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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Jun 25 2012

Love Lives Forever

Category: Children,Justice,Prose/Essays,Quotes About MJSeven @ 6:09 pm

I want the same for Michael that he wanted for Ryan White: “I want the world to know who you are” . . . only then can the world understand why Michael Jackson is so missed 3, 5, 10 or more years later.

It’s why I have this website where I write about him. I’m a writer. Michael was a singer. When you want to give voice to someone’s memory, you use whatever talents or tools you have at your disposal to do it, if it’s important enough to you. And he was important.

He was as important to those who want the world to know who he was as the world was to him, especially the children. There lies the unbroken circle that even his death cannot sever.

Love Lives Forever.

___

You can read about the story behind Michael’s recording of the song that actually woke me this morning – “Gone Too Soon” – in Joe Vogel’s new piece he wrote for today in The Atlantic – it’s not to be missed!

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2012/06/gone-too-soon-the-many-lives-of-michael-jacksons-elegy/258933/

©2012 Seven Bowie

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Jun 23 2012

Remembering Michael: Making space for innocence

Category: Angels,Children,MJ Quotes,Photos,Quotes,VideosSeven @ 2:20 pm

Michael

Remembering Michael on the three-year anniversary of his departure from this realm, I begin with a poem:

To The Tender
by Kristen Tracy

Midsummer, and along came a hapless jay —

blue and wobbling — flight feathers nothing more

than pins of white. It arrived at the nest’s edge

unready, which was only half the problem.

Crows perched in the oak across the street, alert,

aware of all the world’s worst secrets. Naturally

I rooted for the jay. Oh, but this was life.

After the blue jay fell from the Scotch pine’s terrible height,

it righted itself in the grass and, like a skin-kneed child

after her first bad spill on a bike, cried out for help.

I set down my rake and shepherded the bird

toward my spindle tree. Hopping from

low branches, it pressed toward the center, tucking itself

into my tree’s sturdy heart. For two days

the parents swooped down to feed it.

Thankfully the crows never came, though

I kept my eye on them. I knew their game.

Pirates. Gangsters. Extortionists. Thieves.

But even if the world is half bad, it remains

half good. While some of us sleep, our hearts

lie open,turned to the tender, dreaming up ways

to thwart the crows. Yes, a hapless jay stumbles

into our lives believing it can fly, and we — knowing

what we know — do what we can to make it so.

— From The Sun magazine’s April 2011 issue.

Something that has settled atop the heap of thoughts in my mind lately is the fact that after Michael’s acquittal in 2005, his fans gave him roses. I read somewhere that a couple of the fans stayed up all night removing the thorns from the roses for him. I thought: “this was similar to how the woman made space for the innocent little blue jay, removing the threats or at least somehow protecting the little jay from them so that he could continue making his way in life unharmed.

Michael’s fans, each in their own way, have always made space for his innocence — an innocence we all knew he possessed. It wasn’t just because of the utter lack of evidence against him that so many were certain of his innocence. Much of that certainty came from Michael’s personality itself, long before the extortionists ever targeted him. One read of his book ‘Dancing the Dream‘, written long before any of the worst nastiness began, reveals a unique combination of innocence and wisdom that only Michael possessed. That’s the innocence so many millions made space for – in his life, in their lives, and in their hearts. He found, and his fans found in him, a ‘Ally in Innocence‘ so-to-speak.

But this innocence isn’t a naive one. It’s not a gullible one. It’s a wise one. It’s the one that knows a table littered with animosity, grudges, mistrust, suspicion, bitterness, and conscienceless greed cannot be a platform for a sumptuous meal, or the creation of beautiful poetry or breathtaking music or an astounding dance performance — things that connect the physical world with the divinity in all life.

We must free ourselves to be filled by God. Even god cannot fill what is full.

-Mother Teresa

It’s that innocence that sees the whole world with wonder and that knows there is real magic in dreams and that even though the most beautiful choirs and passionate churches sing of it, true Divinity is only found in the silence of the stars nestled in the velvet black and purple sky and the quiet of a flower blooming – those things we hardly notice amidst the jarring jangle of our everyday lives. Some colors exist in dreams that do not exist in the waking world. I have seen these colors in my own dreams and I know they are there.

We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature — trees, flowers, grass — grows in silence; see the stars, the moon, and the sun, how they move in silence.

-Mother Teresa

Michael’s daughter Paris tweeted something about girls in her class wearing revealing clothes. I tweeted back that if they were trying to attract guys, this is not how a girl gets respect. She ‘favorited‘ that tweet. The girl is her father’s daughter. She knows. Someone else interjected that some young girls wear revealing clothing to somehow persuade the male teacher to give them better grades. But such a lack of self-respect and ill-gotten rewards for unearned accomplishment are costly and short-lived. One cannot build a sturdy future upon them. I’m sure those girls in the revealing clothing might think girls that don’t dress that way are somehow not ‘cool‘, or are inferior. But who wants to be ‘sexy‘ if it means you get less or no respect as a person and that your accomplishments in life really aren’t accomplishments at all, but rather reward gained through manipulation or self-devaluation? This innocence, which to someone in the process of making unwise but temporarily convenient choices in life might seem useless, is the one Michael lived and taught his children.

I believe Michael knew this:

Lack of understanding of the true nature of happiness, it seems to me, is the principal reason why people inflict sufferings on others. They think either that the other’s pain may somehow be a cause of happiness for themselves or that their own happiness is more important, regardless of what pain it may cause. But this is shortsighted. No one truly benefits from causing harm to another sentient being. . . . In the long run causing others misery and infringing their rights to peace and happiness result in anxiety, fear, and suspicion within oneself.

-The Dalai Lama

And, I believe that many of today’s problems in the world are the result of this lack of understanding. Most people in the business or political world might see an unwillingness to do others harm in order to profit or succeed as naive or pollyanna-ish. But it’s not. Such reluctance to harm others (or one’s self) in order to succeed or profit may appear as childish innocence or naïveté to others, but it is actually a deeper wisdom than most people understand – or care about – because they are too driven to profit at any cost, particularly to others. We saw the ugliness of that in Michael’s own life and we see it every day all around ourselves.

Michael understood that a certain innocence is necessary for creativity, as well. It makes sense that as children grow up, they become less creative. And most adults discourage it as we get older – telling their children to be a lawyer or accountant, or computer programmer rather than pursuing any type of artistic or creative endeavor, thus instilling in them a disbelief in their own artistic ability and a distrust in their own ability to become a success by being creative. Yet the refusal to be creative – in whatever way a person has an aptitude for -could be counter to what God(dess) intended. If, as Michael and many others including myself believe – God communicates spiritually with the physical world via art and creativity –  and we refuse this, we are refusing to be a conduit for him/her to speak to the physical world through us. Many people believe too, that this can be the source of addiction ie: that the person has an emptiness within themselves, in their soul or psyche, that they are trying to fulfill or numb the pain of. I call it ‘The God Hole‘ and so does at least one other person who has written about this. Michael certainly understood the value of a childlike mind as a necessity for creativity – one that does not perceive any limit to what is possible.

Some people and entities seeking to advance themselves monetarily and otherwise portrayed Michael’s penchant for innocence as “strange“, and “bizarre” and portrayed him as a “pedophile” because he preferred the company of children than scheming, backstabbing adults who always wanted something from him for themselves – seeking to profit by hurting him or others. It seems to be a requirement that anytime a media outlet mentions him, the word “bizarre” must be inserted in the piece somewhere, just to keep the meme going. And, it seems that anytime a pedophilia case makes the news, such as the recent Sandusky case, comparisons must be made to Michael who was the polar opposite of a child molester – and who was acquitted because even after decades of efforts to frame him, was found innocent due to sheer lack of evidence.

Who is really “bizarre“? Someone who refused to hurt other people in order to succeed in this world – and in fact worked at his craft all his life primarily so that he could help others — or those who daily make a living by hurting others, including Michael, in order to profit and build careers via manipulation and dishonesty? I’d say the latter are the ones who are not only bizarre, but deeply immoral.

Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who could not hear the music.

-Angela Monet

He tried to keep empty so that he could give us beauty. What do I mean by that? Though it was impossible with all persecution he endured, it was clear to me that Michael would rather write positive, inspirational and hopeful songs than hurting ones — though his hurting angry ones were always what I call ‘teaching‘ songs, such as ‘Why You Wanna Trip On Me‘, which decried all the ignorant greedy obsession the media pundits and government had with Michael’s appearance and with the ridiculous allegations against him, rather than with solving the real problems in the world, such child neglect, war, poverty and lack of education. And it’s a very good question that no one has yet answered. But he did try to keep his psyche clear so that beauty could enter and he could share it in a creative sense without his mind or heart being cluttered with embitterment or anger. And this too, is a certain type of innocence.

What one wishes is to be touched by truth and to be able to interpret that truth so that one may use what one is feeling and experiencing, be it despair or joy, in a way that will add meaning to one’s life and will hopefully touch others as well. This is art in its highest form. Those moments of enlightenment are what I continue to live for.

–Michael Jackson

The most beautiful paintings and sculptures, the greatest poetry, have not always been born from torment or bitterness. Often they have sprung from contemplation, from joy, from an instinct or wonder toward all things. To create from joy, to create from wonder, demands a continual discipline, a great compassion . . . With time and sincerity, you will discover a way to work and write that does not harm you spiritually, that does not tempt you to vanity, that is the deepest expression of your spirituality. You will find a voice that is not your voice only but the voice of Reality itself. . . If you can be empty enough, that voice can speak through you. If you can be humble enough, that voice can inhabit you and use you.

-Thuksey Rinpoche

I think that in this way, Michael did embody the voice of Divinity, Beauty, Reality, Truth. So today I remember Michael this way: in the wise innocence that permeated every aspect of his life and with which he obviously raised his children and worked at his craft; an innocence which those who understood him tried to make space for in his life and in their own – by removing the thorns from the roses so they could be held without harm – the same way those who love Michael will always hold him within their hearts.

He didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.

-Clarence Budington Kelland

©2012 Seven Bowie

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Jun 17 2012

Michael Jackson: ‘Best father you could ever imagine’

Category: Children,Family,MJ Quotes,Photos,Quotes About MJ,VideosSeven @ 4:02 pm

Daddy Michael with little Prince and Paris

On that tearful July day of his public memorial, Paris said Michael was the “best father you could ever imagine“, and by all accounts, it was absolutely true.

In remembrance of a man who was indisputably one of the best fathers in the world, I’ll share a rundown of some of Michael’s comments about being a father, followed by one of many comments from other people who witnessed firsthand what a great father Michael was, and finally topped off with Paris Jackson’s tweets for her Dad today.

~ ~ ~

“[…] I enjoy taking care of my children myself, it’s… it’s fun, that’s why I had them, so I could take care of them and it’s just great relief for me, you know, it’s a pleasure, it keeps me happy and laughing and, you know, they’re wonderful sweet innocent children. […] [My children] mean… it’s hard to put it into words because they mean everything. The way you would explain how your children make you feel… They’re the world for me, I wake up and I’m ready for the day because of them. I get them breakfast, I change diapers, if they want to read, we do a lot of reading, we play hide and seek, we play blind fold and have a wonderful time with it. […] I want to be the best father in the world, of course.

– 2005 – February 7: “At Large With Geraldo Rivera” T.V. Interview

_ _ _

I love and adore my children. They mean everything to me. When they’re in public though, I conceal their faces, cause I want my children protected. At home, they have a normal life, they play with other kids and they have a good time, they’re laughing a lot. They run around, they even go to school. It’s a normal life for them. But in public, I must protect them. I love my children very much, and I’m proud to be their dad.

