FOREWORD BY STAN LERNER: downtownster does not celebrate its first birthday until February, but I still feel compelled to post the TEN BEST downtownster blogs of 2009. And while I think all of our blogs have been great, these are the ones that readers read the most and gave us the highest level of props for writing. “Write Something About Michael Jackson” was not a blog that I particularly wanted to write, but our readers asked for it, I wrote it, and as things go it wound up making the downtownster TEN BEST list.
I received a text message from one of my sources at 3:00 pm that Michael Jackson, often called the King of Pop, was dead. This was fifteen minutes before the official declaration and by 3:30 pm the calls, text messages, and emails asking me to write something were rolling in. My initial response to all requests was that I had no intention of writing a story about Michael Jackson’s death. My reason being: that everyone was going to have something to say and that I had nothing to add. I have a passion for writing and or talking—I’m a storyteller by nature, but a good storyteller should have something unique to say or at the very least a unique viewpoint.
Over a three-day period I did follow the story. Requests for my attention to it did not cease, some coming from the most unexpected people. As these days passed my response to requests that I write about Michael Jackson’s death changed. I began to tell readers that I might write on the topic of the inconsistent through line that had become so evident in, not only the nonstop media coverage, but among the general population as well. One of downtownster’s most highly educated and respected readers was particularly intrigued by my introduction of the through line concept—and was seemingly not too sure exactly what a through line was. So let me clarify:
A through line is the spine of a story. The concept, first introduced by Constantin Stanislavski, was a way for actors to think about characterization. The idea being that it is not enough to understand what we are doing or trying to do, but rather we must understand our ultimate objective—thus creating a link from action to action that propels us to our ultimate desired outcome.
As I watched the first few hours of cable news coverage each channel and commentator had a take and in some cases several. Fox News in particular filled their time with inaccurate information that was astounding. And of course the vile Nancy Grace was already ranting about the children and custody issues. Michael Jackson in a matter of minutes was called a child molester, a music genius, the loneliest man on Earth, an adoring father, a boy trapped in a man’s body, an icon, in debt for 400 million dollars, on the verge of a comeback, worth a billion dollars, and ABC’s Martin Bashir, who did more harm to Michael Jackson’s reputation than anybody, except for Michael Jackson, made a statement that knowing Michael Jackson was one of the greatest honors of his life. This actually caused me to shake my head. I recalled him saying that Michael Jackson’s home Neverland was not safe for children. But the words genuine or honest do not come to mind at the mention of the name Marin Bashir.
The truth about Michael Jackson and the through line that is now being decided on will be two very different things. The truth about Michael Jackson with respect to his music is: Michael Jackson was a musical genius and one of the best entertainers ever. His personal life was for the first 35 years, the personal life of the rich and famous. And let me interject here that it is ridiculous to perpetuate the myth that he was somehow robbed of his childhood. Given the choice, I doubt anyone including Michael Jackson, would choose being a poor black kid in pre civil rights Indiana over being world famous and a mansion in Beverly Hills. The last 15 years of Michael Jackson’s personal life were about prescription drug addiction and plastic surgery malpractice—NOTHING MORE. All the rest of the behavior, some very strange, can be attributed to these two factors.
But there is big money involved in the business of Michael Jackson, now. So the though line will be this: Michael Jackson was a musical genius, buy everything with his name on it and take a tour of Neverland Ranch, which will become Graceland West. And to be honest—even I’ll go take that tour. Why? Because his music made life for all of us better— and now that’s really all that needs to be said.
STAN LERNER’S BOOKS ON SMASHWORDS .COM
“STAN LERNER’S CRIMINAL”
HOLLYWOOD BOOK FESTIVAL GRAND PRIZE WINNER
An intense page-turner based on the author’s true-life experiences.
“Stan Lerner’s Criminal” is the graphic and shocking account of the rise to power of the world’s most calculating and dangerous criminal…Sam Noah.
Sam Noah was handsome, intelligent, and charismatic. He came from a good family, had the perfect girlfriend, and attended UCLA where he ranked at the top of his class. Noah could have made anything he wanted to out of his life. But crime came naturally to him.
The story begins in 1984. The Cold War is at its height and the CIA is looking for still more funding for its covert operations around the world. Powerful men decide that there must be a go to guy. A man that will do whatever is necessary to finance the wars that Congress cannot be made aware of.
Sam Noah takes a job at a popular nightclub where he runs a smalltime ticket scam — and he begins to recruit the ruthless men that will help him build a narcotics empire.
When the FBI becomes a gathering threat to Noah, he forms an alliance with the CIA. His innovations — the crack house and the drive-by shooting — not only bring an unprecedented level of violence to the streets of America. They assure the powerful men who have engaged his services that Noah is indeed capable of doing the unthinkable.
The sale of cocaine makes him rich. His willingness to commit murder ensures that he will remain so.
Not since Hannibal Lecter has there been such a horrifying yet engaging mastermind of evil.
“Stan Lerner’s Criminal” transports the reader into the darkest of all places: the criminal mind. This is an unforgettable journey into the psyche of Sam Noah — the man behind some of the most brutal sins against humanity.
By the end of this unflinching tale, what may shock the reader the most is how he or she will ultimately identify with and root for this ruthless but brilliant “Criminal”.
To sample or purchase “Stan Lerner’s Criminal” please visit:
“In Development” is a hilarious account of a day in the life of Stan Peters—Hollywood’s most powerful and scummiest producer.
The day begins like any other day—a superlative, five-star breakfast at The Peninsula Hotel. However, the shocking news that there has been a change at the very top of the studio means that the perfect world of Stan and his closest associates could come to a sudden end—especially with a movie like “Two Jews and a Blonde Psycho” in development. The subsequent call from Brad, the new studio boss, confirms their greatest fear—their movie is in danger of being put in turn-around. A day of sex, manipulation, lying, betrayal, blackmail, and murder ensues — otherwise known in Hollywood as a happy ending.
To sample or purchase “In Development” please visit:
To sample or purchase “Blast” please visit:
To sample or purchase “Impact” please visit:
GET CHICKS 101
To sample or purchase “Get Chicks 101” please visit:
GET THE RIGHT GUY
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NINETY- NINE POSTS
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Stan Lerner is an award winning-author whose diverse credits include the novels “Stan Lerner’s Criminal”, “Blast”, “In Development,” and the children’s book “Stanley The Elephant.” Stan Lerner is also the creator of the Las Vegas music spectacle “Night Tribe” and the writer, director, producer of the hit motion picture “Meet The Family.” Mr. Lerner was born in Montebello CA and has lived in downtown Los Angeles for the last fifteen years.
For more information about Stan Lerner please visit his author profile at: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/stan