Jackson’s This is it – No it Isn’t

With the release of the late Michael Jackson’s “This is It” movie I felt it was time to revisit a blog I wrote about a disturbing trend in American culture that continues with the release of the movie:

enabler– one that enables another to achieve an end ; especially : one who enables another to persist in self-destructive behavior (as substance abuse) by providing excuses or by making it possible to avoid the consequences of such behavior (Definition from Merriam-Webster)

The publicity stemming around Michael Jackson’s memorial service today at the Staples Center forced me to acknowledge MJ’s fans enabling ways in my column today. Michael Jackson always left me bemused by his incredible talent, his strange behavior and his fans blind acceptance of all things Michael. And make no mistake about it but the adoring fans did enable Michael Jackson’s bizarre behavior. Their blind acceptance of Michael Jackson enabled his bizarre behavior and hastened his very death. Had the fans reacted early on in his career in repulsion to MJ’s bizarre self-mutilation with numerous plastic surgeries, germaphobic behavior, skin bleaching, his predilection for young boys perhaps Michael Jackson would have tempered his behavior and would not have been so deviant later on in his life. But if you are an enabler and accepting of bad behavior it is not surprising that the aberrant behavior often spirals into new and ever more grotesque and destructive gyrations.

To assume that enabling is a one way street is also wrong. Fans and sycophants, such as the Reverend Al Sharpton, took advantage of Michael Jackson’s foibles while seemingly championing his cause. In general, the enabler or codependent wants to feel needed and enabling validates their own existence or in some instances serves their own selfish goals such as a hefty contribution to one’s church. Moreover, enablers don’t want to change the dependent behavior nor do they want to participate in the exercise of self-sacrifice.

Fan’s often argue that Michael Jackson’s excesses were the idiosyncratic behavior of an eccentric musical genius as though being a genius exonerates you from acknowledging the norms of a society. I’m sorry, Einstein and Mozart were geniuses, Michael Jackson was just a very talented entertainer, perhaps the best of his generation but he was still just an entertainer. Okay, Einstein married his cousin and he did have that wild hair style yet he didn’t go off the deep-end but, in fact, Einstein became a great humanist in his later years long after his intellectual skills had peaked. Michael Jackson could have done the same, after all he had the following but instead he just sung deeper and deeper into his drug induced haze enabled by an adoring fan base that could see no wrong in their self-proclaimed king of pop. For one to suggest otherwise one would have to incur shrill, vituperative rebuttals from those very same adoring fan base.

But Michael Jackson is just the tip of the American enabling iceberg. Americans are engaging in enabling like they never had before. Obesity runs rampant as children and later the morbidly obese adults are enabled by numerous family members. When somebody weighs close to half a ton you know somebody is diligently shopping, buying and shoveling a never ending supply of food into the obese shut-ins mouth. It’s so easy to say to someone here eat this and watch television, it’s not your fault your overweight and then pass off the enabling as love! You can weigh in pounds their enabling love!

Moreover, American enabling has a far darker side than just Michael Jackson and obesity, just witness the drug cartel wars that plaque Mexico. What the hell does that have to do with enabling you may ask? Any fool can argue that the failed political and judicial systems of Mexico are the root cause of the drug violence but our drug habits and the ensuing money enable this corruption. Without the billions of American drug dollars you can’t buy a Mexican judge nor can you corrupt a local politician or police chief. Yet we smoke our pot as though there is no consequence to our seemingly benign but cool drug usage and go into instant denial when somebody has the temerity to suggest otherwise. In any case, a successful war on drugs is an impossibility when so many of our fellow Americans are collaborating with the enemy, enabling the enemy so to speak. (By the way, the libertarian in me says legalize the dope to take away the corrupting influence of the drug money while the social conscious part of me recognizes the vast pitfalls of what legalizing drugs will do to an addictive personality.)

The enabling and denials don’t end there. Our love of cheap oil, of course, enables all sorts of horrendous behavior in the Middle East. Without our oil dollars to fuel a building boom in Saudi Arabia Osama Bin Laden would never have the money to fund the Taliban and 9/11. Instead of selling the rope to hang ourselves, as the communists had hoped, we instead send oil dollars to fuel the terrorist engines. Why? Because we don’t want to, or have the willpower, to kick the SUV habit no matter how many polar caps we may melt in the process. Enablers have a tough time in making the hard decisions for themselves and the others they enable.

Furthermore, American dollars funding abhorrent terrorist behavior is nothing new for this country. For years Irish-Americans supported the activities of the IRA while Cuban Americans continue to funnel much needed dollars to Cuban relatives and into Castro’s failed regime. By golly, enabling is an American tradition just like apple pie!

I don’t expect this to change any time soon nor do I expect our greatest enablers, our brave politicians, to lead the way out of the land of enabling. So Michael Jackson rest in peace, you’re sad destiny was determined by your own neuroses and your enablers alike! What a depressing day and such a waste of a great talent but not surprising when your paramount interest is just to be entertained!

Erik John Bertel

I know this is tacky but speaking of enabling try these sites for the free Flores Girl novel download:
Technorati Profile



Flores Girl Wattpad Press Release
Flores Girl:The Chil..


2 Responses to “Jackson’s This is it – No it Isn’t”

  1. 1 dave collins
    January 19, 2010 at 1:16 am

    Hey Erik

    I have not started reading your Flores Girl yet, because you said I should wait for the update because you wrote the whole thing in the present tense tense. Awhile back I remember seeing a post somewhere that there was an update. In the meantime I have been reading a book by Ian McDonald which I just noticed so far is entirely in the present tense…if you had not mentioned that earlier I likely would never have noticed!!!

    Anyway that’s what brings me to this page…looking for the update when I was casually scrolling down the page seeing what you had to say if anything… the michael jackson thing… I am not a fan… I have no more than 3 mp3’s by him for which I did not pay-I do not believe in paying for music. Yeah he was more than a bit strange, but to disabuse you of any pretense of knowing anything about minorities let me say this…

    I have some black friends who over the course of our friendship have complained about racism and such and my attitude has been – it is what it is. Minority types from blacks, to spanish, and asians report various levels of fear of living in america. Maybe this is why they stay in their own groups. I never believed that anyone was ever actually afraid. I have been happily married to a black woman since 1986 and I did not believe that anyone was afraid, until I had an experience with a very black and low caste indian associate in India some years ago.

    We lived in India from 1997 until 2006 as evangelical missionary church planters. I learned the language and the culture and I am still learning actually! The caste issue is alive an well in India! I worked primarily with caste Hindu’s but know quite a few outcaste people as most christians in India are outcaste’s/untouchable’s and incidentally primarly roman catholic.

    I had a conversation with this fellow and he was explaining how evangelizing was dangerous for him because he was from an outcaste/untouchable group. These people are routinely beaten and killed for just existing forget about even evangelizing others! The same account is given by others from different outcaste groups. These are people I know personally and the conversations took placce in english as most of these folks have been educated from their youth in english, so their english is pretty good.

    The upshot of this is, without those conversations I would never have believed anyone could live in fear, especially in the USA. But I was wrong. I have since come to discover that most minorities live in fear.. of white folks. I do not understand it but I know it is true.
    Now in reference to mike jackson… just look at him as someone who was trying to fit in.

  2. January 21, 2010 at 4:08 am


    I am still toiling on converting the first novel to past tense. It has been a slow go because of work but I am making progress. Hopefully I will be done by this weekend, and I will definitely let you know. Funny that you mentioned an untouchable since that is the background of one of the main characters in my third novel. My interest in India goes back to when one of our old classmates was studying Sanskrit which at the time made absolutely no sense to me. Now it does and many of my co-workers are now Indian or of Indian descent, go figure. I will keep you posted.


    Erik John Bertel

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Get the Free Flores Girl e-Book at FloresGirl.com

Flores Girl: The Children God Forgot is an exciting speculative adventure story about the discovery of a new prehistoric people by two scientists, Sarah and Richard. Their discovery is threatened by both religious zealots and marauding industrialists. Download the e-Book in PDF, Mobi and Microsoft Reader formats. Honest it is free at floresgirl.com. Just click the chick!

For More Pro-Evolution Rants go to www.thefloresgirlblog.com


October 2009
« Sep   Dec »

Flores Girl Twitters

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

Technorati Profile

RSS Download the Free Flores Girl Podcast at Podiobooks

  • Exodus - The Final Chapter
    Sarah and Richard must fight their way off the island in this final installment of the podcast.
  • Your Hands are Stained with Blood.
    As death and chaos overtakes the island, Sarah and Richard try to escape Reggie.
  • An Unlikely Ally
    Reggie begins a reign of terror on the island that will leave nobody, including the Ebu, safe from his murderous schemes. Reggie's only challenge will be a visit from the biggest murderer in human history.
  • The Capture
    Sarah and Richard must make their escape after witnessing Reggie's brutal capture of the Ebu.
  • The Guardian Meets the Lab Rat
    Bill is presuaded by Reggie to meet with Karl.
  • The Guardian
    Karl's fever starts to takes a toll on his sanity as his efforts to contact the Ebu becomes a religious quest for him
  • New Friends
    Sarah's relationships with both Richard and Flo take a surprising turn.
  • Christian Soldier
    Reggies discovers the island of the Ebu and begins his assault but not before Karl makes his move.
  • The Cost of Weakness
    A senseless act of violence challenges Sarah and her tenuous relationships with the inhabitants of the island.
  • Weakness
    Sarah is stricken by a life threatening illness that triggers a strange personal odyssey for her.
  • The Princess Meets Flo
    While observing the troop, Sarah forms a friendship with one of the Ebu that she names Flo.
  • By the Sea
    Sarah makes a risky first contact with the Ebu.
  • 14. The Wait - Flores Girl: The Children God Forgot
    -In this episode: Sarah and Richard wait for the Ebu at a small pond.
  • Discovery
    Sarah and Richard begin their exploration of the island in search of the Ebu.
  • Resolve
    After losing everything to the pirates, Sarah and Richard face their own personal failure and decide whether or not they should return to the states.
  • Pirates of the Flores Sea
    As they begin to set out for Sarah's island, Sarah's and Richard's boat is boarded by dangerous high-sea pirates.
  • All Work and No Play
    Before leaving for Sarah's mysterious island Sarah and Richard head out for a night on the town in Flores.
  • The Boss
    Sarah and Richard put their expedition together and travel to Flores Island in search of the Ebu Gogo.
  • Higher Calling
    Unbeknownst to Reggie and Bill, Karl, the head lab assistant at GenTech, is busily sabotaging the pharmaceutical giant's controversial stem cell research.
  • Corporate Citizen
    Ruthless elements within a large pharmaceutical company make their own plans for the Ebu.

%d bloggers like this: