Archive for the ‘entertainment’ Category

Hollywood out of step with American morals

November 17, 2008

A majority of Americans say Hollywood doesn’t share their moral values, according to a poll commissioned by the Anti-Defamation League, a group that fights anti-Semitism.

Sixty-one percent of those surveyed said that religious values in America are “under attack,” and 59% agreed that “the people who run the TV networks and the major movie studios do not share the religious and moral values of most Americans.”

By Gregg Kilday, Reuters

Tourists pause on a walkway at a shopping mall which offers ...
Tourists pause on a walkway at a shopping mall which offers a view of the famed Hollywood sign at the hills in California March 14, 2008.(Fred Prouser/Reuters)

The poll, titled “American Attitudes on Religion, Moral Values and Hollywood,” was conducted by the Marttila Communications Group, which surveyed 1,000 adults nationwide. It was released Friday at the ADL’s annual meeting in Los Angeles.

“These findings point to the challenges that we face in dealing with issues of religion in society,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL national director. “The belief that religion is under attack underlies the drive to incorporate more religion into American public life. Disturbingly, 43% of Americans believe there is an organized campaign by Hollywood and the national media to weaken the influence of religious values in this country.”

Among the survey’s findings:

— 61% of respondents agree that “religious values are under attack in this country,” while 36% disagree with that statement.

— 43% said that Hollywood and the national media are waging an organized campaign to “weaken the influence of religious values in this country.”


But maybe not EVERY American city….

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20081117/us_nm/us_
poll;_ylt=AmvJz752.auDPw4x7kNNWEes0NUE

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Leeway seen in China Internet rules

January 10, 2008
By Min Lee, AP  Writer

HONG KONG – China is so keen to keep foreign investment flowing that it probably will let private Web sites work around strict new rules limiting video-sharing to state-controlled companies, analysts say.

China-based Web sites already need a government license that only companies majority-owned by Chinese nationals can get, and managers of private sites based in China say they already excise “inappropriate” content.

But the new regulations — issued Dec. 29 and scheduled to take effect Jan. 31 — also require that the state have a controlling interest in any video entertainment Web site.

“It’s a very clear message these Chinese film governing authorities have decided to send — that they’re taking this stuff seriously and they’re going to regulate it,” said Jeremy Goldkorn, editor-in-chief of Danwei.org, a Web site that covers Chinese media issues.

But Goldkorn said Beijing won’t shutter private video sharing Web sites because that might spook foreign investors to desert the world’s second-largest Internet community.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080110/ap_on_hi_te/
china_internet_video_2

Britney: Paging Dr. Phil

January 6, 2008

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
January 6, 2008

Britney Spears, who has been embarked upon a very public and prolonged saga of self destruction and drug and alcohol abuse, was released from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center last night to the custody of TV head expert Doctor Phil.

“Dr. Phil” McGraw said Britney Spears, though now free of the hospital, still needs psychological help.

Dr. McGraw is the psychologist known for his own shrink show – one of the most watched daytime TV shows seen mostly by women.

Miss Spears was taken by ambulance from her Hollywood home Friday night because of a dispute involving the two sons she had with ex-husband Kevin Federline.

“My meeting with Britney and some family members this morning in her room at Cedars leaves me convinced more than ever that she is in dire need of both medical and psychological intervention,” said the brilliant Dr. McGraw.

“She was released moments before my arrival and was packing when I entered the room. We visited for about an hour before I walked with her to her car. I am very concerned for her,” he said.

McGraw planned to talk more about Miss Spears on his daytime talk show this week, a press release said.

Isn’t that special.

Responding to an e-mail request for further comment from McGraw, a “Dr. Phil” publicist referred The Associated Press to his statement posted on the etonline.com Web site.

Lindsay Lohan Finds Her Way In A.A., Drinks Life From the Bottle

January 5, 2008

Peace and Freedom Note: We have decided to read more about the “media people” who influence our children and our culture.  Most of them are not worthy of anyone’s attention….

By Allison Moore
HD Diva

Washington, D.C. (January 5, 2008) — Hollywood hottie Lindsay Lohan was caught taking a swig from a champagne bottle on New Year’s Eve during her licentious tour of Capri, Italy.

That would be just fine — hey, do as the Romans do, huh? — but Lohan is supposedly recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. She pled guilty to drunken driving and cocaine possession last year in Los Angeles.

The Associated Press reports that her attorney claims the New Year’s misstep was just a one-time thingy.

Swear.

