(Note: I’ve read over this particular blog writing a number of times and it is one of my passionate and rather singularly focused pieces where, propelled by that passion, be my words and thoughts correct or incomplete, current or historical, I do dare to step upon a soapbox and just rant (which is actually the point of my blog – to just vent it out). I do this particular rant with intention of good which I sincerely hope does convey. Thank you.)
Last Sunday (June 14th, 2015), I stumbled across some videos of the late Michael Jackson. While the man was alive, I admit I had only a passing interest about him. I thought he was a fairly talented performer, not astonishing or mind-blowing, but good and I didn’t go “head over heels” about him. In fact I looked with consternation upon the masses that swooned over him. Honestly, I thought those folks were behaving in utterly ridiculous ways. So much fuss over just one person!
But I never saw him in concert or in videos for that matter. I only heard his songs on the radio. Actually, I had no idea who the man was at all, neither as a performer and certainly not as the remarkable person he was.
This last Sunday I happened across two videos he had made: “Have You Seen My Childhood?” and “Earth Song.” Both these videos resonated to my heart quite deeply.
Then for some reason I wanted to see his performance of “Earth Song” “live” in concert. Here I happened across a video of a concert he did in Korea. There some dumb-assed fan climbed up the ramp of this lift-crane that Michael was performing at the top of.
In that situation, I watched Michael’s facial expression of terrible surprise, as he saw this fan racing up the ramp to him. To my eye, Michael looked absolutely terrified for this person and rightly so. That crane was up in the air some twenty or thirty feet! Michael held on to this silly fan just as securely as he could *and* still performed the song.
_______Michael Jackson – Earth Song Live in Seoul (with crazy Fan)
_______Uploaded on Feb 6, 2012 Live in Korea / Seoul ★HIStory World Tour1996★ Music “Earth Song (Remastered Version)” by Michael Jackson (Google Play • AmazonMP3 • iTunes)
I felt bad for Michael, having to cope with such a dangerous situation.
I also found myself feeling very angry with the production/stage team because they should have brought the crane down. They did not. Those heartless creeps! They couldn’t see their way clear to help him?!
Poor Michael did the song all the way through, clinging to and protecting this dumb fan the whole time, and finally at the end of the song they brought the crane down. After he finally broke free of that dumb-assed fan, got himself back onto and then to one side of the stage, the look of sheer relief confirmed to me that his heart must have been up in his throat with fear.
My heart resonated sorrow and compassion for Michael, even though he is many years now passed away.
Regardless of the opportunities and enormous riches it brought to him, every bit of all of it he earned with his blood, sweat and tears, the entertainment industry machine in general, of which the rags-media is intrinsically a part, was actually quite horrible to him! No amount of work or giving was ever enough. The industry did its level best to drain the man dry and the rag-presses/media bent over backwards to humiliate him, break his Spirit and ruin his Soul.
He gave so much of himself away, for nearly all of his life. And still the industry dressed him up, paraded him around, and did everything within their grasp to make him into an object. Years didn’t lessen their tortuous pressure, they leaned on him more and more, hurting him at every turn. Actually, the truth is – the entertainment industry machine just didn’t care. Not about him as a person. Not about anyone as a person.
But Michael’s beating heart was one of a Warrior. He steeled himself against them. He achieved despite them, and maybe every once and a while, in outright spite of them. No matter the industry’s cruelty, greed, manipulations, lies and cold indifference, he gave, he smiled and he loved from his heart. Anyone who had that golden chance to know him even a little bit, would almost certainly say the same things about this remarkable, hard-working, dedicated man – he was, I believe, of love in it’s most giving and pure sense. Love of his family, love of and for his fans, love for the young people to whom he gave so much. He held on to his humanity and he persevered for as long as he could.
Michael Jackson was of course not the only one to tragically suffer under the weight of the entertainment industry machine and the rags-media. The killing fields of the machine are littered with the broken Spirits and literal corpses of many whom they have heartlessly ravaged, giving not even the slightest hesitation that may be born from compassion or at the very least humaneness.
-adding another soapbox on top of the soapbox I’ve already placed myself upon-
It has long been my opinion that here in America, the fan culture, which in large part drives those vicious rag-medias and the machine, is frighteningly insatiable. The fans demand ever more from the entertainment object of their focus. To moderate myself (and as much passion as I am feeling with this writing, moderation comes at some effort) here I will say that only some of the entertainment industry manipulates those fans, that not all of the industry actually encourage the fans to near frenzy.
Here in America, once a person attains “celebrity” status, the cultural perspective is that they in that achievement have therefore forfeited any and all of their privacy, surrendered any allowance and right to just be and just live. The cultural expectation is that entertainers should entertain without ever stopping, even to take a desperate breath.
It’s tragic and terrible, and should be deeply embarrassing to we Americans to conduct ourselves in such heartless ways, when certainly we ourselves would not enjoy reversing the roles in any real sense with these celebrities.
A question of antagony looms contradictorily and suggestively here. Those people whom we might regard as great in whatever capacity they might be such, would they have become so great without the driving pressure of the entertainment industry? I believe, yes, absolutely they would have become great, regardless. But would they have become so well-known? If you and I create a better, more caring industry of promotion, yes, they would have become just as well-known.
There is a much better way to honor and say “thank you” to the celebrities we appreciate, to acknowledge and give our admiration for the skills these artists possess and share. There are far kinder ways to show our respect and love of these gifted people.
-adding one more soapbox on my little tower here-
Number one: Never, ever buy any of these rag-papers. You know the kind. These are the paparazzi-developing kinds of trash publications. Don’t read them. Don’t buy them. Ever. And do your part to discourage others from buying that trash. If no one buys that garbage, they will have to stop printing it. Quite simply they will no longer have the money to keep manufacturing those publications which those are actually a terrible waste of trees.
Number two: Remember first and always that they, these entertainers that resonate to our hearts, minds and Souls, that work so very hard to entertain us, who are in fact not any larger than life than anyone else, regardless of whatever eccentricity may be apparent, they are absolutely just as human as you and I are.
Don’t mob them. Ever.
If we care, really care, then we will support their right to *not* have to entertain us all the time. Let them be able to relax and reconnect with humanity simply as humans.
Aside of supporting them financially by going to their concerts and shows, buying their albums, books and so on, give them the most precious gift of your and my heart – and that is to be able to just be.
If we, all of us, could have done that, maybe dear precious and beautiful Michael and many other beloved entertainers might have lived a little longer and maybe, just maybe, a little happier.
Obviously this writing is not for those who already do these kind and right things. This writing is for all the others regardless of whether any of them might read this or not. To those is directed this plea: think about those good people who give so much of themselves to you and me and everyone and I pray, do the right thing; be as humane to them as you would like humaneness to be unto you.
Inserting here a bit of idealistic hope that my rant up to this point is relevant to the past, that things aren’t as harsh in the overall industry today as it used to be.
I dedicate this blog to all the great entertainers and, in this moment, to Michael Jackson who, in my recently obtained albeit late opinion, was the quintessential entertainer.
And to the Spirit of dear Michael Jackson, where-ever your tender, loving, strong Spirit might be, I send this prayer from my heart to your Spirit-heart. Thank you for all that you were and all that you gave and shared of yourself. Thank you for having been here, for having been you. I pray that you now do what you could so seldomly do here in this physical realm – I pray you rest in peace. Bless your Spirit, Michael. Rest in peace.
P.S. I attempted to find one song from Michael’s many performances to fit my thoughts and feelings, to include here in this blog, and I have failed. I could sit here all night and through the weekend and still realize there are just simply too many. So here is the list I am, with effort, confining myself to place here. I hope you enjoy. Blessings and Peace.