Archive for September, 2010

When Chocolate and Vanilla Marbelized

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

As a teenager, I used to enjoy American Bandstand. Watching Dick Clark on American Bandstand and Don Cornelius on Soul Train were wholesome preludes to the likes of MTV. One chocolate, one vanilla…eventually the two genres marbleized. Thanks to the tenacity and tremendous talent of Michael Jackson, Black and White music and music-lovers ever grew into stripes on the same animal.

I challenge you to tell me that this precious boy doesn’t just melt your heart! ♥

This spirited little guy was born and blessed with BIG talent and BIG energy.
It’s fun to watch it roll in a small package! Amazing!

Interview after song…sweeeet!

Decades later…

Our darling boy, as in days-gone-by, graces and honors the Soul Train stage.

Over the years, Michael proved his stunning musical versatility and sheer star power. With his short-film music video Thriller in 1982, Michael became the first black artist to find stardom on MTV. He broke down innumerable boundaries for his race, and for music video as an art form.

For their celebration of TEN consecutive years, MTV considered Michael indispensable. For the first time LIVE, he sang a wildly intense Black and White, with Slash going crazy on electric guitar.

Then, the pride of MTV contrasted the tone with a stunning, and highly emotional, performance of Will You Be There? Michael Joseph Jackson is truly “a treasure time won’t steal away.”

And so, I challenge you again, to tell me that this precious man doesn’t just melt your heart! ♥

Chief Angel ~ Michael’s Namesake

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Since the sixth century, and today, September 29th is historically and traditionally the feast of Michaelmas which celebrates and honors Michael the Archangel as the “chief” of all the angels in heaven.

In Christian, Muslim, Jewish and other theologies an angel is understood to be one who acts as a messenger or agent of God. The word angel is thought to be derived from the Greek word angelos which means messenger.  Throughout the bible it is generally seen that the will of God is usually imparted or carried out by angels.

They are completely spiritual beings. They have intelligence and will. They are personal and immortal creatures. Angels are described as servants of God in the Hebrew Bible (translated מלאך = angel.) So, too, in the New Testament and the Quran. The term angel has also been expanded to various notions of spiritual beings found in many other religious and pagan traditions. The role of angels includes protecting and guiding human beings, and carrying out God’s tasks.

The theological study of angels is known as angelology. In art, angels are often depicted with wings, ultimately reflecting the descriptions in the Hebrew Bible, such as the chayot in Ezekiel’s Merkabah vision or the Seraphim of Isaiah.

The mighty Archangel Michael is considered, in many Christian circles, as the patron saint of the warrior.  This reminds me of the modern warrior of L.O.V.E. to whose memory this website is devoted. The symbolism contained in the art of Michael Jackson is a fascinating study; one which sheds light into the heart and soul of one of the most influential and significant artists of this millennium. It makes me happy to imagine our MJJ joyfully singing praises, with choirs of angelic beings, to his Almighty Creator and Beloved Father God, who he always credited and thanked for every good thing that came his way in life.

At the time of Michael’s trial in 2005, of his genius, he says, “It’s a gift from God.”

“Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they were defeated and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world — he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.”

~Revelation 12:7-9 [RSV]


The traditional feast of Archangel Michael, one of the seven key and elevated angels mentioned in Scripture, has been known in English as “Michaelmas.” This name lives on in a humble wildflower, a white aster with many small star-like flowers, that blooms in late September, known as the Michaelmas daisy.

For This Michael Age

We must eradicate from the soul
All fear and terror of what comes toward man
Out of the future.
We must look forward
With absolute equanimity
To everything that may come.

And we must think only that whatever comes
Is given us by world direction
Full of wisdom.
It is part of what we must learn in this age,
Namely, to act out of pure trust
Without any security in existence,
Trust in the ever-present
help of the Spiritual World.

Truly, nothing else will do
If all courage is not to fail us.
Let us discipline our will, and let us seek
The awakening from within ourselves
Every morning and every evening.

