ‘animals are treated better’ is just plain wrong. Animals are abused worldwide in the millions if not billions. There may be a few who are lucky enough to find good homes, but the vast majority spend lives of great suffering, esp.if they are factory farm animals, in labs, in circuses, homeless, etc. That kind of comment is the highly emotional comment that shows a lack of rational thought IMO.

    I am certainly not saying there is not a dark side to the entertainment industry in general, b/c it’s clear there is, but in the specific case of AEG and MJ, we need to focus on their actions and not generalize to what happened to other stars in other circumstances, or even MJ in other times and places. I have recently been interested in Toni Braxton’s situation and the parallels to MJ’s life. There are so many parallels it’s quite amazing–the siblings, the strict upbringing, the rehearsals as a child, the debts, the bad contracts, the Oprah connection, and Toni was diagnosed with lupus as well. She has had a really bad time. There was a recent special on her–Behind the Music– and she says that being a star, getting into the business is not hard (if you have the talent), but it’s so hard “to hold on to it, maintain it, and keep it going, that’s the toughest part of it.”

    Behind the Music Toni Braxton VH1
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cx-l_j4EoZk

    1. I acknowledge it did not cause his death, nor (do I think) it is one of those things that will really matter in the grander scheme of things in this trial. As you said, much bigger issues are at stake.

      But I think that, on a symbolic level, it is important to understand that this is how these people viewed him. I don’t condone it under any circumstances, or via any excuse.

      The “p” word was certainly more damaging, but I don’t think “freak” was too far behind. Even though Michael did try to own it, he never quite had the brashness of a John Lennon (and, besides, I think in Lennon’s case, it was more the complimentary use of the word “freak” as in unique, whereas with Michael, it tended to be much more derogatory and malicious). Michael let it be known that lose labels DID hurt and were meant to dehumanize. So taking his own words as a cue, I do believe the constant belittlement caused by that word (and its various synonyms-“bizarre,” “wacko,” etc) in the press was a source of much stress and emotional pain. On one level, I think he tried to embrace it, as if to say, “So what? Being different is good, and labels can’t hurt me.” But on the other hand, it did hurt-and he wasn’t very good at disguising that fact.

      And sadly, I think he also knew, deep down, that this was also how he was viewed by many in the industry. The tabloids have the ability to create a reputation, and even people in the business are not immune to believing what they hear.

      I think Trell and Fickre’s exchange is certainly proof of that.

      1. It’s ironic that the one person who recognized that the tabloid depiction of Michael Jackson was totally bogus – and said so – was Ed Chernoff, Conrad Murray’s attorney.

        1. I don’t think Ed Chernoff is a bad guy; just a guy that has a dirty job as Murray’s defense attorney. Flanagan, though, was the one that always got under my skin the worst.

        2. Chernoff: “I think the media made him appear weirder than he is.”

          Couldn’t agree more. In some ways I think the entertainment industry also is to blame…outside of tabloids that is. The entertainment industry has a dark underbelly that can be very ugly and when a few individuals are able to “suck the oxygen out of the room,” so to speak, like what the media did with Michael (not his fault), it takes the focus off of the industry and those that represent/mis-represent its power centers. This trial helps to put that focus where it belongs…at least for the short term. Besides, the entertainers end up being the “shinyest objects in the room” for the media/public so its easy for the suits calling the shots behind the scenes to cowardly go un-noticed…except when their “shiny object” needlessly dies on their watch causing the bright light of scrutiny to shine on them instead.

  7. Raven. Perhaps I should apologise because, in my copy of ‘Dancing The Dream’ first published in 1992, and reprinted in 2009, it does say ‘play’ but I think ‘ploy’ just makes more sense, and it rhymes. Also the reason I think it may be a misprint is because in ‘Love’ on Page 66 there are two glaring misprints. Instead of ‘free’ and ‘energy’, they have printed ‘five’ and ‘enemy’; so annoying, as it ruins Michael’s meaning totally! I actually wrote to the publishers about it, and they said it couldn’t be corrected until they do another print run, which could be ages as they had just run off 10,000!
    If you look at ‘Child of Innocence’, Michael uses ‘ploy’ in the second line of the last verse. Of course, I could be wrong – sorry if I am – but some instinct is guiding me.

