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Hanging Out with Michael Jackson

Michael wasn't just "The Man in The Mirror;" Michael was the mirror. You won't see the light in Michael, if you don't recognize it in yourself. You won't decode the message unless you know what you are looking for or understand what you're looking at. You have to resonate. You won't get Michael's invitation unless you understand that "we are the world" and "you're the chosen one." You have to be in touch with your Inner Michael.



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for... Michael Messages

 

More about the Spiritual nature of his work.

Sunday

Michael Jackson Fans

Michael Jackson's one great and serious love affair was with his fans. A common exchange between Michael and a fan was:

“I love you Michael.”
“I love you more.”

He wasn’t kidding. He meant it. Literally. Lots of entertainers profess to love their fans but will not go out of their way to be kind or to see them certainly, as a force or a cultural base to change the world. Many rockers have been known to take advantage of vulnerable female fans. Michael had opportunities to do just that but was restrained and respectful of his fans, especially females. Michael seemed to feel not only their love, but their pain in not being able to express their feelings for him with physical closeness. Those feelings were not unrequited. But Michael seemed to understand that not being able to access the object of adolescent crushes and first loves is exquisitely painful. He was wise to that and able to feel it. Michael frequently dissolved into tears on stage after or during an encounter with a female fan.

An exquisitely lonely man, Michael admitted to his pain of separation and described that loneliness to many who knew him. He was one of the most visible people in the world and yet one of the most lonely. Imagine being in a hotel room in just about any city in the world with adoring fans camped outside your lodgings and not being able to see them, access them, chat with them or have any meaningful interactions. Imagine all that love coming toward you and not being able to access any of it personally, closely, physically or with sexual fulfillment. Michael called himself a “gentleman” when it came to women and the typical “Rocker” story exploitations of fans are glaring in their absence.

Michael would often hand write multiple copies of notes to fans while in his hotel rooms and sneak downstairs to glimpse his fans who were diehard and camped out silently near and around hotels just to be near him and his energy. Or he would write them notes that proclaimed that he could “feel their love through the walls” and would profusely thank them for their love and loyalty. He is known for delivering them himself if it was safe and at other times his security would hand them to fans. Have you ever heard of a Rockstar who did that? Michael would often direct his staff to purchase and deliver blankets and pillows to fans who were camped out in the cold overnight.

In his concerts in the 80s and 90s Michael would have bodyguards either allow or bring a fan onstage to be with Michael and dance with him while he sang a ballad, often “She's Out of My Life.” He did this consistently despite confessing that fans sometimes scared him because they tend to forget manners and convention in their frenzied state and they can pull hair and cause bodily harm. What is remarkable is what happened with each of those fans who made it onto the stage to touch him. Winding their arms around him not wanting to let go, they would vocalize their love for him with “I love you, Michael,” obvious with lip reading.

Many times they sobbed uncontrollably. Sometimes they fainted. One female fan fainted while standing with him on stage and Michael gently lifted her, carrying her across the stage to a bodyguard while he continued to sing. Every time, without fail, Michael would hug female fans genuinely and tenderly while firmly spanning and cradling the back of their head in his hand. Who does that? Only a man who understands women and knows what love really feels like—being held securely and cherished with a simple gesture. Often he would display the chivalrous bowing before the female object of his attention. Michael loved. He loved tenderly. He loved fiercely. It’s in his body language. And the one steady object of his adoration was his fans.

At his arraignment before the 2005 trial, he leaped onto the roof of a car to wave to fans and to have his videographer capture their presence and support at a difficult time in his life. Michael had his crew film everything. He was heavily criticized for that gesture. The media categorzed it as a circus atmosphere, the judge didn't appreciate it and to those who didn't know Michael like his fans and who didn't know what fans meant to him, saw it as disrespectful to the process and as cavalier and arrogant.

That gesture was to thank the fans, acknowledge them and to reassure himself that despite the circumstances, he was still beloved and that fans hadn't deserted him. Michael's gesture was spontaneous and typical Michael. He gave no thought to how it might be interpreted by the cynical audience and media frenzy that surrounded that trial. In every country he visited, Michael might jump on the roofs of vehicles to avoid the crush of rushing and aroused fans or to give them a better look. But the public had no way of knowing that. Michael's constant and only support during the five month ordeal were his fans and family. The absence of celebrities or friends flocking to support him was jarring. Michael needed his fans and to feel their love in order to withstand the relentless legal and personal assaults on his character during the grueling five months of that trial. He needed their energy to prop him up to withstand the daily barrage of insults and assaults upon his personhood and character. Fans got him through the trial. Fans and family.

I didn’t know about Michael Jackson fans until after his death. I supposed he had fans, but I didn’t really know them until I began researching about Michael and his life. Michael’s fans are all over the world and number in the millions. The Thriller album sold more than a hundred million copies.

