From politicians to celebrities, each day brought new ugliness about men abusing their power.
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These stories create an environment for Christians to reimagine how we might practice our faith and serve our neighbors. Two articles I read in early framed the moment. The first, a New Yorker profile on Russell Moore by Kelefah Sanneh , painted the opportunity for the church to embrace the posture of a prophetic minority. The second, an essay written by Wesley Hill in Comment , offered a challenging invitation for Christians to rediscover our call to hospitality.
He names the ways our always-available work culture drives us toward shallow and unfulfilling hamster wheeling and away from deep, meaningful work. It beautifully wove together themes of vocation, race, virtue, and faith. And, it featured a killer soundtrack. The first exhibit in the memorial displays an ominous image. At first glance, the picture is innocuous enough. It is far less grisly than many of the pictures throughout the rest of the memorial.
But it is far more haunting. In the picture, a Rwandan man sits in an examination room. When walking through the genocide memorial, jarring images of soldiers and militants line the walls. But it is this seemingly benign activity—a scientist wielding a caliper—that created division and preceded the slaughter of nearly one in ten Rwandan people.
First the calipers and scales were dispensed. Soon, the common physical appearances of the Hutus and Tutsis codified. Then, government officials mandated Rwandans record these divisions and differentiations between Hutus and Tutsis on identification cards. As the genocide unfolded, the perpetrators used these cards and physical differentiations to separate neighbors from each other.
To separate friends and groups of students from their peers. To determine who lived and who died. At the memorial, the second floor exhibits the terrible realities of genocides committed across the world and across history. In each case, division precedes violence. The Nazis forced Jewish men, women, and children to adorn their clothing or an armband with the Star of David.
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Turkish military and government officials organized the genocide against hundreds of thousands of Armenians who were identified as Christians on their national identification cards. Earlier this year , we lived in the Dominican Republic for a few months. There, we learned about the history of Hispaniola and some of the horrific massacres carried out against ethnic groups on the island. In , Haitian dictator Jean-Jacques Dessalines murdered all French residents who were unable to sing a Haitian nursery rhyme in Creole.
In a horrific turnabout, in , Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo commanded his troops to round up dark-skinned people living near the Haitian border. Massacre River flows between the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Barry Manilow BM : This was the big question because the album is on my own label, [Stilleto], but we needed a hand distributing it. So I would ask the people that I met over the last couple of months, "How do you sell a record these days? Between my company, Universal and Fontana I felt very safe with that batch of young people.
THR : Lindsey Buckingham mentioned in a recent interview how difficult it would have been to make an album like Rumours now. If you were starting out today, how would you approach a music career? Is there anything you know now that you wish you knew then? BM : You have to be strong. You could be working for 10, 20 years and when it finally hits you, you get knocked down. That is scary because you can be famous doing some really stupid things.
THR : How did you avoid those trappings of fame? BM : I was always into the music. Music, in general, saved my life. But the fame part… I would look up, see what was going on around me, the reporters and photographers and all, and then I would just go back to making my music. And it never really got me. I think the people who are out there for fame get themselves in a lot of trouble. Does that just come with the territory?
BM : It's what can get you in trouble. From highs like you never imagined -- the screaming of the audience, the accolades from people around you -- you really believe that you are the smartest, most intelligent, most beautiful person. And then you go to your hotel room, close the door and, ergo, the Weiner. This is when you go online and take a picture of your penis.
Not that I would! THR : When you were writing the songs on 15 Minutes, were you looking at it from the point of view of a fictional character or did you recognize your own experience? I tried it over and over and suddenly the relationship starts to fall apart. THR : You were a guest judge on American Idol, a show that means instant fame for its participants and has become an increasingly legitimate launching pad It was a great chance they took and wow, they become a household name in months, but you kind of countdown the days until they wind up on TMZ.
THR : Sounds like they need career training BM : I actually thought I sort of made a dent the three times I was on the show. I did the best I could. They were like sponges -- so appreciative and I do think they got better. BM : I would never, ever have done it. To stand in a line and sing a capella? No way. I never wanted to be a performer, that was not one of my goals.
I wanted to be a musician and that was that. So this performing thing, when I made my first album, nobody was more terrified than I was to get up from the piano and try to communicate with an audience and sing and talk. So no, I never would have gone down that road that these young people are taking. THR : Did you have any self-revelations while working on this record? I was a very unhappy guy and it was because I was really alone. I looked up and said, "Wait a minute, what happened to my life? Barry Manilow BM : I hope people understand that this is a really risky thing for me to do, and I really love taking a chance like this.
It harkens back to the earlier albums, before I did the covers. This is the kind of album I always made, filled with different styles and different kinds of songwriting. The first album [in ] had a jazz piece on it followed by a Chopin prelude followed by a couple of guitar-driven songs. Those are the kind of albums I used to love to make, but about 10 years into it, I started to make tribute albums to different styles of music, which I really loved doing. And Clive was very, very for those kinds of albums.
I sort of lost the songwriting part and I missed it.
My 15 minutes of fame...
So this is the first one in a long time where I actually get a chance to go back to writing and writing that kind of album filled with melodies and lyrics and great production. UW : You are the guy who writes the songs, after all. Was it easy for you to get back into that groove?
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BM : I have been writing over the years, but not for the albums as much as I have for Broadway stuff and the movies and stuff like that. But I missed the songwriting, so this is a real important one for me. I just really love it.
UW : When you listen to the record, you definitely get the "fame" theme. Albums with a theme seem to be a staple in your discography. The same thing with the Here at the Mayflower album that was stories about people who lived in an apartment building, and that was great to write. For me as a songwriter, it is agony to try to write a hit song that will be played on the radio. There are people who can write like that, like Diane Warren, who cranks 'em out two a day.
I really admire that because, for me, sitting down at the piano and trying to write a love song that will be played on the radio is just impossible. It is the most difficult thing to do. As you know, writers have to face the blank page, and that blank page is very difficult for me. Those songs I definitely knew how to write, and I was even able to put some songs in that would sound good on the radio as well. Even after "Letter from a Fan," I come in just an angry guy, with lots of guitars and edge music on it.
I thought, Are they going to be looking for the pretty ballads? This is not an album of pretty ballads. UW : Did you try out the songs in your Vegas show? And I did this hour on QVC a couple of weeks ago. I did eight songs in front of an audience and we sold loads of albums, meaning the public was buying them and they really liked it. UW : Bring on Tomorrow, to me, has that classic Manilow sound. BM : I only wanted to do one of those. I really was writing about somebody else, but somewhere in the middle of writing this thing, I realized that I had actually lived through every single song.
I was really writing about myself. I did experience all the other ones. BM : It made for a better performance for every song. I wanted to go back and end on a hopeful note. I see the good in things. BM : I stopped touring. It got me. After about 30 years of room service and waiting for planes and hotel rooms and being away from home, I was done.
I love being with the band and I really have gotten very fond of performing, but I had to get off the road. I had to get my life back. This Vegas thing turned out to be a real gift. They really responded well. UW : Some people might know who Nataly is, some might not, but she has a really nice voice. Do you have a music mogul in you? I did two, maybe three Broadway musicals, and casting is not my forte. He was my commercial ears when it came to songs and productions. How often do you get a chance do that? We send letters out to schools and invite them down to soundchecks.
I have my band come down, and we talk to all of them for an hour. I speak to the music directors and the principals and ask them what do they need, and if I can, we deliver brand new instruments to various schools. We did that here in Palm Springs, we did that in Vegas, we did that in Seattle. UW : Is it fun for you to talk to kids and see their burgeoning love for music, the same one you probably had at their age? I really loved speaking to them for an hour and taking their questions.
These young people just want somebody to give them a hand on how do you do this, how do you sing, what do you do, what do you wear, how do you arrange a song, what do I do, how do I pick the right song? It was great talking to these people. UW : As a music fan yourself, have you heard anything recently that you really loved?
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I like them! Pop radio has never done it for me. Yes, now and again we get great stuff on pop radio, but not often. Barry Manilow is busy promoting "15 Minutes" - his first new album of all-original material since - and reveals the project's inspiration came from an unexpected source: Britney Spears. Maybe that's an interesting idea to write songs about," he thought. Manilow, 67, who has spent the last ten years releasing a steady stream of greatest hits and cover albums, says he "missed writing" but "wanted to challenge [himself] and do something a little more interesting than just writing 'I miss you, I love you' songs.
The consummate performer, whose album is a track exploration of fame through the eyes of a fictional gifted young guitarist, was struck by how quickly today's musicians are thrust into the spotlight. If you do it for money, applause, or to be famous, that's dangerous. If you do it because you can't not, whatever your field, you have a better chance of having a happy life. Barry Manilow recently released his new album "15 Minutes," which marks the singer's first album of new material in a decade. Manilow said that "15 Minutes" was originally inspired by Britney Spears.
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The concept album follows a singer who experiences the highs and lows of fame. Is that the price of fame? I kept saying, is that it? Is that what she has to go through? That's where it began for me. Her turmoil made international headlines. She has since rebuilt her image and made a music comeback in with a hit "Circus" tour.
Manilow has been releasing a steady stream of greatest hits album over the past ten years. He says he missed songwriting and wanted to explore the darker side of fame. How do they handle it? I know that when 'Mandy' came out, I was kind of an adult and I had done jingles and I had conducted for people and when 'Mandy' hit, it knocked me over! Manilow appeared on "Good Morning America" on Wednesday to promote his new album and performed his song, "Bring on Tomorrow.
The entertainer shared a musical taste of the album on Good Morning America on Wednesday morning along with an explanation of his new material. She couldn't live her life. Knowing how tough it can be, he seemed to admire the road of those who find themselves in the midst of public attention. Others find themselves passing quickly on the Google trends with their 15 minutes of fame expired.
The new album gives Barry Manilow a way to channel his views into a vocal perspective. Leaving the fans with some great new music and some great thoughts from an entertainer who knows all about fame and felt empathy for Britney Spears. Barry Manilow's first new album of all-original material since is inspired by the lives of young starlets like Britney Spears, the singer said in an interview with USA Today.
After witnessing how the paparazzi constantly followed Britney Spears and other young celebrities, Manilow was inspired to create the album. He described his newest guitar-driven release as being a "more energetic pop album," different from his other ones. Manilow is releasing the record under a new label. He has said that music-mogul Clive Davis refused to release "15 Minutes" because he believes an artist of his age cannot sell an original album. The only way I could sell an album is if you do cover albums.
After they parted ways, Jon refused to let the kids film the show anymore under the guise that it was detrimental to them…and this totally enraged his former wife. Kate extended herself to appear on any and every reality show possible including Wife Swap and Dancing With The Stars. Kate insisted that raising eight kids is expensive and that she does reality TV for the vast income it provides the family. She also used whatever platform she could find to publicly scrutinize her ex-husband and the father of her children, selling him down the river for the sake of fame and publicity.
Kate Gosselin is crude, careless, and super shameless when it comes to walking over others in order to benefit herself. Natalie Nunn appeared on the fourth season of The Bad Girls Club and her loud-mouthed ways paired with her devious demeanor put her on the map. Natalie stepped onto the reality TV scene with guns blazing. Natalie would go to great lengths to backstab and manipulate her costars as if she were a professional puppet master.
While she was incredibly annoying at times, she made for some enticing reality television. Did we mention that she also tried to latch on to famous people with the hopes of their fame rubbing off on her? The outspoken reality star once dated rapper Wiz Khalifa and was rumored to be involved with Chris Brown.
Once the always controversial star touched down in paradise she created so much drama that production on the show was shut down completely and the series risked being cancelled all together. Corinne and DeMario engaged in some super steamy behavior that ended up being the focal point for a major he-said she-said scandal. Olympios took her quest for notoriety to new levels when her best friend who worked for production alleged that Corinne was unable to consent to her raunchy actions, and the reality star piggybacked on her statements.
Olympios not only slandered a successful franchise and the name of an innocent man, but she also shamelessly would stop at nothing to keep her name in the press for as long as possible. Kim D. Whenever there is a vicious rumor being spread about someone on the cast, you can almost always count on the source of the controversy being Kim. She has also spread some ruthless lies about former housewives Caroline Manzo and Kathy Wakile over the years.
Our point is simple: Kim D. She will slander, drag, and claw at anyone in the group in order to gain momentum for herself to be cast, and frankly, we hope it never happens. Kim is a toxic person, and her thirsty AF nature is even too real for reality TV. Oh, Phaedra Parks…we have to admit, we really were rooting for her at one time not long ago, but then her thirst got the best of her and it cost her a spot as one of The Real Housewives of Atlanta.
Phaedra was a staple cast member on RHOA for years and viewers could always count on her for some seriously hilarious one-liners. On the most recent season of the show, Parks was accused of forging a faux friendship with costar Porsha Williams and using their relationship as leverage to take down another prominent figure - Kandi Burruss. There had been serious accusations made against Kandi that were blatantly fabricated and created by none other than Phaedra, and it all hit the fan when the ladies gathered together for the reunion once filming wrapped.
Phaedra was exposed as a liar who used Porsha to perpetuate rumors about Kandi. As a result of her dishonesty and the other housewives unwillingness to continue filming with her, Phaedra was given the boot. Instead of fame and a nice Bravo pay check, she walked away looking way too thirsty for her own good.
Kris is the nucleus of the family, and she picks and chooses what publicity stunts her family engages in on a daily basis. Pretty much everything the Kardashians and the Jenners do is a calculated PR move, and the attention-seeking brood has Kris to thank for all of their hard-earned success. Everyone knows that it was Kris who organized the now-infamous deal between Kim and Vivid Entertainment that catapulted the Kardashians into super-stardom.
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