Paris Jackson: Burning Bridges, Or Building Them?

Paris’s New “Rocker Chic” Image Is Raising More Than A Few Eyebrows. But It’s Her Newfound Chumminess With Some Of Her Dad’s Harshest Critics That Is Really Drawing The Ire Of Some Fans

I was inspired to write this after commenting on a recent Facebook post that had quickly garnered over 40 comments! Obviously, this is a topic that many fans are feeling very passionate about these days!

What is up with Paris? First of all, I have never been one of those fans who will try to lecture these kids on what they should or shouldn’t do. I don’t feel that is my place. After all, Michael left his kids to his mother, not to us. Then there are those fans who will say, “I really could care less what his kids are doing. His kids are not him.” But I think most of us, if we are honest with ourseves, do have a vested interest in what his children are doing. After all, they will be the future of his legacy-and to a large extent, people will be looking at them as a reflection of his legacy and who he was as a human being and a father. In a way, it’s not fair and yes, it is a tall order for any kid-especially a 14-year-old who is just trying to live her life. But it is what it is.

Most of us fell in love with Paris that day at the memorial when she stood up bravely before the whole world and said, “Daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine.” We loved her because she told it straight, without apology. We loved her because she made the world stop (if only for two minutes) and think about what they had done to this man, her beloved “daddy.” Even the most hardened cynics could not resist, and I’m sure more than a few eyes were swiped that day who would probably never admit it, even now.

That little girl told the world that her daddy was the best daddy anyone could ever imagine, and we adored her for it.

We All Adored And Fell In Love With The Little Girl Who Stood Up To The World: “Daddy Has Been The Best Father You Could Ever Imagine”

In one of my favorite novels, Gone With the Wind, there is a sentence that describes Scarlett and Rhett’s daughter Bonnie:

“She became the small wedge that he {Rhett} would use to penetrate the walls of Atlanta’s coldness.” I thought of Paris the same way. Maybe, just maybe, she would be the wedge that could finally penetrate some of  the world’s harshest and coldest judgements against her father. Since then, it seemed that we were justified in those hopes. Oprah described her as “bright, articulate, and fun.” Although all of Michael’s children are equally beautiful in their own way, Paris-perhaps partly as a result of being the only daughter, but moreso as a result of her memorial speech and her seeming ability to be able to articulate to the world what their father meant to them-seemed to become the one on which most fans pinned their hopes. If any of Michael’s children could prove to the world what a wonderful man Michael was and what a great father he was, we just knew it would certainly be Paris.

But that is also a lot of pressure for any child to have to live up to. Have we, in fact, put too many expectations upon her?

Some of the recent controversies have really made me ponder those issues.

Paris, like most kids her age, is coming to terms with her own identity. Like most kids her age, she is trying to figure out who she is, apart from her famous dad and famous family. And, like most kids her age, she will make a lot of stupid mistakes along the way. As I’ve said before, she is going through an inevitable stage that she would have gone through regardless of whether Michael had lived: It’s called being a teenager.

The only thing we can safely say is that if Michael had lived, she would have never undergone the trauma of his loss, and perhaps her life would have remained a bit more sheltered and out of the public eye. But she would have probably still rebelled; she would have still, at some point, tested the boundaries. Why? Because that’s what teenagers do.

However, what I’m writing about today has nothing to do with how Paris dresses, or what music she listens to, or any of the other stuff I’ve heard some people criticizing her about. As anyone who follows this blog knows, I have been one of the kids’ most staunch defenders when people criticize, for example, Paris’s decisions to go on Oprah, or some of the other off-the-cuff comments she has made (such as the masks being stupid, which rubbed a lot of fans the wrong way).

I have never been able to really bring myself to criticize her, first of all, because she is just a kid; secondly, she is Michael’s little princess whom he adored better than life, and whom I KNOW still adores him in return; and third, because to me-no matter what happens-she will still be that sweet little girl who told the world who her daddy really was.

But like many of you, some of her recent actions have left me scratching my head and going, Huh? Paris is following Gene Simmons, who has said some of the most horrific slander against her dad imaginable? Kiss is one of her favorite bands now? After knowing all of the effort fans put forth to get them removed from the tribute show at Cardiff? And now she is getting all chummy with Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx, after all the things he has said?

You know what, you’re not alone in this (no pun intended). These days, I’ve also been asking (to myself, of course) WTF Paris? What has happened to that sweet little girl we all loved at the memorial?

Well, for starters, let’s be realistic. She is growing up. Hormones are kicking in. But it’s more than that. This seems to be an almost deliberate campaign to “court” some of Michael’s biggest haters and detractors. And it’s leaving a lot of Michael Jackson fans feeling very hurt, angry, even…betrayed? If we’re feeling “betrayed” it’s only because it all goes back to what I said earlier. Whether consciously or not, we as fans have pinned a lot of hopes on this child. I half wonder if, in some way, Paris is rebelling against being put on that unrealistic pedastal that we, perhaps, subconsciously created.

Or…is there really method to the madness?

What I’d Really Like To Know Is What Gives People Like Nikki Sixx-Hardly Paragons Of Virtue Themeselves-The Right To Sit In Judgement On Michael Jackson.

“Why do you feel the need to hate on talented people?” she tweeted Nikki Sixx, the day after his snarky death anniversary rants against Michael, a comment that  prompted a full apology from the Motley Crue bassman, who may have even been a bit surprised that the King of Pop’s daughter was among his followers.

 “My snarky humor and sarcastic comments sometimes get the best of me,” he told the 14-year-old via Twitter on Monday. “I sincerely apologize to you and your family. God bless.”

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31749_162-57461733-10391698/nikki-sixx-apologizes-to-paris-jackson/

When the sincerity of his apology was questioned by some,  Sixx shot back saying:

“I never apologize about anything to anybody unless I MEAN it.” He has also removed all references to his snarky comments on Michael from his Facebook and Twitter. I have read some fans’ comments, though, who say they feel it’s not enough. Nowhere near enough.

But still, it’s a start. It means that Paris in some way at least managed to plant a small seed. She made the guy stop and think for five minutes, to pause and reflect and say, “Hey, maybe my words and actions actually have the power to hurt real people. I can change that. I can CHOOSE to put a muzzle on my snarky mouth and think before I run away with it.” I was a fan of Motley Crue long before Paris was even born-lol, long before she was even a hint of a twinkle in Michael’s eye-and I know these old, hardened rocker boys as well as anyone. Trust me, when Nikki Sixx says he’s sorry, he is sorry. And removing the comments, as small a gesture as it might be,  nevertheless shows a willingness on his part to do the right thing. I know we fans are slow to forgive, and even slower to trust. But I think sometimes we have to accept the small steps, and to embrace those small battles won. Like I said, it’s a start.

So is Paris truly betraying her father, or is she, perhaps, attempting to build the much needed bridges of healing? We don’t know, and to my knowledge, she hasn’t openly addressed this issue, even though I’m sure she has to be aware that her dads’ fan community is buzzing like angry bees over this-and frankly, as much as it pains me to say it, not without some justification. It’s certainly a question I would love to sit down and ask her (there’s one for you, Oprah!). But without a direct statement, we’re left to ponder her motives. After all, in all other respects, she still seems to be that little girl who was crazy about her daddy. “I’m such a daddy’s girl!” she tweeted just last Father’s Day, when she posted the pic below.  So…if she ‘s still such a “daddy’s girl” then what gives here?

Perhaps when all is said and done, we’re reading way too much into it. She might just say, “Chill, people. It’s only music.” True. But again, we’re talking some of the people who have said some of the most hideous things imaginable to the press about Michael. There are many artists that I can’t stomach to listen to now because I can’t help but associate their music with some of the nasty things they have said, done, or written about Michael (Eminem, for example, comes to mind). Even if I still occasionally listen to the music of some of them, I have no interest in calling them heroes, let alone chatting it up with them on Twitter.

In fact, the real question I have, especially for those rocker guys like Sixx and Gene Simmons is, who the hell made them paragons of virtue to sit in judgement on Michael Jackson? Nikki Sixx has O.D’d on heroin so many times that he’s lucky to even be alive, not to mention all those underaged girls that he put it to back in the day (let’s face it, those guys weren’t checking ID’s at the backstage door!) Really, who is he to sit in judgment on Michael about anything? Maybe, if I really wanted to get snarky, I could question why he is tweeting a 14-year-old girl anyway (but see, that would be needlessly snarky and mean, especially after he apologized, right? Besides, it was Paris who tweeted him first! But see, there you go. These are the same people who are so quick to judge Michael!).

I actually think it would be pretty cool if Paris could manage to build that bridge between the pop and rock worlds. After all, Michael was a bit of a closet rocker himself, and it’s no secret that he was actually quite well respected and revered among the hard rock community (just look at who all played on his records or collaborated with him-Eddie Van Halen, Slash, Freddie Mercury, etc, etc!). But again, I think the big question a lot of us are asking is simply…out of all the metal musicians out there, why THESE people in particular? How could you even think of singling these guys out as people to admire and tweet with?

The way I see it, this can only end one of two ways. She is either going to burn her bridges with the Michael Jackson fan community (by aligning herself with the enemy) or she is going to prove us wrong by, in fact, building those bridges.

At any rate, the idealist in me wants to believe this is her motivation. Perhaps she really feels that reaching out to these people, killing them with kindness rather than hate, is the way to go.

Regardless, Paris Jackson, to me, will always be that sweet little girl who told the world how much she loved her Daddy. I cannot-and will not-bring myself to believe that has changed. Perhaps this is a phase that will pass, as so many teenage phases do. I think right now she is caught up in the excitement of discovering many of these bands for the first time. (In some ways, I see a lot of myself at that age in her. ) She is also showing a lot of intelliegence and individuality in her musical choices. Unlike most girls her age, her tastes go well beyond current Top 40. She seems to prefer  listening to a diverse collection of music from many genres and decades. This, too, is a direct result of her father’s influence. The kids grew up in a home where all music was appreciated, from classical to show tunes to rock and pop. In many ways, she is simply keeping up an old family tradition instilled in her at a very young age by…well, guess who!

Michael Bridged What Had Once Been A Wide Gap Between Pop And Heavy Metal (Seen Here With Eddie Van Halen). Paris May Simply Be Following His Footsepts In More Ways Than One.

I still don’t “get” some of her choices and these days I have to admit I’m starting to question more than a few of them. But I do know this girl is no dummy, and I’m holding out the faith that she knows what she is doing.

Recently someone on an MJ newsgroup that I follow had posted a link to that awful Howard Stern rant that he did right after Michael died. It is not worth even linking to or embedding here. I used to defend Howard Stern. Yes, he’s a jerk, but he’s also a shock jock and, well, being an obnoxious, sexist, foul-mouthed jerk is what he does and does best. Besides, I know that most of his act is just that-an act. But even knowing what to expect from Howard Stern, my jaw hit the floor. It was, absolutely, the sheer, most  mean-spirited and IGNORANT commentary on Michael Jackson I have yet heard, barring perhaps the equally insensitive comments of Peter King and Bill O’ Reilly after his passing. In fact, even though I have learned to develop a pretty thick skin as an MJ fan-and can allow a lot to roll off my back-I actually cried listening to this. Yes, it was THAT bad. And the sheer fact that all of this was being said only DAYS after his passing made it that much worse.

