Friday, April 22, 2011
We can blame the media for why some of the general public still believes that Jackson was a pedophile. The same goes for the public's perception that Jackson was a drug addict, or that he wanted to be white, or....the list goes on and on. We can fault the media for what we know to be the most heinous character assasination in recent history; that of Michael Jackson.
Besides television and print, we can blame the publishing houses, who refuse to publish a book about Jackson without exploitative factors heavily laced with hyperbole as their basis. Just a quick look at the pre- and posthumous book releases on the topic of Jackson are enough. Schmuley Boteach's release of Jackson's voice taped and transformed into a book (Vanguard Press), Ian Halperin's release of flagrant fabrications and assumptions (Simon Spotlight), and even Leonard Rowe (Fast Pencil) and Pearl Jr. (Elbow Grease Productions) have published tabloid trash. (The original title of Halperin's book was set to be Peter Pan or Pervert.) Yet, it is public consumption that fuels the media and more specifically, book publishers. Jackson consistently stressed NOT to buy the tabloids, and not to believe everything you read.
Take a look at Aphrodite Jones as she is promoting her book Conspiracy after the 2005 Jackson child molestation case. At 3:58, Jones states that as she approached publishers for her upcoming book, (in which we know that she believed Jackson was guilty, but then realized there was a conspiracy against him), that the "reaction from publishers was flat...when I came to New York to talk to publishers and I told them it was going to talk about Michael Jackson not guilty, they said we don't want anything that's pro-Jackson." Jones goes on to state that she called the head of her publishing company, who she had known for years, and that person apologized to Jones but reaffirmed they were not interested in a pro-Jackson book. Jones states that "the publishing world has decided they don't want anything pro-Jackson even though he was exonnerated." Ultimately, Jones, a New York Times best-selling author, had to self-publish. At 9:00, Jones states, "...think about this, Michael Jackson is the number one entertainer known to the world, why are we still crucifying this man? He was found not guilty." (Ironically, Larry Nimmer is the videographer.) Although I truly commend and admire Aphrodite Jones, her book Conspiracy is based on the sensationalism surrounding the trial.
Fast-forwarding to 2011, 2 years after Michael's death, why has there not been a book published whose sole focus is why he was famous in the first place? Where is a book about the raw talent, his groundbreaking cinematic genius using video as a new artform, his challenge through music of stereotypes, gender bias and racism?
Enter author Joe Vogel. I have blogged about him previously. If you would like to read, click here. I will not recap my last blog, except to say that Vogel's book has the sole concentration on Michael's music, as well as his social and cultural influences in history. Vogel analyzes each Jackson's albums, track by track, in an eloquent fashion suited for the King of Pop. I think more appropriate of Vogel's book than my own review, is that of Matt Forger, a technical engineer for the Thriller, Bad, Dangerous and HISTORY tours.
Forger states that Vogel "illuminates the creative life of the greatest performer of our time...Joe shows us a time in history, the happenings of the world, and the creative energyof Michael Jackson and the team around him who helped create the iconic songs that propelled him into superstardom. Joe's thorough examination includes interviews and experts from those familiar with his work, ofering a glimpse behind the scenes of how the magic was created...Michael's perseverance and motivation were matched only by his desire for perfection. Joe shows that as the consummate professional, Michael's pursuit of songwriting dancing, producing, directing were all means for him to spread his ideas and visions of what the world could be...[Man in the Music] offers the most complete (and, I might add, the most accurate) look into Michael's creative nature."
Vogel's book hits the shelves in October, 2001, but we are able to pre-order it now on Amazon at a 38% discount.
In order to change the public's perception of Michael Jackson's legacy, we must take a stand. Joe Vogel is attempting to do just that with a book that explains Michael's vision was for the world, and how he managed to spread that through his music. By buying this book, we are showing the publishing world that there is a huge audience who is interested in positive media regarding Michael Jackson. In turn, this opens the gates for other authors and Vogel to continue to spread the message that positive reporting regarding Jackson in mass communications equals ratings and revenue.
As the twitterthon #MJfansAGAINSTmann has proven, Jackson's prophetic words ring true once again, that's there's nothing that can't be done if we raise our voice as one. Make that change for the world...buy this book and show publishers the power of Michael Jackson fans.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
"From the Estate of Michael Jackson: Press reports on TMZ and other media sites regarding the settlement terms between the Michael Jackson Estate and the Heal the World (Foundation) defendants are wrong. The Estate is taking back the Heal the World Foundation and all of the trademarks it allegedly owned. The Michael Jackson Estate owns the Heal the World name, and neither Melissa Johnson nor her companies will ever be able to use Michael Jackson's name or the Heal the World name. "
Other reports came from the AP, stating that the rest of the terms of the settlement were confidential. With the news that Melissa Johnson could possibly sit on the board of directors for the newly formed HTWF, came an intense wave of anger and sadness. Why? Why would the Estate settle when clearly, this was a slam dunk in favor of the Estate? How did this happen?
Is this NOT the same Melissa Johnson that the Estate has been legally wrangling with for the past 18 months? Is this not, by her very own admission, the woman who stated that Michael Jackson made her the director of Heal the World Foundation in 2005, yet did not revive it until AFTER Jackson died?
Is this NOT the same Melissa Johnson, who claims Brian Oxman would testify under oath that Michael Jackson consented to her being the director of HTWF in 2005? The prosecution surely had a difficult time getting his subpoena served, and in addition asked the Estate to pay him $500 to search for responsive documents. (To be fair, Oxman finally did submit a deposition, in which he stated that Michael Jackson approved of Johnson being the director of HTWF, but had NO written documentation. Are we honestly to believe that Michael Jackson handed his charity that is synonymous with his name on a global scale, over to a virtual unknown, WITHOUT A WRITTEN CONTRACT?)
And is this the very same Melissa Johnson, who Branca stated under oath that he nor John McClain would "ever want (or ever allow) to 'represent' Mr. Jackson's charitable legacy in any way"?
Although the Estate did not confirm Johnson would be sitting on the board of the newly formed Heal the World, they did not DENY it either. And as I was still shaking with fury, the voice of reason hits Twitter with an analysis of the settlement written by Ivy from MJJC.
Ivy: Out of the original complaint, the Estate won 6 out of 7 complaints.
Justice: A few things to add.
#1, on count #1, illegal use of the name Michael Jackson, Melissa Johnson filed for that trademark on July 2, 2009, (a week after Michael died), only furthering my disgust for her. While most were truly grieving, Johnson was buying domains.
#2 on count #7, cybersquatting. We have to go back to count #6, cancellation of registered trademarks, (MJ) a false suggestion of connection. Ivy is correct that the domain names are not named. However, if we go back to 2003, when Melissa Johnson SOLD her domains to MJJ Productions, attached to the original agreement is a list of domains she owned/sold back. Here is a screen shot of the first page:
This is just the first page of seven. On those seven pages, I counted no less than 384 domains that Melissa Johnson owned that contained "MJ". It's safe to assume that in 2011 Johnson had hundreds of domains that now, the Estate owns.
Ivy: Estate wins on supplemental complaints. Most importantly, Judge Dolly Gee's statement on the domain Heal the World Foundation in the injunction, leans toward a judgement in FAVOR of Melissa Johnson.
This fact is what I MISSED, yet Ivy realized. That Judge Dolly Gee would have ruled for the Estate on everything, EXCEPT that Johnson could still use the trademark Heal the World Foundation.
Where would that have left the Estate? Sure, they would have gotten all the trademarks back, except for Heal the World Foundation. Yet, this would have meant that Johnson could have continued using her website, without the direction of a seasoned attorney and his team.
With that in mind, do I really care if Melissa Johnson is sitting on the board of Heal the World Foundation, under the DIRECT SUPERVISION of John Branca? (I actually find it hilarious and wholly ironic, but I will reserve comment.) Do I care that it's more than likely that Johnson has absolutely no authority in the new and improved Heal the World Foundation? In the scheme of things, no I really don't care. Johnson is insignificant.
My thoughts moved to what MICHAEL would have wanted. In his trust, he designated John Branca, John McClain and Katherine Jackson to find the charities that would receive 20% of his trust. Would Michael have wanted Branca, McClain and his mother to revive Heal the World Foundation, synonymous with his name, and working with his children to heal the world and make it a better place? I believe he would.
We have been tweeting #RespectMJsWishes, and by standing behind the Estate and Katherine Jackson (who we FULLY support), to help revive Heal the World Foundation, to make the world a better place, we truly are respecting Michael Jackson's final wishes. For you and for me and the entire human race.
Lessons learned? First, listen to level headed people like Ivy. Second, if I ever decide to trademark TEAMBRANCA, remember to NOT let it expire. :)
Monday, April 18, 2011
Tonight, a new article came out in News of the World, stating that the fingerprints on a syringe that was found in the room where Michael Jackson died, do not match Conrad Murray or Michael Jackson. Whether this is true or not, IS NOT THE POINT.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Friday, April 15, 2011
The point of this analogy is that both Johnson and Mann appear to be closer than they truly are to any of the Jacksons. Howard Mann does not have the best interests of Katherine nor Michael's children at heart. He has blatantly lied, stating that the Estate executors have given Mrs. Jackson less than $200K, yet court documents prove that the Estate has provided over $9 million to Katherine and Michael's children since his death. Howard Mann has lied time and time again in court documents. Frankly, the docs from Mann's camp look like a 3rd grader drew them up. An updated version of MJNewsAlerts Debunking Howard Mann's Lies and Half-Truths is available for those to catch up to speed with the latest round of crap Mann is spewing.
How interesting is it that both Michael's father and his brother sit on the board of the fake Heal the World Foundation, knowing full well Michael never met Melissa Johnson and did not want to revive the charity?
In reviewing the court documents submitted by Melissa Johnson, where is there any shred of evidence that shows a signature from Michael Jackson in agreement for her to run fake Heal the World Foundation?
I think that Howard Mann and Melissa Johnson underestimated the Michael Jackson fanbase. Even after close to two years after Michael's death, there are thousands of people who read court documents for anything related to Michael. At the very core of the interest, is the belief that Michael's children should not be exploited for profit. Secondly, Michael's trust was not set up for anyone else to receive revenue except Katherine and Michael's three children. Nowhere in the trust does it say that ANYONE other than the Estate have the ability to use Michael's intellectual property.
Most of the MJ fanbase realizes that Howard Mann is reaching for the ultimate prize; the 20% of Michael's trust that is designated to charity. Yeah, I said it. Howard Mann does not give a damn about Katherine Jackson or Michael's children. What he does cae about is continuing to make a profit from property he does not own. If Mann really does believe that, he is just as deluded as Melissa Johnson and her "psychic" ability after her near death experience.
Not only do the Estate executors want nothing to do with either Mann or Johnson, but hell will freeze over before John Branca designates Michael Jackson's last charitable gift to the fake Heal the World Foundation or a former online nude gambling website owner. As usual and with a semblance of class (unlike either Mann or Johnson) Branca had this to say about the Estate's decision regarding Michael Jackson's last charitable gift: "Mr. Jackson's last charitable bequest should be as great a memorial and testimony to his achievements and to him as his incredible body of creative work that he has left behind. There has not been any final decision as to the manner in which Mr. Jackson's last charitable gift will be carried out. However, it would cause Mr. Jackson's last charitable gift, and likely the public memory of Mr. Jackson's philanthropic career, irreparable harm if our efforts in this regard are allowed to be confused, diluted, and perhaps even sullied by the Defendants and Ms. Johnson and by their continuing claims to be acting in accordance with Mr. Jackson's wishes..."
Not only are the Estate executors watching you, Mr. Mann, but the Michael Jackson fanbase is as well. Keep on thinking that you will somehow changed Michael Jackson's trust, Mr. Mann. Remember that objects appear closer than they seem, Mr. Mann.