MICHAEL DAVIS: I’m with the band… not.
I am a huge believer in personal choice. I think that you should be allowed to make up your mind freely on all matters. If you don’t like something you have every right to say so. If you do like something then you have the right to say that also. You don’t have to believe what I believe and vice versa.
For the most part I’m a liberal. Well I’m a liberal except when it comes to violent crime, then I’m so conservative it hurts. Get it? Violent crime? Hurts?
I firmly believe that if you commit a violent crime you should rot in jail or rot in Hell. If it were up to me, first you would rot in jail, then you would rot in Hell. But hey, that’s my belief. You can believe in rehabilitation if you want to, but let me see you hire that convicted murderer when he gets out of jail. Me? Oh hell no. Now that I think of it, I’m very conservative on many things. The reason I have not joined the conservative ranks fully is because they tend to want to tell you what to think. Usually it’s under some "moral" banner. They also throw God in the mix a lot.
Funny, as much as they bring up God, they never bring up "free will." That seems to never make the moral argument. Also, some seem to think that their God is the God. That’s OK but why can’t I believe that my God is the true God without them calling me wrong or wanting to change my mind? Failing both, some conservatives would want me to simply disappear.
I think that whatever you believe is your right and if I disagree that’s all it is, a disagreement. We don’t have to go to war as some countries do. I think that disagreeing on faith to the point of war is the single stupidest thing on the planet. I frankly don’t believe that Allah has a problem with Jehovah.
So I hope it’s clear from my too long intro that I believe people should think for themselves. So, why don’t they?
I go to this great Karaoke bar in L.A. The KJ (that’s the host) loves Elvis so someone in my Karaoke group suggested that we do an Elvis night for his birthday. The sheer venom that rocketed across the insuring emails made it look like Elvis took part in 9/11. This from a group of people I love hanging out with. These are good people. Every year I get invited to great New Years Eve Parties given by A-list celebrities. I prefer to be at this Karaoke bar because the people are just really cool.
That said, man oh man did they tear Elvis a new one. This from a group of people who get together every week to sing Rock & Roll. Did Elvis not have a bit to do with rock & roll? In fact it’s safe to say without Elvis there would be no Beatles, no Rolling Stones, no Who and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Remember Elvis did what he did in the ULTRA CONSERATIVE 50’s! The 50’s!!!! In the fifties my mother was not allowed to sit in the front of a bus and here was this white boy singing obvious "negro" music. That took more than talent that took guts. That however is another story. Oh and before you write in about how Elvis stole from other performers and the like-first read up on his life before you repeat common myths about the man and second the music industry was and is built on people ‘stealing’ I’m not just talking smack, I was once a high level executive at Motown Records so I know of what I speak.
To the point of people just repeating what they hear, I started wondering how smart, well-meaning people could just destroy this guy without even a nod to his considerable accomplishments.
The answer I came up with is the Bandwagon. They are all jumping on it.
One person says something loud enough others follow like sheep. This is so ingrained in our society industries are built on it. Someone decides what is cool and we all follow suit. Well not all of us. I’m not with that band, buddy. No, no thank you.
Right now you are thinking "I’m not with that band either."
Were you a Michael Jackson fan when he was the biggest star in the world and now you revel in the fact that the media has reduced one of the greatest (if not the greatest) entertainer in history to a laughing stock? Michael Jackson changed music; you can’t take that away from him. Oh I know. He’s a child molester. And we know this how? By the not guilty verdict? No that doesn’t make any sense, not guilty usually means you didn’t do it. So there must be another reason that he is called "Jacko."
Maybe the country heard someone say very loud he was a child molester and everybody decided to follow suit? I was a HUGE Michael Jackson fan. HUGE. I’ve met him and almost been in business with him twice. I am so disappointed in him but not because of the reasons the chorus of haters decided that they must take him down with.
No, my reason was ignited when he told an interviewer it was OK to share your bed with a child. He did not lose me because I thought he was molesting kids, he lost me because he was STUPID enough to think he could get away with saying that. He assumed because he was Michael Jackson he could do or say anything he wanted. Even if he meant it in the most harmless of ways to think that he could just say anything without regard to the impact of those words is nuts! So what will the greatest entertainer ever be known for in 100 years? Well, it’s safe to say it won’t be pretty and it will not just be his music, and that’s just sad.
America is a country of sheep. Television teaches our kids that what brand they wear is more important than education. The same can be said of how TV reaches adults. There a watch commercial that actually says ‘It’s your watch that defines whom you are.”
A watch that defines who you are? A car that defines who you are? A bank account that defines you?
Sounds ridiculous, right? For my money it is almost as ridiculous as jumping on a bandwagon because every body else is. Let’s look at the latest comic book movie, Spider-Man 3. Most people are saying "Spider-Man 3 was great." Well, in my opinion that movie was horrible. Why have I not heard this? You know why? Because it’s making so much money that it has to be good. The old bandwagon has rolled into town.
When I was a kid I thought that the more something cost the better it was. That fact is even more relative with kids today. $150.00 sneakers?
One summer when I was eight, I was in Alabama with my stepfather. I was hungry and he made me a hamburger. This was the GREATEST hamburger I ever had. It was on white bread and dripping with all sorts of things I could not name. I still think of that hamburger decades later. Well a few days after that burger experience we were driving past a McDonalds and I asked him to stop. He said with a smile, ‘What would you rather have, a McDonalds hamburger or my hamburger?’ Without missing a beat I said “McDonalds!”
I will never forget the look in his eyes. That look said “You stupid little moron. I’m glad you’re not my real son." He then told me that Ronald McDonald was shot and killed last week and MAC Donald’s (as he called it) was closed. He said this to an 8 year old. How cold was that? I remember telling my sister that Ronald McDonald was shot dead. I also remember her looking right at me and saying, “You are retarded.”
Hey, I was 8 and to an 8-year-old McDonalds is Mecca. Oh, sorry, Mr. Conservative, I meant to say Heaven. Yes, I was 8 but I grew up. It seems like the masses of people saying Spider-Man 3 is a great film is just another example of the bandwagon rolling on.
Well if no one else will say it then I will: that movie sucked and here’s why…
Well, they raised Gwen Stacy from the dead. For a second that brought me back to the great Spider-Man comics of that era. But then I realized that there was NO reason to name that character Gwen Stacy. None. As a Spider-Man fan it was just wrong to give Mary Jane, Gwen’s role in the first Spider-Man movie then introduce Gwen in this movie as a supporting character when her death was one of the most significant events in Marvel Comics history. Was Sandman a tragic character or simply stupid and why couldn’t the director make up his mind as to which? What was wrong with his kid? If he got caught and went to jail and could not get the money for the operation why was she not dead? When did the producers decide to make the movie a musical? Where was the chemistry between MJ and Peter? There was more chemistry between Peter and Harry; heck there was more chemistry between Aunt May and Peter. What superhero fights without his mask on? Every Spider-Man movie the mask rips. How much more obvious can it be that Toby wanted some on screen (no pun intended) face time in the Spider-Man costume. The absolute best scene of the movie was Stan Lee. THAT was good.
END SPOILER ALERT
I like to think I march to the beat of my own drum. That has its advantages as well as pit falls. I have my own way of thinking and don’t expect anyone to understand me all the time. It would be nice to sit with someone and discuss differences and see if there is common ground. But even if there is not the dialog should count for something. But in this crazy "You are either with us or against us” world, if you disagree with a popular opinion people don’t respect that, no, they come after you to try and destroy you .
I would love to hear a different opinion to my Spider-Man position. I would love to have a real debate and exchange of thoughts. What I will most likely get is a chorus of people defending the movie because they have been swayed by the bandwagon and it’s powerful ability to control thinking. I’m not saying that everyone is sheep; I’m saying that there is a real danger of letting people sway thinking because it’s easier to do so. That can lead us down a path of real pain. It’s already happening on a major scale. You have to look no further than at current events to see how much trouble getting on a bandwagon can cost.
Well, according to my Timex the season finale of Heroes is on. I must go and watch that — everyone says it’s so good.
Hollywood’s own Michael Davis is a comics creator and the founder of the Guardian Line series of comics as well as being a television producer and writer. He is a co-founder of Milestone Comics and his artwork has appeared in Wasteland, Green Arrow: Shado, Green Hornet and The Question, among others.