July 2004

Volume 26

July 10, 2004

Soccer

Congrats to Greece on winning Euro Cup -says Aisha resentfully- (I wanted England to win). You've already won the bid to host the Olympics, did you have to win Eurocup too. I'm just teasing, congrats.

Tennis

Well, it looks like I showed some foresight again when on June 16th, 2004 I wrote on this page that a rivalry between Federer and Roddick would be a good idea. Ironically, it happened, as the Wimbledon final 6 days ago was between Roddick and Federer - with newspapers now hailing their rivalry. It was the first time in twenty 20 years the #1 and #2 ranked players squared off in a Wimbledon final.

-Aisha jokingly sitting on a rug imitating pretentious gurus- Don't worry, I will use my God given gifts for good and not evil -cough- I won't try to win the lottery. Besides, I don't gamble. 

Back to the match. It was a ratings coup for NBC, up 33% from last year. From Tennis Week:

"To be honest, it's certainly bodes well for men's tennis in that this is emerging as an attractive rivalry,' NBC spokesperson Kathy Collins said."

Well, at least they didn't have to utilize my idea of whacking each other with their tennis rackets to get good ratings, as I jokingly mentioned on June 16th, 2004. The rivalry was enough to bring in good numbers.

Back to the Wimbledon final. I think Roddick and Federer played quite well. Andy gave him a real fight. The round of applause they received showed just how good the match was and how appreciate the crowd was of their efforts.

They've both developed their games a lot over the last year. After all, a year ago, neither had become the number one yet or received a lot of press. Boy, things sure can change over night. It really looked like both of them came out of nowhere to attain the success they have, when they've both been working at it for a long time and been apart of the tour for a few years. Isn't it weird how things happen that way.

As I wrote above, both have improved their games a lot, but neither have reached their full potential, which is good, as it means they can get better...and if they are playing at this level now, that could really be something to watch develop.  

...Here at Aisha Music, I like to come up with stupid stuff. This week is no different:

The “Microwave Match” award goes to Lindsay Davenport (for her quickness in completing a match). During her Wimbledon match against Sprem, I turn my head for a few seconds during the second set and the next thing I see is her running to the net to shake her opponents hand and the post match wrap up.

Quotes

From the frank, but funny file - Robby Ginepri (Miami Herald):

''I've been serving well lately. For some reason, always when the grass comes around, I start to serve well,'' he said. ``I don't know why I can't serve this way during the whole year.''

It takes a candid man to admit that. Most would have said, yea, I meant to do that (just kidding).

Off topic a bit, I wonder what Robby's favorite car is. Wonder if it's the MINNIE Cooper. And I wonder what kind of DRIVER he is.

That was a little pun/joke because he dated actress Minnie Driver, nothing against either of them. I was just kidding.

Federer showing his comedic side:

Federer is fulfilling a pre-Wimbledon promise to play in Gstaad and was pleased to hear that he will not be presented with another cow to mark his victory as he was last year.

"I'm happy. I have two cows because the cow had a calf. I went to visit her but I think the excitement was bigger from my side than her side. I hope they don't give me a sheep, a pig, a donkey or anything this year," he joked.

Haha, pretty soon it's gonna be like that nursery rhyme Old McDonald..."Old Mc Federer had a farm..." They call you Club Fed now, but if your country gives you anymore pets, they're gonna start calling you "Farm Fed" (get the joke...farm fed animals). I'm just kidding.

"I have already achieved two of the three although one is still going on because I want to finish the year as number one, but now I want to play well at the Olympics because it was such a great experience at Sydney 2000."

He has opted to stay in the Olympic Village in Athens and said: "I did it in Sydney and it was great. I stayed with the wrestlers so I was safe." (Roger Federer)

Yea, in an unrelated way, I sort of know what Roger means. I know I feel safe when I'm around rappers...guns everywhere. Just kidding, but can you blame me for making that joke with the way a lot of rappers brag about weapons.

Chants of ‘Hen-man! Hen-man!’ Screams of ‘Come on, Tim!’ And that was two hours before Tim Henman set foot on the grass (SC Times and Democrat).”

Wow, sure it was Centre Court and not Wembley. The important, tennis related question is…can Timmy sing? Does he have the kind of velvety voice that would melt butter or the scary kind that would peel the wallpaper off the walls? Just kidding. 

Speaking of Henman, he was awarded an OBE a week ago. Congrats to him. Hey, that knighthood I wrote about a few weeks ago is just around the corner. OK, yea, it's gonna take years, as they are awarded to people later in their careers to securely establish merit, but an OBE is great as well.

Timmy, now that you've accepted your OBE, let me borrow it - really, I'll give it back. Jamaica comes from British rule and my dad has the Jamaican equivalent of an OBE for his contribution to music, but he won't let me borrow his either. But hey, maybe Tim will let me borrow his. I'm just kidding.      

Speaking of OBEs, why do some people turn them down. For years I've read articles in British newspapers about someone turning down an OBE. It's your country or the commonwealth your country comes from bestowing an honor on you. Why not accept it from and on behalf of your country, in carrying on a tradition.     

