Many, many hours and sleepless nights were spent on this project because I feel strongly in the truth prevailing.
This has been a difficult project at best, because there are so many facets and angles. This is not only about a man, a human being, it is also about a person who many say is the greatest entertainer that we have ever seen. A man who is arguably one of the most famous people to have walked this planet, known all over the world.
But it's more than that. It's also about a person that the press continuously hounded and painted a very negative portrait of and it involves damaging charges against such person.
Though this person was known all around the world in nearly every country, what was printed about him made it difficult to really know him. He was a very shy person (as many performers are) and with all the notoriety he experienced, he also needed a respite from this world of fame. His desire to retreat at times and the press' tendency to speculate created a sense of mystery that surrounded him.
Never before have I seen, in my lifetime, a person who on one hand was so ruthlessly pursued by the media, accused of horrible things which didn't seem to fit the person that we saw as a whole, while at the same time being so revered for his incredible talent and revered the world over for his incredible acts of humanitarianism and caring about the human condition. It seemed a complete paradox. An enigma. Only until I looked into it further and started to see truth revealed. The turmoil I felt while working on this gave me only a small taste of what Michael Jackson's life had to be like.
As I worked diligently on this project, I found myself viewing Michael Jackson not only as the gifted and talented genuis that he was, but also seeing him as the kind, giving, vulnerable human being that he was. His humanity shown through, something that I feel so many of us didn't see as clearly through all of the garbage that we were presented with in the media. Though I had always admired him as well as his work, I hadn't ever delved this deeply. I only wish I had earlier.
Though I have always been a fan, I also looked at his life from all angles. I thoroughly researched the allegations that were brought up against him. I asked the hard questions.
There were many tears shed during this process. You can't help but be touched by Michael's words and all that he went through. You can't help but be moved by his struggle. You can't help but to fall in love with a person who had so much love to give and kept giving and stood strong no matter what he had to go through.
This man, who did so much good in this world, was in some ways missed for his greatest talent. Being an outstanding human being who truly cared. We sometimes missed his giving nature and instead focused on his musical talent or what the media was saying about him. While he was out doing good around the world, caring for others and trying to make the world a better place, the media concentrated on what he was wearing, spewed accusations, and concentrated on what he looked like and posed questions about what he had and had not done to his appearance. All the while, this fellow human being was dealing with 2 auto immune diseases (vitiligo and lupus), the craziness of celebrity, a missed and somewhat sad at times childhood, and simply trying to serve God with the talents that he felt God had blessed him with. A lot of weight for one person to carry.
Through the countless interviews I read and saw, reading his books and others, I felt that his personality and his heart and soul became even clearer to me.
I can now no longer hear a Michael Jackson song and not think differently about this man who created musical genius with his talent. He is not just an entertainment figure to me any longer. He is a human being with feelings that run deep and an appreciation for things that many of us give no thought to in our busy lives. Now, not only am I amazed at the talent he shared, but I am humbled and truly appreciate the man that he was. He showed a vulnerability that most are not comfortable with and he seemed to have a childlike wonderment in the way he viewed life that so many of us, unfortunately lose, and would do well to re-cultivate.
He truly cared about the world and about children and making the world a better place for them.
As a journalist and entertainment writer, I always have a goal of going beyond the celebrity and seeing the human being. My goal is always to know more intimately, the person behind the art by getting to know their character, their heart, their soul. My goal was the same on this project, but I ended up getting so much more out of it and getting a feel of really getting to know who Michael was so much better and clearer than I thought I would.
My request to you is that you if truly want to get a better idea of who Michael Jackson was beyond what you heard in the media and beyond the lyrics and musical brilliance of his songs, please take the time to watch the videos and interviews. To read what Michael shared with all of us. To read what he wrote. To see the person he really was instead of the person that the media and tabloids many times presented to us, which was not an accurate representation. I think when you take the time to really get to know who Michael truly was, what he stood for, and you get to know his heart, you will be as amazed and touched as I was in working on this project.
To read more of my thoughts on the more detailed aspects of this website and the topics it covers, please check out the "Some Thoughts' tab.
It is my humble opinion, after all of the research I have done, that not only have we lost one of the greatest entertainers that we have ever seen, but we have lost a truly great human being. He was of course immensely talented and I enjoyed his talent like most others. But so many of us missed his truest gift. The gift of who he was as a person and a human being and the world is truly going to miss that.
If you read nothing else, I urge you to at least read the following because these give you a really good idea as to who Michael Jackson really was: