Nov 20 2012

Oh, Palestine on Universal Children’s Day

Category: Children,Humanitarian,Justice,Lyrics,Photos,VideosSeven @ 8:43 pm

I probably should not write when I’m upset. But I’m going to do it anyway. I warn that you won’t find this pleasant on this Universal Children’s Day. But I assure you, the World’s children find it even more unpleasant than you ever will. I’ve done my best on Twitter and Facebook to bring attention to these things for the past two days, but they’ve gone completely, utterly ignored. It’s all fallen on deaf ears and into blind eyes.

I’m stunned.

We all claim to care so much about the World’s children, but when they’re sitting there staring us in the face, charred to death in the latest airstrikes wherever, we really don’t.

We care so much about the celebrity who cared for these children, but we don’t care for them – the children themselves. In the end, what seems to matter to us is our own fantasies of having been somehow important to, or somehow being associated with said celebrity, even if only in spirit since he’s gone. It’s really just all about us, isn’t it? It certainly looks that way, from the lack of attention and response these things have gotten when I shared them.

But the kids MJ lived for and the world they live in? The innocents who ask: “why are we included in these adult fights? Why can’t we have a normal childhood without all this fighting and violence? What did we do to deserve this?

The ones who are charred to death by the airstrikes? The ones who are trafficked and sexually abused? What about them? Not a word. Not one comment. I’ve posted photos. Videos. Michael’s own handwritten words. News clippings. But not one response. Nothing. Not even on Universal Children’s Day. Their innocent voices remain ignored, it seems.

I wonder what MJ would say about all this? Would he be impressed with us? He’d be heartbroken about these kids, for sure. Do his fans pretend to care because he’d want them to care – or because they really care?  It appears to be more the former than the latter for far too many of them. Not all of course, but far too many. This is just something to think about as you gaze down this page at what I’m about to share with you.

First of all, Palestine (and by association what is currently going on in Gaza at the hands of Hamas and Israel). Below are some lyrics to a song that  Michael wrote but was apparently never released or published:

“Palestine” – written by Michael Jackson

Bomb shells are flying, bodies multiplying, see the children crying, what are they fighting for” is part of what Michael had written above.

A child in Gaza, the region that has been blown once again to smithereens in the past few days, asks a similar question in the following video – it’s at the very end and the video is unceremoniously cut off, as if the creator and/or the news media felt what this child had to say was unimportant. But the child’s question deserves an answer.

Can you answer the child’s question in the end of the video?

The child below was charred – possibly to death – by an airstrike in Gaza on Monday November 19th, 2012.

Child charred in Gaza airstrikes, November 2012

Is this “too difficult” for you to look at or respond to? Imagine how it felt for the child. Imagine how it feels for all of them. Whoever you might feel to be at fault in this latest conflict, this child knows nothing of adult conflicts, nor should (s)he have to. The height of immorality is that (s)he and so many others have been made to suffer (or die) for things they know nothing of and are not involved in.

And just a few moments ago, this story appeared on my twitter timeline:

Thousands of children sexually exploited each year, inquiry says

Study describes range of sexual crimes perpetrated mainly against girls by male teenage gang members and older men

Thousands of children are raped and abused each year, with many more cases going unreported by victims and unrecorded by the authorities, according to an official study presented as the most comprehensive inquiry to date of the scale and prevalence of child sexual exploitation in England.

The disturbing and at times horrific study, which describes a range of traumatic and violent sexual crimes perpetrated mainly against girls, by male teenage gang members and groups of older men, was described as a “wake-up call” for safeguarding professionals by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner for England (OCCE).

It draws an alarming picture of serious sexual crimes against children: girls groomed, then drugged and raped at seedy “parties” in private homes and warehouses organised by groups of men, for profit or pleasure; assaults in public parks, schools and alleyways by gang members influenced by violent pornography, and intent on threatening, punishing or controlling young women by means of forced oral sex, and anal and vaginal rape.”

. . .

“We need to ask why so many males, both young and old, think it is acceptable to treat both girls and boys as objects to be used and abused. We need to know why so many adults in positions of responsibility persist in not believing these children when they try to tell someone what they have endured.”

Oh I know these images and stories are very upsetting and may even be an emotional trigger for some readers. But just imagine what it’s like for these kids to have to live (or die) like this, all around the world.

Should we just ignore all this because it’s “too hard” for us to look at or acknowledge or because we just don’t know what to say? If we do that, then we can be assured that this suffering will only continue. The first step to solving a problem is acknowledging that one exists. And plenty of them exist where the children in this World are concerned. These awful stories and images are only a few of them. I know too that most people feel there’s nothing they can do about these issues. One thing we can all do is:

C A R E

Care enough to look at these horrific images, and listen to the kids asking “why” and to read the stories of the hideous abuse they suffer. Even if it is hard for you to look at or listen to or read. Forget yourself for just a moment or whose side you’re on. What about THEM? How is any of this ever going to be stopped if nobody CARES enough to even notice?

