In a soon to be released interview, ABC’s Robin Roberts, became the first reporter in history, to hear a sitting U.S. President endorse Gay Marriage. The sit down interview, was hastily secured as pressure mounted as the result of a flub by Vice President, Joe Biden. The Vice President, inadvertently endorsed Gay Marriage in a recent interview which lead to questions about the President’s own evolution on the issue. President Obama told Roberts “I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married“.
These historic words have never been spoken by any U.S. President, in part because Gay Marriage has failed to pass when placed on the ballot in any state (including California). No President has ever been willing to risk their Presidency, to fight for the rights of Gay Americans. The President has effectively wagered his second term, on his ability to sway the American people.
Remember the name Jermaine Paul. He is this season’s winner of The Voice. The American Idol, rival show, is one of a growing number of talent competitions. The Voice pitches itself as a pure singing competition. The Judges, Christina Aquilara, Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, and Ceelo-Green, pick contestants, with their backs turned away from the singers. They choose them based entirely on the strength of their vocals. Their appearance, and style, are supposed to be immaterial. The Voice, attempts distinguish itself by attempting limiting the superficialities associated with the other shows.
Despite the shows attempt to limit the impact of superficialities, this year’s winner is a star in every sense. Jermaine Paul is a former background singer for Alicia Keys and he truly has an amazing voice. The rising star chose to join team Shelton, which was an unusual paring. He simply asked that the country star promise to keep him. Shelton, said he could make no promises, but he believed in Paul’s talent. Shelton’s faith paid off! Pail said, “I honestly was ready to accept not winning. But I’m so excited”.
Paul’s wife, rushed the stage as the confetti fell, to hug and kiss her husband. Paul said, “She has been with me throughout this whole journey. Leaving college, not going with basketball and going with music and sticking with it, having kids so young and getting married even younger-its been a tumultuous journey for us.”
Adele’s second album recently dethroned THRILLER, by outselling the album in the UK. Adele is selling an estimated 20,000 copies a week and the achievement has industry pundits contemplating new titles for the new “Queen of Pop”. Martin Talbot, of The Official Charts Company, which tracks record sales, recently said that “Adele’s achievement in overtaking Thriller..is truly remarkable. Thriller has long been recognized as one of the most iconic albums of all time. There is no doubt that 21 (Adele’s album) can be spoken of in the same breath.”
While I certainly celebrate Adele’s achievement, she reaches MJ’s record, in a very different world. She achieves his monumental achievement with an unparalleled ease. Her sales are as much a triumph of technology as it is, artistry.
MJ’s legacy is, in what his sales told us about his music. Our government used his music to broadcast into the soviet union, to thaw the frosty hearts of our communist foes. Ronald Reagan invited the pop icon to the White-House, because his music was changing the world. His music was transcending culture and uniting humanity. Desert Nomads loved his music. Chinese dissidents loved his music. Soviet youths defied their government, to dawn his t-shirts. Adele is very talented and her art is commendable, but her new album, cannot “be spoken of in the same breath” as THRILLER.
After his demise, the blogosphere instantly began debating the question; Who is today’s Michael Jackson? And the pre-packaged, inauthentic music industry is moving at breakneck pace to manufacture his replacement. The reality is that not every generation gets a Michael or Whitney. There is no band that compares to the Beatles, today. We can certainly ask, who the greatest artist is, in the current music environment but we shouldn’t try to confer the status of legend, on artists of the moment. While Adele is an incredible talent, she is not Michael Jackson. Her music has not meant as much to the world, as his music did. That is not an insult. Its simply a fact. She has not changed the nature of music videos, presentation or performance, as MJ did. She is a brilliant singer and songwriter and she should be proud of her status which stands far above most performers today, but let us judge her in the light of day. We should allow her to grow in the fullness of her own persona. We should give her time to carve out her own place in history as opposed to fraudulently catapulting her, into the place of historic legends. To do so, is an injustice to artists of old and artists of today.
The Volkswagen Hover Car is not on sale yet, but its based on very real science and a fully scalable conceptual infrastructure. The design is based on “The People’s Car Project” in China, which is a open sourced initiative that asks consumers to help design the car of the future. The Hover Car utilizes electromagnetic levitation to float along a grid above the regular road. The car would be designed to move, backward and forward, and side to side and perhaps even, spin. The zero emission vehicle would be the ultimate, in green technology. Volkswagen, even released a short video to demonstrate the concept of the vehicle.
Ofcourse, the Hover Car is just an idea but the concrete science behind the concept brings the notion of flying cars, within feasible reach for consumers.
There is no daylight between Will Smith and President Barack Obama, on the issue of raising taxes on the rich. While promoting his upcoming blockbuster, MEN IN BLACK III, Smith said that he supports the idea of raising taxes on the wealthy. The superstar said, “America has been fantastic to me. I have no problem paying whatever I need to pay to keep my country growing.”
President Obama has suggested raising taxes on the wealthy, which are at historic lows, in order to prevent raising interest rates on student loans, cutting healthcare for the elderly and as a means to finance investments in education and infrastructure. The
Outcast fans, will be delighted to hear that Andre 3000 is set to play rocker Jimi Hendrix in an upcoming film. The filmography, is tentatively titled ALL IS BY MY SIDE. The movie will be set in 1966 and will follow “Jimi” as he creates his legendary debut album, “Are You Experienced”.
This is not Andre’s first film. The eccentric rapper has starred in Four Brothers, Be Cool and Scary Movie 4. The new film will begin shooting in 6 weeks and will be directed by the phenomenal,John Ridley.