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So, yesterday Oprah was talking to me (like she does several times a week). I was a little preoccupied with something on my laptop, but when I finally looked up at her she looked me right in my eyes (to make sure I was really paying attention, I suppose) and she said,
“Here we are, this is our day. This is our moment.”
She was talking about our new OWN network, of course–you know, the one we launched on January 1st. She insisted to me that (even though her name is the only one on the logo) it really is OUR network, and darn it, I believe her.
I know she said the same thing to you, I mean, I’m not crazy. I know she wasn’t talking only to me when she said this network is for us, but I must say that so far the programming choices come pretty close to exactly what I would love to see on television. I especially love the show called Master Class. <click to see the promo if you haven’t seen the show yet–it’s (in Oprah’s voice) really good.
I won’t list the complete schedule, but in addition to Master Class I’m super geeked about these shows: (OWN’s descriptions)
The Miracle Detectives: Do miracles really exist? Or is there a logical explanation to the seemingly inexplicable? Two investigators; one a believer, the other a scientist will travel the globe to uncover answers to mysterious incidents that transcend logic
Mystery Diagnosis: Every year, millions of Americans fall victim to real-life medical mysteries—ailments that go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed for years. Their lives are thrown into turmoil—sometimes their sanity is called into question
Searching For: Viewers can expect an intensely personal ride when cameras follow Pam Slaton, a professional investigative genealogist, and her clients through each step as they track down lost loved ones. Whether Pam’s clients find a joyous reunion, painful rejection or tragic loss, they all walk away with the closure they were desperate to find. (Pam has an 85 percent success rate, follows a strict “no find, no pay” policy, and is one of the most sought-after professional searchers in the country.)
The Gayle King Show: Start your day off right with Oprah’s best friend and O Magazine Editor-at-Large Gayle King, as her hit radio show comes to television every weekday on OWN. Gayle’s live talk show will offer her unique perspective on an array of topics ranging from current events and cultural trends to politics and more, all while bringing viewers closer to their favorite celebrities and notable public figures with her revealing, compelling daily interviews.
I love Gayle. I think she’s really down-to-earth for someone who is the best friend of one of the most powerful women in the world. (Sorry, I digress.)
Anyway, by now you’re wondering, what the heck does Heavy D have to do with any of this? Well, ever since Oprah started talking to me about this OWN thing… Heavy’s “diddly diddly diddly dee” has been stuck in my head. I know I can’t be the only one who mentally plays the song when the OWN network promos come on.
“We Got Our Own Thang” by Heavy D and the Boyz <listen to a snippet.
Although not all the lyrics in the song are going to be to Oprah’s liking (you know how she is about hip hop), this part of the song is perfect for what OWN is all about:
“In this life, I strive for improvement
Be your own guide, follow your own movement
Loving is a legend
Me, I’m legendary at it…
Stay self-managed, self-kept, self-taught
Be your own man, don’t be borrowed, don’t be bought
Started with a pow and I’m going to end it with a bang
We’ve got our own thang
We’ve got our own thang”
How is that not the theme song playing on the OWN promo?
Maybe Will.i.am and Heav could do a remix for you…
Oprah, it is our network, right?
If she’s not buying a ticket for this week’s Mega Millions lottery, Nadya Suleman should pray for me to win.
If I did win that $290 million, I would gladly take 1% of my winnings and build a house for “Octomom” and her 14 children–not because I agree with her decision to ef around with nature and bring all those kids into the world with no partner to help her feed, house and parent them–but because now that the kids are here, who really wants them to end up homeless?
I will probably receive hate mail for saying it, but I don’t hate Nadya at all. Yeah, so she cost us tax payers a few million dollars. On the list of people to be mad as hell at for the irresponsible decisions they’ve made that are costing me money, believe me, Ms. Suleman is waaaaaaaaay down at the bottom. I’m far too upset about:
$800 billion spent on Afghanistan war
$400 billion spent in Iraq
$1 trillion failed war on drugs
$700 billion bank bailout
$800 billion in tax cuts for the rich
I can’t even fathom the mindset of a person who would camp out in front of Nadya’s house or bust out her car windows to protest her irresponsibility. Please. Camp your ass out at the doors of Haliburton or AIG. Bust out some windows at one of the many million dollar homes of Martin Sullivan or Lloyd Blankfein if you’re deadset on taking your anger out on somebody who makes us pay for their dumb (greedy) choices.
After watching her interview with Oprah, I really do believe Nadya has been dealing with an untreated mental illness that makes her addicted to giving birth–like how people get addicted to tattoos (except birth is a lot more painful…and pretty much impossible to reverse.)
It’s not a great thing to be adding fourteen more to the millions of kids in the world who don’t have a father in their home, but at least these kids are fortunate to have a mother (arguably a tad off her rocker) who loves them. The upside of this whole thing is that Suleman is not a drug addict who sits around eating Dingdongs and watching soaps all day. She’s pretty intelligent and articulate, and she has a degree in child development. Most eye witnesses say she has good parenting skills despite being so outnumbered by her offspring.
(Wouldn’t it just be beautifully ironic if one Sulemon’s kids grows up to cure cancer, or some other disease afflicting the children of the protesters who despise them all so much?)
For those who can’t get past their hatred of her, I have a suggestion that might help shift your paradigm. Imagine Suleman is a sterile, childless woman who has opened an orphanage and volunteered to care for fourteen adopted children for the rest of her life. You would pin a medal on her.
I would buy her a house.
UPDATE: (1/3/11) I will not be approving any more comments, because to do that I have to read them and I’d rather not expose myself to the profanity, name calling and viciousness.
“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” -Buddha
One big drawback to being as friggin’ drop dead ridiculously gorgeous and sexy as Sofia Vergara–It’s pretty impossible for people to see (or bother looking for) your spiritual assets when your physical ones are so distracting.
If you’ve watched the Emmy-award winning ABC show “Modern Family,” you already know. Sofia’s character Gloria is a scene-stealer whose thick Columbian accent seems almost too thick to be true–along with some other thick things that Sofia was actually born with. (She wanted a breast reduction, but her mom talked her out of it, saying, “God is going to punish you if you cut them.”)
Before she was discovered on a beach in Columbia and fast-tracked to modeling gigs and a Pepsi ad, Sofia was a catholic school girl (no, really) who more than anything wanted to be a dentist. Please. Can you imagine how popular her dental practice would have been? She abandoned her dentistry dreams to take her first television hosting job–but only after consulting with the nuns in her hometown school who told her to go for it.
Beauty has not shielded Vergara from life’s tragedies. In 1998 her brother Rafael was murdered by kidnappers in Bogota, Columbia and two years after his death Sofia was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, which she was able to beat with radiation and surgery. About her cancer battle she said,
“When you go through something like this, it’s hard, but you learn a lot from it. Your priorities change. You don’t sweat the small stuff. “
The experience led her to create Peace and Hope for the Children of Colombia, a charitable organization that has served thousands of needy children in her home country.
“Through the charity I sponsor, we’re building a cancer center in my hometown of Barranquilla. I visited the cancer ward of a hospital in Colombia, and parents were just sitting on the floor while their kids were being treated.”
Sofia also launched a clothing line called Vergara by Sofia, a socially-conscious brand generating over 1,500 jobs in her native country.
This fall Vergara joined Gloria Estefan, Placido Domingo, Enrique Iglesias and other Latin stars to record the song and video “La Gota de la Vida” to raise money for bone marrow donation awareness.
That’s right. In addition to everything else she’s abundantly blessed with…her singing voice is pretty too.
First things first, let me confess that as it relates to discussing Michael Vick’s crimes against animals I cannot be considered unbiased. I have an 8-year-old pit bull who has been with our family since he was two months old and the thought of Baloo, or any other dog, being tossed in a fighting ring to win or die trying is beyond disgusting–it is just plain evil.
Having said that, let me also confess that I am an avid fisher-woman. There are few activities that bring me more peace of mind, excitement or satisfaction than sitting on a boat from sunup to sundown casting my bait and fighting those fish who are desperately trying not to end up on my plate. The bumpersticker “I’d rather be fishing” was created with me in mind.
There are some members of PETA who will call that just plain evil.
Now, if you think I’m equating dog fighting with fishing, I’m not. I don’t think they’re the same–not even close. Dog fighting is about violence, ego and money. Fishing is about… Um, well, hmm… many people do fish for food.
No, for real. The creator obviously intended for fish to be eaten by other animals. Am I not one of many predators who kill fish for food? (And, I bet grizzly bear claws cause the fish a whole lot more suffering than my little hook.) Besides, I never catch more fish than I will feed to my family, and I do not catch and release. Once I’ve caught enough fish to eat (or to give away to friends or family who will eat it) I quit fishing. Just between us, when I’m impaling a worm or bait fish on my hook I apologize to it, and once I’ve landed a fish and got it into the boat, someone else has to kill it for me because I can’t bring myself to do it. (I have no problem, however, rolling it in some cornmeal and frying it up afterwards).