On this Universal Children’s Day, you can at least do that, can’t you?

Hello? Anybody out there?

while everyone is freaking out over twinkies, can we please take a moment to #pray for all the lives taken in the middle east ?” –Paris Jackson

While you live in your safe, warm home anticipating whatever holidays that may be upcoming in your part of the world, having plenty of food to eat, having clean water, and being able to educate and hug your children and keep them safe from the worst harm or neglect, can you at least take a moment to care about these other kids in the world that we alleged adults force them to live in?

If it matters to you, I’ll tell you that it might make Michael happy. But we should all care regardless what he’d feel about it. Because somebody still needs to.

You don’t have to say anything. You don’t have to do anything right now. But you can at least care enough to look, to see it. Even if it upsets you.

Because I guarantee you it upsets them even more, when it doesn’t kill them.

Thank you.

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Sep 24 2012

Abortion Papers

Category: Humanitarian,Justice,Prose/EssaysSeven @ 4:31 pm

There has been a lot of understated chatter about this song since its release, with many people projecting their own personal beliefs about the controversial subject onto Michael.

I won’t project my own beliefs onto Michael no matter what song he has written or about what subject. For one thing, he isn’t here to speak for himself on the matter and unless he were, such projections are unfair and most likely, incorrect.

I do have my own beliefs though, and in regards to this subject I have a spiritual yet non-religious, common-sense take on the matter:

Such personal decisions are usually made by women/girls whose situations are often quite dire, even deadly. I have seen them made – but never have I seen them made lightly and I know that contrary to religious dogma-borne propaganda, they are rarely made lightly. Such choices belong primarily between the woman/girl herself and God, her family and her doctor. Not the government. Not the church. And certainly not the rest of us. Not even Michael Jackson (which may be another reason he never released the song). It’s her life. It’s her body. It’s her decision. People need to give up trying to control others according to their own personal beliefs when such deeply personal and difficult decisions are involved.

There is one person whose personal behavior and decisions we each have ultimate control over: our own. And that is all.

I do not think God would approve of allowing a girl or woman to die due to a pregnancy complication or an unsafe botched abortion. I also do not believe God would harshly judge a woman or girl who aborted her pregnancy due to rape or incest or frankly, for any reason. What is “pro-life” or “moral” about women dying preventable deaths? Many people seem perfectly OK with that idea as if women and their lives were somehow of less value than a fetus, zygote or baby in the womb. It’s very interesting.

Newsflash: Women are human. And just as much so as a fetus/baby. And they were human before they were women. And their lives have at least equal value to any other. Particularly if they are already mothers and wives. That women hold life in their bodies does give them a special responsibility and the duty and ability to make life or death decisions. It is not in the control of men. It is not in the control of any religion. It is not in the control of pressure groups or pop stars – including Michael Jackson, no matter what he thought of it – and we’ll never know what he thought.

I loathe the idea of anyone making an pro- or anti-abortion screed out of this song of Michael’s. That’s probably why he never released it. If I had a conversation with Michael Jackson about this subject I would tell him the same thing I am writing here, now. I don’t know if he’d agree or not and I never will. But it doesn’t matter. One thing I do know is that Michael obviously exerted control over the one and only person he knew he could and should control – himself. He did not enter into relationships, particularly sexual ones, lightly. He wasn’t raised that way.

Until and unless men can become pregnant, men have no say in this issue. Their choice both begins and ends at their pants zipper. If they dislike the consequence of whatever they chose at that time and location, they must realize they no longer control it – that they already made their choice and that it’s now beyond them. Their control began and ended with that zipper. Once they make a decision there, they’re done. They have no more to say. That is because it is women and God who bear primary responsibility for and decisions about the bringing forth of life into this world. Like Sojourner Truth told some men in her “Ain’t I a Woman” speech years ago: “Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Men ain’t had nothin to do with it.

I do not judge women who choose abortion – for any reason. They have to answer to God, not me. I do not judge women who chose not to have an abortion for the same reason. What is in their own hearts is known only to God and is none of my business.

I do know this: “pro-life” includes women’s lives. And no God of mine would approve of women dying due to botched, unsafe abortions or due to refusal of the procedure for “moral” reasons when the continuation or completion of the pregnancy would result in the death of the mother. Forcing women to their preventable deaths is not “pro-life“. And forced pregnancy is in my own opinion slavery, which is as immoral as death itself.

