June 5, 2004
Last month I saw the
earthquake film “10.5.” I thought it was interesting, however, they could have
done more with the concept and some of it was a bit predictable. For example,
the scene where they were trying to think of a way to stop the quake. When I saw
that I thought explosives and a few seconds later the actress said nuclear
warheads. So, it was a bit predictable.
To be fair, it is geology, so
that probably was the most plausible solution, to use in a film. Don't want to
write anything stupid like, “Fill the fault with crazy glue” (that's what I
would have written being facetious).
I read an article about Real Madrid trying to sign Manchester United soccer
player Ruud Van Nistelrooy. They’ve already signed Beckham, a former Manchester
United soccer player. If they sign one more Man U player they are gonna have to
rename the team Real United. I’m just kidding.
A few weeks ago Rainer Schuttler hilariously took a pic of a bad line call to
make a clever point about how incorrect some calls can be. Shortly after,
American tennis player Vince Spadea beat him on clay. Now that's something you
ought to take a pic of - one of our guys winning on clay. Vince did pretty
well this season and Roddick did make it to the second round of Roland Garros,
which for one of our guys on clay, is like making it to a semi-final. I'm just
Still, some of my favorites
didn't fare too well this clay season. They were partial to bagels (ok, not
really, but just about), therefore,
for the season, I've affectionately named them the bagel boys. I'm just kidding.
It was a good effort (…and pass the cream cheese).
I've found an answer to the
clay crisis. The organizers need to mix the clay with cement, then our guys
won't know the difference (ok, yea, that would be hard court tennis). Maybe they
could come up with a clay sneaker that would simulate the feeling of a hard
court; thereby tricking them into thinking they aren't on clay.
Speaking of equipment, let's
talk about rackets, pardon me, racquets. Am I the only one that noticed that you
can make the word "bat" out of "Babolat.” The racket manufacturer should have
named the brand "batolat" cause that's just what it is, a bat! A bat
impersonating a tennis racket. They just fanned out the top a bit = added some
strings. Think you could hit a home run with that racket? I think so. I'm not
complaining, though. Any racket that can get my serve up to 20 mph is alright
with me. I’m kidding - you all must be thinking, she must really be bad if she
can only get 20 out of a Babolat. I don't know what my fastest serve is. Hey,
just as long as it is not mistaken for my slowest serve, but then again they
might just be the same (sigh). Kidding again.
From ESPN: "Here's another
shocker: No. 9-seeded Tim Henman became the first Englishman in the Open era to
reach the semifinals at Roland Garros."
Well, try not to sound so
surprised. My relatives must have been quite happy at the news. They are tennis
fans/players as well. His performance at this year’s French Open should pretty
much clinch a future knighthood for Timmy...Sir Henman. Even though he lost to
Coria, who pretty much is clay, Tim did well. People underestimate him because
he looks nice, pleasant and friendly. He really doesn't look very menacing, but
his game is. Hear hear! (I've been wanting to write that phrase for so long,
just couldn't find a way to slip it into the column).
When I watched his match
against Coria, the first thing I thought was Timmy is looking a little brown,
did he get a tan or did he get clay on him. Just kidding, he got a tan. I’m
suspicious of any Brit with a tan. Kidding again. Sorry, it is my duty to the
English side of my family to make British weather related jokes anytime the
From the wardrobe malfunction
department…Marat, you're supposed to wait until you get in the locker room to
have a wardrobe malfunction. Serena...when I watched her match
at first glance I thought, is Serena wearing a bikini on court? I guess she
figured it's almost summer…Next the guys will be wearing Speedos. I sure hope
not. Tennis would never be the same.
I read on a tennis web site
that Goran Ivanisevic felt God was trying to get him because he promised to quit
tennis after he won Wimbledon but didn’t and since then he's had shoulder
problems, stepped on a shell in Miami and had to have surgery to repair his
foot. He said he's scared he'll get struck by lightning next. Goran, God is not
out to get you. Next time you walk on the beach, wear shoes.
Inappropriate Teen Film "Saved"
A continuation of the last
Sound Off dated May 22, 2004. In the last Sound Off article I sounded off
about the MGM teen film “Saved!”
For all the controversy they
tried to stir up, the film was not a success, even for limited release,
especially with the debt the project incurred. It didn’t get the “Passion Of The
Christ” type attention or public acclaim they’d hope for. I’m not surprised.
“The Passion Of The Christ” was a success because Christians realized it was a
Christian film that was well done. The subject being the center of Christianity,
which is Christ.
At first glance, you could
tell “Saved!” is not a Christian film. It is reprehensible that they tried to
pass the movie off as a Christian film. How desperate can you get that you stoop
so low in trying to trick Christian audiences into paying to watch a film that
mocks them and their faith. How characterless can you get.
More Press Interviews
The filmmakers and cast
unsuccessfully did interviews to do damage control. However, once a few
Christian organizations slammed it a few weeks ago, the damage was done.
They obviously thought the
irreverence in the film was funny, would capitalize on the success of “The
Passion Of The Christ,” but now that many Christians have found it offensive,
they are publicly backpedaling, redefining and restating what they originally
said and pulling out every "religious" person they know, are related to or ever
met as proof that they are not intolerant, narrow-minded bigots (in
spite of the film and that crass MTV interview they conducted) as they claim
That's like a racist saying,
"But I have a black friend." You can still supposedly be friends with someone
and be a racist by calling him or her the N word behind their back. People do
that all the time. I have candid white and Hispanics friends who've told me to
watch out for so and so, because they use slurs when black people aren't present
and aren’t as genuine as they seem.
Then there are some who’ll say
they’ve dated a black person, therefore they are not racist. Oh, you can still
be racist. There was a white Hollywood actress who dated a black celebrity cause
he was famous, but didn't like touching his hair because it was frizzy/curly,
which she didn't like and had ignorant misconceptions and phobias about, that
she mistakenly let the wrong person find out (well, the wrong person being me).
However, because he was black, well known and she was curious about black men,
she used him. Did she directly descended from Hitler or does she not realize
that it’s just hair. Yes, God makes hair in different textures, no need to be
So, sincerity in a person, let
alone a film, can be questionable due to a person’s subjectivity. Much like the
film “Saved!” is just about on par with those cases of hypocrisy, gross
stereotyping, bigotry and self-promotion.
While the makers of the film
feel Christianity needs to be updated, "pushed into the 21st century" as they
said, like it's one of their hype filled bios or PR releases, what they fail to
understand is some things are sacred and are not to be changed. God says "I
am the same yesterday, today, and forever"
People may change, but God does not. People can be fickle, but God is not. And
I'm glad He doesn't change. Stability and reliability are good. It is good to
know He doesn't change and that He is reliable.
But to follow the filmmaker’s
ridiculous line of thinking in updating Christianity in their crass, ignorant
manner, one has to laugh at their cluelessness. You don't add rouge to the Mona
Lisa's cheeks with a crayon, you don't paint the Eiffel Tower neon green to,
like, totally make it more hip, and to like, match your new neon green car. You
don't rewrite the Constitution to add slang such as, "We the dudes, for the
dudes" instead of the eloquent English it was written in.
But that's just it with some
(not all) in Hollywood; they cross lines that shouldn't be crossed in an attempt
to shock and be edgy, when it looks desperate and attention seeking. If you’ve
got to deliberately be controversial to sell, it says you lack talent (someone
ought to tell Michael Moore that).
The best music and film work
that's been done has been based in talent and great writing, not slander,
sliminess and crassness. No great musician or director ever had such trash in
their arsenal. But the flakey forgotten ones always do.
It’s nothing to do with
“Saved!” being a teen film, as I saw the teen movie "The Princess Diaries” and
thought it was a nice movie. So, I'm not against teen films, but I am against
corny, cheesy, crass ones -cough- Saved.
Christians aren't scared of
films or their impact. Hollywood has been doing that stuff for years (yawn).
Some directors get too wrapped up in their films and believe them to be greater
and more profound than they actually are (that’s if they are at all). It’s like
some think the world is gonna end because they made a movie. Like people are
biting their nails and living in fear of their film (ooo). You almost want to
Christianity has stood the
test of time and will continue to do so, as God promises in the Bible. Reverence
is given to certain things in the Bible for a reason. To do otherwise is to your
The scenes I've seen from the
film are disgraceful and the interviews/promo is just as bad. There’s no excuse
or justification for that.
Excerpt from the Hartford
before "Saved!" opened in Chicago, MGM sponsored a screening at Loews Piper's
Alley Cineplex. Seats filled swiftly as promotional gifts were passed around,
including "Emergency Baptism Kits" made specifically for the movie. The silver
pouches of water came with a simple list of instructions: "Commit sin. Tear open
packet, pour contents over head, You're born again -- Saved!"
