Monday, June 29, 2009

Could we say that Michael was an outside-the-box thinker? You comments and tribute…

I am a music lover. Pop or disco are not my favorite, though. However, despite controversies surrounding his life, it’s my opinion that God graced Michael Jackson with some unbelievable gifts. Michael swam against the tide to push those gifts beyond limits and in the process inspired generations for four decades. He set a benchmark as per what is means to perform with tenacity, passion, creativity, and excellence. Could we say that Michael was an outside-the-box thinker? You comments and tributes…


  1. Most Definitely..Larger than life on this earth when you add the humanitarian contribution aspect-how gracious and will always be near and dear to my heart. I would like to see one of his children grace our presence with such tenacity in these areas. This would be remarkable if one of them we later find that those same gifts were bestowed on his children.

    Best Regards,


  2. Ben, do I believe he was an "out-of-the-box" thinker? No, sorry. I believe he was the instrument of the music hype industry who orchestrated/participated in some breakthroughs in that industry and I believe he was creative, talented, committed and involved in his craft, but his demeanor since his youth (did he ever grow up?) has always been focused on himself. His self proclamation as "King of Pop" provides some insight, even prior to his personal self-destructive tendencies set in for good. That's an inward focus that does not qualify, in my opinion, as a truly innovative thinker.

  3. Ben- Out of the box thinker..Yes in some ways he was. I grew up in the same years as Michael,followed the trends and loved the music. His shows were exceptional..amazing..his voice incredible..his stage presence impeccable..that being said I look back now and have to wonder where did it all come from? He did what we all do when we become sucessful, he delegated a little piece of the "show" to the folks he felt was best suited, one to listen to his tunes,one to help write the appropriate words, one to help coriograph, one to run the lights..etc. Is all of that out of the box, maybe to the degree he performed. In my opinion, we are all going to have our own opinions of his life and what he left behind. I think he had mad skills with certain things, I think he was able to get in touch with the right audience using different tools. He had his own troubles, his own issues, his own insecurities. We all have issues, we all have those "would, coulda, should's" in life, things we would change. At the end of the day he was just human, for that I have respect for him.

  4. sold more MJ albums in the 24 hours following his death than in the previous 11 years.

    If we define a leader as one who knows how to tap into the consciousness of their culture, then he was "out of the box." Part of the problem with overused buzz words is they've lost their meaning, so some will not agree with you, Benjamin, that MJ was "out of the box." And many of them have forgotten what the world was like before MJ hit the scene.

    But I agree with you--he was a cultural phenomenon--before MJ, no black, African man had ever been the most recognized name on the planet. No minority performer commanded the money he made or was King of anything until MJ.

    Leaders understand the agnst of their time and how to transform it. And like it or not, he made many of us dance when we felt like giving up. He connected us when we felt alone. And if you didn't experience that feeling at the time or now when down load it now, good luck with that.

  5. That last line was supposed to read:

    And if you didn't experience that feeling at the time or now when you down load, good luck with that.

    BTW: Fantastic photo Mr. Anyacho

  6. Well, Thriller and many other '80s hits were musically clever because there was somebody called Quincy Jones, a jazzman, who orchestrated all these ingenious sounds. I believe that it if there was no Quincy Jones, there would be no Michael Jackson sound as we know it. A similar comment would apply to The Beatles. Without George Martin, a classically trained producer, they may have never achieved that fabulous sound.

    Finally, I disagree that before MJ, no black African man had ever been the most recognised name on the planet.

    As we all know, Michael Jackson had actually some psychological problems with his black African identity.

    Luis Armstrong, had no such problems, and was a giant well ahead of Michael's time. Also, did everybody forgot Jimi Hendrix - a truly cosmic genius of modern music? These are just musicians.

    Martin Luther King was certainly well recognised worldwide too.

  7. Always a tragedy when the promise of a beautiful storyline is terminated prematurely or without the expected fulfilment of the "would have been" story. I loved his music but I hated him for doing that dance - the Moonwalk - that I can never do ;-).

    I will not judge his legacy by saying he is that or not but I know that he indulged in his passion, talented and was a very successfull singer and performer, he deserved the credit of creating the generation of Thrillers and big shows so I will speak about him in those regards, but shame to those who abused his weaknesses or did not protect him when he was most vulnerable. It is true that he did not finish great but it was not all his own fault, so may his God forgive Michael Jackson for his shortcomings and bless and watch over his innocent kids.

    Dan de la Cruz

  8. We'll, MJ was an outside and inside the box thinker. Outside because he like to push the boundaries of "normalcy", yet inside because he knew exactly what people wanted, needed, and loved.

    I believe Love was his primary theme and goal and no one can fault him for that...

    The shame of his life is that he did not know how to truly love himself...The ultimate tragedy and I believe the one single "soul" purpose of being on this earth is to learn how to love ones-self.

    And unfortunately, some of us have learned that wrapping your self up in pleasing others is not the same as loving others. A true recipe for disaster.

    One must be of strong heart, mind, body and start..and... keeping to those self ethics and values in this world, is the true challenge...Isn't it now...

  9. The guy was one of the absolute world's best musicians and performers and producers... unquestionably. Some may argue he was unequalled in that respect. Full and complete KUDOS to him on that note. Oh and yes, his talent was not at all boxed in by the norm or the ritual or the expected or the tried & true... his talent and his use of that talent was totally out of the box.

    He's not my hero, he didn't save the world, he didn't walk on water... but as a musician and performer, he was incredible.

  10. As far as being a musician / producer / entertainer... the final product we saw did indeed represent "outside the box" creativity.. at least on SOMEONE's part.

    There was another well known person who died on that very same day, but we heard very, very little on that day about him and we hear zilch now about him.

    I suppose this guy didn't spend his entire life making a billion dollars through entertainment, so his life was a little lower profile. Aside from what we knew of him, he spent a major portion of his life sacrificing and helping others...

    I don't know about his achievements in thinking out of the box, but I do know it sounds as if he was one hell of a good person.

    Ed McMahon


    He wanted to be a Marine fighter pilot. The US was building up their military force, but they were not at war yet and the Navy required all its potential Navy and Marine pilots to have two years of college. So Ed started classes at BostonCollege.

    When Pearl Harbor was attacked the Army and the Navy both dropped the college requirement and Ed applied to the Marines. His primary flight training was in Dallas and then he went to Pensacola, Florida. He was carrier qualified, which means he knew how to perform a controlled crash of his single engine fighter, onto the rolling deck of a Navy floating runway.

    It took Ed almost two years to get through all the Navy flight training. His problem was he was a very good pilot and the Marines needed flight instructors. He had a great command presence and public speaking ability, which landed him in the classroom, training new baby Marine pilots. < /div>

    His orders to the Pacific fleet and the chance to fly combat missions off a carrier came in the spring of 1945, on the same day the Atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. Of course his orders where changed. He never went to sea and he was out of the Marines in 1946.

  11. Ed stayed in the USMC as a reserve officer. He became a successful personality in the new TV medium, after the war. His Marine command presence helped. He was recalled to active duty during the Korean War. He never got to fly his fighter aircraft, but he saw his share of raw combat. He flew the Cessna O-1E Bird Dog, which is a single engine slow-moving unarmed plane. He functioned as an artillery spotter for the Marine batteries on the ground and as a forward controller for the Navy & Marine fighter / bombers who flew in on fast moving jet engines, bombed the area and were gone in seconds. Captain Ed was still circling the enemy looking for more targets, all the time taking North Korean and Chinese ground fire.

    He stayed with the Marines as a reserve officer and retired in 1966 as a Colonel.

    The world knows Ed as Ed McMahon of the Johnny Carson, Tonight Show. One night I was watching the show when the subject of Colonel McMahon earning a number of Navy Air Medals came up. Carson, a former Navy officer, understood the significance of these medals, but McMahon shrugged it off, saying that if you flew enough combat missions they just sort of gave them to you. McMahon flew 85 combat missions over North Korea; he earned every one of those Air Medals. The casualty rate, for flying forward air controllers in Korea sometimes exceeded 50% of a squadron’s manpower. McMahon was lucky to have gotten home from that war.

    Once a Marine, always a Marine.

