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Thoughts: Blogs, presence & Enjoying life

I have not posted much in the last couple of months.  It might, in part, be because I’ve found myself pondering things more deeply than necessary.  Then again, maybe it is necessary since people such as Socrates have said that there is value in examining life.  I’ve been questioning what goals I have for writing, if any.  I have also questioned whether such goals are overshadowed sometimes by the concept of having viewers of posts and attempting to post things others would want to see/read.

There’s also that thought that things I post should simply come from me.  They should just be what I’m drawn to write about as my daily life progresses.  I can get lost in the logistics of how frequently to post, what to post that will be of interest to people to read, whether there’s anything at all of value in even writing anything and where does all this fit in as far as where I want to go in life.  Then there are the days where I wonder if I have any clue of what I want or where I want to go, which only eats up time that can be used to get there of course.

All of this aside, a lot of what I ponder these days is related to nature vs. materialism you might say.  When I use the word “materialism” I am thinking of things like fortune and fame; popularity and riches.  It would be great to have that few grand available to buy this or that which would seemingly make my life easier such as a wheelchair accessible van as I need a wheelchair for mobility.  I could go many more places much faster if I had such a vehicle.  I can perfectly well get around the local community, given the mass transit that is available.  But, like most things, it has its limitations.  It has pros and cons.  Time to travel takes longer usually, especially if used to get from one city to another.  It’s easy enough to get in and out of a normal car and have someone put the wheelchair in the trunk though so it’s not totally necessary for either of the above options when traveling between cities.  All that’s needed is someone with said car to be able to make it happen.

Focusing back on the writing of blog posts, though, I guess by nature I would mean the nature of human interaction or communication of ideas.  The materialism aspect would be more on the numbers of viewers, the amount of comments and popularity overall of the blog.  Communication is more of a goal for me from the start, as opposed to who views the blog or how much exposure it gets.  That being said, a conversation requires multiple people and/or points of view which means a certain amount of exposure is required in order to achieve these people and points of view.

Then one day, not overly long ago, a book I received for Christmas last year and lent out to a friend from school was returned to me.  That book F**k it by John C Parkins, which I remember feeling a lot lighter during and after reading it, made life seem a lot simpler.  The concept behind the words in said book is to take life easy and not worry about things so much.  It’s a lot more than that, as the book covers various things from God and anarchy, to relationships, to work among other things.

It’s as simple as saying “F**k it” and leaving the stress and worry in favor of peace, easing the mind and allowing things to be as they are.  The reality is that you cannot change the past, and you cannot predict the future to be any certain way 100%.  The future is bound to be slightly, or completely, different than you anticipate but the one thing that you can count on is that it will be interesting!  Maybe it’s best, then, to just go with the flow to see what comes in the NOW.  Maybe it’s best to see all life’s jewels as they come rather than waiting for something else all the time.  That something else might never come, and you might miss out on another thing that was right under your nose and disappeared without a moment’s notice.  If you don’t stop to smell the roses while they’re there, and you’re too busy collecting as many as possible to have the biggest and best collection, you may not get to ever experience the amazing aroma.  You may also not truly notice the beauty before you, until it starts wilting and withering away.

54th Anniversary of Michael Jackson’s birth

I thought that, today, it would be fitting to somehow acknowledge Michael Jackson on the anniversary of his birth, his 54th birthday. Though he may not be here in physical form anymore, being that he had the public following which he did, there is much that he left behind, from his creations to the perceptions of others as well as what you may call his teachings or ideas on life. He had the ability to show these ideas through the creation of music, performance, and short films throughout his life (as well as the occasional book and/or interview/speech).  In looking at things that he and others have said I found the following:

The media first turned the trial into a freak-show by emphasizing Jackson’s peculiarities rather than his humanity, and stoked the ratings with constant, trivializing coverage while other, far more important stories went under-reported or completely ignored in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, North Korea, and Washington, D.C. The press might respond by saying, ”We gave the people what they wanted.” My response would be, ”My job is to give them what they want. When he steps into a recording studio, it’s Michael Jackson’s job to give them what they want. Your job is to give the people what they need.”

Stephen King, in “The Sideshow Has Left Town” (14 June 2005)

What an interesting excerpt from a piece written by Stephen King around Michael Jackson and his trial to fight off allegations of child abuse!  It looks to me like it really sets the record straight on what goals belong to which professional in the public arena.  Those who are intended to entertain, strive to give the public (to which they are entertaining) what that public wishes to see.  Those who are intended to bring forth world events on a regular basis (such as news media) are intended to give the people facts and news about the events going on around the world.

One could argue that the facts were being presented by news media as necessary pursuant to their roles.  However, my impression was often that there was some level of suggestion in many reports that had some implication of guilt on the part of Michael Jackson, long before the jury had any say in the matter.  Kind of unfortunate for it to be that way; what sells is what’s news, apparently.

From my perspective, Michael Jackson had the right idea:

Just because it’s in print doesn’t mean it’s the gospel.

He even had a song about it, Tabloid Junkie.  Anything can be said or written; the more bizarre, sensational or just plain “out there” the better it sometimes seems as far as sales and public interest.  I was rather shocked to see one particular story reported on CNN, as it was quite clearly to me the kind of thing of tabloids.  The idea of him having a voodoo curse put on people such as Stephen Spielberg among others, bathing in sheep blood, and ceremonially having cows slaughtered in relation to the curses is really bizarre.  At the time, I thought that CNN was a source for news, and I could never actually believe that story to be news no matter how much anyone might pay me or how much of a sales and marketing job was enforced upon me.  To give them the benefit of the doubt, they must have just momentarily confused the character Wacko Jacko with the man who is Michael Jackson.  They really seem like two completely different people.

This individual who may have put curses on people to get back at them for things, and slaughtering animals in the process seems nothing like Michael Jackson reacting the following way to an insect on stage (at about 2 minutes into the video):

It might stand out as different, unique, but with a completely different intent than the above.

Then there’s something Gotham Chopra, wrote, “Michael Jackson and Kim Jong Il” in The Huffington Post (5 July 2009) which speaks of Lisa Ling, and Euna Lee being detained in North Korea.  He spoke to Gotham about whether there might be anything that could be done.  Michael Jackson thought that maybe if Kim Jong II were a fan of his, that might enable him to sway the North Korean leader to free these two individuals.  He also said the following:

Gotham writes: “I explained to Michael that there were larger geo-politics involved, nuclear programs, a new administration trying to assert its foreign policy strategy (Obama), and another one in NK possibly going through some sort of transference of power.” Which might be a typical response from most people, but here’s a different and I would say a rather touching response:

“Yeah,” Michael said wistfully, “but if someone wants to do something good, they just can. They don’t really need to worry about all that other stuff.”

It might not always work to just out of the blue be able to do something good, but if it doesn’t I would like to pose the question:  Did we really believe we could accomplish that good thing and let that belief surpass any fear or uncertainty we felt about accomplishing the good act?

From Gotham Chopra’s account, it seems as though Michael Jackson goes beyond the role that Stephen King suggests is his role.  He not only gave the people what they wanted, through his skill and ability as an entertainer, but he wanted to give so much more.

As can be seen through the lyrics of such songs as Heal the World, Black or White, Man in the Mirror, Will you be There, Earth song, and others; Michael Jackson, or the power that used him as a vessel through which to communicate, had a vision of humankind living in community with one another, regardless of race or creed or other differences.  His music, his way of living seems to show humankind as best lived in communion with one another and with a Higher power (regardless of whether this Higher power might be a higher self within us, or something completely outside of us; perhaps a combination therein which is the Creator).  It can be argued that how he lived was strange and bizarre, but is that argument using sensationalism as a basis to prove its point, or does it take into account all sides including the good?  You can decide.

What a rollercoaster those 54 years have been!  I’m suddenly reminded of Michael’s “Leave me Alone” music video, which has imagery of the circus atmosphere and also includes a rollercoaster ride.  The song is from his Bad album, which celebrates its 25th anniversary with a release in September of Bad 25, including the first officially released concert from the Bad world tour.

Feel free to watch the “Leave me Alone” video here: