October 2003  

Volume 17

October 4, 2003

Adultery

Adultery is something that is often glamorized in our society when it's one of the most devastating, far reaching sins because of its consequences (However God can forgive it). In the media you often read stories about people cheating on their spouses or getting married often, but it's got its consequences, as God doesn't take marriage lightly and neither should you.

When two people stand before God and take that vow, God recognizes that vow and expects people to honor it. Failure to do so will cost you a lot. God will forgive if you ask, but it has its consequences and it's extends into areas of your life that many people don't realize, but the Bible mentions. It's consequences extend to the physical, emotional and financial areas of your life.  

Some people divorce their spouses and marry others. God says if you divorce your spouse for any other reason than them committing adultery, for you to divorce them and sleep with or marry someone else is adultery and also brings the sin of adultery on that person you start sleeping with as well (Matthew 19:9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery"). 

A common mistake and misconception

Some people unwittingly become victims of adultery and bring the consequences of it on themselves by sleeping with people who are separated from their spouse or divorced from a spouse who didn't cheat on them. You hear them say oh the person is separated, but in God's eyes they are not, they are still married and it's adultery if you sleep with them and the consequences apply.    

When I heard that a friend of mine got caught up in an adulterous relationship it made me really sad because I knew my friend was gonna end up suffering a lot for it and that's exactly what happened. It cost my friend so much. So much more than they realized at first. My friend ended up regretting it. How many of you know that it's difficult to watch a dear friend suffer - I'm sure some of you have been through that. You want to help them, but you really can't, as we are all responsible for our own decisions and the consequences that arise from them.   

There were times I wished my friend hadn't met that person at all. All they did was bring trouble into their life and my friend would have been better off with someone else who was not married. But that's the thing with adultery. It's never what it appears. A lot of people don't understand that the sin of adultery ends up becoming directly connected to a lot of other things in your life that it is seemingly unrelated to. 

That man doesn't enter your life wearing a shirt that says you are going to suffer a lot because of him. That woman won't enter your life wearing a shirt that says she's gonna end up causing you a lot of suffering. No, the person steps into your life appearing to be a blessing when it's really the opposite. The consequences are more than crying a few tears. If you ask for forgiveness, God will forgive you and you can still go to heaven when you die, but during your life, that sin will cost you.  

In the Bible, do you think looking back after the consequences surfaced that David was happy that he committed adultery? No. He regretted it with every fiber of his being. He wept bitterly and suffered a lot. When David slept with Bathsheba, he never thought that later it would end up in him losing so much, otherwise he would have never started the relationship with her. He would have run from Bathsheba like the plague. But he got drawn into a web that appeared to be good and harmless that almost destroyed him. God, through Samuel told him to stop committing adultery and He did forgive him. David wasn't a character, he was a real person and that story is in the Bible as an example to you. 

Not only that, a lot of people who have committed adultery can tell you a lot of the things they've been through. Adultery is not what God wants for anyone, but people have free will and make bad choices. 

Don't wait until things collide for it to open your eyes that you need to get out of that adulterous relationship. Even then you can, but you don't know what will happen tomorrow and it's not guaranteed. It's not worth the risk. 

Why am I writing this? To implore some of you who are thinking about committing adultery not to and to implore those of you who are to stop. The longer you stay in that sin, the worse the consequences become. I don't write that to depress you, but to help you. Recognize it for what it is. Something that will bring far more pain into your life than happiness. It's not something good. It's not something to play with. That's not God's plan for your life. He knows the problems adultery causes. Read what the Bible says about it. If you've committed adultery and are suffering as a result, I'm sorry you are going through that. God will forgive you if you ask and there is hope. You'll have to weather the storms that come your way during your life because of it, but don't give up and when you read this don't be discouraged:

Proverbs 6: 24-33

24 To keep you from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a loose woman.
25 Lust not after her beauty in your heart, neither let her capture you with her eyelids.
26 For on account of a harlot a man is brought to a piece of bread, and the adulteress stalks and snares [as with a hook] the precious life [of a man].
27 Can a man take fire in his bosom and his clothes not be burned?
28 Can one go upon hot coals and his feet not be burned?
29 So he who cohabits with his neighbor's wife [will be tortured with evil consequences and just retribution]; he who touches her shall not be innocent or go unpunished.
30 Men do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy himself when he is hungry;
31 But if he is found out, he must restore seven times [what he stole]; he must give the whole substance of his house [if necessary--to meet his fine].
32 But whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks heart and understanding (moral principle and prudence); he who does it is destroying his own life.
33 Wounds and disgrace will he get, and his reproach will not be wiped away.

