Despite all the media hype and coverage of the Royal Wedding between Prince William and Catherine Middleton, I’m not going to get up in the middle of the night to watch it. I’ll watch the clips later, at a reasonable Eastern Daylight Time (emphasis on daylight). I’m interested, but not wake-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night interested.
I bring up my moderate interest in the wedding because of the very extreme ways people are reacting to the wedding. There is the news media who are going over the top with coverage. It’ll be interesting to see if they’ll feel it was worth the expense and effort when it’s all over.
But then there are the folks at the other end of the interest spectrum. Not the people who shrug off this real-life over-the-top reality show like they would shrug off a made-for-TV over-the-top reality show. This is anger. Check out Lawrence O’Donnell on “The Last Word:”
First: The TV networks “obviously would have been on the side of the British” in the Revolutionary War. Huh? And second: The “British Crown has spilled more blood around the world and caused more oppression and suffering in the world than any other regime still standing”? History should never be forgotten, but why is O’Donnell still fighting a war we won over two centuries ago against a country that is one of America’s closest allies?
If Mel Gibson wants to, he can come back from this scandal.
He and his camp haven’t responded to the drip-drip, drip-drip of tapes containing angry, racist and misogynistic rants directed at his ex-girlfriend and mother of one of his children, Oksana Grigorieva. (To be clear, there’s no confirmation that the man on these recordings is Gibson. Nor has it been determined if they were edited.)
But people are already proclaiming that his career is over. If it is him on these tapes and the investigation into violence against Grigorieva goes anywhere, it’s easy to see why people would say that. Put the recordings alongside the anti-Semitic comments he made during his 2006 drunk driving arrest, and it doesn’t take a PR expert to doubt the likelihood of a Lethal Weapon 5 or anything else from Gibson.
Nothing is impossible, though. A public figure, particularly a Hollywood celebrity, can do a lot of negative things, but people will still admire and work with them. So, I think Gibson can have a career after all this. In fact, I’m pretty sure he will. It’s just a question of how he’ll go about it. Continue reading 'Mel’s Choice'»
When public figures break the law or do something very bad, forgiving and forgetting can be two very different things.
Two weekends ago, Chris Brown tried to resurrect his career and redeem himself in the eyes of the public with a tribute to Michael Jackson at the BET Awards. The performance was almost a year to the day since Brown pleaded guilty to one count of assaulting his ex-girlfriend, pop singer Rihanna. The first half of Brown’s performance was a dance tribute to Jackson. The second half was Brown weeping to Jackson’s “Man In The Mirror.” He was supposed to sing the song, but Brown appeared as if he couldn’t hold back his tears. I say “appeared” because there are allegations that the tears weren’t real.
Another redemption story came to an end a few hours after Brown’s performance. Robert Byrd – the longest serving U.S Senator in history – died that Monday morning at age 92. Byrd was in the Ku Klux Klan in the 1940′s, voted against Thurgood Marshall’s appointment to the Supreme Court and filibustered against the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Then in the late 1960′s, Byrd had a turnaround on race. He supported the creation of the Martin Luther King National Holiday and endorsed Barack Obama for president. How’s that for a switch? A former Klan member endorsing the man who would become the first black president.
Also that same weekend, the world mourned (again) over Michael Jackson’s death. One year after he died, the media and some of the public rehashed the King of Pop’s life, death and money. Though he was never convicted of anything, the allegations of child molestation followed him for over a decade. Those allegations along with the years of strange behavior - we all know he did, so I won’t list the incidents here – made the Michael Jackson who died into someone different from the one who made hit records. There was one Michael Jackson who was a megastar performer in the 1970s and 1980s and became one of the most famous performers on the planet. Then from about 1993 until his death, he was another Michael Jackson: the guy who once a megastar, but did a lot of weird things and was accused of molesting kids.
In case you haven’t heard, Debrahlee Lorenzana is suing her former employer, Citibank. She claims she was fired after her bosses said her beauty was too distracting. On Wednesday, a 2003 video surfaced showing Lorenzana getting her second breast implant procedure. In the video, she said she wants to “look like a Playboy Playmate” and be “tits on a stick.”