- Serena has been hitting aces like her name was Andy Roddick (146 mph Wimbledon record). That kind of serving would produce a scary doubles match from those two. One of her aces was 126 MPH. Hey, some of the guys don’t even hit a 126. I like the way they ace themselves out of deficits. Like I’ve joked on here before, aces are cheap shots and an easy way to get out of a hole. I think it’s playing smart. Rallies can be fun to watch, but why risk it if you can get that ace and put that point away. Then again, with thinking like that, maybe that's why I'm not ranked. I'm kidding.

Speaking of rallies...don't long rallies remind you of hacky sack.

- It’s weird, when someone has a bad match, critics write about it like the person’s career is totally derailed and unsalvageable, then when they do well again, they write how they are dominating and they knew all along that they would make a comeback. It makes you want to ask… ok, which is it? Articles like that really don't help athletes...and no I'm not talking about any journalist in particular, as several do that. 

For years I’ve read headlines to that effect about different people. They also write that of singers and actors as well. Entertainment is such a fake, fickle business. The fact of the matter is careers usually have high and low points, but sadly, people expect you to perform perfectly each time. However, at the end of the day, you are human. No one on this earth is perfect.

- This week I saw the commercial featuring professional tennis player Taylor Dent and Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf's adorable little son playing tennis. The kid wiped the court with him (kidding). So Taylor, how much did you pay them to edit out the part where their son won the match:

pic courtesy of Wimbledon.org

Kidding, that pic is from Taylor's Wimbledon match against Roddick. The score was pretty good, so he earned that nap.

-And from the they’ve-got-to-be-kidding department – how ironic and peculiar is Jay Z coming out with a tennis shoe. Credibility counts and in this case it’s seriously lacking. Talk about an odd pair (get the joke…odd pair… pair of shoes). For someone who has expressed virtually no interest in tennis during his career, to put out a tennis shoe all of a sudden reeks of gimmickry. I follow tennis, have since I was a kid, and from what's been written, he's been to one tennis match in the last few years. Not to mention, judging from the pics, said rapper and his girlfriend looked totally confused. Now, there's nothing wrong with looking confused at a tennis match, but if your are gonna put out a tennis shoe, yea, there's something definitely wrong with it. 

Who came up with that idea, anyway and why. Where’s the credibility and believability. Incredulity is never good for any product and from what I’ve read on the internet regarding this venture, the public doesn’t think he’s keeping it real, so to speak, as it looks pretentious.

It’s not like Jordan, as when he puts out a basketball shoe there is a tremendous amount of credibility, believability and expertise there.

But in this case, where is the point of reference, expertise and actually knowing and caring about the sport, like say a, Matthew “I’m not ranked, but I’m gonna wipe the court with you” Perry?

Matt would probably name his shoe “The Mattiati” or “The Jenerry” – an amalgamation of Matthew Perry and his tennis buddy Jennifer Capriati’s names.

For a non-tennis player and or non-tennis lover to put out a tennis shoe is dodgy. It reminds me of an article I read in the Glasgow Sunday Mail titled “Getting Wiggy with it” (June 26, 2004). The article was about an R&B singer fronting a line of well-known hair care/skincare products when the recording artist is known for always wearing loads of make-up, wigs and weaves and has not once appeared in public with their natural hair at any point in their career

While there is absolutely nothing wrong with wigs and weaves, I’ve seen many people wear great ones that looked superb, it is grossly hypocritical and smacks of false advertising to endorse a line of hair care products when a person clearly and continually wears wigs and weaves. Wigs and weaves have no use for hair care products, therefore to make those advertising claims is not right nor is it fair to the public.

People deserve better than celebrities insincerely flogging things they clearly know little or nothing about, have no point of reference for and have not obtained great results from. Where is the knowledge and expertise in that and what does that say about the brand. When a person endorses something it should be genuine, otherwise it will just reinforce public skepticism and bring criticism.

I'm not saying all celebrity endorsements are bad. Here's a positive example. There are a few other singers who have recently endorsed a certain product and I must admit, I really have noticed a visible, positive difference in their appearances regarding the advertising claims they've made, which leads me to believe the endorsements were made with integrity and the product actually works.  

Personally speaking, there are a few celebrities who have made products and or product endorsements with integrity and the results I obtained using those products testify to those claims. However, there are celebrity product endorsements that I’ve made purchases based on and when I tried the products, found them to be total rubbish.

Unqualified Music Executives

Why do some unqualified music executives undertake certain projects they know nothing about. By unqualified I mean know nothing or very little about the genre they are trying to undertake all of a sudden. Labels have lost a lot of money that way. 

For years I’ve seen black industry executives who know nothing about rock, unsuccessfully go into that genre. Just like I’ve seen white industry executives who know nothing about R&B and rap, unsuccessfully go into that genre. The fact of the matter is, if you didn’t grow up loving that genre, not just insincerely saying so in a press release in a vain attempt at credibility, you will not understand it. It’s not something you learn overnight. Not to mention you do the genre no favors when you try to put out music in that format.

Several people who have insincerely done this, exhibited absolutely no interest in the genre prior to suddenly trying to make a foray into. People gravitate to and make the kind of music that is their favorite. And if for years they didn’t touch a certain genre, but all of a sudden decide to, it says it is not sincere.

There are executives who have overpaid for acts in genres they didn’t know or understand and it ended up in financial losses for their labels. If you don’t know or understand a genre you’ve ill advisedly undertaken, you will do things like that and ruin the project before it’s even launched. You will start the project off with a negative. Then the problem is compounded when they have to make and market the music they don't understand. Not to mention audience can sense insincerity, which will hurt credibility.

Credibility – it’s amazing how some will throw away their credibility for money. When people do that, they lose far more in the long run. Credibility is important. It is quite valuable. People sometimes don’t realize it at first, but when they quickly get to the point that it becomes evident, when they are not taken seriously and history writes them off, they realize just what they’ve lost. 

Which brings me to the next subject…

Vain Titles

Entertainers can be so jaded and confused. Several aren't satisfied with consigning that confusion to themselves - they are bent on spreading that confusion to others as well via work they don't have a talent for.


Collecting vain, unearned, meaningless titles to boost questionable, anemic resumes in an attempt to gain credibility is sad. It's ironic when someone does that, yet the credibility they covet continues to elude them, due to their lack of talent in that field.
Truly talented people show a clear, unmistakable talent for what they do. They don't undertake projects they do not have a talent for and have to rely on others to do the work for them to make them look good, just so they can slap on a new title to boost their ego and résumé.

Several of these entertainers bring such incredulity and disrepute to each of these art forms they undertake, which they clearly do not have a talent for, while taking jobs from truly talented and qualified people. There are professionals from so many fields expressing their disgust at certain celebrities for their continual attempts to bolster their resume at another art form's expense, while not truly doing the job because they simply can't.

Then some turn it into a childish competition. If one entertainer says they are doing something, another juvenile one will run out and say they are doing that as well, even if they can't. They undertake the project and make a total mockery of that art form or get someone else to do it and take all the credit. Some need to be careful that someone doesn't call their bluff on the titles they are claiming because people who truly work in those fields know the real deal when they see it and may not be amused at them dragging down their art.

If you’re not doing the work, what good is the title, then? If people don’t believe you’re doing the work, because your lack of talent gave them good reason to think otherwise, what’s good is the vain title, then?

 

On to a similar subject...

 

Singers Imitating Singers

If a singer morphs into another singer in that they start stealing their style of music, dressing like them, gets the same haircut and makes the same career moves, not to mention along the away ripping off ideas unique to that singer – shouldn’t that qualify for trademark infringement, which is grounds for a lawsuit. After all, it is ripping off someone’s image and likeness - and in some cases their work.

I’ve seen singers rip off entertainers like Jennifer Lopez, Usher, Jessica Simpson and Eminem’s careers to the point that it should qualify as stalking. You're used to seeing fans imitate their favorite singers, not singers who are their contemporaries imitating them. I remember Eminem got so angry at people ripping off his style and stealing from him that he wrote a diss song about it.

I don’t understand how anyone could feel good about any success they achieve that’s based on literally becoming another artist/copying them. That's not an accomplishment and where are you in all that cloning?

In order for music to truly work, people have to contribute original ideas. Not watch another artist and rip off what they are doing. That’s part of why music has become so stale. People aren’t thinking anymore…and the ones who are thinking are being ripped off.

And why do well-known singers who rip off other well-known singers think the public doesn’t notice. They always do. Just because the yes people you work with don’t tell you, doesn’t mean it is not being said. I’ve read many a message board and many music articles and people from journalists to fans always comment on these things and not in a flattering way. Who wants to be known for that. It will always be a detractor in any success the clone receives.

I understand many singers are shielded from these things by their publicists, but they do them a great disservice when they do that, as it means bad PR floating around due to on going behavior. What’s the sense of imitating and dressing like another singer to the point that the public is dissing you for it. 

My mom told me about when she was in a checkout line and a little old lady picked up a magazine and said of a well known singer who was featured in the issue, who constantly rips off another well known singer “She thinks she’s ____” - then proceeded to laugh. I’m not going to put the artist’s name because I’m not trying to be facetious, but I wrote it to make a point. Even a little old lady who probably doesn’t know that much about what’s going on in music noticed that.

However, she has a point. One singer would wear an outfit one week and the other singer would have someone make a knock off of the outfit, sometimes in the very same color, down to the earrings and hair style as the other singer did the preceding week. Going through other singer’s laundry hamper in not cool. When you take trying to be like someone to the level that you wear what they wear, make the same career moves they do, even date the same type of person they do in the same profession, that’s taking it way too far. It's disturbing and extremely covetous.

Another entertainer spends thousands on costumes, hair and make-up, then someone who is their contemporary competing in the same marketplace they are rips off their look, which is apart of their act. It doesn't seem very ethical or very fair. But then again, to do the deplorable things that singer has done to make it, ethics were lost long ago. 

Why do that, anyway? Wouldn’t it be better to have some integrity, instead of being a cheap clone that will never be as good as the original. 