Proverbs 5: 6-23

6 She loses sight of and walks not in the path of life; her ways wind about aimlessly, and you cannot know them.
7 Now therefore, my sons, listen to me, and depart not from the words of my mouth.
8 Let your way in life be far from her, and come not near the door of her house [avoid the very scenes of temptation],
9 Lest you give your honor to others and your years to those without mercy,
10 Lest strangers [and false teachings] take their fill of your strength and wealth and your labors go to the house of an alien [from God]--
11 And you groan and mourn when your end comes, when your flesh and body are consumed,
12 And you say, How I hated instruction and discipline, and my heart despised reproof!
13 I have not obeyed the voice of my teachers nor submitted and consented to those who instructed me.
14 [The extent and boldness of] my sin involved almost all evil [in the estimation] of the congregation and the community.
15 [1] Drink waters out of your own cistern [of a pure marriage relationship], and fresh running waters out of your own well.
16 Should your offspring be dispersed abroad as water brooks in the streets?
17 [Confine yourself to your own wife] let your children be for you alone, and not the children of strangers with you.
18 Let your fountain [of human life] be blessed [with the rewards of fidelity], and rejoice in the wife of your youth.
19 Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant doe [tender, gentle, attractive]--let her bosom satisfy you at all times, and always be transported with delight in her love.
20 Why should you, my son, be infatuated with a loose woman, embrace the bosom of an outsider, and go astray?
21 For the ways of man are directly before the eyes of the Lord, and He [Who would have us live soberly, chastely, and godly] carefully weighs all man's goings.
22 His own iniquities shall ensnare the wicked man, and he shall be held with the cords of his sin.
23 He will die for lack of discipline and instruction, and in the greatness of his folly he will go astray and be lost.


October 6, 2003

Singer Who Ripped Off Contemporary Girl Sued Again For Copyright Infringement

Last week the same singer who ripped off 'Contemporary Girl' was sued for ripping off another person's work for her latest music video. This makes the third person in less than 8 months who has publicly accused her of ripping off their work. She boasts that she constantly reinvents herself, but the sad fact of the matter is she does so using other people's work. She is not an innovator she is an imitator. The comparative pics that were published in the papers last week clearly show the similarities.

There are two types of copyright infringers:

1.) Accidental - lyricists or songwriters who've known songs for years and accidentally include a melody or lyric from those songs in their tracks, not realizing it is someone else's. Those are not deliberate, as the title implies (you can still get sued for it though). For example, I read a BBC article a few months ago where musicologists stated that they believed Paul McCartney inadvertently copied an old song by Carl Sigman titled "Answer Me My Love" for his track "Yesterday." McCartney denied the claim and said he got the melody from a dream he had.  

2.) Willful - People like the singer I wrote about above who look at other people's work and deliberately and surreptitiously steal it. They put together their latest projects by listening to what's new, ripping it off then claiming full credit for coming up with it. They figure if they slap it together in such a way where they only take bits and pieces from different people that no one will notice, but people do.

After witnessing firsthand her behavior regarding me, ripping off the song and quoting items from this page several times in documented interviews as though it was coming from her, among other things, it made me wonder who all those other so called artistic reinventions of hers have been - who those other non-mainstream artists are. 

I'm not the first person to accuse her of this and wasn't the last, as she stole someone else's work for her second single a few months after ripping off mine for her first single from that ill-advised album that was released this year which severely damaged her career.

Singers Imitating Singers

Speaking of poaching, I read an article in the Guardian where an R&B singer complained about another R&B singer ripping off her work. Though it was in the Guardian, which is a British publication, both singers are based here.

Upon closer inspection I realized that the singer was right in the accusations she made. Both songs contain the same lyrics in the chorus and feature the same Jamaican rapper. Only, the singer who is accusing the other R&B singer of ripping off her song collaborated with the Jamaican rapper first to get a dancehall sound on her record and recorded and released her song first. The singer who ripped off her song also moved up the release date of her album by almost one month to the same day as the other singer in an attempt to trounce her record. She also complained about this on a radio show.

