Tuesday, March 12, 2013

New Song: People Not Gathered-'Into The Empty




                          Into The Empty
                                                               (A Neo-Classical Interpretation on the Effects of Modern Corruption)
                  Lyrics, Music &; Production by K. Shoen. Released by ShoEnTeL Publishing
                                                                  ©2013 ShoEnTeL Music

Into the Empty                                                                    
In lights of Dark Amber
A battle’s concluded           
 No sentence commuted.
 Plucked from our station
 In extrapolation
 Discarded like refuse
To rot in displacement

            And all I see—
             Is the edge of all the blocked-out lights.
            No choice but to be
            An aging dog harassed into fights

Southbound and wayward
Afforded no favor
By street lamp we camp near,
As cash turns to vapor
We stand as pariahs
By corporate messiahs
Those gilded in stature
Just keep making paper…
            And all I see—
             Is the edge of all the blocked-out lights.
            No choice but to be
            The hungry dog growling at the night.
Rainwater’s leaking
Through holes in the ceiling
 Like cracks through the center of my dreams
So tired and wasted
Claustrophobic & Anxious
The Beast of This Burden: the Guilt is the Anchor
And Fear like a Sickness, contagious and impish
Judgment is passed by those who did not witness..

            And all I see—
             Is the edge of all the blocked-out lights.
            What Am I to Be
            Like A Dog bound and chained to the Blight?—

MeMo To A. : The Rap

Blood’s curdlin’ thick like on methadone
Busted out, shut down all when the struggle’s on
Slammin’ Doors, rollin’ eyes while U criticize
Raised U Like a Father, but now don’t sympathize
Long enough just 2 give us 1 hour
A hot meal, some support , and a simple shower
For all the speeches, the rants, & the banter
Sleepin’ street-side while U work on your cantor..
Preachin’ standards, and nothing of substance
Your brotha and your sista; they reap all the punishment,
And really, while U wanna act so straight-laced
All U bring to your siblings is a Punch 2 the Face

(The Presidential Break)

My Darling I Love You
All I Have is this Lean-to
This board upon Wheels as our home
For years you’ve depended
On me, your Lieutenant to defend & protect all our own
        And Why,
To stand in the presence of my precious descendants
 (With) this wreckage so high, I shake just to look
 In their Eyes —

Monday, January 2, 2012

'Forget' 'em, Cee Lo: Lennon Wasn't Jesus..Nor Wanted To Be

The Bashing Of Cee Lo Green's NYE performance of 'Imagine' in Times Square has familiar ring of piousness from purists who don't know their own 'God'

KC Shoen

John Lennon once complained during his time in self-imposed exile between 1975 and 1980 that no one was performing any cover versions of any of his previous solo work . Since he had stopped being musically active, Lennon was suffering from the effects of what I term as ' Billboard Chart Absenteeism': having had a successful commercial run prior to his second son's birth,  Lennon had awakened to the fact that he was no longer 'present' in the music scene, and found it quite disturbing no bands were wanting to record, nor perform, their own versions of 'Give Peace A Chance', 'Working Class Hero, or one of his biggest 'Imagine'. According to an interview with Yoko Ono, upon hearing this from her husband, responded, "maybe they're afraid to do so, not wanting to disrespect your work."

If this is accurate, the absolute pummeling of Cee Lo Green by so-called 'fans' of JL are themselves the complete draconian alter-worshiping trogs in this ridiculous chastising of Mr. Callaway. Any informed fan worth their salt would know this, also by tracing Lennon's own exploration into different genres just prior to his death in 1980. One of his last works "Walking On Thin Ice" was a dance track he constructed with with his wife, as Lennon wanted to experiment with a new sound he had come into contact with in the New York post-disco music scene via Yoko Ono, a sound which would later come in to the popular mainstream identified as 'New Wave.' 

This was they very cassette of the song JL was clutching in his dead hands when that delusional psychotic purist-freak Mark David Chapman, drunk on JD Salinger and religion, decided to empty his revolver into Lennon outside the Dakota.

Chapman was a self-identified 'disillusioned fan' of Lennon. So much, he decided it was up to him to annihilate the 'phony' he felt JL had become. Lennon wasn't 'pure' enough to be allowed his freedom to live as a husband, father and human being, and had to punished for his violating his stature upon the alter he had ascended to, adjacent to that of Jesus Christ and Elvis.  

Chapman had, at one time, worshiped at that alter, and carried out his ' moral duty' as a disgruntled 'parishioner' of that 'church', to issue a 'correction.'..

As a disillusioned fan.

As a songwriter and performer, Cee Lo thought it advantageous to perform 'Imagine' with some alteration of the original lyrics to give it a present-day relevance and make it his own: which is what great singers often attempt when they perform any 'standard' that is exceptionally well-known like Lennon's classic. During the course of that performance, at around 11:56 pm, things immediately went from engaged harmoniousness to puritanically stupid when Mr. Callaway diverged from the original lyric "and no religion, too" with the words "and all religions true",in which audible gasps and reactions within the audience could be faintly heard. No sooner than he had completed the set, Cee Lo, anticipating backlash on a tsunami scale , quickly tweeted 

 "Yo I meant no disrespect by changing the lyric guys! I was trying to say a world were u could believe what u wanted that's all"

Poor Bastard. Mr. Callaway had not a inkling that his reflective treatment of this lyric (which I found refreshing) would make him a repository of utter bombast and pugilistic swill fit for a morose, crystal-meth infused New Year's brawl at the local trailer park. The priggish Lennon purists, attempting to come across as having their stately, pseudo-intellectual sensibilities utterly vandalized in having their 'God' desecrated in the name of performance were the most hyper-critical..and the most venomous.

Understandably, he went on the defensive through his Twitter account, but could not keep up with the steady barrage of 'bullets' being 'emptied' into him, and wisely discontinued, even removing the tweeted messages as promptly as he had posted them. 

It isn't just the acidic nature of the backlash that's disturbing: much of it wasn't worth the waste of energy to digest. It was the context of the vitriol I found astounding, even hauntingly familiar in tone and timber to the mindset of one infamous crackpot who turned December 8th 1980 into a day of execution for a guy who was merely returning home from a fantastic recording session, trying to enter his apartment so he could hungrily playback the cassette he had clutched excitedly in his hands. Excited by what he and his wife just 'cooked up' in the studio. He just wanted to get inside, listen, and 'feel it' 

But the last thing he would 'feel' were the hot spikes of painful entry wounds from metal shells delivered to his body by his executioner's handgun.
His executioner: A fucking psychotic, emotionally underdeveloped murderous dweeb from Ft. Worth Texas:

A fan of John Lennon

In the immediate aftermath of this, I recognized this borderline psychosis, which leads me to ascertain that avid Lennon fans are no different from the modern day 'Pontious Pilate' who 'crucified' their 'lord' on that doorstep on a dark Monday night one December. For all of the completely rancorous diatribes Cee Lo needlessly received immediately after that performance, I have to assess that these 'fans' are just like Chapman: ready to render judgement on anything that appears to be desecrating their fervent worship of John Jesus Christ Lennon, even stating heinous shit such as wishing Mr. Callaway's death. 'Fans' have demonstrated they are no different from JL's assassin: it is the same mindset, just different weaponry. So, for all of you that took trouble to defend Lennon's 'alter' by assaulting Cee Lo, I got something for you, because I do understand that 'facts' 'acceptance' and 'information' are vocabulary that are beyond your realm of feasible understanding.

Yoko Ono sanctioned the performance
Cee Lo, under the full blessing of Mr. Lennon's widow, (and inheritor of his Estate, by the way) rendered the performance with her approval. It made perfect sense to have Cee Lo give this performance, as he is a muliti-genre performer whom is highly experimental in his sound, and on top of his game currently. It is most likely what JL himself would've sanctioned, given his own experimentation toward the end of his life (Take a listen to this as evidence, that's JL on the guitar and keyboards).

John Lennon had a diverse music appreciation
Being a musician and songwriter, JL's taste in music was pretty broad. In his early years, it was Elvis, Fats Domino, and even George Formby. In his latter years, he had a particular ear for emergent punk,  disco, 'soul', and New Wave just prior to his death. Cee Lo was the perfect representative of this diversity to do "Imagine", as his tastes in music vary from motown, Hip Hop, to Hall & Oates to Journey. Lennon recorded with a fairly broad spectrum of other artist such as Elton John and David Bowie;  Cee Lo has worked with similar diversity in talent, such as OutKast, Santana and Danger Mouse.

and lastly,

You wouldn't be hating Cee Lo if he had done the same thing looking like Michael Buble
Face it, 'Lennon fans': if the dude came on stage looking like that lilly-white Canadian crooner, there wouldn't have been the backlash. Buble would have probably done something similar to the lyrics, for like Cee Lo, he's actually very intelligent with a wry sense of humor, who would've understand the exact nature of the importance of that moment, considering all the divisive conflict in the world..

Instead of getting a 'safe'-looking caucasoid, you got a diminutive, bald-headed, African-american who doesn't 'look like one of 'us'": Cee Lo is NOT 'safe': his sardonic use of language and suggestive lyrical and vocal inflections contained within his music coupled with his will to take creative risks even in the face of ugly criticism is one of the reason he resonates so succinctly with music fans of all stripes. He is doing things in popular music most mainstream acts don't have the intestinal fortitude nor the insight to do: just 'be', and be honest doing it, warts and all.

Just Like Lennon.

Lennon took a risk leaving the Beatles, and marrying a woman who WASN'T a blond-haired blue-eyed photographer from New York. And while P-Mac's wife Linda got mad props and love for working with her hubby as a member of Wings in the 70's, JL got completely pasted when he and his Japanese wife did the same thing with The Plastic Ono Band. Linda McCartney was canonized as a charitable soul up until her death. Yoko Ono to this day is villainized as some kind of greedy, tormented, evil fascist who was accused of single-handily destroying the Beatles, and in kind, with regards to her husbands legacy when he was violently murdered.

Putting it bluntly, its a 'race thing' for you elitist Lennon-worshiping sock puppets. From the baby-boomer realm of that "kingdom" to its youngest 'enlistees' it is all about this alleged 'purity' of his music that should not be 'touched' by the dirty hands of the 'lesser talented.' You are, and have become the very thing that JL railed against in his life, and are a part of the very mentality that killed him.

The irony is immeasurable. You should be embarrassed. 

Cee Lo exhibits creative traits similar to Lennon, this is precisely why Yoko Ono invited him as her guest to sing 'Imagine'. If you knew your history about the Lennon's in relation to those who are avant-garde in their own rite, this selected performance made perfect sense. It's one thing not to like it, fair enough. Quite another to errantly start shooting bullets  of vitriol at the performer himself because it doesn't meet with your elitist and puritanical approval.

I'll end this on this last note: I have met Cee Lo, and know he is extremely appreciative of all the attention he's received. It's not 'lost' on him, As he stated to me during our meeting  in regards to the blazing success of 'F*** You' "It's has taken on a life of its own. I'm just trying to ride this wave wherever it is going to take me. It's unbelievable..and overwhelming."

So..my final response to you purists out there is this:

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Six20Five: A Retrospective On Michael Jackson, A.D.

Given the recent release (and reaction to) the documentary"Surviving Neverland'  in 2019, this article , originally written in March 2011, has been updated.

KC Shoen aka P.N.G.
I post this not as a 'fan' in any sense, nor as one whom ever 'hated' Michael Jackson. It's been a year and a half-plus since his passing and I have an aversion to jumping on major pop culture events with any immediacy. The mainstream media has the necessary trolling wunderkind to feed the masses; joining these illustrious miscreant harbingers of brain-swill whom cater to the perpetual ADD of the tabloid/ celebrity obsessed rank-and-file isn't my thing.

The only rendering of anything resembling halfway-intelligent was this article written on Huffington Post by Bernard-Henri Levy, a French philosopher. Even this rendering, as abstract as it was , still did not cover the substance of Michael as it pertains to his upbringing and eventual passing which I believe are correlative

I am also someone whom, quite honestly, is extremely judgmental of those who use their children as vehicles of vicariousness for their own social and monetary gain. I state that not as some progressive-minded, self-righteous asshole.

I say it as a parent.

I was admittedly filled with bile when Michael was acquitted of the molestation charges involving several children back in 2005. I was also incensed at the gallery of assembled affluent rubes that inhabited the jury box, sequestered in that 'live performance' venue masquerading as the Santa Barbara Municipal Courthouse. Further insulting to the senses was prosecuting attorney Sneddon and his unctuous ambition at attempting to 'collar' one of the most recognizable, ever-evolving and surgically desecrated faces in the universe. The entire event was nothing more than a controlled dress rehearsal for the media; 'Circus-Circus' for the celebrity-obsessed and voyeuristic. The train wreck was for too compelling to just merely 'drive by'.

For all this, I did, at the time, assume guilt on Micheal's part.

My narrow vision did not afford me access to the simple acknowledgment that what I deemed as impenetrable boundaries was not in direct context to Micheal's. As imperfect as my childhood may have been in large segments, I was at least afforded the opportunity to grow from meaningful play, social interaction, and being allowed enough room to really 'fuck up as I need to' within the confines of my familial sphere. Room enough was given to let me learn and be.

There are reasons for his 'failure' at adulthood. These reasons will absolutely piss off those who feel the Jackson family are imperically above reproach. If you are one of those, this isn't for you. As George Carlin once said"...you may want to skip this one."

The obvious is certain: Michael wasn't given brevity to be present in that illustrious strata known as childhood, draw from those most basic of experiences to build further through the beign of adolescence en route to an adult life that could afford the space of true maturity and contented being. Period.

This track, an extremely personal telling of a successful human being not ‘whole’ due to a childhood that was non-existent and unrecoverable, in my opinion, is Micheal's best work, as it is his most honest and unabridged.

This brings into focus a largely ignored, unobserved point: one that is missed in every well-written epilogue of Michael Joseph Jackson that bears mention, and was the acting catalyst in his dynamic peak-and-valley: The ne'er-do-well quasi-Svengali who, through his own pugilistic vitriol and substantial mediocrity could only hope to climb the Pyrenees of such monumental fame and fortune...

Joseph Jackson.

And his role in the destruction of Micheal's 'base' development is an excellent place to begin, as he , being an ambitious familial entrepreneur, was willing and participatory in the abuse of his own children for the sake of attaining high status at the altar of fame, is directly reflective of the dark ardor of our culture, where extreme wealth and success achieved through the scepter of psychopathy is not only accepted, but assumed as some altruistic rite of passage.

Tragedy from such behavior is addictive to the American psyche, as it enlivens our lust for drama merely for the sake of substitution in the station of our collectively ordinary, even mundane lives in this country. Escapism; even if it means that the humanity of the ones we hold in adoration get compromised, is elemental to feed such hunger to stave off the focus the inanity many of us dwell in.

We love to see success on a completely ridiculous level, but we love it more when that success becomes poisoned; when the mighty fall. It is a natural form of involvement for which we are participatory, but it belies the background needed to achieve nuance and compassion, in particular to someone like Michael.

The Construction of The Jackson 'Bordello'
'Prostitution' is not only sexually connotative, as it also pertains to those who would and will abuse their own brood for their lust of self covenant. Joseph Jackson was and is such a 'proprietor'. The realization of Joseph's own failure to conquer the mainstream with his own forgettable music lead to 'ascension by descension'; to attain a seat in the house of Babylon where he could feed his need for solipsist desires which rivaled even that of Nero's. He needed to enslave and belabor his own brood: housing his songbirds in a cage fit for rats, with himself as master,benefactor, and architect.

Through this salacious prostitution and abuse, Michael Jackson became the most obvious as one who could bring to Joseph the highest return on this investment. Michael, along with many of his siblings lost value as human beings as the adulation and compensation took on stratospheric proportions. They were as capital: to be used and bartered, exchanged and sold as desired and coveted by Joseph the Architect. Michael was the most developed and sophisticated product in his cage, the most lucrative.

The overhead cost to Michael in this Babylonian pursuit was that of his childhood, which was compromised immediately for the sake of the senior Jackson to quickly satisfy his lust without question nor conceit: Just business. As all the world was idolizing Michael and 'loving' him, Joseph begrudgingly had to release Michael from the rat cage where he had incubated and be released upon a world which he never interacted beyond his capacity as a product.

The 'Berth' Of the Man-Child

Michael was denied access to his own childhood, of which we get our rudimentary practice and programming to prepare for adult life, programmed further with its morals, mores, precepts and boundaries. Micheal's denial into this pre-development stage placed him in suspended animation, for which he simultaneously was remedial in mental and emotional maturation and learning anew; attempting to be in context yet furiously attempting to grasp a reality befitting his own stunted development. These two separate realities are what defined him, denied him, and enabled his demise. They were never at peace with one another, constantly struggling for prominence and relevance simultaneously. It was much like thinking, speaking,eating, and drinking: all needful actions in the human experience, but cannot be performed at the same time.

Without a map from childhood to build fundamentals, new fundamentals take shape that may have defied social acceptance, and harmed rather than perform the intended function of enhancing and augmenting knowledge, maturity, and emotional well-being. Joseph not only was a thief in his son's childhood, but is proud of the 'product' he nurtured and created by his thirst for his Babylon: children be damned for the expense of his need to assume the title and throne of the world's most shiniest product of all: The Jackson Family Musical Aristocracy. All to ingest,inhale, and fornicate at his leisure at the expense of his most talented songbird, whom no longer can produce, whose cage now barren, whose legacy is more important than his living, breathing human son that created it.

