Monday, 29 June 2009

Michael Jackson: The Unanswered Questions

'Michael Jackson's father has claimed his son's death was linked to 'foul play'.

Joe Jackson said he had 'suspicions' about how the superstar could be alive one moment and dead the next.

He told California's ABC7 new channel: 'Michael was dead before he left the house. I'm suspecting foul play somewhere.

... Bizarrely, Mr Jackson then went on to use the interview to plug his record company.

The development comes after it was revealed that Michael Jackson’s aides took an astonishing 50 minutes to call an ambulance, it was revealed last night.

Their 911 emergency call was not made until frantic attempts to resuscitate him had failed.

The entire drama was witnessed by the singer’s 12-year-old eldest child Prince - who thought his father was clowning around before a doctor began pumping his chest to try to start his heart.

But 50-year-old Jackson never regained consciousness - and Prince watched 'in a trance' when he realised his father was lying dead in front of him.

The staggeringly long time it took to get emergency services involved, disclosed by relatives, could well have contributed to the singer’s death.

... In a further development, it was reported that although his body has been released to them, his brain has been retained for medical examination as part of the investigation.

... The first public detail about what happened at Jackson’s rented Los Angeles mansion emerged from Stacy Brown, a Jackson family biographer who has spoken extensively to relatives as the full extent of the tragedy unfolded.

He revealed that Prince thought his father was messing around when he collapsed on the living-room floor but stood in a trance as the King of Pop’s personal physician tried to revive him.

Brown told the New York Post: 'The horror of it all is that Prince thought his dad was just being his dad and clowning, but it was real, and he watched as they worked on him. Prince was stunned -in a trance- just watching.'


How many people were in the house on the day Jackson died?

We still do not know whether any personal friends were present, and what influence the controversial Nation of Islam had over arrangements on the night. Neither do we know the exact location of Jackson’s three children as the drama developed. Last night it was claimed that the elder boy witnessed his father’s collapse.

What was his involvement with the Nation of Islam?

His links to the black separatist American Muslim group centre around his children’s former nanny Grace Rwaramba. Described as the 'queen bee', she had ties to the black militant organisation and its controversial leader, Louis Farrakhan. The Nation supplied Jackson’s security staff – who have been linked to heavy-handed threats – and Farrakhan’s son-in-law, Leonard Muhammad, was appointed as Jackson’s business manager. The Nation of Islam was renting the house in California where he died to the pop star for £60,000 a month – although the market rate for similar properties is £15,000 a month. It also emerged that Jackson’s brother Jermaine, a Muslim, employed a woman from the Nation to look after the children in Michael’s final weeks.

Why was the body released for burial /cremation when more investigations could still be made?

The body was released to Jackson’s family on Friday night, which meant they could both arrange their own independent autopsy and prepare for his funeral. But it might have been wise for the Los Angeles County coroner to retain the remains for longer pending further tests, particularly with the chance that a criminal investigation might ensue.


'The doctor who was with Michael Jackson in his final hours had started work only 13 days ago after quitting his medical practice.

Dr Conrad Robert Murray, who is believed to have injected the singer with the painkiller Demerol and later tried to resuscitate him as he lay unconscious, had a history of financial problems.'


'Mystery surrounded the whereabouts of Michael Jackson's body today after last night's spectacular memorial show in Los Angeles's Staples Centre.

The family had then been expected to return to the Hollywood Hills to lay the star to rest at the Forest Lawn cemetery, where they had held a private funeral ceremony yesterday morning.

But there was no grand motorcade back into the hills to match the one which brought the coffin to the public show and a death certificate released by city authorities last night described the body's disposition at Forest Lawn as "temporary".

Some members of Jackson's family have reportedly been pressing for the star's remains to be taken to Neverland, the ranch in the Santa Barbara hills where Jackson lived until his acquittal on child abuse charges in 2005.

Under state laws, bodies cannot be buried outside a designated graveyard without special permission. If that was not forthcoming, Jackson's cremated remains could end up at the ranch if plans are adopted to transform it into a West Coast version of Graceland, the Memphis mansion where Elvis Presley died in 1977 and which lives on as a memorial.

... An LA coroner confirmed that Jackson's brain, or at least part of it, was still being held by investigators and would not be returned to the family for interment until neuropathology tests are completed – which cannot be done until the brain tissue has hardened sufficiently for it to be examined.'


Saturday, 27 June 2009

Return of the Elder Gods (Part IX)

Martinsell Hill, Wiltshire.
Reported June 25th

'Jackson to live on in Greenwich...'

'Michael Jackson will live on as a 'plastinated' creature preserved by German doctor Gunther von Hagens.

Von Hagens has caused controversy with everyone from the Pope to the chief rabbi in Israel with his practice of embalming corpses with preserving polyurethane.

Yesterday, he declared: 'An agreement is in place to plastinate the King of Pop.'

Von Hagens said that he spoke with representatives of the Jackson family 'many months ago' and it was agreed that his body will be plastinated and placed next to Bubbles, his late pet monkey who was plastinated a number of years ago and is exhibited at The Body Worlds & Mirror Of Time exhibition at the O2 Centre in London.

Von Hagens also confirmed it was one of Michael's final requests to be reunited with Bubbles.

'There is no better place than to do this at the venue where Jackson was due to perform his world record 50-date tour,' said a spokesman for Von Hagens.

He added: 'Von Hagens has hinted that a moonwalk pose would naturally be favoured. 'It is hoped the exhibit will be unveiled towards the end of July.''


Lisa Marie Presley: 'He knew'

Under the title He Knew, Michael Jackson's ex-wife, Lisa Marie Presley, has taken to her MySpace blog to record some very touching words. She writes:

'Years ago Michael and I were having a deep conversation about life in general.

I can't recall the exact subject matter but he may have been questioning me about the circumstances of my father's death.

At some point he paused, he stared at me very intensely and he stated with an almost calm certainty, "I am afraid that I am going to end up like him, the way he did."

I promptly tried to deter him from the idea, at which point he just shrugged his shoulders and nodded almost matter of fact as if to let me know, he knew what he knew and that was kind of that.

... The person I failed to help is being transferred right now to the LA County Coroners office for his autopsy.

... He was an incredibly dynamic force and power that was not to be underestimated.

... I became very ill and emotionally/spiritually exhausted in my quest to save him from certain self-destructive behavior and from the awful vampires and leeches he would always manage to magnetize around him.

The world is in shock but somehow he knew exactly how his fate would be played out some day more than anyone else knew, and he was right.'

Full story:

Friday, 26 June 2009

In Memoriam

A poster I saw on the way to the internet shop from which I am now communicating with you. 'When Nothing's Black and White. Listen in Colour.' So fitting, on this day of memorials for a man in whom those traditional boundaries had fully dissolved: Michael Jackson... Regicide, and the strange bond between citizen and celebrity, are matters which had been much on my mind of late. Was this event ('the Princess Diana of popular culture') the crystallization of those ruminations? Had I somehow sensed the rumbles before the earthquake?

Exactly when did our relationship with stardom eschew Christian morality for something more Thelemite? If celebrity is, as so many of its members insist, a form of revenge on obscurity, the last twenty years (and the career of Jackson, in particular) have witnessed the obscure exacting a vengeance all their own. Our relationship with our 'icons'- including our monarchs, and our Gods- is sado-masochistic; a thick streak of hatred concealed in the applause. Our relationships with our friends- and lovers- increasingly reflects this.

Are the warped values of internet-culture forcing new neuroses on a pallid and puffy-eyed public; or do the inverted worlds of Perez Hilton and Popbitch reflect a spiritual sickness which pre-dates their emergence? We are informed by the latter that 'The King of Pop referred to semen as Duck Butter. And the booze he gave to boys as 'Jesus Juice'.' Just another of the tiny, myriad acts of despoilation which will be performed in the weeks to come.

Yet for people of my generation, Jackson's regicide was accomplished once and forever years ago: at the Brit Awards in 1996, to be precise. Bursting on to the stage during the superstar's brief set, Jarvis Cocker's upended arse dispelled in a moment the illusion of Jackson's immortality. His protest may have been just, perhaps even essential: yet looking back on it, I can't help but lament the passing of something. Something as alien to the bedsit glamour of Jarvis Cocker (and the best of British music) as a phoenix to the skies over Stevenage.

Cocker's trade is reality, bleak and monolithic; Jackson dealt in magic. Magic is always manipulative; it bends reality, demands a suspension of disbelief. An act of alchemy is needed on the sorceror's part, whose first (and only) miracle lies solely in his ability to conceive his own zenith. But magic can also enchant reality, enrich and transform it... Convincing us, however temporarily, that things could be different.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

My prayers...

... go out for the soul of Mr Jackson. From one fellow 'visitor' to another: I wish thee well.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

'Lars von Triers' Antichrist released uncut...'

A film described as 'an abomination' which features scenes of torture and pornography is to be shown in its entirety when it is released in cinemas next month.

Antichrist, which includes graphic unsimulated sex and a scene of genital self-mutilation, has been authorised for release with no cuts by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC).

The decision to allow the film a release with even the most explicit scenes included has proven controversial.

Directed by Lars von Trier, the cult Danish film maker, and starring Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg, the film depicts a couple grieving for the loss of their son, who falls to his death from a window while they are having sex.

They retreat to the countryside in order to recuperate, but Gainsbourg's character becomes increasingly unstable and determined to take revenge on her husband for the tragedy.

... At a press conference after the screening, the Danish director refused to answer questions about why he had chosen to make such a film.

"I don’t think I have to justify it. I can’t justify myself. I make films and I enjoyed making this very much. I think it’s a very strange question. I don’t think I owe anyone an explanation. I never had a choice – it’s the hand of God, I’m afraid."'


Monday, 22 June 2009

Hypnosis by Disney

'Jack... Jack...'

The great clairvoyant says...

Bang a monkey or two on Andy Murray to reach the final at Wimbledon.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

'Marys of the Sea...'

Hey I am not in your way
Hey no need to push me again
I know it's your day in the sun
Last time I checked he came to light the lamp for everyone

'Relax love,' he said before he left
'Take those hands away from your eyes
From where I stand you're in my sky.'

You must go must flee
For they will hunt you down
You and your unborn seed
In all of Gaul is there safety?

Les Saint Maries de la Mer
You will dance the ring
Marys of the Sea
The lost bride weeps
Les Saint Maries de la Mer
You will dance the ring

Hey there's a new Jerusalem
Hey you built on rock that's on sand
For now you have hijacked the son
Last time I checked he came to light the lamp for everyone

I hear a voice and it says
'The red of the red rose is its own
And something no man can divide.'
So St. Jermaine, hear the prayer of this supplicant
For two scarlet women, Black Madonna.

Kennington Hoodoo

Sri Lanka have been my pick for the ICC 20-20 World Cup since just after the tournament began. I seem to be a socialist when it comes to cricket; 'anyone but England' defines my allegiances... and the home nation were duly eliminated in the first stage. (Even Ireland did better.) The West Indies were who I would have liked to see win; and there were moments during their semi-final match against Sri Lanka when I thought they were going to. Before a blitzkrieg from Dilshan in the final few overs, SL had been restricted to what looked like a low score on a ground very familiar to West Indies fans, the scene of many triumphs over the years. The West Indian captain, Chris Gayle, looked in decent form; and Gayle is perhaps the most exciting exponent of the short game in the world (on those occasions when his muse can be roused from its cave. He is still the only batsman to have scored an international century in a 20/20 match.)

And then the gods of cricket dealt the West Indies a series of blows from which no side could hope to recover. A D Mathews (a young man who always begins his spell by making the sign of the cross) stepped up, of 'military medium' pace, not- I thought- a bowler of the same calibre as Sri Lanka's other mighty M's: Murali, Mubarak or Malinga. But Mathews (whose first name is Angelo) stole three West Indian wickets with his first six deliveries; a feat made all the more extraordinary by the near identical manner of the dismissals. Each batsman was 'clean' bowled, mistiming a stroke and playing the ball on to the stumps. (Except Simmons, bowled leg-side off a deflection from his pad.) A few deliveries later, and Gayle very nearly perished by the same malefic echo; a blow which would have resigned his team to utter infamy. (Nobody else made more than 9.)

A more obvious example of black 'obeah' I have never witnessed in cricket. Sri Lanka face the storm devils of Pakistan in the final this afternoon.

Friday, 19 June 2009

A stunning new Avebury crop circle...

deserves your attention. (Reflecting the original design of that 'serpent temple', as recorded by Stukeley.) Here's the link:


Thursday, 18 June 2009

'Pre-Stonehenge era complex discovered via 'crop circles'...'

'Given away by strange, crop circle-like formations seen from the air, a huge prehistoric ceremonial complex discovered in southern England has taken archaeologists by surprise.

A thousand years older than nearby Stonehenge, the site includes the remains of wooden temples and two massive, 6,000-year-old tombs that are among 'Britain's first architecture', according to archaeologist Helen Wickstead, leader of the Damerham Archaeology Project.

For such a site to have lain hidden for so long is "completely amazing," said Wickstead, of Kingston University in London.

Archaeologist Joshua Pollard, who was not involved in the find, agreed. The discovery is "remarkable," he said, given the decades of intense archaeological attention to the greater Stonehenge region.

"I think everybody assumed such monument complexes were known about or had already been discovered," added Pollard, a co-leader of the Stonehenge Riverside Project, which is funded in part by the National Geographic Society.'


Tuesday, 16 June 2009

The moon in June

Fame, fame, fatal fame, sang that other great rock star of British-Irish pedigree. (He of the 'Irish blood, English heart'.) It has been said, quite correctly, that the starmaking process demands a burst of collective hysteria; the nocturnal tigers- the sharks and snakes of the music industry- perform their part by sourcing, and sprucing, the candidates. But the motive part of the rite, the mysterious energy which powers it, is the work of the crowd, the mob: the lover to the beloved. The birth of the star is a triumph of collective will; a coronation quite impossible in the absence of mutual consent.

It is also a shared delusion: a suspension of disbelief, an act of faith. A priestly compact, with solemn obligations binding both players in the game. The star must be ready to behave like one: ritual acts- like a Gallagher V-sign- that tap a faintly masochistic desire, the need to be ruled. But the order of things is not eternal, resting as it does on a magical concord: a matrix of ideas, not immune from the threat of radical configuration. And when that occurs- as we are seeing, for example, in Iran- the narrative can turn surreal very quickly. The hanging tree, wicker man, Madame Guillotine: from history and myth are drawn these profound symbols of the destiny of the unrighteous king (like Ahab, left unburied for dogs to devour.) But there are certain duties incumbent upon the subject, also: the fan- the greatest of which is to Love.

There are those who take this injunction very seriously indeed (as every Morrissey fan knows. To join that august brotherhood requires a restraining order at least.) It is not unconditional; that Love may be witheld, or transmuted into an act of exquisite regicide should the star fail in his duties of office. (An act which is itself one of love, love for the spirit now seen to have departed from its vessel.) Like the birth of a child, a marriage, the coronation of a ruler or the election of a president, the star is legitimized, is cast adrift in a storm- a sea- of love and goodwill (as terminology recognises: the 'baby shower', the political 'honeymoon'.) The pedigree of the latter, indeed, is ancient and heady: derived from the traditional name for the full moon before the summer solstice, the Honey Moon, 'the moon in June'. (Which fell this year on the seventh.)

So here we are again in those Geminian days, and the mob and its prey are once more entwined in an act of ecstatic communion: the acclamation of its latest (unlikely) queen. And in Susan Boyle we have one in whom the work is so easy to complete... A woman who seems to have been gripped temporarily by the Queen of Love herself.

The nova- when it happens- is an extraordinary thing. For Bob Dylan, for example, the experience seems to have been one of almost uninterrupted terror: drawing far closer to Golgotha than the reluctant prophet was willing to travel. Boyle's rise is unlikely to be so dramatic; but whatever force it is that directs these operations (what Stephen King called 'IT') has done so with typical attention to detail. The timing is impeccable: the Honey Moon (when the handfasters drank mead, an aphrodisiac made from fermented honey) is a season of beauty, fairies... and for 'dreaming dreams'. (The Oberon and Titania of Shakespearean imagination.)

It is also, writes Laurence Gardner, when the god and goddess 'display their treasures'- the spear and cauldron which are the symbols of their rulership, 'equivalent to the blade and chalice of the Grail tradition'. And this is very fitting; for Boyle's other great anthem (a song with which she seems oddly uncomfortable) is Memory, a complex lyric based on lines by one of the greatest of modern experts in Grail lore and legend: T.S Eliot. (The mid-century flower of a stream which erupts periodically: in the Arthurian revival of the nineteenth century- the work of Tennyson, Rossetti, and the artists Beardsley and Burne-Jones; and in the Romantic movement of fifty years previously, to cite just two fairly recent examples.) Indeed, it was in recent performances of this song, this Grail anthem- and not her now ubiquitious signature tune- that the apotheosis of the 'moon-faced' Susan Boyle was at its most apparent... As we shall shortly discover.

The Empire never Ended... More to follow...

Monday, 15 June 2009

The great clairvoyant says...

Stick a few dollars on Sri Lanka to win the 20/20 World Cup.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

'Japan's Generation XX...'

'In Japan some call them herbivores, and on Saturday nights they come out to graze: a perfumed army of preening masculinity. Groomed and primped, hair teased to peacock-like perfection and bodies wrapped in tight-fitting clothes, their habitat is the crowded city where they live in fear of commitment, and the odd carnivorous female who preys on them.

For much of this decade, the older men who drove this country to the top of the economic league tables have looked on in bewilderment at the foppish antics of the generation below.

Japan's twenty- and thirtysomething males seem disinterested in careers and apathetic about the rituals of dating, sex and marriage. They spend almost as much on cosmetics and clothes as women, live with their mums and sit down on the toilet when they pee. Some have even been known to wear bras. "What is happening to the nation's manhood?" wonders social critic Takuro Morinaga.'


Friday, 12 June 2009

'Rare Nazi badge discovered...'

'A rare Nazi badge which bears an unsettling similarity to the three lions on the English football shirt is to be auctioned.

At first glance, the patch of embroidered white thread on a dark background, looks like it could be straight from a merchandise stall promoting the feats of David Beckham and Wayne Rooney.

But the 2in badge, to be sold later this month, belonged on the tunic of soldiers in the British SS Freikorps Brigade, a little-known elite unit in Hitler's army.

There would have only been 30 of the patches made and this one comes from a uniform which has since been destroyed.

The Nazi unit who wore them, which is shrouded in mystery, is thought to have been formed in January 1944.

Members had been recruited from a variety of sources and were formally accepted into the Waffen-SS. Those in the brigade were given German uniforms bearing the Union Flag shield and the badge bearing the famous three lions.'


Thursday, 11 June 2009

'The Road to 2012...'

A 2,000-year-old war grave crammed with up to 50 headless bodies has been uncovered by workers digging a new road for the Olympics.

The Iron Age victims found in the ancient burial site are thought to have been slaughtered by the invading Romans in about 43AD.

All of them had been decapitated and some had their limbs hacked off.

It has been discovered in the heart of Thomas Hardy country, on Ridgeway Hill near Weymouth, Dorset.

The site is being dug up to make way for a so-called Olympic Highway, an £87million relief road in time for the 2012 games.

The burial site is close to Maiden Castle - Europe's largest Iron Age hill fort where the local Celtic tribe staged their last stand against General Vespasian and his Roman legion.

Archaeologists are waiting to carry out radio-carbon testing on the butchered remains but believe the skeletons were young local men killed by Roman soldiers.

Dave Score, project manager for Oxford Archaeology which is managing the dig, said it was a 'remarkable and exciting' discovery.

He said: 'We have found a large pit about six metres in diameter.

'We have counted 45 skulls so far, these are in one section of the pit, and several torsos and leg bones in separate sections of the pit.

'We believe they date from the end of the Iron Age going into the Roman period.

'At the moment we don't fully understand how or why the remains have come to be deposited in the pit.

'But it is clear some kind of catastrophic event such as a major conflict or mass execution has taken place and this is a war grave of some kind.

'The heads have been removed and other body parts have been chopped up. We don't yet know if this was before or after death or was some kind of ritual.

'The pit is very close to Maiden Castle, which was a major Iron Age fort.

'If the victims were Roman we would have expected to find Roman artifacts in the pit, like hobnails from shoes.

'Our gut feeling is that this is the result of a conflict between Iron Age local people and Roman soldiers.'

... The site has been fenced off and is under 24-hour security due to the unique nature of the find, he said.

Archaeological finds from the Weymouth Relief Road project will be put on show at a Dorset museum after they have been analysed and catalogued.

Weymouth and Portland will host all the sailing events at the 2012 Olympics.'


An ancient river bed that has lain unseen for 185,000 years has been uncovered by scientists mapping the parts of the English Channel in the run up to the 2012 Olympics

The groundbreaking discovery was made during a two-year £300,000 project to map 500 square miles of seabed off the Jurassic coast in Dorset.

Using new and incredibly accurate mapping techniques, experts traced the river that may have once been used as a watering hole by woolly mammoths that roamed the area.

The mysterious river bed cuts through bedrock at the bottom of the ocean and is eight miles long, ranges between 90 to 150 yards wide and up to 30ft deep.

Scientists believe it would have flowed when Britain was still attached to the continent.

As ice melted and refroze, it was washed over and uncovered a second time, before finally being hidden at the bottom of the sea during the last Ice Age 12,000 years ago.'


Monday, 8 June 2009

'Eerie pop music video starring Meredith Kercher...'

A music video starring murdered British student Meredith Kercher has been released by her family.

Shot just weeks before she was sexually assaulted and brutally killed, the 21-year-old stars in the video for singer Kristian Leontiou's song, Some Say.

Yesterday, the Kercher family lawyer, Francesco Maresca revealed what few details he knew of the video but not why it had only just come to light.

He said: 'It was made by a group of Meredith's friends sometime during 2007 - I think she knows the lead singer.

'The people on the video are friends of hers who were at Leeds University and it is unreal to see her in the video and to know that a few months later she was murdered.

'It was a very emotional experience for them to come and give evidence but they coped very well.

'They just wanted the court to know what a special and much loved person Meredith was not just to her family but all her friends as well.'

In the opening sequence, Meredith is seen walking down a flight of stairs and makes several other appearances including a haunting scene where she walks through a set of doors and looks straight at the camera.'


Thursday, 4 June 2009

'UFOs spotted in Cambridgeshire...'

A number of people claim to have seen UFOs in Cambridgeshire after dazzling orange lights flashed across the night sky.

Witnesses claimed to have seen up to 50 of the mystery bright beams at around 11.30pm in Huntingdon.

Scott Boswell, 37, a former pilot and soldier from nearby Hinchingbrooke, captured some of the lights on his camera.

Boswell, a banker in the City of London, said: "I noticed three lights floating past our house, probably a couple of kilometres away, and thought nothing of it.

"But then I noticed a big long string of lights coming from the direction of Brampton and heading over the Stukeley Meadows direction. This was about 11.30pm and I got a couple of blurred shots. I'm pretty sure these weren't aircraft.

"There was no noise, no navigation lights and their heading and height was relatively constant until they disappeared out of sight."

The former solider said he did not think they were flares or weather balloons, the standard explanation for unusual objects in the sky.

Auberon and Suzi Hedgecoe, who run the Braywood Guest House in Huntingdon, saw around 50 orange lights in the sky.

Mr Hedgecoe said: "It was like an armada. There was no sound. They were travelling 15 at a time and every six minutes more seemed to be coming over the horizon.

"They were not planes. These were not balloons. Each one was the size of a building. If they had been balloons, then they would have had to have been huge and they looked weighty."

He said the lights were no higher than 3,000ft.

Mr Hedgecoe said it was so extraordinary that the couple woke up their 10-year-old son Barney and his friend Zac, who was staying over, to see the spectacle.

Another witness said she had counted 35 lights in the sky.'