Jennifer Lawrence vs The Creepers

I’ve been pondering some thoughts for a couple days now since Jennifer Lawrence became yet another celebrity victim of nude photos leaking across the internet, and I don’t know that I’ve come to much in the way of ground breaking  realizations on the subject, but I do have some thoughts. And in sharing them I would like to point out a couple of things; my opinions are just that, my opinions. They are not fact, law, decree nor divine instruction and I am fully open to the idea that I might be naive or ignorant on certain facets of this issue. If you disagree with anything I’m saying, that’s cool. I’m looking to provoke thought and it became clear early in my life that not everyone in the world thinks like me.

First off, I don’t understand why so many celebrities ave these clearly professionally shot photo collections of themselves in the nude. The rewards of acquiring such photos are high for anyone who can get their hands on them, websites, magazines and good old fashioned creepers will pay hard cash for such photos. So, with that in mind, why are these photo sessions occurring in the first place? Now I wanna throw out there that I’m not including celebrities that have posed for “gentlemen’s” magazines or websites, or nude scenes clipped from movies. I’m referring to specific planned photos that aren’t for any source like those. These are photos with quality lighting, a planned set, hair, make-up and ward-robe all planned out and the photos are taken by a pro and treated with pro quality editing software. Sure, celeb’s are people too so I can totally understand a malfunctioning clothing choice or you perform concerts in short skirts and stood too close to someone’s iPhone at the stage edge one time. That’s a totally self explaining scenario and doesn’t need me to explore it. I must totally confess that I have little to no idea what it means to be an actor, so I wonder if when a large studio makes a big budget movie are there lighting and make-up issues that are best solved aead of time by shooting photos like that in order to learn certain things about an actor’s physique under different conditions? Or to plan out and large make-up moments ahead of time through these photos does it help to do one? I genuine don’t know, I know a few women who aspire to be models, and a few professional models, who are often doing all sorts of different sessions with photographers. In my experience with these women (and don’t crucify me here, this might sound like generalizing) the more nude the photo session, the more someone talked the girl into under the auspices that they could “make it” as a model. Just do this session for free, or for a small fee… etc. The few professional models I know have stories very different from that, they have contracts, jobs, money goes to them not from them for sessions. So I wonder what a celebrity on the level of Ms. Lawrence have to gain from these photos when there is clearly mud to lose.

Second… no matter what the reasons behind these photos existence, clicking on them, viewing them, sharing them and helping people to see them is basically a crime of sexual exploitation to me. What is the difference between doing this on the internet, knowing you don’t have permission, and climbing a tree with binoculars outside of someone’s window? You’re taking a part of a person’s security, and their privacy and trampling it in order to placate an urge that puts you just left of rapist in my books. On top of the fact that it makes the viewer a sex crime junkie, it does something else that’s terrible, it belittles a person. It reduces that person from a human with thoughts, opinions, beliefs, feelings into an image and a property. When you don’t have to think about their desires or opinions, don’t need their permission, they aren’t a person to you anymore… they’re a possession. That’s a horrid and tragic way to look at a person, and it’s cheating you out of knowing them for real. Because once you view someone as property, hearing them say “No” to you would be like you taking orders from your dog. You won’t listen, because the relationship in your mind will be owner/possession, not equal/equal.

Now that I’ve got that off my mind, I can probably go back to sleep now.

Who do you intend to be?

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Well, this is very déjà vu but I haven’t been blogging lately because I once again forgot the password for my blog… additionally I also managed to get so wrapped up in all manner of other projects that I didn’t make a lot of time for it either.

I love my life. I never get sick of it anymore, sure I get tired sometimes, but that’s gonna happen when life is really happening and man, is my life ever happening! I’ve played over 210 shows in the last 19 months, been places I honestly never thought I would go. I’ve been blessed by so many people in the world and met so many incredible souls. It’s been an interesting journey, I’ve toured in two continents playing music, met some of the most famous people in the world and become something of a celebrity myself.

As much as I’ve done, I never run out of opportunities to learn. One thing I’ve learned is that old habits die hard… I’ve heard that saying before, many, many times but it’s quite different when you realize it about yourself. I still have trouble going for it when I want something and being assertive, I’m still bad at taking compliments and believing in my talents, I still have trouble imagining myself to be attract or sexy, and I still can’t dance worth a damn.

But the upside is I have time, and I can learn. There’s no end to learning and I certainly do not intend to waste an opportunity to do so. My title for this column was about intention, because “intention” is a different word than “try”. “Try” is really just “maybe”. “Maybe I’ll travel, maybe I’ll learn to speak Mandarin, I’ll try it…” it allows for not doing it. But try saying “I intend to travel, I intend to learn Mandarin.” That’s not just a chance anymore… it becomes a goal, something you pursue beyond failure or multiple failures. You pursue it with purpose, with success as the outcome. Be intentional with your life, choose your path and the results you want.

Another day, another dawn…

It’s been a while since my last blog post, sorry for that. One part is that I’ve been a very busy fellow and haven’t made the time to write one properly, the other part is that I forgot the login details, in fact the very host site, of my own blog. Sheepishness thy name be “Al”. But, I seem to have rectified both of those problems so I felt it was worth losing a little more sleep in order to ponder some thoughts.

I’ve been thinking lately that with every great precipice that a person faces in their lifetime, they are offered an opportunity to better themselves. When we find ourselves at the footsteps of opportunity, we often forget the challenges that are sure to come. I don’t say that to deter, in fact I find it encouraging… life offers both challenge and opportunity for a reason, they compliment each other. We grow stronger by rising to the challenges, we become better by working to better ourselves and each other. Opportunities can be achieved by reaching for them, being steadfast and not giving up. The greatest opportunities come by being strong of enough of character to be ready for them, and than to pursue them with all our hearts and minds. There’s never a shortage of either for us to go out and find, sometimes they find us. If someone had told me on my 30th birthday that I’d be travelling the country (and as of April, the world) with a band I would have stared at them in disbelief. But here I am, fortunate enough to be doing exactly that, because I have thus far, risen to the challenge and chased a dream.  And each step of my dream has had challenges to overcome, each one has been unique and has been a part of shaping me into the person I am, and the person I will become. I’m very grateful for each part of my journey, and for each of the people who share in it with me.

Now to face to next hurdle; raising more money in the next month and a bit than I’ve seen in the last 8 months. If your curious about what I’m doing with my band, and how goes the latest challenge, check us out here: https://www.facebook.com/TasmanJude

If you want to see our fundraising efforts, here they are: http://www.gofundme.com/TasmanJudeAustralia

If you can, please support us and help us get to our goals. No matter wether you can or can’t, I wish you all the best in your journey and your own opportunities and challenges!

 

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Purpose and our place.

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We live in a fantastic era, I think we live in the most amazing time that has come to our planet ever. I know there’s issues out there, I wouldn’t dare belittle the major things going on around our globe by suggesting we live in utopian perfection. But I would suggest that more than ever before, we have the means and opportunities in front of us to make an impact on things. 

    We have the internet, and this tool is limitless in scope, often hard to track the impact of, but also bottomless in it’s resources. We also have each other, my experience has been that people want to get behind each other when someone starts doing something important, all it takes is one person to step up and start it. We have an obligation to one another, and obligation that negates religion, nations, politics, and race… we are obligated by birth to love one another, to be graceful to each other. If we are ever present in our vigilance to keep ourselves in love and grace to one another it is my belief that our worlds issues would be diminished by a massive amount. 

    By love we except that all others are valuable, have merit, and are equal persons to ourselves. By grace we except that they are flawed, imperfect and need to be given opportunity to be more than their mistakes. Be loving, be graceful, be human. Give purpose to your soul, give of yourself to the people around you, to the people across our world. It’s the most fulfilling thing you can do.

Shameless self promotion

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    So I have a blog, big damn deal. So I can right whatever I want on it, yahoo! Well, as long as I’m adding more priceless knowledge to the annuls of the internet I may as well shamelessly promote my band, a little chunk of reggae called Tasman Jude that I play guitar and sing in, along with my friend Caleb Hart. 

