Michael Jackson and the Bo'ness Fair.

mic-jackson( This article has been reworked in the light of a comment on the blog.) Michael Jackson and the Bo'ness Fair - what do they have in common?. Perhaps more than you might think. The fact that he died yesterday on the Bo'ness Fair E'en, will live on in the memory of his many Bo'ness fans who were once children who danced and performed to his music as part of the Fair. Of course the sad thing is that Jackson rightly or wrongly will always have a suspicion hanging over him when it comes to children. His friends say he was the victim of his own success. Moving from a child star to a teenage pop idol, to a global superstar in the 80s.  All this hero worship  and I believe a very  strict and at time abuse father, had an impact on his life. What ever the truth is, there is a great sadness in the story  of his life , because as I read it, it seems to me, he was a man in search of his lost childhood.  Ask yourself what ever happened to the wee boy in the picture Jackson's search for childhood is no different from many of our own longings. Physiologist tell us that we all at different stages in our lives try to be children again. Frank Lake a clinical theologian talks about the child parent role that we all alternate between instead of engaging with the adult we can all become. Too often we play the child to get our own way, or we play the parent often to put another down and win a point. If only we could turn back the clock.  But we can't and its dangerous to try.  When we do it often not only affects us but can have ruinous effects on other people. None of us can live in the past, we can learn from it but we have to live in" the now". img_0819Take for instance scores and scores of mums and dads have been building arches for the Bo'ness Fair. When my children were young  I did it myself. I think it's quite magical to see a father working on an arch for one of his children, but everything has to be kept in perspective. We  all need to accept  especially in a world where there are increasingly limited resources that the simple can be the most effective.  I always remember the phrase, when it comes to art and music less can mean more . Jackson's love for children and his extravagant development of "Neverland" might be likened to the shear extravagance that many feel the Bo'ness Fair shows to children. I find myself alternating between two opinions. Delighted, entertained, and overwhelmed by the shear creativity of this community, and on the other hand left wondering is this the best use of resources? It is the same challenge I find myself facing as we consider the refurbishment of the church. Should we spend thousands on a building or give it away to make a difference in the lives of the poor, or can we do both? While saying all this it would be churlish of me not to commend the outstanding contribution that many hard working mums and dads are making to the the Bo'ness Children's Fair. For them their work is a labour of love to help them engage with their children and the community. The sad thing is for some  parents the fussing and preparation for the Fair is more about them reliving their own childhood rather than listening to their children. The truth is,  given the option of a huge expensive Fair experience, or the pleasure of Mum or Dad's company on a daily basis, I know what most children would prefer.  Sometimes we can underplay the significance children attach to the most simple of gifts or actions. All of us need to examine the motives that lie  behind the activities with which we get involved, be it in church or the community, or at work , especially when it come to our children. Sadly too often for many of us, and I include myself in this,  the big gestures  in life can be made out of our  guilt complexes rather than our genuine engagement with an issue.  I have come to the conclusion honest involvement always creates the most effective community spirit. No other town I know of  can match the enthusiasm of this community for a Festival centred around children.  Last year the Fair celebrated its 100th Anniversary. have a look at this clip from Youtube. For me the challenge is to take the Fair to another level all together. To move from being a little less  inward looking to becoming outward looking. To become an International Children's Fair. img_0156Highlighting the predicament of so many children around the world who are caught in the trap of slavery and abuse, could be the greatest contribution that the Bo'ness Children's Fair could make to the lives of children world wide as the fair moves into its second century  of "Fairness" . I'm certainly encouraged by the response that many of our young people are making to the challenge of injustice and inequity already.  Indeed as a town let's remember  it was people from our community  who set up the   Vine Trust nearly  25 years ago . Today  it is famous for  taking aid to street children in Peru. Over the last six years this Trust has built over 5 orphanages,  in various parts of Peru, set up  a Medical Centre, from which two medical ships, now operate out of in the Amazon and the surrounding area. The Trust is also sending over 300 volunteers a year to make this work happen.  Yes there is much good will and good work in our town. It now needs more good people to catch the vision. There is a sadness I feel as I finish this post.  The Jackson story will never be properly understood, but who ever does try to make sense of it   - one thing is for sure , children and his childhood must feature largely in it. There is little doubt that our childhood has a profound effect on the rest of our lives so lets help the children we know and even don't know live happy and fulfilled lives as children. .[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/lk8L_8TXaRg" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Posted By: italker   On: 3 Jul 2009   At: 12:35am


Check out my reworked version of the post in the light of your comment.


Posted By: iTalker   On: 2 Jul 2009   At: 10:43pm

Pauline , I can see how you might have thought I was commenting about your situation. I wasn’t how could I don’t know you. So please accept my apology if in writing this article it has appeared as a criticism of you and your family and friends. I may take the opportunity to re word this article so that is made much clearer. Thank you for your comments.

I am simply talking here in general terms rather than specifics. thank you for drawing my attention to the article. ``I appreciate your response. italker


Posted By: Pauline Penman   On: 2 Jul 2009   At: 6:47pm

My daughter has had the pleasure of her Mum or Dad’s company on a daily since the day she was born.How can you write this comment if you don’t know us ? Building of the arch was a labour of love by family and friends with Shanagh helping every step of the way.

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