It is heartbreaking to me, just as it was to Michael, that once children are born, our society, our religious factions and our government do not care nearly so much about them as they claim to while they are in a woman’s womb. One has to wonder why that is. This vehement opposition to allowing women control over the bringing forth of life via their own bodies is very interesting. It appears that many people like to oppose abortion but that they have little interest in actually preventing it.

Typically the same factions that oppose abortion also oppose birth control (contraception) and laws that would force men to be responsible for children they father ie: paternity laws. They oppose sex education and they oppose educating men and boys to control themselves and to respect women and girls as human beings. If we put half the effort into telling boys and men to “be careful” with their sexual activities and to respect others, as we do telling women and girls that, perhaps there would be fewer unplanned pregnancies. There is a huge education problem in that regard, in at least American society.

What do people gain by these Taliban-like attitudes? One word: control. It’s the one thing too many men lack in themselves and to compensate, they deign to exercise the control over others (primarily women) that they ought to be exercising over themselves. So they punish women with and for their own weaknesses. And thus they punish their children too. There is nothing moral about pawning responsibility for one’s own behavior off onto the victims of it. It’s reprehensible, in fact.

So we have many seemingly fatherless children running around that most of society primarily blames women for as if they “got themselves” pregnant. Men don’t want to take responsibility, many of them, and evidently our society thinks they ought not have to. And at the same time, they also want to take from women any choice in the matter, pretty much relegating them to sexual and reproductive slavery. That is what this boils down to.

Men need to let women and God decide and stay out of decisions they are in no way qualified to make, obviously. I suggest that males should concentrate on controlling their own behavior and stop trying to control others and stop inserting themselves between women and God. This is a relationship that men have no business involving themselves in. That they do so is a problem with many established religions and why I refuse to subscribe to them.

As for Michael, it could be that trying to control (or judge) others is something he didn’t want to do (or appear to do) and I can guess this is why the song wasn’t released while he lived. In my opinion, it should never have been released lest people try to turn it in to an anti- or pro- abortion screed which is probably something Michael also did not want.

All we really know for sure about Michael’s own opinion on the subject is what Michael Jackson did while he was alive: he controlled himself and his own sexual behavior. And he did not release this song. Let others take note of that, regardless their beliefs about abortion or what they want his meaning or message to have been in writing a song about it.

The BAD25 CD liner notes contain the following:

