Advice for the young at heart

Dear Beyoncé fans,

Yes, you guys, even other celebrities.

I would like to address my concerns about your sanity.

Fan mania

Back in the day, we were amazed when Michael Jackson moonwalked his way across the stage at every concert. We were the generation that wanted to be the epitome of cool. We were a Wu-Tang Nation, a Tribe Called Quest Squad. The Brandy and Monica drama was our lunchtime discussion, no hashtags required. Whitney and Mariah were the Diva Queens, but we were reminded that they too were human and flawed. Not the goddesses of planet Earth.

Today, it seems Beyoncé is the only being a walking supreme Mother Earth mother and everything she does is worshipped like she was the Messiah.

Bey

There are some problems guys…

Did she find a cure for any disease? Did she create a new technology with the purpose to give people a better life? Did she fight the good fight, to relentlessly bring justice to the less fortunate?

No.

She is an entertainer, a good one. I do respect her dedication to entertaining us mortals, but that’s it. I respected her more when she was keeping her life more private. Now, all I see is a brand, not a human being.

Madonna, Tina Turner, Whitney Houston, Cindy Lauper, Joan Jett, Reba McEntire, Bonnie Raitt, Salt’n’Pepa, MC Lite and Lauryn Hill were the ultimate warrior women in the music industry. Yes, they were admired for the passion they brought to their art and that was pretty much it.

I’m tired of reading about or listening to people that put Beyoncé on a pedestal like she was the next best thing after the creation of Nutella (I love Nutella – my life depends on it). I feel even worse when I read about other celebrities acting like total stupid groupies.

Come on, have some self-respect.

Fans crying

To the Beyhive crazy crowd, please chill out. I mean it.

She is not a God. She is an entertainer, one that may take herself a little too seriously (remember the pregnancy pictures of her twins, last year’s Grammy performance with the Mother Mary theme, her Lemonade video clip, and many other examples, unfortunately).

Beyoncé Mother Mary

I still believe she could be a really cool person to hang out with, but you guys are not obligated to be fanatics and idolize her. Admiring her accomplishments as an entertainer, ok, but being a crazy-ass fanatic, hell no!

Beyoncé is a human being, like the rest of us. She is not perfect. I want to see a bit more authenticity from her through sharing less of her private life. By not making a grand spectacle of her every outing with the crazy outfits and the entourage.

Damn, could she be more like Tina Turner?

Tina Turner

Be the big diva on stage and give everything you got, but after, please just be human.

Beyonce 2

So Beyhave’s army, you may want to send me some hateful emails and I guess you will put my name on your blacklist, but please, consider my advice to you, the young at heart.

Just breathe.

Fan Mania

Written by Sabine Demosthenes

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Legacies are never lost

Do you ever get this feeling?

Sometimes, a certain movie gives you this sense of empowerment and you feel invincible because of one particular actor?

Brandon Lee was this actor in my youth. At home, when I was just a little tomboy, we watched a wrestling show and a Kung-Fu movie every Saturday. It was a serious ritual in our household. Bruce Lee was, in a way, a big part of our family. At that time in the 80s, Brandon Lee, Bruce Lee’s son, was starting to make some waves as an actor.

Brandon

He was gorgeous and in my five-year-old mind, I was convinced that I would marry him and we would fight the bad guys together (I wasn’t aware that movies are typically fictional… anyhow). He was my Romeo.

Brandon drawing

As I grew older and more aware, I became addicted to Entertainment Tonight. I remember looking forward to seeing the movie that would later be one of my favorites but was symbolic of my life at the time.

Brandon the Romantic

The Crow perfectly represented my state of mind during that period. So badly, I wanted to find a hero that would inspire me to be invincible. Despite being a feisty and sporty kid, I was facing some bullying at the time. Brandon was my hero.

His interview on the set was inspiring for me. He was so calm and philosophical.

