Tuesday, August 12, 2008

What is the world turning to?

Ah Ah...I have no words...Ah Ah
BEIJING, China (CNN) -- A little girl and her song captivated millions of viewers during the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics. But what they saw was not what they heard.

Lin Miaoke was the darling of the Olympic opening ceremony, but it turns out she was lip-syncing.

Games organizers confirm that Lin Miaoke, who performed "Ode to the Motherland" as China's flag was paraded Friday into Beijing's National Stadium, was not singing at all. Lin was lip-syncing to the sound of another girl, 7-year-old Yang Peiyi, who was heard but not seen, apparently because she was deemed not cute enough.

"The reason was for the national interest," said Chen Qigang, the ceremony's musical director, in a state radio interview. "The child on camera should be flawless in image, internal feeling and expression. ... Lin Miaoke is excellent in those aspects."
The decision was made at the highest levels, Chen said.
"We had to do it," he said. "We'd been through several inspections. They're all very strict. When we rehearsed at the spot, there were several spectators from various divisions, especially leaders from the Politburo, who gave the opinion it must change." Few who watched the Olympic ceremony realized the deception. "Tiny singer wins heart of nation," read the headline in Tuesday's China Daily newspaper.
"Lin Miaoke might be only 9 years old but she is well on her way to becoming a star, thanks to her heartwarming performance," the article gushed -- without mentioning she never sang a note. But as word has gotten out on the Internet, some Chinese bloggers are outraged.
"If you're not good-looking, no matter how well you sing, you'll not be onstage. Do you know you're twisting a whole generation?" read one comment. Another said, "If foreigners found out, they'd think we can't even find a girl who is good at both."

As for Yang Peiyi, she's been quoted as saying she was honored to have had a role in the opening ceremony, even though few realized just how big her part really was

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Another Goodbye...

The Big Soul Brother who made it so so cool to hear this'' he's a bad mother - shut your mouth'from Shaft, the voice of Chef in South Park and just all round coooool cat...Another goodbye

Soul singer and arranger Isaac Hayes, who won Grammy awards and an Oscar for the theme from the 1971 action film "Shaft," has died, sheriff's officials in Memphis, Tennessee, reported Sunday.

Singer Issac Hayes seen performing in the U.K. last year. Hayes was found dead Sunday at age 65. Relatives found Hayes, 65, unconscious in his home next to a still-running treadmill, said Steve Shular, a spokesman for the Shelby County Sheriff's Department.

Paramedics attempted to revive him and took him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after 2 p.m., the sheriff's department said. No foul play is suspected, the agency said in a written statement. Hayes was a longtime songwriter and arranger for Stax Records in Memphis, playing in the studio's backup band and crafting tunes for artists such as Otis Redding and Sam and Dave in the 1960s.

He released his first solo album in 1967, and his 1969 follow-up, "Hot Buttered Soul," became a platinum hit. In 1971, the theme from "Shaft" topped the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks and won an Academy Award for best original theme song. The song and the movie score also won Grammy awards for best original score and movie theme. Hayes won a third Grammy for pop instrumental performance with the title track to his 1972 "Black Moses" album.

From the late 1990s through 2006, Hayes provided the voice of "Chef" for Comedy Central's raunchy animated series "South Park," as well as numerous songs. The role introduced him to a new generation of fans, but he left after the show lampooned his own religion, the Church of Scientology. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. In a CNN interview at the time, Hayes credited his success to "adjusting and constantly evolving, expanding and trying to stay as young as I can."

The new generation of popular musicians, he said, "could use a little more substance like we had in the day." "They're standing on our shoulders. Some of them don't realize [it] because they sample me so much," he said. Hayes credited his role on "South Park" with expanding his fan base, and said that he had almost passed on the job. "I started to walk out. I thought it was a Disney thing. I [had] never heard of this thing," he said. But his agent persuaded him to tape some episodes.

"Toward the opening I started having trepidations -- 'Oh my god, what have I done? I've ruined my career.' But when it aired, the ratings went through the roof," he said.
A 1992 visit to the royal family in Ghana was a life-changing experience for Hayes, he said.
"I went back on speaking engagements and encouraged African-Americans to go to Africa [to] interact socially, culturally and/or economically," he said

Saturday, August 9, 2008

I am devastated..