“After being handed a champagne bottle while on a dance floor in Italy on New Year’s Eve and drinking from it, the good news is that Lindsay immediately stopped, called her sponsor, and got herself back on track,” said the attorney, the alliterative Blair Berk.

We hear that she didn’t inhale, either.

Lindsay Lohan

Lohan dressed for church.

Berk’s statement might be believable — if Lindsay wasn’t also seen in Italy this week making out with three different men over a 24-our period.

“Unfortunately, Lindsay has to share her ‘one day at a time’ with the entire world,” Berk said.

One day at a time. Or, one man at a time?

Related:

Teen Media Idols: Drunk, Naked, Pregnant, Unashamed (We Have Pictures!)

Alcohol, Drugs, Bizarre Behavior: Pop Star Spears In Trouble

Paris Hilton’s Potential $2.3 Billion Inheritance to Charity

December 27, 2007

By Michelle Nichols

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Hotel heiress Paris Hilton’s potential inheritance dramatically diminished after her grandfather Barron Hilton announced plans on Wednesday to donate 97 percent of his $2.3 billion fortune to charity.

Paris Hilton (L) and her sister Nicky pose at a promotional ...
Paris Hilton (L) and her sister Nicky pose at a promotional event for Japan’s fashion brand Samantha Thavasa’s handbags and accessories in Tokyo in this November 5, 2007 file photo. The Hilton sisters’ potential inheritance dramatically diminished after their grandfather Barron Hilton announced plans on December 26, 2007 to donate 97 percent of his $2.3 billion fortune to charity.(Kim Kyung-Hoon/Files/Reuters)
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That wealth includes $1.2 billion Barron Hilton stands to earn from both the recent sale of Hilton Hotels Corp. — started by his father Conrad in 1919 when he bought a small hotel in Cisco, Texas — and pending sale of the world’s biggest casino company, Harrah’s Entertainment Inc.

That money will be placed in a charitable trust that will eventually benefit the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, raising its total value to about $4.5 billion, the foundation said in a statement.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20071226/lf_nm_life/hilton_charity_dc;_ylt=
AuVkfdv5Dvro84Sgjt6rAr.s0NUE

Leadership Lessons from the Movies: “Fail Safe”

November 17, 2007

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
November 18, 2007

“Fail Safe” is the major motion picture that gives one of the best depictions of the awesome might the United States and Soviet Union arrayed against each other; and how the mistakes of men and machines could cause the President of the United States to destroy one of his own cites with nuclear weapons.

The film was released in the autumn of 1964, just about a year after the death of President John F. Kennedy. Lyndon Johnson was president and the war in Vietnam was ramping up as U.S. troops began to arrive in greater numbers. But the big issue of the day was the standing nuclear forces of the U.S. and U.S.S.R. and the tensions of the Cold War.

“Fail Safe” was directed by the master Sidney Lumet, based on the 1962 novel of the same name by Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler. The film portrays a fictional Cold War nuclear crisis, and the US President’s attempt to end it.

“Fail Safe” features Henry Fonda as President, Walter Matthau as Professor Groteschele (a kind of mastermind of nuclear war) and a youthful Larry Hagman as the president’s Russian language translator (14 years before he starred as “J.R.” in “Dallas.”)

The core of the film is the great tension leaders sometimes find themselves under. In the film, a U.S. Air Force colonel loses his cool and orders others to disobey the president. The president is dealing by the “hot line” phone with a mercurial and distrustful Soviet leader, and U.S.A.F. pilots and air crews carry out their nuclear attack mission to the letter: even after the president tells them the attack order was mistakenly generated – because they were trained that Russians would attempt to mimic the president’s voice.

The film’s scenario features an errant aircraft probably from the Soviet Union that puts the U.S. airborne nuclear arsenal moving toward “hold” or “fail-safe” locations to await final attack orders. The original perceived “threat” to the U.S. is proven to be no threat at all, and recall orders are issued to the American bombers. However, due to a technical failure, the attack code (rather than the recall order) is transmitted to Group Six, which consists of six Vindicator supersonic bombers.

B-58 Hustler

B-58s like this one were the “actors” portraying
“Vindicator” bombers in “Fail Safe.” 
*****************

Colonel Grady, the head of the group, tries to contact mission control in Omaha to verify the fail-safe order (called Positive Check), but due to Soviet radio jamming, Grady cannot hear Omaha. Concluding that the fail-safe order and the radio jamming could only mean nuclear war, Grady commands the Group Six crew towards Moscow, their intended target for the day. At this point, a series of disastrous fail-safe orders come into play: the bomber crews are trained that upon receiving an attack code on the fail-safe box, there is virtually no way to supersede it; they are trained to ignore all communicated orders, on the assumption that once an attack is directed, any attempts to stop it must be Soviet trickery.

