Showing posts with label Celebrity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Celebrity. Show all posts

Sunday, January 29, 2012

John F Kennedy History and Secret Death

John F Kennedy is the wealthiest president in American history. His private income, before taxes, is estimated at about five hundred thousand a year. On his forty-fifth birthday, his personal fortune goes up an estimated $2.5 million, in 1962, when he receives another fourth of his share in three trust funds established by his father for his children. As President, JFK usually rises at 8:00 AM, and each day he enjoys a hot bath, a midday swim in the White House pool that sometimes lasts an hour (Joseph znnedy commissions artist Banard Lamotte to paint a ninety-seven-foot mural around the pool), directs exercises in the gymnasium, and a nap or private time with Jackie that lasts at least an hour. Evenings are usually private and very often feature small dinners with friends that might be followed by a film. AQOC.

In Washington, Admiral Arthur Radford, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs, arrives early for an F Street Club luncheon being given for Eisenhower after the inauguration. Watching JFK deliver his speech on television, Radford notices that, although JFK is standing without coat or hat in frigid weather, heavy beads of perspiration are rolling down his forehead. “He’s all hopped up!” calls out General Howard Snyder, the retiring White House physician. Privy to FBI and Secret Service information, Snyder tells Radford that JFK is “prescribed a shot of cortisone every morning to keep him in good operating condition.

Obviously this morning he was given two because of the unusual rigors he must endure, and the brow sweating is the result of the extra dose.” Snyder adds that people dependent on cortisone move from a high to a low when the medicine’s effect wears off:
“I hate to think of what might happen to the country if Kennedy is required at three A.M. to make a decision affecting the national security.”

After the ceremonies the new president and his wife, the Lyndon Johnsons, and members of the cabinet go into the Capitol for a luncheon given by the joint congressional inaugural committee. Joseph and Rose Kennedy head for the Mayflower Hotel and a lavish luncheon for the Kennedys, Fitzgeralds, Bouviers, Lees, and Auchinclosses.

Vice President Richard Nixon, forced to surrender his official car and driver at midnight, goes for one last ride through the nation’s capital. He takes a walk through the empty Capitol building. He is struck by the thought that “this was not the end, that someday I would be back here. I walked as fast as I could back to the car.”

During the inauguration, Cecil Stoughton, using his own initiative, works his way up to a good spot on the inaugural stand and manages to make a photo of John F Kennedy. General Clifton is impressed with Stoughton’s photos and shows them to JFK, who is also impressed. Clifton suggests to JFK that it might be a good idea to have this photographer available to the White House. Prior to this time, there has never been an “in-house” photographer specifically assigned to the President (POTP).

The night of JFK’s inauguration, John F Kennedy  attends a ball at the Statler-Hilton. JFK slips out of the presidential box and goes upstairs to a private party given by Frank Sinatra. Angie Dickinson is there, along with actresses Janet Leigh and Kim Novak. (AQOC) Peter Lawford arranges a lineup of six Hollywood starlets to entertain the new President. JFK chooses two.

“This menage a trois brought his first day in office to a resounding close,” Lawford says later. When John F Kennedy  returns to the ball he has a copy of the Washington Post under his arm, as if he has just stepped outside to buy a newspaper. Kenny O’Donnell later recalls, “His knowing wife gave him a rather chilly look.”

John F Kennedy finally attends the largest ball of the evening at the Armory. The president and first lady give the impression of being close and happy.

In January 21, 1961 Khrushchev, as a good-will gesture to the newly inaugurated JFK, releases Bruce Olmstead and John McKone (two pilots shot down by the Russians) from their cells in the Lubyanka prison, where they have been held by the KGB for seven months. Besides Francis Gary Powers, these two men will be the only American fliers to get out of Moscow’s infamous Lubyanka prison alive.

January 22, 1961 Beginning today, calls begin between Judith Campbell and the White House. Seventy calls will be logged in during the next two months. Campbell is also seeing Chicago mafioso Sam Giancana on a regular basis.

