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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Celebrity: Washington, D.C. and Hollywood & New York

Editor's Corner

By Environment Man

Acting is pretending. To be someone else. Even as most just act like themselves when taking on a character. Although there are a few really good character actors out there. So Hollywood manufactures illusion. Billions of dollars worth each year. The factories in Hollywood have great workers and great producers who risk it all for fame and riches. Pretending is very big business.

Politics includes a lot of pretending too. A policy position can be a moving target for a politician. Part of the profession has to include representing the views of constituents even when you do not believe in the position. Is that acting? Washington, D.C. deals in trillions of dollars and there is nothing pretentious about national security. Except maybe overselling the Iraq War with the notion of WMDs. Although Israelis sleep much better without Saddam. And Barack Obama could have been a huge movie star. Don't you think?

Ronald Reagan fused the two worlds like never before. Maybe the President Obama will become a movie star after he leaves office. The Terminator governs the biggest state in the Union. And Wall Street went Hollywood with all kinds of illusions, then turned to Washington, D.C. to cover its box office losses. Anyway. Enough for now. I love travelling between Washington, D.C. and Hollywood. And Washington, D.C. and New York. Now I just need to make the connection of travelling between Hollywood and New York. Then connect the traingle from Washington, D.C. to Hollywood to New York.

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Friday, January 29, 2010

NRDC Recruits Hollywood Celebrities In Global Warming Fight

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has launched a campaign called "This Is Our Moment" that includes a video of Hollywood celebrities encouraging the public to email their Senators to pass the Clean Energy Jobs & American Power Act (Boxer/Kerry)(S. 1733). This legislation promotes the development of clean energy technology and manufacturing in the fight against global warming.

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The Comcast - NBC Universal Merger & Minorities

Comcast and NBC Universal promised to beef up programming for minority viewers in their filing with the Federal Communication Commission in a bid to win federal regulatory approval of their proposed $30 billion merger. We applaud their sensitivity to this issue and hope to see more minority participation at the merged companies, particularly at the management and ownership levels. Of course, the politics of the deal provide some interesting perspectives. House Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) wants hearings on Comcast/NBCU real soon and so does House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers. The proposed merger of Comcast and NBC Universal will be the first big test of the Obama administration’s stance on the issue of media consolidation. It could put the Obama administration and Democrats in Congress at odds with a few of their largest supporters.

National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial commented on news of a proposed merger:

The proposed Comcast-NBC Universal merger will benefit African American consumers if this new entity remains committed to minority hiring and diversity in entertainment and news programming. Both Comcast and NBC have a strong record in both respects. While it is too soon to make a definitive statement on the proposed merger, we look forward to hearing how we can work together to ensure that the positive culture of diversity that has marked both companies perseveres and becomes stronger at Comcast-NBC Universal.
Of course, Laren Kelly of The Columbia Chronicle is critical of the merger:

When a handful of companies own the majority of media outlets, the consequences are very direct. Concentration of media limits the diversity of views, cuts out minority-owned businesses and ignores local issues.
Comcast Corporation (Comcast) is not only the largest cable company in the United States, but also the largest internet service provider and the third largest home phone provider. Comcast has 25 million television subscribers, 15 million internet service costumers, and 6.4 million household telephone service accounts. Its current assembly of cable networks includes E!, Style, Golf Channel, and G4. NBC Universal, Inc. (NBCU) is a media and entertainment company created by the merger of General Electric's (GE) NBC and French Media Group's Vivendi Universal Entertainment (Vivendi). The two companies own 80% and 20% of NBCU respectively.

NBCU owns and operates 26 television stations, the Spanish language network Telemundo, and a dozen cable networks including USA, Barvo, Syfy, and CNBC. It also has a 27% stake in the internet venture Hulu. Vivendi has an annual option to sell its stake in NBC to GE between November 15th and December 10th of each year. Vivendi has been negotiating to get the best value for its investment, as the Comcast-GE agreement hedges on Vivendi's decision to exercise this option. GE has recently reached a tentative agreement with Vivendi to buy its stake in NBCU for $5.8 billion. Following a successful Vivendi buy out, GE would then sell 51% of its total ownership of NBCU to Comcast, who would merge its cable-TV channels and contribute $4 to $6 billion to the joint venture. Comcast is expected to buy the remaining 49% of NBCU from GE over the next seven years. (National Urban League, Illinois Business Law Journal, The Columbia Chronicle, 12/14/09)
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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Was "Hot Fun In the Summertime" About Global Warming?

By Alan Smithee
Before global warming......

Before hip hop......

Before 70's fusion jazz, disco and punk......

Before hair bands, heavy metal and even KISS

There was..........

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Green For All Features Music Video & Art Contest

By Environment Man

Green For All is sponsoring a new music video and art contest and the winning video, song, or art about creating opportunity through the green economy will be awarded $1,000 and a professionally shot video about the artist's story.

In "The Dream Reborn (My President is Green)" emcee and community organizer Markese Bryant, left, raps about the legacy of Dr. King, President Obama, and how a growing movement is creating opportunities for communities of color through the green economy. Green For All is featuring Markese's video as part of the promotion for the contest(s).

Markese Bryant (aka Doo Dat) knows firsthand the effects of pollution and poverty in his community. Now he's building the movement for an inclusive green economy through campus organizing and community education. Check out Markese’s music video, The Dream Reborn (My President is Green) below or on the Green For All page. Watch his personal story, share the Green For All page with friends, take action and submit your own art to The Dream Reborn Story Contest for a chance to win $1,000!

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Grammy Awards To Feature 3-D Michael Jackson Tribute

By Holly Wood

The January 31st 52nd Annual CBS GRAMMY Awards includes a tribute to Michael Jackson that will feature a 3-D mini-movie for his "Earth Song." It will be the first time a major awards show broadcasts in 3-D and the audience at STAPLES Center will also be wearing 3-D glasses for the showing. CBS and Target have partnered to provide millions of free 3-D GRAMMY Glasses from Sunday, January 24 through Sunday January 31. Target stores nationwide will exclusively offer these 3-D GRAMMY glasses.

The "Earth Song" video was shown as part of the “This Is It” movie. Michael was planning on showing 3-D videos at his concert. He would have beaten James Cameron and "Avatar" if the tour had started in July as planned. "Earth Song" is an ecology song about the destruction of our environment. Michael was just beginning to publicly express his deep feelings about the environment and the threat of climate change. Of course, dependging on the quality of the 3-D experience, many consumers might question the fact that if the technology already exists to broadcast 3-D to homes on current HDTVs, then why do we need new 3-D televisions? Answer: fad of having the latest gadget. Plus profits for television manufacturers and retailers.

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Donnie Simpson Leaves CBS WPGC-FM (95.5)

By Holly Wood

The Conan O'Brien controversy with NBC isn't the only big time break up going on between a major network and a big star. Washington, D.C. radio legend Donnie Simpson, right, just ended his 32-year tenure with WPGC-FM, which is owned by CBS.

Simpson is an institution in Washington, D.C. Simpson, 55, is under contract until March of 2011, but has sought to end his association with the CBS-owned station that has employed him as its signature morning personality since 1993. Simpson has a "non-compete clause similar to Conan's. And like Conan's conflict with NBC, Simpson's departure follows months of declining ratings for his show and internal friction between Simpson and WPGC's management.

Simpson has been a radio personality since he was a teenager in Detroit, his home town. Before joining WPGC, he spent 16 years at WKYS-FM, helping to build it into a local powerhouse. He also gained national and international attention as the host of Black Entertainment Television's "Video Soul" program for almost 15 years. (Wash Post, 1/25/10)
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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Conan O'Brien Needs A Tax Deduction

By Alan Smithee

Sounds like NBC is going to give "The Tonight Show" host Conan O'Brien a $30 million dollar exit package with another $10 million for his staff. Nice.

Sounds like Conan needs tax deductions.

See that donate button over there on the left Conan?

If you happen to read this piece, hit that button.

We recommend six figures.
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Monday, January 18, 2010

Maya & Orin Mozon In Feature Film "To Save A Life"

By Holly Wood

UPDATE (1/24/10) - - "To Save A Life" had an opening weekend of $1.5 million on a production budget of $500,000 and playing in 441 theaters. (BoxOfficeMojo)
Jim Britts, the youth pastor at New Song Community Church in Oceanside and a former film student at Biola University, and his wife, Rachel, converted teen angst into a screenplay. Their full-length feature film, "To Save A Life," opens Friday on 430 theater screens nationwide. The film examines the hypothesis that may be the most hurting and depressed generation of teens of all time. The film, shot during most of 2008, stars several successful Hollywood teen actors, including Randy Wayne ("Grizzly Park"), Deja Kreutzberg ("Law and Order," "CSI: Miami"), Kim Hidalgo ("The New Adventures of Old Christine") and Sean Michael Afable ("Akeelah and the Bee"). The film also employed dozens of North County residents, and numerous local volunteers, including many from New Song church.

Two of those residents include our president's Goddaughter Maya Mozon and her younger brother Orin, both pictured at left. Their parents, navy chaplain Ollis Mozon and psychologist mother, Almena Mozon, are Godfather/mother to our president's son. Orin has a speaking role in the film, while Maya and Almena are extras and pop up periodically in the background during the movie. Maya tells us about her experience:

"Seeing how filming worked from the inside was fascinating. I think a lot of the kids learned some things. I think the success of [faith-based] films shows there is a need."

Orin Mozon, a 17-year-old El Camino High School senior, plans to attend Point Loma Nazarene and major either in music and ministry, or film, believes "To Save A Life" carries an important message. He says:

"It's really about preventing teen suicide, and along with that, dealing with the loneliness so many teens feel. If we can prevent a suicide everywhere this film plays, we've accomplished something huge. I was there every day, doing whatever I could to help out. That's the way it was on this film, people from the community just showing up and helping out."

Britts, New Song's Executive Pastor Steve Foster and the church are producers, along with independent filmmaker Nicole Franco. Financing was raised, and eventually Samuel Goldwyn Films stepped in as distributor and marketer of the film. After the theatrical run, the film will be available for special licensing by youth and church groups, then enjoy a major DVD release. A novelization of the story is also now available in bookstores. (North County Times, 1/16/10--serving North San Diego & Southwest Riverside counties)

Orin at Premier of film (See article in North County Times)

Orin quoted in FOX 5 News San Diego Clip below:

Orin Mozon Explore Talent Profile
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"Pants On The Ground" Will Kill Low Hanging Pants Style

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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Danny Glover Says Haiti Earthquake Caused By Global Warming

By Jerry Kurl

Actor Danny Glover, right, has decided to take up the cause of global warming. We were unaware that he was interested in this issue. However, Mr. Glover appears to be a little misinformed about what global warming does and does not cause. He caused quite an uproar by saying the earthquake in Haiti resulted from global warming and the failure of the climate summit in Copenhagen.

If you want to get serious about this issue Danny, give us a call.
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7 Degrees of Dick Gregory

By Environment Man

Dick Gregory is the Godfather of the environmental movement, a founding board member of AAEA and we believe everybody in the world has met him in one way or another. Literally. So we believe that anybody in the world can connect themselves to him within seven contacts. Ours is a variation on the theme that any actor can be linked through his or her film roles to actor Kevin Bacon within six steps. Seven is a better number than six.

So share your stories with us about how you can connect yourself to Dick Gregory within seven contacts. I know Dick because he is my mentor and helped save my life. So I have a direct connection. But I know others have a connection within seven contacts. Come on folks, share.

7 Degrees of Dick Gregory
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Do Celebrities Worship Themselves?

By Alan Smithee

Everybody likes to see their own image (hopefully). But does it cross the line with celebrities? Are celebrities too involved with their own images to the point that it represents worship. Oh most probably believe in God, but do their day to day activities related to promoting and grooming themselves, in fact, represent the real source of their worshipful affection? I suspect that self-worship kind of comes with the territory in being a celebrity. More or less a job requirement.

But now that ANYBODY can be a celebrity, regardless of talent level or appearance, what does this occupationally-induced self worship really mean to the famous and to the public? It means that many celebrities are miserable because they can never live up to the perceived image of an earth-bound diety. Thus, drugs, drink, women and a losing battle with the mirror. Elvis, Michael, Marilyn and more. The public is always let down because the self worshipping celebrity is programmed to fail because a faux diety has no other alternative for their fans (worshippers). The bigger the star, the bigger the pill. Now we are sure that many celebrities submit to the one real God, but the allure of one's self image was even too much for some angels. What chance does a mere mortal celebrity have against such temptation. I guess we still want our star on the Walk of Fame.
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Friday, January 15, 2010

Zoe Saldana: "Star Trek" and "Avatar"

By Holly Wood

I first really noticed Zoe Saldana, right, in "Guess Who," where she costarred with Ashton Kutcher and Bernie Mac in the remake of the Sidney Poitier classic, "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner." She was great.

Zoe, left as Neytiri, has taken off into the stratosphere - - more like the outerspaceousphere. To get leading roles in both "Star Trek" and "Avatar' is almost beyond belief. And dare I say it, for a black actress in Hollywood. Of course there will be sequels to these two incredibly successful films. And Zoe's star will shine even brighter. Go get them Zoe. We are with you all the way.

Zoe shocked everybody by being the love interest for Mr. Spock in "Star Trek." That was right up there with the Thing in "The Fantastic Four" having a blind black girlfriend.

Now I have to admit that it took me a minute to figure out when it was Zoe and when it was Thandie Newton, left. They do look a bit alike and sound alike. Both are thin. Thandie did rule in "Crash" and was wonderful in "Mission Impossible." Newton has also gone sci-fi in "The Chronicles of Riddick" and "2012." She was really great as an evil woman in "Riddick."

Zoe Saldana was born Zoe Yadira Zaldaña Nazario in New Jersey and raised in Queens, New York. Her father is of Dominican descent; her mother is Puerto Rican. (IMDb)
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Saturday, January 09, 2010

No Need For Senator Harry Reid To Apologize

By Jerry Kurl

Harry Reid should not apologize for telling the truth.

And Blacks who also use African American as the modern preferred designations, are not necessarily offended by use of the term Negro. Just listen to Rev Martin Luther King, Jr speeches where he uses the term all the time.

The complaint about the word was derived from the use by some less than enlightened Whites who would pervert it from Negro to Nigra and then easily to the N-Word [I'm White and respect not using the N-Word in any way, including as examples or otherwise, out of respect for historical wrongs perpetrated upon blacks by my ancestors]. Some unscrupulous newscasters also commit a racist act when they sneak in the N-word while mispronouncing Arnold Schwarzenegger's name. Black folks know what you are doing when you do that.

So chill Harry. You just said out loud what everybody knows is true:
In a book, "Game Change," by journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, Reid is described as saying he was wowed by Obama's oratorical gifts and believed that the country was ready to embrace a black presidential candidate, especially one such as Obama -- a 'light-skinned' African-American 'with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one,' as he said privately."
Heck, everybody knows that Whites prefer 'light skinned blacks, particularly those that don't 'break any verbs,' mumble-speak or talk too loudly. And it aint so quietly kept that many Blacks do too. Okay. Bring it.
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Glenn Beck Does Not Like Term "African-American"

By Alan Smithee

Glenn Beck, in a discussion about the new Census forms said,

African-American is a bogus, PC, made-up term,” “That is not a race. Your ancestry is from Africa, and now you live in America. Okay, so you were brought over, either your family was brought over in the slave trade, or you were born here and your family immigrated here, or whatever. But that is not a race.”
Glenn? The African American Environmentalist Association strongly disagrees with you.
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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

3-D Televisions Will Surely Use Even More Energy

By Environment Man

Just when you filled your house with those big flat screen plasma and LCD televisions, which use twice as much energy as the fat old televisions, here comes 3-D. I don't even want to think about how much energy the 3-D televisions will use. I am sure they will get an Energy Star designation though. They will be the most efficient 3-D televisions possible. Right. America? This is one of the reasons why we can never reduce our electricity consumption.

Television networks and entertainment corporations are planning to produce and broadcast 3-D movies, TV programs and sporting events. But they need electronics companies to build, and Americans to buy, new 3-D television sets to justify developing this new content. Discovery-Sony-Imax, DirecTV, Walt Disney, and ESPN are all planning 3-D programming. The incredible success of "Avatar" has served to accelerate interest in delivering the same experience to American households. And similar dollars in the pockets of entertainment companies and electronics firms. According to some estimates, only about 1% to 2% of the 35 million flat-screen TVs that will be sold in the U.S. will be 3-D-enabled in 2010. (WSJ, 1/6/10)
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The Grio: NBC's Outreach to the Black Community

The Grio, which is West African for "Story Teller," is the first “video-centric” news site, by and for the African American community that will aggregate related video and news stories from NBC News, NBC major market owned-and-operated TV stations, affiliates and MSNBC, both cable and internet.

The Grio will also draw upon almost a century of filmed reports from the NBC News Video Archives, a unique compilation of news clips that chronicle the black experience over the decades.

NBC News, and parent GE, felt that this community was being underserved by the existing news and information channels. The Grio's black partners own 51% and NBC owns 49%. (Source: NBC sales letter)
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Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey & Tyra Banks: Wear Fur

By Environment Man

Fur is a renewable resource and animals do not have to be abused to obtain it. And it looks good on women. Just ask Aretha Franklin, who proudly sports her furs at the biggest events.

My complaint with PETA when it comes to telling black women to not wear fur is that blacks were in fact denied access to custom made elegant furs for centuries due to being economically savaged. And, just as with waterfront properties today, as soon as blacks get to a place where they can afford such luxuries, certain elitist types want to put furs and waterfront properties off limits.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is pimping First Lady Michelle Obama by intentionally using her in an ad campaign without her permission. THAT is abuse. People should be treated in an ethical manner too. Mrs. Obama is in the unauthorized ad with celebrities Oprah Winfrey, Carrie Underwood and Tyra Banks — three others who have shunned fur. The ads are appearing in Washington's Metro stations, magazines and PETA's Web site. The advertising rape of First Lady Michelle Obama should lead her to start wearing fur in protest. Oprah and Tyra should join her and wear fur to send a direct message to PETA that humans must be treated ethically too. Particularly humans whose ancestors were denied the opportunity to wear fur because of economic oppression. (Today, MSNBC, 1/5/10, photo: blog.peta.org)
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Monday, January 04, 2010

Brit Hume Advises Tiger Woods To Convert To Christianity

By Jerry Kurl

Earlier this week on "Fox News Sunday," former ABC News White House Correspondent and Fox News anchor Brit Hume urged Tiger Woods to overcome his personal problems by converting to Christianity:

"The extent to which he can recover, it seems to me, depends on his faith. He is said to be a Buddhist. I don't think that faith offers the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith. So, my message to Tiger would be, 'Tiger, turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world.' "
Okay. I would agree with Brit on this.
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The Rooney Rule and The Fritz Pollard Alliance

By Alan Smithee

The environmental movement is much like the NFL: blacks can perform well in low level positions, but will not be hired in management and leadership positions. Unlike the environmental movement, the NFL had the good sense to do more than just acknowledge the situation, they actively addressed it and the discriminatory hiring practices have been somewhat ameleorated. And black coaches have gone on to win Superbowls. The NFL went through the same process with black quarterbacks. The environmental movement is still one of the most segregated sectors in America.

On September 30, 2002, Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. and Cyrus Mehri issued a ground-breaking report, "Black Coaches in the National Football League: Superior Performance, Inferior Opportunities," revealing that black NFL head coaches are held to a higher standard than their white counterparts, and are consequently denied a fair chance to compete for head coaching jobs.

The report opened the NFL's eyes to its teams' unfair hiring processes. One month later, on October 31, 2002, NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue announced the formation of a diversity committee, headed by Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney, to address the NFL's minority-hiring practices. Within two months, the League announced a diversity plan, which included the requirement that each team interview at least one minority candidate prior to selecting a head coach. The Rooney Rule has already positively impacted the League.

On March 10, 2003, the Fritz Pollard Alliance was formed as an affinity group of NFL minority coaches, scouts and front office personnel. During the last couple of years the FPA has worked with the NFL to develop hiring guidelines for front office and scouting positions as well as talent development programs. The FPA advocates for policy changes in the NFL hiring practices and working in partnership with the NFL to create opportunities for minority candidates. Some teams violate the spirit of The Rooney Rule by just interviewing a minority candidate just to satisfy the rule.

The mission statement of the Fritz Pollard Alliance is simple yet profound ‘promoting diversity and equality of job opportunity in the coaching, front office and scouting staffs of National Football League (“NFL”) teams.’ The FPA provides networking, mentoring and career development opportunities for minority candidates on NFL team staffs; encourages adoption of rules and practices by the NFL that foster diversity on team staffs; educates NFL team owners and managers regarding the availability of minority candidates for team staff positions; and advocates the hiring and promotion of minority candidates in NFL team staff hierarchy through public education and communication with team and league ownership and management. (Source: The Fritz Pollard Alliance)
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