All of that “justifying” my violence against fish is the result of a little voice in my head that doesn’t want to feel bad about making the fish suffer–it’s called “empathy.”
EMPATHY : “Understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another.”
Most humans have empathy for other humans, and many have it for animals, but empathy is an easy thing to lose when you are desensitized to violence from a very young age. I can remember being taken fishing when I was a small child and refusing to participate because to me it looked like they were torturing defenseless creatures. Over the years, the more I witnessed the adults around me doing it, and the more I saw the benefits of catching fish, the more desensitized I became–until I eventually grew to love the sport myself.
I will never understand how a person could get pleasure from electrocuting an animal or how they could throw their family dog into the fighting ring and laugh as their pet suffers (which Vick reportedly did), but I can understand how over years of being exposed to that kind of violence, your empathy voice might get silenced until you just don’t hear it anymore. It appears that after years of exposure to violence against dogs being perpetrated by people Mike loved and admired, he not only shut the voice off, he developed an appetite for the violence himself.
Michael Vick is now an ex-convict who served time for torturing dogs, and he is using his experience to prevent other young people from going down that same violent road.
“God sent me to the bottom. And I’m a firm believer in karma, and I think it happened because of what I did and what I allowed to happen to those animals, so I was stripped of everything, stripped me down to the bone of everything and, you know, I think I took for granted the position that I was in in my life, all the blessings that I had, and that wasn’t my purpose in life to be doing what I was doing and it was wrong,” -Michael Vick
There are thousands of little boys out there right now who have been taught that dog fighting is a sport. They have never had a high profile “role model” tell them otherwise. Now they do.
Unless you’ve been hiding from television and Internet news for the last 24 hours, you have probably heard that President Obama recently called the Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie, and praised him for giving Michael Vick a chance to revive the career he lost when he was thrown in jail for operating a dog-fighting ring. Obama said the Eagles giving Michael Vick a second chance was important for society.
Obama’s message gives hope to ex-convicts who want to work and become productive members of society, and it also uplifts a high profile spokesperson against cruelty to animals to whom kids will pay attention.
I believe thousands fewer dogs will suffer as a result of what Michael Vick is now doing. How could that be bad?
It is beyond tragic that Teena Marie, who at age 54 had so much more living to do, died in her sleep on Christmas night–the very same night her only child, Alia Rose, turned 19.
Teena’s last words via Twitter just a few hours before she died were Christmas wishes for you and your family, a thank you to Jesus Christ for being born, a happy birthday message to her daughter, a tribute to singer Sarah Vaughan, and one wish for herself:
Your last wish on earth has been lovingly granted by your family friends and fans all over the world–You will never die, Ms. Teena. Your music, your legendary love of life and your open heart and soul will live forever.
“I’ve been called Casper, Shorty, Lil’ Bit
And some they call me Vanilla Child
But you know that don’t mean my world to me
’cause baby, names can’t cramp my style…
…That’s what I’m talking, baby
Square , Square Biz” -Teena Marie
I know he’s now an entertainment mogul who can hang up the granny dress for good if he chooses, but it is still pretty difficult to think of Tyler Perry and not think of the extreme makeover he undergoes to portray grandma Madea–a makeover that led to him becoming very, very rich.
Two days before Christmas Mr. Perry used some of that money he’s earned to help a real-life grandmother rebuild the home she’s lived in for forty years after it burned to the ground. 88-year-old Rosa Lee Ransby and the seven great-grandchildren she is raising by herself escaped injury but were left homeless by the tragedy. The local fire chief asked the Coweta, GA community for donations to assist the family, and within hours Tyler, who lives in nearby Atlanta, came to the rescue in a major way.
Not only is Mr. Perry paying for Ms. Ransby’s home to be reconstructed, he has rented a home nearby for her and her family to live in until their new home is finished, which will be sometime next year. Tyler will fill the home with new furniture as well.
It is a time like this that must make being a several hundred millionaire feel pretty amazing.
Click the link below to view a video of the 88-year-old woman, her great-grandchildren and the local fire chief who said the gesture made his Christmas. “I’ve been doing this a long time – seen a lot of bad things come and go – but this is special.”