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    Lorette C. Luzajic talks with Michael Jackson Expert Charles Thomson

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    andeli
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    Lorette C. Luzajic talks with Michael Jackson Expert Charles Thomson

    Писане by andeli on Пон Май 24, 2010 9:18 pm

    Thanks so much to Charles Thomson for taking the time to talk with me. Charles is an award winningwriter best known for his work on James Brown and other soul musicians. He writes for The Guardian, The Sun, Huffington Post, MOJO, Wax Poetics, and more. Please visit him at http://www.charles-thomson.net.

    Why are you considered a “Michael Jackson expert?”

    I’m a fan of black music generally and discovered Michael Jackson at a young age. Over the years I’ve amassed a vast collection of black music books, magazines, CDs, DVDs, videotapes and more. There are a few artists who I’ve always found particularly interesting – people like James Brown, Chuck Berry, Prince – and Michael Jackson is one of them. As such, I’ve have had nearly 15 years of ‘study time’ – reading stacks of books, watching documentaries and so on.

    I only began working as a Michael Jackson ‘expert’ last year. In March 2009 I received a tip-off from somebody in Michael’s camp, who gave me specific details about his arrival in London to announce the This Is It shows. They told me which airstrip he was flying into, what time he was landing and where he would be staying. My source asked me to leak the information.

    I worked on that tip-off with the Sun, which is Britain’s biggest newspaper. They used the info to snap exclusive pictures of Jackson disembarking his private jet. Once I had delivered an exclusive of that magnitude, the Sun decided to keep using me and I’ve worked with them frequently since then.

    My most recent Michael Jackson contribution was the Sun’s exclusive revelation that filmmakers had dubbed old vocals into ‘This Is It’. That story really illustrates my role perfectly. When I saw the film I noticed immediately that the vocals during the latter half of Earth Song were dubbed in from Michael’s 1991 demo. Only a fan or an expert would notice that. Similarly, I noticed the lyric change in Billie Jean and realized that the vocals on that track were also dubbed in from a demo.

    I passed my notes to the Sun, who hired audio experts to confirm that the vocals were old and eventually got a Sony rep to admit it.

    That might sound like a negative story but I didn’t like the deceit involved – selling tickets to a ‘documentary’ but not really delivering one. A documentary should be truthful and honest. It shouldn’t be dubbed to paint an inaccurate picture. I also felt that the dubbed vocals could be there to disguise something – something that might blow apart the filmmakers’ claims that they had no idea Michael Jackson was experiencing ill-health or using drugs. I didn’t think I should let it go unreported.

    You stood within metres of Michael Jackson. Did you feel it? What is it exactly that is emanating off of him to cause mass faintings, millions of tattoos, crazy love, wild and absurd sexual desire, sobbing, loyalty, hysteria, even madness?

    The first time I saw him up close, at the World Music Awards in 2006, was quite exciting because there seemed to be a mass hysteria around his appearance. It felt like an event. The place blew up when he finally appeared onstage. He certainly looked striking – different to his photographs. He was incredibly slender, particularly given that he was approaching fifty. He walked very majestically, almost like he was floating. He was impeccably dressed and his face looked, dare I say it, quite normal – certainly a lot better than it looked in most photos. But for all the hysteria, after he’d left the stage I felt a little empty. To be honest, I think that 1993 drained a lot of the joy out of him and the trial killed most of what was left. He seemed to just be going through the motions.

    At the announcement in March 2009 something just didn’t feel right. I’d heard that Jackson was supposed to fly over a week previously to announce the gigs but had pulled out (you’ll read more about that in Randy Taraborrelli’s updated biog, due out in Summer). Also, he was very late on the day of the announcement (more on that in Taraborrelli’s book, too) and the PR people seemed to be slightly on edge in the press room.

    I had dinner with a group of friends right afterwards inside the O2 complex and we all agreed that something had seemed wrong. He had sounded like he didn’t want to be there – ‘This is the final curtain call, OK?’ – and rather than feeling excited I just felt like the whole thing was doomed from the beginning. Although I bought tickets and hoped the shows would go ahead, deep down I expected the concerts to be cancelled for one reason or another.

    I don’t really think I can comment on what it was about Michael Jackson which elicited the hysteria often exhibited by his fans, because I think that whatever it was, after 1993 it wasn’t really there anymore. It was as though all the soul had been stamped out of him; like you were watching the shell of Michael Jackson but his essence had long since dissipated.

    Although I’ve loved Michael for nearly a quarter century, I never actually contemplated how I would feel when he died. I’ve felt desperate, devastating grief with the loss of a man I never actually met. Do you think the kind of energy of love that Michael put out there, the feeling that he personally loves each and every one of us, is real? Can art make that real, or is his love- and ours- an illusion?

    Michael’s concern for people certainly seemed genuine – you don’t give away millions of dollars unless you really believe in the cause. Nor do you open your home to strangers unless you really want to.

    However, after 1993 he never seemed quite the same. As I said earlier, it was like all of the joy had been stamped out of him. He reiterated the same sentiments as before but now they felt more like catchphrases than heartfelt messages. He seemed to speak almost entirely in repetitive soundbites: ‘I love you more’. ‘The best is yet to come’. ‘Burn the tabloids’. It was like he was on autopilot.

    In truth, I think he was bored and fed up with being Michael Jackson. I think he just wanted a quiet life but felt under pressure to be Michael Jackson all the time.

    What makes Michael different?

    As an artist, Michael Jackson had the complete package. He could sing, dance, write and compose. Little Richard once called Michael Jackson the ‘most complete artist’ he ever knew. Michael Jackson, at his peak, raised the bar for quality as both a recording artist and a live performer.

    But there have other artists who could sing, dance, write and compose. James Brown and Prince both spring to mind but there are plenty more. However, none of them inspired the same hysteria and adulation as Michael Jackson. I think it was his personality that his fans really bought into. Michael Jackson’s relationship with his fans went beyond posing for the occasional picture or signing the odd autograph.

    For instance, in 2001 he played two concerts in New York – one on September 7th and one on September 10th. The terrorist attacks happened on the 11th and many fans who had flown to New York to see Michael Jackson were left stranded with little or no money. Jackson tracked down some of those fans and covered them financially, paying for their hotels while they were stuck in NY and then funding their trips home. There aren’t many other artists who would do that.

    You mentioned how hard your own grief was. In light of the many interesting the world mourned Michael, what course did your experience take?

    Grief is a strong word – I don’t think I’ve ever said I experienced grief after Michael Jackson’s death. Shock, certainly. Sadness too. But I have always taken a very rational approach to Michael Jackson – I never felt personally connected to him in any way. I appreciated him as an artist but I wasn’t afraid to address his shortcomings. I’ve never defended his prolific miming or his decision to let kids into his bedroom or the baby-dangling incident.

    A lot of people saw Michael Jackson as an intricate part of their lives – like a friend or a family member – but I always saw him as an entertainer whose work I admired. I was saddened by the loss and I think his story is as tragic as it is triumphant. I feel sorry that he will miss watching his children grow up and it’s a shame that he fought tooth and nail to survive his trial only to die four years later having not done a whole lot in the interim. But I didn’t get dressed up in mourning gear or make any plans to travel to LA. Did I shed a few tears during the televised memorial? Of course I did. But so did an estimated billion other people.

    I believe the witch-hunt and eventual lynching of Michael Jackson speaks volumes about our gladiatorial darkness, the spectre of the Inquisition and the Burning Times, the joy we used to take in public hangings and stonings. So why Michael Jackson, the one we loved most?

    I interviewed Aphrodite Jones in 2008 for a now defunct magazine called Deadline. The article is on my website. She made a comment during the interview about the public’s enjoyment of the ‘lynching’ of celebrities: “There’s this ghoulish sense of everyday people taking pleasure in witnessing the downfall of celebrities; this morbid sense of glee at watching those better off than ourselves being punished for their success.”

    I think Jackson was targeted by the media primarily because he was the most famous man on the planet. Big name + big story = big revenue. I think it also irritated the media - understandably – that Jackson kept stitching them up. At his peak Jackson was forever planting stories about himself, then publicly whinging about them and urging his fans to boycott newspapers! You can see why that would have got up their noses.

    Many think he may have been targeted on account of his race and I think it would be shortsighted to rule that out entirely. I often compare Jackson to Jack Johnson, the world’s first black Heavyweight Boxing Champion. Johnson’s media treatment was unarguably racist, and Jackson’s media treatment has been unarguably similar; name-calling, rampant misquoting, bogus stories, derogatory cartoons, biased coverage of criminal allegations – so on and so forth.

    Just as Johnson was a black world champion more than fifty years before segregation was lifted, Jackson was a black man who outsold Elvis and owned the Beatles in an era when MTV still didn’t like putting African Americans on its TV channels.

    You can trace it on a timeline; Before Thriller hit, Jackson was already getting surgery. His make-up was already lightening and his voice was already high. His friends were already young. As long as Jackson was only successful within his own racial parameters, the media didn’t care. But the moment Thriller broke white records – the moment he outsold Elvis and started buying white musicians’ publishing – the media was suddenly interested in his surgery, his light skin, his high voice and his young friends. The moment Jackson threatened the status quo, he became a target.

    Arguably, like Johnson, he was seen as a black man who didn’t know his place.

    What is undeniable is that in certain areas of the media there is a blatant and concerted attempt to slander Michael Jackson as frequently as possible. Facts are intentionally misstated and false information is intentionally represented as truth. That much is unarguable.

    My knee-jerk response to Evan Chandler’s suicide was hardly charitable, though if I judged everyone for the mess they made out of their own lives, I’d have to judge myself most harshly. But I can’t deny that my immediate response was, “What, couldn’t live with the guilt?” Of course, Chandler’s health and fractured family were no doubt contributing factors. The question here is why no one knows this story. Surely, it should be slathered over every paper, not meted out in a page 17 dribble, given its sensationalism. You talk about media bias. Why has no one heard about Evan Chandler trying to kill Jordan, a few years back, with a gym barbell and some mace? Wouldn’t both of these stories pay big time, too?

