How Michael Jackson Got Me VIP Tickets To The “Sabotage” Premiere (Excerpt)

Source: Movieplot – By Ken Anderson

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A normal Los Angles event except for one big difference; the perfectly improbable, highly unlikely, positively surreal fact that I was in attendance. Improbable for the reason that I am not in show business (I teach dance); unlikely owing to the fact that, although a film fan, I have NEVER seen a single Arnold Schwarzenegger movie; surreal because, as guests of one of the film’s stars’, UK actress Olivia Williams,my partner and I attended as members of her “entourage” and were afforded VIP seats to the movie premiere and admission to the after-party. What kick!

Sabotage, as reads the official synopsis, stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as head of an elite DEA task force that takes on the world’s deadliest drug cartels. When the team successfully executes a high-stakes raid on a cartel safe house, they think their work is done – until, one-by-one, the team members mysteriously start to be eliminated. As the body count rises, everyone is a suspect. The premiere was held at Regal Cinemas L.A. Live (yes, that’s the complex’s unwieldy name), where many, if not all, of its theaters were taken over for the celebrity-attended red carpet event on one side, and a promotional advance screening on the other.

The red carpet was lined with one of those sponsor promo walls against which stars get to pose while simultaneously advertising Budweiser, and oversize Sabotage posters which afforded the screaming fans barricaded across the street a picket-fence glimpse of their favorite stars as they walked the press gauntlet. For those of us in attendance hoping to be spared the wall of puzzled stares, angry PR reps, and inevitable choruses of “Who’s that?” sure to greet any attempt to personally partake of the red carpet experience, there was a red carpet-adjacent walkway lined with smiling ushers … in all, a far cheerier alternative to the bank of voracious-looking paparazzi.

As for the experience of my first Hollywood premiere, I have to say that it was every bit as fun and glamorous as I always thought it would be.

Oh, and as for the title of this post, it might be called misleading, but it isn’t false. Michael Jackson, or, more accurately, his music, was indeed instrumental in getting me into the Sabotage premiere. For it about six years ago when Olivia Williams and her husband, actor Rhashan Stone, first took my old-school funk dance class (see if you can spot Williams in the clip) – a class that just happened on that day to be devoted entirely to Michael Jackson. both being huge Jackson fans, they soon after became class regulars, then friends, ultimately resulting in my being graciously invited to dress uncomfortably and attend my first movie premiere in style. Thank you Olivia Williams, and thank you Michael Jackson.

Sabotage opens at theaters March 28, 2014.

Read the full story here: http://moviepilot.com/posts/2014/03/21/how-michael-jackson-got-me-vip-tickets-to-the-sabotage-premiere-1283559?lt_source=external,manual

Michael Is The Top Baby Name In New Jersey; Jackson Is the Top Baby Name Nationally For 2013!

Source: Daily Record

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Michael remains king in New Jersey, but Sophia is so 2012, at least in Morris County.

As the inevitable end-of-the-year-list season begins, Michael remains atop the tally of names for newborn males in New Jersey in 2013, as it has been since at least 1980, according to the Social Security Administration’s online records that only go back that far.

For the Jersey girls, Isabella vaulted ahead of Sophia, the 2011-12 winner, to become the most popular female moniker for 2013. Isabella also was the top name in 2010 and No. 2 in 2011-12.

Morris County girls, though, bucked the state trend in 2013 as Emma became the most popular name, with Olivia, Ava and Mia following close behind.

Jackson, by comparison, is the No. 1 name nationally for boys in 2013, according to a report by salon.com (SSA has yet to report on names for 2013). Sophia is the top girl’s name in the U.S. for the fourth consecutive year, according to the same report. Michael was 14th nationally in 2013.

“The names are different every year, and they cycle,” said Donna Paplawski, who manages the Maternity Center at Morristown Medical Center. “People mix names, too, sometimes, and we are always interested to see what they come up with over the years.”

Other parents pull newborn names from their family history, while others point to friends or inspirational heroes.

Then there’s Matthew and Tania Kallish of Jefferson, who welcomed their second son, Michael, into the world on Thursday at St. Clare’s Hospital in Denville.

Matthew and Tania Kallish with their second son, Michael, who was born Thursday at St. Clare's Hospital in Denville. The couple let son Shaun pick Michael's name. / Photo courtesy of St. Clare's Health System

Matthew and Tania Kallish with their second son, Michael, who was born Thursday at St. Clare’s Hospital in Denville. The couple let son Shaun pick Michael’s name. / Photo courtesy of St. Clare’s Health System

Michael — allegedly — was named after a Power Ranger.

According to Matthew Kallish, he and his wife agreed to let their first son, Shaun, come up with the name “so long as he picked a name we could all live with.”

“He chose Michael, and we all agreed,” Kallish said. “He didn’t say where he got it, but we’re pretty sure it was a character he liked from the Power Rangers. But if you ask him, he’ll deny it.”

In a nod to tradition, the Kallishes gave Michael the middle name “Paul” in honor of Tania’s late uncle and godfather.

As for Shaun, “We just picked it after looking through some baby books.” But they went back to the family tree for his middle name, Israel, to honor Matthew’s late grandfather.

Read more here: http://www.dailyrecord.com/article/20131208/NJNEWS/312080020/

Here’s some sweet baby pics to brighten your day! Who can stay sad looking at these little angels! CP ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Make A Change: Drunk Driving Victim Shares Experience At Michael Jackson Tribute Show

Source: Aiken Standard – By Teddy Kulmala

Staff photo by Teddy Kulmala At a show on Friday featuring Aiken native Jimmy Lucas, left, performing a collection of Michael Jackson hits. Pictured, right, is Brock Baxley. Read more: ‘Make a change’: Drunken driving victim shares experience at Michael Jackson show | Aiken Standard Follow us: @aikenstandard on Twitter | aikenstandard on Facebook

Staff photo by Teddy Kulmala At a show on Friday featuring Aiken native Jimmy Lucas, left, performing a collection of Michael Jackson hits. Pictured, right, is Brock Baxley.

SALLEY ­— Few people would associate Michael Jackson with drunken driving, but the show put on Friday night by Aiken native Jimmy Lucas also sought to raise funds for Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

Lucas, known by his stage name J Lucas, is famous for his performances of the late Michael Jackson’s music. On Friday, he wowed the audience in the Salley Civic Center with a show that paid homage to the King of Pop with performances of classics such as “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough” and “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You.” Near the end of the show, though, the music died down, and the artificial fog cleared as Brock Baxley took the stage.

Baxley was 18 years old when he and several other Lexington High School students were involved in a drunken-driving collision on Feb. 26, 2010, an accident that he said changed his life physically and spiritually.

Before a drunken driver traveling the wrong way on Interstate 26 struck their vehicle head-on, Baxley said he was a “big-headed” athlete with football scholarships at three schools waiting on him.

“I was running from God. … I started getting into things that you don’t get into at 14,” he said on Friday. “The girls thought I was pretty and cute, and that got me in trouble. I was focusing on getting Cs to pass because that’s what you had to do to play football. That got me in trouble because I was hanging out with the wrong crowd.”

Baxley was one of the more seriously injured passengers after the three-car collision. He suffered 17 broken bones and four dislocations in his right foot, which had been pinned between the floorboard and the passenger door in the wreck. He pulled himself out of the wreck but couldn’t walk on the shattered foot.

“Coach always told me to walk it off. My dad always told me, ‘Son, walk it off,’” he recalled. “I couldn’t walk it off. I dropped straight to my knees, and now, three years and 10 months later, I believe it was for a reason. I was too bigheaded, I stood tall and thought I was my own guy. Jesus basically told me, ‘No, you’re not.’”

