George Michael’s death has left a huge hole in the hearts of his fans, but his fan base is locked in in-fighting. Here’s a look at one fan caught in the crossfire.
George Michael’s death has left a huge hole in the hearts of many who loved and respected him over the years. Many of his fans are still unable to accept his untimely passing.
George was a superstar who disappeared from public view, and very little is known about the last few years of his life as well as circumstances of his death. As a result, questions abound, while pure speculation and imagination run rampant. People jumped to conclusions when no one knows exactly what actually happened. This led to a division among his fans, where the demarcation line often lies with George’s partners. Since his passing, it has become apparent that many fans will never see eye to eye over George’s partners.
In the backdrop of this conflict, a young fan named Ben found himself attracted to the call for unity presented by a certain faction of George Michael fans. Instead of unity, he found hypocrisy rooted in high morals — the type of morality that makes OUR side morally right, and THEIR side wrong. Ben saw himself smack in the belief system of “if you’re not with us, then you’re against us” — if you are not 100% with them, then you must have evil motives or agenda. Thus, the claims of an “attack” when there is none; screaming of a takeover when there is not even an interest. Drama people NEED to create drama as much as we all need to breathe.
Read Ben’s response to the “Will abd Grace” story that was written about him.
One day, I sent this tweet in response to a person who clearly spends some time on a regular basis hating on George Michael’s long-term partner Fadi Fawaz:
That’s how it all started. I then became part of a ‘thread.’ But more on that later.
A couple of days later, I endorsed (yes, endorsed!) the blog belonging to a lady who’s done her very best to destroy my reputation ever since. This is my tweet showing how I promoted her blog:
But let’s go back to that day I sent the first tweet you saw urging a certain lady to be less hateful towards Fadi Fawaz. It will give you some of the background needed.
After I sent that tweet, one of my followers who I’ve seen before but didn’t know back then, sent the following message in response to my tweet:
This also shows how and when that lady (with the blog) ended up in this thread.
As I’ve understood it, using fictitious names is the proper way to go about these things (even though this lady is already anonymous) but let’s play along. I’m nothing but adaptable. Therefore, I now choose to call her Ms. Murdoch (because of the namesake’s considerable talent for exaggeration, gossip, and lies.)
Back to my story now. The following day, another guy sent this tweet, addressing Ms. Murdoch:
Since I was tagged I responded to the tweet, as I will show you in a minute. I agreed to some extent to what this guy said. And to this day I’m sure that’s the main reason Ms. Murdoch hates me so much.
But before I show you all EXACTLY what I said, I like to take a moment to express a view of mine: BLOGS DON’T HAVE TO BE IMPARTIAL!
There’s no reason why they should be. Everyone who runs a blog should definitely write from their own point of view. BUT this lady claimed to be impartial in those areas that matter. She also claimed to be the voice of reason in a flammable situation where GM’s fans are literally at war with each other. And she presented herself as the solution, the only impartial alternative… maybe the leader of a peace movement?
Since she encouraged her followers to support cousin Alex but seemed to frown a bit when people supported Fadi (even though I agree that she defends him to some extent on her blog) I questioned her neutrality. Still do.
I’d like to give you an example of what I’m referring to here. Here she asks us all to pray for cousin Alex:
Not very religious myself but that’s noble I’m sure and had I also seen her rally her followers to lift up Fadi for all the attacks he continues to get or for Kenny Goss too… well then I can’t see any reason to object to her claims of impartiality. But I have not seen such tweets.
And once again, in case you forgot. I have never said she has to be impartial. All I did was to challenge her CLAIMS of being just that…
In that context it might be easier to get what I’m trying to say:
Despite saying that, I still thought of her blog as the uniting force it was all trumped up to be. Still believed in its healing powers back then, so that’s why the very next day when a new blog post arrived I endorsed her blog with the following tweet:
That finally led to her asking me to participate in her blog. But first, things took a turn I hadn’t quite expected… although we started out exchanging pleasantries and I mentioned the Simon Hattenstone interview, linked in that latest blog post:
We got into the subject of bullying and I said:
This is a very tiresome read, I’m the first to point that out. But I simply can’t see any other way to tell you guys what went down since I’ve been the focus of so much of her drama.
Another GM fan had joined the convo, she said something rather flattering:
So now there were two convos going – and I only mention those tweets above since Ms. Murdoch seems to allude to what’s said a few minutes later:
“Once you get to know me Ben you’ll love me too” …um okay? We’ll see about that. This is my reply though and I cringe a bit reading it today:
But Ms. Murdoch wasn’t reassured at all. Now she sent this reply:
I admit I was baffled. I had no idea that SHE was the topic at all. Despite that I tried to calm her down by this reply:
This is her reply to that:
OK.. we will get back to the convo in no time. But here I simply must point: Did she clearly fail to see the difference between herself and an opinion of hers? Happens all the time on social media but this lady I’m sure is a lot older than me and maybe I was silly enough to believe that she knew the difference…
Back to the convo again. And my reply to her question:
Then she had this to say:
I referred to Fadi’s defenders in general when I said:
When I wrote that first tweet you saw in this post, the one defending Fadi, I became part of that thread but it certainly wasn’t the first time I defended him. But usually, I do it a little differently. I usually defend Fadi when he himself posts something and some people jump at him immediately, sending very cruel replies.
So yes, I had seen some of the people in the thread before and basically viewed them as good people (still do!)
Then Ms. Murdoch had this to say:
This might be a valid point (the first sentence) that I should’ve read it all… to some degree, I actually agree with her here. But when you log into Twitter folks… let me give you an example: If you happen to see that someone on your TL talks about his conviction that the earth is flat (yes there’s a flat earth movement!) Let’s argue just for the sake of it that you feel compelled to challenge that assumption, would you really go back and read every 200 tweet posted in this thread already?
I admit I might be wrong here, but I simply wouldn’t. Life is short, my friends — If I’ve learned anything at all since my dad died this summer (before he even reached his 50th birthday) it is that you grab life by its hornes. Every minute counts, life is sooo short! Reading hundreds of tweets in a thread isn’t always that rewarding. And after all, you don’t need to know what every tweep has said about the subject… you already know the earth ain’t flat 😉
Well I simply said this:
I also said:
After that we went back and forth, Ms. Murdoch lecturing me in every tweet. This might be the only thing I said in that context I’m a tiny bit proud of today – being quite the pushover otherwise:
I would urge you all; go back and read that convo, every single reply that’s not included here. I would appreciate that a lot since I’ve got nothing to hide whatsoever.
THE BIGGEST MISTAKE of all was believing that all her talk of kindness, unity, love was more than just pretty words. That it was more than rhetoric. She clearly wanted me to fall at her feet, but I didn’t know… I had been under the assumption that she was a tolerant, reasonable person who wanted honest feedback (good AND bad). That’s what I would have wanted if the blog had been mine.
Because of the perceived hostility, I was quite surprised when she said this all of a sudden:
Now remember….this is the lead up to the infamous DM conversation you might or might not have read yet. If not, it’s still out there to the best of my knowledge…
But it’s obvious that I need to clear out a few misunderstandings (and accusations!) What I suggest in the DM convo that followed had absolutely nothing to do with me being so fabulously unique that I had to have a spot of my own.
IT’S SIMPLY LIKE THIS: Her main readers tend to know each other. They communicate on a daily basis, some of them probably go years back. But not me. I hardly even follow any of her regular readers. So when I pitched the idea of submitting an article to her, I only wanted her audience to know who I am. I thought that a short presentation, using my own words would help people relate…
Also, I believed that a gay perspective might be welcomed in this almost exclusively female (and straight?) world where they actually worship a gay icon.
Maybe I could’ve pitched it better than I did. But nowhere did I give the impression that I wanted to steal her blog as she later accused me of. I absolutely had no intention of trying to run any agenda or horrors, stealing her blog.
After that infamous DM chat, she started spreading rumors about me. She claimed in all seriousness that I had tried to take over her blog. I will give you a few examples, and you can form your opinion about things she really said about me.
Before I do that, let me also remind you of a few things I ACTUALLY said:
BUT as most of you undoubtedly know by now… after that convo she immediately started a ruthless smear campaign against me, she used basically two methods: She gossiped in private and told other people my name and everything, so why she now pretends to protect my identity in her “Will and Grace” piece is a bit peculiar.
No actually it’s not hard to understand at all. Everything is about appearance, and in order to gather her faithful herd she needs to come off as morally superior. So what does it matter that she has gossiped and lied about me in her DM chats (yes, I’ve seen screenshots!) as long as the image is squeaky clean.
But all that gossiping in secret wasn’t quite enough for her, oh no! She also talked openly about me on many occasions. Albeit without naming me then, but since many of the faithful already had learned who she was talking about, it didn’t really make much of a difference, did it.
Just a few samples of the type of things she said about me… and remember when you read those posts: This is the same woman who tells us all how we should treat each other with kindness and respect. How we must learn to agree to disagree and stand united.
The next few days she talks more about me than about the ‘death in her family’ so boy, did I make an impression. But these examples are mainly from the same day I believe:
So glad that George Michael won’t have to see how he’s actually used in a smear campaign… and even though I always make an effort not to pretend to be GM’s mouthpiece as so many other fans do, I admit it’s my conviction that he would’ve told HER to piss off!
Like any media moguls, Ms. Murdoch surrounds herself with reporters to get information and news stories. And yes, some of these reporters use, umm.. “creative” ways to get information and news stories.
This particular woman, let’s call her Ms. Spy, a woman I never talked to in private before (and just once as I can recall on public twitter) sent me a DM. It was so close after the botched conversation with Ms Murdoch that I immediately got suspicious.
Of course she swore that there was no connection. In fact she went out of her way to assure me she could be trusted:
I later learned that not only did she repeat some of the things I said to other people but also didn’t mind distorting them to fit the narrative…
Do you know how this woman tried to gain my trust? It was actually pretty clever. For instance, she sent a picture of George Michael’s uncle… the one who was gay and committed suicide. After all, I had very briefly mentioned being suicidal at some point in my life, and then I guess it came in handy to present this.. but for my eyes only. She made sure to tell me I could never show it to anyone else – thereby indicating that she had given me a precious gift.
Um… wonder what George Michael would’ve felt had he known how his poor dead uncle was used to lure another gay guy?
Had I not seen the screenshots, I wouldn’t have believed it myself; the way she used me. Her friendliness was so convincing, right from the start. Our chats were not many though for which I’m grateful. And when I chose to end that “friendship” I knew she was being dishonest but I still liked her. Not until a few days later did I realize the full scale of her betrayal.
In one way this hurts even more since she acted so friendly. Ms. Murdoch was after all cold with a penchant for lecturing me (but still accused me of not liking her enough, as you all could see earlier) but Ms. Spy led me on by pretending to be my friend. And when rereading the convos today it’s embarrassing to see how I made an effort to give her the benefit of the doubt, even though some of the things she said was just unbelievable. So it makes me cringe all over reading some of my own words.
Before I forget it, I don’t accuse these individuals of homophobia (nor did Mia) What she said was simply that George Michael would have turned in his grave had he known that even a gay person (like he also was) could be targeted in such a vile manner by people claiming to be his fans. Bringing it up because Ms. Murdoch made a big number of being accused of homophobia both in tweets and in blog post.
But I suppose that people who can’t distinguish between themselves and their opinions also find it hard to differentiate between homophobia and just simply being willing to treat a gay person like dirt. So the gay reference was only a reminder that the person they claim to worship (George Michael) was gay too.
The Conspiracy Narrative
I’m sure that Ms. Murdoch’s conspiracy narrative has been quite successful thus far…. just think of it.
In that context, everything becomes very much black and white. She talked about an “orchestrated coup.” What could be more dramatic? She lets her followers know that not only is SHE under attack, but so is all of them. That’s how she gathers support and appeals to their good will to help and stand behind her.
And here I was, thinking all that talk of unity meant something completely different.
The Perils of Clearing Your Name
I’d better finish off now by telling you all a true story I’ve heard… it involves this (straight) man being accused of sending what’s commonly known as a ‘dick pick’ to some unlucky girl.
This guy claimed it never even happened. That this girl simply made it all up after being rejected. But even so, how on earth do you prove your innocence in such a delicate matter? Well, the problem wasn’t just the accusation, the problem was also that a real picture existed. But according to him that image in no way depicted his manhood. What it showed was also um.. considerably smaller than what can be found on the average man. Online bullying can be really silly, ain’t that the truth.
Finally, he got so upset he did something that just made matters worse. He produced the real thing. He posted an authentic ‘dick pic’ in order to once and for all shut them up and show them all how wrongly accused he had been.
Oh well… as soon as he hit send, he had of course already done that very thing he was accused of: Posting an unsolicited dick pic — see, where I’m going with this? You’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t.
The parallel to my story is of course that after posting this rebuttal, I will probably once again be portrayed as that horrible guy who attacked an impeccable lady and tried to undermine her wondrous and inspiring blog. I have no doubt at all that I will once again become the villain in that narrative — even if they would only resort to gossiping in private. After all, that’s where rumors develop their wings and after a while get a life of their own.
Could it be that people who claim to be very loving shouldn’t always be believed unless they also follow through? It’s what we DO much more than what we just say – well, at least that’s what I’ve been taught.
THANKS for taking the time to read this, ladies (and gentlemen?) …and if you’ve gotten this far I applaud you for that. I so wish that the next time we all – you and me – hear unsubstantiated rumors of any kind about our fellow being, we turn away. Simple as that.
Final reflection — supporting someone online can turn into a nightmare of accusations and betrayal. This very last screenshot will show you yet another example when I also (naively) supported this blog of hers:
P. S. About the conversation between me and Ms. Murdoch mentioned earlier – since we’ve blocked each other long ago (Ms. Murdoch and I) it took some effort to piece together the convo you saw earlier… some replies might not have been in perfect order but I’d suggest that you check out the whole conversation on my Twitter. That way you can read every single reply… even those I had to leave out for reasons of space.