The singer who ripped her off loves to pretend that she is for other female singers when she constantly poaches from their work, whether it be music, stage costumes or hairstyles, as was documented by the singer accusing her now and by US Weekly back in June (see Sound Off article from July 12th and 22nd, 2003).

That singer also takes full credit for starting a trend and writing a song that is about women's backsides, but the song's unusual title is really taken from a lyric from the debut single by rapper Snoop Dogg, as mentioned by a Miami radio personality. She's also very partial to ripping off people's interviews/words for her own interviews. So, no matter how they tell you there is friendship between female singers, often it's just not true, especially when behavior like that exists, which is deliberate, completely unnecessary and unethical.

Speaking of female singers, why is it that so many of them are trying to be Jennifer Lopez? Several of them are talking about their butts now in their songs and sticking out their rear ends in pictures in an attempt to look sexy, which really looks awkward, conspicuous and more like they have bad posture or are constipated.

Real singers don't do that. When the emphasis of your career becomes your backside and you singing about it, you have now become a novelty, a gimmick, a trend. Even Lopez isn't singing about her butt, though she started the trend with several female artists now riding her coattails.

The whole thing has become so trashy. There is nothing classy or dignified about singing about your backside, as some would like to think and try to lead the public to believe.

And if people thought their butts were that great they wouldn't have to make a song screaming at people to look at and pay attention to their posterior, unlike Jennifer Lopez (not that I agree with all this butt singing/promotion because I think it's vulgar and takes the focus off the music by using gimmickry, but she really didn't, as people started making those comments on their own). 

Then a few other female artists jumped on the bandwagon. Is it a cry for attention? I think so. US Weekly said Jennifer Lopez better watch her back, it's more like she better watch her butt (get the joke?), because she's got imitators. Every time I see them on TV I flip the channel. It's all becoming the same, a bunch of Jennifer Lopez imitators. It's like they are on that show they had on TV last year where people get to become their favorite singers via a new haircut, stylist and a few industry reps.


October 9, 2003

I'd like to make a correction: In the last Sound Off article I wrote about a singer writing a song about women's posteriors that was taken from another song. However, I listed the incorrect song it was taken from by rapper Snoop Dogg. The lyric that was used for the song title was taken from the song 'Dre Day' by Dr. Dre featuring Snoop Dogg. However, the song was not his debut single as I wrote. I'm not very familiar with his work other than what's mentioned in publications/music charts.   

Soccer

Is it just me or is the English soccer team more like an emergency room (casualty) right now? Patch them up and send them out there - hey, a little pain never hurt anybody! It's mostly sprains and fractures anyway - its not like they broke anything or have concussions.

Soccer Rape Allegations

Speaking of soccer, for the last few weeks, there have been particularly bad stories in the press about English soccer players. Two of the stories have been about alleged rapes and one involving a 17-year-old girl who they claimed looked 22.

The 17-year-old girl said she consented to sleep with a well known soccer player who she met at a bar and went back to his hotel room with, but was allegedly gang raped when several of his friends unexpectedly walked in the room.  

Sadly, some soccer players have bad reputations due to their sexually illicit behavior, which lends an air of credibility (and believability) to these stories, regardless of what took place. It's amazing, in reading the feedback on that story, people overwhelmingly believe the soccer players are guilty. While that isn't right, as you are innocent until proven guilty, if certain soccer players didn't commonly behave so badly, the whole sport wouldn't be stereotyped. 

As I wrote on the diary page today, when my mom was my age and on vacation alone, a soccer player scared her when he kept knocking on her hotel room door trying to get her to sleep with him. Unbeknownst to her at the time, he had followed her from the lobby. She didn't open the door and he gave up after a while. That and worse has happened to other women and those men give the sport a bad name. 

There are decent soccer players who almost have to apologize for being soccer players due to other people's behavior. They feel the need to reassure or explain to people that they are decent and ask them not to hold the behavior of the stereotypical soccer player against them.  