Some get so desperate for success that they’ll do anything for it. Even if it means sleeping with someone they don’t like, being unethical to friends and business associates who’ve helped them or ripping off another artist. However, that kind of ambition backfires and to the point that it's not worth it.

Movies

Last week, a teenager was arrested for using a camcorder to bootleg the film Spiderman in a movie theater.

If I were a pirate, I'd pirate "The Pirates Of The Caribbean" (get the joke). Just kidding. Piracy is wrong.

But back to the story about the piracy arrest. Apparently, the theatre's projectionist used night vision goggles to scan for video signals as the movie played. That was a good idea. Piracy costs the film industry billions each year. Companies spend a lot to make films and it really isn't right for people to bootleg their projects.

....Speaking of Spiderman, it debuted at #1 at the box office with ticket receipts totaling over $150 million. It also set a new opening day record of $40 million.

It also took away business from Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit: 9/11." Who knew Spiderman was a Republican.

Fahrenheit 9/11 grossed 23.7 million dollars in its opening weekend and while those are solid numbers for a documentary, for all the hype, publicity and controversy they deliberately stirred up for the film, it should have done double those numbers. Spielberg’s “The Terminal” didn’t even get 1/10th of the publicity, had no hype and no controversy and cleared 18 million in ticket sales in the first week – yet was dubbed a dud (sales) by some critics. Fahrenheit's opening numbers weren't very far from that at all. They can claim that it was good for a documentary, which it was, but for what has been one of the most controversial films of the year, those numbers were not impressive, especially with the kind of fuss the filmmaker tried to create. 

Looking past all the hype and controversy, a $24 million gross with a median ticket price of say $8, roughly equals 1,920,000 million people seeing the film (give or take people seeing it more than once). That’s not even 1% of the population. There are many web sites on the internet with more traffic than that. All that hype and controversy for that? If you’re gonna stir up all that controversy to plug a film, it should at least bring in big numbers.

On a Moore serious note, many have argued that Moore’s film is anti-American, bad for the troops, contains stitched up editing and is grossly inaccurate. Certain groups feel the film is anti-American (see Moore’s “Americans are stupid” quote as discussed on MSNBC recently).

Ironically for Moore, his anti-American sentiment is inadvertently creating sympathy for Bush among some patriotic groups. I’ve seen interviews where they voiced their displeasure, as they view Moore as anti-American and unpatriotic.

The Atlanta Journal and Constitution wrote the film is inaccurate, despite the fact some critics are lauding it as the truth:

“Just because Moore calls his film "nonfiction" doesn't mean that it is fact. The job of the mainstream media should be to tell us what's fact, not the other way around.”

I do not agree with films that bash any president, Republican or Democrat. I think it’s sad that a filmmaker should seek to get attention that way. In the AJC article, the journalist expressed her disappointment that President George Bush is not being afforded the same courtesy liberal Hollywood extended to former President Bill Clinton when a film was made about him. From the Atlanta Journal and Constitution:

“There's another problem, too. As an author, I know that creative impact is all about distribution. You can craft a great book or movie, but if it doesn't get on shelves or on screens, its impact is limited. So its frustrating that the largely liberal Hollywood distribution network is rolling out the red carpet in a way they would never even consider for opinion films from the other side of the aisle.

Ten years ago, "The Clinton Chronicles" documentary presented disturbing details about our then-president and his wife. The movie appeared well-researched and made some devastating charges about the Clintons' power years in Arkansas, carefully building a case for corruption, money-laundering, drug-running, bribery, intimidation and even murder.

But mainstream film distributors and movie critics never even considered circulating or reviewing that documentary. After all, they reasoned, "The Clinton Chronicles" was simply propaganda intended to smear an incumbent president during his re-election campaign. They ignored the movie in the name of responsible journalism, and it was consigned to informal distribution among die-hard conservative conspiracy theorists, never to receive mainstream attention.

I wish the same could be said of Moore's films. Too bad his willing conspiracy-theory accomplices are the mainstream media.”

Two weeks ago on Scarborough Country, "Fahrenheit 9/11" was called "a terrorist recruitment film." It was actually said that terrorist group Hezbollah praised the film. Another article I read stated "Hezbollah offered to distribute the film." That says it all. When you’ve got Hezbollah and Madonna the Movie Destroyer praising your film, you are in serious trouble.   

You know what I really find ridiculous? There were celebrities who hadn’t even seen the film telling people to go watch it, just because it bashed the President. That’s just ignorant.

The other thing I find sad is black people branding every Republican a racist and every Democrat a lover of black people. Now, that’s not an insult to the Republican or Democratic parties - and while I’m not a Republican or a Democrat, I have stated that I’m voting for George Bush. As I wrote a few months ago, he’s a man of faith. Christians, put their faith first and that extends to voting. 

And while I’m well aware of the history of both parties, I do not think it’s fair that an entire group should be labeled racist, meaning every Republican.

What I also find ironic is some, not all, black people saying they are voting Democrat, because allegedly ALL Republicans hate black people and other minorities, yet the ones saying that don't even like or spend time with us, their fellow black people. Some of them will even get offended if you call them black, though they clearly are.

