Entries Posted in "January 2005"
Page 1 of 3 »
What is America Smoking?
January 28, 2005
When the UPN sitcom "Homeboys in Outerspace" actually lasted an entire season on the air, I had heavy suspicions that Americans had severe psychological issues. Still, I dismissed it because after all, who could resist a homeboy in outerspace? Then there were all those times when we actually allowed Bob Saget to continue hosting "America's Funniest Videos" when we knew good and well that he was indeed, not funny. That too I forgave. I have now come to the conclusion that I am too forgiving, and so is the rest of America.
For the love of the Lord crying out in the night...CONVICT Michael Jackson! Does God need to come down from the heavenlies in a burning bush and write it in neon letters for us all?
They found child erotica? CHILD EROTICA?! It still amazes me that despite mounting evidence to the contrary, researchers in this country refuse to draw any type of correlation between pornography and child molestation.
Yes; I realize Mr. Jackson is a pop icon and famous, rich, exempt and all those other excuses. But really people, have we learned nothing from R. Kelly? Michael is not a "well" individual. He needs to be held accountable to the law like anyone else, and ultimately, he needs to be in a place where God can work on him. It is abundantly clear that Neverland Ranch is not that place.
My compassion is running low because I think people need to bury the "benefit of the doubt". It was killed when LaToya started talking to the press. The "benefit of the doubt" isn't doing Michael any good. We need to come to grips people. He has fallen and he can't get up.
Hollywood's True Colors
Tuesday morning, the much anticipated Oscar nominations were announced, and as was expected, Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ", the 8th highest grossing film of all time, was overlooked in all the categories that count.
Thankfully for us all, the accolades of mere men don't count for much in this life. Still, there is a manifestation of certain attitudes towards the cause of Christ that are made more explicit by many of the decisions made in Hollywood.
Granted, Gibson had quite a feat before him with absolutely no commercial support, tons of controversy, and film with subtitles in an ancient language hardly anyone uses anymore. Needless to say, if we're talking depth and quality, "The Passion" is certainly more deserving than the 1999 "Best Picture" winner, "American Beauty".
Sadly, this whole charade certainly isn't about who is more deserving. If so, then Halle Berry wouldn't have won an Oscar for her role as Leticia Musgrove in "Monster's Ball". Instead, this is about the politics of the film industry and the statements executives quietly send about who does and doesn't gain their approval.
Admitting defeat, several activist types lobbied throughout the year for at least a "Best Picture" nomination for the Gibson's vivid depiction of the last hours of Jesus's life. In a striking juxtaposition, "The Passion" and Michael Moore's most recent manipulative effort, "Fahrenheit 9/11" have ended up in the same sentence. Moore's flick (and it truly is a flick) was also snubbed by the "Academy". Unfortunately, one thing many have failed to realize is that unlike "Fahrenheit 9/11", "The Passion" was actually a good film.
Throughout the embroilments that plagued the release of "The Passion"--the most hilarious of which were charges from the Jewish community that the film incited too extreme a notion of good and evil (duh)--Hollywood's general attitude toward the film was blatantly stand-offish. Apparently, Hollywood is not comfortable with the idea that morality is fairly black and white.
However, much like the post-election Democrats scrambled to piece together some sort of morality platform, uncomfortable with the fact that a "faith film" was making money of which they had no part, Hollywood scrambled in search of some values. And just like the Democrats, Hollywood failed.
Unfortunately, the idea of morality, which suggests some form of absolutes just didn't jibe well with the general "ho-hum", NC-17 masquerading as PG-13, who cares if it's disgusting, "whatever's going to sell movie tickets", attitude that has so overtaken the film industry. Sharon Waxman of the New York Times writes:
"As divisions of major media conglomerates concerned with their public image, Hollywood studios have historically shied away from all but the most benign values, like friendship, family and love. Movies with strong points of view — political and particularly religious — have had difficulty receiving green lights."
In all fairness, "The Passion" was
nominated for "Best Cinematography", "Best Make-Up", and "Best Musical Score". And in all fairness, those are pansy categories.
Critics have listed a number of reasons for why they believe "The Passion" was "deservedly overlooked", the number one being lack of critical acclaim.
Reviewers were generally split 50/50 on the film as CNN's list of reviews displays. Reviews ranged from "absolutely loved it" to "this is the worst film I've ever seen". Most negative reviews were directly connected to the film's graphic depictions. The fact that all of a sudden, critics decided to get squeamish is a bit ironic. For all the gore and raunchiness that's come out of Hollywood, it's amazing how hard it was for people to watch a depiction that didn't even come close to what Jesus actually looked like during his crucifixion.
Oh and then there's that other part about the film assigning Jewish responsibility to Jesus' death. The reality of what the Bible says doesn't really flow well with a lot of peoples' doctrine.
Critics' issues with the film's violence is merely a smoke screen. Let's just be honest. The main reason why "The Academy" and the other "powers that be" have overlooked "The Passion" is because of the controversy stirred up as a result of cries of anti-Semitism. There is nothing in the film even remotely anti-Semitic, but the accusation alone could kill a career in the historically Jewish-run Hollywood.
When Gibson refused to go the typical route and market his film for an Oscar nomination, a man named Patrick Hynes stepped up via his website passionforfairness.com and collected 25,000 signatures on a petition, demanding the Academy consider "The Passion" in some of the main award categories.
In an interview with CNN, Hynes declared:
"I think, given the success of 'The Passion of the Christ,' other people will start generating some faith-based films. And we're going to watch to see if those continue to get snubbed and ridiculed and receive the same kind of enmity that Hollywood ladled on Mel Gibson and 'The Passion.' And if they are, we're going to speak out against them."
Hynes reasons that just as Hollywood has long imposed their values upon the masses, the time has come to flip the script. If the revolution is televised, I might have to re-think my "turn-off the TV" policy.
(For reference, here are past "Best Picture" winners over the years.)
January 27, 2005
You have no idea what a sap I feel like when I slack on updating this site. Lots (and I mean lots) to say, but little energy to say it. For the record, I'm mentally exhausted. I have some big decisions coming down the pipe with regards to writing (one of which includes turning off the blessed television), and I'm somewhat resistant to change. It's mentally taxing. Being unemployed is taxing. For one second yesterday, I almost wished I was back living in the dorm in college. ALMOST. Ha ha.
By way of announcement, I'll be on the radio here on Sunday evening on the show "Toward Tradition" with Rabbi Daniel Lapin. I am told the interview will also be made available online.
Now the world can hear me mis-pronounce my own website. I have yet to decide how to pronounce "Nykola". When I say it, it usually sounds like some new kind of soda. Just curious as to how you all pronounce it in your brain?
Updates coming shortly, I promise. I may have to start blogging on the weekends again, with the rest of the nerds.
January 26, 2005
- Lauryn Hill is Back: Word is out that Lauryn Hill (winner of the 2000-2004 award for most wasted talent of the 21st century) is in the studios again working on another album. I hope she's working on getting outta that whack pseudo-spiritual cult life too.
- Too Much God: Peggy Noonan says there was too much "God" in the President's inaugural address. You know that annoying God guy. If only he would just leave us alone and let us run our own nation already.
- Katie Couric Talks Teen Sex: This Thursday, Katie Couric will host a special, "411: Teens and Sex" wherein the "truth" shall be revealed to us all. I'm certain I will have more to say about this later.
- Rolling Stone Accepts Bible Ad: Leading Bible publisher, Zondervan, approached the magazine about placing an ad for (TNIV) a new "hip" translation of the Bible (Today's New International Version). Originally rejected as a result of a "no religious ad policy", in a striking turn of events, Rolling Stone has agreed to publish the ad. They were probably afraid God would smite them if they didn't.
- No Name-Calling Week:High schools across the nation will participate in a "No Name-Calling Week" initiative developed by none other than the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network. The curriculum requires that students read, "The Misfits", a book wrought with gay themes and some parents are not happy. It's interesting that tolerance has become one of the chief messages of the rainbow brigade. Of course it only works one way you know...