No one was killed in the collision. The driver later pleaded guilty to two counts of felony DUI with bodily injury and was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

After the wreck, Baxley said he endured 10 surgeries. Doctors told him he’d never be able to run or to walk without crutches or a cane. He also become addicted to painkillers and alcohol, the latter of which he struggled with even before the wreck. Nearly two years after the wreck, he found out he’d suffered brain injuries in the collision.

“Basically God took everything away from me,” he said. He later witnessed someone’s testimony that centered on a shiny new watch being smashed and then put back together.

“No matter how many mistakes you make, no matter how much you sin … (God) can pick up all your pieces,” he said.

After Baxley’s speech, Lucas returned to the stage to perform the King of Pop’s hit “Man in the Mirror.”

“Make a change for yourself, so you can change the world and the people around you,” Baxley said. “So that they can see God through you.”

Tina Hartley of Salley wanted Baxley to come speak to the people of Salley and was later inspired to get Lucas to perform. Her daughter Lauren and husband Chris also sang several selections.

“I was just laying in bed one night and thought it’d be a good thing to have,” she said. “Lauren would get up to sing, then Michael, then let Brock come up and then do ‘Man in the Mirror,’ where he made the change. I feel like that’s where Michael Jackson was going when he passed away.”

There wasn’t a huge crowd at Friday’s event, but there was a passionate one. Kaitlyn Jordan of Waterloo wore a replica of the red and black jacket Jackson wore in the video for “Thriller.”

“I told (Lucas) before I came here today that I drove two hours to see him and that I would not do that for anyone else,” she said.

In addition to a portion of the ticket proceeds going to MADD, donations were also being taken up for the nonprofit.

“People don’t have to go somewhere to a club or to get drunk in order to have a good time,” Hartley said of Friday’s show. “They can come see people in concert, hear something good, something about the Lord, and maybe leave feeling better. Or, if they’ve never heard about the Lord before, they’ve heard about him tonight.”

Teddy Kulmala covers the crime and courts beat for the Aiken Standard and has been with the newspaper since August 2012.

He is a native of Williston and majored in communication studies at Clemson University.

Administrator’s Note: The irony of this story is that Michael Jackson was a part of the campaign against drunk driving back in the 80’s.  He was recognized by President Reagan for his efforts. See below. Cutie Pie ♥

What MSNBC’s Parting With Martin Bashir Says About Their Taste In Hosts

Source: Think Progress – By Alyssa Rosenberg

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Martin Bashir, who’d come under fire after spinning a lurid suggestion, drawn from the history of American slavery, that someone ought to defecate in the mouth of former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, has resigned from hosting his show on MSNBC. The network had previously suspended him, recognizing that even widespread liberal distaste doesn’t justify such language. But Bashir’s larger departure from the network, the second high-profile loss of a host for MSNBC in as many weeks, illustrates the weakness of part of the network’s model. Hiring people who are not fundamentally journalists, or who operate by a different set of journalistic rules, can bring fresh perspectives and approaches to an outlet. But it also carries considerable risks.

Bashir was a journalist before he joined MSNBC, though his reputation was hardly impeccable. As Tina Brown reported in The Diana Chronicles, Bashir faked documents suggesting that News Of The World was paying former employers of the Spencer family for stories to build Princess Diana’s trust in him in the leadup to her remarkably candid interview with him on the BBC.

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Much more famously, Bashir wooed Michael Jackson by telling him that he wanted to do a special on Neverland Ranch, which he described in a letter as “an extraordinary, a breathtaking, a stupendous, an exhilarating and amazing place.” The resulting expose suggested strongly that Jackson was having sexual contact with children.

The signature moments in Bashir’s career have been aimed at getting the biggest possible reaction, by whatever means available to him. And his insult to Sarah Palin is in keeping with that modus operandi. Some liberals do hate the former governor of Alaska for reasons and in ways that are exceptionally ugly and sexist. Playing to dark undercurrents like these is the commentariat’s version of binging on fast food. It’s frustrating and unsatisfying that thoroughly debunking Palin’s policy credentials and political seriousness hasn’t been enough to make her go away, just as it’s deeply annoying that tofu doesn’t taste as good as steak, but the temporary high of a huge box of Chicken Nuggets or a nasty swipe at Palin often gives way to regret and shame. And while a McDonald’s run occasionally probably won’t kill us, giving in to your worst instincts for a traffic spike or to give a nasty treat to a segment of your viewers or readers can be disqualifying or career-ending. Bashir’s built his career on walking very close the edge of acceptable journalistic behavior. It’s not surprising that at some point in his MSNBC career, he’d waltz over it.

Alec Baldwin’s departure from MSNBC after he was caught on camera shouting homophobic insults at a photographer has similar roots. As I wrote when his interview show was announced back in September, Baldwin’s experience in public radio had proved that he could be a sensitive and perceptive host who drew good insights out of his subjects. But that’s only one of the skill sets required to be treated like a good, credible journalist these days.

Baldwin’s error was two-fold. He seems to have assumed that his private reputation and his publicly reported-upon bursts of temper would be considered separately from his work on MSNBC. And in his self-defense, published after he was filmed walking down the street and shouting at a photographer who was taking pictures of his family, Baldwin seems to have assumed that his loss of temper would be understandable because he was provoked. But I can’t imagine a working journalist today who doesn’t understand that your personal–as opposed to private–conduct reflects on your work and your credibility. If you throw tantrums in public, your audience and potential audience may not trust you to be an even-tempered interrogator of people who disagree with you, and if your mind goes to homophobic insults when you’re searching for the worst thing you can say to someone, it’s hard to blame observers who wonder if your financial contributions to equality are cover for a conflicted heart and mind.

The knowledge that a journalist must guard her or his reputation may make for more cautious on-air commentary and off-air behavior. But what’s lost in momentary fieriness is a gain in long-term stability and credibility. As MSNBC struggles to establish its brand identity, it would at minimum be better off in a place where the network isn’t constantly shuffling its roster, and where it doesn’t seem to be choosing talent based more on the glamor a host brings to a spot–like the addition of Ronan Farrow to the lineup–than a clear plan for the content that will air in that slot. MSNBC wants, after all, to be in the news business. And even if its hosts are going to be doing more commentary and interviewing than airing long reported pieces, the network might be wise to find a way to remind its hosts that they are journalists, a stature that comes with perks to accompany the restrictions.

http://thinkprogress.org/alyssa/2013/12/04/3021801/msnbcs-parting-martin-bashir-says-taste-hosts/

 

 

Rabbi Shmuley: Martin Bashir Has More Apologizing to Do

Dear Readers:

I debated much about posting this article because of the author, but I decided to because although he is not on my favorites list, he does make a good point about Bashir’s deceitful actions against Michael.  I did remove a paragraph, but other than that, the article is left in tact as written without the direct link. Thanks. CP ♥

Source: The New York Observer – By Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

Slander of Sarah Palin Echoes Mistreatment of Michael Jackson

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MSNBC host Martin Bashir recently apologized for one of the most offensive remarks ever uttered on an American TV news program, insinuating that Sarah Palin, “America’s resident dunce,” and “world-class idiot,” be defecated and urinated on.

Even those who despise Gov. Palin agreed that Bashir had entered a place so repulsive that his reputation might never return.

Yesterday, he said he was sorry and I am someone who believes in granting forgiveness. I trust that Mrs. Palin will do so and move on.

Unfortunately, Mr. Bashir is developing a pattern of unethical behavior that is deeply troubling. And there is lasting damage for previous incidents for which he has yet to apologize, most notably with regards to Michael Jackson.

Among those of us who knew Michael and prayed that he would get his life together, the mention of Martin Bashir’s name evokes contempt.

