A House Divided Cannot Stand

There is a good reason why, as a general rule, I try to avoid the politics and in-house fighting that has been splitting the MJ global fan-mily asunder for some time. I prefer to keep this site and my energies focused on writing about Michael Jackson. And if I do happen to write about what fans are doing, it is only to promote something positive that a group or individual has undertaken. I try to avoid the negative energy that comes with smear campaigns.  The only individuals you will ever see getting bad-mouthed on this website are people like Diane Dimond, Martin Bashir, Evan Chandler, Janet Arvizo, Tom Sneddon, etc., etc. In other words, I prefer to save my vitriol for the ones who truly deserve it.

But over the last few days, I have felt compelled to speak out about something that has made me very sad. I read a lot of MJ websites and blogs-in fact, there are a few I follow religiously. I have also gotten to know many very good people within the MJ global community; good people whose hearts I know are pure, and who have come into this with one intention only-to fight for Michael’s vindication and good name.

Yet it seems more and more that these people are having to divert time and energy away from their good works in order to defend their own reputations against slander. Inevitably, the subject of  Michael Jackson is taking up less and less space on their websites and social network pages, as instead, they are having to devote more and more space to defending themselves against unwarranted attacks. Sometimes these slanderous attacks are coming from hater groups; but what’s even sadder is that, more often, they are not. They are coming from others within the fan community.

I’m not going to name any names here. But it does make me very sad to see so many good people-people who have worked tirelessly in Michael’s defense-now having to use all of their resources to defend themselves. Vindicating Michael has had to devote numerous posts to defending their reputation against the slanderous attacks made against the administrators of Vindicating Michael on Topix.  Charles Thomson, whose articles in support of Michael’s innocence have been a beacon of light in the usually sewage-filled waters of journalism, was almost forced to give up his efforts after being viciously attacked and slandered from within the fan community.  Not too long ago, Deborah Kunesh, whose website Reflections On The Dance is one of the most lovingly put together and informative websites on Michael Jackson to be found, was forced to consider taking down her ROTD Facebook page because of slanderous attacks. And most recently, I was saddened to read of attacks made against Rev. Catherine Gross, yet another person whom I know has worked tirelessly on Michael’s behalf.

Why is this happening? When it comes from the outside (i.e, haters) it’s easier to understand. I know, for example, that what is happening with Vindicating Michael is a direct result of some very nasty people who got their li’l feathers ruffled because VM exposed them for what they are-and rebutted a lot of their hater nonsense. Well, it takes a lot of courage to stand up for the truth. And sometimes, unfortunately, persecution is part of the price for standing up for truth.

But it’s far more disturbing to me when the vitriol and slander comes from within our own fan community. It’s nothing new, of course. I had no sooner joined my first online MJ fan community, back in July of 2009, when dissension rose among the ranks. It started with This Is Not It, which some fans supported; others vehemently opposed. From there, it just seemed the fights got uglier and uglier, as fingers started pointing and people determining who was or wasn’t a “real” fan, depending on their partisan views.  I can only imagine this sort of thing was probably going on long before 2009, but Michael’s death, I’m sure, made it worse. As long as Michael was here, he could speak out and let the fans know how he truly felt. But without his guidance, his fans have been left to wander a dissolute and divided path. After June 25th, 2009, emotions were raw, and the tensions over who/what was responsible for his death drove a wedge between many. Those wounds have not yet healed, and a lot of what we’re seeing now still stems from those tensions.

In the old days, things weren’t so complicated. I remember being part of a lot of fan groups back in the day. But the best we could do then was  exchange “pen pal” letters via snail mail. There was none of the instant gratification that comes with being able to  instantaneously slander someone via cyberspace; we didn’t have blogs to air all our dirty laundry, or social network sites where we could instantly garner an army against an individual-and have an audience!  And it goes without saying that we didn’t have cesspools like Topix to help carry out our dirty work.

Personal Animosity Seems To Be The #1 Culprit...But Where Does It End?

In 99% of these cases, the slander begins with personal animosity between individuals. But what starts as a personal disagreement soon involves hundreds-then thousands-as these people publicly bicker, publicly air their dirty laundry against each other, and garner followers into their respective corners. This is how these things begin, as I said, in almost every instance.

Pretty soon it isn’t even about who is “right” or ‘wrong” anymore, but rather, who has the most followers in their corner.

But let’s look at the example of Michael Jackson himself. There were very few instances in his life where he really spoke out against anyone who had wronged him, even though we know he could have easily called out hundreds who hurt, betrayed, and backstabbed him in some way. As for those few individuals that Michael did call out publicly, we can count them on one hand-his father Joseph, Tommy Mottola, Martin Bashir, Tom Sneddon,and perhaps one or two others. But all told, over a lifespan of fifty years and a public career of forty years, that is not many. He never badmouthed his brother Jermaine publicly, even though Jermaine wrote Word To The Badd. When Latoya decided to make her own private spat with Michael into a public spectacle with her ridiculous claims in ’93, Michael never spoke out publicly against his sister, never went on TV to call her a liar (even though privately he was very, very hurt and betrayed by her words), and in the end, forgave her. Michael could have easily had his own press conference to call his sister out and publicly proclaim her a liar. I’m sure all he had to do was pick up the phone, and he could have made it happen. But he didn’t. Because that wasn’t his way.

In the end, I’m sure he was probably glad that he took the high road. Engaging in a public war with his siblings would have solved nothing. It would have only depleted his energy and his focus and piled on a lot of unnecessary hurt as even more unforgiveable things might have been said in public. A war of words can only escalate once it’s ever engaged.

I wish that more would follow Michael’s example, and realize that this is not what honoring his legacy is supposed to be all about. If you have a personal disagreement with someone, why not try resolving it privately rather than turning it into a public spectacle in his name?

I also want to say that I do applaud exposing scammers and those who have deliberately and intentionally scammed MJ fans. But keep in mind that there are always two sides to every story. This is why I do not just immediatly jump on the bashing bandwagon when an individual is under attack. If someone has deliberately conned fans, then they get what they deserve. Sometimes, of course, it’s possible that a person may start out with the best of intentions to fulfill a project, but things go wrong. It doesn’t pan out, for whatever reason. It happens, even to the best of us. Sometimes we may simply get involved in a project only to realize we’ve bitten off more than we can chew (God knows it has happened to me, too many times to count).

But the answer to that is simple. JUST BE HONEST. If you start up a campaign that involves ANY type of fund raising, be up front about where the money is going, who it’s going to, and what it’s to be used for. And if you’ve taken anyone’s money and cannot fulfill what you promised FOR ANY REASON then return their money or at the very least, offer an alternative option. Keep receipts of everything, so you can account for where the money goes if ever questioned. It’s that simple.

And to fans, be wary, especially of fundraising projects and charities in Michael’s name. You’ve heard this often enough. Most charitable campaigns in Michael’s name are probably legit and well-intentioned, but a good many are not. You know the old saying about a fool and his money. This is also why I am very cautious about MJ-related projects that I choose to endorse. I get a lot of requests, every day, to help endorse this or that cause; or this or that project. I will only choose to endorse those campaigns that I truly feel in my heart are honoring Michael’s legacy in the right way. If I get a bad vibe (I’m a firm believer in trusting my gut instincts!) then I don’t do it. While I like to believe that all fans (or those who claim to be fans) live by Michael’s example, the simple truth is that some do not. Be wary, and you won’t be taken.

Thirdly, I somewhat suspect that another motive behind the mud slinging is jealousy. As much as it saddens me to even think this-let alone to write it-I think there are a very few who are jealous of the following that some manage to achieve within the fan community. It boggles my mind when I see some bloggers publicly attacking other bloggers, when we’re all fighting on the same team-or are supposed to be!

It's No Coincidence That This Image Originally Came From An Article Entitled "The Culture War Comes For Michael Jackson," A 2009 Article About Peter King And The War Within The House of Representatives Over Honoring Michael Jackson. It Should Serve As A Reminder That This War Is Much Bigger Than Ourselves Or Our Individual Battles

The fight to vindicate Michael Jackson, to clear his name, or even to simply get truthful, honest information about him to the public is a HUGE battle. Why on earth some people would choose to weaken the ranks by trying to undermine and tear asunder our joint efforts; by attempting to discredit those who are fighting the hardest or loudest, really has to make one wonder. What are their motives, exactly?

I am sure I can speak for the experience of every little MJ blogger out there who plugs away many tireless hours doing what we do. I get no money, no compensation for this, other than the sheer love of writing about a human being who fascinates me. I enjoy analyzing his art, his music, his cultural impact, and his life. Sometimes it might mean that we have cold cuts for dinner that night and the dishes have to sit in the sink, but it’s all for love and the satisfaction I get when I hit that “submit” button and know that my words will help someone out there understand a little better who Michael Jackson was, and what his life represented.

It really takes the joint effort of all of us, working together, to make a difference. Additionally, I LOVE the fact that almost every MJ blog has its own, unique flavor, and that every blog  reflects the area of expertise of the person(s)  behind it. I know, for example, where I can go when I want to read the most informative articles about the allegations, or where I can go to get the best coverage of the trial and death investigation; who has the best dirt on Sony; who has the best compilation archives; who has the best stories on Michael Jackson as humanitarian and philanthropist; who has the real lowdown on Michael’s love life, and where to go for the best heartwarming, personal stories from those who knew him best.

So you see, it takes all of us, working together, to complete the mosaic. Undermining each other achieves nothing except to weaken our strength, divide our numbers, and ultimately, defeat our purpose.

It's Time We Get The Focus Back On What Matters Here

I avoid partisanship like the plague because my only goal here is to present unbiased and impartial information about an artist I love and admire. I don’t engage in conspiracy theories because I have no interest in things that I can’t prove or back up with verifiable facts. I take my journalism background seriously enough to know that I am ultimately responsible for what I put “out there” in cyberspace, good or bad. My personal motto has always been, let’s just put aside our differences here and celebrate the life and legacy of Michael Joseph Jackson! That has always been my philosophy, and one I will continue to abide by.

I just wanted to write this to remind everyone that we need to be a lot kinder to each other. And as a reminder to myself, because I’m human and sometimes allow myself to get too caught up in all the drama as well. But ultimately, I never come away feeling very good about myself when I allow that to happen. And moving forward, I am making the effort to have it happen a lot less.

Remember, Michael said, “Tell the person next to you that you love them. Tell them you care.”

I am writing this to tell you all that I love you, and I care.

I don’t like to see anyone hurt-especially not in the name of Michael Jackson!

2012 is still a new year, and it’s not too late to make a resolution. Maybe we can make a resolution to be a lot kinder to each other, to put aside our personal differences and animosities, and start concentrating on what matters here. Remember, Michael said there is nothing that can’t be done if we raise our voice as one. He didn’t say if we raise our voice as two, or three, or four divided. He said as one.

26 thoughts on “A House Divided Cannot Stand”

  1. Thank you! Well said. It’s upetting to see fans judge and argue, when Michael was about solutions, love and growth. Not to be selfish in our wants and feelings.. to respect others, and find a way to live together. He taught us differences were not a thing to start war over, and all answers can come from love – because love wears many hats. People need to stop and think of the big picture. What is really at the core of their statements. Love is more than four little letters. It is an existance. And is full of possibility and genuine satisfation.

  2. Big, big THANK YOU, Raven, for this. It’s so sad that this is an ongoing problem within the fan community. I’m so grateful that my search for truth about MJ led me to the right people – MJ supporters like you and your fellow bloggers who stand for truth and integrity and unity, and not to people who distract me from the big picture.

  3. Raven, I don’t say this enough but I love every single thing you write!

    I’m constantly surprised at the squabbles – especially the really heated ones – but then again if you think of the MJ fan-base as a family, families do tend to squabble – even viciously at times. And it is far too easy for it to happen. People voice their opinions very strongly and seemingly with little regard for those who read them that don’t share that viewpoint. Then if they are challenged they get defensive and attack back. And hey presto – you’ve got a feud on your hands!

    The emotions vested in being a Michael Jackson fan – and the sheer number of us fans – probably mean that conflicts are unavoidable. That’s not to say I wish it wasn’t so!

