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Posts Tagged ‘sadness’

        Yes, Britney Spears is talented…but, after the roller coaster year she has had and the struggle to pull her life together…i guess I expected a bit more of her.  She is beautiful, she is talented and she has the drive to become anything she wants to be.  That is why i was disappointed by her appearance on Good Morning America this morning for her 27th birthday celebration.  I know that all of this media attention is merely publicity for her upcoming tour and album release; but, I was hoping for something a little more.  After all, she has revamped her body, her legal standing, and she has regained some control of her well-being over the troubling last year.

        She is twenty seven years old…and she “recreated” her past image.  I really thought that she would re-invent her image by pulling it together instead of trying to hyper-sex her image.  Who of us wouldn’t have responded positively to a more grown up version of the Britney Spears entertainer?   Come on…for heaven’s sake…she has the pipes; she doesn’t need to strip down to expose herself by wearing outfits that leave little to the imagination.  (For the record, i have the same problem with other talented people like Beyonce who recently introduced her audience to her alter ego, Sasha Fierce).  There are audiences who will eat this stuff up; but do they care about the entertainer as a person outside of what is given them on the stage?  The performer doesn’t have to live with the audience; they only have to live with themselves when they leave the spotlight.   Is the public adulation enough for you?  Does the fame help you to live a fuller, happier life when not performing?

        It’s bad enough that the music/television business pushes the hyper-sexed robots that sell shows/concerts to the public…but, why in the world do the celebrities exploit their own images?  They already have the industry contacts, they have the skill set, they have supportive fans…why do they feel the need to sell their images this way?

        I really take issue with Britney’s performance on Good Morning America; as her very young sons and mother were in the audience.  Is this necessary to expose your young children to the visual of their mother strutting around on stage in the barest essentials, singing about things like serial womanizing? 

         Where is the inside soul of Britney?  Is she gone?  Sometimes when you look at her eyes in photographs …you see such emptiness, vulnerability and sadness.  Does she think that this version of her talent is ALL that she has to offer us?   I can’t help but think back to the young girl who was beginning her career; the girl who had such a genuine look in her eyes and talked about positive traditional values…she has been missing for a long time.  Britney genuinely seemed more like a happier person at that time, more then she does today.  Today she has children, she has more material things, she has more money and fame than she did back then.  So what’s missing? 

        I figured when Britney exploded back into the public eye, professionally, we would see a more mature version of her; one that combined who Britney was before she turned into such a hot commodity; and, the person who battled her way through the fire this past year.  I know she has it in her to be using her talent in a way that is in alignment with her formerly acknowledged Christian values.  Maybe Britney needs reminded that she is a young woman, a mother, a daughter, a sister and an aunt…someone who has a responsibility to represent herself as a positive influence to those around her.

          Remember Britney when you talked about keeping yourself pure?  Obviously you have had children and adult relationships…but, in that maturing process it appears as if anything goes in public now.  How do you want your children to conduct themselves in the next 7-10 years?   Are we going to see your children performing as Chippendale-like dancers before an audience of screaming female fans; stripping down to G strings, when they are in their teens?  Will you be ok with that?  Because that is the example you are putting before the eyes of our young sisters-brothers, and sons-daughters. 

         And Britney, you are making it appear irresistible…you are rich, you are famous, you are beautiful and, you have the career that many would be thrilled to have.   If only you would channel your career into something that is more acceptable in the way of traditional family values; in a world that is craving positive, musical role models.  I don’t think that you realize the impact that you have on your young fans. 

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       I remember back when i was in high school, back in the 80’s, we had a class on social issues.  In that class we discussed high profile situations in our society; which underscored how desensitized our society was becoming to people in pain and misery.

       There was a case of a woman who was stabbed over and over again in New York.  She was screaming and people heard it and yet they did nothing.  Later, when the police were investigating…people stated that they heard it; but, they did not want to “get involved”. 

         I remember thinking, during that discussion, that that was crazy; an isolated incident.  Not so, as i have grown up and matured, I find that people really are becoming desensitized to other people’s pain and misery.  It is crazy but think about it…how many movies have put murder and torture out there for entertainment value…such as those horror flicks or slasher movies?  It is not only sad…but, it is immoral.   Those things desensitize our fellow human beings to the value of life.

         How many television shows continue to shoot, rape, rob, torture and victimize others and draw in millions of viewers each and every day?  How do we expect people to have compassion towards one another?  We need to reconnect to those around us; this is something that affects us all.  Children are growing up today who have great difficulty seeing past their own wants and needs.  Adults who are willing to commit violence to get what they want…no matter who they hurt or kill.  Parents who kill children, children who kill parents, siblings, neighbors or friends.  It is as if they do not know how to “feel” appropriately towards anyone outside of themselves.

        Today, i am brought to a deeper sadness than I have felt in a long time regarding our nation and the lack of compassion that our citizens show towards one another. 

         A young man in Florida committed suicide online while others watched and egged him on.  He posted a suicide note…he live-streamed his suicide online; while people WATCHED and did nothing to HELP him.  Not only that, they allegedly ridiculed him and said things like…that isn’t enough medication to kill you!  What amazes me, is that this went on for hours and hours before someone had the good sense to contact the authorities to try to get help for him.   It was too late; he was already dead!

         There are reports that this person may have attempted to kill himself in the past.  So what; so what if it was a false alarm…who and what does it hurt to contact the authorities and have it checked out?  If that person was faking it…he would have been sent somewhere for a psychological exam to find out why he would do such a thing.  Maybe, just maybe he would still be alive today if someone had made an attempt to help him; when he FIRST stated his intention to kill himself.   

         Unfortunately, the young man was not faking the suicide attempt…he was actually crying out for help.  There were many people who had an opportunity to get involved, save a life, make a difference…and yet…they did not.  How can a human being watch another person suffer in front of their very eyes and pile more emotional damage upon that person?  Even if they thought it was a prank, even if they thought the person was not serious, even if they thought it was a waste of time…they failed to react with compassion.  How much more of an effort would it have taken to pick up the phone…or contact the online service that provided the streaming video and asked for someone to follow up on the person’s well-being?  Someone finally did contact help…but…it was much too late for saving his life; but, at least they made an attempt.

           I sure would not want my mind filled with the image of that young man lying on his bed with his back to the camera; filled with despair and depression…curled up in defeat…knowing that he died as I watched and took no action to save his life.  Every life has value and should be preserved.  My heart aches for him, for his family and for his friends…and yes, even for those who watched him die.  They will have to live with the knowledge of what they saw, what they said and did; and, did not do to help a fellow human being in distress.

           Many people in our society are affected by mental illness, or by depression.  It is not a crime…however, it is a crime to fail to get someone help when they need it.  I don’t know if any of those who participated in this suicide by watching it will be held legally responsible or not…but, I do think that they had a moral obligation to get involved in a way that would have attempted to provide some emergency help for this individual.  Depression is a serious matter and so is a suicide attempt.   Please help to educate others on suicide prevention!  https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/08/23/suicide-prevention/ or on what happens to a suicide victim’s loved ones after the suicide:  http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=6311509

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       Sad news…actress Eileen Herlie has passed away.  Eileen played Myrtle Fargate on the soap opera, All My Children for 30 years.  She passed away from pneumonia on Wednesday October 8th, 2008.  She will be missed.  The thing is…i remember when she came on the show…:) wow…is that dating myself since i just told you she was on the show for 30 years…but, for all you know, I could have been 3 when she came on…let me live in my delusion for just one little moment, LOL.

         In any case, when she first came on the show…she play a mischievous con woman with a twinkle in her eyes and a lilting smile on her lips.  She was involved with the “carney” as she called it…the close knit group of people who float from town- to- town when the carnivals come to make a living.  Over the years, the character Myrtle took on a different personna.  She became the favorite quirky aunt that the younger relatives loved and admired and went to for advice much to the consternation of the older generations.  The older relatives and friends just could not predict what would come out of her mouth…whether her advice to “Erica Kane”, played by the wonderful Susan Lucci, would be appropriate or encourage the young woman to greater misdeeds.

          In the last decade or so…Myrtle took the place of trusted advisor to Erica Kane.  Erica’s mother Mona had passed away…so Myrtle became the foil to the willful Erica; giving her advice that was spot on…but most of the time Erica knew this but did her own thing anyway.  She was loving and affectionate towards Myrtle which helped the viewer’s fall in love with the new role that Myrtle played with their favorite vixen, Erica.

