Jan 29 2011

The Box

Category: Humanitarian,Justice,MJ Quotes,Prose/Essays,VideosSeven @ 4:17 pm

There are a couple of stories within a story here, so please bear with me as I explain “The Box

Elvis Serval

On Sunday, April 26, 2009, Carolina Tiger Rescue received a call from a woman stating that her friend had a pet serval she could no longer care for, and that the animal needed to be placed quickly. Staff informed her that she would need to contact the Curator of Animals, Kathryn Bertok, to make rescue arrangements.

The following morning, Kathryn discovered a full grown serval in an animal crate that someone had left at the entrance to the staff parking lot. A typed note attached to the crate gave the serval’s name, Elvis, and a few details about his history, but no contact information.

A local veterinarian examined Elvis the morning he arrived. She determined that Elvis is about two years old and undernourished. He showed evidence of a collar having grown in to his skin. He has permanent scarring, likely from continuous rubbing on a cage or crate, and his hind legs were atrophied. Taken together, these findings suggest that Elvis was kept in confined quarters.

However, when Elvis was released into a larger enclosure, he continued to walk in small circles, even though he didn’t have to anymore and was no longer confined to such a small space.

Elvis in his new enclosure but afraid to leave his crate.

Elvis in his new enclosure but afraid to leave his crate.

Elvis peers out of his crate the morning after his arrival

Elvis peers out of his crate the morning after his arrival

Press Release about Elvis Serval: http://www.cptigers.org/news/pressreleases/2009/2009-04-27Elvis.pdf

Elvis had been cleared of common infectious viruses, and now inhabits his own large enclosure on the tour route at Carolina Tiger Rescue.

Elvis eventually reached healthy weight and regained good hind leg strength in the following months. CTR will care for Elvis for the rest of his life and you can donate to his care or to the care of the other animals at Carolina Tiger Rescue at their site: http://www.carolinatigerrescue.org/help/donate.asp

The road-rager in the white SUV

On Thursday this past week, I was driving in rush-hour traffic to get to a class at 5:30. Traffic on one of the main roads was of course bumper-to-bumper with a lot of stop and go and the usual idiots swerving last-minute in front of others and short, hot tempers. At a stoplight, entering the left turn lane and having been unable to move quickly at all prior to that due to the line of cars ahead of me, I was honked at and flipped ‘the bird‘ by some chubby redneck in a big white SUV. I had no idea what I’d done wrong or what he was so angry about. I guess he somehow expected me to just drive my little foreign car over top of all those cars in front of us so as not to cause him any inconvenience in that heavy traffic. He apparently considered it all my fault that the traffic existed at all and that I could do nothing about it to help him and helping himself feel better was of course all there was in his world at that moment.

When I got to my class, I was told by another person that she had possibly been ‘raged‘ at by this same guy herself at that intersection. He seems to have an M.O. in this area.

Kelly Williams-Bolar

You’ve probably heard about Kelly Williams-Bolar: the poor black woman in Ohio who fudged the address of her two daughters in order to send them to a better (white) school district 1-2 miles down the road. She used their grandfather’s address instead of their own to enroll the kids in school. She was inexplicably charged with a felony and also told that since she had been convicted of a felony, that she would be unable to get her teaching degree. Pretty harsh punishment considering the crime.

She stepped outside the box – outside the class and social strata she’s been born into. And frankly, I think that is more of a problem for the ‘powers that be‘ than any law she broke. I understand people pay taxes for schools in their districts and people from other districts sending their children to a school where the parent didn’t pay taxes is unfair. However, when should a parent ever be punished for wanting their children to have a decent education – even and especially a poor parent who cannot afford to live in a better school district and who wants her kids to have a better life than she did?

The way I see it, this problem really isn’t with her – a poor black parent wanting her child to have a better education. The problem is with the system. All these disparate school districts everywhere instead of one unified and excellent educational system that is available to everyone no matter where they live or pay taxes. That is the problem.

Instead of fixing the system though, we punish those refuse to or cannot live within it, or who try to show us a better way. These are the ‘Rosa Parks‘ of our society. And our society doesn’t take too well to them and never did. However, human progress has only ever been made by people like them. They are the rule breakers. Not the law breakers necessarily, but the rule breakers. Often when they break these rules, they are criminalized or made an example of, defined as an aberration, an atrocity, a criminal, and they are either severely punished for what is only a minor crime or they are punished severely for no crime at all!

But the truth is they’ve usually broken some unspoken and unwritten societal rule, more than any law. They’ve dared to step outside ‘The Box‘. The box of societal definitions and expectations, or outside their own class or social strata. Or, they’ve simply defied someone else’s definition of what they should or should not do, or where they should or should not go. They are the canaries in the coal mine. They are the harbingers that tell us: “Hey ya’ll, the system is broken“. Rather than crucifying them, we should appreciate them and learn from them. But we never do.

And it’s easier and more convenient to just kill or cage the canary than to fix the system, so that’s what our society often does instead. It does what Elvis’s previous owners did to him.  They shoved him into an unsuitable box for their own convenience because it was the easier solution than dealing early on with the situation they had themselves created – which was not a wise one to begin with – owning an exotic pet like that which they could not properly care for. Unfortunately, the animal suffered for their bad human decision-making. And Ms. Williams-Bolar is suffering the same way for the same reason. She has been told that – whether she likes it or not – she and her children will stay in their place in society (poor) and will not be allowed to make their lives better, or to go further or outside the social class they were born into.

Michael

I don’t read all the things written about me, I wasn’t aware that the world thought I was so weird and bizarre. But when you grow up as I did, in front of one hundred million people since the age of five, you’re automatically different.

– Michael Jackson

Michael grew up outside any societal boxes. He simply wasn’t raised that way. From the age of around six, his life was different than any other “normal” kid’s life. But that didn’t matter, people still expected him to be and act “like everyone else“. Because in society we are ‘expected‘ to be a certain way, dress a certain way, act a certain way, stay within certain limits of behavior, and take more than we give. We are expected to be all about ourselves and not others. We are expected to be narcissistic and sociopathic and to only care for ourselves and our own, ignoring everyone else. Those ‘rules‘ aren’t written anywhere, but they exist nonetheless. You bet they do.

Michael didn’t follow those rules. He couldn’t. That’s simply not who he was. He was himself, but he was not about himself. He was unique, and different and loved a world that he could never fit or be allowed into. If he had been raised in that box and stayed in it, would he have been such an entertainment genius? Would he have been able to give the world all he had given it, dazzling our eyes and hearts with unprecedented performances and stunningly beautiful and meaningful music and films? Would he have been able to try to teach us what we still refuse to learn? Of course not.

And he dressed differently. He did things no one else would or could do. He came from a very poor family in Steel town Gary Indiana, from a small house with two bedrooms shared by two parents and nine kids, where his only other future could have been drugs and gangs or becoming a steel mill worker. But the steel mills have all but closed down now and either of these outcomes were exactly the future his parents did not want for their kids. Had Michael joined a gang and gotten into drugs or become a steel mill worker, our society would have been much nicer to him because you know that was pretty much to be expected. And as long as he only did what others expected him to do; as long as he stayed within the class and social strata he was born into; as long as he stayed within that box of definitions and expectations our society built for him – that was fine.

But Michael didn’t do that. Instead he did the same thing that Kelly Williams-Bolar in Ohio did. He stepped outside the box. He stepped so far out of that class and that social strata of society he was born into, that he went all the way to the stars. He was a star that burst out of Gary Indiana to join the rest of them in our galaxy. And he was severely punished for it.

The Michael Jackson cacophony is fascinating in that it is not about Jackson at all. I hope he has the good sense to know it and the good fortune to snatch his life out of the jaws of a carnivorous success. He will not swiftly be forgiven for having turned so many tables, for he damn sure grabbed the brass ring, and the man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo has nothing on Michael.

-James Baldwin, ‘The Price of the Ticket

Michael Jackson gave more than he took. He gave to people he didn’t even know. He paid for funerals of children he didn’t even know. He paid for life-saving treatments and surgeries for children he didn’t even know. Who else does that? He felt the pain of all children (not just his own, all of them) and worked for peace and worked to reduce or eliminate the pain of children all over the world. Most “other people” don’t do that. Because of this inability or refusal to live inside some box of rules and arbitrary expectations our society has for all of us, because of his innocence, sweetness and Guinness Book Record generosity, because he cared ‘too much‘ about the world and everybody in it, he was looked upon with suspicion by society, the legal system, the political system.

Yes, Michael cared ‘too much‘, and instead of the rest of the world taking a lesson from that and caring a bit more about one another using the example he set, Michael was instead defined as weird and vilified. He was demonized, criminalized, lynched, called a ‘freak‘, a ‘weirdo‘, and worst of all, a ‘pedophile‘.

Because when you want to destroy someone for stepping outside the box which has been defined for them, or for not behaving in a way someone else expects, or for being a threat to the status quo in society, the easiest way to do it is to attack them about something they love most. For Michael, that was children. This is very controlling behavior on the part of our society. I have experienced such controlling behavior in personal relationships so I recognize it when it is done on a larger scale. It is the worst form of bullying.

I want to heal the world, save our children, & they hate me for it. They want to destroy anyone righteous. . . . I’m not trying to be philosophical, but I really think it’s my job to help [children] & don’t care if people laugh.

-Michael Jackson

The world didn’t understand Michael because he wasn’t ‘like‘ them. The profitable propaganda and devious misinformation fed that misunderstanding. When health problems ensued which he had no control over, he was demonized and ridiculed for that, too. He was bullied on a scale with which we’ve seen no one else bullied in our lifetimes. He was subjected to pain piled on top of pain as a decades-long full-on assault was launched against him from inside that God-forsaken box the rest of us are rammed into and which we are forced to live within like Elvis the serval. And like that poor cat, we end up not knowing how to walk outside a space bigger than 3 feet by 3 feet – even when there is nothing stopping us and even when we had someone like Michael to show us how.

Instead we learn – lest we be punished the same way Ms. Williams-Bolar was, or the way Michael was by the likes of that road-rager in the white SUV – that we had better conform and be like everyone else or we will be made to suffer dearly. We learn to stay in our place and never think of wanting to do more, or wanting to be more, or go further or be something different than what we’re “expected” to be. Not something illegal, just something different or further or better. We’re simply taught not to want that and not to go there. Then as adults, even if we can, we still don’t do it.

Society didn’t doesn’t mind taking Michael’s creative gifts, profiting from them, enjoying them – but they collectively threw Michael Jackson the human being away like a piece of trash. If you ask, many people will tell you that’s what he was – that he we some evil abomination that needed to be destroyed. Many people spent their lives and built their careers on that destruction effort, and they’re still at it. This is a certain blindness, caused by the walls of the box. It’s also a profitable blindness that is perpetuated by the media. And a lazy and ignorant blindness consumed by the rest, unquestioningly. The crucifixion and lynching of a man who simply didn’t live inside the box in which rest of us are trapped is testimony to this blindness. Some of us can see through to the outside, and we see Michael for who he truly was. Millions of others cannot see outside though, either because they are truly blinded — or because they make too much money to even look — and their lies and lynchings are profitable business. An entire industry has been made of it.

But what about that creativity that blessed us with so many dazzling gifts from Michael? Oh we love that, of course. Nevermind it came from such a ‘weirdo‘. How many times have you heard someone say: “Oh yea Michael Jackson was a great entertainer, dancer and singer but he was really strange and I just can’t get past all that weird behavior of his.

But it doesn’t ever occur to these box-blinded people that his creativity, genius and brilliance existed because he was different, not in spite of it?

Michael respected the wisdom of young children because their minds are yet unspoiled by such prejudice – or by greed, revenge, religious or political objectives, or by outsized egos. That kind of unassuming innocence is what drives creativity. Creativity itself is a child! Michael seemed to know instinctively what the rest of us need to (re)learn. He said:

That’s the problem with adults: they lose that child-like quality. And that’s the level of inspiration that’s so needed and is so important for creating and writing songs and for a sculptor, a poet or a novelist. It’s that same kind of innocence, that same level of consciousness, that you create from. And kids have it.

-Michael Jackson

This is why he liked being around kids. Not because he was a pedophile but because he was a kid himself – and they inspired him more than anything else. The song ‘Speechless‘ was written after a water balloon fight! That’s where he lived and created from – pure, simple, childlike fun. That creative place cannot exist within any box. The child known as Creativity cannot survive crammed inside some box of prejudice, definitions, expectations, religious, political, social or class strata. Michael knew that. Children know that. Instinctively. They may not be able to say it but they know it. Until some adult teaches them otherwise.

…And my best moments of creativity have often been spent with children. When I am around them, music comes to me as easily as breathing…

-Michael Jackson

The only people who don’t want anything from [MJ] are children. Everyone else wants something. They want to flirt with glory.

-Phil Collins

Blindness, ignorance, laziness, selfishness, egotism, and greed: all those things are what Michael Jackson was not – but because he was not – he was destroyed. We gladly accepted and kept those marvelous gifts that his being ‘different‘ enabled him to give us. But we as a society we never accepted him as a human being, and we collectively destroyed him for it and then left him to die.

What does that make us? It is said that humans are the most intelligent species. I don’t believe that. Because humans have the ability to think and reason – yet they do not. They don’t seem to possess as much empathy as animals yet humans would claim animals don’t feel empathy. But humans are wrong. Animals do feel empathy. We’ve heard the story of a dog rescuing another dog from the highway after he’d been hit by a car. We’ve heard of elephants gathering in a circle around one of their dead kin to mourn, for days.

Unlike humans, animals only kill to survive, their instincts all come from nature, and their fears are based on real threats. They are not driven by prejudice, ignorance, malice, revenge, hunger for power over each other or false fears and threats that don’t exist whipped up by some money-driven propaganda machine created by other groups of animals. Only humans do that.

It is astounding that even as far back as 1985, what was going to happen to Michael Jackson due to his enormous success was evident to many people like James Baldwin, Howard Bloom and others – even before it actually transpired.

They had to know that the lords of the status quo weren’t going to sit idly by and allow this innocent talent – this magical child – his celestial success without making him pay and pay dearly for it. Call it an act of revenge, greed, jealousy, a hate crime, ignorance, narcissism, prejudice or all of the a above and more. Like Michael himself said: “the bigger the star, the bigger the target“.

But it wasn’t only that. It was that Michael became a huge star from nothing – from dirt in a poor steel town in the midwest to a billionaire in just a few years – all well before the age of 40. And he was black to boot. And – very different than the rest of us in so many ways: artistically, emotionally, spiritually, physically (with constant changes due to health issues), and intellectually. His childhood and his entire life was such that the rest of us could only imagine what it was like for him.

He could not be put neatly into a box or category – he defied most of them, not deliberately as much as by his nature. And because of that too, he was considered an aberration to be ‘dealt with‘ and he was, in the harshest of terms – just like Howard and James knew he would be.

That we destroyed him because he was different instead of learning from him says more about what’s wrong with us than it does about what was wrong with Michael Jackson. This is a big mirror, and most people don’t want to look into it. Because what it reflects back to us about ourselves isn’t pretty and even worse, it hasn’t changed much over his lifetime or ours.

The problem isn’t with Elvis the serval. The problem isn’t with Ms. Williams-Bolar wanting her kids to have a decent education. The problem isn’t with me being unable to drive my dinky foreign car over top of all those cars ahead of me in rush hour traffic so as not to annoy some hotheaded jerk who evidently expected that of me. The problem is not and never was with Michael Jackson.

The problem is with The Box. The problem is with us. The problem is with the ‘system‘ and our own limited expectations and beliefs. It’s broken. We’re broken.

Some of the most wonderful people are the ones who don’t fit into boxes.

-Tori Amos

_ _ _

Essay © Seven Bowie, 2011
Photos and videos © their respective owners/creators

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28 Responses to “The Box”

  1. Carmina Brasil says:

    Seven excellent text!

    In fact – the “box” (system) in which we allow ourselves to hold onto plastered the mind, heart and spirit! Has made us lazy, accommodated, and full of complaints about those who dare to breach the fence and make a difference!

  2. Ellen says:

    I absolutely adored this piece,Seven. It explains beautifully how I feel. Being “different” is exactly what draws me to Michael. That was a big part of his charm and charisma as far as I am concerned, because his “differences” were all positive, beautiful and full of meaning. He dared to be different from everyone else and that combined with all his God-given talents, catapulted him to a stardom no one else has ever achieved! I still cannot believe thel number of people out there who still do not understand him and what he stood for. They are still entangled in such untruths and twisted logic that it is mind-boggling. But the worst part of it all is how he was tortured and made to suffer throughout his life because “the blind could not see”. This to me was the great tragedy of Michael’s life – because he was so misunderstood he was made to be dragged through the mud at every turn,so much so that it destroyed every thread of his magnificent spirit until he breathed his last breath. But, I believe that with the passing of time, many of these people will realize what they have done, but it will be too late. Michael Jackson now sings with the angels and has achieved peace at last. God will look over him and protect him for all eternity.

