The Whole Story about Whole Foods

Years ago, no one would have imagined how important blogs would become to our society. Nowadays, any and everyone manages a blog. There are a ton of terrible blogs out there and a bunch of magnificent blogs that I cannot get enough of!

Somewhere along the line, businesses jump onto the bandwagon of blogs. Excellent business move, in theory. If done properly, blog can be used as a useful tool to keep in touch with their customers and stockholders. Blogs can be a great way to give the public what they ant from the company and a great way for the company to find out what exactly it is they do want.

One blog that has recently caught my eye that a business manages is the Whole Foods Market blog called “Whole Story”. Its absolutely amazing! On this blog, they discuss everything from recipes and how-tos to contests and product quaility and the story of how it becomes something that is beloved by their customers.

The bloggers of Whole Foods’ blog are clearly in touch with what their customers what to read about. As someone who has just mopved into my first apartment of my own, their blog gives me ideas and hints as to make a place into a home. It does its job. It draws me into their store to try some of the products they discuss or to try out the recipes or how-tos they blog about. They generate happiness for their customers and they are drawing revenue in a way that is not pushy.Impressive, I must say.

Oh how I wish more of the business blogs I visit. To achieve the success of the Whole Foods blog, stop being so puchy with your product. If I wasn;t interested in the product, then I wouldn’t be on the site. Don’t sell me you product, capture my interest to want to explore more of the product. Many businesses are so business-minded that they forget why people visit blogs in the first place. No one wants to be bombarded with advertising, they want to be given useful and interesting information. Stop selling all the time. There’s a time and a place.


The Goodwill of PR

While searching for class this semester, I knew I wanted to broaden my communication skills. I knew I needed to learn as many different aspects of the communication field as possible in order to arm myself with as much knowledge as was available to me before I enter the job market hopefully by next summer. Why not look into Public Relations? There is such a wide misconception that the people who work in PR are nothing but spinsters of words. The fabricate and spin an imagine for a company that is up to no good, or PR acts as damage control and tries to make horrific events such as the BP oil spoil not look as terrible and serious as it truly is. In the few days that we have actually had class and from the readings in the book, I can already tell that there is much more to this whole public relations thing than I thought before.

PR handles so many things such as sports, politics, lobbying, celebrities, employee-relations, company image, and much more. PR also has a responsibility to research in order to provide stakeholders with value for their product. It is absolutely key to their success. Professionals who work in PR have to be inventive at times in order to figure out what is the best representation of the company they represent.

Though there is a cut-throat busy side that could be associated with PR, but what about those groups out there that use PR in a positive light? I’m talking about PETA, Goodwill, United Way, Invisible Children, Make a Wish Foundation, and so many more that use PR in order to affect social change? They figure out a way to draw people in so that they care enough about the organization to do something to help the organization achieve their goals. These PR practitioners are doing a mighty good deed to have anything negative said about them. There are trying to change the world for the better with their work. Makes me think there’s a lot more to public relations than people say.

Just look at this video for Make a wish foundation. A truly selfless organization.

Gingers beware!

I don’t know if anyone has seen the new M.I.A. video for her song, “Born Free,” but its pretty controversial.The video focuses on the themes of racism and militarism. I will say only three words: global ginger jihad to describe what you are about to see. Its horrific to watch. Despite its controversial themes, it’s a really good music video. Check it out.

A Diva is a female version of a Hustler

Houston should be proud to be the home town of the Astros, the Rockets, and our biggest success, Beyonce Knowles. Beyonce has become one of the biggest pop divas ever simply on talent, intelligence, and class.

Since Beyonce was a child, she was a performer. She practiced and practiced with her girl group, Destiny’s Child all through school with one goal in mind, a record deal. The girls experienced their share of heartache and disappointment before finally reaching their goal in 1997 when they were signed to Columbia Records.

The group achieved much success throughout their career, but also faced many problems. They faced lawsuits, monetary problems, and member line up changes sveeral times. Through all of the turmoil, Destiny’s Child become one of Houston’s greatest acts.

Beyonce started to concentrate on her solo career while Destiny’s Child was in between albums in 2003. Beyonce released her first solo album, “Dangerously in Love” through Columbia Records. The album earned Beyonce six Grammy wins in one night.

Since the release of her first album, Beyonce has been a busy woman. She has been in several big movies including “Dreamgirls.” She has  released two more albums and is currently working on her forth solo album in the studios now. Beyonce and her mother also started a clothing line called The House of Dereon which has clothes ranging from urban style to high end gowns in addition to the fragance she just released called Heat. Beyonce has also had the pleasure of singing for President Obama and his family several times. If that wasn’t enough, she has also done a lot of philanthropy work involving starting the Survior foundation to assist Hurricane Katrina victims, charity work for cancer victims, children in hospitals, and the disaster of Haiti.

Beyonce is a true role model to everyone who wants success and wants to help people. She has acheived a levelof success unparalleled by any other celebrity of her time. She has been voted in Forbes as one of the most successful people in show biz.

The crazy thing about Beyonce’s success is that she achieved it without controversy and without wild and crazy antics. She simply worked her way up through the years gathering success until she reached her level of super stardom that she has today. She is one of the most respected performers because of her skills as an amazing singer and dancer not a gimmick to draw people in.

Beyonce is a singer, dancer, actress, model, diva, philantropist, and an American icon. She is known for her strength, class, and humbleness. On my own path to success, I would like to keep those qualities in mind. Strength will get you through any situation. Class will gain you respect. Humbleness will show you’ve got heart. Those three qualities are what I attribute a tremendous amount of Beyonce’s success to. She proves that controversy is not the only way to get on the front page of a magazine. It is, rather, drive and talent. Beyonce is a diva who has worked hard and hustled to get what she wants. I want to do the same.

La La oh La la

The one person whose name has been everywhere for the past year is Lady Gaga. Controversy, independence, confidence, individuality, strenght, courage, and one amazingly unique sense of style. All of these attributes and more has launched Lady Gaga to the level of super stardom that she has reached today. 

Lady Gaga, birthname Stefani Joanna Angelina Germanotta, stormed onto the music scene August of 2008 with the release of “The Fame”. This album earned Gaga a impressive 6 Grammy nominations and two wins. She later released”The Fame Monster”, an extension to the first album. Technically, Lady Gaga only has one album, but has achieved the success that most people build their entire career towards.How is this possible? Lady Gaga’s attitude, spunk, and fearlessness has driven her to the empire that she has become.

Recently, Lady Gaga received criticisim from the media for her latest video for her single, “Telephone” which features Beyonce. In the “Telephone” video, Lady Gaga is taken to prison, stripped down, and hops on the bars of the prison cell and flashes her private area to the camera. Gaga claims she did this because she wanted to put an end to the constant question of whether or not she had both male and female parts, or androgyny.

 Lady Gaga has been reported saying comments that allude to the mystery that surrounds her gender as well as her sexuality. For this, the homosexual/ bisexual community absolutely flocks to Lady Gaga. When asked about her large number of gay/ lesbian fans Gaga says that she believes that they can relate to her. And that is her goal. She wants her fans to relate to her, and she also wants they to love her music and her persona. She works hard for the admiration.

Lady Gaga is not just your typical pop artist. She actually writes most of her own music with few collaborations. She is a superb pianist. She strives to be a role model to women. She’s worked with a lot of the top names in the music business like Beyonce, Elton John, and many more. She created her own image and has made a major success out of her own career.

As I was flilpping through a recent issue of Comsopolitain, I read an article/ interview featuring Lady Gaga. It basically gave an overview of how this ugly duckling, loner geek in high school turned into the diamond in the rough superstar she is today. The last thing Lady Gaga was quoted saying is “some women chase men and some women chase their dreams. If you’re wondering which one to chase, your dreams can’t wake up one morning and say they don’t love you anymore.” I gained a new respect that day for this 24-year-old diva. She has a certain wisdom about her.