         We will be missing the character Myrtle…but…because the woman behind her was such a wonderful actress…Eileen Herlie will be sadly missed as well.  That is a tribute that every actor/actress wants to hear…that they played the character so well…that in the eyes of the audience…they became that very same character.  So, we grieve the passing of  “auntie” Myrtle (Eileen); she was part of the family.  I know it was just a soap opera…but, it feels a little bit sad.   May you rest in the arms of God in peace!

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       September 11th used to be just another day.  Then, it became my son’s brother’s birthday.  Nine years later…September 11th became something else.  September 11th, 2001 became the day of the destruction of American innocence.  It became a day controlled by terrorists and their plot of destruction.  It became a day of horror and fear.  It became a day of mourning.  Then, it became a day of rememberance. 

         Each year the day brings anxiety, fear, sadness and depression…but it also, becomes a measure of time.  It becomes, almost a before and after measure in our country and in our lives.  The military men and women, the everyday people who traveled on the jets, the business people who worked in the World Trade Center, the people on the street…every life that was lost was precious; and the grief never becomes anything less than what it should be!  The grieving process is different for everyone…but, it is the bridge from a place of denial to an acceptance of a life that has been changed, due to a loss of the life of a loved one.  At some point, you either become a person cocooned in pain and loss or you move towards a place of healing and acceptance.

        How much time has passed since that tragic day.  How many things have those people who’s names are called out in the roll-call missed.  How many sons and daughters have marked milestones in their lives without parents?  How many spouses have witnessed holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, births & deaths without their partners by their side to support them?  How many parents, grandparents, grandchildren, neighbors, and friends have been forced to bear witness to life without those who were such a part of their lives?

          For those who have valiantly tried to heal from the deep wounds of September 11th; some have found some way of marching into the future…one difficult footstep at a time.  Others have been forever stuck in that moment of loss.  For those who have been able to move forward painfully…there is no lack of a sense of guilt, for surviving and beginning to enjoy the blessings in life again. 

          Each milestone of survival is marked by loss…that can’t be forgotten; and yet, to choose not to enjoy what’s left in life to enjoy; is a slap in the face to those who’s lives were lost.  Which of them, if given a choice would choose to live a life without thanksgiving, without joy, without celebration… of all the good things before them; if they were able to live again?  It does those who were lost no honor, to allow the terrorists to have more “dead” victims than they already stole from the world.

          So while we honor those who were lost…let’s not forget those who were left behind to survive.  Let’s honor the loved ones, of those who were lost in the attack.  At some point, peeling back the scab over and over again can only serve to prevent long-term healing.  When, might September 11th become just another day again?  Can it ever become just another day…probably not?  Should it ever become something else besides an acknowledgement of the terrorists deeds?  Or are we forever bound by loss and respect to the lives lost, to always carry the scar of history ?  Is it possible to take back some of the power that the terrorists stole from us by reclaiming that day as just another day?

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      Anyone who has lost someone to death realizes just how precious life is.  Anyone who has lost someone, due to suicide, realizes what a waste of precious life, suicide is.  No one wants to talk about the horror of suicide; there is no way, to make the subject easy to discuss.  When the media does a story on suicide…it seems that there is an increase in suicides attempts that take place.  It is a careful balance to bring awareness to a terrible tragedy that affects so very many people; and yet, not give it so much attention that it plants seeds in the minds of those who are most vulnerable.  Here is a site that can shed some light on the subject:  http://www.suicidology.org/displaycommon.cfm?an=2

         This week is National Suicide Prevention Week.  It is important to bring the message of hope and restoration.  Hurting people need to have a reason to live; they need to know that someone cares and is listening to them.  Those same people need human intervention to help them when they are vulnerable.   It is crucial to educate the public on ways to observe and interact with individuals who are struggling in their life and may be at risk for a suicide attempt.  People experiencing loss, loneliness, physical or mental health problems, financial problems, depression or isolation are at risk.   Every life has value and is worth saving!  Won’t you take a few minutes to learn more?

        There is a team of committed people who are working very hard to educate and bring awareness to the public about the issue of suicide prevention.  The team is called Ken McArthur’s Impact Action Team; and they are trying to communicate the importance of teen suicide prevention.  Here is a glimpse into the combined efforts of the Impact Action Team : http://speakupsavelives.org/general/speak-up-save-lives-message-to-be-broadcast-live-to-15-million-people-wednesday-morning-at-730-am-on-comcast-cn8  Check out their message and their goals…witness the impact that individuals can have by joining together with like-minded people.  Have you been affected by suicide during your lifetime?  If you could do ONE thing to help prevent a suicide, what would it be?  Speak up…someone who needs to know could be listening! 

