Volume 34

March 11, 2005

 
1. Site News: MTV
2. Halle Berry/Eric Benet
3. Russell Crowe Kidnap Plot
4. G-Unit Shooting
5. TV: NBC, Is America Giving The Peacock The Bird?
6. Award Shows: The Oscars
7. Award Or Reward
8. Music: Madonna, A Prostitute? Who Would Have Thunk It!/Sexual Harassment Lawsuit
9. Music: Britney Bashes US Weekly And They Bash Back
10. World News, Well Celebrity World News (LOL) Paris Hacked
11. Random Observations
12. Tennis: Kournikova Stalked, Serena Williams
13. Basketball: O’Neal quote
14. Soccer: Beckham #3, Soccer Earnings Chart
15. State Of The Industry: Illegal Downloading Affecting Artists In More Ways Than One
16. State Of The Industry: Disc Burning Software
17. Journalism: Unnamed Sources
18. Terri Schiavo  

SITE NEWS: MTV 

In the last Sound Off article on February 14th 2005, I referred to Jennifer Lopez as “Lopez and co” regarding the copyright infringement accusations Usher brought against them (On January 15th, 2005 I also referred to Mariah Carey regarding the same issue as “Carey and co”). A week later on February 20th, 2005, MTV announced they have a new show coming out on February 27th, 2005 titled “Jennifer Lopez and co.”

When I saw the ad I thought to myself, didn’t I refer to her as "Lopez and co" on the web site last week. In light of that I checked the site statistics and what do you know, "MTV News" is listed as the 13th most active visitor to this site for the week of February 14th, 2005 to February 20th, 2005. I knew it.

While I am a blonde, I’m not a natural blonde, therefore that dumb blonde thing doesn’t apply to me.

When an individual visits a web site that provides stats to the webmaster, the site views their IP address, city and country, not their name (however, if the person breaks the law, for example hacking, their ISP will divulge their name via a court order). However, when a corporation visits a site, it logs the name of the business. To a web server's site stats system it's like a German car with personalized license plates. While it sees individual visitors who logon to the site as the internet equivalent of a Yugo (myself included, as I visit to check updates to the site...and just joking about the Yugo). By the way, what happened to that car.   

 Speaking of MTV, doesn’t VJ Gideon Yager remind you of actor Topher Grace? 

 

Aisha sneaks this one in there...um, don't I look like Halle Berry (at least that's what I tell myself). Ok, you didn't have to laugh that hard. It's not that funny (I'm just kidding).

HALLE BERRY/ ERIC BENET

Speaking of Halle Berry, I read an article on a web site where her ex-husband Eric Benet blamed her for the demise of their marriage, saying she'd dated other famous men before she knew him and those relationships didn't work out either.

Wow, I thought it was all those women you kept sleeping with even though you made a promise before God to honor your marriage vows,  that lead to the demise of your marriage.

See, reading statements like that just brings out the negro in me (I'm just kidding). But seriously, how could he blame her for his behavior. Haven't you done that woman enough damage. And asked for alimony on top of it.

I'm sorry, but I don't think men should get alimony. It just looks soft.

However, when you date a famous man, you run the risk of things like that happening (nothing against Halle). Many women, myself included, have been attracted to famous men, but the simple fact of the matter is most of them are promiscuous, because they are used to women throwing themselves at them on almost a daily basis.

Many, not all of them, indiscriminately sleep around and become sex addicts as a result. You cannot have a good marriage with someone with those proclivities. They are going to end up disappointing you due to their willful lack of self control. They are also going to end up ruining their lives because of those sexual proclivities.

Some of those men have friends who live vicariously through them and unwisely encourage them to sleep with as many people as possible, hence ruining any good relationship they have in their life. Then a bit of time goes by after the ruined relationship, they realize their mistake, but it is often too late, as the person has moved on.

It's a difficult thing to lose the right person for you for the rest of your life because you listened to friends who encouraged you to behave in an unseemly manner or you just decided to be unfaithful. Then when they realize the error of their ways, they blame everyone from their friends to the person that they were unfaithful to.

However, each person is responsible for their own choices. You knew that behavior was wrong. 

Women in the industry are generally not promiscuous (well, Paris Hilton currently is the main exception to this rule - and how convenient for her that her family owns hotels), however many men are and much to their detriment. They destroy their relationships and many times their health with this promiscuity.

You cannot sleep around and expect that there be no consequences. God deems that lifestyle wrong and says that there will be consequences for the person that chooses to live that way. The consequences of that promiscuity can come back to you in ways you never imaged and will regret. Some learn that early and spare themselves a lot of suffering, while others go on to suffer greatly for those poor choices regarding sexual promiscuity. Either way, it's best to leave that lifestyle alone and seek God's forgiveness, which He will grant.

Russell Crowe Kidnap Plot

 

Pic courtesy of an awards show (not sure which one - probably the Oscars since he's an actor)

Russell Crowe said he was told by the FBI of an Al Queda plot to kidnap him to demoralize America. The guys in Al Queda must not have read the Internet Movie Database web site, cause Crowe is an Aussie.

The FBI said it was Al Queda, but I think it was Al Quaida, as in Dennis Quaid, the actor whose wife Russell was sleeping with (Meg Ryan). I’m just kidding.

G-UNIT SHOOTING

Pics courtesy of the AP/BBC

50: Just wait until we get in the parking lot! 50: If your boy didn't shoot up the radio station, we wouldn't have to be giving away all this money!

I'm just kidding with those captions and it was good of them to donate money.

Before I start, I’d just like to say, I saw the cover of 50 Cent’s new CD on a music news web site and dude looks like Arnold Schwartzenegro on the cover. 

In the last Sound Off article on February 14, 2005, I wrote about the violence between Aftermath/G-Unit and Suge Knight and that it would be nice if the violence stopped before anyone got hurt. Fast forward two weeks and new violence erupts, but this time within the Aftermath/G-Unit camp.

On February 27, 2005, shots were fired outside radio station Hot 97 in New York again, which left one man wounded. It's the same radio station where there was another shooting involving rappers, which has now become a criminal case with Lil Kim at the center of it.

You know what, they are gonna have to rename Hot 97, Shot 97 if this keeps up. Just kidding.

50 Cent and Game have called a truce and I hope the violence will desist.

I hope their audience won’t take it upon themselves to get involved with their squabbles either. That would be awful. Let them sort out their differences on their own. Hopefully no one will end up dead.

Did you know that when rappers Tupac Shakur and Notorious BIG had that very public dispute, when they were both killed, about 40 other people died violently as a result of that disagreement. People took sides, gang members and fans alike and started killing people.

People aren’t supposed to end up dead over music. 

Now you’ve got two grieving mothers left to mourn what could have been had their sons not been murdered. It’s so sad to see them crying on TV because you know they feel that lost. Their only sons. That has to amplify it.

Imagine, when they told their moms they were gonna be rappers, they probably thought it ok. They probably thought their sons were gonna become famous and earn a living doing what they love. I mean, music isn’t supposed to be hazardous.

You don’t give birth to a child, raise him, send him to school, spend the holidays with him, cook for him, wash his clothes and love that child only for someone to murder him.

Who could have fathomed music would lead to their deaths.

Music should never turn into that. But it has. Music has now become a hazardous job.

I think the violence in the industry is getting a little bit too real for everyone.

The next time something flares up they need to remember Biggie and Tupac's moms and ask themselves if they really want to put their families (50's grandma and son, Game's mom and his family) through what those mothers are going through.

It’s tough to walk away, but it’s the best solution. I don't always agree with their lyrics, but they are a group of bright young men and I don't want them to die, especially over stuff like that.

I think I preferred it in the 80’s when rappers kept their disputes on wax (record). It was a lot safer.

TV: Is America Giving The Peacock The Bird

NBC logo The Peacock:

What happened to NBC. I’d noticed it slipping in the ratings a bit, but last week they announced it’s actually #4…behind the Fishing Channel (just kidding, but NBC is #4 and no disrespect to all the fishers out there. The Disciples were fishermen.)

When I was growing up, NBC was usually #1. Now Fox is #1.

When I was growing up in the 80’s Fox was a fledging channel people watched Married With Children on. Now it’s #1.

I blame Law And Order for this. If there weren’t 500 derivative versions of the show, several episodes of which scream unoriginality, none of this would have happened. Kidding about Law And Order, but not about the unoriginality part. They borrow from other sources way too heavily. It’s even getting them sued. But more on that later.

THE OSCARS

Am I the only one that thought “Finding Neverland” was about Michael Jackson? Just Kidding. 

The Academy sure does reward its people. There are lots of awards as usual. There was even an award for “Best curtains in a motion picture.” They don’t want anyone to feel left out. Just kidding. There is no such award, but it's good that they try not to overlook any area of the industry.

One award they could add: Best plastic surgery (Kidding).

Funniest moment: the camera panned to one of the nominees for best film short and…he was sleeping in his seat (haha). The person next to him had to nudge him awake.

Moment of relief for many: Jamie Foxx won for best actor. I say it was a moment of relief because you never know how these awards are gonna go.

In the entertainment industry worldwide it’s often who you know, not what you do.

Best Dressed: Halle Berry. She looked great.  

(Pic courtesy of, well, jacked from the E! web site)

      

So, yea, basically I hate her. Get a zit already, Halle. She’s so pretty and frankly it’s disgusting. Why does she have to look so great all the time. It’s starting to get on my nerves. I’m just kidding. 

I enjoyed the telecast (I sure liked it more than the Grammys this year and for someone who loved music first, then film and television that says a lot. Yea, I’m still ticked off about all those legendary musicians who’ve never won anything and a few other things with the awards process as well). 

The Kodak theatre is lovely, but in my humble opinion, not right for the Oscars. It didn’t have the traditional look we’ve come to expect from the ceremony.

Most awkward moment: Sean Penn reproving Chris Rock for dissing Jude Law. And the room became awkwardly tense…

However, both Penn and Rock were right about two things. Rock was right in that Jude was in everything last year and Penn was right in that Jude can act.  

