January 15, 2005

   Volume 32     

1. POLITICS
2. WORLD NEWS
3. TENNIS
4. BASKETBALL
5. SOCCER
6. RANDOM STUFF
7. TELEVISION
8. FILM: STONED? OLIVER STONE SOUNDS OFF
9. AISHAMUSIC.COM AWARD OF THE WEEK - SCARLET JOHANSEN
10. MUSIC: BRITNEY SPEARS, COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT, JAY-Z/R KELLY, LIP SYNCHING,
DELEON RICHARDS, EMINEM, PARIS HILTON

POLITICS

The President was reelected and with more votes than any president in history. Congrats to him.

Looks like I showed a bit of foresight again by God’s grace. In the last Sound Off Article dated October 11th 2004, I wrote that "channels like TBN and CBN and many churches support Bush for this election. If TBN and CBN's viewers get to the polls and vote for him it would equal millions more votes for him."

He won by over 4 million votes. That's pretty good.

I've read several articles since the election from a variety of mainstream publications that stated a lot of Christians turned out and voted for him. It was nice to see people getting so involved in the voting process. I voted early and avoided the long lines, but I commend the people who stood in lines for hours to vote. That showed dedication.

I’m glad the election is over, as it divided the country. Now, people need to give him the respect that is due to his office and stop putting unnecessary burdens on him via animosity. Some celebrities did a lot of damage to their bi-partisan audiences. I know many who were disappointed at some celebrities’ comments and people need healing from that. People need to forgive each other and move forward. This is a great country that God has blessed, therefore people need to exercise civility towards each other and work together, so that it can continue to flourish.

WORLD NEWS

My condolences to the families and friends of the people who died in the Tsunami.

There are many charities you can donate money to like:

The Salvation Army www.salvationarmyusa.org

The Red Cross www.redcross.org

I've written about earthquakes on this web site several times before and it's another reminder of just how powerful they can be.

TENNIS

Ah, the new season has begun and the new goal on everyone's mind ..."Kick Roger Federer's butt!"

But don't feel sorry for Roger. He's gotten off to a good start.

-Aisha grumbling- Switzerland is gonna pay for this! Maybe if we petition President Bush he will create a special "tennis tax" just for Roger.

American Air Tax - $5 a breath (for breathing American air)

Point Tax - $5,000 (for every point you score on American soil) $7,000 (if the shot is too creative)

TMS Tax - $2,000,000 for every Masters Series you win (that'll more than clean out all the prize money)

That'll teach him for coming in at #1. I'm just kidding. Hope everyone has a good season.

BASKETBALL

The Heat beat the Lakers! The Heat beat the Lakers! Nah neh nah neh nah nah!

Apparently, Kobe ran into a human brick wall. Is it just me or did Kobe fall down like something out of The Matrix when he ran into that brick wall. I'm just teasing.  

LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLE...Well, most people caught the Pacers/Pistons incident on television (hey, they ran it every few seconds). At first glance it looked like wrestling.

And did you guys see Artest plugging his CD on CBS. It was shameless and wrong! -cough- he should have been plugging one of my CDs. Some people are just so selfish! I'm just kidding.

SOCCER 

After the Manchester United v. Arsenal match a few weeks ago, it seems a few players from Arsenal pelted Man U coach Fergie, no, not Sarah Fergusson, Alex Fergusson with food (pizza ect).

Did Victoria Beckham pay you guys to do that? I'm just teasing. 

Beckham's absence really showed in Man U's unusually less than stellar results last year. I guess it's vindication for him after the manner in which he was traded and all the ways that trade has affected his life on and off the pitch. I hope everything will be ok.

RANDOM STUFF

Am I the only one still writing 2004 in the date?

Am I the only one who just took down their Christmas tree and decorations?

TELEVISION

After a thorough investigation of the 60 Minutes gaffe regarding the fabricated President Bush Guard documents, CBS has announced it will be firing four executives connected with the incident.

Boy, it paid to be the guy in the mailroom that day. When questioned about the scandal the dude in the mailroom said, "Look, don't ask me nothing. I just sort the mail!"

I'm just kidding about that mailroom quote...apparently so was 60 Minutes about the whole story.

The AP reported CBS is the "third major news organization to sustain a black eye." Um, that wasn't a black eye, that was a concussion.

Since Associated Press stories usually don't contain humor, was that "black eye statement" a pun on the CBS logo, which technically is a black eye. Oh c'mon, like I'm the only one that thinks the logo looks like a black eye. If I am, never mind.

From now on when I want the truth I'm gonna read the Enquirer! (for UK people, that's the equivalent of your fellow trashpeddler the Sun. See, we aren't so different after all). Just kidding about reading the Enquirer.

-Aisha remembers CBS has promotional shows for singers- oops!

Seriously, I hope nothing like that happens again. 

FILM 

Stoned? Oliver Stone Sounds Off! 

