Still A Stranger In Moscow

Still A Stranger In Moscow

Introduction

I wrote this fictional short story based on what I believe Michael experienced when he was treated as an outcast back in the early 90’s and later in 2005 after the trial. Even though he is gone, it still ties in to what is happening now. Put yourself in his place as you read it.

This was not written with the intention to make anyone feel worse than we already do. I’m hoping that it will change some folks thinking about him. It’s time for the world to stop beating up on Michael Jackson and let this dear soul rest in peace. CP ♥

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I sit in the dark, staring out the window. I see people passing by on the street below.  I stay carefully just out of view so no one can see me, but I can see everything.  Hoards of fans line the streets, shouting out my name.  The paparazzi hounds stand on the other side with their cameras ready. The police try to keep them all at bay. Not even the love of my sweet fans brings me comfort. I walk this battle alone. No one knows what it feels like to be me. I can’t even utter the words to adequately explain it, but I feel like the loneliest man on the planet: a prisoner of my vast success and human failures.

I’ve been sitting here for hours thinking. My thoughts have a mind of their own, going in aimless directions. My head feels like it’s about to bust. I see nothing but shadows and memories of times past. The outside daylight slowly turns to evening.  Another isolated and sleepless night stretches before me. The headlines keep whirling through my mind.  The mere thought of what they are saying about me makes me sick to my stomach. I can’t eat and I can barely drink anything.  People keep offering me food, but I refuse.  I want to be left alone. My team says that they “will handle it” and “don’t worry, this will all blow over.” Easy for them to say, it’s not their reputation. I see them huddle in the corner, whispering. I pretend not to notice.  They anxiously glance my way every now and then.   I want to believe them, but my resolve of hope has quickly turned into pools of tears and despair. 

My mind goes back to the time when I was a little boy, whose biggest dream was to be the world’s greatest entertainer.  I could see nothing else when I was young. I even dreamt about it.  I practiced and worked day and night to perfect my skills. I wrote notes everywhere to remind me. Many people say that I have achieved everything, but I say I’ve only scratched the surface.  If they could only see what I see in my mind, they would know that I haven’t.

For the first time, I’m really scared about what lies ahead of me in the future. I’ve asked myself many times, how did I get to this place?  I’ve only tried to help people and to show love.  In return I get mockery and even hate towards me. Tears flow down my cheeks again.  Anger flashes through me.

 “Why are they doing this to me?”  I ask the bright moonlit sky. “How can anyone ever think that I…..”

I choke, sobbing. My head throbs. I can’t even bare to think the thought, much less say the words.  Anguish and fear overcome me.

“Help me God, please help me!” I softly cry to the night sky. Like an answer to my prayer, my mind goes back to the words of a hymn we use to sing at Kingdom Hall:

Though ropes of death encircle me, I call to you,

“Jehovah, give me strength and give me courage too.”

From your own temple dwelling, you hear my plea, “Shelter me;

Rescue me, O my God.

I sniff and wipe away my tears with the back of my hand. I realize that God is listening and he hasn’t left me. That’s a start. As my crying ceases, my thoughts become clearer. I remember a line I read in the book “The Bridge of Beyond,” by  Simone Schwarz-Bart.

Every day you must arise and say to your heart, ‘I have suffered enough and now I must live because the light of the sun must not be wasted, it must not be lost without an eye to appreciate it’.”

I begin to feel a small glimmer of hope in my heart as I remember the tale of Telumee ‘s courageous story . Lord knows I have suffered enough.

The next morning:

Surprisingly, I slept last night.  I wake up to find myself splayed across the bed. I remember lying down to read to refocus my attention.  After many hours, close to daylight, I somehow drifted off to sleep.  Thankfully, nothing from the hours before plagued me during that brief siesta. I look out the window and I see the rain falling down.  The fans are still there, some getting soaked because they have no umbrellas.  I send my folks out to buy them umbrellas and food.  I still refuse to eat but I manage to drink some orange juice, which is a small victory to them. The rhythm of the rain lures me back to my hidden spot by the window, as if trying to wash away the former days of pain. I hear a melody in my head that keeps growing. I begin to hum it out. Music comes once again to heal my soul.  All have I left is the music. This is how I want to be remembered in the history of eternity. I must get my tape recorder to help me remember this.