There was no reason for Joe to interrupt his private fuck-fest..not even to honor the very person who provided his ability to live in the decadence he had become so enamored with.

No, there wasn't any reason for Joe Jackson to stop long enough to secure his tongue in his gob, and remove his hand from the steady stroking of his creamaster to look neither skyward or earthbound to eschew a single solemn whisper of farewell or gratitude to his child, as the Master Architect need only further masturbation, and reasonable transport and conveyance to return and resume the orgy

Adulation as Rat Poison

"Scream" (1995)The end-game from the little trick Michael pulled on the tabloids in '86, and the years of perpetual media violation and vitriol come to a head...

Michael possessed a whimsy in his childlike stasis that gave him a impish foresight few 'real' adults can access. In 1986, he decided to game the tabloid media,( whom had been friendly with him, but somewhat invasive of his privacy), and willfully release false information about eccentricities in his personal life that were largely inaccurate. Articles began to surface about his spending time in hyperbaric chambers to combat aging, attempting purchase of famous skeletal remains and other ridiculous hubris that he himself knew would lead large segments of the gossip-consuming general public to believe he was insane, stating,

"They'll believe anything {they} say, because {they're} reporter(s). But if I, Michael Jackson, were to say, "I'm an alien from Mars and I eat live chickens and do a voodoo dance at midnight," people would say, "Oh, man, that Michael Jackson is nuts. He's cracked up. You can't believe a single word that comes out of his mouth."

Michael successfully baited them, and, like a prepubescent prankster illegally setting off a fire alarm pull station at a fully-occupied Hotel in the dead of night, he alone caused both the tabloid and mainstream media to be derailed by their own frenetic and insatiable appetite for sensational and private information to solicit. Michael demonstrated, in a very sophisticated context, the absolute enameration of journalists and smut-writers to expunge celebrity for their own cheap advancement of product without benefit of neutrality, fairness and verification of information. This 'prank' exposed the tabloids in particular for being exactly what they are: vultures at the carrion, awaiting for the carcass to be just cold enough to pluck apart for the dining delicacy of entertainment rumor consumption.

Michael demonstrated a media savvy on an idiot savant level; such incredible vision and intelligence in being able to capture its forthright power and visual impact; while simultaneously exposing its glaring vulnerability. His own celebrity gave him confines enough to approach this element with great depth, but it also aided and abetted his downward spiral, for in the proceeding decade and a half, the media would work in collision to defame him at such velocity it would lead him being accosted several different times by unproven allegations from those whom he trusted within his exclusive environment, and would encourage others in varying stations in life to pursue the hunting of his persona for personal chutzpa, money, and glory.

This being the result of the deadly elixir of Micheal's incredible brilliance and raw naivety. He hadn't any grounding as to the savagery of adult solipsism, ego and psychopathy. The insular life that was afforded him through his great fortune also was a detrimental Achilles heel. Through his early underdevelopment which carried on and further exasperated by his incredible fame, Michael was never able to grasp the nuance of this reality: some people just want to run you over for their own sense of worldly accomplishment, as if a competition. Michael did not carry himself as being fully aware of what a highly prized target of opportunity he was.

The Martin Bashir interview of him in 2003 found Michael getting baited himself, Bashir completely canvased him with finessed circumvention, and it was as if he intuitively knew where the edit breaks would come in the post-production long enough to impale Michale sideways by skewering his eccentric personality and behavior in those bookended slip-streams of commentary in the voice over monologue. Through the entire course of it, if one watches closely, Michael behaves with an assuredness that he would at last be taken as honorable in his personal life: that all would understand if they could just here him speak in full, and see him engaged.
Bashir got the better of him, as that was never the intended goal of the end-product. Before scoring the interview with Jackson, Bashir was a talking head of special commentary and celebrity wonking on the BBC. After the Princess Diana dish-of-an interview in 1995, where he attempted superfluous extrapolation into her divorce with the Slug-minister Prince Of Wales , he was considered not of caliber to handle the more juicer banality of mainstream media punditry. He was considered soft and innocuous, unable to unearth the deeper stories and bylines with gravitas in his interview style.
Bashir wasn't stupid: He had cleverly finagled an interview with Michael, and used his association with ITV (U.K.) as a pacifier, knowing that Jackson hadn't any further trust of American media outlets to allow infiltration into his private domain, particularly after the '93 accusations of molestation that nearly consumed him.

And once 'ol Big-Tyme Bashir landed on Planet Michael, and was granted unprecedented access to the The Leader of Neverland, it was 'game on'. It became a dissection of an almost surgical caliber; a very orderly, yet Machiavellian train wreck, with Bashir as the helmsman and in full control, sending Michael over the cliff metaphorically and literally.

Bashir was lambasted for his manipulative angling of Michael: making him appear as some demented freak whom would, if giving occasion and opportunity, would molest your children, yet alternatively, feigned compassion for his subject as a method of conveyance as misdirection. As per the fallout from this televised assassination, it was aptly summed-up by long-time Jackson manager Dieter Wiesner

"It broke him. It killed him. He took a long time to die, but it started that night (of the original airing). Previously the drugs were a crutch, but after that they became a necessity."

A Saucerful of Sycophants

Michael did himself no favors by surrounding himself with a pantheon of celebrity-serving 'yes' glitterati. It is not an uncommon practice, as entourages and service personnel are common among the rank-and-file celebrity culture, particularly the talentless tabloid 'celebutant' carrion whom willfully put themselves 'out there' a la Kim Kardashian, and Paris Hilton. Being insular and secluded from all objectivity and free of comprehension with regards to mores and boundaries aided and abetted by the core of Michael's hired help served as a requiem for his personal recklessness.
Recklessnes in regards to his relationship with children,which never evolved into a proper mode of maturation, complete with the necessary 'rules of engagement'. Quite the contrary: his relationships with children were engaged from the level of being as a child himself. The 1993 & 2004 allegations stemmed from that contextualized engagement: sleepovers, slumber parties, and sleeping in the same bed with children not his own caused a Pandora's box of woefully colossal proportions to be unleashed.

As the mounting perception of Michael being predatory towards the very terminally-ill children whom he was offering assistance to and had stay with him began to escalate in 2004, he began to fight back; rendering commentary and interviews for anyone whom lend a mic as to defend his nature. Michael's inner-circle also kept vigil, as those under his employ would also speak out, from Security Guards to secretaries in his defense. Only but a small few would rail against him, claiming he was sexually assaulting children and feeding them alcohol as a pacifier to weaken their resolve of resistance as he had his way with them.

To constantly be around those whom are at-service to you allows no real honesty to surface: They are 'your' people whom you pay, whom advise you, take care of your inner-space, and who also act as being in your best interest.

But in what context? Michael never really had one real friend or confidant corner him and say, quite adroitly "If you keep this shit up, Mike, you will be perceived as a child-raping pervert...and not because you are, but because no one outside your sphere knows that you're not." And if he did, he probably had ran them off of Neverland, most likely.

I believe the latter might be correct, given the monarchical existence Michael lead possibly caused intense intimidation for those who called themselves either his employees or confidants. Conversely, I believe also there was an unwillingness on Michael's end to allow anyone benefit of doubt to be caste if such honest discourse and disclosure was spoken. The 'King' is never questioned, and absolute power can corrupt any ability to see things unobstructed, and without filter. A real 'friend' will tell when your behavior might land you in prison, an enemy will manipulate you into being imprisoned, while a sycophant will tell you it is safe to step outside though there might wolves in the shadows, and at the ready to disembowel you, knowing that this is what you want to hear, irregardless your fate.

The sycophant is the recidivist troll, without character and compass, always ready to give what you wish so long as you allow them access to the Castle and to be allowed to continue to sample and claim membership to that imperial life that is not their own. The sycophant will also run a knife through the proclaimed 'King' they serve, if they know a huge payout or access to the a higher life can be achieved.

A Sycophant will lie at both ends to retain grandeur and status in some form. Even if lying to themselves.

This adjective could easily be rendered to describe the matriarch of The Jackson Aristocracy:

Katherine Jackson.

As she has admitted to her husbands past transgressions of adultery and physical handling of the brood early in her marriage to Joe The Architect. She, by her own actions in those formative years, allowed Joe to abuse and exploit the brood inpunitively and without recourse in those times. Attempts to 'correct' these transgressions via her faith and stoic charge came too late to save a situation which left many of the Jackson children severely underdeveloped socially and emotionally. Katherine's early passivity to Joe's handling of Michael , I believe , was on par with allowing one spouse to destroy a child in front of another.

I don't believe that The Elder Mrs. Jackson motivation was as materialistically self-interested as Joe's, nor was she not with any rudimentary compassion. but it didn't lack self-interest either. Many dedicated ecclesiastics work tirelessly to achieve the 'rank' of Sainthood: of being revered as Christ-like and Godly, as it carries its own title and privilege in certain circles, and is a translatable power by proxy in any context of public life. Politicians of all stripes have used this pious approach in varying forms. You can be perceived as 'untouchable', pure, and without imperfection; being holy.

Mrs. Jackson assumed the traditional role of Housewife and spiritual leader for the family, in part I believe, not just for posterity per se, but to compensate for Joe's less-the-admirable deeds as well as keep her personal legacy vaulted and unscathed within the family structure. It has been an effective tool in the past when she has had to conduct interviews with the media in regards to various Jackson family controversies.

It was, however, its own form of self interest at the expense of her children. Trading direct parenting in a realistic and accountable form for piousness. Whatever has befallen the family, Katherine has been the Martyr of The Highest Order, without real reproach or question, acting as its own armor to block any attempt at acknowledging mistake or miscarriage.

And I believe an equally damaging attribute, as it did not afforded a young Michael safety from the hands of his father. Katherine's stasis was the most toxic of all passive Sycophants in his life. The wolves dined accordingly on his death years later, through an illegally administered sedative by another Sycophant named Conrad...

In this January 27th 2011 innocuous interview of Rebbie Jackson on The View, the most telling detail of her proximity and position with the rest of The Jackson family is revealed slowly in the last 4 and a half minutes. In summary: She 'raised' Michael early on, is co- parenting Michaels kids Paris, Prince Michael I & II, and Blanket, and confirms that both of her parents live separately, although still legally 'married'.

Neverland Never Was
Several friends of mine whom had visited the Neverland ranch during its last remaining heyday describe a mural painting of Michael, themed with himself as Peter Pan amongst various children grouped together within the scene as you enter the interior of the mansion. The Peter pan saga has itself a protagonist whom never reaches adulthood, and slays adult characters , as all adults in the Neverland regions are inherently evil and wish to destroy the children, or enslave them in some capacity.
Adulthood, especially in the climate of the world we reside in being that of quasi-corporate plutocracy masquerading as a democratic one, the enslavement element now is more profound than ever in modern history. What Michael left behind is something more than an expansive discography of hits spanning 4 generations: he left behind a world in a complete sea-change. North Africa and the middle east are coming unhinged, as dictators and self-described men of the people are being overthrown, or in process thereof. Western corporations are attempting a mass coveting of the general public as to strip all of proper livelihood by undercutting and denigrating Unions and organizations built and designed to protect workers rights for the sake of insular profits...
The world is in Hell's elevator, and the bottom floor hasn't been reached yet. Michael won't be here when it finally does. The rest of us might be.

The song "Ghost" (which can viewed through the link inside the box from Youtube), is demonstrative of Michael's perpetual battle with the adult world. It is warfare, with him playing a perceived evil wizard-proprietor of a macabre mansion with supernatural power. In many instances (particularly the extended version) illustrates how this alienation seeded deep resentment. Michael was a ghost of sorts, an oddity so embellished it was lampooned and scolded, but never articulated as substantially known beyond veneers or preconceived notion.
What is a prevalent theme in this song is Michaels combined detractive and didactic detachment toward the adult characters whom find him a questionable 'freak'. Alienation of this ire, and death obsessiveness pervade his work, dating back to Thriller all the way to Blood On The Dance Floor. This performance is notable from the others for his fierce handling of instilling venomous fear and macabre acts upon his guests, (repleat with the usual back-up dancing minions) with attenuated willingness to' serve the heads' of those who would castigate him. It is his 'cruelest' performance.
What is foreshadowing of this, is not only his death, but 4 years later from the video's creation, how castigated and violated in his own sanctuary he would become: photos of his genitalia be taken by law enforcement, constant search warrants issued for his premises during the trial in '05. Violated by the very similar adults whom he would have loved to perchance bestow his brand of fantastic and supernatural punishment upon. The very ones whom did believe him to be a real freak.
Neverland would be lost, and in many parables in his life, never really was.

The End of One
There is one irritating, but compelling attribute in all the 'friendly' articles written of Michael: no biographer, no 'friend' has written anything directly or meaningfully critical of him. It all seems to reside in the spectacle and awe of being in his presence, as if some were in communion with the living Jesus himself. There is no honesty in aggrandizing the deceased, particularly if the deceased had some glaring potential character issues that could have hinge on the precept of being a sexual predator.
Sometimes pontificating prose upon the death of a celebrity friend berths its own precognitive bullshit, clouded by the worshiping of and intoxication of being at the alter of celebrity itself.
Alternatively, judgement can't be doled too dismissively, either. I have known adults whom behaved similarly to Michael in my formative years, and though these individuals were not particularly predatory, some of their behavior did cross lines enough to warrant speculation and concern to relationships, those seeming more at ease amongst children, while simultaneously unable to maintain cognitive relations with their adult peers. Some of these 'relations' seemingly hinged upon a sexualized countenance, although never apparently, nor verifiably consummated.
I believe Michael to have been of this type, without question.
Michael as a father was and is still an enigma, There are varying accounts as to his fitness as parent. This is not an area I can render an angle, other than to say the only evidence of competency came in the last statement of young daughter Paris at the very end of his televised memorial on July 7th 2009; unrehearsed and unexpected, (unlike the previous eulogies on that day):
'He was the best dad'
Also vague, obtuse, and rather strange was his private arrangements involving the reproduction and birth of his children, also not firmly established with verifiable fact or consensus in any legitimate context. The only testimonial of any stripe in regards to his interpersonal relationships came from Lisa Marie Presley in this interview by Diane Sawyer in 2003.

It is most likely unfair for me to state this , but here it is: Lisa Marie's account of her marriage to Michael can't be taken with any real integrity, if only due to one glaring and obvious detail..

Her father was Elvis.

The former Mrs. Jackson had already become accustomed to the ambiguous eccentricities of being born from a world-renowned icon whom possessed his own brand of insular absurdities. This is not say Lisa hadn't any 'love' for Michael, nor is not honorable in her recounting and believing those experiences. What is suggested is this: Conditioning constitutes greatly for our perception of experience as being in relative 'normal', I believe. What she or Michael might've viewed as cognitively status quo may not translate as such to others whom experience may be alternatively different. Conversely, what may have passed as regular and healthy for them may have not been, period.

The seemingly inane questions Diane Sawyer posed was what needed to be asked, especially as it was the focus of during Micheal's trial: was there a notable sexual relationship within the confines of that marriage. This marriage, and later Surrogate mothering Michael took up for the birth of his children we will never really understand nor have knowledge of in full detail.
Micheal's end , both tragic and unsurprising, was a representation of a life marred by limitations in mature, sound judgment in regards to his inner-life and relationships. In the end , he was more focused on re-cementing his position as the dominate figure of of all things mainstream as to validate his relevance beyond the mire of the trial. The nearly four year sabbatical he took did not assuage perception nor proffer enlightenment for the masses. The same issues would revisit anew through the scepter of electronic media.

And although working with renewed verve, it was apparent Michael did not grow from his self-imposed exile. As evidence to this, the manner in which he expired to me represented the continual chasm of his inability to achieve context: breathing, eating, drinking, and talking all at same time. The battle for ground and grounding not in line with the harsh reality of what he had never acquired, his insomnia and frenetic work pace mixed with dependency on pain and sleep medication to find the true peace never obtained....
Contentment from emotional maturation; being a sound and happy 'grown man'. A life being whole.
To have never lived a life complete with play, with making and un-making friends, growing from the experiences that define you as a person, all the way as you progress into later life.
To have been put to full time work by the time you have reached 8, and have your collective public education and social life amongst your peers silenced by age 11, for a controlled environment engineered by your parents, dealing with the contaminated vermin in the entertainment industry at a vulnerable time in your childhood development must have been as toxic as doing 5 rails of high-powered cocaine on your first go.

I do not need in PhD in Psychology to surmise this pysche slow-kill of an existence only could cause a deep soul drainage, and resulting in nothing resembling a 'healthy being'.
This despondently Dionysian biography that was Micheal Joseph Jackson's life was damned from the beginning, and was perpetuated, enabled , and protracted by himself and others for the benefit of that Western ideal of personal austerity:
Fame and Fortune.

I can state if given choice to have the life of success, opulence and adoration such as what Michael possessed, or my life currently: working 70-hour weeks, soliciting for investors, airplay and holding two jobs currently to sustain me and my family, I would choose my current life, with my mind and experiences in tact.

It is not say I don't wish for some form of success; as the goal is complete independence, financially and otherwise. It is to say that I am currently in a state where I could fully enjoy it unencumbered and without the heavy anxiety and brain-splitting idiosyncratic neurosis and psychotic megalomania that so many uber-celebs seem to possess.

To just be , minus the Albatross around my neck, nor the sword of Damocles waiting to drop from the tethered thread of the King's table as I sit directly under.
To be free. A life unexamined, except by those whom truly know me and love me; not craving the hyperbolistic spasm of screaming fans to render that love, while I suffer in my child-like mind as to my inability to be content.

Michael was without that contentment.

I am blessed to have that now, in the living, and have it never stricken from my being by the banality of others seeking to use me as a vehicle of their own ends.
Michael ended as product, target, and tether; ultimately alone. Unsettled, restless and unfinished. He ended before a subscript could be re-written and lived anew. The largest deficit will be of his children never knowing him any further in the living. And while vultures like brother Jermaine will continue to seek that higher edifice of adulation as programmed by Joe The Architect, we will never really see an individual reach those lofty heights as Michael did.

Perhaps, it would do us good never to view that again, or to have as defined as 'great'. The object maybe is to be as One, with others in our lives who we enhance as they enhance us, and within ourselves in the quiet recesses within our private lives, rather than be in that fervent consumption that allows us to be defined rather than define ourselves...

'Number 1.'

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Prince and His 'Evolution'

Prince has morphed into a compelling public figure as of recent, showing growth in areas that should be construed as groundbreaking, while still some other areas might need work.

Tavis: Who's qualified to critique your stuff these days? You mentioned Miles Davis. Who's qualified to critique you?

Prince: Oh, anybody.
Tavis: Music critics? Fans? Other artists?Prince: Yeah, I don't mind - anybody, if they do it with a sense of love, if they're trying to show me something about the work that they really feel is important for me to know. And I don't see a lot of that in journalism today..

(Transcript from Tavis Smiley/Prince Part I)

An Evolved Approach

After watching the recent late-April interview with Prince on Tavis Smiley here in L.A., I felt this was a grand opportunity to offer props to an individual whose impact on me musically went well beyond that of the iconoclastic worship of adolescence. Prince is the very reason I am a musician in the first place. His passionate, driven, multi-genre vision and approach ran parallel with my sense of all-inclusiveness in composing and writing, more so than my ‘Heroes On High’, the monolithic and legendary Pink Floyd.

Prince ‘resurfaced’ in 2004, as Musicology marked his return to dominance in the popular music realm. A year solidified with induction into the Rock and Roll hall-of-fame accompanied with his most successful tour to date. This was also marked by a more refined and complete media image as Prince made his rounds through the popular talk show glitterati. But previous outings to these programs had produced little weight or baring for him as an artist, and did not really endear himself to the public the way this particular sit-in with Leno did.
The promotional visit saw a more engaged Prince: Open, relaxed, even funny; imploring fans to bring their children to his current concert. His mannerism suggested a confidence devoid of overt self-awareness, offering seamless allowance to even give Mel Gibson a little shit with his ‘ Hey, Mel..what’s shakin’ baby!.. Whatchu doin’ after the show…Wanna see a movie..?’ an indirect slight to his directorial release of ‘The Passion of The Christ’ which was in a full-blown theological controversy among devout Jews and other various religious cults. Nobody in the studio audience really caught the vapors. (To me it was glaring.)

It was the beginning of new pattern in his approach to the mainstream media: Being less the aloof Rock/Sex God, and being more approachable, personable. More…human.

It worked.

This pattern continued on Ellen DeGeneres that year, where Ellen, a notorious and unabashed fan of his, had the unmitigated gall (and unbelievable nuts) gifting Prince some boxer underwear with her name emblazoned all about the waist band in his dressing room before his appearance.

Evolution: Stunted
In The Days Of Rain and Cameras

Contrast this with his well-known (and incredibly botched)coup from 1985, in which MTV had to scramble to get the once-in-a-lifetime interview while he was filming ‘Under the Cherry Moon’ in Paris. He seemed withheld, shy, and lacking good verbosity and clarity to the rather prerequisite and inane questions being posed. I watched this interview when it first aired, and was remarkably disappointed with his seeming reluctance. To a fifteen-year-old, I wanted more animation; more validation in this interview to solidify my fandom of him. And in my adolescent mind, he failed.

What I failed to realize was how much restrained contempt he exhibited. Having viewed this with a more adult mindframe for the first time in 24 years, there was one attribute that lingered through this entire faux interview that I didn’t catch as a freshman in High School that has made itself much clearer now.

Prince was

To this day, many so-called critics, journalists and bloggers still believe Prince snubbed the ‘We Are The World’ recording due to his self-aggrandizement. The very root of this massive assailment to his public personae could be easily placed at a moment when Prince was Lord of Whom All He Surveyed.

January 28th 1985….

I tried 2 tell them that I didn't want 2 sing
But I'd gladly write a song instead
They said okay and everything was cool
'Til a camera tried 2 get in my bed

from ‘Hello’, the b-side from the single ‘Pop Life’/ 1985 Paisley Park (P. R. Nelson)- Controversy Music(ASCAP)

After winning three awards at the AMAs, the 26 year old wanted to cap off the evening by going for a ride and get a little ‘grub on’ with a few friends and a sizable collection of security personnel. Although being previously committed to record with Quincy Jones, Prince had phoned him instead, mid-session, offering to do a guitar riff for his hastily-assembled celebrity encrusted charity magnum opus. Quincy declined, feeling that a guitar performance would not be in context with the composition and performance of the piece, but asked that Prince offer a whole track to the full-length album. Though a line in the track had been designated for him to sing, Prince would later indicate his ‘discomfort’ singing and performing around people he didn’t know. Quincy, by all accounts, was good to just receive a full song from him instead.“4 The Tears In Your Eyes” became the contribution. All would’ve gone well as planned except for one unforeseen problem: while hanging out with his ‘beautiful friend’ Jill Jones at Carlos & Charlie’s on Sunset Boulevard, Prince was getting surreptitiously handled by the paparazzi, and having his limo invaded by one particular light-tight box lens-carrying goon job whom legend has it, told Prince “That’s right asshole! Smile, you’re a star!” All this, while firmly issuing a quick chubby fingered shutter-release of his Nikon, as Prince’s security entourage snatched the draconian plank and bogarted the film.

When the dust settled, and about 6 hours into January 29th Prince went from absorbingly admired and praised for his brilliance to lambasted as the world’s most talented self-enamored prick. The honeymoon was not only over, but the groom was thrown under the proverbial tabloid media-driven bus for all to ostensibly crucify over every cheesy half-cocked gossip show. The fallout became highly concentrated and immediate

The FallOut, The DropOff

Prince deemed it appropriate to try staving off any further damage by agreeing to a rather abstract (and mostly cryptic) interview with Rolling Stone as ‘Around the World in A Day’ was making its way to the music chains. By the time the ‘Prince Speaks’ issue hit the stands; Billy Crystal had already punched the exclamation point to the sordid malaise with SNL’s ‘I Am Also The World’ opening skit on March 30th that year, with Mr. T and Hulk Hogan as two pugilistic and obsequious security staffers set to run off even the likes of Bruce Springsteen if they dare to approach the mic to sing with his Purple Piousness.

Crystal, clad in purple hood and muffin-caked eyeliner with the prerequisite butterfly-collared pirate shirt, gave a bruising, over gesticulate, gyrating performance theatre a le femme; punctuating each lyric with subdued sexual tongue-wagging , bambi-eyed exuberance reducing Prince’s performance personae to a carnivalesque caricature worthy of a Ralph Steadman/ Gerald Scarfe cartoon rendering. So hideous, it was not only hilarious, but to many of Prince’s detractors, a spot-on incarnation of the evil they felt succumbed to due to his seemingly isolated, aloof and controlling nature.

All this stemmed from Prince trying to celebrate his newfound glory and acknowledgment of his talent with someone who he whom he had known and trusted since 1981. Acknowledgment having being sparse from his own personal life, beginning with his father and transcending into his schooling years. As he admits , music became the key to stopping the brutal haranguing and curmudgeon beatings he took from peers as a boy, as he was be given leeway in the ‘hood for showing ‘chops’ his diminutive frame was unable to do in other avenues.
Genius is an oft touted word that thrown about to enliven, even embellish any subject matter it is intertwined with. With Prince this application of the adjective belies a far greater disability that was the trade-off for his absorption into music. John L. Nelson, also a prolific songwriter was often exceedingly critical of his son’s musical performance, so music both became a hybrid mix of needing a connection to his alpha male role model, and filling the deep crevices of loneliness that the perpetual pre-adolescent bullying gave. The one area in his life that had become the bridge to his identity away from the vox populi of the quasi-caste system of public school and fractured home life, replete with having to move in with best friend Andre Cymone after being unceremoniously thrown out of his family’s home, was the very same catalyst leading to his social and emotional underdevelopment. The more he grew in exponential talent, the more his deficiency in dealing with interpersonal and social collective interaction suffered. Prince had become an island unto himself.

We'll do what we can
If y'all try and understand
A flower that has water will grow
And the child misunderstood will go


‘Hello’, the b-side from the single ‘Pop Life’/ 1985 Paisley Park (P. R. Nelson)- Controversy Music(ASCAP)

This trade-off is something I could’ve found myself committing, having very similar ramparts in my own childhood. An absentee father, a broken family, and a sense of self-insignificance which was perpetuated exponentially in 1980’s Salt Lake City Mormon anti-cultural pluralism, quite comparable to Prince’s 60’s/70’s Minneapolis melting pot of social derision in many respects. I, too, was undersized for the majority of my preteen years and was bullied extensively from age 12 to high school graduation. The difference is that when Prince chose to withdraw into his own universe, he remained there: operating inside a cocoon of his own creative structure. I withdrew into my own universe similarly, but chose to ‘step out’ at times by fighting back, letting myself take social chances and remain participatory in dealing with my peers , even in the presence of bruising hostility and rejection; I went outward to push it back feeling that I was already ‘better’ for just being me as a whole. Finally growing to 6’ 1” certainly didn’t hurt either…

The outcome: I am socially adjusted and media savvy, and have been so for most of my adult life. I am not remisced about collaborating with others I don’t know personally, so long as the creative energy takes on a life of its own. I also trust my intuition to guide me through the creases and complexities of dealing with other people I am not familiar with, hence why I am not particularly shy in engaging them.

Prince is only
just coming to terms with this it seems, at least on a public front; hence his demeanor has softened in this regard. He is still, however intensely shy, and is often accused of being rather aloof. The two do not necessarily inhabit the same space. Being
aloof comes from a form of cavalier narcissism that you are above reproach and elite. Being shy means you lack the essential tools to socialize and communicate with others on the most basic of levels. Relationships are complex, thus made more preponderantly so by this social disability; it can impede progression in human intimacy on the deepest of levels. You can never ‘relax’ within yourself when surrounded by unknown company. It gets very ‘quiet’ on the exterior, even if the ‘noise’ intensifies internally.

By the time MTV caught up with him to exact their horrid interview of him in ’85, the damage was done: His follow-up album tanked after a fast start, the print interview with
Rolling Stone was by and large, a non-interview and did absolutely to assuage public opinion. Celebrities were dissing him on comedy shows, and even Boy George was calling him ‘boring.’ The MTV interview was a final nail in the coffin for Prince’s public image, and though the performance of the interview hopefully got some execs of the ‘former’ music channel shit-canned, the blame in this instance for the further fall from popularity is Prince himself.

His inept handling of the entire situation did more to expose him to deeper and broader scrutiny. Contemporaries whom he called friends in the past came out to mall him: Jesse Johnson, with his famous
‘Prince Is An Asshole’ interview for Rock and Soul Magazine in ’86, ‘Big Chick’, his former bodyguard, telling a tabloid rag that Prince was quintessentially a miserable lonely bastard, all in an effort to score some cash to maintain his cocaine fix.

Details being released about his confidentially agreements he made other band members and groups sign, including ex-girlfriends, revelations about a cruel and controlling persona. The success of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis throughout that decade becoming a constant reminder in the popular consciousness of what a seemingly derelict and hostile little tyrant he was. Their ensuing independent success was a direct result of having been 1 minute late to board the bus while on tour with Prince in the early 80’s, in which he grabbed the entryway handle, closing the door and leaving Jam and Lewis stranded and ‘fired.’

And whereas Michael Jackson got about a
five year pass on his animal and child fetishes and accompanying face mutilation, Prince barely got one…largely for being unable to undo the media scrutiny about the events of one single night. The paparazzi single-handedly nearly took Prince down. Though he continued to be successful, the remainder of the 80’s up to the mid- 90’s would see an inevitable decline in his overall appeal.

In 2009, Prince has come back again with a vengeance, scoring a #2 slot in the opening debut of his trifecta
“Lotus Flow3r” in mid-April. Tavis Smiley and Prince have been close friends for several years, so it made sense to have no one other than Tavis ask the more intricate questions about his persona. What sets this interview apart from many others that Prince has done in the past is that there is an absence of strange awkward silences in answering the more personal questions. Although a two-part interview, there are still limitations with doing television interviews, and one is the aspect of time. It is hard to get into deep and involved answers when you’re on the clock, and in a structured setting. Despite this obvious impedance, Prince delivered far more insight into his psyche than I have ever seen.

Evolution: Advanced
The Interview: Chemtrails , Eight Unidentified U.S. Presidents, All Along ‘The Watch Tower’

Tavis Smiley w/ Prince-Part II

Prince’s longstanding grudge against the media has subsided into a more functional and workable edge. In years past, while he was battling Warner Brothers and getting his image repeatedly raped by the mainstream media, Prince was quite subdued, almost pedestrian towards journalist and columnists and usually was in high disfavor to letting anyone cover his personal life on any level. His evolution from being a dysfunctional media recluse to a highly interesting, provocative and engaging talking head has been a long road, and in many ways this is the best Prince has ever been publicly.
This entire interview really did much to humanize Prince in many aspects, and the overall response by the media has been positive. Well..all except the examples of complete media misogyny as listed below. So much rancor has made its way to so many different publications and blogsites, many of whom have not done their homework. To the few that have, I do not address this to you specifically. To the many that haven’t, I would like to invite to read the contents below and review what you have written and see what punk-bitch, self-serving, solipsist asswipes you really are. And as Jim Rome would say on
The Jungle, You should learn to ‘Have a ‘Take’, and Don’t Suck.

“Most journalists are just lazy.”

Rolling Stone most recently proved his point here. One glaring attribute that has not changed over the evolution of digital media is the apathy of writers to not properly research the subject they cover enough to render anything resembling informative and entertaining simultaneously. Daniel Kreps, who wistfully masturbated this quick article about the interview itself in RS Rock & Roll Daily couldn’t even do Prince the service of referencing the conspiracy theories he relayed with any factual clarity. Instead, he blurbed several of them rather non-nonchalantly, seemingly playing along the old ‘Prince-is-still-fucking-weird-but-we-love-‘em’ theme stating:

“one of the strangest moments in the interview comes when Prince is talking about “Dreamer,” an ode to comedian Dick Gregory that features on LOtUSFLOW3R, and brings up “chemtrails,” the conspiracy theory that argues jets drop chemicals through their smoky exhaust.”

And on the Jezebel gossip blog. This half-cooked gem from some blogger only identifying herself as Tracie states:

As much as I love Prince, it seems like he's getting weirder, and not in the good exposed-butt-cheeks kind of way… his belief that our government should be based on prophecy and morals (as though it weren't already, but whatever) seems foolish for an artist to support, since morality is subjective.”

Context is no longer a trait in modern journalism-blogging. Instead, it is substituted for sarcastic wit purely for pontification, posturing and instant gratification, much like going for the one-night stand as opposed to pursuing a full-time commitment. It lacks attention, depth and neutrality. Although ‘Tracie’ enclosed a link to the Wikipedia article on Prince’s religion (more for composition rather than for insight), I’ll do one better, and link you to their belief systems instead, and briefly cover the main beliefs:

Jehovah’s Witness beliefs primarily hinge upon the aspect of Prophecy, and that no ‘man’ should ever be exalted to the level and control of ‘God’, as they believe many world governments are practicing this by design, and that they are the chosen ‘witnesses’ whom will be allowed to sit with God in heaven, after man has ultimately been eliminated upon Christ’s return to Earth. What Prince did say was
“Prophecy is what we all have to go by now.The ‘we’ was in direct reference to his being a Jehovah’s Witness, not what the present government should be based on. An assumed correlation in this statement changes the very intent and context. Prince says further:

“It's almost as though there's no need for god and no need for religion and justice in politics. So there's supposed to be a separation of church and state over here.

We can't have a separation of state and morality”

Yes, morality is subjective, but it is also a matter of personal interpretation and standard. I did not get the sense that Prince was ‘preaching’, but conveying thought on his belief. It was done with great clarity.

I state this as one who has an absolute disdain of
all religion as a whole, and that the secular and presumptions of righteous divinity as being selected and exalted by a higher God by virtue of association of worship with others absolutely disgusts me to my core. Who really knows who or what God is, and with whom he would play favorites, and why would such an entity place such favorites on certain groups doesn’t run concurrent with my own faith in God. That’s my angle, and yet I find many bloggers and writers so eager to pile on Prince whenever he even broaches the topic of his belief. One is entitled to one’s interpretation in faith, whether it may be deemed ridiculous to others or not.

For anyone remotely curious to explore further my own view on the world of religion and belief, check it
here. Otherwise, no more need be said.

“When I found out there were eight presidents before George Washington, I wanted to smack somebody”

I can NOT tell you how many blogs, articles and other quickly scrawled tripe I came across denouncing Prince as nothing more than just the product of his own self-absorption to the inth degree, an idiot savant who just needs to ‘shut-up’ and sing when he made this comment. Again, context, and research are not in play with these reactionary twits are looking put some wood to P-Rog for the sake of their own self indulgence. Truth is, Prince is actually correct on this assertion except for one thing..

There were actually 16, and each held the official title during their tenure as President of the United States in Congress Assembled". The ‘President’ (prior to the creation of the Executive Office in 1788, in which George Washington assumed that unrelated role as the official first U.S. President) was basically a presiding moderator for the Continental Congress while they were in session, and held no executive privilege or power by assuming this role.

Although Prince could’ve done better to thoroughly explain his inference, it’s a journalists’ job to research the comment before rendering an opinion, and determine the context. When that flew out of his mouth, I was admittingly skeptical, but rather than trash him for it, the first thing I did was research to see if he was alluding to something else entirely than what the statement suggested. 

He was.

And, technically, he’s right. He was also right for saying that this was never taught in schools. It wasn’t. What he was suggesting is the desire for full disclosure in his education of America’s history, not just selected components designed to potentially cause bias, sway judgment, or coerce. Teach the ‘real deal’, not selected areas, or propaganda.

“Dick Gregory really moved me… He said something that really hit home about this phenomena of chemtrails.. I used to see these trails in the sky all the time and I'd say, "Oh, that's cool - a jet just went over." And then you started to see a whole bunch of them and the next (thing) you know, everybody in your neighborhood was fighting”

Prince got cheese-balled for this reference, and I do like the fact he had the absolute brass balls to bring this up. As mentioned before, there is validity in raising the argument.

For the grossly under informed,
Dick Gregory was the first black male to run for President in 1968. A world renowned activist and conspiracy theorist, it was he who began to get the Federal Government’s attention to look into the assassination of both Martin Luther King, and JFK. He is also a well- respected comedian and one of the first real vegetarians to promote the dietary lifestyle as a means to combat obesity and extend life.

Mr. Gregory is a persistent agitator in regards to the existence of
chemtrails that said to contain aluminum, polymer fibers, thorium, or silicon carbide. These compounds are said to be used as experimentation for military purpose by the U.S. Air force over urban and rural populations for combat use and possible population control. This conspiracy would be easy to dismiss were it not for the U.S. Army’s well-documented use of weather manipulation during
Operation Popeye in 1966 over Laos, one that was termed an operational and strategic success, but was mysteriously discontinued in future endeavors.

The chemtrail phenomenon cannot be completely discounted, as much of the research into their existence has been performed by the U.S. military scientist with no alleged validation to the claims, which could suggest bias and tampering to keep the ‘truthers’ and the rest of the general public at bay.

Many independent scientists have been researching the physical attributes of the trails since 1996, and have consecutively noticed the ‘grid pattern’ phenomenon usually left by excessive military aircraft in a given region, claiming that an increase in electrical compounds rises significantly in rainfall after the trails have expanded and dispersed. The debate is not fully settled nor ‘a done deal’, as many unanswered question linger that even military scientists can’t fully explain or write-off . The fact the actual footage of Mr. Gregory discussing these points as referenced by Prince in the ‘State Of the Black Union’ can’t feasibly be located anywhere on Google further adds to the controversy.

The jury is still out…and this topic is not as entirely inane as journalists may contend.

Topics He Will Not Cover In Detail

As part of this evolutionary process that he has now cultivated and executing, there are topics he will not discuss, and if he does cover, none in great or varying detail. This nuance is greatly enhanced by his new openness, which in my opinion, is not forced nor a marketing tactic. This is him, albeit compressed as it maybe. I find it incredible for someone as private as he is, and so intensely ‘gun-shy’ when it comes to speaking in public forums to arrive at a place with his public personae to be so lucidly candid and transparent. The days of the strange eye-rolls, awkward silences and incoherent explanations to his ideas are long gone it seems. He actually appears intelligent, insightful, and in good possession of a sense of humor: even about himself.

Tavis Smiley deserves mad props for his delicate, but forward approach. Smiley exhibits quite strikingly why so many individuals of great prominence, prestige, and popularity line up to have a seat with him. His skill and adeptness is a sincere, fundamentally lost art.

Here are a couple of subjects, however you will most likely never here Prince speak of publicly:

Boy’ Gregory Nelson (b-d October 16th, 1996)
In the midst of being released from his contract with Warner Brothers, and toward the latter half of having his ‘Love #2’ symbol-name mercilessly butchered throughout the planet and diving sales of his music, the one area in his private life that was the most joyful was his domestic, complete with his marriage to Mayte Garcia. Prince went happily going public with the pending birth of their first child, almost seemingly indiscriminate, the track Sex in the Summer on his Emancipation release that year incorporated the unborn child’s heartbeat garnered from an ultrasound as the backing percussion.

When ‘Boy’ Gregory Nelson was born on October 16th 1996, it was discovered he had a debilitating genetic deformity known as
Pfeiffer Syndrome , type 2, and did not survive.

From my own memory, the media went ‘soft’ on him, meaning that they did not try to push the delicate subject and ask his input or details. Although
Harper’s Bazaar in May 1997 tried to make a game of it mid-interview with him in Manhattan; Prince simply declined, only stating that ‘Mayte’s having a hard time with it.’

This is the most intelligent move on Prince’s part, as it is no one’s business but his own. This was one of the few occasions where his reluctance paid off. Being a father to four children, I cannot fathom losing
any of them to anything whatsoever, or experiencing the complete realization that whatever fantastic vision you had for you and your child’s future now is irrevocably nullified. It is not a topic to be handled for attention-deficit feeding media consumption nor bandied about as if talking about a girlfriend you broke up with. It’s the loss of a child, and whatever ramifications that brings, should be handled in private.

Tyka Nelson

Sometimes siblings don’t stay connected through the road to adult independence, and in other instances they do, but do so under the radar, particularly if they’re in the public eye. The only reference that I have ever heard from Prince about Tyka Nelson was the Tavis interview itself, and only in this context:
“I would create my own universe. And my sister's like that, a lot of my friends are like that.”
This is not to suggest that they do not have a relationship, but what it does suggest is that the two are not necessarily ‘out in air’ as to the nature of open acknowledgement of one another publicly. One could assess many things from this. I have been actively following Tyka since she sent me a friend request to my Myspace a little over a year ago. I have spoken with her through my profile messaging, and the one curious thing I found about her, is the same that I have been on about with her brother in this lengthy article.

She’s opening up directly her to fanbase, presenting a less withdrawn, and more free-spirited communication and getting out there. Just like her older bro ‘skipper.’

Could it be that perhaps a musical collaboration might be in the running for these two? History suggests no, as does some recent activity. Before Prince’s release of
‘Lotus Flow3R” , Tyka put out her first independently released R&B gospel album called ‘A Brand New Me’ on CD Baby.com in late 2008, and is presently embarking on a full-blown U.S. tour ( currently slated for a local L.A. appearance at the Greek Theatre on June 6th). What also is further indication to her continued ‘separation’ from her older brother is these two interesting events:

In September last year, Tyke Nelson held a contest for fans to submit poetry to be used on the on a track for consideration of inclusion onto the album and her Myspace player. On October 9th
she held a pre-release party for her CD and awarded the lucky contestant an advanced copy of both the CD and a completed version of the song “Manna From Above”, autographed by Tyka herself.

In March of this year, Tyka self-published a compelling personal memoir chronicling her very difficult life called
‘Mama Never Taught Me How To Sing’, which retraces her abuses, addictions, and failures from early childhood through her present-day position in re-establishing her career, and through the eyes of her faith.

The only
similar activity in her current endeavors is that she is also going independent. No major label, no major distribution. and where she is in total control of all content. And unlike Prince, the real uphill battle she faces is the battle of obscurity, which is odd as she has been successful before with Royal Blue which did chart, even garnering a hit single “Marc Anthony’s Tune” in 1988. The other aspect in her unusual dilemma is…her brother’s PRINCE!!!

Not to suggest that Prince should be obligated to ‘help’ his sister and it is not to suggest that maybe he hasn’t
offered. In a 1988 interview Tyka did with People magazine she had indicated that she wanted to set her own path musically, apart from her brother hence why she elected originally to release her debut album through Chrysalis, and not Warner Brothers. Conversely, she did mention in that same interview that if it were not for the help of her brother, she would’ve never have gotten as far as she did.

One could assume from this ancient archive that she probably still wants to go full-on independent: Promoting, distributing and placing her brand as she sees fit, wanting no help from
Big P-Rog

Further evidence (at least to me) of this mindset is when Tyka had ask me about my label in June of last year, and I responded , letting her know what it was I was doing, and gave some advice about self-releasing her CD, performing at intimate venues in context with her genre, doing Radio/TV interviews.. general music-biz stuff. She responded:

What you do sounds great! I on the other hand really want to work with a major label and can't wait to walk into their offices again.
I'm gonna keep tryin it on my own until they take notice but THANK YOU …..for getting back to me and letting me know what your company is all about –“

Since then she’s done entirely the opposite of pursuing a major deal , realizing, like Prince has, it is more advantageous to be secular in your endeavors, as The Majors can do nothing in their impending demise. Taking my advice, maybe? Perhaps.

And while I am under the self-aggrandizement of believing I have had an impact on Tyka Nelson (delusionary as it might be), perhaps rather than wait for these two to speak of each other in public, maybe I can get ‘em on my show The De Frag and have them speak to each other in August, say, in a dual interview maybe?

Yes…I can dream

Evolution: None
Where I disagree with Prince

Prince made a very strong and durable argument about those who critique his personality punctuating it with “ It doesn’t help me”, he explained, going as far as stating that some of what has been circulated about his personality has been quite ‘hurtful’. My ‘beef’ with Prince is not one of personality, per se, but has to do with one area of his protocol

This protocol is his seeming over-obsessive/compulsion to wrangle every scrap of intellectual property (whether primary or secondary) of video and sound..even pictures of Tattoos that contain his
likeness, off the internet. In modern physics as it pertains to the distribution and exchange of on-line information, the capturing and detainment of said information will never succeed nor surpass the exponential space/time viral speed, velocity and density in which information goes forth in the vastness of the internet. In other words Prince does have the absolute right to wrest control over anything involving his intellectual property, however, it is absolutely impossible to reclaim all of it in that vast expanse. He cannot control the internet itself.

Prince needs to relax this a bit, and allow some of it to just ‘be’. It is not worth pissing off fans by taking down decades-old footage of performances, concerts, interviews, and images from fansites and other miscellaneous URLs just
merely because your image is associated, proxy or otherwise . By trying to assume so much control, one becomes consumed and takes for granted what allowing some of these things to merely pass can actually do in sustaining his popularity. Arguably, you could win the battle, but what price be glory, when you lose the war itself?

Some things are worthy of allowing to let stand, because they come back in such
far greater value. But only
if you set them free.

Hmmm..Haven’t seen ‘ol G-Rog getting after anyone spreading his Coachella performance around..

Roger Waters (who also performed at Coachella in 2008) has had a rather notorious history with branding/trademark claims. If one thinks back to 1985,and his acrimonious split from Pink Floyd, it was clear that eventually he had to let it go, as it was not possible to wrest the name of the band away from David, Richard, and Nick.

This sort of pedantic maneuvering didn’t bode well for Roger, and is currently undermining Prince’s new-found glory among fans of his, particularly, with potentially new fans whom are not entirely familiar with his new material.

hom Yorke from Radiohead was rightfully livid when Prince commandeered control of the Coachella footage which featured Prince performing ‘Creep’. The footage is still not available due to a claim lodged through Prince’s own label, NPG music. I happen to side with Thom with this one, when he stated ‘It’s our… song’, and not just in a linear cohesion to spite Prince.

agree also that it should be allowed full access, because Prince stood to reach an entire group of fans who might actually take to him. Prince could have also stood to get pointers on how to virally draw interest in his music the way Radiohead did with ‘In Rainbows’ in October 2007, by letting fans decide what price to pay for the whole download. The album debuted in the U.S. at #1 when released the following January.

e and the band could have swapped marketing ideas, and both could have seen immediate benefits in such a relationship, but Prince has got to back down and let that performance be seen virally, among many others. It is to his detriment in expansion in fan outreach and to his public persona to continue on the path that he’s on, as this could seriously undermine what he has worked hard to cultivate.

Prince has stated he is open to criticism so long as it is done with ‘love’, but this is not about 'personality' anymore. It has become a matter of a s
eemingly displaced priority of protocol. Love or hate hasn’t any applicability except in this context:

Radiohead has made a storied career out of staying away from the mainstream, and much of their fanbase contain many of those whom are disillusioned with popular music as a whole. To this group, Prince has become an easy target of ridicule, for he is now a living symbol of the kind of callus egocentrics that the likes of Thom Yorke and company have railed against for many years. Prince is now the perceived corporate villain: seemingly calculating, cold, solipsist and absorbed in his self-promotion; disrespectful to art that is not his own.

This assumed self-aggrandizement is furthered by his own ‘love’ of
Joni Mitchell: as it is
hard to imagine that he would have handled the situation the same with Ms. Mitchell on the other end, running the risk of potentially alienating her as he has done with Radiohead. And to get ‘love’, one most show ‘love’. From where I sit at as an Artist, this isn’t it, unfortunately.
This undermines his redux of the last five years. Where it took a bad incident in January ’85 to turn him into a living pariah in the midst of what was supposed to be his moment in the sun, actions like this have the same potential, and is still being played out to this day. This is the one area I feel that Prince is still underdeveloped as to find a more beneficial and balanced approach.

The creation of that ‘universe’ Prince alludes to is the source of this ongoing conundrum, and whether he really is concerned about it in a genuine way is still the intangible yet to be seen publicly. He could very well not be motivated enough to concern himself in such dynamics as to change coarse in his protocol. He is riding a high wave at the moment, and ‘Lotusflow3r’ exemplifies his progression in content and marketing, worthy of adoration.

However, to this deficiency of Prince’s, which has not evolved competently, I can only finish this way: …. “Hello?”

Evolution: Complete

The New Power Marketing Plan, and other Miscellany..

I wanted to finish this incessantly lengthy expose on Prince by stating his new strategy in marketing his latest release was a stroke of absolute brilliance. I have below embedded my May 5th broadcast where I talk about at length, and invite to scan through it. This broadcast I am proud of in particular as I finally had the chance to break down this portion of the interview and give analysis on it before I went on summer hiatus (until August), and it involved one of my true influences musically. I especially would like to draw your attention to the 59:00 mark and listen carefully and listen for about 2 minutes:

I am emphatic about those who have control over their destiny and owning their content, hence why I am extremely picky about whom I feature. They must have sole ownership of their masters and not be tied to any type of 360 deal, or in any situation contractually where this has been compromised in any way. Analogue radio is dead, and I will continue to lead the charge against monolithic corporations and their need to fill our craniums with disposable music. It is spectacular that Prince also is an independent; just like Tyka Nelson, Melba Moore, Jesse Johnson and myself.

It is certainly a pleasure to be among such great company.

At this particular moment in time, and as positive acknowledgment, I would like to give him an ‘Evolutionary Grade’ (out of a possible 10) of 7.5. Some might find it presumptuous, but I grade him as a contemporary, and as someone who had become accustomed to seeing him in a negative light. Prince’s vast improvement is made even more substantial by virtue of his intense shyness. 

And although there is room for improvement to be certain, at the extreme least he is not a gun-toting geezer; leaving actresses bloodied bodies lying around, and not being perennially accused of accosting and molesting children somewhere on a Santa Ynez compound/ amusement park/mansion (Peter Pan, be damned)….

Prince is not some washed-up dancer looking to revitalize his career on some terrible reality show while high on painkillers and self-pity. He doesn’t seem to have a proclivity with getting drunk and tooling around Hollywood looking to start a fight with the first person he assumes is having an affair with his girlfriend/wife/ex etc while TMZ is lurking about the corner.

I have never witnessed him at any Hollywood night club coked-up, angry, and naked looking to have three-way sex with a trio of equally tanked ne’er-do-well hanger-ons on Friday night under a table at 2 a.m..

No sex tapes, no rich parents to fund any mindless celebutaunt activity just to be seen and talked about.

If anything, Prince would probably make a great neighbor: I wouldn’t have to worry about gun shots ringing out 4 a.m from his property, or catching him, mid-deposit, defecating on my lawn after a weekend-bending heroine binge, or have to be 'concerned' if he shows some familial affection towards my 7 and 9-year-old children. About the only thing I would have to concern myself is the potential for loud music traveling through the neighborhood nighttime air at potentially all hours.

And in this town, that’s considered exemplary.

Hell, if that were the case, I’d grab my guitar and hustle my ass over to his crib for a little late-night jam-session. Maybe even drag the wife and kids over to act as a personal fan club while P-Rog and I made up some ridiculous songs about water balloons, music posters and Doritos.

(“did this bastard say ‘water balloons, music posters and Doritos?!’ After this lengthy-ass, quasi-idol-worshipping novella tripe of a blog..with corn chips ?! That’s how he’s gonna end this?! Are we certain he’s not the 7-or-9 year old ?!” )

Naw..I will end it with this: So many of our childhood heroes find themselves to be rather disappointing as we make our journey into adulthood. It’s cool to see that I still have good reason to have respect for a guy whose very talent did inspire my own. After watching the likes of Geoege Carlin and Richard Wright pass away this past year, I thought I would pay homage, as well as opinion, to Prince while he is still very much alive.

Safe to say, this is in the context of doing it with love’ as Prince intimated with Tavis Smiley: Honest, transparent, and respectful. And I would do so in the same context to the man’s face; I don’t ‘change’ in the company of others. Life is better overall when you connect with others on a true level that is unencumbered, unabridged, and without filters..and done in unpretentious respect of that individual.

Mission accomplished.

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