Michael Jackson: Was the ‘King of Pop’ a Paedo?

Prior to watching the documentary, Twitter followers were asked what they think…

I’m sure you have seen the absolute s**t-storm that “Leaving Neverland” has created on the internet. If you don’t know what it is or haven’t seen it, it’s a very shocking and surprising documentary which describes (in a lot of detail) how MJ sexually abused two people when they were children. Wade Robson and Jimmy Safechuck tell us their encounters with Michael when they were younger. I recommend you watch it before you read or comment on this article.

Leaving Neverland has divided the internet into two. One side are absolutely horrified and can’t believe their childhood idol (across several generations) is a disgusting monster. The other side are not having it. They think Robson and Safechuck are lying. They think this documentary has 0 truth and that the whole thing is a scandal to make money because, as you may know, a dead man can’t defend himself.

No one WANTS to believe this. We all loved Michael. But I can see why there is such a divide in opinions. If the accounts told are false, then it’s just another fine example of how the industry cares about literally NOTHING other than cash.

Personally, I have never said MJ is guilty. I have also never said he is innocent. But, unlike many viewers, this documentary changed nothing for me. I still don’t know. Both sides of the argument do have valid points. I want to cover both sides of the argument here.

THIS IS IMPORTANT. MJ wasn’t just anybody, he was one of the greatest to ever grace the Earth. His music would still be played in 100 years, that’s how impactful he was. But now, I’m not so sure…

Take His Crown!

One person on Twitter definitely agreed

For many, Michael’s reputation is gone. Finished. He’s guilty, clear as day. I can see why. The stories in this documentary were very detailed. VERY. And I think it’s fair to say if literally any middle-aged man on the planet did the same thing Michael did, the whole world would be screaming for his head.

Michael has always seemed to be a bit off-key. I mean the fact he wanted to have slumber parties with young boys is weird. The fact he paid millions of dollars to avoid a lawsuit seems strange too. The telephone calls which were mentioned in the documentary could also be perceived in that manner. There are not many other points which I can say regarding why and how he might be guilty because that is literally it. He wanted young boys to live in his house. Need I say more?

The level of detail which Robson and Safechuck went in to was disturbing to say the least. But, considering the relationship they had with MJ, it does have a lot of plausibility. But like I said, a dead man can’t defend himself…

You Liars!

Another person on Twitter thought it was “stupid”

The other side of the internet think it’s all a scandal to get money. In fact, when the question was raised, one Twitter follower had a lot to say about it. You can see the thread here. They suggested that “Robson started off this whole accusation with a book deal” and that the “UK broadcast was 45 minutes shorter” than the USA. There was a lot more said but these points stood out for me. Was this just a ploy to gain some sort of profit? Whether it be financial or reputational? Was this documentary, knowing it was going to get attention because of the context, created for the purpose of gossip? Gossip which would lead to more interest? Interest which would lead to views and greater financial gain? Everyone involved in the documentary knows how eventful it would be because of how one-sided it is and how defenceless the accused is.

Personally, there was a lot of it which I didn’t buy. The accusation is definitely plausible. But, Robson and Safechuck, as well as their mothers if I am going to be honest, seemed off. The way the story was told sounded like it was being made up on the spot. Elements sounded true but a lot of it sounded like they were just making it up as they went along. It felt like they were thinking ‘hmm maybe I can add one or two more things here to make this sound even worse.” There was even one point when one of them said ‘MJ abused me while my parents were in the next room.’ The whole documentary they made it seem like MJ played EVERYTHING safe, so they never got caught, but that did not fit in at all. The tone of the mothers was strange as it always felt like their attitude towards the whole thing kept changing. Either they are just some weird people, or they are very bad at storytelling. I’ve heard all sorts of rumours saying that ‘Robson and Safechuck are struggling financially so they need the money’ and a billion-dollar lawsuit being raised. There are a lot of strong points defending MJ after this documentary and they seem to be somewhat more factual in comparison to the accusation approach from the opposing side.

Why did this have to happen?

The legacy of one of the greatest musicians in history; one of the most influential people ever; the master of the moonwalk; the one and only King of Pop; has been severely damaged, if not, destroyed. The worst part of this is that we still don’t know if he deserves that or whether his name is being vandalised for commercial benefit.

Is this all just a big money thing? Seriously? That’s horrible if it is the case. I’m unsure of whether this is true, but I have been told the Michael Jackson Estate are making a ‘counter’ documentary in response to this one. Are they doing that for the right reasons? Or because it’s going to bring down their gain in royalties when angry consumers boycott his music…

I’m still down the middle. I think a lot of us are. But one thing is for sure and that is that I strongly believe this documentary was not made to “expose the truth”. This documentary was made for commercial purposes. Regardless of whether the stories from Robson and Safechuck are true or not, it was Dan Reed who made this. It was his idea. He made it happen. In my opinion, he doesn’t care about the truth. He see’s dollar signs… and that’s a damn shame.

What do YOU think?

I wrote this article as my interpretation of the documentary only. There are a few points from my Twitter followers in here too but I have not done any extensive research to determine more about whether he’s guilty or not. To be honest, the purpose of this article was to just put the product in the spotlight. It doesn’t prove anything, so was there any need for it? At most, this documentary has caused a massive debate worldwide.

But I’d like to hear your take on this. Do you agree with what has been said? What did you think of the documentary? Tweet us using the hashtag #YouHerdItHere or comment below!

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London is a gimmick….

You have to pay premium for London. It’s expensive. We know that. But why? That’s the ultimate question really. It goes beyond the fact that it’s the capital city; it’s all about the image. Many agree with the idea that ‘London is more a brand than it is a city’ as you can see on our Twitter poll here.

The Rest of the Country Exists

Most of the stereotypes which tourists outside the country have of the UK are predominantly London-based. Some of them are way off. I remember on a trip to the Grand Canyon when I was younger, we were on a bus with some other world-wonder seeking humans. We (by we I mean my parents because I was only 11 years old and awkward) were talking to a married couple, who happened to be American, and the topic of travelling (on our travel) came up. We asked them if they had ever been to the UK and they said not as of then. For some reason, it was on their wish list. I say ‘for some reason’ probably because I know what to expect from this place and they didn’t. Long story short, they thought Shakespeare was from London. In fact, they couldn’t even name a single city outside of London.

That’s quite shocking. But it makes London a very (if not, the only) popular destination in England. It means the stereotypes tourists had of London, even if they were somewhat accurate, are turned into money grabbing extortionate gimmicks.

Lost Culture?

Red buses, Big Ben, geezers, pubs, the underground, black cabs, phone boxes, the Royal Family, posh accents, etc. The list goes on. These are all gimmicks now.

I’m going to use the pub culture as an example because it’s something which is close to my heart and it makes me feel somewhat glad that I am not from London. It’s a big part of the London culture. You finish your 9 to 5 on a Friday and head straight to the pub. But come on, £6 for a pint? There’s probably some economic reasoning behind that too but personally I think the culture is being rinsed. People will buy that because “it’s the culture”. It’s not, it’s exploitation.

Let’s be honest, the Royal Family are no different to the Kardashians (other than they’re probably a bit less dramatic). Why are we so infatuated with their lives? They do nothing for us. They’re a tourist attraction, just like the Kardashians are a brand. They are one of the main reason’s tourists want to come here and so, to be fair, why not con them into buying tacky and false patriotic souvenirs.

Big Ben…

…surprisingly has not been sponsored by Rolex yet. London has lost its personal value and gained a business value. According to MoneyInc, London is in the top 5 most expensive cities in Europe. Tourism is a huge factor of that. It’s why I call it a ‘designer city’ because you’re paying premium for nothing special. You just think you are because “it’s London”. London city has become one big gimmick.

What do you think?

Some of you will agree, some won’t. I’m very interested to hear what you think. Share us and hashtag “#YouHerdItHere” with your opinion.

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“My Funny Valentine; Sweet Spending Valentine”

Valentine’s Day makes less sense than Christmas, especially if you’re already in a relationship. I mean, I guess if you’re single it’s a good chance to use them cringey Valentine pick-up lines you came up with, but that’s not the point here. The only real winner on Valentine’s Day are the brands. Valentine’s Day is not important, but most customers will be more than happy to pay £30 for a bunch of flowers which cost £12 on any other day of the year. I was conversing with my mum about this and she agreed. “You should be showing love everyday,” she said. But she still celebrates this day because she’s a passive consumer. I’m not. That’s why I’m writing this blog article. Active and passive consumers play different parts on this day.

Why?

What not to buy for Valentine's. Chocolate, roses... in fact, no presents at all. Photo taken from Highsnobiety
(Highsnobiety, 2017)

Most of you already know that it’s daylight robbery. But why do you still do it? Why do you pay double for a meal on Valentine’s Day instead of just going the day before or the day after? Are you just a fool for commercialism? Your everyday media (e.g. TV, Internet, Radio etc) make it seem absurd if you don’t take part in these “celebratory” holidays. Some may disagree with this because they think that it’s perfectly normal to not take part in these traditions, but I just want to make it clear I’m talking about the media here. But from the perspective of an active consumer, if the media didn’t think it’s illogical to take part, why do they always push it on to you? Why do they flood your timelines and your feeds with all things Valentine’s Day? They want expect you to be involved. They want your money.

You want your date/crush/partner to think you’re the “Bee’s Knees”? You empty your wallet on us and we’ll give you the “perfect gift for your Valentine”. This is what the big brands subtly communicate and what you so obliviously accept. It is that exact statement with a sprinkle of persuasion. That is essentially what Valentine’s Day is.

How the Brand Wins

I saw an advert on my timeline from Forbes, which stated “time to show your special someone how much you care.” I mean… you should be doing that anyway right? The only reason Valentine’s Day actually has value is because brands put it in their calendar, not because you put it in yours. An ideology is shaped to have you believe this day is important. Simple lines like “perfect gifts for your partner”, “celebrate your love”, “show how much you care”, and so on, have many consumers believing this day has significance. As soon as companies roll out these Valentine’s marketing campaigns, alarm bells start ringing in consumers brains. “Oh shoot it’s Valentine’s Day soon”. Boom. Presents bought. Tables booked. Cash splashed. “Ching Ching,” says the big man upstairs.

This day may hold significance for some people, but for most it’s unnecessary. I can remember when Burger King came up with the idea of the McWhopper as a sign of peace with McDonalds for World Peace Day. How often do you celebrate World Peace Day? For most, probably never. I mean you’re all aware but you don’t do anything for it. But that one campaign brought a ton of awareness towards it. The power of advertising at its finest. The reason Valentine’s is such a big deal is because it’s done on a much larger scale and for a much longer period of time. It’s been embedded into consumers minds that this is a day to mark down on your calendar’s.

Passive Consumer’s

A passive consumer won’t look past the words in front of them, or the images on their screen. They take it as it is. They don’t think deeper. They just agree with the brands telling them Valentine’s Day is important. In fact, they just agree with anything brands tell them, especially their favourite brands. They think of them as their friends. They influence who they are and the lifestyle they live, I guess just like friends do.

I know it sounds like it, but I’m not calling them idiots. I’m just saying it’s a lot easier to sell to a passive consumer than it is an active one. A passive consumer is already interested in buying. When advertising, brands don’t have to communicate how important Valentine’s Day is, they just act like it already is. To be quite frank, it’s very smart.

Active Consumer’s

They are aware of what the brands are trying to do. I’m not saying active consumers don’t do Valentine’s Day, because they do; but they have greater awareness of the choice they are making.

It’s 2019, most consumers fall into this category. Adverts are becoming a thing of the past and so convincing the Valentine’s Day meaning to active consumers is a challenge. Brands are having to go beyond the conventional advert. They’re doing it well, however, as I’m sure the jewellery stores and florists will tell you.

Might be worth your love, but…

Is it worth your dough? If you’re going to buy your partner chocolates, or flowers, or whatever cliché gift you’re thinking of; be smart and do it on any other day but the 14th of Feb. If you want your Valentine to be your wallets favourite brand, by all means give them what they want.

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What the Flock is this?

Brands… They basically run the world. They define people. They define lifestyles. They’re not just companies. They’re not just things you buy from shops. They influence your behaviour and consumer habits. They’re what you read, wear, watch, eat, drink, play, etc… I mean, the list could go on.

Anyway, here’s my brand! 🙂

That’s right folks, you HERD IT HERE. There’s a new Shepherd in town. Don’t worry, I’m not going to sell you anything (I’m not popular enough yet). I’m just here to talk about your everyday life; like your favourite TV shows, popular music, the best creps (if you’re over the age of 25, this means sneakers), the phones, the days, the whatever is in the news right now; but I’m not here to just talk about it. I want to explain and discuss why you have made the choices you have made.

We Can Be Herd Elsewhere!

I mean, it’s a bit obvious there’s gonna be a social media presence. Being online and all, it would be silly not to. In fact, it would be straight-up idiotic. It’s more of a platform to discuss things further, or discuss current stuff, or you know, just chat!

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The aim is to release blogs bi-weekly. Watch this space. This should make for some interesting conversations. You Herd It Here first!