Everyone needs a hero and our world today, more than ever, needs its own heroes to look up to. In a world were violence and all sorts of negative things are common, it can be hard to retain a positive outlook. Yet when we hear of and witness simple acts that become great in their simplicity, we can’t help but be inspired and once again believe in the goodness of mankind. This is how I felt when I read and viewed the tribute to CNN Heroes of 2008.
Singer Christina Aguilera joined fellow Grammy Award winners Alicia Keys and John Legend for “CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute,” which honored the top 10 CNN Heroes of 2008.
The show, taped before an audience of more than 2,500 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, premiered on the global networks of CNN on Thanksgiving night.
Liz McCartney, dedicated to helping survivors of Hurricane Katrina rebuild their homes, was named 2008 CNN Hero of the Year.
McCartney, who will receive $100,000 to continue her work just outside New Orleans, was selected from among the top 10 CNN Heroes after six weeks of online voting at CNN.com. More than 1 million votes were cast.
Here is the video of Christina Aguilera singing, courtesy of YouTube.
I regret that I was not able to take part in the voting for the heroes of this year. Maybe next time.
The hullaballoo over writers in Hollywood is not yet over, despite the fact that the issue has been going on for quite some time now. With the recent big movie releases and other issues that have come up, the issues that the SAG have laid on the table have seemed to take the back row. At the end of last week, though, we heard some news regarding this once again.
After a long 4 months of total deadlock, the film studios and the SAG have finally broken their silence and met together for the first time. The BBC has this report:
The two sides came together under the guidance of a mediator, but it is not known what was discussed. At least one Hollywood has figure said the deadlock could last until next year and may result in strike action.
SAG wants actors to get more money from DVD sales, plus a greater say in the endorsement of products on-air. The four major Hollywood Studios quit talks with the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) in June.
So what is going to happen now? We really do not know as not much was disclosed as to what happened during the meeting. Perhaps the film studios will give way. Perhaps the SAG will settle for a lesser amount. There are a lot of perhaps and ifs here but one thing we do know – if this issue is not resolved soon, we might be facing something similar to the strike that the writers had last year. And we all know that will be damaging to a lot of concerned parties.
Only in Hollywood are babies ranked according to hotness. I wonder if these tots even have an idea of what they are being ranked for? In any case, this year’s list is topped by Suri Cruise, the famous daughter of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. Right from the start, Suri has garnered a lot of interest from the media, largely because of her parents.
As the years pass, though, Suri is proving to be an attraction on her own. With her trendy style, which I am sure we can thank her parents for as well, photographers are always clamoring to get shots of her. That is why she has come out at the top of the list that Forbes compiles annually.
This list is dubbed “Hollywood’s 10 Hottest Tots” and is based on the amount of attention they have received in the past year. This includes traditional media and online media. Forbes also commissioned E-Poll Marketing Research to get more information in order to determine the top 10 kids to make up the list.
So how did Suri get to the top? She was mentioned in more than 1,300 news articles and was mentioned the most in blogs. Other children included in the list are Sam Alexis Woods (Tiger Woods’s daughter), Cruz Beckham, late Australian actor Heath Ledger’s daughter Matilda Rose, Madonna and Guy Ritchie’s adopted three-year-old son David Banda, Britney Spear’s son Sean Preston Federline, and Sam Sheen.
Religion has always been a sensitive issue among many people. Religious beliefs incite strong emotions and when opposing views are held, fireworks tend to go off. What does Hollywood have to do with religion? According to a large number of Americans, religion is under attack from Hollywood. This was the result of a recently held poll title “American Attitudes on Religion, Moral Values and Hollywood.” The poll was carried out by the Marttila Communications Group and it involved 1,000 adults from all over the United States.
– 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.”
– 63% disagree with the statement that “the movie and television industries are pretty much run by Jews,” while only 22% agree with that point. When ADL conducted its first survey on anti-Semitic attitudes, in 1964, nearly half of the respondents believed that the television and film industries were run by Jews.
– Nearly 40% support the notion that “dangerous ideas should be banned from public school libraries,” and nearly the same number disagree with the statement that “censoring books is an old-fashioned idea.”
– Nearly half of those surveyed — 49% — believe that the United States is becoming “too tolerant in its acceptance of different ideas and lifestyles; 47% disagree with that statement.
What does this mean in practical terms? I have no idea except that maybe, just maybe, there will be a push for the incorporation of more religion in society. Now that for sure will open a whole new can of worms.
What the rest of the world sees of Hollywood is all glitz and glamour but it does not mean that the life in Hollywood is the same. As a matter of fact, there are more people who are average – just like you and me – and they are feeling the crunch of the times. The Miami Herald just ran this story on the Cappelluzzo family:
Joseph Cappelluzzo never worried about losing his home, being unable to feed his five children or having an empty savings account.
But now the licensed carpenter, who specializes in remodeling kitchens and bathrooms, is struggling to find work.
Some weeks, he brings home $200 doing odd jobs as a handyman — barely enough to pay for groceries, the mortgage on his two-bedroom Hollywood home and gasoline.
”I have always been able to pay the bills and put food on the table,” Cappelluzzo said. “But now I worry a lot. I just don’t feel secure.”
This is just one family but I am pretty sure that there are a lot of families just like the Cappullezzos who are having a hard time making ends meet these days. It is probably not even just in Hollywood. In most cities all over the US, I am sure you could find a lot of people in the same boat. However, the elections are over and it seems that hopes are soaring at this point. Hopefully, people like the Cappullezzos will find an easier time in the months to come.
The day that President-elect Barack Obama won the elections was rife with emotions – both positive and negative. One of the most memorable things for me was to hear a friend of mine say “I never thought I’d live to see this day.” Now you have to understand that this friend is a white guy from the South. I do not have to spell out the inclinations that have been bred in him since childhood. And yet at that moment, when John McCain conceded and Barack Obama gave his acceptance speech, this friend of mine was almost teary eyed – not because his childhood sensibilities were offended but because he “was proud of his country.” I am sure that countless other Americans (and non-Americans as well) felt the very same way.
Yet have you thought about the role that Hollywood may have played in getting the nation ready for an African-American president? Cynics and satirists have pointed out that all that happens when the States gets an African-American president is that the country has to face disaster in immense proportions. Think Morgan Freeman in Deep Impact. Yet one TV president seems to have contributed positively to the idea of an African-American president. I am talking about 24’s president David Palmer.
Played by Dennis Haysbert, David Palmer is one of the focal points of that hit TV series. I have to admit he plays the role excellently and the role could have served as a “prep” for the nation as a whole. According to him “My role helped prepare the way for Obama, opening the eyes of the American people [so] that they felt they could vote for a black president without triggering the apocalypse.”
I recently wrote a post on how Hollywood is going green and how significant this is. Well, here is more news on this topic. The first ever all solar powered community in Metro LA is being constructed. Dubbed The Gatsby Hollywood, this all-green urban community is being constructed on corner of Wilcox Avenue and Fountain Avenue. What is to be expected from this trendsetting community? Marketwatch ran a feature on this and describes it as:
A first for the area, the all-new, single-family-home community offers premier sun-powered features and a Certified California Green Builder stamp of approval. This collection of 34 detached homes will reduce each resident’s carbon footprint, while lowering monthly utility bills by as much as 60%.
The Gatsby Hollywood is planned and developed by MasterCraft Homes. Energy-saving features include solar roof panels that generate clean energy from the sun. The solar panels collect sunlight, which is channeled to an inverter and converted to electricity for household use. Any unused electricity is fed back into the energy grid and the local utility company may give credit for the unused energy. The captured solar energy actually turns the home’s electric meter backwards. This reliable power generation also comes with an included warranty and free internet-based solar panel monitoring for 10 years.
Even if you are not that into conserving energy and helping the environment (BUT why shouldn’t you???), the price tag that comes with the utility bills should be enough to convince you that this project is a very good idea. The only setback – and a big one at that – is the initial cost, which is surely astronomical.
I have always thought that Hollywood is the place to be for the club hopping types. Apparently, this has not always been the case. As a matter of fact, they say that a generation ago, Hollywood was “a wasteland of liquor stores, tattoo parlors and shuttered storefronts that offered few entertainment options.” I find this hard to imagine – it’s probably because I never experienced it for myself and only know the Hollywood of today.
So what has made Hollywood into what it is now? Basically, it is the influx of developers coming in from all parts of the United States. These developers seem to sense a different kind of gold rush in the night life scene in Hollywood and they are all going gaga about getting a slice of the pie. As such, the development does not seem to be stopping anytime soon. In fact, according to Los Angeles City Councilman Eric Garcetti:
People are bullish on Hollywood. It’s a feather in everyone’s cap to have a place in Hollywood: people in the entertainment industry investing in nightspots, people who run clubs.
I suppose that one of the biggest contributors to the sudden rise in the allure of Hollywood’s night life is the spate of TV series and movies depicting the “real Hollywood glamorous lifestyle.” Just tune in to any TV channel and you will understand what I mean. With all these reality TV shows depicting such glamorous lifestyles, it is not a surprise that thousands of people flock to Hollywood to get a taste of what it has to offer.
So if you’re looking for an experience of a lifetime, go visit a Hollywood night club – if that’s your thing, that is.