At meetings in Omaha, the Pentagon, and in the fallout shelter of the White House, American politicians, military leaders  and scholars debate the implications of the attack. Professor Groeteschele suggests the United States follow this accidental attack with a full-scale attack to force the Soviets to surrender. The move shows the heightened tensions and differences of character of many kinds of men. In this film you’ll find men ready to go to nuclear war and you’ll find men trying their hardest to end the mess peacefully and without nukes exploding.

If you see “Fail Safe” in your cable TV directory or find it on the internet, you’ll have an opportunity to see a chilling and thrilling nail biter worth every second of your time.

This is the 22nd essay in our series “Leadership Ideas from the Movies,” a series our readers have responded to very positively. Thank you for the feedback!

Related:

Leadership Lessons of the Movies: You’ll Never guess Which One (Number Twenty-One)

Leadership Lessons from The movies (You’ll Never Guess which One) ( Number Twenty)
http://peace-and-freedom.blogspot.com/2007/03/leadership-lessons-from-movies-youll_22.html

Leadership Lessons From the Movies: You’ll Never Guess Which One (Number Nineteen)
http://peace-and-freedom.blogspot.com/2007/03/leadership-lessons-from-movies-youll_20.html

Leadership Lessons of the Movies: You’ll Never Guess Which One, Number Eighteen

Vietnam Is Having Its Own Paris Hilton Moment

October 26, 2007

By Ben Stocking
The Associated Press
Thursday, October 25, 2007

HANOI, Vietnam — Vietnam is having a Paris Hilton moment.

An online sex video featuring a popular celebrity has riveted the nation for more than a week now, much as Hilton’s clip seized the attention of Americans when it hit the Internet several years ago.

But unlike Hilton, the 19-year-old woman at the center of Vietnam’s sex scandal won’t be able to capitalize on her newfound notoriety.
Photo

Hoang Thuy Linh’s show has been canceled and the actress has made a tearful farewell on national television.

“I made a mistake, a terrible mistake,” said the doe-faced teen, who had cultivated a good-girl image. “I apologize to you, my parents, my teachers and my friends.”

Her fall from grace has highlighted the generational fault-lines in Vietnam, a sexually conservative culture within which women have been taught for centuries to remain chaste until marriage and stay true to one man — no matter how many times he cheats on them.

Like everything else in this economically booming country, ideas about sex and gender roles are quickly changing as satellite TV and the Internet bring Western influences to a society cut off by decades of war and economic isolation.

But for many in communist Vietnam, new ideas about free love are much harder to accept than the free market. And unlike men, women who break the old sexual taboos are not easily forgiven.

“Kids today are crazy,” said Nguyen Thi Khanh, 49, a Hanoi junior high school teacher. “They often exceed the limits of morality. They have sex and fall in love when they’re much too young.”

In the old days, Khanh said, a woman who had sex before marriage would be ostracized.

“A good girl must keep herself clean until she is married,” Khanh said. “Thuy Linh should be condemned. If I ever see her again on TV, I will turn it off, for sure.”

In “Vang Anh’s Diaries,” Thuy Linh portrayed an earnest high school girl, modern and stylish but determined to uphold the traditional virtues of “cong, dung, ngon” and “hanh,” which promote women as tidy, charming, soft-spoken and chaste.

Then the 16-minute video hit the Internet on Oct. 15 featuring Thuy Linh in bed with her former boyfriend, both of them apparently aware that they were on camera.

On Thursday, Hanoi police detained four college students accused of posting the sex clip to the Internet. They could face charges of “spreading depraved cultural items,” which carries a sentence of six months to 15 years if convicted.

Police identified the man in the clip as 20-year-old Vu Hoang Viet, who is currently studying overseas. They said a friend copied the film off of Viet’s laptop, and passed it along to other friends who then posted it online.

Most of the public’s wrath has been directed at Thuy Linh rather than Viet.

“People will forgive him, but not her,” said Tran Minh Nguyet of the Vietnam Women’s Union, which promotes gender equality. “Vietnamese think it’s OK for a boy to have sex at that age, but not for a girl. It’s absolutely unfair.”

The video has been the talk of Vietnam. Even members of Vietnam’s National Assembly were overheard gossiping about it last week at the opening of the new legislative session.

