MJ, Legacies And Loss

Yesterday was the 13th anniversary of my being in business, and I did both a video and a blog post on my business blog.

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Today is unofficially known as Leon Day in some circles of the country, Eli Wallach passed away at age 98 (great actor; you young folks need to look him up), and it’s also the 5th anniversary of the passing of Michael Jackson.

I have spent most of the day listening to Michael Jackson songs and watching some Michael Jackson and Jackson Five videos. You know, when you listen to the songs it’s hard to believe that so many years have passed since he’s been gone because every song sounds fresh and new. Truth be told, this is probably what every generation feels when they listen to the music they love, thinking they’re actually younger than they are because they can remember where they were or what they were doing when they first heard the songs that made them feel wonderful, which happens for most of us when we’re younger.

Want to know a truth? For probably the first couple of years, after the first few days of shock, I couldn’t listen to any of his music. It just freaked me out, knowing that a new MJ song (that he approved) was never going to be released again. Also, I felt like my own mortality was in question because he was only a year older than me; if he had all that he had and left the world like that, what did it say for my chances?

All of us go through stages like this when family members pass, and probably when someone famous, that we never knew but admired for one reason or another, goes away. I have to admit that sometimes it extends further for me. For instance, there have been a couple of bloggers who have passed away that I miss here and there, and at the time I lamented their loss.

Most of the time we probably won’t know that someone we read all the time has suffered a life ending demise. We might think that they’ve just gone away, decided not to blog anymore or participate on social media anymore, and we get on with our lives. There’s really nothing else for us to do because, when all is said and done, probably 99.95% of all relationships we make online will end without much of a resolution. Think about it this way; how many people who used to visit you blog when you started not only don’t stop by anymore, but aren’t even blogging anymore? Do you know what happened to them?

Scary to think about isn’t it? Want to add to the fear? It’ll probably be you one day, and if you have a significant other, he or she probably has no idea how to tell anyone you won’t be back, let alone will even think about it. My wife has no presence on social media; if I go, the overwhelming majority of you will never know it. I’m betting it’s that way for you also.

I think that’s why we grieve a bit when famous people we know and like pass away. For everything they had they couldn’t stop it, and we also think that if they weren’t famous then they’d be just like us, with a few family members sad that we’re no longer around but us not making even the smallest dent in life. What’s our legacy right?

What’s our legacy? Well, for me it’ll be my blogs, my videos, and other articles I have on the internet. I think that’s another reason I keep creating so much stuff and putting out so much stuff. I think someone will care at some point, and maybe one thing I write will help someone or help change their mindset or make them feel pretty good, even if it’s just for a short period of time. One can only hope, right?

See, even in death Michael Jackson’s got me thinking about stuff. Let’s see if my sharing the song below, my favorite song of all time, gets you thinking about you legacy also:
 


http://youtu.be/CT586E9OUfg

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Michael Jackson Would Have Been 55 Today

Wow, can you believe it’s been four years since Michael Jackson passed away? Four years and three months, and today he’d have turned 55 years old. Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s I Have A Dream speech and the march on Washington DC, and I tried all day to make a connection between the two things, but it just wasn’t there.

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It still freaks me out that he’s gone and that no new music, other than that one song months after he was gone, has been released since. He’s actually still in the news with the lawsuit his family has going against AEG and that’s horrid stuff to be sure. However, I figured that since I don’t want to deal with that I’d instead share some links to stories or things I’ve written on this blog that involve him in some fashion; my own tribute of sorts if you will. I make no promises that the videos on some of these posts are still live; YouTube’s always cracking down on someone. 🙂 Here we go:

Happy Birthday Michael Jackson, written a year before he passed away.

I included a reference to the first live performance of Billie Jean when talking about my top 5 presentations in history; how the heck did I not include Dr. King’s speech referenced above?

I wrote this piece the day after he passed away, after I’d had some time to collect my thoughts.

In this post of my favorite singers, you know who was at the top.

I talked about my thoughts on the 1st anniversary of his passing.

Savorite disco songs? You know he’s in this one. 🙂

Did you know just what kind of impact We Are The World was around the world? Michael Jackson won a Grammy for this.

I asked people during my Sunday Question Series who their favorite entertainer was; yeah, mine’s easy to guess.

Later I asked what people felt was the last great album. Mine is the best selling album in history; now who did that again?

Ah, favorite songs from the 60’s; freaky that the first Jackson Five song that went to #1 was in 1969…

I answered 30 questions about music I liked, and MJ came up more than once.

Finally, I wrote a post about what motivates me and I not only mentioned Michael Jackson but included a video that leads to one of his most motivational songs ever.

There you go, my little tribute on his 55th birthday.
 

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Sunday Question – What Is The Last Great Album In Your Opinion?

Man, talk about a tough question for someone like me. Well, it’s not, but when I give my answer you’re going to say “no way”. But I at least have criteria; I wonder if you have the same thing or just go by the last thing you bought that you liked.


by Jem Stone

Ah yes, criteria. Without criteria, you’re just guessing and throwing things out without any meaning. Not having criteria allows you to say “Ooh, I love Lady Gaga because she did a song called Allesandro” without listening to anything else she might have done. Not having criteria allows you to say “Man, I hate Aretha Franklin” while you’re walking around the house singing “Respect.”

I have criteria that disallows things. Let’s take a look:

1. Classical albums of existing music don’t count. Sure, I love Rachmaninoff and Beethoven and Tchaikovsky, but if a monkey had enough talent to play that music and I bought it I would probably love it, and it would be a great album, but it’s not new music. So, that has to be thrown out.

2. Show tunes and movie music doesn’t count. Both are scripted to enhance a movie and to have flow throughout a full performance. I love both Phantom of the Opera and Wicked, but I have to ask if I’d have enjoyed both albums without their being a show to follow along with. I’m thinking that without the show I’d have never even given the music a shot, so they get excluded.

3. A great album doesn’t necessarily have to have a great hit, but whether it does or doesn’t, you have to like at least 75% of the music on it. We don’t have sides of an album anymore, but if you find yourself skipping songs you don’t want to hear, then it’s probably not a great album, just a pretty good album with a few songs you absolutely love. If that’s the best you can come up with for a great album then your criteria has a grading curve to it; don’t settle!

4. If this doesn’t start giving it away, if you folks know me, then nothing will. Your favorite album will most probably correspond with your favorite artist or artists. Man, I have a lot of great albums in my repertoire. There are so many that I loved either every song or almost every song, to the point that I’ll even listen to the not very good songs because if I didn’t I’d feel like I was taking away from the entire experience of the album.

My problem is that all the great albums (and yes, I still call them “albums” instead of CDs) are from when I was younger. Not necessarily my 20’s, but I have to face the fact that when I want to listen to certain things over and over, I go back to older songs. Sure, there are some newer songs I like, and I’ve even bought an album or two over the last bunch of years. But if I tell you that the last thing I bought was Mariah Carey’s Emancipation of Mimi, which came out in 2005… yeah, you know my collection of music is kind of old. lol

So, for me, the last, or newest I guess I’ll say, great album was… Dangerous by Michael Jackson. I almost said HIStory, but the first CD was a collection of old hits I loved and I didn’t make my 75% quota on the second album. Dangerous came out in 1991; isn’t that a shame? But off that album of 14 songs I loved 12 of them, which is 86%. And 9 songs, count ’em, 9 were released as singles from that album; who else has had that many songs stand on their own from one album except… oh yeah, Michael Jackson & the Beatles? 😉

Heck, let’s end with one of those songs; what album was your last greatest?

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Sunday Question – Who’s Your Favorite Musical Entertainer Of All Time?

This is either one of the easiest or hardest Sunday questions I’ve ever asked. I say that because, for me, there’s no content, and readers of this blog know my response already, and probably why.

Michael Jackson is my favorite entertainer of all time. I wrote the reason why on my business blog the day after he passed away. Throughout my life he just seemed to always be there when I needed a boost, and even now I can always think of a Michael Jackson song whenever I need something to help me think things through.

It’s amazing how music can touch all of our lives. I’m not sure that everyone knows when they started liking a particular musician or what song they might have heard that sparked something in themselves that they’d never ever want to give up. I know that I had heard many other songs beforehand that I liked, but wasn’t really tied into the musician.

For instance, I loved the song Daydream Believer by the Monkees, but I wasn’t a Monkees fan as far as the band was considered, though I watched the TV show. The same goes for Sugar Sugar by the Archies; loved that song, but it was a cartoon band after all. I didn’t learn until 10 years later that an actual band was traveling around in the early 70’s playing the music from that cartoon.

Anyway, that’s the question of the day. It’s not who your first musician entertainer was that you liked; it’s who your favorite is. Let’s see how you answer this one. And by the way, in lieu of an image, I share the “latest” song and video from Michael Jackson called Hold My Hand; I wonder how many of these will come out as the years go by.

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I Get Motivation From Things Like This

Ten days ago I wrote a Sunday Question post asking people how they motivate themselves. Almost everyone stated that they motivate themselves in a way that doesn’t involve anything on the outside.


by multimedia student

You know, I have to say that, in general, I’m not believing most of that. Yes, I’m taking a controversial stance, but I’ll explain why.

I’m known as the observer of people. I like humanity, even though I don’t like everything people do. But I see a lot of people go through their day as if they’re just following a script. They get up, go to work, come home, watch TV and go to bed. There might be some deviation, but in general that’s pretty much it. And they’re not often happy about it.

I’m an independent consultant. I do most of my work from home. When I’m on the road, I partially do what everyone else does, except I have to go out for my meals or have something delivered. The one thing I rarely do on the road, and don’t necessarily do all that often at home either, is watch TV. I find that I like deciding way in advance what I want to record for the week and then will watch when I’m ready.

So, I sit at my desk, at my computer, and I work a lot. Oh sure, I take breaks to do things like write my blogs and participate on Twitter and Facebook, but a lot of what I do is business oriented. This means that I don’t really take a lot of time to just relax and get things off my mind. I am at the computer until it’s time to go to bed, and it’s the first place I come after the bathroom when I awake. I’m always here.

But sometimes I just can’t get in the mood to do much of anything, even if I’m sitting here. I could easily say I’m driven to succeed, and that would be true to a degree. There are times when I just don’t want to do anything; who reading this can say that doesn’t happen to them every once in awhile? And when I don’t want to do anything, I don’t care about success, I don’t care about family, I don’t care about eating… I don’t care about anything!

Well, that seems kind of depressing, doesn’t it? But it’s not. The reason is that I only allow myself to be in that mode for short periods of time. Hey, if I don’t work, I don’t earn any money. I can’t fall back on vacation time because I don’t have it. I can’t just fall back on my reserves because that just takes money away from me and I then have to figure out how to replace it.

In those times, I look for motivation in other places. I’ve talked about motivational movies like The Secreticon. I’ve shared motivational videos on this blog, things that have made me feel better. I’ve mentioned the name Zig Ziglar here before, but haven’t talked about what he does as a motivational speaker all that often. He loves telling the tale about a guy who comes up to him and says “Motivational speaking must not work all that well because it seems people are always needing to be motivated.” Zig says “People also need to eat and bathe, but I don’t hear you saying people don’t need food or soap.”

His belief is that we all need to find ways to motivate ourselves at least a few times a day because no one is a machine. Thoughts of others won’t always get it done. Dreams of eventual success won’t always get it done. But finding other things that offer at least a moment of uplift… man, that’s priceless. So, I figure that if someone like me, who has stated many times on this blog that I want to be successful and a big deal, needs outside motivation from time to time, actually probably a little bit at some point every day, that everyone else almost has to as well. No one is happy or upbeat 24/7; not even Zig.

With that in mind, I want to share this video with you, although it’s not a great video. But it is a great song. Michael Jackson has done lots of motivational songs. This one is called Keep The Faith. He didn’t do a video of it, and it’s too bad. I thought about just posting the lyrics to this song, but I didn’t for two reasons. One, it’s super long; this is one of those songs where the chorus is repeated many times, but it’s a short chorus, so there’s a lot of new lyrics through to the end of the song. And two, I didn’t want to risk copyright by posting everything here, although truthfully that’s secondary to how long the post would end up being.

So, I post this video that has the music and the lyrics. I hope you listen if you don’t know the song, and I really hope you follow the lyrics. This is powerful stuff, and I doubt that anyone who listens to this entire song can’t say that the words aren’t motivating and uplifting. And if you really think that, don’t write it here. Enjoy:

 

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