Most redundant moments: Beyonce performing 3 Oscar nominated songs throughout the show. As I wrote above, the funniest moment came when one of the best live short nominees was asleep on camera, which ironically was shown as the next award after Beyonce’s second song. If I saw Beyonce sing three separate times through out a show, I’d fall asleep too. Give me some variety. I’d even get tired of me if I did that.  

Why were the artists who performed the tracks that actually won the nominations deprived of the opportunity to perform on the show. 

Minnie Driver (Pic courtesy of IMDB)

Talented actress Minnie Driver was upset and voiced her complaints. Papers said she was hurt after Beyonce took her Oscar nominated song to sing on the show (in addition to another person’s track, "Look To Your Path").

Driver was deprived of the chance to sing the song "Learn To Be Lonely" that was nominated due in part to her vocals, in favor of Beyonce, who had nothing to do with the song. And it’s not like Driver can’t sing. She has a lovely voice. I heard an excerpt of her debut single on the BBC and she sounds very good.

Imagine you get nominated for your song then are told a limelight hogging pop star is gonna take your place at the prestigious ceremony.

Driver was hoping an appearance singing on the telecast would give her debut album a boost. However, Beyonce who has already established a solo career thanks to trying to become Jennifer Lopez, took that opportunity from her. That isn’t right.

And Driver had more right to be there, as she is an actress. Beyonce cannot act. Beyonce is a singer, not an actress.

Why is Beyonce always doing stuff like that. She just about stole every element of Jennifer Lopez’s career, not to mention her wardrobe, hairstyles, choreography and staff. She loves the spotlight a little too much for her own good and in all that she has tried to do to become Jennifer Lopez, it is still way above her and out of place on her. She and her family rigged Destiny's Child in such a way that the spotlight was always on her (not to mention the money, with former members having to sue to get the royalties due to them). She got the best of everything in the band while the others got scraps - even if it meant destroying three other girls careers, which they ultimately did with their behavior.

Regarding the Oscars, the average person would have said those people brought the songs to the point of nomination, I don’t want to take that moment from them, but she just jumped right in head first and sang not 1 but 3 songs, regardless of who got hurt.

Driver was described as "inconsolable" and don't tell me Beyonce didn't know. She knew she didn't sing any of the nominated songs and that other artists did. How many Oscar nominated singers actually pass on the chance to sing at the show.

The Groban duet would have been fine, as he was given the chance to sing his song, but taking the other two songs was completely selfish.

Another singer, Jorge Drexler, was booted in favor of Antonio Banderas. People in Uruguay were furious at that decision. However, upon winning for the song, Drexler started singing it acappella as his acceptance speech and did a fine job might I add. Nice voice.

There is also the question of authenticity.

Driver's voice is more suitable to classical music than Beyonce's. The classical tones are present in Driver's voice. The tones indicative of that genre are there. Beyonce does not sound like an opera or classical music singer.  Beyonce made classical sound like R&B and what's the sense in calling it classical then.

It lacked authenticity, which is what Uruguayans complained of regarding Banderas' version of "Al Otro Lado del Rio" (Santana's  guitar work was exceptional, though).

An article in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette quoted an Uruguayan, Leticia Talmon, as saying Banderas' rendition was a "flamenco version, which has nothing to do with the culture here."

You really don't want to run the risk of offending people in that manner, no matter how good Banderas' intentions may have been.

The whole musical theme of the night from Beyonce to Banderas came across as that of dumbing down songs to make them more palpable, which regrettably diluted them. They sounded better as they were. In listening to the versions on the show, you could tell they weren't as they were composed to sound.

The people who take the songs to the point of nomination should be allowed to sing them at the telecast as well.

Why rob them of that honor and give it to someone who did not get the song the honor of the nomination.

Look at Ricky Martin. He made such a huge impression the year he made his U.S. solo debut at the Grammys. The show launched his career. He was generally unknown to American audiences (well except Menudo fans years prior) but left the show a celebrity that night.  

Instead of robbing singers of the opportunity to sing the songs they recorded that were nominated, because they aren’t as known as someone else, why not take the chance that you’ll discover the next new star via the telecast. It would be the equitable thing to do.  

AWARD OR REWARD

Passion of the Christ re-released today in movie theatres.

Of course, The Passion of the Christ was snubbed, not winning anything. Can’t say I was surprised. I wrote about that in a Sound Off Article last year.

Hollywood is way too liberal to have voted for it to win. Not to mention, to win awards in the entertainment industry worldwide you have to nominate yourself then do a lot of butt kissing and calling in favors to get those votes from members of each awards committee.

Judging by the filmed finished product and the behind the scenes footage, The Passion Of The Christ was not an easy film to make. It required skill, creativity and focus. There were less technically challenging or intricate films that were released during the eligibility period that won awards, which says it all.

The good thing is the film resonated with audiences. No awards, but the response is one of the best rewards you can get.

It's also grossed 700 million dollars worldwide and sold millions of DVDs.

Besides, it’s not important for critics and Hollywood to like it…they see it for free at the screenings anyway.

Critical acclaim doesn’t hurt, but when audiences get it and it touches them, that’s what’s important.

I think that’s every real filmmaker's dream. That your film resonates with audiences.

AWARDS

I think as an artist (music, film, art ect…) you start to veer off course when you make projects with critics and awards committees in mind.  

The awards are nice accolades, but when your focus is no longer on the actual art and the integrity of it, you do your work a disservice.

I’ve seen works where you can tell the artist catered to critics and not their real vision.

When you do that you’ll get the critics and lose the audience.

Why? Audiences don’t think like critics.

Some critics often look for the arty, showy stuff. Audiences look for what’s real and what they can relate to.

MADONNA, A PROSTITUTE? WHO WOULD HAVE THUNK IT! 

I couldn’t stop laughing when I read this headline from the NewIndipress:

“Madonna to play prostitute, for free”

So, she’ll be playing herself, then?

If the director is unwise enough to risk his film, that is. She wants to play a transvestite prostitute. Maybe she can call one of the Wachowski Bros, who I wrote about in the last Sound Off article, that magazines said became a cross dresser, for some tips.

Another funny quote regarding that story:

“Madonna is threatening to act in another movie, Woman’s Day reports, and in fact is so desperate she has offered to work for free”

- Sydney Morning Herald

Another not so funny headline regarding Madonna, is one of a former VP of the film company she figureheads, suing her and two others for sexual harassment and wrongful dismissal.

Girlfriend, take a look at Madonna's work. It's vulgar, perverted and foul. Them sexually harassing you as you said, is just their way of asking you out. They're debauched. A regular person would just offer you flowers, but not at that office.

Girls, if a nice man you like asks you out, it's flattering. You call your friends and tell them about it - "Girl, guess what, Shemar called" (LOL).

However, when someone you are not attracted to keeps flirting with you and trying to bring sex into the average conversation it can get upsetting and make you feel bad. It will leave you feeling emotionally violated especially when it's your boss or someone you view as an authority figure. It's very confounding.

She said he called her "uptight." Um, you'd get uptight too if someone you weren't interested in kept making unwanted sexual advances. 

She said when she reported it to management they told her she was being insecure. What is wrong with you people. Insecure? Rather than having him neutered (kidding), you all told her she was being insecure. She would have been better off working at one of the more normal film companies.

BRITNEY BASHES US WEEKLY AND THEY BASH BACK

Another funny article this week featured Britney Spears. US Weekly printed photos of Britney on her honeymoon and she got mad then issued this statement:

“Unfortunately, staff members took photographs of us, which we allowed them to take once we were assured they were being taken only for private use in a scrap book they gave us as a souvenir. Kevin and I thank those other magazines for respecting our rights of privacy."

Now you know full well Britney didn’t say that. There are too many big words and the statement makes sense.

US Weekly fired back issuing this statement:

"Coming from a celebrity who sold pictures of both her wedding and her stepdaughter, it's unlikely the issue here is privacy. Could it be that Britney is seeing red after not seeing the green from these photos?" It also says Spears "should start a magazine if she'd like to dictate her own coverage."  

Ouch! US weekly are like the mafia of magazines!

You talking to me? -Left hook-

You got that right we’re not gonna pay you –Right hook-

Consider it payment for the last set of shots you sold us and annulled the wedding before we got the chance to use them -Upper cut-

US Weekly stands for U Shut-up Weekly as in you shut up!

You’ve got to give them credit for beating down celebrities who get self-righteous with them.

Apparently US Weekly doesn’t realize how sacred marriage is, unlike Britney, who’s had two honeymoons 6 months apart via two husbands…

Another hilarious article excerpt:

BRITNEY SPEARS owes her train-wrecked career and the acquisition of her trash-tastic new hubby, the illustrious Kevin Federline, to her devotion to Kabbalah. 

What hath Madonna wrought, part 2 Monday, March 7, 2005 Boston Herald

"Trash-tastic!" That word is hilarious, nothing against Federline.

In other Britney news, as the entertainment headlines are polluted with them, I read Spears is supposedly angry that Cher called her and Jennifer Lopez "ho*s."  

Breaking news....this just in. Britney Spears has just posed topless for this month's issue of Allure magazine. Way to prove Cher wrong Britney – not.  

On Britney promoting the Kaballah Cult…

It's amazing how far people will go to save face. People are being fleeced out of their money, two people have been murdered by a Kaballah cult member who snapped under the influence of brainwashing, yet to save face Madonna and Britney are still promoting the cult.   

Britney will find out soon enough. When at their next Kaballah meeting they tie her up and fling her into the volcano.

And that cheap nonsensical knock off column she just added to her page, which is still about herself (wrote about that in the last Sound Off here).

Just because you write about religion in a column (where have I seen that before hmmm) but talk about yourself the whole time,  doesn't change the fact that the so called column is still about you, which is also known as a blog or diary.

RANDOM OBSERVATIONS (UPDATED)

I realized the other day that the initials for this column is s.o. as in so if you just say "Sound Off" (how funny and ironic) or s.o.c. if you use the full title including the word column (Sound Off Column). I also realized recently that the initials for Britney's new so called column is s.o.c. short for Stream Of Consciousness.

Really, how many singers actually have a column on their web site? Britney and I are the only ones, not to mention the only ones with a column focusing on religion and with the column titles bearing the exact same initials. How uncanny - not. It's nice to see Madonna's thieving ways are rubbing off on her. For more info, see the January 15, 2005 Sound Off Column, which details how she ripped off Enrique Iglesias' previously recorded song and presented it as her own creation click here.

Sort of like the other day when I was flipping channels and saw a music news show, which televised an excerpt of Britney Spears dancing and lip syncing. She had her initials embroidered on her clothes and it read "BS." I guess no one bothered to tell her what that is short for. Someone needs to start using her middle initial as well.

WORLD NEWS, WELL, CELEBRITY WORLD NEWS

Paris Hilton’s cell phone got hacked and the contents thereof posted on the net. Therefore, lots of celebrities’ telephone numbers and addresses were posted on the net.

While I do not agree with hacking, as it is illegal, and the only thing you can legally hack is your own system, which is pointless, the person who did it is obviously quite good with internet systems. I visited a few indie sites I read occasionally and no one was claiming responsibility for it. The general attitude was, it wasn’t me. I’d like to echo those statements as well, thank you very much. 

To the person who did the hack: you have a talent for computers. Don’t waste your time on the illegal stuff. You could open your own computer business.

To T-Mobile: you’re up a creek. I’m just kidding. The sad fact of the matter is, just about anything can be hacked if the person has the equipment, know how and patience.

To Paris: “Jermeny” is spelled Germany. For a minute I thought, “Jermeny? Is that a newly emancipated country I missed on the news or something?”

Paris called black people “dumb ni*gers” last year, but spelled Germany “Jermeny.” Ok, then. Talk about irony.

It’s funny, Hilton called black people “dumb ni**ers” and refuses to apologize, but her celebrity friends' numbers get posted on the internet and she issues an apology immediately. Nice to know you have your priorities straight. I mean, which is more offensive – offending scores of black people with the phrase “dumb ni**ers” or celebrity friends being inconvenienced by having to tell their assistants to change their numbers, hmm.

Eminem apologized, why can’t you.

While I do feel sorry for the nicer celebrities on that list for having their info posted, some of the others I don’t.

A few of the celebrities on the list are among the entertainment industry’s foremost gossips, particularly Paris. I thought it was very cruel the way she broke up Delta Goodrem and Mark Philippoussis.

Cancer patient Delta said she read about it in the papers.

Not to mention, that horribly nice touch from Paris, who said and I quote, “Mark said Delta is so boring.” Nice way to talk about a cancer patient, Paris.

Pardon Goodrem for being boring as you say. She is fighting cancer. Pardon her if she chooses not to be the industry mattress you insist on being.

Actually Paris, you’re the one that’s boring. You spell like a 5 year old and sing like one too. On a 5 year old that’s cute, but not on someone in their 20’s.

I don’t know why people insist on singing professionally when they know they have voices that could jam radar signals and confuse homing pigeons.

Then she referred to women as backstabbers and said they are not her friends. Maybe if you would stop breaking up people’s marriages and relationships, you’d make a few friends.

Actually, you behave like the backstabber – to the people whose relationships you’ve damaged and to the black people in the entertainment industry that were kind to you, helped you and gave you songs for your record, who for no reason you turned around and called “dumb ni**ers”…and without apology.

It’s not pleasant having your privacy invaded. Whether it be through a hack or someone spreading stories about you around the industry...i.e. telling people someone dumped someone cause they are boring.

A few, not many, celebrities spread stories around the entertainment industry about other people, not even thinking twice about it. 

They broadcast other people’s business and mix it up with lies to the point that the stories don’t even resemble the truth anymore.

A few of those celebrities spread more gossip than the tabloids. Ironic, isn’t it. However, because they are celebrities, who are allegedly, above it all, they feel it is okay when it’s not. 

Invasion of privacy goes both ways. It doesn’t just apply to the public and the press. It applies to celebrities too. Just because you are a celebrity doesn’t mean you are exempt from that.

Yea, people in the industry talk and say things like:

Person #1: You know she had those done – just look at them, more plastic than the utensil draw at McDonalds.

Person #2: Shh, here she comes -puts on big smile- Hey girl, how’ve you been. We were just talking about you.

Clueless victim: Really, what were you saying.

Person #1: oh, nothing. Never mind that, what have you been up to.

Conversations like that are fun, um, I mean wrong, just wrong, absolutely shameful.

But seriously, a few celebrities pass around really cruel stories and gossip. Not your run of the mill stuff. I’m talking really mean stuff that destroy marriages and ruin friendships. 

Some speak to braggarts, who don’t know how to keep quiet and innocent people end up getting hurt or being slandered. Stories end up getting back to the person it’s about.

If what you are saying is the truth, then fine. But if it is not, don’t say it.

To claim to be a celebrity who is so above it all yet you go around spreading stories about people is sad.

I have a rule. If I do not agree with someone or something I say it. I don’t say it behind a person’s back. I just say it –cough- or write it on here. I’m not gonna go up in someone’s face and be rude, but you’ll pretty much know where stand on a given topic or person.

The worst is when a few people in the industry decide that it is better to anonymously start rumors about people. All it takes is one word in that gossip network and it spreads faster than the tabloids.

It’s weird isn’t it. When celebrities gossip more than tabloids.

