Beautiful music. Great performers, here’s the incomparable Chris Martin of Coldplay and Jay-Z performing at last years Grammys heading into your Easter weekend.
Blessings and peace ya’ll.
~Posted by Horiwood.Com, Hollywood California USA. 4.2.2010~
Jake Gyllenhaal as a ‘rogue prince’ Dastan and Gemma Arterton as ‘mysterious princess’ Tamina from The Prince of Persia’s new promo posters, have got Hollywood’s movie obsessed audiences buzzing today. Here’s how you ranked your top 10 entertainment news bites on Horiwood.Com today:
So cool. Coldplay show their respects to Michael Jackson with their Billi Jean cover.
On their website today, the band are giving away their new CD, Left, Right, Left, Right to all of their concert goers this year. Wow! It’s cool that the LRLR title theme of their album is in keeping with friends, peers U2‘s latest song, Get On Your Boots… with Coldplay tying this album’s theme to a marching or military band that urges their fans to march forward out of fear in these economic times towards a better future. Very smart tie in here! The US is where the CD giveaway is most needed, that band thinks! Interesting… (more…)
Before Joanne Stefani Angelina Germanotta became Lady Gaga, she still looked pretty and sexy as a brunette… why all of the costuming now? But we love the talented freak show that Lady Gaga brings fiercely to us all each week.
Lady Gaga news is ranked and stacked by YOU on Horiwood.Com, like THIS today. Enjoy YOUR FUN choices!!
Today in Hollywood we celebrate President Barack Obama’s First 100 Days in Office. We live in exciting times. Nothing is impossible, and 100 Days later, the magic of YES WE CAN burns brighter with hope for the world than ever. Today is a record breaking day on Horiwood.Com. Thank you all for being the active reason for this entertainment news website’s development, passion and life.
Peace ya’ll. Sam Cruickshank of Horiwood.Com
Horiwood.Com’s Top 10 Rating Lady Gaga Posts today are:
BONUS GAGALICIOUS POSTS:
Coldplay wore Military styled jackets to both The Grammys and The Brit Music Awards. They were palmed off by the band as being ‘Beatles-esque’, but they look more military and uniformed in hindsight, complete with the Union Jack, in military fashion. Is the Western world gearing up to go to war? Images of entertainment, seem to suggest so.
Wow! Watch out U2 and Coldplay!!! Deer Hunter bring it, in concert, Live @ Noise Pop 2009, <CLICK HERE TO EXPERIENCE>
In true Irish humor, Bono stirred up controversy in a BBC interview, when he was asked questions about Coldplay being dubbed ‘the next U2.’ Here’s what Bono said about Coldplay’s Chris Martin:
“I think he’s that good a melodist, but he’s a w*nker… He’s obviously a completely dysfunctional character and a cretin,” said Bono on the BBC early Friday morning.
The U2 frontman then took back his words, telling the radio show host, “I think they [Coldplay] are a great band and actually, it turns out he’s a great soul as well. Sorry about that. I was just joking entirely.”
So Irish to joke that way and Chris Martin and Bono are great friends and comrades. Nice humor. Nice PR. Way to cause the controversy feud rumor mill to sell both U2 and Coldplay’s records. Coldplay has sold 7miliion Viva La Vida albums worldwide so far. Wow! To see Coldplay and U2′s recent encore act together in concert, click here: UK ROCK ROYALTY – THE BEST ENCORE EVER
And she extends the hand of American friendship to the Chinese government. China’s population makes up one sixth of the worlds population. By the way, India’s population makes up one sixth of the worlds population. That means that, 1/3 of the world are either Chinese or Indian. So the foreign affairs equation for the USA is simple. It is:
America + its European allies + LOVE + China + India = global domination. I kid!!! But not really… yep, Samuel Spengler would be so proud of me for that. But that’s the wisest strategy forward for America into the future.
So with Hilary in China, & Slumdog Millionaire set to take home best picture for the Oscars here in Hollywood, America’s foreign affairs record is looking pretty smart, this year. Go Hilary. You should have taken Lucy Liu with you though, perhaps!!!
Oh, and for the Euorpean allies equation part, Coldplay got Grammys representing the UK/ Europe this year, so Kate Winslet’s gotta get the Oscar. Cos that’s how it works in the U S of A, and that’s how we roll. Congrats to Hil on your first major trip to China as Secretary of State. Go girl!
YOUNG, FAMOUS, TALENTED & ABUSED – THE RIHANNA & CHRIS BROWN HOLLYWOOD STORY by Sam Cruickshank
If Rihanna is to stand a chance of having a better life, then she should not be at all concerned about what the world thinks of the photograph circulating around the world depicting her brutal battering on Feb 8th.
Instead she should be focussing on building a safer network of people around her that she can trust in every facet of her life. However, this goal has been complicated already with her trust betrayed by the LAPD who leaked a photo to TMZ of her misfortune. Whether this was wittingly or unwittingly leaked, as a part of a police strategy to persuade the public that Chris Brown should face up to his violent acts like a man, yet remains to be known. But Rihanna must not let this picture’s public release occupy her attention right now.
On the Oprah Winfrey Show on friday, Oprah’s live panel weighed in on the topic of domestic abuse. One of the startling facts brought to light was the fact that only 1 in 9 victims of domestic abuse ever leave their abuser long term.
If Rihanna stands a chance of leaving Chris Brown, she needs all the encouragement in the world from her team around her to create an environment where she does not feel exploited in any way. In entertainment when an artist’s beauty is being exploited and money is being made off their talent this is a difficult thing to ultimately ensure for a young artist.
