Greed and Stupidity cause the music industry to lose money


I was on a web site recently. It was a discussion forum.  One forum visitor, replying to a another who was having a particularly difficult struggling with an emotional issue, posted a link to a music video.  I was curious so I clicked the link.  I was brought to YouTube and a video for a song called “Jealousy” by Will Young.  I had no idea who Will Young was, nor had I ever heard that song.  I loved it. (See bottom of this posting for the video link.)

After a little research I found out the Will Young was the original “Idol” from the very first year in the U.K.  The original version of the show is called “Pop Idol” and when it later came to America, “American Idol”.  But Will Young was the very first ever in that franchise to win. And he’s had a VERY successful carreer.  I couldn’t believe that even with all that I had never heard of him.  I’m not a kid anymore but I try to keep up with what’s going on in the world.  So finding the song, and the artist was a pleasant surprise.

I immediately fired up iTunes (as much as I hate iTunes, sometimes that’s just where you have to go) and did a search.  A pop up box said he couldn’t be found.  I was surprised and a little bummed out.  But the pop up box also said that what I was looking for was available on the UK iTunes site.  Cool!.  So I followed the link to there and found the song. When I tried to purchase it, I was asked for my iTunes account and after typing that in, I was told I couldn’t buy the song because I was in the US and I “wasn’t allowed” to purchase the song.  What?!  I suddenly remembered this happening to me a year or so ago when I tried to download some other song.  At that time I went through the process of setting up and account on the UK iTunes website, made up a UK address and all went well until I put in my credit card number.  I was told the credit card number belonged to a USA bank and therefore could not be used.  Fucked again.  At that time, I gave up, pissed off at how stupid this all was.

But not this time; I wasn’t giving up.  I went to Amazon.com and did a search and had the same problem with not being able to purchase it because I was in the US.  I was not yet deterred complete.  While FREE music download sites like Napster, Limewire and Kazaa are long gone.there are still ways to get free music.

Let me say, first and foremost, that I believe in paying for music.  If I could have handed Will Young the $20 for his CD personally, I would have done it gladly.  I would have paid him, his record company, a record store, or anybody else to legally purchase this music.  HOWEVER, THE MUSIC INDUSTRY ITSELF HAD MADE IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR ME TO PURCHASE THE MUSIC I WANTED.

By using a torrent download site I was able to get the entire Will Young CD called “Echoes”.  I probably shouldn’t admit that I did it because it’s probably illegal.  But I will gladly pay the $20 to whomever should get it, if they can tell me how I can purchase the music without having to fly to the UK to do it.

So, music industry folks, I don’t know if you are dumb, greedy, or both.  It seems that one begets the other.  But you need to get you act together.  I believe that most people are like me.  I would gladly pay for ANY AND ALL MUSIC THAT I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE, JUST GIVE ME A WAY TO DO IT. Get your lawyers and your licensing and your greed in check and then people won’t be forced to steal music from the Internet.

Let me tell you something:  music is a very personal thing.  When a song hits you, it hits you hard and you will do anything to get it just so you can listen to it anytime you want, over and over again.  Some music is just like that – you simply must have it.  It’s innate.  I’ll say it one more time.  I WOULD GLADLY PAY FOR THE MUSIC I WANT IF YOU GIVE ME A WAY TO DO IT.  And I believe most people out there feel the same way. 

By the way, if you are interested in the song I was trying to find, here it is.  The dance edit called “Alias Edit” is fantastic, as is the rest of the CD.  If you are in the US, good luck.  Maybe I should send it out to anyone who want it.

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Is that American Idol show still using up precious airwaves?


Is that show still on?  Does anybody watch it? 

I have not watched American Idol once all season.  Well, that’s not 100% true.  I accidentally channel surfed onto it a few times and couldn’t hit the MUTE button fast enough.  So I was forced to listen to a few milliseconds of “singing”.  And if you were standing here, as much as I HATE “aire quotes” – I would definitely raise my fingers and do air quotes when I said the word “singing”. 

NOBODY ON THIS YEAR’S AMERICAN IDOL ANY TALENT!.

Idol is supposed to be a talent show.  Barring that, and most of time the show is barring that, it is a popularity contest.  Well, without any real talent and without one single contestant on the show to give a shit about, why watch?

Last season, when Kris Allen won the crown, and Adam Lambert queened in second (is queened a verb?), I knew early on, when they picked the final 12 (or 13 as it turned out that season) that there was a lot of talent in the room, I knew Kris Allen would win, and I knew he would win because he can sing, and because he was as cute as a button!  Are buttons actually cute?  I need to stop speaking in bad idioms.

Lambert wasn’t going to win; he’s too gay.  I’m gay and he’s too gay for me.  I don’t want to watch him grab his own crotch or anyone else’s. And I don’t want to watch someone else grab his.  And why does every song Lambert sings sound the same.  This is how I describe every Lambert song:

“wait for it…..wait for it…..wait for it……THERE he’s screaming now, the song is almost done”.

So apparently American Idol is still on television – who knew.  I’m going to suggest that instead of watching this year’s finale, because who cares, really, that you watch “Modern Family” on HULU.COM.  It’s probably the best comedy on TV right now.  Funny as hell, not dirty or crude, just real, character driven, funny-line-deliverying comedy.

I recently sent a link to a friend that led her  to the Modern Family section on HULU.  She’s a bit “born again” shall we say, and anything even remotely off-color offends her (although I can’t argue with the fact that Miley Cyrus offends her).   She watched it last night and LOVED it.  We rehashed it this morning when she got to work.  Modern Family is truly one of those shows that you can’t help but talk about the next day, at work, or with your friends.  It’s that good.

Modern Family has everything that American Idol doesn’t have.  Talent, timing, personality, good material,  humor without bad taste, and a “Randy Jackson Free Zone”.  OK I made that last part up.

I mean it – Idol is passé.  It’s so last decade.

Adam Lambert at the American Music Awards SUCKED, literally and figuratively


With all the hype worthy of a White Bronco chase, Adam Lambert’s performance at the American Music Awards last night was saved until the end, and when I say “end” in mean the bitter end.  And when I say “bitter end” I mean right after the last award was given out and right before the credits.  Since when does a nobody like Adam Lambert have the clout to close a show.  Was it because his performance was supposed to be THAT good?  Or was it because the producers were giving the viewing public the option to turn off the TV or change channels because the official awards portion of the show was done.  I am assuming it’s the latter.

From the leather and chains, to Lambert pushing and pulling scantily clad dancer boys around the stage with dog collars, to Lambert literally pushing one male dancer’s face into his crotch by grabbing the back of the dancer’s head as he thrusts his hips into the dancer’s face (pew!) to Lambert deep tounge-kissing the male drummer, (or was it a female – let’s go with she-male because I have no idea), the “performance” was like the bad sex-like shows I used to see in New York’s gay night clubs.  As a gay man I watched Adam Lambert with my hand over my face; fingers splayed out so I could “sort-of” see what was going on and then wince in pain, snapping my eyes shut like an oyster with newly found grain of sand. 

Not only was Lambert disgusting, he has absolutely, (and I mean none, nada, nope, nothing, no way) no sexual appeal whatsoever.  He looked uncomfortable, he acted like he was uncomfortable, and when the screaming crowd in the auditorium stopped “raising the roof” and clapping and cheering about 30 seconds in to his “performance”, even Lambert knew it was all over.

Speaking of screaming, with his usual “flare”, Adam Lambert robotically got through the song so he could get to the parts where he could scream like a hyena caught in a bear trap.  He’s not a singer, he’s a screamer (in more ways than one).  You can tell by watching him.  He was so bored with the regular parts of the song and was literally chomping at the bit to get to the “screamy parts”.  Did you hear that final note?  Or was it notes?  Even he didn’t know where to park that thing.  That last note was like watching grandpa trying to parallel-park a Winnebago.  He’s in the general area, but you have no idea where it’s going to finally land.  And when he lands it, it isn’t at all where it should be.

God, it was awful.  I read somewhere that Adam Lambert is being shoved down our throats by the media.  Well, he is being shoved down someone’s throat;  just ask the male dancer on stage last night.  I wanted Adam  to do well.  I wanted to like him.  I wanted to like his performance.  But I just can’t.  As an openly gay man who has no problem with objectifying  men, I think Adam Lambert is an abomination.  The sad part is, he’s got some raw talent there.  If he could just tap into it, we’d all be better off. 

Meanwhile the winner of American Idol, Kris Allen, was “allowed” to stand on stage for about 6 seconds to introduce somebody, or something, or some award.  I don’t even remember.  Kris Allen WON Idol, and he can sing.  But Kris Allen hasn’t been given the media attention that Lambert has gotten ever since Lambert “Yup, I’m gay” cover story.  Who cares?  Like it was a newsflash anyway.  It would have been WAY more surprising if he said, “Yes, I”m hetero” then I would have run out and bought that magazine, all the while screaming “WHAT?????????????”

One more thing:  Whitney Houston sucked, too.  She may have a new lease on life, but mabye she should have sub-let.

The world’s most beautiful men


It’s time for a subject change.   No politics, no rants, it’s time for a fluff piece.

Usually, when I get inspired to write, it’s about something that has struck a chord with me, either positively or negatively, from the news, current events, or pop culture. But as a gay man, I admit I have some other more “typical” interests. While I don’t talk about being gay all that much, and while I don’t like the fact that the world, it seems, is one big beauty contest especially in the gay world, I can’t avoid some basic truths.  Beautiful men are interesting.  More interesting than beautiful women.  I would even be willing to bet that overall in the world, male beauty is far more alluring, far more interesting, and far more reactionary than female beauty. Beautiful men get attention from everyone; starting with women due to basic biology.    Most “straight” men won’t admit it, but there is an allure that exists for them in the stunning beauty of the male form.   But there is the envy factor as well which can turn ugly very fast.  And of course, gay men know a beautiful man when they see one…. it’s a gift.

