Monday, September 30, 2013

Miley Needed to Come Out of Hannah Montana, But Not Like This

Miley's dad Billy Ray Cyrus is continuing to defend his daughter in the face of controversy.

"Miley's smart enough to know that to come out of the shadows of 'Hannah Montana,' it really takes something extremely drastic, which when you go to that level, it creates passion, and passion is either love or hate. But there's no middle of the road for passion," Billy Ray said recently.

I think that's a bad way of thinking about it. To come out of the shadows of Hannah Montana is to grow up, and growing up can happen in a number of ways. For me, growing up meant being aware of the issues in our world and the plight of people, and working to make things better, for example. In my own work I create passion too, a passion that can be divisive as Billy Ray said. For example I have created a common bond with our passion with many people working for social justice over the years, however many of the more conservative people from my past really don't like my staunch support for marriage equality.

Growing up and creating passion is necessary, but what Miley did is a poor way to achieve these things.

By TaraElla (News, Website) Discuss at the Forum!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Miley Cyrus said Boys are Seven Years Behind. What?

Miley Cyrus has gone from weird to weirder yet again - this time in an interview with Rolling Stones Magazine. In the interview, where she talked about Justin Bieber, she made an astonishing claim: "I think boys are, like, seven years behind. So in his head, he's really, like, 12," she said.

Where did she get the idea that boys are seven years behind - and not five or nine? Or that boys are behind at all, rather than just different? This is a seriously weird claim! What's more is that when you try to apply it to reality it doesn't work. We generally think people become adults at 21, so if males were indeed seven years behind, it means they don't become adults until 28? That's a really scary thought!

I also find it ironic that Miley Cyrus is commenting about somebody's maturity at all. Justin Bieber sure isn't known for being particularly mature, but neither is Miley herself! In fact, I don't think I know any 20 year old who acts like Miley does - they are generally past that stage, I believe.

Miley also claimed that she was sort of mentoring Justin Bieber: "I'm not much older than him, so I never want it to feel like I'm mentoring him," she said. But then she added the "But I do mentor him in a way." Well, it doesn't sound good for Justin to be mentored by someone who has caused such outrage around the world, I believe.

By TaraElla (News, Website) Discuss at the Forum!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Jane Lynch Pays Tribute to Cory Monteith, Talks About Addiction

At the Emmy's, Jane Lynch paid tribute to her Glee co-star Cory Monteith, who passed away this July. “Cory was a beautiful soul. He was not perfect, which many of us here tonight can relate to. His death is a tragic reminder of the rapacious, senseless destruction that is brought on by addiction," she said.

And it was tragic. Thanks Jane, for raising the issue once more. We need to talk about it.

I think now, more than ever, the issue of addiction needs to be addressed by Hollywood and people out there alike. It's probably more common than you think in Hollywood, and it's also probably more common than you think out there in our communities.

And a word about judgmental attitudes - like the 'War on Drugs' and calling people drug abusers. Just reading stories on this tribute I have seen too many of those stupid comments, unfortunately. It isn't news that those aren't really helpful. What we need is a proper, respectful conversation about addiction and its impacts, and how we can avoid more tragedy.

By TaraElla (News, Website) Discuss at the Forum!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Selena Gomez Forced to Cancel Russian Shows

Selena Gomez has cancelled shows in Russia because of visa problems. And it appears that homophobia may be the cause. Russia recently changed and complicated the process for stars applying for visas to perform in the country, after performers like Lady Gaga and Madonna tried to promote gay rights in their concerts. As a result, concert organisers have become confused about the visa application, and in the process delays happened meaning the shows cannot go ahead.

Well, it's beyond me why Russia would want to do that, and in the process disappoint many Selena Gomez fans too. It's not as if gay people would cease to exist in Russia, right?

I think the rising homophobia in places like Russia, Africa and the Middle East needs to be studied. We cannot just say that they are stubborn and settle the matter like that, or things will never change. I personally think it has something to do with a recent breakdown of family values in the West and the creation of a non-family-friendly culture, often termed Western vices in other parts of the world, that has caused gay rights to be lumped together into that and rejected by those outside the West. I therefore have vowed to support and uphold family values wherever possible.

By TaraElla (News, Website) Discuss at the Forum!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Miley Cyrus Defends her Video, but Why Did She Land Herself There in the First Place?

Miley's new video for the song Wrecking Ball is provoking huge controversy again. This time, it's because she appears to have no clothes on.

Now she is out there defending herself again. "I think the video is much more. If people get past the point that I'm naked and you actually look at me, you can tell I look more broken than even the song sounds," she said.

Actually, I believe the song is great. It's a shame that it's been spoiled by this controversy.

I am not one who supports rigidity. In fact, back in the year 2000 there was a major debate about whether Britney Spears was an inappropriate role model because of the way she dressed. I actually sided with Britney - she was otherwise wholesome and pro-family, why did people have to be so rigid, I asked back then.

But there is a world of difference between Britney back then and Miley right now, I think. For Britney, it was just how her personal style was. For Miley, it's not about any personal style, it's just about controversy all the time, new controversies every day. The controversies are centre stage, and she keeps pushing the boundaries even though we have told her collectively that it is not acceptable. Whilst I believe it is pointless arguing whether one should be allowed to dress in this or that for a public performance, dressing in nothing at all is a different thing - it is unacceptable everywhere around the world, and it is deliberately asking for controversy.

By TaraElla (News, Website) Discuss at the Forum!

Monday, September 16, 2013

No Drugs = Good Role Model?

Some people have been talking to me about my recent comments that Diana Vickers was a good role model because she hasn't tried drugs. Am I being judgmental about people who have used drugs, I was asked. And how about somebody who doesn't use drugs, but is racist and homophobic?

Well, I am not saying that somebody who doesn't use drugs are automatically a good role model, or that somebody who uses drugs are automatically no good. But there is really an imbalance regarding the 'debate' on recreational drugs out there. There are plenty of people representing the side that believes that marijuana and other drugs are fun and totally benign out there in Hollywood and other popular culture scenes. The other side of the debate, that a drug-free life is worth it, is underrepresented at the moment. As a proponent on the drug-free side, I just like to see more people representing our side. After all, I strongly believe that a drug-free life is something people can benefit from, and I would like to see that idea promoted - just as some people want to promote the idea that drugs are harmless.

In short, I remain respectful to other people's personal choices. But I don't like to see a serious 'debate' skewed in favour of one side, and I am more than happy to see that changed.

By TaraElla (News, Website) Discuss at the Forum!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

So Twerk is now in the Dictionary?

It appears that the word 'twerk' has been added to the Oxford Dictionaries Online.

It's definitely not for me, but each to their own, I guess.

By TaraElla (News, Website) Discuss at the Forum!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

If You Want Courage, Then Look No Further Than Kevin Rudd

Kevin Rudd, current Australian Prime Minister, is facing a tough election tomorrow. He has a great record but the circus they call the media here is trying to get him out of office, by spreading unfound fear about our economy, an economy that he was responsible for saving from the Global Financial Crisis.

He has got to be one of the most courageous Prime Ministers in our history:

Meanwhile, his opponent Tony Abbott is quite elusive on this and other matters.

And it's not just marriage equality. Consider the following: it would be a shame if Australia missed out on ANY of these things, don't you think?

Meanwhile, the media are desperate to destroy the best PM we ever had, likely because its interests lie elsewhere:

Just something to make your blood boil, isn't it?

Final words: If you are Australian, please consider your vote carefully. If you are not Australian, then it may help to raise what I just said with an Australian you might know. Australia just cannot afford to lose a great PM like Kevin Rudd.

By TaraElla (News, Website) Discuss at the Forum!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Don't Judge? Stop Using That Excuse!

In light of the recent Miley Cyrus VMAs scandal that I have already talked extensively about here, some people have raised the idea that, well, we shouldn't be so judgemental.

Excuse me? Judgemental? When I am only trying to protect the reputation of Western culture so that other Western-originated movements like women's rights and gay equality don't also get tarnished with the same brush?

Truth to be told, the idea of 'don't judge' has gotten too far nowadays, really. I surely won't judge Miley - if she did what she did in her own bedroom. But pushing our culture and anything good with it down the drain is something I cannot just sit and watch and 'not judge'.

If we, as a society, ceases to be outraged by incidents like Miley's VMA controversy, I don't think we are heading in the right direction at all.

By TaraElla (News, Website) Discuss at the Forum!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

What if Miley Cyrus Gains Album Sales After That?

Miley Cyrus has a new album out in October. And after the VMA controversy, you would expect her sales to take a hit, right? Not that there's anything wrong with it, it's just what she deserves.

But there are entertainment columnists out there who are predicting the opposite - a boost in sales for Miley. I personally have more faith in humanity than to expect that, but the market out there is really unpredictable, so frankly, I cannot be sure either.

Just like an election campaign, both sides have to make their case, and try hard to make their side win. Our side, the Let's Make It A Flop side, need to go out and convince our friends why we should collectively boycott that album. My advice to my friends: Be strong and boycott that album, please. It's a matter of saving our civilisation and its reputation.

By TaraElla (News, Website) Discuss at the Forum!