June 25, 2009 – I was a stuntwoman hired to work on Iron Man 2. As I drove on the 101 Freeway in the late afternoon, heading to the location in downtown Los Angeles, I couldn’t stop thinking about Michael and wrap my head around the fact that he was gone. The news of his death had been announced only a few hours prior, and a part of me refused to believe it. When I met the stunt coordinator, I casually mentioned it, not wanting to seem like a fanatic. Boy, how I would let go of that need years later. The scene called for three stuntwomen to be running away from gigantic robots. One of the stuntmen landed on me and, as I would find out days later, broke a few of my ribs. I couldn’t breathe but I got up and did the shot again. For some reason, getting hurt always made me go inside and ponder.
After researching, writing, blogging and sharing my photos with Michael Jackson fans around the world for nine years, I grew to not care what people thought about my “obsession” with Michael. Actually, I began to believe that if you tell me what you think about Michael, I will tell you who you are. Thus, began my search for the truth about who Michael Jackson was.
This year, like annual clockwork, the media has begun the totally baseless smear stories one month before the anniversary of Michael’s passing. The medialoid (mainstream media infected by tabloid journalism) loves to feed a constant diet of trash and lies about Michael. And his fans begin to defend him, as always, standing firmly for the truth and defending his legacy. I look forward to the day when Michael’s volunteer work for children trends instead of the lies. In the meantime, I continue my work on the anniversary of his passing to remind the world who he was, an innocent humanitarian.
Why did the media begin a witch hunt against Michael as soon as he started breaking every musical record? First of all, Michael was the archetypal misunderstood artist, committed to his art and his creative vision even though he was being judged.
Did you know that Michael Jackson was personally responsible for cutting the number of starving people on this planet in half back in the 1990’s? The media didn’t report that.
Michael Jackson was the personification of love. What do we do with someone whose heart is that big?
Tall Poppy Syndrome is “a social phenomenon in which people of genuine merit are resented, attacked, cut down or criticized because their talents or achievements elevate them above or distinguish them from their peers.” That is what happened to Michael Jackson the moment he started to break every music record ever made. A simple walk through Twitter for example, will show example after example of people who never even knew him or read anything valuable about him trashing him. Hence, my belief of “tell me what you think of Michael Jackson and I will tell you who you are”. Are you judgmental? Accepting of someone who did not fit in any of the neat little boxes that society loves to place on people? Do you see his giant, loving heart that gave to strangers and visited sick and dying children before and after his concerts? A man who would donate millions of dollars from touring to various children’s causes? Is that what you see? Or do you believe the lies that the media feeds you?
A Jewish proverb says, Do not be wise in words, be wise in deeds.Michael Jackson was wise in deeds. Other-centered does not even come close to describing his character. Listed in the 2000 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records for “Most Charities Supported by a Pop Star”, he supported 39 charities and gave away $500 million in his lifetime. Even in his death his earnings are still going to charity, as specified in his will.
As I walk around Forest Lawn Glendale, I focus on the love that I see for Michael Jackson and I feel my heart chakra stirring. I see handmade cards so intricate, delicate and beautiful that my heart is moved to tears. I have been in actual relationships and not had such cards made for me.
Here is Robyn Starkland who tirelessly organizes One Rose for Michael Jackson, year after year. This year, there are 8,047 roses purchased by fans around the globe. On June 26, the roses are donated to various charities around Los Angeles.
I met Sarah, who flew 5 hours to Auckland and 12 hours to Los Angeles, from South Australia. This was her first visit to Forest Lawn. She said when Michael died “I was overwhelmed with tears and I didn’t know why. I had dreams where he smiled, picked me up and spun me around.
Every year I see artwork by an artist named Siren. This year I actually met and spoke to her. Siren is from Canada and did not start painting until years after Michael died. Her drawing began two years after Michael passed but she did not paint until 2014. She said “I credit Michael with all of it, all my creativity. That’s my connection to him, the relationship, my spirituality.”
Here are Rieko Ishii, Miyuki Amano, Yoko Abe and Yuki Otsuki, who came together from Japan. They brought this glorious angel winged, red rose tribute for Michael.
Here are Queenie Las, May Cheng and Jessica Kwok from Hong Kong. They layed out pictures for hours on Saturday but everything was gone on Sunday.
Yasuyo Kaneko was sitting with an umbrella and her 2 little MJ dolls, complete with miniature flowers. I found a framed photo I loved, which turned out to be hand made by her.
People like Yasuyo are why I come to Forest Lawn Glendale every years on the anniversary of MJ’s passing.
Yasuyo is kind, gentle, soft-spoke and other centered. She created a delicate wooden frame with MJ’s favorite flowers, and was part of the team that arranged the giant arrangement of red roses, and angel wings in gold.
Michael Jackson didn’t just love his own children: he loved all children. Perhaps that’s why he was judged so harshly by people who did not know him. In the end, it’s not just his music, dancing and videos that bring people from all corners of the world to Forest Lawn Glendale to deliver their sweet, homemade gifts. It’s because Michael Jackson was the personification of love and what we need now, more than ever, is love.