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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Michael Jackson’s This Is It (review)

The Gospel of Kenny


(for true disciples of Michael)

(for everyone else)

In the Year of the Gloved One 50, which was also called in the old calendar 2009, the people of the town of London came unto Michael with much wailing and despair. “Michael!” they beseeched Him. “Bestow upon us Your awesomeness. Bestow upon us the wisdom of Your spirit, and telleth us once again how Billie Jean is not Your lover and the kid is not Your son, for we long to be reassured. Giveth unto us 50 shows, one for each year of Your beneficence.”

And Michael heard their pleas, and thought them good, and with the multitudes of lawyers and agents and publicists and other devotees at His side did sign the contracts that would make it so.
And Michael came to this humble servant, and said, “Kenny Ortega, you have given unto the world the 2002 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony and the glory that is High School Musical. You will make a Show with Me that will bringeth tears of joy to the people, and will showeth them that the spectacles of 3D and CGI can be encorporatedeth into a stage performance, and will beat it, beat it good.” And Michael, in His all-knowingness, knew that it would be His last of shows, and that the tears of joy would also be tears of grief, and this He declared for all his followers to know. And Michael, in his all-lovingness, did stay silent on the taking from us of His presence that was to come, lest He aggrieve us before the time was upon us.

And did the nameless supplicants flyeth in from around the world, 5,000 in number, from such distant realms as Australia, and without 21-day advance airline purchases, such was the overwhelmingness of their love for Michael. And did they weep tears of joy to beith in the presence of Michael, and did they dance their supple young bodies in His sight, expressing their ecstasy, and were they all but 11 of them turnethed away from His company, and returned broken into the Michael-less void. And did the 11 become His final disciples of dance.

And did the makers of music praise Michael for His generosity in sharing His songs with they who were not worthy to play them yet must play them still, and for His knowledge of His own songs, and for His ability to hear music that no one else could hear, such was His magnificence. And did they worship Him for having guided them since childhood toward the raising of their voices in euphoric song and the raising of their guitar licks in blissful noise. And did they become His final disciples of music.

And many were the cameras present to record the creative process, and His patience, and His love, and His faith, even when the disciples did screweth up. And always, Michael soothed them, “This is why we have rehearsals.” And His words had a calming effect on them, and they loved Him all the more.

And all the many whiles did Michael sayeth only to this humble servant, “This will be good for the DVD” or “This will be a wicked cool making-of featurette” or “Long have the people yearned to understand the choreography of the crotch grab, and now they will know it good.” And never did He sayeth, “You will assemble this footage one day into the final great Praising of me,” for so all-encompassing was His love that He did not wish to cause sorrow amidst the jubilation of hip grinding and choreographed gang rumbles and sound checks, or amidst the uncomfortable invoking of the 1970s-era Jackson 5, which we pretendethed was joyful and not kinda creepy in how it remindeth us of what a cute little munchkin Michael was in his youth.

But lo the great and secret burden Michael bore for us all did come to pass, and He passed from among us. And how this humble servant did wail, and how this humble servant did weep, until this humble servant rememberethed the 80 hours of footage at his fingertips.

Beholdeth the real Michael! Beholdeth how Michael takes the suffering of the world onto Himself, and how He worrieth about the children and the butterflies and the monkeys and the trees, and how He standeth before the Bulldozer of Destruction! Seeth thou how strong Michael was in His last days, and forgeteth thou the unpleasant autopsy and toxicology reports. Seeth how Michael was a man and yet not a man, a man and yet a seraph of spirit and light and moonwalking. Seeth how He was beyond mortality, and shall liveth forever.

Here endeth the Gospel of Kenny.


MPAA: rated PG for some suggestive choreography and scary images

viewed at a semipublic screening with an audience of critics and ordinary moviegoers

official site | IMDb
more reviews: Movie Review Query Engine
  • anonymous

    This review sucketh.

  • IdiotMaryAnn

    This review sucketh because the reviewer sucketh the penith!!! What a worthless close minded waste of space human being

  • CCofGA

    I think it’s a hilarious review. And utterly true. Masses have anointed Michael Jackson as the virtual second coming of Christ and the so-called “Prince Of Pop.” While it’s undeniable he was a talent, he–and nobody else in showbiz–is worthy of such fervent worship. I wouldn’t see this movie if it were playing out in the back yard.

  • Kim

    Sense of humour failure from those two, then! What is wrong with a little mocking of all the hype that’s surrounded Michael Jackson since his death?

  • Accounting Ninja

    *gasp*! MaryAnn! You have an evil, parellel universe self! And, she’s an Idiot!

  • markyd

    I was amused. I think maybe she could have done this for half the review, then reverted back to “normal” speak for the rest.
    I totally get how this will offend the Michael faithful, though.
    I loved his music as a kid, but gave up on him when he got all loony.

  • Bored Spitless

    This is the single most irritating review I’ve ever read half of in my life. Utterly silly and ineffective.

  • Chris

    I thought the movie pretty much showed what everyone should already known by now. Michael really cared about his live show and would throw everything he had into it. Michael took what Elvis started in the 70’s and took it to a whole new level and the movie shows that this just doesnt happen, it takes a lot of work. Is this the Last Waltz, no but it doesnt mean that Mary Ann’s tone of “I’m better than you because I am not a Michael Jackson fan” just shows her own weakness of having to resort to humor and satire when she doesnt have a real point to make other than I dont like this person that did this in this movie.

  • Chris

    I think it’s interesting that the comments have kind of proved your point…

  • bitchen frizzy

    Am I the only one that noticed that MaryAnn *did* recommend this movie to MJ fans?

    Humor and satire are not a last resort. They’re essential to the writing of anyone with an ounce of intelligence and wit.

  • David

    And thy author shall be persecuted for her review. But fear not! For time passes quickly in cyberspace.

    (ps Fun review ^_^)

  • MaryAnn

    Weird how people think I’m reviewing Michael Jackson, and not this movie *about* Michael Jackson.

    Or maybe it’s not so weird. It’s astonishing how few people can read above a fourth grade level.

  • MaryAnn

    This review sucketh because the reviewer sucketh the penith!!!

    I don’t understand how whether I might enjoy performing oral sex on a partner I wanted to especially please would impact my review of a movie. Could someone explain?

  • CB

    Maybe they were implying that this was going on while the review was being written? I could see that impacting the quality, or at least number of typos. Though I don’t notice this effect so I question their thesis.

    You know there’s no way for many people to see this movie, or your review, objectively.

    And those people should damn well know that the only reason this movie was made was as a cash grab. They’re cashing in on Michael’s death, striking while the iron is hot. You might not care, but you should at least accept this.

    Personally I love Michael — the old one who made Off the Wall and Thriller. Much like Elvis, now that he’s passed I feel free to remember any version of Michael I please. But frankly I think this movie is crass.

  • Lando Calrissian

    Wow, great non-review: take a blase joke that may have been funny for one sentence and stretch it out to a 8-paragraph review. Clever! I get it: it’s hagiographic because Michael Jackson fans like him too much. Ha ha, joke’s on them! I’m sure it takes quite some gumption to take on such a target – Elvis might be next.

    Most annoying is the wont of altogether too many critics these days to get caught up in their “intelligence” and “wit.” No rhyme, no reason. But I guess it’s one’s own fault for expecting something in the way of an actual movie review instead of a self-indulgent display of glibness.

  • MaryAnn

    Clever! I get it: it’s hagiographic because Michael Jackson fans like him too much.

    No. It’s hagiographic because it’s hagiographic.

  • Accounting Ninja

    This review sucketh because the reviewer sucketh the penith!!!

    I can’t stop imagining Daffy Duck saying this line.

  • misterb

    beith -> art

    Note, this is an English correction, not a comment on the creativity behind the review. This kind of review is why I’m a fan, MA; please continue to piss off the humorless. That said, perhaps it’s too soon, but comedy is all about risk.

  • LaSargenta

    By David: And thy author shall be persecuted for her review. But fear not! For time passes quickly in cyberspace.

    rotflmao … thanks! :-)

    And thanks for the review. It was a little self-indulgent…but so was Ambrose Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary, and much of Vonnegut and a great deal of Pratchett and I laugh at all of those, too.

  • John Odeh aka Johnnus Odehus

    O all ye shamefully abusedeth readers of this awfully failed attempteth at sarcastic satireth, witnesseth thou most sadlyeth, to this absolutelyethly blaspemous slander of the Most High God (And who if I need here statethet, the great Michael Jackson willingly and devoutly worshippedeth during his unfortunately short lifeth), by a shamelesseth hater of a dead man. A shamelesseth spite filled harridaneth; who would misuse the beautiful and sacred ancient English styleth of The Venerable King James Version of the Bible, to make an empty, hateful, disrespectful (and need I say a entirely false) point, about how Michael Jackson’s fans worshipped and still worshippeth him. Recordeth thou then all ye true hearted folks, that all posterity might knoweth, how this failure of a movie criticeth, faileth to critique either the merits or demerits of the cinematic presentation of Michael Jackson last rehearsal footage, but rather vilely chooseth to use her worthless critique, to demeaneth the business partners, employees, and fans of the great and immortal Michael Jackson. Heareth me then, O thou spiteful and mean spirited Maryeth Anneth Johansoneth! I don’t need any sarcasmeth from youeth, to knoweth that Michael Jackson, my Supreme Lord, is noteth! I admiredeth, enjoyedeth, and lovedeth his music, I never dideth worshipeth him as my God. God is both existentially and completely immortal (and not merely immortal in terms of leaving an immortal musical legacy as Michael Jackson did), so spareth me thy religiously couched sarcasm, and theologically unsound criticismeth. I will honor Michael Jackson’s musical genius as long as I live, and teach my children to do the same (just as I honor the musical genius of other great musicians like Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Nat king Cole, Paganini, etc), and no amount of spite, contempt, or sarcasm on your part, or on the part of other shamelesseth tramplers of the memory of a helpless dead man like Michael Jackson, will ever change that. Long liveth the perfumed memory of Michael Jackson. Publisheth this disgustedeth commenteth of mineth, if youeth dareth! Johneth Odeheth!

  • Accounting Ninja

    “harridaneth”? Dude, in order to do this properly, it has to be readable and DONE PROPERLY. And what the heck is “Johnnus Odehus” supposed to be? Your genus and species?

    Ye have surely shown thyself prostrate before your Lord and Almighty King of Pop. Ye shall be rewarded in the hereafter! So sayeth His Blessedness of Jackson most high.

  • John Odeh aka Johnnus Odehus

    And just before I taketh my leaveth of your idiotic review Maryeth Anneth Johansoneth, what in the helleth, have Michael Jackson’s Autopsy and Toxicology Reports got to doeth with a cinematic presentation of his last rehearsals’ footage? I guesseth that for unteachaeble, incorrigible, and implacable haters of Michael Jackson (like yourself), even the mere presentation of the late genius’s last rehearsals footage to his devoted fans (meant if I need say so to hateful fools like yourself, who might not understand the reason why we are watching “This Is It”; as some measure of comfort for those of us, who loved the man and his music, and wanted to see this master of musical entertainment perform for us one last time), is an occassion to bash the man. He is dead, OKAY! He never killed anyone while he was alive, and all that his unjust and unfair haters, like yourself have to lay at his door, are unproven (and dismissed) allegations of child molestation. His vile accusers had their day in court and failed to prove their slanderous case. As far as I am concerned, the man was innocent of all those spurious charges, and nobody is going to tarnish his memory in my mind, by trashing a mere movie about his last rehaearsals, or my admiration of his musical genius. As my mother once toldeth me Maryeth Anneth Johansoneth, “if you don’t have any good thing to sayeth about someone or something, then shut your (and this addition is mineth) …fu**ing… trap up!” Heath Ledger, Marylyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Jimmy Hendrix, and many other fabulous people died of an accidental drug overdose, and these unfortunate final incidents in these great peoples’ lives, does not in any way subtract from their greatness. I am not interested in the personal shortcomings of Michael Jackson (God knows I have plenty of mine to worry about, and so I am fully sure does every Michael Jackson hater like yourself). I will go to a movie theater on Thursday tomorrow to watch “This Is It,” not to bash or tarnish the memory of a helpless dead man (who can no longer speak for himself), but to celebrate the man’s wonderful music and artistic genius (as well as to enjoy even imperfect rehearsals for live performances of music I love), and I will never despise Michael Jackson, simply because he died of an ‘insomnia related propofol overdose,’ afterall who knows what the manner of their death will be. If spiteful and implacable Michael Jackson haters like yourself (and whose if I must say, incessant and steady stream of unfair and unwarranted criticisms helped to contribute to the downfall of his career and subsequent insomnia), cannot find final satisfaction in the end result of your fine handiwork (i.e. his untimely death), but rather still want to continue bashing him in death, as you bashed him unceasingly in life, then feel free to continue with your dastardly conduct. Your lives must be really empty indeed of any fulfillment, for you ill mannered monsters to seek solace in trashing the dead! Go get a lifeth, O thou most silly of movie criticeths Maryeth Anneth Johansoneth! Yours in great pity, Johneth Odeheth. Posteth thou this comment, if thou darest!

  • Accounting Ninja

    He’s daring you. Isn’t that adorable?

  • LaSargenta

    @Accounting Ninja, I’ll pinch one cheek if you pinch the other!

  • Frank

    A spot-on review. Good to see there are still a few individuals left in these days of Facebook “friends”, Tweets, and general illiteracy who can still skewer with well-written satire.

    Also spot on: “It’s astonishing how few people can read above a fourth grade level.”

  • John Odeh aka Johnnus Odehus

    Yeseth Accountingeth A-would-be-Ninjaeth, my English lexicon and verbiage are really quite attrocious, however in the satirical and mocking spirit of ineptly coopting The King James Version of the Bible’s olden day English language, in order to better buttress our respective points (and heck whilst doing this, why don’t we just latinize our names as well, for more scornful authenticity), my real name John Odeh is transformed to Johneth Odeheth, and Johnnus Odehus respectively. However you know what Mr. Accountingeth A-would-be-Ninjaeth, you are absolutely right! Both my biological genus and species are named Johnnus odehus, and I come from a distant planet, located in a distant galaxy, far far away that is entirely populated by humorless, witless, and loonie Michael Jackson worshippers. I lie prostrate all day, in the filth of my own spinelessly adoring ignorance, forever worshiping Michael Jackson’s musical brilliance…NOT!!! But you know what genus and species you actually belong to, my fine gentleman (or lady)? Oh what the heck (since I am feeling so generous today), why don’t I just save you the bother of having a cerebrovascular accident (aka “a stroke”) which you will definitely get from too much thinking, since your Coconut Water filled and brainless skull, couldn’t figure out your genus and species in a million light years. You Mr. or Madam “fine put-down artist” belong to the wonderful and very rare biological genus and species known to all Michael Jackson worshipping idolaters like myself, as Dumbus idioticus. And FYI, a “harridaneth,” is better known in modern versions (or usages) of the English language, as a “harridan,” a troll, a witch, “a malevolent trasher of the innocent and helpless dead,” and last but not the least, “a Michael Jackson hating uber-bi*ch.” Yours lunatically, Johnnus Odehus.

  • Lando Calrissian

    ___________________________________________________

    “And what the heck is “Johnnus Odehus” supposed to be? Your genus and species?”
    ___________________________________________________

    Genus and Species name. Yes, that’s likely exactly the point, as in “Fabius Maximus,” or “Andreas Vesalius.” Ancient Romans and men of renown in the olden days made use of such nomenclature.

    Anyway, Johnnus Odehus, however dramatic is his verbiage, voiced what irked me about this review:
    It seems to me the author takes issue with the, ah, “hagiographic” nature of the film as well as with devoted fans of Michael Jacksons whom she describes as “disciples” and “nameless supplicants”.

    It seems to me that the media more-or-less spit on him at least the last decade of his life, so if a movie wants to engage in a little beatification in the face of tasteless plastic surgery and child-molestation jokes, I don’t see why such a tone should be mocked throughout this “review.” It would certainly be fair to raise the issue, but for it to be the centerpiece of the review, frankly, was more than a little over-the top for me. I hardly think that makes me some humour-challenged stick-in-the mud as those who revel in the review seem to like to say. (And no, I’ll not have my humour judged by those whose only knowledge of me is based on a few typed lines, thank you. Also, those who make such charges of humourlessness would do well to keep in mind that these things come around as they go around, and that there are (hopefully) certain forms of “humour” that they would themselves find objectionable.)

    __________________________________________________

    “No. It’s hagiographic because it’s hagiographic.”
    __________________________________________________

    I was referring to the mock-hagiographic tone of your review, not tone of the film, though I suppose it was not worded in the clearest way. Whatever, it’s just as well.

  • bitchen frizzy

    –“I was referring to the mock-hagiographic tone of your review, not tone of the film, though I suppose it was not worded in the clearest way. Whatever, it’s just as well.”

    The tone of the review intentionally matched the tone of the film. And the review was about the film, not about Michael Jackson. Get it?

  • Lando Calrissian

    ________________________________________

    The tone of the review intentionally matched the tone of the film. And the review was about the film, not about Michael Jackson. Get it?
    ________________________________________

    I got what the review was doing, thanks. Did I once say that the review was about Michael Jackson?

    No.

  • bitchen frizzy

    –“I’m sure it takes quite some gumption to take on such a target – Elvis might be next.”

    Your words, from earlier. Given the context, I took “target” to be Jackson. Though maybe that’s not what you intended to imply.

  • Lando Calrissian

    Right you are, more carelessness on my part. The part Elvis was tacked on, and looking back, I don’t like it.
    The target I referred to were MJ fans, and “Elvis” was supposed to mean “Evlis fans” rather than Elvis himself.

  • Accounting Ninja

    *headdesk* Ya, Lando, I was making fun of John Odeh using “Johnnus Odehus” as his mock “ye olde” name. See, he can’t do it right. Adding “-eths” and “-iths” to weird words that don’t go. And “-us” is WAY off. But you have brilliantly exposed my ignorance of Roman names. Bravo, sir! Except…that wasn’t the point.

    Seriously, such drama! Such defensiveness! MAJ’s hagiograhpic style may not amuse you, but to be so frothingly defensive of Jackson as if she were defaming and ridiculing him or pissing on his grave…it boggles.

    Here’s what I took away from this: for a man so reviled for his (alleged? real?) crimes the past 15 years by everyone, this glowing, lionizing movie strikes me as creepy. Now that he’s dead, everyone comes out to practically crown him king and god. I can imagine Jackson himself at best blushing with embarrassment and at worst feeling bitter. Where was everyone when he was going bankrupt and had to leave the country? If he WASN’T guilty of the crimes he was accused of, then he didn’t deserve the shunning he received, and this movie is too little too late. If he DID do those horrible things, then he deserved what he got in life and this movie is just a cheap, masturbatory cover up of a man who did awful things. EITHER WAY it’s all kinds of unsettling.

    But anyway, please continue to insult me. I find it LOLtastic.

  • Lando Calrissian

    Where did I insult you, Ninja? Why are people putting words in my mouth? I was merely correcting you about the Latinized name, and if such correction was redundant, then it was redundant. But I wasn’t insulting you, so chill. Talk about defensiveness.

    I more or less agree with the rest of what you said, though. Except the part about my being “frothingly defensive”, of course. For one thing, I think my response took a little more consideration than what may be described as “frothing” in my lexicon, but that’s your judgement call to make.

  • Paul

    I enjoyed the first half of the review and started skimming the second half. I think it must have been difficult to review a film that can’t have much of a plot and is so focused on just one point. If this review was too long, the movie probably was too.

  • amanohyo

    I enjoyed the first half of the review and started skimming the second half.

    I felt the same way, except replace “review” with, “Bible.” Is it fair to blame a parody for being tedious and repetitive when those are essential qualities of the source material?

  • Accounting Ninja

    The insulting part was directed at my original crazy troll, Johnnus.

    But yeah, you were pretty defensive about your sense of humor, which was brought up by commenters, btw, and not in MAJ’s original review.

  • differentname

    Bravo to you all for a “rollicking good time” the last few minutes!

  • John Odeh aka Johnnus Odehus

    Hi Lando Calrissian. I quite agree with your analysis of MAJ’s review of “This Is It.” I intended to take my leave of this blog, but then I had to stay to reply to the nasty comment by Accounting Ninja concerning my post, and thereby also read your insightful comment about my previous post. MAJ is trying to be very clever and disingenuous, when she states that her review is only about the movie, and not about Michael Jackson. How can you say it is not about Michael Jackson, when the entire narrative is about how his business partners, employees, and fans (not to talk of himself, since he therein (i.e. in MAJ’s review), enthusiastically embraces his role as a false deity), worship him, hang onto his every word and deed, and experience a beatific vision of some sorts, from merely being in his presence. Humor and satire are all well and good, and I enjoyed reading (and still enjoy reading) “Gulliver’s Travels” amongst the Lilliputans and the Big-Enders, as well as the next man or woman (such political-social subjects, are what good satire is for). However I am a devout Roman Catholic; who worships the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This means I am a monotheist, and I really don’t appreciate being called (or described as) a mindless Michael Jackson worshipping idolater, simply because I enjoy his music and dancing, or admire his musical talent. I have read other movie critics’ review of “This Is It,” and one of them described this Rehearsals’ Footage, as being a straight-forward unsentimental presentation of Michael Jackson’s rehearsals, for what he and his fans hoped would be a great series of come-back concerts. There was no glorification or attempted beatification/cannonization of the Michael Jackson to be seen in the movie? His rehearsals, were simply allowed to speak for themselves. We all know Michael Jackson was a supremely talented, yet flawed man (i.e. at least in certain personal and social respects). And no one is elevating him to the status of God Almighty (or Jesus Christ). We (at least his fans and well-wishers), are merely celebrating what we loved about his life on this earth (particularly his musical genius, and his humanitarian work). That is what humanity does for any member of our species (even executed felons) that sails on to the land of the dead. Mourning Michael Jackson’s untimely death, is neither extraodinary, unheard of, nor worshipful. So in my humble (yet angry and dissappointed) opinion, there is no call to write a viciously scornful movie review that is openly contemptuous, of everyone that cares to watch a mere movie, made from concert rehearsal footage (that by the way, were intended only for Michael Jackson’s own private viewing (probably as a self-critiquing tool), and were never meant for public viewing), following a beloved (even if tragic, and sometimes astonishingly naive) entertainer’s unexpected death. It is abundantly obvious that many people don’t really care for Michael Jackson as a person, and that indeed is their fundamental human right! And yes, O yes, we get it, we very clearly get it!!! Many of you who have posted comments on this blog, think the man was a disgusting child molesting pervert; who used his money and celebrity to get off the hook, just like OJ Simpson “allegedly” did. However do try and be broad minded enough, to remember that quite a few of us (both his devoted fans and some casual disinterested observers of the Michael Jackson saga) believe him to have been innocent of all those unproven allegations, and remember also that we too have both the right to mourn, as well as to celebrate the life of this musical giant, without being contemptuously portrayed and ridiculed, as idolatrous, humorless, foolish, gullible, and star-struck worshippers of a falsely divine Michael Jackson, simply because we want to watch a concert rehearsals movie about him. Peace Out! John Odeh.

  • Accounting Ninja
    Many of you who have posted comments on this blog, think the man was a disgusting child molesting pervert

    Here’s where I call BULLSHIT. No one here has mentioned a damn thing about that. In fact, rereading the comments, it’s been rather civil to the man himself.
    The worst thing said was that he went “loony”. But that’s pretty tame and that’s not uncommon for an eccentric celebrity.

  • Lando Calrissian

    Ninja, I was defensive of my humour. I was downright bristling in response to what I saw as a biased, self-serving, and dismissive comments about people being “humourless.” One sees it all the time: a callous (or not callous, depending on point of view) joke is made and the common recrimination is that those who don’t agree with the joke lack humour. So I was airing my frustrations on that, rightly, I think.

    And I am aware that it was “those who revel in the review” that made such remarks, and not the author of the review.

    But that is all neither here nor there. Short answer: I’m sure you’re right.

    __

    And keep it real, John Odeh.

  • Paul

    @Amanohyo: Well, I did try to imply that the undue length of the source material led to the undue length of the review. Perhaps I was unclear.

    I read the Bible and found that required a lot of skimming, too, mostly of rules for ritual sacrifice and lists of who begat who.

    @General readers: It is perfectly possible to write a negative review about a movie without being negative about the person the movie is about. It’s quite easy to make a bad movie about Washington, Lincoln, Jesus, or Buddha, just as it is possible to make a well done movie about Hitler, Stalin, or Nixon. Monty Python walked a similiar line when making “Life of Brian,” trying to mock religious followers while being respectful of Jesus.

  • MaryAnn

    There is an ugly beauty in this thread, in how it confirms how small the capability of thinking critically is with too many people.

    For the record — not that it should matter — I am actually a fan of Michael Jackson. I think *Thriller* is a brilliant album. I think Jackson was clearly very talented, if also very troubled.

    But I’m astonished — I shouldn’t be, but I am — at how some people cannot distinguish between the subject of a film and how that subject is presented by a film. I’m astonished at how people do not understand how the choosing of certain bits of film footage over others can create an impression that may not reflect reality.

    Some people are not just illiterate when it comes to reading words, they’re illiterate when it comes to reading film and TV, too.

    When someone can suggest that *I* am describing “devoted fans of Michael Jacksons” “as ‘disciples’ and ‘nameless supplicants,'” that says that either the writer has not seen the film or has seen the film but is incapable of recognizing that *it is the film* that describes fans thus.

    I found it quite disturbing, in fact, that *This Is It* can present, say, dancers auditioning for the *This Is It* concert performance as literally in tears of joy at being allowed the opportunity to dance in an audition for Jackson without even bothering to identify them by name, as if they were nothing beyond their worship of Jackson. There is actually a dancer who flew from Australia to Los Angeles on two days’ notice of the audition, and we never even learn if he made the cut. Was his worship of Jackson thwarted, or not? This is a question that is worth answering in a context other than the one that this film is interested in exploring.

    And NONE of this has ANYTHING to do with whether Jackson actually *is* worthy of such worship, or whether he actually *was* so a talented performer. This movie simply assumes that he was, assumes that he was almost godlike. And that is the movie’s perogative to make that assumption. But it is also the perogative of the viewer to call bullshit on that perogative.

  • Why would I want to think critically? That requires time and effort, and I only waste those on sports and alcohol.

    I hope this movie banks so deceased Mike can pay off some of his creditors!

  • And what is up tith this John Odeh aka Johnnus Odehus guy? Why do you waste so much energy and prose to prove nothing?

    Try to lighten up bro! Just becuase MJ was the King of Pop and pedophilia, it doesn’t mean people can’t get a good post-mortem chuckle out of it. People take death too serious these days.

    You should laugh at death and cry at birth.

  • “tith” should be “with.” Before the online-grammar-Nazis get me, just know I’ll try to proofread next time!

  • Lando Calrissian

    When someone can suggest that *I* am describing “devoted fans of Michael Jacksons” “as ‘disciples’ and ‘nameless supplicants,'” that says that either the writer has not seen the film or has seen the film but is incapable of recognizing that *it is the film* that describes fans thus.

    I found it quite disturbing, in fact, that *This Is It* can present, say, dancers auditioning for the *This Is It* concert performance as literally in tears of joy at being allowed the opportunity to dance in an audition for Jackson without even bothering to identify them by name, as if they were nothing beyond their worship of Jackson. There is actually a dancer who flew from Australia to Los Angeles on two days’ notice of the audition, and we never even learn if he made the cut. Was his worship of Jackson thwarted, or not? This is a question that is worth answering in a context other than the one that this film is interested in exploring.
    _________________________

    No, I did not see the film and was thinking of seeing it (online). Part of my perusing reviews was to decide whether to see the movie or not.

    The above comment alone did more for me than the entire review. Had that come across to me in the review itself instead of “beith(?)” this and “beholdeth” that, then I’d likely have had no problem with it. In fact, I would’ve found it fantastic and illuminating. Instead what I saw was a performance piece in which the fans *were* described as supplicant disciples, but somehow I was to divine that it was the movie and not the author that views them in this way. Fine, I’ll see the thing, and if it is as ridiculous as the author says, I may yet be singing MaryAnn Johanson’s praises.

    Well, if you’ll excuse me, I’m late for 4th grade remedial reading class.

  • different name

    No need to “divine” that Mary Ann was talking about the movie and not the fans – she wrote a Movie review – period – that is what she does. It is a given that what she is writing when she does a review is about the movie! It says right up there at the top – “Michael Jackson’s This Is It (A review)”. Hope the class helps!

  • ManicAsh

    John Odeh – THANK YOU for your comments. They were an ocean of relief amongst all the other comments.

    I am a completely devoted fan of Michael’s, and I would go to hell and back to defend him. I know other people think I’m crazy or whatever, I don’t even care anymore. He is one of the most misunderstood people that we’ve known of and he’s had to deal with a LOT of really horrible BS that has been said by the media and that the general public eventually believed. I didn’t become a fan until after he died but I’ve read stories of what long-term fans have had to deal with, and it breaks my heart. A lot of fans have been emotionally hurt by cruel words said by other people.

    However, I think that as a fan, it’s important to try to come to terms with what criticism is fair and what criticism is unfair. There is a lot that I do not agree with at all in Mary Ann’s review. But you know, I also didn’t see her bringing his personal life into it. A lot of criticisms/reviews/articles about him do that, and a LOT of things that have been released since he died and had the label ‘tribute’ slapped on them have said a lot of really ignorant and evil BS. I am in complete love with this film because Kenny Ortega brought none of that into it. I know some fans probably don’t like it, and that’s fine with me. This is something I love, though, because I don’t think we’ve gotten to see a lot of positive messages like what this film has in it.
    But, yeah, not everyone is going to like it, and I read some pretty upsetting reviews last night that were far worse and more personal than what Mary Ann has written here. It’s upsetting to me to see comments above from fans who are attacking her because of what she wrote. You are attacking the completely wrong person. As I said, most of this review I really do not agree with. But it didn’t make me so angry that I felt a need to reply with angered words like calling Mary Ann a hater. Yes, it is very frustrating when we feel like someone doesn’t see what we see in Michael. I love that man so much, we all do. But I don’t think it’s a great way to use energy to attack someone simply for having different taste than you. It’s when it starts getting personal, and they start throwing attacks against Michael himself, that’s when I get pissed. But I understand how some people would see him as trying to be a martyr or something, and that devoted fans are crazy or whatever. I do understand how people outside of the bubble can think that. I do get very frustrated a lot of the time with things like this but I also know that it’s not worth the energy to care about because while someone is sitting here reading or writing a review about how Michael worked really hard to create an image, or whatever, someone else is writing about pedophile-related things or calling him a drug addict or whatever other slander someone feels like talking about. There is a world of difference between a person not liking this film, or his music, compared to someone being a hater.

    My take on the film? It’s a privilage to be able to see how he rehearsed and try to make everything gel together to present a perfect live show to his fans. The man absolutely LOVED his fans. I think you would be hard-pressed to find someone who publicly expressed it the way that Michael did. This is one reason why I am a devoted fan and will defend him until the end of days. It was so nice to see him in that setting of doing his thing and making his magic and us being able to see his sense of humour, his joy at working his craft. And yes, I think Mary Ann didn’t do anything wrong when she mentiond the autopsy. So many people were trying to paint him a drug addict who was just way too ‘weak and frail’ to do the concerts. This rehearsal footage proves them wrong. But of course, this is just how I feel.

    I don’t think Mary Ann said anything that was truly awful, even if I don’t agree with most of it, and it’s upsetting to see Michael fans being so horrible towards her.

  • Accounting Ninja

    @ ManicAsh: thanks for your comments. As a geek, I too have things I am a big fan of that might seem weird to others. I think there are a lot of others here like me, including MaryAnn herself. We all have our fandoms and I’d like to think that no one here at Flickfilosopher would ever begrudge anyone their fan geekery. She did recognize that fans would love it.
    So, diehard fans of MJ, rock on!!

    And thank you for recognizing that no one here viciously attacked the man himself. I would ALSO like to think we folks here at Flickfilosopher are above just mindlessly hating on someone. Generally, this is a reasonable bunch, if somewhat snarky and wise-assy. :)

  • Lando Calrissian

    No need to “divine” that Mary Ann was talking about the movie and not the fans – she wrote a Movie review – period – that is what she does. It is a given that what she is writing when she does a review is about the movie! It says right up there at the top – “Michael Jackson’s This Is It (A review)”. Hope the class helps!

    _______

    That sure didn’t. Why are you telling me what I already know? I understand it’s a movie review was confused by the target of the sentence. No, that answer won’t do. Perhaps you should join me in class.

  • ManicAsh

    I wanted to come back to apologize to you Mary Ann – I realised that a few of my comments may be seen as backhanded insults, like when I kept repeating that I don’t agree with what you wrote, and if so then I sincerely apologize for it. I love reading your reviews and what you have to say, and I’m also a big Dr Who fan, and I haven’t read anything that I hate here and I certainly don’t hate you. So, yeah, I just wanted to apologize if you feel like I was trying to insult you.

  • Brian

    @MAJ – As if the original review weren’t fantastic on its own, I think this whole thread would be worth it just for your little mini-essay on media literacy here in the comments. Too many people can’t articulate their reaction to any work of art or entertainment beyond “like” and “dislike,” nor can they understand how to peel apart the different elements of subject, message, creator, and interpretation. You’ve nailed that squarely on the head, and provided a mini-lesson in the process.

    I’ve thought for a long while that the study of rhetoric should be re-introduced into American education. If we could manage to drill those basic principles into people, we might just get some savvier media consumers. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy watching you and the “regulars” here take the trolls down a peg or three.

    What a great site. Beats the hell out of the flame wars of most other entertainment sites.

  • MaryAnn

    Thanks for the apology, ManicAsh, but I simply *must* ask you about something you wrote:

    I am a completely devoted fan of Michael’s, [snip] I didn’t become a fan until after he died

    So you’ve been a completely devoted fan only for the last few months?

    He is one of the most misunderstood people that we’ve known of and he’s had to deal with a LOT of really horrible BS that has been said by the media and that the general public eventually believed.

    What is the basis for these claims? Did you know Jackson personally? (Your statements I quoted above appear to suggest not.) How do you know what’s BS, and what about him was “misunderstood”? In what way are you not part of the “general public”?

    We may feel like we know celebrities, sometimes, but that is an illusion. It’s important to realize that this is an illusion.

  • John Odeh aka Johnnus Odehus

    Hi Everyone! In response to the comments by Maryann Johanson, Manic Ash, Lando Calrissian, and Accounting Ninja, I will admit that maybe I have been a bit too harsh in my responses, to what I felt was a sly and cleverly worded assault upon both the person of Michael Jackson, as well as the character of his fans and co-workers. Since all these allegations of Child Molestation arose in MJ’s life (back then during the Jordan Chandler case, I was still a child myself, and someone who was not a particularly big fan of MJ, because I was absolutely crazy about playing the Guitar, and I never got to see MJ playing one), it has seemed to me that the principle of “innocent until proven guilty” has flown right out of the window of American Culture, to be replaced by a scary presumption of ‘guilty even after acquital.’ But to be fair to many of those who are not particularly thrilled about the movie “This Is It,” I must agree that none on this blog have explicitly stated that they hate the movie because they hate MJ, and it was therefore wrong for me to read that sort of malicious motive into their criticism of this movie. So for unfairly implying that all critics of the movie “This Is It” on this blog, are malevolent anti Michael Jackson haters, I appologize! Regardless of how upset I am about the many folks, who are too quick to judge someone as being guilty on mere hear-say, I should not be guilty of the very same unfair bias and “rush to judgement” that I fervently oppose. However I do feel that we should take the movie “This Is It” for what it is; a collection of pieces of Michael Jackson’s last concert rehearsals footage that were never meant either for public viewing, or to be held to the strict standards of a professionally shot documentary like “Fahrenheit 911,” or a bio-pics like the oscar winning “Ray,” “Johnny Cash,” etc. “This Is It,” is not a fully fleshed out examination of Michael Jackson’s life. It was never meant to be! We are not going to find therein, the examination of his virtues, vices, wisdoms, follies, strenghts, and weaknesses, etc, one would expect from a fully crafted biographical picture of his life. Here is not to be found, answers to perplexing questions like why, he was so stubborn about continuing a friendship with children (however innocent or well intentioned) that society clearly did not approve of, and not surprisingly viewed with deep suspicion. I do not expect to learn from “This Is It,” why such a prominent celebrity couldn’t get the proper medical care he needed to deal with a severe case of insomnia (I am currently a healthcare professional, and I never knew medical help was so hard to find in the most technologically advanced country on Earth). So “This Is It” definitely doesn’t answer a lot of these perplexing questions about Michael Jackson’s life. However, it was never meant to. It wasn’t even intended to be released for public viewing (which is one of the reasons La Toya Jackson opposed its widescreen release), and I think we should all bear this factors in mind, while critiqueing its cinematic merits. What it does do though, is give us a glimspe into what the 50-odd concert shows would have looked like, if Michael Jackson had not suddenly died of a propofol overdose.

  • Accounting Ninja

    Well, if it makes you feel any better, John, I have always reserved judgement on MJ. While I think child molestation is a horrible crime, I do not know MJ, nor did I sit in on the trial or see the evidence. I don’t have all the information to make a judgement one way or another. And with someone as prominent and hotly discussed as MJ, you can never be sure where the truth lies. I’ll definitely agree with you that often times, Americans seem ready to tar and feather someone while knowing NOTHING about the case.
    I think he was an odd duck, to be sure, but that doesn’t make him guilty.
    I take back calling you a troll, btw. A troll wouldn’t have owned up to being too harsh like you did.

  • Lando Calrissian

    Geez, someone has a loyal readership! The pushback here is impressive and overwhelming. I give up.

    Trolls don’t apologize, so good on John Odeh. And while I’m not so big as that, I’ll admit that I maybe I was a too vehement in my reaction to the review.

    Oddly, some of the people giving me flak for my huffiness seemed to think that I was attacking the author on a personal level, which isn’t my style. It’s ironic, since one of the themes along this thread is mistaking critique of a work for ad hominem. I don’t have anything against the critic except what I thought was the case if her dissing Michael Jackson fans or glowing works about MJ (and apparently, it’s not the case). Besides, anyone who hates Transformers 2 and likes Spirited Away among other things can’t be all bad.

    Anyway, it doesn’t even matter much. Given the discussion generated here, who wins here? I’d say MaryAnn Johanson wins. Maybe Kenny Ortega and Sony Pictures win a little too. Maybe even Michael Jackson wins.

  • Paulie

    John Odeh aka Johnnus Odehus love your review of the review. I don’t get it. The man has been dead for 4 months. Why are you people *still* Googling his name, going on websites, and posting your stoopid comments? The fans can understand the fascination because he was the greatest entertainer of our time. But you haters should really get a life and stop spending your precious time posting comments about him. Don’t you have something better to do? Like creating something? Or feeding starving children? Or doing something for the ecology? Or calling your mothers to see how they’re doing? Or some housework? And for God’s sake come up with something original. We’ve heard it all before, move on, get professional help about your obsession with Michael. He’s dead, get over it. Truly, are your lives that bereft that you must, just must slander a total stranger? A man you do not know? While you were busy typing essays here, were you paying any attention to your kids? Or were you staring into your computer half the night? Turn off the computer, go get your kids, look them in the eyes, and tell them you love them. You can thank Michael for that sentiment.

  • Mel

    I don’t have any opinion on MJ’s legal battles, and very little on him as a person. But I also don’t have any liking for or interest in his music. I just don’t like it. There are lots of us out there who are not “haters” and yet have zero interest in a quasi-documentary about MJ’s rehearsals.

    However, there are other things I’m deeply fannish about–but not one that I’m so fannish I can’t think about it critically if I want to. And uncritical fannishness kind of worries me.

  • MaryAnn

    However I do feel that we should take the movie “This Is It” for what it is; a collection of pieces of Michael Jackson’s last concert rehearsals footage that were never meant either for public viewing

    Right: this was footage (we’re told) intended for Jackson’s own archives. So you’d better believe that the people operating the cameras were likely to have focused on material that Jackson would have wanted archived, and not on anything that wasn’t flattering or didn’t cast him in at least a moderately positive light. That might make it interesting and insider-y, but only in the same way that, say, someone’s wedding album might be. It was designed from the beginning to ensure that Jackson looked good. But, you know, most people’s wedding albums are pretty tedious to look at, unless you’re in the photos.

    or to be held to the strict standards of a professionally shot documentary like “Fahrenheit 911,” or a bio-pics like the oscar winning “Ray,” “Johnny Cash,” etc.

    Is *anyone* attempting to hold this movie to such a standard?

    “This Is It,” is not a fully fleshed out examination of Michael Jackson’s life. It was never meant to be!

    You know what? Neither *Ray* nor *Johnny Cash* are fully fleshed out examinations of their subjects, either. But at least those films acknowledge their subjects as flawed and human. There’s no such hint in *This Is It.* Jackson is just saintly and perfect.

    Here’s an idea as to how *This Is It* could have done otherwise, without being any less glowing or celebratory or “for the fans.” Even if the 50-year-old Jackson were in absolutely perfect health, it would be hard to believe that he was able to keep up with a team of stunningly fit dancers half his age. We see the young dancers working out together — we see the work they had to do in order to be able to do what they did onstage. But we see nothing of Jackson’s work. Did he have a coach or a trainer? What did he do to warm up, to prepare, to keep as fit as he must have been to do what he did? Did he ache after rehearsals? Did he laugh about how tough it was to keep up with these kids?

    If the cameras caught anything at all like that — and it’s unlikely they did; see my comment above — leaving that out of the film creates a very different impression of Jackson that putting it in would have.

  • ManicAsh

    Yes I do consider myself to be a devoted fan. Yes, I did become a fan after 6/25. I didn’t talk shit about him before he died – I was indifferent. But then he died and for the first time since I was a child, I watched his videos, listened to him, etc. I am devoted because a] I get paranoid that people are negatively judging me in their minds because of the fact that I wasn’t ‘around’ as a fan until that time when EVERYONE was praising him; and b] I fell in love quickly with who he is and what he has done, and his music is something I can connect to, and from what I know about him, there are things I imagine I can relate to. And he also has brought back optimism into my life [long life story that no-one cares about]. I hope this doesn’t sound stupid.

    Hm, basis for my claims of him being misunderstood, had to deal with BS, etc.? Spending the majority of these past four months reading about the man, and spending time in a very active Michael community here online, and I was able to learn of at least three personal stories from people of how they’ve been affected. I don’t know him personally, no, but there is an unexplainable magic and genuine love that you feel when you love Michael. I really hope I don’t sound preachy, I don’t want to preach at all. Just telling my viewpoint. The molestation charges are the biggest pile of steaming crap I’ve ever heard in my life, and it really doesn’t take that much to read up on them and see how he was treated by people. And it’s the same about how I feel about him being misunderstood. It seems like so many people don’t realise this. One aspect that has really stuck inside of my mind is when I saw a photo of him as a kid, and he’s in a hospital and standing next to the bed of a sick girl. A lot of people say he hangs out with kids most of the time as an adult because he’s trying to ‘recreate’ his childhood. But I think that is a bit misunderstood because of the fact that he ALWAYS cared about his fans, about children who were his own age, and he remained so consistant during all of his life. Other BS…I’m sick of most people not acknowledging vitiligo. I suppose in one aspect, yes I am part of the ‘general public’, but I try not to pay too much attention to negative things stated in tribute magazines. I really agree with what you said about us feeling like we know celebrities but we don’t at all – with Michael, a devoted fan has this constant feeling of love. He loved fans, he loved children, he loved the world, he was a very forgiving person from what I know. I am aware that there is information I have no idea about, with Michael. He was a really private person. What I do know is the general feeling that is there for a fan. this is why I love him so much and why I believe he was a good person.

  • ManicAsh

    Oops, can’t edit my comment. the three personal stories I meant to mention, I mention them because they are very intense stories. They stand out to me, and these fans are beautiful.

    I’m sorry that first paragraph with an a and b probably doesn’t make sense. I need to go to sleep!

  • ManicAsh

    PS – I didn’t mean to sound like I supported everything that John Odeh said. I was at work and skimmed comments instead of properly reading, and there was something that I saw that I liked…sorry, felt the need to explain I suppose.

  • MaryAnn

    I don’t know him personally, no, but there is an unexplainable magic and genuine love that you feel when you love Michael.

    And that doesn’t sound in the least bit religious to your own ear?

    You don’t love Michael. As you admit, you did not know the man. You love the public illusion of Michael.

    And what you feel is evidence of nothing except what you feel. It is not “proof” that Jackson was “a good person.” It doesn’t mean he wasn’t, either, of course — it has absolutely no bearing on the matter.

  • ManicAsh

    Can you please delete all of my comments from here? I’m fine with people not agreeing with how I feel but I would rather not have really personal comments here, which perhaps yes I should have thought about before posting, but I was trying to answer questions you gave to me. It was a mistake and I don’t know how to delete these comments myself.

  • MaryAnn

    No, I’m sorry, but I’m not going to delete your comments. They’re part of the conversation now.

  • Accounting Ninja

    Don’t worry, ManicAsh, you should see some of the comments of a personal nature I have kicking around here. O_o

  • Rosalind

    Wonderful review Mary Ann. I always know I’ll find a fresh and original approach when you review a film.

  • Wow, I don’t understand how someone can become such a pious freak after only listening to MJ for a few months. That is scary sad.

  • John Odeh aka Johnnus Odehus

    Hi Maryann Johanson. I read your response to specific aspects of my last post, and would like to state some things in reply as well. Lets start with the first issue you raised reproduced below:

    “”However I do feel that we should take the movie “This Is It” for what it is; a collection of pieces of Michael Jackson’s last concert rehearsals footage that were never meant either for public viewing”

    Right: this was footage (we’re told) intended for Jackson’s own archives. So you’d better believe that the people operating the cameras were likely to have focused on material that Jackson would have wanted archived, and not on anything that wasn’t flattering or didn’t cast him in at least a moderately positive light. That might make it interesting and insider-y, but only in the same way that, say, someone’s wedding album might be. It was designed from the beginning to ensure that Jackson looked good. But, you know, most people’s wedding albums are pretty tedious to look at, unless you’re in the photos.””