  3. Sue Springer says:

    Seven, this was so needed, thank you. The box is not an arbitrary constraint, but a “place” society allows itself to be. Being all of the wonderful things Michael was — kind, gentle, loving, giving, smart, etc. — is difficult work. It takes self-analysis and introspection and constant nurturing. Society has forgotten so much of this; we have become people who demand immediacy in every part of our lives and people who have become unwilling to learn and grow. It is a form of laziness, as others here have mentioned. Part of what Michael taught us is that we need to love each other, but we also need to first learn to love ourselves and know that each and every one of us is capable of excellence in life. We need to, as Michael said in one of his most beautiful poems, “find that child hiding inside – he’s waiting for you.” To remember that we are each part of the divine. When people cannot see past their own noses, they begin to wallow in darkness. And the darkness never tolerates the light. It takes strength and perseverance to be kind and loving. Too many people in our world today accept mediocrity and the misconception that kindness is weakness. When enough of us step out of the box, in loving and caring ways, and embrace the unique gifts each of us possess, then the world will begin to change. Michael began to shift the tide and it’s up to all of us to continue the mission. Articles like this, Seven, contribute so much to that wave of change. Thank you. Love and peace, sue.

  4. faeraemae says:

    Are we so few?

    I live in hope.

    And though my heart is broken, I will gather up the pieces and share them with you!

    Thank you so much for writing this most insightful exposition.

    ~

    p.s. Since writing the above, I am back from a little trip down the ‘Rabbit Hole’ and have found a couple of websites for all to see: (sorry ~ unable to paste links)

    Universal Life Tools.com / Waves of Love

    &

    ‘Preparing Ourselves for the great Shift’ (with particular attention to the Chapter 1.1.1.)

    It’s All For L.O.V.E.

  5. Heidi says:

    Seven, SUCH a profound article. A truth that needed to be articulated as only you could do. Thank you for the “remembering” as I review my own life with its many boxes. If only we could wake up. If only we could see that, once again, a major life lesson has been given to us through the gift that was Michael. There is nothing that could possibly make up for the damage that was done to this Angel of Light, but if only we could LEARN SOMETHING and CHANGE, it would help just a little.

  6. LisaMJJ11:11 says:

    Sooo..True..to the HIGHEST Degree!! Michael was Michael..a beautiful human being-angel/prophet/warrior/creative genius whom God gave favor to, so that He will use his gifts to help heal the world..And he did..all around the world-for 45 years! Michael WAS not suppose to be in a box or be “NORMAL” We definetly live in duality in this earth-planet of ours..WE say “BE your self, be kind to others, give to others, live your dreams, conquer the world,..etc..Then when a human being exceeds ALL Expectations..What do we do..as a society as a whole? We crucifed him, we tortured him, we used him for our own greed, prejudices..jealousy and envy enters our hearts..Michael was asked by R. Shumuley, you never been envious or jealous? Michael said..NEVER..I am always admiring other talents..appreciative..” And EVEN after all the witnesses after all the FACTS..of who Michael was, STILL–there is hate and fear and jealousy and envy??? Heaven help those who have been given so many changes for redemption, for their hearts to open up, for their egos to admit they are WRONG-so then they can become their essence of givers instead of takers and/or living their dreams-instead of sleeping their dreams away..Michael was born to show what LOVE was truly about, he showed us what courage, compassion, and to use what God gave us, our gifts to help others..Yet, people still cannot see..To my Beloved Michael..I know you are in such a beautiful place..no wars, no violence, no fear, no hate, no envy, no jealousy, no prejudices.. just in pure love, pure beauty, light, bliss, in heaven..in paradise..I will see you soon my king of hearts..king of love, king of compassion..your soldiers of LOVE will continue your legacy..Your death was not in vain..You will live FOREVER in our hearts..and when our time comes we will see you in paradise..Your Beloved 11:11

  7. Gavin Saunders says:

    Wonderful essay Seven, one of your best if I may say so.

    For a short, but perhaps crucial, period of my childhood I was a Jehovah’s Witness. Much of what I’ve gleaned about Jackson’s character and motivations seems to hark back to the lessons in morality we learned through our weekly bible studies. The fact that he tried hard to continue to be a J W speaks to his deep investment in the faith and what a handicap this aspect of of his make-up must have been to his managers in the days of his emergence as a solo performer; it was his making and also his eventual ruin, I think.

    I doubt however that anyone, without that background of self-sacrifice, deference to a higher power, coupled with Michael’s circumstantial isolation due to his unparalleled childhood success, would have had the discipline or perseverance to be able to further hone his craft so spectacularly.

    What a shame that the likes of that butcher’s daughter, Diane Dimond, don’t use their supposed calling/talent/craft to give back to the world rather than, in a vile exhibition of opportunism, do the bidding of the media megalomaniacs that are responsible for the ‘tabloidized’ press we have today.

    The day that they wake up to their part in creating some of the hell that is unfortunately our world today, would be the end of them, such would be their shame and disgust. They can argue all they want that they are merely giving people what they want but they know, unnervingly so, that it does not make it right.

  8. Caroline Howe says:

    So true; true over and over in history and everyday life, and disastrously, painfully true for Michael. Thank you, Michael, for a kind of courage I can barely imagine.

  9. Anne Mette Jepsen says:

    Brilliant piece my very wise Seven 🙂
    LOVE and GRATITUDE 🙂

  10. Mjalima says:

    Thank you so much Seven this article is amazing!!!
    I which you could one day publish a book about Michael you are such talented person and I love the way you love Michael.

  11. Lia says:

    Again, a great, great article!!!
    Thanks Seven 🙂

  12. Pamela says:

    Beautifully written Seven!

  13. Karmen Legazpi says:

    My goodness, Seven, I’m speechless. I agree with every single word you said. But I would add something else. Even when this society destroys your life, you still know you’re a gift from God. And I’m sure, deep inside, Michael knew that, as well as Ms. Williams Bolar and that beautiful cat.

    Love you, hun

  14. melinda says:

    It’s sad to see that the world is full of envy , jealousy , greed and lack of compassion for others ! Michael really wanted to show others how to care and love for one another , but look what happened , he was ridiculed and mocked for his actions! People don’t realize that the reason he loved being around children was because he was making up for the years he lost his childhood and because he saw the face of god in them ! But no people who are so ignorant and don’t know what it was like being a child themselves started calling him “pedophile ” , “weird” and other cruel names !Hope that one day everyone will open their eyes to the message michael left and cry out to the sky saying they are sorry for believing the media’s lies and becoming better persons

  15. Catherine says:

    Truly an amazing write up on our beloved. This explains things brilliantly.

    Much love.

  16. Joyce says:

    Thank you Seven for this thought provoking essay. Michael saw the evil and injustices that exist in our world from very early in his life and wanted so much to make a difference and show people that there is hope. Unfortunately, evil has and always will exist but we each have to do whatever we can to prove that Goodness also exists and can triumph over evil!

    I know this may be a bit long but if you have never heard the song “Be Not Always” written in 1979 by a 20 year old Michael and performed as a solo number on the Jackson’s Victory Album, I highly recommend that you do. Here are the Lyrics:

    Always, Be not always, and if always
    Bow our heads in shame
    Always, Please be not always, and if always
    Bow our heads in blame

    Cause Time has made promises, just promises

    Faces, did you see their faces
    Did they touch you
    Have you felt such pain
    To have nothing
    To dream something
    Then lose hoping
    Is not life but lame

    But Time has made promises, just promises

    Mothers cry, Babies die, helplessly in arms
    While rockets fly and research lies in progress to become
    But what of men are flesh and blood
    We turn our backs on life
    How can we claim to stand for peace
    When the race is armed in strife
    Destroying Life

    Always, Be not always, but if always
    Bow our heads in shame
    Always, Please be not always, cause if always
    Bow our heads in blame

    Cause Time has made promises, Just promises
    Death Promises.

    I just could not think of a better response to this post than these incredibly poignant and meaningful words written by such a brilliant, caring, gifted, and very young Michael Jackson!
    You can hear his emotional vocals on this song by looking for it on YouTube or download it from Amazon or Itunes.

  17. Seven says:

    @Joyce,

    I have heard that song and though it tears at my very soul, it is one of my favorites. I have it on regular rotation on iTunes.

  18. Solar says:

    Seven, this is a truly enlightening post!

    As God’s messenger, Michael thought outside The Box (breaking down a lot of longstanding, senseless barriers), and it was his divine norm to work outside and beyond The Box to get God’s message across the planet. In this mortal world, we have seen what happens to messengers, yet they will keep appearing, some more gifted and talented than others, generation after generation.

    Messengers are threatening to evildoers, but fortunately good people far outnumber evil ones. And as always, there’s Karma!