This is a song that Michael knew could be controversial, and, as a result, he spent a lot of time thinking about the story for the song and the voice through which the song should be told. The song is about a girl whose father is a priest and was raised in the Church and on the Bible. She gets married in the church, but decides, against the Bible, to have an abortion and she wants “abortion papers.” As Michael indicated in his notes, “I have to do it in a way so I don’t offend girls who have gotten abortions or bring back guilt trips so it has to be done carefully. I have to really think about it.

~~~

NOTE: Comments on this post are disabled due to the highly controversial nature of the subject. I doubt anyone will change anyone else’s mind or beliefs on the matter, so heated debate is pretty pointless here and would likely do more damage than good. Everyone has a right to and a responsibility for their own and actions and beliefs. But they do not have a right to control others, especially when the decision or choice in question is so difficult and deeply personal. 

 

Abortion Papers (lyrics, approximately)

Sister don’t read, she’ll never know
What about love, living a Christian soul
What do we get, she runs away
What about love, what about all I pray

Don’t know the worst, she knows a priest
What about God, living is all I see
What do you get, things she would say
What about love, that’s all I pray

Those abortion papers
Signed in your name against the words of God
Those abortion papers
Think about life, I’d like to have my child

Sister’s confused, she went alone
What about love, what about all I saw
Biding a life, reading the words
Singing a song, citing a Bible verse

Father’s confused, mother despair
Brother’s in curse, what about all I’ve seen
You know the lie, you keep it low
What about heart, that’s all I’ve known

Those abortion papers
Signed in your name against the words of God
Those abortion papers
Think about life, I’d like to have my child

Those abortion papers (whoo)
Signed in your name against the words of God
Those abortion papers
Think about life, I’d like to have my child

Look at my words, what do they say
Look at my heart, burning is all heartbreak
What do you get, what do you say
What about love, I feel my sin

Those abortion papers
Signed in your name against the words of God
Those abortion papers
Think about life, I’d like to have my child

Those abortion papers (whoo)
Think about life, I’d like to have my child (whoo)

Who have the grateful, where will she go
What will she do to see the world

Sister don’t know, where would she go
What about love, what about all I saw
What would you get, don’t get so confuse
Love all the things, it’s just the things I do

Those abortion papers
Signed in your name against the words of God
Those abortion papers
Think about life, I’d like to have my child

Those abortion papers (abortion paper, this paper, hee-hee)
Those abortion papers (hee-hee-hee, hee, hee-hee)
I’d like to have my child (hee-hee, hee, hee-hee)

Those abortion papers (hee-hee, hee, hee-hee, hee, hee-hee, hee, hee-hee)
Those abortion papers (hee-hee, hee, hee-hee
I’d like to have my child (hee-hee, hee, hee-hee, hee-hee, hee-hee)
Those abortion papers (hee-hee, hee, hee-hee)

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Aug 25 2012

“He hid his hard-won treasures inside the hearts of all who loved him”


Summer-Song Rhapsody for Michael Jackson
(Aug 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009)

Summertime opened like a myth spun from gold,
delivering your talent through ages of classic genius
to plant the seeds and nourish the beauty
of all the bright wonders that would color your dance.

Is any path so demanding as that of living a miracle?

Like a cosmic gymnast on a beam of uncommon grace,
or a swimmer slicing through waves of childhood tears–
you transformed fortitude into Olympian triumph.
Hid your hard-won treasures inside the hearts of all who loved you.

The more sincere the soul, the heavier the cross endured.

Your voice strung notes like pearls of sky-blue hope
around the trembling throat of humanity’s crimson agony.
Upon the heads of those abused and disinherited
your song placed crowns of inspired revelation.

There is no faith so perilous as faith in love.

Summertime blossomed fields of rose-scented dreams––
and death amplified your sudden absence with new life…
to plant the seeds and nourish the beauty
of all the bright wonders that colored your dance.

___

by Aberjhani, founder of Creative Thinkers International
co-author of Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance
and ELEMENTAL The Power of Illuminated Love

SOURCE: http://www.examiner.com/article/summer-song-rhapsody-for-michael-jackson-editorial-with-poem

Don’t miss Aberjhani’s ‘Notes for an Elegy in the Key of Michael (I)‘ here, as well as his exclusive two-part series ‘Michael Jackson and the Power of Numbers‘.

Besides Aberjhani’s consistently brilliant and loving work on Michael’s behalf, there are some other jewels I also want to share here.

One of those is Come and Get It: The Rare Pearls, a two-disc set of early Jackson 5 recordings due out August 28 — the day before what would have been Michael’s 54th birthday. NPR featured one song from this collection called ‘If the Shoe Don’t Fit‘, and in that song, Michael’s voice hits an incredible note on the word “shoooooe“! Listen here.

Another little gem is a short video of The Jacksons recording the song ‘Jump for Joy‘ in the studio. This song was on their ‘Goin Places‘ album which, with its Norman Rockwell-like cover,  was originally released in October 1977 when the band re-teamed with Gamble & Huff after their move to Epic records.

Thanks to David Edwards who commented and left a link to the interview with the Jacksons and Gamble & Huff at Sigma Sound Studios. According to the description, this is “11 minutes footage of The Jacksons giving a small interview and recording the song Jump For Joy from their 1977 album “Goin’ Places” in Sigma Sound Studios. Producers Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff along with owner of Sigma Sound Studios Joseph Tarsia are present as well.

Another jewel is this fantastic artwork of Michael’s three children done by Mimi Garren. An even bigger jewel is Michael Jackson’s Legacy, the organization that is – with the help of friends and fans around the world – building Everland Children’s Home in Liberia which will be a refuge for countless vulnerable children. Mimi, an accomplished artist, is one of its founders. Mimi designed the logo for the organization’s website and does other artistic work on their behalf. The artwork is to go with a book to be presented to Mrs. Katherine Jackson detailing the progress of the Everland project in Michael’s name. Dr. Patrick Treacy, featured and mentioned here many times since the site started, is Honorary Ambassador to MJL. Dr. Treacy – Michael’s doctor while he lived in Ireland for many months – is a tireless humanitarian like Michael was, and this is where their hearts joined in friendship.

Michael's three children: Paris, Blanket, and Prince

In regards to the photo, the organization states:

Around 29th August, amidst the celebrations and vigil in Gary, Indiana, we are hoping to get a beautiful book into the hands of Michael’s beloved mother, Katherine. Diligently compiled by MJL’s Karen, it charts Everland’s progress with photos, reports and commentary. Together with the book, there will be a small card from MJL which depicts a picture of Michael’s three dear children (see below), courtesy of our artist, Mimi. We would like to thank US supporter Raven, for kindly offering to help us get the book about this journey to Katherine and the children at such a significant and poignant time as this. Gratitude and love to all those who have joined us and each other on this journey! The pages of this book reflect nothing but L.O.V.E and the hearts of those who have given in order to make this dream possible ♥ www.michaeljacksonslegacy.org

Next gem: Willa and Joie of the fabulous website ‘Dancing with the Elephant‘, had a chat with Joe Vogel about his book ‘Featuring Michael Jackson‘. Here’s an excerpt:

Willa: I’m glad you mentioned the bonus chapter, Joe, because I was hoping to talk with you about that. It’s just a heartbreaker. It really captures the poignancy of Michael Jackson’s childhood. On the one hand, he loved what he was doing – the music and dancing and performing. Yet as you quote in that chapter, “Those were sad, sad years for me.” We see that same paradox in the songs themselves that he recorded at that time. They’re so polished and perfect, you know it must have taken painstaking work to create them. Yet when you listen to them, they sound so fresh and spontaneous – just brimming with sheer joy. You include a Nelson George quotation that describes this so well:

Forty years later … [Michael’s] exuberance still leaps out of your speakers. Despite all the work that obviously went into crafting these vocals, Michael still sounds like he just walked into the studio from the playground.

That’s such a bittersweet way of describing his music because, of course, he was rarely able to play on a playground, and he felt that loss deeply. It’s as if the things he wanted most in his life – the things that were absent from his real life – he magically conjured up with his voice, and they became present in his imaginative life – an imaginative life we all enter into and participate in when we listen to his songs. And I wonder if somehow, the fact that he wanted those things so badly – love, sympathy, the simple freedom to play and be a child – is what made them so vibrantly present in his voice.

Joe: I agree, Willa. I’ve always thought one of Michael’s great gifts is his ability to express the full gamut of human emotion. There are some artists who are brilliant at conveying one end of the spectrum (for example, Kurt Cobain), but Michael can take you from the brink of despair to a transcendent, soul-vitalizing joy. I think his solo work takes on more weight and nuance and shades, but even in the Motown songs, I think you’re right, that he is imagining himself into those words and emotions (using what experiences he had to draw from), and his vocal performances reflect that. He’s not just mimicking his heroes, as some critics have said. He’s interpreting and expressing. In so many of his early songs, there is this sense of melancholy and yearning (“Music and Me,” “With a Child’s Heart,” “Maybe Tomorrow,” “Ben”). Yet there is also an exuberance and vitality and charm.

Willa: Exactly.

Joe: He’s a lot like Chaplin in that way, though for me Michael communicates on an even deeper level.

MORE at the link: http://dancingwiththeelephant.wordpress.com/2012/08/22/featuring-michael-jackson-with-joe-vogel/

Michael’s birthday is next Wednesday. Besides or in addition to perhaps participating in various celebrations and gatherings around the world, my suggestion remains the same as every year: do something for or with children. That is the thing that seemed to make him happiest – making others happy and especially little ones.  I think he enjoyed the childhood he never had through other children, and I think he felt soothed by giving children the happiness and emotional support he felt he sometimes didn’t have as a child.

Two of my personal favorite MJ-related charities to donate to are  Heal the World for Children and Michael Jackson Birthday Charity.  Don’t forget Michael Jackson’s Legacy, above too. There are of course many more. Or, volunteer some time at a local children’s center or hospital – either to be with the kids or help do repairs, serve meals, clean-up, fix broken toys, whatever you can do.

Aberjhani wrote that Michael “hid his hard-won treasures inside the hearts of all who loved him“.  Just do something that comes from your heart and it will shine. He led by example. You know what to do.

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Jul 03 2012

Happy Independence Day, Americans

Category: Humanitarian,Justice,Photos,Planet EarthSeven @ 3:52 am

•

Such as it is, at best a shell of the word. While you may have gained independence from Great Britain in 1776, you have since given it away lock, stock, and barrel to the Great Corporations. Corporations rule and run your country and you are as dependent upon them as a newborn babe on it’s mother. While becoming so, you forgot about your real Mother, Earth, and gave your national independence away to the highest corporate bidder. It wasn’t a very wise direction for you to take, I must say. And look where it’s got you.

At least one man, Michael Jackson, had the wisdom and courage to ask the question: “What more can I give?” – rather than “What more can I GET?” or “What more can I TAKE?” like most corporations and sadly, your nation does. And its history shows that. Time and time again.

You destroyed that man, America. Your media and your legal and political system lynched an innocent man who only wanted to convince yourselves along with the rest of the world to take a look in the mirror to change the world for the better by bettering themselves first.

Instead of doing that, you (your corporate-owned, greed-driven media) made ammunition of all that you should despise about yourselves and aimed it at HIM. You shot the messenger instead of getting the message. Now, he’s dead and you are a failed nation because once again, in all your notorious arrogance – you would not listen. America, you couldn’t see yourselves in your own mirror even if you looked now because it’s covered in oil.

And still you haven’t learned. You destroyed a brilliant light. You destroyed a man that any other country might have been proud to call their son. You persecuted, ridiculed, belittled, and lynched him – and you allowed others to extort and abuse him without consequence to themselves.

Oh, so he was ‘different‘ and you didn’t understand him? That’s a reason to destroy someone? Because they’re different than your status quo and/or you do not understand them?

Where is the ‘freedom and independence‘ of a country that crucifies someone for being ‘different‘? A country which destroys, demonizes and dehumanizes anyone they don’t understand, because they don’t want to be bothered trying and it’s more profitable to just get rid of them for their resources, be it music or oil. That’s your history, America. Independence in such an immoral form doesn’t exist, though you guys try to make a nice pretense of it. A very thin pretense I might add.  It’s not sellable nor is it anything to be proud of.

As much as that hideous mess in your Gulf of Mexico and in your Yellowstone River right now, this is also a catastrophe and is borne of the same disease: greed. In the case of Michael Jackson’s demise, as the demise of the Gulf of Mexico and the Yellowstone River, you haven’t the self-awareness or honesty to recognize, acknowledge, or admit what a loss it truly is. Ignorance abounds thanks to your wholly corporate-owned media, which your laws allow to run rampant when they should not, and which your government muzzles when it should not. And every time it does, something or someone whose value cannot be measured in mere dollars is destroyed in favor of corporate profit.

There is a media blackout as I write this, assisted by the government – federal and local – regarding the Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster and its continued disasterous effects. If there was a time when the media ought to have maximum voice, it’s now. If there was a time when the media’s voice should have been controlled and regulated by the tremendous responsibility which ought to come with the tremendous power of being able to shape public opinion, it was when Michael Jackson was alive, in regards to every slanted vicious lie told about him. And those lies are still being told about him because your media can still make money off of those lies. And still, as ever, they are not held accountable for their lies and the damage they’ve done and continue to do to the man’s legacy and family. If these predatory parasites can do this to Michael Jackson, who will they do it to next? You? Me? Your brother, mother, family?  If they can make a buck selling lies about you, they will. They’ll do it to anybody. And worse, they’ll get away with it because the almighty dollar rules.

Yes, American corporate-owned media helped send Michael Jackson to an early grave. The political and legal system in the United States, corrupt from top to bottom, also helped to send Michael Jackson to an early grave and there will be no justice hence for his murder either. Just like the concept of “independence” in America is non-existent, propped up by sheer propaganda and pretense, so is the the concept of “justice”. There is little of either in the United States of America, as nice as these concepts are.

When your media need to be heard for the benefit of the people, your government silences them. When the media need to be controlled and regulated for the benefit of the people, you allow them to destroy those same people and their world with bad and unethical reporting, without bounds or consequence. Seems a little backward to me. But then a lot about America does these days. When corporate profit rules, truth and morality go straight out the window. God” in the United States of America is the god-damned dollar bill.

Go where you may, search where you will, roam through all the monarchies and despotisms- of the Old World, travel through South America, search out every abuse, and when you have found the last, lay your facts by the side of the everyday practices of this nation, and you will say with me that, for revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival.” -Frederick Douglass Independence Day Speech

Pray tell America, what brand of “independence” is this you’re celebrating? And what brand of morality is it which you so vehemently pretend to subscribe to? You are not One Nation Under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all“. That’s a cute and comforting phrase to teach the kids, but it’s not true and is hardly appropriate preparation for what they are going to have to face when they try to live and survive in this brutal country as adults. Because the truth is, America is one nation under Money, sorely divided, with liberty and justice for corporations and little for anyone else. Even our own “supreme court” (which has little credibility itself anymore and exists solely to protect corporations) has declared these predatory, parasitic, psychopathic entities “people“.

I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country’s most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.

I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.

-General Smedley Darlington Butler, 1933

I will not let you forget, America. I will not let you forget those you murder around the world for corporate and political domination, for corporate profit and hegemony. I will not let you forget about your theft of resources from this or other countries while indebting their desperate people to you for that theft. I will not let you forget the planet you are helping destroy because you refuse to lead the rest of the world in saving it, favoring the savior of corporate profits instead. I will not let you forget your modus operandi of disaster capitalism which plays out over and over again each time a national or international disaster strikes. I will not let you forget your past of enslaving black people. And I will never let you forget what you did to an innocent black man, Michael Jackson – one of the finest men who ever lived. A man who, because of unethical corporate propaganda and manipulation, because of an abusive and highly corrupt legal and political system, is unjustifiably reviled by too many of yours rather than being a source of pride that such a brilliant artist and human being ought to be to your country and to the world.