~Rudolf Steiner

Thank you to Minyaweth You Tube Channel for use of this tribute video with Sarah McLachlan’s song, In The Arms Of An Angel

A Prayer to Saint Michael
Saint Michael, Archangel, defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness
and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
And do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host,
by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all the other evil spirits who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

~Pope Leo XIII in 1886

Follow The Symposium Online! Sept 24 – 25

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

Genius without Borders: A Symposium in Honor of the Genius of Michael Jackson

The Center for Black Music Research (CBMR) at Columbia College Chicago will host Genius without Borders: A Symposium in Honor of the Genius of Michael Jackson.

“Scholars, arts advocates, journalists, musicians and music industry execs are on tap to discuss the musical, cultural and social dynamics that made Michael Jackson the most imitated and sought after entertainer of all time.”

“In the wake of losing Jackson last year, this symposium will shed a different light on his accomplishments and contributions to all genres of music,” says Dr. Monica Hairston O’Connell, director of the CBMR. “The time is right to view his impact through a scholarly lens and to look at the influence his time in Chicago had on Jackson’s musical maturation.”

For program details visit THIS LINK.

Thanks to the unknown artist who created this tribute.

Follow the Symposium Online

Althea Legaspi and Ronnie Reese will live blog the events.

Althea Legaspi is a Chicago-based writer/journalist. She’s a regular contributor to the Chicago Tribune, and her work has been featured in USA Today, Independent UK, Paste Magazine, Time Out, and Relix Magazine, among others. She is NPR-affiliate WBEZ’s on-air music critic, and her features also air on “All Things Considered.” She teaches Music Journalism, Writing for Radio, and Radio Interviewing at Columbia College Chicago and has also served as an on-camera correspondent for,, and the radio show “Sound Opinions.”

Ronnie Reese is a lifelong Chicagoan and candidate for a master of science degree in journalism from the Medill School at Northwestern University. A 2003 graduate of Loyola University Chicago, he previously worked on staff at the Chicago Tribune and, as well as a freelance contributor to Anthem, Mass Appeal, Stop Smiling, and Vapors magazines, and alternative weeklies the Dallas Observer, East Bay Express, and San Francisco Weekly. Reese served as editor-in-chief of the Medill School’s Academy for Alternative Journalism publication Who-Ville, and wrote Keeping Granny Alive, the definitive biography of famed African-American cartoonist Robert “Buck” Brown. In 2008, as a copywriter for Blue Note Records, he penned liner notes for reissued albums by Eddie Henderson, Bobbi Humphrey, and Reuben Wilson. Reese is a contributing editor for Wax Poetics magazine, where, in 2009, for the Wax Poetics Michael Jackson tribute issue, he wrote extensive features on the Jackson family’s roots and legacy in their Gary, Indiana, hometown (“Goin’ Back to Indiana”) and a history of the Corporation (“Well-Oiled Machine”), the group of Motown Records songwriters responsible for some of the Jackson 5′s biggest hits.

Follow the CBMR on Twitter at cbmrccc. Track and join the conversation using the hashtag #gwb2010.

This Is It: Family Finally Sues

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

According to Michael and many of the people closest to him, he greatly looked forward to the upcoming This Is It concerts that he diligently rehearsed for before his tragic and untimely death. But there are many perspectives that don’t match up. There appear to be numerous people invested in promulgating various stories about what was really going on behind the scenes during those long rehearsal months.

About a year ago, three months after his death, many news sources quoted Michael’s daughter, Paris, as saying that her daddy was working way too hard, even to the point of  death. His sister LaToya confirmed what Paris told her when she asked her niece to clarify her perspective. ‘No, you don’t understand. They kept working him, and Daddy didn’t want that, but they worked him constantly.”

News outlets worldwide are reporting today about the fact that Michael’s mother and children have filed a lawsuit against This Is It concert promotion company, AEG Live.

“The purpose of the lawsuit is to prove to the world the truth about what happened to Michael Jackson, once and for all,” stated Katherine Jackson’s lawyer,” wrote Claire McCormack of  TIME online today.