Lady Gaga’s daring attitude and wisdom beyond her age attracts everyone from a 13-year-old girl who dreams of being a pop star to a 40-year-old mother who wishes she could regain the spunk and atttitude she once had in her youth. Despite the controversy of her wild antics, her revealing outfits, and her ambigiuos sexuality, Lady Gaga has managed to entrace everyone from Beyonce to the Queen of England (whom she met last year).

Even I can relate to Lady Gaga. She’s an artist at heart and she doesn’t care how people critize the work that she does. I am like her in that respect. The art that I create, whether it is through my fictional writing or through the music that I play, is my own. However people critize it will not change how proud I am of what I have done.

I wish that sense of standing behind what you’ve done and being proud of it regardless of what people say was more alive in my generation. Instead, my generation has become one that has been taught to seek out approval because that is the only way you can get ahead. What happens to the individual’s soul that does not create for the simple act of creating and getting it out there? It become dull and hollow, constantly seeking for approval from the masses.

Granted, Lady Gaga does in some ways seek approval from the public, but it’s in her own way and on her own terms. She never compromises who she is or the message she wants to convey. I never compromise who I am nor the message I want to convey. Lady Gaga and I, though completely different, are relateable. She has a lot to say and she is not done yet. I have a lot to say and I have not even begun yet.

Naked Truth

When thinking about the world we live in, it saddens me to not see as much passion about changing the issues we face as a country. Our voices are silent in comparison to the volume at which we, as a nation, has spoken in before.

In the 70’s, finding a radical, liberal, and outspoken artist in the media was easy. At the time, the country was in turmoil. Protest were a regular occurance due to the way our government treated us as citizens and Vietnam, and musicians and other artists alike expressed their political frustration through their art. These artists were successful in conveying that message and getting it out to the public. The public loved it because they agreed. Many people were united because of their political views and because of the music and the art that drew them together.

Today, the media plays a big role in the way protesters are viewed. Media tends to cover protesters in a negative light because times have changed. My generation lacks the passion and drive to bring about change and have our voices heard that the generation of the 70’s had so much of.

Celebrities in the public eye today tend to be move conservative in their passions than the celebrities of the 70’s. Their are few exceptions that take that extra step and do what they really feel and express it to the world.

A recent example of this would be the release of r&B artist, Eyrkah Badu’s recent video for her single, “Window Seat.” This video sparked the debate of how far is too far with artistic expression instead of sparking the true question it was meant to spark. She questions our liberity, our ability to think for ourselves, and our ability to dare to be ourselves. Free ourselves from the chains of society.

The video was shot guerilla style in the Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas. Recognize the name? She shot her video in the same plaza John F. Kennedy was assainated. There was no camera crew or any preparation prior to the shoot.

One cameraman follows Badu as she walks around the plaza  as she strips down to nothing in broad daylight in a populated plaza. When she is finally completely naked, she is shot by an unseen assaisain, falls to the ground in slow motion, and bleeds out a message, “Group think,” from her head.

Badu claims her video is a commentary on self acceptance and breaking away from group think. Group think is a type of thought that makes people think for the whole of the group which often causes them to agree with something them are against to avoid conflict. The video was simply to convey that message.

Badu, who is a Dallas native herself, faces criminal charges of public indecency, which she pleads not guilty to. An unnamed citizen filed a formal complaint with the Dallas Police. She chose Dealey Plaza because it is one of the busiet places in town. Badu was fined $500 dollars for the video by the city of Dallas.

“Window Seat” sparked quite a heated debate amongst many people in my generation, but it didn’t spark thewrong debate. Though she was fined $500 for this stunut, many argue that it was worth it due to the artistic message Badu was trying to convey.

Where is our passion as a nation for out nation? Badu sees the world for the way it is and only stood up against one of the main causes of the state of this country. It is one of the reasons why we are not represented as individuals. Group think takes individuality away which is what our democratic way of government is based on.

Group think keeps us from asking questions. This is why Badu’s video was received the way it was. She is conveying an artistic and politically aware message to my generation. My generation is missing the message because the media has shifted our focus away from the main point of the video. Break away from group think.

Instead of having arguements about whether or not she should be punished, the arguement should have been focused on what is she trying to say and what if she’s right. My generation needs to look for solutions instead of critizing those of us who are seeking for a  solution, for a change.

Eyrkah Badu is a singer, a songwriter, a poet, a artist, and a modern day activist. She has the passion reminescent of the 60’s and 70’s. The passion that caused protests to break out across the country. Protests that help bring about the end of racial segregation, end of oppresion of many groups, and the end of the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. Our country needs that passion. We need to bring about change. our voices need to be heard.

The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day

In the opening scene of the movie, a man cloaked in darkness grabs a priest from a confessional in a grand church. He pushes him down to his knees. Positions himself behind the priest as his begs for his life. The cloaked man shoots him with two guns in the back of his his head. This is all a set up to look like the MacManus brothers ,or the Boondock Saints, commited the murder in order to draw them out of hiding.

The Boondock Saints 2: All Saints Day, the long-awaited sequel to the cult hit, The Boondock Saints, which was released in 1999, starts strong, but quickly fizzles out. Everything from the casting to the horrible budgeting problems caused this movie to be a big flop.

The story takes place 8 years after the original story ends. The brothers, Conner and Murphy MacManus, now live in isolation with their father after they executed a notorious criminal in a full courtroom on live television.

The brothers are drawn out of hiding after the media announces that the Boondock Saints commited a murder recently.

From the beginning, it is apparent that the budget was a major problem in the production of this movie. Casting and character chemistry was also lacking. The relationship between the characters was in no way believable, which hurt the dynamic of the movie.

The villains in this movie, for the most part, were a complete bore. They were neither menancing nore memorable. A few of the scenes were a repeat from the first movie, which showed lack of creativity. And to top it all off, they end the movie with a possible set-up for a 3rd installment of the Boondock Saints.

Overall, this movie is for die-hard fans who simply want to see how the story progresses. This movie is a stain upon the great legacy which is the Boondock Saints.

Boom Boom Pow

“Boom Boom Pow”, one of the Black Eyed Peas recent singles, roars to life as they take the stage at the Houston Rodeo. A crowd of over 70,000 people hop up off of their seats to start off an hour of non-stop dancing.

The Black Eyed Peas, wearing their signature futuristic outfits, put on a high-energy, cohesive set that spanned their entire career with Fergie, the female vocalist in the band. Fergie performed her hit single from here solo album, “Big Girls Don’t Cry”, which the crowd sang along to every word.

At one point, the band left the stage with the exception of Will.I.Am.,one  the group’s male vocalist and DJ, and did a short turntable session. This was a big hit with the crowd.

The back up dancers were adorned in moveable speaker outfits, which can be seen in the “Imma Be” music video, providing an interesting visual affect adding to the Black Eyed Peas set.

Overall, this concert was a great experience, both visually and sound-wise.

The Black Eyed Peas first made a name for themselves back in the late ’90s as a neo-soul hip hop group, but their breakthrough album, Elephunk, came out in 2003. Ever since Elephunk, The Black Eyed Peas have made a steady climb to success. They have reached “superstar” status in the hip-hop/ pop world.

Quick Thoughts on Health Care Bill

By now, everyone should have heard that the health care bill that President Obama and the Democrats have been battling the Republicans over for about a year now has been passed. This bill is suppose to universalize health care and provide health care to every American. Many Americans are quite skeptical about the bill because it will change the system as we know it for generations to come.

One regulation that will go into effect immediately is that insurance companies can no longer deny a person with a pre-existing condition. Other regulations will not go into effect until 2014, but the bill is expected to close the gap that Medicaid has created. Eventually, regulations from the bill will eventually force everyone to have health care, a practice that many other countries already have in place. Those who fail to get health care will be fined.

A lot of people, especially the Republicans (none of whom voted in favor of the bill), are opposed to the new bill. Many are fearful of the new changes, but the health care bill is suppose to be something to better our country.