    We are privileged to be doing something that is a lot of fun, and to be making our way into the rare territory of working musicians. We’ve done nearly one hundred shows in the last ten months, performed for tens of thousands of people, sold our music all over the world, released a music video, heck… Caleb even met our Prime Minister and gave him our CD. I, in a less fortunate turn of events, met Nickleback, who’s singer Chad was less than thrilled to be meeting me.

    To a lot of people we’re living our dreams, and to some extent we are. But dreams are built on lots of hard work and sacrifice, and we have to work everyday to maintain our friendship, our band, and our momentum. The things we love most in life can be obtained, but they aren’t without effort. So, if you want something, put the effort in. Then write me and tell me about it, share your story!

 

(https://www.facebook.com/TasmanJude)  

Bananas are natures Hallmark cards.

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I have a great mom, best in the world. My mom, unlike most people’s had to apply for me, wait on a list, pay money and pray to get me… I was adopted, when I was two weeks old. My parents wanted kids pretty badly, and after the passing of my older sister due to complications from being born premature, there wasn’t any certainty that they’d be able to have kids. Luckily, later on after adopting me they were able to have my brother and sister.

I’ve had a lot of time to ponder that moment, the most pivotal moment in my life, a moment that happened way before I possessed the mind to comprehend it. And it’s something I’ve come to be very grateful for. I was given a gift by two mothers, the one who gave me up, and the one who took me in. Not to forget my dad, who I’m crazy grateful for, but I’ll save talking about him for another blog.

If you’ve got a mom, I’d suggest taking the time to find a unique way of  telling her you love her… I used a banana note, try it sometime.

The secret to being a rock star? Don’t be a rock star.

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After attending a couple of these music conferences, networking and spending time with some very cool industry professionals and musical peers I have come to a thought about our GP music scene, although I’m certain it applies to any peoples situations not just our local one. My thought is that our scene, while vibrant, growing and full of talented and interesting acts suffers from a very sad flaw: ignorance. I don’t say that to be harsh or mean, but because the word applies. It means “a lack of knowledge, understanding, or education : the state of being ignorant”.

     It’s isolated, our town, but if you play music live odds are everyone in our scene knows you, and that’s beautiful! But as beautiful as that is,  most of the musicians involved are not getting out and learning what lays beyond. There’s resources and networking possibilities available at these conferences that can and will not only help give you the knowledge and tools to be a better musician, but to manage the business of being a band to success. It drives me nuts that only a verrrrrrry tiny handful of the people in our music scene have been to an industry conference, let alone multiple. Let me be clear, you are only hurting yourself, and by not getting out to these things, you are almost certainly doomed to fail in music. Why am I not seeing other people from our scene? You are not guaranteed success, and by being shy and not networking you are more or less hoping a magic genie will pop out of your guitar amp and offer you your dreams. THAT PLAN IS CRAZY. Or even worse, by being cutthroat, selfish, exclusive and assuming you’re better or more important then others, you will fail, period. I don’t care how rich your parents are, how important they told you you were, how your friends tell you it’s so cool you can play all the solos on the latest Dream Theatre album, you are not more important then anyone else. So be nice, make friends, be the friendliest dude or lady-dude EVER, to everyone, no matter how insignificant they seem.

    I have friends who as much as I love, has an approach to music that I can only describe as the “Field of Dreams” business plan. If you haven’t seen that movie you may be confused, but here’s the filler; the “Field of Dreams” business model is simple: if you build it, they will come. It’s the absurd assumption that if you have a product (a band, a song, a recording studio, whatever), then people will buy it. They won’t, they reeeeeally won’t. That is a great way to do nothing. You need to make friends, LOTS of friends, and connect with people, and market and blah, and blah, and blah…. I’m not going to list everything you need because I can’t. I didn’t learn it all this weekend, you won’t in my Facebook post. But here is the key, my one piece of invaluable advice (read: commandment) to the musicians in my local scene and beyond into the Canadian scene… join your provincial music group. For us it’s Alberta Music, maybe yours is Manitoba Music, every province has one and they will hook you up, support you, connect you, possibly even help finance you!! Canada has these in place to support you, our country is the best ON EARTH for supporting it’s musicians, so use it!! NOW!!! 

 

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