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Showing posts with label zennie abraham. Show all posts
Showing posts with label zennie abraham. Show all posts

Michael Jackson passes | public opinion: "We Are The World"



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Michael Jackson's passing is still a shock to me. The very idea that someone I feel like I grew up with left us at the age of 50 is just not right at all. I first saw Michael perform when I was 10 years old at the old Chicago International Amphitheatre in 1972; the Campbell family, who babysat me, took me and I remember it like it was yesterday. The Jackson Five was then the must see event and Michael was the star.

Michael was like my brother. In a way for many African Americans he was just that, a sibling. I knew him as the guy who grew up in Gary, Indiana. We knew people who knew them in Chicago, so I felt close to him long ago. I think it's for that reason so many African Americans were on Michael's side during the years when it seems he was kind of flying the coup: changing his skin color from brown to near white; narrowing his nose, and basically seeming to channel his best friend the legendary singer Diana Ross. Then, of course, there were the claims that he "liked boys" which we figured wasn't the case, and was more a byproduct of the money and attention seeking people who surrounded him. Michael was a person with an arrested development: he never had a childhood so to escape the trappings of a constant adult life, he created a childhood for himself.

I think being an adult just literally killed Michael.

For me, Michael Jackson was the person who wanted to bring us all together, as shown in his "We Are The World" effort. That amazing production and song, created with a group of the World's best known music talents, with Lionel Richie, Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder, Steve Perry, Bob Dylan, the late Ray Charles, and a host of others and to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia, was just amazing. Amazing. I loved that song then; I still do today and I cry every time I hear it. (the lyrics and video are at the end of this post).


Talking with people About Michael's passing


The death of Michael Jackson is one of those events that will cause you to remember where you were when you learned of it. In my case I'd just emerged from a private movie screening at the Saul Zaentz Film Center in West Berkeley, CA. My Mom just happened to call with the news as I was walking to my car; I was stunned. Just stunned. So I took my Flip Video Camera and set out to talk to people about what happened to Michael. I had plenty of places to do this: the BART train station, the San Francisco Magazine "Best of The Bay" party, and all points in between.

What's amazing is the sheer number of people who were immediately informed via text messages and the reactions: shock, sadness, but not joy. No. No one expressed anything close to that at all, even given the part of his life where it seemed he was overwhelmed with "kid" issues. Nothing.

Dominic Phillips, the master of event planning in San Francisco, and who produced last night's "San Francisco Magazine Best of The Bay" party said "It's horrible. First and formost, anybody dying is horrible. There are so many family members that are just gonna be torn apart. But also Michael Jackson; on the one hand he was a very maverick person. But on the other hand he was part of my generation's life. He was like part of my experience, my growing up and I feel a little robbed that he's not there anymore. Like whether you thought his experience was your experience,that doesn't really come into it for me. I just sort of bonded with him in my youth and now he's gone."

Another woman I talked to on Howard Street in San Francisco said "I was just walking and three people got text messages (that he died)...just terrible. My friend Beth Schnitzer, who's the Director of Sponsorship Marketing at Pier 39 said "I can't believe it. Every time I listen to his music, it brings back a great memory from growing up somehow, some way. You know, it really hasn't hit me. He was too young; way too young." Jerusha, "The Last Single Girl In The World" said, as only she can, "We all have to go sometime and boy did he have a fabulous life before he went. He did it up and he did it up right. You know what they say, you only live once and that's all you need if you do it right!"

I talked to a lot of people, and if you see my video there are more than what's presented here, but all just variations on what was expressed. People loved Michael, warts and all. The "Best of The Bay" event turned into a kind of tribute to Michael, with his music playing continuously through the evening, and people danced, especially to "Thriller" which is a modern classic.

Sad day it was to have this happen. Michael, the world will miss you.

We Are The World - Lyrics and video:

Written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, produced by Quincy Jones.



There comes a time
When we head a certain call
When the world must come together as one
There are people dying
And it's time to lend a hand to life
The greatest gift of all

We can't go on
Pretending day by day
That someone, somewhere will soon make a change
We are all a part of
God's great big family
And the truth, you know love is all we need

[Chorus]
We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let's start giving
There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me

Send them your heart
So they'll know that someone cares
And their lives will be stronger and free
As God has shown us by turning stone to bread
So we all must lend a helping hand

[Chorus]
We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let's start giving
There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me

When you're down and out
There seems no hope at all
But if you just believe
There's no way we can fall
Well, well, well, well, let us realize
That a change will only come
When we stand together as one

[Chorus]
We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let's start giving
There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me

American Idol Adam Lambert, Britney Spears Attacked On Stage. Why?

 

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Not too long ago in Western culture it seemed we had this mostly unwritten rule that when a performer was at work, we didn't rush the stage to be with them or follow them around, unless of course they asked us to. Well, in this Internet age the act of rushing the stage and stalking has become all too commonplace, with the latest victim being American Idol star Adam Lambert; pop culture icon Britney Spears faced the same incident just two weeks before.

And the act of stage rushing isn't limited to popular singers on television; a duo named Matt & Kim from Brooklyn were rushed at the annual multimedia event "South by Southwest" (or SXSW) in March.

Who's next, Susan Boyle?

In Spears' case the stage crasher, 20 year-old Kyle King, was a man who was whisked off and arrested by security after Britney let out a scream. By contrast, Lambert laughed the whole deal off - you can hear him - as authorities carried the shirtless woman (not topless as some reports have it) off and away from Lambert. Matt of Matt & Kim said "I don't know if anyone else woke up this morning feeling like they'd been in a brawl," ... "I woke up with a limp!"

I'm sure there are other examples of rushing the stage, but as it seems to be a form of stalking, I wonder if it's not a kind of new reaction by some to the new fame of others. All of the examples have people between the age of 20 and 30 who are doing the stalking, which means they're part of a generation that gets most of its media online -- they're hyper-engaged in media. Moreover, and now I'm spinning a theory as I've not found a study on this behavior in the Internet age, I wonder if those who stalk performers and media content creators in some way feel close to them because of the Internet, and want to complete the desire to "reach out and touch them."

And I'm not claiming their impulse is always harmless. Just ask American Idol host Paula Abdul, who was stalked by a contestant who eventually killed herself outside Abdul's home. Jamie Foxx fought off his stalker last month (what is it with April and March?) as he was in Philadelphia filming a movie.

Some people want to do harm to the simple video-blogger. I use as one example Melissa Compagnucci, a video-blogger who caught Internet fame after CNN discovered her for the CNN / YouTube Democratic Debate in 2007, and even flew her out to be part of the event itself with Anderson Cooper. But after the CNN spotlight, her vlogging attracted a stranger who took to taking pictures of where she lived at the time, just to let her know that he or she knew where she lived!

In Mel's case she just stopped posting vlogs for a few months, which is what I told her not to do. But now, she's back and is working for Ford Motor Company with the very cool gig of driving around the new Ford Fiesta for six months! I'm very happy she's "in the mix" as they say. But as to why people try to scare Melissa (or for that matter me) or any vlogger I don't know. I do know it's more common than it should be , and at least one vlogger was murdered , Asia McGowan last month, and by a nut case who reportedly "scorned Black women, discussed suicide, and decried atheists" and then killed himself.

And I get the same kind of messages she was complaining about; I just don't answer them.

No, I'm not comparing myself to Adam Lambert or Britney Spears, but Asia McGowan, yes. I am writing about those who feel it's necessary to "hate on" someone just because they dare have a media presence. I personally think the local police should have a protection list for entertainers, journalists, bloggers, and vloggers, so they know who we are and we have someone internally to call where we can report someone before its too late. I fear this is getting way out of hand. We've seen the loss of Chauncey Bailey who was gunned down in the line of journalist duty and Asia McGowan for sharing her view on the issues of the day. I don't want to ask who's next and I believe the same mentality that rushes someone like Adam Lambert or Britney Spears would do this to a journalist or a vlogger.

Enough's enough.

Josh Wolf Documentary Project: Sierra Choi Needs Your Help

John Wolf spent 226 days in jail to protect his videos and sources, and caused the creation of a new law protecting video-bloggers. Now Sierra Choi is directing and producing a documentary - the trailer is here as part of my video blog.

At the time in 2006, I met Josh when he worked for the television division at Peralta Community College. He was also in the middle of his battle with the Federal Government, but even then was still focused on his work, and didn't spend a lot of time fretting about what could happen.

Then Josh defied San Francisco U.S. District Judge William Alsup's order to turn over the videos Josh had taken from a anti-G8 anarchist protes heldt in San Francisco on July 8, 2005. Wolf feared that the U.S. Government in the form of the FBI simply wanted to identify the people who were protesting and not solve a crime they claim had been committed against a police officer. Wolf's videos did not contain any footage of a police officer being harmed.

Still, U.S. District Judge William Alsup order Wolf to be held in jail for civil contempt of court later in 2006. Then, after negotiations, he was released but still refused to give up any of his videos, offering instead to post them online and show them to the Judge himself. Initially the judge refused, and Wolf was ordered back to jail.

Eventually, and after 226 days, Wolf agreed to show the then unseen video clip online and was released from jail. He never gave a copy of the video to the goverment.

In the wake of his ordeal and new stronger "shield" law has been placed in California law to protect journalists of all kinds, from print to blogs. We have Josh to thank for this.

Now, video film producer Sierra Choi is working to raise $250,000 to create a documentary called "Quiet Uprising: The Story of Josh Wolf" and needs our help. You can contact Sierra through me by sending an email here: zennie@sportsbusinesssims.com

Please help as many need to know Josh's story so this will never happen again.

Heroes On Hulu - Watch The Entire Episode "Out Of Time" Here, Now Live!



Click on the arrow to watch the entire Heroes episode "Out of Time."

Hulu is NBC's new website system that allows one to see HD-quality online versions of shows from NBC, CBS, and other providers. I don't see it as a YouTube replacement for reasons I state over at Zennie's Zeitgeist, but it's a fun system, none the less.