Michael Jackson: A Weekend of Rememberances, Reporting, Tributes, Condolences and Controversy

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Headlines: So, where to begin? How about with one of the more interesting flashbacks I've seen from the critical class, this one authored by Robert Hilburn, the longtime former Los Angeles Times music scribe. Uncle Bob had plenty of dealings with Jackson over the years, but their final conversation still haunts Hilburn. Worth a read. ... An attorney for Jackson's doctor, Conrad Murray, says the entertainer had a faint pulse when Murray found him in bed, where he wasn't breathing. The lawyer also denied reports suggesting Murray gave Jackson drugs that contributed to his death, saying that the doctor never prescribed or gave Jackson Demerol or OxyContin. ... Joe Jackson says stress over the comeback concerts probably didn't kill his son. ... But the Jackson family patriarch "has a lot of concerns" regarding his son's death. ... President Obama has sent a condolence letter to Jackson's family. ... Performers have been dedicating shows and songs to Jackson on stages all over the world, with the Queen of Soul even saying an onstage prayer for the King of Pop. Ground zero for the tributes: Last night's BET Awards, where everybody from show openers New Edition and host Jamie Foxx to Beyonce, Ciara, Lebron James and Ne-Yo saluted Jackson. Michael's sister, Janet, also showed up to deliver a speech on behalf of her family. ... Will Janet and the Jackson brothers embark on a tribute tour? ... AEG Live, which was promoting Jackson's concerts in London, "is planning what could be one of the biggest ticket-refund programs in history," per the Wall Street Journal. ... The first high-profile tribute song crash-landed on Friday. Spearheaded by the Game, the track, "Better on the Other side," features the likes of Chris Brown, Diddy, Usher and Boyz II Men. ... Rapper 50 Cent released a couple of Jacko tributes on Friday, as well. Many, many more to come, no doubt. ... Jackson's recordings are blowing up on the charts. In the U.K., his greatest-hits comp, "Number Ones," is, in fact, No. 1, and he has another four albums in the Top 20. ... Nielsen Soundscan hasn't yet announced last week's chart results, but Jackson is poised to make chart history -- again. ... Here's a fascinating nugget from a Reuters report: Amazon.com sold out of Jackson CDs and DVDs "in the first few minutes following reports of Jackson's death. Amazon sold more Jackson merchandise in the past 24 hours than in the prior 11 years, a spokesman said." It's almost like that famous Rolling Stone headline said about Jim Morrison: "He's hot, he's sexy, and he's dead." Like I said: Almost. ... The Wrap reports: "Michael Jackson's last rehearsal at the Staples Center on Wednesday, the eve of his death, was recorded in multi-camera, high-definition video and multi-track audio, and could be released as the performer's last album, according to several people close to the now-defunct concert tour." ... Jackson left behind a mountain of debt, as well as some new songs. ... Might Michael be buried at Neverland Ranch? ... At Glastonbury, where everybody from the Black Eyed Peas and Dizzee Rascal to the Streets and Yeah Yeah Yeahs acknowledged Jackson. Still, the MJ tributes were mixed at the festival. ... Not so at the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center in the Philippines, where inmates performed a "Thriller" tribute that had already made them internet sensations. ... L.A. Times media critic Tim Rutten writes about the media's "irrational excess." ... Richard Prince does a roundup of the coverage debate, asking: "How Much is Enough, and Which Michael to Highlight?"

By J. Freedom du Lac |  June 29, 2009; 7:03 AM ET Morning Mix
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A group of us have started The Man in the Mirror Project (www.maninthemirrorproject.org) which honors the life of Michael Jackson by encouraging fans to pledge donations to his favored causes in his memory. Specifically, The Man in the Mirror Project calls upon "This Is It" ticket-holders to pledge their forthcoming ticket refunds to the causes he supported. Michael Jackson's art and charitable spirit influenced generations worldwide and we believe this is a fitting way to honor the King of Pop.

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Posted by: TheManintheMirrorProject | June 29, 2009 7:18 PM

Michael Jackson: A Rose By Any Other Name...
The world is plagued by many troubling events; nonetheless, the world chooses to focus on Michael Jackson. That in itself should convince us of just how important Michael Jackson was/is to humanity. It can only serve as a tribute of the highest magnitude. The world knew Michael as a "gentle soul." However, in predatory circles (in a Darwinian sense), those two words are a signpost of weakness and an open invitation to exploitation. By stark contrast, a global consensus believes that nothing could be further from the truth. Michael's strength of character came from his personal convictions; he believed in the humane mechanisms that which caused our world to turn, social justice, diversity and peace. Michael was a true Chomskyite! Nobody knew that. [NOTE: A Chomskyite - named after MIT icon and globally renowned intellectual Noam Avram Chomsky - is an individual who brings balance to the human condition.] Michael’s songs were filled with messages of hope and balance, utilizing powerful lyrics and harrowing images. Case in point: "Earth Song." Watch it. Listen to it. Then, watch it again. One begins to understand what Michael was about. Michael Jackson's "Earth Song," "Man In The Mirror" and "We Are The World" are on point. Let the world continue to celebrate what Michael was and let it never endorse any momentary lapses of reason by entertaining America's new climate of fear, where unfounded allegations, urban mythologies and phantasmagorical notions prey upon our collective or individual conscience. Allow "we the people" to commit to Michael Jackson's memory/legacy by NOT falling into the counterproductive abyss of facts don't matter; perception is reality. Let the world pedestalize Michael Jackson as the icon he really was; his lifelong commitment to people and performance excellence warrants nothing less from us. In Michael's passing, the world remains plagued by troubling events. Those too should come to pass. However, let us not rely on time as the remedy or solution; instead, relying upon "we the people" to make a difference. Michael Jackson made a difference, now it's your turn.

Condolences,
Frank "Kohnstein"

Posted by: info-med | July 1, 2009 2:15 PM

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