Michael's fans and supporters are from all over the world. There were no barriers Michael would not have been able to cross. His music appealed to people on all continents, from all cultural backgrounds--speaking many different languages. An account of his worldwide presence and ability to reach people which left a lasting impression on me is this account of a journalist visiting Albania in 1991:
"And when we went to see some remote medical clinics in the Sar Mountains, our car was stopped in remote villages by crowds curious to see a Westerner face-to-face. On one rock-filled road we were waved down by a gang of slightly-scary teenagers with dirty faces and rocks in their hands. When they saw me, the tallest boy -- evidently the leader -- reached into his pocket, pulled out a single glove, and put it on. He tossed back the lock of hair that fell across his forehead, in a gesture common to tough kids everywhere. There was a moment of silence. Then ... "Michael Jackson!" they screamed. "Michael Jackson!" They kept talking as the doctor translated. "They want to know if you know Michael," he said. I didn't. They let us pass."
Michael changed the minds, the hearts and the lifes of people. Not on an obvious and superficial level--he was able to make that change by touching them with his music and his performance in a deep and all comprehensive way... one of his best known concerts took place in Bucharest, Romania, and was televised in many countries worldwide. You can see people discovering and experiening emotions, deep emotions while listening to him and watching him performing on stage. In fact, he communicated with them. I believe those who attended understood what Michael was telling them, in a way--although some or maybe most of them may not have been able to understand the words in his songs.
We are born into a society that speaks a certain language, and we learn this language as our mother tongue, or native language. Naturally, this is the language we feel at home with, the language we use to express our thoughts and feelings in. Some of us learn one or more other languages, foreign languages, but most of us will never reach the same level of fluency in languages acquired at a later stage that we have in our mother tongue.
There are an estimated 6,000 different languages spoken in this world--imagine the diversity. The number of speakers varies between approximately 855 million for Mandarin and just a few speakers--these would be languages that soon will be extinct, they will die when their last speaker dies... One of these languages I happened to study at University, Nuxálk--spoken by not more than 30 native speakers: "Nuxálk (also Bella Coola) is a Salishan language spoken in the vicinity of the Canadian town Bella Coola, British Columbia by approximately 20-30 elders. Until recently, the language was called Bella Coola, but the native designation Nuxálk is now preferred." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nux%C3%A1lk_language
Such is the great diversity of this world. And each of these languages is a means for members of a specific community to communicate with each other, each of these communities sharing history, stories, common experiences. The desire to communicate with each other is deeply inherent to human nature--as we are social beings. We cannot exist outside our communities. We need social contact and social exchange, we need to express ourselves, our thoughts and our feelings, and our perspectives on the world. This need is the reason behind the success of social networks, like MySpace or Facebook, and their platform being the World Wide Web as we live in what is called the Internet Age. Never before has such a wealth of information been available, and never before has access been so easy--across cultures, on a global level. Never before did we have such a power to reach people and spread our word--a few words typed into a publisher box, a click on a button, and thousands read what we have to say, and we have never met them in person, and we will not ever meet them in person. We are transgressing our small communities, even our national communities. We are becoming a global community. We must remember, however, not to abuse the powers given to us by technology.
Words, and thus language, are only part of how we communicate. Humans also communicate by art. Neolithic cave paintings going back 30,000 years show the eternal human desire to express ourselves, to depict our world by artistic means, to make statements as to how we perceive our world--these paintings still talk to us across the millennia. Another means for our ancestors to express themselves was music. The oldest musical instrument dates back about 35,000 years, a flute made of ivory which was discovered in Germany. Yes, we express ourselves via paintings and music, across space and time.
Michael talks to us with his art--his music and his performance. He himself, like many artists, comments in his art on this, and his belief in the power of music and art as a means of communication. In his Captain EO, when mere words fail, he overcomes the terrifying Supreme Leader by talking to her via his music and performance. The key to unlock her inner beauty is his music, his song "We are here to change the world":
"Why have you come here?" - "To bring a gift to Your Highness, to someone as beautiful as you." - "You think me beautiful?" - "Very beautiful within, Your Highness, but without a key to unlock it. And that is my gift to you."
And with this, he starts singing and dancing, and turns the Supreme Leader into a beautiful, smiling and gracious woman, the whole desperate place into a peaceful scenery, and her planet becomes a lush garden for all to enjoy--Michael truly believed in his heart that with his music he can help changing the world.
On this day of August 29, 2010, open your minds and your hearts to his gift for you--his music and his art. We shall all be one, speaking one language--his language, the language of music and art, and truthful love.
Blanaid X Lives
X Foundation President