Friday, July 24, 2009

Wedding Entrance Dance

I'd love to hear some reactions to this:

Monday, July 20, 2009

Isn't Jimmy Carter wonderful?

This is what Carter said today after separating from the Southern Baptist Church:

"At its most repugnant, the belief that women must be subjugated to the wishes of men excuses slavery, violence, forced prostitution, genital mutilation and national laws that omit rape as a crime. But it also costs many millions of girls and women control over their own bodies and lives, and continues to deny them fair access to education, health, employment and influence within their own communities.

The truth is that male religious leaders have had -- and still have -- an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world."

Saturday, July 18, 2009

I know you've heard enough...

...but I need to write about Michael Jackson. I heard from my youngest daughter that he'd been rushed to the hospital. I didn't believe it. I had to go online and find it in the news. By that time... he was gone. I turned on the television and watched more "news" than I had in years.

As an adult, I don't cry very often. However, I was in tears for over a week. I was puzzled by my reaction at first, then I realized that I was feeling the sadness of others from all over the world. There was a wave of emotion sweeping across the globe much like that after 9/11. Still, the realization that I was picking up on emotions on a wide-spread scale didn't stop the tears from coming. And there were dreams... so many dreams. I would wake up from dreaming about Michael and have one of his songs going through my head. To be honest, there was hardly a time for over a week when I didn't have one of his songs in my head.

I know that there are mixed feelings about this child/man. This bright and gentle spirit who didn't seem to fit in with the rest of the world. Many think he was guilty of child molestation but, after watching hour upon hour of footage of Michael, I find that very difficult to believe.

The following is from:

The child molester myth doesn´t rest on Jackson´s trial and clean acquittal on multiple child abuse charges in a Santa Maria courthouse in June 2005. Only the most rabid Jackson loathers still finger point to that to taint Jackson. The myth of Jackson as child abuser rests squarely on the charge by a 13 year old boy a decade before the trial and the multi-million dollar settlement out of court. The settlement, then and now, feeds the suspicion that Jackson must have done something unsavory and probably criminal, or else why settle?

16 years later, though, the facts remain unchanged. The charge that Jackson molested the boy was brought by the boy´s father. In interviews the boy repeatedly denied the charges. This changed only after he was administered sodium amytal, an invasive, mind altering drug that medical experts have frowned on and courts have disregarded in witness testimony. Prosecutors, police departments and investigators in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara spent millions of dollars, convened two grand juries and probed nearly 200 witnesses that included 30 children, who knew Jackson to try to substantiate the charge. Not a single corroborating witness was found. Nonetheless, a motley group of disgruntled Jackson´s former housekeepers, attendants and bodyguards still peddled the story to any media outlet willing to shell out the cash that Jackson had engaged in child sexual wrongdoing. Not one of the charges was confirmed. Typical was this exchange between one of Jackson´s attorneys and one of the accusing bodyguards under oath:

"So you don´t know anything about Mr. Jackson and [the boy], do you?"

"All I know is from the sworn documents that other people have sworn to."

"But other than what someone else may have said, you have no firsthand knowledge about Mr. Jackson and [the boy], do you?"

"That´s correct."

"Have you spoken to a child who has ever told you that Mr. Jackson did anything improper with the child?"


"Where did you get your impressions about Jackson´s behavior?"

"Just what I´ve been hearing in the media and what I´ve experienced with my own eyes."

"Okay. That´s the point. You experienced nothing with your own eyes, did you?"

"That´s right, nothing."

Yes, Michael was eccentric, extremely so... but that doesn't make him a child molester. What it did was make other people uncomfortable. The changes in his appearance brought an onslaught of name-calling and insults that would be difficult for anyone to handle emotionally.

I have no explanation as to why Michael opted to alter his facial features, the best I can do is speculate. It's possible that some deep-seated emotional issues, compacted by stress, created over-whelming insecurities within him. People undergo plastic surgery for superficial reasons all the time and some of those individuals end up looking disfigured. Do you see them on the front page of a tabloid week after week? No.

Years ago I told my husband that I thought Michael was starting to believe he was a freak. That, perhaps, being such a sensitive soul and hearing the constant verbal attacks and insults, Micheal started to see himself as some kind of mutilated monster. Then again, there might be another reason of which we are completely unaware at this time.

I hope we get to hear Michael's story from someone who was close to him. But... was there anyone close to him? Did he have a confidant?

On another note, do you realize how much Michael gave to others? He gave his time, his money, his talent. He was constantly in the service of others but much of that has been criticized or overlooked.

Check out this link for a list of charities Michael supported:

Through my eyes, Michael was a beautiful, lonely, tortured soul who's light shown too brightly for this world. I don't know if those who sought to destroy him did so out of racism, jealousy, or just plain ignorance, but I truly feel that his uniqueness and limitless imagination and creativity were both a blessing and a curse to the most brilliant entertainer of all time.