Before certain members of the media pat themselves on the back, pop open a bottle of their finest champagne, and revel sadistically in the alleged and hoped-for demise of Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch, they better back up a minute.
Reports of Jackson’s Neverland Ranch being given an auction date is raging through the internet like the Bubonic plague. Not that I’m shocked or surprised at the spread, though.
It seems that whenever Jackson steals the spotlight and puts it back onto his music – showing unpredicted success with the release of Thriller25 (the umpteenth version of its re-release) – ‘something’ just HAS to come along and tear down whatever positivity may be building; ‘something’ mysteriously always seems to happen on the heels of attention to anything other than his personal life.
Whatever that ‘something’ is, it’s always snatched up and swallowed like free drinks in the French Quarter by members of the media, their supporting agencies, and the millions of Huffington Post/Andrew Sullivan/Drudge Report wannabe blogs with no attention or motivation to evenly report the story.
If you remember, the day of the release of Jackson’s platinum Number Ones album, 70 sheriff’s deputies promptly proceeded to figuratively molest Neverland in search of what turned out to be non-existent ‘evidence’ arising from false molestation allegations.
The promoters of Jackson’s Thriller25 may have had to work to spread the news of Jackson’s recent success at besting even 2008 Grammy nominees on the charts, whereas reports about Neverland grew wings and flew all over the world in the matter of hours without one word of comment from anyone – any source, any press release – in Jackson’s camp.
And don’t tell me that nobody was commenting on it! Thus far, the only exception to this report-first-ask-questions-later rule seemed to be CNN who apparently sought out and received a comment from an unnamed source – as much as I tend to cringe at unnamed sources – about what Jackson is working towards.
From the CNN article ‘Michael Jackson seeks to keep Neverland Ranch’ dated Feb 27, 2008:
"Michael Jackson’s ranch is not going to be auctioned off at the courthouse," the Jackson insider said. "The financing is all being worked out." (see Neverland NOT being auctioned off )
Well, that’s not what I had been reading the first day of this story! If I hadn’t figuratively tripped over the CNN article yesterday (Feb 27), I wouldn’t have known it existed.
__Slow Your Roll__
Besides certain media members acting as if it’s their personal business to know about Jackson’s finances, it has also been fairly appalling the way those who aren’t as involved in the story have grabbed these reports and ran around the room (internet) screaming like howler monkeys heralding the downfall of Jackson. Slow your roll.
2008 marks the 7th year (at least) that certain news agencies have carried reports about Jackson being on the brink of some illusionary financial abyss. They– I’m sure they know who they are – have been whining about what’s in Jackson’s coffers since at least 2001.
He was allegedly about to lose the ATV catalog…way back then. He was allegedly cash poor… way back then. He owed Sony a ga-billion dollars…way back then. He was allegedly about to lose Neverland… way back then. No wait! I thought Neverland was already sold to an unnamed company? Or was Eminem the one who bought it? Please.
I’m not telling the multitudes of hate-filled gossip mongers not to report about Jackson. We all have freedom of speech. What I do want is some type of parity in the handling of such stories and a pause before the high-tech cutpurses of such news spreading it around the internet like their hair was on fire.
When it seems not to matter to these people about there being no comment or response from the other side, it’s a disservice to those who will then take the article from that news blog and write about it on their own blog.
I, unlike at least a few wannabe know-it-alls, won’t dare delve into what Jackson has in his pockets. It really isn’t any of my business. But I have witnessed enough reports full of ‘chicken little’, Ms. Cleo-like predictions which have turned out to be full of half-truths or flat-out lies about Jackson’s personal finances. These “grave” situations almost never turn out to be nearly as “grave” as we are supposed to believe.
Many people forget that Jackson is still working to correct years worth mismanagement by former employees and outright thievery by crooks who gained unfettered access to his funds. For years he has lacked the outstanding and accomplished human infrastructure of people often found supporting such luminaries like Donald Trump or Oprah Winfrey.
Considering who used to be in control of Jackson’s finances, some fans believe it’s a wonder why he still has any assets left. Thomas Mesereau, Jackson’s former attorney, once referred to such people as “a sea of mediocrity”.
Oddly enough, if Jackson’s suspicion radar wasn’t finally triggered by the false molestation allegations, those who were believed to be robbing him blind would have probably continued to do so.
Coupled with that is the reportedly shady goings-on from those who were invited into his life and then proceeded to promptly latch themselves onto him, or who selfishly expected to be taken care of by him for the rest of their lives… by any means necessary …even if it meant trying to (and failing to) lie their way into a plan of legal extortion.
__Don’t Cry For Me, Neverland__
To put things in perspective, just today (Feb 28) the city of Vallejo, CA is deciding whether or not to file bankruptcy; a decision which will affect many more people than those gossiping about Jackson’s finances. If so, it would be the first city in CA to ever file for bankruptcy. It is information like that which should send people running all over the place on a stunned gossip-spree.
People are getting hit all over this country with changing loan terms and mortgage rates, whether they can afford the new rates or not. Add to that $4 a gallon gas, increasing grocery prices, unaffordable health care, skyrocketing college costs, decreasing property values, and you’ve got a big collective ‘SO WHAT! I’M DROWNING HERE!’ response from most of the nation regarding whatever may be happening (or not happening) with Jackson’s Neverland.
As I wrote in an earlier MJEOL Bullet, Neverland has been sans Jackson for years now. I don’t think people realized how serious Jackson was when he told 60 Minutes’ Ed Bradley in 2003, “I won’t live there ever again… It’s a house now. It’s not a home anymore” (see Jackson 60 Minutes Interview Transcript ).
There are no more throngs of children from all over the world running around Neverland free of charge. There are no more amusement park rides filled with laughing, excited faces. No more open kitchen or free concession stands. No more animals roaming the place and entertaining the amused visitors.
This is the version of Neverland media members were supposed to be most comfortable with. Remember?
According to certain chuckleheads during the trial of 2005 after false molestation allegations, Neverland was supposed to be tantamount to a den of inequity for young kids. Those same hate-mongers then proceeded to repeatedly rape Neverland of it’s innocence, wonder and peaceful nature. Remember?
It was 2,800 acres of no-girls-land where boys were kidnapped and held hostage. Remember?
Its very creation, it’s very existence was for the nefarious purposes of separating vulnerable children from their families. Remember?
Remember? I do. I remember just about every vile, disgusting, hateful, defamatory fabrication created about Neverland by authorities who wanted Jackson’s head regardless of the truth; every misrepresentation pushed by certain members of the media preparing to chronicle ‘The Rise and Fall of Michael Jackson’ while making millions of dollars in the process.
Again, as written in a previous MJEOL Bullet, the beautiful sentiments for which Neverland stood have been overshadowed by the envy and greed of those who wanted to wrestle it from Jackson’s ownership; by those who wished and hoped for it’s demise even if it meant the destruction of Neverland’s ideals.
There have been asinine, end of the world reports about Neverland, the “Beatles catalog”, even about Jackson allegedly homeless and traipsing around the country like a nomad. Either they never panned out or the one who came up with the nonsense to begin with also created an 11th hour savior — who magically materialized out of thin air — instead of just admitting the story was false.
To believe schizophrenic reports about Jackson, you have to believe that he is the only real person who has a fairy Godmother. The legions of Jackson fans are not that naïve. He does what he has to do for himself and his family.
What seems to happen is that some random, nosy know-nothing hack finds his/her way into Jackson’s business before various processes and negotiations are complete, and then exaggerates, overreacts, or tacks on a bunch of lies to parts of those negotiation details in order to push his/her own agenda… whatever that agenda may be.
So before the next round of hateful celebrations begin in the wake of the perceived anxieties of Michael Jackson, a reminder may be in order of how many times such celebrations were about to get underway only to be smacked down by the truth of the matter.
What is the truth of the matter about Neverland? (1) It’s Jackson’s property to handle. (2) He hasn’t lived there for 2, almost 3 years. (3) It’s not the business of internet busy-bodies who seek to increase their public profile through b!tching about Jackson’s alleged “woes”.
Forces beyond his control have repeatedly bludgeoned the public over the head with atrociously off-based criticism of Neverland. So excuse me if I remain unflappable as to whatever Jackson decides to do with it: junk it (let it go) or “save” it.
Michael Jackson created that version of Neverland; it didn’t create him. That 2,800 acres of lush, green peaceful serenity didn’t exist before that brotha used his genius imagination to bring it into being.
No matter what he chooses to do, even if he wants to bulldoze everything and parcel it off piece by piece for investment purposes, both he and his kids will be fine. And all those insufferable, smug, good-for-nothings who find it therapeutic to revel in his alleged misery can go to hell.
This MJEOL BULLET may be updated as further information becomes available. Pay attention to any “Updated” indicators.