Tuesday, May 24, 2005

P. Diddy's Case

I never thought that I would say this, but I agree with P. Diddy on something. Sean "P. Diddy" Combs is one of the riches men in the entertainment industry. He is known to publicly show off his wealth and throw parties costing several million dollars. He is rich and he's enjoying the good life. But this good life comes with a price.

Combs has a song called "Mo Money Mo Problems" which is beginning to truly represent his life. The more money he has, the more people who were close to him are trying to take advantage of his wealth to the fullest of their ability. In the current case, his child support payments have ballooned from $5000 a month to $21,782 per month for one of his children.

While Combs may have over $300 million in personal wealth, the raise in his child support payments will not cause him to hold back from buying another bottle of Crystal when desired. I am not addressing this because it will affect his music, but because of ethical questions or right and wrong.

Misa Hylton-Brim, the mother of his child, feels that she needs more money to properly take care of their child. Combs considers the raise in child support payments as an attempt from Hylton-Brim to receive "adult care."

The problem with this case is that Sean Combs and Misa Hylton-Brim had a years-old agreement on the amount of child support that she would receive for the upbringing of their child. I personally feel that if the contract was in writing, then the contract should be upheld in court. If a woman and man marry and have a prenuptial agreement for the division of assets, spousal support, and child support, then the people in the contracts should adhere to their initial agreements. Husbands and wives should be able to make a contract before marriage and family planning to the care of children and loved ones with the trust that both husbands and wives can enter marriage based on trust and honesty. In this case the two parents were not married, but did have a contract for the care of the child. I do not see why the contract would not be upheld in court, but I can say with my present knowledge of the situation that I am siding with Sean Combs.

The only situation that would call for a change in the contract would be protection of the child. Sean Combs is a very wealthy man and his child may need the protection of a bodyguard from those who would wish to kidnap his child for randsom. If this is the question that has been raised by Misa Hylton-Brim, then I do believe that providing better security for the child through a bodyguard employed by Sean Combs can be reasonable. I personally cannot see in 2005 why $5,000 per month is not enough to support a child. What I can tell is that Misa Hylton-Brim would not be able to retire off of the month not spent on the child. A change from $5,000 to $21,782 per month would allow her to receive $261,384 yearly for the care of their child. This money would not be taxed as income because it would be child support payments. Realistically the majority of that money would not be spent on their son, allowing Hylton-Brim to potentially retire as a multi-millionaire when payments end upon the child's 18th bithday.

Even if I was a millionaire, I would not want over $200,000 spent every year on my children because it could make them spoiled. I would not want my children to be like Paris Hilton. I believe that Sean "P. Diddy" Combs is right in this situation and I hope that he wins in court. A decision in Mr. Combs favor would honestly be the best thing for the upbringing of his child.

Source of my information on the case:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050524/ap_en_ot/people_diddy_support

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Dennis Miller Fired

Ten years ago I was one of Dennis Miller's biggest fans. I loved watching his show on HBO. He was blunt and honest. There are many celebrities who become more famous for being honest even when what they say is not "politically correct." Charles Barkley gained national attention by saying in a Nike Ad that he doesn't want to be a role model. He felt that parents should be role models. Chris Rock became one of the most loved comedians in the late 1990's by using comedy to not only entertain black audiences, but to point out things that white audiences couldn't say. A Republican friend of mine put it best by saying, "Rock says what white people can't say but agree with." Miller, Barkley, and Rock did not gain fans by being merely controversial, but by saying what their audiences could identify with.

Dennis Miller could look at issues and make fun of both Democrats and Republicans in a way that allows audiences of both political backgrounds to identify with him. Was he a Democrat or a Republican? I honestly didn't know.

Sometimes a show can run its course, as Dennis Miller's show did on HBO when it no longer felt fresh the way it did in 1995. As Chris Rock once said, "If it's not new, it's through." Dennis Miller became a comentator on NFL Monday Night Football serveral years ago to add humor. While he was able to crack in a few jokes here and there, his ability to add humor to sports was very limited and therefore he was replaced after a few years.

What has happened today may be the end of Dennis Miller for a long time. His show on CNBC has been cancelled due to low ratings. Many people will guess why his show did so poorly. I will give my viewpoint on it.

Last year Dennis Miller made it clear that he supported President George W. Bush for President. He has the full right to do that. I would never tell people to keep their political opinions to themselves, but to understand the consequences to publicly choosing a side in politics. To Democrats like myself, President Bush represents the Neocon wing of the Republican Party. He's no John McCain. Honestly, he reminds Democrats of Richard Nixon.

Democrats embrace shows like "Polically Incorrect" and "The Daily Show" not merely for the political views of the hosts, but for the honest discussion of politics. It is fine for Dennis Miller to support President Bush in the election, no matter how far Bush has gone to the right. Had McCain ran and won the nomination for President, an endorsement from Miller would not have caused Miller to lose much of his fan base, because while he would be supporting a Republican, that Republican was a moderate. But to publicly support President Bush, who invaded Iraq for WMDs that were never found, moderate Democrats found themselves no longer able to identify with the Neocon Dennis Miller. I miss the old Dennis Miller who would look honestly at both sides of politics. He made fun of Bill Clinton. He made fun of Bob Dole. Ask any Democrat how they would rate President Bush on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being "liberal", 5 being "John McCain", and 10 being "Rush Limbaugh", and you will here mostly 9s and 10s. What Democrats who are unhappy with President Bush wanted to hear is why Republicans support Bush even though we found no WMDs in Iraq. Instead of trying to search through the political mess that we are in today, it appears that Dennis Miller may just be more concerned with his tax cut. President Bush won this election and I am not contesting the results. Dennis Miller got to keep his tax cut. Mr. Miller, I hope that you enjoy your tax cut. You're unemployed!

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Family Guy Returns

Tonight I have seen the return of the show Family Guy. After being cancelled in 2002, Family Guy has found its audience through DVD sales (see article on DVD Shows) and reruns on the Cartoon Network. Why this show did not become popular during it's initial run from 1999-2002 is not clear, but sometimes good shows and movies become popular with time. The Shawshank Redemption is the best example of a movie that became popular after it hit VHS in 1995. The film was nominated for Best Picture against Forrest Gump and Pulp Fiction, yet the majority of people who have seen the film did not see until it had left the theaters. Few films develop the following that the Shawshank Redemption has, and unfortunately, fewer television shows gain an audience after cancellation. The producers of the Shawshank Redemption may have not made the profits that they deserved from the theaters, but those profits came through sales of the movie on DVD and VHS. To win the Oscar for Best Picture usually gives a film a successful life on the shelves at DVD stores, but you'll probably see more copies of the Shawshank Redeption at any store than you would see copies of Shakespeare in Love.

Family Guy, like all TV Shows, had to depend on developing an audience while on TV to stay on the air. A movie is made before being shown in the theaters, and frankly, whether or not it has gained an audience in the theater does not affect my ability to see the entire film on DVD. Television shows, however, will have fewer seasons if they do not find an audience. I would rather see many seasons of my favorite shows than see a few of them. The more people who enjoy a television show, the more likely the network will keep the show on the air, until people feel that the show has had been on long enough (like Friends or Sex And The City). Family Guy was not on long enough for those who enjoyed the show to feel that it had run its course. Those who began to see the show in reruns or on DVD (like myself) wanted the show to be brought back on television. The audience for Family Guy began to grow, and executives at Fox were realizing that if they brought the show back on television, it would have a large audience. I do not know yet what the ratings will be for tonight's show, but I am grateful that Family Guy has a second chance to earn the ratings that it deserves.
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