Just look at Britney’s Spears tumultuous life last year, when Britney did not have the right team around her, and ask is Rihanna any different? She’s in the same Fame Game as Britney is, so of course she’s not. They are one and the same person. Chris Brown is one of them too. Young stars who feel exploited and who are in siege mode, find it hard to separate fact from fiction, friend from foe, fame from family, lust from love because everywhere they turn, they feel that everyone just ‘wants a piece of’ [them]. More often then not their young lives can’t sustain the painful demand upon their souls.
There is no room to grow up, and catch up with their true maturity levels, or immaturity levels, outside of what is orchestrated all around them to showcase their talent, which is not the real them, when they are alone, scared and don’t know who they really are outside of what sells records for all who depend on them. In this lonely place together, two young people found a sanctuary in each other’s arms. They were Chris Brown and Robin Rihanna Fenty. Now back to the present day issues at hand for these two pop stars.
It is clearly obvious that Rihanna needs genuine team support more then ever right now around her that she feels is more giving than exploitative. That’s a given. It will help her a lot, if she feels she has this around her, in a genuinely supportive way. Her life and not her talent should matter more than just Rihanna existing just to sell another record or give an awards show, a higher rating.
The same can be said for Leona Lewis for that matter too. Young girls who lift ratings through their vocal talent and rare beauty, like Rihanna and Leona Lewis have proven capable of doing in America and around the world, are sometimes viewed just as exotic anomalies in the world who entertain the masses. However, these girls come from other countries and they actually really know nobody here in America, outside of being a famous young pop star.
By virtue of being ‘discovered’ by a music mogul, the power rating is already skewed against them, they feel indebted to their producer/ manager although grateful and they are cast in a role where they perhaps have to rely too heavily on what their management teams view of them as being successful individuals. Which will always be, get up on stage and sell more records.
When these girls get tired and burnt out by the industry machine, they can’t really appeal to their managers who can often perpetuate their burn out in the first place by advising them to work hard and not lose their popularity in the Fame Game. There is simply no getting off the treadmill for them, and they can feel alone with no one to really talk to, and vulnerable.
Clearly in Rihanna’s case, Chris Brown offered the young star, some sense of false security from a tired feeling of Rihanna being in the fame cycle and being exploited and profited upon, by all in Rihanna’s camp. Rihanna had sought the illusion of the safety that Chris Brown seemingly was offering her, to escape some wider issues of unsafety in her world that she herself felt powerless to address with anyone else other than Chris.
For a moment there, he appeared to be her angel. He perhaps genuinely wanted to be her angel too, but he is only 18 years old, how could he be and carrying hers and his pressures of fame on his shoulders for too long, without imploding at some point? Abuse then had both of Rihanna and Chris firmly in its unrelenting grip.
Abuse leads to worse abuse, until an individual can cull it entirely from their lives. There are many faces to a state of abuse and exploitation and Chris Brown should not be the only person under speculation in Rihanna’s case history of accepting and tolerating abuse to the degree that she did and to the degree that she tried to cover it up also.
These are the kinds of issues that a team of therapists and her family must work through with Rihanna in order for her to reinstate boundaries in her life against abuse for the future. Clearly, these boundaries have been eroded in the young superstar’s life. Perhaps for quite a while now, long before Chris offered her an escape and a form of salvation in a romantic affair and a brief respite to numb Rihanna’s pain.
It is apparent that Rihanna has experienced enough abuse in her life, that she felt powerless and incapable to leave Chris Brown any earlier before his abusive behavior had escalated and she fell victim to his physical rage against her in his silver lamb car.
Rihanna was lucky that her lust and love for Chris did not cost Rihanna her life. Chris Brown’s wrath, very well could have.
It must be said though that Rihanna is the oldest of the two, turning 21 on Thursday past, where Chris Brown is 18 years of age, or two and half years her junior. So who really was to blame? And does that even matter at this juncture in terms of the well being of the two and moving them forward to become better individuals with the help they both need?
Abuse is always a two way street between the uses and gratifications that an abuser obtains from the abusee and also what they give and provide for each other (and vice versa). It’s a dialogue of dysfunction that feeds on and between two people. However, abuse itself is like the invisible third person in a relationship; a demon of destruction that rules a couple.
It is subtle because, it hides behind the couple’s faces, and speaks through one another’s mouths and lives in peoples psyches, so the individual in the relationship does not see the destruction of abuse as being a condition and not their actual partner. Therefore abuse lives strongly hurling insults from one lovebird to another.
Put frankly Rihanna and Chris Brown’s penchant for abusing and taking abuse from each other, really is an endemic problem that exists in the socialization patterns of two individuals so much, that they have both come to accept as being a normal expression of love, when really they are decieved from childhood into accepting the demon of abuse as being love. Really abuse is hatred and self hatred. And hatred is ‘love starved of attention.’ (see the book Courage To Love, by Robert Ellis for the meaning of this quote).
The couple caught up in patterns of abuse, like Chris Brown and Rihanna are, perpetuate this narrative and thus become the very people they set out to escape in their childhoods, not to be.
The dominant player of such a relationship is typically the abuser, but both feed this discourse of dysfunctionalism and accept it as their coping mechanism, or as their standard of reality in life and love. It is a crippling mental disability, that impairs and robs individuals to talk past each other. It denies them of the very thing they need, true love.
Abuse robs young people of loving partners, and the future and the children they could have had and happily raised together. Abuse, robs people of their true identity as non-abusers. This is what Chris Brown in particular is grieving and trying to come to grips with, as he potentially is being judged when you need to look at the disease that both him and Rihanna are afflicted by, and not just the brutal physical actions of the person alone who lashes out at the disease to the person they should most care about, like Chris did to Rihanna.
The duos mental disease of domestic abuse, clearly was fully blown, on Oscar’s eve. It was totally out of control between them both.
Undoubtedly, it has not been a happy relationship for both Rihanna and Chris, and they both needed help that they both didn’t seek any earlier so that their tragedy was averted.
To lose each other, perhaps is the greatest punishment of all to them both. To lose the potential of what they could have both had together due to domestic abuse and feeding and buying into it, is something that both Rihanna and Chris must look at and address at this time. I am sure that they both are, in the moments of silence and aloneness that they are having with themselves away from each other right now. Their loss of their relationship blowing up so publicly is the true tragedy within both of their hearts right now. But why did they not seek help earlier?
Perhaps Chris Brown’s inability to seek help until now that the couple have been exposed, perhaps demonstrates that in his camp he also felt his talent and life were being heavily exploited also, whereby he acted out ferociously and violently on America’s pop princess from Barbados, with his fists. It is a known fact that both Chris and Rihanna have had grueling schedules in past months. That takes its toll and then all around them, are the fans who want a piece of them too in their own personal lives.
Chris Brown’s hideous actions show an 18 year old whose sense of helplessness came out violently wrong in illegal and inhumane ways towards her. Chris Brown is not a cool, breezy guy at all. He’s not safe and is in a lot of internal pain. His alleged acts of cruel violence against Rihanna are not excusable, at all, or ever. But perhaps this is what was occurring in him at the time. He’s a time bomb of painful abuse, just waiting to explode.
The event still has the world in shock and pondering the back story to the tragedy of young love gone wrong. Either way, hitting a woman or anyone for that matter is wrong, so our sympathies align with Rihanna at this stage of their story.
Irrespective of the fact, that the keepers of justice in Rihanna’s home city of LA, cannot be entirely trusted with handling private evidence pertaining to her case, Rihanna still must put the photo leakage incident behind her with LAPD and rapidly seek to put new boundaries in place where she does not feel so unsafe from those directly around her.
The first issue that Rihanna must truly address is ending her abusive relationship with Brown.
It is a twisted web of seduction that she must unpick in her mind. Rihanna must unravel all of the intertwined strands that made her relationship with Chris Brown seem attractive: the sexuality, the shared musical passion for performance and song, the combined fame and star power as a celebrity couple, the youthful naiveity and of course, the moments of genuine friendship, shared only by two young people who share their unique reality, both exciting and harsh as it is, in the fame game of entertainment.
After all, when you look at them and who their mentors (and yet competing peers in music) are on the same music charts they battle for each month, Rihanna and Chris were just two young people emulating the lives of Beyonce and Jay-Z that loomed large, everywhere around them. However, they perhaps were in a relationship with each other for the wrong reasons, partly for their own protection from others but also thinking that it was the surest way towards being successful stars if they combined their star power.
Perhaps love began to take a back seat as their fame escalated. Not everyone can be Beyonce and Jay-Z and seemingly handle such pressures, but they stood a good chance, until their young lives became exhausted from all of the pressure upon them.
Chris Brown must also do the same post-Rihanna and unravel all of the strands in his life that he once shared and loved sharing with Rihanna. He now needs to take these things he gave her back, in the same way Rihanna needs to right now, for his own future and well being also.
Statistically, abusive relationships always stay abusive, there is not much hope that one’s loyalty equates to anything better than what Rihanna has already experienced on that fateful night of February 8th with Brown. Look at Tina Turner for example who was with Ike for almost two whole decades and nothing change. It’s only when she left him, that her own voice became its true gift of freedom for the world.
Obviously Brown feels very threatened by Rihanna somehow and his insecure alleged criminal actions against her body, clearly show his fear and jealousy of her in the leaked photograph depicting Rihanna’s brutal injuries. Why was he so afraid of her, to the point where he wanted her to be more afraid of him and he beat her down with his fists?
Was Brown a constant victim of Rihanna’s verbal abuse to him, which caused him to want to act illegally towards her by causing grievous bodily harm? No one knows. It is a probability too, that this could be the case as in most abusive relationships verbal abuse is a cycle that a couple gets into, and not just one party always is to blame.
For example, this is not the Color Purple, both Chris and Rihanna have their own stages, voice and platform as entertainers and individuals to shine on, so we must view it as being a shared dysfunction.
But at this juncture, the world is holding Brown account because of his alleged visible abuse that was simply atrocious towards Rihanna. There is no other way to look at the damage he allegedly caused to Rihanna other than that. It’s shocking. Game over.
The fact that Rihanna was to appear at The Grammys 2009 (Brown too) and he still physically tried to dominate her, like she was his property and that he could get away with that kind of treatment of her, perhaps indicates too that Brown will always see Rihanna (or any woman for that matter) as a mere possession towards enhancing his own fame, popularity and status and not as a life partner that he should love, honor, serve, protect and cherish. Perhaps this was what Brown grew up seeing as being accepted masculinity that he then acted out on Rihanna.
Perhaps everyone around Chris in hip hop demonstrates this similar narrative too, and it needs addressing in the hip hop community. Perhaps Chris and Rihanna’s very public dysfunction and meltdown, is a genuine opportunity for hip hop and music’s rock star couples, to look at this issue, dialogue about it more and open up better dialogue between musical partners who are also real life lovers. Maybe Chris and Rihanna’s mistakes will help others talk about it more and open up this area so that people in music and entertainment can have better relationships as entertainers that are more real and open in the history of hip hop and rock n roll love.
Hey, nobody is perfect and all relationships have issues, but Rihanna’s life was at stake and that should be all the wake up call she needs at this time, to severe her ties with Brown. I would hope that Brown himself is treating his own actions as a tremendous wake up call to himself, to get help and move on from the situation smartly too.
In the life of Whitney Houston we see a woman who can offer Rihanna the olive branch of rebuilding her life from here as a single woman after being in a relationship of unhealthy co-dependance and dysfunction, like Whitney Houston allegedly was with Bobby Brown for years.
Like Chris Brown, Bobby Brown largely bore the flack of the couple’s dysfunction and the way that this was represented in the media. Whitney was always cast as the songbird victim, the brilliant angelic protege of Clive Davis, but both Whitney and Bobby profited off the profits of the positioning of themselves in this particular way in their narrative in showbiz. They sold the magazines.
Everyone felt so sorry for Whitney, so they would buy more and more albums of the star. Bobby was a huge part of her star factor. Whitney was all consuming. Out of the two, the masses and the people wanted her more than they wanted Bobby. This affected the couple, so they played on it in order to survive and be superstars. Abuse fueled this narrative in their personal lives, but it was a narrative that sold.
Everyone loves a trainwreck, they feel better about themselves when they read about one. As long as it is not them. Magazines profit from this fact constantly. That’s the power of abuse in entertainment.
It’s human nature in Hollywood to sacrifice innocence and particularly young potential, to feed the majority. Sadly, Chris and Rihanna have bought into this narrative over the last few months. Until they officially separate they are caricatures of the Bobby and Whitney syndrome of the fame game.
Let’s hope Chris and Rihanna don’t do the same thing as Bobby and Whitney did for years. Both of them were great artists, but they worked out how the system could reward them, and this is what they did for years.
It was a love hate relationship with their fame, and they both understood it, in each other although it wasn’t healthy for either of them to both be in it. Better the devil you know, was the principle that bound them together in the craziness of fame.
No one knows for sure if Rihanna and Chris Brown’s dysfunctionalism was drug dependent and drug related like Whitney and Bobby’s abusive relationship was for years. But there are a lot of early similarities in the Rihanna and Chris Brown incident that could perhaps make the LAPD want to investigate closer into the background behavior of both Rihanna and Chris leading up to the February 8th event.
They are in an industry of sex, drugs and rock n roll, it is all around them so it is to be expected that perhaps it is a factor in the build up to their explosively brutal night. Hopefully drugs did not play a part in their relationship’s demise.
Whitney Houston is still battling to break the aftermath of coping with abuse, with battling past drug addiction and making a much deserved career comeback. Rihanna must somehow find the the strength to do the same in her own life and rebuild her world away from Chris now. He must do the same.
It is very significant, that in his performance at The Grammy Awards recently, the night after Crihannagate occurred, that Rihanna’s manager, hip hop artist Jay-Z performed with Coldplay’s Chris Martin in Coldplay’s song, Lost?
During his rap, Jay-Z poses the question, perhaps to Chris Brown, who do you want to be: Bobby Good or Bobby Brown? It was a powerful moment, that had actually very little to do with the lyrics of Coldplay’s song lyrics, but Jay-Z perhaps reached out from the Grammys stage and spoke to both Chris and Rihanna in that moment like only someone who was their mentor and perhaps friend, could in the music industry.
In my mind, those words of Jay-Z, was ‘the judge has spoken and delivered his verdict to you both.’ Case dismissed. Life is about choices, and which choices are the young couple going to make for a better future for each one of them. Only Chris and Rihanna can decide that for themselves.
When you mistake loyalty for love in a dysfunctional relationship, it will always yield only more pain, so I hope that Rihanna has had all of the wake up calls that she needs to preserve her life and ensure she has a safer future.
The American media and tabloids are playing the statistics game of the possibility that Rihanna could choose to go back to Chris Brown. Again, statistically they are 90% right that she could. Whitney once always went back to Bobby. However, Rihanna is refusing to talk about Chris Brown until the legal issues against him are investigated in their case.
Brown is being investigated for attempted murder as well as his brutal assault on Rihanna. It is a mystery that magazines like US Weekly would still try and link the two by printing: ”She keeps saying she still loves him,” a friend reports in their tabloid. Furthermore, according to Star magazine, another of Rihanna’s friends reportedly told Star, that Rihanna has already forgiven Chris for the “misunderstanding,” and she’s reaching out to him through texts and phone calls.
That is also highly unlikely, but cellphones belong to both Chris and Rihanna and not us. They are both adults and not children, so speculations by the magazine unlong these lines go largely unchallenged in order to sell their magazines with the most jusiest story.
It must be noted, that currently Rihanna has been cast as the victim of the Crihannagate debarcle and not Chris Brown. Rightly so,due to the photographic evidence of what Chris allegedly did to her. However it needs to be said, that she is currently also the victor of the Crianngate incident too.
Rihanna is presently profiting enormously financially by the incident due to the increased publicity, the outpouring of sympathy all over the world towards her at this time, that it seems unlikely that forgiving Chris Brown anytime soon would be in her financial interests at all, either. She is currently the most talked about women in entertainment in the world. And Rihanna has Chris Brown by the balls quite frankly from a business standpoint.
Everybody wants to boycott Chris and his music’s airplay right now. It appears to be unsafe and unsavory to even play a Chris Brown track on air at all. It’s off limits. Chris’ career is seemingly frozen, whereas hers is not so much. Meanwhile, we all can only wonder and speculate, because at this stage, both share equal blame for the relationships melt down.
Star magazine still tries to fabricate a story further by stating: ”Rihanna says she doesn’t want to make Chris look like a villain in all of this” an insider told Star. The police have already done that for Rihanna, so she doesn’t even have to do that. She has been vindicated largely already by the picture of what Chris Brown allegedly did to her.
But what about Chris Brown? He has issued an apology. However his apology could be regarded merely as the classic behavior of an abuser and a repeat, serial abuser at that. In his recent apology Chris Brown has hidden behind religion (his pastor is ‘counseling’ him) and hidden behind his family (his mother is ‘counseling’ him) to buy him time, hoping until the situation dies down a little, or will just magically go away.
In his apology, he did not mention Rihanna, the person, by name, perhaps indicating again that Rihanna was a possession and not a person, that he somehow in his mind claimed was his, in the life of his new found pop star fame. Historically, abusers are always remorseful when they get caught out, but more often than not, they resort to abuse again when they get emotionally upset again.
Who is most to blame for the couples’ meltdown is all up for discussion and debate. We all know it takes two to tango and our sympathies are perhaps largely on the side of Rihanna in the world. If you look at the pair as a couple, the publicity stunt they both could have staged by their dysfunctional actions in Brown’s car on Grammy’s eve, (wittingly or unwittingly) in their sick dysfunctional private hell, caused the duo to have more airtime than any Grammy winner or hardworking musician who deserved attention more than either Chris or Rihanna did this year.
The outcome their domestic violence achieved was totally insane in terms of stealing the national spotlight on the eve of music’s most important night. What were they both thinking?
Both of them, perhaps should be chastised by the music and entertainment industry for that. No one has talked about much else in music news since February 8th, than their misfortune as a couple. Even the Oscars build up this year, has been overshadowed by the incident.
I think that because the music community are being so gracious on the matter and are not commenting much on it, perhaps indicating that their peers see it as being a tragic and immature incident between two young people, with incredible potential to entertain through music, who just should NOT be going out together!
Their peers in music perhaps are graciously waiting for the penny to drop and for both Chris and Rihanna to realize this smartly, move on and rebuild.
I wish both Chris and Rihanna would move on quicker, so that more deserving, more appreciative and talented musicians can get some of the spotlight back on them and their talents, rather then the focus being on the attention seeking behavior of young people doing whacked out Amy Whinehouse antics, which still sell their records.
I wish both Chris and Rihanna wholeness and well being in both of their lives. But let’s get back to the people who are creating headlines through hard work and good music, today, not last year!!!
In pop, you’re only as good as your next achievement and Rihanna and Chris have yet to reinvent themselves this year to take their music up another level. Hogging the limelight without doing the work THIS year, is always a bad look. It shows two fame junkies. But where are the next wave of songs that come from both Chris and Rihanna and not just a manufactured pop machine.
This time round, let’s hope they both write and perform their own words and from their own souls, not just their alter egos.
I don’t think other musicians should be held ransom by two spoilt RnB brats who still need to prove this year that they are on top of their game through good music rather than denying other artists their just dues and rewards and attention due on Grammys night.
After getting snubbed at The Brit Awards by their own countrymen, Grammy Winners COLDPLAY united with Gary Barlow, to let Gary tell award organizers to TAKE THAT! Love it, crowd sing-alongs are the way to lift morale in a recession. BRING BACK ROBBIE WILLIAMS the King of British Crowd SingALongs! Nice PR Coldplay… The Brits are so classy!
Watch Bono, U2, Coldplay, Brandon Flowers unified onstage for the best Encore ever in today’s rock scene. Way cool! Go UK Rockers! Giving the people their monies worth to lift morale in a recession. Nice job!
Resembling a Maori chief from New Zealand, in a korowai tuxedo coat, Killers Frontman Brandon Flowers got his groove on with the Pet Shop Boys last night at the Brit Awards.
In a similar move to Coldplay’s wardrobe choice for the night, Brandon Flowers opted to be a recycling rocker, by wearing the exact same outfit he wore from last year. Recycling & reusing what you’ve got, is hot in a recession.
Recycling the same Beatles retro jackets that they wore on stage at The Grammy Awards in LA last week, Coldplay rocked out in them again for last night’s Brit Awards. Love the message to reuse what you have, as its all you need! Kind of like going back to high school and wearing your school boys uniform each day really! How British boys club-ish!!!! Savvy and tres chic! Great performance of Viva La Vida too. Click here to watch:
WHEN HOPE WON – OBSERVATIONS OF BARACK OBAMA
44th PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
by Sam Cruickshank, Horiwood, Tu Mai Magazine, March 2009
The story of how I got to be here during perhaps the most pivotal time in American history’s survival as a nation is still a mystery to me. But, here I stand on Lady Liberty’s soil to give my account of witnessing the 44th President of the United States of America being elected.
Although I have been here for three years observing America’s political and entertainment scene, the last three months in Hollywood have been a blur. Their impact can be summed up in two inspiring words. Barack Obama.
To be a New Zealander of Maori descent who was born in Labasa, Fiji and yet raised in Whangarei City perhaps gave me a grounding to understand Barack Obama a bit better.
To be this particular multicultural New Zealander, who in his thirties, found themselves in America at this time can be summed up in one word. Surreal.
I am glad I was raised in a bicultural household with a multicultural and multi-faceted perspective, because there is no other way to begin to truly understand who Barack Obama is, than engaging with what he represents from a multi-dimensional perspective.
In her hit, I Decided (You Are The Him For Me), Pop star Solange Knowles sings of Obama in this way, ‘Your mind is like a prism, for God’s light to shine through.”
His story reads like a fairytale. It has shades of a Nelson Mandela emerging from a period of relative obscurity to become a great world leader. It is tinted with the colors of enduring hope. A hope that believes in a new America and in a better world.
But Barack Obama never had an easy life. He had a childhood where he had to be understanding, forgiving and highly adaptive to his ever changing surroundings. Intelligent empathy, perhaps best sums up his character to me.
His mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, was a white woman from politically conservative Kansas in Mid-West America. Republican country for sure. Later, in Hawaii, while enrolled in a degree in psychology, Anne fell for a Kenyan student, Barack Obama Snr. She was totally living on the edge in that moment, her American dream.
Friends describe Barack Snr as having a magnetic personality and being all about oratory in understanding and interpreting the world. The couple married in 1961 within months of meeting. At the time, Ann was already three months pregnant with her son.
When Barack was almost 1, his father moved to Harvard to get a Ph.D in economics while Anne stayed in Hawaii. His father would return to Kenya to rebuild it. Although Ann and Barack Jnr. were supposed to go to Kenya with him, knowing that Barack Snr had a wife from a previous marriage in Kenya, she decided against the move.
When Barack was almost 2, Ann returned to college. She relied on food stamps and her parents support to raise her son. Ann’s later marriage to a Vietnamese student Lolo Soetoro in1967 meant that Barack was raised on the outskirts of Jakarta in Indonesia.
He was the only foreign student of any kind in his school and at night his mother would comfort him by showing him books of the civil rights movement in America and playing him Mahalia Jackson records.
He grew up watching the jazz-tinged images of Martin Luther King Jnr leading a new revolution to the other side of enslaving entitlement in America. It is this perpetual problem of American life, that a young Barack Obama saw leaders making a stand against. It became cemented in him to always do the same.
In 1971, the year that I was born in Labasa Fiji, Barack Obama journeyed back home at 10 years of age to his birthplace of Honolulu to live with his grandparents. He would attend Punahou an elite prep school, that he had gained admission into on a scholarship. Obama was to have a Polynesian American worldview until he moved to the mainland to begin his advanced college education.
It is important for me to point out that this multicultural tapestry of his history and his precious Hawaii, while being raised in a home of loving white grandparents, is the fiber and the fabric of Barack Obama’s American dream of hope. It is as vast as the Pacific Ocean he once played in and looked out to each day as a child.
His worldview truly is colorless, perhaps even nationless and is more about the humaneness of different and eclectic people coming together to find strength in a unity of purpose. In this sense Obama’s gift of leadership reaches far beyond American shores and is also a great gift to the world.
He is undoubtedly the most culturally rounded American president that the world has ever seen. The embodiment of Abraham Lincoln’s dream that was echoed in Washington’s mall by Martin Luther King Jnr. that ‘all men are created equal.’
Obama most memorably came to my attention, when I watched Oprah Winfrey transform herself from the most popular talk show host in the world, to become an animated cheerleader in a freezing cold hall in Iowa, as she gave her heart, soul, fame and personality to back a young black man in the greatest political race in America. Oprah did this like a joyful angel presenting someone more important than herself to her nation. She was like Maya Angelou doing poetical-politico TV. Wild!
It was a radical Oprah! She was so alive about this one man named Obama. She put her whole name, credibility, integrity, her great popularity and her very self on the line for Barack. It was both fascinating, touching, giddying, risky and exciting to watch.
Rarely did the world see their most favorite billionaire, outside the context and comfort of her interviewer’s couch, her lucrative TV studio and without her Oprah branding on your TV screen plastered over her many A-List guests image. Yet, here she was standing amidst a hall full of Iowa people being so excited. It was powerful.
It is a fact of American culture that the American people love and expect to be entertained and to see a show turned on for them. Only then, do they really pay attention. So Oprah’s role was pivotal to Barack’s political life. Oprah did not disappoint and she was his fairy godmother that announced his attendance as a future young King to the ball of the world stage.
It was truly the first “wow” moment in public consciousness as to who Barack Obama really was and perhaps the single greatest endorsement as to the caliber of the man. I rewatched Oprah, the next day on YouTube about 20 times, wiping my eyes from a steady stream of tears.
They were to be the tears of a healing river that America would cry too as Obama began his journey from the cocoon of past and recent American disappointments into a future that was carried only on the wings of hope and the winds of much needed change.
But Obama first had to win the right to lead his own party. He was battling intense criticism within the democratic party of a wave of polite negativity. ‘You’re too young, wait another 4 years,’ ‘it’s Hilary Clinton’s turn.’ And of course, the unspoken one, ‘the time is not yet quite right,’ meaning the issue of his skin color, perhaps. All seemingly vital concerns to the Democrats.
Yet in his heart, he knew his time was now. A famous hockey player once advised him to not go towards the puck, but to head towards where the puck should be. It was this strategy that Obama set out to do, in the hope that his party would catch up, to where he and their nation needed to be heading.
The strategy worked and with the eventual backing of both the Clinton and Kennedy families with their great political legacies behind him as past Presidential entities, he went forward with the Democratic party’s full support and unified blessing.
On Election Day, I like many others in America found myself numbed by the harsh sting of recession. Yet no one was calling that uncomfortable stinging feeling that. It had become hard to breathe freely. There was a restrictive feeling in the air. Liberty was being eroded both economically and in the morale of the average American.
We had all been fed so many lies by the Bush administration. On the news we were being told that we were not in a recession. Americans were told to leave their money in the stock market because things would come right. It was like being stuck in mass deception. Neuroses simmered underneath the surface, everywhere you’d turn. It was volatile times.
I remember the day that George Bush read from an autocue that the American people should give more money to government to bail the country out of its temporary set backs. I remember thinking that there was a sense that something was radically wrong.
My American friends around me reluctantly accepted the news, as being what good citizens of America should do, when asked by their government. It would cost each American $450 more in their taxes. Clearly to me, the deception of false security was pulled firmly over their eyes and it scared me. It was to be the Bush administration’s final major drawdown and extraction from the American people. It was like watching extortion go unchallenged.
I felt like a foreign dissenter, in this great land that was supposedly the pinnacle of Western democracy, questioning Bush’s monetary appeal before their eyes. For the first time, I was feeling unsafe and unwelcome in America. Our American brothers and sisters were reeling in a state of shock. They were shutting down and Bush’s greed ridden and grabbing spirit was taking over them and they were no longer being inclusive but were in self preservation mode of survivalists.
I witnessed a people battling for their present and their future that had been whisked away from them, right from underneath their eyes. You had to let them have time to register their emotions at their losses, and then come to their senses and good graces again. Because although temporarily blighted by loss and fear, America is a great nation. It knows no other way to be than to be great. That’s who she is.
However, the shock that they had actually been leaderless (in spirit), for quite some time and were waking up to that rude fact was horrifying. That fact, more than the loss to their economy hurt them a lot.
During his appeal on TV, Bush almost looked like a greedy addict to me while he read the autocue lines. It was like he’d been scripted to say the appeal by someone else. The Presidential seal sitting behind him convincingly in the Oval office, made him look so credible while he parroted words in the capacity of a President. The powers of symbols were in operation, but they were devoid of a conscience for the good of the people they claimed they served.
It was like Bush was told to say those words by his advisors; otherwise his benefits package would be at risk when he got out the other side.
The addictive personality behind Bushes behavior was like someone who had always been so entitled and was used to getting the thrill of entitlement that someone who had been socialized as an addict demanded and had always relied on and needed when they wanted it. McCain also exemplified this brash and arrogant spirit also. Bush would hold all ransom to get what he felt was necessary out of them.
He was a metaphor in that moment, for a country spiraling out of control, living way beyond their means, living in houses that they could not afford and yet still wanting the ideal lifestyle of luxury that they were convinced was rightfully theirs.
It is this spirit of greed and bullying ‘I will have it because I deserve it’ even if I can’t afford it, that is the sickness of America. It is this social and cultural stigma that Barack Obama would inherit to have to fix, correct, intervene and have to tame. It is everywhere here, still.
When the stock market plummeted weeks later and many Americans lost 50% of everything that they’d ever worked hard for their whole lives, they began to crawl out of deception and into a new reality. It was time to pull in the belt and start again and rebuild. Many Americas who had played the stock market, had forgotten how to work with their hands and fear set in.
The stage was set for a savior, in Barack Obama. Even the most racist, hardened capitalists were beginning to take more notice as to who he was, beneath the color of Obama’s skin and any prejudices towards this man with a different spirit.
It was a victory Obama had been waiting for before he could fully have a voice of authority for his country. The shackles of racism needed to come off his audience’s eyes. It was equally as sad as it was exciting to see America waking up as to who their next President should be. The backdrop to his presidential hand over could not have been any more epically worse for Barack.
Obama was to inherit the largest debt of any President in this country’s history and George Bush came in with one of the country’s highest surpluses. In eight years, America had been forced into historical decline.
One greedy man looked after his greedy comrades and sold out America’s grandchildren to repay his debt of gross mismanagement. It pains me to write that, but this is the current state and story of America.
Obama’s stimulus plan, borrows off The World Bank to get America up and going again. It is money that the grandchildren of Obama’s generation will have to repay. This occurred because of the Bush administration’s poor management towards the average Americans interests.
Perhaps in another country, such a man would have been court marshaled and bought to account. Bush was not. There were little ramifications for Bush’s actions both in America and also the havoc he has caused in the world. I don’t know if that should be legal, but in George Bush’s case, so it has been so.
When Barack won the election, a sound of applause like that of a Mexican wave at a football match, spontaneously arose out of all of the multi-storied apartments like a rolling blanket of praise ascending above the City of West Hollywood. It was the most beautiful sound I have ever heard being made by an entire city in unison. It was pure, spontaneous and not orchestrated and was a moment that made me cry.
America, like a lover who had been too often deceived and abused through a political rhetoric of false promises; she had now rescued herself through her democratic vote and had begun to be revived. Her trust was shattered, but she knew she had to love again and put her faith in a leader that was more trustworthy. Safety began to cautiously return to American neighborhoods and households.
That night I received 86 different emails from New Zealanders and friends from around the world wanting to know what it was like. ‘It’s very overwhelming’ was my reply.
The most memorable email came from Reina Whaitiri, one of my lecturers and mentors at Auckland University who had recently returned to New Zealand from several years at the University of Hawaii where Barack’s mother had first met his dad in academic circles.
Now in her sixties, Reina’s email said: “In all of my life, I think this is the most significant day I’ve ever witnessed in the history of the world.” I pondered those words as the celebrations continued long into the night in every household.
A new king and queen had been chosen by the people. And yes, in case we ever did get it wrong in our humble, funny, self deprecating Kiwi manner; America really is an empire and is a real kingdom in every way on the earth.
On her talk show the next morning, Oprah held up a copy of the Chicago Tribune and proclaimed “Mr President!” loudly to the world. Her tee shirt proclaimed, ‘Hope Won!” It was a cute media moment.
The American people began to embrace their new leader. Although they were all being polite, people could not wait for Bush to leave the Whitehouse sooner. It was uncomfortable and yet understandable to observe them hold their tongues. American people do have a lot of manners underneath it all. They are predominantly a very dignified people.
So, they bided their time patiently by going to the newsstands and buying every single magazine that they could find of Barack and Michelle Obama, Malia and Sasha who plastered the covers of tabloids everywhere. America has a culture that likes to idolize images of its leaders, so they can be emulated faster in a consumer culture.
Magazine buying for a dose of Obama Hope became our favorite obsession, while we waited for Bush to exit. Obama magazines were everywhere! I know, I spent the most I’ve ever spent on magazines, $100, in just one day and it felt fabulous! I did that several times. It was thrilling. The Obamas sell big time.
When Inaugural Day occurred, record crowds flew, bussed, drove into Washington DC, to be a part of this historical moment. Who can forget the 2 million plus people in attendance lining the historical mall in the nation’s capitol. Wow!
The A-List stars who had helped Barack and Michelle Obama in their election bid by mobilizing the young, the African American vote, women and Hispanic voters to go to the polls were rewarded by America’s new royalty on their big day of being sworn in.
Who can forget U2 and Bono performing, with Sting from the UK too and of course, the glamour songstress of the moment, Beyonce Knowles singing America The Beautiful and proclaiming to America, that “We Are One” at the end of her song. The musical prophets of America’s pop cultural life helped heal and unify the rifts across the nation, especially in the Republican states as the ambassadors of pop serenaded their new American king and queen.
Later that night, as Beyonce crooned Etta James’ golden hit, At Last, for the President and First Lady’s historical first waltz; holding each other close and whispering in one another’s ears, Barack and Michelle Obama romanced and wooed America to their side. I like many other people here, must have watched that on YouTube about 20 times too.
A warmth in human relationships as opposed to a lust for more material things began to return to America’s hearts and perspectives in that moment as the two danced. It was like watching a Disney movie being created as they danced.
Then the Obamas had to go and dance nine more times at nine other balls around the Capitol in their honor. One is never enough; it is so American to do things large. There are 52 distinct states that make up this nation, so ten balls is nothing really. At least that’s the logic of a plethora of choices that this nation likes to present and offer.
The closest media event I have witnessed in my lifetime as significant was perhaps Prince Charles and Lady Dianna’s wedding when I was a kid. The whole world was watching and joy was felt around the globe.
At the recent Grammy Awards, we saw a new America emerging and expressing her nationhood through musical performance. The Jonas brothers crooned with veteran Grammy winner, Stevie Wonder. Young white Americans were showing respect to a black leader of the musical entertainment community.
Jay-Z rapped over Coldplay’s piano and lyrics. Robin Thicke loaned his vocals to Lil Wayne’s New Orleans rap flavor. TI and Justin Timberlake performed their new hit together. They urged the audience that the old America was ‘Dead & Gone.’
All throughout the night, white artists were seen to be serving the voices and talents of black artists in their collaborations maturely, sensitively and intelligently. They were taking more of a back seat or shared role and letting the black artist lead.
Is this the new America? I asked. It is one of restraint and respect for one to another. It was different, if not perhaps a little bit too culturally sensitive and PC.
We saw a model of socialization for American life on Grammys night through its musical displays of art and culture, both educating and celebrating how citizens should respond to one another and collaborate together in this new era. It was interesting.
UK singer Adele, was given a Grammy Award as were Coldplay, sending out a message to the important nonAmerican allies of this nation that their support was both valued and needed to move forward into the future.
It was an unusual surprise that on Grammy’s night, the suggestion of a Senator for Art & Culture should be appointed in Washington was put forward to President Obama. Perhaps indicating that President Obama is going to have a more hands on approach in the future direction of Art & Culture in America. Already, you feel like he has and is, somehow.
He commands the respect of all of the music and entertainment industry greats. Jay-Z is like Obama’s silent conductor of disseminating important messages through popular culture and music. Beyonce’s latest album, I Am Sasha Fierce, is not only named after one of Obama’s daughters, but the lyrics of several of her songs could be directly attributed to Barack Obama.
At the NAACP Awards that preceded The Grammys, Beyonce performed her hit Halo. As she sung of Barack Obama’s Halo effect in the world, images of the civil rights movement’s historical journey were displayed on screen behind her in black and white as Beyonce sang. The only color image came in the form of Barack Obama’s image as she closed out the song.
Beyonce’s subliminal message being; you bought us out from a journey of struggle and fear into a world of enlightenment and full color. Oscar winner, Forest Whitaker also speaks a lot of Obama’s ‘enlightenment in the dawning of a new age.’ In his Inaugural speech, Obama defined this new age, why it had come upon America and how it would evolve:
“Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet…
… We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age.”
He is a man who has a penchant to tame and temper things. In the Polynesian way, he speaks mythologically like Maui, who set out to tame the sun. Being of Polynesian descent and origin, I am sure we will watch this man with great interest.
Thankfully though, Barack Obama cannot tame his wife, neither does he need to or seek to. He is famous for saying on nationwide TV, “When mama’s happy. We all are happy,” perhaps indicating that no one tells Michelle Obama what to do, including him.
Undoubtedly Michelle Obama is Barack’s ace jewel in his crown as The 44thPresident of the United States. Colleagues of the couple have told me, that Michelle always had higher grades than Barack at Harvard Law School and that it was he that amorously pursued her. Apparently, it wasn’t easy for him to win her over either but thankfully he did. Michelle always earned a higher salary than him until she had the children. Most importantly Michelle Obama knows how to keep Barack grounded by speaking the truth in love.
Michelle once rolled her eyes in a 60 Minutes prime time interview and told him off on nationwide TV, when he exaggerated slightly that he would be doing his own dishes to save water and excessive energy costs in the Whitehouse.
Honesty is Michelle Obama’s first and only language of the heart and she offers him the stability of a wife and mother that he perhaps never found so solidly in his own mother when he was a child. You get the sense that Michelle Obama is going to ensure that he’s always comfortable to remain himself and does not become an over inflated construct of someone more important than what he will naturally grow into as a leader. There’s safety in that.
In that second of absolute frankness, Michelle Obama reaffirmed a trustworthy quality in her that America needs and wants in a First Lady to keep their President level headed. Michelle Obama is stunning in her intelligence, ability as a strategist, her integrity, her love for her husband, children and nation and her passion for education to transform her nation’s imaginations. She’s the black Jackie O of America.
From what I’ve observed, I like them both a lot so far. America is in the inspiring and capable two hands of Hope. May a new era of good leadership and new courage also arise in New Zealand too and inspire the world. Let’s work our Polynesian friendly mindsets too and be proud to do so, like Hawaii’s favorite son, Barack Obama is doing right now for America. In our fertile and diverse lives are the seeds of eternal greatness. Tu Mai Ora y’all!