February 2004  

Volume 21

February 3, 2004

The Australian Open 

The finals were a bit anti-climactic. The match between Agassi and Safin was more suspenseful. Marat was tired in his match against Roger Federer aka FedEx. Another good nickname for him would be boomerang, as he kept retuning the ball. He kept returning stuff he wasn't supposed to get to. Marat at different stages of the match had that I-can't-believe-that-came-back look on his face (insert Marat sighing and berating himself in Russian here. I'm kidding). Roger changes up his game a lot. It keeps you guessing and it works in his favor.   

Marat was fatigued from playing all those long matches. Roger spent a significantly less amount of time on the court. The written commentary during the televised match stated Safin played 303 games during the tournament. My mom made a good point in that for him to come back from a whole year off due to injury and reach a final is good. She said imagine if he'd been practicing (was able to) the whole year. 

Jackson/Timberlake Super Bowl Incident

And from the "Was That Really Necessary" file - During the Super Bowl half time show Justin Timberlake removed apart of Janet Jackson's top partially exposing her chest. 

Bare in mind, pardon the pun, that the Super Bowl aired at 6PM on a Sunday and is watched by over 140 million people, a large percent of that number comprised of children. I was genuinely disappointed that this incident happened. My little godbrother and sister were watching the show and I cringed at the thought of them witnessing that. Not to mention all the other kids who witnessed it.  

The Washington Post reported, "Based on preliminary stats, it appears that as many as one in five American kids between the ages of 2 and 11 years caught that halftime show."

Reuters reported that CBS's switchboard was flooded with calls from angry viewers. People were infuriated that it was shown during respectable viewing hours and with no disclaimer. The FCC has also launched an investigation into what happened. 

Someone on a message board also brought up a valid point in mentioning its bad timing in relation to her brother's trail. It happened at one of the biggest family shows of the year on the eve of her brother's trail for allegedly molesting a child. 

They said it was a "wardrobe malfunction," for which Timberlake apologized, but from what I've read online from audiences and journalists, many people don't believe that. Accidents do happen in that sometimes costumes do rip...but it really doesn't look like an accident when you reach over and rip it off. And it is the Super Bowl - it really isn't the right place to intentionally and raunchily shed clothes during a performance. 

People would be a bit more inclined to believe that it was an accident had a few things not happened. All week they were touting the performance as something that would be shocking. The incident happened on a lyric about shedding clothes. After the performance Timberlake bragged backstage saying, "I love giving you all something to talk about." He also said they wanted to do something different and there was also an initial press release that bragged about the display.  

You know, when I read they were gonna do something shocking for that performance, I thought, wow they're gonna plug in the mics (I'm just kidding). 

85% of the the people polled in a local TV news survey believed it was a publicity stunt and they cited she has a new single hitting radio (yesterday) followed by an album.

Part of the irony of these publicity stunts is they don't sell more records. The most recent example being the Britney Spears/Madonna publicity stunt at the MTV awards. After the stunt, Britney's new album sold 100,000 copies less in its first week than her previous release did during its first week and Madonna's already tanking American Life album didn't receive a sales boost at all, and the remix album released a few weeks later sold approximately 15,000 copies in its first week. 

Yea, the publicity stunts gets people talking about you, but not in a good way. Not in the kind of way that would compel them to buy the record as a result of the publicity stunt. It would be better to have your album not sell as well as you would like and to keep your dignity than to pull a publicity stunt, lose your dignity, some of your audience who were offended and still have no sales increase to show for it. I wish PR firms and singers would grasp that. 

 


February 7, 2004

Jackson/Timberlake Super Bowl Incident Pt 2

The fall out from the Janet Jackson/Justin Timberlake incident continues. I've been reading message boards for people's reactions and I'm noticing a lot of black people are offended aligning what happened with slavery and how black women were raped. They called the incident disrespectful to black women. 

You guys be nice, Justin speaks ebonix and is one of the best Usher impersonators out there - I'm just kidding (it's like another R&B artists with her J-lo costumes and wigs she wears all the time in addition to ripping off her style. J-lo you may want to add that to your fashion line, as you'd make a lot off that other singer alone).    

People are really going after her because of what happened. I didn't always agree with Janet's lyrics, but I always thought she seemed like a nice person. The public always took to her. She built a career over the span of 20 years and has generally been well liked. I'm sorry this happened to her because it has genuinely landed her in disfavor due to people truly being offended. A problem she never had before. Even critics are making negative comments who normally would not have spoken disparagingly of her.

She didn't need to shed any clothes to sell records, people would have bought it anyway. After all, the height of her fame and some of her best selling albums came at a time in her career when she wore blazers, turtlenecks and jeans. Justin also had an audience that liked him without the raunchiness (he sold millions of records with NSYNC). 

There are parents out there who really try to watch over their kids, so of course they would be offended. They limit their kids internet time and actually sit with them while they are online to monitor what they are viewing. They only allow a few hours of television per day and the shows have to be approved by them as well. 

People figured the Super Bowl would be harmless, therefore having something like that deliberately sprung on them really isn't fair. Things like that do traumatize kids whether people want to admit it or not. They do not need that part of their life that deals with sexuality activated at a young age. It also starts the curiosity and questions rolling in way before it should. They do not need to be exposed to sexuality at an early age, as they are not in the emotional state or frame of mind to compute the implications of it. They are bound to misuse that information and exposure.


Speaking of children, what's going on with kids today. I watched a very distressing story on the news this week about a local 14-year-old boy who brutally murdered his 12 year old classmate in a school bathroom. The case even has the psychologist they interviewed stumped. They reported the young man returned to class after the alleged killing with blood on his shirt, which he blamed on bumping into something, and sat in the classroom for hours until the police removed him. 

This is not supposed to happen in school. It's not even like Columbine where the two young men looked troubled and outwardly displayed signs of aggression. This young man does not look like a killer. He looks like a sweet, innocent kid who couldn't harm a fly. 

What happened to him. I'm not going to condemn him. God can forgive him. However, as a community we really need to find out what triggered this in a seemingly normal kid. A classmate said the young man was a honor student who was "fun and talkative." 

The psychologist described the nature of the crime as premeditated, "brutal and cold." He stabbed his classmate several times then cut his throat. The Miami Herald reported one of his classmates witnessed him downloading decapitated heads from the internet. A child, let alone an adult, should not be viewing pics like that. Why even put a site like that online. What purpose does it serve. It is totally demonic. 

The things you listen to and watch will affect you, some more than others. You don't know who falls under the category of others, so why risk it. 

There was also a story in the news this week about a group of kids who gang raped a woman. Why are kids acting like this. Where are they getting these ideas from to commit these crimes. These seeds had to be planted from somewhere. 

Programming

In this case the word programming holds a dual meaning. The programming on television is acting as a type of programming, similar to conditioning. This can be applied to video games as well. After all, if the military can use video game simulations to train soldiers, what effect are violent video games having on children. 

Companies count on repetition via advertising/air play to sell their products. They say if you hear something ten times you will remember it. How many times have you gotten a jingle or song you don't like stuck in your head. 

Ever heard someone say they didn't like a song at first, but it grew on them (after hearing it a lot). 

Ever bought an album and didn't care for certain songs on it, but after playing the CD for months, they became some of your favorites. Ah, repetition and conditioning. 

Programmers

They are like buyers for a department store who decide what you the viewer gets to choose from. It is not so much that the public prefers certain programming, it is sometimes a reflection of certain executives personal taste. They feel you will like this type of programming as well, especially with enough advertising and general availability (those are your choices, unless you choose to not watch TV). Radio programming works much the same way, but is more influenced by money (that's another subject).

Between the internet and the entertainment industry which is worse? Regardless, they are usually related, as they work together. They create and bring out so many vices. Both industries never want to accept responsibility, but keep pushing the envelope with programming and content. 

If it's not the female singers dressing like prostitutes, it's the male artists bragging about how many women they've slept with. That's like bragging that you've significantly multiplied your chances of getting the AIDS virus. There is nothing cool about AIDS, but you brag to your impressionable audience about your behavior that could greatly increase your chances of contracting it. 

Then there are rappers rapping about raping their moms, how much drugs they've taken, drunk driving and how inferior they feel black people are - who gave them their beats, credibility and the opportunity to become wealthy. If the average guy on the street talked about raping his mom, he'd get thrown into a psychiatric ward, yet this guy is on TV. Those lyrics aren't even remotely funny...and kids know all the lyrics and can recite them better than their time tables. Comforting thought, not!

There are satanic rock bands chanting the most vile lyrics at your children via their records and concerts. A lot of their lyrics are really foul and promote violence and hatred. Yet they are given mainstream airplay. 

Some singers dance routines would make a stripper blush. They sell out society's moral welfare so they can have a record in the top 10. Meanwhile, you've got little girls emulating them shaking their butts at little boys (and sometimes grown men) and dressing in ways they should not. 

Singers pushing the Lolita act - inspiring little girls to wear thongs (which is being marketed to them by a clothing company) and little tops that show their midriffs. A child dressed like an adult prostitute. There are pedophiles out there who see that as acceptance, validation and approval of their predator-like behavior. You are giving them incentive and encouraging their vices by marketing that to the public. Not to mention sex crimes against children have greatly risen over the last few years. 

Violent, misogynistic and materialistic lyrics - little boys thinking crime is the way to get rich and that women are to be disrespected and treated like trash. That your only value is the car you drive and how much jewelry you have. 

These are the very artists who will be the first to tell you how successful and independent they are. Oh really? It looks like your recording company is pimping you and the minute your sales drop you will be dropped and tossed like yesterday's trash. 

But the fact still remains that you have kids trying to imitate these artists during their tenure on the top of the charts. I think that's the most grievous part...watching a kid idolize an idiot who is not fit to lead them, and by default in most cases.

The most insulting part being the arrogant, egotistical, self-centered celebrities telling anyone who dares to tell them their behavior is reprehensible that they are jealous of them (next time just say no comment). 

People are to be jealous of individuals who employ the most unintelligible, moronic use of the English language there is, goes on stage dressed like prostitutes, wears every designer brand somehow making them look cheap and men whose whole lives revolve around rap, sneakers, sex and getting drunk. Maybe to the ignorant hangers on that kiss up to them for money that might look good, but to sensible people it looks utterly foolish and uncouth.

Entertainers love telling people to grow up and that they are not living in the real world with the ethics they hold on to. Actually, I think some of them are the ones who need to grow up because they aren't living in the real world. Celebrities don't even comprise 1% percent of this world's population (the world has an estimated 6 billion people), so who really is the majority in this case to be dictating what the real world is. The real world is not performing on stage, sleeping with groupies, wearing designer clothes everyday and getting drunk. 

I have more respect for a scientist that creates something that benefits society more than an immoral entertainer that willingly leads people astray. I have more respect for parents trying to do a decent job in raising their children than an entertainer carelessly getting women pregnant on tour. 

I'm not saying every celebrity is careless and self-centered, because there are some out there who really try to set a good example and give back. However, there are too many selfish ones in the mainstream that sell out all that is good, so they can see their mug plastered everywhere and become wealthy off things God deems wrong. 

The Bible warns about ill-gotten wealth. It's one thing to earn money from unethical means, but it's quite another when you end up having to pay for it spiritually during your life.

Making your money off selling drugs will not be a blessing. What if someone overdoses and dies off the drugs you sold them. God can forgive you if you ask, but but you will pay a price for it in this life. What if you are a singer and your behavior leads someone astray morally. God can forgive you, but you will pay a price for it in this life. 

That unethical pharmaceutical company that puts out a questionable products or that tobacco company selling cigarettes to people that cause cancer. God can forgive you, but it has its consequences. If you benefit from that financially it will not be a blessing to you. It will make you want to give every penny back.

Judas for example, betrayed Jesus for money. He felt such remorse after that he gave the money away. The priest that he gave the money to bought a field to bury dead strangers in as a charity, which was named "The Field of Blood" because he betrayed innocent blood (Jesus) to obtain that money, hence the term blood money. 

Some of you have blood money sitting in your bank accounts. Some of you sell out God with the career choices you make that negatively affects people. You need to change. Every time you push that harmful product that shouldn't be on store shelves or go on stage spewing those inappropriate, corruptive lyrics or dance like strippers on stage you are profiting off of something that God says is wrong.  

The Bible speaks of two deaths that can happen to a person: a physical death (the body - when a person dies and leaves this earth) then a spiritual death for some, not all who continued to be obstinate in what was wrong (the soul - if a person did not ask for forgiveness and refused to change their ways before they died).

Some of you aren't out there sinning by killing people (which God can forgive), but you are sinning in the immoral influence you exert on your audience in going contrary to what God says is right and are doing a lot of damage to people, especially kids in the process. You need to ask God for forgiveness and change your ways. You don't fully see the seeds you are sowing into people's lives, but God does. If that person continues down the wrong path in what God says is wrong rather than ask for forgiveness, they will lose their soul when they die. 

Let's not pretend, there's a whole culture that's been raised on unethical, materialistic, fruitless entertainment that is now a way of life for them via rock music, hip hop culture and films.

Even if you do not believe in God and don't care about the effects this is having, you should be concerned, because God forbid one of these kids commits a serious crime against you or someone you care about one day or destroys your marriage via underage sex with your spouse due to the unethical things they were taught, that was reinforced with conditioning via repetitious broadcasting (some girls are going after grown men and lying about their age, which is wrong).

What society needs to reinforce is morality and that there are consequences to choices. Why not spend some of that air time to encourage people to act responsibly and to have a conscience. Encourage girls that they don't have to dress and behave like prostitutes to be liked. Encourage boys that they should respect women and that they are more valuable than the car they drive and the jewelry they own. 

Most people like stability. After all, The Cosby Show was one of the most watched sitcoms ever. It's the family many people wanted to have according to surveys. Because no matter what certain execs claim, no one really wants dysfunction.

 


February 9, 2004

The Grammy's

I watched the Grammy Awards last night. I was only rooting for a few people, two of which I wrote about on the Diary page of this web site, Michael W. Smith and Audio Adrenaline. Congrats to them on winning.   

This year there's some controversy over the show, who won and who did not. Here's my take on it:

- Why does the music industry often fail to honor people until they die. It would be nice to see more of my older favorites honored for their work while they are alive.

- Why seat the winners so far from the stage. For a minute people thought rap group Outkast weren't there -cough- they should have sent a jet to get them from their seats. Just kidding.

- Coldplay did win an award for a song they wrote, but versus the r&b and rap that was nominated, isn't it sort of like cheating since the literacy rate in England is 99% and in a lot of hip hop it's... 

- There were a lot of actors at the show. Yea, keep encouraging non-acting singers to act. 

- Wow, Justin Timberlake beat George Harrison and Sting (insert feigning surprise here). Well, it's Sting's fault. If he would've flashed his right pec (pectoral), none of this would have happened. I'm kidding. 

- The producers of the year have believably been accused of stealing music more times than Kazaa. Shouldn't that young man have gotten an award too as the un-credited co-producer, the silent partner for all those beats he did for the Kleptunes, I mean The Neptunes that they deliberately used without the kid's permission, after flying him to their studio and leading him on for months.  

- How did booty shaking win Grammys. The lyrics I've read to that album are mostly unintelligible trash (except Luther). Then again, Madonna won Grammys once as well (you know, there should be a requirement that the artist at least be able to sing in order to win). If Beyonce won for those asinine, godless lyrics, India.ire should have won something a few years ago, instead of being snubbed, for making black women look like people to be respected rather than brainless, characterless, jungle bunnies constantly shaking their butts at people. There is a difference between singing and stripping.    

- Since they gave Beyonce five Grammys for an album with no substance, why was 50 Cent snubbed? I don't agree with his lyrics, but he was the top artist of 2003. In the mainstream it was unquestionably his year. 

The industry can't complain about the state of music, then reward some of the worst it has to offer. As a musician and a Negro I can safely say what's out now is not the best the music industry or the black community has to offer. In my opinion it's the worst. There were some deserving people who were rewarded, but most of the ones prominently featured/rewarded were lacking artistry. Have you taken a good look at some of these lyrics? Some of them don't even make sense. The images are bad as well. Crotch grabbing, booty shaking, publicity stunts and violent lyrics. 

It's not about prudery, it's about decency. What do kids have to strive for, because at this point it takes nothing to equal what's being presented to them. It takes very little talent to do what's being done now. 

I like the program Save The Music and never has it been more needed. Here's hoping the next generation of entertainers realize a lyric sheet is better than a rap sheet and a mic is something you sing into, not turn your butt to and shake it. You've got it backwards, pardon the pun. 

 


February 14, 2004

"The Passion of the Christ"

For months there has been controversy around Mel Gibson's film "The Passion of the Christ," which hits theatres February 25, 2004. I haven't seen the film and I want to be fair to the Jewish Community and Mel (Dude, send me a copy, I promise I won't put it on Kazaa or try to sell it on Ebay - I'm just joking).

I applaud him for making a movie about Jesus. However, in Hollywood he was guaranteed opposition on that alone. However, I want to be fair to the Jewish community because I support them and Israel. I want Jewish people to be portrayed in the best possible light. Therefore, I want to see the film first to know if it truly is anti-Semitic. If it stuck to the Bible, or the storyline as they say in the industry, it should not be anti-Semitic. After all, the Bible was written by Jewish people and has been a great blessing to me and countless others. More importantly, our Savior, Christ, is also Jewish.

Mel's film is actually a success before it's even been released. The movie is totally in the mainstream, in the secular media. It's not an obscure art house film relegated to a few theatres. Therefore, it's gotten a lot of people talking about Jesus.

I've been a Christian for many years. I've read the Bible many times (since I was 15 I've had about 5 copies of the Bible, 4 of which fell to pieces because I read it so much trying to memorize scriptures from it and had to get new ones). I've also studied Jewish culture, and in as much as God has taught me through the Bible and experiences, going through the checkout isle in the supermarket and catching a glimpse of a still from the movie of the crucifixion, that is featured on the cover of this week's Newsweek magazine, left me gobsmacked. My mouth was literally open (and it takes a lot to stun me). Looking at the brutal pics from the movie shocked me and reminded me of just what He went through on our behalf. 

The pictures are so striking. The realism is amazing. It's the most stunning depiction of the crucifixion I've ever seen. Even the trailers and imagery featured on the film's web site are stunning (click on the highlighted link to the right http://www.thepassionofthechrist.com )

I kept reading where critics said how realistic the film is and now I understand why they wrote that. So, for the above-mentioned reasons, the film is a success.

 

 Photo Credit: Philippe Antonello

One of my favorite preachers John Hagee joked that the Lord needs a PR firm to remind people of the things He has given them (life, trees, plants, animals) and I sometimes think so as well. I'm not being irreverent, neither was John, but some people in mainstream Hollywood and the press need to be taken to task each time they cross the line, which they so often do, with projects that mock Christianity and slander Christians.

God gave us life; He is the Creator, yet liberal Hollywood tries to paint another picture of Him. They include blasphemous references to Him in television shows and films (i.e. taking His name in vain. Every time you write God's name then the word d*m behind it into a script, you are taking his name in vain and it is a sin). Perverse projects from people like Andrew Lloyd Webber and Dan Brown who decide to rewrite history in an attempt to make Him a lustful fornicator (you wish). If someone wrote slanderous projects about them, they'd be infuriated and would sue. So, how is it okay to write slanderous projects about Christ? Because He won't sue you? Oh, He could do a lot worse than sue you. 

