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Being on Team Michael: Part 3

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Finally I read Cascio’s book – and with all the controversy surrounding Cascio – just like the rest, his very detailed portrayal of his time with MJ had aligned with common threads I’ve seen throughout all of them. And after reading his book, it brought one of those threads home really well: MJ’s life and death was COMPLICATED. There was no solution to this puzzle I was desperately searching for. The more I took all these accounts in, the more layers were added to my, at first, simple interpretation of events, the more my hold of BLAMING dissolved. Because I simply couldn’t blame anyone anymore. Not even MJ. Murray administered the drug of course, but all the things leading up to that? I couldn’t account for. And I probably never will. Too many factors were at play, and to say someone shoulda coulda all the things while I'm sitting in the comforts of my ordinary life? Well, unfortunately I will never be in the heads of the people who surrounded MJ or MJ himself to truly know the answers I’m searching for. And even if I did know them, they probably wouldn't be simple answers or answers that would bring any resolution.

So all the “MJ should’ve done this” or “They should have done that” or “SOMEONE, anyone, should have done this”….I had to let go. But I still was left without a lesson. What could I possibly learn from all this? I could say all the simple answers that many probably say, like “Don’t trust people so easily” but how could I say that when I haven’t been in MJ’s shoes and don’t know what it’s like when EVERYONE around you is called into question? How can I say that I would have done any better? All of those types of lessons were severely unsatisfying.

And with the fans constant bickering about the estate and sony, and the potential sabotage of MJ’s wishes…I feared that I would learn nothing from this and the fans would be in a constant state of looking for someone to play against next. But the question again came to me: “what does any of this matter? Does any of it TRULY matter?” I had to think – no matter what is really happening behind the scenes of MJ’s estate or his family or whatever else the fans are divided about – even if we discovered the truth about all of it, making another game of it wouldn’t amount to anything. We’d still lose. Especially now in the state we’re in, no one is really listening to anyone. And we can do nothing divided.

So then other question came to me “whether all these entities are corrupt or not, do you REALLY believe that it will destroy MJ’s legacy?’

And I had to think again. Well, MJ’s legacy had survived 2 allegations of child molestation (and now technically 3 and 4 accusations) and decades of ridicule. And if MJ’s music is being messed with posthumously, nothing can really take away what MJ has already made timeless in life. His art that he created while living is there forever. What he stood for shines through that art. And his mark and his energy still transcends it all, as new generations of fans are still being made – no matter if they became fans of this new posthumous stuff or not, they will still discover the total artist that MJ was when living. Even if the very people who tried to take MJ down are sitting on top of everything and rolling in money as a result of his death, even if Neverland is steamrolled over and replaced with a parking lot, they can’t take what MJ had instilled in millions of hearts. They can’t take away how his art will instill the magic in MORE hearts long after he had died. So to this question – I could say no. I honestly couldn’t think of anything really that would be able to ruin what MJ had done in his life. He created history. He touched millions. Money, ownership, properties – they wouldn’t have lasted anyway. But the intangible mark he's made in each and every one's lives will last.

Another question came then. “So if none of that really matters…what DOES matter?”

For this question, I had to think back about all that I had read. The court transcripts, the books, the personal accounts, and my experience as a fan, the experiences of many fans. Stripping away the things that really didn’t matter: the fact that MJ made mistakes in his life (who didn’t), the fact that his time had been cut short (all of us will leave the earth just like he did eventually), the fact that horrible things kept happening to him over and over (malicious people will keep being malicious, it was the way of the world), the COMPLICATION of his life situation (which had been his blessing as much as it was a curse)…what we’re left with was an incredibly generous, inspiring, loving, positive force of energy and the GIFT that was Michael Jackson. We’re left with someone who didn’t buckle under all he had to deal with. He kept playing until they had to shut the lights out on him. From all accounts from all of these various people who were close to him, one common thread was that he KEPT PLAYING. He fell short sometimes (which was inevitable as he was a human being) but he constantly kept going despite everything, he stayed true to himself despite everything, he kept believing in goodness and love despite everything, and if one is to say the circumstances of his death and how much he was or wasn’t to blame made him weak? That it made him a loser? It would be a disservice to MJ’s entire life. And the fact that in the end, he still kept dreaming – he still kept hopeful – he still kept creating, when many would have bowed out of the ‘the game’ a LONG time ago…he was anything BUT a loser.

In fact, when you take away all the things that DON’T matter…the stories in the media, people’s perspective on his life and what he should and shouldn’t have done, his possessions, even his tangible SELF which was always going to be temporary…what do we have left? What would we have ALWAYS been left with in the end, no matter when or how MJ died? MJ’s impact on our lives. The memories. The way he shaped and molded us like he did Frank Cascio and countless other people he came in contact with. The energy living in his art. And he planted these seeds in the hearts of millions and millions of people! And this is something that could NEVER be taken away (unless we let it), never be misconstrued or manipulated, and it can certainly never die as we pass this on to our children and so on – even if only subconsciously. I look back at my fandom life and recognize the sheer VALUE of MJ’s life in mine.

And isn’t that a sign of a truly fulfilled life? Wouldn’t it have been significantly MORE tragic if MJ had given up as many people would…and then died? To have stopped dreaming? To have stopped believing in his own impact? In his own ability to change lives? If he would have given up the game and stopped playing? All we have to truly leave behind of ourselves are the connections we make with others, the impact we make on each other when we love. All we leave behind are those memories and qualities in other people. And MJ has left that in abundance. MJ LIVED. He truly LIVED. He saw his vision for his life and DID it, and he EXPERIENCED - more than most people do at 50. To me, that is a game well played! And the fact that nothing can penetrate that, to me, makes him the winner. Which makes US the winners.

And Team MJ? Well the journey isn’t over for us. Because what is happening now while we’re looking for someone to play is we’ve forgotten that we can’t just run in and take over the game without a game plan. We just became players ourselves. I’d like to see it as MJ being on the bench cheering US on, for a change. He has done his work, now it’s our time to do ours. To take what he’s left behind, the parts that can’t be destroyed, and use it to advance our own lives. And in that way, do we really need an opponent to battle against? Life will give us that in our own lives. Besides, MJ’s legacy is already solidified. And it would be truly eternal if we take what he’s given us in life and use it in our own lives, not to let it go to waste. Like MJ said, we need to study the greats and do it even better. We’ve been taught by one of the greatest, now we need to play the game even better than he did and make sure when we eventually leave this earth, we leave behind as much as we can in the things that DO truly matter. No, we as individuals might not touch millions of people’s lives like MJ did, but don’t you think just one life is worth it?

And with this we can stop clouding our fandom with proving each other right and wrong, and looking for people to fight against, and get out there and PLAY. We don’t NEED anyone to fight against to just get out on the field and play for the love of the game, as MJ did. Let’s play. Have fun. Be a kid again. Be free. And in this way, we will ALWAYS win in honoring the true spirit of MJ. THAT is the lesson I’ve gotten from all of this, which has finally allowed me to truly accept his death and move forward with the lessons MJ's life has given me. I can play and also root for Team MJ, which is now the fan community as a unit, we'll win every time as long as what MJ left us is still alive in our hearts. And I can get joy out of it - that dose of 'dopamine' - being on this team again, knowing that the game itself is what is really important. As long as we keep playing, we'll never lose.

So now all of that said, what do YOU say? GAME ON!

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Updated 03-09-2014 at 02:19 PM by J5master

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  1. Daryll748's Avatar
    Yep! Let's keep playing and make Michael proud.
    Thanks for sharing these wonderful 'brain teasers' heehee!