Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘book’

       Actor Willie Ames is famous for his roles on Eight Is Enough (1970’s) and in the show Charles in Charge (1980’s), he has had a large fan following over the years.   Willie also starred  in video’s from 1995-2004 as a superhero named Bibleman; winning a whole new generation of young fans.  He became a Christian and an ordained minister after struggling for years with drug/alcohol addictions.  He appeared to have things together in his life.

        Just this past November Willie, and his second wife Maylo McCaslin Ames, wrote a book together called Grace is Enough.  Shortly after this book was published, on Thanksgiving 2008, Willie Ames allgedly tried to take his own life.  This is why God tells us to keep our eyes on him and not on man ( or woman).  We are vulnerable to attacks by the enemy (Satan) and we can fail one another as role models from time to time.  It is unfair to put someone on a pedestal as an example to follow because they are; for all intents and purposes, human just like us.  Only Jesus is the perfect example to follow.

         It seems that Willie found himself in the position of having to declare bankruptsy, having his vehicle repossesed and having his wife of 22 years ask him for a divorce.  I am sure the fear of failure, rejection, the possibility of an upcoming divorce, slipping back to the pull of his addictions, and the financial difficulties all contributed to his suicide attempt.  When people are overloaded with difficulties that come all at once…that is when escape starts to sound good…it is an illusion that a Christian is tempted with by his spiritual adversary, Satan.  Suicide is not a solution…it is an really just another way to self-destruct; it an attack on that person’s physical and spiritual being.  http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/  It is important to seek help when depression and despair overwhelms a person. 

        Willie is a Christian yes, but he is a human being also.  One who has struggled with these issues of addiction and self-destruction.  He has tried to live in a place of leadership; which is admirable.  From reading excerpts of their book….it sounds as though both Willie and Maylo have allegedly come from previous places of dysfunction.  No one lives a perfect life…Christians are a work in progress; and, some of the same negative circumstances and forces that affect non-Christians, affect Christians as well. 

         I hope that through this time of difficulty, that Willie and his family can receive proper spiritual counseling and emotional counseling to help them sort things out.  Certainly, we wish him well in his healing path.  As anyone who had had to struggle with these kinds of issues…it is important to know that support is very important from family, friends and, health care professionals; when it is needed.

          For those who would condemn or look askance at Willie’s actions and ask incrediously, how a Christian could do such a thing; I would counter that by asking that person to think compassionately.  When people are in despair and going through some of the worst situations that life has to offer …faith is a lifeline… but, faith is a fragile thing sometimes.  We are to encourage one another and lift each other up.  While Willie played a superhero….he is not superhuman…he is a man who has to find his way back to a place of prominence, by putting faith into action once again,. 

          Do you think Christians are immune from depression and confusion; or should they be?  Do you know any other Christian who has struggled with addictions and depression and then been able to build their life back up from that desperate place?  Have you yourself been there?  National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

National suicide prevention lifeline: Suicide hotline, 24/7 free and confidential, 132 crisis centers nationwide               1-800-273-TALK       .
http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
Update:  you may also want to read:  http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20268391,00.html
Advertisements

Read Full Post »

       Yes Oprah is rich and powerful, yes, people hang on her every word…but, with the recent memoir, “Angel at the Fence” written by Herman Rosenblat; some people are looking to point blame at Oprah after finding out that the memoir was based on a falsehood.   Come on, don’t blame Oprah!

        Look the thing is…Oprah gives her endorsement to books that move her.  So what, if this book was written as a work of fiction the story would still be good.  The alleged falsehood of how the couple in the book met; upon which the premise of the book was based, is not any reflection on Oprah.  Herman was a survivor of a concentration camp.  He told a version of meeting his wife as having taken place when the “angel” would bring him apples and bread to the fence of the concentration camp…virtually keeping him alive and helping him to survive the experience.  

         In truth,what was promoted as a love story extraordinare was a lie; they actually met on a blind date many years after his experiences in the concentration camp.  It is a terrible thing to tell everyone a lie about the roots of his marriage; expecting others to perpetuate the myth…just to sell a book.  The Rosenblat’s son did not agree with the falsehood and says he didn’t want anything to do with it. But think about this, when people that his family knew learned of the the writing of the book…and were complimentary….how did his parents expect him to act?  Was he supposed to swallow the truth and pretend that the story being told was the truth?  Or was he to contradict his parents whom I am sure he loves?  What a predictament to put your child in!

         Even though the beginning of the Rosenblat’s relationship is said to be untrue…Herman’s experiences of survival in the concentration camp would have been a very good memoir; one which would have stood up well enough on it’s own, without the lie.  But, the lie is on the author…not on someone who read the book and recommended the book to others not knowing the truth.

          So, again I say…don’t blame Oprah for something in which she had no way of knowing was untrue.  If anything, it should reflect back on the publishing industry.  They are responsible for how they publish and package a book.  If they are going to put a description of the book as a memoir…then they have the responsibility of determining whether or not it is in fact a memoir.  Still, a memoir is a recollection of how one remembers events from their past…and unless the person in charge of publishing the book was there in the past…there has to be some free benefit of doubt that the author is telling the truth.  Ultimately, it is the author of the book that is responsible for whether or not the truth is being published.  In this case, no one else carries the weight of the falsehood more than the person who KNOWS IT IS A FALSEHOOD! 

        The sad thing is that this experience and others like it…only make it tougher for writers to break into an industry that is already famous for being difficult to get published in.   Who deserves to lose the loss of respect over this book for an abuse of trust…the publishers, the author, Oprah or the agents , or the publicity people?

Read Full Post »

      I have been thinking about leadership alot lately and it’s direct connection to success or failure.  Leadership whether it is in government, business, organizations, religions, education or, in personal relationships is very important.  Not everyone can be an effective leader.  There are more followers than leaders; so it is extremely important to follow the right person. 

       Whether a leader is skilled in certain areas determines how successful his/her leadership is.  Leading is not for the fainthearted; you can’t please everyone or, be their friend.  Some of the decisions a good leader has to make are extremely unpopular.  You can have productive relationships though, that are built out of respect, authority, compassion and hard work.  Those who are under your leadership have to know that you are informed and that you respect & understand their sacrifice to get the job done. 

        A good leader knows how to inspire, how to instruct, how to encourage, and how to redirect someone who is misguided, ill informed, has a poor work ethic or is saturated in a poor attitude.  A good leader knows when to use incentives and when praise or recognition will be more effective. 

        I know our country is in the midst of some deep and difficult issues.  Positive and productive leadership has never been more important.  A good leader also recognizes when they are out of their league and seeks a higher counsel…someone who is an expert in the area of concern.  I hope that those who are taking the reins of government leadership in our country are willing to lead with proper education and guidance… it is not a failure to admit that you don’t know all of the answers; it is a failure to not be willing to be educated in those areas.  We have much to accomplish and overcome in a short period of time.

        There is a great new book out by Lee Iacocca on leadership called, Where Have All Of The Leaders Gone?  I recommend reading this one.  This book gives some great advice on leading.  It also gives a bit of background information on the automotive business. 

         With the financial crisis hitting our country and the obviously failing auto industry…Lee’s book is timely.  I suggest that the new President elect Barack Obama consult with Mr. Iacocca on any proposed government bailout loan of the auto industry.  There has been some criticism about President Bush’s alleged lack of response to the auto industry’s struggles.  Now, if the American auto industry fails to succeed…we all will suffer the consequences.  I think that we already have been …but, it is only going to get worse without addressing the issue in a real purposeful way.  They are many businesses and employees who will be affected in a trickle down kind of action if and when the auto industry hits the roadblocks. 

        It would be wise to remember that whenever one major industry fails it generally has a domino effect on those sub-supportive businesses that supply the chain of industry.  We need to figure out some answers before we are all out of jobs.  We must demand competent leadership and hold them to a higher moral & ethical standard of conduct.  We are tired of those in business and industry who are content to take the money at the top and move on when they get their rewards…not caring about the outcome for those under their leadership.  Enough of the high salary CEO’s (or politicians) who don’t look long-term at the consequences of their decisions and their actions.  Americans must demand success in our leaders because the potential impact of failure is unacceptable!

Read Full Post »

       Slavery exists even today; i know that that sounds like an inflammatory statement but it is true.  It is just not talked about in any kind of real, life changing way.  I read a book recently which opens up a whole new way of looking at the world.  It is rather frightening.  Slavery exists today in what is called, modern day slavery….human trafficking.  People are bought and sold all over the world…but, it is not a subject that has been addressed in the fullness that it needs to be; to face it and, attempt to overcome it.

        The book is called, A Crime So Monstrous; it was written by author Benjamin Skinner; published in 2008.  He has traveled to places around the globe to educate and inform the world of the human injustice that is perpetrated against those who are vulnerable, and can not fight back without help.  It is a moral call to action.  Once your eyes have been opened up to the extent of the evil that is human trafficking…you will never look at the world in the same way.  Children, women, men, young and old…it doesn’t matter…crimes against humanity should never be tolerated.

        So what is modern slavery-human trafficking?  It is the forced sale of human beings to be used and abused.  There are many forms of it…from sexual slavery, prostitution, forced labor, to forced child marriages and the list goes on.  There are very real networks that cross continents buying and selling humans against their will; it impacts well over 800,000 individuals a year.   Sometimes repeatedly; without concern for the well-being of those who are being transferred like a piece of property.  It is illegal, it is immoral and it doesn’t stop there…sometimes, in many cases it is multi-generational.  In those cases, debt forces multiple generations to work to pay off debts…doing hard labor, with little or no pay.  In conditions not suitable for proper human living conditions.  Often, violence is used to coerce people to do things against their will.  They do not get proper food, shelter, health care or healthy human interaction.  It is not right.  Many of the victims are the most vulnerable in society…the weak, the poor, the disabled, the homeless, and those who are without protectors.

        Do you think it doesn’t affect you?   What if it was happening in your town?  What if it was in your neighborhood?   What if one of your loved ones came up missing?   Missing family member…what if they have become one of the invisible slaves bought and sold for someone else’s gain and pleasure?  People who patronize the prostitutes on any street, in any country, around the world did you ever wonder if …are they doing it because they want to?  Or, are they being forced to perform as a prostitute because they are in fact, someone’s slave?  If you purchase their services…you could be part of the problem. How about people who purchase the servant to cook, or clean in their business or home, especially those  individuals not legally present in that country; are they working for them willingly, or have they been bought and paid for?  

         Our country, the United States of America, is involved in war.  Our military men and women have seen things in other countries that would shock you.  In some of those countries, when war breaks out…rape is used as a tool to destroy cultures and to break down the resistance of the opposing fighters.   Our military men and women have seen what happens to the women in those countries that have been warring with one another when they have gone in to establish some kind of peace-keeping.  Women and children, as well as men, are raped and used horribly.  Some of them never recover, physically or emotionally.   This is unacceptable behavior…no matter what country it takes place in.  These are issues to think about.  No-one is guaranteed safety from these predators.  http://www.humantrafficking.org/updates  This is a global issue.  It affects us all.  If you met one of these individuals in person… how you could be unaffected?  Yet most of us live our lives unaware of their plight.  Their stories of abuse would horrify you. 

         Many of the hotbeds in the modern day slavery networks, are on the news everyday…either they are points of travel destinations, or glamour spots that the rich and famous travel to and from…others are known for their sexual tourism…PLEASE STOP FEEDING THE MONEY MACHINE.   Someone’s “tourism” is someone else’s nightmare!!!   Do some research…don’t travel or support countries that are known for trading the services of human beings, illegally, for money.  Governmental leaders must take a stand and enforce those who would disregard the value of human lives by their inaction.  We must expect legal consequences and demand it from the authorities who can make a difference.

         Ben Skinner’s book, A Crime So Monstrous, touches on some of those people and their situations.  It breaks your heart.  And yet, you know that it is just a way of outlinning the scope of the problem.  You can find out more about the book here:  www.simonsays.com  It is also available as an e-book.  Take the time to educate yourself…read it; and, understand how this affects us all.  We need to stand up and demand that our leaders help to wage a war against those who would commit crimes against humanity in such a vile, and dehumanizing way.  Thank you to those who fight the fight against such inhumanity in our world.  

See possibly related story:  http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/WireStory?id=6081857&page=1 or http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/story?id=6121646

Read Full Post »

      Rumors have been making the news for a long time about the health of the marriage of Madonna and her husband Guy Ritchie.  They have denied trouble whenever the subject came up…but…the old saying…where there is smoke there is fire stands because they have comfirmed that the couple has agreed to divorce one another.  As always…privacy has been asked for.  More than likely…that will not happen; when infamous couples declare seperation or divorce…it only creates more curiosity.

      Madonna, the material girl of old, has always commanded a large amount of publicity.  Guy Ritchie has been along for the ride since their marriage back in 2001.  It is difficult for any relationship to thrive under that kind of spotlight.  No divorce is easy and dividing up possessions, money and custody time is going to be compounded by the fact that Guy is a Londoner…and Madonna, before the marriage, was a resident of the United States.  For those of you who have gone through a divorce and had to work out visitations and custody times…imagine doing it from one country to the next.  Of course, that is assuming that Madonna would consider moving back to the states after the divorce.  At the moment she is on a tour.

        Madonna’s brother Christopher Ciccone wrote a book earlier this year about his relationship with Madonna.  Christopher alludes to the fact that he believes that Madonna’s husband Guy came between their sibling relationship and their professional relationship.  Christoper was a designer and coreographer for several of her musical tours.  I wonder if they will be able to repair their relationship after this marriage has ended.

       It is the children that will have to do the most adjusting through this situation.  Money doesn’t change that fact; children always suffer the most in a divorce or seperation.  Madonna has three children, Lourdes, Rocco and David.  Lourdes is from a previous relationship to the marriage…Rocco is Guy’s son and David is both of theirs because he was adopted from Malawi during their marriage.  It is sad for them most of all.  Adults make their own choices about such matters.

        In any case, best wishes to all…peace and love to all parties…but, i imagine it will take some time for the fireworks to dim before it is all said and done…these situations take time and energy to resolve.

Read Full Post »

        There is a new biography coming out, called:  Here’s the story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice.  It is being released for sale tomorrow.  Over the years, it appears that Maureen McCormick, the actress who played Marcia Brady on the Brady Bunch television show in the 70’s lost her identity to the character that she played on that show.

         Having grown up during those Brady Bunch years…i know that Maureen was a television icon during that time because of the character that she played.  She was a trend setter.   Many young girls wanted to be Marcia.  The Brady Bunch was a huge part of the culture in the 70’s…even though the show was only on for about five years; it influenced a whole generation of young people and their families.

        As we now know, many childhood actors have gone on to have troubled lives because of the unique set of circumstances growing up with such an unhealthy balance of power, between the lifestyle of a child actor and normal growing up circumstances.  When a child actor makes the kind of money they do, has all kinds of adults jumping to their whims, has masses of people hanging on their every word and action…the balance of power in raising a child from youth to adulthood can get warped a bit in the entertainment business.  Many of the actors/actresses don’t listen to positive advice or instruction…they surround themselves with yes people and hangers on.  Too often we hear of young people in the industry who get into legal trouble or trouble with drugs/alcohol addictions because they don’t have an authority figure to keep them from making such mistakes.  Their relationships enter into difficulties because they don’t know if they are being liked for who they are or for who they play on television.

           I am looking forward to reading Maureen’s memoir; as i have heard bits and pieces over the years about her struggles after the Brady Bunch years.  I can’t imagine that it was an ideal way to grow up.  However, Maureen McCormick is now 52 years old.  I hope that by reading the story…that it instills in others some kind of wisdom in helping others not to repeat the mistakes that so many have made in similar journeys.

           Often times in these types of memoirs…much of the time and attention is focussed on the misdeeds, as opposed to the lessons learned; i hope that is not the case in this book.  It would be nice to have some success stories in the media on overcoming the odds of loosing yourself to your television character’s image.   In any case, there is a whole generation of people who will be interested in finding out how things progressed for the actress who gave so much enjoyment through her nemesis. 

Read Full Post »

       On Friday, O.J. Simpson was declared guilty in a court room in Las Vegas, Nevada, of all 12 counts that he was charged with that were associated with armed robbery.  This morning, O.J. is sharing breakfast with other inhabitants of the local jail.  This case had centered on an armed robbery of sports memorabilia related to O.J. Simpson’s career in football.  The case made headlines around the world because of the cast of characters involved in the robbery.  During the trial it was a he said/he said situation.  Some of those involved on both sides of the accusations have had their credibility questioned due to previous run-ins with the law.  There were recordings that appeared to shed light on the actual drama behind the scenes.  Of course, this case could have long lasting implications…O.J. and C.J. Stewart, his co-defendent were both found guilty and could spend the remainder of their lives in jail.  They will be formally sentenced in December for their involvement in this case.

      Of course, we all know of the infamous case against O.J. Simpson back in 1994 when he was accused of murdering his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, her friend and a waiter, from a local restaurant she had visited earlier in the evening.  O.J. was declared not guilty of those murders in the criminal sense…but, many people never believed in his innocence.  He was found to be liable for their deaths in a civil suit. 

        O.J. has made headlines in the news since he began his football career at USC in the 60’s.  He has had a varied career since he retired from football.  He was an actor, a football commentator, a business owner and an author.  He wrote a very controversial book called If , I did it.  This was supposedly a book of fiction surrounding the murders; and, how he would have murdered them, if he did it.  There was a very intense public outcry towards the publisher of the book and the television network that were going to give it attention on their media network.  In a series of events, the publisher lost out big time.  Then Ron Goldman’s family sued the publisher for the rights to help satisfy O.J’s debt in the civil suit that was brought against him for being liable for the deaths of Ron and Nicole.  They were able to win the rights to the book and retitle it, If, I Did It: Confessions of the Killer; and add commentary to the book. 

        In a life of such highs and lows…this latest development could appear to be the final chapter; however, when a person who is used to such intense attention and focus, it begins to feed a core need in that person.  Even if O.J. is sentenced to life behind bars…this will not be the last you hear from him.  I am sure that there will be interviews, blogs, and possibly more books all expressing his views and need to be heard and seen.  Still, you can’t help but feel for those most closely aligned with Mr. Simpson…his children, his siblings and anyone who has been most closely and directly involved in his life.  This is another painful chapter for them to endure. 

           Those who thought, that when O.J. was incarcerated, that it would bring them some closure will probably be disallusioned.  He has had many issues with the law.  There have been domestic police calls(regarding spouses, girlfriends & children), murder trials, fender benders and robbery.  Each of those situations have had people impacted by O.J.’s choices and actions.  I am sure in this situation, there will be a period of satisfaction for some, that they will feel vindicated that he is getting his due.  But, i have to wonder if that part of them that feels he has “gotten away with so much”, will eventually feel empty when their opponent is no longer free to do battle with them anymore.  After all, he isn’t being punnished for the issues that they feel he should have been punnished for. 

           Just because he is being put away in jail/prison…doesn’t mean that he is going to go away.  He is a big personality.  He will find a way to still get the attention that he feels bound to command.  There will be interviewers who will feel duty bound to get the interview and record it for posterity.  He will be incarcerated and be getting 3 meals a day, housing and medical care, all at the tax payer’s expense.  Yes, he will have lost his freedom, but, he will still not give them what they want and need, total satisfaction that he is getting everything that he deserves.

Update:  On Friday, October 19, 2008 The lawyers for O.J. Simpson filed a motion for a new trial because they believe that they did not get a fair trial.  It was an all white jury except for one hispanic juror; that, plus two African-Americans were dismissed from the possible pool of jurors.  We will see where this goes.  I know that O.J.’s co-defendent wanted to have a seperate trial from O.J. because he felt that he would be lumped together with the prosecution of O.J. and that he would suffer the consequences of people who wanted to pay him back for the idea of  “getting away with murder” years before.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »