Get A Life…

…or at least some perspective.

I just read a follow-up article that stated that Disney has buckled under the pressure from upset parents regarding changes to the princess, Merida, from the movie Brave.  You can read the article here, and it has a picture of the original version and the revamped version, too.

Personally, I don’t see what all the fuss was about in the first place.  So Disney made some cosmetic changes to the appearance of one of their characters.  What is the big deal?  I am the proud dad of a soon to be seven year-old daughter, and she loves the Disney princesses, and all things Disney.  I highly doubt she was going to be too upset about the changes that Disney was making.

The same parents who created all the fuss are probably a lot of the same parents who think nothing of watching programs on TV with their kids in the room that are way more controversial than a change to Merida.

Oh, and some made the argument that their kids look up to Merida because she is outdoorsy, etc.  Are they saying that the new version is somehow less outdoorsy?

They also were against the change because their daughters idolized Merida.  I’m sorry, but if your daughter idolizes a cartoon character, I think you may need to rethink your parenting strategy.  I will happily share with you who my daughter idolizes….her mother, my wife.  That is who she should idolize and look up to, not some Disney princess or some celebrity, just like it is ridiculous to allow your son to look up to an athlete or actor.

Instead of wanting Disney to provide the moral compass for their daughters, maybe these parents should take time out of their oh-so-busy days and spend it with their daughters if they are that concerned about messages they are receiving.  Here’s an idea, instead of parking your kid in front of the TV for hours on end so you can flip through the pages of Shades of Grey or Playboy, take your daughter outside to play.  Go to the park, go get ice cream.

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Ridiculous Editing

Every time I forget for a minute why I prefer to listen to a CD over the radio when I am in the car, I get a little bit of a reminder.  Mind you, this is not the only reason I prefer to control what I listen to in the car, but just one of a few reasons, including way too much talking from DJs and too many commercials.  I understand that the DJs have a job to do and that commercials pay the bills, but I really do not care for that much non-music coming out of my radio unless I am listening to ESPN Radio or The Dan Patrick Show.

Probably the biggest reason I prefer to control the tunes is because I really cannot stand all of the editing that stations do to songs.  It is ridiculous.  And frankly, I think they completely destroy songs.

Whether it be “Toes” by the Zac Brown Band or another song, if they don’t want kids to hear the real lyrics (for “Toes,” it is always changed from “ass in the sand” to “toes in the sand,” so it comes out as “toes in the water, toes in the sand,” which makes no sense), then don’t play it on the radio when kids are going to or from school.  Easy enough.  It is not like that is their only song.

Our local stations here like to edit songs to include a plug for their station, like one of them did on Craig Morgan’s “Bonfire.”  I know that song, and I know it well, and nowhere in that song does he mention 103.1 The Wolf.  It is pathetic.

Jason Aldean (photo from http://www.jasonaldean.com)

This morning is when I got my reminder.  Amber and I have been listening to the new Jason Aldean CD “Night Train” a lot in our respective vehicles.  Kaitlyn knows the words to all of the songs, and she sings them at home, without music (her favorites are “The Only Way I Know” and “1994”).  Aldean makes references in a few of his songs to a few different adult beverages (Rocky Tops, Comfort, and Goose), and we honestly have no problem with Kaitlyn singing about them in the songs.  We are comfortable enough in our parenting to let her sing the songs and know that she does not know what exactly he is referring to.  If she heard an edited version, she would not be happy at all.  This morning, I heard his first single from that CD, “Take a Little Ride,” and in it, he references grabbing “a couple Rocky Tops,” but the local station here changed the words.  I didn’t catch what they were changed to, but that was because it caught me off guard, and it is unlikely that I will hear it again because I will just turn the song off when I hear it come on in the future.

Maybe I am making a big deal about nothing.  It is certainly within their rights to edit certain words or references out of songs they play on the air (and I refuse to get into a First Amendment debate on it.  Radio is private enterprise and can control what is played or not played).  I know that Amber and I are different from a lot of parents (read: we are probably considered more “liberal” with our parenting) in that we let Kaitlyn listen to the same music we do.  Maybe that is because we listen primarily to country music, and we can live with the occasional adult beverage or posterior reference.  If you are a parent and would rather your child not hear those references, more power to you.  Personally, I do not understand how or when it became the responsibility of the radio stations to parent our kids and make sure they do not hear references to certain beverages, but that could be just me.  I don’t know, maybe I am making too big of a deal about edited songs.  I just look at it as the artist records and releases a song with certain lyrics, and I find it disrespectful to either edit them on your own or make editing them a condition for air play.

Because It Matters…

…to some people, apparently.

I almost didn’t click on the headline, even though it was alongside a picture of Anne Hathaway, but I just could not help myself.  The headline dealt with celebrities, and who they are endorsing for President.  Because an informed voter who is on the fence looks to actors and musicians as justification on who they vote for.  If you are one of those people, please spend some time over the next two weeks or so to educate yourself about the candidates, and do not rely on your favorite musician to tell you who to vote for.

