My Takes

Just my humble opinion…

Archive for the tag “Celebrity”

Go Black For Halloween And Don’t Apologize

1382806919_julianna-hough-467Halloween is a time when some people dress up as their favorite movie character, storybook person, celebrity, or anyone famous.  Sometimes the character might not be of the same race as the person who wishes to play them and that could create some problems.  Not to me.

Recently, beautiful but white professional dancer Julianne Hough decided to dress up and go out for Halloween.  The problem was that she chose to go dressed as Crazy Eyes, a black character from a show called ‘Orange Is The New Black’.  I still don’t see an issue here considering that’s the whole point of Halloween, to be who you are not, but apparently some were offended and found it bordering on racism.  And that my friends is one of the things that pisses me off. Like seriously?  Why does everything has to have racial connotations?  Were seniors mad at me when I dressed up as an old woman once?  How about Nuns and Priests and Presidents?  How do they feel about people imitating them?  Isn’t it illegal to impersonate an officer?  Whey is no one getting arrested?  COME ON, LIGHTEN UP A BIT!

The Real Crazy Eyes

The Real Crazy Eyes

Julianne, because she’s a nice person, apologized for crossing the line with her blackface costume.  What’s that and what line?  And here again is another thing that pisses me off.  Unnecessary apologies.  I know it’s nice to be a good person and apologize when you are wrong and blah blah blah but please spare the sorrys for when you really messed up.  Like telling racist and homophobic jokes in the office.  Is there a Halloween memo she didn’t get?  For the records, I didn’t get it either then.  In my humble opinion, the only apology needed was if she did a horrible job of pulling off the character.  She didn’t.  Sometimes unnecessary apologies adds fuel to the flames.  An explanation would be better served.  An explanation that explains what Halloween is supposed to be and also maybe to tell those who are getting their undies in a tangle, to take a long look in the mirror and maybe they might see someone who is and has the real problem.

If a white woman could pull off looking like a black woman on Halloween, props are due.  The same thing goes for the opposite.  I love role playing, (not that way).  I have actually urged my friends to act like me so I could see what they think I sound and look like.  It’s harmless and it’s fun.  Julianne should be applauded for stepping out of her comfort zone to don the costume and makeup of a black character in public.  That’s confidence.  No apologies. No offense. None should be taken.

On Halloween, feel free to let your imaginations run wild.  Dress up as your favorite character, be he/she black, white or whatever.  Just one thing you have to bear in mind, once you go black, you just might never go back!  And that’s My Take.

Oh, you have a Happy Halloween too.

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That’s One Small Step Backwards For A Woman, One Giant Leap For Horny Men

indexLast weekend saw women all over the globe baring their chests in the name of gender equality.  Their point of contention is that it is unfair that their male counterparts are allowed to parade topless in public while they are subjected to the embarrassment of keeping their breasts covered.  What a shame!  What an injustice!  I am going out on a limb here but try as I may, I still fail to see the validity of this.  Man boobs have never been looked at as a sexual thing.  They do not induce lustful feelings, at least as far as I know.  A man’s breast is…well not really a breast.   At least in my opinion.  It’s like comparing apples to oranges, and no, no pun there.  I hate to say this ladies, but baring your breasts in cities around the world does nothing to level the playing field.  And the men who come out in support of your agenda have their own personal agendas.  Believe me.  Even some of the same women who are crying for equal rights to bare chests are not fully committed to this farce.  Last time I checked, not that I do check, bare-chested men don’t walk around with little pasties covering their areolas.  Sorry ladies, I will have to say that this rubbish is one small step backwards for you.  But not too bad for the guys who relish the idea of seeing some breasts without having to tip or stare at a computer screen.

Talking about small step backwards, the weekend was not a very good one for women all around.  If you happen to catch the VMA Awards, you would have seen Miley Cyrus performing a solo soft core porn act.  On stage with a visibly uncomfortable Robin Thicke, she engaged in lewd and disgusting sex acts using one of those foam hand things.  She grinded on him, rubbed herself provocatively, stuck her tongue out suggestively and gestured inappropriately.  It. Was. Awful.  I am sure she thought she was repping her female fans. (if she still has any). Maybe it’s a good thing she probably never heard about the gotopless organization or who knows what could have transpired.

Miley’s mom had this to say, “”I don’t approve. What did I do wrong?” Shields then got serious, adding, “I just want to know who is advising her and why it’s necessary (to do that). My six-year-old and my 10-year-old, they can’t watch that.  She can sing beautifully, and I feel like if she lets that lead, rather than let her bottom lead … I feel it’s a bit desperate – you’re trying to be (Lady) Gaga … but it’s different … She’s trying so, so hard.”  I am not sure what Billy Ray said, probably still busy rinsing the puke out of his mouth.

While Thicke’s mom added, “”I don’t understand what Miley Cyrus is trying to do. I think she’s misbegotten in this attempt of hers. And I think it was not beneficial. I didn’t get what her point was. It was so over the top as to almost be a parody of itself.”

Yes, it was a bad weekend for women, but all is not lost.  Fortunately, it was just the take of the minority and does not represent the self-respecting and decent women out there.  Coincidentally, this is also just my take.

Before You Upload That Cute Video To YouTube…

Image representing YouTube as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

The internet has become a fast track to stardom, popping out celebrities like a popcorn maker.  With the World Wide Web, becoming famous could happen in the blink of an eye. From obscurity to celebrity.  Justin Bieber to Rebecca Black.  Talent is discarded and traded in for views.  Views = popularity and popularity = $$.  Rebecca Black’s song “Friday” received close to 200 million views but the comments were mostly negative and her song was adjudged to be the ‘worst song ever’.  But who cares?  Her name is now mentioned in the same breath as genuine singers and she has found a niche rubbing shoulders with the elite.  So bah!

Everyone has that faint or not-so-faint hope that the video they are uploading could be ‘the one’.  Their child dancing, singing or playing an instrument, sometimes reluctantly because daddy and mommy told them to.  There’s nothing wrong with that but there are a few things you must know before you click on that ‘upload’ button.

First and very basic, make sure your room is clean and tidy.  It’s all in the presentation folks!  Many a video have gotten its share of negative comments because of that forgotten underwear on the floor.  Yes, the one next to the overflowing clothes hamper.  When you attend a function where there are thousands of people, you try to dress and look your best, right?  Well your video is open to millions of people. Do you want them to see your messy bed with crap everywhere?  Do you want your talent to be judged or your hygiene?

Unique talent.  Yes, everyone’s looking for the next big thing.  Not the next same thing.  So your 4-year old can say his alphabet. (Insert yawn). Save it to your family video collection for those family events.  Not every video are meant for the attention of the World Wide Web. Maybe do a search for ‘Kids saying the alphabet’.  You might find a one year old saying it to a rap beat.  Sorry to rain on your parade, just trying to save you from the disappointment.

Are you ready?  No, I don’t mean if you are ready to upload.  Are you ready for the negative comments?  Do you have thin skin or overly sensitive?  If so, maybe you are not ready to face the faceless ones.  You know the ones who hide behind their computer screens to post hateful comments and bash everything?  They can be very harsh and rip you to shreds.  It’s not you, it’s them.  If you can handle criticism then go ahead, hit it.  How about when it is your 4-year-old they are criticizing?  Can you still handle that?

Saying this, not everyone who uploads a video is looking for fame and fortune.  Some of us do it to share with friends and family in other countries or just because.  If you do, don’t forget to use the publicize settings to control who you want to see your video.  Then you won’t have to endure the comments.  If you want to take a chance that maybe, just maybe, your video could ‘the one’, then go for it!  Roll the dice.  After all it’s…

Just My Take.

 

 

I Am Sam

Français : Samuel L. Jackson au festival de Ca...

Français : Samuel L. Jackson au festival de Cannes 2005. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Life is so unfair.  How did I go from sharing air with the legend Samuel L. Jackson, to be here toiling for my daily bread?  I was standing across from him for goodness sake!  And then, I WAS HIM! Yes, I was his double.  Folks, in case you fell asleep and missed it, we are talking about the world’s highest grossing actor!  I was honored to be offered the role to play his double.

When I walked on the set for the first time, all I wanted was to see this legend.  The man.  The Jedi Master, Jules Winnfield of Pulp Fiction fame.  Come one! Who wouldn’t?  My eyes soon found him and I mentally summed him up.  Hmm…a bit bigger than I expected.  Looks pretty serious.   Oops! He caught me starting at him.  Act normal, Carlos.  Professionalism.

He was a big man but he was no match for our Winnipeg winter and  kept coming into the ‘warm up’ area during his ‘cuts’ to keep his blood from turning to ice in his veins.  Oh wait a minute, I thought he had ice running through his veins…  While he was thus engaged, I had nothing to do so I was also in the ‘warm up’ area helping myself to whatever dainties were available to us celebs.  I noted his every entrance and thought of sneaking in a cell phone pic but didn’t dare risk it.

Enough about Samuel.  For two days, I had my very own trailer with room service.  Knock! Knock!  Would you like soup?  I didn’t like some but I had to say yes.  We have to keep the peons employed too.  Plus, I didn’t want to be labeled a diva.

It wasn’t all eat and rub shoulders with the high-ups.  No sir.  I had to do Sir Jackson’s dirty work.  Like drag dead bodies across lots and do his driving parts…you know, the menial things you won’t expect him to do.  The dirty work.  I didn’t like it but I did it.  So you make the big bucks and I do the grunt work eh Jacko?  You lazy so and so!  Nick Fury my ass!

Then I woke up.  Literally.  I woke up and went to work.  My day job.  Yep, someone had to bring home the bacon.  Two days of being a pampered Sam was enough.  I also had enough bragging rights to last me a life time.  Now back to my wife and kids.  Oh and work.  Yes work.

Life is so not fair…

Note:  Home Alone 5 airs on ABC on Sunday, November 25th,  at 7pm.  Check it out, you just might see daddy.

Look out Samuel Jackson, Here I come!

Samuel L. Jackson at the San Diego ComicCon 2008

Samuel L. Jackson at the San Diego ComicCon 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Background acting sure has its perks.  After a couple of years of toiling in the trenches, I’ve finally hit pay dirt, so to speak.  No, I’m not going to Hollywood. I only wish.  I am not starring or playing a big part in any scene either.

What I might be being instead is the body double for none other than Samuel Jackson!! Yes! Shaft. I could hardly contain my excitement when I was asked if I wanted to give it a shot. Me? Well…Sure, why not? Samuel? THE Samuel Jackson?.  One sec, let me go tell the wife.  Honey!  They want me to be Samuel Jackson’s body double!  She was calm as cucumber.  “Oh yeah?  Cool.”  Inside, I knew she was like, “My husband! Finally a movie star! I knew his ship would come in one of these days.  I am so proud of him.”

Seriously now though, it’s not every day some no-name peon like me gets asked to play double for a famous actor.  I’ll even do it for free but they insist on paying me. I am not sure what the name of the movie is and I’m still not sure I’ll be able to make the commitment necessary to be at the shoots but even if I don’t, the fact that I was asked is good enough for me.

Can you spot the difference? There’s none!

Takes of A Background Extra. Take One.

Yesterday, my wife and I spent the better part of the afternoon and evening on the set of the sequel to a popular horror series.  We signed a waiver not to divulge any information on or about the movie so I’m not saying what it was.

I enjoy studying people and how they interact and react in their environment, so as I sat in the extras holding area waiting for our call to the set, I watched and listened. Some of the extras walked around as though they were the main actors and actresses on the set.  They spoke to their friends and other extras about the amount of calls they got and who they met.  I thought, who cares? You are still just an extra.   

Then we were told that a ‘big actress’ was going to be in the movie so we were not only supposed to keep mum on that bit of info but also stay away from her. Have no contact, verbal or otherwise.  I thought, Really? I hate to break it to you people but I’m here for the money, not the fame. My ship has sailed.  When I finally saw her, neither her name nor her face rang a bell anyways.

We were herded like cattle from set to holding and back by a young punk who looked like he was there to impress his bosses.  He kept shushing us as we sat in on a courtroom scene even though the only sound came from the crew people.  Maybe he shouldpay more attention instead of seeking more attention.

Our first snack consisted of sandwiches.  I hate sandwiches! But I ate a tuna sandwich all the same and hid a roast beef sandwich just in case.  I hate sandwiches! I am serious!  Five hours after that, we were called to lunch/supper.  I could smell the hot food aroma before I entered the room and rubbed my hands in anticipation.  It was not for us.  It was for the crew and extras who were part of the ACTRA. (Extras were automatically members if they had a speaking part.  No matter how small or insignificant).

So the crew and the important extras, were treated to lasagna, rice, salad and the works while we were given a bagged meal.  It consisted of a sandwich. AGAIN? an orange, a cookie and a small sample-size bag of chips.  I felt like a kid again.  I later watched as the leftover lasagna was taken to be tossed.

In the hallways outside the set, a table was decorated with bananas, coffee, apples and other nice snacks.  Right across from the table was a water fountain.  We were only allowed access to that.  Talk about teasing and tempting…I suddenly had a craving for a banana.

A female from the production crew told us to wait in room 214 but while we were walking there like docile cows, we were turned back by another crew member who told us to retreat to where we were.  It’s amazing how no one found all this irritating.  No one complained about anything. Not the food, not the herding, not the shushing, not the kids talking to grown and respectable adults as if they were stupid children.  I didn’t understand it.  Put them in a car and try to tell them where to go and you won’t hear the end of it.  Is it the chance to feel like they are part of something? Rubbing shoulders with the elite? Bragging rights? I don’t know.  I was ready to tell this guy where to go with his, “Go here, go there, don’t talk, don’t move.” You can take your job and shove it! You young greasy hair, lasagna-eating punk!

After all that, I will do it again and again because  I love the feeling of rubbing shoulders with the elite and feeling like I’m a part of something.  I also know that the food does not always come in a brown bag.  So see you on the next set!

Remembering Ali

Cover of "King of the World"

King of the World

I remember it well just as if it was yesterday although I was only ten years old back then.  I felt it coming weeks in advance. My uncle, who I lived with at the time, talked about it almost daily.  The adults in my neighborhood discussed it with passion and excitement in their voices.  I didn’t know what to expect but like Alice in Wonderland, I grew curiouser and curiouser.

Muhammad Ali The Greatest was set to fight Foreman.  That’s what all the hype was about, rightly so, as this Ali was going to fight four men!  Well at least that what my naive mind thought as I had never heard anyone called ‘Foreman’ before and I knew nothing about boxing.  And yes, I was a bit slow on the uptake.

The fight couldn’t come soon enough and when it did, it found my uncle and I sitting in front of a small black and white television.  Back in those days, it was the biggest television I had ever seen, even though it was only a 13 inch.  There were no pay-per view and we had just the one channel but I guess the fight was broadcast to all the networks as we were able to watch in on our one-channel television.  Oh the good old days…

I didn’t know what to expect but the hype was contagious.  I could feel something epic was about to happen but I had no clue what it was.  I didn’t have to wait long.  As I watched, a procession made its way to the ring.  It was Ali!  He was surrounded by policemen and his team.  He smiled at the crowd and looked very relaxed.  Ali entered the ring and immediately started bouncing and shadow boxing. He did the famed Ali shuffle as he waited for his opponent to show up.

Then a brute of man walked into the ring.  The big brutish looking guy was announced as George Foreman.  It didn’t take me long to make the connection and correction, although Foreman could have passed for four men.  His arms were like black steel and he looked ready to inflict pain on whoever was brave enough to step into the square ropes with him.  Foreman didn’t smile and I hated him right away as he reminded me of the bullies in my school.  Ali bomaye!

My first fight was epic indeed.  I had no idea what I was watching but my uncle and I wanted Ali to win.  My uncle was in a frenzy.  He kept jumping up and throwing punches in the air while yelling, “Hit him! Yes! Hit him!  Knock him out!” It didn’t seem like a nice thing to say but as long as my guy Ali was doing the hitting I was alright with it.  I doubted if there was a bigger fan of The Greatest that night. I was like a pre-teen girl at a Justin Bieber concert.  For years after that night, I saw his round baby face dripping with sweat, pointing at me from the television and telling me ‘I am the Greatest! I am King Of The World!’  I never doubted him in the least.

The fight was not an easy win for Ali. My uncle and I thought he was done when he laid back onto the ropes and took punishing hooks to the body.  We learned later that it was part of Ali’s plan and was called ‘The Rope-A-Dope’ and designed to wear the big bully out. It worked.  Foreman was dead tired in the later rounds and wasn’t able to make the count after falling to a combination from Ali.  The Greatest, The King came through once again.  Beating the odds like he always did.

That night, I never knew that this Ali had also defied the odds prior to this fight and taken the boxing title away from a boxing legend named Sonny Liston.  I never knew that this man had traded all that boxing had giving him, fame and fortune, to take a stand against something he didn’t believe in.  The Vietnam war.  His response to his being drafted, ‘I ain’t got no quarrel with the Vietcong. No Vietcong ever called me Nigger.’ and “Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go ten thousand miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights?are forever etched in my memory.   For his refusal to fight, he was subsequently arrested, stripped of his title and suspended.

After being away from boxing for three and a half years, Ali returned and soon reclaimed his throne as the King.  The Rumble In The Jungle was the fight that gave him his crown back.  The Greatest was still The Greatest.

After that fight, I was hooked on boxing as I wanted to see more of Ali. I wanted to see his flash, hear his taunting poems, his boasts, his predictions, I wanted more Ali.  As I learned who he was beyond his pugilistic skills, I liked and respected him even more.

Although ravaged by Parkinson, Ali is still The King to me.  His face no longer baby smooth and boyishly handsome but now aged and etched with visible signs of the disease.   I do not look at him with sadness or pangs of pity.  I still see before me, the man who made me believe.  The man who defied odds. The man who I wanted to be like.  The Greatest.

I hoped that one day, fate or destiny would have given me a chance to meet Ali but sadly, yesterday, Friday June 3rd, 2016, the man, the legend, the myth, the one they called The Greatest, floated away like a butterfly, he had lost his bee sting.  Rest in peace, Ali.  I will always remember you!

Edited from my original post written March 26th 2012

Sweet Tweets

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

I am mad! Exasperated! I have always considered myself quite knowledgeable and capable when it comes to computers and anything computer related.  I am an avid Facebooker, Pinterester, Stumbleuponer and…well that’s about it.  I am always in with the computer in-crowd, part of the computer world, leaving my footprints all over the world wide web.  So how do you explain my lack of appetite when it comes to Twitter?  I just can’t wrap my head around this one.  I have joined twice, no wait, make that thrice. Yes, three times and still have yet to get past a twit or tweet. I just cannot get the whole idea of it.

Stop!  No need to tell me that Twitter serves a purpose in getting information out to the masses quickly.  I know that.  I also know that it is a great marketing tool and quite handy with businesses.  Heck I sometimes wonder how we actually survived without it in those good old days.  How did we know what was going on across the globe? How did businesses survive? Scary thought eh?  However and whatever, I still don’t get it. The relevance and importance are still lost on me.  Call me old-fashioned. Call me anti-progress.

My very first introduction to Twitter was when I was asked if I tweeted and responded with a “Sorry, I had beans for breakfast.”  No, you idiot, Twitter! Are you on Twitter?  “What’s that? A new drug? Isn’t that the sound birds make?.”  I admit, my mind does have a mind of its own and works in mysterious ways.  I was then made to understand that Twitter was the new Social Network craze and enables peons like me to keep up to what my favorite celebs were doing.  The stuff they wrote about was called a tweet.

For a split second, I was interested. Very. Then I quickly realized that I really didn’t know any celebrities that I would care to read what they were up to, or follow as it was called.  I also didn’t own a business that I wanted to advertise.  The whole ‘Follow’ thing sounded so creeperish.  Call me old-fashioned.  Hater.  Whatever.  I think this whole thing is over rated.  For me to make it a hobby of following what celebrities are doing is like going through my rich neighbors’ garbage or reading The National Enquirer or Star magazines.  Same crap different pile.

Most of my friends and people I know are account holders on Twitter.  Nothing wrong with that.  To each his own. Some may derive a degree of satisfaction from tweeting or following and being followed. Some may garner increased business and publicity.  I have enough of that on Facebook so I don’t and that’s ok too.  For you, break a leg! Sweet Tweets!

The foregoing is not intended as a diss on Twitter or Tweeters or even Twits.  As I always say, it’s My Take so don’t take offense.  It’s all good!

 

 

The Golden Globes

Last night was a prime example of what’s wrong with our world.  The much-anticipated Golden Globes was on and the Hollywood elites got their chance to show off their wealth and fame while some of us sat in front of our televisions eating kraft dinner and watching this facade.

I watch and enjoy movies and television shows as much as the other guy but that is where all similarity ends.  I do not follow the lives of celebrities. I couldn’t care less what they did and what they named their kids.  As a news junkie, it is sometimes impossible to ignore news relating to Hollywood Stars and that’s how I came upon the story about Modern Family Sofia Vergara wearing 5 million dollar worth of jewelery to the Globes. Five million worth of earrings, necklaces and bracelets!  Seriously, how can you feel good about yourself wearing millions in jewels or clothing for that matter. While parts of our world are experiencing starvation.  Forget parts of the world, parts of their very own neighborhood, the stars parade around showing off their wealth.  Yes I know it’s their money and they can do whatever they want with it but come on. If you have everything and have done everything that money can afford, why not do something worthwhile with what you have left?

Apparently this is nothing new as Carrie Underwood wore $7 Million worth of accessories to the CMA Awards in 2007 and Jennifer Lopez also had jewels totalling $5 million at last year’s Golden Globes. Shame! Shame!

Lindsay Lohan. Again

This mugshot is found from http://www.perezhil...

If you are like me, you are tired of reading about Lindsay Lohan’s antics.  She continues to thumb her powder-filled nose at the court system, by repeatedly breaking curfews, not fulfilling her community services and probation,  even re-offending.  For some strange reason, she still manages to gain leniency and slap on the wrist punishments.  Every court hearing have the same lead-up:  “Lindsay Lohan back in court.  Faces long jail time”.  So far, she has yet to do some serious hard time, which I think is what this spoiled brat needs to bring her down to earth.  Not a women’s retreat prison where she gets diva-like treatment.

I say it’s time to stop this train wreck but that’s just my take.

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