“His mother’s lawsuit described Jackson in his last months as confused, easily frightened, unable to remember, obsessive, and disoriented,” quoted Alan Duke of CNN this morning. “AEG was well aware of his condition but did not postpone any rehearsals, nor did AEG relent in its demands that Jackson continue to maintain the grueling rehearsal schedule,” the suit said. “Rather than react reasonably and relax the rehearsal schedule so Michael Jackson could recuperate from his physical problems, AEG insisted that he attend every rehearsal in a grueling schedule, threatening that if he missed even one more, they would cancel the tour.”

Michael’s younger brother Randy  posted on Twitter yesterday, “Last year I promised that I would not rest until the truth is exposed about what happened [with regard] to my brothers passing. May he rest in peace. I am doing my best to keep that promise. On this day my family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against AEG. I am proud of my family. What happened to my loving brother should NOT have happened. I really miss him. Please understand its not over, we have a long way to go. There is more to come. We are just getting started. This could not have been done without the support of the fans. Were all together in this. Thank you for your continued support and patience.”

In the lawsuit filed yesterday, Katherine alleges:

1. Michael was under contract with AEG for the This Is It tour and that under that contract “AEG had legal duties to Michael Jackson to treat him safely and not put him in harm’s way….But AEG, despite its’ knowledge of Michael Jackson’s physical condition, breached those duties by putting desire for massive profits from the Tour over the health and safety of Michael Jackson.” Katherine alleges AEG’s actions/inactions led to MJ’s death on 6/25/09.

2. Katherine Jackson alleges that AEG hired Dr. Conrad Murray. The lawsuit states that not only did AEG hire Dr. Conrad Murray, but that AEG was attempting to control MJ through Murray. It alleges that “AEG demanded and required that Michael Jackson would attend all rehearsals and shows on the tour” and this was ensured through Conrad Murray.

3. Lawsuit names defendants as: AEG LIVE LLC, Anschutz Entertainment Group, Inc., Brandon (aka Randy) Phillips, Kenny Ortega, Paul Gongaware (co-CEO AEG), Tim Leiweke (president and CEO AEG).

4. Lawsuit states that Michael entered into a contract with AEG on January 26, 2009. The agreement was an “artist loan out” agreement. AEG had the rights to merchandising and other revenues. “AEG advances Michael Jackson substantial sums of money, which it was to recoup through revenues of the Tour. If however, Jackson failed to perform, or failed to generate the revenue to cover the advances, then AEG would have the right to collect the advance against security provided by Michael Jackson and his company Michael Jackson, LLC.” Assets AEG could seize included MJ’s half of the Sony/ATV. “Indeed, AEG was even entitled by the contract to recoup from Jackson the production costs from the Tour if the Tour itself were not to be successful.”

5. Lawsuit alleges AEG essentially controlled MJ’s life; he was financially dependent on AEG, the home he lived in was provided by AEG, “and his assets stood security if he failed to perform.”

6. Lawsuit alleges the AEG contract required MJ to help buy life insurance in which AEG would benefit in the event of Jackson’s demise. MJ was required to buy cancellation insurance at his own expense and name AEG as the beneficiary.

7. Lawsuit alleges that rehearsals began in April, 2009. By May, 2009, AEG complains to MJ that he is missing rehearsals, instructs him to no longer see or take prescriptions from current doctor (Dr. Klein) and to start seeing doctor AEG would provide.

8. Lawsuit alleges AEG hired Murray, entered into a contract to pay him $150,000 per month from May, 2009 through June, 2010. AEG agrees to pay for all of Murray’s medical equipment including CPR equipment and a nurse.

AEG likely cared more for profits from Michael than Michael himself.


This tragic saga will continue to unfold. As Michael’s brother Randy says, “Please understand its not over, we have a long way to go. There is more to come. We are just getting started.”

“A Song Is A Mantra” On September 11th

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

“…a song is a mantra, something you repeat over and over. And we need peace, we need giving, we need love, we need unity.” ~Michael Jackson

“What More Can I Give” is a song written by American musician Michael Jackson and recorded by a supergroup of singers following the September 11 attacks in 2001. The inspiration for the song had initially come to Jackson after a meeting with the President of South Africa Nelson Mandela in the late 1990s.”