    1. Yes, MJ fans tend to be very passionate-which is a good thing! Our passion is what has enabled us to do a lot of good work, and to achieve things some thought were impossible. I remember when it was still being debated whether the Gardner school should uncover Michael’s name from the auditorium. There were a lot of cynics saying, “Oh, those crazy MJ fans, there they go again. That school isn’t going to uncover his name; every parent in that district will be up in arms. They’ll never allow it.” Well, look what happened! If we listened to all the negative naysayers, we would never accomplish anything. MJ fans don’t, and that’s what I love about them. I love their compassion; their sense of caring; even the occasional volatility that comes with passion.

      What I DON’T love is seeing people tear each other down. But yeah, some conflict is going to be unavoidable. I just wish sometimes that the internet didn’t make it so darn easy to do.

      I guess a good analogy is to compare it to when I first became an enrolled member of the Echota Cherokee tribe (the Echotas are state recognized, but not federally recognized). I’m part Cherokee but had not been raised in the culture, which had been pretty much decimated here since the time of the Removal. Growing up, I didn’t know any other Indian children. I knew very little about the culture. At the time I joined the tribe, I had just seen Dances With Wolves and my head was filled with all these romantic ideals of what it meant to be an Indian. I thought all Indians were beautiful people who loved Mother Earth; I thought everyone who walked The Red Path, or claimed to, would be full of love and harmony for each other and their fellow man (can you hear the strains of “Aquarius” playing here, lol?). I was excited to have an extended family, and full of hope and idealism. I was also very full of baloney!

      Well, reality was a cruel slap in the face. I learned it was just like everything else. Sooner or later, politics splits everyone; divides loyalties. I met a lot of good people, but just as many turned out to be gossipping backstabbers (and trust me, sometimes nothing brings out the worst in people like being in a too close-knit environment where everyone knows everyone else). Pretty soon I didn’t even know who my real friends were-and who were my enemies! So much for romantic idealism. I actually took a step away for many years. I stopped going to the meetings. I stopped dancing at powwows. Then came graduate school, and I was away from home for several years. It took me a long time and much soul searching to come back into that fold. I’m still not as actively involved as I used to be, but I’ve embraced it now as part of my life-only now, I keep my sense of balance. It doesn’t consume my whole life, and nothing those people can say hurts now because I know I have the option of being able to walk away-and being just fine with that choice!

      But when I look back on it now, I realize it was a very important learning experience. I’ve taken from it what was useful, and what has enriched my life; the rest I’ve allowed, over time, to roll off my back. The people I met who were my true friends, are still my friends. I still have a wonderful, extended family that I’m proud to be a part of-but along the way, I had to learn a lot of hard lessons.

      So in a way, being part of the MJ global fan-mily for me is very similar. I came into it with a lot of idealism; over time, some of that idealism became tarnished because of so many ugly things I saw happen. But the good has made it all worthwhile, and just like my experience with the tribe, the good is what I will take from it.

      Then you look at Michael’s family, The Jacksons. They are a huge family that fights as fiercely as they love. That’s always been my impression of them. They have torn each other to bits with some pretty sharp claws, but when it comes to outsiders tearing them down, they are always there for each other. So I guess that’s another good analogy to show how families can both fight and love, at the same time.

  4. The fandom is very much self-focused these days. I guess people have discussed most of the things they could think of about Michael, and now turned to blaming/defending each other, or people from his circle (like Frank Cascio) instead. I almost stopped reading blogs and fanboards because of that. It just goes completely off-topic for me.

    The trap is, once you start publicly defending yourself against someone, you are making it about you, not Michael. And others who read your blog because of Michael see it as if you were inserting yourself into the picture. Because your blog was Michael-centric and now it’s all about you. And there is absolutely no point in it. People who read your blog – they know you’re good, and people who don’t read it – they will not see your rebuttal abyway. All you achieve by that is attracting everyone’s attention to the slanderous resourse or person.

    I try to keep the focus of my blog on MJ, and when I have nothing to say or no new thoughts or materials, I’d rather just keep quiet. And if I want to rant about the fandom, I do it in friends-only posts, because I know outside people will not be interested in my opinion on that. They come to remember and honor Michael.

    1. Morinen, yes, that’s a very good point. With every story I write, one of the first things I always ask myself is, How will this read to a non-fan, or to someone who maybe has just happened to stumble across the blog; maybe someone doing casual research on MJ who just happens to find this story via a Google search? I also get a fair amount of “cross reference” traffic. For example, I’ve done stories where I’ve examined the influence of William Wordsworth, or drawn parallels between Michael and other celebs like Marilyn Monroe and Johnny Depp, so I get the traffic from people researching those artists as well. So even though I know it is mostly hardcore fans who read the blog, I always try to keep in mind that a small percentage of my readers are not. My uppermost thought usually becomes: What might those people take away from this story, if anything? How might it help educate them in some way? One of the most common complaints I hear from some bloggers is that sometimes it feels like we’re just preaching to the choir. In other words, what purpose does it really serve to go to all the effort to write in-depth articles about the allegations when we know that 99% of our readers already believe he’s innocent, anyway? But then, we have to consider that 1% who may be on the fence or thinks he was guilty. The way I look at is is that if I can reach even one of those people, I’ve done my duty.

      It’s not often here that I take the focus off of Michael-and trust me, it’s not something I enjoy doing. It’s just that it’s made me very sad over the last few months to see so many having to take time out to defend themselves, rather than being able to focus their attention on doing what they do best. I understand their reasons for doing this because when you feel like your credibility is under attack, people will begin to doubt and question everything you write. Credibility is probably the single most important asset that any writer or researcher can have, so it’s human nature to become defensive when it is threatened.

      But yes, the downfall of that is that it takes the spotlight off of Michael, and really, that spotlight needs to be on him. Casual readers who come to our sites aren’t interested in fan drama; they are interested in learning something about Michael Jackson. And even if they’re not (if, for example, they only stumble upon the site by accident and leave it as quickly) we still have, maybe, a few seconds to leave an impression with that reader. What are they going to take from that? That Michael Jackson was a great humanitarian; an innocent man; an artist worthy of serious study-or that his fans can’t stop fighting amongst themselves long enough to decide?

      Hopefully this will be the last time I have to address this issue. It was just something I needed to get out of my system, lol.

      1. You are very right about that 1%. Also what I’ve seen is that not all fans know the same stuff and understand the same stuff, even if it may seem so. Many people don’t have much time to read and research about Michael, or they are simply not as well educated to understand some things in the big historical picture. So by drawing these parallels, by presenting information in a sturctured way and highlighting certain areas you let those fans understand him and his place better, and maybe they will be able to better communicate it to their friends or defend him. And that (for me) is the whole point of talking about him – to help him be understood and appreciated as he deserves.

  5. I don’t know the history of name calling and accusing Zimmerman/Deborah of being dishonest (and I don’t think they are at all), however, I don’t think they should be shocked that many fans want to know exactly how their money is being spent. It is foolish to give money to something blindly to every cause related to Michael. Look at the William Waggoner documentary thing..what is going on with that? Will he refund everyone’s donation if he can’t get it off the ground?

    Funding a hospital is BIG. Very expensive undertaking with alot of regulations. Michael dreamed big, but it doesn’t mean that everything he wanted to do was even possible. It would be wonderful if Michael can get a children’s hospital in his name, but there are going to be alot of obstacles to get to this point…funding (may take more than selling some paintings), private donations, fighting the protestors that you know are going to come (let’s face it, until Michael is vindicated publicly for those false allegations there are many people who don’t want to see Michael’s name attached to anything involving children–sad to say, but you know they are there).

    I think it’s a beautiful gesture and if all you can get is a nice painting out of it–so be it. But they should not be surprised at the inquiries to how they are going to do this with a business sense and not just a heart sense. Michael didn’t get where we was by only his heart…he also knew the business. I love Deborah’s blog and think she is sweet so people should’t accuse them of being dishonest, but at the same time she needs to thicken her skin when asking people to financially support a project that seems insurmountable.

    1. I wasn’t even aware about the hospital donations, though I know the Michael Jackson Children’s Memorial Hospital has been an ongoing project for some fans ever since the trial. (In relation to Deborah Kunesh, I was actually referencing something that I remembered from several months back, which may or may not have been related to this) but that all goes back to exactly what I was saying. If people are upfront from the get-go about where the money is going, what it will be used for, and what options are available if the project doesn’t pan out, then there should be no problem.

      If William Wagner’s project doesn’t pan out, then certainly he should refund everyone’s money or give them the option of letting the money go for another good cause in Michael’s name. That would be only fair.

      Yeah, things can always get sticky when money is involved. That was part of what I hoped to get across. Controversy and misunderstanding can be avoided on both ends with a little common sense and communication.

      I also tend to shy away from causes that, even though well intentioned, just seem hopelessly unrealistic. I actually do not think the hospital is an unrealistic goal, but it’s one that will take many years and a lot of money. Every plan has to start with a dream, but from there, it has to become a matter of how to realistically achieve that goal. In a few days, I’m going to be posting an interview with a fan from Italy who has had a dream of a hospital for the treatment of children with genetic diseases-a dream she had long before the trial and Murray’s audio recording. She’s not asking for money; she simply has a dream and is looking for ways and ideas on how to best implement it. I’ve also been wanting to do something to help bring more awareness to the sad state of the proposed museum in Gary (the town is really in dire need of preserving what remains of the Jackson legacy there, other than just the house-for example, many of the clubs where Michael first performed have been razed; the hospital where he was born is now just a crumbling, abandoned building in sad disrepair) but I have held off for the time being because without a viable, concrete plan in place with the city’s full cooperation and effort, it’s pointless to undertake such a project. However, projects like that, I think, are realistic goals where fans could really make a difference. But yes, a lot of potential problems can be avoided by not putting the cart before the horse.

      1. I also would love to see Gary restored. I live a little over an hour away and when I go to the home in June and August, I am dismayed by all the crumbling buildings and boarded up homes.

        They have a new mayor and I see her talking on the local news about how she wants to build up the city. We’ll see.

  6. Thank you for the article ! It´s all so sad, the divide began shortly after his death, when the pain did wear off, but still then there was always a reason to stick together like the trial, the DC-Documentary, the media and several other things ! Since the end of the trial it got worse. There is no longer a common “enemy” any more and the fans began to focus on each other. I am not so familar what happened between some fans and I really don´t want to know. But some of the fans I am friends with on facebook have allready left the fan-community.

    1. Having that “common enemy” does seem to make a difference. Mainly, I think it’s because it keeps people focused. But maybe there’s another way we could look at this also. Do we really need “a common enemy” when we’re supposed to have a common focus in someone we all love? At what point is that no longer enough? I guess that’s the real question.

  7. @appleh, I agree with your comment about the absence of a common “enemy” (Murray). Fans want to continue to seek justice and vindication for Michael with everyone voicing his or her own opinion as to what is appropriate. Perhaps the Estate in consultation with Michael’s mother should consider opening up a couple of “approved” charities to which fans could contribute in Michael’s name, pending final settlement of the Estate and distribution to Michael’s selected charities pursuant to his will. In other words, give the fans a legit outlet for charity in Michael’s name. However although the Estate is governed under probate law there are always fans vehemently opposed to anything the Estate does, so sounds like a catch 22 to me. I’ve wondered whatever happened to the part of the Wales tribute (not Estate sanctioned) that was to go to Aids Project Los Angeles. APLA most likely never saw a dime with the promoter going broke.

    1. I don’t know if you mean the pic at top or the one with hands over face. The pic at the top I chose because of the “We’ve Had Enough” lyric. The hands over face pic came from here:


      It looks like his hands to me. It’s a photo that’s been used on a lot of MJ sites.

  8. It is sad to see such a divide within the fan community. We shouldn’t be fighting with each other, we should be fighting against all the injustice towards Michael, we still have a common goal to reach. MaximumJackson (MaxJax) has closed down, till further notice. The forum had become an ugly place, people lost their purpose of joining the forum = Michael.

    1. I didn’t know MaximumJackson had closed down. What a shame! You see, this is exactly what I’m talking about. That’s one less presence for MJ on the internet now, and for what reason? So sad.

      My boyfriend keeps trying to tell me that I should turn this site into a forum. That’s exactly the very reason I refuse to even consider it. The responsibility of moderating a forum always means, sooner or later, having to moderate fights and disputes. No, thanks! Don’t need the headache, lol. I appreciate those who have the tenacity for it, but not my thing.

  9. It more than just a divide of our community. There is an element of fear of being viciously attacked for having an opposing view and mistrust, not knowing who is truly here for Michael.

    There are fewer on the sites, FB & Twitter these days and it is not just because of the length of time btw Jun 25, 2012 and now. Fewer to ask for help starting or completing projects. Fewer to share interests and information with.

    Maximum Jackson had been hacked so many times since Dec 2010 I’ve lost count. (they were down during our Discovery protest) The Owner/Admin left a message where you could hear the sorrow in his voice over what had happened to the site and his having to shut it down.

    It would be a great pity for us to lose what made us the best there was. The strength in our numbers and the ability to come together in love when most needed.

  10. 2012 is still a new year and we have GOT to raise our voice as one like Michael said. Why are MJ fans arguing with each other? I hate it when that happens!! Michael’s goal was one goal only: Show love in people who need it.

  11. Rave;I like this site, I discovered today, I congratulate you.
    I fully agree with what you say about fans of Michael, I think that we must provide better if we actually love this artist and respected the legacy left to us.
    There are several “types” of fans, they are those who love Michael selflessly, recalling his music, his dance, his magnetism, also to the man who was, with his honesty, the man who gave everything to everyone without receiving anything in return, that was Michael.
    are the other blogger fans paying homage to it but with “economic interest through”, shed fans money to buy flowers for his crypt,-to my I have received by mail this order!-I also read in a site talking about badly TII team, but a few months just the opposite! When they previously said they were vultures to Michael, now they think otherwise. I read all day the press, and really it hurts a lot read things telling Michael in order to get money for the trash they write, pity me these people! I have come to write comments to certain newspapers and they published me my comment split by them should not to my point of view.
    Already spent much time of the death of Michael, and now do not write more comments of who killed him, who were the real culprits, how many people there are that he knows a lot of what happened and not speaking from relatives that were surrounding it that fatal 25/6, I do not I believe everything I read, I’ve been putting together my puzzle and yet not I’ve been able to finish it…
    I’m happy seeing so many people that he admires Michael, I see girls of 16 years that love him! I 30 years ago that I follow his life, his discography, I saw him at a concert, but it strikes me a few days ago I have as a very young girl friend on my fb wall!
    It is easy to talk bad about an artist , when he can not defend itself, but luckily we are fans we can answer them.

    1. In response to some of what you said, obviously there are many, many unanswered questions as to what happened to Michael. I don’t think there is anything wrong with exploring those questions. I just think that as bloggers (after all, we are not professional investigators or law enforcement) we obviously have to take care and responsibility for what we put out there. Speculating is one thing; trying to draw conclusive evidence and actually pointing fingers is another. That’s what I mainly try to avoid although I don’t begrudge what anyone else chooses to write about. However, this is the sort of thing that does often lead to fan division.

  12. Do you read innermichael.com? She might read your blog because she had a similar post after you wrote this one. This comment made alot of sense to me.

    Posted March 6, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    Robert said . . .

    Amazing post and video clip!

    I just want to talk about Michael Jackson (MJ) fans for a moment because I don’t think they should be excused from your thoughts above.

    I don’t believe all MJ fans understand his message or his legacy (simply L.O.V.E.) even though they’ve heard his music and lyrics. I agree his death motivated them but, some perpetuate the propaganda you discussed above.

    Take a moment to go on a MJ fan forum/blog and you will find an agenda. Some agendas are more obvious and some are more hidden but, the agenda is there. Some MJ fans are “re-interpreting” or narrowing his life/memory to serve their purposes. As you said above, they are shaping him in an image that is more befitting and receptive to them personally. He is nothing less than a deity to some and nothing more than a whore to others. Some only focus on a sensational moment(s) in his life while others place the blame for all of his life’s troubles on their victim of choice; thus, removing all personal accountability from this human male who lived his life on his terms.

    Bloggers/posters are often combative to other bloggers/posters that don’t agree with the image/agenda they are propagating. These personal images/agendas truly have nothing to do with MJ. They are not actually “vindicating” him at all. They may also be considered self serving “haters” who are more concerned with validating their own self image (that they reflect ONTO MJ) that is driven by their own ego.

    I also don’t believe the only role for a fan since MJ’s death is to vindicate him. This again focuses attention only on sensational moments of his life and Michael’s life was not only full of sensational moments. It was full, vast, and varied, just like his fans.”

    1. I haven’t seen the post on Inner Michael yet. I do try to keep up with all the other blogs as much as I can but obviously, running my own keeps me pretty busy so inevitably, I do miss some things. I am glad that many are speaking out on this topic.

      The above commentor does make some very valid points. And it’s so easy (because having a blog or website does give us a public forum, and therefore, somewhat of a position of power) to push an agenda. Some of us may even do it subconsciously. It’s easy to do. We read a few things, form an opinion, and suddenly we think we “know” who Michael Jackson was, what he thought, what he wanted, what he would agree with, etc. Some things are very clear because he made them clear, but others are murkier. And sometimes it’s the murkier areas that become problematic.

      The issue of “the blame game/victim” becomes especially sticky when writing about Michael. I understand what the poster is saying. And I agree to a large extent, we deny Michael much of his own humanity and even dignity as an adult human being when we attempt to shift all the burden of blame and responsibility onto others. But it becomes a bit of a conundrum because, while I realize Michael was a flawed human being, my purpose here isn’t to emphasize those flaws or to bash him over them. I figure there are plenty of places out there more than willing to do that, so my purpose here is to focus mostly on the positive and on building up a man that has been too often torn down. But I AM more interested in the truth about Michael rather than prettified illusions. My goal here is that I try to be balanced in presenting all sides of Michael; admittedly, some of what I write is more controversial to some fans (every time I do a story, for instance, that delves into his sexuality or relationships with women, I get some pretty heated debates from both sides of the coin) but that’s because I feel strongly that the “de-sexing” of Michael was one ploy that was used to tear him down and make him somehow “less” of a man. But again, just as Robert states, that is an agenda. So it is hard as a writer to be completely unbiased and totally agenda-free. Even if we are building up all of the positives of his life, emphasizing only his humanitarian work or art, that is still an agenda, just as much as the hater sites have an obvious agenda-admittedly, one much more vile and sinister, but an agenda, nonetheless.

      I think for the most part readers will gravitate to those blogs that share their same views, philosophies and idealogies. Because Michael Jackson is such a complex subject, I doubt there will ever come a day when we will all agree 100%. I think the more realistic goal is simply to respect our differences of opinion and to realize that there is no “right” or “wrong” way to be a fan.

      And Robert is correct in another way, as well. Fans shouldn’t feel as though it is some sort of obligation that they “have” to vindicate Michael. I think it’s great that many have heeded that calling. But it should be perfectly okay if one simply wants to enjoy the great music and art he left us-after all, that was really all he ever wanted us to take from him, anyway.

      It isn’t necessarily the fans’ responsibility to vindicate him, or to clear his name, but I can understand the driving need many have-myself included-to do so. I think the burning question is that if we don’t, who will? It is largely through our efforts that we have made the small steps of progress that we have; otherwise, things would never change.

      1. This topic saddens me (another one LOL).

        I read MJ blogs off and on. I can’t deal with fan forums at all. To me, they are a form of brain washing and peer pressure most times. Whenever someone doesn’t agree with whatever the post is about, the forum owners and members – who I think sometimes feel pressured to play along to get along – will try their best to ‘personally’ degrade their opposition; not because of Michael Jackson’s truth, but, because the opposition doesn’t agree with THEIR opinion. I think that’s what Robert meant by it’s their agenda and they are pushing their own propaganda. At least that’s what I think he meant LOL!

        I noticed the three most controversial topics seem to be (in no particular order and pls help if I missed one):
        1. Michael’s love for his family or lack thereof
        2. Michael’s sexual conquests or lack thereof
        3. Michael’s addictions or lack thereof

        NO FAN knows the TRUTH on any of those three topics and Michael worked hard to make sure no one did. It’s ALL opinion! Fans can’t seem to wrap their brains around that. I’m a fan and I also believe in my own opinions. I never berated someone ‘personally’ just because they thought differently than me on a MJ topic where we both don’t know what the truth is. I can’t seem to wrap my brain around that.

        Sometimes, I think if these posters/owners could actually say what they’ve typed to Michael’s face and see how much it would hurt (or even disgust)him, they might reconsider but, I’m not that optimistic.

        Again, thanks for your response.

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