Comparing two remakes for relief efforts.

I had the good fortune (or misfortune depending on your point of view)  to see the 2010 version of We Are The World on the blog Booker Rising, which this time was directed to earthquake relief in Haiti. I felt this version of the song was trying to reinvent itself  too much (ie the autotunes and the addition of rap for starters). The current edition of We Are The World lacked the magic (and I will use the word magic) that the original had. I am not against remakes of any art, but like everybody else want it to be done right. I will give credit to Pink, Josh Groban and Celine Dion (people who understand it’s about the music not the image) shined the brightest. Even with Jame Foxx (channeling the late great Ray Charles voice) gets a pass. Fellow Canadian teen Justin Beiber, in my opinion should not have been given the part to sing the introductory lyrics which Lionel Ritchie did in the original (in which HE sang in a far commanding authority than 15 going on 16 Justin). Wycliff Jean, whom I respect could have did some hollering and preaching at a church (which I might enjoy) but not in We Are The World (well he did,anyway).  Also this time around, I didn’t see many country stars (the original had good old Kenny Rogers and Willie Nelson and that was good as it gets with country). Taylor Swift had scheduling conflicts and were was my main man Toby Keith (when he’s not behaving like U.S. Senator Harry Reid) –he was nowhere to be found.  I would even like to see a remake of  Tears Are Not Enough, which was a Canadian answer to We Are The World which was also made in 1985. Again, nothing against remakes but they need to do it right!

Well, here is one story of a remake, which in my opinion was done right.   The proceeds are also going to earthquake relief in Haiti. The good old REM song “Everybody Hurts” was remade and it  was arranged by none other than American Idol’s Simon Cowell. I would say that Simon Cowell is the Stephen Harper of the music business: a tough hardass who gets the job done.  The names of people who participated in this project were:

  • Leona Lewis
  • Rod Stewart
  • Mariah Carey
  • Cheryl Cole
  • Mika
  • Michael Bublé
  • Joe McElderry
  • Miley Cyrus
  • James Blunt
  • Gary Barlow (of Take That)
  • Mark Owen (of Take That)
  • Jon Bon Jovi
  • James Morrison
  • Alexandra Burke
  • Susan Boyle
  • Aston Merrygold (of JLS)
  • Marvin Humes (of JLS)
  • Shane Filan (of Westlife)
  • Mark Feehily (of Westlife)
  • Kylie Minogue
  • Robbie Williams
  • I can find no “official” video but listening to this I felt there was no need to reinvent the song and they stuck to the fundamentals (something that The We Are The World 25 could have learned). This might anger some, but I say tough, sometimes the British do it better. Without further adieu you can view for yourself the 2010 remake of We Are The World and Everybody Hurts.


    Notes and Clips

    This is a surpise about Adam Giambrone.  I had no idea, an NDP-sensitive type guy had it in him to have an affair. With Giambrone’s emotional departure from the Toronto mayor’s race, it is now the three bigwigs of Smitherman, Rossi and Pantelone. I wish to see Rob Ford enter the race but a certain columnist from The Globe and Mail says that Ford’s chances are “realistically small”. If there is a Loving God on His Throne, I hope that Rob Ford does make up his mind and run and proves this man’s Khafkaesque wish that Rob Ford will lose, DEAD WRONG! Rob Ford, whether you like him or not, maybe the last hope for Toronto. On 10 years on City Council he has seen government waste that you have never seen and seems to give a crap to do something about it effectively.

    It seems that there is a Second Coming of ’80’s rock star Joan Jett. This Friday I am definately playing one of her golden oldies and will definately do some drooling over this sexy but tough chick. This spring she will be incarnated by none other than Twilight star, Kristen Stewart in a movie  that will touch upon her 70’s group  The Runaways (not her 80’s group The Blackhearts). Here’s a sample trailer.

    Also kudos to U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama who is on a mission to tackle childhood obesity. It is an epidemic in North America and we all have to declare war on it. Failure to do so will be a drain on the health care systems and a generation of children who will die before their parents. As for one who has battled with the up the and down with weight since my 20’s and have had to battle obesity in my 30’s, it is no picnic. I am currently around 210 lbs. but plan to go down a little more (maybe 190 lbs.) and with the might of God keep it damn off for the rest of my 40’s and beyond! May Mrs.Obama’s crusade against childhood obesity be a successful one. Here is the White House clip with President Obama signing an executive order making his wife leading this task force.

    It seems like there is a double standard going on. Ontario Premier will   prorogue the legislature but when Prime Minister Stephen Harper does it, he’s a dictator and is threatening our democracy. Yes, Prime Minister Harper is described from one of his former cabinet ministers as a “hardass”. He may be respected and admired but not loved. He sometimes “shoots himself in the foot” but this is still no reason for the double standard that it is okay for McGuinty  but not okay for Harper to prorogue an elected assembly. It is known fact that Harper’s predecessors Chretein and Martin prorogued Parliament many times but there was no screaming and whining from the MSM (the mainstream media). Go figure.

    Are you ready for  Vancouver 2010? I say GO CANADA and make the world proud as The Winter Olympics begins this Friday. To top it off, her is the song called “I Believe” by Nikki Yanofsky.

