May 2003 

Volume 12

 

May 5, 2003

Pop Singers Trying To Rap

I just read about another pop singer trying to rap on their forthcoming album. Are some singers surrounded by that many yes people that they can’t see that the public is not going to accept a pop singer trying to rap? The worst part about all of this is it is turning rap music into a complete joke and none of these people who are jumping on the bandwagon actual care about this genre of music, as they have been around for years and never tried it or cared about any of the people who perform it…but now they sure are helping to destroy it by trying to perform it. 

They are so desperate to gain credibility to revive their careers that they are doing anything that they think will work. Have enough dignity not to destroy something out of your desire to be trendy. Most of them already messed up pop music, now they want to butcher rap too. This has nothing to do with color, as there are white rappers who can rap. It has to do with singers jumping on bandwagons. Musicians can be some of the most mindless people out there, yet love to claim they are trendsetters. Label execs need to have enough guts to do their jobs. Revenues are their main concern and they’ve even lost money on that garbage, but keep putting it out.

And what's with certain producers producing it? For the right fee, some will sell out anything. With some writers and producers, the devil in the form of a man, could call their office and ask to work with them, name the fee and they would jump at it. Never mind the music is totally reprehensible and will corrupt people, breaks every commandment and went against dozens of scriptures in what it glorified, you made money off of it, so it's okay. Not in God's sight it is. People need to start being more careful of who they work with and what they put out. 

Double Message

People who say they believe in God but put out music that promotes drinking, going to the club, pre-marital sex, adultery, dressing inappropriately, vulgarity, being materialistic and lying do something similar to that as well. What it indicates is that fame means more to them than God, because many people know it's not right, but they do it anyway to sell their records and movies.  

Some people genuinely don't know better and they should read their Bible to get closer to God and correct those mistakes, as it is not something to take lightly. However, some people do know better, but promote that negative message anyway. It is not right to promote things that He clearly says is wrong. You profess faith in Him, therefore He should mean more to you than setting a bad example to be famous or to maintain your success. It's not worth it. Stop setting a bad example through your music and films.

- Why do people try to justify illegal income by saying they had to support their families...on $10,000 per month in illegal money? Most families can survive on $3000 per month, what's the extra thousands for? That's more wanting to live a certain indulgent lifestyle through unethical, illegal means and using the supporting ones self line to try to justify it. You need to stop it. 

You've got people working minimum wage to support their families...they are the ones who deserve the credit. That's more admirable than gaining money through unethical means.    

Singer Writing Children's Books

- I read about a singer who is trying to write children’s books. Now it wouldn’t be so bad if this singer’s last attempt at publishing weren’t a pornographic book. I know people can change. That is what God wants...for people to change their ways. For example, I saw a lady on TV who was involved in a scandal that cost an official his career. She asked God for forgiveness, changed her ways and now does work for charity. No one should remind her of her past mistakes, as she has changed her ways. God bless her cause she has actually changed for the better. 

However, reading this singer’s last few interviews, it is blatantly obvious that this person has not changed enough to author children’s books that will supposedly teach children morals. In order to teach morals, you must first master it yourself; therefore, if you lack it, you have no business teaching it. 

Credibility is great, most people want it, but it should not be gained at the expense of children. God loves children and there are several passages in the Bible that warn people to be careful of what they teach them, as He will hold you responsible for it. 

 

May 7, 2003ll

Spellcheckers

You know you've read a lot of British books when you inadvertently and continually put the letter "u" in words like "colour" "flavour" and "Saviour." It's kind of funny, I keep doing that when I write and have to go back and correct it.   

Negative TV Show About Rap Music

There's been complaints about a new TV show and its negative portrayal of rap music and as a result, painting black people in a bad light. While I’m all for cleaning up the airwaves, the hip hop industry is not exactly positive. Hip hop is not an innocent genre and for a TV show to depict it any other way would be lying. 

I think the more immediate priority would be to first clean up rap music, but a lot of industry people, both execs and a few rappers don't want that, as it is how they get their money. While, some rappers are living that lifestyle, others aren't and only glorify it for credibility and sales. If certain record company execs cared they would try to get their artists sober and earning a respectable living rather than capitalizing on their destruction and subsequently the moral decay of the people who listen to and imitate them.   

 

May 9, 2003

Singers Stealing From Web Site

- Regarding the other two singers that I wrote about who poached off this site, one of them released her new CD two weeks ago containing the copyright infringing trash, er I mean song, that was a rip off of my single "Contemporary Girl" and for the first time in twenty years her numbers were low, a drop of about 55% from her last album's first week sales. Not to mention the costly amount they spent on promo and a re-shoot. 

Sometimes records flop for different reasons and not because the singer did something wrong...but that album should not have flopped. However, they stole from something dedicated to God, don't expect Him to bless you for doing that. The most ironic thing about it is had they stuck to what they normally do, they wouldn't have seriously damaged their careers like they did. It was not worth messing up their careers for. 

I'll tell you more about whom I'm referring to after my album is released. The reason I don't write their names on here now and go into proper detail about it is not out of sympathy, it is because I really do not want to use this mess these people did as my introduction/debut. By God's grace, I will establish myself first on my own merit (not the publicity this garbage would create)...and then I will talk about it and turn my attention to resolving it. 

Overcoming Difficulties

The difficulties people experience in life sometimes changes them for the better. I think those things teach you patience and virtue if you use them for improvement.

I've noticed that, sometimes, certain problems or infirmities help individuals become the people they are today. When people go through certain difficulties, it often makes them work harder, as they often feel they have a deficiency they have to compensate for. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trivializing anyone's suffering, because there are times when those things almost seem unbearable to the person, but by God's grace they can get through it.   

I watched a sermon by John Hagee where he spoke of Helen Keller being deaf and blind, but accomplishing many things. He says his children hate Helen Keller (because she was able to accomplish so many things in spite of her infirmity and he uses her as an example when speaking to them about their own lives haha).

I read about Helen Keller and her story is remarkable. She was born with hearing and sight, but at 18 months, developed a form of meningitis and lost the use of those senses. In spite of that, Ms. Keller went to college, authored many books and received numerous awards.  

In the book "The Life Of Helen Keller" she was described as "a very difficult child, smashing dishes and lamps and terrorizing the whole household with her screaming and temper tantrums." 

However, "one day she and "Teacher"--as Helen always called her--went to the outdoor pump. Miss Sullivan started to draw water and put Helen's hand under the spout. As the cool water gushed over one hand, she spelled into the other the word "w-a-t-e-r" first slowly, then rapidly. Suddenly, the signals had meaning in Helen's mind. She knew that "water" meant the wonderful cool something flowing over her hand. Quickly, she stopped and touched the earth and demanded its letter name and by nightfall she had learned 30 words." (text excerpts from the RNIB fact sheet and AFB.org).  

In spite of her vision impairment, Helen Keller read many books (braille), the Bible being one of her favorites. When you think about it, it's amazing; a woman who was deaf and blind had the vision to see that God exists, yet atheists with their fully functioning senses can't see that. 

Michelangelo (no, not the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, the painter) almost went blind painting The Sistine Chapel. Bach went blind later in his life as well, but it didn't stop him from writing some of his most known music during that time. An article I read on Daily Camera stated he dictated music scores, blind and on his deathbed.  

I also read that Beethoven lost his hearing in his 30's. That must have been very difficult for him. That's like a chef not being able to taste. However, he still continued to compose music that eventually became compositions that are well known today. Wow, some musicians have their hearing and still can't compose. Okay, bad joke. 

It must have been frustrating for him, but he did know what each note sounded like after years of composing, prior to losing his hearing and most likely had to rely on his memory of each note/sound to continue writing music after losing his hearing.

Steve Wonder, who is blind, is able to compose and play music at a very high level. God gave him a gift. I've watched him play the piano on TV many times since I was a child and always thought it remarkable that he is able to play so well. He obviously relies on his hearing more when composing than sighted people do, which could also cause him to hear music differently and on another level, as two of his senses are not competing and or communicating with each other at the same time in completing the job, splitting focus, therefore there is probably a greater level of concentration and focus. When most musicians write they rely on their hearing and vision.    

There's an athlete who has a non-life threatening, but sometimes-painful physical condition that he was diagnosed with as a teenager. That must have been devastating to a kid and the apparatus he had to wear for years to correct it must have been emotionally traumatizing and uncomfortable.

In an interview I read recently, he spoke of the frustration, crying, tantrums and whining he did as a teenager, even referring to himself as a brat - no, why would he think that (what a little brat...I'm just kidding). Some may chalk it up to him being a brat (hey, he said it, I didn't - kidding again) but those emotions could be attributed to the kind of corrective treatment he underwent to combat his condition, as it would most likely be difficult for someone experiencing that condition/treatment and it probably manifested itself in the agitated behavior he exhibited. In spite of this condition, he's playing his favorite sport professionally and is excelling at it.

There's a soccer player who said that as a child he felt he was too small to play soccer (he was a little runt alright...I'm kidding) but he eventually grew over 6 feet tall. He is now one of the most successful soccer players today. He better be glad he grew; otherwise the guys from Arsenal would toss him out the way and into the stands. Once again, I'm kidding...still, we are talking about Arsenal. They're not exactly the gentlest team in the Premier League (haha). Still, there are some athletes who do not grow to what is considered the normal height for their sport and they've still done quiet well.  

 

May 10, 2003

Singer That Ripped Off Contemporary Girl Sued

Remember that singer I wrote about on April 12, 2003, who used the same movie as the basis for her video, that a British singer also used an excerpt from the year before for her video…well it seems she used too much by replicating scenes from the movie frame by frame...and, well, it was reported this week that she got sued by one of the biggest film studios in the industry, who has copyright ownership of the film. Her record company quickly settled the suit. 

It was the same with her last single as well, she was sued by a singer/writer who did not grant her permission to sample her song for her release. That singer's career has now become a lawsuit with every song. That's no way to build a career.

Intelligence

- There is a Bible verse that reads, "Let no one despise your youth" (1 Timothy 4:12). It basically means don't let anyone make you feel inferior based on your age or interpret it as a lack of wisdom. It's ironic that sometimes, younger people are more intelligent and wiser than older people. Then there are some people that no matter what age they are the light bulb just doesn't go on.

Hazing

Speaking of that, kids are not using good judgment and it's has gotten worse than ever. I was watching a news program this week, where the topic was a hazing that occurred at a high school. The students smeared feces all over their classmates, in some cases trying to force them to ingest it. The hazing was sadistic. These students were enjoying tormenting and beating up their fellow classmates. Some of these teenagers were crying and it didn't evoke any sympathy from the students that were beating them up. 

To derive that type of satisfaction from causing others pain is a serious problem that they need counseling for, as it is a precursor to worse behavior if left unchecked. What's particularly sad is that reports suggest that parents were involved as well. Authorities are going to file criminal charges against the individuals who participated in the hazing.   

Teenagers And Dangerous Stunts

Some teenagers do dangerous things to get a thrill and that also reflects bad judgment. I saw another story on the news this week about a teenager who jumped off the roof of a five-story building, but missed the pool he was aiming for and the stunt greatly injured him. He was mimicking a stunt shown on a program on MTV. As much as the show probably has a disclaimer warning against replicating any of the stunts seen in the program, it is still a danger to teenagers, as they will try to perform some of the stunts anyway.

It's really sad. He could have died and what about the pain he suffered when he hit the concrete. The Sun-Sentinel reported he "broke both legs and an ankle, fractured his pelvis and an arm. Once he's out of his hospital bed, he will spend at least a month in a wheelchair before he can put any weight on his legs, his mother said. Months, if not longer, of physical therapy will surely follow."

 

May 15, 2003

Rebuilding Iraq

Now that America is rebuilding Iraq, isn't it a bit strange to hear the countries who didn't want to help during the war, complain about and petition for rebuilding/construction contracts. It's like you getting in a fight, you ask your friend to help you, they say no, stand there and watch the fight, and then when the fight is over they ask you if they can borrow $50 bucks. I'm kidding. 

Athletes Over Dramatizing Fouls

Aisha's Observations:

1. Why do soccer and basketball players over dramatize fouls. Some of the toughest, most masculine male athletes will fall to the ground like girls and lay there like they've been mortally wounded - when the injury is really the equivalent of a paper cut. Then when the ref finally acknowledges it and gives them the foul (free throw or free kick), they will pop right up and start running and smiling like nothing happened (suspicious). That was a rhetorical question, I know they are trying to clearly point out the foul to the ref by playing dead on the ground. Still, some people really do get injured. 

2. Why do some athletes complain about fouls that they know are flagrant. A hint: If you elbow, sucker punch, karate kick or body slam someone on the opposing team, uh, that's a foul. Still some athletes know when it's a bad foul. I saw a match this week where the soccer player knew it was a bad foul. 

Note to that soccer player: you're a talented guy, but that form of tackling, also known in karate circles as a scissor kick, is not allowed in soccer. It's not cute when soccer players go flying through the air...is it a bird? is it a plane? no, it's #7. I'm just kidding. 

He knew it was a foul, though and didn't even bother to protest the ref's call. He apologized to the player who was, er, semiconscious on the ground trying to figure out what just happened. He even patted the ref of the back when he gave him the yellow card (warning/foul).  

3. It's a bad sign when your manager/coach starts chewing their gum faster. That really means: just wait until we get in the locker room where I can privately and sufficiently tell you what I really think of that bad play you made via an expletive ridden reenactment. 

4. Isn't the ref the most harassed person in the game. The crowd and teams can be annoyed with calls you make. Who's rooting for the ref.

Tennis Clay Court Season

- American tennis players sometimes have trouble playing on European clay. I read an article where a player spoke of the difficulties he encountered on the surface because he is not used to playing on it. 

After the Italia Masters last week (which is played on clay), I think the American tennis players need to start a Euroclay support group. 

I also read in the Houston Chronicle that the American clay the players practice on is not the same as European clay. If that's the case, wouldn't it be good if they could accurately replicate European clay here, instead of using a synthetic version, giving players the opportunity to play on alternate surfaces throughout the year. 

We put a man on the moon and rip off European perfumes all the time (the counterfeit ones in the drug store -Aisha pretending she's never bought one- Hey, I love perfume, I buy the expensive and cheap ones as well), certainly tennis court designers can accurately replicate European clay. 

Getting acclimated to the clay couldn't hurt, after all, rankings changed after the Italia Masters last week. It would be like a form of what is referred to as climatizing - similar to how England used cooling vests to help its soccer players cope with the heat and humidity in Japan in the 2002 World Cup. 

 

May 17, 2003

Belief In God

I've believed in God since I was old enough to speak. I've been through a lot of things, things that I really should not have survived, but by God's grace I did and quite well. I thank Him for that. There are times when there are problems, but I don't let them worry me, as I need to concentrate on other things. Whenever I have a problem, I pray about it. Not vengeful prayers, but prayers for God to help me according to what He wants for me and what He sees best in that particular situation. 

I'm a firm believer in the power of prayer. I pray everyday. It does a lot for the soul. It is the reason that I have the peace and contentment I do in my life. 

God answers prayers. Well, I've always known that, but it's great to witness it each time anyway. There were a group of people who were trying to defraud me and I found out today that they've gotten into trouble with the authorities. When I found out, I was gob smacked. Not that God resolved the situation, as I have faith in Him that He would resolve it in due time, but it was in how it was resolved that stunned me and I had nothing to do with it. 

I do not believe in being vengeful. God says it is a sin and it is not our place to vindicate ourselves when we are wronged. We are to pray and ask Him to help us and to resolve the situation and he will resolve it and bring justice according to what He sees fit.   

I didn't wish them any harm, and still don't, but you can't do things like what they tried to do and expect that there wouldn't be consequences. God is very merciful. He will give people opportunities to change their ways, but people often mistake that mercy for Him not noticing it, when that is not the case at all. He notices everything. He knows everything. I'm glad God intervened and I thank Him for it.  

Prayer Changes Things

- Sometimes I pray and ask God to grant me certain things, but when I do, I've learned to ask Him to grant it if it is what is best for me and what He wants for me. He has answered many of my prayers since I was a child and given me what I've asked for. He is very faithful. 

Though, there were times He didn't answer certain prayers, because it was not what He wanted for my life and in retrospect I can always see the wisdom in His decisions and I thank Him for that as well, because there are some things we want in life, that we should not get. 

There are some prayers where I thank God for things He has helped me with or done for me and there are some where I have thanked Him for not giving me what I had previously asked for...things that were not the best thing for me, where I can now look back and say, thank You that You did not let that happen or give me what I asked for. 

He has been very good to me. The talents he has given me and other things as well, but more importantly, the happiness he has granted me, even through difficult situations. He has always been a presence in my life, that I'm very thankful for.

When God gives you anything in life, though, whether it be talent or something of value, trouble will follow. Why? because there are unscrupulous people in the world who are never satisfied with what they have and will try to get what they want from you even though they are not entitled to it. 

I realized early in life that it is best to try to be moral because what goes around comes around.  When you do good to people in life, that good will return to you, and when you do evil to people in life, that will return to you as well. I'm not saying bad things can't happen to innocent people, because bad things do happen to innocent people as well, but it happens because someone decided to do something bad that they should not have. 

 

May 20, 2003

Payola

Accuse some singers and label reps of bribery and they would be insulted, but the dictionary defines payola as a bribe - "Payola: a bribe given to a disc jockey to induce him to promote a particular record." 

In 1960, DJ Alan Freed was arrested for payola. While he made significant contributions to music, "coining the term rock and roll" and playing black artists records in the mainstream, he was the first person indicted for payola, which lead to his drinking and untimely death at age 44.    

Payola is the thing that keeps quite a few artists careers going, but it is not genuine success.

You can tell when the public truly likes a song. People play the CD in their cars, you hear people talking about it or asking you if you've heard it, you hear little kids singing it. 

However, sometimes you hear a song on the radio and think, now I know not that many people are requesting that song, that often for it to be played that much -cough- payola... and or the song is played constantly, but the sales do not reflect that type of airplay -cough- payola.

There are other legal ways to get your song on the radio, but the destructive part about payola is it robs the audience of choice and that is not good. 

It's great when you hear your favorite song on the radio once or twice for the day, but when it's 4 or 5 times for the day, that's a bit much. The same songs are played over and over again, where other songs could be played a few of those times. Not to mention, people grow to hate songs they hear too much in a short space of time. 

The funniest part about it is the artists whose reps employ payola the most don't sell more than the artists who receive moderate airplay and have a genuine hit. There are acts who get minimal airplay, but the song and or artist are so liked, that a lot of people go out and by it and they end up outselling what I call the payola people.

1. Airplay helps songs go up the Billboard charts, which determines who officially goes to number one. There are songs that have not sold a single copy, but are in the top 20 of the Billboard charts based on airplay alone. The theory behind that being, people are calling in a lot to request those songs. However, if airplay can be corrupted via payola, how accurate is that chart placement. 

Sometimes I hear artists brag about those things, when it's nothing but payola that got the song there in the first place. Sales should count for a lot more and be the determining factor, because that means someone actually went out and bought the thing.     

2. The more spins (a spin is each time a song is played) the more exposure that artist gets...but adversely, the more monotonous and boring music becomes because you are constantly hearing the same handful of people. That leads to people complaining about music being boring. 

It's ridiculous to think that some artists allot a six, sometimes seven figure budget to payola, when there are more important things like recording music and making videos. And there are indie releases that have sold a lot with out much airplay. Indie labels utilize other means, uh, legal means of promo and getting their songs played, but that's another subject.

Record companies want to generate revenues and some labels deem payola a good way to boost sales. However, if you play more songs, by more artists, there is a greater variety for the public to choose from, which means more records by more artists can be heard and sold, raising the overall year end average/number of records sold.

America is a consumer-oriented nation with a great economy (some people complain about the economy, but considering what's going on in other countries, be thankful). It didn't become a great economy by limiting peoples choices as to what is available to them. It got that way by entrepreneurship, a man having a dream or idea, marketing it to the public and earning a living from its revenues, hence, variety. The music industry could learn a valuable lesson from that (I wrote about the music industry limiting choices on March 14th, 2003). 

God as great and as sovereign as He is even gives us choices and free will (the proper outcome dependent upon us making moral choices). 

Yet the music industry is limiting choices. It doesn't even make sense financially, when you take into consideration how these labels operate, as they are not reaping greater revenues with these practices and many of the artists they are giving the money to are demanding big budgets that do not produce the big numbers they seek. 

The industry limiting choices also inadvertently helps certain signed artists egos, as a few of them think they are the best singers out there and shamelessly don't hesitate in saying that. 

 

May 23, 2003

Review: "Hitler: The Rise of Evil"

There was a lot of controversy surrounding the film "Hitler: The Rise of Evil," which was aired on television this week. While it was an interesting film, I have to agree with a few of the people who said the film might create sympathy for Hitler. I don't think it adequately captured how truly evil he was. It's as though they tried to dissect his personality through film and in doing so added dimensions to his character that just were not there.

The actor was quite good in the role, but the dialogue didn't accurately portray Hitler. The dialogue was well written, but not dark enough for what took place. Though no one but The Lord and Hitler's inner circle truly know the details of what was said during his life, watching historic footage of him in contrast with the film, clearly showed the disparities.

The film made him look more crazed than evil, when he had a full dose of both. They gave Hitler a personality when he had none. It made him look hesitant and apprehensive when doing wrong, as though he had a conscience, when history clearly shows otherwise. It would have been better had they made him look more evil than crazed.

The film explored a lot of his personal life, thus tempting people to feel sympathy for him by trying to understand why he committed the atrocities he did. You will not be able to understand that, as some people are just evil. What's there to understand or analyze about that. Some people choose to be evil. He was obsessed with a racist ideal he viewed as the truth, then used patriotism to indoctrinate others with that erroneous belief.

There was a scene that caught my attention because my birthday flashed across the screen - but after watching what they were referring to, it turns out it was the day that Hitler was shot and arrested for treason (November 8th, 1923).

The film did create awareness and serves as a reminder of what happens when people hate others because of their race and or ethnicity. People need to be reminded of the Holocaust and slavery as well. Not as a source of guilt, because we all must forgive each other, it is something God requires of us - but it should prompt us to look at ourselves in the mirror and analyze our personalities for traces of racism and hatred.

Hitler's mother died of cancer and her doctor, who was Jewish, was unable to save her. Some believe it may very well be where his hatred for Jewish people began. However, it does not justify it in the slightest. People like to use the bad things that befall them as an excuse for inappropriate behavior.

You also see these things on a smaller scale. Someone goes through something and the seeds of hatred are planted for the entire race of people who are the same as the person who hurt them. It is not right to hate and vilify an entire nation or ethnic group because of some of the people in it. You have to resist that hatred, if not it will consume you and become destructive.

It is also the same with slavery. You cannot condemn people for their ancestors sins. While slavery was a terrible time in history, black people should not hold on to that hatred and white people should not hold on to those racist feelings as well. We need to let go of these grudges and hateful attitudes and learn to forgive and love each other.

There is a musician whose mother died because they were apart of a sect that didn't believe in or allow medicine, but they believed that God would heal her. Now he hates God and writes satanic music that has been disseminated to over 100 million people in the last 15 years.

While I'm sorry that his mother passed and under those circumstances, it does not justify his behavior. I dislike his music and what he has done with it for the past 15 years. It's one thing to be hurt about something that happened to you, but it is quite another thing to infect others with that hatred and bitterness. Yes, it is hatred, as he hates God, Jesus and Christians and constantly makes references to that in his lyrics. 

When you look around you see innocent babies, children, the elderly, young people starting their lives, how can you in your anger and bitterness spew that hatred you have on them. Why not want something better for them and hope that they don't have to go through what you did.

Work through your problems and don't make it everyone else's through negativity via your music or films. Pray about it, get private counseling, talk it out with your family, but don't make a record about it that millions of people will hear and be susceptible to.

My maternal grandmother died of cancer years ago, but as young as I was, I realized that it is apart of life. While God does heal people, sometimes it is not His will. People don't always get well. People do die.

My brother died several years ago. Two kids were playing around by the ocean, fell in and started drowning. The tide was really strong and my brother was the only one who would go in the water to try to save them. He did save one boy's life (who later died) but when he went back to get the second child, the tide was too strong and pulled them both under. I try to look at the positive and remember the good things.   

You choose your reaction to circumstances. It doesn't mean you don't grieve, it means you don't become embittered and destructive. During these circumstances, I didn't get bitter and decide to hate God and hate the world or try to infect the world with feelings of hatred and bitterness through my music and films. Sometimes bad things happen and we have to deal with them as best we can, not use them as an excuse to be hateful and destructive. Actually my love for God grows stronger each day I live.

There are usually two reactions when bad things happen. People try to help others in an effort to alleviate others suffering, as they know what it is like to hurt, but, regrettably, some grow bitter and hateful with the desire to spread that misery and hatred.  

 

May 24, 2003

- Why are they making two Alexander the Great films. While I do think it would make an interesting film, as I heard sermons on Alexander a few years ago by John Hagee and they were very engrossing, why are they making two separate films with two separate directors.

Rapper Jay Z Disses T.D. Jakes

- There is a rapper who slandered a preacher on his latest record. I was reading an article that quoted the lyrics where he slandered this man. I was surprised to hear this from that rapper, as he is supposedly a former drug dealer, yet he brags on his records as though he is still just that. I went to a lyrics site that translated his lyrics - I'm black and I didn't even understand some of it. I guess I have to brush up on my drug lingo. A question: just how many people overdosed, died and lost their soul off of the drugs you sold to them (if a person dies while sinning and doesn't ask for forgiveness before dying, they lose their soul).

While I can't vouch for anyone, this preacher's actions say a lot. He has an outreach program that feeds the homeless and provides showers, haircuts and job assistance to homeless people in the community in an effort to help them get back on their feet. He also employs homeless people and has a shelter. He's preached to known athletes and helped them turn around their lives and save their marriages by God's grace. I heard two of them speak in an interview of how he helped them. Maybe it's just me, but I thought that was a good thing.

However, this rapper, obviously an outstanding pillar of the community having sold poison, uh, drugs to the community for years, feels he is the man to insult him, as he now sells poison to the community via expletive laced, materialistic, misogynistic, violent, sacrilegious records (you aren't Jehovah, luv, as He wouldn't wear your clothing line). Handing out a few dinners at Christmas to salve your conscience doesn't expiate that or make you the man to pass judgment on a better man than yourself. After all, didn't that drug dealer in the movie New Jack City hand out Christmas dinners as well? Mother Teresa that character was not. I tell you what can expiate that, asking God for forgiveness. 

Hollywood Mocking Christianity

I heard a comment John Hagee made about Hollywood putting out material that mocks Christianity and that they would never do that to religious terrorist groups in the Middle East, as they know they would find a bomb in their mailbox. He has a point. 

That can be applied to rappers as well. Why don't rappers make diss records about people who could really give them a fight. Why pick on the preacher or someone too timid to answer? Why don't they make diss records about the Mafia or a Columbian drug kingpin. Credibility in rap is now based on violence and arrests, not actually being able to rap...just think what angering the mafia or an irate Columbian drug kingpin would do for a rapper's credibility...a posthumous follow up album. By the way, I'm not endorsing violence against people for speaking their minds. That's wrong. 

Singers Mimicking Other Singers

Why do singers read other singers articles and bios, then turn around and say the exact same thing in their interviews in magazines as though it is coming from them, even though judging by the comments the public makes about their intelligence level, them saying it is quite incredulous, as they probably look at Billboard magazine upside down and not realize it.

- I read an article about a known South Florida singer on a known web site and thought the writer was being very unfair to him. I'm not a fan of this singer (I'm not a fan of any singer, I just like music). It wasn't a case of the writer insulting his music, which I'm used to seeing regarding singers and it wouldn't cause me to bat an eyelash. This wasn't your run of the mill, you can't sing, your lyrics suck type of article, it got personal, slanderous and religiously offensive. This article went too far and irresponsibly mocked and made allegations he had no proof to back up.

Well, I did something I normally do not do - I emailed the editor via the feedback address provided on the site and told him what I thought of his article. Apparently I pushed one too many of this editor's buttons because since then the writer/editor has been sending me emails I didn't ask for from readers who sent in glowing reviews of his past work.

I didn't ask him to defend his work, even if he did, it wouldn't change my opinion as he has failed to prove to me and his readers that the singer he maligned is what he slandered him about, which was pretty serious and the accusation he made there is no earthly way to prove.

New York Times' Jayson Blair

- Speaking of writers, I've been reading the story about the New York Times journalist who was fired for making up information in articles and plagiarizing other people's work. The New York Times is normally a very credible newspaper.

I'm sorry the journalist wanted to kill himself and I'm glad he didn't. That would not have been the answer to his problems. Though, I'm not surprised a journalist plagiarized work - not to excuse it, but he's not the only journalist that plagiarizes, he is just one of those who got caught. Journalists often get writer's block and some wrongfully look to other peoples work to cure it.

I read a lot every day. I often read articles that I later notice other journalists take excerpts from and fail to cite where they got the excerpt. While, some articles come from Reuters or the Associated Press, who are news agencies, which for a fee, allow you to can and republish quote their articles providing you credit them, others don't. Some journalists take chunks of other newspaper and magazine articles from competitors and other authors and fail to credit them. It's a questionable practice and when you read a lot you notice the er, un-credited reprints and inspirations. 

I didn't have to read that article to know that some, not all, journalists do that. I've had that happen to me. I do regular searches of the Internet to match content on here to other sites and I've seen stuff I've written on here in music articles and tabloids articles that were republished on message boards - also a few musicians who, offensively to me, have taken a fancy to quoting stuff on here as though they are saying it. I need to just make a micro web site and link it to this web site and devote it to those singers and writers who have done this (after I've written things on here) as I have saved those articles and can back up what I'm saying.

 

May 26, 2003

Memorial Day And The War

Today is Memorial Day. I want to say thank you to the soldiers who fought in the war. I appreciate your sacrifice. Thank you and God bless you.

I pray God will heal you of the memories of the war especially the POWs. Sometimes that can be worse than the actual physical injuries. Physical injuries usually heal, but mental ones are much harder to deal with. That's something soldiers often grapple with.

Memorial Day is especially poignant in any year there is a war. The war in Iraq was called one of the most successful military operations in history. It was made possible due to the men and women who risked their lives to protect the freedoms we enjoy and to liberate Iraq from years of oppression. 

Rumsfeld said something at the beginning of the war that I thought really hit the nail on the head in terms of certain public outcries against the war - To paraphrase; he said many people didn't understand how the war would be fought. I think that is true and it did cause some confusion. Once the war began, more people started to understand why it was necessary. People didn't understand that it wasn't the unbiased bombing of a country. They didn't understand how it would be conducted or how America would accomplish its objective.

I understood that war and why it was being fought...what I don't understand is why a few celebrities are still fighting about the war when the main fighting in the war is over. People shouldn't let it become more about pride than actual concern for people who died in or survived the war.

French Open

I saw a few matches from the French Open today; America is doing well. I don't prefer matches on clay (listen to me, like I'm the one that has to play it). Growing up here, you are mostly used to seeing hard court matches. Actually watching our players slide is quite entertaining, if not more entertaining than the actual tennis, as there is that element of will they go off keel and end up eating clay. I'm kidding, I thought they were graceful and did quite well today, congratulations to them. Actually the ATP paid me to write that (kidding again). 

Funny highlight from a commentator about one of the matches: "If he wins he can forget to see anything like him along the way." I did laugh at that comment (and boy did I laugh), but the player he said that about needs to slap the commentator. I'm kidding.

Profound observation from the commentator: "He's playing hard court tennis on clay."

I was on line speaking to someone during the match and she knew the stats of her favorite player who was competing. I told her well done, but I don't know anyone's stats. If I were playing, I probably wouldn't know my own stats. I'm kidding; I'm not absent minded. - Aisha stops writing- …Mom, have you seen that book I was reading yesterday? I can't find it...Mom replies with her standard answer to such questions, "You don't look for anything" (Mom goes to find the book). That's cause if I say that, I know she will go find it for me. Shhh don't tell her I said that.      

What was really funny and a bit prophetic is a few minutes later during a post match interview, that same tennis player whose stats she knew said he doesn't mind what the stats page says, as long as his name is listed as the winner. I laughed and said, I'm in good company then.

Andre Agassi Charity

Yesterday, I watched a clip about Andre Agassi's charity concert that raised over 4 million dollars for charity. One of the highest donations came from auctioning off tennis lessons, one with Agassi and one with Graf. The winners paid $100,000 for each of the two lesson. 

If I pay $100,000 for a tennis lesson, I better win Wimbledon, The Australian Open, The US Open and The Freedom Open, uh I mean The French Open. 

People here have started substituting the word French with the word freedom when saying things like French fries and French toast because of France's lack of support for America and Britain during the war - it is now freedom fries and freedom toast.

I have a question, if you are going to France, when you go to the check in counter at the airport, are we supposed to say "Hi, I'd like to check into the 8PM flight going to Paris, Freedom, thank you" (not the word French, but close). I'm kidding, no hate mail, please.

 

May 28, 2003

French Open

In watching one of the matches in the French Open this morning, I noticed that both female tennis players were wearing almost identical outfits in the same color. What, did you guys call each other the night before and say "girl, what are you wearing tomorrow? Let's match." I'm kidding.

Soccer: Juventus v. AC Milan

I also watched the soccer match between Juventus v. AC Milan, which stretched on for 120 minutes with no goal. A draw is okay, but when the score is nil I view it differently. Penalty kicks were used to determine the UEFA cup winner (AC Milan won - once again, Shevchenko got the winning goal/penalty kick 3-2).

Why didn't they just do the penalty kicks from the beginning instead of playing the whole match with no goals (non-penalty) - the match would have been over much quicker. That was a joke, I'm kidding.

Uday Hussein

I watched an investigative news program a few weeks ago about one of Saddam Hussein's son Uday. The interview featured a man who bore a resemblance to Uday and as a result was imprisoned and his family threatened unless he became his double. This man said he was forced to watch immoral acts to condition him to become more like Uday. He also had cosmetic surgery to authenticate the look. 

It was a very interesting interview, but watching it I thought, how do we know that's not Uday giving the interview instead of the double. Was Uday being the double's double. I'm kidding.

It is thought that Saddam may have had plastic surgery to alter his identity. It's a bit sad to think about what may have happened to Saddam's doubles once they were no longer needed.

Actually the journalist said they have enough of Saddam Hussein's mother's DNA to identify him.  

 

May 29, 2003

Entertainers Copying Other Entertainers

Why do some entertainers copy other entertainers so much. It's a disturbing trend I've noticed. One will do their hair a certain way, then a few others will as well. One will buy a certain car, then the others will as well. It wouldn't be odd if these people were friends (friends give each other advice and tips on what works for them) they are not, they are rivals.

One of my friends and I talked about that recently. My friend knows I'm going to release my album soon, so she tries to warn me about certain things like some people will hate you for no reason.

She worked for an employer who had a rival that is very famous, more famous than her employer was. Everything this famous rival did, her employer did as well. My friend was concerned about it, as her employer hated her rival, yet was so obsessed with her. Her employer over extended herself moving into an area because her rival lived across the street. Wherever her rival shopped, she did as well. Trying to be like her, though she resented and hated her.

I see this lady's rival on TV sometimes and think to myself, it must have been annoying having that woman looking you over all the time trying to see what she can copy, while telling everyone she hates you. It's one thing to disagree with someone, but quite another to hate and copy them. Really, the lady she hates didn't do anything to her other than come up with some good ideas, which have worked for her and she'd be terrified to know how much this lady hates her and how far she went with that hatred. 

It's sad, her rival hates her and with a serious hatred and for no other reason than her rival being more talented than she is. She was always trying to outdo this woman, but the other lady has more talent, so it didn't work. That kind of behavior would be odious to anyone that was done to. I think it is because her rival is really talented and that good why she copies her, as she has won quite a few accolades for her work. Still it is not fair to her for this lady to do this. 

It's kind of scary when you think about it. Still, how can you hate someone or disagree with their views, yet copy them. Why copy someone you claim you hate and don't agree with.  

My friend quit that job because she didn't like what was happening. That lady was not the only one to do this. It happens sometimes in the entertainment industry because of egos, while others  are a bit clueless. One person will do something, then you will read five more headlines shortly after with a few other people announcing they are going to do the same thing, but trying to make it sound like an original thought, regardless of the fact someone made the same announcement in the news prior to that. 

Women's egos are more fragile than men's. Male singers and actors don't behave the way many female entertainers do. In my opinion, male entertainers are not as jealous and resentful. Many female entertainers are constantly comparing themselves to others and trying to outdo them for no other reason than ego, not for the sake of their work.

   

 


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