Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Dream Continues . . .

Yeah, I know, it has been too long since my last post. As I said before, I don't post unless I have something contructive to say. I don't write just to see my own words up on the screen.

I have just watched episode 17 of If I Can Dream - Go Nude or Go Home. I really feel that my respect for Kara and Alex has increased. It is the organization that Gig, Ben, and Justin should question. I felt they jumped in without knowing who they were getting involved with. Sometimes

PETA is widely known, amoung the humane organizations, as an extreamist, far left animal rights group. So, you're asking where do I get off talknig about them like this? I have been running a no-kill, animal rescue and adoptin shelter for the last seven years. Plus, I also speak of my personal dealings with PETA.

Two years ago, PETA came to Halifax County North Carolina, to rescue unwanted cats. That is how they represented themselves to our community. Both young and old people gladly gave up their unwanted cats to this PETA couple. These two representatives were operating out of PETA's Norfolk Virginia world headquarters. They told all who they received animals from that the cats would be taken back to Norfolk and be adopted out. We, as naive as we are, believed them. However, what they did was 180 degrees opposite.

These two PETA representatives (remember what PETA stands for - People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)took over 45 cats, illegally put the animals down, placed them in trash bags and tossed them into a supermarket dumpster. First of all, neither rep was a licensed vet. In North Carolina, you have to be a licensed vet to put an animal down. Second, what they did constitues animal abuse - which is a felony in all 50 states. We all felt betrayed when we learned this. People lost their trust in us - because we recommended our friends to give up their animals to them. I, for one, and our organization, Down East Animal Refuge, does not like to be made fools of.

We approached the national PETA leadership regarding this issue. They NEVER denied that this was their intention. However, they deceived people into giving up, sometimes their loving pets, to PETA, thinking they were going to get loving homes. So, you'll understand why I question PETA's motives.

I understand that PETA is looking the animal rights issue from a much bigger picture. However, it is the princple of this issue. Animals are animals. You can't have it both ways, PETA. You either protect ALL animals, or, you don't protect them at all. You can't pick and choose the animals you want to protect. Killing animals for their skin is wrong. So is putting loving pets down and deceiving people. PETA does all these high impact, controversial ads. They spend millions on getting their word out. It is too bad that PETA can't funnel that money into our communities to support local shelters.

Okay, okay. I'll get off my soap box. Tell me what you think? Do you think that Justin, Ben, and Giglianne had the right intentions? Do you feel that they picked the right organization to go with? Let's hear it. Again, kudos to Kara and Alex for standing their ground.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Week 14 in the If I Can Dream House

Remember what I said about my blogging? I only blog when I feel like I have something useful to say. It has been about two weeks since my last post. Nothing since then, in the house, has inspired me to blog. However, during the last two weeks, I have made some observations. Thus the reason for this post. Again, I do not write for writing sake. I do love to see my stuff in print. I am certainly not going to write and just ramble on.

First notable observation from the last two weeks - the lack of Justin Gaston and Alex Lambert's presence in the house. I realise that most of what they might have to do takes place outside of the house. Being out of the house also means that you are being productive. We can't be sure of that because we can't see that process. However, I look back at when If I Can Dream first started. We did see songwriters and musicians in the house with Justin. Now, we rarely see Justin in the house working on his music with others. So, we do know that he can work on his art in the house. But, for some reason, Justin has migrated that process out of the house and out of the sight of his fans. Is this because of the strict requirements of coming into the house? Is it just a personal perference of Justin's? We don't know. No one has ever asked him and Michael has never addressed it. Well, if IICD wants to keep all those Justin Gaston fans happy, then it might be wise to speak up about this.

Same goes for Alex Lambert. We have been seeing Alex's creative process throughout the last several weeks. Watching this process unfold on live stream has surely built up Alex's fan base. Plus, there are those of us who have always been interested in seeing how this creative process works. I now have a greater appreciation for what singer/songwriters have to go through. Now, Alex has seems to follow in Justin's footsteps and has taken some of that creative process outside of the house. Surely this is not what Simon Fuller had originally envisioned for this project. I have liked seeing Alex grow as a musician, singer, and as a person. But now I feel we, their loyal fans and viewers, are being left out. Again, I do not know if this is a choice that Alex has made, or someone has made for him.

Next, I have observed some tension between Alex and Giglianne. This all results from what I have just written about. Alex stated that all Gig does is lay on her bed all day in front of the computer. I think that comes from Alex not really being aware of what kind of time, effort, and work Giglianne has put into her dream. High fashion is just as competitive as being a successful singer or songwriter. Giglianne has been on alot of photo shoots, has networked with alot of people, and is making every effort to do what she wants to do. I think it is not fair of Alex to make comments about Giglianne's seemingly lack of work. Alex, take a look at what she has done and where she has come from since she first started. Being a model surely has alot more down time than being a singer/songwriter. You are applying your work ethic to her craft. You can't do that. Your two professions can't be more different. Plus, if you spent more time in the house, you might see that Giglianne does alot more work toward her craft than you may think.

Ben and Kara, our two actors. Like Giglianne and Alex's profession, being an actor is so diversely different from that of a model or a singer. Ben and Kara invest large amount of their time going over monologs, dialects, acting classes, and auditions. I truly admire the time that they have put into their craft. They are very dedicated and very concerned about the quality of their work. That comes across in their acting classes with John Kirby. I do think, more often than not, that Ben and Kara get "stuck" in the house alone. This has happened alot in the last several weeks. They have not wasted that time alone. Their time has been spent perfecting their craft. But I am a little concerned over their social, or lack thereof, lives. That may not be my business. As a loyal fan of them both, I feel like they are searching for something. Kara has has some core friends that come over. We haven't seen Ben go out on many dates or bring dates to the house. Hey, guys, we are here for you.

Michael, we need to hear from you a little more often. A Tweet session, maybe with you, Claire, and Kirsten might shine a little light on what you guys do, how you do it, and what it takes to keep this project running. I commend you all for an execellent program. And, as a geek, I would like to see more about those unsung people at 19 who work in the control room, garage, camera & sound people, and photographers. There is a story to tell there. Why not tell it?

Okay. Enough of this rant. Tell me what you think?