    I do believe this 2 hr 1 min movie, is culled from selected portions of 88 hrs of rehearsals’ footage. And as you said much of this 2 hr 1 min movie showcases Michael Jackson in his best light, but is that so strange? If my Mother made a movie culled from random footage shot during my first year of life, she would hardly be expected to show shots of me retching, or making a nuisance of myself etc. She rather, would showcase what she considered the most memorable moments of my first year of life that were captured on camera. “This Is It” was produced by MJ’s fellow workers, and longtime business partners; who also in many instances double up as some of his biggest fans (clearly the case, since they can be seen therein, engaged in an effort to resurrect the career of a much shunned and disparaged musical icon; a man who had been written off as a has-been by most of his critics). So if a devoted business partner Kenny Ortega (who also if I might add, is still mourning the recent and unexpected death of dear a friend), paints his friend in a good light, is that so strange or so wrong? If one your close friends or business partners following your untimely death, made a movie about you less than 6 months after your death, and painted you in a horrible light, wouldn’t that be considered really strange, and a betrayal as well? However after freely admitting that this movie comes from people with good feelings, memories, and intentions, etc, about and towards Michael Jackson, as opposed to being a movie made by some of his harshest critics, it doesn’t mean the movie is worshipful, a cause for his cannonization (the man wasn’t even Catholic fo God’s sake, so how could he ever be cannonized a saint?) or that it tries to conceal the man’s flaws. It simply doesn’t address them! And this is because Michael Jackson’s personal flaws, is not the subject matter of this concert rehearsals documentary. I watched this movie twice yesterday, as I already said I would, and looked out for all the things you mentioned in your review. Yes it is true that many of the artists featured therein kept on stating that MJ knew his music, but then to be fair to them, the man did really know his music! They were not lying? They were simply stating a known fact that Michael Jackson was a hugely talented, perfectionist-of-a-musician, who also happened to know his music inside-out. Now to someone (and I am not saying that you are that someone, because I simply do not know you well enough, to make such an assumption) who has not hung around musically gifted artists as long as I have, it may seem over the top for these musicians to keep on repeating this comment with so much evident respect and awe, but I totally get it! In this modern age of commercial music, oftentimes the Lead Singer (or whover the main Celebrity Performer happens to be), is not a very musically diverse or skilled artist. They usually understand only very narrow aspects of their musical craft (e.g. singing, dancing, or playing a specific instrument, etc), while remaining quite ignorant about other aspects of the overall production of their show, like the rhythm lines on the guitars or keyboards, the various musical keys, tempos, time to modulate from musical key to another, the vocal solos, the musical harmonies by various instruments and voices, etc. Michael Jackson was not only a Lead Singer-Dancer Celebrity; he was also a Composer-Conducter-Set Director-Choreographer-Art Director-Musical Producer-Business Executive-Hands-on CEO of the highest rank, and that was the reason for the sometimes effussive praise you heard coming from those dancers, singers, guitarists, aerialists, choreographers, and pianists. It was simply the well deserved respect, one highly talented artist pays to another (especially a recently departed artistic peer). If you read one of my previous posts, I mentioned not particularly being a big fan of MJ’s music before the Jordan Chandler accusations, and I stated also that this was because I was a totally obsessed guitar playing neophyte at the time. Thus most of my musical heroes and heroines, were the Guitar Playing Greats; like Jimmy Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Slash of “Guns n Roses,” Peter Tosh, Robert Johnson, BB King, etc. Michael Jackson did not feature on my list of musical heroes at all, and I used to really wonder why people made so much noise about him, or hailed him a great musician. I totally didn’t get it all back then. Indeed I did not really respect MJ’s musicianship or artistry at all (although I did enjoy them for their entertainment value, and danceable rhythms) until I watched one of his musical videos; the one that contained the immortal “Smooth Criminal,” and therein witnessed his brilliant collaboration with the outstanding South African acapela group “Lady Smith Black Mombazo.” Then I started to really study his music seriously; not just looking upon him, as yet another one of those vocally talented dancers, who had manage to steal all the musical glory from the rest of the band (because they are usually out in front of the band, screaming their lungs out), while remaining virtually musically un-educated. I found out from my study of Michael Jackson, that here was actually one of those rare folks deserving of the title “Musical Genius.” Michael Jackson I discovered, was not only a great singer with a beautiful voice of great range and dextrity; almost like the ancient Castrati singers of the Sistine Chapel in Rome, but was also a virtuoso composer and musical conductor. I learned he played the guitar and piano (as almost all composers do), but humbly realized that his virtuosity did not lie in these areas, and therefore never played them publicly, or on stage. He left such artistry to other musicians like Slash and the young Orianthi Panagaris,; whose talents lie in these directions. And this I found out was the more stunningly so, because unlike either Mozart, or Beethoven, or Schumann, or Bach, etc, Michael Jackson had received no formal musical training! All he got were whip-driven rehearsals presided over by his taskmaster of a Dad (who of course meant it for the best. So this comment, is not meant to be taken as any implied criticism of Joe Jackson, after all even though I deplore his music/dancing coaching methods, he did successfully water the flower of MJ’s genius, and for that I am eternally grateful to the oldman). Unlike those great composers of the halcyon “Golden Rococo Period,” Michael Jackson could not read or write music (Lionel Ritchie; who co-wrote “We are the World” with him, recently acknowledged this fact). He simply heard everything completely in his head (which Mozart did also, and which is quite an astonishing musical talent requiring the gift of a “perfect pitch”), and yet was able to communicate these unwritten melodies and harmonies to his band of singers and instrumentalists, without the aid of any musical notes or papers. His death is a great loss for any avid follower of music like me; who was just waiting to see what MJ would compose next. And this feeling of awe for a great musician; the same thing I feel when I examine the works of Mozart, Hadyn, Schubert, Bob Marley (another musically illiterate lyrical genius, who died at the young age of 36 years), or Sappho (the great Greek singer-poetess-musician from the island of Lesbos in ancient Greece, and who was derided/rejected/exiled for being the first prominent lesbian in human history), is the same thing (perhaps you would describe it as worship) many artists displayed in that movie for Michael Jackson. It is neither a bad thing, nor is it something to be derided and dismissed as mindless uncritical worship! Honor and reverence, should be given when and to whomever it is due. Afterall as the old adage goes, “Give (even) the Devil his due!” The man MJ, despite all his personal flaws, was a jaw droppingly talented musician, and I think it is okay to make a documentary that unabashedly celebrates that without having to apologize for doing so. And yes I agree with you that if you do not share the same feelings I have expressed above, you might find such praise idolatrous, and maybe quite tedious to watch. But remember yet again, what I have said from my very first post, this movie gives us a rare and treasured glimpse into how a master of musical artistry and showmanship, prepares to achieve perfection on stage, it does not reflect the perfect finished product (since he did not live to perform it on stage). That finished product has forever been concealed from our view, and swallowed by death (maybe after the resurrection of the dead at the end of this age, he will someday get to stage those final concerts, I don’t know since I am neither divine, nor prescient), but nevertheless therein, we can see an astonishingly fit 50 year old dancer keeping up with much younger performers, and also very gently inspiring, shaping, and fine-tunig their performances; inspiring them to reach for the summit of perfection. It was a beautiful thing to behold, and I did not find it deceitful, self-adulatory at all. It wasn’t an attempt at starting a cause for MJ’s cannonization as the saint of musical entertainment. But then, you cannot either beatify, or cannonize a person that wasn’t saintly in the first place. So no need to worry, if MJ is not worthy of the praise being lavished upon him, time will tell, and his glory will not last. I once read a book titled “The Nature of Genius” by Andrew Germant.” This American medical practitioner, and student of the subject of ‘human genius,’ postulated that one of the main characteristic of a genius, is the longevity of his/her work. If 2 hundred years from now, people are still playing Michael Jackson’s music, if students go to college to learn about whatever made the man tick, then we his fans and the makers of “This Is It” would have been vindicated. But in the interim, since neither you nor I, is likely to live that long, I guess we are free to either anoint MJ the Great musical Genius I belive him to be, and therefore worthy of all accolades lavished upon him, or people like you can throw up your hands in disgust, and say that our praise is too much, only time will tell who amongst our 2 parties is right. But at least let us be civil, and not call each other names like, “worshipful supplicants, “Blind Michael Jackson Apologists,” etc. When Michael Jackson died, his personal trainer (a man who once starred as the Incredible Hulk) came on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, etc, to talk about how he had been training MJ for these 50 concert shows (didn’t you hear him speak on TV at all?). He told us how MJ had kept up very well with his trainer’s demanding physical regimen, with humility, dedication, and none of the usual diva tantrums so often seen with Hollywood Stars. MJ’s physical training routines however, were not the focus of the movie “This Is It.” We all know that he had to train hard to get back in concert-form after spending such a long time off the stage, nobody is trying to conceal that. Michael Jackson even alluded to this very thing in some parts of the movie “This Is It,” specifically where (and when) he jokes with one of his young female singers, who had basically inspired him into a sort of singing competition at the end of one their songs (a competition, if I might say the 50 year old Master won handily), when he said “Why are doing this to me, making me to sing out? You know I cannot do that, I am only warming up my voice for the moment (presumably for the actual concert performances, when he could actually let go, and let everything hang out),… I have to save my voice… It is okay for her to do that (to Kenny Ortega; who was telling him that he could indulge in singing appetites from time to time, since he so obviously was feeling the inspiration come upon him)… but you know I cannot do that…I have to save my voice…” At another earlier part of this movie, he goes to great lengths to tell his musical director/the band, at the conclusion of one of his songs that “…I have to conserve my throat…” during the final bars and flourishes of that song, thereby clearly and very humbly stating that he wasn’t going to sing those difficult “grace notes” like he would sing them in an actual concert (i.e. with all the adrenaline pumping through him, and the give-and-take with an enraptured inspiring, and demanding audience), and so they should bear with him for just singing in an ordinary way, through those final bars (I have rehearsed for a lot of classical concerts, and I understand exactly what he was saying. Only a foolish singer, would ruin their voice before the real show begins). Michael Jackson was a very humble, and generous (with his tips that is) Lead Singer; who fully knew and accepted his vocal limits. I don’t see any effort in this movie to conceal the natural effect ageing, has on this artist’s ability to perform vigorously. But on the other hand to be quite honest, he did keep up with those younger performers quite well, and even taught them a thing or two.He really immpressed those youngsters, during his dancing solo, at the end of his “Billie Jean” rehearsal (you could both see and hear them gasping in delighted amazement at his antics). I don’t think any of those claps, hoots, delighted screams, and jumping up and down in amazement by those 11 top-notch professional dancers were feigned. You would have to be really cynical, to believe they were pretending to be impressed. Next you comment on one of my statements as follows:

    “”or to be held to the strict standards of a professionally shot documentary like “Fahrenheit 911,” or a bio-pics like the oscar winning “Ray,” “Johnny Cash,” etc.

    Is *anyone* attempting to hold this movie to such a standard?””

    In response to my assertion that “This Is It,” should not be held up to the same standard as oscar nominated or winning bio-pics like “Ray,” and “Johnny Cash.” Well that is exactly what you did in your original satirical review, and you are still continuing to do just that with your following statements, which I will address more fully in my reply to the final issue you raised you raised with my posts, namely:

    “”This Is It,” is not a fully fleshed out examination of Michael Jackson’s life. It was never meant to be!”

    “You know what? Neither *Ray* nor *Johnny Cash* are fully fleshed out examinations of their subjects, either. But at least those films acknowledge their subjects as flawed and human. There’s no such hint in *This Is It.* Jackson is just saintly and perfect.

    Here’s an idea as to how *This Is It* could have done otherwise, without being any less glowing or celebratory or “for the fans.” Even if the 50-year-old Jackson were in absolutely perfect health, it would be hard to believe that he was able to keep up with a team of stunningly fit dancers half his age. We see the young dancers working out together — we see the work they had to do in order to be able to do what they did onstage. But we see nothing of Jackson’s work. Did he have a coach or a trainer? What did he do to warm up, to prepare, to keep as fit as he must have been to do what he did? Did he ache after rehearsals? Did he laugh about how tough it was to keep up with these kids?

    If the cameras caught anything at all like that — and it’s unlikely they did; see my comment above — leaving that out of the film creates a very different impression of Jackson that putting it in would have.””

    It is true that neither of the above-mentioned bio-pics are “fully fleshed out,” versions of either of these artists lives, i.e. in the narrow sense of either of the bio-pics telling us everything we would like to know about either Johnny Cash or Ray Charles. Yet in a broader sense they are actually “fully fleshed out” bio-pics, because they clearly try to tell us the story of these artists lives, indeed the Ray Charles bio-pic starts from his boyhood right through his manhood. “This Is It,” if I may (hopefully for the last time) state here again, is a narrowly focused movie about how Michael Jackson, and his merry band of fellow singers, dancers, actors, aerialists, choreographers, fashion designers, set decorators, and musicians prepared for a series of 50 sold-out concerts. It presents (either as a comforting bone, or as a “half-bread is better than none” kind of comfort to his grieving and bitterly dissappointed fans) some of the songs, we were dying to watch our dearly departed “King of Pop” perform. We know that making sausages suck (and is quite a messy process), and we did not go to the theaters this week, to watch each and every tiny detail of how MJ tried to make his sausages for us (or to see him fall flat on his face while making them), we rather went to these movie theaters, to eat whatever we can, even of half-done sausages! This is how much we loved Michael Jackson’s musical sausages, and I completely understand if folks like “Mel” who do not like MJ’s music, don’t feel like watching, but I do love his music, and I should not be satirized as an ignorant and undiscriminating worshiper of a dead musician’s artistry, simply because I feel privileged to have been allowed to share in his creative process. Once you start dissecting everything, and nit-picking about whether this movie shows MJ’s physical training difficulties in keeping up with younger dancers, or singers (and I should mention here that actually quite unlike the case with a dancer’s ageing body, a singer’s voice improves with age), you totally miss the point of this movie. That is not the purpose of the flick at all! The time will come to make movies based on Michael Jackson’s entire life, with professional actors (i.e. if we are going to ever find someone that can convincingly play Michael Jackson), and actresses. Such future movies, will examine his career, his talent, his personal short-comings (for instance, his seeming inability to establish a lasting socio-sexual relationship with a woman (Here I mean, either a marital or at least, a long-lasting boyfriend-girlfriend relationship), even though he clearly adored women, an they adored him in return, his poor social choices (or should I say socially inappropriate conduct) in allowing himself to get too close to children not his own, his stunning naivete in thinking that suspicious modern day American society would accept and not exploit such foolish (and frowned upon) conduct, simply because it was well-intentioned, etc). “This Is It,” does not do that and was never intended to do that! So I still stand by my original thesis that you (and some other movie critics) expect too much from a simple “Rehearsals or Concert Preparation Documentary.” For the past near 2 decades, Michael Jackson has been bashed, and maligned incessantly in both the tabloid and main-stream media. He became the subject of very unkind plastic surgery (even though we now find out, he was not only badly burned during the Pepsi Commercial, but actually did suffer from Vitiligo as he had always truthfully said he did – My References: Those Autopsy Reports you mentioned in your review (with the areas of depigmentation on his body, as well as a widely disemminated picture of his legs shown on Cable TV), and thus very clearly needed the plastic surgery/dermatology treatments) and child molester jokes. We have all become so accustomed, to hearing Michael Jackson’s name mentioned only in the company of harsh criticism that some (and in this case, I think yourself) find it quite jaring (maybe even unpleasant and deceitful) to hear the man spoken about in terms that are largely positive. But I submit humbly, many people perhaps were not listening all this while, to many of the positive stories in this man’s life, his well-wishers, as well as a few non-interested onlookers were trying to tell . A lot of people for the past near 2 decades have been pleading his case, we have been reminding the world that MJ was more than just a plastic surgery junkie (one who either suffered from dysmorphia or else hated his racial ancestry), or a reclusive self-involved narcissistic celebrity, or an alleged child molester, etc. I never found any of those cruel anti Michael Jackson jokes funny, I never laughed at any of them, because I knew he most likely was only guilty, of an astonishing lack of “common sense,” and social inappropriateness in his relationships with non-relative children. But I was not going to jail a man, ruin his career, tarnish his reputation, deny him his well-deserved musical accolades, and hate him for being socially inept back then, and I won’t do so now. Many in this world, have committed various sins against the reigning social etiquette of the day, and if we jail all such people, we would very soon have no space left in our jails. So if people like me are now finally getting our voices heard, after this man’s untimely death has forced people to listen to our near 2 decades old messages that said, Michael Jackson has contributed more of his disposable income to charity than any other celebrity in this our modern era (he still holds the Guiness Book of Records title for this category), he is a genius of a musician, he is a very humble man; who does a lot to promote the careers of unknown and upcoming younger artists (which is why the tributes from young artists worldwide cannot seem to stop coming, and a display of this generous mentoring attitude, can be seen very clearly even in this recent movie you say you don’t like, he is shown therein, encouraging the young Orianthi Panagaris; one of his 2 Lead Guitarists to play a particularly high guitar note, which he composes on the spot, and sings out for her (saying “…This is your moment to shine…this is your moment to shine…and we will be there for you all the while…”), thus encouraging young talent towards greatness right to the end, as he always did throughout his life. This is the side of Michael Jackson, many of us loved. He had none of all that arrogant diva attitude most big celebrities have. Even when he was clearly seriously disturbed and distracted, by the unpleasant volume of music being piped into his ears, while attempting to sing one of the old “Jackson Five Songs” (you seem to find creepy, and I really wonder why you think it is creepy for him to rehearse for a performance of one of his old “Jackson Five Songs,”? After all he has always included a few of the old “Jackson Five Songs,” in his concert performances.) he gentle chides Kenny Ortega and the other musician’s, without throwing any of the usual big celebrity diva fits, we have become accustomed to seing (like the tantrum thrown during a reheasal by the main star of the last Batman movie). He goes to great length not to deliver a stinging rebuke to the band by stating, “…this is with love…(spells it out with a smile) l, o, v, e,… but it feels like a fist is being shoved into my ear…I am trying to accomodate it, but it feels like a fist is being shoved into my inner ear… ” I have been singing in various choirs/musical groups since I was about 7 years old, and I once had a music director hurl a huge volume of classical music at me, because I went slightly off key (and he wasn’t even a celebrity), I have seen musician’s with larger than life egos (in many relatively un-celebrated church bands), cuss each other out, get really mad, and walk out of rehearsals just because someone either went out of tempo, went off key, or was just having a bad day keeping up with practice, yet again and again, we see in this movie, a musician of MJ’s gigantic talent, only very gently chiding members of his band when they get something wrong (or otherwise mangle their interpretation/rendition of one of his well-known songs), he never once lost his temper, and he made sure to soothe their wounded egos (because most artists are known to have very fragile egos), by always speaking softly (even if firmly) and making additional soothing remarks whenever giving necessary correction like, “this is what rehearsals are for.” Meaning in essence that it is normal to make mistakes, and that is why we rehearse before a show. I wish the world had shown him the same degree of patience and understanding, he so clearly showed others during his life on this Earth. So I did appologize for unfairly tagging everyone who dislikes “This Is It,” a hater of Michael Jackson (because after all I am no telepath, and the last time I checked, I cannot divine the secret thoughts or motives that lie in people’s hearts), but allow us Michael Jackson fans, the indulgence of portraying in a positive light for once, someone who in my humble conviction as well as opinion, has been very unjustly mangled in the press for almost 2 decades to date. It is not abnormal for a dead person’s well-wishers to sing his or her praises shortly after their death, indeed it would be quite strange if we did not do so! People should take a deep breath, step back, and wait at least one year for Michael Jackson to be mourned decently and properly, then the critical bio-pics will be made, and come marching loudly into many movie theaters across the globe. For now though, we of the universe of Michael Jackson’s fans, are very much still in grieving mode, we mourn the sudden passing of our great musical icon, and it is quite unreasonable for anyone to expect us, to make a movie about him that protrays him in his worst light (even if that is what you truly think, would have improved the quality of the movie “This Is It)!