Like any other celebrity, Michael’s fans are steadfast and loyal but there is an element that goes beyond the worldly manifestation of fan clubs for other entertainers. The exchange between Michael and his fans is, well… otherworldly. There is a tone surrounding Michael’s fans that is hard to describe. It’s as if each of them knows him personally, defends his reputation and his honor at any and every offense or assault, and they are kind and loving people. I began to read their postings as I began researching after his death and it became quickly evident that they all love him and believe implicitly in him and his character through everything that plagued this man throughout his lifetime. They have the facts; they have the evidence to back it all up. Because they follow everything about Michael, they have a context and a history that others are not privy to. Michael Jackson was and still is beloved. Agape? Of course. But he was and is “beloved” in the spiritual sense of the word. And it was not unrequited.

Michael’s fans have followed every event of his life; they know every career turn; they know all the albums and lyrics; they have followed press reports about the superstar; they know all the data. But something else defines Michael Jackson fans and I am at a loss to convey in any understandable terms. There is an unusual almost ethereal communication among his fans and his relationship with them was highly unusual. It is hard to describe and even harder to understand. But there was an element of recognition—a love force or energy, an energetic exchange between Michael and his fans that transcends norms. It couldn’t be seen with the naked eye but it was there. It’s as if they feel each other. Whatever it is or was, it is a new kind of language that the rest of us don’t speak.

During the 2005 trial and at other times, Michael Jackson fans were described as “rabid” or in some way unreasonable. Often they were depicted as being a little or a lot “loony” but that is simply not the case. They also were thought to be so enamored and blinded by the star that they abandoned all sense of propriety, reality or reason when it came to anything Michael. But that too, is simply not the case. MJ fans, as they call themselves know the man. They have a kind of advantage over the rest of society in understanding what non-fans and critics saw as “eccentricities” having simple and plausible explanations. To them it was Michael just being Michael. Because they know the history and have a fuller context of who Michael Jackson was. They have a mental timeline of who Michael was and what he did and there was a deeper understanding than the general public. They don’t excuse his behavior or overlook it because there is no need to. They understood that Michael was different and they fully accept that and see it as a grand reason to love him even more. This historical knowledge and timeline does make a difference—it places events into a context unavailable to most.

“True MJ fans” which is a moniker, speak with one voice regarding his character and his interactions with people and particularly with children. They even have a common language. One of the things that stands out when reading comments by his fans is the familiarity of all of them with what they call “MJ haters.” There is something unsettling and disturbing about the practices of these so called “MJ haters.” They show up on blogs and postings belittling him, his appearance and his character. They appear to be mostly males, mostly conservative Christians by the language and the slant of their posts, and they have very graphic and explicit damning things to say about his interest in children. They have twisted it into a caricature of thick, dark human shadow. They don’t seem to be aware that Michael Jackson was acquitted of all charges in his much publicized trial. “Not guilty” does not make for good tabloid fodder or economics and the yellow press milked the publicity in order to sell copy, so it is conceivable that these males actually did not hear or understand that the trial ended with a favorable outcome for Michael. But the peculiarity and specificity of their language is especially disturbing. It’s violent.

One has to wonder why these “MJ haters” as they are called, bother to monitor the Michael Jackson fan areas and take the opportunity to spew a vile brew of accusation, sensation and condemnation toward a man long ago found innocent. It’s not unusual to see duplicate postings on several sites, sometimes using the same name and obviously the same author. Those postings smack of sexual arousal, machismo gone rogue and a parallel thread of violence. It is obviously designed to arouse someone, but whom? It appears autoerotic. It does get a reaction. These comments are often followed by a “true Michael fan” commenting later to ignore the “hater.” Apparently the fans have experience with this kind of bating. It is apparent also that no amount of factual intervention will convince the unenlightened. There is something really disturbing about the nature of these entries and how forceful they are.

Freudian theory would suppose that the “haters” themselves are latent homosexuals who project their hatred of themselves and their closeted sexual identity confusion onto a representative target—ie. Michael Jackson. Jung would probably say they are displaying their own impotence with a demonstration of jealousy twisted toward a well known man who criticized and lacked machismo, embodied androgyny and sexuality and who aroused the paradox of sexual and maternal feelings in females. That too is evident in the comments by female fans who remark about Michael’s body. That has always been true; the sexual awakening in young females often finds a safe and inaccessible target. And they swoon. It was true for Elvis’ fans in his day and Frank Sinatra before him. The screaming of Beatles’ fans illustrates the same phenomena.

Michael was beloved everywhere in the world. No matter where he went, there were throngs of fans who loved Michael. The irony and paradox that stuns is the knowledge that he could not go out into public and interact with those who loved him because he would not be safe. While it is touching to be the target of so much love and adoration, the fame comes at an enormous cost. No privacy. No friends who know you just as Michael and not as Michael Jackson the mega-star.

