As a photographer I have to deal with many celebrities, which I occasionally wonder why some of them are famous. This great article asks why we care so much about celebrities. Also, I’m not the biggest fan of Justin Bieber.
Originally posted on Rant Forever:
Alright, maybe I should rephrase that title with something that is more appropriate as to what I’m about to say.
Celebrities – Why Our Culture Around Them SUCKS
Yeah, that’s better. It doesn’t sound as catchy and controversial though, so I think I’ll keep the original title instead. If you have a problem with that, you can post an angry comment saying how much you hate me, then share this on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr to tell your friends how much I suck.
Anyways, this post won’t just be me taking the piss out on celebrities and drill into which of them don’t deserve fame, which ones are shitty human beings, ETC, and while some of them certainly are those things, that’s not the main issue here. The real issue is not them, but us, why do treat them the way we do? Do they have any special qualities…
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First, are you our sort of a person?
Do you wear
A glass eye, false teeth or a crutch,
A brace or a hook,
Rubber breasts or a rubber crotch,
Stitches to show something’s missing? No, no? Then
How can we give you a thing?
Open your hand.
Empty? Empty. Here is a hand
To fill it and willing
To bring teacups and roll away headaches
And do whatever you tell it.
Will you marry it?
It is guaranteed
To thumb shut your eyes at the end
And dissolve of sorrow.
We make new stock from the salt.
I notice you are stark naked.
How about this suit—-
Black and stiff, but not a bad fit.
Will you marry it?
It is waterproof, shatterproof, proof
Against fire and bombs through the roof.
Believe me, they’ll bury you in it.
Now your head, excuse me, is empty.
I have the ticket for that.
Come here, sweetie, out of the closet.
Well, what do you think of that ?
Naked as paper to start
But in twenty-five years she’ll be silver,
In fifty, gold.
A living doll, everywhere you look.
It can sew, it can cook,
It can talk, talk , talk.
It works, there is nothing wrong with it.
You have a hole, it’s a poultice.
You have an eye, it’s an image.
My boy, it’s your last resort.
Will you marry it, marry it, marry it.
Victor Lebow an economist, retail analyst and author, wrote a very pertinent account of modern consumerism in his 1955 paper, “Price Competition in 1955,” which was published in the Spring issue of the “Journal of Retailing.”
“Our enormously productive economy demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfactions, our ego satisfactions, in consumption. The measure of social status, of social acceptance, of prestige, is now to be found in our consumptive patterns. The very meaning and significance of our lives today expressed in consumptive terms. The greater the pressures upon the individual to conform to safe and accepted social standards, the more does he tend to express his aspirations and his individuality in terms of what he wears, drives, eats, his home, his car, his pattern of food serving, his hobbies.
These commodities and services must be offered to the consumer with a special urgency. We require not only “forced draft” consumption, but “expensive” consumption as well. We need things consumed, burned up, worn out, replaced and discarded at an ever increasing pace. We need to have people eat, drink, dress, ride, live, with ever more complicated and, therefore, constantly more expensive consumption. The home power tools and the whole “do-it-yourself” movement are excellent examples of “expensive” consumption.”
CONSUMERISM IS NOT SUSTAINABLE
We have let ourselves to be led down the path of consumption, we have been manipulated into a society of ‘battery hen humans’ where governments, marketers, corporations and interest groups have been feeding us a steady diet of consumerism, laced with deceit, false hopes and non-sustainability.
It all started after the Second World War when economies and much of the Western population were in a state of stability and there were abundant energy resources in the form of coal and oil. What better way to control the masses to promote growth and prosperity than to condition consumers, voters and citizens to consume, consume, consume, everything else is irrelevant.
People talk about ‘the economy’ as if it were a living being. Interest groups such as the financial services sector, government, corporations and politicians discuss confidence, growth, investment, demand, spending, stimulus and consumption as a means to satisfying and appeasing the manic depressive economy. Slowly we are starting to see fragments of change. We have let ourselves become attached to something that offers little real evidence of being able to truly make us happy in the long term. In Buddhism, attachment is one of the key hindrances that causes suffering among humans. The Buddha taught that attachment generates craving, wanting and insecurity. Attachment is the wanting to hold onto and keep a permanent state and not be separated from a thing or person. The general principle behind non-attachment is to cultivate a mind of detachment. Once we do this we can then move towards a mind of oneness which involves compassion, an understanding of impermanence and seeing experiences for what they are.
WE’RE ATTACHED TO PHYSICAL OBJECTS
Not only have humans become attached to physical objects or things, but also to relationships, ideas and opinions. We anchor or associate happiness, success and fulfillment with these external objects in the hope that we will find lasting happiness. So what do we do? Like the mouse on the treadmill we hope we will eventually get to where we want to be. We are always trying to achieve, in a never ending cycle of wanting and having, thinking this will lead us to lasting happiness.
The current Western economic system with the mantra of growth and prosperity has let us be seduced into a pattern of wanting and external gratification. Most of us have been herded onto the plains of consumerism with the promise this will bring us closer to fulfillment. While on the forest fringes, we see a small group of enlightened beings that realize happiness and contentment comes only from within and cannot be bought, sold, acquired or accumulated.
Non-attachment gives us the freedom, space and time to contemplate the true meaning of life. Attachment distracts us from reality. It influences how we perceive and react to our immediate world. A world of excess leads to a roller coaster of highs and lows. This in turn motivates us to seek out more of those high moments of pleasure. We enter into a hedonistic world of want-fulfillment which creates further wanting in an attempt to bring lasting happiness.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Andrew Martin is passionate about helping raise awareness and living sustainably. He is editor of www.onenesspublishing.com and author of One ~ A Survival Guide for the Future… He is also a writer for Collective Evolution where this was originally featured.
Two handfuls of cashews is the therapeutic equivalent of a prescription dose of Prozac. Inside you, the essential amino acid L-tryptophan is broken down into anxiety-reducing, snooze-inducing niacin. Even more important, tryptophan is also made into serotonin, one of your body’s most important neurotransmitters.
Serotonin gives a feeling of well-being and mellowness, or as the Australians would say, “no worries.” This is such a profound effect that Prozac, Paxil and similar antidepressants usually either mimic serotonin or artificially keep the body’s own serotonin levels high. You can do the same thing with your food. And no one can tell us that beans, peas, cheese, nuts and wheat germ are toxic if you eat a lot of them!
Plenty of carbohydrates (starches) in your meals help tryptophan get to where it does the most good: in your brain. In order to cross the blood-brain barrier to get in, carbos are required. So cheese and crackers provides a better effect than the cheese standing alone. An egg or two on toast is better than just the egg. Beans, peas, and nuts already contain carbohydrate, so you are all set there.
Consider that five servings of beans, a few portions of peanut butter, or just one big handful of cashews provides one to two thousand milligrams of tryptophan, which will work as well as prescription antidepressants… but don’t tell the drug companies. Some skeptics think that the pharmaceutical people already know. Here are two quotes in evidence:
“Pay careful attention to what is happening with dietary supplements in the legislative arena… If these efforts are successful, there could be created a class of products to compete with approved drugs. The establishment of a separate regulatory category for supplements could undercut exclusivity rights enjoyed by the holders of approved drug applications.” (Source: FDA Deputy Commissioner for Policy David Adams, at the Drug Information Association Annual Meeting, July 12, 1993)
Benefits of Eating Cashew Nuts
Who doesn’t know about cashew nuts? Caju is what we call them in India. We use them mostly in sweets and children love to eat them as they are. They are full of anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals which are required for the normal functioning of the body. They actually belong to Brazil but Portuguese brought them to India in the 16th century. The kidney shaped or bean shaped nuts have many health benefits, a few of which are presented below:
1. Prevents Cancer: Proanthocyanidins are a class of flavonols which fight against tumor cells by stopping them to divide further. These proanthocyanidins and high copper content in cashew nuts help fight against cancerous cells and keeps you away from colon cancer. This is one of the major cashew nut benefits.
2. Healthy Heart: Cashews contain low fat content when compared to other nuts and that too in the oleic acid form which is very healthy for heart. They are cholesterol free and the antioxidants present keeps you away from heart diseases.
3. Lowers High Blood Pressure: Cashew nuts lower your blood pressure with the help of magnesium present in them.
4. Helps Hair: Copper is the mineral which helps your hair get that color. So if you take cashews which are full of copper content, you can get that black hair that you always wished for.
5. Healthy Bones: Like calcium, magnesium is also important for bone health which is the main content in cashew nuts.
6. Healthy Nerves: Magnesium is stored on the bones surface which prevents calcium from entering the nerve cells and thus keeps the blood vessels and muscles relaxed. Insufficient amount of magnesium can lead calcium to enter the blood vessels leading them to contract. It also leads to high blood pressure, migraine headache etc.
7. Prevents Gallstones: Daily intake of cashewnut can reduce the risk of developing gallstones up to 25%.
8. Helps in Weight Loss: Even though cashew nuts are considered as fats, it contains good cholesterol. So contrary to popular belief, those who eat cashews at least twice a week gain less weight when compared to those who eat less.
9. Anti-oxidants: Selenium, copper, magnesium etc. act as co-factors for many enzymes.
10. Helps Digestion: Cashew nuts help in growth and development, nucleic acid synthesis and digestion.
11. High on Vitamins: Cashew nuts are rich in vitamins like riboflavin, pantothenic acid, thiamin, niacin etc. These vitamins keep you safe from sideroblastic anemia, pellagra, etc.
12. Healthy Gums and Teeth: As mentioned before, the magnesium content present in cashew nuts is very good for bones. So it gives healthy teeth as well as strong gums to hold them.
13. Pleasant sleep: After menopause, these cashew nuts can give you relaxed and pleasant sleep during nights.
14. Free Radicals: Cashew nuts help our body to utilize iron properly and eliminate free radicals which cause health problems.
15. Macular Degeneration: Cashew nuts have the ability to filter Sun’s UV rays and protect us from macular degeneration. Now that you know the health benefits of Cashew nuts, ensure that you eat a few once every week I am sure you already love them.
Credit: Natural Cures Not Medicine
Isaiah Charles Austin is an American basketball player who completed his college career for the Baylor Bears in 2014. He had been considered a first-round prospect in the 2014 NBA draft until he was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome.
In his freshman season at Baylor, Austin was named to the 2013 All-Big 12 third team and the Big 12 All-Rookie team. On April 4, 2013, he recorded 15 points, nine rebounds, five blocks, four assists and two steals in the NIT championship game in which Baylor defeated Iowa 74–54. In 35 games (all starts), he averaged 13.0 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.7 blocks in 29.9 minutes per game.
In April 2013, he declared for the 2013 NBA draft, but later returned to Baylor due to a shoulder injury. In his sophomore season, he was named to the 2014 Big 12 All-Defensive team. In 38 games, he averaged 11.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 3.1 blocks in 28.0 minutes per game. On April 22, 2014, he declared for the 2014 NBA draft, forgoing his final two years of college eligibility.
Isaiah Austin with a friend having a good time shopping in Hollywood, CA. Credit: Zodiac/ Splashnews
On June 21, 2014, Austin learned that he had been diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects the body’s connective tissue. In an emotional interview with ESPN‘s Holly Rowe, Austin said that he could no longer play basketball at a competitive level since there was too much risk of his heart rupturing. In response, NBA commissioner Adam Silver invited Austin to attend the draft as his guest. Shortly after Austin’s diagnosis was made public, his agent revealed that Austin had taken out an insurance policy against career-ending disability through a special NCAA program. The amount of the policy was not disclosed, but the agent stated that it was at least $1 million. The policy would not have paid out if his career had ended due to the aforementioned shoulder injury or his eyesight, but is expected to pay out due to his Marfan diagnosis.
Austin is blind in his right eye from an injury he sustained in middle school. He had kept the injury a secret, known only to his teammates and close friends until January 17, 2014.
On June 26, 2014, between the 15th and 16th picks of the 2014 draft, Commissioner Adam Silver made Austin a ceremonial pick, which fulfilled his dream of getting drafted. The crowd gave him a standing ovation as he walked up to the podium.