I love to laugh. I love being happy and one person that could just bring out my laugh no matter what kind of day i have, - Bernie Mac. This man just epitomized cool to me. So so funny. His smile, the ultra white teeth, his realness, his devotion to his family...Him hanging with the cast of Ocean, him in Transformers, on the Oprah Winfrey Show...I just dug this man. The Bernie Mac show - truly a gem. When i read on CNN that he was recovering from pneumonia in hospital, i wondered how he caught pneumonia and wished him well. Driving home this afternoon, my sister Nneka sent me a text - one line only - Bernie Mac is dead. I screamed and called her back. I cried. I am still crying. At 50. Goodnight Bernie.....

CHICAGO - Bernie Mac, the actor and comedian who teamed up in the casino heist caper "Ocean's Eleven" and gained a prestigious Peabody Award for his sitcom "The Bernie Mac Show," died Saturday at age 50.

"Actor/comedian Bernie Mac passed away this morning from complications due to pneumonia in a Chicago area hospital," his publicist, Danica Smith, said in a statement from Los Angeles.
She said no other details were available and asked that his family's privacy be respected.
The comedian suffered from sarcoidosis, an inflammatory lung disease that produces tiny lumps of cells in the body's organs, but had said the condition went into remission in 2005. He recently was hospitalized and treated for pneumonia, which his publicist said was not related to the disease.

Recently, Mac's brand of comedy caught him flack when he was heckled during a surprise appearance at a July fundraiser for Democratic presidential candidate and fellow Chicagoan Barack Obama.

Toward the end of a 10-minute standup routine, Mac joked about menopause, sexual infidelity and promiscuity, and used occasional crude language. The performance earned him a rebuke from Obama's campaign.

But despite controversy or difficulties, in his words, Mac was always a performer. "Wherever I am, I have to play," he said in 2002. "I have to put on a good show."Mac worked his way to Hollywood success from an impoverished upbringing on Chicago's South Side. He began doing standup as a child, and his film career started with a small role as a club doorman in the Damon Wayans comedy "Mo' Money" in 1992. In 1996, he appeared in the Spike Lee drama "Get on the Bus."

He was one of "The Original Kings of Comedy" in the 2000 documentary of that title that brought a new generation of black standup comedy stars to a wider audience.
Mac went on to star in the hugely popular "Ocean's Eleven" franchise with Brad Pitt and George Clooney.

His turn with Ashton Kutcher in 2005's "Guess Who" topped the box office. It was a comedy remake of the classic Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn drama "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?" — with Mac as the black dad who's shocked that his daughter is marrying a white man.
Mac also had starring roles in "Bad Santa," "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle" and "Transformers."
In the late 1990s, he had a recurring role in "Moesha," the UPN network comedy starring pop star Brandy.

The comedian drew critical and popular acclaim with his Fox television series "The Bernie Mac Show," which aired more than 100 episodes from 2001 to 2006. The series about a man's adventures raising his sister's three children, won a Peabody Award in 2002. At the time, judges wrote they chose the sitcom for transcending "race and class while lifting viewers with laughter, compassion — and cool."

The show garnered Golden Globe and Emmy nominations for Mac.

"But television handcuffs you, man," he said in a 2001 Associated Press interview. "Now everyone telling me what I CAN'T do, what I CAN say, what I SHOULD do, and asking, `Are blacks gonna be mad at you? Are whites gonna accept you?'"

He also was nominated for a Grammy award for best comedy album in 2001 along with his "The Original Kings of Comedy" co-stars, Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley and Cedric The Entertainer.
In 2007, Mac told David Letterman on CBS' "Late Show" that he planned to retire soon.
"I'm going to still do my producing, my films, but I want to enjoy my life a little bit," Mac told Letterman. "I missed a lot of things, you know. I was a street performer for two years. I went into clubs in 1977."

Mac was born Bernard Jeffrey McCullough on Oct. 5, 1957, in Chicago. He grew up on the city's South Side, living with his mother and grandparents. His grandfather was the deacon of a Baptist church.

In his 2004 memoir, "Maybe You Never Cry Again," Mac wrote about having a poor childhood — eating bologna for dinner — and a strict, no-nonsense upbringing.
"I came from a place where there wasn't a lot of joy," Mac told the AP in 2001. "I decided to try to make other people laugh when there wasn't a lot of things to laugh about."
Mac's mother died of cancer when he was 16. In his book, Mac said she was a support for him and told him he would surprise everyone when he grew up.

"Woman believed in me," he wrote. "She believed in me long before I believed."


Thursday, August 7, 2008


So when the news hit that Morgan Freeman had been in an accident with a "friend" and he was driving a 1994 Nissan Maxima, my antennas shot all the way up. Random female friend, unlikely vehicle, in the night...i immediately thought...affair. Was i right or wrong? Here's what just turned up on the news....

Morgan Freeman's lawyer says the actor and his wife of 24 years are getting a divorce.

A hospital spokeswoman said Wednesday that actor Morgan Freeman was still listed in serious condition.

Freeman's lawyer, Bill Luckett, told the Memphis CNews, ommercial-Appeal newspaper that the divorce action is pending. Freeman's wife is Myrna Colley-Lee.

The lawyer declined to provide details. There was no answer early Thursday at phone numbers for Luckett or for Freeman's publicist.

The 71-year-old actor is recovering in a Memphis hospital after a car crash in neighboring Mississippi on Sunday left him with a broken arm, broken elbow and shoulder damage.

The woman who was injured along with Freeman in the car accident apparently is a friend of the Oscar-winning actor who had offered him a ride home, a crash witness says.

Freeman was driving a 1997 Nissan Maxima that authorities said belongs to Demaris Meyer, 48, of Memphis, Tennesee, when the car veered off a rural road Sunday night a few miles from Freeman's home in the Mississippi Delta. The car flipped at least twice.

Bill Rogers, a retired police officer who was the first person to arrive at the scene, said a dazed Freeman told him that he and Meyer were headed to his home in Charleston, a small town some 90 miles south of Memphis.

"He said that she had offered him a ride home; that they were friends and she had offered him a ride home and she didn't really know the way and so he was going to drive the vehicle," Rogers said Tuesday, recalling a conversation he had with the actor.

Luckett told the Commercial Appeal newspaper that Meyer is the actor's friend.

Rogers said he talked to Freeman and Meyer in attempt to keep them conscious -- something he was trained to do as a police officer.

"They said they were coming from Clarksdale," Rogers said.

Freeman owns several businesses in Clarksdale, about 40 miles from his home, including the Ground Zero Blues Club and a restaurant named Madidi. Ashley Norris, the club's manager, said Wednesday that Freeman had not been there the night of the accident. No one answered the phone at Madadi.

Rescuers used a jaws-of-life machine to free "The Dark Knight" star and Meyer from the wreckage. Freeman was airlifted to the Regional Medical Center in Memphis, Tennessee.

Hospital spokeswoman Kathy Stringer said Wednesday that Freeman had been upgraded to fair condition. The actor had surgery Monday to reconnect nerves and repair damage to his left arm and hand, according to his publicist, Donna Lee. Lee said Freeman will make a full recovery.

Hospital officials say Meyer isn't listed in the hospital's registry. However, under medical privacy laws, people can request that their names not be listed as patients at a hospital.

A Mississippi Highway Patrol officer said Meyer was in the Tennessee hospital when the agency called to see how she and Freeman were doing Monday night.

Calls to Meyer's home Wednesday were not answered. Her condition was not immediately available. Rogers said Meyer did not appear to be injured as severely as Freeman.

Not much is known about Meyer. Rogers said she appeared to be an avid gardener -- a hobby reportedly enjoyed by Freeman and his wife -- because several gardening tools were flung around the accident scene when the car's trunk was ripped open by the impact.

Freeman won an Oscar for his role in "Million Dollar Baby." His screen credits also include "Driving Miss Daisy" and "The Bucket List."