    When the public was spitting (taking their personal safety into their own hands) at Marines on the streets of Southern California during Vietnam, Colonel McMahon was taking Marines off the streets and into his posh Beverley Hills home. I spoke to a retired Marine aircrew member the day Colonel McMahon died and he personally remembered seeing McMahon at numerous Marine Air Bases in California in the 1960s. He was known for going to the Navy hospitals and visiting the wounded Marines and Sailors from this country’s conflicts, even in the last years of his life.

    Colonel McMahon presented awards and decorations to fellow Marines and attended many a Marine ceremony and the annual Marine Corps Birthday Ball. He stayed true to his Corps as a board member of the Marine Corps Scholarship Fund and as the honorary chairman of the National Marine Corps Aviation Museum. After retiring from the Marine Reserve, one night on the Johnny Carson show, members of the California Air National Guard came on stage.

    Colonel McMahon was commissioned a Brigadier General in the Air Guard in front of millions of Americans who watched it happen live. You will not see anything like that on TV anymore.

    The three core values of a United States Marine are; honor, courage and commitment. This is what a Marine is taught from the first day of training and this is what that Marine believes. That was Colonel Edward P. McMahon Jr. USMCR Retired. Before he was a national figure he was a true combat hero and a patriot the nation needed then and this country needs now.

    Your war is over. Thank you Colonel McMahon.

    Semper Fi Sir.

    23 June 2009

    Major Van Harl USAF Ret.

  12. Music has been changing for hundreds of years. The names in music that we honor tend to be those musicians who thought "out of the box" and created a new sound that was embraced by the public and the musicians who followed them. This is equally true for Michael Jackson, J. S. Bach, Amadeus Mozart, George Gershwin, etc.

    When I am at a jazz concert (my favorite genre), I often wonder what Bach or Mozart would have thought of it and how it would have changed their work. I believe hearing Michael's work would have had an impact on their music, too.

    I believe that Michael wrote some fabulous music that crossed the racial divide in the USA in a manner that no previous black musician had achieved. He deserves to be honored for his contributions to music and dance. In future years, that is what he will be remembered for.

  13. I think he was. But we need to distinguish between out of box thinking in regard to music, literature or any other artistic activity and with respect to business activity. Even though all of them may be collectively refereed to as out of box thinking or creative thinkig but in fact they differ in respct of their type of techniques and its application.

  14. I'm too senior to have any serious experience with Michael Jackson. However, from my older two children I believe him to have been an incredibly talented man. He simply had a gift and learned to use it effectively to entertain young people.

    There may be another factor. I don't think he ever really grew up, so he was uniquely able to understand his market and provide what they wanted.

    Like the rest of us, however, he was only a person. He was not devine, as many seem to feel, judging by their public comments.

  15. I believe Michael Jackson was an "out of the box thinker" as you call it, simply for the way he thought that "LOVE" was and should be the primary focus. If we look not at the outside appearance, but the inward focus of what one was trying to accomplish, Michael Jackson just wanted to be Loved and Love everyone, and have everyone Love one another. There was 1 other Great Man that had this same focus that I know, and know of, but He did not have a schism in his focus of how to attain it, of course though, He was God on Earth and Still Is Living with that Same Purpose Of "LOVE". The One I'm refering to is Jesus. God Bless Michael Jackson though, for thinking "out of the box" on what Is the Most Important, A force that "Will Never Fail!" LOVE. If it is in it's Truest form, It is the Most Powerful force in the Universe, Able to change every nation in this world, and every heart. Michael chose to accomplish his part in this endeavor through music. I just wish everyone could have seen past the monopoly of the industry, and seen his True Heart behind it. His children saw it. The world mistook his Love for weakness and they devoured him as prey. There is nothing wrong with a childlike heart, infact, God Prefers it. How many of us are Willing to Sacrifice all at our own expense to see LOVE Prevail on this planet? Not saying Michael went that far, but asking each one of us this question, to ponder on our own level, how many of us are willing to make Sharing and Spreading Love our Final Protocal with complete selflessness? Now that would have to be the Greatest Accomplishment of Every Human and Is our Primary Call for Living! It Should Be Our Priority!