Brandon Lee last interview video

I was looking forward to the movie, daydreaming about the script and everything. I felt I just needed wings to fly freely without fear.

Drawing by Eric Draven

In 2018, when you watch Brandon’s interviews, his poetic way of telling us a story and explaining the meaning of life is actually a beautiful legacy that he left for us.

The beauty of legacy is that it can go on and on, from generation to generation.

Brandon’s sister is one of the people that is making sure the legacy of her family will still go on. Like me, Shannon is the baby sister to her big brother.

Lee Family

She was close to him and probably got teased by him, as is the main criterion of having a big brother. We know the expression ”Brotherly love” but Bro and Sisterly love are the best one.

Shannon is proud of her father’s and brother’s legacies and of her own.

Shannon Lee 2

Shannon Lee Ted Talk Be An Action Hero video

Shannon is creative, dynamic and special. She is a very proud sister.

What is next for Shannon?

Shannon Lee

Actually, you should check out her podcast: The Bruce Lee Podcast. It’s insightful and really well-made.

https://nerdist.com/bruce-lee-podcast-91-brandon-lee/

When Brandon died, I felt lost. I would no longer experience his way of explaining something as he did in that interview with such grace.

But, years later, I read this quote from Brandon somewhere and it’s been one of my mantras ever since:

”Immortality is to live your life doing good things and leaving your mark behind”

 Brandon Lee quote

Legacies are never lost.

Brandon Lee Chronicle Collage

Written by Sabine Demosthenes

https://www.brucelee.com

 

Hoops

Monday, March 26th, 2018; I got back into elementary school mode. I grabbed my backpack and instead of textbooks, I filled it up with camera gear. As I walked down the elementary school hallway, I realized how small the locker seemed compared to 26 years earlier. I was all excited like I was 5 years old again.

March 26th 2018 Westmount Park Elementary School

When I opened the gym door, I saw the 15th woman to become a player on one of the oldest basketball team of all time shooting hoops.

As I sat on the bench preparing my stuff, Brianna “Hoops” Green gave me a quick “Wassup!” as we exchange some funny comments on Instagram.

Hoops and The Chronicle

She is, no doubt, an influencer with 90.7 K followers on Instagram alone!

In Westmount Park Elementary School, she was greeted like a rock star. I saw the stars in some of the students’ eyes. I remember that reaction perfectly as a long time ago, I was one of those kids.

Hoops Green and the Westmount Park kids

“Hoops”, as we call her, is a Harlem Globetrotters player. She is living her dream, doing the thing she liked the most since she was four years old. On top of that, she is an inspiration, putting smiles on those sweet little faces from all around the world.

Briana ''Hoops'' Green

Since I am becoming older and not necessarily wiser, I have a preconception that young men and women in their late teens and early twenties all have this “Kardashian” attitude and selfishness.

 

Yes, I may encounter an of few of them, but I’m realizing that there is an army of inspiring young men and women that have the desire to give back to society by being a good person. Some are hoping for and working toward a better future.

One that is not about the best selfie and how many likes they get on social media, but about compassion, kindness, and hard work.

Hope Green is certainly one of them!

Westmount Park Elementary School with Brianna Green
Written by Sabine Demosthenes

Briana Green on Instagram

http://www.harlemglobetrotters.com/hoops

What’s next for Stephanie McMahon?

When you can say that one of your childhood friend and hero was in the Princess Bride movie and he is one of the most legendary wrestling figures of all time?

Andre the Giant and Stephanie McMahon

In my book, you are one of the coolest people alive!

Princess Bride

This exact same kid that grew up to be one of the great leaders of our time. During my teenage years, as a wrestling fan, I couldn’t stand the sight of her.

Because of her onscreen character of course. She played the role of a spoiled, snobby daddy’s girl so well. At that point, I was still young and couldn’t differentiate between a fictional character and the person playing the role… Now that I have grown up (now almost 35), I asked myself this question: what made me change my perception of this woman, the perception I had over all those years?

Stephanie McMahon

Yes, I grew up, but over the years, I read some interviews and saw others and I realized, my oh my, I have more in common with her than I ever could have imagined.

This woman is Stephanie McMahon.

She is the COO of the World Wrestling Entertainment.

Stephanie McMahon Leadership

Stephanie couldn’t be more different than the character she is portraying, but she does have something in common with The Million Dollar Princess.

She is ambitious!

Even since she was small, she wanted to be part of the family business.

Young Stephanie

For myself, I never really wanted to be in the family business (entertainment manager of Haitian talent), but I knew I wanted to create something parallel or inspire my father dreams. I was the little helper at the house whenever we had some theatrical rehearsal in our living room (I was the bell girl). I would listen to every business phone call that my father had, I would sometimes even go to meetings with my father. In a way, Stephanie had a similar path.

McMahon

From a young age, she was learning all the different aspects of the empire her parents had created. She couldn’t deny that wrestling would be a big part of her life.

What I have admired Stephanie over the years is the fact that she has encouraged everyone to be a good leader. Not only that, she wanted to give back too. You could see it in her genuine nature; when she met young fans or whenever she spoke about the Connor’s Cure Foundation.

Connor's Cure

That, for me, is a real leader.

Connor, our hero

Honestly, when I saw her during the Attitude Era, my eyes were rolling. But now, when I read or I see an interview, my eyes are wide open and I’m listening.

When she says she was bullied and she finds it hard sometimes to read tweets on her Tweeter feed, we are seeing the real Stephanie McMahon. I learned all of it on the Lillian Garcia Podcast. It is a must!

NOH8

McMahon is a mom. She is a woman that wants to be part of the change in our society, contributing to a revolution, not only in the square circle but in the boardroom too.

We can witness her achievements by just watching the Women’s Revolution in the WWE.

The evolution of us

The fact that she is balancing being a boss lady, a wife, a mother and a leader all at once is admirable.

What can we expect from Stephanie McMahon in 2018?

I guess this question should be answered by the one and only Stephanie McMahon herself, but I will write about what I expect from her in 2018.

I expect Stephanie to continue to bring smiles to faces, especially children. I hope when Raw comes to Montreal in a few weeks, kids from Montreal Hospitals, like Sainte-Justine Hospital (I was born there in the 80s; they saved my life as a premature baby) could maybe have one of their wishes granted from one of the WWE Superstars.

Stephanie and children

I expect her to continue making waves as a woman in an executive role. She didn’t have it easy getting to where she is now, as some people may wonder. She works hard, or even harder, as the boss’s daughter. I can relate to that.

I love to end my post with a question, and I ask this one directly to Stephanie :

What does Stephanie McMahon expect from herself in 2018?

S. McMahon

Stephanie McMahon on Twitter

http://www.wwe.com/superstars/stephanie-mcmahon

Written by Sabine Demosthenes

A prayer for Darfur

I’m asking myself this question:

Why am I complaining about winter and worrying about other superficial things when I am living in a war-free country, while there could be a woman, just like me, wondering if she will breathe her last breath within the next five minutes, in somewhere like Darfur.

By asking myself this question, I am ashamed that I sometimes worry about the stupidest little things; but at the same time, I’m asking myself what can I do about it?

First of all, when I turn on my television scroll through my Facebook feed or some news outlet app, why aren’t the atrocities that are happening all over the world the first things I see?

In Montreal, I don’t hear much about the fact that hundreds of people are losing their homes, not in a hurricane, but because of their government and its greediness.

But instead of focusing on why, I said I have a platform to talk about it. Not as an expert, because I’m not, but as a human being who hopes to one day live in a peaceful world where everyone is equal. (I hear you guys saying keep dreaming girl!)

Sudanese Children

When two journalists have been assaulted a few weeks ago, they did mention it on the news, for what? 10 seconds? There weren’t any follow ups or more questions asked by the news reporter. I wasn’t mad, but I was disappointed.

Are we so obsessed with this man, representing America and his rallies, that we are oblivious to the suffering of human beings in a vulnerable place?

I guess we must ask ourselves this question and be honest with ourselves.

When you are not an expert on a subject, the right thing to do is to reach out to an organization that wants to point out the atrocity and clears it up.

The Enough Project is my go-to resource.

Enough

I am reading more about what is going on through John Prendergast’s essay, I am still not an expert on the subject, but I feel better informed.

It is a foundation whose main focus is to end genocide and crimes against humanity in conflicted areas of Africa.

John Prendergast is the driving force behind this beautiful project he co-founded with Gayle Smith in 2007.

John Prendergast

Enough Project has several active campaigns to raise awareness of the violence and injustice going on in the countries that the News outlets here do not spend much time on.

https://enoughproject.org/op-eds/u-s-news-world-report-op-ed-dont-remove-sudan-terrorism-list

I still won’t be the most politics-savvy person on this planet, but I do think if we talk about it, point out the bad guys and what they are doing, and continue hoping that kindness may one day conquer the world, maybe we can start something.

Maybe we don’t need the big news outlets such as CNN, BBC, RDI, CNBC, Fox News (oh lord, don’t get me started about Fox News!) and others to get the word out.

Maybe we will be the ones that will get the word out that Enough is enough!

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/central-african-republic/2018-03-14/key-making-peace-africa

John Prendergast Africa

Written by Sabine Demosthenes

https://enoughproject.org

The Story of 100 Aisles … Kobe Bryant

I awoke Monday morning with my typical Monday attitude : grumpy. The first thing I do in the morning, before even realizing which day it is, is read the news. 

Morning ritual

The posting on the ESPN website really woke me up. Kobe won an Oscar?! Suddenly, I was awake!! Like the smell of bacon cooking in the kitchen; my brain cells were all alive and firing on all cylinders. 

To make a story very short, I was never, not ever a Kobe Bryant Fan. Not even during my teenage years (1996 until 2000). Why wasn’t I a Kobe fan, despite finding him cute and sexy? 

One word… 

Arrogance! 

AFP TOPSHOTSBKN-NBA-FINAL-LAKERS-MAGIC S BKO USA FL

He was cocky! He wanted to emulate Michael Jordan, but even if Jordan could occaisonally be an asshole while playing, the next thing you knew, he would be a gentleman with his teammates after a game, playing poker with them. 

With Kobe, it’s a different scenario. I understand so much, Kobe being a loner as some say. And that’s okay. I’m a loner myself. But, don’t be an asshole and don’t be selfish until your last game.  

So waking up with one of the athletes that I do respect because damn the guy is one of the greatest but will he put into our face a I’m was many time a MVP player in the NBA and now, I’m a Oscar winner and his cockiness will be again in display? 

So my morning wasn’t as sunny and bright as it could have been with this news. I told myself – “Please Sab be objective on this one, maybe he does deserve this recognition. Maybe his short animated film is good. “ 

Kobe Bryant Oscar 2018

Then, I read that his film, “Dear Basketball”, is actually a short autobiography. Quickly, I wondered if he would recognize that he wasn’t always a gentleman and class act. Will his film depict that he is a man with flaws and will he acknowledge some of the awful things he did as a human being and as a man to his peers, his adversaries and to some women?  

Kobe Bryant Dear Basketball

All those questions were in my head and I couldn’t wait to watch it, but I was a little bit scared of watching it. 

Scared? Me?! How come? 

I was scared that I would like it and become more objective toward Kobe. 

Guess what?  

I truly watched his movie from an artistic point of view and not as a feminist, or with an anti-Kobe basketball fan attitude. At the end, I was happy to be more objective. 

I do have faith that we can all change for the better. 

