Tag Archives: media

True Confessions Friday:: I’m a reformed name dropper.

15 May

You know how “they” (whoever “they” are) say that the things we dislike most in others are the same things we dislike about ourselves?  I would agree that statement is partially, but not completely, true.  Today, dear friends, I am going to confess, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know and sometimes it’s fun to let everyone else know who you know, follow?

Being a writer, I get to interview (and sometimes meet) very cool people, which is can be a very tempting ego booster.  When someone cuts you off in traffic, you want to roll down the window and yell, “Hey, you can’t do that to me!  I know Kristin Chenoweth!”  Of course, I don’t know Kristin Chenoweth, but given her love of God, small dogs, singing, and quirky characters, I know we would get along swimmingly.  But I digress.

The whole “who you know” thing is even worse in media circles because everyone is bound to know someone.  Sometimes it’s cool to talk about mutual contacts/friends; however, things quickly go south when someone (usually a guy—sorry, boys, it’s true!) enters the conversation talking about all the bands he’s befriended and how he didn’t have to endure the deathly heat at the last music festival because he was living it up on so-and-so’s tour bus.  And you had to get pictures from the photo pit in the front? Ha!  He was shooting his photos on the stage—with the camera that the lead singer of [enter name of GRAMMY-Award winning Christian band here] bought him as a “thank you” for that great interview.  After a minute and a half, I want to punch him in the face.

Not only do I want to punch him in the face, I want to list off every interview, lunch, conversation, and friendship I’ve had with every quasi-famous person, including the time I saw Paul Anka in Vegas and he winked at me.  But I don’t.  I usually excuse myself, head to the bathroom, and vent my frustration to God (and whoever’s on the other end of my cell phone).  It’s very tempting to match name for name, interview for interview, and story for story.  However, I believe it’s a misuse of a journalist’s access to interviewees, the backstage, and the world inside.

My training as a counselor taught me the value of an individual life, the sacredness of vulnerability, and the importance of confidentiality.  The fact I can sit down with an artist to chat about God and music is a gift—one that cannot and should not be taken for granted.  When the interview is complete, I listen to the recording and look through my notes, taking away only the things beneficial to the interviewee.  Of course I present the best of that person and I also hope to show a depth of character and vulnerability as well.  This is something that is not done lightly, but prayerfully and carefully.  I pray before interviews, during interviews, and after interviews for God to keep my heart in check.  To be entrusted to tell the story of another is a big task and I ask that God help me with it.

I admit, though, it’s very exciting to meet or talk to an artist who has deeply impacted my life.  I’m not saying that I shouldn’t (or don’t) talk about my experiences; I’m saying there’s a fine line between sharing something special and name-dropping.  For me, I always think back to my heart’s intent, am I sharing this story because it’s helpful and edifying or because I want to look cool?  Are we swapping “war stories” or trying to one-up each other?

When I first started out in journalism at the tender age of 18, I thought name dropping was the way to go!  It was a great way to get assignments and move forward in media circles.  Ha, I was working my way through college as a freelance writer for major magazines.  Then I grew up.  God gave me a gift to write, not so I could be glorified, but so He could be glorified.  Now I see what I do as a ministry not only to my readers, but to the publicists, promoters, managers, and artists with whom God has allowed me to work (and besides, I am His, which is way cooler than all those moody artists).

And on days when I really need a pick-me-up, I remind myself of this—when I saw Paul Anka perform in Vegas, he winked at me…and just about every other breathing female in the audience.

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So something cool happened today…

19 Mar

I hate shameless self-promotion…I really do.

But this is an instant in which it is necssary–today I am a guest blogger at YPULSE.COM, perhaps one of the coolest, if not the coolest site for youth media/culture on the Internet.

I just sent in an idea and it was accepted, so if you’re interested in guest blogging, get in touch with Anastasia.

Anyway, read my guest post, “Hidden Identity: Why Girls Like Hannah Montana” and let me know what you think.

Oh, and for all you rabid Hannah Montana fans out there, I love ya, but I do not know Hannah or Miley and don’t have her phone number, so please stop asking! 🙂

Tom Cruise Scientology Video

20 Jan

A few weeks ago Tom Cruise did a very bizarre interview about his beliefs on scientology. While I’m not a proponent of scientology, I can see how what Christians say could also be construed as “crazy”. I mean, we do believe God came to earth in the person of Jesus, hung out with the dregs of society, was killed, rose again, went to where He came from, and is coming back again. The bottom line–I am a Christian and affirm the Apostles Creed, but I wonder if we seem as nuts as Tom Cruise. Probably.

Although, Cruise seems a bit deranged in the clip below (and watch the spoof because it’s even better). I mean, his statements seem to be rambling statements that have no context. Then again, have you watched “The 700 Club” lately? My point is this–any views seem crazy to outsiders; however, we need to explain our beliefs to people in ways they can understand. Oh, and if someone interviews you, don’t just start randomly laughing. It’s creepy.

It’s my hope that Christians really will be known by our love, not by the ridiculous statements issues by our “leaders”.

