Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Robert Pattinson and "Negroes" - an update

In the Robert Pattinson Interview in the March issue of Details (which is sure to fly off the magazine racks after this week considering the appearance of "vaginas" and "Negroes") this blogger focused on why both the interviewer Jenny Lumet and her subject, the Twilight star that is Robert Pattinson, seemed transfixed on using the word "Negro" and in a way that would cause anyone to ask "what does he mean by saying "What if we were 'acting' like 'Negroes'?"

The objective of writing the blog post wasn't traffic - a better choice is to focus on the relationship obert Pattinson and Kristin Stewart. It was to address their actions that were troubling to this blogger. It's of no concern that a million people may disagree; wrong is wrong.

No one should suffer the indignity of reading an interview with a major star and feel placed on the "outside" of society because that star makes a statement that implies the "other", or "Negroes", are less than the mainstream in society. That is the perspective I took going into this issue. Moreover, it's the same one that prompted Dior Noir's blog post over at BET.

It doesn't matter if it's a group of white girls who participated in a black fraternity and sorority "step" competition and won, only to hear a rain of "boos" from a black audience, or Robert Pattinson and Jenny Lumet's use of the term Negro in the context in Details, the presentation of someone else as "the other" as if that were a bad thing is wrong. It must stop.

Robert Pattinson fans have presented evidence that he does have African American friends, and that's fantastic, but (as a person who's has many friends who occasionally blast a racial epithet) what Pattinson said is still wrong.

Reportedly Robert Pattinson's to appear on The View March 2nd. Considering Whoopi Goldberg's thoughtful candor, that episode will be one to watch.

The CVS Caremark / CVS Pharmacy expired products problem

CVS Caremark Corp is a large national corporation which operated over 7,000 US drugstores under the name CVS Pharmacy. CVS Caremar Corp, or "CVS", or "CVS Pharmacy" for this blog post, has been the focus of lawsuits by state attorney generals in Connecticut and in New York for selling expired products, according to the Boston Globe.

In California, CVS Caremark was the focus of California Attorney General Jerry Brown, who in June of 2009, negotiated a $975,000 settlement of a civil lawsuit with CVS Pharmacy along with an agreement to give $2 coupons to anyone who found expired products on their shelves, and designates a toll-free number to call to report such items.

Now, there's a charge from a reliable source that CVS (formerly Long’s Drug stores in California) as well as Krogers, Ralphs, and other major chain stores are selling ‘diverted’ or grey market products that may counterfeited.

In some cases, the claim is the California consumer is even getting products that can be dangerous.

“Diverters” are companies are selling these stores products that have been diverted from their intended sales point or they may even be selling counterfeit products.

If this turns out to be the case, CVS will again be in violation of the same California laws under the Business and Professions Code 17200 and the Civil Code 1798.81 by misleading customers.

On August 14th of 2009, the Modesto Bee wrote wrote that a number of county district attorneys, including Stanislaus San Joaquin, Sacramento, San Bernardino and Solano counties have joined in the statewide lawsuit against several national retailers who stock beauty supplies alleged to violate California environmental law.

That lawsuit, originally brought by the District Attorney of Stanislaus County, sought penalties of at least $17 million, with amounts to be levied based on each day a prohibited hair product is offered for sale, according to court papers. The case also named Longs Drug Stores, Target, Rite Aid, Walgreens and Ralphs, among other defendants.

That lawsuit named a New Jersey company, Pro Choice Beauty Care Inc, that provides the products to the retail stores — without approval from the brand manufacturers. It is unclear how clear where Pro's Choice Beauty Care Inc. gets its products. It is believed to be a “diverter” of products.

The hair products that were being sold were found to contain elevated levels of smog-forming volatile organic compounds, state environmental authorities said, according to the Modesto Bee.
Stay tuned for more information as this story unfolds both here in the Bay Area and around California. I've made several calls to sources; I expect follow-ups soon.

Tiger Woods reportedly sends apology letter to daughter's school

According to Florida television station WFTV, Tiger Woods has "offered another apology" and this one to the parents of children at the school his 2-year-old daughter attends. Here's what WFTV reported on it's own website:

WFTV reported on its Web site that it has obtained a letter that Woods and his wife, Elin, wrote to parents of children attending the school to apologize for increased media scrutiny around the school.
"We hope that the paparazzi will find something better to do with their time in the near future," the letter said.
Media coverage around Woods and his family has been intense since the Nov. 27 accident outside his home led to revelations that the world's No. 1 golfer had been cheating on his wife. Woods did not make his first public appearance until Friday at the TPC Sawgrass clubhouse in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla..
Woods' wife did not attend his nationally televised appearance, and photographers were seen outside the Premier Academy that day. WFTV says an off-duty sheriff's deputy has been hired to sit outside the school.

WFTV did not explain when the letter was sent or show a copy of it. Moreover, WFTV writes the account as if it was from another television station. It took the Associated Press version of the story about its report, and reposted it on its own website.


Stay tuned.

Tiger Woods apology poll - 39 percent aren't convinced

In the Tiger Woods apology poll conducted on the very day Tiger Woods gave his famous and widely seen apology, there have been 133 votes cast.

While the sample size needs to be larger to be more relevant, the current results are that 39 percent - the majority in the poll - aren't convinced that Tiger Woods was honest.

The response itself may be an indication that overall the public's tired of the news of Tiger Woods affairs, it's even evident that the once automatic buzz generated by the Tiger Woods mistresses has greatly diminished. Still, the poll records on.

The overall results thus far:

1) 39 percent are not convinced
2) 23 percent think the Tiger Woods speech was not necessary
3) 23 percent think he said the right things
4) 12.78 percent think it was honest, but are taking a wait and see position
5) .75 percent think he should have had his wife by his side.

The last one's interesting. Count this blogger as one who thinks Tiger Woods said the right things in his speech. But it would have been much better for him to have his wife Elin Nordegren there with him. It was a mistake to go forward without her.

Here's the Tiger Woods speech poll:

create text & photo polls on pollsb.com

Stay tuned.

American Red Cross explains unallocated Haiti donations in blog

The matter of the unallocated $175 million in American Red Cross Haiti donations focused on earlier, finally received attention via the American Red Cross' own blog, which this blogger happened to visit Tuesday. The post, written by Gloria Huang, reads as follows:

Recently, we’ve been seeing some confusion from readers and bloggers online about the allocation of funds for Haiti relief. We would like to clarify how our Haiti relief funds are being used and how we are planning for their allocation in the future.

In just over a month, the American Red Cross has already spent or allocated $80 million of the $276 million donated to meet the most urgent needs of Haiti’s earthquake survivors.

The $80 million allocated so far has gone towards immediate relief for Haitians – 69% for food and water, 20% for shelter, and 11% for health and family services. The remaining $196 million will be spent as the Red Cross continues to focus on finding communities and populations in need in Haiti in order to give them the things they can use to survive this difficult situation.

Every donated dollar will be spent on relief in Haiti; because of the generosity of our donors, people in Haiti will receive resources, support and training from the Red Cross that will help them recover and rebuild in the years ahead.

The error, then, is in the initial American Red Cross report, which still reads as follows:

Since the earthquake, the American Red Cross has raised approximately $255 million for the Haiti relief and recovery efforts. To date, it has spent or committed $80 million, with approximately 69 percent of the funds spent or committed for food and water; 20 percent for shelter; and 11 percent for health and family services. As the response progresses and recovery begins, the Red Cross will continue to support these priority areas and longer-term assistance initiatives.

The words "spent or committed $80 million" are what caught this blogger's attention. Note that the report fails to mention $175 million or $196 million for that matter. It was done only after attention was brought to the problems in the American Red Cross report by me.

Since then I've received a number of interesting emails and phone calls. Look, of an estimated $644 million raised for Haiti relief, one company, the American Red Cross, is responsible for one-third of that. Someone told me that the real reason for the omission of the $175 million was that when a person donated online they had to specifically designate where their money was going; if they did not click "Haiit", the donation went to the Red Cross' International Response Fund. The caller claims the International Response Fund money does not go to Haiti.

This link is to the donations page - DONATE. Note that Haiti is one of several choices. So the question is this: is the $175 million or now $196 million really donations just taken in, and only $80 million was captured because some donors clicked on the "Haiti" tag? And why doesn't the American Red Cross have a specific webpage and link button just for Haiti?

To this eye, it seems that the ARC is trying to use the Haiti issue to increase all of its donor coffers, not just that for Haiti.

So this matter's still open and is getting even more interesting. What's really funny is that because some disagree with these posts, and may be paid by the American Red Cross to respond to them via comments on the blog, they reach for the "wouldn't a journalist..." blast. That always happens when they don't agree. I remind them that I'm a blogger, far beyond a journalist. Bloggers have to mention their biases and can't hide behind the statements of false "experts". Bloggers - video or text - make it happen. Bloggers - especially video-bloggers - rock.

Robert Pattinson and "Negroes": what's he got against blacks like me?

Video update:

Getting away from Negros? 
Here we go again. Just two weeks after popular, 3-million-Twitter-user followed John Mayer has a great 16-year old scotch called Lagavulin neat (that's without ice) and gets off an N-word blast and explains how he's not attracted to black women, we have Twilight star Robert Pattinson doing an interview in Details and over more than one beer and opening his mouth to reveal his own prejudice against blacks like this blogger.

Moreover, he's enabled by the author of the interview.

In the March issue of Details Magazine, he has several beers with the interviewer, a woman named Jenny Lumet. At first, they start with coffee. But then they have a succession of beers. Ms. Lumet's so interested in the beer aspect of her meetups she divides her talks into beers: "Beer 1," etc.

At Beer No. 3 Pattinson and Lumet have this exchange:

Jenny Lumet: Rob, did you know that every time you say actor or acting you lower your voice to a whisper?
Robert Pattinson: He's genuinely startled. "I do?"
Jenny Lumet:Yes, so quietly it's like you're saying Negro.
Robert Pattinson: He laughs, lightens up. "What if we were 'acting' like 'Negroes'? Then we'd be fucked—we couldn't hear anything. . . ."

What the does it mean: "What if we were 'acting' like 'Negroes'? Then we'd be fucked—we couldn't hear anything. . . ." The comment leaves more to question. When Robert Pattinson says "what if we were acting like Negroes" what's he talking about? Ms. Lumet also apparently has her own issues with blacks like me, because she started him on this racist path.

Does Robert Pattinson have any black friends? What do they think about this? And if Robert Pattinson doesn't have black, er, Negro friends, perhaps that's the problem. It certainly seems to be the problem for Jenny Lumet.

To be racist is to put someone else down because of the color of their skin. That's what both Jenny Lumet and Robert Pattinson did. What's Robert Pattinson got against blacks like me? Does that mean he'd snub me for an interview? And why would Details hire a person like Jenny Lumet who's obviously got some of her own issues with blacks like me?

And what's this sudden small rash of racist comments by young white male pop culture stars all about anyway? You may say it's just two guys, but it's two guy too many. John Mayer and Robert Pattinson both have some issues with, er, Negroes, they need to work out and in such a way that both can have scotch or beer and not run off at the mouth.

What's happening - John Mayer and Robert Pattinson's racist blasts and Vanity Fair's "all white" Hollywood actress cover - is disturbing. Someone please remind these icons that racism is a horrible mental illness; help for them is needed.

Meanwhile, Details should not fire Jenny Lumet; just make her inteview blacks like me about this issue. That will be enough.

Are Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart really a couple?

The buzz is that Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart are a couple. But it's fair to ask: are Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart really a couple, or just hanging out to gain publicity for the next Twilight movie?

If you don't know this by now, Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart play the young vampire and his love interest in the Twilight movie series. The smash hit and its followers are so fanatical and devoted that, for them, having the pair "hooked up" in real life brings reality closer to the fantasy World of Twilight.

So notice that every time, just a few months before the release of the latest Twilight movie, the Internet and gossip TV news programs blast out the newest claim that Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson are a couple. The BAFTA's are the current example.

Kristen Stewart was one of the awards winners - The Orange Rising Star Award - at the UK's version of the USA's Academy Awards called The British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards. (Congratulations to Ms. Stewart here!)

Where Robert Pattinson was a presenter:

Afterwards, it was noted that she and Pattinson attended the BAFTA after party but "left early" at 11:30 and were spotted in a car. One gossip site by Ted Casablanca called this "getting quality time", and wrote that they were "together" after hours! The implication being that they were getting hooked up. (Nothing against Ted; he's doing his job.)

The idea that Kristen Stewart is Robert Pattinson's real girlfriend is questionable. In the March 2010 issue of Details, Robert makes some statements that can lead one to wonder if he's really interested in women at this point in his life. He says:

"I really hate vaginas. I'm allergic to vagina. But I can't say I had no idea, because it was a 12-hour shoot, so you kind of get the picture that these women are going to stay naked after, like, five or six hours. But I wasn't exactly prepared. I had no idea what to say to these girls. Thank God I was hungover."

There's nothing to indicate Pattinson and Stewart are a couple in real life. But it sure makes for great headlines in the New York Post.

Besides, Robert Pattinson seems to have a "Negro" issue...

Stay tuned.