My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I bought Veronica Bassil’s little eBooklet “Michael Jackson’s Love for Planet Earth” purely on the strength of my own love for the subject matter… I did not know Veronica’s work, and I wasn’t sure whether or not I would be disappointed by the booklet’s contents.
As an inexpensive download it seemed worth the risk. “Earth Song” is my favourite Michael Jackson song. I also love the accompanying short film he made for it, and the footage of his live performances of the song. He put so much passion into the writing, singing and performing of “Earth Song” – it carried his message to heal the world of its many ills through love.
This love, as Veronica Bassil reveals, is evident and personal for Michael, as demonstrated in the posthumously released recording of his poem “Planet Earth” – originally published in his book of essays, poems and reflections: “Dancing the Dream”.
In “Planet Earth” the planet is the beloved, the narrator the lover. Having questioned whether it is just an inanimate lump of rock floating in space, he decides unequivocally that it is a living entity, deserving of our love, and needing to be cherished.
Veronica’s examination of Michael’s environmental consciousness through “Earth Song” references Joe Vogel and Armond White, as well as some fans who have commented on the song on-line. But Ms Bassil’s focus is not on the recording of the song, but on the meaning of the words and how they relate to Michael’s freely expressed love for the planet, the children, the animals, the trees etc.
Her discussion of the environmental catastrophes which have proven MJ’s (and environmental forecasters’) warnings and predictions to be true, highlights the importance of not just listening to and loving the song and its singer, but in taking his message to heart.
It’s for good reason so many of us love “Earth Song” so much. He put his heart and soul into this masterwork, and it has not only stood the test of time, but is growing in power with increased appreciation beyond us diehard fans.
This focus on Michael’s recognition of the planet as a living organism and his use of his unique and exceptional creative gifts to awaken us to the plight of the environment on which our survival depends, makes me want to cheer.
As Ms Bassil writes, “He didn’t begin this way as a nine-year-old singing, ‘I want you back,’ but as he saw the mounting damage to earth’s ecosystems and human cruelty to its own species and to nonhumans, he became more and more alarmed.”
It takes experience, accumulated knowledge, mature understanding and a broadened world-view to develop the kind of love and appreciation for the environment that Michael revealed to us in “Earth Song” and “Planet Earth”.
This booklet is a short, insightful and enjoyable examination of the meaning behind the words, music and visuals that Michael Jackson used to convey to us, and to the world, his most important message.
Review by Kerry Hennigan
This ebook is available from Amazon.com