Justin Bieber Shows His Celebrity Hubris

If I am not mistaken every single celebrity has a Twitter account; and why shouldn’t they?  Most, if not all celebrities are more than likely pretty shallow individuals, with a tad bit of a need for attention and again why not?  I mean after all you become a celebrity (of sorts) because a large number of people know who you are, and they know who you are because of some sort of talent (at least in most cases — Kim Kardashian I’m looking at you).  In short, you are celebrity because you are popular on a large scale.  So, to maintain that popularity you need to make sure that your fans are properly and completely satiated, or they may go about finding someone else who they like better; and then you are no longer popular.  In celebritydom popularity equals money, and Twitter is the most perfect tool for getting and keeping your name out there and maintaining your popularity.  Well, all that popularity/celebrity/money tends to breed a certain amount of arrogance and hubris.  Those are not traits that I think need to be overly inflated in people, because they (celebrities) begin to think that they can do no wrong, and develop a sense of snobbery where we mere mortals are somewhat, ne’ completely beneath them, and their (celebrities) actions have little consequence to anyone but themselves.  Well, chalk Justin Bieber up for providing more than a little inconvenience to a man in Dallas Texas by tweeting what I am sure he thought was a little harmless fun.  The Bieber tweeted the following message to his more than 600,000 followers, “call me right now;” followed by a phone number with the last digit replaced by a question mark.  Like good little followers many of his fans began the great little scavenger hunt and started dialing phone numbers replacing the question mark with the 10 possible numbers on the phone dial.  Unfortunately for that man in Dallas Texas, his number was one of those combinations, and his phone is now ringing off the hook.  According to this man’s attorney he has had the same phone number for over 20 years and doesn’t want to change it, because let’s be honest, you know how much of a pain in the arse it is to notify everyone who knows you that your digits have changed.  Of course the Bieb’s has since deleted that tweet, and as time goes by I am sure that this man’s phone will quit ringing from desperate Bieberites hoping to have a tête-à-tête Justin’s hair.  That unfortunately is beside the point; it simply shows the lack of consideration another celebrity has for people.  Perhaps equally unfortunate is the fact that this Dallas man has an attorney involved . . .

IRS Kneads Mystic Pizza’s Dough

Who here remembers the movie “Mystic Pizza?”  Yeah, me neither, I mean I have heard of it, but that is about it.  Anyway, there is a real pizza joint called Mystic Pizza and it is located in of all places, Mystic Connecticut.  This real pizza place supposedly served as inspiration for the movie of the same name.  Anyway, it appears that the current owners of said Mystic Pizza are in a little hot water with the Feds.  Not just any of the Feds, but perhaps the scariest of all federal organizations — the Internal Revenue Service, or IRS to you and me.

It appears that Mystic Pizza may have been doing a lot of mystic stuff, and by mystic I mean illegal.  The US Treasury swooped in and seized over $63,000 from the accounts of the owners of Mystic Pizza in January.  The IRS refused to release the details of this seizure (they are not obligated to do so) with an IRS spokesperson stating, “We do procedures like this one in the normal course of our business.”  Isn’t it nice to know that the normal course of IRS business is the seizure of people’s assets, but I digress?  It is speculated that the cause of the IRS “kneading” Mystic Pizza’s dough (I know bad pun) is due to the owners somehow being involved in money laundering, and if so that ain’t good.  But is good to know that cleanliness is a priority in an eating establishment — that is of course assuming that the speculative nature of these not quite confirmed allegations are true.  Now, I might just need to put Mystic Pizza in the queue and see what all of the fuss is about.  Hearing all of this makes you wonder if it might be a gangster movie . . . probably not with a young Julia Roberts and Matt Damon in it.

Man Has Foot Stolen

They say you don’t know a man until you walk a mile in his shoes; well apparently there is some low life out there who decided to take that proverb up a notch.  A thief has literally robbed a man of his foot — okay it is a prosthetic foot, but it is his foot nonetheless.  The victim of this heartless act (and I should point out that all theft is heartless) is Zac Vawter who lost his foot in a motorcycle accident two years ago and had one of those prosthetic feet made for him that are designed for running (image) because; well, he likes to run.  On Wednesday March 7,2012 Zac’s home was broken into and the burglar made away with Zac’s computer, a camera, a gun, and yes Zac’s prosthetic running foot.  I guess the thief wanted to assure that he/she could get away with the crime and hinder Zac’s ability to pursue, or maybe he/she didn’t know what it was and thought that it must be valuable.  Well, unfortunately for the thief he/she is pretty much wrong on all accounts.  People like Zac are competitors and they do not give up easily.  Now I am not saying that Zac is going to go out on some violence fueled vendetta like Charlse Bronson in the movie Deathwish.  Instead I believe that Zac will continue to living his life to the fullest, undeterred by the cowardly act of a thief.  Then there is the value of the foot, and yes it cost a lot of money to have one made, but the value is only to the one it is made for.  All prosthesis are custom made for the individual that is going to be using it.  That means in this case Zac’s foot was made to fit him and no one else, so it is essentially useless to anyone else.  All that the thief got away with is a contorted piece of carbon fiber with little to no street value.  Congratulations to this thief for elevating him or herself from the level of coward all the way up to cowardice ass.

 

Ice Cream is Addictive

Apparently you can get a research grant to study just about anything these days.  Researchers at the Oregon Research Institute have conducted a study with ice cream.  The goal was to find out wither or not ice cream is addictive.  Let that melt in your mouth for a while (pun intended), a study to find out the addictive properties of ice cream . . . Well, who doesn’t like ice cream, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find those willing to become research subjects (which is just a kind way of saying human lab rat); I even know some people who are lactose intolerant that are willing to endure the discomfort just to enjoy a bowl of ice cream.  Knowing that alone should prove promising for the researchers stated goals.

The researchers conducted the study on 151 teenagers between the ages of 14 through 16 and their eating habits.  They gave the teens a chocolate milkshake made with Häagen Dazs ice cream, and the researchers found that those teens who have had more ice cream over the previous weeks enjoyed the milkshakes less than those who had less or no ice cream in the past . . . Really?  I would have never guessed that anyone, let alone teenagers, would have that kind of reaction to anything if they have had more of it in the recent past.  Given this observation then pizza must be addictive, because I can honestly eat it every day of the week — and there have been times in my life when I have — and you know what?  I enjoyed that pizza less at the end of the week than I did at the beginning of the week.

Obviously I am glossing over a lot of the research conducted on the addictive properties of ice cream, there was some actual science involved, it did not strictly rely on observation.  The researchers studied the brain waves of these teens as they were eating the milkshakes and noticed similar reactions in the brainwaves the subjects as one would notice with drug use.  So, there is some actual merit to the research, but I highly doubt it will lead to us only being able to get ice cream through a prescription.

Cola’s Bad for You . . . Shocker!

The Center for Science in the Public Interest or (CSPI) has recently conducted a study on soft drinks and discovered that there is a high level of a carcinogen called (are you ready for this?) 4-methylimidazole, or simply just 4-MI for those of us who cannot pronounce whatever that word is.  This 4-MI is used in making the caramel coloring found in most major brands of Cola’s, and the CSPI has found that this 4-MI chemical has caused cancer in laboratory animals (presumably rats).

Of course the major cola companies are not going down without a fight and have insisted that their products are safe.  They have gone so far as to say that a person would have to drink the equivalent of 1000 colas a day to reach the levels of 4-MI that the CSPI exposed to the laboratory animals.  What is interesting is that is the same argument that they (soft drink manufactures) used when aspartame (the ingredient found in many diet soft drinks) was said to cause cancer in laboratory animals too.

Meanwhile the FDA maintains that colas are safe to consume, but they did say they would review the study and results presented to by the CSPI.

While I don’t know anything about this CSPI organization, one does have to be a little suspect of almost any organization that gives itself such a high brow moniker as “The Center for Science in the Public Interest,” call me cynical, but anyone or any group that proclaims to be in the “Public Interest” is probably motivated by an agenda that benefits THEIR interests more than the publics’.  This is not to say that I have wholesale belief in the FDA either.  They are a government organization, who is swayed by politics, and politics is swayed by money, and corporations have a lot of money; so you connect the dots.  Here is what I do know; colas are made in a factory — they are a manufactured good that doesn’t exist in nature.  They have virtually zero nutritional value and contain too much sugar for my tastes, but that’s just it, for MY tastes.  Who am I or anyone who would tell you not to drink a cola?  Now, if you will excuse me I am going to go and have a Cokeâ„¢ and a smile.

Girl Scouts Get Robbed

This certainly must be a sign of how things are in this country.  In Houston a local Girl Scout Troop was doing what all Girl Scout Troops do at this time of year; they were selling Girl Scout Cookies.  Who doesn’t like Girl Scout Cookies, right?  Well apparently there are a couple of <cough> “gentlemen” who not only dislike Girl Scout Cookies, but apparently have something against the Girls Scouts as a whole; this is because they robbed this particular Girl Scout Troop of the money they made from selling those delicious cookies.

The thieves made away with $200, but not without a bit of a fight.  Apparently in Houston the Girl Scouts are not a bunch of shrinking violets, because one of the Scouts went through the open passenger window on the getaway car and punched one of the robbers in the face.  One has to wonder if there is a merit badge for that.  Unfortunately though, despite the heroic efforts of one brave Girl Scout, the robbers did in fact get away with the money, and in the interest of hoping that these goons get caught, their vehicle is said to be an older, dark colored Toyota Camry — and I can presume that we are also looking for someone who has a recent black-eye from getting punched by the Girl Scout.

Again, unfortunately the thieves got away with the money, but that isn’t the end of it.  These Girl Scouts are responsible for that $200.  That means that when this current Girl Scout Cookie sell is over, this Troop has to turn in ALL of the money that they raised from their sales – including the $200 that was stolen from them.  While I know that this incident shows one of the things that is wrong with our country, but I also believe that there will be good Samaritans who will gladly give/donate $200 to these Girl Scouts so they won’t be left on the hook for the appalling acts of selfish people, and that will show what is still right with this country.

Wait, What?! When Was Hitler Ever Cool?

The problem with the past is that the further away from the event, whatever that event may be, the less of an impact that event has on us; both as individuals and as societies.  All one has to do is think of their most recent break-up.  If it was just a short time ago then there are probably still some pretty strong feelings there.  If it was quite some time ago, then those feelings are more subdued, if there are any feelings there at all.  However, there are some things that we should never forget; individually those are things like your anniversary, your children’s birthdays or other such events.  It is when we get to a societal level however when maintaining a collective memory becomes harder.  The reasons should be fairly self-explanatory, each successive generation loses the feeling or connection to whatever event it was that should be remembered.  Saying that sounds fairly understandable, right?  Well, then you read a report such as this, where in Bangkok Hitler has become cool.

Okay, granted the linked article there doesn’t exactly get into how, or why Bangkok teens think Hitler is cool, and I can only assume (and hope) that it is simply his image that these teens find “chic” and even then it is a sad state of affairs when one of the most evil men in history is adored for whatever the reason.  Perhaps it is like the college kids here in this country who wears Che Guevara t-shirts?  Regardless, of the motive, and I am still hoping it is a fairly innocent one, a little common sense and decorum would/should dictate that prancing around with a picture of Hitler on your t-shirt is most certainly not cool.  Even if the message of wearing his image is satirical I think that one should think twice and maybe three times before trying to send that message.

All I can really figure is that Thailand was so far removed, both geographically and culturally, from the horrors of the holocaust that it (the holocaust) didn’t leave the indelible mark on their social consciousness as it did on us in the Western Hemisphere. . . even then it still leaves me scratching my head.

Can Self-Promotion Go Too Far?

I am going to ask a ridiculously stupid question; who here has any kind of social media account?  And by any, I mean any — LinkedIn, MySpace, Facebook, twitter, Google+, and the list goes on and on and on.  The heavy odds are that if you are reading this right now then you undoubtedly visit and post on at least one social media website, and that’s cool with me – not that I am the arbiter of coolness mind you.  I have a Facebook account, granted I rarely post things on it, but I do frequent it and comment on something’s occasionally, but I have one.  I tend to use it for what I believe it was intended for, and that is to stay current with you friends and family.  Sure, others use these sites as outlets or platforms for everything from the inane to the radical, and again, that’s cool with me.  It’s not my cup of tea, but I am cool with it nonetheless (again, I don’t proclaim to be “Mr. Cool”).  It is in situations such as this when I get a little edge-y, not mad, but I just kind of heave a sigh and roll my eyes.  I understand that pretty much all of these social media sites have an element of self-promotion to them, and some are explicitly about self-promotion, such as YouTube which is what the linked article above was posted on, but at some point the self-promotion gets lost when you are a 21 year old woman pretending to be a “tween” struggling with all of the changes associated with coming of age.  I suppose it is no different than when there was a bunch of thirty year olds playing high school students in the original 90120, but in actuality the difference is quite stark.  90120 was and is a television show, it does not profess to be anything other than fiction.  Sure, it will try to address issues that many teens, or pre-teens, might face, but it is at the end of the day fiction.  YouTube, and the other social media sites, don’t have that filter, everything posted on these sites is live and in living color, and thus often times presumed to be fact.  This is what “Jezebel” did, she passed herself off as something she isn’t under the guise of focusing “. . . the often awkward transition from young girl to womanhood and how confusing it can be to figure out if you’re sexy,”   Sure, no real harm there, and I am sure that is a very difficult time for young women everywhere, but at some level don’t you think that by playing this ruse you kind of discredit yourself as just a self-promotion hound?

Some Remember 9/11, Others Don’t

Okay, so today is September 11th and I think the vast majority of us can remember what happened in this country, on this date, eleven years ago.  I am sure that many of us can remember where we were, and what we were doing when we first heard the news that hijacked airliners were being, or had been used as missiles to strike the World Trade Center’s once iconic twin towers, and the Pentagon.  I know I remember where and what I was doing.  I also remember my initial reaction to that news, and then I found my way to a TV and saw exactly what everyone was talking about, and I was in stunned disbelief.

At the time when these attacks occurred I was working in in the retail industry, and on that particular day I was working in the cash office of the store I worked for.  It was a windowless room, closed off and locked away from everyone.  There was a radio in there, but on that day I left it off.  There I was counting the store’s cash, check, and credit from the previous days business, making sure it was all there and ready to be deposited when the office phone rang.  It scared the beegeesus out of me because it was such a sudden break from the quiet of the room, and my focus on ensuring all of the money was still there and accounted for.  It was my boss and she wanted to let me know that an airplane had crashed into the Twin Towers.  Being isolated like I was I didn’t know what she meant by “airplane,” so my thought was a little Cessna like plane and thanked her for the information and went about my work.  Not too long later she called again, this time to tell me that an airplane had crashed into the Pentagon too.  At that point I knew something was up, but I still didn’t have any idea of the magnitude of that “something.”  I started thinking back through recent events, trying to conclude who would wish to exact revenge upon us, as a nation, and I really couldn’t come up with anyone or anything.  It wasn’t until I had finished my work in seclusion and emerged from my little sensory deprivation chamber and went into the break room where there was a TV did I finally get the scope of what had just happened.  I was stunned, and speechless.

It was apparent that many others were feeling the same way, because the store was a virtual ghost town.  It was all but empty, and I can guarantee that there were more employees there than there were customers.  As I was one of the higher paid employees it wasn’t long before my boss again approached me and asked if I would like to go home for the day.  Still feeling utterly amazed in the worst possible way, I accepted, and went home and spent much of the rest of the day watching NBC’s coverage of these horrific events perpetrated against us.

That Tuesday eleven years ago reshaped our country in so many ways, none of which I want to get into here and now, and is the most significant event (good, bad, or otherwise) that has happened to America in my lifetime; which means to me it should merit some remembrance on its anniversary.  Well, today many of the mainstream media did just that, and broadcast memorial ceremonies, even going so far as to honor a moment of silence for the victims of that day.  Notice I said “many of the mainstream media,” not all.  Well, as it turns out there was a lone dissenter amongst the major networks in covering the memorials, and it was NBC.

While the other networks were honoring the moment of silence, NBC’s “Today” show thought it would be better to just talk over this moment of silence, they went one better; they ignored it completely.  Instead of honoring the victims and this anniversary the producers for that very popular morning “news” show thought it would be better to interview Kris Jenner, mother of the vapid Kardashian clan.  So, apparently in Rockefeller Plaza a “reality” personality and her breast augmentation surgery (that is something that was part of this pressing interview) took precedence over September 11th.