Years later:

It’s been many years since those dark days.  I did survive, but the same issues came back later on with a vengeance. I’ve lost practically everything: my home, my peace of mind. Outside of my fans, my reputation is soiled and burnt.  What will I do? Who will ever want to listen to me sing again? I have children now that I have to provide for. I must protect them at all costs. I don’t want their lives to be ruined because of me.  So I hide my pain from them as best I can.  Thankfully, they are too young to know right now. They aren’t allowed to use the internet or watch TV except for their schooling. But someday I know they will find out. I pray that I will have to the right words to explain when they are old enough to understand. I can’t think about that now, I must find a way to a get a new place that we can call home. I don’t want to forever be in exile.

You Left Us In Summer…8 Years Without Michael Jackson

Every once in a while, you’ll see a star that shines exceptionally brighter than all the others. Its twinkling beauty makes you wish you could touch it, but you know that is well beyond your reach.

Michael, from the first time I saw you, you captivated me with the natural rhythm of your dance and the soulful, beauty harmony of your sweet voice. You oozed charisma and sweet endearing charm. You were a kid like me, so I connected with you right from the start.

As you grew to be a man, your artistry knew no bounds. It was like a seeing a great work of art coming to life on stage…..the pure embodiment of grace and expertise, painting colorful brush strokes with music on the canvas of our hearts.

You told us a story in a ways we hadn’t seen or heard with your phenomenal talent. From God’s lips to your ear, a spiritual connection took place and manifested itself right before our very eyes, bringing people all over the world together in the spirit of great humility, love and peace.

A treasury of beautiful memories are left for those of us who were fortunate enough to grow up and witness the rise of your preeminence as the world’s greatest entertainer. There is a lot of laughter, love and exhilarating moments to replay for a lifetime in the corridors of our minds. But even those memories can never replace having you here with us and your loved ones.

Your musical legacy is firmly etched in history for those who are yet to discover the magic and extraordinary talent of such an incredible visionary.  You have taught, inspired and paved the way of success for many following in your wake with your vast artist contributions and examples as a philanthropist, humanitarian, leader, teacher and role model.

Though you were hurt too many times to name,  you maintained your dignity and held your head high. I admire your humility and gentleness. No matter how successful you became, you never tried to boast, but gave all the glory to God. You helped those that society had long forgotten, becoming the world’s herald, crying against poverty, violence, and ignorance.

Michael, I can not say thank you enough for the many times that you have given me faith and inspired me to endure during my darkest hours. You were there for me when I couldn’t share my heart with anyone. Your songs have blessed me with so much comfort, peace and joy during my life and especially so over the past several months. I owe much thanks to God and to you for keeping me encouraged. I am so thankful that you were created and I feel so privileged to even be born in the same dispensation of time as you. You are truly my greatest inspiration and I love you from the bottom of my heart.

Though many may try, those Florsheim loafers are just too big to fill. There will never be another shining star like you. Like all beautiful stars, you burned out far too soon, but the light that you shined in this dark world will never be dimmed or forgotten.

You Left Us In Summer – By All Things Michael

You left us in summer

Too quickly to even say goodbye

Reeling from shock

All we could ask is why?

After all these years

We still remember where we were

When we first heard the news

Now summertime has forever changed

Because it will repeat the day that we lost you

 

Missing you today and always,

Valerie

Lip Sync Battle Will Open Season 3 With An All Star Cast Tribute Of Michael Jackson’s Beat It

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Lip Sync Battle is taking on Michael Jackson’s “Beat It,” recreating his famous music video for season 3 of the hit show — and EW has your first look at the trailer, above.

The performance finds host LL Cool J and commentator Chrissy Teigen facing off, dressed in costume and backed by dancers. Best of all, it shows the talent taking part in season 3, all of whom offer a peek at their lip-synching skills while sporting a version of Jackson’s famous, red jacket.

That talent includes Don Cheadle, Sir Ben Kingsley, Wanda Sykes, Uzo Aduba, Craig Ferguson, T.J. Miller, DeAndre Jordan, Jay Leno, Jeff Dye, Milla Jovovich, Ruby Rose, Lupita Nyong’o (see the teaser photo she posted to Instagram here), John Cho, Rob Riggle, America Ferrera, Sarah Hyland, Regina Hall, Laverne Cox, and Samira Wiley.

We know who to expect, but how will they perform? That is the question… See what tricks the stars have up their sleeves when LSBreturns to Spike with its season premiere on Wednesday, Oct. 12 at 9 p.m. ET.

 

Sources: EW | All Things Michael

New Rockabye Baby Birthday Compilation Features Michael Jackson’s Rock With You And More

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Rockabye Baby transforms rock favorites into beautiful instrumental lullabies.

In honor of Rockabye Baby’s 10th anniversary, the children’s lullaby label is releasing a new compilation entitled, “Birthday Party” on October 14th. The album’s first release is a tune entitled, “All My Friends” by  LCD Soundsystem.

The track list features the lullaby version of songs by Daft Punk, Outkast, Miley Cyrus and includes renditions of songs smash hits from David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance,” Michael Jackson’s “Rock With You” and the Beatles “Birthday.”

Rockabye Baby! Birthday Party Tracklist:

01 The Beatles: “Birthday”:
02 Kool & The Gang: “Celebration”
03 Black Eyed Peas: “Let’s Get It Started”
04 Pitbull: “Don’t Stop the Party”
05 Miley Cyrus: “Party in the U.S.A.”
06 Cyndi Lauper: “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”
07 David Bowie: “Let’s Dance”
08 Daft Punk: “Get Lucky”
09 P!nk: “Get the Party Started”
10 Deee-lite: “Groove Is in the Heart”
11 Chic: “Good Times”
12 Marvin Gaye: “Got to Give It Up”
13 Michael Jackson: “Rock With You”
14 OutKast: “Hey Ya!”
15 LCD Soundsystem: “All My Friends”

You can listen to sample tracks and pre-order your copy here.

Sources: Rockabye Baby | Pitchfork | All Things Michael

 

 

Kevin Bacon Wrote A Ballad For Michael Jackson As A Kid

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Kevin Bacon wrote his first song at the age of 11 in the hopes of having Michael Jackson record it.

The movie star has garnered praise for his acting work over the years, starring in hits such as 1984 musical-drama Footloose and 2003 mystery Mystic River, but Kevin has never forgotten his musical roots and regularly performs alongside his brother Michael in their band The Bacon Brothers.

While the duo has a folk-country sound, Kevin reveals the first song he wrote as a young boy was actually a sad tune titled, All the World Looks Lonely Through Lonely Eyes.

“I’m a giant Jackson 5 fan. The first song I ever wrote, in my mind, I wrote it for Michael Jackson,” he shared during an appearance on America’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Monday (29Aug16). “I was 11, so it didn’t make its way to Michael.”

Kevin, 58, was close in age to the late King of Pop, who died in 2009, at the age of 50, and he was a big fan of Michael’s more sentimental songs growing up, including his first solo number one, 1972’s Ben, from the film of the same name.

“I was a very, very romantic child. I mean, I remember always being heartbroken from the time I was little…,” he laughed. “Being in love with the girl in school, the teacher, the girl next door, (I Dream of Jeannie’s) Barbara Eaton in a bottle… I was always in love, so the songs I wrote were always heartbreak songs.”

Following his interview, Kevin showed that his acting and singing skills extend to a very solid Tom Petty impersonation, taking to the stage with host Jimmy, who was dressed as Mike Campbell, Tom’s long-time collaborator and guitarist. The pair performed an “original” version of Tom’s 1989 hit song Free Fallin’, called Free Horses, as part of a sketch segment called First Drafts of Rock.

Read more at Film News

MICHAEL JACKSON’S SON PENS A HEARTFELT POEM FOR HIS DAD’S BIRTHDAY

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We lost the King of Pop on June 25, 2009, just two months before his 51st birthday on August 29. To celebrate what would’ve been his 58th, his oldest son, Michael Joseph Jackson, Jr. — a.k.a. Prince Jackson — has penned a poem for his dearly departed father.

In a brief post he shared on Twitter and Instagram, Prince, who was only 12 when his father died, remembers him as “the Myth, the Legend and the Man” in a 14-line sonnet.

He stresses how dear Michael’s family was to him, specifically drawing attention to how much Jackson cared for his kids and his mom.

Prince, his younger brother Bigi and several members of the Jackson family recently visited Gary for the annual birthday tribute to his late father.

 

Read more here at MTV.

Michael Jackson’s Victory Tour Outfits To Be Displayed At The Smithsonian’s New African American History Museum

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Even in an era where new pop music is as ubiquitous as coffee shops and music royalty like Beyoncé, Taylor Swift and Kanye West make headlines nearly every day, Michael Jackson still reigns king as the best-selling artist of all time.

According to the Recording Industry of America, last year Jackson’s Thriller was the first album to be certified platinum 30 times, and has sold 32 million copies to date. For comparison purposes, behind Thriller are the Eagles’ and Billy Joel’s greatest hits albums at 29 million and 23 million albums respectively.

In a gushing Rolling Stone review from 1983, Chris Connelly noted that Thriller’s producer, the acclaimed Quincy Jones, was “working with what might be pop music’s most spectacular instrument: Michael Jackson’s voice. Where lesser artists need a string section or a lusty blast from a synthesizer, Jackson need only sing to convey deep, heartfelt emotion.”

In 1988, following a show at Madison Square Garden, the New York Times asked, “Can anyone, then, dance like Michael Jackson? Only if you can rise up on your toes without toe shoes, stay there, and keep up what is basically a nonstop two-hour solo.”

But it wasn’t just the angelic voice and mind-boggling dance moves that solidified Jackson’s throne in pop royalty history, it was also his unapologetically fabulous style underscoring each toe stand, heel pivot and crotch grab.

In his autobiography Moonwalk, Jackson wrote, “my attitude is if fashion says it’s forbidden, I’m going to do it.” Now some of Jackson’s rebellious pieces—a black sequined silk jacket, an equally-sequined red, white and blue shirt, and his signature fedora—are part of the collections at the National Museum of African American History and Culture and will be on view in the museum’s inaugural exhibition “Musical Crossroads.” The show is chockablock with iconic treasures tracing musical traditions and genres from gospel to rock ‘n’ roll to hip-hop.

“I think of Michael Jackson as kind of a sophisticated yet glamorous and otherworldly persona when he put on these clothes,” says Dwandalyn Reece, a curator of music at the museum who organized the exhibition. “That’s the Michael Jackson of that period. Obviously he morphed into different images since the Thriller heyday. But his clothes were really about him projecting who he was and who he likes to see himself as.”

Jackson wore these sparkly costume pieces on stage in 1984 during the six-month Victory tour, a series of concerts he performed alongside his brothers. Though the tour, named after the Jacksons’ 1983 album, featured all six Jackson brothers, it was clear that the crowds were there for Michael— Thriller hit the top charts almost two years earlier.

Jackson’s domination of the music world at that time is evident in the media coverage from the era. In an end-of-year review of popular music in 1984, Robert Palmer, the late New York Times music critic wrote about the tour:

An exceptionally broad cross-section of pop music consumers—black families and their kids, white families and theirs, young professionals of all sorts—flocked to 1984’s longest-running pop roadshow, the Jacksons’ ”Victory” tour. After their last shows, which took place in Los Angeles December 7-9, the Jacksons announced total attendance figures of 2,331,500 and a gross of some $70 million. The real victor was Michael Jackson. He was the one the crowds came to see, and his lead vocals and lithe dancing dominated every show. The proof is in the albums sales figures; the public bought more than 2 million copies of the Jacksons’ ”Victory” album, but that was peanuts compared to the still-skyrocketing sales of Michael Jackson’s ”Thriller.”

His undeniable electric stage presence, which sent fans into screaming fits, was only amplified by his sharp and shining stage style. The sequined jacket is the design of Bill Whitten, the designer also responsible for Michael Jackson’s famous white glove. The two sparkly shirts and the fedora will be on display in the “Beyond Category” section of the exhibition, sharing the limelight with artifacts from Quincy Jones, Ray Charles and Nina Simone and other groundbreaking artists.

Jackson was certainly beyond category. His exquisite voice, seamless dance moves, and eccentric fashion were unparalleled by other artists of the time and continue to influence artists today. At Super Bowl 50, today’s queen of pop Beyoncé recalled Michael Jackson’s image, sporting a military-style black and gold jacket similar to the one Jackson wore during his own Super Bowl performance in 1993.

Many other celebrities have stepped out in Jackson-inspired outfits, and Lady Gaga even purchased some of his most famous pieces at auction. And designers have looked to Jackson for style vision such as French brand Balmain did with its spring 2009 collection featuring what Vogue dubbed “Drummer-boy Michael Jackson jackets.”

“He’s not the only pioneer but he certainly paved the way for all the entrepreneurs and artists that we have today who are doing a variety of things not only in the studio but in the industry,” Reece says. “I think we have Michael to thank for a lot of that.”

Read more at Smithsonian Magazine.

 

In Honor Of Michael Jackson’s 58th Birthday

On August 29, 1958, a genius prodigy was born in a little town in Indiana called Gary.  

At the time, Nobody could have guessed that the sweet little angel bundled in his mother’s loving arms was destined to be known all around the world.

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As he grew in knowledge and favor among his peers and family, people began to take notice of the precocious, little youngster, who first became a Dancing Machine to the rickety sound of the family’s old washer.

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Words could not describe the Pride and Joy his mother felt the first time she fully realized the gift that he had when she heard his endearing voice singing in front of an audience at the tender age of five.

As he became the lead singer of the Jackson 5, the sweet Melodie of his voice and his natural charms quickly won the hearts of people. They marveled at his talent and ability to convey such depth of emotion in song. He was an old soul beyond his time and had just as much command of the stage as his idols James Brown and Jackie Wilson.

The Jackson’s immediately shot to fame quicker than anyone could have imagined. Some would even say it was Much Too Soon for a child so young to be a veteran of the stage by the time he was 10.

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Then one day, Destiny started to call his name and he felt the pull to answer the call.

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He loved his family dearly, but his heart was leading him in another path. As his faith grew, so did his motivation. He set a written plan in motion and followed it to the letter.

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MJ’s 1979 Manifesto

He began Workin’ Day and Night to create a new image and new music like the world had never seen.

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Though many thought his career was over after the Jackson’s, he proved them wrong. His albums and short films were one Thriller after another. He could do it all and better than those who came before him. He became a producer, songwriter, actor, director, inventor, artist, businessman, humanitarian, philanthropist, innovator and trendsetter. Everything he touched seemed to turn to gold.

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The excitement and the flurry that his dancing, singing and bigger than life presence shot his fame out of orbit to a level of celebrity popularity like we have never seen. He drove all his fans to a frenzy: young and old, male and female.

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Many times, the Price of Fame would prove to be many times painful. Though he could not always find a place to Xscape, he never let his personal pain stop him from using his hard earned success to help others and to raise our consciousness about the social issues that troubled him. His heart was even bigger than his fame and whatever he set out to do, he did it with much passion and conviction. He taught us to look at the Man in the Mirror and be the change that we want to see in the world.

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Though Michael is no longer with us in the present, his spirit lives through his monumental artistic achievements and humanitarian efforts.

Those of us who were blessed to witness his rise and incarnation as the King of Pop, will always Remember the Time when a Michael Jackson song has been associated to a special memory or event in our lives.  The relevance and joy of his musical body of work will never be forgotten, nor can we ever forget the extraordinary man that he was and the principles he stood for.

Michael, we thank you for all that you have done for your fans and for all mankind.

We will always love and miss you.

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WITH LOVE,

 FROM ALL THINGS MICHAEL

 

MJ Statue/Tribute At Charlie Chaplin Museum

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By jeanbaptisteseckler

In April 2016, the dream of turning Charlie Chaplin’s estate in Switzerland into a museum was finalized. Located in Corsier-sur-Vevey, Manoir de Ban is where Chaplin and his wife Oona lived with their eight children after he was banned from the US on allegations of Communism.

The beautiful estate, with its manicured lawns is filled with touches of art, entertainment, history, politics, film-making and personal touches.

After viewing a brief documentary on Chaplin the theater, visitors walk behind the lifting movie screen into a replica of the street, through a 360 degree circus-like hall, along a corridor with statues of comedians Laurel and Hardy, pop star Michael Jackson, pictures, posters of his films and videos, then down a steep staircase to a mock Hollywood studio with scenes from different movies.

By jeanbaptisteseckler

By jeanbaptisteseckler

A plaque says Jackson idolized Chaplin: “[He] was everything that I wanted to be – songwriter, dancer, director, producer.”

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Jackson dressed as the Tramp for a photo shoot on one of the London streets where Chaplin had lived, visited Oona and later the families of Michael and Eugene Chaplin in Corsier.

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In 1995, Jackson recorded his favorite Chaplin song, “Smile” for the HIStory album.

Many say that Chaplin’s nonsense song at the end of Modern Times was one of the inspirations for Jackson’s moonwalk.

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Click here for more information on Chaplin’s World Museum.

Read more at Huffington Post