Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Deepak Chopra Talks to CBS News

Deepak Chopra continues to wax on about MJ's Lupus, linking his accounts of a troubled childhood to developing both vitiligo and lupus.

Chopra says: "[Studies show links betwwen] accumulated childhood stress with autoimmune disorders, including lupus, which he had, and vitiligo, which he had. He had huge patches of discoloration....and he had a lot of shame about it. He became an isolationist. He hid from people. And the more he hid, the more cruel the media frenzy about his hiding and his covering up, You know, he used to wear clothes to cover up his disfiguration. That really actually hurt him a lot."

"He was a delicate soul in a cruel world," Chopra said.

Deepak Chopra Talks to People Mag about MJ

Deepak Chopra also apparently discussed Michael Jackson's struggles with Lupus with reporters at People magazine. The speculation about the links to lupus and child abuse is very intriguing.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Goodbye, Michael Jackson

Rest in peace, Michael. You gave so much joy to so many, only to be given back such venom and hatred from those jealous of who you were and what you accomplished. Your philanthropy to so many causes lives on.

You lived your life spreading love through your music and working to heal those sick and wounded by life by the numerous causes you supported. Yet so many tried to take advantage of your gifts of generosity. So many motivated by greed and jealously tried to bring you down.

You were proven innocent of the lies they tried to link you to. Unfortunately fueled by a press focused more on sensation than facts, some latch on to the lies because they cannot stand the truth -- that you were a visionary, affected by a disfiguring skin ailment and suffering like many of those who suffer from vitiligo do.

You were a former child star suffering like many who attained super-stardom before coming of age --but one who turned that anguish into creative brilliance.

You were a dedicated entertainer, afflicted with Lupus, a painful, autoimmune disease. Yet you carried on.

And because you were affected by two diseases that primarily strike African Americans, those who did not understand those diseases mercilessly mocked and mimicked you. What would happen if the cards were turned, if the press suddenly started to mock and tease those suffering from osteoporosis, a disease that rarely strikes Africans Americans. We'd be appalled, as we should be, when lack of understanding about any disease prompt public ridicule on the scale of that Jackson has faced.

Lupus is a painful, autoimmune disease -- where your own body attacks itself, including the joints, skin, heart and lungs. It is marked by chronic fatigue, swelling of the heart and lungs. Yet many wonder why someone who makes a living performing might wear surgical masks to avoid germs and infection or someone chronically fatigued might show up in court in pajamas.

Vitiligo is a disfiguring skin ailment that leaves its victims stripped of pigment in the skin. It also has origins as an autoimmune disease.

Friday night on MSNBCs Countdown with Keith Olbermann, author and TV talk show host Deepak Chopra was overcome with grief as he spoke of his friend Michael Jackson. He stated:

"Studies show…children [of abuse] will go on to develop auto-immune diseases, like Lupus and vitiligo, both of which he had, he was quite disfigured so he would avoid being seen, at least his body and therefore he would cover himself and that would lead to people making all kinds of fun of him and calling him all kinds of things, he would feel the cruelty of that, he didn’t understand that. And there no way -- people who knew the context of his behavior would have had a more compassionate understanding of why he did the things he did."

Thank you, Mr. Chopra. People who suffer from either are not "weird" or "freakish." They are not "wacky" any more than anyone that deals with any other pervasive illness is weird, freakish or wacky.

The real tragedy here is that someone with a chronic illness, namely Michael Jackson, who suffered from both vitiligo and Lupus, can be so dismissively labeled as "weird." Ailments that impact African Americans pretty much exclusively do not deserve to be summarily dismissed with awful labels simply because the mainstream population doesn't understand them.

As a performer, it makes perfect sense that Jackson might wear surgical masks to protect himself. When you suffer from a disease where your body attacks itself, one that's marked by fatigue, swelling of the heart, skin lesions and chronic pain, it makes sense to do so. When you so publicly suffer from a disease like vitiligo, that strips away the pigment of your skin, being a recluse again makes sense.

So many people who suffer from skin ailments hide away from the spotlight, something Jackson could ill afford to do.

It's all so sad and tragic, especially because your music begs for understanding and acceptance of differences among people. Your songs beg love and generosity, yet so many -- including the press -- gave you none in return.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Top Ten Reasons Delaware needs live, local TV programming.

Number 9: An estimated 65-thousand people attended St. Anthony's Italian festival last year. But where, oh where was that Action News van?

Top ten reasons Delaware needs live, local TV programming.

Number 10: We celebrate Memorial Day on May 30!

Here are photos from the Delaware Memorial Day parade, Veterans Cemetery and Delaware Memorial Bridge commemorations you won't see on Philly television.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Carper Says Health Care Reform Not Necessary

On Memorial Day, at the annual recognition held at the Delaware Memorial Bridge, my 86 year old mom cornered Senator Carper after his presentation and urged him to support health care for seniors. He said he would.

Aparently, after looking at Carper's comments in today's News Journal, he forgot that promise.