What I also don’t get is how some can use that as a barometer to decide who to vote for. Just because a person is a Republican means they are a racist? Just because a person is a Democrat means they are not a racist? God has not allowed you the gift of reading people’s minds, so how can you say that with certainty about everyone. Isn’t it as ignorant as racial profiling? Isn’t it as ignorant as every negative stereotype that’s been attached to black people and other minorities?

To use that as a barometer without looking at the issues and comparing them with your own convictions and religious beliefs is not smart. As a person of faith, God comes first, therefore I'm looking for someone who will uphold those beliefs. The candidate that's compatible with my faith and the things I believe in. As I’m a Christian first, before anything else.  

If you still don’t understand why I question that line of reasoning, I will cite liberal rapper Eminem as an example. He’d successfully performed black music for years, been in the black community, worked with black people… and then a racist tape comes out from years ago with him rapping using the N word and insulting and degrading black women. Now, as I’ve said before, the black community should forgive Eminem, but I wrote that to illustrate a point. You don’t know what’s in a person’s heart. Political and or social affiliation is not always an indicator.

Therefore, do not stereotype and learn to give people a chance. Yes, you may get hurt by giving someone a chance who lets you down, whether it be a friend, a teacher, co-worker or someone you like, but you cannot become a racist yourself and adopt negative views of everyone. Those negative views will end up embittering you.

 

July 24, 2004

A funny quote:

Prince William joined 70,000 fellow Brits in a charity run in London, after, um, overexerting himself in training for the event. He jokingly said:

"I've been training for about two minutes, actually. I've run around the block and I'm feeling a little looser now."

If only more athletes trained that way (And if they did, how many of them would actually cross the finish line. I’m just kidding).

Tennis:

In the last Sound Off entry I wrote that Andre Agassi, Steffi Graf and their son were featured in a commercial with Taylor Dent. It was actually a child actor (earlier in the year I saw a pic of their family in a magazine and when I saw the commercial I wondered how the baby got so tall so quick). However, the part about the kid wiping the court with Taylor was accurate. I’m just kidding. 

I watched matches from Stanford last week. The final featured Venus Williams and Lindsay Davenport. Well done to Davenport on winning. They both played well, though. Speaking of Venus, I saw her match against Amy Frazier… and Amy, whatever sunscreen you’re using, girl, it’s working. For a minute I thought it was Nicole Kidman out there. I’m just teasing. I know some people, both black and white, can’t tan (a few of my family members are like that – one in particular, jokingly refers to some of us as the negros, because, well, we have pigmentation and casper doesn’t). It’s just always unusual to see un-tanned people on a tennis court.

Basketball:

Shaq has been traded to the Miami Heat (what were the Lakers thinking). The people here are quite happy at the news and ticket sales are up. Shaq really has a lot of personality and was the heart of their team, therefore, I’m sure Lakers supporters will miss him…which is too bad cause Miami’s got him now -raspberry-. I’m just kidding about the raspberry.

Yea, like I’m really sorry for Los Angeles. They’ve got championship rings - what do we have? Dolphins flipping around in the water. When you think about it that way, they deserve to lose Shaq. I'm totally kidding. The Heat's been my favorite basketball team ever since they announced we were getting a basketball team. We were just so happy to get a team we didn't care if they won or lost. I suggest Cubs fans adopt that attitude as well (I'm just kidding).   

Recently, I saw an episode of Jim Rome is Burning and all I have to say is Kobe’s ears must have been burning with the way they were talking about his role in Shaq’s trade (just kidding, I don’t believe in superstitions like people’s ears burning when someone’s talking about them). 

Television:

This week, CBS went all Apprentice on two actors from CSI when they demanded a pay raise and didn’t show up for work (Hey, they were poor. They were only making a million a year). When CBS yelled “You’re Fired!” the actors changed their story to, “um, we overslept and missed work.” The actors have now been rehired. 

CBS stands for - CSI Bargaining Stops.

I’m kidding, nothing against CBS or the two actors.

Music

In the last Sound Off article I wrote about a covetous female singer who continually poaches off singer Jennifer Lopez. A few days later it was announced that she’d poached the fashion designer from Lopez’s fashion company, to design for her company she’s trying to start.

So does this mean she'll be knocking off more of Lopez's clothes, but this time commercially?

It's one of the strangest cases of poaching/imitation in music. I cannot recall a time in music when one singer was so envious and covetous of another's career that they took poaching off them and trying to literally become them to such an extreme, especially someone who is their contemporary. It's disturbing and with the press articles that have been written about the brazen poaching and imitating of her by that singer, you would think she would have some sense of shame about it, but she just keeps covetously stealing from her in an obsessive manner. The total lack of judgment in so brazenly and continually ripping her off is not good. Does that camp think no one notices - the minute she poached from Lopez again, recently, it made headlines.

Lopez’s fame grew a lot in part due to her rear. The singer that’s poaching from her decided to deliberately and vulgarly emphasis her rear to promote her career - and it sadly became her career. They both had rapper boyfriends, Lopez, first of course. Lopez has a fashion line, the singer is trying to start her own and with Lopez’s designer. Lopez has a perfume line…that singer recently decided to get her own perfume. She ripped off so many of Lopez’s costumes, down to the earrings, that the similarities were featured in US Weekly last year. She hired the same publicist as Lopez. She also hired the same choreographer as Lopez. It's like one of those TV shows where they make you over to become your favorite singers...but that show's for fans, not other singers.

There is nothing wrong with pursuing those career goals individually, but when you totally rip off someone else's career to such an extent it comes across as strange.

And what about fairness in business and the marketplace. To constantly and illegally use someone else's work and ideas is very unethical.      

The thing I really find very inappropriate about that situation is that singer and her family attribute all that ungodliness to the Lord, when the fact of the matter is they’ve broken just about every commandment in their quest for fame and out of sheer greed. They've left a trail of people they’ve used, stepped on, discarded, withheld several million in royalties from, slandered and libeled. God wasn’t in any of that, but they keep hiding behind the church, and at the church’s expense in attributing their misdeeds to Him.

They are carelessly setting a bad example as well. Kids think they can behave like her and it’s okay with God, when according to the Bible that’s not how Christians are to behave. She insists on putting herself forward as a role model, misleading impressionable young people, after so many people have told her that her behavior is inappropriate. 

One commandment in particular they should remember in the face of all that poaching is, “Thou shall not covet.” If God had wanted to make her Jennifer Lopez, He would have done just that.  

- Anti American sentiment from a few celebrities A few celebrities such as Michael Moore and Madonna have received criticism for anti-American statements and work they’ve made.

For instance, Moore said, "Americans are the stupidest people on the planet." Speak for yourself Michael.

Just because you feel that way about yourself doesn’t mean you have to drag everyone else in the country down with you.

There are many brilliant people in this country, but you don’t know them, cause they don’t like you. Your circle of friends is limited to celebrities and therein lies the problem.

Now, if he’d said, “Celebrities are the stupidest people on the planet,” then who could argue. Hey, that’s universal, as there are not so smart celebrities in every country…and most celebrities wouldn’t be offended at that statement cause they probably wouldn’t get it anyway. I'm just kidding.

However, the next time he goes home to his posh New York apartment building and an American doorman opens the door for his self-professed blue collar butt, then another American greets his so called blue collar butt in the lobby and he goes upstairs and opens the door of his multimillion dollar apartment, to a meal prepared by his chef, he can feel good that he’s suffering through life in a country that subjects him to live in such conditions. How does he do it. The only thing I think is stupid is that they should be waiting on someone who comports himself in such a manner. 

Why does he think this country is so horrible? This country is great spiritually, culturally and economically. But the Moores and Madonnas of this world somehow don't grasp that. And for a country that's made them rich, they owe it a lot more than to badmouth it all the time and in foreign countries as well.    

They keep pointing out what they views as wrong with the country and other people's deficiencies, yet fail to see their own, which are quite significant -- immorality and ingratitude.

After all, if it weren't for the freedoms this country affords its citizens, Moore wouldn't have been able to make those slanderous films without facing a government-sanctioned firing squad. Had he been an Iraqi citizen and tried that in prewar Iraq, Saddam would have given him a colonoscopy with a missile.

This country allows him to live in luxury, after making a lot of money with virtually no talent. Come on, how much talent does it take to stitch people up all the time via tabloid style filmmaking. When the Enquirer makes up stories and stitches people up, it's deplorable, but when Moore does it, it's supposedly creative and cutting edge. 

Credible people have said his films are very inaccurate and contain lies, yet a few celebrities managed to jump on the bandwagon without checking the facts. Because, for some in Hollywood, it is more important to be seen at the most fashionable places, with the director of the moment, rather than be associated with the truth.    

They live indulgent lives, having some of the best this country has to offer, even though they are not the best this country has to offer. Anything they could possibly want is here in this country...yet those two are still whining. And please don’t try to tell me they care about society, as they compromise its welfare via their work all the time.

No, I don't write that out of envy, as I don't covet other people’s things. Money never motivates me. I write that because I find it sad and ironic when hard working people wait on ingrates without morals. It's almost like those situations where a worker is smarter and works harder than the boss. 

In a way, you almost feel that only the kind people, the good people, the smart people, the hard working people and or talented/accomplished people should have those privileges...not the ungrateful, immoral ones. But it happens that way sometimes.

And they choose to be ungrateful and immoral, might I add. They could do better if they wanted to.

It's also sad when there are foreign-born Americans with more patriotism than Moore and Madonna. There's no excuse for that. I live in Miami, which has foreign-born Americans from so many countries, and they love this country more than they do. They fight for it. They defend it. They celebrate it. They don’t bash it. 

This week I met a grandmother who is originally from South America. She told me delightful stories of her country and how she went back to live there for a year. She said as much as she enjoyed herself, when she got back to America a few months ago, she thanked God that He let her live here because of all the privileges in this country.

To Michael Moore and Madonna: It's a sad day when an immigrant is more patriotic than you.  

To me a country isn't its government, but its people and culture. Don't misinterpret that, as I do respect authority. What I mean is when you think of different countries you think about the people, customs, architecture, music, clothes and food they are known for. You celebrate those things. You appreciate those things.    

The point I'm trying to make is, a country is its people.

People make society work and the government oversees it - countries need supervision. Everything may not be to everyone's liking, but in life, what is? 

After all, in life, someone's going to be right and someone's going to be wrong. 

Some great things about this country

You can mail a letter anywhere in the country for 37 cents (Ok, like I've actually mailed a letter from another country, but 37 cents is still cheap). Hey, it's cheaper than flying.

You are not punished by the government for giving birth to a girl, as opposed to a boy, which is unethically deemed less desirable in some countries.

You can start out from less than stellar circumstances and go on to greatness.

Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton came from financially poor homes with alcoholic fathers/step fathers and despite those traumas, went on to careers filled with achievement. In some countries, that would have held them back. In certain countries, if you weren't born into a certain family, they will let you go only so far in that society.

One of my favorite preachers, the late E.V. Hill, was born into very poor financial circumstances. During his sermons, he would tell of how poor his family was, but how God always provided for them. He went on to become one of the most well known preachers in America. He preached to many people around the world, including presidents and dignitaries.

Now, I can understand people having differences with other people. Hey, I don't know if you've noticed, but there are a few entertainers that I don't agree with and I pretty much write about it. But seriously, it is never based on their race or nationality. It's because they're annoying and ridiculous - and that my dears, is universal. 

However, it's one thing to have a grievance with someone for something unethical they did, but that's as far as it should go in terms of your views on them. But, with certain celebrities, both local and foreign, they use their podiums in the most ungodly way to bash entire countries because of a few people from that country that they don't agree with. That is juvenile and xenophobic. Someone's disagreement with a few should never turn into bashing an entire nation, especially the one you are from. It is traitorous, uncalled for and disgraceful.

For example, after her anti-Bush video was met with loathing, Madonna idiotically declared France is my real home. Oh really frenchie. Do you even speak French (and by that I don't mean curse words). And don’t you live in England. And wasn’t it just last month you changed your name to Esther and declared that you are Jewish (haven't Jewish people suffered enough). Just so long as you aren’t confused, then. 

Also, the Biblical Esther, which she changed her name to be like, was a virtuous, God fearing woman. She didn't go on stage kissing girls half her age in a failed publicity stunt to increase her sales and profile. Neither did she suggestively dance on stage with pregnant lesbians.   

Madonna is from Michigan, which is an amazing state – with Detroit being one of the greatest musical cities ever. It’s churned out some of the most gifted, incomparable musicians in history - Aretha Franklin, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Bill Haley, Bob Seger, Anita Baker and…Madonna's dragging down the curve for the whole state. I guess 9 out of 10 ain't bad.

America has made so many great, undeniable contributions to the world, yet a few celebrities act like it's the worst place in the world. I don't think that's fair or true.

If it weren't for the art forms that America pioneered, the very same celebrities who are bashing this country wouldn't have a job.

What, does Moore think Hollywood came from Bollywood? And does Madonna think pop music came from Iraq? I don’t remember Saddam singing Get Into The Groove in any of his dictatorial speeches – he probably thought she was an infidel whore spawn of Satan.

No disrespect to the people of India or Iraq, but my point is, this country made those two celebrities who they are - no, not jaded, over indulgent, arrogant, clueless, deluded ingrates - it made them famous. And any country that can accomplish that, with those two celebrities having so little to work with in the talent department (in Madonna’s case, none) deserves a medal. If that’s not a testament to how brilliant this country is, I don’t know what is.

Any country can take a talented person and make them famous – hey, the talent is God-given, so you’ve got a lot to work with, but a country that can give the talented and the non-talented a chance at making it, really is the land of opportunity. Moore and Madonna should be kissing this country’s butt, as they are among the least deserving of its generosity. Let’s face it, he ain’t Spielberg and she ain’t Aretha.

Celebrities and politics An angry audience of 4,500 people booed singer Linda Ronstadt off the stage this week when she went all political on them. They went all postal on her by booing and exiting the venue, but not before defacing her posters by scribbling on them and throwing their drinks on them. 

Ronstadt stopped entertaining the crowd and launched into a political speech (because you know, that’s what singers do). She praised Michael Moore’s anti-Bush film “Fahrenheit 9/11” and among other things, she said he’s "spreading the truth." Has she actually seen the film? Does she know that it's been widely reported as inaccurate. And celebrities wonder why people don’t take them seriously. Full of contradictions, delusional ideas and self-importance.

The Union Leader ran an article on her a few days ago titled “Linda Ronstadt is a Bigot,” and rightfully so, as she said:

“This is an election year, and I think we’re in desperate trouble and it’s time for people to speak up and not pipe down. It’s a real conflict for me when I go to a concert and find out somebody in the audience is a Republican or fundamental Christian. It can cloud my enjoyment. I’d rather not know.” - Linda Ronstadt

She really thinks a lot of herself.

Ok, because you don't want Christians and Republicans in your audience ruining your enjoyment, the country is supposed to vote to get all the Christians and Republicans off the island? Oh wait, that’s a TV show. Here it is I thought the voting was supposed to be about the presidential election. 

