Saturday, February 13, 2010
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Electronics giant Samsung has announced plans to release a limited edition golden external harddrive that comes pre-loaded with Michael Jackson's This Is It film. The portable S2 drive depicts Jackson in his signature This Is It silhouette with upstretched arms and crossed legs. With features such as automatic backup, data encryption, and password-protected data access, the 500GB hard drive is the ultimate gift for die hard MJ techie fans. Samsung says the drive will retail for around €109 Euros or $149 USD.
Lawyers for Michael Jackson's father, Joe Jackson, have filed papers seeking the court's acknowledgment that Michael's family has the right to sue media outlets for publishing photos of Mr. Jackson's deceased body. Attorney Brian Oxman filed papers claiming there is a legal precedent for a family to sue for invasion of privacy when such photographs are taken or published. Shows such as Entertainment Tonight (ET) and others have repeatedly aired photographs of Mr. Jackson's body on a stretcher as it was taken into an ambulance.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
The musical director for Michael Jackson's This Is It is now the band leader for George Lopez's Lopez Tonight show. They sat down a few months ago to discuss Michael Jackson and the rehearsals for the This Is It concerts. I was tickled by his anecdote about the rehearsals for Dirty Diana. Michael planned to have an aerialist and master pole dancer dance around a larger-than-life iron canopy bed on the stage, eventually handcuffing him to the bed. At one point, Michael Bearden asked Michael where the female guitarist Orianthi was supposed to be during the number. Michael said, 'In the bed with me!--I can handle it!'
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Rehearsal footage shot at Palm Beach Lakes High School in West Palm Beach, Florida February 6, 2010
The world famous Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University Marching 100 marching band from Tallahassee, Florida performed a tribute to Michael Jackson during the Superbowl XLIV pre-game show on Sunday, February 7, 2010. Unfortunately, the networks chose to show commentary and commercials rather than the incredible tribute. The set list included "Billie Jean", "Beat It", and "Smooth Criminal" and brought the crowd to its feet.
"Today's show was simply fantastic," FAMU's Director of Bands Julian White said. "They played well. They marched well. And the audience just gave a standing ovation. (Band members) gave all they had, and it came through very well."
Monday, February 8, 2010
CNN, ABC, and MSNBC are all reporting the Jackson family has arrived at the LA County courthouse. They are all awaiting the arrival of Conrad Murray to surrender himself within the next hour. He will be charged with one count of involuntary manslaughter, according to prosecutors. Prosecutors have filed a criminal complaint that reads that Murray "did unlawfully, and without malice, kill Michael Joseph Jackson."
By charging him with involuntary manslaughter, the prosecutors allege that Murray caused Jackson's death by acting "without due caution and circumspection" rather than with malice. The LA County Coroner ruled Michael Jackson died from a combination of benzodiazepines and propofol. Murray admits he administered a cocktail of benzodiazepines, including lorazepam and propofol but maintains he did not give Jackson "anything that should have killed him."
CNN showed one shot of fans protesting and holding signs outside the courhouse. I saw Mrs. Katherine, Joseph, Randy, Tito, Jermaine, and his wife as well as other family members. Jermaine was the only one to offer a comment, saying simply "not enough".
The Dateline piece "The Secret Life of Michael Jackson" broadcast on Friday, February 5, 2010, was very slanted. The producers wanted to accomplish three things with that "special":
1. They wanted to characterize Murray as a villain and establish him as a news draw all on his own so they can continue to flog Michael's death for ratings
2. They wanted to continue their tradition of painting Michael as an eccentric freak and titillate the audience with old rumors and innuendo
3. Of course, they simply wanted to boost their sagging ratings by hopping on the biggest story of the week with a slap dash last minute "report" that contained no new information despite the tease in all their commercials
The broadcast itself focused too much on Michael's vacations, his wardrobe, his makeup, and the allegations against him made in other decades and not nearly enough on the events leading up to Michael's death and the nature of the investigation since then. In order to increase the juice factor, the producers used tabloid tactics by distilling the most inflammatory remarks from the media commentators they interviewed, comments that where wholly unsubstantiated. The only poignant and truthful remarks I watched came from Michael's attorney Thomas Mesereau, Michael Flatley, and the member of the Bahrain Royal Family who said he never MJ never saw use drugs while he was there. I believe comments by so-called friends about Michael being a pest who overstayed his welcome and slept on people's couches only served to further slake the public's thirst for negative ammunition to use against his memory; I personally let such friends know what I thought about their comments as well as Dateline NBC. I believe we, as fans, have an obligation stand up to unfair and untruthful reporting about Michael; it is our duty to protect his legacy.
To read the transcript of the show click here.
Michael Jackson fans from around the world will hold demonstrations outside the L.A. County Courthouse and the L.A.P.D. headquarters in protest of the delay in arresting Dr. Conrad Murray. The investigation into Michael's death is complete and Murray's camp said he is prepared to surrender, so there is a great deal of speculation about the delay in his arrest and arraignment. I post this picture, courtesy of one of my Facebook friends, in solidarity with fans who simply want justice for Michael.
Celine Dion, Jordin Sparks, and Akon discussed the recording of the "We Are The World" re-make and the song's co-writer, Michael Jackson. The original "We Are The World" was released 25 years ago; it generated over $30 Million in 1980's U.S. dollars to help impoverished people in Africa.
Long-time choreography consultant to Michael Jackson, Travis Payne, visited the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC), a maximum security prison in the Philippines, to visit the world famous "Dancing Inmates." The inmates first gained the world's attention with their rendition of Michael's Thriller performed in bright orange jumpsuits with a male Ola Ray in drag. Payne and This Is It dancers Daniel Celebre and Dres Reid spent several days teaching the inmates routines from the blockbuster music film.
I think it is wonderful someone from Michael's camp finally recognized the accomplishments of these men and their love of Michael. It warms my heart to see just how far-reaching Michael's appeal spanned.