But out of all the cruel and blatantly ignorant things Stern said, what really nauseated me the most was when he and that ass-kissing, ass-groveling sidekick of his, Robin-sorry, I lost all respect for her after this show- dared to criticize Michael’s children and their love for their dad (and let’s not forget, these kids had just lost their dad less than two weeks before when this vicious, spewing vomit fest aired!). Referring to Paris’s memorial speech, when she said Michael had been the “best daddy” anyone could possibly imagine, Howard and Robin had the nerve to say, “How would she know?” As if to say, How would Michael’s own children know if their dad had been a good dad or not?

Well, I would think if anybody would know, his own children would be the best judge of that, don’t you think? I really could not believe my ears as they not only questioned the childrens’ love for their father but even made cruel jokes about their home schooling (“I’d like to know what all they learned in those classes!”) and proceeded to rip apart everything that is known about Michael’s relationship with his children.

I only bring the Howard Stern thing up as an example because I think it is important to remember that THIS is a big reason why it is so important-or at least why the fans feel it is so important-for these kids to set a good example to the world. In a world that has questioned, criticized, mocked and belittled  everything from their father’s ability to raise them, to even his own kids’ love and devotion to him, it becomes imperative that his children set the example. That is not to put undue pressure on them, but it is a fact they will have to realize and learn to live with throughout their lives. Whether fair or not, every choice they make in this life ; every triumph, and yes, every defeat and even every dumb decision-will all, in some way, reflect back to their father’s name.

In A World That Has Belittled, Mocked, Ridiculed And Criticized Every Aspect Of Michael’s Life And Parenting, It Is Going To Be Up To His Kids To Set The Example And Prove Them Wrong. The World WILL Be Watching. Fair Or Not, It Is What It Is.

If they choose to side with his enemies, the world will be watching. The world is hoping and salivating for any validation that will prove that, Hey, we were right. See, even his own kids have turned on him!

But then again, if his children can, in fact,  manage to repair and re-build some of those bridges that were so cruelly burned down after everything their father was put through, well, the world also will be watching. And taking notes.

So which is it going to be?

I, for one, am still holding out faith that Daddys girl knows exactly what she is doing.

Time will tell.

UPDATE: 7/21/12: I wanted to add this recent, poignant and bittersweet message left by Paris. It may help pull some things back in perspective, especially for those of us who have started to question some of her recent activities and choices. It is a sad reminder of what this child lives with every day, but at the same time, if a girl is going to have a last memory of her father, it should be one as sweet as this:

46 thoughts on “Paris Jackson: Burning Bridges, Or Building Them?”

  1. You know, I don’t Twitter. Keeping up with Facebook is daunting in itself. I hadn’t heard about Paris’ associating with the very creeps that said such ugly things about her Dad but then I really wish that she wouldn’t be in the limelight at all, no matter who is befriending her. In my heart, I know that despite the few years she shared with her Father, he was able to impart the important things of life. No matter what anyone may try to tell her in the future that would be damaging or detrimental to Michael, she was right there with him, every day, and nothing can ever burn that bridge or break that bond. We may at some point be blessed with a book she could choose to write about her life with the most famous father in the world. Regardless, I believe her life will prove without a doubt that Michael Jackson was completely worthy to be called…”the best father you could ever imagine.”

    In the meantime, like all young teens, she’s probably going to cause her family and her Daddy’s fans to roll their eyes. So what? I think she got his message better than anyone–LOVE is the most important force in the universe–and she is poised to “bring it!”.

    I’m with you, Raven. She knows what she’s doing,

    1. I know what you mean about Twitter. It’s getting harder and harder to keep apace of all the social media these days. It took me forever to come around to Facebook. Now, of course, I realize what a valuable tool FB is (though it has its drawbacks and can be abused as well). Going to Twitter is going to have to be my next move. Personally, I could live without it and would be quite satisfied just with FB. I can’t see the point of writing a three-sentence post for every silly little thing I do, lol! However, as a blogger, I am starting to realize that Twitter-like FB-is an essential outlet, and one that I can’t afford to ignore any longer. My stats always double (and sometimes triple) here whenever someone links to one of my posts from Twitter. So yes, it is definitely a valuable asset.

      I, too, believe that Michael instilled many core values with her that will stay with her for the rest of her life. The good thing about having values is that it provides a strong foundation that can never be taken away. A child may occasionally stray from their values in an attempt to “test the boundaries” but they will always return to those values, if they have been taught right.

  2. I just would like to add that the kids probably are still not fully aware what was done to their dad and what certain people said about him in public. They don’t have the knowledge we have. I think they are still in a learning process regarding the treatment of their father, and so it is not surprising that Paris makes some public statements that are not always suitable or the way we would expect it. We cannot expect from her the whole knowledge of the witch hunt her dad had to go through, which started long before she was born. But most probably she will find out, and in the meantime we have to be patient with her, because apparently there is nobody who takes her by the hand and leads her through this muddle.

  3. I think the kids are very very intelligent for their age, and have absolutely no doubt about their awareness about what was done to their Father. People think that we are dealing with a bunch of naive teenagers, but they are not, and no way would a Father like Michael Jackson left them unaware of anything that is going on, as I know that Michael is a Genius in everything he did, especially parenting as a sole parent. Take the words that Paris used on the Ellen Interview “If I should die tomorrow, promise me to remember what I told you, her response “And I remember EVERYTHING! This simple answer tells it all and should erase the doubts that people have about Paris’s motivations behind certain things. Hate is never the answer to Haters – kill them with LOVE and Kindness – it will leave them defenseless and cracking open at their own seams. Everything has been put in place for a reason, believe this! To Raven, thank you for this open and realistic article. Certain People will still continue with their propaganda to spread Lies and instill Hate on Michael Jackson, but lots of people are slowly but surely retracting their original opinion on Michael, even a jackass like O’Reilly that somehow managed to surprise us with his comment the other day, together with Aphrodite Jones. So lets see how this will pan out.

    1. @Elke and Susanne

      I believe the kids do know, but as far as how much, it’s hard to say. Michael did pretty much keep them in a protective bubble as far as shielding them from the worst things that were said about him, but I believe as they got older, he was opening up to them more. We will never know the full extent of what he actually told Paris in that conversation (unless one day she chooses to tell us, but I think that some things that were meant to be private should stay private) but I can imagine at least some of it was pertaining to what she would have to deal with as his child. I’m sure he was already preparing them.

      The Jacksons themselves don’t necessarily know everything, as I’ve heard them say they avoid a lot of the press. Sometimes that is a necessary survival tactic, for one’s own sanity. Poor Katherine was completely clueless when Kiss was booked for the Cardiff show. All she knew to say was that Michael would be thrilled to have Kiss performing there. There was a time when that was probably true. I think I read once that Michael was a Kiss fan. I have never cared for them, personally. Other than Detroit Rock City and Tears Are Falling, they never had a song I really liked. However, I can understand how Michael would have been drawn to their theatrical stage shows, makeup, and that whole sort of comic book persona. That sort of thing would have appealed to him so maybe he was a fan at one time (and who knows, maybe this was where Paris got her appreciation for them) but that was before all of the awful things that Gene Simmons said.

      However, I actually think two things are happening with Paris right now. I touched on both in the article but I’ll try to expand a bit further. On the one hand, I believe she is making the attempt to separate herself and her identity from the name and image of Michael Jackson in order to create her own sense of identity. Naturally, she wants to be known as someone other than just Michael Jackson’s daughter. She wants to be her own person, with her own style. Changing her Twitter background to the Motley Crue pic was a way of saying, Look, I am not just an extension of my dad. I have my own tastes. I want the world to recognize ME. The thing we have to keep in mind is that, to Paris, Michael Jackson isn’t her icon; he is Dad. For her, that is a whole, separate distinction that we as fans do not have, but I think it’s an important perspective to keep in mind with his children. Just as janet said, “To you, Michael was an icon, but to us he was family.”When I was a teenager, I certainly didn’t hang pics of my dad all over my bedroom walls. I loved my dad, of course. But the pics I chose to hang on my walls were my teen idols and music idols. I know that Paris kept her room covered with pics of her dad when she was little, and in the first stages of grief, that was probably a huge comfort to her. She still has posters of him on her wall, but they are not nearly as prevalent now, and that space is shared with many other pics of other artists. However, I would not read too much into that. It just means she is finally at a place where she is starting to move on with her life, and like all teenagers, friends, peers, and favorite bands will start to take precedence over parents and family. That doesn’t mean parents and family are not still loved, however. Remember what she told Oprah: “It never gets easier.” She still wears the other half of the heart necklace that was buried with Michael. He will always have half of her heart; she will always have half of his.

      The second thing I believe is going on is that Paris, like her father, is very idealistic. I think she truly believes that she can manage to reach out to these people and make them see the good in her dad. Right now, because she likes these musicians herself, she wants to believe she can-as the old saying goes-have her cake and eat it, too. Eventually, she may achieve her goal (which would be a beautiful thing) but then again, she may eventually come to realize that some things, like oil and water, you just can’t mix. No matter how hard you try.

  4. Hi Raven!
    Thanks for this post…I needed it! I was worrying abt Paris since I learnt that she has posted a bikini pic of hers…I cud not understand why she needed to do that. I wondered is she not aware how many people are watching her? It made me feel that she was hungry for attention…negative or otherwise! :-/

    I was not aware abt this tweet to a rotten rocker…seemed a sensible thing esp. considering his response. As u say may be her warming up to ppl like Oprah will make them change their minds…but as u say Only time will tell.

    Meanwhile, I check her tweets often now to see what she is upto..lol! My heart warms up when she quotes gr8 ppl’s thoughts including her dad…she seems okay and wise.

    All I can say and pray is…God be with u Paris…God be with u.

    1. I saw the bikini pic. Didn’t seem like any big deal to me. It wasn’t as if it was some blatantly sexual pic. The swimsuit was nothing worse than what we see even toddler girls wearing nowadays, and to me, it just looked like a very typical teen kind of pic. Of course, I understand that putting bikini pics on the internet could make her a target for sexual predators but then again, a sexual predator doesn’t need a bikini pic to make them do what they’re going to do anyway. I kind of thought that whole hoopla was a mountain out of a molehill, to be honest.

  5. As an advocate for Michael I am also puzzled and disappointed that she choose exactly the most hateful rockidols to be a fan of and so publicly, like making a statement. Where others stopped their attacks on Michael when he passed, they including the dispicable Stern continued.
    No need to hate on them, but there is no justification either to give these men the light of day. Building bridges can be done in a million other more uplifting ways.
    That said as a mother, to me she is like any other 13 year old with growing pains. Like we all were, except that in her short life she already has the life experience of an adult with the world watching and judging her every move.
    Children who lose a parent in such a traumatic way at such a young age seem to mature faster than others. Its like the worst thing that could happen already happened so there is nothing left to loose.
    There is a risk it can turn into reckless behaviour, but that too will go once she passes this stage. She has the right to her own mistakes She might feel embarassed when looking back,but thats growing up.
    What she needs most now imo is compassion and support.
    Not adults following her for the next rumour du jour. We would not want that for our own kids, would we.

    1. “No need to hate on them, but there is no justification either to give these men the light of day. Building bridges can be done in a million other more uplifting ways.”

      I agree. I just think it would be nice if there came a day when most of these people would realize they got it wrong and take responsibility for it.

  6. I have also wondered just how much the Jackson children know about the despicable manner in which so many treated their father. Clearly they know some of it – in the first interview with Oprah, Prince reluctantly engaged with her, and Blanket made no attempt to hide his dislike for her.

    And what about all those “best friends” who have sold disgusting lies about their father to the media? Howard Stern and Nikki Sixx didn’t know MJ. Mark Lester, Arnie Klein, and Deepak Chopra happily accepted his gifts and hospitality, then stabbed him in the back with a smile. If Paris ‘reaches out’ to these slimeballs, I will seriously wonder about her state of mind.