Also at the screening were four students from Illiana Christian High School in
Lansing, who remained silent amid the bursts of laughter. At a discussion
afterward, they couldn't protest the movie enough.
"Jesus died on the cross and took the punishment that we were supposed to get
upon himself and gave us the gift of grace and salvation," said 17-year-old
senior Sarah Jo Hoogendoorn. "And they beheaded Jesus in the movie."
The students found the portrayal of their demographic offensive. They cited the
fact that Mary, the film's protagonist, returns to believing in "God, or
something out there" but not specifically to Christianity, while the cartoonish
Hilary Faye and Pastor Skip remain as the film's undisputed Christian believers.
I saw an MSNBC interview featuring one of the producers Michael Stipe. Remember in the
last sound off I referred to him as the unhappiest singer ever who prefers
scowling to smiling. Well, he was smiling away in that interview. I have to
admit, it was nice to see him smiling.
In the interview to promote
the film, he borrowed the already used line of people criticizing the film
without seeing it. However, when you have reliable Christian web sites doing
scene by scene reviews/descriptions of the film weeks prior to its release, one
doesn’t need to go to the film to realize it is not “pro-faith” as they claim,
but sacrilegious. Uh, you guys let them see the film because you wanted
publicity and they took scene-by-scene notes and posted them on their web sites
describing the film in great detail...and with lots of dialogue included (Aisha
In the producer’s case, it was
a matter of trying to con people with the
They deliberately tried to
trick Christian audiences into seeing the film to get big ticket sales, when
they knew the film was not Christian. The filmmakers and actors are
anti-Christian and have openly displayed that in interviews prior to the film’s
They also said the project
began three years ago…but coincidentally released right after the success of "The
Passion of the Christ" and with one of the producers commenting on how much money
there is to be made from Christian audiences.
From the New York Times:
executives have been trying what they call the "Hail Mary" approach, throwing
every possible hook into the advertising and publicity for the film, working
especially hard to reach the Christian audience that turned out for "The Passion
of the Christ."
They even went as far as to
trick/mislead a Christian band, The Elms, and other Christian organizations into
using their properties for the film. When these people found out that the script
was sacrilegious, they all backed out. Trying to use them for credibility was
From The Garret (http://goforthlabs.com/news/)
of Saved!, Brian Dannelly, says he walked out on Mel Gibson's Passion because he
considered it "silly".
A Christian band called The Elms were to play themselves at the prom in the
movie. But they backed out days before shooting their seen because they
considered the script to be mocking in its tone rather than instructive, as the
director had led them to believe. A Lutheran church also refused to let cameras
from the movie on-site.
As written in that article,
the director even referred to the film “The Passion of the Christ” as “silly,”
when Christians thought otherwise. Let me get this straight, someone writes a
non-comedic, historical epic about the life of Christ (Gibson) and you deem it
“silly”, but you write a goofball, corny, teen comedy and your film is
“subversive” as you’ve labeled it. I think the description “silly”
better fits your film.
I do agree that it is
subversive, though. The New York Times declared, “Irreverent comedy seeks
Christians.” Trying to pass the film off as Christian or “pro-faith” or whatever
else, when it is subversive (not to mention underhanded and
slimy) is pathetic. When a movie campaign gets that complicated, the filmmakers
have got serious issues. Who knew a PR campaign would stoop so low.
The producers said they want
people to question their faith. Do you question whether or not your parents are
your parents? Why are you asking these kids to question whether or not God is
their (Heavenly) Father as the term and scripture goes? How is that a benevolent
act? It seems more malevolent than anything.
There’s a passage in the Bible
that addresses young people’s faith and how much God values it. That scripture
reads “If someone causes one of
these little ones who believe in me to lose faith--it would be better for that
man if a huge millstone were tied around his neck and he were thrown into the
sea.” To put it in
modern terms, that's His way of saying I'm going to make your life a living hell
if you do that. Why? It is not benevolent. There is absolutely no necessity for
it. Life is difficult enough for young people and you are perversely telling
them to question their faith. God loves them. He takes people’s faith very
seriously, especially young people’s faith and anyone who plays with that does
so to their own detriment.
What the makers and cast of
that film need more than anything is God’s forgiveness, because what they said
they set out to do was wrong.
That’ s part of why I look at
certain entertainers like Marilyn Manson and Madonna and wonder if they are out
of their minds. The mixing and profaning of spiritual subjects in their work,
aimed at teens and kids is very unwise. They are mixing themes and subjects from
the Bible, with ungodly messages and sending mixed signals. You send out any
other message than the one God intended and or spiritually lead any kid astray
and it will not be a blessing to you.
Hypocrisy in Hollywood
The makers of the film keep
talking about the alleged hypocrisy in Christianity, yet amazingly and
conveniently don’t address the hypocrisy in Hollywood…the most hypocritical
institution on the face of this earth. Why don’t more so called controversial
filmmakers talk about that or are they scared they'll never work again? One has
to admire that kind of integrity and conviction (not).
What about the teenage girls
and sadly in some cases, teenage boys on casting couches performing sex acts on
perverted middle aged men to get roles in films. That’s been going on for years.
What about rigging awards and brow beating people to get undeserved accolades.
What about, um, arranging, yea that's it, arranging positive reviews. What about
Hollywood actors who've slept with dozens of actresses, groupies, strippers and
prostitutes, but are calling themselves role models for kids. If you do continue
to live like that, you are nobody's role model. You become HIV's role model of
what not to do.
What about Hollywood moguls
who constantly marry and divorce different women young enough to be their
daughters, while casting out their former long suffering wives. What about
studio execs that take credit for projects they didn't do (there are cases of
people accepting Oscars for work that was later credibly revealed to be someone
else's that an executive stole). What about the drug-addicted executives who
need rehab, but are in high positions making very important decisions affecting
company employees and millions of viewers, all while they are under the
influence of drugs? There are executives snorting cocaine and deciding what
television shows your family is gonna watch next season. You don't see any
hypocrisy in that? Tell me any of that stuff is good by anyone’s standards,
Christian or not?
But no, they cover for their
drug addicted industry peers instead of getting them help, while trying to dig
up dirt and make movies about the stuff other people allegedly do because they
feel it’s controversial and will sell movie tickets and get ratings. You don’t
see any hypocrisy in that?
Recently, certain people in
the movie industry were having a Maalox moment at the news that well known
releasing a very candid autobiography. Based on the articles I read
really sounded off on a lot of people. It’s one of those books that shows how
ugly, fake and slimy Hollywood can be.
Certain executives have made a
living out of making slanderous, questionable projects about others all under
the guise of controversy, but when the tables turn and the project is about
them, suddenly it’s not so funny anymore. Suddenly it’s call the lawyers time.
What was subversive on others becomes slanderous when it’s about them. What was
laugh out loud on others becomes libelous when it’s about them. You’ve got to
admire that kind of integrity and backbone (not).
They love talking about how
daring and controversial they are but they pick easy targets. I mean, show us
how tough you are. Why don’t so-called controversial filmmakers like the makers
of Saved or Michael Moore make an anti- Bin Laden film. That’s cause the film
would be released posthumously, now wouldn’t it. Osama would appear on the red
carpet at the premier before they did.
However, if you make a
Christian bashing film, people like Dannelly and Stipe will be applauded by
certain other hateful, decision-making executives in Hollywood for making such a
movie. They bashed and mocked Christianity in the film, yet the minute the
tables were turned in press interviews that questioned their behavior and
motives, they became angry, defensive and insulted.
I sometimes wonder why they
bother with Christianity bashing films. It hasn't made a dent in Christianity.
Only a dent in their budgets.
That’s another thing, reading
the filmmaker and producer’s interviews, you can tell they’ve been
anti-Christian for a long time, therefore shouldn’t their hatred for
Christianity qualify as a form of zealotry. After all, Webster’s defines
zealotry it as “One who is zealous,
especially excessively so. A fanatically committed person”
When your hatred for something
consumes you enough that you spend 5 million to make a film bashing it, you are
officially a zealot.
Some of them call Christians
zealots or crazy, but their own behavior reeks of zealotry. There’s a director
that was so enamored with cocaine that he made a movie about it. I remember
reading the press articles for the film and thinking, this guy made a movie
about cocaine (shock face). To hear him talk about it, you’d think it was a
great story. I kept waiting for him to decry drug use and the lead character’s
choices (who was a drug dealer) but he didn’t…while I’m reading the article
thinking, this guy made a movie about cocaine (shock face). You could tell he
was a fan. Ironically, that director died from a cocaine induced heart attack
shortly after in 2002 at age 37.
However, films like his ode to
cocaine wasn’t a form of zealotry? Wasn’t drug-induced insanity? And how many
movie industry people applauded the film and how many sniveling Hollywood actors
were kissing his butt to get in his films, telling him he’s a genius, when he
was a man who clearly needed help/rehab.
Yet Hollywood screams
hypocrisy and scoffs at Christianity, when Christians preach God’s message of
cleaning up your life. Whereas Hollywood preaches do whatever’s
controversial (and we’ll give you a good budget to make movies about it) even if
it kills you (i.e. drugs). You know, maybe cleaning up one's life isn't such a
And what’s going on with MGM?
First the sacrilegious, silly and stale “Saved” (that Christian groups slammed,
thereby seriously cutting their ticket sales) then the stereotypical, sleazy,
sloppy “Soul Plane,” (for which black groups issued a boycott that pretty much
sank the film). There are so many positive black stories out there, yet they
greenlight the ones that make black people look like ignorant buffoons.
(Soul Plane) which, according to its director, Jessy Terrero, cost around $16
million, only sold $5.7 million worth of tickets over the long Memorial Day
holiday weekend. When asked for a response, Earl Ofari Hutchinson, President of
the National Alliance for Positive Action, who campaigned against the film,
pretty much declared victory. "Black film patrons delivered a powerful message
to MGM executives," says Hutchinson, "That they will no longer tolerate or
support movies that trash, ridicule and demean African-Americans." In a
statement issued Monday, the organization sent a message, in more ways than one,
to the industry. "The rejection of 'Soul Plane' is also a call to MGM and film
executives, and black film industry professionals that blacks want, deserve,
demand and will support with their box office dollars full-dimensional, positive
portrayals of the black experience on the big screen. The National Alliance for
Positive Action will continue to deliver that message to film executives."
Is this what MGM’s legacy has
become? Putting out offensive films that dishonor and slander large groups of
people, while making very little money in the process due to people being
offended. Is it worth printing up costly release prints for that? Is it worth
paying for costly advertising for that?
It’s not even good business
sense (which would justify these slanderous depictions for some), as these films
cost millions to make and promote, aren’t hits and are dragging down the MGM
brand. When you think MGM, you don’t think of garbage like that, but that’s what
they’ve become synonymous with recently and it’s a real shame. With all the
resources they have at their disposal, is this the best way to spend the budget
or is it a serious lapse in judgment on a few executives’ part?
Controversy usually doesn’t
sell tickets. Good films do. What’s happened to that? Whatever happened to just
making a good film that people want to watch?
Hollywood’s Fascination With
Hollywood has a bad way of
playing with the sacred. From blasphemous films like “Saved!” to flakey,
pseudo-spiritual singers like Madonna who preach their own agenda for their own
gain, not society’s.
The fact of the matter is it
is not a good idea to play with spiritual matters. Why do they like to play with
spiritual things anyway. I mean, of all the things to play with.
Hollywood loves to use phrases
to hype their films like "opening a Pandora’s box" and that's just what playing
with spiritual matters does in a person’s life. People who play with that stuff
often don't know what they are playing with. It brings all sorts of problems
into their lives. I’ve seen so many interviews on shows like the 700 Club from
former entertainment industry people who have done that and attested to the
unexplained misery it caused them.
To mix the sacred and the
profane is sacrilegious. It’s inadvisable, not trendy. To mislead people about
spiritual matters, for whatever reason, is not a good idea. God holds people
responsible for that.
Therefore, what are you saying
and what is your accountability to God regarding it.
God is like the weather,
whether or not you believe in Him, He will be a factor in your life. After all
He gave you life and it is His intent to bless you. However, people do things,
that for lack of a better word, bring curses on themselves, which are discussed
in the Bible (God willing, more on that in the next Sound Off article).
I look on at satanic rock
groups bragging, calling themselves Satanists, mocking God and I wonder if they
know what it’s doing to them. When you start playing with spiritual things,
singing about Satan or any other misguided religious theme, messing with demonic
imagery in your videos, concerts and work, mixing the sacred with the profane,
it will take its toll on you. If you play around with that stuff and do
unethical things, it will attract misfortune and negativity like a magnet.
God understands that we are
human and that we have weaknesses, but irreverence is not a weakness, it is
flagrantly disrespecting Him and it is something a person should ask for
forgiveness for. Not for God’s sake, not for the church’s sake, but their own,
because the Bible says “God is not
mocked. A man reaps what he sows” (Galatians 6:7).
However, there are people who
have successfully gotten away from that part of the entertainment industry. Guys
like Jeff Fenholt, former singer with Satanic rock group Black Sabbath and
former star of the irreverent film Jesus Christ Superstar. Jeff realized his
mistakes and changed. And as he attests, his life has been made better for it.
June 16, 2004
Last week, I watched the
funeral coverage of former President Ronald Reagan. He served this country well
for years and deserved the stately funeral. Did you know that there were some
who griped in the news that the tributes to Mr. Reagan was too much and
overdone. I can’t believe someone begrudged him a proper funeral.
Another reminder that being
President is often a thankless job. Between no-talent pop singers taking
potshots at the President in music videos, while trying to capitalize on a war and
members of the press’ political biases slipping into articles, when they aren’t
supposed to be commentaries, but news reports, it’s pretty obvious.
I wondered how
Kennedy would have been treated. With all the sex
scandals that were quietly written about him, can you imagine what some in the
press would have done to him today. It would have been terrible.
I honestly do not think
readers revel in reading such articles. It’s more like watching a car accident.
You’re horrified, then look away. People often don’t want to know such things.
Some, not all, in the media love uncovering other people’s sins when the bones in their
closets are just as bad, if not worse. Some of them have sins that would make
Satan blush…but never mind, they are throwing literary stones.
Still, I love to write;
therefore, I love the idea of freedom of the press. Imagine being a writer in a
country like Cuba. I love Cuban people, and this is nothing against them, but
can you imagine being a journalist in Cuba? It would be make Castro look good or kiss your butt goodbye. Same for pre-war Iraq. Can you imagine having
to literarily kiss Sadaam’s butt, especially when you don’t agree with his
behavior. Still, Saddam is gone and Iraq is liberated. There’s less evil in the
world (There's also a new U.S. sponsored and based Iraqi station to help
broadcast a more fair view to the Iraqi people of what's going on - as opposed
to mostly Al Jazeera).
However, God is very
forgiving and would forgive Sadaam of his sins if he asked Him. That’s one of
the great things about God. No matter how wicked you think you are, He still
loves you and will forgive you if you ask (“Any many who comes to me I will in
no wise cast out,” John 6:37). The amplified translation of that being “and
the one who comes to Me I will most certainly not cast out [I will never, no
never, reject one of them who comes to Me]”).
However, you must ask for forgiveness and change your ways. Changing one’s ways
is very important.
Some of you may question how
God can forgive someone who’s behaved like Sadaam or Castro…to that I say, zip
it, you’ve done stuff you need His forgiveness for too to get into heaven when
you die. Don’t question the grace of God.
- In tennis, Andy Roddick
retained his title by winning the Stella Artois tournament for the second
year in a row. Last week, Roger Federer also won Halle. No, not Halle Berry, the
Halle tennis open in Germany. This was also the second year in a row Federer won
I think it could be the
beginning of an interesting rivalry. A friendly rivalry, but a rivalry, none the less.
Sort of like Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi. Hey, with Agassi already inviting
Roddick to barbeques and giving him advice, this could be a reality soon. For
further reference to that joke, please see Agassi's "If
Pete’s child is a girl, my son will like her; if he’s a boy, my son will
comment. I'm just teasing.
However, it would make for good tennis. If they
need help getting the rivalry started you could always tell Federer, Roddick
said something about his pet cow and you could tell Roddick that Federer said
something about his visor collection. Actually, that might turn into a boxing
match instead of tennis. Forget I mentioned that.
- In soccer…last week, when asked about Arsenal
teammate and France Eurocup opponent, English soccer player
Ashley Cole said:
"John and Sol are well equipped to play against Thierry. Sol plays up against
him all the time in training and John has played against him in the Premiership
Ok, so basically there was no
plan for containing Thierry, then (I’m totally kidding). Sol and John play very well.
My dad says mental game is a
big part of winning. To make his point, he hilariously said, “If you have an
argument with your wife before the match, you’re gonna lose!” You guys may
wanna think about that next time. Tell Thierry’s wife that he’s been making
jokes in the locker room about her cooking. It would be difficult for him to
play at his best after being clocked with a frying pan. I’m just kidding.
Ashley’s other game
"We had a title to win and a
record to beat but towards the end I was telling Thierry Henry I would be
looking to kick him, if I can catch him!”
Ashley, trying to kick him
wouldn’t have been right…tripping him would have been better. If you kick him,
you’ll get carded. You cannot effectively explain to a ref why you kicked
someone. Trip him and you can argue and say “I didn’t trip him, he
fell over my foot!” or “he’s normally my teammate, why would I trip him? I
thought he looked a bit unsteady on his feet and I was trying to hold him up
with my foot.”
To Thierry: Why couldn’t you
have been born in England. You know, croissants and scones really aren’t that
different (ok, yea they are) a little clotted cream and jam on them and you
won’t know the difference (ok, yea you will). I’m just kidding, nothing against
However, England coach Sven
was more optimistic about England’s chances against France:
Eriksson told reporters:
"To be honest, whatever you play, Zidane (France) will be a headache. He's a
headache for everyone.”
Well, at least Sven was
optimistic, right…ok, not really. And a headache Zidane was. I
mean, what was he thinking scoring those goals. How dare he! (Aisha glaring at
Me personally, I think if you
can spell Zinedine Zidane’s
entire name, you should be entitled to a free kick (just teasing…and like my
name is any easier to spell). I call him ZiZi and Z-Ziddy (get it, like P Diddy…ok,
another bad joke). So nice his mama named him twice (yea, that was a corny joke
on my part as well). Both his first and last names begin with “zi” and end with “ne.”
His official nickname is Zi-Zou Zi-Zou, though.
Speaking of Ashley wanting to
kick Thierry…it brings me to the next subject of athletes
disputing calls. You can tell by the looks on their faces that they did
something (I'm completely kidding with these jokes):
Roddick: What did I
Umpire: What did you just say about my
Taylor: ooo you heard that?
Gary: Don't make me come over
Kobe: I don't know how much longer I
can hold him back.
Seedorf: "What just happened?" (Soccer- A discombobulated Seedorf
after being fouled/tackled/body slammed).
Carmelo: It wasn't me. It was Allen
Iverson. You're confused cause we both have braids.
Ref: You aren't even playing against
Carmelo: What does that have to do
Other funny sports pics:
Gustavo Kuerten standing by an injured John Van
Gustavo Kuerten: Oh get up you big baby. It's just a
sprain, fracture in seven places and a mild concussion.
Bryan Twins, Mike and Bob (tennis)
Bob: You look familiar. Where have I
seen you before?
Mike: Uh, in the mirror. We're twins
Felix Mantilla: They're not gonna show
my match on ESPN! (insert crying here).
(a little tennis joke regarding people
complaining that ESPN doesn't show tennis matches featuring foreigners).
Pics courtesy of Corbis
- Last week I read an article on the BBC about a singer from
Jamaican heritage, such as myself, being knighted. Congrats to Sir Willard White.
The article read, “Jamaican-born Sir Willard White, 57 - regarded as one of the
world's finest baritones - was knighted. He has sung in some of the globe's
great opera houses and performed with many celebrated symphony orchestras.”
- I’m still having
problems with people plagiarizing this web site. Namely a singer and a comedian.
Considering the comedian has ties to the legal community, they should know
better than to steal original copyrighted work like jokes and other items from
here and incorporating it into their work. You call yourself a comedian and
you’re stealing ideas and jokes from a singer.
The other one, the singer, only
in name, is
hell bent on ripping off what she can from this project before it
is launched. She blatantly ripped off my single “Contemporary Girl” and to her own
detriment, as it ruined her career. Even after all that she is still poaching
items and ideas from this web site, all with negative results for her.
in both songs:
- Both songs have the exact same structure,
which isn't common in her genre or mine
(verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, rap, chorus). I decided to experiment
with the structure when I wrote the song.
- Both songs have very similar melodies.
- Both songs used the exact
same type of studio vocal processing.
- Both songs have mutual lyrics (with one in
particular that she's gonna have a very hard time explaining).
- Both songs have a "rap remix" on
the maxi single (which was an industry first, as I listed in my bio)
- Both songs are about the
exact same thing.
An artist in her genre and
age group rapping was so rare that one reviewer wrote “Someone
please draft legislation to keep middle-aged, mega-star white women from rapping."
Yes, it was that horrid and not because she is white, but because she has no
musical talent. Besides, as someone pointed out and I’ve thought as well for a
while, who raps about lattes...just cause Train sang about lattes, doesn't mean
you should try, with emphasis on try, to rap about them.
- I have a timeline
of her articles and interviews that I’ve put together for the case, of each time I
wrote things on this site, then when she announced AFTER in press releases that she’s doing the same thing (which is another factor in tying her to this site).
While, doing the same things as someone else is not copyright infringement,
unless you start taking from their copyrighted material like she did, it proves access and links her to
this web site. For example, here are a few:
- I wrote on here that I play
the guitar, shortly after she puts out press release saying she’s learning to
play the guitar.
- I wrote on here that I’m
writing a book, shortly after she puts out a press release saying that she’s
writing a book.
- I wrote on here that I was
working on one of my screenplays; shortly after she does an article talking
about how she’s writing a screenplay (yea right).
- I wrote on the
diary page about the restaurant I’m working on - that I did the menu and
business plan for it, as well as registering the name (Which I did that week.
It's public record). Shortly after she puts out a
press release stating that she is opening a restaurant...and amazingly her restaurant mysteriously
begins with the same 4 letters as the name I registered for mine.
- Even just last week I wrote
on here about the two books I'm writing with my dad, this week she announces
that she's writing a book with her husband.
Not to mention she’s poached
so many original things from this site that I’ve written (things
from my bio and the interview page and attributed them to herself - all after
I’ve written them on here and copyrighted them). All the published articles
and interviews where she’s
done this, all after I've written the original material on here, are available on the internet.
It is all well documented. For example, here are a
few more (and there are others):
- I wrote, “Why do people
like to see other people fall?” in an item on the sound off page. Shortly
after, she does an interview and says, “Why do people like to
see people fall?” attributing it to herself.
- I wrote on here that I don’t listen to
my music at home, shortly after she does an article where she says she doesn’t listen to
her music at home.
- I made a joke about
polishing my nails, very shortly after she makes a joke about polishing her
nails (yea, um, isn’t she the one always going to the salon. Since when is she
polishing her own nails).
You know, witnessing all
this, it's no wonder she and her husband are members of a religious cult. Their
feeblemindedness in being so willing to constantly copy and mimic something
someone else is doing and to such a disturbing, disgraceful degree,
makes them perfect candidates for cults and mind control.
Also, tying a red string around
one's hand does not ward off envy, evil spirits or the evil eye. The only thing
it will ward off is a person's circulation. It sure didn't work on her label CEO
when he, figuratively speaking, kicked her teeth in after all those years of
being a figurehead and removed her from her co-owned label for pennies on the
Typical of cults to sell
people gimmicks (i.e. expensive bottled water or red strings, which is a pagan
custom). I saw a news
program a few years ago where they conducted a test to find out which type of
drinking water is the cleanest. They bought bottled water that came from a
spring, collected water from a tap and lastly, left a bucket outside to collect
rain water. In the lab tests they conducted, the rain water turned out to be the
purest. Even the natural food God makes in the earth is a lot more healthy than processed food from a factory. That's right, God is the ultimate
Iron Chef (and it wouldn't take Him a half an hour to cook, either). I'm just
teasing, I like that show.
The fact of the matter is life
is full of trouble. No red string or bottled water is gonna prevent that. God even
says it in the Bible "In this life you will have trouble (John
16:33)." Why? because
we live in a world where people do bad things that affect others. There are
murderers who take innocent lives, pedophiles who prey on children, dictators
who live lavishly while their people go hungry and in need of medicine,
pharmaceutical companies that release drugs that they know have a high
probability of potentially dangerous side effects, but hope to beat the FDA to
the punch in selling as much of it as possible before it is found out and
banned. My point? There is so much unethical, corrupt behavior in the world that
most people are bound to be affected by it one way or another, which = trouble.
I reiterate what He said, "In this life you will have trouble (John
Still, I must note, God can
forgive people who do the above named things, provided they ask for forgiveness
and stop doing those unethical things.
Some may question why would
God allow people to do those things. I have a question for you. Think to a time
when you did something wrong. For example, cheating on your spouse or the person
you date or stealing money from another. What made you do those things? You did
those things based on the bad things in your heart and your unethical thoughts.
You can't blame God for that.
Back to what I was saying...she has gotten so carried
away with poaching from here and it’s brought her nothing but trouble and
ridicule from people, because it seems totally incredulous coming from her. She
doesn't have the modesty the song I wrote, that she ripped off, promotes and
encourages - after all, she is the woman who moved from one multi-million
mansion to another because "it didn't have a tennis court." You live somewhere
for years and all of a sudden just realized it didn't have a tennis court. If
you don't play tennis, and she doesn't, why would you do something like that.
Anyway, according to legal experts,
attributing so many things from this site to herself inextricably ties her
to this web site, as two people aren’t going to be writing/saying the same things
over and over again, one after the other unless one is copying/stealing from the other =
copyright infringement. This site is not an obscure one, as it has been viewed
over 3 million times. Bad enough I get people who visit the site telling me about the
poaching she’s been doing, I read the trade papers as well, so I’m aware of what’s going
You know, if
someone dedicates their work to God and you keep stealing from it and it
constantly produces bad results for you as it has, maybe it’s time you put two
and two together for your own sake and realize it’s not for you - leave it
alone. A lab rat would know better by now. Not to mention, stealing from a song
dedicated to God is not a good idea.
This is one of the things I
don’t get with some female singers. Why are they so covetous? What kind of
bad ambition do you have when you see someone write a song that is
dedicated to God and working on a project that’s trying to do something for God
and you rip it off for what a rabbi termed her music as “porn rock.” Things
dedicated to God should remain as that…not stolen and turned into filth.
Bad enough she was not meant
to be a singer, and we know this because she cannot sing, in an
VH-1 excerpt of a show, she joked about Belinda Carlisle’s voice when she can actually
If God had intended her to be
a singer, he would have given her that talent. She clearly does not have that
talent. But if he had given her that talent, look what she would have done with
it. Her career has been so questionable.
Years from now someone
could pick up a Whitney Houston record and say, “man, this woman can sing!” Years from now someone could pick up one of that singer’s records and say, “man,
this woman can’t sing.” I’ve studied music since I was a kid and can say with
certainty that music like that does not stand the test of time. You have to have
a talent for music or music history will disqualify you.
If you look through music
history, the people with a talent for singing are the ones who are best
remembered. When the next generation who aren’t privy to or care for the
publicity stunts that made some famous today, pick up a record they are going to
judge it on music. All the other extraneous garbage like PR stunts and going on
stage half naked won’t matter. It never does in the long run. They won’t care
who a singer supposedly was; they’ll only care about what they are hearing.
Her career has been so
contemptible. For years all she has managed to do is corrupt adults and
impressionable kids with her music. All they’d have to do is switch on any radio
channel and all that garbage would pour out into their living room. That is not
a commendable career.
Apparently, the poaching isn't
something she just started. There was something written about her in a well-known biography regarding
She somehow managed to get
the lead role in a film, regardless of the fact that she cannot act and people
have begged her for years to stop for the sake of cinema. When it came time for
the soundtrack, the studio hired two award-winning composers to pen the songs.
After receiving his properly written song, sheet music and all, she sent it back
with revisions adding a few words. Her doing revisions to a song is like Homer
Simpson doing revisions to Shakespeare.
The composer who penned the
song is a trained
writer, unlike the singer, but she wrote a few words, revising his already
completed song in what was widely viewed as her unethically trying to horn in on
credit for the man’s composition. Credibility is something she’s always sought,
but never achieved.
Never mind the man wrote the
lyrics, piano and strings for the song already. When songs are
credited, the names will appear as though each person did the same amount of
work, when with some female singers today, that’s often not the case. Horning in
on credit for something someone else wrote by trying to add a few words and
collecting underserved publishing/credit is not songwriting.
However, offended and
branding her revisions as “abysmal and banal lyrics” the writer stood firm,
rejected her so called lyrics and later won an Oscar for the song she tried to
add a few words to and horn in on the credit for. He won it without her
I don’t know why some songwriters and producers put up with
that and it’s commonplace now in the industry with certain female singers trying
to do that to writers/producers for credibility and undeserved publishing income
(that is not songwriting). Well, they put up with it
because they need the work, even though they did the bulk of the work and
usually do not like the so-called revisions.
Can you imagine if he had not stood
firm. This woman would have won an Oscar for an already completed song that she
tried to add a few words to, having nothing to do with its creation or music.
However, that’s what she
does. According to an article on Fox News, all her songs that were big hits were
all written by someone else, while the later, more unsuccessful songs that she
performed and “co-wrote” were all written with someone else, which is a tell
tale sign in the industry.
While I’m on the subject of
films, let’s talk about her insistence on trying to act, something else she does
not have a talent for. People have been telling her for years to stop acting
because it is not for her and only bringing her more ridicule. People don’t even
consider her an actress, but she stubbornly continues to butcher people’s films
(that’s when she’s not trying to take over the film creatively, even though she
had nothing to do with its creation, and severely veering the project off
course into cinematic garbage - which was also written of her, but not in those
words, of course).
Though I didn’t see her last
film that was branded the worst ever, in her case, I don’t believe that it is
the movies that are the problem, as she’s worked with directors who’ve gotten
rave reviews for other work they’ve done. It’s clear that it is her acting that’s the problem.
She’s damaging competent directors' careers with her terrible performances and
that's not fair. I’ve
seen excerpts on TV of some of her past performances and she could make
Spielberg look bad. The fact of the matter is you could have the best script and
the best technical staff, but if you get bad acting in your film, it is up a
creek without a paddle.
She got sued for her last
music video for ripping off a well-known artist’s pics. She had to settle with
the artist's family for over $600,000 dollars to stop the flagrant infringement
case from going to court. However, she wants you to keep in mind that she,
“admits no wrongdoing.” Never mind a British newspaper reported seeing her visit
the museum that housed the artist’s photos that were mysteriously ripped off for
The artist’s son said of her,
thing to draw inspiration; it's quite another to simply plagiarize the heart and
soul of my father's work.”
True indeed. You don’t work on something for years for a covetous, no talent to
rip it off in five minutes. Not to mention her lack of talent always destroys
the work, turning it into something any author would abhor (I know I cringe when
I hear the horrid, ghastly song she ripped off my song for. Especially the rap
part in her rip off. It is cringingly awful).
Her latest video isn't much
better. It looks an awful lot like British singer Billie Piper's 1998 video
"Honey To The Bee," where Piper was featured in front of a red 3D computer
generated flower while floating on the ocean. The singer’s new video, which was released
recently, also features her in front of a red 3D computer generated
flower while floating on the ocean. I remember seeing the behind the scenes segment for Piper’s
video a few years ago and you can tell it's a rip off of it - they even used the
same technique. That’s part of the reason why when I saw the singer’s new
video about a month ago I recognized it from Piper's 1998 video.
Therefore, that singer still hasn’t changed. She is still ripping off other
Then there is the man that
accused her of ripping off his film idea he pitched to her, which she took
credit for. It poetically turned out to be the most panned film in history. But
keep in mind,
she admits no wrongdoing. All that talk about her constantly reinventing herself
and being original, when she's about as original as a sample (music).
She’s not one of those people
who accidentally plagiarizes people’s work by writing something not realizing it
was something they’d heard when they were a kid or several years ago. Several
writers have accidentally done that, but they meant no harm and weren’t out to
deliberately plagiarize copyrighted material.
However, with her it is
obvious that it is deliberate and "willful," as the legal term goes, which the law affords steeper penalties
for, because it realizes just how wrong it is to do that. You cannot sit
down with other people’s work and illegally take bits and pieces for your own.
What is that?
Then there was the ridiculous
lawsuit against the major label that owns the label she supposedly ran. They ran up a 92
million dollar tab and tried to rewrite a contract they signed 10 years ago, by
saying it said something other than what it did. They tried to downplay the role of the major label,
when that subsidiary label wouldn’t have done anything at all if it weren’t for that
conglomerate financially backing and promoting them.
The way she behaves is so questionable. For her latest hype filled tour
they keep touting it as sold out when, as of Saturday, June 12th, 2004, when I
checked Ticketmaster, it is not. There
are tickets available for every single stop on that perverse tour. Why all the
hype all the time. Besides, it’s not a smart idea. When you tell people a
tour is sold out…they won’t try to buy tickets.
More on her unique
In 2002 they issued a press
release stating she’d sold 140 million records worldwide (sure she
did…not!). Now in 2004, there is a new press release they've issued saying she’s
sold 200 million records (sure she did…not!). Never mind her career’s been on
the decline in the past two years, the worst two sales years since its inception
with Soundscan reporting she sold 3 million records in the past two years, yet
her sales totals allegedly jumped by 60 million copies. Okay, who has sold 60
million records in two years? You can’t
even justify those sales if you claimed it worldwide. Rounding
off numbers by 100 million, then?