January 25, 1961 The CIA’s William Harvey meets with Dr. Sidney Gottlieb.
Harvey says “I’ve been asked to form this group to assassinate people and I need to know what you can do for me.” The two men specifically discuss Castro, Lumumba and Trujillo as potential targets. Harvey’s notes of the meeting show that he and Gottlieb talk of assassination as a “last resort” and as “a confession of weakness.”

January 26, 1961 Deputy Chief of the Secret Service, Russell Daniel, retires from the number-two position after a thirty-two-year career. “Maybe it’s time for me to retire. Maybe I’m getting old and soft.”

January 28, 1961 Oswald’s mother arrives in Washington, via train from Dallas, and calls the White House in an effort to get information about her son, Lee. She is granted an immediate interview with Eugene Boster, White House Soviet Affairs officer. Although she has not heard from her son in more than a year, Mrs. Oswald quotes Boster as saying, “Oh yes, Mrs. Oswald, I’m familiar with the case.” She is promised action.

First John F Kennedy White House meeting on Vietnam: CIP approved, links U.S. aid to SVN reforms; JFK decides to replace Ambassador Burbrow with Lansdale. JFK orders the Joint Chiefs of Staff to review the military aspects of an American-supported invasion. He also authorizes continued U-2 flights over Cuba and the continuation of the CIA operations already underway. Also in a meeting today -- six days after moving into the White House JFK and his National Security Adviser McGeorge Bundy receive the first general instruction on Project Pluto from the Chiefs of Staff of the Armed Forces and the CIA. But the Kennedy team will only become fully aware of Operation Pluto at the end of February.

An Italian magazine publishes comments by Alicia Purdom, wife of British actor Edmund Purdom. She claims that in 1951, before either of them was married, she and JFK had had an affair. Had Joseph Kennedy not stepped in to end it, they would have been married. This story is not picked up in the American press. J. Edgar Hoover promplty informs Robert Kennedy. Allegations reach Hoover that the affair involved a pregnancy and that the Kennedy family had paid a vast sum of money to hush the matter up. As an FBI agent at headquarters, Gordon Liddy sees files on JFK. From mid-1961, while on a headquarters assignment that includes research on politicians, Liddy peruses numerous 5” x 7” cards packed with file references to JFK’s past and present. “There was a lot,” he recalls. “It grew while I was there, and kept growing.”

Lyndon Johnson writes a letter to the Secretary of Agriculture supporting Billy Sol Estes’ practices with respect to his cotton land allotments. Estes in in the middle of a federal fraud scandal - by building grain warehouses and buying up federal cotton allotments to grow cotton on submerged lands. Johnson’s letter eventually becomes the impetus for an Agriculture Department investigation involving both estes and Johnson.

Bill Clinton White House Conspiration

In the waning years of his administration, Bill Clinton seized on the idea of the third way to frame his achievements in office, anxious to be remembered for something other than scandal. The notion of a third way a policy and politics threaded between the market and old style social democracy is inherently ambiguous. But in the United States, which never embraced many of the main tenets of postwar social democracy, charting a third way is especially murky. Some versions of the third way envision a more ambitious role for government than that of the American federal government even in the heyday of postwar liberalism; others propose that government do considerably less.

Part of Clinton’s political genius–his election in an era when Democrats appeared doomed to lose presidential contests and his against-all-odds reelection and impeachment survivallay in his ability to be many things to many people. His initial electoral rhetoric excited the hopes of both traditional Democrats and the selfproclaimed new Democrats. In the end, however, Clinton presided over the implementation of very constricted version of the third way whose short-term political and market successes mask the limits of its institutionalized policy achievements.

With the exception of the expanded earned income tax credit and the increased minimum wage, the administration did little to address the sharp inequality that has become the hallmark of the American road to prosperity. Despite much talk about job training, it failed to create elements of the “intelligent and active” welfare state described by Frank Vandenbroucke in this volume. Indeed, it is striking how much the administration ultimately drew on only two policy tools tax expenditures and minor regulation for all its initiatives after the health care debacle.

Likewise, Clinton’s longer term political accomplishments coalitional as well as ideological remained sharply circumscribed. Clinton’s greatest political contribution was to block the Republican right’s bid for power. But he did not press forward with a new inclusive social agenda. By moving to the right on welfare, crime, and urban issues, he helped inoculate Democrats from attack around these racially-driven wedge issues but this rightward movement came with significant costs to racial minorities and the poor. Nor was Clinton successful at revitalizing a new public philosophy. After twelve years of Republican attack on government; at best, the portrayal of government as menace has been replaced by the sense that government is largely irrelevant.

This article assesses the Clinton administration in light of third way approaches toward a new progressive politics. I begin by defending the claim that such progressive aspirations can be discerned amidst the inchoate but often deliberately hybrid approach to politics and policy embodied in the administration’s early initiatives. I then examine how basic features of American politics and institutional organization made progressive strategies so difficult to pursue and made a tepid centrism such an attractive alternative. I conclude by identifying the strategic approach that progressive politics now needs to pursue and I consider some steps that move in that direction.

Clinton's campaign rhetoric and early policy proposals can be read in two ways: one is a centrist approach designed primarily to inoculate Democrats against criticism on issues of values and "big government." But a more ambitious and transformative strategy can also be discerned, one that embraced activist government but sought to establish new premises for public action and to create new mechanisms to achieve its goals.

This transformative strategy had three components: 

1) To counter distrust of the federal government, policy would work through market mechanisms or the states and it would "reinvent" government;

2.) To counter raciallycharged "wedge" issues, such as crime and welfare, policy would set clear expectations for individual responsibility and impose sanctions on bad behavior. It would, however, provide resources to assist people if they lived up to their part of this bargain. The President encapsulated this bargain in the aphorism, "If you work, you shouldn't be poor."

3.) To counter arguments that social spending was too expensive, policy would highlight the long-term benefits of "investing" in people so that they could be productive workers and citizens.

This approach to policy can be distinguished from two Democratic alternatives. It most visibly departed from "old Democratic" policy orientations in its forthright embrace of responsibility and expectations for individual behavior as conditions for beneficiaries. But it also envisioned a different relationship between government and the market than traditional New Deal policies. “Old Democratic" policies had combined a social strategy of strengthening labor plus providing compensation (such as unemployment insurance) for market losers.

Growing difficulties with these policies, their inability to improve the lot of most workers, and their failure to reconnect workers to the labor market lay behind Clinton's alternative. Clinton adopted an aggressive market-oriented internationalism, evidenced in his support for the North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA). And instead of passive compensation, Clinton championed policies that would actively assist individuals in making the transitions that markets made necessary.

This approach also differed from the centrist "new Democratic" orientation of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC). Formed by a group of moderate southerners in the mid-1980s as an alternative to the "big government" of northern liberal Democrats, the DLC embraced themes of individual responsibility and advocated using market mechanisms rather than government wherever possible.iii But its agenda did not emphasize public investment or the need to increase benefits along with responsibility. The DLC was concerned with repositioning the Democrats on the existing political and policy spectrum, not with changing existing conceptions of "left and right."

The expansive version of Clinton’s strategy aimed to reinvigorate the Democratic coalition by shifting the axes of debate to overcome the recurring divisions over race and values that had blocked major Democratic social policy initiatives since the 1960s and to revamp government programs to address widespread public concern about new economic and social conditions. The broad social programs would promote a commonality of interests among the poor and the middle class while the emphasis on values would remove a crucial wedge issue dividing them. This underlying political aim is evident in the central priority given to health reform, which was designed as a popular security-oriented program that would benefit both the poor and the middle class and secure an ongoing role for government.

With the failure of health reform and the election of the Republican Congress in 1994, Clinton effectively dropped the transformative agenda, while retaining much of the rhetoric. Under the guidance of his new advisor Dick Morris, the administration instead pursued a centrist “triangulation strategy” to paint himself as a reasonable middle between the extremes of congressional Democrats and Republicans. Politically, this meant appealing to the middle class on terms that limited the government role. It essentially ignored the inclusive aspect of the earlier approach, eliminating the less well-off and bothersome questions about inequality from the political equation.

In policy, this switch was evident in such crudely transparent ploys as the “Middle Class Bill of Rights” announced soon after the 1994 election tax credits designed to assist the middle class in sending their children to college. Clinton’s second term was far more noted for what his Labor Secretary Robert Reich called “tiny symbolic gestures” (TSGs), such as backing school uniforms, than for new third way initiatives.

Katy Perry Debut Album and Sexy Photo

This is the first single release off 23-year-old rising star Katy Perry’s debut album, One of the Boys. Born Katheryn Hudson, she grew up in a Christian home where both of her parents were conservative pastors. She released a Christian album under her real name in 2001. Claiming she was not a good Christian girl during her adolescence, she is pursuing her music career with a new name, new sound, and a new message/worldview. The single was pre-released on April 29, 2008, and quickly rose on the charts. The full album debuted on June 17, 2008. Perry has been dubbed “the next big thing” by Blender magazine, and the “one to watch” by Teen People.

The Katy Perry video for this catchy and musically formulaic pop song opens with a quick image of Perry lying seductively in bed. Images continue to flash across the screen quickly for the video’s duration, showing Perry and numerous other scantily lingerie-clad girls caressing themselves and flirting seductively with the camera while in close proximity to each other.

While the song’s visual content serves almost as a soft-porn teaser that is sure to be a draw for Katy Perry sexually-curious young male viewers, the song’s title and lyrical content tell Perry’s story of kissing another girl. This is really a video for young girls.

In the song, Perry says she didn’t plan or intend the kiss. Rather, with a “drink in hand” she lost her discretion and satisfied her curiosity over another girl that had caught her attention. After the kiss, she says, “I kissed a girl and I liked it/The taste of her cherry chapstick/I kissed a girl just to try it.”

As she processes her response to the kiss, she describes how it felt both “so wrong” and “so right.” Still, this “don’t mean I’m in love tonight.” The random and boundary-less nature of sexual experimentation in today’s culture is captured in the fact that Perry says she doesn’t even know the girl’s name, and that the girl is her “experimental game.”

Katy Perry goes on to justify the kiss by describing “us girls” in purely physical terms as “so magical, soft skin, red lips, so kissable, hard to resist so touchable, too good to deny it, ain’t no big deal, it’s innocent.” As the video draws to a close Perry says, “I hope my boyfriend don’t mind it.” The camera draws back and Perry is seen sleeping in bed next to her boyfriend. As she opens her eyes she realizes she’s been dreaming, but the smile on her face as she rests her head back on her pillow indicates that she enjoyed the dream.

The Katy Perry video clearly depicts a current cultural reality related to our fallenness as human beings, particularly how the fall effects our God-given sexuality. The Scriptures tell us that God made all things and pronounced them all “good.” In Genesis 3:6 all things are polluted by sin. "I Kissed a Girl" offers lyrical and visual evidence of this brokenness and how it is being uniquely embraced, expressed, and celebrated in today’s youth culture through distortions of sexuality. Katy Perry God’s clear plan for celebrating and experiencing our sexuality in all its glorious fullness invites us into exercising that gift in the context of a committed, life-long, heterosexual marriage. Fornication, adultery, and homosexuality are wrong.

We all make decisions based on some authority. In this case, Perry opts out of making behavioral choices based on God’s plan as revealed in His Word, instead choosing a personal, feeling-based ethic. She does what she does based solely on feeling and attraction, thereby justifying any of the choices she makes. The Scriptures call us to make our choices and live our lives according to the revealed will of God and to His glory, not our own satisfaction.

Katy Perry - Teenage Dream

Katy Perry - Teen

age Dr


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Elvis Presley King of Rockn-Roll

Elvis Presley the first name alone invokes images and sounds which spark instant recognition. While he may not have invented rock-n-roll, few can deny that Elvis Presley helped transform a musical fad into a national and international phenomenon. In the process, he became one of the most successful entertainers of the twentieth century and one of its most controversial cultural figures.

Elvis Presley was born into anonymity in Tupelo, Mississippi, on January 8, 1935. After years of struggle against dwindling economic opportunities and eroding status, Presley's working class family migrated to Memphis. In the West Tennessee metropolis, young Presley aspired to overcome his feelings of invisibility. Inspired by movie stars and entertainers, he developed a penchant for flashy clothes, slicked-back hair, and long sideburns. In his quest for identity, he also turned to radio and absorbed an eclectic assortment of musical styles: rhythm and blues, country, pop, and both black and white gospel. Presley eventually synthesized these various styles into what became known as rockabilly.

In 1954 Elvis Presley made his first recordings for Sam Phillips's Sun Records Company. He also joined the Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport and toured extensively throughout the South and Southwest. By the end of 1955, when he signed with RCA, Presley had become one of the hottest commodities in country music. Yet his new manager, the flamboyant Colonel Tom Parker, sought a larger and more diversified audience for his client. In 1956 Parker booked Elvis Presley onto several network television programs, the most famous being his appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, which beamed the singer's charisma into the living rooms of millions of viewers. Presley's popularity skyrocketed.

Following unprecedented record sales, Hollywood beckoned, and the singer became a movie idol in Love Me Tender. As his fame rose, furor over a black-derived and overtly sexual performance style mounted across the nation. The criticisms only heightened Presleymania. By 1958 he was the undisputed "King of Rockn-Roll."

Between 1956 and 1965 Elvis Presley dominated popular music. Even a stint in the army failed to stifle his popularity. After 1960 he devoted his energy almost exclusively to motion pictures. While the results did not bring him critical acclaim, he became one of the highest paid actors of the decade. Yet by the mid-1960s Presley's creativity and influence appeared irreversibly diminished. A highly successful television special in 1968, in which he returned to his blues roots, revived his career, and Presley returned to touring for the first time since the 1950s.

To the astonishment of many, Presley recaptured the vitality that characterized his early career. After 1973, however, personal difficulties, including a failed marriage, health problems, and ballooning weight took a toll on the singer. On August 16, 1977, Presley died of heart failure and complications from drug use. A southern version of the Horatio Alger hero who challenged contemporary boundaries regarding music, sex, taste, race, and public behavior, Presley remains a significant key to understanding the region and era from which he emerged.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Madonna Music and Video Kabbalah Girl

I am not one who watches or enjoys rock videos. However, when several of my yeshiva high school students informed me about what they had seen on the Internet, I felt obligated to investigate. I do not believe that yeshiva students should be watching rock videos, even more so I do not believe that rock stars should be dabbling with things that they truly do not understand. I discovered that Madonna's famous dabbling with sacred Jewish mysticism has taken an interesting turn. In her latest music video for the theme song of a new James Bond movie, the "material girl" of old is transforming herself into a "Kabbalah girl."

Aside from the traditional Madonna blend of music and sensuality, in this video we see Madonna has a Holy Name of G-d tattooed onto her right shoulder. Tattooing, mind you,is a practice forbidden under Torah Law, all the more so abhorred by the Kabbalah. Granted the tattoo may not be real or only temporary but nonetheless, any expression of performing a forbidden act is itself forbidden and inexcusable. Unfortunately, Madonna's abuse of Kabbalah and traditional Torah Judaism does not stop here.

Later in the video we see Madonna winding leather straps around her left arm in the exact same format and style as holy tefillin are worn by religious Jewish men. Tefillin consist of a small leather box containing scared parchments. These are then strapped to one's left biceps, and the strap is wound down the left arm and around the hand. Granted Madonna did not go so far as to defame the tefillin boxes themselves. Yet, it is quite clear that the wrapping of the straps around her arm is done in orthodox Torah style. This act of hers is pure sacrilege. Granted one can state that Rashi, one of the greatest Jewish medieval scholars allowed his daughters to strap on tefillin. This, however, was never accepted in Torah Law as a legitimate practice. Torah Law has never accepted the claim made about Rashi's daughters over centuries of clear and concrete legal precedent.

For a woman to wear tefillin or even to make believe that she is doing so is even more of a serious sin when viewed in light of the Kabbalah. Rabbi Yitzhak Luria, the famous Ari'zal of 16th century Tzfat and clearly the greatest of all Kabbalists is quoted in numerous references as having taught that a woman's spiritual path precludes her from wearing tefillin. Madonna had better go back to her Kabbalah studies and see what the real Kabbalah teaches before she continues making provocative acts which violate the very essence of Kabbalah and Torah.

In her video's finale' Madonna's "Kabbalah" can be seen for its true nature with its disregard and blatant effrontery to traditional and true Kabbalah. In a scene where she is in an electric chair being put to death, Madonna (wrapped in tefillin straps) makes a miraculous escape. Her jailers come in to see the empty chair and all of a sudden, the Holy Name of G-d (the one tattooed on her arm) appears in the chair, where Madonnasat. I assume that the impression the video is trying to make is that the Holy Name saved her from her fate.

I recognized this holy Name. More so, I recognized the specific Hebrew script that was used. I know where Madonna received her "Kabbalah" information. The script used for the Hebrew in the video comes from the posters and charts published by a group known as the "Kabbalah Center" under the directorship of a man called the "Kabbalist Rav Berg." I have spoken with many leading and well-respected Rabbis and Kabbalists and none of those with whom I have spoken respect this "Rav" and have even less respect for (what in their opinion) is his gross misrepresentation of true Kabbalistic teachings. Many in the traditional Jewish community condemn this group and even label it a cult.

Now, here is where our major problem lies. I personally do not know Madonna and therefore, I do not wish to cast aspersions on her that she intentionally and willingly wishes to act with sacrilege against the holy Torah and the sacred Kabbalah. That would be anti-Semitic and I do not believe that Madonna is an anti-Semite. I cannot tell you why Madonna presented herself as having a tattoo of a holy Name on her shoulder, wrapped herself with mock tefillin straps, and made use a Holy Name in a most unholy fashion (in a rock music video).

Did her "Kabbalah" teachers know that she was going to do this? Did they give her their consent and blessings to do such? If not then they are the ones who should speak upand make a public statement disavowing their connection to these sacrilegious acts. Indeed, if they did not teach her that these things were acceptable, then they should be writing an article such as this to disavow her and to clear themselves of blame. I am waiting to see if such an article ever gets written.

Madonna History and Take a Bow Successful Singers

Madonna is one of the most successful singers ever. She exploded onto the music scene in 1983 and has rarely been out of the headlines since. She looks like she’ll continue to wow the world with her songs and performances. This is good news for her millions of fans.

Madonna is in fact her real name. She was born in the US state of Michigan in 1958 and moved to New York City as a teenager to seek her fame and fortune. She began her career in entertainment singing with various New York groups. This opened doors for her to follow her solo career.

She never looked back following the spectacular success of her debut album. Hundreds of songs have followed. Her hit singles include rock and dance classics and timeless love songs. She is also famous for her sexy dance routines in her music videos.

Madonna has had a sparkling and varied career. She has acted in hit Hollywood movies and won a Golden Globe award for her role in Evita. She has also appeared on stage in London’s West End and published a children’s book. Madonna has been married twice. First to actor Sean Penn. The couple had a child, Lourdes Maria Leon, in 1996. She married again in 2000, to British film director Guy Ritchie. In October 2006 she adopted a baby boy from Malawi. She now lives with her family in a British castle.

Michael Jackson The Legend and Memorial

Michael Joseph Jackson (born 1958) is truly a music legend. He became a superstar at the age of eleven as a member of his family band The Jackson 5. His solo career earned him the title "King of Pop". His studio albums have all become classics. Jackson is equally famous for his high energy and complicated dance techniques such as the Moonwalk. He died in 2009 at the age of 50.

Jackson dominated the music charts throughout the 1970s, 80s and 90s. His distinctive vocal style, rhythm and fashion were perfect for the new music video age. MTV enthusiastically played his videos to the world. His ‘Thriller’ video had all the excitement of a major movie release. Jackson became a true icon of pop culture and influenced dozens of today’s top stars.

Jackson’s personal life created significant controversy and earned him a nickname he hated, ‘Wacko Jacko’. He angered many by having plastic surgery and lightening his skin to look white. His reputation was badly damaged in several high-profile child sexual abuse cases in 2003 and 2005. The courts cleared him on both occasions.

His awards and records are proof of the phenomenal success he achieved. He won World Music Award's Best-Selling Pop Male Artist of the Millennium, and was the American Music Award's Artist of the Century. ‘Thriller’ remains the best selling album of all time. ‘Vanity Fair’ magazine named him the "Most popular artist in the history of show business".

I began working with Dick Zimmerman, who was a very popular celebrity photographer back then. He booked me on a shoot for an album cover with Michael Jackson. The album was Thriller. Michael and I got along really great! Michael requested me for his next photo session with ET … and his next assignment, Beat It… and everything after that … the rest is history. Michael was embarking on The Victory Tour with his brothers. Michael required my complete attention, so I brought in Carme to help me. I met Carme earlier while working at the Barbizon School where we both had been teaching. We had become good friends. This began Carme’s 10-year working relationship with Michael’s brothers.

The media started hounding me after the Thriller album was released. I remember being called by a tabloid reporter offering me $75,000 for any information about Michael or the video shoot we were working on for the song “Thriller.” I said no. They said, “how much then?” It just wasn’t something that tempted me. The offers got more outrageous from there. They fi nally all got to realize I was a dead end for information and it tapered off a bit. But during major controversies they still were very persistent. Anyone who is creative is naturally connected to the universe. Michael always attributed his talent to God. He said God was channeling through him, and it had nothing to do with him.

That’s right but what I fi nd more interesting is how children are drawn to him, like a magnet. I think they recognized a kindred spirit. They recognized his unconditional love and related to him because he was a child at heart. Children look at the world through fresh, unjaded eyes. Michael had the ability to see the wonderment of the world like they did.

Michael wasn’t a big eater. He thought it was a waste of time, like a child having to sit at the dinner table while hearing all the other kids outside calling him to come out to play. He chooses organic and healthy food but sure can enjoy a bucket of KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken). Akasha was his chef many years ago, and now has a restaurant in Culver City, California. She would fi nd the perfect compromise. She would make him organic cheese enchiladas that he covered with hot sauce. He would want to eat them every day. She also made a killer banana cream pie that was a favorite. I will never forget these wonderful cookies she made that he nicknamed “ookies.”

It is a little diffi cult to share too much about that because it is not something Michael would talk about. He would just do it. He just did. When we were touring the world, while everyone was going out to restaurants and clubs, Michael’s joy came from visiting orphanages and hospitals. I used to go with him. He would have his team contact them before his visit and fi nd out what they needed. He would fi ll up his vehicles with toys and treats and we would go. He arranged for playgrounds to be built, bought busses and provided vehicles, paid for expensive operations for children.