    1. I have the 92 DTD and it doesn’t have the 2 typos (five and enemy) in the Love poem, but it does have ‘skillful play’ in the Magical Child poem, and I agree that this must be a mistake b/c there is no rhyme for play, and ploy rhymes and makes more sense. Good catch, Nina.

    2. The original copies of these poems have to exist in some form. (Maybe stored in that same warehouse as the manifesto? They read another excerpt from an original manuscript of Michael’s that was stored in that facility). That would be the only way to ever know for sure.

  8. On another subject altogether, Fox News has got a big problem. Today they published an article that says, pertaining to Wade Robson’s accusations “A source close to the Jackson family also told us there is potential truth in his allegations.”

    Huh? A source close to the family? Meaning someone like Stacy Brown?

    “Potential truth” ??? As in biased and highly speculative badmouthing? Why would a ‘credible’ news source even go there?

    The insinuation in the article is that their source might even be a member of Michael’s very own(we’re supposed to gasp!)family. Printing this kind of gossip is just plain underhanded and unprofessional.

    What do you think is up with Fox???

    (Since clicking on a website moves it higher up in the search results queue, I suggest not clicking on the Fox article unless you really feel you have to.)

    God, how icky they are…

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2013/05/29/source-wade-robson-not-asking-for-lot-money-in-claims-against-michael-jackson/#ixzz2UpQC2ihN

    1. The author of the article is a friend of Stacy Brown. Dimond said on her facebook she believed WR is just asking money for his psychiatric bill a frw days ago.

      The family insider is probably Stacy Brown, and he was probaly the insider who talked to the Daily Star too.

      The Fox article is very unprofessional even by Fox news standard.

    2. It really ticks me off, also, that Fox does not have a comments section for their articles. So basically, whatever filth they print is allowed to go unchallenged.

      The source is SO obviously Stacy Brown it isn’t even funny. That was my first thought when I saw this article yesterday. And how would this “source” know what was being asked for, in a sealed document…unless said “source” also hobknobs with Wade on a regular basis and is close to him. Hmm. Close enough to have such insider info? It was only very recently that Stacy Brown and Diane Dimond were speculating on this very topic in their tweets. Diane Dimond as good as said that Wade is only asking for reimbursement of his therapy bills-but admitted it was speculation.

      Now, all of sudden, it is being reported as “fact.” How interesting.

      There has always been speculation that Fox News, like NBC, is comprised largely of MJ enemies-or at the very least, those who certainly don’t mind distorting the truth about him for ratings. This is true to some extent of all the networks (as they are all cut from the same cloth, more or less) but both CBS and ABC have always shown a little more integrity when covering MJ related stories. Don’t forget that Rupert Murdoch is the owner of Fox Network. I know that Vindicating Michael and a few other sites have covered this connection quite extensively-it is really fascinating to see how closely these dogs all lie together.

      1. Even Diane D seems to have little appetite for the Wade Robson claim. She dismissed a request from somebody who has a Facebook page devoted to him, and expressed concern about how Mj’s children might be affected by Wade’s lawsuit and the AEG trial. She never gave a damn about MJ’s kids before. She must sense, or actually know, that Wade’s claims are bogus.

        1. I think she was hoping to get someone to call her back and give her a hot new molestation story and is disappointed that so far her phone isn’t red hot with Safechuck, Barnes, Cascio, Spence, Omer, etc trying to give her a ring to finally have their voices heard.

  9. Or it could be Latoya inadvertendly burping out that Robson dated several Jackson family members. Of course if you want to misi terpret you’re going to have a field day with this one.

    1. It wouldn’t surprise me if he dated Jackson family members. Wade has been riding the coattails of Michael and the Jackson family-and taking full blown advantage of his association with them-ever since 1989.

  10. Raven, in these last days I have reached some conclusions that I’d like to share here.
    is the first time that I can read the depositions in my native language thanks to the work site by Laura http://www.truth4mj.it/. Thank you guys!

    I believe that we do not understand the behavior of AEG because our arguments are based on assumptions human and ethical, while their positions were basically business and money and nothing else.

    There are two facts that illuminate the whole question: the first is that the company that promotes its artist allows you to call the same “freak”
    the second is that for them a particular kind of doctor could safely replace Murray, the main thing is that it was of the same mold.
    So much so that they thought initially to Dr. F. .. can not remember the exact name, who had already made his “work” with Michael during the Dangeous Tour.

    Aeg, although strongly persuaded that MJ was still a huge investimentio in terms of audience and show, capable of racing sold out, they were also convinced that it was Wacko Jacko: Perhaps they too mesmerized by the media and deep convictions and because circulating on M complex situations of the past health of M, Aeg considered normal the fact that M was treated like a drug addict addicted, at the mercy of the drug and his oddities.

    A doctor was as good as another, as long given the same ethical values​​: simply had to have a briefcase suitable to run the car that was for them the body of M..

    If Aeg was reallly interested in his real health needs that would be, in the end, even cheaper for them. If aeg had hired a team of nutritionists, physical therapist, psychologist, etc., they would have spent less than paying a doctor corrupt, indebted and unfair, that you did buy at the sound of dollars-
    But the doctor had to be ready for anything, simply because AEG has never believed that M had been put back in line and did not believe for a moment that he wanted to work serious about his health and for the show.

    AEG has chosen to do so because he felt that for M it was the only way forward.
    Give a bucket of chicken is like saying you want to put gasoline in this car and this car will go on.

    At 50 and 50 per cent chance-
    Let’s face it, M’s health was the same in March in April or May or June. M was, thin and troublesome from the start.

    If he had lived and health Aeg would benefit from the money collected with the success of the show, if he had given lump sum or if he died, they would have earned with the insurance (they were fiddling around for a while to gain advantages in this regard!) And with all the rest of post-mortem that we know well.

    Maybe what I’m saying is obvious to many, but I believe that we can not talk like we used to do “normally”: Aeg was for M a killing machine by its very raison d’être: a machine that just wanted to make money, knowing of their gains from the beginning.
    To do this money did not hesitate a moment to embed M, their favorite Freak.
    And their bell boy, Dr. Murray, their worst choice or, for some of them, the better.

    1. This is why I try hard not to be pro or con, but to keep my views flexible as more is learned. I have gone from being someone largely opposed to this trial, to now accepting it as a necessary evil that had to happen in order for the full truth to be known. As Deborah Kunesh has said (and I agree) what we are now seeing is all of the evil coming forth that Michael had to deal with. The evil has to come forth in order to be purged. That is part of the catharsis, and a catharsis is never pleasant-or easy.

      I think there are many fans who would be content to let sleeping dogs lie, as long as it prevented negative publicity and we could all just go along, celebrating Michael’s life and music, going to see ONE, etc., without asking anyone having to answer for their culpability. I have been guilty of this, myself. Of course, we do have to pick and choose our battles carefully. My biggest beef with this trial is that it seemed an insurmountable win, and that either way, Michael would come out the loser. Like many, I looked at the narrow, immediate picture (the negative publicity; the circus it would make of Michael’s private life and medical records, etc) rather than the long term price (allowing those who were culpable in his death to get off scot free, with no repercussions and only a slap on the wrist to his doctor). No one ever said that truth and justice would come without a price. It still boils down to whether that price is worth paying.

      I do find myself waffling a lot. There are days when I cringe and feel sick at the nasty headlines and wish fervently that none of this was happening-that it is all just a bad dream. But then those days when I feel the celebratory whoop of victory (such as what I have felt during the last, few days as the media has blasted Paul Gongaware and his obvious lies/deceptiveness). I am much more inclined, overall, to say that the price of truth is worth all of these small bumps along the way. Even IF the Wade Robson allegations are an orchestrated part of this-as some suspect, including me-it still just goes to show the evil that needed to be exposed. I think exposing and ridding the evil for once and for all is better than living a lie in which the evil would always be hiding just beneath the surface.

      By the way, I believe you are thinking of Dr. Finklestein (sounds almost too eerily like Dr. Frankenstein to me!).

      I will have to see if I can translate Laura’s blog. I appreciate all the effort being made on a global scale to get the truth out.

      1. “I think exposing and ridding the evil for once and for all is better than living a lie in which the evil would always be hiding just beneath the surface”.

        How painful … but the only possible one.

        Thank you, Raven for your response that I feel arise from your deep heart.
        And yes, the doctor is he, very appropriate name!

      2. I have struggled immensely over the last couple of days concerning this trial and the price that has to be paid inorder for the truth to be told. With the lastest news concerning Paris I’ve wanted the trial to stop even though the trial itself is probably not what caused her to take the actions she recently took. It is clear that this has been building over a long time with many contributing factors with the most significant of course being the loss of her father almost 4 years ago. The events of the last couple of days have caused me to think about Michael’s Oxford speech where he discussed parenting and something he called a “children’s universal bill of rights,” which I’d like to repeat here:

        “I would therefore like to propose tonight that we install in every home a Children’s Universal Bill of Rights, the tenets of which are:

        1. The right to be loved without having to earn it

        2. The right to be protected, without having to deserve it

        3. The right to feel valuable, even if you came into the world with nothing

        4. The right to be listened to without having to be interesting

        5. The right to be read a bedtime story, without having to compete with the evening news

        6. The right to an education without having to dodge bullets at schools

        7. The right to be thought of as adorable – (even if you have a face that only a mother could love).

        Friends, the foundation of all human knowledge, the beginning of human consciousness, must be that each and every one of us is an object of love. Before you know if you have red hair or brown, before you know if you are black or white, before you know of what religion you are a part, you have to know that you are loved.” ~ Michael Jackson

        Although some of these ideals are directed at much younger children the first several would definitely apply to older children such as Paris and Prince.

        1. As I was reading this, it struck me as how cruelly and sadly ironic it is that the daughter of the man who spoke those words is now enduring so much heartbreak and tragedy. I know it would never have come to this if he was still here. I always said that Paris would have still rebelled, because that’s what teenagers do. But she would have had her foundation which every child needs.

          As a Michael Jackson fan, I have always taken pride in being able to point out to people how normal and well-adjusted his children have turned out to be. Now, in light of what has happened, I am not so sure I can say that anymore-and make it sound 100% convincing. People now are always going to be looking at this and pointing at it as an example that these may NOT be such well adjusted kids, after all. Obviously, there are some big issues going on, especially with Paris.

          But what I hate is that people will use this as an excuse to bash Michael’s parenting, when the truth-which should be so blatantly obvious to everyone-is that it is precisely the LACK of Michael in these children’s lives that is creating so much chaos. Perhaps it has been too much pressure to live up to; everyone EXPECTING them to serve as shining examples to the outside world, rather than dealing with the real issues that were going on within. I hope that is not the case.

          They are all great kids. I had the opportunity to observe them in person on several candid occasions last summer in Gary, and to the outward eye, they all seemed very happy and like normal kids their age in every regard. But,of course, outward appearances can be deceiving. What people have to realize is that these kids have been through a LOT in the last four years. Michael raised three great kids, but they are not superhuman. Even an adult would have trouble coping with all they have been through.

          1. Raven said, “…it is precisely the LACK of Michael in these children’s lives that is creating so much chaos.”

            Exactly!! The idea that Michael raised well adjusted children still stands even in light of Paris’ crisis. He did raise 3 great children. That hasn’t changed. As we all know their circumstances and the stability they once knew changed dramatically and will affect them deeply for years to come and as you said there will be people that will want to blame the situation with Paris and any crisis that happens with her brothers as some how being MJ’s fault. The very thought is heartbreaking and so wrong but sadly very predictable.

  11. Here’s something Travis Payne said about how MJ reacted to the media negativity:

    “During his tough times, Jackson had strength to persevere though all the media scrutiny. Payne remembered questioning Jackson during this tough time. “Aren’t you mad about this?” Payne asked him. Jackson shrugged his shoulders and said, “No. They just need more love,” Payne recalled. “That was his answer to everything,” he said – noting Jackson didn’t want to waste his time with “negative energy.”

    http://www.popeater.com/2009/10/23/t…chael-jackson/

    Travis also said in the same article that MJ did not want to dwell in the past–he was all about the future.

    1. I like Travis Payne a lot, and believe there is a lot of sincerity in everything he says about Michael.

      However, it’s not “quite” true that he always had such a “turn the other cheek” outlook. He did get really angry at times, and while slow to hold a grudge, could also be very slow to let go of them once he had built up enough resentment against someone. But this just all goes with being human, and not some saint. As I have said before, I believe that Michael had an ideal of the person that he wanted to be, and throughout his life, strove very hard to maintain that ideal, both personally and professionally. I am sure he was sincere in what he told Payne. This was his life’s philosophy, and I think, a model for how he certainly tried to live his life.

      He may not have always lived up to it, but again, few people ever had to endure all the crap that he did.

  12. I have to come back to Magical Child Part 2: I’ve thought a while about the verse with ‘skilful play or ploy’ and in my opinion it could also be ‘play’. (I’m no English speaking person so please excuse my bad style.)

    Magical child is consistently build up with rhyming couplets. But the second verse begins with ‘joy-destroy’. Then follows ‘play’ and I think this should be the rhyme for ‘break’ from the last line, they are building a frame for the lines in between. The four lines in between end all alike: plunder-wonder-blunder-thunder. Why is this verse torn apart? I think this is the only verse which is about destruction and how cruel the strangers are toward the child.

    Furthermore I think in the mind of the strangers it was a ‘skilful play’ (“… in their minds …”) , because it’s only a ploy for the child (and for us). What they are doing is wrong, but the strangers think it’s a play.

    The following verses are again build up with continuous rhyming couplets, there is not one exception. This is only the case in the second verse. If it would be ‘ploy’ then the ‘break’ from the last line would stand alone. I think that wouldn’t match either.

    If you read it loud it makes a lot of sense.

    1. Thanks Lilly for your thoughts on play/ploy. Play can rhyme with ‘break’ and also the stanza continues with ‘take’ and ‘fake’–there seem to be 12 lines in the first 3 stanzas. Cetainly the vowel sound ‘long A’ are the same in play, break, take. You could be right that it is not a mistake and is intentional to show how the strangers try to twist and strangle the child’s innocent wonder!!

    2. It seems to be “play” in every version I’ve checked out so far, so I may need to edit the line again and keep it as “play” for now until I have more concrete evidence otherwise. Again, if it was a mistake on the part of the book editors, we may never know unless an original copy of the manuscript surfaces.

    1. This is fascinating. I watched about halfway thru, then had to pause so I can come back to it later. But just what I’ve heard so far is a fascinating glimpse into how the tabloid press operates. Thanks for the link. This is a very informative source that everyone should be aware of.

  13. I hope to God it isn’t accurate, but it’s being reported that Paris Jackson attempted suicide early this morning and has been rushed to the hospital.

  14. FREAK…

    A person who is envied because they are a fabulously unique individual, that can “kick ass” and has no need or desire to follow the flock.

    Enough said…

  15. Are all those that call him “a” freak, not showing how small and low people they are themselves ? Is that the only way they can show their jealousy, envy, lack of dignity ? Freak says nothing about Michael, but a lot (if not all) about the one that uses the word imo.

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