Actually, how you do that is,
if someone sells 59 million records, labels usually round it off and report that
the artist sold 60 million records. Therefore, rounding off numbers in 100
million increments is not believable.
Besides, what does it matter. She’ll never
beat Barbara Streisand or Whitney Houston, who’ve really sold a lot more records
and can actually sing (yes, that pesky singing thing, again). And why be so
competitive. She’s not the best and never will be. Her voice alone disqualifies
her on that and others have sold more records. Those women deserve it more.
Where does she get the
arrogance to think that she can do these things? Who does she think she is. She
maybe “famous for being a slut” as a rabbi recently said, but she needs not kid
herself, she is not a real singer, nor did she make her money by honorable
means, as she’s a glorified porn star. If she were a talented singer you could
almost make allowances for the arrogance, though I don’t agree with it, but she
has no musical talent.
And actually had the nerve to
brand English people “lazy” and said they are “not willing to work." A singer
calling someone lazy…that’s funny. She’s driven everywhere and is over pampered,
but is calling an entire nation lazy. Half my family is British. My Aunt was a
teacher in the British school system for over 25 years. My cousin is an
economist who works long hours, traveling all over England and America teaching
firms the accounting system he helped to create for the company he works for. My
other cousin is a doctor who works very long hours as well as the head of
medicine for her borough. However, after all those years of college and hard
work they've all been classified as “lazy” by a singer who can't even do her own
job = sing.
She needs to cook her own
meals, wash her own clothes, clean her own house, which was bought with her porn
income, drive herself everywhere, raise her kids without a staff that could
qualify for a small army, actually had run her co-owned label herself instead of
taking all the credit for it when the other dude is the one in the office doing
the work, hold down a real job like they do, then she can call hard working
people “lazy.” At least they have to use their brains. Taking one's clothes off
is not a talent. People do that everyday when they take baths.
I’m not a contentious person.
I’m quiet, I mind my own business and I keep to myself. However, I wouldn’t keep
writing about this if she didn’t keep stealing from this web site. I don’t like
writing about her. There are other things I’d rather write about, as I think
what she does is complete garbage and not real music, but since she continues to
plagiarize this site, I’m not gonna make it easy for her. Many people in the
entertainment industry read this site, in addition to many other readers and I’m
going to sound off about it every time she does it again.
As I've written before, I
don't want my debut to be about this and as repulsed as I am by this whole
thing, I didn't work this hard and study music since I was a child for my debut
to be about a degenerate singer that deliberately tried to rip it off (after
all, the average person would have consented to a press interview about this
after I establish the project, I'm going to legally address it and address it I
will. It’s not about the money either. Money never motivates me. I’d donate
every penny from suing her to charity or I'd start one, in addition to another
one I'm working on, just to disperse those funds. I don't want her porn income.
What this is about for me is I love music, I
work very hard on these projects and I’m trying to do something for God with
them and to help people on His behalf, therefore I abhor that it is constantly being
ripped off, especially by a degenerate singer with no conscience, who cares
nothing about anyone but herself.
A continuation of the last Sound Off article (June 5th, 2004).
Back on November 6th,
2002 I wrote about a radio station that encouraged a couple to have sex in
a church and call in to the station while they were there. The stunt later got
the DJs fired and the FCC fined the station. However, sadly, the man who participated
in the stunt died a few months ago. I wondered if he had asked God for
forgiveness before he died this year for committing that grievous sin in the
church, otherwise that man is eternally lost right now. If he didn’t ask for
forgiveness how do you explain to God why you had sex in a church?
Blessings and Curses
Blessings and curses do exist. First of all the
Bible says, "bless and do not curse." It follows the principle of doing good and
that good will return to you.
Also, just because something bad happens to you
or someone you know doesn't mean they are cursed, so don't go around saying that
about yourself or someone else without really knowing.
What the Bible says about blessings and
The Bible says, those whom God has blessed no
man can curse. Those people are often preachers, rabbis, ministers and
prophets. He also blesses others as well.
However, what some call God's blessing is not.
For example, winning the lottery is not God's blessing, as it involves gambling.
Earning money off questionable music or films with raunchy and or vulgar content
is not God's blessing. That's another agency at work.
Did you know that the word “curse” is mentioned in the Bible 171 times.
It’s one thing to play with the physical, which
is the seen (things you can see), but to play with the spiritual, which is the
unseen, such as God, is foolish.
No, I’m not trying to sound all eerie and
mystical, as I don’t believe in mysticism, but I do believe in God and the Bible
and according to the Bible and history, if you do certain things it will bring
curses into your life. A few examples of things that bring curses:
- Deliberately tripping a
blind person (Deuteronomy 27:18 and Leviticus 19:14).
- Stealing from God (Malachi).
- Adding or taking away from
The Bible (Revelations 22:18-19)
- Preaching a different
Gospel other than the one in the Bible (Galatians
Some people like to twist the
Bible for their own gain or to manipulate others. God never intended for anyone
to do that and those passages in the Bible address that (Galatians
1:9 and Revelations 22:18-19).
Some Christians modernly refer to
problems that plague families for years as “generational curses.” These are sins that run
through families generation after generation, such as murder, alcoholism and adultery.
That should be enough to make
some think twice about undertaking certain vices. If something has the
potential to affect your children, your grandchildren and great-grandchildren,
why start that vice that they will have to struggle with as well. Genetics are
very strong. They can pass on great traits like mathematical
genius, musical ability and athleticism, but genetics can also pass along destructive vices like
promiscuity, alcoholism, drug use, adultery and murder.
Scientist even concluded that
people are genetically predisposed to making certain bad choices their parents
did. I remember one genealogist
warned a certain celebrity not to even take a drink, as severe alcoholism has run
in his family for generations. In other words, don’t open that door because
people in his family do not handle liquor well. It turns into a very
destructive, consuming vice.
I’m not condemning anyone, as
God offers forgiveness if a person asks, just imploring you to be careful of
your choices. Don’t start or continue to indulge in certain habits that can
end up running through your lineage and causing suffering in your family for
years to come.
However, just because
your parents did those things, doesn't mean you have to. Yes, you maybe
genetically predisposed to it, but you don't have to give in to it. And just
because a parent had a certain disease, doesn't mean it has to happen to you as
well. Don't think like that (many people think like that and it is a great
source of worry to them). Break the cycle. Avoid or change those things that
would lead you down the same path - such as stop smoking, stop taking drugs,
stop stressing yourself out (scientists say stress causes disease).
Pastors often advise that if
a history of
certain vices are prevalent in a family, a person should seek the counsel of a
knowledgeable preacher in those matters and request that they pray for them that
those sins be removed from the person's family.
You can also do your part in redoubling your
efforts to resist making the same mistakes your parents made. Listen to them
when they tell you about the mistakes they made and avoid those mistakes. There
is something about certain sins when they are in a family for a while - they grow
worse with each generation, unless it is changed/stopped.
The topic has even been
written about in the mainstream as well. Have you ever heard a news outlet make
reference to the Kennedy Curse. I also heard a sermon by John
Hagee where he traced the Kennedy Curse back to their grandfather ("Curses, their
cause and cure"). He said the Kennedy patriarch was a ruthless businessman and he
cited a few things that transpired. John and many others believe it brought a curse on the family. It's
something preachers have written and talked about for years. They believe it is
a curse, not because people have died (that's normal), but due to the number of people who have
died in different tragedies.
I should note that in the Bible, something similar
happened to a man named Job, but he was not cursed. He was a really good person.
Therefore, in some cases, that's not what happened, but in some cases it is. I don't write
being mean, disrespectful or condescending, but it would be good if they went to a pastor
who is knowledgeable in that branch of theology and
had them pray for them to have it lifted from their family.
In closing, don't let anyone
try to convince you a red string or bottled water or any other gimmick is a sign of God's
love (God's love is free) or a form of protection or good luck. There is no such
thing and there's no such thing as luck. The Bible debunks that. Sometimes in life things will go well, other times they won't.
Some days the other guy will be smarter than you. Will play better than you and
win the game. Will work harder than you and get the promotion. And sometimes
people will do bad things for no reason that will adversely affect you. No
so called religious gimmick is going to ward that off. However, God will see you through everything, good
and bad if you put your faith in Him. He will give you the grace and endurance
to go through it.
Also, God can forgive. Curses
can be removed from people's lives, but it requires a positive change in
behavior, asking for forgiveness for one's sins and praying to have curses
broken. God will forgive and help you if you ask.
June 24, 2004
- I made an amazing discovery
recently…Jessica SIMPSON is related to the cartoon family The SIMPSON’S. I’m
In the last Sound Off
article I wrote that a friendly rivalry between Roddick and Federer would be
good for tennis, sort of like Sampras and Agassi. A few days later the Sun
Sentinel ran a story that a rivalry between Roddick and Federer would be good
for tennis, much like Sampras and Agassi or Connors and McEnroe - with Roddick
and Federer stating their opinions on it.
They said they can understand
a possible rivalry, but they are friends who think well of each other…aww that’s
so sweet. Ok, the head of the ATP needs to do something about that. You know,
tell Federer something like… "Roddick said he’s gonna sell your pet cow to
McDonalds for their new, uh, animal sanctuary –cough- value menu"
They don’t have to whack each
other with their tennis rackets or anything (though, it wouldn’t hurt – ok, yea,
literally, it would, but I meant it wouldn't hurt ratings).
Seriously, they can be
friendly rivals. I think the dynamic people would be interested in seeing is two
gifted people playing good tennis and battling it out for the number one.
With Federer cleverly hitting
like an artful painter creating a portrait and Roddick masterfully whacking the
ball into the next solar system it would make for interesting viewing and
Speaking of his serve, does he
really expect people to return that or to at least properly return it. In his
match today, a lot of his opponent's returns unintentionally looked like lobs or
was that the game plan - hit it so high that the sun would get in his eyes and
he'd miss. Sun...what am I saying, the match was in England (kidding).
Speaking of Federer, a few days ago, my sister’s friend gave her an authentic
autographed pic of Federer as a gift. My little sister being the astute little
skeptic she is, looked up his signature and found out he really did sign the
pic. Note to any man that would want to marry my sister in the future: make sure
the ring is real because she will check.
P.S. - she is currently
underage, so any of you try that now and I will make sure you have to adjust to
life as a eunuch. I’m totally kidding. I don’t think it’s right for women to,
um, Lorena Bobbitt a man.
Anyway, back to the signed
pic. It was so nice of her friend to give her that (what was her friend
thinking. Does she know how much she could have gotten for it on Ebay. I was
secretly wondering how much I could get for it on Ebay. I’m just teasing.
Besides, I’d have to con my little sister out of the pic first and she’s way too
smart for that).
Another tennis observation…I
think if you are a qualifier and you draw Federer or Roddick you should have the
right to sue the ATP for cruel and unusual punishment.
Can you imagine being told you
drew Andy. I’d be like, uh, you mean Andy Griffith, right? (I’m just teasing, I
love Andy Griffith – and he’d probably win the match against me too).
However, as my dad said, with
the fitness level of these guys on the tour now, anybody can beat anybody on a
given day. In some ways I think that's good. It boosts new players' confidence
that they have a chance.
The training regimen tennis
players follow is pretty grueling. It makes you wonder if all that training and
the long hours of practice are contributing to the number of injuries. That’s a
lot of wear and tear on the body on a weekly basis. However, some experts
attribute the amount of injuries to the fast paced ATP schedule and lack of time
to recuperate between tournaments. They're only human. After a while they will
become fatigued, but under the circumstances, they really can't afford to.
Wimbledon- I’ve been watching
Wimbledon this week. Can you believe it’s been raining in England. Who would
have thunk it -feigns surprise-. Yes, another bad weather joke on my part and
I’m totally kidding.
I saw Goran’s first round
match, which was fun. He was enjoying himself and it showed. He won his match
Volandri as well.
I also saw Tim Henman’s first
round match. Didn’t his opponent, Hidalgo, look like Tom Cruise, but with Fabio
Robby Ginepri’s got that
Fabioesque thing going too, especially with the chiseled features – Robbio
anyone? I’m just kidding.
Seriously, Hidalgo reminded me
of Tom Cruise, especially the nose and mouth. He played a very good debut match.
However, Tim turned it around and won the match. He played some clever tennis in
the fourth set. I like it when players try to outsmart their opponents and run
them all over the court. Henman is good at that. Though, after the match I
thought, Tim’s gonna have to drink his Lucozade after that 3 hour, 4 setter.
Off topic a bit for a second,
how come they have Lucozade in the ethnic isle of the supermarkets in Miami. You
don’t really think of British as ethnic, but I guess in Miami it is.
And since this is Miami, which
is mostly Latin, shouldn’t all the other food be in the ethnic isle and the
Latin food in the regular isles. Aha! Never say my site doesn’t make you
think…or at least confuse you. Preferably not the latter.
Back to Wimbledon…
Roddick vs. Wang - Speaking of
smart tennis, Wang Chung, uh, I mean
played some clever tennis against Roddick.
Wang looks so young (he's 19
years old). At first when I saw him, I jokingly thought, “Hey, they’re letting
ball boys play now.” However, it was another good debut match.
Roddick showed why he’s got those titles when he took control of the match and
won it. When he’s losing a set he gets this controlled
incredible-hulk-implosion-look on his face when it hits him, “Hey, I’m losing!”
Then 90% of the time he turns it around. He ups his game at that point.
And yes, I’m probably watching
these matches too closely to be observing all this (joking).
Federer – He’s been serving up
bagels like his name was Lenders.
If I played Roger, the score
would be…6-1 6-1…ok, 6-0 6-0. Still, I’d like to think he’d at least let me get
a few points cause I’m such a nice person.
However, if I did catch a
double bagel, I’d request they rework the scoring system (yes, real singer-like
behavior). That way, instead of broadcasting the bagel, well, double bagel (I
was trying to leave that out), it would read 6-.4 6-.4. That’s sort of like
half a bagel and at first glance it looks like it says 6-4 6-4, if you don't pay
attention to the decimal points, which would make me feel better. Hey, reward me
for my effort. Self-confidence is very important to a non-ranked player. Silly
you think? Ah, but with the ridiculousness in music today regarding female
artists, stupid stuff like that would fly.
I saw a post match interview
with Federer a few days ago and I have a TENNIS RELATED QUESTION…why does
Roger’s tennis gear look like men’s couture?
I mean, he was wearing a nice
pair of sweats with a white shirt...and it looked like couture. The sweats
almost looked like a suit. I thought, did the Swoosh people make that especially
for him or is it the dry cleaning. And if it is the dry cleaning, dude, who’s
your dry cleaner, Armani? (kidding).
Our players (male) joked a few
months ago that their clothes don’t look very pristine. Yea, the Young Americans
have this laidback California casual look going – you know, like they are going
to a barbeque, not a tennis tournament (kidding).
I’m just waiting for one of
them to wear a pair of khaki shorts and flip-flops on court (kidding again). As
for the women, Serena, the tennis court is your runway, girl.
Pick of the Week
Arnaud “Willie Nelson”
I’m just kidding with these
On an unfair note, the
tiebreak error during Venus’ match ought not to have happened. She took it
pretty well, though. I don’t think I would have. I would have thrown a hissy fit
and demanded to speak to the Queen. Hey, I’m a singer, we always complain to the
person at the top. Just kidding.
England lost their quarter final match
against Portugal today. Well, Portugal was my other
choice from the diary page, but I did want England to win. I still think they
did well, though. However, there were too many questionable calls that went
against them. It's rough losing under those circumstances.
Well, England did do well
against Switzerland. Ha! Payback for them unleashing Roger Federer on an
unsuspecting tennis world. I’m just kidding about Switzerland, no hate mail,
please (I probably wouldn’t understand it anyway cause it would be in German or
Joking again – I’ve got translators).
18-year-old Wayne Rooney did
quite well in England’s matches. I’ve been reading about him in the British
press for about a year. Last year I read that he was also a boxer. Earlier in
the year I read that when Alpay picked a fight with Beckham on the pitch
(field), Rooney allegedly decked him in the tunnel. Maybe that’s why he was
scoring so many goals. The other players were scared. Probably afraid that if
they fouled him, out of view of the ref, he would mouth the words, “Just wait
until we get in the tunnel!” Yes, no goal is worth that. I’m just teasing.
While I didn’t catch any of the films that were released last week, I want to
make a few observations.
Dodgeball was the #1 film in
the country last week to which a writer from the San Francisco Chronicle
the No. 1 movie last weekend? This country is in serious trouble.” Hahaha. While
I didn’t want to laugh at that, it was too funny not to.
However, what I
thought odd was other critics saying Spielberg’s film “The Terminal” didn’t do
well, when it opened with 18 million and placed second at the box office. Those
numbers aren’t bad for that film.
Can‘t say the
same for the irreverent, sacrilegious teen film “Saved” (you know, the film I
threw a little hissy fit about on this page last month). The film added 500
theaters in its second week of release, which the director, Brian Dannelly,
However, the film
Hiroshima. Christianity - 1 Dannelly – 0.
Like I joked in Sound Off article
about the film last month, movies of that nature aren't making a dent in
Christianity, only the movie studios' budgets.
The film cost 5
million to make and has grossed about 6.7 million so far, after a 52% drop off
recently. Not bad, you think, that’s over a million and a half in profit (no,
not really). After the theaters get their share, there’s the
cost of expensive release prints and advertising, some TV spots costing $100,000
each and other miscellaneous fees to be deducted, therefore the profits generated
significantly reduced, which means the film is in the red for the studio.
To Brian, I say
this in the gentlest, kindest, caringest, ok, most caring way…nah neh nah neh
nah nah –raspberry-.
Aww I’m just
kidding. Give me a hug (without inflicting any bodily harm for those jokes).
Not to mock
directors whose films don’t gross a lot at the box office. Some of my favorite
films barely made 10 million at the box office for different reasons (for
example: art house films, lack of promo), but they are still well done. One
favorite in particular didn’t even gross 4 million dollars. Still a great film
is a movie that I don’t care for because it’s sacrilegious. Sorry, that one
won’t be in my ever-growing DVD collection.
- While I’m talking about
films using controversy to generate publicity, Michael Moore is questionably
doing just that to promote his upcoming film “Fahrenheit 9/11.”
You know what’s ironic, during
an interview last week with Matt
Lauer, Moore grew visibly offended and annoyed when put on the hot seat regarding his motive for making such a film.
He made a film bashing the President and his family, but gets mad when a journo asks
him a few
questions about his motivation for making such a movie and his character? A case of being able to dish it,
but not take it.
Lauer also asked him about the
abuse footage he obtained before it was written about in the press and his
motive for holding it back. Here’s an excerpt from the interview:
Decision not to release abuse footage
Yet Moore himself willingly held back a critical piece of his own footage.
Lauer: "There some images
in your movie of an American soldier taunting and I guess sexually humiliating a
detainee. Tell me how you got the footage, and when you got the footage."
Moore: "It was shot on
December 12, outside of Basra by a freelance journalist. This is out in the
field, now. This is not in the prison."
Lauer: "So you had your
hands on this before the images from Abu Ghraib were made public."
Moore: "That's correct."
Lauer: "There's a decision
to make there, on your part."
Moore: "I know. It was a
really tough decision. And we're putting the film together and we're trying to
decide what should we do here?"
Lauer: "But a critic would
say, hey, send it to the right person a couple of months before these other
photos go out and maybe –"
Moore: "Who's the right
Lauer: "Send it to the
Department of Defense, send it to someone and say, look I’ve got this, you guys
better know about this."
Moore: "I'm at a point
where I don't trust the mainstream media. I'm like most Americans at this point.
We don't trust."
Lauer: "But you're setting
yourself up for a cynic to take an immediate shot."
Moore: "I know."
Lauer: "And say hey, he
held on to this because he wanted to promote a movie."
Moore: "Had I released it
before we went to Cannes, this is what you guys would have said: Oh, he's just
doing this as a publicity stunt. Look at this."
Lauer: "It would have all
been in the tone."
That’s a very good question.
Why didn’t he report what he witnessed? In not doing so, it really does
appear like he waited to use it as a promo tool for the film. Why is it his movies are like
this? Why are they steeped in controversy. Why doesn’t he make a real film. Anyone can
make a doco bashing someone. Actually, anyone can make a doco, doesn’t mean it's
good -cough- Madonna.
- While I’m on the subject of 9-11, I saw an
interview on the 700 Club featuring Stephen Hayes, author of the book “The
Connection,” which links Al Qaeda to Sadaam/Iraq. In the interview, they
questioned the mainstream media’s fairness in the unbalanced reporting some did regarding
- I read about the Supreme
Court rejecting the lawsuit to have the line, “One Nation Under God” removed
from the Pledge of Allegiance.
I also saw a news program that
brought up a very valid point. If they had granted the request, it would have
opened the floodgates for similar suits to have religious statements and names
removed from society.
The lawsuit would have meant
other subsequent suits, such as removing the word “Angeles (angels)” from the
name “Los Angeles.” It would have opened the floodgates, making frivolous
lawsuits of that nature permissible…and then where would it all end.
Can you imagine having to go
around saying “I live in Los!”?… “Um, which Los?”… “Uh, Los, California – like,
I read an article about the
Vatican holding a conference to address the new age cults that have sprung up
recently. In particular, they’ve denounced Madonna’s promoting of Kaballah
Centers, as the group is considered a cult.
And for her next
reinvention…the deprogramming center.
My main concern is the harm it
poses to people. These faddy cults provide false answers and gimmicks.
As I mentioned in the last
Sound Off, Christ said in the Bible that in life you will have trouble ("In this life you will have trouble"
- John 16:33).
There’s the real answer. There will be troubles in life, as it is not a
cakewalk, however, with faith in Him, He will see you through those problems. He
didn’t write it to depress you, but as a warning not to be surprised when
trouble comes along and not to interpret it as Him not caring about you, because
He loves you.
Therefore, with cults, it
becomes an issue of faith in that they are misleading people, giving them a
false sense of security and gimmicky solutions that won’t work in the real world.
It will leave people dismayed. And sadly with some, that disillusionment will
result in a loss of faith.
They have these confused
celebrities who clearly do not know what they are talking about, foisting this on
the public. False solutions and sacrilegious answers to their problems such as
red strings, so called blessed bottled water, so called blessed face creams and
other so called blessed gimmicks that will supposedly make them rich.
Have you noticed that a
lot of these celebrities pushing these gimmicks to you made their money off
vulgar music and films. They didn’t achieve it through the religious gimmicks
they’re pushing. Think about that.
You know, I find it hard to
believe that God would bless a face cream.
He didn’t die on the cross for
face cream. Half of those celebrities are using Botox, anyway.
They claim their blessed
products give you energy and vitality, yet their main celebrity spokesperson had
to cancel a concert because she had the stomach flu, then the week after,
fainted in full view of portions of the
overworks or abuses the human body, does not get enough rest and is riddled with
stress, worry and anxiety, the immune system becomes weakened. No religious
gimmick of a product is gonna prevent that.
You cannot buy a blessing, as
it is free. The people who tried to buy God’s blessings in the Bible almost got
into serious spiritual trouble. If it weren’t for God’s mercy via the people
they tried to buy the blessings from, having sympathy for them and offering them the chance to ask God for forgiveness, they would
have been lost.
It is an insult to God to try
to sell a blessing and when these things don’t work, and inevitably they won’t,
in protecting people from problems in life or giving them lasting answers, they
become confounded and disillusioned with God and faith. And often lose faith as a
result – all because someone sold them a religious gimmick.
It is wrong to promote
religious gimmicks. It is dangerous to the
person who falls for the gimmick, because when it doesn’t work, if they don’t
regain their faith in God during their life, they will lose their soul when they
die. It is also dangerous to the individuals who create and promote those
gimmicks, as God takes people’s faith and any loss thereof very seriously. It is
not something to play with, but something to ask for forgiveness for.
There are no quick, cure-all
answers in life. Sometimes bad things will happen which will defy explanation.
For years I’ve heard some of
the saddest stories from people who have been through tragic things in life. I
listen with attentive ears, as you can learn a lot about life and how to help
people. There are people who got into trouble due to the choices they made and
some who suffered innocently at the hands of other people. With others, bad
things happened to them, some accidentally, and have become things they struggle with
They’re gonna look at
these people and tell them a red string, blessed bottled water or blessed face
cream is the answer to their problems…when it clearly doesn’t even work for the
people telling them that?
If you are in a cult or even
if you are in God’s holy church, do not sell people gimmicks or schemes to
allegedly protect them from evil or supposedly make them rich, because when they don’t work, and they won’t, hence
the term gimmick, people will question it and sometimes blame God when bad things
happen or the purported results aren’t achieved. They’ll be disillusioned and
ask Him why did this happen or I thought if I did what so and so said
that this would happen or would work for me or I’d be protected from trouble...
Imagine God hearing a prayer
of someone crying out to Him in sheer disillusionment because of a religious
gimmick. Over the years people have done that to others and for some that's all
it takes for them to walk away from the faith.
Things like that leave people embittered and doubtful about God, when it wasn’t
even His doing.
Don’t play with people’s faith. God is about faith, love and
charity. God is not about making anyone rich or famous or more famous for the
sake of doing so - when He does allow fame and wealth, it’s for a person to use
that podium and those resources to help others and in accordance to the
guidelines He set forth in the Bible.
God is not a fad and should
not be marketed or written about as such. He has been in existence longer than
all of us – hey, He named you. I know I’ve joked that He has a sense of humor in
giving me a name most people can’t pronounce (a name I love nonetheless).
In closing, God is the real
deal, accept no substitutions.