  19. melinda says:

    God will never stop bringing more messengers to use their talents to teach others how to heal the world !Evil will try to destroy them like it did to michael but god will not let it happen anymore ! He has had enough !!No more shooting the messengers !

  20. NellieO231 says:

    Seven, Like Michael you also have a true gift. I appreciate your writing and this blog so much.
    This particular piece really speaks to what I have been feeling about Michael for the past 18 months. As I looked back over his too few (unedited)interviews, his writings (Dancing The Dream), his lyrics (like “Be Not Always” and so many others), interviews of people who actually knew him (like Howard Bloom)I was literally floored. It was all right there. It was right in front of us all the time. I’ll admit that I didn’t see it. I was blinded, intentionally perhaps. I saw his talent of course but I didn’t hear the resounding message, the current that flowed throughout his work. On June 25th, 2009 I finally looked outside “The Box” and my heart is broken by what “we” have done.

    There is another part, later in the James Baldwin piece that gives some further explanation of Michael’s treatment by society:

    “Freaks are called Freaks and are treated as they are treated – in the main, abominably – because they are human beings who cause to echo, deep within us, our most profound fears and desires.”

  21. BG says:

    So true. Michael was gloriously different and loved by millions the world over because of it. It scared some.

    I also don’t go along with the media’s justification (excuse) that they are giving us want we want. I think that although there are exceptions, most of the time they feed us what they want us to know or believe. It’s a kind of conditioning, propaganda, and it’s deliberate.

  22. Diane says:

    Very well said Seven, as usual. With all of the technological and intellectual advances over the generations, society has not moved above or out of the metaphor you so aptly use. What’s worse, the “geniuses” of the world are labelled and dismissed as being odd, different, weird and any other negative adjective the media or society deems appropriate. And, the label hurts! Michael hurt – and yet he endured. One of my favorite novels is “The Sound and the Fury” by William Faulkner. In the Epilogue, Faulkner describes life for the characters after living through life’s tragedies. Dilsey, the stalwart heroine, epitomizes a selfless hope for a renewed future where basic values are retrieved. Although Faulkner’s writings focus on issues paramount to the Southern United States in his time, nonetheless his works are seen as identifying universal societal problems. It is enlightening that he makes Dilsey the subject of the last line of the novel: “They endured”. The wording is no coincidence. The author uses this plural pronoun to characterize not only an individual, but people in general—and we do endure!

    Thank you for this poignant look at the confines society places, not only on its gifted and talented citizens, but on us everyday folk, who like the former, only wish to live in peace and harmony–making the world a better place.

  23. Sina says:

    This is one of the best essays about Michael that I ve ever read.

    Society has a ruthless verdict if you dont fit in their narrowminded skeme and its mostly the geniuses of this world who are victimized. Never knew James Baldwin had this prophecy about Michael that im sure he never ever imagined would become the harsh reality as we now know.
    Seven thanks so much for the article and thanks for reminding of Be not always Michaels voice is so angelic and vulnerable in this song , and the lyrics give you goosebumps.
    To get rid of the shock of Michaels death, I wanted so much to understand him and find out why this happened to him. I dug up evrything I had from him, even old lps and newspapers I m happy I never got rid of,spent nights reading tons of books and magazines, watched footage of interviews, of him singing, dancing, acting, laughing, having fun, with the hick ups, with different tone of voice, with his brothers, and his parents ,married, with his children, even angry, when he tells a papparazi to tell gloria allred to go to hell.
    Then I found this interview of 1999 in which in a nutshell Michael explains what he is and what he is not at that time of his life and what he thinks the future holds for him. I was completely gutted and still when he talks about being hunted and mocked by the british press and then starts to cry. Ifelt sad and angry and wanted so much to hug and protect him from all the evil that he somehow was a huge magnet to. From then on I didnt care about understanding him, just wanted to embrace him,take him as he is, with compassion and unconditional love.

  24. Susan T says:

    Seven,

    After reading this, you are forever endeared to me!

    I love knowing how much you care about animals. The story of Elvis was superbly intertwined with your brilliant essay, perhaps the best I’ve read from you. Truly, you are an exceptional writer.

    I like to think of Michael periodically taking time to read all the wonderful things written about him. I believe he experiences our love and devotion on a level we are not yet able to comprehend. I picture him literally jumping for joy, just like he used to do, here, when something struck him as brilliant. This piece would have him smiling touching his hand to his heart, for sure!