So from the story I linked to above, here you have it, the choice for President of the United States, as made by famous people (or at least by people deemed “famous” enough to be included in the list).

For Mitt Romney:  Kid Rock, Lindsay Lohan, Kelsey Grammer, Jeff Foxworthy, Jenna Jameson, Gene Simmons, Dennis Miller, Clint Eastwood, Donald Trump, and Ted Nugent.

For President Obama:  Scarlett Johannson, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Eva Longoria, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jon Bon Jovi, Honey Boo Boo (I have no idea who this is), Anne Hathaway, Bruce Springsteen, Jessica Alba, and George Clooney.

Mr. Romney is backed by an interesting mix of people who you would not usually put together in the same sentence or same room.  He should be proud to have Kid Rock’s endorsement, and maybe the “singer” can show up at a rally wearing the American flag as a cape, because nothing says how much you love our country than wearing our flag as a cape or poncho.  Lindsay Lohan is a pillar of society, and Jenna Jameson made her fortune in “film.”  Maybe Jeff Foxworthy can help Romney loosen up a little.

Other than that Honey Boo Boo person, the people who back Mr. Obama should not really come as a surprise to anybody.  It is not a secret that many in Hollywood tend to back Democrats, and 2012 is no different.  Besides, what is more American than being backed by “The Boss?”

No matter who you vote for on Election Day, I sincerely hope that you do so based off of educating yourself about each candidate and what they stand for.  And, by the same token, you would be well-served to not hold the political leanings of a comedian, musician, or actor against them.  Last time I checked, Jeff Foxworthy is funny and Springsteen makes good music, and who they back in the election makes no difference to me.

 

Wondering Again

So it seems that I just cannot help myself.  I guess maybe there is just too much material out there.  Welcome to another edition of things that I have been wondering about.  If you are wondering what I have wondered about it the past, click here or here.

*Now that Lindsay Lohan has endorsed Mitt Romney, does that change your vote?  Does it even matter to you what celebrity endorses which candidate?
Whether it is Lindsay Lohan or someone else, I really do not care who actors and musicians support in any election.  That is their personal choice, and has no bearing on who I vote for.  If you are influenced by who some famous person says they support, maybe you should think long and hard about voting at all.  Try something new…try thinking for yourself.  If you are too lazy to educate yourself about the candidates, don’t let the artist you just saw in concert make the decision for you.  Be better than that.

*Speaking of celebrities, why do people get so bent out of shape when they screw up?
For example, it came out a few weeks ago that country singer Jason Aldean had cheated on his wife.  How exactly does that impact your life or my life?  Because I listen to his music, does that mean I am going to cheat on my wife?  Hardly.  His mistake is an issue between him and his family, and has no bearing on whether or not I will continue to listen to his music (hint: I will keep listening to his music).  My morals and values are not so easily influenced by musicians and actors (see above) that I will follow their lead in every aspect of my life.

*How come when Mitt Romney went into attack mode against President Obama in their first debate, people applauded him, but when Vice President Biden does the same in his debate with Paul Ryan, people think he was being “mean” or out of line?
Folks, you cannot have it both ways.  Romney won the first debate with Obama, and was aggressive in doing so.  Biden won the debate with Ryan, and was aggressive in doing so.  People are up in arms about Biden for some reason, and I do not get it.  It probably boils down to there is nothing he can really ever do to please people.  People expect Mr. Biden to stumble all over himself all the time, and have some slip of the tongue that will make for a good sound bite, and they seem put off that he actually knows his stuff.

The Truth Is Coming Out

Pretty much every day since January 20, 2009, someone, somewhere has been calling President Obama a socialist.  They will make every attempt to prove their point, and thus far have not done a great job.

That all changed Tuesday, and there is now video proof, and the truth is coming out.

It is well-documented that First Lady Michelle Obama has been on a mission to promote healthy eating.  There is a substantially-sized garden on the grounds of the White House.  And her garden, and approach to gardening, is where the truth about her husband’s socialist ideology is coming out.

This past Tuesday, the First Lady appeared on The Late Show With David Letterman, and presented his nightly Top 10.  Her theme was “Fun Facts About Gardening.”  Number one on her list, and obviously very concerning for the country as our kids become indoctrinated with President Obama’s socialist message was, “With enough effort, you can grow your own Barack-oli.”  As you will notice in the picture below, the health initiative of Mrs. Obama clearly includes growing broccoli that looks like her husband.  That way, our nation’s children, because they are always instructed to eat their broccoli (soon, it will be to eat their Barack-oli), will first have to honor Mr. Obama by pouring melted butter over his broccoli likeness.  What a great way to spread a message (and some butter).

As crazy as my claim sounds, it is no crazier than any other claim about Mr. Obama in the last three and a half years.

image

All you are is mean

I’m in no way, shape, or form a John Mayer fan. I have never listened to his songs nor purchased any of his albums, meaning, I have no opinion on the guy good or bad. I do, however, applaud him for standing up for himself in the most recent issue of Rolling Stone magazine.

I had heard that Taylor Swift had penned a song that is on her current album Speak Now titled Dear John. Undoubtedly, the song takes aim at John Mayer and their short-lived relationship. I have never heard the song before but I did look up the lyrics. I can see why he’d want to fight back when this is how people will perceive you “Or maybe it’s you and your sick need to give love then take it away.”

 Mayer states in the article that he was “really humiliated” and it “made me feel terrible,” and he goes on to say “I was really caught off-guard, and it really humiliated me at a time when I’d already been dressed down. I mean, how would you feel if, at the lowest you’ve ever been, someone kicked you even lower?” As for why I really applaud Mayer, he sums up exactly what I’ve been trying to point out about Swift all along! “I will say as a songwriter that I think it’s kind of cheap songwriting,” he says. “I know she’s the biggest thing in the world, and I’m not trying to sink anybody’s ship, but I think it’s abusing your talent to rub your hands together and go, ‘Wait till he gets a load of this!’ That’s bullshit.”

 Thank you! Finally, someone else sees it! She’s continually praised and applauded for writing songs tearing into real people who have real feelings. She also wrote a song to Joe Jonas back in 2008 tearing into him. He apparently broke up with her in a 27 second phone call. Okay? How long is a break up phone call supposed to last? I’m sorry if the guy dumped you, but cry it out over a pint of rocky road and move on. Being famous isn’t about getting revenge and singing to the world about how people have “wronged” you. It’s about using your platform to help others. Sure, there are songs about break ups and being cheated on and done wrong, but they are generalized songs not directly calling people out. I cannot understand how people continue to condone this type of behavior. She writes a song titled Mean and sings “Someday I’ll be living in a big old city, And all you’re ever gonna be is mean. Someday I’ll be big enough so you can’t hit me, And all you’re ever gonna be is mean.” Well, Ms. Swift, I think the only mean one here is you. I would never allow my daughter to listen to this type of music nor would I allow her to think it was okay to treat others that way.

So, kudos to you John Mayer for standing up for yourself and telling people that it’s not okay for someone to publicly humiliate you.

Oh no he didn’t!

You know I have an opinion on all things country music, and with the recent firestorm of events stemmed from an interview with singer Eric Church I surely have something to say. Right, wrong, or otherwise.

Seriously?! This is what you, Eric Church, feel the need to discuss in a Rolling Stone article? Why can’t you just talk about your music, I’m particularly blown away by the Carolina album it’s that good, so why not stick to the subject of you? Instead you lace an interview with profanity and bashing of reality music shows and artists who judge these shows or artists who made their start on one of these shows.

Now I have never watched a single episode of American Idol, The Voice, or any other singing competition show. So I really don’t have an opinion on these shows either way. Some who go through the process will make it(Carrie Underwood), and some won’t(Taylor Hicks). You’ve either got “it” or you don’t. But that’s beside the point of this article, so on to the comments!

Church made comments about Blake Shelton being a reality show judge for The Voice and one of the many remarks he made was this…”If I was concerned about my legacy, there’s no f—ing way I would ever sit there [and be a reality-show judge]. Once your career becomes something other than the music, then that’s what it is. I’ll never make that mistake. I don’t care if I f—ing starve.”

Wait! What? “Once your career becomes something other than the music..” Reba, did he just call you out too? Don’t you mess with Reba, buddy, she’s right there behind George Strait in my book. And wait, he’s well known for his lead role in Pure Country…so can he be included then too? How about Tim McGraw? He’s become known now more for his acting than singing. Words can be taken into any context and it depends on the reader’s view as to how they are interpreted. So be mindful of the things you say. They could come back to bite you.

Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton’s wife, who was a contestant on the show Nashville Star, had this to say via her twitter which I saw this morning causing me to research this whole shebang. Her tweet, “Thanks Eric Church for saying I’m not a real artist. Or @kelly_clarkson, @carrieunderwood & @KeithUrban. Your welcome for the tour in 2010.” That says it all. Ouch!

Of course no story is complete until the “celebrity” who makes remarks and then is criticized for them backtracks. Mr. Church responded to the backlash over his comments by releasing this statement, “I have a lot of respect for what artists like Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, and my friend Miranda Lambert have gone on to accomplish. This piece was never intended to tear down any individual and I apologize to anybody I offended in trying to shed light on this issue.” So the comment about not being a real artist if you ever do one of these shows wasn’t meant to offend anyone? It may be your opinion, Mr. Church, but opinions do hurt and offend people and in my opinion it tore down individuals when you called them out by name. By all means, please tell me what “this issue” is supposed to mean.

The question for me becomes, will I continue to listen to his music. Sure. His opinion is what it is and doesn’t affect how I view him musically. If he, however, messes with George Strait then I can make no promises. Because like Eric Church sings in I Love Your Love the Most, “any song sung by George Strait is country at its best.”