And this is through no fault of his own. You defined him (or allowed him to be defined) in false and negative terms and then lynched him based on that definition. Looking at the life, words, art, and actions of this man tells quite a different story however, about who he really was. Not that I expect this country to ever recognize or acknowledge that, or to even remember or care, considering your reputation where treatment of African-Americans is concerned, both past and present.

Let me ask you THIS America: If the likes of Michael Jackson, your Gulf of Mexico, your Yellowstone River, your Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, and millions of orphaned and starving children in the US and around the world are so disposable and expendable to your country as they evidently are, then what and who else is? The answer would have to be most everyone and everything: Myself. My family. And the families of whoever is reading this, as well. Any families. All families. Everywhere. How moral is that?

Would the “God” you so pretentiously pretend to worship, approve?

You might try for once, asking “What more can we GIVE?” – rather than “What more can we GET?” or “What more can we TAKE?“. You might try requiring the corporations which do business within and without your shores to do the same. You might try requiring your politicians to have the same attitude rather than just jockeying to acquire or save their political butts and collecting corporate dollars for their campaigns. You might try a Department of Peace instead of Department of War (Defense). You might just try doing something different instead of doing the same thing over and over and getting the same or worse results. Until you do so, you are a failed state and each failure is cumulative and therefore worse than the last.

You, America, are going straight to Hell (literally or figuratively speaking) and you have no one to blame but yourselves.

How many starving, homeless children live in the U.S.? How many are living in abject poverty? Why isn’t this reported on the news? Because they are expendable. What is your excuse for this, America?

How many orphans have you created in Iraq? Last count I’m aware of was 2010 and there were one million orphaned children there whose parents had been killed by the illegal U.S. invasion and occupation of that country. Most of them live in the street. And why isn’t this reported on the news? Because they are expendable. And for what have you done this? What could justify it?

Nothing.

Yes, Happy “Independence” Day America.

What you are independent of in the United States seems to be all the wrong things: a conscience, any sense of morality, any sense of your real Mother (Earth), any sense of wise, sensible, or compassionate leadership or any sense of caring for the people within your own shores much less anywhere else in the world. As for animals, the poor, children, the elderly … you know those old people dumped in the alleyways by your “health care” system like so much trash? All of them are expendable for corporate profit. Just like Michael Jackson was.

And you, America, let this happen. You are the architect of your own demise. Sorry I cannot be more encouraging to you on your day of celebration. If you want a sunnier sentiment, you’ll have to earn it by correcting some things – and I mean in a major way. Because at the moment, you are a major source of shame for your people. I know. I’m one of them. I do not align myself with either of what are purportedly two different political parties in this country, so do not try to categorize my sentiments within either of them. They won’t fit.

America, if you’re at all interested in changing anything that is wrong with your country, and there is plenty of it, you might start with listening to Michael Jackson’s music and studying his lyrics whilst keeping your televisions off, your noses out of tabloids and your earplugs firmly inserted when the likes of Diane Dimond, Maureene Orth, Andrea Peyser, Martin Bashir et al are defacating from their mouths. CLUE for Americans and everyone else who reads thisThe truth about Michael Jackson is in his music and his own words, not the profit-driven corporate media or the bogus claims of extortionists and hangers-on who are after money.

America, you cannot afford your own arrogance right now. The world cannot afford your arrogance right now. It never could.

You might try extricating your lives and minds from the corporate tit and reducing and regulating their control over your country and particularly your government. Because right now, they own you, top to bottom. Corporations. All of them. They own your government, your lives, your children, and your minds. You are not free. You are not independent. Because if you were, your Gulf of Mexico would still be clean and thriving, as would your Yellowstone River. What has happened there would have never happened due to proper and enforced regulations (see Norway), and we’d have clean energy by now owned and controlled by people and their communities — not greedy soulless corporations whom your highest court believes ought to be able to plunder and pillage the planet and the economy with utter impunity.

And yes, Michael Jackson would still be alive and his children would have their father.

Seems to me rather than celebrating a non-existent and quite pretentious “independence” in this land you stole from Native American Indians, in this country built by the torture and sweat of African-American slaves, and subsequently sold to the highest corporate bidder, you ought to instead be feverishly working to correct the problems that are preventing you from having any true independence as a nation – much less an independence you can be proud of on this or any other day.

Elizabeth Taylor, when asked if Michael Jackson would ever return to live in the United States again, replied: “Well really why should he? He’s been treated like dirt here.”  See around 3:09 in the video below. I wish Michael Jackson had never set foot again in this barbaric, ignorant country. Had he not, he’d likely still be alive today. It’s an absolute shame that Michael was shredded to death by American society, and also that the United States is too ignorant and too arrogant to even realize what it’s done – not only to Michael Jackson but also to itself – and by extension, the World.

The United States will never be independent of its own avarice, ignorance, and its own barbaric legacy for two reasons: 1) Myself and many others will not allow it to be forgotten; and 2) these things simply have repercussions in the future. America is busily lynching itself and is too stupid to even realize it.

Yes America, you have a lot of damage to both acknowledge and to undo. Meanwhile, your pretentious “dog and pony” show isn’t working. Have a nice day and enjoy your “Independence” (such as it is). When you get back off your holiday, you might want to do something about your country.

©2010-2012 Seven Bowie

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May 25 2012

A special tribute to “a child of the world” – Michael Jackson

Category: Children,Humanitarian,MJ Quotes,Photos,VideosSeven @ 8:42 pm

Children of the World

It’s been 35 months since Michael died. But maybe there’s something else he wants us to remember today since this popped up once again across my computer screen: Twenty seven years and two months ago, a group of children including child stars Alyssa Milano, Fergie (now of the Black-eyed Peas) and Drew Barrymore made history by getting together to record a children’s version of ‘We Are The World’. Little has been heard of this version of ‘We Are The World‘ since then, but it’s not to be missed. It meant a lot to Michael, who said:

I had thought that song should be sung by children. When I finally heard children singing it on producer George Duke’s version, I almost cried. It’s the best version I’ve heard.

– Michael Jackson (Moonwalk)

The ‘Children Of The World Project’ was the brainchild of radio personality Sonny Melendrez and and produced by George Duke who also worked with Michael on his ‘Off the Wall‘ album. This children’s version of the song was nominated for a Grammy in the ‘Best Recording for Children‘ category in 1986.

From the project’s official website, Sonny remembers:

As my radio alarm clock went off one morning in March of 1985 I was awakened by the pure voice of a child singing the words, “We are the world. We are the children.” In my groggy state, I remember thinking to myself that I wish I had thought of that obvious idea: A children’s version of the worldwide anthem – We Are The World.

Then, as I gained consciousness, I realized that the “child” I had heard was, in fact, Michael Jackson and what I was listening to was the original recording.

I sprang out of bed and called my producer. That afternoon, on my KMGG Radio show, I shared my vision of gathering the most talented children in Los Angeles and giving them the opportunity to do their part for the charity created to benefit those starving in Ethiopia – USA For Africa.

The response was overwhelming to say the least, with hundreds of parents and kids calling and wanting to be a part of the idea.

The Children of the World Project was born.

When Michael Jackson, who had penned the song with Lionel Ritchie, heard about the project he immediately gave it his blessing and even suggested his talented nieces, Brittny and Valencia Jackson, audition as well. They did and appeared on the recording

After several weeks and with the help of countless volunteers, including my friend and entertainment professional, Roger Neal, we had auditioned over 1500 children in various locations throughout Southern California. Every effort was made to make each child, ages 5 to 17, feel special about what and why they were auditioning. Everyone was presented a certificate and t-shirt commemorating their participation.

I contacted award winning producer, George Duke and asked if he join us. He not only accepted, but brought in legendary musicians, Stanley Clarke, Phillip Bailey, and Journey’s Steve Smith among to play on the track.

After personally calling every one of the 50 who were chosen (and you can imagine their enthusiastic reactions), under the direction of musical pro Martha Woodhull, the choir then spent several weeks rehearsing their parts.

Sonny records with Stacy Ferguson aka ‘Fergie’

In addition to these incredibly talented voices, we added another group of child stars with the understanding that everyone would be treated equally, regardless of their name or credits. This had been the same policy adopted by the original cast of We Are The World. This group included, Drew Barrymore, Danielle Brisebois, Alyssa Milano, Danny Pintauro, and others.

Then, on April 27, 1985, one of the finest children’s choirs ever assembled walked into the Westlake Studios in Hollywood and recorded “the chlidren’s version” of We Are The World.

Every note was also filmed for a video of the song. I couldn’t stop thinking about the 1400+ kids who had not made the group and suggested that part of the video include them all. It was agreed we finished our filming at LA’s Griffith Park where every child in the world imaginable was represented by hundreds of young singers including those who where blind, deaf, or otherwise handicapped. We wanted to show that when it comes to giving, there are no barriers. Everyone can participate.

Keep in mind that our production in the studio and on location, not to mention the countless of hours of planning, would have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Yet, every need was filled by donations, equipment, and scores of industry production specialists.

It is, to this day, my proudest charitable and professional endeavor.

The following year we were notified that our version of the song had been nominated for a Grammy. Through the power of radio (before the Internet) and the effort thousands of caring, giving, and loving human beings, the words that Michael Jackson, gave to the world – “We are the one’s who make a brighter day, so let’s start giving” took on new life and meaning by The Children of the World.

They not only gave to help their starving brothers and sisters, they also paid a special tribute to “a child of the world” – Michael Jackson.

-Sonny

Actor Shavar Ross, also part of the project as a child, shared this photo of the recording:

Shavar Ross with other children during the recording of the children’s version of ‘We Are The World’

 

‘Children of the World Project’ has an official Facebook page (though not very active) and some of the original members of the children’s choir had apparently reunited in 2010 to relive their childhood memories of working on the project.

Finally, here’s the recording/video of the children’s version of ‘We Are the World‘:

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