Sunday, September 11, 2011

Will the Real Michael Jackson Please Stand Up!

Over the years it seemed as if there were two Michael Jackson’s walking around amongst us. What I like to refer to as the evil twin syndrome. Why do I say this?  Well because the Michael Jackson that I saw on stage, talking candidly in interviews, and even in released home movies seemed like a down to earth kind of guy. He also seemed like a wonderful devoted father, a devoted son, a trusted devoted sibling, and a true devoted friend. He was also a true humanitarian, who not only gave money but also time and energy to various charities.

However, there seemed to be another Michael Jackson walking around, the one who was portrayed in the news media and by some who claimed to have been so called friends who worked for him at one time or another.

The latter Michael Jackson was apparently some sort of reclusive freak, who was stuck up, did strange things, was short tempered, and of course had this sick twisted behavior towards children.  Basically, a bad joke that went all wrong, (Wacko Jacko), he was known as.

Some of us have no doubt read the horrid nasty books that portrayed Michael Jackson as some psychopathic monster. There is the awful book written by Diane Diamond (yep, Michael’s nemesis) called "Be Careful Who You Love" I will delve more into this piece of fiction in a later blog, but let's just say for now that I couldn’t finish this piece of a sinister fairy tale gone wrong, that’s how bad it was. It’s enough to bring back book burning. The Michael Jackson portrayed in this piece of utter nonsense is so unrecognizable that I think I started thinking in terms of evil twin after reading what little I did of this ludicrous piece of fiction.

The Michael in this book would have to be his evil twin, that's the only way you could justify the person who was being described in the pages of this book. And, let me tell you it is definitely fiction!  I know this because the parts I read, clearly tell me that Ms. Diamond who always walked around voicing herself as a Jackson expert is nothing but a wannabe.  She definitely didn't know Michael Jackson.  In fact, I'm sure Michael would definitely agree with me if he could.

Then there is the book by former Michael Jackson employee Bob Jones and Stacy Brown, which we have referenced here before in a few other blog entries, "Michael Jackson: The Man Behind The Mask".  I wish to once again go on record as saying that although I can give some credence to some of the stuff that Mr. Jones states in this book, this thing really doesn’t portray Michael too favorably either. In fact, Mr. Jones stated that he didn’t write this book because he had an ax to grind over being fired, but it's all too obvious that this is exactly what he was doing. After all, if Michael was the horrible ogre that Jones painted him as in this book would he really have continued to work for him for thirty long years, I don’t think so. Let's face it, Jones never quit this job he was fired because of the fall out over the documentary, "Living With Michael Jackson", and the fact that as head of PR he didn’t protect Michael properly. After all, it was up to Mr. Jones to insure that this documentary didn’t portray his client in a bad light. One way he could have done this was to make it clear that the documentary couldn’t air without Michael’s approval of the finish product, which of course wasn’t the case. So Jones was dismissed after this fiasco, then in turn he wrote a scathing book. Yet, he says he doesn’t have an ax to grind. Yeah, right tell it to someone who's willing to listen, for I am not that stupid.

Then, of course there is the way Jackson was portrayed by the news media. It seemed as if everything he said was torn apart to make him look like some freak of nature. I could go on and on about the stuff that was said about him, especially in the tabloids.  Michael would tell you the same thing.  He stated once that just because it's written it doesn't make it the Gospel. He also stated during a rally event back in 2001' that when he hit success that was when they came in for the attack.  You can view this here on YOUTUBE at position 5:18.
(CLICKHERE to view)

The odd thing is when I heard or read this sort of stuff over the years my first reaction was always who is this person they are talking about? The Michael Jackson that I have known since he was a kid wasn't the monster that was being portrayed here. Yes, I never knew the actual man. But I know what his kids said about him, what his siblings said, what his true friends thought, and none of it added up to the monster that had been portrayed in the news media or in these scathing books.

So is Michael Jackson misunderstood and perfect? Well, no one is perfect, far from it. I think that maybe some of the stuff about Michael was true. (For example, that he would push people out of his life if they didn’t toll the line, so to speak). I think this could be true, and I’m not bashing Michael by saying this, just pointing out that Michael could have wanted control over certain aspects of his life, such as his career. Remember Michael was led around by the nose for most of his childhood, having his father calling all the shots, and maybe he wanted to have control, and there is no harm in that.  We all want control over our lives and career, don't we?

So who was the real Michael Jackson?  Many people who have been close to him had things to say that I found quite interesting.  One person in particular, Michael's second ex-wife Debbie Rowe stated in the 2005' trial that there was her Michael and there was the Michael that the rest of us saw.  (Interesting statement, don't you think)? And, Lisa Marie told Diane Sawyer, when Sawyer was depicting Michael not to favorably, that Michael didn't always let people see who he truly was. I think Michael’s long time friend, the late Elizabeth Taylor said it best when she said during the "Michael Jackson 30th Anniversary Special" back in 2001',

(CLICKHERE to view), and then in an interview back in the latter part of 2009' after Michael's death, she said and I quote, "if you want to see the real Michael Jackson, then go see the concert film documentary "This Is It." Since having seen this film I have to agree 100% with Taylor, for although Michael came across in this film as a kind easy going person, he also came across as someone who took his craft seriously and gave his input in all aspects of the process.  The many musicians who worked with him in the creation of the "This Is It" concert stated that he was a caring, giving, highly considerate, and very modest man. This to me is probably the real Michael Jackson. 

Whatever might have been said about him unfavorably by others I think I prefer to listen to the people who lived, worked, and were his true friends, then those who felt they had an ax to grind, or those who claimed they knew him but never had spent one minute with him, wouldn't you?

To quote a close friend of Michael's, (Brett Ratner, Director/Producer), "When you were with him, you really felt like God was within him. He was an amazing, superhuman kind of person, but he always treated you as an equal. He would be your friend and he never asked for anything in return."

So if you're questioning who Michael Jackson is, I think what Mr. Ratner stated is how I will always view Michael as being.