In closing… 

INVASION OF PRIVACY IN A NUTSHELL: 

Identity theft – Stealing someone's identity to make purchases or to maliciously tie up funds ect… 

Monitoring online patterns - capturing keystrokes of what a person types into search engines, the passwords they type to access accounts, the sites they visit ect...

Hacking – Illegally accessing a person's computers and or accounts.

Hiring an investigator to follow the person around, approach them, threaten them, go through their private info in ways that break the law.

Wire tapping – listening into someone's phone calls, which is illegal if done by a citizen and not law enforcement (who even have to obtain a court order).

Breaking into someone's home and or trespassing.

TENNIS

It’s good to see Serena Williams doing well again. She won the Australian last month and is returning to her old level of play. Good for her. She was injured recently, but she can recuperate from that. That’s the thing with sports. The real wildcard is injury.

- It seems Anna Kournikova’s got a stalker. And a brave one at that. He swam across Biscayne Bay naked, which has had sharks in its midst.

You know, you’d have a really tough time explaining how you got shark bites in those regions.

Speaking of fanaticism….

6 DISGRUNTLED MADONNA FANS 

It has come to my attention that a few disgruntled Madonna fans have emailed the web site whining about the plagiarism page. Um, would the 6 of you quit sitting around in chats then emailing the site at the same time. Of course it looks totally natural and un-orchestrated (fake gags) and yes, I know there is strength in numbers (6 people? that's it? maybe you ought to start a support group).   

Some have offered up some unintentionally hilarious excuses for Madonna's disgraceful conduct. The funniest of the lot was one guy who wrote that when Madonna uses other people's work it's to pay homage.

Ok, since you think illegally taking stuff that doesn't belong to you is homage, say someone were to steal over $700 dollars out of your bank account via identity theft, would you call that homage or would you call the police?

However, thank you for proving my point - she does use other people's work (even if she doesn't have permission. For further reference, see list of Madonna plagiarism lawsuits and allegations here). 

Another that was equally funny stated, "you're trying to make her look like a bad person." Pretty is as pretty does. If she didn't do so many wicked things, no one could make her look bad. You couldn't make Mother Theresa look like a bad person. You couldn't make Eleanor Roosevelt look like a bad person. Your deeds are what will make you look like a bad person.

Madonna's deeds speak to who she is as a person. No one with a conscience could steal from so many people and pass off their work as their own, all to their detriment. She even went as far as to intentionally steal from a deceased artist (Bourdin).

She can now add grave robber to her resume.

Her shenanigans sent another artist, director John Schlesinger to his grave via a heart attack he blamed her for.

Does that conduct show the signs of a good person.

If she would be more mindful of other people and not cause so much unnecessary trouble and loss with her extremely selfish, self-serving, foul behavior, there wouldn't be all these problems. Myself and almost 2 dozen other people wouldn't have had our work that we spent years creating, stolen by her, if she used the conscience God gave her.

Look at all the trouble she's caused so many people. People have had to get lawyers and go through the hassle of getting it all down on paper in a lawsuit, to retrieve their work she stole...all because her ego is far greater than her talent, if you can call it that.

Running a Puerto Rican flag between your legs while on stage in said country and masturbating with a cross on stage on another occasion is not talent or something a good person would do.

It's not shocking or controversial, just gross and depraved. I never knew someone could want attention so badly that they would resort to that.

Oh yea, what were you saying again? That I was making her look like a bad person? I think it's more like she makes herself look like a bad person.

You lot realize that you are the only ones who believe she doesn't steal. The industry knows she steals. I spoke to a random lawyer from a well known firm who told me, yea, we've had people in here complaining about her regarding the same issue. Therefore, it's not some secret.

Fanaticism.

There is a difference between a fan and a fanatic.

Fans are rational, fanatics are not.

Fans can tell right from wrong. Fanatics can't.

How do some fans become fanatics.

How do they get to the point that they are no longer able to discern right from wrong.

How do they become so oblivious to blaring facts that they rationalize unethical conduct, especially about a celebrity they do not know, who would have their bodyguard pummel them if they stood too close to them.

How do some believe things that aren't based in reality but in their minds, as in the case of Anna Kournikova’s stalker.

Objectivity can tell right from wrong.

Subjectivity thinks that everything the subject of their stalking or idol worship does is right and that they have a relationship with the stalkee.

There is a difference between a fan and a fanatic. Learn the difference and do not become the latter, a fanatic, which coincidentally rhymes with lunatic.

BASKETBALL

Funniest quote of the week:

And when O’Neal does come back, he’ll be looking for Othella Harrington, the Bulls player who caused his fall last week.

“Do we play Chicago again? I’m going to hit Othella Harrington right in the mouth,” O’Neal said. “If he didn’t have his clumsy butt on the floor, I wouldn’t have fell. How he got on the ground, I don’t know. He’s clumsy. Quote me on that. I’m going to get him.”

- Miami Herald

SOCCER 

Read the Beckham’s just welcomed another baby into the world. They named him Cruz. When I read that I thought Santa Cruz, which means Holy Cross. So the baby’s name means cross, which is nice…well, in England they may think he is angry, as cross means angry in the UK. Just kidding.

That’s a very nice name and congrats to them.

Beckham's got his own little soccer squad now. Mom can be the referee. You know the youngest will never get carded (yellow or red card fouls). Moms always go easy on the youngest.  

Speaking of Beckham, his former team, Man U, whose management –cough- Fergie, unceremoniously traded him to Spain for 22 million pounds, will not be amused to find out that Real Madrid, the Spanish team Beckham now plays for, saw a 50 million pound surge in profits in his debut year due to merchandising deals.  

That means they’ve already made double what they bought his contract for and moved up to #2 in earnings according to a London Times article. That coupled with Man U’s dip in the premiership the first season after the trade all point to a bad business move on their part. 

He was playing well and bringing in a lot of revenues for the club via merchandising sales, but Fergie traded him anyway.  

What happened would have been the American equivalent of the Chicago Bulls selling Michael Jordan to a foreign country at the peak of his career.  

However, that’s not to diss Spain, as it’s a lovely country and the decision showed real business acumen on their part. 

The Queen did graciously give Beckham an OBE for his accomplishments, which in my opinion helped to diffuse what happened. 

However, the whole thing was an interesting study of the diametric between coaches and their teams…and how far reaching bad decisions can be. Who would have thunk it.  

People ought to think about their decisions very carefully and the effect it has on others and their families. With authority comes responsibility and misusing it always has its consequences. Decisions should be made with integrity and everyone’s best interest at heart.

STATE OF THE INDUSTRY 

ILLEGAL DOWNLOADING AFFECTING ARTISTS IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE 

Anyone who says it is not affecting the industry is delusional or lying. Numbers are way down.  

A lot of artists have lost their record deals because labels had to cut costs, which meant cutting them from the roster. 

So, while you the file sharer illegally downloads your favorite bands, many of them are losing their record deals and their livelihood because the labels are losing so much money that they can’t afford to keep everyone.  

Pretty soon all you’ll be left with of your favorite band is the stuff you illegally downloaded, as without a deal, they won’t be making any new music to release to the public. 

Just the other day, Warner dropped 375 artists. That was a very big deal. Some may not have paid a lot of attention to it, but it was something profoundly sad. Think about it. 375 artists were notified you no longer have a record deal. 

So it’s not just a matter of the big bad corporations losing money, which is how some file sharers view labels and justify the theft of music – it has now become artists losing their careers. Not one or two, hundreds at a time, thanks to file sharing. It’s almost unthinkable, but it is what’s happening in the industry now.  

Where labels could once afford to keep on artists who weren’t pulling big numbers, they don’t anymore.

Imagine if you as a file sharer were told you are fired. Or you as a doctor, who studied your profession for years, were told you’re fired. That' what's happened to those artists. It's not easy finding a new deal after being dropped from a major. 

It’s no different for these musicians. It’s worst for the musicians than the actors whose films are pirated. A lot of actors, on an even average level, can pull $150,000 for a movie, which is a few weeks work. Some major label singers don’t even make that in 1 year – even with a gold album (gold equals 500,000 copies sold). 

Some labels had artists that sold 200,000 copies of their albums and were allowed to continue recording, selling those basic numbers, but with what’s happened in the last 4 years with file sharing, the labels don’t even want to keep people on who sell that amount. 

So even if you hate big companies, at least think about the artists. A lot of them don’t make as much as you think. Not everyone is as wealthy as the people profiled on VH-1’s The Fabulous Life Of…

Many artists you see on TV all the time that go gold (500,000 copies) still have to watch every penny.  

I’ve got a pretty good record, CD and tape collection.

By the way, are cassette tapes the new 8 track?  

I started collecting records when I was a kid (my dad’s a DJ/record collector). 

I’d buy CDs, cassettes and records. I spent a little at a time out of my allowance until I accumulated my favorite music. My dad started collecting music in his late teens as well. A hobby that became a job. 

He did an interview and they asked him about his vast record collection and if he would bequeath it to a museum. Enter angry black woman. 

When I read it, I thought, are they on crack, those records are mine! I mean, the hair stood up on my head. That museum curator would get the butt kicking of her life. I’m talking about a Rocky style beat down with teeth flying everywhere.  

Yes, music is that important to me. Just kidding about the beating. I wouldn’t attack someone. 

Years ago my dad told me it is important to be a good person. He told me all he could leave me is a good name. Me being the comedian I am joked to my mom, what about the house, car and bank account.  

What am I gonna do with a name. I’ve already got 3 (first, middle and last name). I was just kidding.  

Anyway, back to what I was writing about. Your music collection should be built up buying your music honestly. It should have your favorite music that you bought, not stole. 

Did you know that I can tell you where I bought almost all of the stuff in my collection from when I was a kid to now.  

Ok, do you even give a rat’s behind is probably the more pertinent question. 

However, I wrote that to make a point.  

Enjoy the time spent collecting your favorite music (decent, appropriate music). 

Half the fun is in the find.  

Meaning finding and buying the music…not illegally downloading and thereby stealing it.   

DISC BURNING TECHNOLOGY 

Foresight would have saved a lot of problems. However, most didn’t anticipate what was to come.

The disc (CD and DVD) burning software and hardware industry made a lot of money, billions, in fact, selling these tools to the public, while the music and film industries lost billions.

They gave the public the tools that are slowly destroying the entertainment industry.  

The industry needs more help from the government and web hosting companies in immobilizing and shutting down these illegal sites.

It would be great if the government helped by cutting the red tape.  

Use copyright certificate registration numbers or bar codes as a sort of tracking number, as you would a site certificate to prove authenticity.  

If there is a site hosting unauthorized content, the owner of the content whose copyright is being infringed should be able to shut it down instantly via the hosting company by providing documentation of ownership or a type of digital certificate. 

If it’s a site with its own server, you should be able to shut it down as well. 

The government could also help in providing stiffer fines and penalties. 

As it is, it takes way too long to shut these sites down and that’s part of the problem. While entertainment industry companies pursue the proper legal channels to try to have unauthorized content removed, these sites are getting hundreds of thousands, some millions, of downloads per day, and slowly but steadily eroding the industry.  

If prison sentences were issued and consistently, these copyright infringing companies wouldn’t be so flagrant with illegal file sharing. They’d think twice.  

The law needs to be changed as well. In the Grogster case, they were initially cleared of liability because the company claimed they weren’t doing the file sharing - it was their site visitors.  

However, they are facilitating a crime for which they should be held liable. In the entertainment industry, sadly companies are liable for what their employees do, it ought to apply to the illegal sites as well, regarding their visitors who use their network to break the law.   

JOURNALISM: UNAMED SOURCES 

Unnamed sources are usually very inaccurate, often made up quotes from journalists. 

I realized this about a year ago when a certain tabloid columnist extracted bits and pieces of my original writings from this site and listed it as an unnamed source in a very incredulous article.  

And since I don’t know said journalist and what I wrote about wasn’t even the same topic as the drivel she wrote, it was a giveaway that there was no unnamed source. 

I started watching what she would write and noticed that her “reliable source” or “inside source” often spoke the way she would normally write, which pointed to her making up the quotes. Another of her associates did this as well. 

It’s evident when a piece flows really well, even the quotes from sources, with no change in writing style/speech pattern. 

If asked to produce their source, some can’t cause they made it up. 

Then again, some unnamed sources are actually info from illegal wiretaps, which a few journalists have been accused of.  

If you are a celebrity and a publication prints things you say over the phone, it’s time to call the police.  

There are publications who rifle through your trash, which technically is not illegal if they are not trespassing, but when they start listening to your phone conversations, which is illegal, and using them as scoops, it’s time to call the police.  

There is such a thing as going too far and that’s definitely it.   

Some unnamed sources do genuinely exist, but quite a few of them don’t. Some unnamed sources are actually the journalist writing the piece.  

TERRI SCHIAVO

The story of Terri Schiavo is a very sad one. She had an injury, which damaged her brain. She is now awake and responsive, but cannot feed herself or speak clearly. Her husband wants her feeding tube removed and her parents are fighting against it and rightfully so.

I saw video footage of her on TV and she seems alert to me. She smiled when she saw certain people. She is after all alive. She tries to speak, mustering out the words she can.

The argument her husband is using is that she is brain damaged and if you take out the feeding tube she will die. Well, if you stopped feeding anyone they’d die (it seems to me he is the one with the brain damage).

He's gone to judges to obtain court orders to have her feeding tube removed and her parents have successfully fought it each time.

However, it is at a critical stage. The latest court order gives her until March 18th, 2005 for the feeding tube to be removed, WHICH WOULD LEAVE HER TO STARVE TO DEATH/ BE DEHYDRATED TO THE POINT OF DEATH. How cruel.

He has already obtained an settlement from the accident and based on all accounts, squandered it. Now, he wants to allow his wife to die and in such a terrible manner.

What about her rights! She's got just as much right to live as anyone else. There is scientific evidence of people recovering from these situations. There is an article on the site listed below about a brain damaged woman, Sarah Scantlin, who spoke for the first time after 20 years.

I remember reading about another lady in Time magazine who woke up from a coma after many years in that state.

By God's grace, both their stories are incredible and so is Terri's. She survived the accident, is alive and aware and should be allowed to live.

According to a Citizen Link article, "her parents and siblings, who want to care for Terri" are "willing to incur that financial cost for the rest of her natural life."

It will cost her husband nothing and he's already obtained and spent a substantial settlement check he was given, anyway (according to reports).      

Terri's parents are in a terrible situation. It’s one of those situations in life that seems unfathomable. You want to keep your child alive yet their spouse, who didn’t give birth to them or raise them, wants to commit what amounts to an act of murder in God’s sight.

That should scare any parent to think that someone could do that to their child. Therefore I'm asking you to help Terri Schiavo.

Family.org also encourages you to, "Call the U.S. House Of Representatives and your two U.S. senators in Washington and urge them to support The Incapacitated Person's Legal Protection Act of 2005. The Capitol switchboard number is (202) 224-3121."

For more info visit http://www.family.org/cforum/extras/a0035607.cfm

For additional info visit:

http://family.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/family.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=4111

   

 

 


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