Michael Jackson deserves as least the attention we give Elvis

TMZ reported that Jermaine Jackson marked his brother, Michael Jackson’s birthday with great sadness. In context, Jermaine admitted that his brother’s 54th birthday was a day to remember a wonderful human being, and that’s exactly the point of this article.

Let’s face it, Michael Jackson’s later life caught a terrible break when he was accused and put on trial for child molestation. A jury acquitted Jackson, but the experience had a significant aging impact on how the king of pop lived the rest of his life. We own this incredible pop king more than a mediocre buzz in the news. Jackson deserves as least the attention we give Elvis.

Recent research into the pop idol’s life suggests that Jackson may have been grossly misunderstood throughout his entire adult life. The record seems to indicate that Michael simply found it easier to relate to children, which is a far cry from having sexual interests in them. When adults age, childhood interests usually gives way to what we call adult curiosities. The theory here suggests that Jackson never makes this common transition. The facts may be that the legendary performer had no hidden agenda other than his obvious desire to remain young as long as humanly possible. Such a desire would largely explain Jackson’s behavior, often filmed playing with water guns on his estate with children unloading gallons of water on each other and the pop star during these playful activates.

Three years since his death, instead of uncovering hidden occasions of sexual deviancy toward children, we find in its place a humanitarian philanthroper who was at times completely consumed by efforts to help those less fortunate than himself.

So what’s my point?

To put it simply, if we do not transform the mild (in comparison to Elvis) annual celebration of Jackson’s birth into something much more far-reaching and significant, we do Jackson’s memory a grave injustice.

This is not to disrespect the accomplishments and legacy of Elvis Priestley and what he has meant to his devoted fans, family and friends; but only to point out that Michael Jackson deserves recognition on at least the same level as “The King of Rock.”

Jackson fans, friends and family, this is not only something we ought to do, this is something we must do, for when he was alive, we allowed so many to persuade us into misjudging his true and enormously kind  character as we all followed the mob and its chants; “off with his head.” Celebrating “The King of Pop” on a broader scale than we presently exhibit, won’t right wrong, but it may remind us enough so the next time we’re perfunctorily going through the motions of simply following others without considering the consequence of our actions, we might remember Michael and consequently become mindful not to repeat history.

With that said, it was a welcoming site to see that by Wednesday night a throng of several hundred milled in front of a temporary stage at 2300 Jackson St., peering into the fenced yard at distant Jackson relatives and intimates on the lawn.

“This is where it all began,” said Carlo Riley, a Jackson devotee from Denver who wore a futuristic, military-style uniform that mimicked Jackson’s late-1980s “Bad” fashion sensibility. “I’m actually surprised there are not more people here. If this were Germany, or anywhere else in the world, people would have been camped out here for days.”

The Rev. Jesse Jackson agreed. “It all started here,” he said, pointing at the two-bedroom house just off-stage. “(The Jacksons) didn’t come out of Julliard.”

In the years since Michael Jackson’s death, the vigils have grown less impromptu. Smaller crowds return on that anniversary, and the city has hosted celebrations on his birthday each year.

This year marked the first time Jackson’s family has been actively involved in planning the event, Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson said Wednesday at a news conference at the city’s Majestic Star Casino.

Jackson’s mother, Katherine, and his three children, Prince, Paris and Blanket, are expected to participate in commemorative functions planned for this week, including making appearances at a baseball game and a concert, local officials said.

Freeman-Wilson’s predecessor, Rudy Clay, courted Jackson’s father, Joseph Jackson, and sought to create a Graceland-style tourist attraction around a Jackson Family museum. Freeman-Wilson said the plan is no longer on the city’s front burner but that it was important the city celebrate its most famous native son.

“Miss Jackson came to me and said, ‘I want to be integrally involved,’ ” Freeman-Wilson told a crowd of reporters and fans at the news conference, which Katherine Jackson did not attend. Jackson said she wanted Michael Jackson’s children “to know where their dad grew up,” according to Freeman-Wilson.

The mayor seemed to play a role in cajoling the reluctant younger Jacksons out of their sport utility vehicle to accept a set of T-shirts Wednesday afternoon.

About 30 minutes after Gary Chamber of Commerce Director Chuck Hughes introduced “the most famous offspring in the world,” Prince Michael and Paris climbed out of the SUV — Blanket remained inside — and collected their Team Gary T-shirts from the mayor, saying thank you so softly that their voices were nearly drowned out by the clicking of camera shutters.

The King of Pop and the rest of the Jackson clan lived in the two-bedroom house until shortly after the Jackson 5 hit single “I Want You Back” rose to No. 1 in 1969. The house remained in the family. An uncle, who did not enjoy visits from fans, lived there until 2009.

This year the Jackson festivities, themed “Goin’ Back to Indiana: Can You Feel It,” were to stretch over the week, continuing Thursday with the children attending a game at the city’s minor league baseball stadium and ending Saturday with a tribute concert at West Side High School.

Kathleen Mittler, a 28-year-old fan from Dresden, Germany, said she planned a trip to the U.S. to coincide with Jackson’s birthday and arrived at 2300 Jackson around 11 a.m. “I just love his music,” she said.

Freeman-Wilson, the Mayor of Gary, will host a special dinner on Friday to commemorate the life of the King of Pop as well as honor Michael’s mother Katherine.

Michael’s birthday celebration and memory will go continue through the end of the week. And I’m sure it will successfully bring many of his fans, friends, and family together for one common cause, but we can do better. My call it to all those that agree that Michael is worthy of the same worldwide attention and celebration that we all saw a few weeks back at Graceland.

Perchance a leader from the ranks of Michael’s family or friends courageously embark upon a course that would make Michael and all his devoted fans proud of the kind of tribute guided inspiration can accomplish.


26 Responses to "Michael Jackson deserves as least the attention we give Elvis"

  1. Diane_R   September 16, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    George Carlin on the greatest entertainer:

  2. Jeremey   September 16, 2012 at 11:35 pm


  3. Jerilyn Bridges   September 3, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    I read Elvis’ will. He seemed to make a point of taking care of his stepbrothers acknowledging their help in his career! He even had an “emergency clause” in his will because he feared that something would happen to them! I have to praise him for that alone!

  4. rob b   September 3, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    The pedophile is dead, live with it.

    • Dirty Diana   September 13, 2012 at 4:50 pm

      When you die, we won’t notice to even give a damn 🙂

      • rob b   September 16, 2012 at 9:31 pm

        Can promise you when I die I will hardly give a damn if you give a damn. Facts remain this flamer paid off one family to drop the lawsuit claiming he molested their son. The only thing he was king of was child molesters.

      • rob b   September 16, 2012 at 9:37 pm

        One other record, child molestings: Elvis 0, Michael 200!

      • rob b   September 16, 2012 at 9:39 pm

        Michael is king of the child molesters, oh and nose jobs!

    • MartinP. (@Martin1987P)   September 14, 2012 at 8:55 am


      • rob b   September 16, 2012 at 9:19 pm

        I like the way you attack me but don’t defend the pedophile. One less child molester is a good thing.

    • MartinP. (@Martin1987P)   September 14, 2012 at 9:17 am

      Michael is global icon, who in China ,India or small villages in Africa knows Elvis? USA and Europe is not the world.

      • rob b   September 16, 2012 at 9:25 pm

        Yes he’s known in a small African village and ALL over the place and yet only a few hundred attend the celebration in Gary. Probably remember him in a small village because he molested the boys there.

  5. Brandon Penny   September 2, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    First of all, Michael Jackson is the only one (real) GLOBAL ICON, global means on all continents, including countries like India, China, Pakistan, Africa, Asia…
    Not only the US or Europe, but all over the world.

    Elvis has never had such global status, and the US – the 52 states – are not the whole world.

    Even record sales can demonstrate the world dominance of Michael Jackson as the global icon.

    Elvis is the big thing only in the USA, but there is also Garth Brooks who has sold more albums than Elvis, so …

    But MJs Thriller album is the biggest selling album in the USA and the world.

    So why the author of this article tries to connect MJ to Elvis in attention of what?

    REMEMBER – the USA, the 52 states are not the whole world!

    You can ignore all the records MJ has ever broken, like 1 million tickets sold by 4 hours in 2009 for Londons gigs, or his album Thriller is the best seller ever (BAD 45, Dangeours 40+), HIStory album is the biggest selling double album (25 million sets=50 million copies – after Thriller its MJs most successful), Blood on the Dance floor album is the biggest selling remix album, none of his major albums has sold less than 10 million.

    You can ignore the global Jacksonmania, the biggest fanmania ever in the 80s, or in the 90s during the HIStory tour, his largest one in his solo career.

    You can ignore his impact on at least 3 generations of music artists (up to Justin B.).

    You can ignore or doubt his staus, but people around the world can see, feel and experience their own impact of Michael JACKSON on their lives and they do know what Michael Jackson means for them.

