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 Jermaine's Book (You Are Not Alone, Michael)

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joanwas_quizzical
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PostSubject: Jermaine's Book (You Are Not Alone, Michael)   Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:57 am

Hey guys!

So Katie has informed me that she's just started reading this book, and that we should have a discussion thread on it....which is a super good idea and I wish I thought of it myself, haha! I read the book a few months ago and I was just ASTOUNDED, it was such a great and interesting read and nothing like I thought it would be.

So some questions for those who have read it/reading it:

What do you think/think so far?

How do you feel about the way Jermaine has written it?

Things you were surprised about/didn't know previously?

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PostSubject: Re: Jermaine's Book (You Are Not Alone, Michael)   Tue Feb 28, 2012 8:46 am

Hey!!! Very Happy

First, a little correction: I've already read Jermaine's book a couple of weeks back... I think I started reading it fairly unbiased - I liked it too, I wouldn't say I was astounded by the book, more so by some fans' reaction to it or also the lack of discussion. I mean, did I miss it, or did Frank's book get much more "feedback"?

To jump right into controversy (though I'd also like to dicuss the sweet childhood memories), one thing I read on some board, can't remember which, was that one fan said they wished Jermaine hadn't written about the "escape plan" he had for Michael in 2005 if he'd been found guilty. It's actually the very beginning of the book, and I have to say I liked his way to start off somewhere "in the middle", and - contrary to what many said, that Jermaine doesn't know more than well informed fans - providing his readers with some truly new information on those crucial days in Michael's life.

I appreciate that he describes how the family reacted - like ANY family would do (within their possibilities, of course), a family that firstly consists of individuals, different human beings, and only secondly is the most famous show-biz family on the planet. Does Jermaine focus very much on his own fears, feelings, emotions? Yes, he does - everything else wouldn't be genuine in my oppinion. I think his attempt to give us a view on Michael's life through a brother's eyes is - brave.
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PostSubject: Re: Jermaine's Book (You Are Not Alone, Michael)   Tue Feb 28, 2012 8:52 am

Oops my bad, sorry dude haha! I'm glad you've finished it so now I don't have to worry about spoilers or anything like that! Wink

On that chapter he starts out with - I think he painted a very honest portrayal of Michael during that time. The image of him standing there with his shirt open, showing the marks of his vitiligo and basically being vulnerable in front of his parents is going to stick with me forever. I never expected Jermaine to reveal something so personal, but I'm very glad he did because when non-fans read that I suspect that their original opinion on Michael will be drastically changed - for the better! On the "escape plan" thing, I don't see anything negative about it. Jermaine spoke about it because they had a lack of faith in the American law considering how much the media had already ripped apart Michael. I felt he was trying to outline what "we" as a society had done to his brother and what kind of lengths his family was ready to go to to give him some peace.
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PostSubject: Re: Jermaine's Book (You Are Not Alone, Michael)   Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:21 am

joanwas_quizzical wrote:


On that chapter he starts out with - I think he painted a very honest portrayal of Michael during that time. The image of him standing there with his shirt open, showing the marks of his vitiligo and basically being vulnerable in front of his parents is going to stick with me forever. I never expected Jermaine to reveal something so personal, but I'm very glad he did because when non-fans read that I suspect that their original opinion on Michael will be drastically changed - for the better!

Absolutely! I'm so glad he is that open, though it IS sad that such descriptions are still necessary. Apparently for those who were close to Michael as well as for us fans. I doubt that non-fans will read the book or change their oppinion though.

joanwas_quizzical wrote:
On the "escape plan" thing, I don't see anything negative about it. Jermaine spoke about it because they had a lack of faith in the American law considering how much the media had already ripped apart Michael. I felt he was trying to outline what "we" as a society had done to his brother and what kind of lengths his family was ready to go to to give him some peace.

Maybe that's why this passage doesn't sit well with some Americans (only guessing here). I think every so called developed nation is somewhat protective of their justice system and that's a good thing too, justice systems could never work without trust - in general. But if the system plays unfair, it's only human to try to escape it.
If I remember correctly, the fan who criticized the mention of the escape plan said it would make them look like they thought their money could buy them out of everthing.
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PostSubject: Re: Jermaine's Book (You Are Not Alone, Michael)   Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:52 pm

Another part in Jermaine's book where his honesty astonished me, and - kind of - amused me, because I can't remember having read many of the rumors, when they happened to appear first. This might be due to the fact I didn't read papers much or due to our papers being not half as vicious as English/American tabloids. Might be my poor memory… However I DO remember the article about the oxygen chamber, but not really what I thought about it, and one about saying that Michael is afraid of germs and therefore wearing the masks, an assumption I thought to be extremely ridiculous. Stages aren't especially clean, and masses of thousands and thousands of people at concerts must breathe out thousands and thousands of germs - no way someone afraid of germs would voluntarily gather these germ-breathers.

Well that's what Jermaine tells us ( Neutral poor guys):

Quote :
Mother was fastidious about cleanliness, and about everything being neat and looking pristine.

Germs were portrayed as invisible monsters. Germs lead to sickness, we were told. Germs are what people carry. Germs are in the air, on the street, on the surfaces. We were constantly made to feel we were under invasion.

I know I speak for Michael La Toya, Janet and myself in saying that we grew up with an almost neurotic fear of germs, and it's not hard to understand why.
...
After coming in from the street, we had to be virtually decontaminated. The first words out of Mother's mouth were "Have you washed your hands? Go wash your hands." If she didn't hear the tab running within seconds, there was trouble.

To this day I won't touch a door handle in a public restroom

I won't touch the banister on public stairways or escalators. I'll use a handkerchief or tissue to hold the gas pump trigger when filling the car. I'll wash down with alcohol a hotel's TV remote control before using it. I'm alive to cross-contamination from every surface.
Michael was no different. He even worried about other people's pens when signing autographs, in the days the fan could get close enough. But his neurosis mainly centered on breathing airborne germs. People mocked him for wearing surgical masks. There was speculation that he was hiding plastic surgery and I always laughed when I saw an article referencing the mask, saying it was "sparking fears about Michael's health". Because that was the point: it was all about fear - Michael's fear that he could get ill. At these times, he will have felt he was coming down within something, or his immune system was low. He was, like me, on guard against germs all his life. At least, that was the origins of his surgical mask wearing and then, after a while, I think it became something of a fashion accessory that allowed him to "hide"; a mini shield for a man who wanted to grab whatever fraction of privacy that he could.
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PostSubject: Re: Jermaine's Book (You Are Not Alone, Michael)   Fri Mar 02, 2012 2:21 am

I read Jermaine's book a while back..I enjoyed the parts where he talked about childhood memories on the road....but I also felt that it was sensationalized a little...
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PostSubject: Re: Jermaine's Book (You Are Not Alone, Michael)   Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:12 am

mjj4everinourhearts wrote:
I read Jermaine's book a while back..I enjoyed the parts where he talked about childhood memories on the road....but I also felt that it was sensationalized a little...


What was? The book in general (by the media or by whom, Jermaine)? Question
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PostSubject: Re: Jermaine's Book (You Are Not Alone, Michael)   Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:14 pm

^ Yeah I'm confused on that too! I didn't find anything like that in the book about the J5 era, although some of Jermaine's other stories involving himself are a bit...ahem LOL! I'm sure he and Whitney hit it off, but I don't think she came onto him THAT strongly!
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PostSubject: Re: Jermaine's Book (You Are Not Alone, Michael)   Fri Mar 02, 2012 2:07 pm

Oh, Jermaine and Whitney definitly had something!

It is true, he does write a lot about himself, but that's ok, I think. It's also because there have been times he didn't interact with Michael that much. Better to hear about what Jermaine did and thought than speculations on what Michael felt during that time (there are enough books already speculating).

Like I said concerning Frank Cascio's book, I guess Jermaine also did write the book for "vindication" to a certain extend (and maybe also as a kind of apology to Michael)? Of course all the shit was aimed and thrown at Michael, but if your stand nearby, like family and friends do, you get your piece also. I don't understand why everybody agrees that it was hell for Michael (which it of course was) but denies that it wasn't funny for his dear ones also and that they need sometimes to spit out how they felt, insulted personally. I really like Jermaine's angry and sarcastic tone when he speaks about his personal hurt in the book. Mike and him were similarly raised, therefore, though the have different personalities, I think reading about Jermaine's feelings gives a hint on how Mike's might have been.

Btw, I'm outraged about the MJJC interview. I truly am. It's rude, if I were him, I'd have answered most of the questions with two very unpolite words. I'm astounded how patient and polite he is - again: same upbringing as Michael...
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PostSubject: Re: Jermaine's Book (You Are Not Alone, Michael)   Thu Aug 09, 2012 2:39 pm

I think it's a very interesting book.
I am reading it very slowly (with a "reading group" on another forum), we are at chapter 3 and there are already very interesting topics: racism, the way the fans see the Jacksons, and of course Joe.
I never thought a simple book were born so many reflections.
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