Neverland is For Sale: Tragic
When I read news that Colony Capital was going to sell Neverland, I was shocked. I never thought Michael's beloved home would go up on the block to be sold because Michael stated that he will never sell the estate. He stated that when he was alive and had a chance to handle his affairs. Here is an article from billboard.com that talks about the sell -
The news of the estate going on sale has many fans thinking about the times that Michael lived there and the love that he had for his home. There are also fans who feel that this sale had to happen because Michael did not live in the home before he returned to the states and was not planning on living there. So, they feel that the sale is not a big deal. Other fans feel that the potential sale of the estate is a big deal and it goes against the wish of Michael not wanting to sell his former home. An image appeared during the whole fiasco of an email response from the Estate of Michael Jackson that stated, when asked if Neverland was going to be sold that there were no plans for the estate to be sold.
I have read the two sides of the situation and I understand with both sides but I am leaning more to the side that feels that Neverland should not be sold. I am not supportive of the idea that a home that Michael bought, created, remodeled, fixed and dreamed about is going to be sold instead of the home being preserved. I know that Michael did not see it as a home anymore after rats came there and crapped on it. However, it was still his home and he did not want it to be sold.
It seems like everyday there is a story about Michael's history either being mocked, sold or crapped on and I am not liking this nasty trend. When will things that Michael created out of his amazing mind ever be respected and preserved? When will the selling of Michael's history and pop culture history ever truly end? Why can Michael's children make a decision on how they want their childhood home to be handled? This situation is just another sad chapter in the never ending cycle of ripping off the core that was Michael. I pray that it ends very soon.
Living with The Jacksons Reality Show
I could not be anymore shocked when I found out on my Facebook newsfeed that Michael extended family members, the Jacksons, aka Randy and Jermaine children they had with Alejandra Jackson, will be doing a reality show. The show will be called Living with the Jacksons. You can read more about it here -
I think this is a great idea and the reason why is because I think it is time for the world to know what is truly up with this family. We have all read the crazy stories and have tried to understand the very dysfunctional ways of this family. Now, we will probably have answers to the very questions we have about how this family operates. We may also understand what in the world was Alejandra thinking having children with two brothers from the same family. This makes for great television without the fighting because the Jacksons are not ratchet. Ghetto and country, yes, but hoodrat and ratchet, no....
Anyway, I also feel that it is a good idea because the show can help Michael's niece and nephews promote their careers. There are some Jacksons that think that they can be in the entertainment business just because their parents are/were. Some of them can sing like Austin and some have acted like Jermaine Jr. and Stevanna. Some even modeled like Brandi and Paris. However, there are some Jacksons that might need to lay off the entertainment ride until they really, truly want to be serious. Jaafar and Jermajesty want to sing and so does Genevieve. I have heard Genevieve sing but..... at least she sounds better than Rihanna. I can give her that. This reality show can help them get their suppose talent out there and let the whole world see what they have. Also, it can possibly pay for the child support that Jermaine refuses to give Alejandra. Let's not ever forget those stories because that in itself is pathetic.
Of course, the announcement that the Jacksons were doing a reality show did not rubbed well with some fans and even family members. There were fans that were bothered that the reality show will air on the REELZ network, the same network that aired a couple of nasty specials on Michael. I do not like the idea that the show will be on this network. They could have chosen E! or Tv One but why a reject looking network is a mystery to me. There was a report from eurweb.com that states that Katherine is not happy about the reality show and do not want Michael's children to be a part of it. You can read it here -
I also think that the reason why Katherine does not support the idea is because she does not want her family to be trashed any more longer. If you ever read Jermaine's second wife, Margaret Malanardo's (sp) book, you will know what I am talking about. There is really nothing Katherine can do about it because the show is scheduled to air on November 18th and I will be watching the show and probably doing a review about a couple of episodes. No offense to Katherine, but this is an issue that she needs to let go.
Jermaine on OWN's Where Are They Now
Jermaine will find so many ways to get on television and talk about himself and of course anything Michael. So, it is not surprising that Jermaine did an interview with Oprah for her show Where Are They Now where he talk about his life, Michael, probably Michael's kids because why talk about Jermaine's children, two he does not pay child support on and Michael's music being released after his murder. After watching the interview, I did not think it was that bad. He basically talked about his life and upbringing, Michael, his children, that Hologram and what he felt about the Xscape album.
I agreed with most of the things he stated except when he talked about the album. I believe that Michael would have put hip hop influences in any album that he would have done if he was with us today. Michael has done that before with the Bad, Dangerous, History and Invincible album. I also sensed that Jermaine felt bothered when he was talking about being reached for the album. Why would the Estate need to reach him? Jermaine never worked on any of Michael's music and he would have no say on his music. The Estate would go to the children or Katherine because they are the beneficiaries of the Estate.
When he was asked about the children, Jermaine stated that he was close with them but if that was the case, how come he did not know if Paris was living with her mother or not? Paris was never living with Debbie and has since returned back home to her family. Jermaine should have known that but he was focused on his own "career". Speaking of career, when Jermaine was asked about Michael becoming a solo artist and his view on that, Jermaine seemed to be cool with the fact that his brother was a solo artist. However, I do not know if he was doing that for show or if he was genuine about his feelings. I do know that he feels that Michael would be nothing without the Jackson 5/Jacksons. If that is not the sound of a jealous man, then I do not know what is. Finally, the real reason for the interview was for Jermaine and his wife, Halima, to promote their Vita Water charity. Whatever.
My Communication with the Michael Jackson Estate
After three years of my criticisms of the Estate executors of the Michael Jackson Estate, I decided to contact Alicia from the Estate. The reason why is because I have questions that I wanted to ask her. I asked her about the REELZ network airing a documentary on Michael's autopsy, the lack of stopping the MJ Bodyguards book from being published because it violated the confidentiality agreements they had with Michael and his children, if there will there be a Dangerous 25 celebration and if the media will ever be held accountable for the defamation of Michael's good name. This is what she told me -
Regarding the REELZ autopsy documentary, I was told
"The Estate is as outraged as the fans that broadcasters continue to schedule that salacious and disrespectful program but all they can do (and have done) is voice their disgust to those involved with the production and exhibition of the programming."
Regarding the media taking accountability for the defamation of Michael's good name,
"The Executors remain disappointed the REELZ network elected to air this sleazy tabloid program that exploits Michael's tragic and untimely death in a cynical and desperate attempt to attract viewers but also have no interest in drawing more attention to the abhorrent behavior and statements by REELZ or others in the media which are made daily to attract readership. Responding publicly to these actions, rumors, etc. the Estate would only lend credence to the stories and extend the time and attention they garner."
Regarding trying to stop the release of the MJ Bodyguards book because they violated the confidentiality agreements they had with Michael and his children,
"To the extent that there are legal remedies available to the Estate to stop the production and distribution of unauthorized materials, be it television programs, books, etc., the Estate’s legal counsel takes appropriate action. We are not in a position to share with you detailed legal analysis of the issues."
Finally, in regards to my question of any possible celebration for the Dangerous album when it reaches the 25th year in 2016,
"As for future projects, the Estate is fully focused on promoting Xscape at the current time and have made no announcements regarding any future projects."Interesting.
MJ B-Day L.O.V.E
As we all know, August 29th of this year would have been Michael's 56th birthday. Sadly, I did not do a tribute to him because of unexpected technical issues with my beloved laptop. However, that did not stop me from checking out the various tributes people had for Michael. When it was Michael's birthday, the fans were on a high and social media truly showcased the love that occurred on Michael's day. I gathered images, video and blogs posts/articles from social media and I want to share them with you all.
Siedah Garrett went to Italy to celebrate Michael's birthday with his legions of dedicated fans. She posted the pictures on her official Facebook page. You can click on the link to see the pictures for yourselves.
Debbie Allen posted a picture on her official Facebook page of her and Michael from his 21st birthday.
She stated this about him -
"Such great memories of celebrating Michael Jackson's 21st Birthday at Studio 54! Happy Birthday Michael! We miss and love you! #FlashbackFriday"https://www.facebook.com/24273155503/photos/a.281841655503.325233.24273155503/10154549333515504/?type=1
Brad Sundberg (In the Studio With MJ) posted his moving tribute on his Facebook page (a must read)
This comment that Brad stated, moved me:
"One story I will never forget was him telling of flying with his dad and brothers through a lightening storm at night. The plane was being tossed around, lightening was flashing, and he started crying in fear. His dad ignored him, embarrassed. A flight attendant sat with until the plane cleared the storm. Hearing him tell that story, with tears in his eyes, gave another glimpse into his remarkable, often mis-understood life."You can read the rest of his tribute here -
From blogger, AfroBella, a great read about three songs from Michael that have more meaning in the current events:
This quote hit the nail about Michael's classic song, "Jam",
"Who knew Jam was so deep? To my mind this song was more about dancing and basketball than a message about the need for unity and community to combat against apathy and destruction."Very true.
Joe Jackson's tribute to his son from his official website -
"I am glad to see that millions all over the world are celebrating Michael’s birthday. It is more proof that together we are keeping his legacy going strong. I would like to thank everyone for all their continued support and kind words. Lets remember what he truly cared most about in his life, helping others and strive to make him proud."
Vibe magazine -
Writer Keith Murphy talked about how Michael's classic song, "Remember The Time" from the iconic Dangerous album, made the already popular music genre New Jack Swing, reach international heights -
"'Remember The Time' peaked at no. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 on March 7, 1992, but topped the R&B charts as Jackson's first no. 1 single since Bad's "Another Part of Me." Yet the track's overall reach was clear as it hit the top 10 in more than 11 countries. Jackson had taken Riley's New Jack Swing to new global heights making the newest era of rhythm and blues into the go-to pop sound."You can read the rest of the article here -
There was a blog post that I read this past weekend that was about the Bad album. The post was not published on Michael's birthday but I wanted to mentioned it because it was so on point. The blogger, Mr. Chocolate Teddy Bear or Choco, wrote on how the Bad album became personal to him. There was one comment that he stated that almost made me want to say, "THIS!"
"When people tell me that they think Michael Jackson was an asexual being, I point them to The way you make me feel – I point them to the video and more specifically the dance break which he helped choreographed. This song, the second on the album is all the proof you need that he is breaking from the Disney-like image of his past.The way you make me feel is a bedroom jam, make no bones about it. The song could be playing while you’re doing your business with your lover and it wouldn’t feel out of place – trust me, I’m speaking from experience. I find the fact that he got away with this track, in Ronald Reagan’s American no less, to be hilarious – especially because the album sold around 40m copies."You can read the rest of the blog post here -
There was so much love for Michael on twitter that I could not possibly collect all of the tweets and post them on this entry. The tweets, except for one, were mostly moving and loving. There are even tweets of the Gary, Indiana MJ B-Day bash and the Brooklyn Block Party .
I have to be honest, when I saw this tweet, I thought this was very heartless and was more of marketing their books instead of celebrating his life. I am not trying to start anything because I have nothing against Zack Greenburg, I even have his book on Michael, but I thought it would be more touching if he posted a picture of Michael being Michael instead of whatever he posted.
There are a few pictures of Michael's children at Gary, Indiana that were posted on twitter that were not from the original poster. I can't really give credit to the fans who posted the pictures that aren't theirs.
Family, friends and celebrities paid tribute to Michael during his birthday over at their Instagram accounts. Here are some that I really liked:
Students doing a tribute to MJ using the song "Xscape" -
Footage of the MJ celebration in Gary, Indiana -
There were a lot of sad moments during the time between my last blog post and the current one. I want to start with Robin Williams' shocking death because I noticed that he and Michael were very similar. Both men had three children, one daughter, who they loved more than anything. Both men were very talented, creative and geniuses in their own craft. Both men had huge fan bases and were humanitarians.
However, I cannot forget the many off-putting jokes that Robin Williams made on Michael that made me take a break from his work for a while. I was always a huge fan of Robin but I did not like his jokes about Michael and so I had to make my choice. The choice I made was to ignore Robin for a while. I liked Michael more and he was truly suffering and Robin was not going through constant media harassment and liars being paid to lie on him on a daily basis. I have to admit, I was a huge fan of his last television show, The Crazy Ones, and I watched every episode. When it canceled, I was not happy about that.
The crazy thing about death is that when someone you do like do passed away, you forget all of the things that you did not like about the person. I did not think about what Robin stated about Michael, but rather, I was too upset to care what he stated. To me, it did not matter because he was now deceased and his children, widow, friends and fans were going through too much sorrow. Instead of having a grudge over Robin Williams jokes on Michael, I rather celebrate his work like I celebrated Michael's.
The sick string of unarmed, young black men being shot at for no reason has been bothering me to the core. Michael Brown's death is not only a nightmare but a sad reality that the racism in America will never go away. Michael Brown was born in the same year that Michael's iconic song, "They Don't Care About Us" was released as a single. The song dealt with so many issues: police brutality, racism, bias, discrimination, etc. Who would have thought that the horror of the Michael Brown tragedy would happen 18 years after the released of that powerful song? You would have thought that after the released of that powerful song that people would listen to the song and learned from it. However, they did not and currently the police officer that shot Michael Brown, Darren Wilson, still have not been charged for his murder.
Finally, it is always sad to read or hear news of a fellow Moonwalker who have passed away. When I heard that Maria Fernandes died, it broke my heart. I have never heard of her until her untimely death. I was even more heartbroken when I read how she died and it got me thinking about a lot of things. One of the things I was thinking about was how cruel is it that she had to work three jobs and still did not make enough. When we live in a time where porn star celebrities make millions for being self serving idiots, people like Maria have to struggle just to make ends met. I was also thinking about how people who knew her described her reminded me that even though there are some idiots that are in the fan community, there are people who had a heart of gold and really cared about the fans. Lastly, I was thinking about how some of the fans raised money to pay for her funeral. At times, I forget that we are a community and because of the constant bickering with one another, when one of us are in trouble, we do come together and help one another.
Overall, when you think about Michael's legacy, you think about the fact that he was a good person who will help anyone that needed the help. A man who sang about the social ills of the modern day so that people can understand the suffering of other people. A man who raised three children and mentored young people to become respectable, reason citizens of society. A man who have members of his fan community that never forgot what he preached through his craft and applied it to their lives. Michael was about what we can be as a human race and what we should be as a human race. Witnessing the many tributes on Michael on his birthday showed the power of what it means to be a decent person. Thank God for Michael Jackson.
"Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch Restored, Prepped for Sale", Marc Schinder, billboard.com,
"Michael Jackson's Extended Family Gets Reality Show", Liz Raftery, tvguide.com, http://www.tvguide.com/news/michael-jackson-family-reality-show-alejandra-1084256.aspx
"Michael's Kids Not Allowed On Jacksons Reality Show, Katherine Nixes It, eurweb.com, http://www.eurweb.com/2014/08/michaels-kids-not-allowed-on-jackson-family-reality-katherine-nixes-it-watch/
"3 Michael Jackson Songs that Mean More That Ever Before", Afrobella.com,
"Happy Birthday Michael", jwjackson.com,
"Happy Birthday MJ: How 'Remember The Time' Reminds Us of Michael Jackson's Greatness", Keith Murphy, vibe.com,
"When Bad Became Personal", Mr. Chocolate Teddy-Bear, chocolatefilms.wordpress.com,
My email to Alicia from the MJOnlineTeam
Sideah Garrett's tribute to Michael posted on her official Facebook page -
Debbie Allen's tribute -
Brad Sundberg's tribute -
The tweets from the famous people are from their verified accounts.
The picture of Prince and Paris posing with @aneerbas mother came from the person's personal account.
The pictures of TJ, Austin, Prince, Paris and Blanket came from @Jeremy_Horn personal twitter account.
The remaining pictures of Michael's children are not from the actual twitter handles. It is unknown who took the pictures.
The instagram pictures came from their official accounts.
The videos of the tribute to "Xscape" and the MJ Celebration in Gary, Indiana came from youtube.com
The pictures came from my personal hard drive and a google.com search.