– 2003 – Private Home Videos T.V. Special

_ _ _

[I cried when Prince was born]. […] He came out with this really big head, that when I saw his head, I thought of my grandfather and my brother Randy, ‘cause his head was shaped just like theirs. And I said, ‘Oh, my God’ [laughs]. And then, the rest, they let me pull, pull him out and I cut the ombilical chord with scissers that were shaped like a stork, and…and they cleaned him off and everything, and I was ready to take him home. They said, ‘No, you can’t take him home’, I said, ‘Why?’, ‘I think there’s some serious problem’, I go, ‘What?’, ‘We’ve gotta take him to intensive care, he’s not breathing correctly’, I go, ‘Oh, no!…’, I said, ‘Please, God, don’t let me have a sick child, please…’ So, I waited an hour…two hours…three hours…four, I was so scared…After five hours, this nurse comes in, she goes, ‘Okay, you can go home now’ [smiles], I was soo happy…[…] [I was there for my daughter, Paris’, birth, also] It was magic…She came out the wrong way, her face was faced the wrong way and she was being kinda choked by the ombilical chord…I was kind of worried…and it took her longer…And…and I was so anxious to get her home that, as they cut her chord…I hate to say this, I snatched her and just went home, with all the placenta all over her [laughs] […] yeah, I’m not kidding, I got her in a towel and ran. They said it was fine. They said everything is okay with that. And I got home and I washed her all off. […] Because I felt that it was okay, they told me it was okay, Debbie said it was okay and…I got the permission of the doctor…I think I was so frightened that they would give me some bad news…I was so scared..But there was no bad news to be gotten. I was starting reliving [the birth episode with Prince] and I was afraid. I said, ‘I don’t want to hear anything bad’, I’m just ‘Go, go, go, go…[Debbie] told me to, […] she said, ‘Go ahead, I know that’s what you want, I’m totally fine with this’, I said, “Are you fine with this?’, she said “Yes, of course”. […]”

[My children] have school. […] [But they don’t go to a normal school], never…[…] It wouldn’t work…[…] “Cause we would get chased by paparazzi everywhere we go. I don’t want press all over them at school…and in the bushes and the trees and in the…I saw what happened to me, you know?..They’re doing the same and worse to them. And…and I don’t feel like the jealosy in teachers, you know, ‘Just because you’re Michael Jackson’s children, don’t think I’m gonna treat you any different (sic) from anyone else around here”. Well, they don’t wanna be treated differently, you know, it’s just that I don’t want them to have to go through all that. […] That’s the way it is…And it has worked successfully in the past many times…It’s how you shape and sculpt and mould their world, you know? And many people have been successful at it.

[My third child’s name is] Prince Michael II, but we call him Blanket. […] ‘Cause it’s an expression I use with my family and my employees. I say, ‘You should blanket me’, ‘You should blanket… her with something’, meaning it’s like…a blanket is a blessing. It’s a way of showing love and caring. […] I can’t say [who is Blanket’s mother], because she’ll be bombarded with the…you know…We have an agreement that we can’t – a contractual agreement – talk about who she is and everything. That’s how we worked that out. [It’s someone who I had a relationship with], yes. […] I don’t want anybody to know, I don’t think…she doesn’t wanna be, like, in papers and tabloids and she doesn’t want it and I don’t blame her…’cause she knows how scum…bag their comments can be, you know?…[…] [It’s not difficult being a single parent], why it would be difficult? […] No, they’re fine. How many babies live with their mothers and they don’t have a father around? And nobody’s saying nothing, you know? They’re having a good time. […] They are having a great time, they have enough women in their lives, they’re everywhere. There are women everywhere around my house..I mean, they, they’re with them all day long. […] People can always have a judgement about anything you do, so it doesn’t bother me. Everything can be strange to someone. This interview is strange to some people out there, so…who cares, right? [smiles].”

– 2003 – February 3: “Living With Michael Jackson

Daddy Michael and Blanket

On his life as a single parent:

I never had so much fun in my life. That’s the truth. Because I’m this big kid, and now I get to see the world through the eyes of the really young ones. I learn more from them than they learn from me. I’m constantly trying things and testing things on them to see what works and what doesn’t. Children are always the best judges to monitor something. […] That’s why “Harry Potter” is so successful – it’s a family-oriented movie. […] We want a wide demographic, and that’s why I try not to say things that offend parents. I don’t want to be like that. We weren’t raised to be like that. […]

On the possibility of his children being in the spotlight as he in the future:

I don’t know how they would handle that. It would be tough. I really don’t know. It’s hard, since most children of celebrities end up becoming self-destructive because they can’t live up to the talent of the parent. People always used to say to Fred Astaire Jr., “Can you dance?” And he couldn’t. He didn’t have any rhythm, but his father was this genius dancer. It doesn’t mean that it has to be passed on. I always tell my children, you don’t have to sing, you don’t have to dance. Be who you want to be, as long as you’re not hurting anybody. That’s the main thing.

– 2002 – March: “VIBE” Magazine Interview

_ _ _

[Fatherhood has changed me] in a huge way. You have to value your time differently, no doubt about it. It’s your responsibility to make sure they’re taken care of and raised properly with good manners. But I refuse to let any of it get in the way of the music or the dance or the performing. I have to play two different roles. I always wanted to have a big family, ever since I was in school. I was always telling my father I would outdo him. He had 10 children. I would love to have like 11 or 12 myself.

You do the best you can. You don’t isolate them from other children. There will be other kids at the school [on my property]. I let them go out into the world. But they can’t always go with me. We get mobbed and attacked. When we were in Africa, Prince saw a mob attack in a huge shopping mall. People broke so much stuff, running and screaming. My biggest fear is that fans will hurt themselves and they do. I’ve seen glass break, blood, ambulances.

[…] I try to make sure they’re respectful and honorable and kind to everybody.

– 2001 – December 13: “USA Today” Magazine Interview

_ _ _

[…] [My children go with me] everywhere I go. […] [When they start school,] I’m going to build a computer school on the grounds [of Neverland]. With other children. […] How can they go into society.? He’s Prince Michael Jackson. She’s Paris Katherine Michael Jackson. It would be too difficult.

I try my hardest [to be a good father]. I try to bring them a lot of fun. Once a year, I dress up like a clown, with the whole gear – the nose, the paint. And I give them candy and cookies. […] And ice cream.

– 2001 – November 5: “TV Guide” Magazine Interview

_ _ _

[…] [Reading about me not being my children’s father…] That’s total garbage. It’s just trash and not true. […] Prince tells me all day that he has to make movies. So I bought him this video camera. I say, “What are we doing this time?” He goes, “Star Wars.” So we put some figures on the table, make them move. And Paris is just now starting to talk and walk. She’s very sweet. And I’m surprised she loves dolls. My sister, Janet didn’t like that sort of thing. She was a tomboy. I thought she was going to be like that but she isn’t. [I change their diapers and feed them]. I love it. It’s a lot of work. I thought I was prepared, ’cause I read everything about child rearing, but it’s so much more exciting than I ever imagined it to be. The only regret I have is that I wish I had done it earlier.

– 1999 – December 4: “T.V. Guide” Magazine Interview

I thought I was prepared to be a father, but I wasn’t. All my life I’ve read about how wonderful children are. People would go, “What is up with you and babies?” I am always reading child psychology books. But it’s so much more joyous than even that. Prince and Paris changed me in so many ways. I learn as much from them as they learn from me. You learn about having a good heart and being a good-spirited person. And the way I am, I try to imitate them. People always say, “Act your age.” But I try and act more like children because they are the innocent, they are God-like, they are pure. I try to be as humble and sweet as they are.

-Michael Jackson

He was an absolutely fabulous father. I’ve never met a parent that is as good or better than Michael. Those kids were an absolute delight! I’ve never met kids in my life that were like those kids. I spent a lot of extended time around them. I never heard them cry, I never heard them beg for anything, never saw or heard them throw a fit.

-David Nordahl

Paris shared a couple of tweets and photos today about her dad:

Happy Fathers Day! Miss you, Da♥

http://instagr.am/p/L8qkgcqwh4/

AND

i’m such a daddy’s girl hahah #andproud

http://instagr.am/p/L-0cwnKwp8/

Along with the photo Paris shared, she added:

Happy Father’s Day. Dad I love you with all of my heart, you were the greatest thing that ever happened to me. No matter how old I get you’re still my daddy forever. Miss you so much!! Imma make you proud, I promise.

Paris also tweeted that she has taught baby brother Blanket who John Lennon was and that she is “turning him into a hippie.” The hippies after all, were right about a lot of things in our society, so big sister Paris is teaching little brother well.

blanket knows who john lennon is….. i’m so proud (‘: turning him into a hippie

If you missed Paris’s recent interview with Oprah where she says that she and Blanket have gotten closer these days, you can watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SD5kJaSRUK4&feature=player_embedded

Also, don’t miss Raven Woods’ Father’s Day Reflections‘ over at ‘AllForLoveBlog‘, where Raven tries to reconcile some of the more ambivalent feelings many MJ fans have about Joe Jackson as a father and Michael’s relationship with Joe.

_ _ _

{  The collection of Michael’s comments about being a father are courtesy of ‘The Silenced Truth About Michael Jackson‘.  -Seven  }

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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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