A few lonely voices have sprung up in Thuy Linh’s defense. But in most newspapers and on blogs and Web sites, the video has become the target of jokes and condemnation.

VietnamNet, a popular online newspaper, said the episode underscored the “dark side of globalization” and warned that a flood of foreign influences “threaten Vietnam’s cultural foundation.”

The scandal also has disillusioned many of Thuy Linh’s biggest fans.

“She was supposed to set a good example for Vietnamese students nationwide,” said Chi, 14, a Hanoi junior high school student who declined to give her full name. “Now this scandal has ruined everything. It’s completely destroyed her image.”

Hilton’s sex tape, made with then-boyfriend Rick Salomon in eerie night-vision green, surfaced just before the start of her reality TV series, “The Simple Life” and helped propel her to superstardom.

But in Vietnam, the video scandal is certain to destroy Thuy Linh’s career, said Nguyet of the Vietnam Women’s Union.

“Vietnam is changing quickly, but there’s no way Thuy Linh will be forgiven,” Nguyet said. “That will take another generation.”

Related:
“Innocent” Vietnamese Schoolgirl Rocks World With Sex Video; “Scandalous”

Đóng

“Innocent” Vietnamese Schoolgirl Rocks World With Sex Video; “Scandalous”

October 24, 2007

A sex tape featuring 19-year old Vietnamese TV star HOANG THUY LINH and her boyfriend has caused outrage across Vietnam. The explicit footage, which is the latest celebrity sex video to emerge on YouTube, led Vietnam Television (VTV) to drop the immensely popular series, Van Anh’s Diaries, in which Thuy Linh stars as a schoolgirl. Vietnamese journalist Hung Nguyen says, “This is the most scandalous and controversial thing that has ever happened in Vietnam’s virtual world.”

Hoang Thuy Linh on Vietnam Television

Thuy Linh (R) was popular with children and parents

Related:

Vietnam Is Having Its Own Paris Hilton Moment

Congratulations to American College Students: You Win!

September 19, 2007

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
September 19, 2007

Yesterday, September 18, 2007, was Constitution Day in the United States. As far as we can tell, nobody noticed. Except maybe the Washington Times’ editorial page editor Joel Himelfarb who started his editorial this way: “It is an honor and privilege to live in the United States, the greatest country in the world.”

Why does Mr. Himelfarb believe that do you think?

Because the rights and freedoms of every American are protected by the Constitution; the document that is the foundation of all our laws, government and society.

I scoured the newspapers this morning looking for a story, at least one story, that showed some group or segment of our busy American people honoring Constitution Day. What I found instead was this: American college students, even at Harvard University, are among the most ignorant college student in the world on the subjects of history, world events, their own government and their own constitution.

The Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) as part of the American Civic Literacy Program surveyed American college student and found this result: in four major subject areas (American history, government, world relations and the market economy).

Students surveyed from 50 colleges averaged a failing grade of 54.2 percent on the 60-question test, and even seniors at Harvard University, the highest scorers, achieved a meager 69 percent average, a D-plus on most grading scales.

Congratulations American college student; you have excelled beyond expectation in …. ignorance.

Here’s an example: American college students were asked to identify, in a multiple choice format, the source document of the following words: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”  The students chose the Communist Manifesto.  The words come from the Declaration of Independence: one of the most important documents in the history of the United States.

Congratulations, students, you just gave the communist world credit for your most sacred legacy.

So, we submit, history might be of some importance.

Why should we care about history, civics and Constitution Day? Well, I do not pretend to know the answer, not being a college educator, but here are a few ideas.

On February 28, 2004, historian Daniel Boorstin died. On that same day, local high school students on the TV quiz show “It’s Academic,” failed to even make a guess at the answer to a simple question about the American Civil War and Fort Sumter.

Boorstin, lawyer, head of the library of Congress for 12 years, faculty member of the University of Chicago for 25 years, wrote more than 20 books. His famous trilogy on the American experience gave us deep lessons into who we are as Americans.Boorstin’s death, coupled simultaneously with speechless students confronted with the simplest historical question, leads one to wonder: “why do we study history?”

History, especially American history, teaches us the values, rights and responsibilities of our citizenship. History makes us a nation: a race of people and not just a collision of different peoples from many lands. You can be born French, but when you move in from another land you don’t necessarily become French. When you move to America and become a citizen, you are embraced as an American. People come here to share in the values and rights of all Americans. Understanding who gained those rights and how they achieved them is important because those rights bind us together as a people.

Our history is “Ich bin ein Berliner,” the Boston Tea Party, Ellis Island, Gettysburg, and “I have a dream.” Our history is the Emancipation Proclamation, Bill of Rights, and our Constitution.

Our history is our culture. Our focus upon “Ben and Jen,” Janet Jackson, “Lord of the Rings,” is fleeting, largely meaningless debris. The two biggest stories in American media on Constitution Day, 2007, as far as I could tell, were O. J. and Britney Spears.

The liberties gained by our history allow us a free Hollywood entertainment machine. But you can’t learn history from Michael Moore and Oliver Stone.

Our history separates us from the rest of the world and, at the same time, unites us to people everywhere who long to live free in a land with rights, courts that function and police governed by proven laws and legal precedents. Reading and learning our history teaches us to appreciate America’s place in the world.

Our history is the struggle of man, wars, sacrifices, torture, anguish and great joy and achievement. It is thrilling, heartbreaking and often amusing at the same time. The “why did that happen” and “what was gained” is often more important than the event alone.

Our history teaches us that men find some things worthy of their blood, their anguish, even their own death.Our history keeps our debates honest. Is Iraq really “Another Vietnam” as so many pundits have claimed? We cannot know (and they may get away with misrepresentations) unless we understand our history. So history makes us more informed as voters, which is very good, maybe even essential, for the health of our Democracy.

Our history teaches us toughness and serenity. Through history we learn the dichotomies of man and the strange bedfellows life brings. We learn that Great Britain, George Bush’s greatest ally in Iraq, is also the nation that burned the White House and the U.S. Capitol in 1814. And yet the Republic survived. So what really did the nation have to fear on September 11, 2001?

History makes us appreciate what it means to be an American.

Ken Burns, who made the Civil War video series, has just completed a new series on World War II.  Says Burns, “We are losing 1,000 veterans a day in the United States. We are losing among our fathers and our grandfathers a direct connection to an oral history of that unusually reticent generation. And that if we, the inheritors of the world they struggled so hard to create for us, didn’t hear them out, we’d be guilty of a historical amnesia too irresponsible to countenance. ”

He says the death of every veteran “is like a library burning down.  You lose all their stories.”

Our history makes us read. But don’t read your kids’ history textbooks. They are often politically correct collections of fact and misinterpretation not worth reading. Understanding history, like mining, requires one to dig deep into the writings of and about great men, at least occasionally.

FDR, George Washington, Lincoln and many, many more standout in our history. These men inspire us, encourage us and teach us (and our children).

And it is not just the well-known headliners who cause us to work harder and live better lives. Henry V. Plummer inspires me. A slave who escaped to enlist in the U.S. Navy, he served in many battles during the Civil War, then became a minister and served a congregation. When he read about the Buffalo Soldiers, he traveled west and became their chaplain. To find such men, you almost always have to read history.

Our American history is the thread that slowly becomes, over the years, a bond that ties us together as Americans. Our history encompasses our liberties, our values, our sense of nation.

Historian David McCullough said last year, “Something is eating away at the national memory, and a nation or a community or a people can suffer as much from the adverse effects of amnesia as can an individual.”

The state of our national understanding of history is suffering, thus causing a concomitant negative impact on our Democracy. Maybe it’s time to read some history and share the joys with our children.We study our history because it is a collection of inspiring life-lessons filled with great men who gave us the meaning of our Democracy.

Post script: My wife was born in Vietnam in 1955, less than a full year after the communists forced her family to move from the north to the south after the French were ejected from Vietnam. Until 1998, she lived her entire life in war, as a prisoner of the communists, as a refugee or as a detainee. She doesn’t feel sorry for herself but she sure appreciates the freedoms and goodness of America.

Songs from the heart of Vietnam

August 16, 2007

By Anh Le
Special to the Mercury News (San Jose)
August 16, 2007

Y Lan’s mother is Vietnam’s most prolific singer, Thai Thanh. Her father is Vietnamese film star Le Quynh. Y Lan left her home country by boat in 1980, living for a time in Hong Kong and finally reaching the United States in 1981. She launched her professional singing career in 1989 and now is one of the Vietnamese-American community’s favorite vocalists.

Y Lan will share the stage Sunday with several other Vietnamese singers at the San Jose Center for Performing Arts. Here are excerpts from a recent interview:

Q: How do you select which songs to perform?

A: I choose classical songs of our “Que Huong” (“Homeland”), Vietnam. Most of the songs remind Vietnamese listeners of their distant homeland….

Read the rest:
http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_6637060?source=rss

Y Lan’s website:
http://www.vietscape.com/music/singers/y_lan/biography.html