    I think the primary reason Evan Chandler’s death wasn’t widely reported is because nobody knew anything about him. Most major outlets covered the story but all of their articles contained exactly the same information because so little was known.

    The only in-depth report I saw was a totally factually inaccurate feature in the Daily Mail, which I reported to the Press Complaints Commission for breaching about seven sections of the Code of Practice, including an overt reference to Jackson as ‘a common paedophile’. Unsurprisingly, they found no merit to my complaint. They don’t seem to be interested when newspapers baselessly accuse an innocent black man of paedophilia.

    And yet, if the Daily Mail referred to Paul McCartney as a ‘common paedophile’, I think the PCC would probably have something to say about it.

    That story about Evan trying to kill his son didn’t suit the media’s agenda. It portrayed Evan as a violent and shady character and suggested that the pair’s relationship was far from tight-knit or functional, lending credibility to claims that Jordy despised his father for apparently forcing him to lie in 1993. That story about Evan trying to kill Jordy with a barbell – it shattered the myth of Evan as the doting father who just wanted justice for his son.

    The timing was particularly bad for the media as the incident happened shortly after Jackson’s 2005 trial, during which most outlets had routinely skewed evidence and testimony in order to portray Jackson as guilty. Their first accuser discrediting himself [again] didn’t quite tally with the picture they’d been trying to paint.

    Ending on a lighter note, what are your personal Michael Jackson faves (songs, videos, moments, etc.)

    My favourite solo albums are Off The Wall and Thriller but I also rank the Jacksons albums Destiny and Triumph alongside them. Michael actually had more creative input on Destiny and Triumph than he did on Off The Wall and Thriller and I think the albums are just as good – those albums are where Jackson really flourished as a lyricist and a composer. His later work becomes patchy for me – too processed.

    In terms of live performance, I like everything from the Destiny Tour up to the Bad Tour.

    Bad Tour is easily the pinnacle of Jackson’s career as a solo performer. What he did with that tour was to successfully merge the spectacle you expected from a pop concert with the musical legitimacy you expected from a James Brown concert. So you got all live music and vocals, but you also got great costumes, great dancing and so on. On subsequent tours the focus seemed to shift away from the music and towards the spectacle, so you had tanks driving onstage or angels floating out of the rafters – but you forfeited the live vocals. I would rather have the live experience than the tank. I’d never even consider buying a ticket to a concert if I knew it was going to be mimed.

    My three favourite videos are Thriller, Smooth Criminal and Remember The Time.

    goodbye, Billie Jean: the meaning of Michael Jackson


    Превода е направен от Калин@ и е със специалното й разрешение да бъде ползван от мен, за което сърдечно й благодаря!

    Lorette C. Luzajic talks with Michael Jackson Expert Charles Thomson

    Благодаря на Charles Thomson, че отдели време да разговаря с мен. Чарлз е автор, печелил различни награди, и е най-известен със статиите си за Джеймс Браун и други соул музиканти. Той пише за The Guardian, The Sun, Huffington Post, MOJO, Wax Poetics и др. http://www.charles-thomson.net.

    ?: Защо те считат за “Michael Jackson expert?”

    - Аз съм почитател на черната музика като цяло и открих Майкъл Джексън още в ранната си младост. През годините натрупах огромна колекция от книги за черна музика, списания, CDs, DVDs, видеозаписи и др. Малцина са изпълнителите, които намирам за особено интересни – хора като Джеймс Браун, Чък Бери, Принс – и Майкъл Джексън е един от тях. И поради това съм го ‘изучавал’ в продължение на 15 години – изчел съм куп книги, гледал съм документални филми и т.н.

    Започнах да работя като Michael Jackson ‘expert’ едва миналата година. През март 2009 получих информация от човек на Майкъл, който ми съобщи подробности около пристигането му в Лондон по случай обяваването на концертите This Is It. Казаха ми на коя писта ще кацне, в колко часа, и къде ще отседне. Източникът ми ме помоли да разпространя информацията.

    Работих по тази информация в сътрудничество с the Sun, който е най-големият британски вестник. Те използваха информацията, за да направят ексклузивни снимки на Джексън при слизането му от частния му самолет. И тъй като им бях предоставил информация от такава величина, те решиха да продължат да работят с мен и до днес.

    Последният ми принос за Sun по темата Майкъл Джексън бе разкритието, че създателите на филма са дублирали/озвучили ‘This Is It’ със стари вокали. Тази история идеално илюстрира моята роля. Когато гледах филма, веднага забелязах, че вокалите от втората половина на Earth Song са от демо на Майкъл от 1991. Само фен или експерт в тази област би могъл да забележи това. Освен това ми направи впечатление и разминаване в текста на Били Джийн и осъзнах, че вокалите в тази песен също са добавени допълнително от стар демозапис.

    Предадох записките си по въпроса на the Sun и те наеха аудио експерти, които да потвърдят, че вокалите са стари, и на финала се свързаха с представител на Сони, който да го потвърди.

    Това може да ви прозвучи като негативна история, но на мен не ми хареса използването на подобна измама – да продаваш билети за ‘документален’ филм, но на практика да не предлагаш на зрителя точно това. Един документален филм трябва да е правдив и откровен. Не бива да е дублиран и озвучаван допълнително, за да рисува една неточна картина. Освен това имах чувството, че монтираните вокали може би прикриват нещо – нещо, което би могло да направи на пух и прах твърденията на създателите (на филма), че не са имали никаква представа, че Майкъл Джексън е имал здравословни проблеми или е използвал drugs. Сметнах, че не бих могъл да подмина това без да му дам медийна гласност.

    ?: Ти си стоял на метри от Майкъл Джексън. Усети ли го? Какво точно е онова, което се излъчва от него, за да предизвиква масови припадъци, милиони татуировки, луда любов, диво и необуздано сексуално желание, плач, вярност, истерия, дори лудост?

    - Първият път, когато го видях отблизо, на World Music Awards, 2006, беше много вълнуващо, защото появата му предизвика масова истерия. Изпитваш усещането, че присъстваш на голямо събитие. Мястото просто се взриви, когато той най-после излезе на сцената. Определено изглеждаше поразително – различен от снимките. Беше изключително слаб/строен/крехък, особено като се има предвид, че наближаваше 50.

    Ходеше много величествено, все едно се носеше над земята. Беше облечен безупречно и лицето му, смея да твърдя, изглеждаше съвсем нормално – със сигурност много по-добре, отколкото изглежда на повечето снимки. Но при всичката истерия, след като той напусна сцената, аз почувствах някаква празнота. Честно казано, смятам, че 1993 изцеди голяма част от радостта/веселието/удоволствието му, а процесът уби голяма част от онова, което беше останало. Изглеждаше така, сякаш извършваше движенията си просто механично.

    На пресконференцията през март, 2009, усетих, че нещо не е наред. Бях чул, че Джаксън трябва да пристигне седмица по-рано, за да обяви концертите, но го беше отложил (подробностите може да прочетете през лятото в блога на Тараборели). Освен това той много закъсня и журналистите в залата бяха леко изнервени.

    Вечерях с група приятели веднага след това в сградата на О2 и всички бяхме единодушни, че нещо не беше наред. Той звучеше така, сякаш не искаше да бъде там – ‘This is the final curtain call, OK?’ – и вместо да изпитам вълнение, аз имах усещането, че цялото това събитие е обречено от самото начало. Макар че си купих билети и го очаквах с нетърпение, дълбоко в себе си се надявах, че концертите ще бъдат отменени по една или друга причина.

    Не мисля че бих могъл да кажа с какво точно Майкъл Джексън предизвикваше истерията сред почитателите си, защото смятам, че каквото и да е било, след 1993 то сякаш беше изчезнало. Сякаш цялата му душа беше изтръгната от него; все едно виждаш обвивката на Майкъл Джексън, но духът му, същността му отдавна са изчезнали.

    ?: Макар че обичам Майкъл Джексън от почти четвърт век, всъщност никога не бях се замисляла как бих се почувствала при новината за смъртта му. И когато това се случи, изпитах отчайваща, опустошителна мъка от загубата на човек, когото на практика не познавам лично. Мислиш ли, че тази енергия от любов, която Майкъл разпръскваше, усещането, че обича всеки един от нас поотделно, е истинска? Може ли изкуството да направи това релност или неговата любов – и нашата – е илюзия?

    - Загрижеността на Майкъл към хората със сигурност изглеждаше истинска и неподправена – човек не дарява милиони долари, ако не вярва истински в каузата. Нито път отваря вратите на дома си за непознати, ако няма такова желание.

    Но след 1993 той вече не беше същият. Както споменах, все едно цялата му радост е била изтръгната от него, угаснала. Той продължаваше да дава израз на същото отношение, на същите чувства, но те вече създаваха усещането по-скоро за клишета, отколкото за послания, идващи от сърцето. Той почти непрекъснато повтаряше едни и същи фрази „Аз ви обичам повече”, „Най-доброто тепърва предстои”, „Изгорете таблоидите”. Сякаш беше на автопилот.

    Искреното ми мнение е, че на него му беше дотегнало да бъде Майкъл Джексън. Аз мисля, че той просто искаше един спокоен и тих живот, но се чувстваше принуден да бъде Майкъл Джексън непрекъснато.

    ?: Кое е онова, което прави Майкъл различен?

    - Като изпълнител, Майкъл Джексън притежаваше пълния комплект от качества. Можеше да пее, да танцува, да пише и да композира. Little Richard веднъж нарече Майкъл Джексън „най-завършеният артист”, когото някога е познавал. Майкъл Джексън, във връхната точка на кариерата си, вдигна границата за качество както за звукозаписен изпълнител, така и за концертни изпълнения на живо.

    Имало е и други артисти, които са умеели да пеят, танцуват, пишат и композират. Веднага ми идват наум Принс и Джеймс Браун, както и мнозина други. Но никой от тях не е вдъхновявал такава истерия и обожание като Майкъл Джексън. Аз смятам, че онова, което грабваше почитателите, беше неговата личност/характер/индивидуалност. Връзката на Майкъл Джексън с почитателите му отиваше далеч отвъд раздаването на автографи и позирането за снимки.

    Например, когато той изнесе два концерта в Ню Йорк през 2001 – един на 7-ми и един на 10-ти септември . Терористичните атаки се случиха на 11-ти септември и много фенове, които бяха летели до Ню Йорк за концертите, се озоваха блокирани там, разполагайки с малко или никакви пари. Той издири някои от тях, покри финансовите им разноски по време на престоя им в Ню Йорк, плати хотелските им сметки и самолетните им билети за връщане. Не са много изпълнителите, които биха постъпили по този начин.

    ?: Ти спомена колко тежка е била собствената ти скръб. Като се има предвид колко много хора по света скърбиха за Майкъл, какви бяха твоите преживявания?

    - „Скръб” е много силна дума – не се сещам да съм казвал, че съм изпитал скръб/мъка след смъртта на Майкъл Джексън. Шок, със сигурност. Тъга – също. Но аз винаги съм имал много разумен/трезв подход спрямо Майкъл Джексън – никога не съм се чувствал лично свързан с него по никакъв начин. Оценявах го и го уважавах като артист, но не съм се страхувал да говоря за слабостите му. Никога не съм аплодирал честите му изпълнения на плейбек, или решението му да пуска деца в спалнята си, или „балконската” случка с бебето.

    Много хора виждаха Майкъл Джексън като важна част от живота си – като приятел или член на семейството, – но за мен той винаги е бил изпълнител, от чиято работа/творчество съм се възхищавал. Изпитах тъга от тази загуба и смятам, че неговата житейска история е колкото трагична, толкова и триумфална. Тъжно ми е, че няма да види как децата му растат и е наистина жалко, че той се бори със зъби и нокти да оцелее по време на процеса, само за да умре четири години по-късно, без да успее да осъществи почти нищо от плановете си в този промеждутък. Но не съм носил траурни дрехи и не съм правил планове да пътувам до LA. Дали пророних някоя и друга сълза по време на излъчваното по телевизията поклонение? Разбира се. Заедно с още един милиард други хора.

    ?: Според мен ловът на вещици и желанието в крайна сметка Майкъл Джексън да бъде линчуван, е много показателно за гладиаторската ни тъмна страна, за сянката на Инквизицията и кладите, за удоволствието, което сме изпитвали от публичното бесило и убиването с камъни. Защо точно Майкъл Джексън – защо този, когото обичахме най-много?

    - Интервюирах Aphrodite Jones през 2008 за вече несъществуващото списание Deadline. Статията е публикувана на уебсайта ми. Тя направи един коментар по време на интервюто относно удоволствието на обществото от „линчуването” на знаменитости: „Съществува едно злокобно/страховито чувство у обикновения/редови човек да изпитва удоволствие, когато става свидетел на падението на знаменитостите; това мрачно/болестно усещане за ликуване, когато виждаш как онези, които са по-добре от теб, биват наказвани за успеха си”.

    Смятам, че Джексън се намираше под прицела на медиите най-вече защото той беше най-известният човек на планетата. Голямо име + голяма новина = големи печалби. Освен това медиите се дразнеха – разбираемо – че Джаксън непрекъснато ги разиграваше. Във върха на кариерата си Джаксън постоянно пускаше слухове за себе си, а после публично се оплакваше от тях и насърчаваше феновете си да бойкотират вестниците! И ето защо те непрекъснато душеха около него.

    Мнозина смятат, че той може би е бил нападан заради расата си. Според мен е наивно да отхвърляме категорично подобна възможност. Аз често сравнявам Джаксън с Джак Джонсън, първият чернокож, станал световен шампион по бокс тежка категория. Медийното отношение към Джонсън беше несъмнено расистко, а медийното отношение към Джаксън беше несъмнено подобно; обидни думи/имена, масово изопачаване на думите му, измислени истории, пренебрежителни карикатури, пристрастно отразяване на криминалните обвинения срещу него – и т.н и т.н.

    И точно както Джонсън беше чернокож световен шампион повече от 50 години преди премахването на сегрегацията, Джаксън беше един чернокож, който надмина Елвис по продажби и притежаваше Битълс в една епоха, когато MTV все още не обичаше да пуска афроамериканци по своите канали.

    Можете да проследите това във времето; още преди Трилър да стане хит, Джаксън вече имаше пластични операции. Гримът му вече клонеше към избеляване, а гласът му вече беше висок (тънък?). Приятелите около него вече бяха доста млади. И докато Джаксън ограничаваше успехите си в параметрите на собствената си раса, медиите изобщо не ги беше грижа. Но в момента, в който Трилър счупи „бели” рекорди – в момента, в който надмина Елвис по продажби и започна да купува каталозите на „бели” музиканти – медиите изведнъж започнаха да се интересуват от операциите му, от светлата му кожа, от тънкия му глас и от малките му приятели. В момента, в който Джаксън застраши статуквото, той се превърна в мишена.

    Най-вероятно, също като Джонсън, и той е бил виждан като самозабравил се чернокож, който не си знае мястото.

    Онова, което не може да се отрече, е че в определени медийни кръгове съществува нагъл и единодушен стремеж да клеветят Майкъл Джексън колкото се може по-често. Фактите преднамерено се изопачават, а лъжливата информация преднамерено се представя като истина. Това поне не може да се отрече.

    ?: Моята мигновена реакция на новината за самоубийството на Еван Чандлър едва ли може да се нарече великодушна, макар че ако трябваше да съдя хората по кашите, които са сътворили в живота си, щеше да се наложи да съдя себе си най-сурово. Но не мога да отрека, че първата ми реакция беше „Какво? Явно не е могъл да живее с тежестта на вината?” Разбира се, здравословното състояние на Чандлър и разрушеното му семейство несъмнено са факти, които също са допринесли за това. Въпросът тук е защо никой не знае тази история. Защо за такава сензационна новина не се тръбеше по всички вестници, а беше избутана на 17-та страница в няколко изречения? Това ли наричаш медиен интерес? Защо никой не чу, че Еван Чандлър се е опитал да убие Джордан преди няколко години, с щанга за фитнес и някаква бухалка? Тези две истории нямаше ли да им докарат огромни печалби?

    - Мисля че основната причина, поради която новината за смъртта на Еван Чандлър не беше широко разпространена е това, че никой не знаеше нищо за него. Повечето големи медийни източници отразиха историята, но всички статии съдържаха абсолютно еднаква информация, защото за него се знае съвсем малко.

    Единственият по-подробен репортаж, който срещнах, беше абсолютно неточен от фактологична гледна точка, публикуван в Daily Mail, и аз подадох жалба до Комисията за журналистическа етика за нарушаване на седем точки от Кодекса, в това число явните препратки към Джаксън като „педофил”. Изобщо не се изненадах, че сметнаха жалбата ми за неоснователна. Те очевидно не се интересуват, когато вестниците необосновано обвиняват невинен чернокож в педофилия.

    Но ако Daily Mail бяха нарекли Пол Макартни „педофил”, смятам че Комисията вероятно щеше да вземе отношение по въпроса.

    Тази история, относно опита на Еван да убие сина си, не пасваше на медийната рамка. Тя обрисуваше Еван като жесток и тъмен образ и щеше да остави внушението, че връзката между двамата не е здрава и сплотена, и щеше да разпали мнението, че Джорди е ненанавиждал баща си за това, че явно го е принудил да лъже през 1993. Тази история за Еван, който се е опитал да убие Джорди с щанга – тя разруши мита за любящия баща, който просто търси справедливост за сина си.

    Моментът, в който се случи това, беше крайно неподходящ за медиите, тъй като съвпадна с края на процеса срещу Джаксън през 2005, по време на който повечето медии масово изкривяваха показанията и фактите, за да обрисуват Джаксън като виновен. Техният пръв обвинител се дискредитира (отново) и това не се връзваше особено с картинката, която те се опитваха да нарисуват.

    ?:Да завършим с нещо по-приятно, какви са личните ти фаворити в творчеството на Майкъл Джексън? (песни, клипове, моменти от живота му и т.н.)

    - Любимите ми солоалбуми са Off The Wall и Thriller, но слагам на едно ниво с тях и албумите на „Jacksons” Destiny и Triumph. Майкъл всъщност има много по-голям творчески принос за Destiny и Triumph отколкото за Off The Wall и Thriller и аз смятам, че тези албуми са също толкова добри. В тях Джаксън истински процъфтява като автор на текстове и композитор. По-късните му неща са твърде кърпени за мен – твърде обработени.

    По отношение на изпълненията на живо, харесвам всичко от Destiny Tour до Bad Tour.
    Bad Tour е безспорно върхът в соловата кариера на Джаксън. Това, което той направи в това турне, успешно обединява спектакъла, който човек очаква от един поп концерт, с музикалната класа на концерт на Джеймс Браун. Така че получаваш цялата жива музика и вокали, но заедно с тях получаваш и великолепни костюми, великолепна хореография, танци и всичко останало.

    На следващите турнета фокусът сякаш се премести от музиката към спектакъла, на сцената се появиха танкове, от покрива се спускаха ангели – но липсваха вокалите на живо. Аз предпочиам пеенето на живо пред танка на сцената. Дори не би ми хрумнало да си купя билет, ако съм знаел, че ще се пее на плейбек.
    Трите ми любими видеоклипа са Тhriller, Smooth Criminal и Remember The Time.


    Последната промяна е направена от andeli на Съб Юни 05, 2010 11:03 pm; мнението е било променяно общо 1 път


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    andeli
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    Female Aquarius Брой мнения : 3160
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    Re: Lorette C. Luzajic talks with Michael Jackson Expert Charles Thomson

    Писане by andeli on Вто Май 25, 2010 10:36 am

    The Molestation Charges

    Charles Thomson is an authority on soul and funk music. He as written for The Sun, The Guardian, MOJO, Wax Poetics and the Huffington Post. In November 2009 he won a Guardian Award for his article ‘James Brown: The Lost Album’.

    In 2008 Charles interviewed Aphrodite Jones about her book Michael Jackson Conspiracy, in which she claimed that the media had intentionally skewed its reporting on the Michael Jackson trial. Jones praised Charles for what she considered the best article ever written about her.

    Charles is also used as a Michael Jackson expert by Britain’s biggest newspaper, The Sun. More, he is one of the journalists who requested that Michael Jackson’s FBI files be made public, under the Freedom of Information Act.

    I wanted to know more about the facts surrounding Jackson’s innocence. Charles generously took the time to share some with me.

    Please visit him at www.charles-thomson.net.

    When you are reporting about documents and letters and so on in regards to the ugly molestation investigations and trials, how do you know you’re getting accurate information in the vast sea of media? Can we be as certain as you are that Jackson is innocent?

    Nobody can ever state with absolute certainty what happened behind closed doors between Michael Jackson and Jordan Chandler or Gavin Arvizo. Only the people who were in the room will ever know that for sure. On the whole, my articles are more about the media than Michael Jackson.

    My point is, and has always been, that we live in a society which supposedly values the principle that a man is considered innocent until he is proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt. The doubt in the Michael Jackson cases was beyond reasonable. It was astronomical.

    Michael Jackson was targeted by the SBPD and the FBI in investigations which spanned more than a decade. During that time neither organization was ever able to produce a single piece of evidence connecting Jackson to any of the allegations made against him. Not only was there no evidence, but the witnesses were completely unreliable; they frequently contradicted their own and each other’s stories and were often caught out in lies. Both sets of accusers enquired about suing Jackson before they ever considered going to the police. One family chose money over justice and the other approached a lawyer about suing Jackson before they’d even met him.

    Michael Jackson was unanimously found not guilty on every single charge in his 2005 trial. Critics say that ‘not guilty isn’t the same as innocent’. Total poppycock. Our society deems that a man is innocent until he is proven guilty. Jackson was not proven guilty, ergo he is innocent.

    But the overriding theme of my work on Michael Jackson is less about his innocence and more about the media’s guilt. The point I am constantly driving home is that it is not the media’s place to decide whether or not a man is guilty of a crime.

    The judicial system deemed that Michael Jackson was an innocent man and that finding was supported by a whole stack of evidence – something that can’t be said for the prosecution’s case. So what right has the media to continue insinuating that Jackson was a child molester? It is irresponsible and unethical, and it is so widespread that it has become the norm. Journalists who actually report ethically on Michael Jackson are seen as traitors or morons simply for doing their jobs properly.

    I’ve seen various people on the web describe me as a ‘floon’ for writing the stories that I do about Michael Jackson – palming me off as an obsessive fan. I don’t even like all of his albums or tours! They try to debunk my research as biased, even though much of it is sourced directly from legal documents and audio-visual evidence. Then they use unsupported testimony from Evan Chandler as their ‘proof’ that I am incorrect. It’s laughable.

    What’s truly hilarious about those people, though, is their hypocrisy. On the one hand they try to discredit me by claiming my research is poor. Meanwhile, they are pedaling all sorts of lies about me. Some of them claim that I don’t actually exist, branding me a ‘fake writer’. Others claim that I am actually a woman called Deborah French, which is a total fabrication.

    So you have this hilarious paradox whereby these people are on the one hand calling me a liar and on the other hand actively concocting their own lies about me.

    Regarding the issue of Jackson’s innocence or guilt, I simply go by the evidence at hand. The available evidence strongly suggests that Jackson was innocent in 1993 and 2005.

    Why Michael Jackson, and why molestation? Thousands of cases go unacknowledged, tossed aside, never touched. Then there are the other “child molesters.” Jerry Lee Lewis, Roman Polanski, Elvis, Woody Allen, R. Kelly, etc. Even when Roman recently made news again, it was brief and disinterested. Woody Allen is an unlikely sex symbol and artistic hero. I’ve never heard the press or anyone refer to this set in a negative light, even if their proclivities were mentioned. It was, instead, kind of heroic, or a ‘tick’ of some kind.

    You make an extremely valid point. Other celebrities have been accused of behaving inappropriately with children and, unlike Jackson, some have been found guilty. But they aren’t subjected to anything like the bile reserved for Jackson.

    Part of it, of course, is down to the fact that Jackson was such an enormous star. Roman Polanski and Jerry Lee Lewis don’t come anywhere close to Jackson’s level of fame. But what about Elvis? He is constantly touted by the media as Jackson’s only opponent in the global fame stakes.

    Putting R Kelly to one side because he was acquitted, what do you notice about everybody else on the above list?

    They’re all white. There is a clear racial double standard on this issue and it has always existed.

    Back in 1959 Elvis Presley was overtly dating Priscilla Beaulieu (who later became Priscilla Presley). Priscilla was 14 years old. Furthermore, Presley’s musician Scotty Moore says in his autobiography that before Elvis began dating Priscilla, he was dating an even younger girl (making her a maximum of 13 years old). Not only did the media apparently not see anything wrong with this at the time – but they still don’t mention it even today. Priscilla openly admits that she and Elvis were sexually involved with one another while she was underage, but documentaries and articles relay this information casually and collectedly. There is no hysteria or condemnation for Elvis Presley.

    So Elvis is known to have dated and been sexually involved with minors, but the media couldn’t be less interested. Meanwhile, Jackson was merely accused and subsequently acquitted, but the media delights in telling us as often as possible that he was a pedophile.

    In the same year that Elvis Presley began overtly dating a 14 year old girl, Chuck Berry gave a 14 year old girl a lift across the state line and hired her to work as a hat check girl in his nightclub. He was arrested under the Mann Act for ‘transporting a minor across the state line for immoral purposes’ and given three years in jail.

    As recently as 2008, Chuck Berry came to the UK – aged 83 – to play a handful of gigs. The regional media kicked up a stink about one his shows and it ended up cancelled. There’s that racial double standard again. Elvis routinely dated underage girls – nobody cares. Chuck Berry gave somebody a job and ended up tarred as a sexual deviant for the rest of his life.

    Chuck Berry was seen as a threat to the status quo in 1950s America. His music was seen as immoral. Rock & Roll was exciting to teenage girls and the establishment didn’t approve of them going gooey-eyed over a negro singer. He was slung in jail on a ludicrous charge and by the time he got out, America had crowned Elvis as its ‘King’.

    Michael Jackson was, like Berry, a threat to the status quo. Jackson was an Afro-American who outsold Elvis and owned the Beatles. When Paul McCartney wanted to play his own song, he had to pay Michael Jackson royalties. There had never been a situation like that before.

    In 2004 Eminem trashed Jackson in a music video. In 2007, Jackson bought Eminem’s catalogue. How’s that for black power?

    Jackson refused to accept limitations and, like Jack Johnson before him, it’s arguable that it made him a target.

    You’ll notice that the other common strand among those listed above is that they were all involved with girls rather than boys. The media’s reaction to the allegations against Jackson was not only perhaps fuelled by racism but also laced with homophobia. It’s OK for Elvis to openly date 13 year old girls, but it’s not OK for Michael Jackson to merely hang out with 13 year old boys.

    What if we’re wrong? If tomorrow, a video shows Jackson as a guilty man, how should Team Innocent react? What will happen to all the “I love you, Michael!” and to the vast outpouring of loyalty and affection the world over?

    I think logic dictates that no such evidence exists. The FBI and the SBPD both investigated Jackson for prolonged periods and neither organization was ever able to produce any evidence connecting Jackson to any crime. Meanwhile, other boys came forward and said they’d slept in Jackson’s room and he’d never touched them. The accusers themselves couldn’t get their stories straight. Jordy botched the description of Jackson’s genitals. Witnesses came forward to disprove the accusers’ stories in both cases.

    In brief, if Jackson is guilty, how can there be so much evidence to suggest his innocence?

    And given that there is so much information discrediting the 1993 allegations, what are the chances that the subsequent allegations are genuine? It would be a bit of a coincidence if the first allegations were bogus but the subsequent ones were true.

    If ever evidence does come to light that shows Jackson was guilty, then I will accept that evidence. As I said earlier, my focus is more on the media than it is on Jackson. I’m not necessarily working to vindicate Michael Jackson. I’m working to challenge media outlets which skew evidence and print blatant fabrications.

    If evidence comes to light in future which proves Jackson is guilty, it won’t excuse the fact that the media has spent almost two decades actively skewing the evidence which is currently available.

    Whether it is Michael Jackson or an anonymous street cleaner from Wisconsin – it is simply unacceptable for the media to fabricate evidence and misrepresent testimony, or to call somebody a child molester when they have not been convicted of any crime. It is unethical and unprofessional for any media outlet to intentionally misrepresent any information, no matter what subject they’re writing about.

    For instance, the media constantly misstates key information pertaining to the 1994 settlement. Whether Jackson is innocent or guilty is entirely irrelevant to the fact that it is unacceptable for any news outlet to consistently lie to the public.

    The sum of the settlement is constantly exaggerated. The media frequently alludes to a $20million settlement, sometimes even a $30million settlement, whereas the documents clearly show that it was $15million. Furthermore, the media always claims that Michael Jackson paid the settlement, whereas documents show that it was actually an insurance carrier.

    The media constantly makes statements like, ‘Jackson was investigated in 1993 over alleged child molestation but he settled out of court’, which is extremely misleading. The settlement dealt only with the impending civil suit and had nothing to do with the official police investigation. The settlement documents include a specific clause which makes it clear that settling the civil suit did not affect the family’s right to testify in a criminal trial. But the media has spent the best part of two decades heavily implying – if not overtly stating – that Jackson bought his way out of a criminal trial.

    As I said above, all of this information is relevant and applicable regardless of innocence or guilt. It is the media’s job to report facts but these facts have been ignored or misstated by almost every single large-scale news outlet in the world – on purpose – since 1994.

    It is this bias that I target in my work.

    Visit Charles at http://charles-thomson.net.

    NB from Lorette:

    I’m sure the people at Hee Hee Shamone are very nice, but I don’t know them so I remain neutral in regards to their site content. However, the page below contains a download PDF of a 13 page court document attesting to the fact that Jackson neither agreed to the “payoff” nor paid it.

    http://www.heeheeshamone.com/hee/category/conspiracy


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