For me, Kobe always seemed very self-conscious about his image (like one of my exes) and he wanted to be portrayed as the perfect guy. 

I always put Kobe in my ‘phony people’ box. His attitude toward the incident in July 2003, his relationship with Shaquille O’Neal (Now, they have made peace. Yeah! for the Lakers fans) but even, his last game as a NBA player was all about him and I’m sorry, but LeBron is and will always be the team player of the two of them.

LeBron James, Kobe Bryant

All of those examples made me wonder if Kobe truly would be different as a writer. 

Will he always be all about him and this perfect guy persona, with the perfect family, the perfect career and now, the perfect Oscar? 

Maybe I got a glimpse of my answer while watching his Oscar acceptance speech. I was pleasantly surprised that he was surprised and that he wanted to break this athletic dogma that says a basketball player, for example, can just dribble and shut up.  

No! 

An athlete can be as artistic, as smart and articulate as an artist, a scientist or a journalist. For that, I do applaud Kobe for pointing it out during his acceptance speech .

Now, maybe Kobe can show his vulnerability and his true self through writing and being a storyteller. I watched “Dear Basketball” and I love the narrative, the drawing and seeing this little 6 year old boy dreaming and being mesmerized by this beautiful game.

Young Kobe dreaming

You could see, even in such a short movie, the fact that he was a very dedicated student. But, I wish the short film would have shown a little bit more vulnerability. Again, it is a short animated film, but, I want to see the real Kobe. Not the perfect Kobe image. I want to read, for once, an essay about how he truly sees himself, with all the glory and with all the imperfections and mistakes he made along the way. Or, he could do it in the same pattern he did “Dear Basketball” with an animated concept. He is a very smart man and I discovered an artist inside him.  

I could write a Ph.D thesis on how complex Kobe’s character is and slowly, we would see a different Kobe. Easily, I could have gone into talking about what happened in 2003. At the height of his career, there were allegations against this young man about being stupid and not being a gentleman toward a woman. He seemed to have been remorseful, and the allegations were settled but still, I cannot forget about it and how disappointed I was, even though he wasn’t my favorite player. 

But I am slowly discovering a different Kobe Bryant. 

We are discovering a man that lived his dreams to the fullest and with passion, but he may have discovered other passions that will unleash his true self. Maybe now, he will share his vulnerability, his disappointment and his mistakes, not by making a press conference, not by doing a one-on-one interview, but by writing a story. 

I’m ready to see this artist emerge with an open heart. I will watch as he crafts his new platform for showing us himself through a movie or a story. 

Yes, I’m willing to see it and be amazed by the story. 

How did a young introverted, black man grow up in Italy to became one of the greatest athletes of all time? 

Will Kobe let us discover the real Kobe Bryant? 

 Young Kobe

 https://dearbasketball.com

Written by Sabine Demosthenes

 

Dumas, Le Grand!

Pour certains et certaines, vous allez trouver que ça m’a pris du temps à écrire ma critique du nouvel album de Dumas quand ça va faire bientôt une semaine que la sortie a eu lieu.

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La raison de ce retard est très simple. Je ne pouvais pas m’arrêter de l’écouter en boucle et d’en être reconnaissant à sa juste valeur vu que je suis une amoureuse de l’art musical.

La qualité sonore, le côté “storytelling” de ses paroles accrocheur et le charme incontournable de Dumas font que cet album est à mon plus humble avis, un des meilleurs albums de 2018.

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Nous avons eu un petit avant-goût la semaine dernière lors de son lancement.

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On en demandait encore plus de temps à être avec lui dans ce beau petit univers qu’il a créé.

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Nous sommes très gâtés puisque le maestro Dumas entame déjà sa tournée.

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Je vais continuer à écouter Nos Idéaux en boucle pour encore un long moment.

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Je suis conquise!

Dumas musique sur Instagram

http://www.dumasmusique.ca

Écrit par Sabine Démosthènes