She claims, ”I’m not telling them how to vote. I’m saying, get information about the issues.” Sure, you’re not telling them how to vote. You praise Michael Moore’s anti-Bush film and said  “This is an election year, and I think we’re in desperate trouble and it’s time for people to speak up and not pipe down”...but no, you’re not telling them how to vote. Don’t you just love it when a celebrity insults your intelligence and subtly tries to brainwash you, when the celebrity ironically lacks the main ingredient, a brain.

Most entertainers just want to put on a good show and don’t care who's in their audience, especially to the point that they'd discriminate against them. That’s just twisted.

I know I wouldn't care in that sense, regarding who is in my audience. I wouldn’t be upset if a member of the KKK was in my audience. I’d tell him, be respectful and take off your dunce cap, I mean pointy white hat - not only is it good manners, but you don’t want to block the view of the people behind you.

However, there’s one person who I’d probably roll my eyes at if he attended my show. If it was Satan or something, then yea, I'd yell to security "who let him in here?!".

Linda needs to realize that the type of discrimination and hateful behavior she just displayed is the kind of thinking that got Hitler started. The hatred for other groups to the point he didn’t like the sight of them and didn’t want them around. She shouldn’t be performing then lest she encounter a group she deems unworthy of her warbling. 

Also, does she know that Aaron Neville, who helped her get the hit he sang with her titled “I Don’t Know Much” is a fundamentalist Christian now. That song title turned out to be quite prophetic regarding Linda. 

And how can she call a man a "true American patriot" who said, "Americans are the stupidest people on the planet." Doesn't she see the contradiction in her statements based on what he's said and done?

Politics is an area where a lot of celebrities misread their audiences. The adulation they receive from their audiences combined with the butt kissing from people in their lives fools some into thinking they can say and do anything and that they are that important, when the fact of the matter is it is not so.

Many people think celebrities are over pampered, self important, self-indulgent people with very little morals and no real sense of what's going on in the real world.

Audiences like the entertainment, but they don't view most celebrities as scholars...and that goes for every country. 

It maybe fashionable with their celebrity circle of friends, who applaud that type of speech at gatherings, but in the real world, it is another story. Audiences are clearly sending them a message.

Based on articles I've read, audiences have bashed the Dixie Chicks, Pearl Jam, Whoopi Goldberg and now Linda Ronstadt. However, there are still some celebrities who still don’t understand that audiences on the whole are not amused by their political tirades and speeches and not used to such reactions, celebrities will tell you it’s a conspiracy - when it's their own audience immediately verbally bashing them and walking out.

Conspiracies need time and pre-planning. If you say something on the spur of the moment and your audience tells you what you can do with your little opinion, that's not a political conspiracy - that's just them telling you to buzz off.

It isn’t a violation of free speech either, as some tried to claim. Actually, it’s free speech at work. Celebrities are allowed to say whatever they want, but some don’t seem to grasp that the public is allowed to say whatever they want as well (even if it is booing and hissing).

I think what a lot of celebrities fail to realize is people don't want to be politically brainwashed and browbeaten by someone who is, well, essentially an entertainer with no more intelligence (usually less) than they have. Many audiences are bi-partisan and just go to shows to be entertained. They love their beliefs and country more than an entertainer that may be advising them to contradict them. A concert was what they were expecting.

People usually don't think entertainers are very smart and sometimes with good reason, due to the stupid stuff some entertainers do. So political chatter coming from some of them translates into fingernails down a chalkboard.

I reiterate, this country allows freedom of speech and that extends to audiences as well.  However, some celebrities don't understand that freedom of speech extends to others in that they can voice their dissatisfaction at you voicing your opinions that they don’t like.

Another case in point. Matt Lauer roughed up Michael Moore a little bit and he became upset with a how-dare-you-say-that-to-me look on his face. A man who specializes in making slanderous films turned into a five year old on a playground who just got socked by a classmate.

Madonna has insulted many people, from the President to entertainers who can actually sing like Michael Jackson, Belinda Carlisle and Mariah Carey...yet when the public got angry at her anti-Bush/anti-war video and statements, she cracked like an egg, became as timid as a mouse, started backpedaling and when that didn’t work to correct the damage that had been done, she childishly announced France is her real home.

Why is it some celebrities can dish it, but can't take it. They weren’t slandered, which they have done to others - people expressed their displeasure at what they said and did, and their egos crumbled.

Freedom of speech guarantees you the right to say what you want...it doesn’t guarantee or force people to embrace and accept it. Just because the yes people in your employ agree with everything that comes out of your mouth, regardless of how wrong it may be, doesn’t mean people who aren't on your payroll have to do the same.

Freedom of speech allows you to say what you want, but if it’s slanderous you can be sued. If it is printed, it becomes libel and that’s another lawsuit. However, a good old fashioned ”you stink” is not illegal. I'm just kidding.

To try to make sense of it to themselves, a celebrity can pull the conspiracy card…however, the audience can, as they've illustrated, pull the shut-up-and-sing-cause-you're-getting-on-my-nerves card.

   

 

 


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