A year ago in a Sound Off article dated May 24,2003 (click here) I asked why they were making two Alexander The Great films. 

Lets do a little follow up on that.

Last week, director Oliver Stone threw a hissy fit in the press blaming America's alleged, “raging moral fundamentalism” aka the Christians, for the film's flop.  

What’s he blaming us for? We didn’t go see the film. It wasn't our fault (ok, that was a joke). 

“Raging moral fundamentalism?” 

First of all, Ollie, put the dictionary down!  

“Raging moral fundamentalism?” As my fifteen year old godbrother would say “huh?”  

I’m just kidding. But Stone’s term was very, um, subtle, not loquacious and superfluous at all. 

And no, this isn’t a film review, as I haven’t seen the film that critics dubbed “Alexander the Gay.”

No, I’m not laughing, really. Seriously, I’m not laughing at gay people, but that pun is pretty funny.   

However, straight people, both Christian and non-Christian don’t want to go see dudes kissing each other. Ask the average straight person if they'd want to see guys kissing and they'd say no.

There wasn’t a Christian conspiracy to sink the film. The ideas just didn't work (you do that sometimes).

The church isn’t out to get you. Cause, you know, when we are out to get someone, we are so archaic that we send around secret messages written on the wrapping paper that our 5,000 page Gideon Bibles came in that read “Let’s get that heathen!” 

Therefore, Ollie, Christians don’t hate you. Christians don’t have it in for you. We’d like to smack you around a bit for saying we jacked up your movie, but on the whole, we’re not out to get you. Your movie was the one that got you.

Most directors have flops. It's not a big deal (well, studios don't like giving big deals after flops, but that's another thing...) 

People in Hollywood complain about Christians in the rest of the country and classify us in the most ignorant, unsophisticated, politically incorrect terms – yet would balk at the same behavior if it were handed down to them.  

I’ll have you know, Christians make records, films, web sites and we even own computers! Yes, that’s right, computers! (how do you think this site is getting to you).    

“Raging Moral Fundamentalism?”

What’s wrong with having morals?

"Thou shall not kill" has its merits. It saves lives.

"Thou shall not commit adultery." It saves marriages and children's peace of mind from being traumatized by their parents divorce. There are grown people who've not gotten over their parents divorce because it was so traumatic for them as children. However, someone was unfaithful and sadly it lead to divorce.

Morals implores a person not to do things that wrongfully cause others pain. That’s the purpose of that pesky little thing called morals. To spare people unnecessary pain.

Listening to morals would have stopped the suicide bombers from flying into the World Trade Center, killing innocent people who never did anything to them.

Therefore, morals may not be trendy or politically correct, but they are invaluable. 

Stone's box office receipts for the last several years, which were comprised of movies that bear a variety of themes, only contained one blockbuster. Therefore, it's not like every film grossed copious amounts of money. 

Besides, what are you complaining about – be glad you didn’t make "Swept Away"!  

Had I had a screen credit of any kind for "Swept Away" I’d deny it! Anyone who dared to say I had any involvement in the film would be sued for slander!  

Actually, I haven’t seen "Swept Away," just excerpts on TV of Madonna being her usual pretentious, wooden self. She is the acting equivalent of Botox. Not a good incentive to go see a movie.

However, to the film's credit, "Alexander the Great" did have talented actors like Collin Ferrell, Angelina Jolie and Val Kilmer.  

Frankly, I didn’t even know about the statements in the press regarding the film's homosexual undertones...or overtones, depending on how overt they were.  

I saw the trailer and other previews and just didn't want to go to the film. Didn’t bother reading the reviews, then.  

Stone said the film was “too complex for conventional minds.“ Nah, shows like "Frasier" were "too complex for conventional minds" due to all the highbrow references and nuances, however, people still got it and the show had big ratings. 

Alexander the Film was too cluttered, not complex, for conventional minds (really Ollie, people aren’t stupid, no matter what Michael Moore tells you) judging by the excerpts.  

Even the previews had way too much going on. It just came across as chaos, which on film translates as confusion.      

For example, on Christmas Eve I watched the DVD “The Day After Tomorrow” which I had just bought the day before. The first 20 minutes of the plot was all over the place. However, the film calmed down after a bit and so did my attention span (which says something about the plot at the beginning, since I don’t have ADD).

NOTE: ever watched a dramatic film that made you think you had ADD! While other suspenseful films, if you're not careful, will give you high blood pressure. I don't need that kind of stress in my life.

What was I talking about again? Oh yea, "The Day After Tomorrow." Some of it I didn’t take to, but after a while the film made sense.

Not to mention the magnificently put together scene featuring the tsunami turned out to be quite prophetic. When I saw the news reports about the tsunami in Thailand the next day, I was able to understand a little better what an event of that magnitude is like. 

Therefore, it's not necessarily that a film is "too complex for conventional minds." Some ideas don't work.

My point in this ramble? Sometimes it’s the movie’s fault, not the audience…and some films don’t have much of an audience.

AISHAMUSIC.COM AWARD OF THE WEEK

This week, the satirical “You Need To Stay Off The Crack” award goes to actress Scarlett Johanssen. 

Scarlet said and I quote:

“Some people can be so goofy, especially the ones that say, 'I'd like to thank our Lord Jesus up above!' I'm like, 'For the love of God, keep your mouth shut. That's why the world is so f***ed up because God is focusing solely on your career.'"    

So, people like Halle Berry and Denzel Washington are “goofy” when they thank God in their speeches, tartlet, I mean Scarlet? Maybe you need to "keep your mouth shut" as you so ignorantly put it, Scarlet. 

What I want to know is, since you have so much lip, would you actually say something like that to their faces?

Those actors would run circles around you and at least they have the good grace to acknowledge there is Someone greater than themselves. 

Do you just like talking out your butt, as I find other quotes of yours absolutely useless: 

“I don’t like my face but it’s just stuck there.”

Stuck where? “up your backside” as the Brits would say. Here’s hoping you’ll extricate that head and its accompanying ego really soon to spare the world another year of your distasteful, nonsensical quotes.   

I know you’re not used to being a celebrity and having people interview you, but I saw a show on ESPN last week about the 25 greatest sports gaffes and was reminded of a phrase a commentator used when I read your quotes, “Act like you’ve been there before,” Scarlet. 

What do you care if people wish to thank God in their acceptance speeches? How does that involve you in any way? They’re not talking to you – you’re not God, as He has good taste in clothes. You remember clothes don’t you, Scarlet. That thing you forget to wear sometimes as you tread around the industry with that glazed over look on your face.

MUSIC

BRITNEY SPEARS

Is it just me or is Britney Spears new song that she wrote titled "Mona Lisa" about Madonna. I’ve read message boards where people thought it was about her as well.

Read the lyrics:

Ladies and gentlemen, I've got a little story to tell
About Mona Lisa, And how she suddenly fell (huh)
See everyone knew her, They knew her oh so well
Now I am taking over to release her from her spell

It seems Britney is rushing out her new album, even though she said she was taking two years off.  

I’m usually very weary of hurried albums. They usually turn out like garbage and wrongfully contain other people’s music when the writers and artists rush creativity i.e. Destiny Fulfilled.  

When an artist decides to rush out an album all of a sudden in that manner, it usually is not for the right reasons and sometimes contains other people’s work. 

MTV already noticed, as did I upon hearing a sample of Britney’s new song that it blatantly ripped off a synth line that runs throughout a previously released NSYNC track called “It’s Gonna Be Me.”  

However, Britney, similar to Madonna, but not as bad, has also been called a “music thief.” I gather your goal is to be the next Madonna from things you've said, therefore, did she teach you that, Britney?  

Last year Britney declared to audiences of thousands each night on tour that she’d like to premier her new song that was inspired by Justin Timberlake. Upon hearing it many people immediately realized it was a direct rip off of an already released song by Miami singer Enrique Iglesias. His fans noticed and were angry. He noticed as well.

Here are the lyrics:

"Maybe" by Enrique Iglesias "My Love Was Always There" by Britney Spears

If I had one single wish

If I had just one wish
I'd go back to the moment I kissed I'd go back to the moment we kissed
No matter how I try

but no matter how hard I tried

I can't live without you in my life. I can't get you outta my mind

For plagiarism Madonna leads with so many credible lawsuits I’ve lost count, then Mariah (7), then Britney (6), then Beyonce (3) according to articles in music magazines/web sites. Some artists and lawsuits I have not included as they were not credible.  

With so many singers claiming they are songwriters, even though many of them are only writing some of the lyrics and none of the music, the term songwriter does not hold the same meaning anymore. It has lost significance.

Whitney Houston didn’t pen her songs and she has more talent and music credibility than all the above listed entertainers. She’s got more signature hits that made a greater impact than those female artists have. I don’t mean that as an insult, but it is true. None of them have come close to singing anything that could top the success of her version of “The National Anthem,” “I Will Always Love You” or “The Greatest Love of All.” Celine Dion didn't pen most of her songs either and she has more musical credibility, talent and signature hits than the artists named in the previous paragraphs, with blockbusters like "Because You Loved Me" and "My Heart Will Go On."

Therefore, this trend some singers are apart of in claiming themselves songwriters, when some of them like Madonna and Britney so often get into trouble for very flagrant and clear cases of plagiarism like the Enrique Iglesias example listed above, says that there is something wrong.  

Then there are the cases you don’t know about because their representatives did everything they could to suppress it from the mainstream and from getting filed (which, according to some legal experts extends the statue of limitations, because the would be defendant put up roadblocks preventing the suits from being filed). 

Currently, there is a bizarre case involving Mariah Carey, where according to Fox News, her manager went to the man suing her also known as the plaintiff, wearing a tape recorder in an effort to entrap him and get him to contradict himself, which he did not.

Tape recorders? That’s a bit much for a copyright infringement case, isn't it.

The article also questioned some of the presiding judge's decisions referring to them as odd and benefiting Carey.

They are now implying that Mariah and her representatives lied in court documents and falsified records by entering information that stated the song was written for the movie “Hero,” which would have meant Mariah’s “Hero” was written ahead of the plaintiff’s.

However, a closer look at her notebook revealed it was written after the time they claimed and after the movie was in theatres, which proved the plaintiff penned his version first.

The movie’s producers and other members of staff connected with the film also said she was never asked to write for the film. In light of this information, the case has been re-filed with the plaintiff suing for 20 million dollars. Carey and co. allegedly falsifying documents does give the appearance of guilt.

To read the article click on the following link: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,55445,00.html

Back to Britney. Beware when a singer pops up and quickly records an album like her shirt tail is on fire and is in a big rush to release it - especially when they said they’re taking time off. Why the hurry all of a sudden, Brit? Even critics are asking that question.

I wouldn’t write that if it weren’t for the fact that every time Britney does these unplanned listening sessions of her new material, it illegally has someone else’s work in it that she immediately gets in trouble for in the press (and sometimes, in court as well).  

Not to mention, most people doubt her writing skills for the simple reason she uses the word “like” more than most people use the word “the.” 

Therefore, judging by your first song "Mona Lisa," before you release that forthcoming album, you better go talk to your lawyers before you end up having to give up substantial amounts of that money you had to dance on all those poles for.  

Criminal Copyright Infringement 

I think the way certain copyright cases are tried should be changed. If you can prove an artist deliberately looked at someone’s song and decided to rip it off, like Madonna has done (Ingrid Chavez and others), it should qualify as criminal copyright infringement, which bares a 5 year prison sentence and a $250,000 fine in addition to other damages.

For example, according to articles, Madonna knowingly put her name on the song "Justify My Love," stealing writer's credit for Ingrid Chavez’s song when she knew she didn’t write it, prompting Chavez to sue to recover credit and a 2 million settlement.

They know exactly what they are doing when these do these things. They are willfully violating people’s rights and deliberately breaking copyright law. They don’t accidentally sign their names in the writer’s space on someone else’s song they know they didn’t write. That is as willful as it gets. It shows clear intent. They apply this to people who willingly pirate music and it should also apply to singers who clearly and deliberately steal music. After all, how are they any better?  

It’s not like cases of writers/singers like Paul McCartney, which was written about on the BBC, who accidentally plagiarized a song based on what he heard in a dream.

Still, writers should beware of using music they heard in a dream. It is usually your subconscious regurgitating something it heard before. It proved true in the Paul McCartney incident, as the song he heard in his dream that he based his composition on was released many years before. However, it certainly did not seem deliberate on his part.  

But I reiterate, people like Madonna who deliberate look at a song and decide they are gonna steal it should face criminal copyright infringement charges just like other people who pirate music. People like her make copyrights worthless.

Writers author their work, pay to copyright it, the Copyright office employs so many people to go through, sort and certify it – then here comes someone like Madonna nullifying the entire process by taking what they want, irrespective of the fact that it does not belong to them and they have absolutely no right to it.

They keep getting accused of and sued for stealing and they keep doing it again because they don’t fear the consequences and feel safe hiding behind major labels that facilitate this illegal behavior.  

But then again, if they did apply criminal copyright infringement charges to singers who deliberately steal other people’s work, they’d have to lock Madonna up for life.  

To the tune of 75 Million

Jay “Pepper Spray” Z and R “I’m gonna sue that Negro” Kelly are currently embroiled in a legal battle to the tune of 75 million dollars. Apparently the two had various disagreements on tour that ended with R Kelly being pepper sprayed as he attempted to go onstage (and kicked off the tour he was headlining). He was later taken to the hospital.

I thought the incident was sad and unnecessary. While I don’t agree with either artists’ lyrical content, therefore I’m unbiased in this, they had no right assaulting him and kicking him off the tour he was headlining, for which he was obviously the bigger draw (I read complaints from disgruntled ticket holders online and several tour stops had to be cancelled).

Things should not get to such an inappropriate level. I dislike the mentality that exists within certain pockets of the industry that says a person has the right to assault another, rather than hash things out verbally or legally.

Why does it have to escalate into violence?

Then some get mad at stereotypes that they do nothing to dispel with their behavior. For one to be legitimate, it means a certain level of decorum is expected or you’ll come across as someone who is liable to snap at anytime when presented with something you are not in agreement with. And no one wants that, as it is a liability. Neither is it respected.

I thought about what happened and joked to myself, what if I went on tour with Whitney Houston in the future and decided to pepper spray her.

Let’s see you hit those high notes now –spray-

Hard to sing, “I will always love you” with a mouthful of mace, isn’t it Whitney –spray-

I’m just kidding about Whitney. No disrespect intended. I chose her as an example because she has a lot of talent; therefore it illustrates how ridiculous it would look for someone to do something like that to her under the given circumstances. Therefore, how is it fitting in the case of those two artists? You perform for many years, only to be disrespectfully pepper sprayed before getting on stage.

I learned early on through watching other people’s examples that trying to compete with and outdo certain artists will leave you embarrassed.

We can’t all be Jordan. We can’t all be Pele. Someone’s gonna have to be number two and three and four. You can’t take the title. It is granted based on your level of talent. Hype or inflated sales will never factor into that. We all can’t be number one, cause then who would be number two. But the world needs variety and that’s what everyone provides.

That’s Entertainment?

Or is it. 

How far is too far. What does wiretapping and violence have to do with music and film?   

Wiretapping and Fraud

I read two articles about the head of a security firm, Anthony Pellicano, who was arrested for illegal wiretapping on behalf of his famous clients.  

What does any of that have to do with music and film? When the government does it, it is to catch criminals and protect innocent people. That's understandable. However, it is completely illegal and inappropriate when celebrities start tapping other entertainers' phones. 

Why would an entertainer need to tap another entertainer or industry executives’ phone? What does that have to do with music or film?  

It’s another example of things going too far at the hands of a few unbalanced entertainers.

A few years ago Anthony Pellicano was arrested for illegal wiretapping. He represented many celebrities, whose identities he would not reveal when he was arrested, though articles were written naming some of those entertainers. He ran one of the biggest security firms in Hollywood that ironically specialized in invading people’s privacy rather than protecting it. Pellicano is currently in jail.  

Pellicano did this to give some of his clients an edge over other entertainers, which allowed some of them to steal entertainment rivals' ideas among other things. 

Hypothetically speaking, imagine you’re Steven Spielberg talking to an associate on the phone about a new film you want to make. While you are discussing the details, a perverse rival is on the phone listening in. Imagine emailing those ideas to an associate and someone quietly hacking into your computer to get those ideas in advance in an attempt to utilize them before you do. That’s very unethical.

Imagine you’re an entertainer and said something in confidence on the phone to your lawyer or to a friend, all the while a pervert of an entertainer is listening in on your calls. Stuff like this has actually happened and all of it is completely illegal carrying a minimum of 3 years in jail.  

Personally, if you're an entertainer and you are tapping another entertainer or executive's phone, you’ve just lost what was left of your dignity. What business would an entertainer have tapping another entertainer’s phone. Listening in on their phone calls like a pervert or stalker. It’s sick, not to mention illegal and a gross invasion of privacy.

It's like celebrity stalking in reverse. Celebrities stalking other celebrities.

Some celebrities commissioned these wiretaps when they were going to be sued, as was written about a few entertainers. Pellicano would come up with great evidence for entertainment industry attorneys - evidence that was obtained illegally through invading other people's privacy. The government subpoenaed several of these lawyers for questioning regarding the illegal activity when Pellicano was arrested.

When someone sued one of his celebrity clients for any reason, Pellicano was accused of tapping their phones, illegally obtaining their medical records and prescriptions to use against them in court, according to an article by Luke Ford.

How about posting some of those hypocritical celebrity clients' medical records and prescriptions, as they did to those plaintiffs in court. I'm sure the list is pretty long and filled with drugs they aren't supposed to be taking. How about posting some of their celebrity clients' phone conversations. I'm sure they wouldn't be amused, yet some of these celebrity hypocrites invade other people's privacy, all while breaking the law. 

Journalists from Vanity Fair magazine and CNN reported their phones were tapped and that they were threatened during times they were investigating and writing unflattering pieces about a few of Pellicano's celebrity clients, who got wind of it and wanted the stories stopped before they went to press. Listed among his clients were a few well known actors and singers.

Some of these entertainers are the same ones making deliberately controversial music and films that disrespect other people, but are that thin skinned that they hired people to tap other people's phones for fear of what someone else is writing about them.

Some journalists had their phones tapped by celebrities, while other journalists perversely listened in to other entertainers' calls as well. Either way it's all sick and screams pervert.

It's not hard to find out if your phone is tapped. There is affordable technology available that detects wiretaps. People aren't stupid, they can find these things out as those journalists and others have.

Some didn't even have to use technology at all, as they said specific things on the phone that the not so bright celebrities who commissioned the taps were dumb enough to repeat in the press and in court, thereby criminally incriminating themselves.

Several journalists reported cases of being in traffic and a vehicle pulling up beside them at a stop sign - a man would get out, point a gun at them, then utter the words "bang" and "stop." Meaning desist writing about their client or suing them.

You know what’s sad? I’ve heard that illegal wiretapping and hacking is still going on at some celebrities' request.

Why would certain cowardly entertainers' be commissioning illegal wiretaps? The same reason they did before. They perversely think they are above the law and want to be privy to information they should not be.

If the public knew they would think so little of those celebrities for it, as it looks very pathetic and perverted coming from an entertainer. They are not the government, therefore they are not commissioning wiretaps for honorable reasons.

At the end of the day what does any of that have to do with making a film or a record? Nothing.

How do some entertainers veer so far off track that they do these things?

You would think these entertainers are victims of some heinous crime, but they are not. They are crazy celebrities commissioning illegal behavior.

It's absolutely sick tapping the phone of a journalist, a person that sues you or an entertainment rival because you want to find out about the work they are doing. That's depraved and has nothing to do with being an entertainer and everything to do with being a pervert and a thief. 

If you do those things, you do not belong in the industry. That has nothing to do with art and everything to do with corruption, which is out of control in the industry now more than ever. 

  • No entertainer should have to fear being killed, as in the case of the Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur.

  • No one should be maced on the way to their stage to perform for an audience that paid a few million in ticket sales to see them, as in the case of R Kelly.

  • No one should have to worry about being extorted, as in the case of Deleon Richards (written about further in this article).

  • No one should be physically attacked on the way to the podium to pick up a lifetime achievement award, as in the case of Dr. Dre at the Vibe Awards (by the way, how did a non-industry person get a ticket on the floor that close to the stage. Certainly he didn't buy it, so how did he obtain the ticket).

  • No one should have their phone tapped by a perverted celebrity who wants to know what a journalist or entertainment rival is saying on the phone.

The whole thing has gotten ridiculous. The entertainment industry is supposed to be about making entertainment, how some crazy celebrities managed to turn it into something else is beyond me.

You’d think as an entertainer your biggest security concern would be a few fans who are unstable and may wrongfully seek to harm you, but now it’s the other entertainers and executives you have to be concerned about. That’s almost unthinkable, but it is the state of the industry today.

Some entertainers have a lot of security, but in several cases most of it is not to protect them from a few unstable fans, but from former business associates that won't accept the fact that they no longer control them or their income. Entertainers and executives who think they own other people and the things they have, when they are not entitled to it. While in other situations it is to keep away certain entertainment industry characters that keep trying to force their way into their businesses through unethical and sometimes illegal conduct.

Once again, what does any of that have to do with making a film or record?    

Frankly, a lot of it boils down to jealousy and people wanting something that doesn’t belong to them. 

Everyone can’t be number one. A well-adjusted, fair-minded person would look on in a congratulatory manner to the people who earned it and deserve it. The crazy, egotistical entertainers will either steal what doesn’t belong to them or try to destroy another entertainer’s career who has more talent than they do. This has happened in rap and pop music and in the film industry as well.

I don't understand that type of behavior. For example, I think women like Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston and Celine Dion have great voices. I can appreciate the voices God gave them. However, I’m not looking on at them trying to become them or saying I want to be them or want to have what they have. That’s covetous. That’s ugly ambition.

You can’t feel good about attaining anything that way, because it was taken from someone else's career and not earned. I write that because there are entertainers who have blatantly ripped off other people's careers to extreme degrees from dressing just like them to hiring the same staff (choreographers, publicists, video directors and producers) all in a covetous attempt to become that person. Then they go on stage and thank God for a career they broke every commandment to rip off from someone else. There is something very wrong with that.

I don’t understand how some entertainers get to the point that their ambition and ego drive them to do unethical things to other entertainers in their quest to be number one. 

When you wrongfully take from another entertainers' career, that kind of ambition will be the ugly footnote that besmirches your career. It will always be a detractor.

There was a story quietly written about a few years ago regarding a female artist who called a big record store in New York to complain that her rival’s poster in the window was bigger than her poster featured in the same store.

Wow, that’s petty to nitpick over something like that. A bigger poster isn’t gonna make people buy your record over your rival. That's just ego and was only the tip of the iceberg regarding egotistical and overly competitive behavior that entertainer displayed towards two rivals behind the scenes.

Some entertainers go as far as trying to get entertainment rivals fired from jobs and dropped from interviews. You lose all your dignity when you go as far as calling around telling journalists not to interview another entertainer. Most entertainers don't do that, but there are some questionable ones that resort to such behavior. 

However, some artists, especially female artists, are so self-centered and spoiled due to the people who work with them constantly kissing their butts that they think egotistical behavior like that is acceptable. 

Some of them can’t accept that another entertainer is more talented or doing better than they are, so they whine, complain and stamp their feet when the reviews aren’t glowing enough and better than their rival or if their stage set isn’t more extravagant than everyone else’s or if another entertainer gets, what they perceive to be, too many fans. 

There will come a point when you will stop making records, whether voluntarily or involuntarily when there is no record deal anymore. That’s how the industry works. Accept it, let that sink in for a while, so that when the time comes you won’t be in complete and utter shock and start behaving in a desperate, undignified, unscrupulous manner, scratching and clawing to outdo others.  

There are very few entertainers that make records their entire lives. There‘s no law that says you'll be one of them.

LIP SYNCING

To lip-sync or not to lip sync, that is the question…

This lip-syncing thing is really snowballing.

A few months ago it was revealed that singer Ashley Simpson lip-synced on Saturday Night Live and it caused quite a stir. While I did not catch the performance, I did see excerpts of it on the news. Apparently, the drummer cued the wrong tape. The incident was blamed on acid reflux.

It would have been better had they rescheduled her appearance. Artists should not bill concerts or appearances as live if there is lip-syncing. Nor should they lip sync on television shows that are billed as live. It will speak to their credibility.

I don't think Simpson is a bad singer. However, she and Kelly Clarkson, who has a very good voice, have adopted a style of music, which really doesn't suit their voices, known as screaming.

This is common in certain rock genres. When male singers scream, it sounds a certain way, but when female artists scream, it does not sound the same and can come across badly during live performances. You can do rock music without screaming and for female artists this is advisable.

Clarkson has one of the best voices I've heard in the last 10 years and it concerns me that she is now singing in this style, as it damages the voice.

The whole lip synching controversy has lead people to question Simpson's credibility, as she was booed at the Orange Bowl last week as well. Apparently Paris Hilton was booed over on Miami Beach a few months ago as well when she made her singing debut. Miami is turning into Showtime at the Apollo (it's because a lot of New Yorkers live here, LOL) .

Several artists have been accused of lip syncing. Apparently Eminem was caught lip-syncing and so was Beyonce according to articles on the internet.

A few months ago Madonna was slammed by Elton John for lip-syncing, all while overcharging her audience. Reports in the British press supported his claims, as others noticed the lack of synchronicity between her singing and the music.

If your show contains a lot of dancing and you can’t sing properly while you dance, you should not bill it as live. There are singers who can do both, but some cannot (some can't do either).

The most questionable of the lot are singers, most commonly in the pop genre, who cannot sing, therefore they lip sync.

That defeats the entire purpose of being a singer, doesn’t it? One should be able to actually sing. After all, is that not the purpose of becoming a singer.

However, artists in that genre who can’t sing really can’t complain about attacks on their credibility under the circumstances, as they have undertaken a job for which they do not have the God given ability, which equals a farce. That will never be taken seriously. If you are in that category, be glad you made any money at it, which was obviously your goal, and put a sock in it with the whining about your credibility and being taken seriously.
 

DELEON RICHARDS

In the news recently there was a story about a man trying to extort $20,000 from Gary Sheffield and his wife, Gospel singer Deleon. He said he was in possession of an alleged tape of Deleon and former boyfriend R&B singer R Kelly. She dated him when she was a teenager and the extortionist claimed there was a tape of them having sex.    

After he called Deleon’s agent with the extortion bid, which the agent taped, he was arrested when it was turned over to the FBI. I don’t understand why someone would want to extort money from anyone and under such unkind circumstances.  

Deleon acknowledged on her web site that as a teenager she strayed from the things she was taught growing up during the relationship with R Kelly, but quickly returned to those morals by God’s Grace.   

According to an article, Deleon was unaware that any such tape existed, as were several women who filed lawsuits against R Kelly for recording them without their knowledge. 

Regarding Deleon, that’s apart of the pressure of being a Christian and dating men who do not hold the same ideals. It’s very easy to fall into trouble. 

I remember an article I read a few years ago about Jessica Simpson. This was before the television show the Newlyweds. Jessica was known for her declaration in the press of wanting to wait until she got married to have sex.  

In the article she spoke of a singer she was dating (not her now husband Nick Lachey) who said he really liked her, but did not want to wait until marriage to have sex with her. So, he stopped dating her when she refused to sleep with him. He told her he would come back to her after a while (of sleeping with different people) then they could get married. How insulting.  

However, this happens sometimes to women who decide they want to wait until they get married to have sex and date men who think otherwise. It’s best to date someone who shares the same ideals; otherwise there will be problems.  

There are men out there who have decided to wait until marriage as well, honoring their faith and God. 

And of course, there are men who believe they should sleep around as much as they can, who will read that last statement and laugh. However, there is nothing funny about promiscuity. It’s not funny when you get AIDS or another life changing STD.  

Back to what I was saying, well, writing.  

You may want to think very carefully about whom you date, because you could end up in situations that you’ll later regret. You don’t want your feelings to end up deceiving you and leading you to make choices that go against what is important to you. 

I read an article in the British press by a well known British model in England who does nude photos and as much as she does that type of work and has been promiscuous, she told an interviewer in an unguarded moment that the regrets throwing away her virginity in the manner she did when she was a teenager.   

I remember reading an issue of Vibe magazine about 10 years ago that had an article about R Kelly and Aaliyah’s marriage. The article also contained a copy of the marriage certificate filed in Chicago, but it listed her as 18, which the article attributed to a fake id. 

Then, a few years ago, Vibe did a follow up story and in it they wrote the name of the judge in Detroit who annulled the wedding at her parents’ request. It made me sad reading about it, but she was young and impressionable and they both were making wrong choices.  

Parents can’t watch their kids all the time and when a girl thinks she is in love she is susceptible to a lot of things. 

Sometimes people make choices they later regret. However, God can forgive if a person asks.

That brings me to another subject. For a long time I have believed that the entertainment industry causes kids to grow up too fast. I thought about a former child star that performs pop music and wondered how she managed to do some of the things she did at that age. It had to have taken its toll on her emotionally and mentally. Now as an adult she’s trying to correct mistakes that were made. It’s always good when someone realizes their mistakes and tries to correct them.

Once again, when you’re young, it’s easy to make bad choices. Hey, when you’re older you can still make bad choices. That’s not to give people excuses to make bad choices, as they have consequences, but to let you know, whoever you are, that you don’t have to feel condemned. Because even though you pay a price for those bad choices in life, God can forgive you and help you if you ask Him to. 

EMINEM

About a year ago I read that the FBI nicknamed a bank robber after rapper Eminem because he looked like him. Black people have complained about racial profiling for years, is this reverse profiling (just kidding).

By the way, how much did the bank robber "Eminem" rob the bank for? 50 Cent(s). Ok bad joke.

PARIS HILTON

On the racist front, because that is what racists do…front…and speaking of tapes, Paris Hilton was caught calling black people “dumb ni*gers” on video.

You don’t do anything without a camera do you? Floating around all those porn tapes for publicity finally backfired.  

First of all, if you punctuate every sentence with the word “like” you have forfeited the right to call anyone dumb, because in the intelligence stakes, valley girls always place last.

One of Hilton’s friends, a Jewish man, spoke up as well, stating she would make slurs in his presence and towards Jewish people. They are no longer friends.

Hitler, I mean Hilton, denied she is a racist.  

Her being a racist doesn’t so much bother me. If she chooses to live in ignorance, that’s between her and God (Who would forgive her if she asked and changed her ways).

What I find disturbing is that she has used black people to produce music for her CD she is working on and will clamor to a black celebrity if it will get her photo in the papers (see pic of Paris insincerely kissing Puffy on the cheek to get on camera outside a club) as shown on VH-1.

Then she appeared in Eminem’s video for his single “Just Lose It.” What was that video, a KKK meeting?

I say that because Eminem also had racist tapes surface last year where he spoke in a derogatory manner about black people and used the N Word. He later apologized.

However, Eminem has stepped in it again.

He made several inappropriate puns about the Michael Jackson child molestation case and made fun of Jackson’s nose in the same music video, for which Stevie Wonder and others stated their disapproval. BET even refused to air the video. 

The molestation allegations is just a lose lose situation. There is nothing even remotely funny about any of it. It is a very serious matter. Those children don’t win and Jackson and his family don’t win. The trial and accompanying publicity looks like a traumatizing experience for everyone involved – whoever is innocent and whoever is guilty.  

Regarding Eminem, people in the black community were begging other black people to forgive him for the racist tapes he made a few years ago degrading black women and using the N Word, and they did, then he goes back and makes a racially insensitive video about Jackson (nose jokes). I’m black and I wouldn't even make a video like that about him, so I don’t understand why they thought it was acceptable for him to do that.

It's situations like these why some black people have a chip on their shoulder and are standoffish towards white people. As much as I don’t agree with black people being standoffish towards other races and I encourage people to forgive others, it becomes an increasingly difficult sell when you have celebrities in the mainstream doing so much to harm race relations. What can I or any other black person say to help fix something like that.

Then there was the football coach that made the racist statement about Terrell Owens to his agent, "Terrell is a black man...and sometimes a black man needs to be slapped."

Yea, that's real smart. You slap a football player...and hope you come back with all your teeth.

Some celebrities' conduct in the mainstream is not helping, only making things worse. We’ve come so far with race relations. Let’s not revert.

Regarding Paris Hilton, what I fail to appreciate about her lifestyle is the fact that she comes from a wealthy family, wealth might I add that she did not earn, has been given every opportunity to earn a respectable living and use her family’s resources to help others, yet has consigned herself to life as a porn star. Why? That’s not something to be proud of. It is a sin and will only bring problems into your life.

You need to stop putting out those so-called stolen porn tapes. For a woman who has been born into the resources you have to continually degrade herself and her family is inexplicable.   

A few months ago I wrote about several people who contracted HIV making porn movies. They said they made those films because they didn’t have any money. The young lady named Lara was trying to save enough money to leave the business and go to college. Though, I don’t agree with people making money that way, they were poor, but Paris Hilton is not, yet has chosen pornography as a vehicle to celebrity.

That type of celebrity never lasts. You need to change, as you do not want it to become your sole legacy. It translates into novelty, not longevity. Certainly you are better than that.  

   

 


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