  • John Odeh aka Johnnus Odehus

    Hi MAJ, just one little additional note. I remember you wrote that MJ was a troubled individual. This was undoubtedly the case, but being a troubled individual seems to be a mark of the “True Genius.” Aristotle once wrote that “…we know of two types of madness…one, the kind that makes a man to fall below himself…this type we call insanity…and secondly the other type, which makes a man to rise above himself, which we call ‘genius.’ There have been ample research into the nature of the “Idiot Savant,” who supremely gifted in certain fields of endeavor like mathematics, painting, etc, but who remain astonishly inept at doing other things. It seems nature has to find a balance, because there is only so many gifts, she can cram into one mind. In the “Nature of Genius” that book I earlier mentioned by Dr. Andrew Germant, I learned most artistic genius as opposed to the scientific geniuses, were very troubled individuals. Mozart died young at a mere 36 years of age (some scholars say he died of syphilis), Van Gohh cut off his own ear (and is rumored to have committed suicide), Schumann most definitely committed suicide by exposing himself to a lethal case of pnemonia, Beethoven was an out and out wacko, Gaugin had his many troubles, I could go on and on… So Michael Jackson’s craziness is nothing new, it comes with the “genius…territory.” And even with the so-called more stable scientific geniuses who tend to marry durably, and live to a ripe old age, who is to say Albert Einstein was completely sane? Not with that wild head of hair, I won’t. Being troubled is the price the usually pay for their inspiration, and we should be grateful that they bear this burden to move human culture forward so that people like me who are more ordinary, do not have to live trouble lives to advance human civilization.

  • John Odeh aka Johnnus Odehus

    There are so many typos in the above post, I just had to fix them and re-post. See the corrected version below:

    Hi MAJ, just one little additional note. I remember you wrote that MJ was a troubled individual. This was undoubtedly the case, but being a troubled individual seems to be a common mark of the “True Genius.” Aristotle once wrote that “…we know of two types of madness…one, the kind that makes a man to fall below himself…this type we call insanity…and secondly the other type, which makes a man to rise above himself, which we call ‘genius.’ There has been ample research into the nature of the “Idiot Savant,” who are supremely gifted in certain fields of endeavor like mathematics, painting, etc, but who remain astonishingly inept at doing many other things. It seems nature has to find a balance, because there are only so many gifts, she can cram into one human mind. In the “Nature of Genius” that book I earlier mentioned, which was written by Dr. Andrew Germant, I learned that most artistic geniuses as opposed to the scientific geniuses, were very troubled individuals. Mozart died young at a mere 36 years of age (some scholars say he died of syphilis), Van Gohr cut off his own ear (and is rumored to have committed suicide), Schumann most definitely committed suicide by exposing himself to a lethal case of pneumonia when he jumped into that river in the middle of winter, Beethoven was an out-and-out blind genius wacko, Gaugin had his many troubles, I could go on and on… So Michael Jackson’s craziness is nothing new, it comes with the “genius…territory.” And even with the so-called more stable scientific geniuses who tend to marry durably, beget children, and live to a ripe old age, who is to say Albert Einstein was completely sane? Not with that wild head of hair, I won’t! Or Marie Currie; who managed to kill herself, and her husband via exposure to radium (in the process of discovering X-Rays and radiation). Her daughter and son followed suit soon after, dying of radiation induced cancers as well. That definitely seems to fit the definition of living a troubled life. So it seems being troubled is one of the prices geniuses usually pay for their lofty inspiration, and we should be grateful that they bear this burden in order to move human culture forward, so that people like me who are more ordinarily gifted, do not have to live trouble lives to advance the cause of human civilization.

  • MaryAnn

    Holy shit.

  • Anne-Kari

    Wow. Is that, like, some kind of punk’d thing?

  • JoshB

    Wall of Text crits you for a googolplex. Twice.

  • amanohyo

    Wall isn’t adequate, it’s a veritable Burj Dubai of text. John Odehus, you’ve come dangerously close to inventing a new form of literature, the stream-of-consciousness-bio-fanfic. I’m impressed (and a bit frightened) by the magnitude of your devotion. However, it’s good to know that the movie is a nice send off for loyal fans such as yourself (as the review indicates).

  • Patrick

    Oh my.

  • Wow…

    I mean, wow.

    MaryAnn, I sincerely hope that you never accidentally run over someone’s pet or commit a major felony because if you can provoke this much reaction with a mere movie review…

    Come back, Tim1974. All is forgiven…

  • ManicAsh

    Hahahaha. John Odeh did have a lot of points in his comment that I agree with, but sadly this seems to be the wrong place to state them.
    Michael fans are interesting…and it seems that there is rarely a debate that doesn’t involve strong emotions [if I had been using logic, I wouldn’t have written out such rash and unsupported comments as I did above].
    I do feel that there has been a lot of unfair criticism against the man, but I do now realize it’s feelings and not everyone would see it as fact.

    I deeply appreciate your acknowledgment that this film is for fans, though. And your review that you wrote as review of the actual film and not of the man himself.

  • Eric

    My goodness, lotseth of people loveth Michael too much.

    The only MJ-related item that annoys me is that Thriller wasn’t shown on MTV Halloween night. A golden opportunity squandered.

    BTW: I had to Google “hagiographic.” I’m so unlearned. Or is that non-learned? Fuck.

  • Maurice

    Of course. Everyone adores celebrities who go on and on about “freeing Tibet” or “saving the planet”, but propose no solutions for doing so.

    I mean come on guys. Let’s do it. For the planet. I mean, the Earth. She’s weeping. We’re in it together guys. We’ve got to do this. For the planet.

  • Bluejay

    You know, I don’t resent celebrities for using their platform to talk about “doing the right thing,” even if they’re just speaking in platitudes. At the very least they’re raising public awareness and building support, which is the first step towards fixing things.

    Sure, I personally find MJ’s songs about saving the planet a little vague and schlocky. But do you really have anything against saving the planet? At least maybe he’ll convince his legion of fans to be more environmentally conscious, and to vote in leaders who’ll make a difference.

  • ManicAsh

    Everyone adores celebrities who go on and on about “freeing Tibet” or “saving the planet”, but propose no solutions for doing so.

    Have you watched TII, or have you read any interviews with Michael? From what I have read him say, and what he said in TII [‘don’t rely on government, make a change yourself’ basically], is that if we want to help improve the destruction that humans have put upon nature, we need to start with ourselves, change the actions that *we* do day-to-day. And I don’t know what Michael himself did, but I have seen that a lot of the friends I’ve made because of a mutual love for Michael, they have taken his words about the environment very seriously and they have adopted environment-friendly habits into their lives.
    But I can see how a lot of people look what what he said and his performances and think that he’s preachy and all talk, no action.

    Bluejay does get it. It really does raise awareness in some fans.

  • ManicAsh

    Oops, sorry for the next-to-last comment. I just now realised that not everyone will see TII or know of what Michael has said. I just wanted to state what I have seen in friends that are huge fans of his.

  • Christina

    Lord have mercy – some people just have WAY too much time on their hands, dontcha think?

    And in addition to being illiterate, they are also apparently incapable of distinguishing between reality and PR. He was a CELEBRITY. Everything he allowed to be seen about him was meticulously tailored, and everything else was carefully spun.

    Here’s another shocker – brace yourself, John – those guys who wear the white coats in TV ads for drugs? NOT REAL DOCTORS!!!

  • TS

    I’m still looking for the Bel-Air in John Odeh’s posts.

  • Cam

    No, really, this review sucked. This was long. The Old English wasn’t even done right. This wasn’t your best.

  • dconner

    I love it when a thread proves the author’s initial post even more than the post itself could.

    MaryAnn, the chair *is* your son!

  • MomoiroMegane

    Prepare to be offended.

    Mary Ann, worry not. I have a feeling that if The Glorious Church of the Princess Bride combined forces with Areaologists, The Trek Cult, the Jedi Contingency and the Whedonites we could totally take The Church of the Latter Day Michael.

    Of course, being an Areaologist could prove explosive with this crowd… *Puts on her pink hard-hat and waits.*

  • Robert P

    Ah yes, the deification of Michael Jackson.

    Some perspective. The only reason folks even know who Michael Jackson is, is because of circumstances of promotion and luck decades ago. As is their tendency, people like to ascribe superlatives to a particular performer – genius, the greatest this, wonderfulest that, etc. There were and are trainloads of others just as or more talented, he just happens to be the one you heard about.

    When he was a kid he was photogenic and had good little kid vocal chops. Had he not had the momentum of his childhood stardom, I sincerely doubt his adult vocals on their own would have gained much notoriety. Listen to his later performances of his earlier hits. Unlike someone like say Donny Osmond, MJ’s voice didn’t transition into adulthood well. Not just the lowered pitch but the general vibrance and timbre of his childhood vocals was absent. As for his later albums, his adult vocals became mostly a series of growling yells and stabs, or alternately odd, affected vibrato, falsetto and sound effects – *EEEE-HEEEE*, few sustained notes and deeply embedded in processing and effects along with strong production and orchestration that was the work of others. He certainly wasn’t on par with vocalists like Steven Perry, Kenny Loggins, Bobby Kimball (fromToto), James Ingram, Michael Bolton, Gary Puckett, etc. or any of an ocean of unheralded studio session singers. Jackson’s voice was recognizeable, but was it great? Not as far as I’m concerned.

    But his relative talents aside, a question for the “adoring fans” – how would you feel about a guy in the neighborhood who had butchered himself surgically like that, who in his 30’s & 40’s was in the habit of hosting sleepovers with prepubescent boys, and who it was learned had numerous photos of shirtless young boys adorning his house. If it was your kid’s teacher what would you think about it? Wouldn’t raise any concerns at all, right? “Hey mom, Mr. Jones wants me and a bunch of other boys to sleep at his house in his room tonight, okay?”

    So, why does the fact that he happens to be a media star suspend any such concerns? It speaks to the whole over-valuing of celebrity – entertainment, sports etc. in the first place. Would any of these people who hung around his house including his eventual accusers be there if he wasn’t famous? How much did they actually know about him personally? Not much I’ll wager.

    If nothing else he’s guilty of colossally bad judgment for not getting any of this to begin with. Settling out of court certainly doesn’t reinforce one’s claims of innocence, but if he was wrongly accused the first time, why would he continue to put himself in a postion to be a target of opportunists? He did that interiew with Ed Bradley – much like candid interviews with others seeking to clear their name like Gary Condit, Paul “Pee Wee Herman” Reubens, Larry “Wide Stance” Craig, it didn’t do a thing to make him look better. Look for Chris Rock’s hilarious take on YouTube.

    Jackson had credibility issues – he was apparently less than forthcoming regarding certain topics. Why the whole charade regarding “his” kids? They clearly have no biological connection to him despite his insistence to the contrary. If he had them via surrogacy, probably not something that would generally be thought of as sinister in of itself, but the origin of these kids seems to have been in the service of some other agenda – i.e. “proving” his normalcy and masculinity – yet apparently figured no one would notice that the kids are clearly not even part black. I’m skeptical of the vitiligo thing – certainly the extent of it and that he denied taking measures to lighten his skin. He suddenly developed a whole body case of vitiligo? Rather, his overall goal appears to have been to obliterate outward signs of his ethnicity.

    However they promote it, this movie is primarily about cashing in, as it would seem is the supposedly upcoming “Tribute concert”.

  • John Odeh

    In response to Robert P’s many comments: Let me address some of the issues you just raised. First you attempt to state that Michael Jackson was not a great singer, and only got a lucky break in getting musically noticed during his childhood (…this is a bare-bones summary of your entire tirade of a paragraph on Michael Jakson’s (allegedly average to mediocre) vocal talents and style. Well I must say that I totally disagree with you> Far from being an averagely gifted singer, Mj was one of the most gifted singers this world has ever heard, and I think the numerous musical critics, as well as MJ’s musical peers (Like Madonna, the classically trained Alicia Keys, Beyonce, etc), who honored him professionally in life, and since his untimely death, and who also gladly handed him, pretty much more Grammy Awards, than virtually most other vocal artists living or dead (with the exception of Alicia Keys herself and a few others), would disagree with you as well. What if I may ask, is the un-noticed (at least to me…) level of vocal expertise you possess that makes you think you are qualified to declare/and describe Michael Jackson an average singer? Not even my art music biased and conceited former musical teacher; Dr. Merenini (a professor of music; who has had his compositions performed in the venerable Sistine Chapel of the Vatican in Rome), who has composed serious music (i.e. classical/art music), with vocal parts for famous church chiors and other university chorales/theatrical groups, and who is openly contemptuous of the vocal ability of most pop, rock, and R&B, etc, singers, would go as far, as to say that the Great Michael Jackson, was anything but a lyrical master, a vocal magician, a human nightingale possessed of a voice of amazing beauty and dexterity. I am quite tired of writing lengthy essays on this blog, so I am not going to write a dissertation here about Michael Jackson’s towering vocal talents. If you are genuinely interested in learning about Michael Jackson’s vocal sophistry (and are not just being maliciously mischievous) as I fully suspect you are with your misguided and very uneducated comments, then I would advice you to do a google search for internet articles about MJ’s singing style, you just might just begin to educate yourself musically a tiny weenie bit (but alas, I fear you are a bigot, who are so blinded by your dislike for MJ that nothing you read will improve your foolish conclusion, if you indeed sincerely believe anything you have written in your above referenced post). But as for the other issue of whether MJ was only recognized as musical prodigy (something that I suspect from your above comments you will never be), due to some accident of publicity during his childhood. First I would remind you that “Fortune Favors the Brave,”…and to paraphrase…”Publicity Follows the Outstanding.” MJ needed to have had something noticeable in him, for the rest of us to admire, gawk at for 45 years, and adore even after death, despite many bogus charges of character tainting pedophilia. Secondly I am fully aware that many highly talented people (and more rarely even geniuses, e.g. the great scientist Avogadro) sometimes go unrecognized in their lifetimes (the list is longer than you and I, have time to post on this blog), and I never claimed that MJ was the only genius (musical or otherwise) to ever walk the surface of this Blessed Earth. However Michael Jackson was, and still is, undisputedly one of the most amazing of this wonderful category of intellectual giants (and for your information, I don’t hand out the exceptional title of “Genius” to people lightly. I do not just name any human, living or dead a genius. There are many movers and shakers of history like Alexander the Great, and Julius Ceasar (great men of action undoubtedly) who do not make my list. Michael Jackson earned that august designation from me, only after a painstaking, and very rigorous academic examination of his lifelong body of musical work. And if a virtual musical non-entity like yourself, wishes now to set yourself up as someone who knows more about an artist’s musical prowess, than all the musical critics of this, as well as the past century, please feel free to do so (ignorance after all as they say is bliss, though I must remind you that “He who cannot think is a fool,”…but…”He that refuses to think is a bigot.” I will let you and the readers of this blog decided which of the above two categories of people you belong to, who knows maybe you are both “Fool” and “Bigot.” It is extremely difficult otherwise to understand the source of your twisted logic). I am absolutely certain that five hundred years from today, students of music worldwide will be studying Michael Jackson’s music, as well as his dance moves, and choreography. I really doubt however, that Music History and Art History, will even remember your name. And if you think that by repeating “ad infinitum” baseless/unproven charges of pedophilia, body dysmorphia (baseless because he did suffer from vitiligo…I am a US licensed Medical Practitioner, and I have seen pictures of Michael Jackson’s body that bear the unmistakable signs of any patient suffering from this rare variant of the disease Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, and the LA Coroner’s Final Autopsy Report concurs as well. So I ask, where did you get your medical degree from that entitles you to make your own diagnosis of the Late MJ’s skin condition), the parentage biological (or otherwise) of his children, or an alleged hatred (the so-called numerous plastic surgeries) for his own ethnic origin, you are ever going to succeed in making me (or other Michael Jackson fans) deny the man his well deserved artistic accolades, you are sadly mistaken. The Great Michael Jackson has passed on into artistic immortality, and there is nothing people like you who hated (and most likely envied) him in life and death can do about that! You once again in clear display of your deep-seated anti Michael Jackson bigotry assail us with dumb allegations of MJ not fathering his own children. Well mixed kids often look white, you know.

  • John Odeh

    Continuation of my above post replying to Robert P: As a reminder of th ecomments I am addressing, I have re-posted some of your original post below:

    “…When he was a kid he was photogenic and had good little kid vocal chops. Had he not had the momentum of his childhood stardom, I sincerely doubt his adult vocals on their own would have gained much notoriety. Listen to his later performances of his earlier hits. Unlike someone like say Donny Osmond, MJ’s voice didn’t transition into adulthood well. Not just the lowered pitch but the general vibrance and timbre of his childhood vocals was absent. As for his later albums, his adult vocals became mostly a series of growling yells and stabs, or alternately odd, affected vibrato, falsetto and sound effects – *EEEE-HEEEE*, few sustained notes and deeply embedded in processing and effects along with strong production and orchestration that was the work of others. He certainly wasn’t on par with vocalists like Steven Perry, Kenny Loggins, Bobby Kimball (fromToto), James Ingram, Michael Bolton, Gary Puckett, etc. or any of an ocean of unheralded studio session singers. Jackson’s voice was recognizeable, but was it great? Not as far as I’m concerned.

    But his relative talents aside, a question for the “adoring fans” – how would you feel about a guy in the neighborhood who had butchered himself surgically like that, who in his 30’s & 40’s was in the habit of hosting sleepovers with prepubescent boys, and who it was learned had numerous photos of shirtless young boys adorning his house. If it was your kid’s teacher what would you think about it? Wouldn’t raise any concerns at all, right? “Hey mom, Mr. Jones wants me and a bunch of other boys to sleep at his house in his room tonight, okay?”

    So, why does the fact that he happens to be a media star suspend any such concerns? It speaks to the whole over-valuing of celebrity – entertainment, sports etc. in the first place. Would any of these people who hung around his house including his eventual accusers be there if he wasn’t famous? How much did they actually know about him personally? Not much I’ll wager.

    If nothing else he’s guilty of colossally bad judgment for not getting any of this to begin with. Settling out of court certainly doesn’t reinforce one’s claims of innocence, but if he was wrongly accused the first time, why would he continue to put himself in a postion to be a target of opportunists? He did that interiew with Ed Bradley – much like candid interviews with others seeking to clear their name like Gary Condit, Paul “Pee Wee Herman” Reubens, Larry “Wide Stance” Craig, it didn’t do a thing to make him look better. Look for Chris Rock’s hilarious take on YouTube.

    Jackson had credibility issues – he was apparently less than forthcoming regarding certain topics. Why the whole charade regarding “his” kids? They clearly have no biological connection to him despite his insistence to the contrary. If he had them via surrogacy, probably not something that would generally be thought of as sinister in of itself, but the origin of these kids seems to have been in the service of some other agenda – i.e. “proving” his normalcy and masculinity – yet apparently figured no one would notice that the kids are clearly not even part black. I’m skeptical of the vitiligo thing – certainly the extent of it and that he denied taking measures to lighten his skin. He suddenly developed a whole body case of vitiligo? Rather, his overall goal appears to have been to obliterate outward signs of his ethnicity.

    However they promote it, this movie is primarily about cashing in, as it would seem is the supposedly upcoming “Tribute concert”…”

    Since I have already addressed the issue of MJ’s vocal style by advising you to go do your research about MJ’s music before you post silly stuff on th einternet that makes you come across as a musical illiterate, I will not go back into all that except to remind you that child voices (whether male or female do not usually carry on into adulthood. Rather the morph and mature with time, and MJ of course lost his boyhood soprano, but developed an adult counter-tenor of the utmost beauty and range. His falseto and peculiar hiccup-ping style of singing the “Eeeh-heeee” that you mentioned was quite deliberate, well documented, and one of his many contributions to the art of singing. The world loved it, and we made him the greatest pop star the world has ever seen, because we liked those peculiar vocal tricks of his (so for your information, the world is not complaining) and paid him very handsomely for very deliberately singing with a trained falseto-hiccup-ping-gasping vocal style. If you think singing like he didi is easy (or does not require much effort and artistry) then go give me a demonstration of the same, or even better produce your own hits like “smooth Criminal,” “Dirty Diana,” “Billie Jean,” etc. And if I need remind he used that singing style or variants thereof in all these above mentioned hits. I understand you saying you don’t like his style of singing, or even his music in general. That is simply a matter personal taste, and I am not going to argue with a man’s personal likes and dislikes. However, it is quite insulting for you to come on this blog, and post your personal lack of appreciation of MJ’s unique vocal style, as some laudable effort in musical critism. You are no music critic (as your absolute lack of knowlege about the methodical way in which MJ developed his vocal style/techniques shows), so let the educated musical critics, as well as the greats in the business; who since his death cannot seem to stop praising MJ’s skills (and yes all this praise despite your bogus and totally irrelant pedophilia charges) do the talking, my musically illiterate friend! Next to answer your question about why we his fans, still like MJ despite the slanderous and silly pedophilia allegations. Well silly man, we like MJ despite these spurilous charges, because SILLY, we don’t believe them! I do not judge a man on th ebasis of mere allegations. And while it is true that only the divine (who sees all things) can tell for a fact MJ’s innocence, no human can tell for a fact either his guilth. his accusers had more than their day in court to convict him, they failed. It is not for nothing that our legal system (i.e. the American legal system), as opposed to the French legal system, places th eonus on the accuser to prove guilth, rather than on the defendant to prove innocence. i think th eAmerican system is better, after all Jesus was crucified on the basis of bogus charges of treason, blasphemy, and mis-direction of the faithful. Socrates was forced to drink the Hemlock (a poisonous drink) on the false charge of corrupting the youth (sounds a bit like false charges of child molestation to me?) So I do not buy your charges against MJ either!

  • Robert P

    so I am not going to write a dissertation here

    Dang, I’d hate to see you really get wound up then. You really felt it was necessary to quote virtually all of my post, huh.

    First you attempt to state that Michael Jackson was not a great singer

    What I did state was that as a kid I feel he had good vocal chops. However if you don’t think there are lots of kids who can sing very well your awareness is limited.

    and only got a lucky break in getting musically noticed during his childhood

    Anyone you hear on the airwaves is there because of some breaks that fell their way. There’s an ocean of aspiring performers. Shania Twain’s story is indicative of the nature of the pop music biz. One of the top artists of all time – and IMO a tremendous talent – her stardom almost didn’t happen. The reason anyone knows who she is, is because she met Mutt Lange, period. Do you have any familiarity with the back-story of how Diana Ross came to be the lead singer of the Supremes? Check it out sometime.

    Like Madonna…

    Well now there’s an endorsement to hang your hat on (/sarcasm) one of the least vocally gifted performers in all of pop music history – yet ironically one of the best-selling. I’m no fan of miss Ciccone.

    who also gladly handed him, pretty much more Grammy Awards

    Hate to break the news to ‘ya champ, the Grammys are about marketing, not a barometer of talent. While a Grammy and talent aren’t mutually exclusive – there have been some very talented people who’ve received them – there’s no direct correlation either.

    If you like Michael Jackson’s later work, okay – that’s your prerogative. I hear a lot of production, his vocals per se don’t do much for me. Hearing his more exposed, live vocals doesn’t do anything to dissuade me from that position. As a solo vocalist he isn’t even on the list for me – I’ve already named some I think are far better. I could probably go into a typical karaoke bar on a given night and find better vocalists.

    level of vocal expertise you possess that makes you think you are qualified

    Well, of course I could ask you the same thing – without making any other reference to internet resources, can you so much as outline the elements of a Dim7 chord? A dorian scale?

    But if you want some demonstration that I know something about music okay.

    A duet with a fine female singer. The fidelity isn’t high due to the circumstances of how it was made.

    http://www.fileden.com/files/2008/3/11/1809238/duet.mp3

    I arranged, performed and recorded the backing horns and harmony vocals heard on this track

    http://www.fileden.com/files/2008/3/11/1809238/horns_vox.mp3

    makes you come across as a musical illiterate

    Do tell – when do we get to hear some examples of your arranging, performance and production chops?

    I am absolutely certain that five hundred years from today, students of music worldwide will be studying Michael Jackson’s music

    Okay, $10 says you’re wrong.

    Michael Jackson earned that august designation from me

    August huh.

    only after a painstaking, and very rigorous academic examination of his lifelong body of musical work

    Bloviation to English translation: You listened to his albums and watched MTV.

    However, it is quite insulting for you to come on this blog, and post your personal lack of appreciation of MJ’s unique vocal style, as some laudable effort in musical critism.

    The amount of bandwidth you’ve been inspired to consume indicates you’ve got a curious amount of your psyche invested in the topic.

    Ultimately to me his talent is a side issue. My problem is largely that his *celebrity* seems to have bought him a pass from many regarding some serious questions. We already know he flat out lied about some issues.

    we like MJ despite these spurilous charges, because SILLY, we don’t believe them!

    I repeat my earlier query – if one of your kid’s teachers were to conduct themselves exactly as just what’s known MJ did – alter their appearance to that extent, having young boys sleep in their room – are you saying this would raise no red flags in your mind?

  • John Odeh

    John Odeh’s Final Reply to the Liar Mr. Robert P.

