Archive for February, 2011

Michael Jackson Fans Are A Rare Breed

Friday, February 18th, 2011

A Facebook friend of mine found this narrative in 2009, just after Michael died, on an obscure out-of-date blog dated 2006, written before his death. The author spoke for Michael’s eternally devoted fans.

Michael Jackson Fans Are A Rare Breed

Michael Jackson fans are a strange breed. One would be hard pressed to find another fan community whose object of admiration is the subject of so much unnecessary condemnation. Over time, Michael Jackson enthusiasts have watched their beloved’s seemingly global idolization transform into apparent worldwide mischaracterization and mistreatment by the press and public alike. Yet, through it all, true Michael Jackson fans have abandoned him not. If anything, the harder Michael’s opponents try to shove him to the depths of despair, the harder his devotees love him, if only for summoning the courage to persist in the midst of it all. Michael’s continued endurance is an exercise in strength and resilience in the face of adversity and uncertainty. Michael’s fans have learned well the lesson, as they steadfastly brave the almost daily emotional roller coaster ride that is a requisite experience of every Jackson supporter. They marvel at his seemingly inexhaustible talents, and applaud his victories. They laugh with him in his happiness, weep with him in his sorrow and pray for him in troubled times. Their hearts are warmed when he is embraced, and bleed when he is ill-treated. Despite the stratospheric highs and seemingly cavernous lows that come with being a Michael Jackson fan, they remain loyal.

They, like Michael, refuse to allow naysayers to steal their joy, obstruct their way or shape their opinions. They, like Michael, refuse to have their destiny defined or dictated by another. They also refuse to stand idly by, as others attempt to deny Michael his rightfully earned legacy. Simply, Michael Jackson’s fans are just like Mike in that they will not be deterred.

By nature of their calling, Michael’s fans are constantly summoned to put on the full armor, stand on the front lines, and fight. Oftentimes with their pen as their sword, they fight alongside, and for Michael’s right of humanity. By so doing, they fight for tolerance over prejudice, unconditional love over criticism, wisdom over ignorance and justice over inequality – not only for Michael, but for themselves as well. The battles are never-ending, hard-fought and oftentimes mentally and physically exhausting. Still, rather than surrender or reconcile, Michael’s fans resist. They resist the desire to abandon Michael when all seems lost. They forsake the notion that theirs is a lost cause. They refuse to throw in the towel and resign themselves to the path of least resistance, which so often involves renouncing their fan support of Michael. When the going gets tough, with weary minds and heavy hearts, they press on. They press on through Michael’s tribulations and the attacks to which he is subjected. They press on in spite of tire. They press on despite mockery, and question as to why they bother to fight at all for Michael Jackson, a man some deem undeserving of their adoration.

Hazrat Inayat Khan once said, “God breaks the heart again and again until it stays open.” Michael’s devotees can see him as living proof of this idea, as he seems to be the embodiment of the notion. His own heart has been broken much, and his fans personally feel the sting of each break. By the grace of God, Michael’s heart does not become hardened as a result of its frequent fractures. To the contrary, his shattered heart allows for its tenderness and openness. Since out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks, Michael’s fans are able to truly see the fullness of his heart when they listen to him articulate his desire for acceptance, understanding, positivity, love and peace through song and speech.

As their efforts to break Jackson have continually proven unsuccessful, some Michael Jackson opponents have turned their focus to attempting to disband the fan community by attacking his defenders. Time after time, the press uses condescending, defamatory terms to describe Michael’s fans. Being referred to as “delusional” and “*****” is not foreign to Jackson’s supporters. However, Michael’s devotees choose to ignore the juvenile name-calling and taglines bestowed on them by the media. The fans refuse to allow the press to project its negative, inaccurate perception onto them. This is because Michael Jackson fans realize that such inflammatory terms do not depict their true nature as intelligent, grounded individuals with a healthy admiration for Michael’s music, vision and humanitarianism among other things.

Interestingly enough, Michael Jackson’s influence is global and thus, so is his fan base. His detractors are under the false impression that his fan base is minuscule as well as one-dimensional. To the contrary, Michael Jackson enthusiasts are nothing if not vast and multi-dimensional. They can be found on every continent, in every country worldwide. Michael’s fans transcend racial, age and socioeconomic boundaries. The fact that Michael’s fans are so diverse adds to their beauty. Few entertainers, if any, can lay claim to having the type of dynamic and varied fan base of which Michael Jackson can boast.

If it is true that our lives are open books for others to read, then the fans’ study of Michael Jackson has taught them more than they ever could have imagined about life, love and survival. Michael Jackson is a living testament of the notion that whatever one dreams and desires for his or her life can be achieved. Michael lives by the mantra that love should have no limitations – no conditions. Michael has shown all who dare take notice, that it is possible to not only stay alive, but to thrive, with grace and fortitude despite adversity. By merely existing, Michael Jackson has taught his fans what it is to dream without fear, to create without boundaries, to listen without prejudice and to love without judgment. Simply, Michael Jackson’s fans are a hard act to outshine.