    In her defense, unlike other celebrity daughters, like Sophia Richie and Lily Rose Depp, Paris only appears in booty shorts and off-the-shoulder t shirts in her bathroom. She’s just playing dress up. She is always conservatively dressed when out in public. I still don’t understand her fondness for geriatric acts like Kiss and the Rolling Stones. They’re old enough to be her grandfather.

    1. Although the attraction for “geriatric acts” is the part that reminds me so much of myself at that age, lol. When I was a kid in the 80’s, I was just discovering all of the great bands and artists from the 60’s. My mother used to tease me about it all the time. “Mick Jagger is older than ME,” she would say. As if to say, How could I possibly be into someone that was older than my mom?

      However, I think the postive side of that is the fact that it does make you more knowledgable, especially more knowledgable than your peers who are only listening to the current Top 40 or whoever is “like now, like wow.” It does show Paris is thinking independently (and as I said, this may still be a big part of Michael’s influence on her as well).

  7. Thanks for taking on this subject. I’ve wondered if there is there another celebrity’s teen who tweets under her own name and has nearly 500,000 mostly anonymous followers. Just what a 14 year old girl needs!Perhaps she, too, is lonely, as she has referred to her followers as “fans”, and uses twitter as substitute social contact for the personal contact she cannot have, except at school. She was truly brutalized by twitter hate about Michael when her account became verified (until she learned how to block) so I believe she is aware of at least some of what happened to him when she was too young to remember and also shielded from all of it. She was 7 in 2005, and to my knowledge did not have twitter until after Michael’s death. I too find it strange that she thinks highly of and follows and exchanges with Eminem, KISS, Motley Crue and the others who trashed her father. Why would she bother with these losers? And I remember recoiling as Katherine Jackson sat next to Latoya’s partner when they announced the Cardiff tribute, wherein Katherine said how thrilled Michael would be to have KISS be part of the performance.

    As someone who has a 14 year old near and dear to my heart, while I can begrudgingly understand their “need” for use of social media to keep in continual communication with friends and relatives via texts and tweets, IMO her account should be private and her tweets should be protected, or in the alternative, there should be adult supervision which appears lacking. Of all her followers and all that follow her, how come no tweets from Michael’s siblings, except the occasional LaToya tweet? Why, she recently tweeted to the effect that she doesn’t understand the concern about global warming! Is this really Paris Jackson, the daughter of Michael Jackson, who wrote and performed Earth Song? Certain of MJ’s supporters do send her support tweets which she does not appear to acknowledge. Yes, most strange, and I agree she either has an agenda or is being taken in by the glare of “twitter” fame.

    1. Interesting point about global warming. I was not aware she had said that. Of course, I don’t expect her to necessarily be a walking advocate for everything Michael believed, or to even share every belief that he had. She should be her own person. However, that statement strikes me as odd for someone who seems, in most respects, to be concerned with passing on her father’s message about the earth and carrying on his humantiarian efforts, as I have heard the kids say many times.

      But something I have noticed is that Paris seems somewhat conflicted with her values right now. I guess that is to be somewhat expected at her age. For example, she talks about admiring the hippies and their beliefs (and concern for the environment would be a part of that) yet a lot of these metal bands she adores so much are the very antithesis to what the hippies stood for. I don’t think she has quite made all those connections yet.

      It reminds me of the confusion I often see among young teens who are Christians, yet still want to listen to their metal or rap music and be like all their non-Christian peers. They try to have a foot in both worlds, thinking they can somehow reconcile both, but in the end, usually just end up simply confused and torn. At that point, they realize they have to make a choice.

      Michael himself went through this, when he had to make the decision whether to remain a Jehovah’s Witness or to be true to himself and his art. I imagine he probably discussed this with Paris, and how difficult it is to make those choices.

      I would say give Paris some time. She may, in fact, be trying to understand why some of these people have said the things they have said. It may be that she wants those answers. I personally believe that this is just a phase she will outgrow as she settles into her own skin. She will realize that these people will come and go, but Michael will ALWAYS be her dad.

    2. Yes, Paris actions can be confusing and conflicting but a very much agree with your balanced view of this, Raven. She is 14 and the difference between 11 and 14 is vast. I see the very same thing in my 14 year old nephew. Her level of pushing boundaries and experimenting will not end this year or next year. But I do believe that there is something of a bridge building effort on her part. There is also a healthy dose of idealism and naivete as well. The idea that Nikki Sixx apologized to her publically and removed some of his offensive comments is heady stuff for a 14 year old. And this is inspite of the fact that her dad introduced her and her brothers to some of the most famous people in the world. At that time, they were just observers. Now, Paris is the center of attention, not just a passive observer. I would imagine this one incident where this famous individual backed down felt very empowering for her. She may think she can bring other arrogant celebs to their knees with youthful kindness. Hopefully she can. I dread the day when one of those arrogant celebs decides to be a jerk to her “face” publically. That said, as of today if some arrogant celeb tried to be a jerk to a 14 year old, especially this 14 year old, there would be hell to pay for sure from the public.

      I’m reminded of other celebrity off-spring. One notorious example is Courtney Love’s relationship to her and her husband’s (the late Kurt Cobain) daughter, Frances Bean Cobain. Ugh!! A very sad situation indeed. No matter what people think of the Jackson family I don’t think Paris will be dealing with that kind of family drama in her current situation, inspite of having to deal with the drama of stupid comments and actions of outsiders.

      At the end of the day although she and her brothers each carry their fathers name, literally (Michael Joseph Jackson, Jr., Prince Michael Jackson II, Paris-Michael Katherine Jackson), and will be watched and judge more than their peers, they also have to be given the room to make mistakes and to not be constantly scrutinized. It’s too easy to judge and to be honest I’m never sure where the right balance is although I do agree with June concerning the privacy of her and her brothers Twitter accounts. At this stage and on into the future, no matter what Paris does with her hair, make-up or clothes or what bands she listens to or who she associates with, I’m more than confident this is a girl who is devoted to her dad…no matter what. I truly believe that in my heart.

      1. I believe that, too. But yes, I agree also regarding the privacy of her Twitter account. Having it public leaves her open and vulnerable to the very kind of scrutiny we are discussing here. It also leaves her, as well as her siblings (although I don’t think Prince’s tweets come under scrutiny near as much as hers) vulnerable to cyber bullying and harassment. I have actually seen haters defend this despicable behavior on some forums, saying that the kids “ask for it” and saying that MJ fans have done the same thing to Jordan Chandler and Gavin Arvizo. First of all, these people digust me because 98% of them don’t give a damn about any kids, even Jordan or Gavin (who are no longer kids, anyway, and haven’t been for some time). Secondly, although I know there are some fans out there who would, the biggest majority of MJ fans have not now, or ever, actively sought out Gavin or Jordan to harass them. Thirdly, it’s simply lowdown for adults to use any excuse to justify bullying children-and the behavior itself says far more about their character than anything they can ever say about those kids’ father.

  8. Paris went from obsurity to celebrity faster than a lightening bolt. I think she is badass and brazen, and not always in a good way. The problem I have is because she is MJ’s daughter does not mean she is above critism. I think a little critism would be healthly for PJ, fans shouldn’t want her growing up surrounded ass kissers, and hanger-on. Paris seems to be more willful than her other siblings, and that is a sword that cuts both ways.

  9. Raven you say (in a caption): “IN A WORLD THAT HAS BELITTLED, MOCKED, RIDICULED AND CRITICIZED EVERY ASPECT OF MICHAEL’S LIFE AND PARENTING, IT IS GOING TO BE UP TO HIS KIDS TO SET THE EXAMPLE AND PROVE THEM WRONG. THE WORLD WILL BE WATCHING. FAIR OR NOT, IT IS WHAT IT IS.”

    “….If they choose to side with his enemies, the world will be watching. The world is hoping and salivating for any validation that will prove that, Hey, we were right. See, even his own kids have turned on him!”

    I guess If this is indeed the narrow, surly view that some folks take of the way Michael Jackson is viewed in the larger world today, then Paris COULD be considered a sort of betrayer: of the fans and their relentless agenda to “vindicate” Michael, and to see the entire world in the crassest, “good vs. evil,” Manichean terms possible.

    “Paris seems to be more willful than her other siblings,” Teva writes. (And how do we know this? From the very media that brought us the persistent Michael-bashing that we despise?) Bring that girl in line, and on board, immediately, before it’s too late! Make her hew to OUR wishes to make her father look good!

    To my way of thinking, this is a strangely myopic view of the “duties” of anyone and everyone in the world, who all have a solemn duty to perform vis-à-vis Michael Jackson, or else bear a variety of labels—hater, enemy, betrayer, what have you.

    My question is this. Who are we to “ponder [Paris’s] motives”? Who are we to remark, as you have, Raven, that “Paris seems somewhat conflicted with her values right now”? HOW in heaven’s name could we reasonably be expected to know what these motives and values are?

    Shouldn’t we instead be attending to our own?

    1. There is a fine line distinction here between what I personally believe/feel, and what I know to be true when stepping back and looking at the larger picture-which includes not only my personal views, but those of every fan in the MJ fan community and how THEY, also, are looking at Michael’s children. I am merely commenting and observing on the reality here. I fully acknowledge, as I said in the post many times, that it may not be fair and it may not even be a realistic expectation, but it is what it is. I can’t tell people how to think or feel or react to the situation, because they are going to think, feel, and react as they want to, anyway. I look at what I do here more as simply holding up a mirror to the situation and reflecting on it. Just because I choose to write honestly about how I and many fans are feeling about this issue doesn’t necessarily mean I agree it’s “right” that we should be holding Michael’s children up to these kinds of expectations, or even that what we’re seeing (or think we are seeing insofar as Paris’s behavior) is, in fact, the whole picture. As I’ve said, the situation more or less really is what it is. The world IS looking to these children because of who their father was-both for better or worse. That is simply the reality of it.

      1. Raven, you earnestly believe that you are “merely commenting and observing the reality here,” and I appreciate your attempt to take a nuanced view of Paris’s choices (or at any rate the way they have been reporterd).

        But when you refer to “every fan in the MJ fan community,” and “the world IS looking to these children,” I feel obliged to point out that you may be universalizing a set of views and expectations that are actually more diverse than many MJ fans imagine. For example, I and other other Michael’s fans I’ve spoken to see his children as but one of many, many elements that will influence how he is remembered in this complex mixture of fact, fantasy, myth, and legend that is, inevitably, the story of ANY huge star after death.

        To name one example: I myself am a fan of Michael’s, yet I may not share the views of most others as regards his children, or even the ways he may best be remembered. As for the rest of the world, many in the “fan community” earnestly believe that the media (and perhaps more importantly, the public upon which the media depends for its life) stand ready to go for the jugular whenever the opportunity to besmirch Michael Jackson’s reputation will even remotely present itself.

        In my judgment—from what I’ve read and observed, and I’ve read TONS of material—those days are over. People from all sectors of “the media” (that undifferentiated entity that few writers have troubled to bring into clearer focus) seems increasingly inclined to reassess Michael Jackson’s legacy through his contribution to popular music and dance, and even fashion.

        As human beings we all have, quite literally, a highly subjective STANDPOINT: a point at which we stand (in spatial terms), and from which we often find it difficult to appreciate the view from another’s standpoint. Your claim to be “merely commenting on and observing on reality,” then, may become a way for you to sidestep your own role—as one member of the “the media”—in creating a picture of the world, a story about reality, that you believe “every fan” can share. But I must say that as a fan, I cannot.

        In my view, the truly important questions about Michael—and the ones that will have a far more lasting impact on his legacy than who his children are hanging out with at the moment—are currently being addressed by many writers who are publishing work about his work and his global impact as an artist and iconic entertainer.

  10. For me, the bottom line is that I firmly believe(and this is from someone who obviously didn’t know Michael at all)Michael would never have allowed all the publicity(all the interviews, movies and twitter pictures)if he were still alive. I think he would be horrified. I wonder where the parental controls are. I don’t know that there are necessarily adults really keeping an eye on these kids. How can one expect an 80 something grandmother to keep up with teens. I am pretty open minded, but we have to remember Paris is just a 14 year old kid and she doesn’t really have the maturity or forethought to know the ramifications of some of her current or future actions. She is the daughter of the most famous entertainer whose legacy has been denigrated by haters and I hope she doesn’t find herself involved in some controversy that she shouldn’t have to deal with at her age. In my opinion she would be better off staying out of the limelight until she is 18. It really breaks my heart because it seems as soon as Michael was gone, his kids became fair game for the media with full approval of Michael’s family. I feel like Michael’s family has not respected his desire to maintain his kid’s privacy. Even Janet has made the comment she felt Paris should remain a kid and wait until she is older to start a career in the entertainment business. Thanks again for a great post Raven!

    1. Absolutely right Nancy…on all points 🙂

      Who is monitoring these kids? Paris is the most in danger here because she is pretty and she’s Michael Jackson’s daughter. If she keeps posting pics of herself so openly, she is opening herself up for pedophiles or porn producers.

      Janet or Rebbie need to step in and take some control from mama who was senile enough to let Oprah into their lives….twice. Plus Katherine worked with a porn producer perhaps unknowingly. Can you imagine if he offered Paris a role through Katherine who wouldn’t have a clue as to what he really wanted her to do? And it would not be a silly fantasy movie about sea creatures…

      1. I’ve had some of the same concerns. Not so much the bikini pic (which seemed to me very typical of what many teen girls post) but, for example, some of those publicity stills for the Lundon Bridge movie. They weren’t sexual but seemed to be pushing that envelope (just as was done with Miley Cyrus and many other teen girls who have sort of walked that fine line between being wholesome and being sexual). I do have concerns about some of the predators who may come into contact with her. I know she is smart, but still a child.

  11. These comments seem to have taken a turn since my comment posted here just a few days ago, wherein I tried to say, less bluntly, what Fay, Nancy and Teva have very succinctly and openly said here. Someone does need to step in and monitor Paris’ twitter use for all the reasons Fay stated. Going back to Paris’ bikini pix, for a 2-3 week period after she posted them, she was not on twitter, and I thought, oh good, she got caught and someone is finally paying attention, but sadly after those few weeks, there she was again.

    As for her twitter interchange with Nikki Sixx, Sixx ended his “apology” by inviting Paris to his radio talkshow, to which she replied how nice that would be! Sixx was just looking for the publicity, and Paris took the bait.

    By having an open twitter Paris is either naively or consciously putting herself out there for public consumption; she has in effect surrendered her privacy to her 485,000 anonymous followers. She even tweets her comings and goings! I agree that Michael may not be primarily remembered for the actions of his children, particularly as they grow older. Most MJ fans are concerned for her safety, which concern COULD BE assuaged if Paris’ guardians demonstrated awareness and proactivity toward her protection. We do not see that occurring. Now granted if Michael had lived, I am sure his children would not wear masks and they would not be home schooled, and his privacy concerns would have, with their growth, become somewhat modified; however, I do agree that he would not be happy with, nor would he condone, his mother’s and siblings’ actions (and failure to act) with respect to the guardianship of his children.

    1. Well said!

      @June, “As for her twitter interchange with Nikki Sixx, Sixx ended his “apology” by inviting Paris to his radio talkshow, to which she replied how nice that would be! Sixx was just looking for the publicity, and Paris took the bait.”

      You’re absolutely right about this. To be honest in the moment I had neglected the self serving side of this story in my comment as far as Nikki Sixx is concerned. Although Paris is a smart girl she is still just that, a young girl still learning about the world around her. The opportunity for others to use her as a promotional tool is huge with safety issues being the most significant concern. Although we can’t know what’s going on behind the scenes what we do see does makes me (and so many of us) wish the family would take a more proactive role in this.

      1. I had the same thought about the invitation to go on his radio show. My personal, humble opinion: I think she should just leave well enough alone by accepting his apology. There is really no need to continue sucking up to these people past a certain point. He could very well be simply setting her up for his own publicity.

        1. Yes, very true. Unfortunately at 14, although smart, she still doesn’t have the sophistication to know when she is being used by someone such as Nikki Sixx.

  12. Raven, pls do a post about the letter that Jackson’s have send to the estate. I am so confused…I really doubt some aspects of the Michael’s will…its timing and signature and stuff but the fact remains that except the messed up “Michael” album the estate has done a good job, they hv almost cleared up Michael’s debt? It is in fact the familiy that has been involved in some shady deals!
    And the letter said that Katherine has suffered a mini-stroke but Paris has tweeted that it is a rumour, her grandma is fine and she even said “i will defend my beloved family member with all i have , even if it means from other family members ”
    ??
    Whats going on…even Janet has signed on that letter…why r they talking now? & why is Paris talking abt protecting her grandma from other family members?

    1. I will post on this. Right now I am just trying to digest all of the information so that I can make an informed post when I do. All of this hit while I was at work yesterday and I wasn’t aware of a lot of it until I got home. Then today, the site was down for most of the day (plus I had to work anyway, so wouldn’t have had much time to really post anything of substance). I will try to address this tomorrow or if I don’t get it up tomorrow, by Sat for sure.

      Right now I’m still kind of in a “wait and see” mode with the immediate drama that is playing out.