That’s a slightly different impression from the interviews and articles we’ve seen of her over the last week. Her story has been that she’s a single working mom whose bosses at Citibank said her beauty was so distracting to her bosses that they fired her. Whatever she wore, the beauty that blessed her (or cursed her?) was too sexy for Citi.
What I’m trying to make is the point that enough is enough. I’ve been through my whole entire life going through this type of harassments [sic]. And I have done the other.. gone the other way where you stayed quiet. You just leave, get a better job and it just.. it continues to happen. And it’s the point that you say, ‘I don’t want to go through this anymore.’
After hearing that, it’s hard not to feel a little sorry for her. Which makes it sound like such a great story. She’s a beautiful working mom who was pushed around by the big bank. Then there are the issues of workplace dress codes, what’s too sexy and what isn’t, and tons of reasons to show more photos of Lorenzana and have commentatorssay how beautiful she is.
It wasn’t so much that Tiger Woods didn’t win the Masters Golf Tournament on Sunday. It’s that wholesomeness did.
I was at the gym when coverage of the Masters was wrapping up on TV. When watching TV on mute (or close to mute), the images can speak to the viewer more than when the sound is turned up. At the gym, I was watching pictures and video of this year’s winner, Phil Mickelson, hugging his wife, Amy, who is battling cancer. (Mickelson’s mother also has cancer.) For someone who doesn’t follow golf and wouldn’t have been able to point out Mickelson if he passed me on the street, I was touched sitting there in the gym resting between my sets.
It was great video for the folks at the Masters and CBS, who broadcasted the event. The warm, fuzzy moment was great TV. After all the speculation about how Tiger might perform because of the scandal and the scandal itself looming over coverage of the tournament, it was a guy with a backstory that pulls at the heartstrings who won the weekend.
It would’ve been odd if Tiger won. The win would’ve been great for his career and a step towards the comeback of his image. A win is a win. In light of the sex scandal, though, Woods would’ve looked like an ass if he celebrated exuberantly with his trademark fist-pumping. His wife Elin wasn’t at the tournament. Even if she were, I don’t think there would have been a warm embrace.
All of this, of course, has little to do with actually playing golf. But how viewers feel about winners can impact how they feel about a sport. On Sunday, the golf world could put the scandal behind them – maybe even let out a sigh of relief – and have a feel-good moment.
On Monday, singer Ricky Martin announced to the world that he is gay, or in his words, “a fortunate homosexual man.” This wasn’t huge news, since many people had suspected it for years. He also hasn’t had a hit or been in the spotlight for quite some time. And there are far more high profile gays and lesbians (in show business and other fields) than in 1999 when Martin became known to mainstream American audiences. So, put those three together and his announcement wasn’t huge news.
On his website, Martin addressed why he didn’t come out sooner:
Many people told me: “Ricky it’s not important”, “it’s not worth it”, “all the years you’ve worked and everything you’ve built will collapse”, “many people in the world are not ready to accept your truth, your reality, your nature”. Because all this advice came from people who I love dearly, I decided to move on with my life not sharing with the world my entire truth. Allowing myself to be seduced by fear and insecurity became a self-fulfilling prophecy of sabotage.
Back in the late ’90s, it actually was big news that Ellen DeGeneres was saying “Yep, I’m Gay,” both in real life and as the character on her show. Singer George Michael revealed he’s gay after getting arrested for a “lewd act” in a Beverly Hills bathroom, and Matthew Shepard was brutally murdered for being gay. So, it’s understandable that Martin and the people around him were reluctant to be open about his sexuality. And whatever the context of those times, Martin had to come out on his own clock, whenever he felt the time was right.
The resurrection of the Tiger Woods Brand began Friday with his televised apology. Woods seemed sincere, but the mea culpa to his fans, sponsors and the general public is secondary to something else.
He must win at golf.
The most important part of Tiger’s brand is being a golfer who wins. Yes, his image as wholesome family man helped him be a pitchman, inspiration to kids and known as an all-around good guy. All of that, though, was based on him being a golf champion.
His apology was a good first step to bring reality in sync with what his image was before seemingly countless women came forward to say they slept with Tiger. The biggest step, though, will be when Tiger competes. If he can dominate on the golf course, then he will be “back.” If he can’t, The Tiger Woods Brand will be a contrite face on the memory of a once-great golfing career.