Just because you would do something unethical doesn't mean He would. Too often people use their carnality and try to apply it to God and you just can't do that. You need to change your ways and become a better person then you will begin to understand Him more.

It stands to reason, if you think adultery is good, if you think sleeping around is good, if you think stealing people's money is good, you are not going to understand the virtues of doing the right thing and the benefits of it. What, you think because you do these things everybody else must be like that as well? No, that's not true. 

I do not agree with Anti-Semitism. I think racism/discrimination against any ethnic group is wrong. Even as much as many extremist Muslims believe Jewish people and Christians should be killed, I do not harbor any ill will or hatred toward them. After all, they are God's creations as well and we are to love our fellow man, regardless of how misled they are.

I've heard Bible scholars like John Hagee say that they believe God picked the Jewish people as His chosen people because they were the fewest in number on the earth at the time. The reasoning being that He chose the people who were the fewest in number to show His might in that He can accomplish anything regardless of the circumstances and that He did. Because of God's blessing the Jewish people have reached the forefront of so many areas of life.

Jewish people wrote the Bible. All the prophets are Jewish.

Some of the greatest scientific contributions to the world came from Jewish people.

Albert Einstein - The theory of relativity.

Johann Philipp Reis - made the first prototype for the telephone. If it weren't for this dude, we'd still be using homing pigeons to send messages. Have you seen the amount of poop that comes out of a pigeon? Not cute! Just ask anyone who lives in a city with a large pigeon to human ratio.

Charles Ginsburg - Invented the hologram. Hey, if it weren't for this man there would be no trekies (Star Trek).

The Rothschild's - yup, this banking family can buy enough bling bling to outfit every rapper in the industry.

I've seen shows where Jewish people joked about not being good at sports, but that's not true. There is an Israeli soccer league filled with talented athletes.

Pete Sampras (tennis) and David Beckham (soccer) are two of the most known athletes in the world…and are part Jewish.

Speaking of Beckham, fellow soccer player Maradona recently stated Beckham is too pretty to play football (He said "Beckham is a good player, but is not a world-wide star, for that he misses too many qualities. It's also a shame that he's English. Furthermore, I think Beckham is no real soccer player. He's so busy with his appearance, he's so handsome, he looks like a woman!"). Don't hate, Maradonna. Beckham is a very good soccer player. I admit, at first I too was hurt that Beckham has better highlights than I do, but I've slowly learned to accept that. I'm kidding.

Jewish people have ascended to some of the highest attainable positions and honors in society. To deny their contributions and to be anti-Semitic is wrong.

I've never understood anti-Semitism. Where did it come from? Being black I was accustomed to hearing about racism against black people, but as a kid, to me, Jewish people were white and are white and I didn't understand why other white people would discriminate against them. Then as I got older and learned about Jewish culture I can say…I still don't understand anti-Semitism.

Some racists don't like black people because we look different from them. I don't agree with it, but for argument's sake, lets say I understand the basis of that stupidity, as people often fear the unknown (though I don't agree with it). 

However, I know Jewish people who look totally Anglo-Saxon in that they have blonde hair, blue eyes and fair skin. 

One of my former co-workers is Jewish. He has blonde hair and is very fair. Many supremacists hold that up as the Anglo Saxon ideal (and blue eyes). Yet, because he is Jewish he experienced anti-Semitic attitudes from certain ignorant people. In theory, he looks very Anglo Saxon and I thought isn't that what demented people like Hitler thought made people better than others.

How can one claim superiority based on something they had nothing to do with, the race they were born.

I've heard white people make comments about being special in God's sight because he made them white and I've heard black people say that they are special and better because God made them black, hence both thinking they are superior. Well, you both can't be right so to all of you I say, shut up, already.

The Bible says God is no respecter of persons. Do you know what that means? Of course you don't otherwise you wouldn't think and say stupid things like the above written paragraph, now would you. It means your race, ethnicity, job and status do not influence God. He looks at your faith (in Him) and your actions in how you treat others.

I've got news for you, you can be black and ugly and you can be white and ugly...but not based on how you look, based on what's in your heart.

I'll give you an example. How many of you have been attracted to a good looking person, then their unethical, questionable deeds just totally turned you off to the point that you aren't attracted to them any more and you ask yourself, why was I attracted to that person?

But regardless of all you people thinking you are cuter, the important thing to remember is that I'm cuter than all of you, black and white (I'm kidding).

Hollywood and the media are generally liberal. That's not a reference to Jewish people, as Hollywood and the media are comprised of decision-making executives of several ethnic backgrounds. What I'm referring to is collectively liberal in beliefs and views.

Hollywood is very decadent. It's the most indulgent institution on the face of this earth. Rappers like to brag about being rich, but they are poor in comparison to many Hollywood executives.

Hollywood doesn't want to hear about morality or decency. They are used to getting what they want, when they want it, regardless of cost, inconvenience to others or who gets hurt in the process. They don't live in the real world. They live in a world where champagne, luxury cars, expensive vacations, infidelity and unethical business decisions are the standard.

They don't want to be faced with accountability or responsibility, which is what the Bible is about. You can always tell the word of God is the truth based on people's reactions to it. Nothing on this earth could provoke the reactions the Bible does. The Bible is often referred to as a two edged sword, which comes from the scripture in Hebrews 4:12-16. The word of God dissects and accurately explains human nature, thoughts, motives, intentions and their consequences. 

Christianity is not fading away, as much as Hollywood would like it to. It existed before Hollywood was even a thought. It has survived the test of time and will continue to do so. There are verses in the Bible where God guarantees it.

Hollywood paints the picture they want that supports and promotes their indulgent and often immoral lifestyle and agenda as the standard, however inaccurate that portrait maybe.

However, the dictionary states that America has 263,000,000 people and of that number 220,920,000 (84%) believe in Jesus (Protestant 56% and Roman Catholic 28%). 

Thomas Jefferson and the fellow founding fathers (say that five times fast) were Christians. The constitution and their writings are filled with references to the Lord and the Bible.

In modern terms, Jesus is the most celebrated, worshipped and famous person in history. He has touched more lives than any other person.

As much as there are some who are trying to remove God from society, for example, by petitioning to have the phrase "One Nation Under God" removed from the Pledge Of Allegiance, you cannot remove God from people's hearts and this nation was founded on Him.

A man's faith is apart of him. That foundation and knowledge of God will always be there. God was here before you were born and will always exist. Not to mention, God, much like your wife during an argument, will always have the first and last word and will always win.

To remove Christianity from America would mean removing its very roots and foundation. What happens to something when you remove its roots or foundation? Remove the foundation from a house and it will collapse. Remove the roots from a plant and it will wither and die.

To remove God and His impact would mean rewriting not just American history, but world history as well and to do so would make you a liar. It wouldn't stand, as people know the truth and for centuries have preserved it and passed it on even when told not to. Not to mention there is a scripture that reads, "I watch over My Word to perform it" (Jeremiah 1:12). That means He will make sure the Bible happens as He says it will. Besides, how are you gonna tell the Owner of the world to get out.

God gave each of us a soul and a conscience and in that is a reality of knowing who He is, which is why atheists so often fight against God. There's something in them telling them He exists, hence them spending so much time and expelling so much energy trying in vain to disprove His existence. I don't believe in the boogie monster and you don't see me yapping away about the boogie monster's non-existence all the time, as it's a non-issue. With atheists, God is a constant issue. So, why go on so much about Someone you allegedly don't believe exists...unless you actually do believe. Wouldn't it be easier to just believe in Him.

The Bible shows that even the animals know who God is. Hey, you just can't buy that kind of publicity.

Just think, an atheist's intelligence level is below that of an animal. Just a little joke, but isn't it ironic when an atheist trips, panics or is suddenly frightened and says "Oh my G-d!"

In closing, the focus of the film is Jesus and He is Jewish and that to me is the ultimate compliment to any group of people…to know that the Lord was born into their lineage. I'm truly sorry that this film has hurt Jewish people, as it has sparked so much dialogue about Christ. I pray that there will be reconciliation between all parties involved. 


February 21, 2004

Well, my mom is recovering from the flu. For the past two weeks I've had to take care of her. I have that caring, nurse like quality mixed with that keep your distance I don't wanna catch whatever that is quality. I don't get sick very often, haven't had the flu or a cold for several years...and I'd like to keep it that way. Yes, I'm very compassionate, I know.

I love my mom, but she turns into a five year old when she's unwell - pouting and whining included. She calls my name about 40 times a day for me to bring her something, which is down from the usual 20 times a day she usually calls me to bring her something or find something. Even though this flu was accompanied by laryngitis, which would slow down the average person, my mom kept talking and calling me anyway! 

She likes her food exactly right and she requested chicken soup, which I agreed to make for her (I usually cook dinner anyway). She is a gourmet cook and has taken several classes in the culinary arts. She's like Emeril...but with PMS. 

Off topic for a bit, we were watching Emeril last night and shouldn't it qualify as a form of torture the way he cooks great dishes and his band and the audience stare with their mouths open wanting to try them. That's one show you don't want to show up late to because if you do, you'll get nosebleed seats in the back and usually only a few people in the front row get to try the dishes first. Usually, in the music industry, the band gets the best treatment, but on Emeril's show it's the people in the front row, not his band. At one point the percussionist even stopped playing to admire a dish Emeril made. 

Back to what I was saying... I started cooking some of the ingredients for the chicken soup too soon and she made me turn it off! The woman made me turn it off!...to wait for the other ingredients in another pot to catch up (you know, for a woman that's only 5 feet tall she sure causes a lot of trouble). It all had to be timed correctly because she wanted all these exotic vegetables in the soup that can't be cooked for too long.

Not to mention I had to peel all those vegetables (I felt like I was in the Army - I wouldn't be good at combat, but if you guys need someone to peel potatoes you know where to find me). 

Speaking of mom, I was putting some documents together and decided to read my birth certificate again. The certificate (accompanying documents) says I said my first word at 4 months. So, I asked my mom what my first word was and she resentfully said "you said 'daddy,'!" jokingly rolled her eyes at me and called me ungrateful, cause she was the one who carried me for 9 months...which is why she vindictively makes me peel vegetables now. I'm just kidding, I love my mom...but, I love cracking jokes about her even more. 

The Trophy file - Roddick won the Siebel Open and looking at that pic I couldn't help but think, my mom would turn that into a vase and put flowers in it. A shame, I know -Aisha self-righteously shakes her head- (kidding):

Well, somebody got a haircut.

And this trophy...she'd make into a mini punch bowl...why, mom, why -Aisha self-righteously shakes her head again- (kidding). Miami resident Fernando Gonzalez winning the Bell South Open in his native Chile - you should hear his forehand crack through the wind, you'd think it was a dubbed in sound effect: 

...and somebody didn't get a haircut. I'm just kidding, your hair looks nice. Your Latin, running away from scissors is apart of your heritage (just don't run with them). Hey, I understand, my grandmother was Latin as well and she had hair down to her waist.  

photo credit: The BellSouth Open 

Speaking of hairstyles, I saw the soccer match between Chelsea and Portsmouth last week and like I've said on here for months, the Latin soccer players, especially the Argentineans, always have the best curls! Check out Hernan Crespo's curls. You know, I'm tired of footie players having better highlights and curls than I do. Between Beckham's great highlights and Hernan's great curls, I don't know which one of them upset me more (kidding).

Hernan Crespo


February 26, 2004

Pressure on Justin Timberlake to Quit Motown 45  

Is it just me or wasn't it just the other day that it was Motown 25 (Ok, yea, I was 7 years old, but still...).

I don't think black people should turn this into a color issue leveled at Timberlake. If you want to argue that he is being treated differently (after the Super Bowl incident with Janet Jackson) by some because he's white, I think people would understand that more, as some have been less critical of him and apparently based on that, so in some respects that's true. However, black people should be careful of how they treat Justin especially with issues of racism, because it is unwarranted at this point.

To be fair, apart of the reason Janet received the brunt of the criticism is because she was launching a new album at the time of the incident (viewed as a publicity stunt to boost sales), accepted full responsibility for the stunt in her apology that was sent to the press, admitted she planned it and refused CBS' offer to apologize on air to appear at the Grammy's. Timberlake accepted their offer to issue an apology on air and was allowed to appear on the show. That was not preferential treatment. They were both given the same offer, but one refused it and did not appear on the show as a result.

Therefore, I don't think claims of racism should be directed towards Timberlake. After all, it's been said he had a relationship with Janet. Racists don't usually do that. He has performed black music and not in a way that's disrespectful to black people.

I don't think Timberlake should have been forced off Motown 45. It looks bad. It is not good for race relations. It makes us look like racists especially with the comments that have been made by some black people. As a black person, I'm embarrassed by the whole thing.

We should look at it for what it is…a young man who did not want to accept responsibility due to the backlash that ensued, which has been detrimental to his career (and hers). Don't make it into a racist white man mistreating an innocent black woman, because that's not what happened.

After all, this is the man who went on TV and out of anger at how he was treated by his ex-girlfriend who is white (Britney Spears), who he said cheated on him, told the world that, um, contrary to what she claims, she ain't no virgin! (I'm so sorry I missed that show - kidding). I think this is just Justin. I don't think he cares what color you are, if you do something that he doesn't like he's gonna sound off. Ok, now I'm laughing and I'm just kidding.

Also, do we not have enough racists running around. Do you want to turn him against black people because of this blatant rejection for something that has now become a color issue, when it should not have been.

This is not Eminemgate aka the racists tapes and even in that situation we should exercise forgiveness. I read recently that there are more tapes on the way via the Source Magazine. Here's hoping Eminem's changed his racist views since then. 

One article mentioned someone commenting that Justin is not qualified to host a show about black music because he is white and I thought that was quite unfair. That kind of reasoning is silly and some people are taking this too far. There are black people out there who don't listen to black music and couldn't tell you the first thing about it, but because they are black that would make them qualified? No.

For instance, white R&B singer Jon B performs what is typically classified as black music and is married to a black woman. So, he isn't qualified either? Oh, I think once you sing R&B music and are married to a black woman, you're more than qualified. -Aisha puts honorary Negro crown on Jon B's head- .

I love artists of different colors and ethnicities. I'm listening to the music, not playing attention to your color. Many of my favorite artists are white, just like many of my favorite artists are black. I don't think about an artist's color, but since I'm writing this as it relates to race, I mentioned it. 

I thought about what was said regarding Justin, then I thought about an artist who is white that has been one of my favorites since I was a kid, but according to the theory being presented in that article, being black I wouldn't be qualified to present him with an award, even though I probably know more about his music and how to play it, more than 99% of his white audience based on the fact that I've been listening to his music since I was 8 and playing it since I was 15. Once again, the reasoning set forth in that article is silly.

I'm not defending anyone in that situation, but rather looking at it in terms of what it will do to race relations and it's not going to help. 

Black people trying to right what some view as a racial wrong by demanding he be booted off the show looks vindictive, petty and in itself racist.

That's part of the problem with society throughout the world; someone has to turn everything into a racial issue. Both black and white people are guilty of this.

I agree he may not have been the best choice, but not based on his color, but more his music style not being totally R&B. It is mixed with pop. Then again Motown wasn't totally R&B, as it had some pop mainstream influences, evidenced by the choice of orchestrations on certain songs. However, it was still a prime example of black music. 

However, Timberlake could have been asked to be a presenter as a gesture of goodwill (overall for race relations, not in reference to the Super Bowl incident).

I admit, I don't think this was the best time for he or Janet to be hosting anything out of sensitivity to the nation because of what happened, but neither of them should be excluded from anything based on their color. Shouldn't it be based on their actions.

They both performed the stunt and should share responsibility in terms of the consequences. I think the main focus at this point should be better programming and how to ensure kids aren't exposed to a stunt like that again.

I'm also tired of certain black people speaking on behalf of all of us and burning bridges that should remain intact. I like when white artists do black music. I see it as a gesture of goodwill. It's not always about trying to cash in on a trend, as some believe. There are many white people who genuinely love black music. For example, there are many white jazz musicians who play what is considered black music and have not gotten rich off of it, but many years later still continue to do so and in run down venues. That's not cashing in on a trend.

Timberlake may not have handled the situation the best way possible, but I don't feel he should be punished in such a vindictive, distasteful manner.

The origins of this incident regarding the show lie with a member of the Nation of Islam who started an email campaign to have Timberlake booted off the show. I don't think this was right under the circumstances. I've never agreed with the Nation of Islam and once again there is another reason for me not to. The Nation of Islam is about militancy and division camouflaged as black pride.

My loyalties are with God, who is raceless (well, that's not a word, but more along the lines of colorless) and loves everyone. Therefore, I prefer Martin Luther King Jr's vision of equality and uniting the races under God.

I know I'm black, I don't need to hate and speak disdainfully of other races to arrive at that  conclusion or to prove my blackness…not to mention racism is a sin. 

Black people are guilty of this as well. Some black people feel that they are better than other black people because they are lighter, which is absolute garbage. Lighter skin color does not make a person better or more attractive.

God does not like it when people, black or white, think they are better than others based on their skin color. It is a sin.

One of the first cases of racism happened in the Bible and God judged it. In Numbers 12, Miriam was angry with Moses for marrying a black woman (Moses' wife was a Cushite, who were dark skinned people from North Africa). God smote Miriam with leprosy. Her skin became as white as snow.

That is not an insult to people with leprosy, as bad things happen to good people and it doesn't mean you did anything wrong to deserve it. Many people suffer in life through no fault of their own and it is not a sign of  rejection from God. 

However, in Miriam's case it was a direct, ironic result of her behavior. It was sort of God's way of saying, you think you are better because you are white, now I'm really going to make you white, as the Bible stated she became white "like snow." From the Bible (Numbers 12 1-15):  

Miriam and Aaron Oppose Moses

1 Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite. 2 "Has the LORD spoken only through Moses?" they asked. "Hasn't he also spoken through us?" And the LORD heard this.
3 (Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.)
4 At once the LORD said to Moses, Aaron and Miriam, "Come out to the Tent of Meeting, all three of you." So the three of them came out. 5 Then the LORD came down in a pillar of cloud; he stood at the entrance to the Tent and summoned Aaron and Miriam. When both of them stepped forward, 6 he said, "Listen to my words:

"When a prophet of the LORD is among you,
I reveal myself to him in visions,
I speak to him in dreams.
7 But this is not true of my servant Moses;
he is faithful in all my house.
8 With him I speak face to face,
clearly and not in riddles;
he sees the form of the LORD .
Why then were you not afraid
to speak against my servant Moses?"

9 The anger of the LORD burned against them, and he left them.
10 When the cloud lifted from above the Tent, there stood Miriam-leprous, like snow. Aaron turned toward her and saw that she had leprosy; 11 and he said to Moses, "Please, my lord, do not hold against us the sin we have so foolishly committed. 12 Do not let her be like a stillborn infant coming from its mother's womb with its flesh half eaten away."
13 So Moses cried out to the LORD , "O God, please heal her!"
14 The LORD replied to Moses, "If her father had spit in her face, would she not have been in disgrace for seven days? Confine her outside the camp for seven days; after that she can be brought back." 15 So Miriam was confined outside the camp for seven days, and the people did not move on till she was brought back.

(Bible transcript courtesy of www.BibleGateway.com)

   

 


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