Their loyalty, enthusiasm, intelligence and genuine adoration of their musical idol is unparalleled by other artists’ fan communities. However, for all their attributes, when it comes to one particular matter, Michael Jackson’s admiring fans, will always be bested. For try as they might, no matter to what infinite degree they say and believe they love Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, in true regal fashion, will always say and prove he loves them more …

~Written by “Fantam” in 2006; punctuation edited by Michael Jackson Remembered administrator.

The video tribute below was lovingly created by my Facebook friend, Michelle Hairston, who is a longtime and deeply devoted fan of Michael’s.

Michael considered his fans, “ambassadors of love.” The following comments offer valuable insight into the inner heart sanctum of inspired MJ lovers, and a glimpse into the minds of this “rare breed.” These sincere and highly personal reflections are expressed by some of Michael’s most fiercely loyal and dedicated fans, in response to this video.

Oh, this is so beautiful. The song is perfect especially with reference to the footprints in the sand. There will always be a deep connection with Michael. That is why we can never say goodbye because we still feel his presence around us. We have felt his joy, pain and sorrow, but of all we have felt his unconditional love for us. He truly did love us more. ~HW

“I’ve always said that when I see him in pain, I feel it as if it’s my own, right into my very own soul. I think that’s what makes our connection to him so special; we get him in every sense, we understand him, and also have unconditional love and compassion for him. When he hurts, we hurt. When he smiles, we smile. He’s with us always. I feel him at times more than others, like I said it can be strong or real subtle, but he is. I also like to think he gravitates to our love, and feels it so strong. I have to admit that I have two confidants that are unseen to our eyes, God and Michael. They are always there when I need them, and are timeless for eternity.♥” ~MMBH

“I always turn to Michael for comfort when I need it, and even though he’s not here in that physical sense, I feel his love around me. He helps me get through the worst days. That’s the beauty of loving him. I don’t have this deep connection with anyone else. I honestly do feel like I know him personaly. I feel his emotions when I look in his eyes, and when I hear that sweet soothing loving voice. I have so many moments where I feel like I’ve stepped inside his body and soul, and his heart is mine for awhile. I know I’m not the only one that feels this. He IS here with us, when we need him most ♥” ~MC

“I am feeling so many emotions right now…pain, sorrow, joy, love….most of all love ♥♥♥ I feel breathless from the beauty of Michael, and feel very humble right now. I am truly blessed to have lived when he walked this Earth and blessed that he still finds the most amazing ways to be here with us. Each and every day I feel his presence. Sometimes it can be in a small way, like a song on the radio. Then other days it will be something amazing and I am euphoric. A love that resonates so deep within my soul that I don’t have the words to express how I feel. Thank you Michael, always, for being the most incredible gifted man, with the heart of an angel. I love you, really love you with all that I have ♥♥♥” ~JIJ

“Every time I see the part at the end from This is It I cry. I miss you, Michael, so much. There are not enough words to express how much I love you, Sweetheart ♥ ♥ I love this video, Michelle. You have captured Michael perfectly, his loving heart and tender soul. Thank you for sharing this with us!!” ~JF

Two Birds Sutra

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Two Birds ~by Michael Jackson, 1992, Dancing the Dream

“It’s hard to tell them what I feel for you. They haven’t ever met you, and no one has your picture. So how can they ever understand your mystery? Let’s give them a clue:

Two birds sit in a tree. One eats cherries, while the other looks on. Two birds fly through the air. One’s song drops like crystal from the sky while the other keeps silent. Two birds wheel in the sun. One catches the light on its silver feathers, while the other spreads wings of invisibility.

It’s easy to guess which bird I am, but they’ll never find you. Unless…

Unless they already know a love that never interferes, that watches from beyond, that breathes free in the invisible air. Sweet bird, my soul, your silence is so precious. How long will it be before the world hears your song in mine?

Oh, that is a day I hunger for!”

In light of Michael’s musings, I find it inspiring to reflect upon two particular sutras found in the Upanishads. The Upanishads is a compilation of philosophical stories which serve to elucidate the spiritual meanings of ancient Vedic scripture. A sutra is loosely defined as a type of literary composition in Buddhism and Hinduism.

Below are two famous sutras from the Upanishads:

There are two birds sitting on the tree of the body. One of them is trying to eat the fruits of the tree, and the other is just watching. The first bird is suffering, but when he turns his attention to the other bird, he will be freed from this unhappiness.
[Mundaka Upanishad 3.1]

The individual soul and the Supreme Soul are like two friendly birds sitting on the same tree. One of the birds is eating the fruit of the tree and the other bird is not trying to eat these fruits, but is simply watching His friend. Although the two birds are on the same tree, the eating bird is fully engrossed with anxiety as the enjoyer of the fruits of the tree. But if in some way or other he turns his attention to his friend who is the Lord and knows His glories, at once the suffering bird becomes free from all anxieties.
[Svetasvatara Upanishad 4.6-7]

Michael Jackson was a lover of knowledge and a seeker of Truth.  He sincerely sought to live rightly, and to live LOVE.

I like to call Two Birds “a Michael sutra.” Two Birds elucidates the spiritual longing of the soul.

Sweet bird, my soul, your silence is so precious. How long will it be before the world hears your song in mine?”

Lest there be no confusion: bird print is mine, story is Michael’s ♥