“Following the September 11 attacks in 2001, Michael rewrote “What More Can I Give”. He said, “I’m not one to sit back and say, ‘Oh, I feel bad for what happened to them… I want the whole world to sing “What More Can I Give,” to bring us together as a world, because a song is a mantra, something you repeat over and over. And we need peace, we need giving, we need love, we need unity.”

“As a humanitarian effort Michael, and other artists, recorded the new version of the song shortly afterward. The project had received an “overwhelming response from major artists all over the world,” with musicians such as Beyonce Knowles, Celine Dion, Luther Vandross, Mariah Carey, Usher, Nick Carter, Aaron Carter, NSYNC and Carlos Santana offering to lend their voices to the track. The recording process was held in Los Angeles, California and destinations reachable by Michael Jackson’s private plane and mobile production unit.”

“What More Can I Give” was performed live at the 9/11 benefit concert “United We Stand: What More Can I Give.” Held at the RFobert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium in Washington D.C.  on October 21, 2001, the eight-hour concert featured numerous artists performing to a sell-out audience of 54,000 people. Jackson performed his songs “We Are the World” and “Man In The Mirror“, before he and other singers such as Rod Stewart, Al Green, James Brown, Sean Combs, Pink and many of the original recording artists, closed the show with “What More Can I Give.” ~excerpts from Wikipedia

Remembering Madness

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Why in the world are all the people that trashed Michael’s reputation while he was alive now singing his praises? There was money to be made on the fruit of their bad mouthing, and now there is money to be made on their sweet remembrances. The First People of the Americas referred to the white settlers as those who had “forked tongues.” This expression aptly describes the above mentioned hypocrits.

In this moment I feel mad. Not happy mad. Not giddy with joy mad. I feel mad with anger at the thought of social injustice. I feel mad at the type of social injustice that lived, and breathed, during the trial in 2005 when Michael Jackson was mercilessly raked over the coals by the despicable journalism displayed in supposedly reputable newspapers, television and radio stations worldwide.

During the months of the trial, very few people reported accurate information. Very few media outlets, short of a few bloggers and courageous journalists such as NBC’s Geraldo Rivera, took the time to present the objective facts. There was a lot of money to be made, and unfortunately for Michael, dirt meant cash in the coffers of trusted reporting agencies. Truth was not as lucrative as skewed and lurid sensationalism. So that is what we, the public, received regarding the progress and outcome of the infamous Jackson trial of 2005.

Plentiful, but not as blatantly publicized, were  more balanced, honest perspectives. Geraldo Rivera investigated the facts himself, met with Michael and his children numerous times, and refused to regurgitate the popular juicy morsels of hearsay. After Michael’s acquittal Rivera was able to sing to the tune of “I told you so.”

An attorney from Washington state who maintains a blog called “Injustice Anywhere…” wrote on numerous occasions throughout the trial period. On April 13, 2005, she wrote a blog titled: Conspiracy of Dunces. On one post she said, “Does anyone, other than the lame-brained DAs who brought the case, actually believe this wacky story?” Three more poignant examples of her perspectives are available at her blog on: April 13th, 2005, May 19, 2005, June 13, 2005,

Both award-winning British journalist, Charles Thomson, and U.S. criminal investigative journalist, Aphrodite Jones, acquired and studied most of Michael Jackson’s FBI files. Each have written and spoken about the fact that there is not one shred of criminal evidence by any shade, tone or color on Michael.

Charles Thomsen published an insightful article in the Huffington Post on June 13, 2010, writes:

“A not guilty verdict was not quite so lucrative. In an interview with Newsweek, CNN boss Jonathan Klein recalled watching the not guilty verdicts come in and then telling his deputies, “We have a less interesting story now.”  The Hollywood Reporter noted that hastily assembled TV specials about Jackson’s acquittal performed badly and were beaten in the ratings by a re-run of Nanny 911.

The story was over. There were no apologies and no retractions. There was no scrutiny – no inquiries or investigations. Nobody was held to account for what was done to Michael Jackson. The media was content to let people go on believing their heavily skewed and borderline fictitious account of the trial. That was that.

When Michael Jackson died the media went into overdrive again. What drugs had killed him? How long had he been using them? Who had prescribed them? What else was in his system? How much did he weigh?

But there was one question nobody seemed to want to ask: Why?

Why was Michael Jackson so stressed and so paranoid that he couldn’t even get a decent night’s sleep unless somebody stuck a tube full of anesthetic into his arm? I think the answer can be found in the results of various polls conducted in the wake of Michael Jackson’s trial.

A poll conducted by Gallup in the hours after the verdict showed that 54% of White Americans and 48% of the overall population disagreed with the jury’s decision of ‘not guilty’. The poll also found that 62% of people felt Jackson’s celebrity status was instrumental in the verdicts. 34% said they were ‘saddened’ by the verdict and 24% said they were ‘outraged’. In a Fox News poll 37% of voters said the verdict was ‘wrong’ while an additional 25% said ‘celebrities buy justice’. A poll by People Weekly found that a staggering 88% of readers disagreed with the jury’s decision.

The media did a number on its audience and it did a number on Jackson. After battling his way through an exhausting and horrifying trial, riddled with hideous accusations and character assassinations, Michael Jackson should have felt vindicated when the jury delivered 14 unanimous not guilty verdicts. But the media’s irresponsible coverage of the trial made it impossible for Jackson to ever feel truly vindicated.  The legal system may have declared him innocent but the public, on the whole, still thought otherwise. Allegations which were disproven in court went unchallenged in the press. Shaky testimony was presented as fact. The defense’s case was all but ignored.

When asked about those who doubted the verdicts, the jury replied, “They didn’t see what we saw.”

They’re right. We didn’t. But we should have done. And those who refused to tell us remain in their jobs unchecked, unpunished and free to do exactly the same thing to anybody they desire.

Now that’s what I call injustice.”

Read entire artcle here: One of the Most Shameful Episodes In Journalistic History

I ask myself, “Why are intelligent, educated people so gullible when it comes to believing the mainstream media outlets?” and “What is it that propels the masses to pay hard earned money to devour unsubstantiated gossip?”

Remembering September 3rd, 2009 ~ One Year Ago

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

Today commemorates one year since our beloved Michael was laid to rest.

“When you are sorrowful, look into your heart, and you shall see that you are weeping for that which has been your delight.” ~Kahlil Gibran 3rd, 2009 ~ The private funeral service in honor of Michael Jackson took place after dark in the open air outside The Great Mausoleum at Forest Lawn in Glendale, California. Michael’s brothers, Randy, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon, acted as pallbearers as his gold-plated coffin was removed from a hearse.  All were  identically dressed in black suits, each wearing a solitary white sequenced glove in remembrance of Michael. Michael’s children, Prince 12, Paris 11, and Blanket 7, sat in the front row next to his parents, Katherine and Joe Jackson.

The stage was covered with six large bouquets of white lilies and white roses, and on either side of a flower-decorated dais stood two pictures of Michael in a bright yellow shirt and thick gold belt. The casket was adorned with flowers.

A statement was released to the press which read: “The Jackson Family wishes to once again thank all of Michael’s fans around the world for their generous outpouring of support during this terribly difficult time. Their expressions of love for Michael and his music have sustained the Jackson Family.”

To prepare Michael for his final farewell, his family turned to the three people who had been dressing him, and making him up, for more than a quarter century: Dennis Tompkins, Michael Bush and Karen Faye.

“Nobody else could have done it,” said Karen, about the honor to make up her friend one last time. “I knew how he wanted to look. So I did it for his children.”

“Michael Jackson After Life” abc (20/20) PART 1 ~ Karen Faye, Michael Bush and Dennis Tompkins interviewed by Cynthia McFadden