It is difficult to define beauty.  Many definitions exists.  My favorite definition is simply “an excellent or exceptional example of something.  This definition doesn’t talk about attractiveness, and that’s good because much of beauty is not defineable in that way.

So what is beauty?  Psychologists, Anthropologists, and Modeling Agencies might say that beauty can be calculated by bone structure, facial symmetry and other tangibles like that.   And still others will say that true beauty is beyond the facade of ones outer appearance. That last one is bull and you know it.  We are exposed to men via the media: TV, film, and magazines.  We rarely get to see much beyond the external facade.  Looking into a man’s eyes gives you a glimpse into their soul but even that isn’t enough.  Watching a man move, and watching his face when he turns back to notice something; or watching a man when he doesn’t think anyone is looking at him; that’s when you get to see real male beauty.

I believe that beauty is in the eye of the beholder; this is obviously not a new concept.  Some men have a magnetism that goes beyond the air brushed pages of fashion magazines, or the makeup plastered on in the movie and TV industry to cover up flaws.

I’ve been thinking about the kind of men whom I consider to be beautiful.  For me, it is about men you can’t help but notice, stare at, or that make you feel good simply by looking at them.  Personally, I always look bad on film.  Whether a still camera or video, old fashioned film or digital; I look awful.  Not all men are like this.  And I envy them.   Some men have a complexion that simply radiates back to the viewer.   Here a few examples.  I don’t want to run the risk of copyright infringement so I will not actually post pictures; you can look them up on the Interwebcloud if you so choose.  So based purely on my own opinion, these are arguably some of the most beautiful men in the world based on the ideas I just described:

Chris Evans: Pick a movie that he’s been in; he look’s fantastic.  “Cellular”, “The Nanny Diaries”, or “Fantastic Four”, the man looks phenomenal.  And I don’t just mean his body.  His eyes, his smile, all perfection.  The camera simply loves to watch his every move.  Woman love him, men are envious of him. But he’s such a nice guy that nobody is threatened by him.  Tha’s beautiful.
 
Santiago Cabrera:  He is much less known.  He was in”Love and other Disasters” and very recently played Lancelot in the NBC series “Merlin”.  Again, his physical beauty, gentle manner, and the fact that he is so comfortable in front of the camera make you not want to take your eyes off of him.  I believe he is from Venezuela.   There is something about latin men, let’s face it.  But Cabrera isn’t “typical”.  He’s not that dark, mysterious, overly confident Latin-lover type.   He’s just a great looking man, with magnetism, but softer, more subtle, almost shy.  That’s beautiful

 Logan Marshall-Green – the hyphenated hunk.  And not very well known.  The first time I saw Logan was in a movie called “The Great Raid”; a fantastic movie about the freeing of some WWII soldiers from a Japanese POW camp.  He looked so different in that film from what he looks like now on TNT’s “Dark Blue”.  The one thing that remains constant?  That fantastic face.  His eyes and lips are unmistakable and I could pick them out of a lineup.  He must be an intense method actor as he seems to transform himself for the roles he plays.  That’s beautiful.

Paul Walker:  Again, he’s a man whom some may know, some not.  He’s not exactly a household name.  But if I told you he was the cute guy in the Fast and Furious movies, you would know who I mean (no, not Vin Diezel, the other guy).  Paul Walker was also in “Into the Blue” with Jessica Alba where they both spent most of the movie in their bathing suits.  It was quite a sight.  He is by far the most “All-American” of the men on my short list.   He’s a good actor and I think a very underrated actor. When he smiles, he outshines the sun.  He is beautiful. 

Nicholas Gonzalez:  Another lesser known actor. One of the worst movies ever made was “The Princess and the Bario Boy”.  The move has a typical plot — boy from the wrong side of the tracks meets rich girl; her father hates him, and then the boy is able to redeem himself in some way in the father’s eyes and they all live happily ever after.  Gonzalez has a smile that knocks you out.  Which makes sense considering he was a boxer.  And he played one on the Showtime series “Resurrection Boulevard”.  He seems to play a lot of bit parts these days, but his on camera presence is magnetic.  Keep looking for him, and at him.  You’ll see what I mean.  And he posed nude for photographer Gregg Gorman, so there is proof that he has an incredible mystique, and body.  He’s beautiful.

James Franco:  I hesitated to put him on my list.  I don’t know why.  Maybe because he doesn’t have the same palpable inner beauty that some of the others have.  I think he’s a terrific actor.  He was in “The Great Raid” too, as well as two of my favorite films “Flyboys” and “Tristan & Isolde”.  James Franco has star power for sure, in that when he’s on film, you can’t help but keep your eyes on him.  He is strong, and vulnerable all at the same time.  And when that one piece of hair hangs down in his face… OK, never mind, he definitely should be on this list.  Beautiful.

As you can tell by now, my list doesn’t include George Clooney or Brad Pitt.   You may agree that some of the men on my list are striking.  You may think that some of these men are ugly, who knows.   I believe that actors are more beautiful than a male model because models are simply captured for one moment on then printed on a page.  Male models might be considered more classically beautiful than some of  my men but male models are one dimensional.  It is a man’s ability to move, smile, react, run, jump, and show emotion, that defines their beauty. 

I would be interested to hear who’s on your short list.  

Celebrate Good Times, Come on! Brzezenski still missing from Joe


It is highly unusual to write a blog post about a topic when you just posted one about that same topic a few days ago.  But I just can’t say it enough.

MORNING JOE IS FUN AGAIN!!!!   And informative.  And most importantly, Watchable. Why?  Because Mika Brzezenski is on Vacation this week!!!!  No one word comments, no glazed over looks when guests use big words or talk about big ideas.  No pretending to understand what the topics are really about.  No judgement and eye-rolling at comments she disagrees with even though she has no idea what the topic really is.  It has been simply divine.

Joe Scarborough, Willie Geist, Mike Barnicle; talking news, politics, pop culture.  This week they talked freely and openly.  They were sometimes irreverent, sometimes serious, often funny, and didn’t have to waste precious time explaining things to Mika or defending their opinion to Mika.  It’s not as if the three co-hosts agree on everything and it’s not as if they all agree with the guests.  But when you don’t have Mika Brzezenski around to completely stop the natural flow of conversation with such pertinent interjections like “yes”, and “oh yeah” and “there are other opinions on that” (not that she has one or could verbalize one), Morning Joe becomes an insipid, unpalatable soup of words and opinions that makes no sense.

Dear MSNBC:  Thank and for the retooling of Morning Joe without that ridiculous co-host, Mika Brzezenski.  I know you tried, we all try sometimes, and fail.  It is a shame that a man with a brain, like Zbignew Brzezenski (whether or not you agree with him) can produce offspring that borders on mentally retarded.  She can read a teleprompter, I’ll give you that.  But if it is not written down for her to read, Mika has no independent thought.  But we forgive you.  You didn’t know.

So here’s the plan.  We tell Mika that the Morning Joe studios have been moved to the family room in her house.  And the show will now be all hers.  She can set up her own live camera feed (or ask for help, more than likely) and she can interview all of the people that appear on that box in the corner, you now, the one with the word “Sony” on it and it has a power button and other buttons that say “volume” and “channel”.  Tell her she got a promotion.  She is now the producer, director, and star of her own version of Morning Joe except Joe won’t stop by that often.  Unless you see him on the “Sony” box at which point you can feel free to speak to him and even interview him.  Now, he may act like he’s not answering your questions but that’s just Joe’s way.

She’ll buy it, trust me.  And then the rest of America who used to enjoy Morning Joe, and has done so again this week, can continue on in peace.  And she’ll be none the wiser.  Mika may even get nominated for an Internet award for funniest video outtakes for a web-only broadcast show.

I can’t wait until Monday; does anyone know if Mika took TWO weeks off?  Oh please, Oh please, Oh please.  If I were a religious man I would pray my heart out that Mika took an extended vacation.  But I”m not, so I have to rely on luck.

Mika Brzezinski gloms onto Scarborough even more than usual


If Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough were on a media tour for the television show “Morning Joe” then I would understand.  But right now they are on a book tour for Scarborough’s book “The Last Best Hope”.  They openly talk about their tour and how Mika also signs Joe’s book.

Now I’ve heard of riding someone’s coat tails but this is ridiculous.  Even if I were a fan of Joe Scarborough’s work, why would I want someone who didn’t write his book to sign it for me.  If Mika Brzezinski wants to sign a book, let her write one.  Or she can sign one of her father’s books posthumously when the time comes.

I find this just a bit odd.  It’s one thing if they are on, or claiming to be on, a combined press tour for “Morning Joe” AND Joe’s book.  But it’s a different thing entirely when they refer to these events as “book signings” and then Mika participates in the dog and pony show followed by her signing Joe’s book right along side him.  I really, really don’t get it.  And I don’t understand why nobody has questioned this.  I keep doing Google searches and I can’t find anything about anyone questioning why Mika is signing Joe’s book.

So now, along with her making faces at everything people say on that show, and along with her feigned holier-than-thou attitude towards anything slightly off-color, and despite the fact that she acts like an idiot as she repeats everything that Joe says (and then purrs like a kitten, it’s weird), and then makes these little orgasmic sounds as she feigns embarrassment when someone call her pretty, she NOW signs someone else’s published work?

I watch “Morning Joe” most mornings, not because of Joe or Mika, but because they have guests that I respect like “Newsweek” editor Jon Meacham, one of my personal heros.  For a time I thought putting up with Mika Brzezinski was something I was willing to do for guests like that.  But I’m not so sure anymore.

What the HELL is going on at Morning Joe on MSNBC?


One of the many disappointments of cable news programming is what I call “screen clutter”.  Between the network logo, the show logo, the news crawler, the date and time, and the guest’s name and title, there is not much room on the screen for the show itself.

Further, this morning on Morning Joe, they were talking about the morning newspapers, like they do every morning.  So yet another portion of the screen had certain headlines from papers around the country.  All of this screen clutter is annoying.  But here’s the real issue.  What they had on the screen for headlines made absolutely no sense.

Picture it, in the lower left quadrant of the screen was the logo of a newspaper, like the Washington Post logo, and then underneath that a headline from a Page 1 story in that publication.  Here are a few examples verbatim.  Tell me if you know what the heck these “headlines” are talking about:

1) Mountaintop Mining to get more environmental scrutiny, Obama officials say” (Washington Post)

2) Rate Rise: Clouds Recover (Wall Street Journal)

3) Fed Emails Bash BOFA Chief Lewis (Wall Street Journal)

4) Russians Outfox U.S. in Latest Great Game (Wall Street Journal)

5) Chocolate-Bunny Case Reaches High Court (Wall Street Journal)

OK, I’m not necessarily a news hound but I like to think I keep up with most of what’s going on in the world.  BUT I DON’T KNOW WHAT THE HELL ANY OF THESE “HEADLINES” ARE TALKING ABOUT.  I checked my calendar to see if it was April Fool’s Day, but it wasn’t.  I have a DVR so I went back and watched it again.  And then again.  And then on the last time I wrote them all down because I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.  I shouldn’t have to go to each of these publications, or do a Google search, just to understand what the headline means or is referring to.  And the wording and subject matter is so ridiculous that I already don’t CARE what they are talking about.  I think I finally understand what phrase “East Coast Media Elite” means.

Somebody help me!

An open letter to Adam Lambert


Dear Adam:

As the runner up in this years American Idol, you should first and foremost be congratulated.  Either you or Kris could have easily taken home the platinum microphone trophy this year and nobody knew how it would turn out.  You are a consummate performer, bold and self-confident, and from what I have read, you are correct: it doesn’t matter if you are first or second in this thing, your will both go far and do great things musically.

I have all the markings of an Adam Lambert supporter.  I’m gay, not religious and liberal.  I have very “in your face” attitudes and opinions that exist merely to get people to think about thing’s, or rather think about life and people, differently.  I want everyone to get the benefit of the doubt and I want everyone to be so much less judgmental than they naturally are.  I should have, by all counts, voted for you and backed you up.

When it came down to the final four this season, I cast a vote for the second time since the show’s inception  Last year for the finale I voted for David Cook.  From the moment he sang his rendition of “Billy Jean” I knew he was brilliant.  For this year’s final four I voted for you and Kris Allen.  At that point in the competition I knew that you and Kris should be in the finals, that was my opinion.  The week of the final three, I only voted for Kris because the “vibe” of the show seemed to already have decided that Danny and you should be the finalists.  I didn’t agree.  The other thing I did for the first time this year was download American Idol songs from iTunes.  I downloaded your rendition of “If I Can’t Have You” and then several songs by Kris.  I don’t know if it’s just me but gay men typically don’t care too much for Zeppelin, KISS, or even Queen for that matter.  So that genre is lost on me.  While I enjoy listening to your voice, which is beautiful and has that “ringing” you hear when a note is sung just perfectly, I don’t enjoy the screaming so much. 

I read some comments you said after last night’s finale.  I hope you were quoted correctly so that I can respond to them correctly.  From what I read, you want to move on, obviously, collaborate, and push the boundaries a bit; get people to open their minds a bit.  I don’t know what that means to you.  There aren’t too many places in music that haven’t been tested.  So it leads me to believe that you may venture into some “gender-bending, in-your-face, I am what I am and what about it” kind of music.  Again it is difficult to understand exactly what you mean.

My suggestion is to be as creative as possible and don’t try and push anything in anybody’s face.  Nobody likes to be “convinced” that they should like something.  Nor do they enjoy being told to think or re-think a certain way.

You seem like a very intelligent, out-going, thoughtful, and confident man.  You were gracious as a performer and gracious as a runner up. I am sure that Kris appreciated that just as much as America did.  What I wish for both you and Kris Allen (because it really doesn’t matter which order you landed in the competition) is that you grow and learn musically so that you both become an American Icon rather than and Idol.

I voted for Kris Allen as the winner mostly because of the way he shyly wears his heart on his sleeve.  It was almost unfair to make us choose from two artists who are so completely different.  It’s the apples and oranges all over again.  I’ve seen and read lots about the Idol finale.  People have tried to bring religion, and politics, and homophobia, and the church, and Christian-phobia into this national debate over who won and who should have won.  I don’t believe any of it.  This is about something that is so personal to each and every one of us; the music we like.  Discussing music is like discussing art, or politics, or religion, or sex.  It is almost too personal to make comparisons and judgments.  But American Idol forces us to make that choice.  Kris Allen has a certain sweetness that’s not sticky, big wide eyes when he sings but those eyes are looking into his own soul.  He is one of those old souls in a young body.  He has a way of interpreting a song that some call boring but I call unique.  He sings about love in ways only men twice his age could do.

For the next little while, they way I understand it, both you and Kris are under the thumb of American Idol, but because you are not THE American Idol, you probably have more room to breath and be creative.  Please don’t try and speak for the gay community, or the liberal community in your music.  As a gay man I feel that I don’t need another gay voice.  I don’t want to be singled out, I want to be integrated.  So musically, I hope you truly speak for yourself, from your heart, through your music.  I want you to be relevant, not reviled.

Only a confident and generous man could give Kris Allen the support and friendship that you did regardless of who was going to win.   You are both gentle men. But I think your burden is greater going forward.  Kris Allen is liked by many, and to some for rather strange reasons.  He is more shy than you and right now the public will expect him to be predictable and safe, musically speaking.  That’s his burden.  Yours is the opposite.  You will be expected to be avante garde and edgy. 

I have no credentials to give you advice but I wanted to let you know that you found your voice (both literally and figuratively); now you need to find your puspose.  What message will you send through your music.  Stay away from duets.  Your voice is too powerful for that.  So you would end up sounding too overpowering.  Even if you found someone with an equally strong voice; that coupling would end up sounding like a screaming match.  And all the while, start thinking about what you are projecting to the world.  You can get away with eye-liner and finger nail polish now, but what will you evolve into as you grow.  It’s time to start that evolution.  Strike while the iron is hot.  You have some incredible gifts.  The world is much more likely to grow with you if you start now.

I wish you all the best and will be rooting for you.

I wish you all the bet and look forward to what you have to offer.

Allen and Lambert play Donnie and Marie – Allen wins by a landslide


First, thank god American Idol is over.

I don’t recall every being so disgusted with a television show.  Let me start by saying I am not a true American Idol fan.  I got involved this year, I think, because of absolute and utter boredom with the rest of television.  But when I saw Kris Allen early on before the final 13, I knew he was a winner.  So I kept tabs on him.

The producers and judges of American Idol should be ashamed of themselves.  Last night’s finale results show was a nightmare.  It was like a bad variety show.  The producers forced Kris and Adam to perform in an endless parade of solos and duets and it all seemed like “a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll”.  Adam, of course, played the part of Marie in drag.  It was very “Shakespeare” circa 1570 when women weren’t allowed to be actors so they slapped makeup and a dress on a man and had him play the part.

From the final performances on Tuesday the judges and producers all but picked Adam as the winner.  Wednesday night’s finale had music that was all geared toward Adam’s strengths – screaming.  Adam is nothing more than a theater queen (not that there’s anything wrong with that).  In fact, I feel badly for him.  He has a great voice but nobody is telling him how to use it.   You can see the look on his face in every song he sings.  He’s just waiting for that moment in the song where he can scream his bloody head off.    He’s been performing on stage since he was ten years old.  There may be some great part in the future for him, like maybe the revival of “Rocky Horror” on Broadway.  I mean, he’s already got his own costumes and make-up that he wears daily so the budget could be slashed to pieces.

So the producers had Kris and Adam singing a duet of “We are the Champions” by Queen (how appropriate) so that Adam could scream his way over and above Kris’s voice.  But for those paying attention, Kris held his own.  The producers went so far as to turn Adam’s microphone up and Kris’s microphone down so that even when Adam wasn’t screaming you could barely hear what Kris was singing.  But if you really listened, he was belting it out the best he could even in the harshest of conditions.

The manipulation by the producers continued beginning with the end of Tuesday night’s show when Ryan Seacrest told the television audience to extend the end time of the show if they were recording it.  They planned to go over.  Low and behold on the built in cable schedule that is part of my digital cable system, American Idol was scheduled from 8:00 pm to 10:07 pm.  These online cable schedules are done several days (usually a week)  in advance.  Seven minutes over schedule.  They planned to go seven minutes over.  So they have what normally would be a two hour show to announce the winner of a singing contest.  The actually “announcing” or “anointing” takes about 30 seconds.  And they plan to go over???.  It sounds to me as if when they originally planned all of this out, they pegged Adam Lambert as the winner.  Did they originally intend to have Adam screaming for the last seven minutes?

When the announcement was finally made, and thank god when the finally did it they didn’t drag it out and further once the two contestants stood under the “dimmed lights”, Kris was the winner.  Ryan Seacrest immediately called him the dark horse who pulled off a miracle.  Nice, huh?  I usually think Seacrest is OK and give him the benefit of the doubt, but that was just bad taste.  Kris had almost no reaction.  And rightly so.  He knew the judges and producers had already planned on Lambert winning.  So he had nothing left inside.  By this point, he was physically and mentally exhausted and probably was just hoping to get some semblance of normalcy back in his life.

If you watched the very last seconds of the show, Kris was seen hugging his wife.  It was quick and the camera pulled away almost as soon as it got the shot.  But Kris wrapped his arms around the love of  his live and we got to see him, for only a split second before we were distracted to something else, Kris weeping as he buried his face into the neck of his wife.  He had finally won, it was finally over, and this mild-mannered, kind, gentle, young, old soul could move on to the next phase of American Idiot.  They will parade him around; make him perform stuff he doesn’t want to perform, and squeak every penny out of him that they can, while he, in turn, will receive comparatively, nothing.  His ass, and voice, belongs to Idol for the next 12 months.

And speaking of music he doesn’t want to sing, what is up with that awful, horrible song supposedly written by Kara DioGuardi called “No Boundaries”.  If by that she means she and the producers have no boundaries, then yes, I agree.  How can you have the judge of singing contest write a song that the performers must sing and be judged on in the finals.  The song was so bad I don’t think anybody could have sung it well.  It’s crap.  But it was certainly geared more towards Adam Lambert.

Kara “Please think I’m relevant” DioGuardi needs to go.  She has offered absolutely nothing to the show, the judging, or the commentary.  She is almost as insignificant and irrelevant as Paula Abdul.  At least Randy Jackson and Simon Cowell are in the music industry and have been for a long time.  They know talent.  They know what works and what doesn’t.  And while they don’t always agree with each other, Randy and Simon are at least believable.

So was Kris Allen really the underdog?  Not in my mind.  I think about it this way: of the two finalists which one could I listen to for more than 5 minutes without wanting to stab my own eardrums.  That would be Kris.  I went to iTunes and downloaded several of Kris’s song and burned them to CD for use in my car.  Kris’s songs are very easy to listen to and he has great voice, a great sound, a great quality, and a great interpretation of the music.  All without gimmicks.  Adam Lambert, on the other hand, can’t get through a song without screaming.  Who could listen to an entire CD of Lambert screaming.  If the time comes, that should be the name of his debut album of Broadway show tunes – “Lambert Screaming Broadway”.  Adam is touted as a rocker.  And while his voice lends itself to that kind of music, and while Adam tries to play the part of a 70’s “glam” rocker, I don’t think you can call someone whose entire musical background stems from local musical theater a “rocker”.

Further, Kris Allen can play, among other things, the piano and the guitar.  He can also write his own songs.  Adam Lambert can only sing what other people wrote. He can’t play it, he can’t write it.  So what is an American Idol?

I picked Kris Allen out of the pack early on.  I’m NOT saying I have some gift, believe me.  I picked him out of that pack because he was adorable.  So cute, so sexy.  And what red-blooded American gay male wouldn’t want to watch Kris Allen sing love songs to him through a high definition 47 inch flat screen.  I’m on fool.  Adam Lambert may be “interesting” but I wouldn’t want to take him home to my mother.

What started as a little celebrity crush back in January or February morphed into an honest respect for this quiet and shy old soul in a 23 year old artist’s body (and a hot body at that).  No controversy, no skeletons in the closet, and a real, honest, good relationship with a family that respects and supports him.  When we saw Kris’s father well up with pure joy and pride as he welcomed his son home during a brief break from Idol, we saw a glimpse of who Kris Allen was, how he was raised, and how this somewhat introverted young kid was growing into a real man through his music.

I do wish Adam Lambert all the best, I truly do.  I hope he can get some good advice and follow it.  Do more songs like “If I can’t have you” that showcased his true vocal talent without the gimmicks.  I hope he eases away from his signature screaming and learns to express himself musically and vocally without the hype. That would indeed make him a true American icon, as opposed to an idol.

For Kris Allen, what can I say but Congratulations.  You are a true American icon.  I believed in my gut that you could do it. 

I believe Kris found himself very much outside his comfort zone.  But he found a way to speak to the audience without losing who he was and without selling out.  Kris Allen was never a dark horse.  And if American Idol were to ever release actual vote totals, we might actually be able to prove it.

Glenn Beck – CRYBABY or a Cry for Help – maybe both.


The first time I saw Glenn Beck break into tears, he was on CNN Headline News, when he used to have his 7:00 pm comedy hour (or whatever).  When CNN first gave Glenn Beck his own show, I thought he must be a leftist, I mean come-on, it’s CNN, well known as the “Clinton News Network”.  I can’t say as though I am a huge fan of CNN even when I thought they were more leftist.  But I checked in on this Beck guy because I didn’t really know all that much about him.  Had I given it more thought, I would have realized that the CNN Headline News Channel is NOT the same as regular CNN.  From what I know his ratings were good, at first, at CNN-HL but I, like others apparently, just could not stand to listen to him drone on with conservative, Neo-Con, Evangelical, born-again rhetoric about George W. Bush, the entire Bush Administrations, and Republicans in general.  I did not realize he was a Limbaugh in training.   And lied just as much.

 

Glenn Becks’ television crying sprees are all over the Internet now, so I won’t bother to waste more space and bandwidth by linking to them or uploading them to my site.  You can find them anywhere, just Google it.

 

He does a radio show, coast-to-coast, every day as well.  I don’t listen to him much except to sneer at him as I scroll through the dial.  I don’t recall hearing him cry on radio.  I guess because radio just doesn’t have the same punch if you’re going to do the “ugly cry” or the “televangelist cry”.   So, CNN-HL fired him.

 

His ratings are supposedly pretty good at Fox.  But then again, so were the ratings for the 9/11 attacks live on TV.  And speaking 9/11, Beck e started a new club called the 9/12 club to try and rekindle the feeling we all felt in the days immediately following 9/11.  Well, I think he’s trying to get to Patriotism, on the surface anyway.  But for me, the day after 9/11, which happens to be my birthday, was filled with deep, deep sadness, fear, confusion, uncertainty.  I DO NOT WANT TO JOIN A CLUB FOR THAT.  So, Beck, take it somewhere else.  And all of this faux patriotism, shrouded over neo-conservative double-speak,  isn’t’ fooling anybody. 

 

Some of Glenn Back’s most recent, infamous quotes are below (and remember, in your head, read them like Jimmy Swaggart when he was crying on TV saying “I have sinned”)  along with my responses to them:

  • GLENN- “Are you ready to be that person you were the day after 9/11? – ME: – NO
  • GLENN – “You are not alone” – ME:- I know, and I’m glad you’re not in my 5 favorites
  • GLENN – “You are the secret, you are the answer” – ME:  To what?  I thought “The Secret” was a self-help book – maybe you should read it.
  • GLENN – “To our military bases in Iraq where real heroes have gathered” – ME: Well I can’t argue with that.  Even the crazies have lucid moments.
  • GLENN: “I’m like you, I just love my country and I fear for it” – ME: Hmm, I love my country; too, conservatives don’t corner the market on that.  But unlike Glenn, I’m not afraid for it.
  • “It seems like the voices of our leaders, and the special interest, and the media…they’re surrounding us and it sounds intimidating” – ME: Glenn, we’ve talked about this.  If you start hearing voices in your head, you need to tell the doctor so he can up your medication.  Actually, I think it would be better if he just started drinking again.  He’d be WAY more fun at parties”
  • “I’m a guy who cares an awful lot about my country” – ME: Couldn’t agree more. You do love it an “awful” lot.  It’s obsessive, dysfunctional, co-dependent, and I hate the be harsh but… The country just isn’t that into you.

I just want to be clear.  I cry at Hallmark commercials.  I have no problem with crying.  But this man is coming unglued.  He makes no bones about being a recovering alcoholic.  I’m well aware of the 12 steps.  But this is out of hand.  What step is “I’m a blubbering idiot who can’t formulate a complete thought and even though I know the whole world isn’t really against me, they really are”.

If this is how Glenn Beck behaves, if this is his platform on the Fox Network, if they simply stand by and allow this guy to mentally implode on a regular basis on national television just for the ratings, then Ruppert Murdock and the Foxtones are stark, raving mad; that’s what I first thought.  Then I realized what Fox is doing.  It’s all a ploy.

 

 

And what’s up with the big ratings?  Is that because watching him is like watching a train wreck in slow motion?  YES!  That’s exactly what it is.  People can’t possibly be tuning in to hear what he has to say because he isn’t saying anything, he just blubbering.  Here’s the deal – People are tuning in because the economy sucks, nobody has any money, and watching this piss-ant have a nervous breakdown on live TV is fun…and free.

 

 

Glenn Beck says he loves his country so much. Well I’ll say it out load because nobody else will.  He only loves the 39% of our country that doesn’t think Obama is doing a good job.  As for the 61% of us who want to give Our President a chance, even though we don’t agree with everything Obama says and does, Glenn Beck doesn’t give two shits about us.  He’s not crying for the democrats, the liberals, the gays who want to get married, the gays in general, the blacks and Hispanics, the middle easterners, the Asians, etc., etc.

 

What is he going to do for his next trick, pull a Howard Beale from the movie “Network”.   I mean really, what is he going to do next to keep the viewers attention span?  After all, he is an actor.

 

 

He’s not a journalist – he admits that quite frankly.  So what is he?  He’s an actor who can cry on queue to wrap up a neo-conservative message in a packet of tears, wrapped in fake patriotism and serve it to the hungry masses that are looking for entertainment.    If Glenn Beck, or Fox, thinks that people are tuning in because they like the guy, and agree with him, then they all belong in the loony bin.

 

 

The Glenn Beck Show, brought to you this hour by … “Glenn Beck Facial Tissues:  now with even more Scoville Units..”For those times when you’re own fake tears just aren’t enough”.  This is America damn it.   The Republicans are hurting.  Cry Already!!!!

Whether or not the tears are real or fake, this is a man who needs help.  If they are real, it is even more disturbing.  But if a conervative talk show host feel that the walls are closing in on him, who am I to suspend the Republican-backed gun laws in this country.  Go for it Glenn.