Wednesday, May 13, 2009

American Idol Adam Lambert, Britney Spears Attacked On Stage. Why?


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Not too long ago in Western culture it seemed we had this mostly unwritten rule that when a performer was at work, we didn't rush the stage to be with them or follow them around, unless of course they asked us to. Well, in this Internet age the act of rushing the stage and stalking has become all too commonplace, with the latest victim being American Idol star Adam Lambert; pop culture icon Britney Spears faced the same incident just two weeks before.

And the act of stage rushing isn't limited to popular singers on television; a duo named Matt & Kim from Brooklyn were rushed at the annual multimedia event "South by Southwest" (or SXSW) in March.

Who's next, Susan Boyle?

In Spears' case the stage crasher, 20 year-old Kyle King, was a man who was whisked off and arrested by security after Britney let out a scream. By contrast, Lambert laughed the whole deal off - you can hear him - as authorities carried the shirtless woman (not topless as some reports have it) off and away from Lambert. Matt of Matt & Kim said "I don't know if anyone else woke up this morning feeling like they'd been in a brawl," ... "I woke up with a limp!"

I'm sure there are other examples of rushing the stage, but as it seems to be a form of stalking, I wonder if it's not a kind of new reaction by some to the new fame of others. All of the examples have people between the age of 20 and 30 who are doing the stalking, which means they're part of a generation that gets most of its media online -- they're hyper-engaged in media. Moreover, and now I'm spinning a theory as I've not found a study on this behavior in the Internet age, I wonder if those who stalk performers and media content creators in some way feel close to them because of the Internet, and want to complete the desire to "reach out and touch them."

And I'm not claiming their impulse is always harmless. Just ask American Idol host Paula Abdul, who was stalked by a contestant who eventually killed herself outside Abdul's home. Jamie Foxx fought off his stalker last month (what is it with April and March?) as he was in Philadelphia filming a movie.

Some people want to do harm to the simple video-blogger. I use as one example Melissa Compagnucci, a video-blogger who caught Internet fame after CNN discovered her for the CNN / YouTube Democratic Debate in 2007, and even flew her out to be part of the event itself with Anderson Cooper. But after the CNN spotlight, her vlogging attracted a stranger who took to taking pictures of where she lived at the time, just to let her know that he or she knew where she lived!

In Mel's case she just stopped posting vlogs for a few months, which is what I told her not to do. But now, she's back and is working for Ford Motor Company with the very cool gig of driving around the new Ford Fiesta for six months! I'm very happy she's "in the mix" as they say. But as to why people try to scare Melissa (or for that matter me) or any vlogger I don't know. I do know it's more common than it should be , and at least one vlogger was murdered , Asia McGowan last month, and by a nut case who reportedly "scorned Black women, discussed suicide, and decried atheists" and then killed himself.

And I get the same kind of messages she was complaining about; I just don't answer them.

No, I'm not comparing myself to Adam Lambert or Britney Spears, but Asia McGowan, yes. I am writing about those who feel it's necessary to "hate on" someone just because they dare have a media presence. I personally think the local police should have a protection list for entertainers, journalists, bloggers, and vloggers, so they know who we are and we have someone internally to call where we can report someone before its too late. I fear this is getting way out of hand. We've seen the loss of Chauncey Bailey who was gunned down in the line of journalist duty and Asia McGowan for sharing her view on the issues of the day. I don't want to ask who's next and I believe the same mentality that rushes someone like Adam Lambert or Britney Spears would do this to a journalist or a vlogger.

Enough's enough.

Boxer Demands Obama Pick A Woman For Supreme Court


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Like other supporters, I received this email letter from U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, but this one was pointed right at one of my favorite subjects: "Who should be Justice David Souter's replacement on the Supreme Court?"

After not much stewing on the matter, I would guess, Senator Boxer wants it officially known: President Obama's choice must be a woman and she's taking to the Internets to make it known. I still favor Kathleen Sullivan for the job so no harm there; this is what Senator Boxer wrote:

Dear Zenophon,

Women make up 51% of our nation's population.

Yet only 17% of the seats in Congress are held by women. Only 3% of corporate CEOs are women. And just one out of nine Supreme Court justices is a woman.

President Obama can change that.

Send an email to the White House now — and urge President Obama to nominate a woman to the U.S. Supreme Court!

Since Sandra Day O'Connor's retirement from the Supreme Court four years ago, Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been the sole female Justice.

Now, with Justice Souter's recent retirement announcement, President Obama has a chance to nominate an intelligent, well-qualified person to the Supreme Court — and I believe that person should be a woman.

We need a Supreme Court that is more representative of all Americans, so that its decisions better reflect the diversity of life experiences and points-of-view in America.

Send an email to the White House now — and urge President Obama to nominate a woman to the U.S. Supreme Court!

Many pundits have warned President Obama to make his choice based on merit — and I agree. In fact, there are many highly qualified women to choose from.

When 96 percent of all Supreme Court Justices throughout our history have been men, clearly it is evident that we need another woman on the Court.

Send an email to the White House now — and urge President Obama to nominate a woman to the U.S. Supreme Court!

When asked recently how it felt to be the only woman on the Supreme Court, Justice Ginsburg simply replied, "Lonely."

It's time to change that.

Thanks for your help.

In Friendship,

Barbara Boxer
U.S. Senator

Did you get that you're supposed to email President Obama?

I think its important to add that in a diverse society we must have a diverse Supreme Court that can make a contemporary set of laws rather than laws from another less diverse time in America. That written, we have the battle between Latinos, African Americans, women, and according to TIME Magazine's Mark Halperin, white men.

So what to do?

Obama should pick the person who has the best set of qualifications and I just can't see anyone better than Kathleen Sullivan. Period.

Ok. Your thoughts?