I know a lot about English culture. I love England; have since I was a child. Therefore, it's not anything against England. It's just certain soccer players whose behavior is inappropriate. 

I've read British newspapers and magazines for years and so often there are articles about the shameful behavior of soccer players and on a weekly basis. There is a set that's known for this.

There are so many stories of that nature that have become common headlines. Here are a few mock headlines I've made up that are similar to ones that are commonly printed: soccer player falls out of club drunk, soccer player in club brawl, soccer player having an affair, soccer player caught taking drugs (I'm not referring to Ferdinand), soccer player harasses local, soccer player physically threatens employee, soccer player thrashes local, soccer player engaged in illicit sexual behavior. It's a wonder some of them get around to playing any soccer. Some are more known for their off pitch shenanigans than their actual soccer and that's sad. 

A lot of times you see the same players names mixed up in these scandals, yet they don't change their behavior. Why? because some people treat them like they are better than everyone else, inflate their egos and let them get away with inappropriate conduct without serious consequences. The FA tries, but the fines are like pocket change to most players. However, suspensions are more serious.     

I've never liked those reports because it's a very poor reflection of the sport. A dream of mine has been to start a soccer team, but a concern has always been the standard behavior of a lot of soccer players.

It's almost like they are expected to behave badly and many of them live up to that stereotype. Some of them are young and aren't used to the attention from women and behave in a totally inappropriate manner. There are also women throwing themselves at them mostly because they are famous and they want to show off that they are dating them or slept with them, not because they love them. It's even worse when the athlete is attractive, as they go after those the most and sadly destroy those the most as well. 

It is not God's will for anyone to sleep around and that kind of behavior has a price. Some people use their logic/reasoning and think how can it harm them if they use protection, which by what's been written has a significant failure rate, that they will walk away unscathed, but that's not how God works. There's a price people pay for that type of behavior and it isn't always apparent at first.  

I read an article about NBA athletes who sleep around especially on tour and the story was appalling. It mentioned one basketball player who gives parting gifts such as diamond tennis bracelets. Another sends bodyguards over to tell the woman what is expected of her. You can't behave like that and not expect it to catch up with you. God would not allow that to go unpunished. Quit while you're ahead and alive.  

A lot of these guys don't even know whom they are sleeping with. They think the person looks good and that's it. The person could have AIDS or other sexually transmitted diseases, which have lasting effects. Not to mention some of these women they are sleeping with are married or improperly divorced, but these guys don't know it or understand and all that stuff is bringing the sin of adultery on them for which people pay a heavy price (though God will forgive you if you ask).

Then there is the common problem of teammates and friends egging them on to do questionable things and them trying to outdo each other to prove how supposedly manly they are by engaging in conduct they know is wrong. 

Peer pressure and so-called friends will sometimes mislead you. Some will arrogantly miscalculate certain women and end up in trouble or regretting their actions as a result. Some friends will arrogantly suggest things that can ruin your life and someone else's.

There was obviously some serious miscalculation in the story of the alleged rape of the 17-year old girl because it is now a criminal investigation. I find it difficult to believe they all got the same stupid idea at the same time. Someone had to have suggested it, then the others went along with it. 

Actually, papers reported it's a common practice among certain athletes called "roasting." A writer from the The Telegraph wrote: 

"He used the word 'roasting' to describe 'seducing girls with huge shows of wealth' and enticing them into degrading group sex and partner swapping."

"He denied that there was any rape and claimed that matters only turned sour when the men gathered in the hotel room for breakfast and began discussing the night while the girl was in the bathroom."

These guys swap partners, but in cases like that one, it went horribly wrong and now it's front page news around the world bringing shame on the whole sport. Sleeping around is a sin and orgies are a bigger sin. Once again, God can forgive it if the person asks, but there are consequences.  

She said she consented to sleep with the one she met at the bar, while they said she consented to sleep with all of them. How did anyone in their right mind think any of that was a good idea. They are seriously misled. 

How could anyone say they are your friend and encourage you to behave like that. A friend would tell you the truth and look out for you, not encourage you to do something that could ruin your life. Some athletes will face linebackers on the field and not be afraid of them, yet off the field turn into wimps when their friends egg them on to do something they know is wrong such as using and degrading women. 

I remember a sermon I heard where the preacher talked about a group of high school athletes that would use girls, then turn around and brag to their friends about sleeping with them. They said some really vulgar, awful things about the girls. Ironically, sometimes those stories get back to the girls and others as well and the guy ends up looking bad.  

People make mistakes, but the behavior mentioned above is just plain reckless. Sometimes people take the grace of God for granted thinking they've behaved a certain way before, therefore nothing will ever go wrong, but it never works that way. A smart person would leave that type of illicit behavior alone. Some will learn from what happened to others, take heed, listen and change their ways, but some people won't, they'll continue down that path until it ruins them and they end up regretting their actions. 


October 14, 2003

War In Iraq, Democracy, Cuba

It's heartbreaking to read about more soldiers being killed in Iraq. It is almost a daily occurrence. We should remember our service men and women still stationed in Iraq and other places in the world. I want them to know that we haven't forgotten them. By God's grace, their sacrifices enable us to live and work in safety and peace. I'm extremely appreciative and thankful for their sacrifices. 

I've always believed that if someone loved a country they would do what's best for it - even if it meant stepping down, rather than being obstinate in something that is not right. But it rarely happens that way. People seldom want to relinquish such offices, as in the case of Iraq and Saddam Hussein. 

It's amazing how some dictators view the countries they rule(d) and its people as their own property. However, the Bible says "The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;" (Psalm 24:1).    

I was raised in Miami and over the years I've heard so many people talk about Castro. So many people living here have told me stories of fleeing their beloved country and leaving behind everything they've worked for. When you think about it that is a very devastating experience. So many people have been scarred. 

I've never been to Cuba, but I've read about it and been told about it for years by Cuban immigrants. Looking at pictures of Cuba, it is a beautiful country with so much potential. 

Many Cubans have helped to develop Miami. I can only imagine the great things they could do with Cuba, if given the chance. But that's the problem, they aren't being given the chance and the country is not allowed to reach its full potential and truly shine because of an oppressive regime. And that's not media propaganda - I've witnessed it firsthand. Since I was a kid, many Cuban immigrants have told me very similar stories about Cuba with such passion and sadness in their eyes. 

Miami is a lovely city, due in part to the Cuban community. I've seen members of the Cuban community renovate buildings, refurbish landmarks, build businesses and community outreaches. I sometimes imagine that Cuba could be like Miami. Don't misinterpret that, as it is not meant to take anything from either place. However, Miami and Cuba both have a tropical look, similar architecture and a large Cuban community, so the idea is not that unfathomable. Cuba and its 11,000,000+ people could benefit from democracy. 

I started writing today's diary page entry during the 8th inning of the Marlins/Cubs game and it went from The Marlins-0 The Cubs-3 to The Marlins-8 The Cubs-3 before I finished writing. Thank God the score isn't 0 anymore. 

Those games, much like life, can turn around so quickly. It happened in about 15 minutes. It shows that you should never give up. And the game still could have gone either way. If only the Cubs pitchers pitched like me (then the Marlins would do really well. I'm kidding, but I don't really try to pitch...or in music either...I'm kidding...well sometimes). 

There was a Miami reporter on TV looking nervous as he sent updates from a Chicago street filled with Cubs supporters (hmm wonder why he hid his Marlins shirt under his coat, it didn't seem that cold), sort of the way I looked on Friday while watching the game with my mom and casually mentioning that a couple months ago a rep offered me 20 Marlins tickets for $20 in the waiting room of my lawyer's office. I didn't buy them because I've been busy working and she's been busy too. She can't believe I didn't buy them and has informed me that those tickets are worth a lot more now (yea, I basically figured that out now). I've been busy so I wouldn't have gone to the game, but watched it on TV instead (turns out she would have went). So yea, since Friday I've been sleeping in my room with one eye open (I'm kidding). 

Seriously, even when it seems like you are too far behind, you can come back and win. You are human and might become discouraged and that's normal, but it doesn't mean you can't come back from a loss and do well. Even the most successful athletes have lost games/matches. Pete Sampras is considered by many as the best tennis player in the world. He's won many matches and for all his success he's still lost matches as well, as his record is currently 762-222.    

Some of you have dreams, but feel you are not smart enough or too old to accomplish them, but you can. If you list every reason you can't make it you will become discouraged and that will affect you. Why not list the reasons you can improve and succeed. 

Speaking of baseball and tennis, doesn't baseball player Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez kind of remind you of tennis player Taylor Dent.  


October 16, 2003

Atlanta

Atlanta is one of my favorite cities. I've been there a lot and I know it pretty well…though we did get lost once (okay, maybe twice). Hey, it's not my fault the streets in Atlanta go in circles instead of blocks (you can get vertigo driving around Atlanta - I'm kidding) and are all named Peachtree - Peachtree Rd, Peachtree Rd NE, Peachtree Street, Peachtree Avenue, Peachtree Highway, Peachtree Blvd, Peachtree Way, Peachtree Way NE, Peachtree River Drive, Peachtree River, Peachtree Industrial Blvd. If you are giving directions in Atlanta, unlike most cities you can't just give the name of the street. For example, you can't just say "go north on Peachtree," they'll say, "um, which one?"

Welcome to Peachtree, Georgia ...uh, I mean Atlanta, Georgia - home of The Braves, The Waffle House and outlet mall shopping. They should have just named Atlanta "Peachtree, GA"…oh wait, never mind, there is a Peachtree, GA. Just peachy! I'm just kidding - I love Atlanta.

My friend's Georgia relatives joked "No beaches, just Georgia peaches" (one of the city's slogans). Though it is funny, a Floridian won't truly appreciate that joke (Florida's got lots of beaches). 

In Atlanta they're not lying when they call that highway the Loop. On my last visit there I wasn't paying attention and my friend drove a whole hour and ended up in the same spot on the highway. It's not like Florida. One of my friends Kelly jokes about driving on the highway here...that if you aren't careful on 1-95 you'll end up in New York.  


October 22, 2003

Singer Sued For Copyright Infringement

On October 6th and 9th 2003, I wrote about an R&B singer who spoke about how her music was ripped off by another R&B singer. Yesterday, it was announced that the same R&B singer is being sued for allegedly ripping off another person's work that she took writer's credit for. It's really sad because the producer who was ripped off submitted it to the singer's manager and believes the song, which became a hit for them, would have been a hit for him had they not allegedly stolen it from him. There is logic in that, as it is apparently taking opportunities from other people that rightfully belonged to them, which that camp seems to specialize in given what's happened before regarding them. I hope that situation is resolved. 

The Entertainment Industry

The entertainment industry affects a lot of people. Being an entertainer/working in the industry is a big responsibility that many entertainers abuse. They set a bad example for their audience and take advantage of some of them as well. What's even more arrogant is that some have the gall to blame parents and tell them they need to watch their kids, if a child follows their bad example. 

But how do you protect your kids from that garbage, and let me emphasize this, compete with your impressionable child thinking a flagrant drug taking, chain smoking, barely dressed, thoughtless, irresponsible, self-seeking, sexually indiscriminate, desperate entertainer is cool. 

Some entertainers have addictions that they genuinely seek help for and aren't putting it on display for their impressionable audience to emulate. At least they retain their dignity. However, some use those addictions as a publicity tool and wear it as a badge of honor, while others just don't wear much on stage for attention. 

You are an adult, you can tell that person is a complete ninny for flaunting their inappropriate conduct, but your kid can't. Mommy and daddy are not considered cool - it's always the witless entertainer on TV who is more concerned about their image, their career and their name than what they are teaching your child. 

There are some entertainers who try to set a good example and even change when they are told what they are doing is inappropriate. 

However, let's face it, if someone knows they are setting a bad example, have been told that by others and still continue to do so, that tells you they know exactly what they are doing and don't care about the public's moral welfare. They will do anything to remain famous. They don't care about the affect it will have on your child. 

You remember what it was like when you were a kid and thought an entertainer was cool and how susceptible you were to their antics. Yet, now when you think about it, you realize they really were terrible role models that you shouldn’t have looked up to. 

However, the problem is the role models today have gotten worse than ever. I know people make mistakes, but a lot of entertainers now are deliberately trying to be controversial to prove how bad they can be and employing very inappropriate gimmicks for publicity. The old publicity stunts were a lot more tame than what's going on now. That's part of what makes them worse than the set before. Some of the entertainers before did questionable things, but they had boundaries. Entertainers now are worse in that they do whatever they think will sell, even if it is over the top and beyond their normal inappropriate behavior. 

Many former teen pop entertainers still have a teen audience, even though they think otherwise. They try to be bad to roughen up their image, but it doesn't work. No one takes that seriously. Regrettably, in the process they expose their impressionable underage audience to things they should not have. 

Translation = all that controversy, hoopla, publicity stunts and former teen entertainers attempts at being bad...and their audience is still comprised of 12 year olds. There is nothing wrong with having a fan base of 12 year olds, just as long as you don't set a bad example for them. 

Those entertainers need to spare the public and their audience the gimmicks and accept that once you start in the industry as a child star or teen pop entertainer no amount of bad behavior will buy you credibility. People will not take the gimmicks and image changes seriously. Trying to be bad will only look like you are trying too hard and provoke contempt. You will be looked upon as another child star/teen star that didn't adjust well to the pressures of fame.   

Real musicians and actors do not employ publicity stunts. The work is supposed to speak for itself. It should not require you to perform on stage scantily clad or use sexually depraved gimmicks. People do not take that seriously. However, kids who don't know any better yet will pay attention.   


October 25, 2003

Television Programming

Television programming has gotten pretty bad. The shows are so lewd and meaningless. Suggestive  commercials are being shown at all hours of the day. People are constantly being exposed to raunchy material on a daily basis, whether it be television or music. 

These things affect society. The AIDS rate is increasing rapidly, teenage pregnancy is on the rise and there is an increase in sexual assaults. The industry is constantly providing sexual stimuli and preaching sexual liberation, which really amounts to promiscuity, so of course you will have people walking around society in a constant state of excitement. Crimes against children have gotten worse and more devious in nature, especially cases of sexual abuse. 

You can't bombard people with that type of stimuli constantly and then be surprised when some behave like beasts. The industry has objectified women and some famous women actually objectified themselves seeking attention and trying to compete with other famous women. You have young girls with warped ideas on how they should dress and behave in order to be liked, as their favorite entertainers who behave inappropriately are and young men who have an inaccurate view of how all women behave due to the bad examples they are constantly witnessing via music and television.

I was in Blockbuster recently and there was a mom and her children there looking at DVDs. I overheard her son, who couldn't have been more than 10 years old, say he wanted to rent a movie that featured a certain singer, because he wanted to see her shake her butt like she does in her video on TV. His mom was so embarrassed and urged him to find something more wholesome. This young man saw nothing wrong with his statement and was surprised at his mom's reaction. 

This kid didn't say he wanted to hear the singer sing or that he liked the song, he said he wanted to see her shake her butt. That's what women have been reduced to. Sadly, he is a child and should not be making statements like that. However, if you watch music videos, which most kids do, to a young impressionable mind, it's normal because they are being bombarded with imagery like that everyday. But how normal, well, appropriate is it for kids to think that way.

TV censors have become more relaxed allowing content on television that wasn't permissible 10 years ago. This has happened almost everywhere. Many countries have relaxed their standards. Would you say that programming has gotten better? No. I used to have favorite shows that I'd watch years ago, but now I can't be bothered to watch a lot of the new shows because they are just so boring and ironically over the top. The shock has worn off shock value and is not creating good programming.

You know what I think is quite telling about the current state of programming...my godbrother, my sister, their friends and my friends kids are now watching reruns of older comedies. A few months ago my godbrother hilariously asked me if I'd ever heard of this great show called "The Cosby Show." Of course I laughed to myself for obvious reasons and told him yes, that show was out when I was a kid. It’s a wonder he didn't make that "was the show in black and white when you were a kid?" joke he deliberately made the other day when I spoke about one of my favorite shows as a kid.

Note to my godbrother: yea, keep joking, your birthday is coming up and I'm not above buying you a Power Puff Girls lunch box, better yet, I'll really annoy you and buy you a gift that's educational (you could use a second set of encyclopedias, couldn't you - I'm kidding). Still, it's better than the "they had TV's back then?" joke he said to his mom when she mentioned an old TV show she used to watch. 

But back to what I was saying...I thought to myself, programming is that bad right now that kids are clamoring to reruns. Can you blame them.    

   

 


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