    I love that you shared James Baldwin’s comment. I love the great video you imbedded.

    Michael could have been anything he desired and there’s no question that he would have been extraordinary in whatever role he chose. I can envision him as a scholar, brain surgeon, award-winning architect, and because of his love of children, he would have been the most inspiring teacher you could have ever had your children exposed to. Why do I believe this? Because he was walking, talking, breathing, creative emotion! He not only was a musical and financial genius, but he was an emotional genius and educators and scientists are just beginning to understand the importance of identifying and cultivating emotional genius.

    Somewhere in his highly-evolved consciousness, Michael understood the world around him and I believe he willingly accepted his mission to be a light, a messenger of joy through his brilliant talent and creativity. I think he understood what would happen to him, eventually. Leaving his church was not a decision he took lightly but dare I say that he saw the hypocrisy that exists in so many religions. When he spoke about his abilities, he always felt they were divinely imbued and it humbled him. He felt that his music and dancing was a way to celebrate God and he spoke the truth. It is overly judgmental humans that tried to put him in a “box” and expect him to conform to their view of how people should look, act, and live.

    Thank God he was different. He changed things.

    The world will never be the same for his having lived and contributed all of who he was (and always will be!).

    Each day I live, I am constantly aware of his absence, physically, but like you and millions of others who love him, I also feel his spiritual presence in so many ways. When I see children laughing and enjoying themselves, I see Michael. When I read lovely poetry or stories like yours, I see Michael. When I look at beauty in nature, I see Michael. He is everywhere!

    His life has changed mine!

    God love and protect his children always!

  25. Elizabeth says:

    Dear Seven,THANK YOU for this Brilliant piece of writing. You are a beautiful and unique human being whom I appreciate and admire so much . What a great writer you are!! Thank you for loving Michael the way you do. I feel his presence in my life every single day and I am so grateful for that. Blessings and L.O.V.E. to you! <3

  26. Dialdancer says:

    Seven,

    I think you’d like to know Kelly-Williams-Bolar’s charges of grand theft was dismissed yesterday. Due to massive social networking support the voices were heard. Think of the difference that might have happened for Michael….if only.

  27. Seven says:

    @Dialdancer,

    That is good news. The publicity her case attracted was a good thing and people rallied to her support. Sometimes – not nearly often enough – there is justice – usually it happens ONLY when people demand it. It can be done if enough raise their voices in protest.

    The same can’t be said for Michael – what I mean is, all publicity surrounding him was bad – because that was what is most profitable for the media outlets. No one – even his Hollywood friends and those in the industry – came to his aid. He was abandoned except for his family and fans.

    Now, he is lost to us forever, except for the memories, the grief, and the shame for what this world did to him in all its greed, manufactured fear and knuckle-dragging ignorance. Shame.

  28. SandyK says:

    Wonderful essay, Seven!! Your comparisons are perfect. Michael was not going to be boxed in by ignorance. Bravo Michael! Shame on society for trying to force him into a box based on ingnorance and false fears in an attempt to cripple and control him like Elvis the serval. So many, too many in society didn’t want to even try and get to know him. Although Michael reached for the stars and touched them in a way so few can even imagine, in some ways he eventually was forced to retreat into a “box” for his own safety and sanity due to endless harrassment and bullying. Whether that “box” be Neverland or where ever. As I watched the This Is It rehearsal movie, Michael was showing the signs of prolonged confinement in a “box” like Elvis the serval. His thinness and almost atrophied frame were shocking to see when I first saw the movie. Other than when he was performing, there was also a subtle fagile almost timid quality to him that was never there before. It should never have come to this and watching that movie tore my heart out…:-(

    Michael reached for the stars, as we are all encouraged to do, Michael touched those stars, as few of us are ever likely to do, Michael was crucified for it because he did it in a way that was different than what was expected. How dare he accomplish what most of us only dream. How dare he be different. How incredibly short sighted society can be….:-(

    Michael, I’m so glad you’re different!!! You touched the stars and wanted to bring the stars closer so that children could know that they can accomplish their dreams as well. Thank you for being an encouragement for positive change. Thank you for being who you are. Although the damage is already done, hopefully, over time, the ignorance surrounding your name can be lifted and society re-educated on who Michael Jackson really was and what was really lost.

    Thank you for being one of the good guys!!!…:-) You’ll always be missed!!!….:-(

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