    And of course, just ask people around the world if they know any of Elvis albums, or if they know Thriller or BAD…

    So isnt there enough recognition for MJ as the KING of global POPular music?

    What else somebody needs as proof, till when… somebody is going to question MJs global status?

  6. nasa100   September 1, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    I feel that MJ and Elvis are icons individually, had their own unique gift and should not be compared. Both deserve to be appreciated in their own right. Just hope that MJ actually gets to have a museum where people can go go to reflect and view all of Michael’s numerous accomplishments in dance and music and philanthropy. This is a good read:

  7. meagan   September 1, 2012 at 6:42 am

    Michael doesnot belong in the same league as Elvis. Period. 75,000 fans attended the candlelit vigil for Elvis in Memphis this year, and this is 35 years after his death! .. Only a couple of hundred attend Michael’s and the crowds arer getting smaller. I doubt he will be celebrated as Elvis is, 35 years later.
    Jackson fans will always be in denial that Elvis is and always will be THE KING!

    • Obama ruponen   September 13, 2012 at 5:07 pm

      Michael Jackson: The Immortal World tour was number 1# succesfull tour in America this year! Also Michael“s Thirller album is the worlds most sold album! Michael raised more money to charities than any other people in the whole world! You cant deny his legacy!

      • JM_68   September 17, 2012 at 9:46 am

        Yup and Elvis’ Cirque Du Soleil Viva Elvis was a big FLOP. Didn’t Cirque shut it down last month due to poor, poor sales? Ironic, they had it closed down on the same month as the Elvis’ 75th birthday.

  8. Angie   September 1, 2012 at 6:22 am

    Should be *no one*

  9. Angie   September 1, 2012 at 6:20 am

    I don’t get this article! Know one, (especially the fans and admirers) think or feel that Elvis Presley has been getting more “attention” than MJ. Where on earth did you get that idea – what gives you that perception? Any examples?

    It is not even just the fans who spend time on Michael, (which is very understandable, of course) – it is the fact that Michael Jackson, (whether it is to speak positives or negatives – whether you love him or hate him) is probably the most obsessed over entertainer that ever lived; many spend more time obsessing than the actual fans – from journalists to bloggers to Internet surfers…Even those who some now call MJ “haters” can be found ranting negatives under anything pertaining to the man, (be it under videos or MJ articles) and many of them will return constantly…At the end of the day they just can’t stay away, ignore and skip by the MJ-related topic. Yes, even “haters” spend way too much time obsessing over him. And that is a fact!

    Again, love him or hate him – Either way MJ seems to evoke all sorts of things in all kinds of people! That is the alluring power of Michael Jackson in life and in death. And that, too, is a fact!

  10. Diana   September 1, 2012 at 3:21 am

    This is an amazing article – in spite of what the earlier commenters say about how loved MJ was by millions, he was – and still is – also hated by millions. Too bad he had to die before someone in the press would say what this article says.

  11. Cara   September 1, 2012 at 2:42 am

    Firstly, I have to say that you NEED to proof read before you post. That said, I think that Michael is payed to “at least” if not, more than Elvis. Michael’s fans are among the strongest and most devoted fans in the world. I also disagree with ” Recent research into the pop idol’s life suggests that Jackson may have been grossly misunderstood throughout his entire adult life. The record seems to indicate that Michael simply found it easier to relate to children, which is a far cry from having sexual interests in them. ” The real MJ fans have known this for years, and have stood by Michael for years. While i appreciate the gesture i can’t help but feel that this is too little, too late.

  12. sam   August 31, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    You probably lived under a rock or are just an Elvis fan, your business anyway, but the whole world pays attention to Michael Jackson MUCH MORE than Elvis, who really was the one who broke up. I remember you that Michael Jackson’s This Is It Tour had SOLD OUT tickets INSTANTLY and that fans from all over the world have always been by his side, thing that you cannot say about Elvis. NO ONE is loved more or the same of Michael Jackson.Btw NO comparision with Elvis or any other else.

    • Jerilyn Bridges   September 6, 2012 at 1:51 am

      http://www.elvisfestival.co.za/ Nuff Said! No you need more Proof! Elvis is the King!

      • appleh   September 13, 2012 at 5:10 pm

        The King of what ? He even didn´t write his own songs !
        MJ is the King of Music, long live the king !!!

        • Diane_R   September 16, 2012 at 11:41 pm

          Elvis fans are just JEALOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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