Jacko will tonight outline his hopes for the future of "Generation O" and reveal his affinity with Kermit The Frog...
MICHAEL JACKSON is due to arrive at the OXFORD UNION at 7.30pm, an hour and a half after his scheduled arrival time.
But NME.COM’s reporter at the illustrious Union has seen an advance copy of the speech, and we can reveal that he is set to deliver an extensive, seven-page monologue from the heart, speaking openly and in very revealing terms about his own childhood and the reasons why he has chosen to make public his hopes for future generations.
The speech, which is self-deprecating in places and liberally sprinkled with humour, describes what he views as “Generation O,” a step further down the line from Generation X.
“The ‘O’ stands for a generation that has everything on the outside – love, success, fancy clothing and fancy cars – but an aching emptiness on the inside.
“I therefore want to propose tonight that we install in every home a children’s universal bill of rights.” He goes on to outline the seven tenets of this bill of rights:
The right to be loved without having to earn it
The right to be protected without having to deserve it
The right to feel valuable, even if you come into the world with nothing
The right to be listened to, without having to be interesting
The right to be read a bedtime story without having to compete with the evening news
The right to education without having to dodge bullets
The right to be thought of as adorable (even if you have a face only a mother could love)
“You probably weren’t surprised to hear that I did not have an idyllic childhood. The strain and tension that existed with my own father is well documented.” He goes on to describe his father as a “taciturn task-master” who wouldn’t show emotion because of his own upbringing. And he says he wants to set his own children right so that they will not judge him similarly.
He adds that he hopes they don’t resent him when they are older, “when they say, ‘Why weren’t we given an average childhood like all the other kids?'” He prays that his own children will give him the benefit of the doubt.
He also addresses the epidemic of violence in the US, literacy problems in the US and the UK, and likens the Columbine High massacre to the tragic story of James Bulger, the toddler abducted and killed by two older children.
During the speech, he quotes from Mahatma Gandhi and Jesse Jackson.
Acknowleging that his speech won’t change things overnight, he adds: “This call for forgiveness may not result in Oprah moments the world over, with thousands of children making up with their parents, but it will at least be a start and we’ll all be so much happier as a result.”
He will also give a nod to some of the other figures who have passed through the halls of Oxford – “Mother Theresa, Albert Einstein, Ronald Reagan, Malcolm X and Kermit The Frog” and adds that he feels an affinity with Kermit’s message that “it’s not easy being green”.
He also notes the fact that he himself doesn’t have academic qualifications, and jokes: “But then, Einstein couldn’t moonwalk!”
On a more serious note, he adds: “I am the product of a lack of childhood, an absence of a precious and wondrous age when we frolic playfully without a care in the world,” and describes how he wanted to be a typical boy, building treehouses. And he says that being robbed of a childhood is the basis for his friendships with Dame Elizabeth Taylor and actor Macaulay Culkin.
Around 300 people are packed into the main debating hall of the Union tonight (March 6) to witness the speech in person, and video-links have been set up in other ante-rooms so that hundreds more can watch the speech, the most over-subscribed and keenly anticipated of all the Union’s addresses.
NME.COM will bring further updates after Jackson has completed his speech, and click back tomorrow (March 7) for our video report.