OK, as promised, here’s the Tom Cruise scientology video. It’s a little under 10 minutes, and it’s pretty boring. Someone added some fun music and a voice over to this clip.

Here’s a spoof some guy made, which is a lot more interesting that Tom Cruise’s actual interview…

Remix Culture: The Early Years

13 Jan

I’m sure this video has been all over youth ministry, youth culture, and many other blogs that have the word “youth” in them. But, until it showed up on YPulse this week, I had no idea it existed. Put together by the fine folks at the Center for Social Media, Remix Culture showcases the uses of mash-ups, mix-ups, and other fun stuff that media savvy folks are doing. You can watch it below (naturally it ended up on YouTube), or check out the original here.

And according to Recut, Reframe, and Recycle a study done by the Center for Social Media, this type of video production may be legal under the “fair use” doctrine (read study here). Here’s a quote from an excerpt on the report,” So when makers mash up several works—say, The Ten Commandments , Ben-Hur and 10 Things I Hate about You , making Ten Things I Hate about Commandments —they aren’t necessarily stealing. They are quoting in order to make a new commentary on popular culture, and creating a new piece of popular culture.” You can even download a PDF of the full report, see the videos that were studied, and gain more insight on media law than you ever wanted. I think the Center for Social Media is my new favorite website (after my blogs and Youth Ministry Exchange, of course!)

Fox News Turning Into Gossip Rag

10 Jan

I hate to say it, but my beloved Fox News Network (FNN) is really getting on my nerves. News Corp, the parent company of FNN bought TMZ.com, a trashy entertainment site last January, and added TMZ’s “news” to its line-up. Since the unholy alliance, FNN and TMZ have become bed buddies informing the public about Hollywood’s latest scandals, relationships, and yes, there is even a section dedicated to Britney Spears called “The Daily Britney”.

Go to FoxNews.com, scroll down a bit, and there’s a “news” section called “Features and Faces” dedicated to celebrity infotainment. In fact, sometimes when I tune into the fair and balanced network, I wonder if I’m watching network news or a celebrity gossip show. The line is growing ever finer these days.

FNN’s “top news” isn’t very earth-shattering; it’s not even ground-breaking. For example, at this moment in time, some of the highlight stories include a piece regarding Joy Behar’s tirade about modern medicine, a story about a man who threw his children off a bridge, something about a man who spots his wife during a visit to a brothel, and a crazy headline about how some man cut off his hand and microwaved it. You’ve got to be kidding me!

Sadly, my loyalty to Fox is waning. If Shepard Smith leaves FNN, II can think of little reason to watch at all. Although Rick Leventhal is rather fetching as well. In fact, get Rick an anchor job and relocate one of those Barbie dolls!

Golden Compass Pointing Straight to Controversy

6 Dec

I’ll admit that I don’t know a lot about The Golden Compass or all the controversy supporting it.  Although I was asked to join a boycott group against the movie by several on Facebook.  I saw a trailer for the movie when I went to see Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix  (yeah, that evil movie!) and thought, hey, a female heroine, cool!  Plus, I liked the concept of the talking polar bears.  I’ve long thought that polar bears should star in more feature films.

My good friend, Kim Porter, wrote an interesting post about the movie on her blog today, which you can read here.  Kim ponders about the movie and ends up with a big “I don’t know”.  I love that!  I could blog about the movie, but Kim did a much better job.  So check it out and leave her some comments.
That being said, I’ll probably see the movie when it comes out on video.  I generally don’t see many movies in theaters due to the high cost.   I mean, there was a ton of controversy about Brokeback Mountain, right?  I finally saw it a few months ago and while there were homosexual acts.  I found the movie to be slow-moving and boring.   Without all that controversy, I probably never would have seen it in the first place.  Interesting how that works, isn’t it?

Does Al Qaeda blog?

5 Dec

That’s the question on my mind after I read this article about Al Qaeda’s considerable web presence.  The terrorist group now has anywhere from 5,600 to 17,000 websites with as many as 9,000 new ones popping up each year.  It’s hard to track the web activity of the group, because like their leader Osama bin Laden, they’re very good at hiding.

With that much power on the web, one has to wonder–does Al Qaeda have a social networking site similar to Facebook?   What about a video site like YouTube for speeches by their leaders and terrorist training videos?  And do they get pesky spam in their e-mail accounts from foreigners who need their help in ascertaining millions of dollars?

Anyone who thinks Al Qaeda is composed of a bunch of yahoos with machine guns hiding in the mountains is sadly mistaken.  They are technologically advanced, intelligent people, who want to kill Americans (and others) throughout the world.   Using the internet as a recruitment tool is very smart on their part and their web of communication is highly functional despite the work the U.S., Britain, and others have done to dispel their plans for international terrorism.

On one hand, the thought of Bin Laden sitting on a laptop somewhere blogging about his day is amusing, especially if he takes silly pictures and posts them.  However, the smile quickly fades from one’s face with the realization that Al Qaeda is bent on destruction, murder, and terrorism.

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