       

       

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          Suicide is not a pleasant subject.  It is a word that makes most people cringe.  People who have lost a loved one to suicide cringe too; they have more of a reason to be disturbed by the word.  Most of us don’t stop to think about suicide death on a daily basis…but maybe we should.  For those directly affected by a suicide…it is an especially difficult thing, to grieve…because there are so many added things to work through. 

          Loss is one thing; that is bad enough…but, add to that… justifiable feelings of abandonment, anger, denial, financial distress, shame, isolation, shock and even rage for being rejected by the loved one; for something as unknown and final as death, many times without any warning that suicide was being considered. 

           It is a hard subject to talk about because studies often have shown a correlation to discussions about suicide and the rates of suicides that have increased after say a media interview or article that is published in a large viewership.  So how do you address such a terrible thing as suicide without taking the risk of an outbreak of suicides?  I am not sure…but i do know…that listing some of the signs or risk factors is important…because it is possible to at least become aware of some signals that may alert friends or family to a person who is contemplating taking their own life. 

            Some of the obvious signs are:  sudden changes in personality or behaviors, drug or alcohol use, life changes such as loss of job or marriage, verbal comments such as life isn’t worth living…, depression, neglecting personal well-being or appearance, loss of interest in things the person previously enjoyed, extreme mood swings, sleeping excessively, giving away precious things, avoiding close friends or family, isolating themselves, gaining or loosing noticeable weight without trying, lack of effort at school or job, listless, a feeling of hopelessness or failure, lots of negative or sad comments, focussing on negative circumstances and obsessing about them.

             There are times when people are more at risk than others, for some it is during their teenaged years if they struggle with acceptance and sometimes depression, for others it is in middle age when possible sudden life changes are perceived as failures or loss such as divorce or forclosure, the elderly are often at risk of suicide because of health issues, isolation from friends and family and many times because of financial issues.   It is important to remember that some medications carry the risk of increased thoughts of suicide…so talk to your doctor about these issues if there is any concern at all.

            All ages and sexes are at risk of a potential suicide.  People must get better at listening to each other; and, they need to stay connected by communication on a regular basis.  No one wants to think of friends or family doing the unthinkable; but, it can happen to anyone. 

            Many people try to respect people’s privacy and back off when in fact, it is at these times that they are needed more than ever.  Fear of not knowing what to say or do is common.  When in doubt…it is always best to contact a professional.    Here is a national hotline to contact if you or someone you know is dealing with the idea or fear of suicide:   1-800-273-TALK.
www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

                The impact of suicide is long lasting on those survivors who are left behind.  Every life that can be saved is a gift…every person has value.  We must begin to find ways to open the opportunities to share with one another the hurts and disappointments in life and find ways of overcoming the effects of those things in our lives and in the lives of people that we care about.  Do you know someone who was able to turn the corner and avoid the tempation of suicide?  How did they do it?  Do they share with others about their experience?  Many people in schools, nursing homes, and professionals in your local communities could benefit from that knowledge so that they can help others.  How can those experiences benefit others?

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        Ben Stiller, the talented and funny actor has a new movie coming out; it is called Tropic Thunder.  It is a movie he was instrumental in producing, by doing the writing and directing, among other things.  There is a boycott brewing by special needs advocacy groups because of a movie within the movie.  The movie is supposed to be a mocking satire of actors who will take any movie no matter how over the top or bizarre to make a name for themselves as an actor, without regard for the subject matter. 

         Is this something that is supposed to be funny?  The lower our standards of conduct go…the funnier it is supposed to be…is that the concept?  Instead of getting kudos by the industry for a financial success…there should be a call to accountability; demanded by the American public for standards of decency.  Controvery about the subject matter should not just be just a tool used by public relations departments to garner curiosity that translates to box office rewards; that is my opinion. 

         One of the movies within the movie called, Simple Jack, allegedly mocks and makes fun of people with disabilities.   Meetings with advocacy group leaders were held with Stacey Snider who is a chief executive at Dreamworks…the company that released the film to try to address the concerns about the movie.  The studio has refused to make changes to the movie.  Shame on them!  Their attempts at humor just aren’t funny when the laughs are at the expense of a population of people born with disabilities.  Where is the respect?  (more…)

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