August 2004

Volume 27

 

August 7, 2004

Free Willy Goes Postal, Shark Attack

Did you guys see the footage on the news of Free Willy going postal on its trainer. Ok, let me translate that for you. Did you see the footage on TV of the killer whale attacking its trainer? Actually, it turns out it was a female whale. Personally, I think the whale had PMS and just went crazy. Hey, some women get like that when they have PMS (coincidentally, most of them work at the post office. Iím just kidding).

Actually the footage was quite eerie. The whale exhibited intelligence and showed premeditation in going after the trainer and trying to flattened him, especially when she eerily reversed and tossed him back into the water as his co-workers almost pulled him out (that was creepy).

In a similar story, a brave 11-year-old boy had his arm reattached after being attacked by a bull shark. Hereís an excerpt from a BBC article:

ďOn Monday he appeared at a news conference in Texas, wearing a T-shirt with a picture of a shark open-mouthed. The boy described how he punched his attacker in the gills after learning how to do it from the television. ĎI was watching TV the day before and I saw that on the Discovery Channel,í he said on Monday."

Thatís right baby, you kicked Nemoís butt. Donít mess with Texas.

Speaking of Texas, Austin resident Lance Armstrong won the Tour De France (How do you like them crepesÖjust kidding).

Funny Tennis Quotes:

People say, 'Oh, it's Anna's image.' I like Anna (Kournikova), but it's no image. She's been like that all her life. Since she was a little girl she is thinking she is the best and the prettiest." - Marat Safin

Hahaha! No comment.

"After losing the first set 6-1 and struggling during the second, Andy Roddick had a few choice words for himself. "Andy, you should be fixing toilets today," he yelled."

While, what you do in your personal time is your business (hey, who are we to judge) is there a story behind that, that you wanna share with us (kidding).

I caught a few matches from TMS Canada last weekÖand Roger Federer actually threw his racket. You been hanging out with McEnroe or something? (ok, Federer is so calm that when he threw the racket, it looked like he dropped it). Just kidding about John. McEnroe and others may joke about Johnís tantrums, but he really has won a lot of stuff. Take it from me, someone whoís won Ö-Aisha counting tennis titles- um, yea take it from me, someone whoís won 0 titles, heís won a lot of stuff Ė several grand slams (the rest of us have to buy ours at Dennyís) and quite a few other titles as well.

Roddick and Federer squared off in a final again (TMS Canada), Roger claiming the title. I think their matches are good. It gives people what they want to see Ė two great players with contrasting styles.

However, both he and Roddick were fatigued in Cincinnati, Roger going out in the first round and Roddick having to work for that first round win. They both looked quite weary, but that is to be expected after all the tennis (and the level of tennis) theyíve been playing.

Amy Frazier

In the last sound off article, I wrote about Amy Frazierís tan-less complexion and joked about the potency of whatever sunscreen she uses. A few days later a journo from The San Diego Union Tribune asked her what brand of sunscreen she uses and she told them. Girl, youíre a walking endorsement for that stuff. Just whatís in it? Teflon? They might as well pay her for it, as itís one of the best endorsements this year (even though she technically endorsed them for free by giving the journalist the name of the product Ė hey, be nice sunscreen company and cut her a check).

Arthur Ashe

Recently, ESPN aired a show on the late Arthur Ashe and the disgraceful manner in which a newspaper forced him to publicly acknowledge having HIV. It was such a gross invasion of privacy. Medical records are supposed to be private; therefore divulging his medial condition, with or without seeing his records was reprehensible. He was already struggling with the disease and that must have made it that much worse. Stress and depression weaken the immune system. The undue stress could not have helped him.

Ashe, however, composed him self in a dignified manner. He didnít blame everyone. He didnít curse at people. He did not let himself go. He did not indulge in debauched behavior, as a way to forget his pain, while letting down his audience. He concentrated on helping others and setting a good example.

When things are going well itís very easy to be a good role model, but when things are bad some become alcoholics, turn to drugs, promiscuous behavior in a vain attempt to ease their pain (it only makes it worse) all the while setting a bad example. During times like that you have to look within yourself and look to God to not fall apart. To not set a bad example. To not hate and blame others. Ashe showed character in how he conducted himself. It would have been very easy for him to feel sorry for himself and publicly wallow in self-pity, but he didnít.

- I read an article recently about Britney Spears that originally came from the New York Post (but I read it elsewhere). The article was titled ďBoozer Britney.Ē

No matter what industry people say, articles like that are not helpful. I read the article and thought, whoa Britney! Itís just 12 o clockÖand whiskey too. It showed a pic of her allegedly knocking back a little bottle of whiskey in the middle of the day. Now sheís suing, saying it wasnít whiskey, but a herbal drink. The paper has not retracted their story. Why donít you guys get one of those CSI people to use satellite imagery to get an enlarged pic so you can clearly read the label and settle this thing. Just kidding (but not a bad idea).

The article then went on to say how spotty her skin had become and how much junk food she ate for the day. Recently, there were also headlines about Olsen twin Mary Kateís battle with anorexia. Another gross invasion of privacy. Itís ironic Ė the tabloid press are bashing Britney for eating and bashing Mary Kate for not eating. And they wonder why kids are so confused.

Book About Moore

Authors David T. Hardy and Jason Clarke have combined the titles ďRush Limbaugh Is A Big Fat IdiotĒ by Al Franken and ďStupid White MenĒ by Michael Moore to come up with the title of their book on Moore, ďMichael Moore Is A Big Fat Stupid White Man.Ē
You know, Iíve heard of ďblack on black violence,Ē but who knew there was white on white violence too. Iím just kidding.

However, I read an article in the San Francisco Examiner that outlined inaccuracies in Mooreís film, that have been pointed out in the book ďMichael Moore Is A Big Fat Stupid White ManĒ (Iím still stunned at the titled). Here are a few of those inaccuracies as reported by the Examiner:

Here's a look at some of the distortions, inaccuracies, half-truths and lies in "Phonyheit 9/11."

Moore argues Al Gore would have won the election against George Bush. His props are newspaper headlines that proclaim Gore would have won with a recount. But he never mentions the six-month study done by The New York Times, the Washington Post and CNN that confirms Bush's victory (Thomas Frank, "Film offers limited view," Newsday, June 27, 2004).

He makes a spectacle of the fact that no senator (that's senators from both sides of the political spectrum) would sign an objection to the certification of the election results. Could it be that there was no validity to the complaints? Or is this a conspiracy so huge it includes almost "everyone"?

The movie also claims that Bush couldn't get his judicial nominees confirmed. Not true. Though the president did have to deal with partisan pettiness, he met the challenge, getting 28 judges confirmed (www.usdoj.gov/olp/confirmed107.htm) while also passing a huge tax cut, the Economic Growth and Tax Reform Reconciliation Act of 2001 (www.taxfoundation.org).

Moore states that the president spent 42 percent of his first year in office on vacation, but he doesn't say that the calculation included weekends and time spent at the presidential retreat Camp David meeting with foreign leaders such as British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koisumi (Teri Sforza, The Orange County Register.)

When Moore accosts various congressmen about having their children enlist in the military he gets a few laughs, but doesn't score any points in honesty. Moore claims that "only one" member of Congress has a child in Iraq. Then he closes with the misleading statement, "Not a single member of Congress wanted to sacrifice their child for the war in Iraq."

Well, of course no one "wants" to sacrifice a child for any purpose. We'd consider them a monster if they did. Yet, Moore leaves off the pertinent information that Representatives Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), Todd Aiken (R-Kan.) and Senator Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), Senator Joseph Biden (D-Del.) as well as Attorney General John Ashcroft all have children serving in the military.

Yeslam Binladin, relative of Osama Bin Ladin, also contends the film has inaccuracies. In an Associated Press article dated July 28, 2004, Binladin spoke about those inaccuracies:

ďItís a moving film,Ē Yeslam Binladin, a Geneva-based tycoon and one of the al-Qaida leaderís 54 siblings, said in an interview with the French magazine VSD.

"I even laughed at times,Ē said Binladin, adding, ďbut a lot less when he states errors or inaccuracies about my family, knowing perfectly well that heís deceiving the public.Ē

In the film, Moore states that U.S. President George W. Bush tried to cover up his familyís longtime business and personal ties to the family of Osama bin Laden and other prominent Saudis because many of the hijackers were from Saudi Arabia.

One of his main points is that the U.S. administration helped 142 Saudis ó including two dozen members of bin Ladenís family ó fly out of the United States two days after the Sept. 11 attacks, even though commercial air space was closed.

ďThatís false and can be verified by anyone,Ē said the Saudi-born Binladin, who intentionally spells his name differently from Osama, the prime suspect in the Sept. 11 attacks. ďThey benefited from no exceptional authorization to leave American territory.Ē

A recent 9/11 panel report states that the chartered flights took place starting Sept. 14, once airspace had reopened.

Binladin, who has lived in Geneva for many years and has Swiss citizenship, told the magazine that his U.S.-based family members flew into Geneva on Sept. 20 before taking off again for Saudi Arabia.

The movie also states that several family members attended a 2001 wedding of one of Osama bin Ladenís sons in Afghanistan ó a claim Binladin says is exaggerated.

ďNobody from my family was at this wedding in Afghanistan except for the mother of Osama,Ē said Binladin. Yeslam and Osama are among the 54 sons and daughters of the late Saudi construction magnate Mohammed bin Laden and his 22 wives.Ē

Role Model

Many people become role models and donít do a good job of it. For example, there was a known singer that started off well, but allowed certain situations to change him. Was he changing or suppressing his real character all along? Read onÖ

Was he a hypocrite? Certainly. But he really hadnít started off that way. He had childhood struggles, but got a break when he was spotted and signed by an industry executive. All the elements were there and he became successful. But with that success came avoidable problems.

Instead of approaching his new status as a well-known celebrity with temperance, modesty and moderation Ė he started to abuse it, which is a mistake many celebrities make and it always has repercussions. This is where the problems arose. Well, where he allowed the problems to arise.

He had an image as someone responsible, kind and well mannered. He was known as a gentleman. Thatís how he started off, but he let the industry and circumstances change him. He let the excesses of the industry bring out the worst in him.

His fans thought he was a role model. Why? Because he put himself out there as one. He kept saying he was one. He kept saying he didnít want to be like other celebrities who set a bad example, but thatís exactly what he didÖand it could have been avoided.

His fans were shocked and let down when they started reading rumors in the papers about him being promiscuous. They chalked it up to gossip and the you-canít-believe-what-you-read-in-the-papers.

Then his speech in interviews started getting suggestive and disrespectful to women, as he started to talk about them in sexually demeaning ways, that he mistakenly thought was making him look hot. It may look hot to certain other celebrities who donít buy your products and have an insincere interest in you, but to your fans itís a tremendous let down.

It stunned and disappointed his audience, as they really werenít expecting such behavior from him. Certain celebrities theyíd expect that from, but not one like him who said he was decent.

His comments in interviews grew increasingly lewd and suggestive, many degrading to women Ė and his fans were mostly women and impressionable young girls. A lot of people lost respect for him because of how he was behaving. He was destroying his good name.

Then he started drinking and engaging in even more inappropriate conduct. The whole thing was creeping up on him and it's like he didnít even see it or didnít think it was serious, but it was, as it was slowly destroying everything heíd spent years working for. Heíd compromised in one area, which lead to compromise in another and before you know it, his behavior had negatively affected every area of his life.

His fans were horrified at the whole spectacle and promptly fled for the exit. A million dollar business became a thousand dollar business.

And can you blame them? He embarrassed his fans with his willfully inappropriate behavior. Theyíd speak of his character and how positive of a role model he was, then he just lets them down by deliberately behaving in a very unseemly manner and for all to see.
At least some celebrities try to preserve their fans expectations and not behave badly in public. Hypocritical? Yes, but at least they have a conscience where their audience is concerned and arenít brazenly and willfully falling from grace for all to see. At least they are thinking about their fans in not wanting to let them down.

It wasnít a case of making a mistake, as some people fall into temptation and later regret it. But that wasnít what that was. That was publicly embracing inappropriate behavior and publicly extolling its supposed virtues.

It was deliberately and publicly indulging in behavior contrary to what he said he stood for while all those impressionable young people who were looking up to him as a role model were stunned.

No one told him to put forth that image. That was his choice. Therefore it was his responsibility to live up to it as well Ė even when he didnít feel like it. Thatís character and integrity. Otherwise, donít put yourself out there as a role model.

I read and listened to the comments many of his fans made and you can tell if effected them. They were deeply disappointed. It made them think all celebrities were fake. That you canít take people at their word.

Still, all these things go back to character. To set a good example and follow through even when you donít feel like it. Even when things arenít going well with you. Even when you are not successful in your endeavors. Even when you are going through difficulties.
However, the ones who are more concerned with their egos, what the press thinks and what their new insincere celebrity friends think, above what God and their audience think, donít have their priorities in order and are in for a nasty shock in the event their celebrity isnít what it once was (and most careers have declines).

Celebrity friends will disappear. The press will stop calling for interviews with the frequency they did before. That happens all the time.
My dadís a musicologist and a Dj. He raised me in the industry and since I was a kid, Iíve seen so many celebrities come and go - and their celebrity friends along with them. When they arenít number one anymore Ė do you think they can call all those celebrity friends for help? Usually only a few (the decent ones) - if any at all. At least God is dependable.

When you become a celebrity insincere people will pursue you. People who didnít care about who you were before, all of a sudden will try to become your best friend. Will try to have sex with you. Will try to become your financial advisor. Sometimes all of the above.

In the case of the entertainer I mentioned, he believed the insincere people that were pursuing him. He started sleeping with different women, when before he wasnít that type of person. He started getting drunk, saying inappropriate things in interviews and neglecting his audience for his new found fame, which he forgot was due to those fans he was neglecting in favor of his new fake celebrity friends and debauched parties. Quite a few entertainers have made that mistake.

When his celebrity disappeared, so did his fake celebrity friends. You have to bear in mind, any celebrity and or groupie that would pursue you and be so willing to sleep with you without even knowing you, doesnít really care about you. They only care about being associated with you as long as it is beneficial to them and their career. Being able to say they are dating or slept with that person (even if they are not dating publicly Ė they can brag to the people they know).

Donít get me wrong. There are some decent celebrities out there that arenít like that, but many are.

You have to understand, if anyone is willingly to do certain types of inappropriate music and undertake seedy film roles, it says they are compromising their soul everyday, therefore donít think they wonít compromise you as well then disappear when things are not well with you.

If anyone is willing to prostitute themselves all the time by taking the most depraved and raunchy film roles or make the most controversial and profane music Ė they will use you then act like they donít know you if your career goes on the decline and itís not profitable to be seen with you anymore.

Iíve seen it happen so many times over the years, yet people still fall for that. Iím like, whatís wrong with you people, donít you watch ď Behind The MusicĒ on VH1 (just kidding).

Itís sad Ė that singerís fans that he neglected were better to him than his fake celebrity friends, who conveniently disappeared when his fame did. His fans would send him gifts, pictures, drawings, teddy bears, birthday cards and letters Ė that he did not thank them for. He didnít even acknowledge it and those kids were saving their allowances to buy those gifts to send to him. They could have spent their money on other things.

Most of the time, all they want is a thank you in return. While you donít owe your audience your life, you can tell them thank you. You can do little things for them. You can try to set a good example for them. You can encourage them to do the right thing. Those things will make a difference in their lives. Thatís using your celebrity in a good wayÖto help others.

As I watched the whole thing unfold, it reminded me of mistakes I witnessed other entertainers make over the years. I thought to myself, he is gonna regret this stuff, as it is gonna cost him his career and a lot of emotional misery. I wasnít thinking that condescendingly by the way. I do care about people and I thought he had a lot of potential. I really didnít want him to lose his career or have it decline the way I knew it would and did due to the choices he was making.

Itís one thing to have your career decline due to a lack of hits, which is sometimes unavoidable for many entertainers (hey, it happens a lot), but to have it decline due to poor choices like the ones listed above is regrettable and avoidable.

However, when things are well with people they often donít want to listen. They get ideas in their head about anyone trying to tell them to do the right thing. Some will think you are jealous of them, are trying to use them or trying to control them. Like I wrote recently, some think every acquaintance is an admirer and every fan is a stalker, when it may just be someone who feels compassion for you due to the problems they notice in your life.

There are some in the industry who will tell you to be careful of certain pitfalls, while others having been in the business a while and are not particularly fond of some celebrity egos that will insultingly and verbally question their motives, adopt the attitude of let-them-find-out-the-hard-way. However, some will put the indignity of it all aside and try to talk to the person in hopes that they wonít end up ruined.

Many people, especially in the entertainment and sports industries canít tell how things really are with them, because, well, itís them (yes, baffling statement, but read on and Iíll explain). For a person who canít discern how certain situations really are because they are the one going through it, another sensible, decent person can look at it objectively and provide honest feedback and good advice.
How is certain advice bad or opportunistic Ö

If someone tells you to get off drugs lest you overdose and die leaving people to mourn what could have become of your life. How is that bad advice?

If someone tells you to lay off the drinking lest you become an alcoholic or meet in a car accident that claims or alters your life and someone elseís. How is that bad advice?

If someone tells you stop being promiscuous lest you get AIDS or end up accused of rape by an opportunistic person. How is that bad advice?

If someone tells you not to invest your money in schemes, not be frivolous and spend wisely. How is that bad advice?

If someone tells you to stop wasting your money on groupies, strippers and people who donít care about you. How is that bad advice?
If someone tells you that you need to spend more time with your family. How is that bad advice?

However, with certain people, you tell them that and they misconstrue it and think you are trying to ruin their fun or use them somehow (when itís clearly other people using them).

They let the wrong people into their lives (fake celebrity friends, groupies, flunkies, opportunists ect.) and shut the good, sensible ones out (their family, decent friends, reputable business executives ect.).

Careers commonly donít last very long, and instead of looking at it in a sensible manner, as a way to improve your life, many entertainers and athletes end up ruining their lives. Instead of looking at is as an opportunity to do what you love, help others along the way and earn a sizable income, many let it turn them into indulgent, groupie chasing, alcohol swigging individuals.

But this leads back to the point Iím trying to make. Many people have a difficult time discerning how certain situations really are and end up thinking all of the above negative stuff is somehow good and going to profit them, when it will destroy them if they donít stop. There are bad choices you can make in the space of a few short years that will alter the course of your life. The industry is very good at that.

There are people in the industry who have been through bad things or someone close to them has, and they see certain warning signs in another personís life where they are going down a similarly destructive path and try to warn them.

If they donít listen, when things go wrong, they look back and think thatís what they were trying to tell me all along. It would be great if people would listen and avoid those pitfalls, but many donít. Sadly, many of those mistakes are very costly and cannot be undone. You can only adjust to them.

Recently I read an interview where a singer said sheís tired of being overprotected and needs to make her own mistakes Ė while Iím thinking there are some mistakes people donít fully recover from and some they donít recover from at all. Like overdosing Ė how do you learn from a mistake that costs you your life. Some mistakes you need to avoid.

While you canít make people do the right thing, you can only implore them to (and more importantly and effectively, pray for them), itís still sad to watch a person throw their life away with poor choices. Decisions you know will cost them a lot and put them in difficult places and situations God never intended. He gave them free will, the freedom to do what they want. However, that free will was not to destroy them.

The excesses of celebrity has destroyed many. One of the most destructive factors being sexual sins. Hereís why.

What some donít understand is the consequences for it such as lost personal and career opportunities. In some cases, it can cost you your health. You will not have Godís best for you if you are sleeping with half the planet. When you do that, you are just making your life more difficult. Youíll experience His chastisement. And the more people you sleep with, the more chastisement it will bring into your life.

Some are gonna be in shock when they leave this earth and God shows them just how much sexual sins cost them in life (The Bible talks about God going over the deeds of a personís life with them when they die). Thereís something about the repercussions of sex sins due to the fact that ďit is a sin committed with the body,Ē why it spawns those types of consequences. The Bible talks about that.
You could steal money and what goes around comes around in that youíll lose it back (the Bible calls it reaping and sowing), but with sexual sins the consequences arenít that simple. It reaches into other areas of your life.

Sexual sins always have a consequence and not always in ways that you think. Some think if they are careful and use a condom, they will not have problems...but it brings suffering into your life one way or another. You pay a price for it. It will cost you something. Itís not something you can outsmart. You can only change your ways to stop the consequences from getting worse.

Fornication, which the Bible calls sex between unmarried people is a sin, but adultery, sex with a person you are not married to, but who is married to another, is a greater sin (this includes sex with and or marriage to someone who was divorced from their spouse for any reason other than adultery). No, condemnation wonít be the consequence, because if the person asks God forgives. However, the Bible talks about the things people who commit adultery go through. The Bible describes it as a sin that affects the adulterer, the adultererís children, the adultererís finances, their name, career and in some cases their health. Itís a very far-reaching sin. You are better off being faithful.

Too bad they donít tell you that when you are out there indulging with everyone. But God does tell you through the Bible and He can forgive. However, the impact of the sin still remains in terms of the consequences in this life. Still, the sooner you clean up your life the better.

Some in the mainstream promote sleeping with as many people as possible, when God says if you do that you will pay a price for it, and if it is not repented of before passing, you will suffer for it in death as well.

Many bad choices come back to the advice people listen to as well. We all make mistakes, but it is particularly sad when people donít listen to good advice or listen to the wrong advice.

I read an article that said Jordan tried to warn Kobe about certain situations a few years ago, but he wasnít able to get through to him. Jordan was trying to help him.

In a more innocent and humorous way, years ago I saw an interview where Will Smith sad his dad tried to warn him about his spending when he became a rapper. I never forgot that interview, as it was hilarious.

Will said he had a lot of cars. His dad hilariously said to him ďWhy? youíve only got one butt.Ē

It probably wasnít the kind of advice he wanted (at that age, many donít) but his dad was trying to warn him and he was right, as Will said his funds were very low shortly after. He ended up in financial trouble, which lead him into acting to supplement his income.

I say beware of people who constantly tell you what you want to hear. While I know some will put you down, with no correction or helpful advice and thatís not good - thatís not what I mean. If someone is trying to give you advice where they see youíre going wrong, maybe you need to stop and ponder whatís going on in that area of your life thatís leading them to say that. Maybe they are seeing something you arenít.

Thereís nothing wrong with a career not being as successful as it once was. That happens to everyone at some point. However, when you start to neglect certain situations that you shouldnít, it will lead to trouble.

When you allow all the attention to get to your head and you start becoming promiscuous and drinking a lot, it will catch up with you. You pay a price for that lifestyle, as it is a sin.

Once again, a lot of it comes back to bad advice. Irresponsible friends, irresponsible business associates and flunkies who give the worst advice and continually tell people what they want to hear.

While, people generally donít like being insulted all the time by people in their inner circle, if you say youíre gonna do something stupid like run with scissors and they are egging you on and telling you how brilliant and brave you are for doing that, those people are questionable.

A lot will depend on whom you listen to. Some people are decent and give great advice, but some are corrupt and nothing good will come from them in that state (unless they change), and if you listen to them, they will lead you right into trouble. Itís like the devil giving you advice. You really canít expect it to turn out well.

Some expect to see the devilís handiwork as a person with horns and a pitchfork. Sometimes it can be via a good looking person you like, a friend, a business associate, or someone you grew up admiring Ė you listen to their bad advice and it brings trouble into your life.

If a person continually does whatís wrong, their judgment will become impaired after a while and only bad will come from them (unless they start to change for the better).


August 13, 2004

Prince William Charity Run

A follow up on the funny quote from two Sound Off articles ago. As I wrote earlier, Prince William entered a charity run of 70,000 people in London, for which he jokingly said he trained by only running around the block once.

He placed third, which is pretty good. Well done Wills. Just think, had you run around the block twice, you would have placed second. Had you run around the block three times you would have won the thing! Donít follow my line of reasoning? Well, itís my web site and it doesnít have to make sense if I donít want it to. Just kidding. Actually, he plays a lot of sports (and has done so for charity before), which is why he did so well.

Tennis Rappers:

Most of you have heard of rapper 50 CENTÖwell, now thereís rapper VinCENT, as in Vincent ďVinceĒ Spadea. I tuned in to the Today Show yesterday morning just in time to hear Vince rapping from the Olympics in Greece. Roddick is the other rapper on the US Olympic Tennis Team.

Together, they form the rap duo B-Unit. The B stands for Boca (Boca Raton, FL) where they have residences (Hey, Boca, the Bronx, same thing - kidding).

Their debut album is entitled ďGet That Match Point Or Ace Your Opponent Senseless TryingĒ (A pun on 50 Centís ďGet Rich Or Die TryingĒ).

Their album is available on ATP recordsÖ-cough- with bootleg copies available in stadium locker rooms throughout the ATP tour (Just ask for Pat McEnroe and heíll give you a bootleg for $5). Just kidding.

Speaking of Roddick, according to the Australian News, the women from the Australian team have a $500 bet going to see which one of them can kiss him first -coughĖ bimbo tramps. Just kidding, I would never call you guys bimbo tramps. I mean, why would I call you something like bimbo tramps - says Aisha with emphasis on the words bimbo tramps-

Pronunciations

The ATP needs a pronunciation guide for some tennis playersí names. While I know my name isnít that easy to pronounce, some of you make my name look easy to say.

Mario Ancic, you donít even want to know how I was saying your last name. The mispronunciation wasnít pretty.

Iím demanding ATP abbreviations! Itís either that or I make up my own and does the ATP really want that (kidding). -Aisha struggling with pronunciations-:

Max Mir, Max Myrrh, ok Max M.

Alex Bo, Alex Bog, Alex Bogdanovic Öok, itís Bogie!

Paradorn SrichaphanÖP.S.

Hicham AraziÖH.A. as in HA!

And Younes El AynaouiÖok, uh, You.

Iím just kidding, I take the time to learn peopleís names. You know, like that dude from that country in Europe (get the joke?).

But of course itís not just in tennis, as singers like Sade have names that arenít pronounced as they are written and people sometimes mispronounce Rachelle Ferrellís name as well.

Robert Kendrick: I saw some tennis tournament pics of Kendrick and thoughtÖsupermodel with a racket -cue runway music- (kidding).
You know whatís missing from Kendrick. The little sparkle they add to a good-looking personís teeth in commercials.

Just kidding, but I get jealous when I see someone thatís better looking than me, I donít care if itís a man! -Aisha ranting- nobodyís better looking than me, nobodyyyyy! IĎm kidding again Ė well, I have to say that so I donít look conceited (joking).

Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11"

A continuation of the last Sound Off article about the lies and inaccuracies in Michael Moore's film "Fahrenheit 9/11." It was announced today that Illinois newspaper The Bloomington Pantagraph is demanding an apology and 1 million dollars in damages from Moore for illegally and fraudulently using content from their newspaper. Here's an AOL news article excerpt:

The (Bloomington) Pantagraph says the headline, flashed briefly in the film, came from a letter to the editor about the 2000 presidential election recount but was doctored to look like a news story. Even the date was changed.

The newspaper fired off a letter to Moore and his production company last month that it says was lighthearted but symbolic, demanding an apology and $1 in compensatory damages.

But an attorney for Westside Productions replied this week that Moore violated no copyright laws and did nothing misleading.

"Baloney," said Pantagraph President and Publisher Henry Bird, who directed his lawyers to send a follow-up letter asking Moore to explain why material from the paper was altered without permission.

Moore has shown over and over again that he is deceitful, manipulative and untrustworthy. To lie, fabricate material and stitch people up for films and then try to pass them off as the truth is reprehensible (it's also illegal). It's not a documentary, it's Moore's fantasy that should be classified as fictitious and a drama (I would say comedy, but the vileness of it all is not funny). He managed to rope in all these celebrities to endorse it and the thing isn't even true (And what does that say about the celebrities who endorsed the film hailing it as the truth. It makes them look easily brainwashed).

He has stitched up and lied about the President, the Senate, The Bin Laden family, The Pantagraph and musician Pete Townhsend to name a few. He got angry at Townhsend because he wouldn't grant him permission to use one of his songs in the film, as he was rightfully concerned about Moore's habit of making inaccurate films. Moore then went on the radio and vindictively lied about and stitched up Townhsend. He forgot what he'd said in a prior interview about the song and how he got the idea to use it and ended up contradicting himself in the interview to bash Townsend.

Role Model

Just to clear up any confusion or speculation regarding who I was referring to in the Sound Off article titled ďRole Model,Ē this is something that happened recently. Itís a singer in his early twenties, but I donít want to write his name, as it is not my intent to embarrass himÖjust relay the story in hopes of helping other people avoid or repair those mistakes. Iíve gotten a lot of good feedback from this page, that itís helping people via the tips, info and historical type articles, so thatís why I wrote it.

Rick James Dies

Rick James passed recently. He was 56 years old. As many of you know, he lived a tumultuous, decadent life that greatly contributed to serious health problems.

He took the road many musicians have of drug use and promiscuous sex. Sadly, in some music circles, itís almost expected of you. Itís pushed on you. Drugs and promiscuous sex are the reason so many musicians struggle with different problems. They spawn other problems as well.

Rick James was a talented musician. He sang (big voice), he wrote music (not like some of the people now who take too much credit for stuff they arenít really writing), he played instruments and he produced (once again, not like some of the people today who donít know the first thing about production and are taking too much credit for things they arenít truly doing). He was gifted, but sadly, as with many musicians, the drug use and promiscuous sex began to overshadow his talents. It consumed him.

I saw his Behind The Music special again last week on VH1 and in it he talked about the mansion he bought and basically turned it into a drug/whore house. He said all they did in that house was do drugs and have sex with different people. CC from the band Poison told a similar story, as have many other musicians for many years. CC referred to the mansion he bought and unintentionally converted into a drug/whore house as ďThe House Of HorrorsĒ and that it was.

Industry life consumed them so much that they turned their homes into dens of iniquity, filled with lecherous people using them as long as it is profitable for them to do so. But let something go wrong, and it usually does in those situations and those people will scatter like a wig in the wind (ok, bad metaphor). This is a big mistake and a very avoidable one (no, not wearing a wig on a windy day, turning oneís home into a den of iniquity).

If youíve read a lot of musiciansí bios (bios as in books, not press release bios) you realize they all basically tell the same story. One of those common statements is when you get to the point that you turn your home into a den of iniquity for sex and or drugs, thatís when things really go downhill and trouble looms.

I know two people who contracted the AIDS virus in situations like that and another that got a serious STD that medical science currently has no cure for.

The fact of the matter is the more people you sleep with, the greater your chances are of getting an STD like HIV and if you are sleeping with different people, and in the same house, you donít know what each person is up to. If they are willing to engage in that type of behavior with you, they will do that elsewhere as well, contract a disease and bring it home to the den of iniquity.

However, many in the industry are so consumed by that lifestyle and wanting to have what they deem as fun, they throw common sense aside and always end up regretting.

I think Rick James later described it as degradation. In society it will reflect badly on the person because it is deemed very uncivilized and disgraceful. Many view it as a serious character flaw, as it is socially unacceptable. It also spells bad publicity.

Not to mention situations like those always bring trouble and it always outweighs any initially perceived good.

God deems it wrong, flagrantly wrong and it has to do with certain sins it encompasses. Itís living in sin times ten. Living with and sleeping with someone you arenít married to, but times ten, as itís more people. Thatís no longer just a sin; it becomes an abomination to God.

Typically, the word abomination is reserved for bridesmaidsí dresses (what is that? The brideís way of ensuring she shines at the wedding? I mean, how could you dress your friends up like a clown.), but in the Bible it refers to a greater level of sin (which God can forgive if you ask, but it has its consequences of the trouble it reeks in your life).

Many entertainers and athletes really hit the wall when they allow this to happen. It brings Godís disfavor. While bad things do happen, and itís not necessarily because the person did something, sometimes it is and one should avoid provoking bad situations brought on by bad choices. Many of these bad choices have serious consequences that cannot be undone.

Itís certainly not what God wants for anyone. When some become celebrities, they go overboard and in such a short space of time. They set themselves on another path, the wrong path, that God never intended. That lifestyle seems fun at first but the flip side, the consequences of it, are ugly. It has caused a lot of people a lot of pain and suffering. It is creating a bad mess that youíll have to clean up and live with the consequences of. It is better to exercise temperance; to not do so is too costly.

Some have whined that people who take the moral high ground are being self-righteous, but thatís garbage. Avoiding drugs and promiscuous sex is good sense, as that lifestyle has its consequences.

Please tell me how drug use and promiscuous sex is good for a person when God guarantees you that it will bring His chastisement into your life?

Even if you donít believe in God, if you open your eyes, you can see how these things have adversely affected other people. Some act like itís some mystery when itís not. Look how many entertainers and athletes are telling people how these things ravaged their lives, yet newbies enter the business and make the exact same mistake. Why would you think it would turn out any differently for you. No one is that smart and that special that they can use drugs and or be promiscuous not have it harm them.

There are theological ramifications - it affects you personally and professionally. All these entertainers who did this said it affected them in so many ways. It is also a great career distraction. You cannot focus under such circumstances. Not to mention those situations spawn unexplained emotional problems and severe depression.

As I wrote above, if you pay attention to what all these celebrities are saying regarding this, you realize once they reached the point that the industry lifestyle consumed them to the point that it reached their homes in that manner, thatís when things started to get really bad for them. Once again, if you listen, all these people are telling the same story.

Your home is an important part of your life. It is your base. It is supposed to be sacred. When you turn it into a den of iniquity, it creates all sorts of bad situations.

Some call it bad vibes and they call for the psychics and other charlatans to rid them of those problems, but that stuff doesnít work.
The Bible makes many references to homes and what people do in them affecting their lives. If certain unethical activities take place in a home, like promiscuous sex, drug use, violence or murder - misfortune will settle over the property and it will affect its owners and occupants, if something is not done about it (Iíll explain further in the article).

Many understanding this theological premise, commonly call preachers and ask them to pray over their homes (they place a drop of oil, usually olive oil, over the front door and say a prayer/ blessing over the property).

That does work, but if the person continues to do unethical things in the property it wonít, so itís best to clean up your life as well. Other wise itís like getting your clothes dirty, washing them then rolling around in mud again. It will become dirty again.

- I spoke to a very famous singer from the 70ís who struggled with drug problems and you could see the physical and emotional toll it took on him - the mental strain and the loss it created. He was very nice and wished me well with my career.

He isnít some loser, as people like to think of drug users and former drug users. Heís a smart, humble, intelligent, funny man. He just tried drugs one day and became hooked.

If you have people around you who are using drugs, you are going to be tempted to do the same. And one of those days, when you are stressed out, upset and feeling low, you are gonna view it as an escape from your problems and bam, youíre hooked. Many people got started that way.

Some have this wrong perception that you have to constantly consume this stuff before you become hooked. It only takes one time. Just like with HIV, it only takes one time.

Some get really stressed out and emotionally exasperated having to deal with unethical industry people and practices and the press. They have all that to deal with and on a daily basis, which sometimes becomes too much and they need an escape. However, drugs and or promiscuous sex are not the answer. It will discernibly multiply your problems.

Drugs attack everything - your health, your career and your finances. I remember an interview where one musician said he did $100,000 worth of drugs per year, multiply that by 5 years and thatís half of a million dollars.

Denise Matthews, the preacher, formerly known as Vanity, had an amazing transformation by Godís grace. I saw her on TBN the other day and she is so amazing. She became famous as a singer and actress. She did a lot of raunchy music and films. She said she did so much drugs that her body broke down. This is the flip side of drug use people donít tell you about. It destroyed her kidneys.
The kidneys are vital organs that regulate the water and blood in the body and expel waste as urine.

She had to undergo dialysis. That's where they attach you to a machine for 3 to 4 hours a day, three times a week. Drugs create extra toxins and impair the bodyís ability to flush them out. Not only does your body have to flush out the regular toxins, it now has to deal with those additional toxins in the form of drugs and many times the kidneys canít cope with that overload (complications from HIV also attribute to kidney disease). Dialysis removes toxins from the blood in the cases where the kidneys arenít able to do so.

Drug use affected Rick Jamesí health as well in that it weakened his heart (he had to be fitted for a pacemaker) and he became diabetic. It is believed that these factors contributed to his death.

Recently, there were headlines about the death of actor Eric Douglas, fellow actor Michael Douglasí half brother. The articles mentioned that itís a problem he struggled with for years.

One of my relatives had a drug problem. He was brilliant and a great athlete. He was the head of his class and got a scholarship to the University of Michigan. He really hadnít been away from home before. He met a girl who was a heavy drug user. She became his girlfriend and one day she offered him drugs and that was the moment that changed his life.

Different people react to drugs in different ways. It had an immediate, discernable affect on his brain. He wasnít himself anymore. He couldnít focus, couldnít remember thingsÖand you have to remember this was a brilliant guy. A scholar. A thinker. Where most people would have to study and cram to pass exams, he didnít. He had a high IQ that drugs immediately diminished. He almost couldnít function anymore. It changed the course of his life. Most people donít know drugs can do that.

What some people donít understand about people who have drug problems is they donít want to have it take their dignity, their self-esteem and all theyíve worked for. Yes, they made a bad choice, but they didnít plan on it turning out that way.

It is something that is chemically altering their brains and creating cravings and compulsions that are overwhelming to them.
My dad told me about an interview where a musician said that his drug cravings were so strong that he could pass a lawn that reminded him of the lawn at the house where he bought drugs and it would trigger a craving.

I know I sound like a PSA (public service announcement) at this point, but it is sincere and with reason. Iíve seen it happen to so many people, even people close to me and I can tell you with certainty no good can come from it. Therefore Iím imploring you to be careful of the choices you make. You donít want to ruin your life.

Like Iíve written on here before, if youíre going in or are in the industry, make the best of it, make a positive mark on society, enjoy the career you love, but donít let it destroy you.

   

 


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