    Pat still needs a history lesson about Haiti

    Not too long ago on my other blog which discusses theology and spirituality, My Own Generous Orthodoxy, I came down very harsh on Pat Robertson and his silly comments about Haiti. I was so disgusted and mad as hell, I even cheered on an atheist’s rebuke of Robertson. Have I mellowed my strong feelings on Pat Roberson? Not really. In my blog posts, I even suggested that Robertson read Lawrence Harrison’s book The Central Liberal Truth which talks about the island of Hispanolia which has the countries of Haiti and the Dominican Republic just for once to base on what he says on some good, hard, calculated FACTS and for goodness sakes to save himself the embarrassment from talking where the sun don’t shine but unfortunately that ship has sailed. Am I done with Pat Robertson??? Not a blinkin’ chance brother! Sir Hilary Beckles, pro-vice-chancellor and Principal of the Cave Hill Campus, UWI (University of the West Indies) has a blog post from the Barbados-based discussing the history of Haiti after their slave revolt in 1804. Life wasn’t easy street and faced many, many pressures with life on their own. What Robertson doesn’t understand not everybody in the white European nations were not fond of a liberated black nation on the scene and to say that was of no consequence is akin to burying one’s head in the sand. Read Sir Hilary’s piece here.  I want to end on an optomistic note by saying with the recent tragedy in Haiti, it is my prayer and hope some good comes out of this. Do they need some kind of a post WWII Marshall Plan? I’d be for it, if it was planned and executed in highly organized way to make it work effectively. If it works, it is time for U.S. President Obama to finally drop the Cuban embargo (trust me both Castros will tremble) to send a strong message that the time for prosperity in the Carribean is way too long overdue. Do I want a spiritual revival in that country? You bet! I know this will be heated for some people and because of that I am going to show a clip of TVOntario’s current affairs program The Agenda on another post several hours from now in which the author of The Central Liberal Truth, Lawrence Harrison explains on the program  in more clinical and anylitical detail the reason he wishes for a spiritual revival.

    Fit babe of the day: Miss Prestin



    This lovely Canadian beauty, Laura Michelle Prestin (commonly known as Miss Prestin)who also turned a big milestone in her life (the big 2-5 this past Friday), makes darn sure she’s seen everywhere. This fellow Aquarian was one of the three finalists in the Miss CHIN bikini contest back in 2007 (thank God I was there and took her picture as she blew kisses to many and I hope to share those photos here in the very near future). She has appeared in American Curves, the sexy calendar Construction Chicks, has her own personal calendar  and in Inside Fitness Magazine Hot & Fit 100 she was number 2! Not bad in my books, she was very close to number 1!  Likes to run, skip a rope (or at least try) and making a front flip. A brainy girl at school back in the day but played competitive soccer. Miss Prestin seems she always has a lot going for her.  Also check her out  on  her site!

    Now I’m in “The 40s Club!”

    Me at age 40 (and one week) with my friends Chris (who will turn 43 in March) and Ron (who turns 46 this February) at AMC 30 Theatre in Vaughn, Ontario on Saturday night seeing Mel Gibson’s Edge of Darkness (Mel still has the “Don’t f— with me!” attitude after all these years). My friend Joe, who took the picture is 42 (will be 43 this coming December).

    A week ago on Sunday, a major milestone took place in my life. January 24th marked the beginning of not only a new age but a new decade in my life, the big 4-0! It was a very strange feeling and was amazed of how far I came in my life. It also felt like that half of my life is over because another 40 years from I will be 80 years old (and it is my hope that I do see 80 and be healthy too). Also, for better or worse (take your pick), did not become or even look like Ward Cleaver and I am not ready for a wheelchair (as I once thought as a child).  During my thirties I had to struggle with obesity and high blood pressure and had to fight hard with both of them to get it under control, or else! 2006, at 36 I discovered a community centre gym that only required  $100 a year membership and never looked back. For over a year and half back in 2007, I scaled down from 245 lbs. to  appoximately 205 lbs. When I was hired into the employ of The Home Depot later that year, it required me to come half an hour earlier to the shift than I was temp. That changed everything. I did not go the gym much (and still struggle trying to balance the schedule but that’s another post) to make a long story short, the weight gained back in bloody no time. The family doctor sent me to a clinic to be on a diet in April 2009 and have scaled from 245 lbs. to currently around 210 lbs.  I will just say I am close to my target.  I am determined that in my 40’s I will get my weight and high blood pressure under control for final determined time. Naysayers and those who feel a snarky contrarian comment to my goals can go to hell (and stay there)! My dad in his 40’s had over 4 pills to deal with his high blood pressure, I know my dad is daring me to to do better (actually he told me that his blood pressure is a way down in a quarter century, praise God)!I am flattered when an old schoolmates and others are saying  I look good for my age. I am also going to try to bodybuild in the process. Yes, you heard right, bodybuilding. I may be getting older but I am planning to get better in all aspects of my life. I am hoping, planning and praying hard that the next 40 years of my life will be much more happier, exciting and more accomplished than the first 40 years of my life, which were a time of testing.  Among other things that I hope to achieve in my new life decade is  a successful romance (I hope I will be married by 45), own my own home (a condominium or townhouse will do), a career change (something that will involve writing but I can make a decent living off) and maybe, just maybe—just pardon the ambition to some people (who feel a sick need to be a naysayer) to be a minister of the Crown  in future Ontario Premier Tim Hudak’s cabinet. You get the idea, I plan in my 40’s to kick a lot of ass!