Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Parents: WTF is wrong with you?

So I know that my blog usually contains light-hearted commentary about pop culture related things... so I hate to get heavy with content like this... but I'm seriously infuriated.

I posted something on my facebook yesterday about an 8th grader in Texas who took his life because he was ashamed of being gay and was continually bullied at school. Now today I read that there have been two other similar instances at different school across the country within the last week or so. SERIOUSLY!??!

Look at these faces:
 Asher Brown - 13 years old - Houston, TX

Billy Lucas - 15 - Greensburg, IN 

Seth Walsh - 13 years old - Tehachapi, CA

These three young boys, all of which are said to have been been happy, high-acheiving students in school, thought that the best way out to escape the torture they were recieveing was to take their own lives.  This is all because they were bullied and called "gay", "faggot" and every other homophobic slur known to man.  Middle school and high school was a tough time for most everyone... but can you imagine being at the point where you feel that the only way you can escape the torment is to remove your soul from this planet???  I am so incredibly saddened to even comprehend having a feeling that deep and dark. 

Each of these boys had their own story.  Their own set of parents... different school districts... different sets of friends and enemies.  But no matter what their situation, each story revolves around the same issue: homophobic bullying. 

Now we can water it down, by just using the umbrella term of "bullying"... but essentially it comes down to homophobic bullying.  Kids who for some reason feel that they have enough power and popularity over another kid that they can antagonize him over something so petty as sexual orientation if he happens to act or say things that may be interpreted as less masculine than other boys.  If we overshadow that issue by just calling it "bullying", then people interpret that as simply some sort of give-me-your-lunch-money, I'm-gonna-stuff-you-in-a-locker mentality.  It's more than that.  It's deeper than that.  It's rooted in discrimination and hatred, laced with an I'm-better-than-you-because-of-your-sexuality mentality.  It's causing other kids to take thier lives.  And... its disgusting. 

Who are the parents of these kids doing the bullying?  What sorry excuse for a human are you to raise a child with such a low level of tolerance that they would feel empowered to make boys like Asher, Billy and Seth feel this intense pain?  Wake the hell up parents!  It is 2010 and we need to be teaching our children about love, tolerance and acceptance.  The sadness of this, is that the parents of these students doing the bullying are either a) perpetuating the acceptance of homophobia in thier homes by setting such ridiculous standards and stereotypes of gender and sexuality... or b) just completely absent from their child's life and not teaching them important lessons that will make them compassionate citizens of our world. 

Not to stray away from the main topic... but it makes me even more upset to think that law will not let gay couples get married and have kids... when they would raise children who would be overflowing with love, kindness and tolerance.  We've been through this shit in middle school and high school, and we would do our best to raise children who would not inflict this sort of pain on others.  YET... the law allows any straight person to raise a child and put them in our public schools... even though there are obviously those people out there who are incapable of teaching thier own kin the most important lesson of all: love. 

The world needs a campaign against this issue.  Not just bullying... but homophobic bullying.  Let's treat it as it is, instead of putting money into anti-bullying campaigns which only mask the true issue.  AND... let's hold our students in public schools accountable for thier actions when they are antagonizing other students for stupid reasons. 

Thankfully, someone recently started a campaign on YouTube called the "It Gets Better" project.  It is meant for adult members of the LGBT community to post videos for our younger coutnerparts to tell them that: yes, dealing with your sexuality when you are young sucks, and bullying sucks... but it DOES get better.  This is the sort of thing that the world needs to grab a hold of and teach our kids of tomorrow that there is hope, and that there are millions of people in the world that you can reach out to for love and support.  (Check out the "It Gets Better" project: )

So as I conclude with this rant... I ask you to share the stories of Asher, Billy and Seth.  Don't keep this taboo topic "in the closet" any longer.  It needs to be discussed.  Parents need to have these discussions with their kids and teach them tolerance.  The only way to elminate the problem is to eliminate the cause of it... and right now the problem is caused by parents who are either teaching their children intolerance or not teaching thier children at all.  DO YOUR PART PARENTS!  You only get one chance at raising a child correctly.  Don't screw it up. 

Gender controversy in Michigan

It was crazy for me to hear on the news out here in California about a gender controversy involving a high school student back in my home state of Michigan.  After doing some further research, I found this video online.. and I have to say, that I'm glad that issues like this are being brought to the forefront in such a conservative area as west Michigan.  I give mad props to Oak... and hope that the school finds an appropriate way to recognize HIM in the way HE deserves.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Dancing With The Stars: Season 11

OK... so let me make this clear upfront.  I do not follow Dancing with the Stars regularly.  Back in the day, I was a fan.  Back in the Drew-Lachey-Cheryl-Burke-SaveAHorseRideACowboy days.  But I've given up in the last couple of years and stopped watching.  I've sort of kept up to date online... seeing who was participating and who was eliminated, but I stopped watching the actual episodes.  Not DVR'ed.  Nothing.

But... for some reason, I decided that for Season 11, it was time to check it out again.  After trying to determine why I tuned it, I developed this graph:

So I watched the premiere last night... and I was actually entertained (as embarassing as it is to admit).  There were some surprisingly great performances (Jennifer Grey: WOW!) but also some hardcore trainwrecks (Bristol... I don't care what the judges said, you were a hot mess!)

The Situation was exactly what I expected: entertaining.  I just need him to not be so super cheesy.  Margaret Cho was hilarious... and although she was making fun of herself and tripped on purpose, she was WAY better than Bristol and deserved higher scores.

I was a bit saddened to see Margaret and the Situation in last place after the results... because they were my two main reasons for watching in the first place.  I didn't want them to get eliminated so early.

So then... I tuned into the results show tonight.  I admit I fast forwarded through most of it... (with the exception of the Santana/India.Arie performance... she is one of my faves!).  I really just wanted to see who got eliminated.  In all honestly, I really thought Audrina would go.  She didn't have the lowest score, but I think she is SO boring and vanilla, and I cannot possibly figure out who on earth would be such a "fan" of Audrina that they would call in and vote for her.  So.... I was quite surprised when she was declared safe early on in the show.  Margaret was safe early on too!  That made me happy! 

It came down to the final three: The Situation, the Hoff, and that black kid from that Disney show (is he really a star?  I honestly have never seen him before in my entire life).  I figured it had to be the Situation because of his low score... or the Disney kid because of his low popularity.  But.... to my complete and utter surprise... the first eliminated was The Hoff!  REALLY?  I thought he was one of the biggest stars that this season had.  And... he had "the pimp spot" as they call it on American Idol, by performing last.  He was the easiest one to remember to vote for, with him being fresh in everyone's minds.  So.... all in all, it was quite shocking.  I think he would have been pretty fun to watch, with his high cheese factor. :-)

So after tonight, I changed my DVR from "Record this Show" to "Record this Series".  I need more Situation.  One hour on Thursdays is not enough.  Plus I can't wait to see Bristol Palin fall flat on her face.  It's going to happen America.  It's going to happen.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Betty White Hoodies!

I know what else is going on my Christmas List for this year!  :-)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Catfish? What's the secret? I'm dying to find out....

Have you guys seen the trailer for this movie "Catfish"?  Ever since the first time I saw it, I've been hooked.  (two drums and a cymbal crash)

According to, here's the plot:  In late 2007, filmmakers Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost sensed a story unfolding as they began to film the life of Ariel's brother, Nev. They had no idea that their project would lead to the most exhilarating and unsettling months of their lives. A reality thriller that is a shocking product of our times, Catfish is a riveting story of love, deception and grace within a labyrinth of online intrigue.

So maybe its because I'm a reality show fan... and I have always loved documentary movies... but I'm trying to figure out if this is another Blair Witch where they promote it as being real and then it ends up being fake... or not.  I just saw another trailer tonight that says "Not based on true events.... just true".  Another tag line I've seen in the trailer is "The best Hitchcock film that Hitchcock never directed".  With both lines, I'm in.  I have to see it.

I have two worries.  1: It's gonna scare the bajeesus out of me.  The tension leading up to the end of the trailer already gives me butterflies.  I'm worried I may be scarred for days (and nights of nightmares).  And, 2: It's gonna be a HUGE letdown.  This movie is all about the building tension.  If it gets to the end and is a big flop, then all this promotion was worth nothing.  I guess I will have to see to know.

Several things I've read have said "Don't let anyone tell you what it is".  I'm sure I could poke around online and figure out what its about.  But I don't want to.  And if any of you do.... don't you dare tell me... because at this point, the marketing team has done such a great job that I want to reward them with my ticket fee... not matter how horrible or horror-filled it may be. 

Here's the trailer.  Let me know what you think:

My Favorite 4 Minutes of Music: Week of September 16th

I'm SOOO happy that iTunes has finally released Rihanna's new single! I just downloaded it, and intend to do that "first-day-play-continuously-on-repeat" ritual that I tend to do. I've been listening to it from this link on Ryan Seacrest's page... so I thought I would share it with you all too.

I'm thankful for this single because I think it takes us back to old school Rihanna, while somehow still sounding current. The Rated R record (for the most part) was too dark for me. I like light, poppy, dancey Rihanna and this single really brings it back. Have a listen... and go download it on iTunes if you're interested!

Click Here: Listen to Rihanna's New Single

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My Plea for Fighting Gravity

So... I don't know who I'm pleaing to considering that the voting is already closed... but still.  I beg.  I plead.  PLEASE NBC... Fighting Gravity has GOT win America's Got Talent. 

I posted a while back at the beginning of this season about how much I disliked America's Got Talent (but I couldn't stop watching).  Well... I continued to watch every week... and now we are at the finale.  My argument at the beginning of the season is the same as it is now, when we are less than 24 hours away from seeing who gets the million dollars.

With only four acts remaining, THREE of them are singing acts.  Seriously???  Aren't there enough singing competitions out there?  I mean, for real.  Sure, I know that the three singers left don't fit into American Idol demographics (Jackie: too young... Michael, too old... Poppycock, well... too odd?), but still, pop culture has been innundated with singing competitions for quite a while now. 

What makes (or SHOULD make) America's Got Talent different is that they let in variety acts that you can't see on any other program.  These acts NEED this show for the exposure... and stand no chance of becoming famous without it.   If it was up to me... the final four would have been Fighting Gravity, Prince Poppycock. Michael Grasso (magician) and Michael Lipari & Ashleigh Dejon (the aerialists).  Now THAT would have been a good finale filled with variety. 

Fighting Gravity are a group of college guys who probably stumbled upon this popularity and fame.  Are they blessed with "god-given talent" to do what they do?  No.  But they are innovative, exciting, and they make me want to spend $50 on a ticket to see them in Vegas.  Do I want to see an hour of Michael Grimm?  No.  An hour of Jackie singing opera that I don't understand the words to?  No.  Or even an hour of Poppycock?  I'm more likely to buy a ticket for him... but can you imagine the 5 minutes between songs we'll have to wait for his costume changes?  No thanks. 

Each week, Fighting Gravity brought something new.  They stepped up their game.  Their bi-level finale performance was pretty mesmerizing!  Sure... one of the guys in black clothing stepped too far to one side and you could see him.  I agree that that spoils a little bit of the magic.  But still.... is it worth them losing the finale over it?  I certainly don't think so.  Not sure which guy it was... but I'm sure he feels HORRIBLE for making that mistake and feels tons of guilt.  Unfortunately... America is filled with a bunch of sheep who will do whatever the shepherd says... and so when Peirs slammed them for that mistake, they will lose votes.  I hate that.  Still... Fighting Gravity is a group that I would definitely pay $50 to see in Vegas... and I certainly hope they get a show there no matter whether they win or not, because I want to go see it. 

If yet ANOTHER boring singer wins AGT, the show might as well go into obscurity.  After all, the only previous winner to become any sort of popular was ventriloquist Terry Fador.  They should know by now that America appreciates novelty/variety acts. 

Anyway, I'll stop ranting... but I just had to get that out.  Fighting Gravity should win... and I certainly hope they do.  Here's a clip of their performance so you can see what I'm talking about: