Idol Chatter

Idol Chatter


Remembering Michael

posted by Ellen Leventry

michaeljacksonphoto.jpgValentine’s Day 2001 I spent with Michael Jackson and 3,000 of his most adoring fans.
At the time the “King of Pop” and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach had started an initiative
called “Heal the Kids” which aimed to “restore children’s ‘birthright of nurturing care’.” That evening the two were hosting a panel discussion on how parents could best balance care of their children with demands of their careers and relationships and Beliefnet was there to cover it.
Like many Americans, my relationship with Mr. Jackson was a bit schizophrenic: Adoring his musical genius one minute and guffawing along to all the late night hosts’ jokes about his legal troubles or commenting on his freakish plastic surgery-aided transformation the next. But that night, I witnessed almost 3,000 crazed fans rushing the stage, trying anything to get a piece of the superstar and I realized that, even with all of the troubles that he may have brought upon himself, he never really stood a chance.


Men and women of every age and race sprinted to that stage, screaming like banshees, throwing tokens of affection at a grown man who stood at the podium giggling nervously, repeating “I love you, too” in a quiet voice while body guards pelted people away. This was Michael Jackson’s life and it was pretty much the only life he had ever known. Ping-ponging between the frighteningly overzealous, yet anonymously generic, adoration of his fans and the alleged childhood abuse he suffered at the hands of his father, the pop superstar never had a chance to develop emotionally, to become an adult, to be normal. Celebrity never looked so unappealing and dysfunctional.
That was the day I stopped laughing at the late night hosts’ jokes and just learned to love the music and not the mayhem surrounding it.



  • Rosanna Gabourel

    I think that what you said is so true, most people of today look to the media for all the answers as if the media is truly inside of the person’s thoughts and feelings. Most people can never say that they truly know and understand what he was going through and thats why we criticize him first before getting to know the real MJ. despite what the media says about him, MJ was a truly unique person who used his money and fame for the greater good of others, he did this not once, not twice but many times with Heal the World and other great hits. to this day i am sure that even young people who dont know who MJ was still feel inspired the first time hearing that song. it gave them constructive mob fever. somewhere to start. an idea of what to do with the gifts that they have. There will never be another Michael Jackson. he was truly his own species.

  • Your Name

    Was anyone inside Micheals heart? NO! Was there anyone who really knew his thoughts? NO! only one knew his thoughts… GOD! I say, and I could be wronge. But who is to say that Micheal just had a true loving heart of CHrist for children and all people. YOu could see it though his actions of being so Humble.. He was a soft spoken man, Does that mean he was a weak man, NO! Yes, he had his problems, and he was different. But we all are differnt. Some of us have the same problems inside, But hide it daily. I cannot stand to hear others say he was a child melestor.. who was to say. He was so innoncent at heart and thought he was doing something good, and just made a bad judgement call, But with the world today. it is sad that when doing something good for others. we have to stop and think how it will look. Why can’t we just do good and not have to worry about some other people making it out to be something Nasty. I was not there and could not tell you what happened through all of that. But I want to give him the bennifet of dought. I see some money hungry people out to get money anyway they can.
    I could be wronge. But what good does it do to call names? He is, like us going to have to awnser to someone greater. We are not the jugde! So let Micheal rest and Pray for his children.
    we all do dumb things everyday, and would not want to be thought of when we die of our dumb mistakes.
    MIcheal was a genius and at times, we cannot understand their ways. So, let him go in peace. Stop the gossip!
    sadly,IT will not stop, but continue on more and more….. so CHristians. Rise up and pray for his family….

  • phillip tipton

    I hate to hear about Micheal, I know he will truly be missed but he live’s in lot of people’s hearts, and always will he will never be forgoten Phillip

  • maria

    LOSING MICHAEL IS A TERRIBLE TRAGEDY. BUT PEOPLES SHOULD ALSO NOT FORGET FARRAH FAWCETT OR ED MCMAHON. THEY WERE JUST AS FAMOUS. AND THIS IS A TRAGEDY AS WELL

  • kim Jackson

    I was very sorry to hear about Michael Jackson. Sometimes we all get so caughtup in the lights and glitter of celebrity, we forget even our most honored Americans, like Lincoln and George Washington had problems; doubts, insecurity, passions. I’ll remember Michael Jackson always for his hits like “thriller” and “human Nature” my favorites, not his strange looks in later years.

  • Judi

    He never had a chance. Entertaining was made to be his life by his
    abusive father and once he started getting attention, naturally he
    began to enjoy all that the entertainment field offered to him.
    Who could pass that up? It is terribly sad that his life was so
    lonely, considering he had so many siblings and shame on his mother
    to let that child suffer so. My heart is broken for him, however,
    I pray he went into our loving Father’s arms. I never believed he
    abused anyone, as he was a child himself and only longed for company.
    That that company was children, well maybe children were the only
    people he felt comfortable with. Not our place to judge anyone, so
    let’s remember the genius that was Michael and the joy he gave toloeso many who loved him.

  • Judi

    It is true that Farrah was a great actress, and Ed McMahon a fantastic
    side kick to Johnny, etc. I feel sad about their deaths. However,
    it is an unbelievable misconception to compare their talents to
    Michael Jackson, who GAVE of himself to the world. So many kids can
    dance, sing, etc. because they were able to emulate Michael. He has
    a legion of fans in the millions all over the globe. I am sad to
    say that I doubt many people in the “world” are having a hard time
    dealing with Farrah or Ed’s passing. Yes, they made a contribution to tv and movies, but no where near the scope of what Michael gave to all
    of us. Personally, I have said a few prayers for all three of these
    people, but I will never, ever forget Michael Jackson and his great
    gifts that he shared with all of us.
    Michael

  • Your Name

    I am so sick and tired of the irresponsible media on how they report about celebrities. How they reported Michael Jackson’s life and career was very damaging to him based on untrue allegations and then sensationalizing them as though they were gospel. So he was eccentric, so are a lot of people. I guess I am too, for I was also in an HyperBaric Oxygen chamber, because I had burns on my legs and feet and had to be skin grafted. If you remember right, Michael was in his chamber after he got burned in the Pepsi commercial. The man was a musical genius and so talented, why can’t people remember that. I know I will miss his music, and I was shocked to hear of his death. May God help you Rest In Peace Michael.
    Neal Walker

  • Carolyn Gregory

    Thank you for posting these comments regarding Michael Jackson’s untimely death. Though I had not been a musical fan of his since the 1980s, I have been shaken about the death since it took place last week and have been doing research on the Web, going so far as to look at the World Socialist Web for an analysis. It is pretty clear that Jackson never had a chance, following the ripping off of a normal childhood and by family abuse, whomever the perpetrator was. The predatory, relentless capitalistic music business destroyed Michael Jackson who though brilliant and seemingly ageless was psychologically fragile without an adequate network to fight all this shit for his life. His prescription drug addiction goes hand in hand with the rest of the scenario, just as was the case for child stars like Judy Garland. Terribly sad but not really surprising. I have been saying prayers to support Michael in the afterlife since last Thursday. May all of us learn to BEWARE of these tempting brass rings and be strong in the course of our lives.
    –Carolyn Gregory

  • Your Name

    I HAVE NO DOUBT THAT MICHAEL JACKSON IS IN THE ARMS OF HIS “REAL” FATHER, GOD, WHO LOVED HIM UNCONDITIONALLY. IT’S SAD THAT SO FEW PEOPLE REALIZED MICHAEL JACKSON HAD A PETER PAN SYNDROME (HE NEVER REALLY GOT TO GROW UP). MICHAEL WAS ESSENTRIC AND MISUNDERSTOOD AS ARE MOST TRUE GENIUSES AND ALL THE BAD PUBLICITY AND HURT KILLED HIM. THANK GOODNESS, THE ONLY PERSON WHO CAN JUDGE MICHAEL NOW IS GOD AND I TRULY BELIEVE HE WILL FIND HIM INNOCENT OF ALL THE RUMORS AND GOSSIP. MICHAEL, YOU GAVE SO MANY MILLIONS OF PEOPLE TRUE JOY, BUT YOU SUFFERED TERRIBLY AS A RESULT. THANK YOU WITH LOVE, NIKKI HENDERSON

  • M Roy

    What about the other 3 celebrities who died in the past week and a half? Why talk just about Michael Jackson?
    Why are we hearing nothing about Billy Mays, Farrah Fawcett (who fought a long battle with cancer and went before congress to get more help for cancer victims)Ed McMahon?
    They are just as important as Michael Jackson and left a deep meaningful impression on our hearts.

  • Your Name

    I as well as millions of other fans were revited to the news of Michael’s passing. He was simply a one of a kind artist. There will never be another Michael Jackson again in this world. We should all pray for his children and family through this tragity and loss. We can all reflect on a certain song and remember a certain time in our lives when his music made us feel so alive. He would like us to remember this ,I am sure. He had his faults, don’t we all when truth be told. He may have passed on to greater things but we can always comfort in his music and accomplishments while he was alive.This his children can be forever proud and humble. I find it so sad that alot of people only woke up and realized what a special human being he was while he was alive.Why can’t we as humans realize this while he was alive? Michael was in the back burner until he died,then it was as if he came alive. How ironic. Don’t you think. I only pray that his children will be well looked after and loved.

  • http://www.myspace.com/reneebraxton Rene’e Braxton

    Dear friends,
    I loved Michael no matter what. He was in a lot of pain,and because he was diffrent people (some people) made fun of him. He wanted to be accepted by us on all levels. Elvis is my idol and so many were cruel when it came to him. Michael was lost but now he is found. God-Bless

  • TAMAY

    RIP MICHAEL JACKSON, HE WILL TRULY BE MISSED, THE MEDIA REALLY NEEDS TO STOP WITH THE FINGER POINTING AND BRINGING UP OLD CASES THAT HE WAS FOUND NOT GULITY OF. GOD KNOWS HIS HEART AND HIS RIGHTS AND WRONGS AND WE CANT JUDGE HIM.

  • Myriam Pierre

    I was logging into my account at Yahoo.cvom when it was flashed that Michael Jackson had passed away.I could not believe it.I read the article.You can say it was like time just happened to stand still.Have you ever had that feeling?I had been looking forward to hearing about the revenues to be generated from that concert because of the debt he had and I had wanted him to clear that debt.Michael Jackson was such a unique person.I love people who do not like to follow everyone else.And yes I do agree that the media and a bunch of other heartless and cold persons pushed him to the max with those problems.And they still continue to villify him!Really,Who has not sinned?I know that God alonme knows the intense depth of this pauin.There is no other replacement.Rest in peace Michael.I love you.

  • steven w. sawczuk

    i believe michael will be remembered as a great and gifted song
    and dance man, who led his peers for years in creating new and
    gifted songs. my favorite is “we are the world we are the children”
    i thought it had a universal quality to it. there were other songs
    like beat it and billie jean and rock with me form off the wall that
    i thought were great too.history will be kind to michael and i believe we should too.his song and dance will live on, long after
    most of us are gone.Goodbye , michael may your soul rest in peace.

  • Your Name

    I know when I heard the news about Michael Jackson passing I thought it was a joke. My daughter was playing on this website, she is seven years old and she asked me “moma do you know michael Jackson?” I say yes. Then she tells me that her friends on this website said he passed. So I told her thats not funny. They shouldn’t joke like that. Then my son come’s running upstairs telling me that he passed. By this time I was really getting ANGRY. Because he’s Michael Jackson I would never have thought of him getting old let alone passing. When I saw for myself it felt like a knife peirceing threw my heart. I was in disbeleif, denial and I started to cry. Its amazing how affects so many lives so many ages, races and religion. When I seen my children listening to his music for two days straight nothing else all I could say was WOW. I smiled and enjoyed his music with them. I want to say that my thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends, and fans. MAY HE REST IN PEACE. YOU ARE TRULY ONE OF A KIND.

  • Cynthia

    God gave Michael Jackson a unique gift, to entertain people and give them a chance to escape into his world of music. RIP Michael, sing for the Lord and the angels because I know that you are in heaven.

  • http://grannylenita Lenita Smith

    I will truly miss Michael Jackson so much. I grew up with the Jackson 5 and Michael in my home. I am 49 years old so I grew up with them as well. The world will never be the same without Michael and his music. The angels in Heaven are surely singing with Michael and hopefully he is teaching them how to moonwalk. You rock Michael!! You are truly a remarkable person and so kind and compassionate. You brought so much joy and happiness to people all over the world. God Bless you!!!

  • BETTY ROSE

    I AM GOING TO MISS MICHAEL VERY MUCH.. HE WAS MY IDOL I HAD MY WALLS COVERED IN POSTERS OF HIM I HAVE JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING ABOUT MICHAEL THAT WAS EVER MADE … I LOVE THE MAN AND THE PERFORMER.. HE WAS THE BEST PERFORMER I EVER SAW .. IVE BEEN TO A LOT OF CONCERTS IN MY TIME BUT HIS WERE THE ONLY ONES I WENT BACK TO AGAIN AND AGAIN.. HIS MUSIC WILL LIVE ON AND I WILL MISS HIM FOREVER.. I AM DEEPLY SADDENED.

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