7 Post-Election Strategies from the King of Pop

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“We’ve been catapulted into the Big Wake-Up Call with this election,” says my friend Gail. Wondering where to go from here, I look to Michael Jackson for courage and strategy. Here’s what I see: Refuse to be a victim. Stand your ground and use your power in unexpected ways. (Ghosts) Cultivate L.O.V.E., and use it as a Warrior.  Michael said, “Make love your weapon to overcome any evil.”  Ghosts is a wonderful example of that. In his concerts, he used … Read More

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Why Thriller Still Grabs Us

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  Around the world, Thriller refuses to die. Even in tiny Ashland, after only a week of advertising, 30 people tromped through a rainy day to come to my Thriller flash mob dance class. Why does it hold such amazing power over us? And why is our culture so obsessed with zombies? The truth is this: we are the living dead. We’ve been forced to bury and forget the most brilliant parts of ourselves in order to survive. Artists are … Read More

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Bernie, Trump, and Michael Jackson

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Fasten your seatbelt: this might be a tad provocative. But give me a chance to explain why these names are connected and critical in this moment. Bernie and Trump are both tapping into something powerful and important. There are a lot of angry white men in this country who believe they’ve been screwed, and they’re right. Though they have some privilege, being white and male doesn’t protect them from a system which systematically crashes and burns. Turns out they are … Read More

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The King of Fools

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Only the bravest of souls sign up to be sacred clowns. Birth is the easy part, as memories are generally wiped clean. But as the years pass and young holy fools figure out they’re that, many run as fast as they can in the opposite direction. Their job descriptions are impossible, you see. Sure, deflating egos, mocking sexual mores, ridiculing religious practices, subverting stuffy traditions, tipping the world on its head and letting people in on the great cosmic joke … Read More

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ADDICTING US TO CHANGE: Michael Jackson’s True Genius

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Allow me to tip addiction on its head for a moment. Human beings were addicted to Michael Jackson’s music. Millions around the world could not help themselves—they had to dance to his songs and they devoured his albums. Late to the party, I was suddenly riveted to his voice and videos, day and night, just last year. Call it an obsession or an addiction, I was hooked. Helpless. For months. But this cyber-needle in my vein fed me. Inspired me. … Read More

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HE ROCKED OUR WORLD WITH INSPIRATION: Michael Jackson’s Power

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Have you ever been forced to do something, and dug in your heels? When I was a kid, I “forgot” my first piano lesson, then “I couldn’t find the teacher’s house” for my second lesson. Finally my parents dragged me to the lessons, but when they made me practice, I could make them regret it : ) with my uninspired banging on the keys. As much as I hated it, that pattern of forcing change stuck with me. Two days … Read More

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KING OF MIRACLES: Michael Jackson’s Power

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Artist credit: drawingyourattention This is repost from one year ago. It still gives me hope today, so I am sharing it again : ) There is a crazy woman moving to California today in a car with an engine light on. She doesn’t have enough money to pay this month’s bills, so she will need a job as soon as she lands in this town where she knows no one. In the midst of a severe drought, with wildfires raging … Read More

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FOOLED BY THE GLITTER: What I Learned about Social Change from Michael Jackson

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“Dear God, how do we change the world when we are so messed up?” I didn’t really expect an answer, because it all seemed so hopeless. I was sick as a dog from food poisoning, unable to distract myself with even a book or a video. All I could think about was how the world was falling apart: from Ferguson to fracking, regular people and the planet were losing ground at alarming speed. Like most people, I was walking-wounded even … Read More

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