- Intelligent Design Pre-Amble Required in Pennsylvania: Yesterday marked the first day Dover Area school district students heard about intelligent design in their biology classes. As you recall, this has stirred up some national controversy.
In My World
January 25, 2005
So I was sitting in a meeting yesterday with the Associate Op-Ed Editor of The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, being asked to consider the possibility of becoming a guest editorial columnist and she says the magic words, (and I paraphrase),
"You can write about anything except the topics that have been over-done like social security and the war on Iraq."
There's a plethora of things to comment on today so check later for updates.
Update (1/25): Clarification. I am not employed yet folks; I'm just a freelancer.
Know Your Rebels: Farrah Gray
January 24, 2005
(Important: If you arrived here via a search for "Farrah Gray," his personal website is: FarrahGray.com)
Rebel: Farrah Gray
Representing: Chicago, IL/Las Vegas, NV
Why you should fear him: For starters, he probably makes more money than you. At age 14, this young entrepreneur was a millionaire.
Gray's entrepreneurial journey began at age six when he went door to door selling body lotion for $1.50. Always starting economic empowerment clubs at school, Gray got the idea to do a radio show. At age 9, Gray co-hosted a radio show called "Backstage Live" which eventually reached 12 million listeners.
Feeling lazy yet? It gets better.
By middle school, Gray had a nationwide speaking career, commanding $5,000-$10,000 per appearance. Puberty hits. While most young men were off discovering the opposite sex, Mr. Gray started his own specialty food company, "Farr-Out Foods", which he marketed to young people and sold for $1.5 million by his 14th birthday. He started the company with a make-shift "we're too poor to buy syrup" recipe from his grandmother.
Now at age 20, Gray has his hands in multiple projects including the acquisition of "Inner City Magazine", his charitable foundation, "The Farrah Gray Foundation", which helps empower young inner city kids to think economically, and lastly, real estate investing. January 1st of this year, Gray released his first book, "Reallionaire: Nine Steps to Becoming Rich from the Inside Out", which lists the practical lessons that took him from public assistance to being a multi-millionaire. The book was published by "Health Communications Inc.) and is available at bookstores nationwide.
Most impressive about Gray is the fact that as the youngest of five children, in a single parent household, he was never handed anything. The media has packaged him as a "self-made millionaire", but Gray is quick to give the credit to God's grace and mercy.
His formal bio goes as such: "Farrah Gray was a card-carrying businessman at age six. At eight, he formed a business club that financed his neighborhood ventures. By age 14, he had an office on Wall Street and was a millionaire. He also served as the youngest member of the United Way Board of Directors. Gray's foundation provides seed money to young entrepreneurs. Now 20 years old, he’s the author of Reallionaire, which shares the lessons that took him from public assistance in Chicago’s inner city to millionaire row."
If Farrah were giving lessons, I'd line up.
Status: No college. Has opted to hold off on school, although he's stated in the past that he'd like an MBA. At this point, Wharton would probably grant him honorary letters just to have their name associated with Gray.
Press/Interviews: Farrah Gray's Official Website, NPR: Interview with Tavis Smiley, Good Morning America Interview, Teen Capitalist
Other Rebels: Hans Zeiger, Adam Hunter, Dwight Howard, Sheri Valera, Princella Smith
"Desperate Hussies" and other things for which we can thank the Hollywood Foreign Press
If you were so unfortunate last weekend as to have devoted three hours of your life to the pageantry and complete and utter waste of time also known as the "Golden Globe Awards", then I feel sorry for you. As it stands, I feel sorry for myself too because I nearly did. However, not before getting completely sick to my stomach due to what seems to be increasing hyper-glorification of reckless behavior.
I've decided that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is full it. What is "it" you ask? Read on.
Many are well aware that the Hollywood Foreign Press, also known as HFPA are the ones behind the Annual Golden Globe Awards, the traditional build-up to the Academy Awards. Normally I wouldn't write about something so incredibly shallow (says the girl who monthly publishes fashion critiques), but the show itself stirs up some topics worth noting.
Among the many awards given out, a few important ones note an overwhelming trend in the moral accountability of Hollywood: it's nonexistent. Any group of individuals that deem the film "Kinsey", a biopic of a pedophile with absolutely no redeeming qualities, as worthy of a "Best Film" nomination are clearly delusional.
For starters, "Desperate
Hussies Housewives", a "satire" in which suicide is glorified and slutty married women commit adultery with their gardeners, is one of "the most talked about" new television series and was incidentally a big winner at the Golden Globes for "Best TV Series: Comedy". In addition, four of the show's main characters were nominated for "Best & Supporting Actresses", with two winning.
While many won't find this significant, in an industry where discretion and propriety are fleeting notions, awarding accolades to a show that makes a complete mockery of the sanctity of marriage only confirms that Hollywood is plummeting quickly into the abyss of foolishness and self-destruction.
It gets worse.
"Housewives" as it's marketed, is a vivid and sexually explicit soap opera made for prime-time television. And with that time slot comes a whole new audience of fecund young minds. According to Nielsen ratings, the show "boasted over a million elementary and junior high viewers" in the month of December. This ranks "Housewives" as the top-rated network broadcast television show in the 9-12 age bracket. For whatever sickening reason, cable companies seem to be proud of this statistic. Meanwhile, the HFPA puts its stamp of approval on the show.
Moving on in the moral decay, the other big winner for "Best Television Show: Drama" was the equally grotesque "Nip/Tuck", a show centered on plastic surgery, self-absorbed characters, and the glorification of things such as botched sex changes. Actor Joseph C. Phillips describes the show as:
"...packed full of unlikable characters who make stupid, immoral choices and then whine about the consequences. If this is what now passes for brilliant and provocative television viewers are in trouble."
Unfortunately, the Hollywood Foreign Press thinks it does.
I think it's clicking now. Disgusting = Provocative and Provocative = Brilliant.
Most disappointing was the "Best Supporting Actress" award given to Harvard graduate, Natalie Portman, a 23-year-old budding actress who'd managed to keep all her clothes on in her previous films, but unfortunately, had to play a stripper in the film, "Closer" in order to win some recognition.
Now there's a great message to send to young women everywhere. Study hard, develop your craft, and get nothing. Take off your clothes, and get everything. Perhaps Natalie Portman has been taking lessons from Halle Berry.
Even Jamie Foxx's well-deserved win for "Best Actor" in the film "Ray", could not save the train wreck.
With all the debauchery and lawlessness, it's no wonder why Hollywood is overwhelmingly Liberal. Those mean and crazy fundamentalists might take over and make them do something really crazy like put some clothes on.
And in case you're still wondering, "it" = sin.
January 21, 2005
If you've been around this site awhile, you're familiar with my pontifications on the state of American fashion. Generally, I snap shots of anonymous fashion victims to illustrate to us all how America needs healing in more ways than one.
But this time around, I think we have a winner. I must say, first lady Laura Bush worked her winter white inaugural suit.
Very well done. Classy, tasteful, fitting for the occasion, and very non-queen-of-England-looking.
Even the four loud-mouthed anti-traditionalists on ABC's "the View" (save Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who I like) had nice things to say about our first lady's ensemble.
Unfortunately, other Americans have not been so fortunate. See some of my past critiques:
- Attack of the Killer Patterns
- George W. Bush and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
- The Grizzly Bear
- The Blue-Haired, Gun Tights Wonder
- Stripey Girl
- Me Being Stripey Girl
- The Pimp
- The Cowboy Boots
The Right to Be
Earlier this week "The Oprah Winfrey Show" (AKA the Oracle of God) highlighted a case of a single, 38-year-old woman whose invetro fertilization didn't go as planned and she ended up pregnant with quadruplets.
Unable to raise four children on her limited income, she faced pressure to use "selective reduction" (also known as playing God) to eliminate two of her children. She decided against it, and couldn't bear to go through adoption process either. Many critics "Left" and "Right" contended that the children had the "right" not to be born into a life where their mother couldn't provide for them.
Americans never cease to amaze me. I am often unable to reconcile how our society picks and chooses where and when it wants to think logically about how we ought to treat unborn babies. Check out the latest happenings in an Oregon State Superior Court:
Shawnna J. Hughes, 27, was headed for a routine divorce late last year from her husband, Carlos, who had spent time in jail for beating her.
The fact that she got pregnant during the divorce proceedings seemed inconsequential -- her husband wasn't the father.
But Spokane County Superior Court Judge Paul A. Bastine disagreed, saying Shawnna Hughes was ignoring the right of her child not to be born out of wedlock.
"The paramount right of the state and the obligation of the court, and in fact, probably the obligation of the parent as well, is to protect the legitimacy, the appropriateness of the child's relationship to his or her parents," Bastine said during a hearing in November.
He concluded that "not only is it the policy of this court, it is the policy of the state that you cannot dissolve a marriage when one of the parties is pregnant. Now, you won't find a statute with regard to that. But it is implicit in everything we have in the case law and the statutory law."
Do mine eyes deceive me? Did the judge really include in his decision the phrase, "the right to be born"?
Why yes he did.
Very well then, let's build from there. Based on growing evidence that an unborn child of at least 20 weeks has the necessary physical structures to feel pain, state Sen. Mike Foley has sponsored a bill requiring that women who seek late-term abortion are automatically given information asking them if they'd like their child to be anesthetized.
The Lincoln Journal Star reports:
The bill is modeled after the federal "fetal pain awareness act" that has been introduced in Congress. It requires that women seeking an abortion have information that the abortion procedure will cause pain to the unborn child, he said.
But pro-choice leaders say the information about a fetus feeling pain is political rather than factual.
"There is a great deal of debate in the medical community about this issue and what is contained in this bill is based on speculation and inference," said Bobbie Kierstead, with Planned Parenthood Nebraska and Council Bluffs.
"There is no agreement in the scientific community," she said. "In fact, there have been several court cases that touched on this. And what the courts have found is that there is no scientific agreement."
Similar bills in Congress and in several other states are "another way for the anti-choice community to chip away at reproduction rights," she said.
If I were of the pro-choice persuasion, I'd request that Planned Parenthood's representatives keep their collective mouths off my argument. Quite simply, they lack credibility.
The opposition to such a bill is rather telling because scientific proof or not, what would be the harm in offering a mother the opportunity to spare her child from additional pain? The harm would be that we'd have to acknowledge that the "fetus" was a real person and that mother would have just one more opportunity to reconcile her actions.
You may recall last April when President Bush signed the "Fetus Rights Bill" -- a bill which Sen. John "Compassionate Catholic" Kerry voted against -- requiring that the federal crimes of violence against a pregnant woman be acknowledged as two victims and two offenses when appropriate. This is one of the many moves President Bush made during his presidency to push a platform that was not in favor of child genocide.
At the time, Bush invoked the case of Laci and Scott Peterson. Since then, Scott Peterson was convicted on two counts of murder and sentenced to death.
These are all sweeping indications that this country feels a child has a right not to die, not to be born into poverty, and not to be born to divorcing parents.
Tell me, how do we reconcile it all?
The Great Abortion Marketing Plan
As of late, the war on abortion has really been relegated to a battle on terms. There's been a very crafty attempt to exchange the word "kill" with "abort", "murder" with "abortion", and "child/baby" for "fetus". Attempting to expose the reality of how these terms have left much of America confused isn't really the issue. It's bigger than "terms". The war is on a mindset. People have been brainwashed and told how to think about the issues.
Every year in America, more than a million babies are killed via "abortion", including tens of thousands of late-term abortions (after the 12th week). The build up to the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision was a huge marketing campaign that ultimately gave way to the term "reproductive rights". Since the unprecedented Supreme Court ruling, American doctors have performed over 40 million abortions.
That's more than the amount of people who died during the Holocaust, the Middle Passage, and Japanese Internment. The definition of "abortion" in our dictionaries and encyclopedias should read "the most thorough and destructive holocaust the world has ever experienced".
Dr. Bernard Nathanson, co-founder of NARAL/Pro-Choice America, was a well-known abortion doctor with over 70,000 murders under his watch when he had a shocking change of heart. With cutting-edge technology in his hands, he decided to place a camera inside a woman's body to record the process of the abortion as it took place. He recalls his experience:
"...as a result of all of this technology – looking at this baby, examining it, investigating it, watching its metabolic functions, watching it urinate, swallow, move and sleep, watching it dream, which you could see by its rapid eye movements via ultrasound, treating it, operating on it – I finally came to the conviction that this was my patient. This was a person! I was a physician, pledged to save my patients' lives, not to destroy them. So I changed my mind on the subject of abortion."
Since his "conversion", Dr Nathanson has confessed and exposed the abortion industry's corrupt practices, one of which includes placing young pregnant girls with counselors that are paid to convince the girls to get abortions. Dr. Nathanson has also been very
candid about the roots of the pro-abortion movement and how their deceptively strategic marketing plan was full of lies and misleading information.
The effort to move the focus away from the morality of killing unborn babies has been very successful. This is no longer made to be a moral issue. Now it's about some "sexy" and abstract notion of freedom and women owning their own bodies. A monster has been created.
WorldNetDaily's Managing Editor, David Kupelian is the author of the forthcoming book, "The Marketing of Evil: How Radicals, Elitists, and Pseudo-Experts Sell Us Corruption Disguised as Freedom". In Kupelian's latest WorldNetDaily column, "How lying marketers sold Roe v. Wade to America", he uses interviews and confessions of Dr. Nathanson and other research to uncover some sickening realities of the pro-abortion movement. Kupelian writes:
"Women must have control over their own bodies."
"Safe and legal abortion is every woman's right."
"Who decides? You decide!"
"Abortion is a personal decision between a woman and her doctor."
"Who will make this most personal decision of a woman's life? Will women decide, or will the politicians and bureaucrats in Washington?"
"Freedom of choice – a basic American right."
In one of the most successful marketing campaigns in modern political history, the "abortion rights movement" – with all of its emotionally compelling catch-phrases and powerful political slogans – has succeeded in turning what once was a heinous crime into a fiercely defended constitutional right.
Although polls consistently show a clear majority of Americans disapprove of unfettered abortion-on-demand, the movement's well-crafted, almost magical slogans – appealing to Americans' deeply rooted inclination toward tolerance, privacy and individual rights – have provided the abortion camp a powerful rhetorical arsenal with which to fight off efforts to reverse Roe, which struck down all state laws outlawing abortion.
In marketing wars, the party that frames the terms of the debate almost always wins. And the early abortion marketers brilliantly succeeded in doing exactly that – diverting attention away from the core issues of exactly what abortion does to both the unborn child and the mother, and focusing the debate instead on a newly created issue: "choice." No longer was the morality of killing the unborn at issue, but rather, "who decides."
Safe to say, this tactic has worked with remarkable delusion. In an interview, Dr. Nathanson spoke of the forming of NARAL upon distorted truths:
"We sat down and plotted out the organization now known as NARAL. With Betty Friedan, we set up this organization and began working on the strategy.
We persuaded the media that the cause of permissive abortion was a liberal, enlightened, sophisticated one, knowing that if a true poll were taken, we would be soundly defeated, we simply fabricated the results of fictional polls. We announced to the media that we had taken polls and that 60 percent of Americans were in favor of permissive abortion. This is the tactic of the self-fulfilling lie. Few people care to be in the minority. We aroused enough sympathy to sell our program of permissive abortion by fabricating the number of illegal abortions done annually in the U.S. The actual figure was approaching 100,000, but the figure we gave to the media repeatedly was 1 million. "
In much of his interview, he speaks with gut-wrenching detail on the actual steps in various abortion procedures. Efforts to keep Dr. Nathanson quiet and discredit his testimonies began the moment he released the film "The Silent Scream
", based on video footage of abortions as they take place. The pro-choice opposition has never desired for people to know the truth.
We cannot continue to allow people to flippantly dress up the lie as the truth. The expose is long overdue.