One of Mr. Bashir’s producers had initially contacted me in about 2000 to pitch a documentary about Michael’s life. I told Michael about it and strongly advised him to decline. “Your life’s not ready to be opened to the public.” I argued that for Michael to be in good physical and emotional health should be a precursor to any elective, much less extensive, public exposure. At the time, Michael seemed lethargic and unfocused. Besides, he was already famous enough and didn’t need this documentary.

Three years later, Mr. Bashir’s documentary Living With Michael Jackson appeared. Mr. Bashir had gone through a different friend of Michael’s who had introduced the two and a deal was made. The documentary depicted Michael as excessively materialistic with a seemingly bizarre relationship with a boy. Mr. Bashir called Michael’s Neverland Ranch a “dangerous place” for children. Mr. Bashir’s voice-over expressed uneasiness about what he viewed as an apparent obsession with children and pledged to confront Michael on certain areas of his life that Bashir found disconcerting.

What was not absolutely not right was Martin Bashir’s deception. What later emerged from footage Michael’s own cameraman took of Mr. Bashir’s conversations with Michael was the interviewer pretending to adore Michael’s unusual lifestyle, parenting and care for other children so as to gain the singer’s trust. What also seemed to emerge was Mr. Bashir using only that material which supported an unflattering image of Michael, prompting even The New York Times to criticize Bashir’s documentary as “callous self-interest masked as sympathy.”

During the 2005 trial involving allegations against Michael, Mr. Bashir was nearly held in contempt of court for refusing to answer questions about deceiving or manipulating Michael for the purposes of his documentary. Mr. Bashir declined to comment on such basic inquiries such as whether Michael signed documents in the presence of a lawyer and how many hours of footage were omitted from the documentary.

Of course, what made Mr. Bashir’s reputation was his interview with Princess Diana in 1995 about her failed marriage to Prince Charles. There are allegations that Mr. Bashir used the same deceptive techniques, feigning support for Diana in order to earn her trust. But at least in that case we have no actual footage of Bashir being two-faced.

Martin Bashir has never been held accountable for pretending to care for Michael in order to persuade him to open up, while all along, it seems his intention was to enhance his own reputation by burying Michael’s. A weird Michael Jackson was going to be a lot more saleable than a mostly normal yet highly eccentric performer. And let’s not forget that Michael faced trial over the boy who appeared in the documentary but was acquitted on all 10 felony and 4 misdemeanor charges.

I want to make it clear that I strongly disagree with Sarah Palin’s comparisons between the national debt and slavery. It was a misinformed and unfortunate comment. But the fact that it evoked such horrible hatred from Martin Bashir should give us pause about a man who seems ready to trample on basic decency in order to get ahead.

 

 

 

Guests Make Their King Of Pop Connection At FOX19

Source: Fox19 – By Kelly Taylor

Omar Edwards (left) taught MJ how to tap dance and Michael Bush (right) was one of his longtime costume designers.

Omar Edwards (left) taught MJ how to tap dance and Michael Bush (right) was one of his longtime costume designers.

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -Would you believe it if we said Michael Jackson, King of Pop, was the connection between two guests Tuesday on our show?

Yep. Omar Edwards is starring ‘Fly’ at Playhouse in the Park, which tells the story of World War II’s famed Tuskegee Airmen. Turns out, Edwards first taught MJ how to tap dance!

Michael Bush is appearing at Joseph Beth Booksellers Tuesday evening signing his new book, “King of Style: Dressing Michael Jackson.” So yes, you guessed it. Bush was one of Michael Jackson’s longtime costume designers.

The two had never met in person until their coincidental run-in at the FOX19 Morning News (We pride ourselves on reuniting MJ fans).

http://www.fox19.com/story/23451986/guests-make-their-michael-jackson-connection-at-fox19

 

Labor Day Dedication Song – “Working Day and Night” – Michael Jackson

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Today is the day that we unofficially say good bye to summer.  This is the last time for summer vacations, cookouts and being off work before all the kids are officially back in school.  

To commerate this day, I thought it would be appropriate to dedicate this song to all the working people who may be off today and to those who are not.  May you enjoy today with your families. 

Much love,

Cutie Pie ♥

 

The President And The Pop Singer

Source: Huffington Post – By Tom Alderman

What do Michael Jackson, King of Pop and James A. Garfield, 20th president of the United States, have in common? For one, both were charismatic and immensely popular. Both careers ended in premature death — Jackson at age 50, Garfield two months shy of 50. And most significantly, both involved highly questionable medical care that resulted in their deaths. In Jackson’s case, Conrad Murray administered a fatal dose of a major anesthetic and is found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. The jury is still out as to who is legally accountable for the tragedy.

With Garfield, responsibility is unambiguous and quite devastating. It’s the doctors who killed him, not an assassin’s bullet.

A little back story here: Garfield, a major-general in the civil war, then a congressman, beat out Ulysses Grant to be the Republican presidential nominee and victor in 1881. To this date, he’s the only sitting representative to ever be elected president. In Candice Millard’s absorbing audio and print book, Destiny of the Republic: a Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President, Garfield is seen as a big-hearted and warm man with an expansive laugh who prefers a bear hug over a hand shake.

He’s in office only four months when a rejected and delusional office seeker shoots him in the back at a train station. You’d think a hospital is the appropriate venue for the wounded president. Apparently not. The medical establishment believes hospitals only serve the poor and are not appropriate for a president. Instead Garfield is taken to the White House, which is next to a swamp with disease-carrying mosquitoes — not considered harmful at this time.

The physician-in-charge is a Dr. Doctor Bliss – yes, his first name is ‘Doctor,’ which should be a clue. Dr. Doctor believes that bad air called ‘miasma’ is responsible for all infections. Dr. Doctor does NOT believe in Joseph Lister’s contemporary and ground-breaking bacterial theory of disease that says GERMS are the cause of infection. Lister is a British surgeon and pioneer of antiseptic surgery and the reason your mouthwash is called Listerine. Garfield’s Doctor Bliss says Lister’s theory is experimental medicine and outside the mainstream of medical thought.

Bliss and his team cannot imagine how a germ — something they cannot see — could possibly be harmful. Result: sterilization is not on their minds or their hands, which is why the doctor repeatedly sticks his unwashed finger into the president’s three inch bullet wound. Bliss is more concerned with his role as the alpha-doc. To fend off anyone trying to challenge his position with his famous patient, Bliss sends out a turf warning letter saying, “At the request of the president I write to advise you that his symptoms are at present so favorable as to render unnecessary any further consultations.” In other words: BUTT OUT, DOC!

Bliss’ first task is to find and extract the bullet lodged in the president’s back. Fortunately it hasn’t hit a vital organ, which significantly helps the president’s chances for recovery. A Scottish scientist called Alec Bell is brought in to help locate the bullet. He’s got a metal detecting machine called an induction device. We know this man as telephone inventor Alexander Graham Bell. But neither Bliss nor Bell can find the bullet — because the doctor is looking on the WRONG SIDE of the president’s back.

On the 75th day of outrageously inept medical care, President James A. Garfield dies — not from the bullet but from rampant infection due to septic poisoning. Following an autopsy the international medical community condemns Bliss’ team saying that instead of preventing the president’s death, his doctors very likely caused it. Bliss comes across as a wholly owned subsidiary of arrogance. It isn’t that he can’t see a solution; he can’t see the problem. But he does have chutzpah. Following the president’s avoidable death, Bliss presents his bill to congress for $25,000 — equal to a half million dollars today. They pay, but well less than half of that amount.

Aside from the history-altering events that follow Garfield’s death and a Chester Arthur presidency, a new phrase enters our vocabulary in 1881 that is still with us today: ‘IGNORANCE IS BLISS.’  

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tom-alderman/the-president-and-the-pop