Archive for October, 2009

'Brangelina Exposed': Anyone Interested?

Thursday, October 29th, 2009
'Inglourious Basterds' Los Angeles Premiere

If you’re struggling with issues in your personal life (say, mental health problems, a rocky pseudo-marriage, or a tumultuous relationship with your family, for example), I imagine the last thing you need is a fairly well-known investigative reporter and best-selling author to write a book about your woes.

Yet, that’s exactly what Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie (really, more emphasis on Angelina Jolie) are getting when Ian Halperin‘s new book, Brangelina Exposed, hits shelves on December 1, 2009.

Halperin, who’s probably currently most notable for penning the July 2009 New York Times bestseller Unmasked: The Final Years of Michael Jackson, but whose resume also includes Love & Death: The Murder of Kurt Cobain, Celine Dion: Behind The Fairytale – A Very, Very, Unauthorized Biography (nice disclaimer), and Shut Up and Smile: Supermodels, the Dark Side, apparently leaves no stone unturned with Brangelina Exposed: According to UsWeekly.com, the author parses “through Pitt’s marriage to Jennifer Aniston and the ‘real reason’ for their infamous split,” “hones in on Jolie’s dark past, reporting ‘new details of her volatile relationship with and estrangement from her father Jon Voight, her struggles with suicidal impulses, her heroin use, her sexual exploits and her remarkable rise to become an Oscar-winning actress’,” and uses the book to “introduce ‘the key figure behind the scenes who orchestrated her makeover into a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador.’”

Whether it’s out of respect for the celebrities’ privacy or out of frustration over scandalous gossip overload, celebrity bloggers and their readers – for the most part – aren’t reacting favorably thus far. I imagine reactions might be a bit different if the book were, say, at least co-written by one or both of the stars, but, as it is, we’re getting some pretty serious and personal information from a supposedly heavily-sourced third party.

So, will I be standing in line at Borders on December 1?

Only if Stephenie Meyer finally wraps up Midnight Sun and the release date just happens to be the first day of December.

In other words, no.

What about you?


Glenn Close Launches ‘Bring Change 2 Mind’

Monday, October 26th, 2009

Last Wednesday, Oscar-nominated and Tony, Emmy, and Golden Globe award-winning actress and mental health advocate Glenn Close and her sister Jessie Close launched BringChange2Mind.org.

Similar to Paige Hemmis’s Blueprint for Hope campaign and Joe Pantoliano’s No Kidding, Me Too! organization, Bring Change 2 Mind is a nonprofit organization geared toward helping raise awareness about mental illness as well as providing information and support to people with mental illness and is already receiving positive reactions from Good Morning America, The View, MSNBC’s Dr. Nancy, and AOL Health and, on launch day, The Huffington Post featured “Mental Illness: The Stigma of Silence,” a Close-written article in which the actress dives into her personal experiences with mental illness – experiences that have played roles in her quite active involvement with mental health advocacy:

I also have the challenge of confronting the far less entertaining reality of mental illness in my own family. As I’ve written and spoken about before, my sister suffers from a bipolar disorder and my nephew from schizoaffective disorder. There has, in fact, been a lot of depression and alcoholism in my family and, traditionally, no one ever spoke about it. It just wasn’t done. The stigma is toxic. And, like millions of others who live with mental illness in their families, I’ve seen what they endure: the struggle of just getting through the day, and the hurt caused every time someone casually describes someone as “crazy,” “nuts,” or “psycho”.

In addition to Close’s PSA, Bring Change 2 Mind so far offers:

  • A Learn the Facts section where you can learn the facts about certain mental illnesses such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and PTSD (you’ll need to mouse over “Learn the Facts” to access this).
  • An excellent Get the Help You Need resource section filled with the contact information of numerous mental health groups.
  • A Contact Us section of a different variety (this form helps you find the best mental health organization for your situation).
  • Suggestions on how you can Be Involved.
  • An area where you can Share Your Story

Would You Name Your Baby After A Celebrity?

Monday, October 19th, 2009
Two babies (6-9 months) looking at third crying

Recently published research supported by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health suggests that parents choose names for their babies based on which names happen to be “trendy” at the time. The study was based on 127 years worth of data collected from the Social Security Administration and the results are, in my opinion, common sense.

What’s wrong, kid?

Upset your mom named you Kanye?

What I found a bit more interesting about the study is that lately (1981-2006), the names parents choose are moving more consistently in one direction than they did in the past (1880-1905), a time when the popularity of names seemed to fluctuate from one year to the next.

Todd Gureckis, New York University Assistant Professor of Psychology, and Robert Goldstone, Indiana University-Bloomington Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences, compare this more consistent movement in one direction to the stock market:

“Parents in the United States are increasingly sensitive to the change in frequency of a name in recent time, such that names that are gaining in popularity are seen as more desirable than those that have fallen in popularity in the recent past,” the authors note. (www.usatoday.com)

I’m thinking today’s parents are “increasingly sensitive to the change in frequency of a name” thanks to all the advances in today’s technology that allow people to interact much easier and quicker with one another and overall keep up with the goings on of the rest of the world that parents in the past didn’t have.

I’m wondering whether celebrity names play a role in any of this.

Would you consider naming your child after a popular celebrity, or your favorite celebrity? At the same time, would you avoid naming your child after a popular celebrity because that celebrity was popular for undesirable reasons?

I’m not a parent, but I can say that, if I ever am, I won’t give my child a name simply because it’s a popular name at the time – and I surely won’t name my child after any celebrity …


Lindsay Lohan Granted More Time To Complete Alcohol Education Classes

Saturday, October 17th, 2009
Lindsay Lohan appeared in court today with her lawyer, Shawn Chapman Holley, to explain to a judge why she missed her alcohol education classes

I’ve briefly touched on the subject of Lindsay Lohan’s roller coaster ride through apparent sobriety and…what’s a good antonym for sobriety? Intoxication? Drunkeness? Whatever – you get the point. She’s had her highs and lows over the past few years and, after her DUI arrest in 2007, spent a little over an hour in jail and was placed on three years of probation – probation that carried the requirement of having to attend 86 alcohol education classes.

Friday, Lindsay Lohan appeared in court to get an extension on her probationary period in order to fulfill that alcohol education requirement. It seems that, even though she had nearly three years to do it, she was unable to attend each of the 86 classes because, as her lawyer put it, her work schedule kept her “extremely busy” (an extremely busy work schedule that had already played a role in Lohan getting an approved leave of absence from California for work-related reasons – a leave of absence she apparently thought extended far longer than it did as she failed to resume her classes upon returning to California).

The legal ramifications of driving under the influence depend on the state in which the offense occurs and the offense number. After putting her in jail for 84 minutes, California decided to place Lohan on probation for a three-year period – a three-year period in which she was supposed to complete 86 alcohol education classes. During that time, she failed to meet her probation requirements, and so L.A. Superior Court Judge Marsha Revel granted an extra year to do so.

Out here in the noncelebrity world, failing to meet one’s probation requirements – especially after having several years to do so – isn’t all that easily forgiven by judges. It happens, but it’s not all that common – especially when the offense is related to substance abuse and even more especially when the offense is related to substance abuse …


Mike Tyson Offers Lessons In Self-Awareness

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009
"Tyson" DVD Signing With Mike Tyson and James Toback

Mike Tyson might be the last person from whom you’d expect to get a lesson on the importance of self-awareness (okay, well maybe not the last – but close to it), but a lesson in self-awareness is definitely what the former heavyweight boxing champion who’s suffered some serious out-of-the-ring life blows over the past few decades offered during a recent interview with Oprah.

Actually, rather than an actual lesson in self-awareness, Tyson’s interview offers a glimpse at how important it is to be aware of oneself – and maybe even a tip on how a person can achieve that awareness.

The key development in Tyson’s life stems from what seems to be a newfound self-awareness following his participation in the movie “Tyson,” a documentary about his life filmed as he went through rehab two years ago. “If I’m not conscious of who I am, I’m just going to let myself run [wild], and I’m going to destroy my beautiful family, and I’m going to destroy myself, and I don’t want to go down that road any more,” he said. (Yahoo! TV Blog)

Tyson hit the nail on the head when he admitted he needed to be conscious of who he is – or else run the risk of destroying himself and everyone and thing in his life. We all need that. Self-awareness is important to one’s emotional awareness and self-confidence, and can come “from taking an inventory of your own strengths and abilities as a human being.”

Of course, not all of us have cameras following us around documenting our every move to help with that self-awareness, so, for those of us without spotlights and microphones, what should we do?

Below are a few articles and websites I’ve checked out that might be of interest. Note that I am in no way affiliated with any of them (besides Psych Central, of course); rather, I’ve simply found articles or information within each one that I think might help:


Michael Bay to Megan Fox: "Please Consult Your Doctor"

Monday, October 12th, 2009
18th Annual MTV Movie Awards - Show

Last month, Megan Fox shared some pretty personal issues during a Rolling Stone interview – personal to the the tune of a past filled with self-injury and issues with self-loathing, anger, and violence – some of which she seems to have a handle on, and some of which she seems to still be dealing with.

During my thoughts on the interview (thoughts which mostly dealt with OTHER people’s thoughts), I mused on how callus we, the public, can be when it comes to the mental health issues of celebrities – people many of us assume should just be happy because of their fame and fortune. Some of you had thoughts similar to mine and some of you had differing opinions, but for the most part everyone seemed to agree that the public clings to this information in the ways we do because Megan Fox is a celebrity and because she puts herself out there and that, celebrity or not – lovable celebrity or not – such issues should be taken very seriously.

Now it seems someone else has taken an interest in Megan Fox’s mental health.

After announcing the third installment will hit theaters July 1, 2011, Transformers director Michael Bay suggested Megan Fox “consult with a doctor before getting on board.”

P.S. Megan Fox, welcome back. I promise no alien robots will harm you in any way during the production of this motion picture. Please consult your Physician when working under my direction because some side effects can occur, such as mild dizziness, intense nausea, suicidal tendencies, depression, minor chest hair growth, random internal hemorrhaging and inability to sleep. As some directors may be hazardous to your health, please consult your Doctor to determine if this is right for you. (www.michaelbay.com)

Such snark, Mr. Bay.

Granted, Bay and Fox have been “exchanging words” for quite a while – and by “exchanging words,” naturally I’m referring to Fox publicly talking junk about the Transformer movies and Bay’s directing style, and Bay, well, retaliating. Given their history, it’s probably pretty safe …


Don't Miss Daniel Johnston At The Austin City Limits Music Festival

Friday, October 2nd, 2009
The 2005 South By South West Music Festival

If you’re not busy this afternoon and near your computer around 4:45 p.m. (and not already at the event itself, in which case I’d be extremely jealous of you), head over to Hulu.com and catch Daniel Johnston performing at the Austin City Limits Music Festival.

Hulu will be live streaming the entire three-day event (which kicks off a little after noon today with Asleep At The Wheel and wraps up around 10 p.m. Sunday night with Pearl Jam), which includes such well-known acts like Dave Matthews Band, Kings of Leon, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, John Legend, and Mos Def.

It’s Daniel Johnston, however, who’s of most interest to this blog.


Mariah Carey Drops the Diva Act, Picks Up Some Self-Confidence

Thursday, October 1st, 2009
Mariah Carey promotes her new fragrance 'Forever' at Macy's Herald Square

Over the past several months, I’ve paid a little attention to some of the things floating around the social media and networking scene (specifically Twitter) regarding Mariah Carey.

I’m not a Carey fan (well, I haven’t been since that MTV episode of Cribs in which she refused to allow the cameras to shoot Marilyn Monroe’s famous white piano she purchased at the 1999 Christie’s Auction “The Personal Property of Marilyn Monroe” – yeah, it was years ago, and yeah, Carey has since stopped being oddly secretive about it, but, whatever – don’t judge me), but most of the talk was about Carey’s sleeping habits – rather, her nonsleeping habits – and so I paid attention. In addition to catching @ replies encouraging Carey to get some Zzzzs, various blogs from the celebrity-oriented I’m Not Obsessed! to Dr. Michael J. Breus’s The Insomnia Blog picked up on the issue.

Whether Carey stopped staying up all night and then working out at 5 a.m., I have no clue. I hope so. Insomnia sucks.

What I do know, however – or, what Yahoo! tells me – is that whether or not Carey’s sleeping properly, she’s learned not only how to drop the diva act and stop focusing so much on her appearance, but how beneficial it is to do that.

For Precious, Carey’s upcoming film with fellow musician Lenny Kravitz, director Lee Daniels – who was well aware of Carey’s diva behavior – warned the singer/actress that coming in to work with so much as a shred of makeup on would get her the boot.

Carey listened, and apparently it paid off in more ways than one.


 

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