    My Not So Dear Attention Seeking Slanderer of the Dearly Departed; Mr. Puffed-up Robert (Lying Bigot) P. (If this is a sorry attempt to compare yourself to the great Led Zeppelin vocalist Robert Plant, please stop it right now, for that would be quite a great insult to a person you will never deserve to be compared to). The reason I re-posted your entire idiotic post, was because I was in the very midst of submitting an online application on a university library computer, and therefore had to switch rapidly between four web pages while replying to your silly slander laden post, and as such did not have very much to time to pick out and respond to particular parts of your post (or even to correct typos and/or grammatical errors), as you have done with mine. However, I have visited the silly sounding music links (your alleged creations) you referred me to, and I did listen to your absolutely mediocre and plebeian music. I must say I am absolutely unimpressed (you are no way in the league of either Michael Jackson or Madonna). Yes I do know what a Diminished 7th Chord is (it is a minor 7th chord; a four note chord, and is built by stacking four minor thirds on top of each other. It covers nine semi tones, and is composed of a diminished triad together with the interval of a diminished 7th. For example while playing the A# Diminished 7th Chord on a piano, A# is the root, C# is the minor third, E# is the diminished fifth, while F is the diminished seventh), as well as what a Dorian Scale is (This is one of the scales used by ancient Greek musicians while playing on Harps and Lyres (i.e. it is one of the seven modes of music), and both Aeolian and Dorian Scales are quite popular in modern day popular music and jazz. My second guitar teacher was both a jazz and rock guitarist, so he taught me all about this stuff, besides teaching me how to form my own chords, the basic chord progressions, etc, and how to play in Circles of Fifths and Sevenths on the piano.). Therefore I also know what Aeolian, Chromatic, Diatonic, Ionian, Locrian, Lydian, Mixolydian, and Phrygian Scales etc, are as well, and I don’t need any lessons from you about either chord chemistry, chord progressions, time signatures, music notation, or any other aspects of music theory, having not only just finished a Classical Guitar class this summer (and for which if I may toot my own horn, I earned a very solid grade of A.), but having learned my Classics (which includes the study of music by the way) during childhood from some of the best teachers in the world (Besides my own mother was until her retirement, an excellent (multiple award winning) art, music, history, religious studies, languages, and literature teacher, with over 46 years of multi-facetted (i.e. she taught in elementary, secondary, and post-secondary schools) teaching experience, so what do you think you have to tell me about any of the Humanities that I have not already heard about a thousand times from my own mother?). Since we are currently engaged in boasting (rather disgustingly and immodestly if may say so) about our respective musical prowess or knowledge (call it what you may), what if I may ask you as well, is a Circle of Fifths, a Circle of Seventh’s, a Half Diminished 7th or Half Minor 7th Chord, a Full Diminished 7th or Full Minor 7th Chord, a “Chord of Expectation,” or a “Vocal Melisima.” What are the differences between a Lyrical, Dramatic, and Mezzo Soprano? What is the usual vocal range of a Lyrical Soprano, and a Counter-Tenor (i.e. How many octaves of notes can their voices hit on the Chromatic Scale?) What by the way is a Helden-tenor, and what nationality of singers, produced the deepest Bass and Baritone Singers (Hint, Hint, it was an Eastern European Country)? Who was Robert Johnson, and at what age did he seriously begin to play the guitar. How many years of practice, did he require to achieve virtuosity, and what was his specific contribution to the development of the Mississippi Delta Blues? What is the relationship between a guitar and a Kithara? How many chords can you play on a Sitar (not that I am hereby claiming to be able to play the Sitar with any proficiency). And who invented the guitar? Was it the Spaniards or the Greeks (now this is a Freebie question (…and here, I too am being quite sarcastic…)). What are the major differences between a twelve string guitar and a six string guitar (apart from the obvious difference in their respective string numbers)? When did the Stravinsky family first design and build their famous line of violins? I could go on, and on, and on, with these sort of questions, if you wish to turn our comments on this Blog, into some sort of weird session of an Online Musical “Jeopardy” without a moderator that is fine by me. However I thought, we were here to discuss the merits and/or demerits of the movie titled “Michael Jackson’s This Is It,” and not to take either a music quiz or re-litigate the 2005 People vs. Michael Joe Jackson Case, or the veracity of the other sensational tabloid gossip related to that great and now unfortunately Late Musical Legend. Quite unlike your puffed-up little self, I am neither a professional producer of contemporary music, nor a recording artist. I have never pretended to be one of the great ones (aka geniuses) who periodically walk this Earth. I study them, I recognize them, I announce their presence, and bask in their radiance, but I am not a member of this venerable and exclusive club of precious humanity. What I am, is a classically trained chorale and concert singer; who has been singing in various Church Choirs (and quite excellently I have been told by those who have listened to my singing) since the tender age of seven (So you don’t need to remind me that many children have musical talent, I know, I was one of them for quite a few years!). I don’t have any recordings on websites to refer you to, since I do not do this professionally (I am a professional healthcare practitioner and a damn good one at that…), however if you must know my musical background, I was the Lead Tenor for the Gemma Regis International Chorale during my undergraduate days at the University of Lagos (as an Electrical Engineering student), in Nigeria. I sang both operatic and other kinds of musical pieces for the Laz Ekwueme Chorale, The University of Lagos Chapel Choir (aka The Thomasian Choir), I led the St. Charles De Boromeo Choir of Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, which is located in the County of Devon in Great Britain (whilst a Royal Navy Officer Cadet at that venerable officer training institution), I can read and write music, I can appreciate and academically critique the works of the Great classical masters, and even contemporary composers of serious art music, and I currently only sing in Church during services, as well as during private family occasions (since I am too busy with my hospital work to sing at public concerts nowadays), and FYI, I did all this for fun, as well as my personal edification (not for money fame, and stardom like you do). I have been musically educated by some of the finest classically trained musician’s in this world (both due to my own personal interests, as well as the proud family traditions of my very strict and patrician parents, so I do not need any lectures from you about the value of the vast body of human music that has been handed down to us through the ages. During my active public singing days, I performed solo tenor, baritone, and falsetto bass parts in both theatrical (i.e. operatic), as well as in chorale pieces of both classical and contemporary Art Music composers like; Libiamo Leti (The Drinking Song) which is part of La Traviata by G. Verdi, Le Battaglia Di Legnano (The Battle Of Legnano) by G., Verdi, Va Pensioro (Speed Your Journey) and The Prophecy of Zaccharias; which are both parts of G. Verdi’s Nabbuco, Stabat mater by G. Rossini, including solos in two parts, namely Pro Peccatis, and Quis Est Homo (a duet for two), and a chorale part in Inflammatus. I also sang parts in songs like the Dashing White Sergeant by Hugh Reberton, Ave Maria by M. Gerum, Ara Orun (a Yoruba language Piece) by E. Mereni (my music professor), Onamma by E. Mereni including Umu Ogbogh’ Ibem and Egbe n’ Ugo (which are Igbo language pieces), O Yesu Christe by Van Berchem, Regina Coeli by W. A. Mozart, Nna Di Ebere by E. Mereni (another Igbo language masterpiece), Factus Est Repente/Confirma HOC by Gregor Aichinger, Cast Thy Burden Upon The Lord which is a Quartet by F. Mendelsohn, Ave Verum Corpus by W.A. Mozart, The Woman of Samaria (aka God Is A Spirit by W. S. Bennett, just to mention a few songs in my Art Music Repertoire. I have written a 150 page collections of poetry that has been accepted by Minerva Press Publishers in London for publication, and I have also won various literary competitions like the First Prize in an all Nigerian Universities Short Story Writing Competition, for my Short Story titled Masquerades. Many of my poems are either easily sent to music (due to their rhyme, rhythms or metric patterns, etc), or were received (i.e. in terms of inspiration) as already complete musical pieces (e.g. my 37 page poem titled Odysseus, The Song of the Midnight Bow, Anthill (which is a very political anti dictator piece), Verses from A Singing Tree (another anti tyranny political piece) to mention a few. So I do understand art, whether it be of the musical, dance, or literary variety, and I do not base my critical judgments of artists, only upon watching MTV (which I actually very seldom watch) depictions of their works, and/or upon listening to their albums. However, you still don’t seem to get it! You do not like Madonna’s music we read, and consider her a mediocre vocalist. That is merely a matter of YOUR PERSONAL TASTE! Yours alone my envious, very petty-minded, and wicked friend, not mine, nor any body else’s! Speak for yourself Mr. Loud-mouth Disparager of the Sacred Dead, and don’t generalize your personal musical likes or dislikes (like if they are the words of the Ancient Oracle at Delphi), or try to speak for me. If you simply don’t like Michael Jackson’s music that is your both your affair and prerogative! Do not however try speak on behalf of every one of us, or pretend you have some serious artistic reason to deem Michael Jackson a mediocre singer, for you don’t! And all you have been posting so far on this Blog is just hate-filled gibberish, as well as a fake attempt to pretend to be some great art critic; which you are not, and will never be! There are millions of music lovers in the world, who will, and do, adamantly disagree with your unjustified views! Madonna may not be the greatest singer this world has ever seen, but give me a break man; she is in no way a vocal slouch! Your musical snobbery (is almost palpable, and quite misplaced (coming as it does from an artist with a popular music background like yourself, as opposed to a singer with an art music background like myself; who actually is usually the musical snob)), and your stinking affectations of a high-minded musical gentility do you no credit, they only serve to both annoy and disgust learned appreciators of music like myself. Yes you may be professionally involved in music, which I am not (I on the other hand, heal the minds of broken people and their bodies for a living), but you falsely arrogate to yourself a right to disparage other musical professionals, folk who have not only achieved durable public acclaim, entertained hundreds of millions, sold out hundreds (if not thousands) of concert events, but have also earned by dint of extremely hard life-long work (as opposed to people like yourself who are merely attempting to tear down their competition, in order to attract notice) the admiration, devotion, and financial patronage of countless fans like me. Why don’t you spend your valuable time doing something constructive, like maybe working some more on your mediocre music, putting it out courageously to the buying world of picky music consumers, so that learned consumers like myself (as well as the casual [but still picky] consumer of music) can critique it, reject it, or buy it, instead of hoping to earn our respect, by trashing the awesome talents of established musical giants and legends like The Immortal “Genius” Michael Jackson, or the “Empress of Pop” Madonna (Yes Eat your heart out!) I am hereby granting her this august title. For I will honor whomever I wish to honor, and people like you have no say in the matter at all. Michael Jackson was not only a great singer during his childhood, for although as a child he was charming and a joy, as a fully grown man, he was absolutely STUNNING! That is my opinion (and if I may say so, it is the educated opinion of a 37 year old musically schooled someone (for I am no star-struck MTV watching child, who judges artists only by what I see or hear on TV), who has listened to live performances by great singers like the Three Tenors; Luciano Pavarotti, José Carreras, and Plácido Domingo, and Francisco Casanova …who gave a splendid rendition of a solo in Le Battaglia Di Legnano at Carnegie Hall during the 2000-2001 season…etc, and your envious and spiteful anti Michael Jackson rants will not change any of my very firm views about who is great musically, and who is not. And now since I have a little more time on my hands today, and besides I am not so rushed in terms of trying to multi task on the computer, etc, let me borrow a bit of your debating style, and address some of your specific comments as they richly deserve to be addressed:

    “The amount of bandwidth you’ve been inspired to consume indicates you’ve got a curious amount of your psyche invested in the topic.
    Ultimately to me his talent is a side issue. My problem is largely that his *celebrity* seems to have bought him a pass from many regarding some serious questions. We already know he flat out lied about some issues.”

    I never tried to conceal my enormous fondness for both the person of Michael Jackson, and his wonderful music. Yes both of my hands are up, in completely unabashed, as well as unapologetic love and support for Michael Jackson. I am a huge FAN of his okay, don’t you get it! Let me repeat it again for your dumb coconut water filled skull, in the event that you somehow failed to get this fact before…I AM ONE of Michael Jackson’s BIGGEST FANS, and I not ashamed to admit this to you, or to anyone else! Unlike some people who sadistically thrashed Michael Jackson (both person, as well as the last 16 years of his musical output), I did not start out liking MJ’s music (as I have already stated in a previous post). Michael Jackson for me, was an acquired taste. I grew to love both the music as well as the man, after quite a while of my personal musical development (even though I must confess that I did enjoy the old Jackson Five cartoons and music, as a five to seven year old kid). Thriller did not really thrill me at first, and still isn’t my favorite Michael Jackson song or video (That honor goes to both “Smooth Criminal,” as well as to the collaboration with the South African acapela group “Lady Smith Black Mombasso” in the song titled “The Moon Is Dancing” (both can be found on the Moonwalker Video). Some of the other songs I really, really like are works like “Earth Song” which did not really even do well in terms of sales, and which was part of the “Invincible Album” (that critics raked over the coals mercilessly), and “Remember the Time.” So for your information, I make my own independent and educated musical choices/judgments. I am neither led by nose by the (sometimes so dumb) Music Critics, nor am I led by the nose by the public hysteria of the moment (whether it be in favor of an artist or it be against him/her). What I find most irritating about your approach to musical criticism on the other hand, is that it does not suffice for you (and others like you), to say this man or woman’s music doesn’t do it for me (which is your absolute right to say), or to simple and humbly say this kind of music “is not my cup of tea,” etc. People like yourself instead, feel you must go on and on, and decide for the rest of us (who also know a thing or two about music you know), what is either worthwhile to listen to, watch on TV, or state is laudable. You can try to hijack my sacred right to make my own artistic choices, and have indeed done so (i.e. by injecting yourself into my life, as a determiner of what and who, is worth listening to, watching, honoring or not honoring) my SILLY and very ARROGANT fake Robert Plant, but I hereby submit you have no right to do so. Besides such crass musical hubris, will neither serve to impress any of my kind of folk, nor will it serve to convince someone like me that a great man like Michael Jackson, is no longer a great man, simply because a none entity like you happens to swallow “hook, line, and sinker,” (and need I say without any sense of either decency, fairness, justice, or respect either), false allegations about him. You dismiss the relevance of my cogent statement about how since MJ’s loyal fans, do not believe in any of those outlandish accusations/tales about him, we have no reason to reject either man or music for reason of those outrageous and untrue charges. But here again you clearly miss my point, for our respective belief or disbelief, in the truth or falsity of those (I firmly believe bogus) charges, is the very crux of the difference between your camp of people, and mine. You believe Michael Jackson was a perverted pedophile, a self-mutilating plastic surgery junkie, and a liar, who used his celebrity to both deceive millions of dumb fans like myself, as well as to defraud the criminal justice system (Does that about sum up you position? I think it does!) Well in reply, I can only say that millions of Michael Jackson lovers, and defenders like me, believe in virtually the opposite. We see a decent, God Fearing, humble, super-generous, charitable, loving, extremely hard-working, supremely talented, trusting (even if a bit too naive and “street-dumb” for my taste), respectful, misunderstood, and somewhat eccentric musical genius; who was hounded into an early grave by a vindictive, slanderous, malicious, envious, bigoted, unjust, media, money grabbing (and also one of them [Jordan Chandler’s father, as we recently learned, shot himself in the head.]now suicidal) parents of children, he so kindly and generously sought to help, as well as a gullible and self-righteous public (who seem never to bother to properly research legal cases, before jumping to all those so predictably wrong conclusions), plus arrogant and professionally envious folks like yourself, who would seek to rise professionally by tarnishing the good reputation of other more successful musical/entertainment industry colleagues! That is my educated view of the situation, and I believe it is also the educated view of many of Michael Jackson true fans. You Sir (or Ma’am, since some people like to assume fake identities on Blogs like this), are a slanderous, hate filled, and envious anti Michael Jackson bigot! Your accusations carry no weight whatsoever with me, because you will not (and also have not) given a much unjustly maligned man his “fair shake.” Even though Michael Jackson was viciously judged (yes judged I say, and not justly tried) for over 16 (I guess really miserable and hellish) years, in the media driven court of a virulently antagonistic as well as very opinionated anti Michael Jackson public, and ended up being acquitted of all 14 charges by an ALL WHITE Santa Barbara Jury (i.e. for those of you out there, who wish to, compare MJ’s case to the OJ Simpson case), people like you will still not give him the barest minimum, ie. the barest minimum that the American Criminal Justice system provides all of this Great Nation’s citizens, i.e. “a presumption of innocence.” For Michael Jackson, all we hear “ad nauseam,” is a vain and ultimately futile repetition of bogus, unproven, and rejected allegations of child molestation. Try (even though I know this must be very difficult for your unjust, unfair, and un-balanced mind) to put yourself in my shoes for a moment. If you saw someone who you felt was innocent of spurious (and horrible) charges, being set upon by a lynch mob of media critics, a man who somehow lacked the street-smarts to both avoid sticky social situations, and who definitely could not defend himself against this mob of media bullies, but who also happens to be one of the sweetest most child-like people you have ever observed walking the surface of this planet, wouldn’t you feel like springing to his defense? Would you not feel like wrapping your arms around him, standing between him and his attackers, or otherwise protecting him from his assailants? I would, and I think if you were my type of person (the kind of person who always hated the school-yard bully), you would do exactly what I am doing. Michael Jackson in my mind is completely innocent of all the child molestation charges against him (And I find it quite hateful when your likes, keep on slandering the venerable [and freshly departed] dead. Have you no decency? Have you no shame? Have you no honor? Have you no compassion for his kids, who may someday read all the vile stuff you are posting on this Blog?) I agree with both the Santa Barbara Jury, and the Santa Barbara Court Psychiatrist, who testified during the 2005 Gavin Arvizu Child Molestation Case that Michael Jackson does not fit the profile of a pedophile! What sort of pedophile, after only narrowly escaping jail time in a harrowing and career wrecking previous child molestation case, and who had to pay a whopping $16 million to $22 million (depending on whose figures you choose to believe) out-of-court settlement, would come on the Martin Bashir interview that was intended to improve his public image, and crazily admit to “…sharing his bed with children?” What sort of unrepentant pedophile only strikes about once every ten to twelve years (i.e. in 1993, and again around 2004 when he was accused of committing those alleged acts)? No persistent and incorrigible pedophile would be that dumb! But you know the sort of person, who would admit to such socially inappropriate behavior? I will tell you who; a child-like, innocent “street-dumb” child-man, who obviously could not see the appearance of his own actions, with the same jaundiced eyes, a skeptical, cynical, and jaded pedophile-hounded American public, was using to view them. Street-wise folks like myself (and maybe yourself), would never admit to such compromising and suspicion-arousing behavior if we were, actually practicing pedophiles. We would rather very cleverly conceal our vile actions, put a public distance between ourselves and our child victims, and definitely (very definitely) not try to defend such socially inappropriate as well as a frowned upon closeness to non-relative children on camera, as MJ did on camera during the Martin Bashir interview. For that would be a simple case of very foolish [not to talk of very dangerous] self-exposure! The Santa Barbara Court and my humble self were left with no other choice, but to ask ourselves this crucial question. Are we here faced, with a very canny and remorseless repeat offender of a pedophile (one who is using his celebrity and wealth to cheat the criminal justice system), or are we here faced, with a harmless and vulnerable fool of a child-man (i.e. in foolish in terms of not recognizing how binding social mores can be), who does not quite realize the legal implications of his own actions (i.e. in terms of making himself vulnerable to despicable charges of child molestation), and who is being set upon by a greedy and ungrateful parent (Arvizu’s perjurer of a mother), who is clearly out to make a huge stash of dough (from the civil case that would have very definitely, followed a criminal conviction of Michael Jackson). When all the evidence came in, it turned out the accusing mother had a disgusting history of falsely accusing other people of crimes (even including her own husband; who she accused falsely of physically abusing their kids, only for it to later turn out during the course of the 2005 trial that she was the very same parent who used to beat and intimidate them) and bilking these poor unfortunates for all she could get (go read the detailed reports of the 2005 case styled the “People…vs. Michael Joe Jackson”). The court decided Michael Jackson if guilty of anything at all, was only guilty of social foolishness, as well as a shocking lack of legalistic caution, in that he had unwisely exposed himself to legal attacks by money grabbing Carpet-baggers like Arvizu’s mother, and they accordingly acquitted him (as they absolutely should have) of all those slanderous fourteen child molestation charges. They decided as I have since also decided that although Michael Jackson was clearly a fool (i.e. in terms of disregarding social mores), he was also definitely no pedophile. If we locked up all fools, who have ever behaved in a socially inappropriate fashion in our society, we would soon have no room left in our jails for the really dangerous criminals. Michael Jackson though an undoubted musical genius, was not exactly the most street-wise bloke on the block. If someone like me had ever (even for one second i.e.) been falsely accused of child molestation, by the ungrateful parent of a child I had tried to assist with his health issues, I would have reacted very angrily by distancing myself for life, from any kids not related to me by blood (And even with my own family, I would throw still have thrown up a million walls [if that were possible] to shield myself from such future attacks). But that is me and the average Joe Blog, not an eccentric, trusting, naive, easily forgiving, and very kind genius like Michael Jackson! I am neither that kind, nor do I forgive that easily. Michael Jackson incorrectly believed in his child-like innocence (and also quite foolish stubbornness) that the truth of what he was actually about, the good in what he was actually doing with these kids (i.e. helping to pay their medical bills, and showing a good time in his Neverland Ranch to disabled kids, as well as those other kids he had invited into his home; who suffered from life-limiting illnesses, would eventually shine through to a suspicious world, and that the public would eventually allow him to continue with his charitable ministry in peace. Boy was he mistaken, and due for a rude awakening! The world we live in is jaded, cynical, and cruel. It is nothing at all like “Peter Pan’s Neverland,” and Michael Jackson found this out the really hard way. What Michael Jackson almost got in the end, was a legal lynching from people like you. But thanks be to the ever just God Almighty, as well as those spirits of true justice that still abide in this often so sorry and wretched planet, the inspired and enlightened Santa Barbara Jury saw through the lies of that perjurer of an accusing (as well as child bullying) mother, and very, very appropriately, acquitted an innocent man! Cruel, unjust, malicious, and sadistic people like yourself, of course, choose to turn a blind eye to all the facts of that very well documented case, and continue to repeat endlessly the false (and completely dismissed) charges of child molestation leveled against the innocent Michael Jackson, perhaps falsely believing, like the cynical Roman Senator Petronius did in the Oscar wining movie “Quo Vadis” that the “People” will believe in any lie, if it is fantastic enough (or it is repeated often enough…my own musings here…) Well FYI, you can call MJ a pedophile till either the Good Lord Jesus’s “Kingdom Come[s],” or until “Fowls [begin to] Grow Teeth,” but I for my part have thoroughly examined all those despicable and false allegations (right from the first 1993 Jordan Chandler case), and found Michael Jackson to be pure and blameless. Since I have found him innocent, why would I keep my children from him (as you suggest), dishonor his golden memory, deny him his well deserved accolades, thrash his mind boggling musical talents, ridicule his eccentric (yet totally legal) life-style, or in any other way, try to diminish the stature of one of the most gifted artistic spirits this planet has ever seen in the flesh? Can you give me a single just reason, for me to behave like you do? I think not! Now to another issue you raised, I wrote a lengthy piece on another Blog about the genetics of White/Black inter-racial couplings, and what their progeny tend to look like, and unfortunately since I need to rush off and attend to some urgent business, I am not going to repeat all of my previous argument on this Blog again. However suffice it to say that several racists during the time of the old and diabolical Pre 1967 Civil Rights Act Racial Segregation, did not invoke the “One Drop Rule” of racial purity for nothing. They fully understood that mixed white-black kids sometimes looked so white that they could pass for white. That is why some mulatto kids were called “Passing.” Go and do some research on dominant and recessive genes, the biological theory of Mendelism, etc, and you will find out that MJ’s children (aka Prince, Paris, and Blanket) could all be biologically his, yet still look virtually white. A couple of years ago, I watched a documentary on PBS.org TV channel about a French woman who had just gave birth to two fraternal twins; these were two beautiful baby girls, one of whom was totally blonde with blue eyes, while the second was black with clearly African characteristics. It turned out that both twins’ father is black, they both possessed his DNA, yet in the case of the elder twin, the mothers gene for white skin dominated, while in the second twin, the father’s gene for black skin pigmentation prevailed. Human genetics is still a hot field of study, with many unknown permutations and combinations possible when the races combine their DNA. So it is not out of the realm of possibility for these children to be MJ’s even though they have very light skin complexions. Michael Jackson (even though dark skinned in childhood), was a genetic combination of African, European, and Native American bloodlines, His grandfather Samuel Jackson had hazel green colored eyes, and his father Joe Jackson has almost the same kind of color of eyes. If MJ mingled his genes with that of a blonde blue-eyed woman like Debbie (whether via a direct sexual act, or through in-vitro fertilization as people like you like to allege), who knows what the result will look like? I am in the healthcare field and plan to some day pursue research in the field of ‘genetic engineering.’ This is a fast developing field of human endeavor, and we keep on discovering new things every day. One of the things we have learned from cloning research, is that we can manipulate the DNA of a newly fertilized embryo, such that you can switch on, and switch off certain specific genes. This is what people sometimes refer to, as the future designer baby. A couple will soon be able to decide whether they want their child to have blonde hair, or blue eyes, etc. It is just a matter of biomedical engineering. Michael Jackson was a very rich man (even with all those debts and all), and technology is obviously easily available to the highest bidder. Who is to say he did not request some genetic engineering on his kids, particularly to protect from the hereditary illness “Vitiligo” which runs in the paternal line of his family, or that he did not otherwise biomedically engineer them for future success and tranquility of life? If I had the money and knowledge, to engineer the existence of future super children who would be free from any disease I am prone to, I most certainly would! Such a recourse, to what is even right now scientifically available to those folks with deep wallets, is no due cause to hate and disparage Michael Jackson. If he did do that (and here I am not stating that he did), then that would very simply have been the act of a truly loving future parent, who did not wish his future children to suffer from the same body-image shattering skin de-pigmentating disease (i.e. ‘Vitiligo’) that he did. You might be of such a traditional family bent that you cannot see yourself genetically engineering your kids for future success, but I would! And so if that is what MJ choose to do, believe me, it’s “…no skin off my nose.” Finally to address the question of Michael Jackson’s changing looks:

    “I repeat my earlier query – if one of your kid’s teachers were to conduct themselves exactly as just what’s known MJ did – alter their appearance to that extent, having young boys sleep in their room – are you saying this would raise no red flags in your mind?

    First off all, I couldn’t care less what my kids teacher’s do to their looks, since I don’t send my kids to school to study their teacher’s looks. I send them there to drink from the fountain of their teacher’s wisdom and knowledge. If those teachers, can transmit their knowledge and wisdom to my kids, then I frankly don’t care if they look like purple seven headed monkeys or five tailed and three headed lizards. I will of course be quite concerned, if these teachers, started teaching my kids to steal or do drugs etc. Michael Jackson’s so-called history of multiple plastic surgeries is really quite over blown, when you get down to the facts of the matter. MJ suffered from ‘Vitiligo’ which is a variant of the disease known as ‘systemic lupus erythematosus.’ This was inherited from his paternal ancestry, and leads to a progressive discoloration of the skin of the patient, often starting with the hands. It has been speculated that this is why MJ started to wear a glove on one hand, in order to conceal the white blotches that had appeared on his hand. Michael Jackson, although quite talented (and I personally believe not the petty-minded kind of man that is pre-occupied with his looks) musician, was not one of the olden day great composers like Bach or Schumann; for whom personal looks was incidental to the practice of their craft. Michael Jackson was a modern day singer-dancer-composer-choreographer-entertainer (with emphasis on the entertainer part). As such his appearance was of crucial importance to the performance of his craft. You already mentioned the role publicity plays in the discovery, and sustained recognition of modern day musical talent. Well a carefully crafted public image is part of the deal as well. People were used to a Michael Jackson with an even skin color tone. His fans would have found it quite jarring and upsetting for MJ to show up on stage with white blotches of de-pigmented skin across his face, neck, torso, hands, arms, legs, and feet. With the ultimate progression of ‘vitiligo,’ suffice it to say (and I have cared for patient’s suffering from either ‘Vitiligo,’ or other forms of ‘systemic lupus erythematosus’), MJ would have ended up looking like a leper. So fixing his appearance became not simply a matter of personal vanity, but an imperative of professional survival. Michael Jackson did not want to be the leper of a singer-dancer-entertainer who scared off his fans with his modern day case of leprosy. Dr. Arnie Klein, his dermatologist (the very same doctor, some media mobsters like yourself, allege is the biological father of his two older kids) came on the “Larry King Live” show, and stated that he is the person who advised Michael Jackson bleach his skin to a lighter skin tone, as a solution to the unsettling problem of having an uneven skin coloration. He stated that when MJ first became his patient, and he did a biopsy, and diagnosed ‘Vitiligo,’ he gave Michael Jackson two options. 1) We can cover you in layers of make-up in order to make your entire skin evenly dark (which was the option according to Dr. Klein that MJ preferred), or 2) We can bleach your entire skin to be of an even color with the de-pigmented portions (The solution Dr. Klein preferred). Dr Klein choose the all body bleaching remedy, because burying Michael Jackson’s entire under layers of make-up whenever he went out in public, would not only be cumbersome, heat-inducing, but also not very healthy for the skin tissues so treated (and remember Dr. Klein is a world renowned Dermatologist, so he knew what he was talking about). Michael Jackson ultimately listened to his Dermatologist and went the entire body bleaching route, but I have seen a picture of Michael Jackson with his lower legs exposed, while sitting on his bed in his bedroom, and any medically trained person cannot deny the clear and distinct symptoms of ‘vitiligo’ all over his legs. Additionally Dr. Arnold Klein stated on “Larry King Live,” that he had to operate reconstructively on Michael Jackson’s face and scalp to repair damage caused by the PEPSI Commercials burn incident. Therefore he borrowed some skin from his face to help cover the burnt (and very painful) skin on his scalp, after the PEPSI Commercial Burn Accident. He also said some artificial surgical packing had been placed underneath MJ’s scalp, in other to help pull up the surviving scalp skin tissue over the other irretrievably burnt parts of his scalp, and that this stretching of MJ’s scalp resulted in the non-stop pain that got him addicted to pain-killers. In order to ameliorate this wretched situation, Dr. Klein took skin from Michael Jackson’s face, and grafted it on to his scalp. That explains in part, some of the causes of the changing appearance of MJ’s face. Michael Jackson suffered from a number of severe body disfiguring diseases (such as ‘Vitiligo,’ and severe third degree burns to the scalp, face, and neck. I therefore think there was a valid case for reconstructive surgery here), and if you had an ounce of charity in your obviously cruel and very dark soul, you would not mock the appearance of someone, who clearly suffered so much psychological distress due to his disease induced changing appearance. Next to the issue, of having multiple plastic surgeries performed on his nose. Michael Jackson admitted to performing two or three (he said he did not quite remember, the actual number during the Martin Bashir interview) reconstructive procedures on his nose. The first one was absolutely necessary after he fell off stage (shortly after releasing the “Off the Wall” album) and broke his nose, then the other two became a bit more elective and/or professionally necessary (since he said changing his nasal structure helped him breathe more easily, and thus enabled him to hit higher musical notes. Now I don’t know if all the procedures on MJ’s nose were necessary or how many indeed they were, but you know what? I really don’t care about Michael Jackson’s nose, what I really care about, is his wonderful music, singing, and dancing. I tend to mind my own business, and generally avoid poking my rather long nose into other people’s personal affairs. If Michael Jackson was a self-mutilator (i.e. self-mutilation via plastic surgery), then he was a sick man; who needed psychological help. He was no different from a “cutter,” i.e. those unfortunate people who are so filled with inner misery or self-directed anger that the only way they can release it, is by cutting and hurting themselves. If MJ really was a self-mutilator, he should be pitied not hated? I am a healer of the sick, and I am not trained to despise my patients for being less healthy than I am, I was trained to care for them and show compassion, so if you expect me to scorn Michael Jackson for being possibly ill, and privately very miserable, I am sorry, but I cannot help you there. When I lit that candle, and swore before the assembly of guests and teachers during my graduation to honor, care for and serve the sick, I meant every word I was speaking, and it frankly speaking is none of my business what Michael Jackson did to his own face and body. Last time I checked he did not perform any plastic surgeries on me or anyone else. There are so many people in this world who start wars in which thousands die, are badly burned (or otherwise mutilated beyond recognition). These are those political leaders we often honor, for whom we stage lavish State Funerals upon their deaths, and for whom we often raise modern day temples (i.e. Presidential Libraries) in order to commemorate and honor. Michael Jackson killed no one during his fifty years on this Earth. He cut no one (except perhaps himself), he punched and/or kicked no one that I know of, he never attacked another human being physically (except for those bogus and unproven allegations of child molestation) throughout his documented life, nor did he give an order to put any one to death. For someone like myself who has served in an armed service during wartime, and hung out with folks who have actually done horrible things to the enemy in combat, let me tell you honestly, Michael Jackson is not a threatening figure, compared to the kind of folks I have often encountered in my life, Michael Jackson is and was, a very gentle “Choir Boy!” He was someone that could not hurt a fly, and I don’t train my gun sights on people like that. I go after people who really endanger human kind, and not innocents like Michael Jackson; who might be occasional foolish and annoying, but who ultimately did far more good for mankind, than any harm he did. I sincerely wish there is a heaven to send people like him to, and this is going to be my last word on this matter! If you still get some depraved kick [or sadistic high] from bashing Michael Jackson (and trying to tarnish his reputation), even after your mean-spirited self-righteous kind, made him so miserable he couldn’t sleep at night, and thus ended up resorting to the dangerous anesthetic Propofol for sleep, please feel free to continue doing so. Know that your vile and hateful words will always fall on my deaf ears. Maybe the universe of the Anti Michael Jackson lay-a-bouts like yourself, will eventually set up a Michael Jackson Bashing Nobel Hate Prize, so that monsters of hatred and spite like you, can compete for the perverse glory of who has hated Michael Jackson the most each year. As for me and my kind, we are going to stay positive, keep the candle of Michael Jackson’s good deeds burning brightly for all to see, and ensure for all eternity [at least as much as this is possible] that people like you do not have the last word on how humanity remembers this good man. And as for the $10 bet on Michael Jackson’s enduring legacy, I do not gamble! I really consider it a disgusting habit. So sorry, I am not taking you up on it. But the time I have spent responding to you is worth far, far, more than any $10 bet. I have staked my real name, and future legacy on preserving the memory of greatness of Michael Jackson’s life, and think that is enough proof of my faith in his goodness as well as the value of his brief time on this Earth. Michael Jackson made millions of people very happy for the past 45 years, and will make millions of people smile and laugh (yes and sometimes cry) when we listen to his music and watch his videos, for many centuries to come. What will people say about people like you, when you eventually join Michael in the world of the dead. Precious little I fear, other than that you spent most of your time hating greatness, and trying to tarnish the memory of a good man. One of the old Biblical Ten Commandments lists slander, as one of the worst of sins, for it states in the book of Exodus, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” Without profering any proof to justify your vile allegations, you keep on repeating the accursedly false charges of pedophilia against a God fearing and honorable man. May God forgive you for your stubborn persistence in your sins, but if you and your ilk continue in this vicious vein, I fear he just might not! In my mind and heart, Michael Jackson will remain probably, the closest thing we have seen in a long while on this planet that merits the term “secular saint”. And as for taking issue with my use of the phrase august designation, when I stated that MJ is one of the few people who have earned that august designation from me. What is your problem with my use of the word august? So you do not think naming someone a genius, is tantamount to bestowing an august designation upon them? The word genius was defined in Dr. Andrew Germant’s book which is titled the “Nature of Genius,” as a “Lofty Mind of Supreme Creative Power.” When I call Michael Jackson a musical genius, I am effectively stating that I believe he had a “Lofty mind of Supreme [Musically and Choreographical] Creative Power.” Such a designation in my opinion is a highly august (i.e. highly honored) title to confer upon any human being. Or maybe you very well understood what I meant, and it is just your maliciously envious nature getting in the way once again. Mediocre musicians like yourself, who aspire to the elusive heights of Mega stardom that only the extremely talented few like Michael Jackson ever achieve, must virtually get apoplexy each time, devoted fans like me, deem our very deserving musical heroes to be geniuses, because you know that mediocre folks like yourself, are never going to earn such titles from people like me. Eat your heart out Mr. Fake Robert Plant, you do not deserve any of the honors I have freely conferred upon Michael Jackson, your mind is petty, small, hateful, envious, bitter, unjust, unfair, merciless, without honor, without decency, and without compassion, and as such you will never earn my very august designation of being called a Genius!

  • Robert P

    Dang, he do go on don’t he.

  • JoshB

    There are paragraph breaks in there, so clearly he knows that paragraph breaks exist. I wonder how decides where to put them.

  • Dr Rocketscience

    No there aren’t. He just doesn’t know how to use the blockquote tag, so he spaced the quotes.

  • Dr Rocketscience

    Oh, and to both John and Robert:

    TL;DR guys. Seriously.

  • Robert P

    For obvious reasons I only gave his screed a cursory skim but happened to see this

    And as for the $10 bet on Michael Jackson’s enduring legacy, I do not gamble! I really consider it a disgusting habit. So sorry, I am not taking you up on it.

    ROFL!

    (for anyone curious, go back and see what the “bet” was regarding)

  • Robert P

    ROFL!

    …and no, I don’t for a second think he meant it tongue-in-cheek.

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