Like any public figure and especially a celebrity, Michael attracted fans that could meet the definition of “crazed” but they aren’t many. I have corresponded with Michael’s fans from all over the world and have found them to be thoughtful, dedicated to justice, generous, philanthropic and highly intelligent. They range from children to doctoral candidates. And almost every one I have interacted with have Michael’s ministrations and message in mind—change the world and make it a better place. Love more. And I can tell you from personal experience—they do.

Michael Jackson's fans saw in Michael a light. A light, a love and a goodness that was a shroud that surrounded Michael's being. He shone and his love was shimmering. Fans knew it because they could feel it. It was that real and that palpable. And it is because of Michael that they are committed to making the world a better place. Michael was the messenger. His fans now are the message. Watch. Listen. Learn. Meet a Force that means to change the world.

13 comments:

Ann said...

Thank you for capturing the essence of being an "MJ Fan." It's also comforting to know I haven't been "rabid" for the last 25 years. :-)

He has touched my soul and I'll always "love him more."

Christina said...

Thank You. That was written so beautifully, it touched my heart. You have captured exactly what it is to be a fan of Michael Jackson - you understand that it goes beyond admiration and is based around one thing: love.

Personally, I feel so blessed to have been able to see Michael's 'light' and feel it shine upon me, making me the person who I am today. My love for this man and what he has taught me - how he has opened my eyes - inspires my passion for music, my songwriting and studio work...and urges me to see beauty in the world.

Indeed, Michael was the messenger - and we will continue to carry his message in the best way that we can. Michael believed in a better world, a beautiful world. He looked upon our planet with such purity and innocence...rare and true. He had the ability to not only be an idol to us fans...but to connect with us, return our love, and touch our lives so deeply that, if not for his love, his art...we would be incomplete.
I have a partner, a family, friends and my music, but, in so many ways...Michael was the love of my life. Not physically, not sexually, not romantically - but spiritually. No one else could have given me what he has because they simply did not have the ability to.

I believe that Michael was put on this Earth for a reason: to use his incredible talents, his understanding of creativity, his knowledge of the arts, his love for the world and his purity to spread the message of love.

And in the end that's what it all comes down to, isn't it? Really. Michael was based around love - as are us, his fans. He dreamed of a day where we can 'truly love from the soul, and know love as the ultimate truth at the heart of all creation.'

We - his fans - are already there. We're just waiting for - and trying to help - the rest of the world to get there, too. That is Michael's REAL legacy...

We have his music. We have his dance. We have his poetry, his art.
But we have a firm hold on his love ...and we'll always carry that with us. Always.

Thank You So Much For This Beautiful, Beautiful Article.

Christina.

Anonymous said...

I like your perceptive blog. You're good at nailing things. I, too, have the greatest respect, admiration and appreciation for Michael's fans.
You know what I need to make me feel better now? I need every neglected song of Michael's to see daylight, come out of the vaults--especially the orchestrated ones. I need to know what he was working on (I heard he was doing an album) at the last.
I am hungry for some serious discussion on his musical genius, particularly in Invincible. I need him to be validated for everything he is and has done, in such a way that the average non-fan can access, process and appreciate. I've been studying and enjoying Invincible for a couple of months now, night and day, and am still discovering new and delightful things in each song. That certainly is my yardstick for greatness!

Kat. said...

...Even when he was extremely shy..sometimes... with womens fans... he knows exactly how complace us. It's weird now because he's no longer here but I still have a crush with him specially "Bad Era" too much sensuality from him..I'm young I absolutely love "Bad Era"....lol.

Yes, I believe too that the "sparkle fans" are the BEST, caring, loving, intelligent and beautiful people, with exellent taste in music besides of MJ music. We are a big family.

Thank you for describe us, you are absolutely right, and nobody can feel the pain like us, No one who does not really know him, know the emptiness that we have.
And I'm changing, a lot, I'm now person who cares more about the lonely people, about all the children, about my family and friends, about God.

Hugs B.

chicklets said...

I admire your heartfelt gestures to write the truth about MJ fans.
The world especially LAPD had seen how MJ fans behaved during his memorial service at the Staple Center. They brought in huge numbers of police officers thinking the fans would go wild like crazymaniacs. They were mistaken. The fans listened to the admonition to stay home, watch the event on TV. MJ fans are reasonable, have manners and well-cultured. They've seen how Michael was as person, someone you can follow... Michael took the lead...

It's so sad, I didn't know of him until his passing.. then, suddenly, I felt the loss I can't explain...

candice said...

you captured me in this article, and once again i thank you for all your kind words towards Michael. Lord knows i spent many nights on my knees praying that the world would see him like i did, a pure, gentle soul full of love. it was as if i knew him and he know me. each time he sang he sang to me each time he said i love you more it was to me!! when Michael died my world shattered. i cried and cried! up to last night i cried for Michael.i saw his light and a connection that i could not explain began and a connection i cannot control.I miss him and i love reading your articles because you speak of the essence of a man that is like no other! My Michael.. Thank you so much..

Rachel said...

Hello! I really enjoyed this post, it was very insightful. I proudly and humbly count myself among those whom you call the Sparkle People. I love that name. I love Michael with every part of me and defend my love of him to many who belittle me for it. I have even lost a few "friends" over it, when his death caused in all of us this rebirth, this new awareness of and appreciation for Michael. We can't seem to get enough of him!

Do you have a dot on the MJ Tribute Portrait? You really should get one. I have one. :) I have met so many lovely people there, so many. <3 http://www.michaeljacksontributeportrait.com

My username is wherethereislove.


:)

Also, I think you would love this website a new friend of mine has set up, called Reflections on the Dance. http://www.reflectionsonthedance.com/

and have you heard about the Major Love Prayer initiative? I also know you would love it. Started by us Sparkle People. :D http://www.majorloveprayer.org/

I hope you enjoy all the sites I just shared with you! All are for/by us Sparkle People.

Michael's message was Christ's message, pure and simple. God bless you. <3

maree said...

thank you so much for understanding us-his fans, not many people outside our world do. You captured the love between him and us perfectly. It was unconditional. He was the love of my life and I'm one of the lucky girls that got to hug him on stage and yes, he cradled my head with his hand, he bowed to me, he held me tight, and he said "I love you more" when I whispered I love you in his ear.
The last six months have been the saddest of my life, and I've also lost my father. That's what Mike meant to me, he was my world. I knew the man, I knew what was true and what wasn't and you understand that.
and for my darling Mike I'll just say "What am I supposed to do, when the best part of me was always you"..love you more baby.

Anonymous said...

thank you so much for your beautiful article Michael loved his fans so much & his love was directed to every fan and we love him so much we adore Michael the artist & the men he will always be in our hearts & we'll continue to spread his message of love & peace .
rehab from Morocco

Anonymous said...

My God what a beautiful, thorough and truthful article. Thank you very much! If you look up love in the dictionary, they should have a picture of Michael. If a person can't see the beauty in that man, then they need to wake up. Seriously. I agree that no other celebrity has loved his fans the way MJ does. I had my first crush on him when I was about 9, I think he was probably 11 and I've loved him ever since. It never wavered. But I confess I did have to ignore what was said about him during that trial because every hateful thing said about him really hurt my heart. I decided if I want to relieve this burden, I have to ignore the media and I felt I was turning my back on MJ which I wasn't. But I couldn't take the hate. It was painful for me (and I never met this man). I am so glad he came back home (the US) and I promise I will never turn my back on him again. Love you always, Michael--Glenda in Texas

AMY GRACE said...

Wow. I am amazed not only by your understanding but by how you articulated it so perfectly. Wonderful post, thank you so much.
x

Jacqui said...

Yes, you have described the glory of loving Michael perfectly, because I suspect you feel it too. I have cried every day since Michael died. Making new friends on the various tribute sites has pulled me through times of deep despair. My heart is broken. It feels jagged and shattered and the pain is sharp.

Recently a friend discovered your blog and forwarded it to me. I find you an incredible source of inspiration and explanation of so many things that I have questioned since June 25th. I printed the letter that I received in the initial email describing love for Michael, and the phenonenom happening around the world and I passed it around for those in my circle to read, who don't understand. All I can do is try to educate them, and welcome them to Michael's love if they accept it. If they do not then they will have to go through me, over me, under me or around me because I'm not going anywhere without Michael's love until the day comes when I leave the earth and bring my love to Michael in heaven.

I'll make my own Michael metaphor using Michael's beloved black panther as an example in that Michael's fans are like the female panther protecting her cub from threats. We will always pounce and chase off predators!

Anonymous said...

I did like Michael a lot, but only was struck by lightning after June 25. What happened to me changed my life, that is for sure. And after months of intense Michaeling I am proud to say I am a fan. I don't understand how it came. I so agree with how you described the fans.
You start to love everybody and everything. And I experienced to be more patiently, tolerant, forgiving, helping, compassionate, all the things Michael shows us. What bothers us, is that so many people have no "time" to learn about him. There is so much valuable to find on Internet, like your writings. But people have to actually go and look for it. On TV it would be the place to show all what has been written and shown, to confront the people, throw it at their lap. I find it very difficult to "spread the word", and there is someting that urges me to do that, a desire to make everybody know him and his message. For I know it is worht it...
Thank you for your beautiful truthful series.
Belgium - 57 female