  13. And looks like Paris has had an argument with Randy Jackson on twitter and TMZ has the head line, “Paris calls Randy..a BIG FAT LIAR”!

    :-/

  14. I just realised I was simply spamming this comment section with irrelevant rant. Sorry, pls delete these, I was just so upset!

    1. It’s ok. I know this is a hot topic right now. No need to delete. We can discuss here until I am able to get my new post up.

  15. PERSONALLY, I think this is all about M.O.N.E.Y. Those have it and those who want it. The Jacksons have always known that Michael’s estate is goldmine. With the exception of Janet, I don’t know of any Jackson that is solvent. If the family were to control the posthumous purse strings the money could be divided up among the family, or be more easily accessible. I always ask myself, why Katherine Jackson is always appealing to the estate for more money for her living expenses? Why is the Michael Jackson estate solely responsible for her comfort? Katherine has a husband and 8 living children, why aren’t they picking up the slack? There is only one reason: 7 of them cannot afford it.

    1. I think more aptly, the lifestyle to which she has grown accustomed. Most of us average folks would kill to have what Katherine Jackson has to live on every month!

      This is a hard topic for me because it’s one in which I find myself torn between my respect for Michael’s family (AS his family) on the one hand; yet the knowledge that Branca and McClain (however one feels about them personally or whatever conspiracy theories one adheres to) HAVE done an excellent job with managing the estate.

      I fear this is going to get very ugly before it’s all over. The saddest thing is that it’s going to divide the fan community even more than we already are.

      1. Yes it is the lifestyle to which Katherine Jackson has grown accustomed, but why does the Michael Jackson estate have to solely support it? That is my point, she has other children. Michael was not an only child. I have no problem with the estate. If Joe Jackson had a hand in the estate management, can you imagine the fiasco!

        This is about money, and the image. The image is worth millions in branding. The Jackson 5 could go on tour again with “3D Michael”, but it always comes back to M.O.N.E.Y. ….and here we go again with Paris in the mix.

        1. My personal thoughts on this: As much as I respect Michael’s family as FAMILY, no way in hell do they need to be in charge of managing Michael’s money or estate. I’m not saying it HAS to be Branca and McClain; just that whoever it is does NOT need to be a Jackson family member. I feel there is too much conflict of interest there. While Michael may have owed his start to Joe Jackson and The Jackson 5, his estate’s fortune was amassed by the money he earned as a solo artist. So in that regard, he only owes his family as much as he was willing to give. But it’s not as if it should be some sole obligation on the part of Michael or his estate. In that regard, we are in agreement. I mean, really, could you imagine Jermaine managing Michael’s estate? Or Joe? Lord have mercy! Between all of their fly by night, get-rich-quick schemes, that money would be gone in five years!

          1. I couldn’t agree with you more!!! Another thing that saddens me is the affect this will have on MJ3 now and into the future. As they get older they will get dragged even deeper into the in-fighting over money…THEIR money. I know it really began the moment Michael died but it will clearly get worse and divide an already divided family even further. MJ3 are already seeing first hand how money distorts relationships, yet they don’t have the sophistication yet to see where that distortion truly begins and ends. Sadly the adults in their world seem incapable of discerning that either. Michael knew this all too well.

      2. It’s funny I have never heard of Janet paying something. I don’t get why the Estate has to pay Katherine’s lawyer.

        1. @shelly said:

          “It’s funny I have never heard of Janet paying something. I don’t get why the Estate has to pay Katherine’s lawyer.”

          To Katherine? I was wondering Shelly, why would Janet need to pay anything? Please forgive my question….:-)

          As for the lawyer, Katherine is the beneficiary of the estate and is more than capable of paying for a lawyer through estate funds. It is her money to do with as she pleases and the estate has no say in this. In fact, when ever she has requested an increase in funds her requests have been granted to my understanding. At the end of the day, the estate isn’t paying for her lawyer, Katherine is.

      3. THE comm-unity is non existing,anyone makes their individual choices.
        The reason why I personally became a fan of Michaels has nothing to do with his estate. His music on the other hand, is sacred to me.
        My 2 cents is ,Michael provided for his mother to have and continue the lifestyle she is used to, like he did for his children. He didnt seperate the one from the other.
        I can relate to that because I felt exactly the same with my parents when they were alive. I realize now that not everone feels the same about their parents.
        As for the will, its a legal binding declaration that entitles the beneficiary to any amount or percentage of his property or trust that the testor wanted to be transfered to him or her. Its not up to the managers, their duty is to provide the beneficiaries with what is theirs. This is based on trust and loyalty from the trustee to the beneficiary vv. If there is a trust issue, its a major concern, not only for the beneficiary but for the managers as well.So its in the interest of all the parties that this be solved.
        I cant understand why anyone would deny Katherine or even question what is rightfully hers. Would anyone do that to Michaels children.
        We dont have to agree on everything, but I agree on one thing, its always about money. Someone elses.

  16. Hi Raven~I was going on checking out my email on AOL and there is always some Hollywood gossip about somebody…but what caught my eye was Janet Jackson’s name. The story mentions that Janet is furious about the fact that Paris is going to be in some movie. Don’t know if it is the London Bridge movie or some future movie. It goes on to say that she feels her family is not abiding by Michael’s wishes to maintain his children’s privacy. Who knows if it is true, but thought it was interesting and timely considering your post. More and more I feel like Michael’s choice in guardianship for his children was the wrong choice. Too bad Diana Ross was not his first choice.

    1. Nancy, I am strating yo feel the same way you. First the family needs to put their foot down and make here get off of twitter. Prince has one but he is not on it all the time like her. Sure, yiu trying to find herself, make her own path. But come on, someone has to do something. she when after her own uncle on twitter with out calling him and talking to him.

    2. I don’t think that Michael was totally opposed to the idea of his children going into show business but he wanted them to at least wait until they were adults and old enough to make those kinds of informed decisions for themselves.

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