Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Brighton, a fashion accessories company has created a special bracelet for the Give Peace a Chance Campaign during the month of July. Certainly Brighton with their high quality product line is interested in corporate philanthropy and giving back and they seem to have a good track record. Since 2005 they have donated nearly $814,000 for the American Heart Association’s Go Red campaign. They also created a hope and encouragement bracelet to help rid the world of breast cancer and contributed over $1.7 million from the sales of those bracelets.

When you purchase the Peace bracelet, $5 from your $50 purchase goes to one of the participating charities of your choice. The charities include: Seeds of Peace, Women for Women, US Cares and Action Against Hunger.

I purchased my bracelet at lovely store called Necessities for the Heart and love it! Brighton accessories are well-designed, and high quality wearable works of art. Find participating retailers.

Monday, July 09, 2007


Youth and gang violence is seen as serious and growing problem by many New Jerseyans. A majority of state residents say that gangs are either active in their town now or likely to become active in the next 5 years, although a sizable number have a blind spot about gang activity, especially in the suburbs. The latest Monmouth University Poll also found that most NJ residents feel news coverage of youth violence does more to exacerbate rather than help the problem.

What Causes Gang Activity?
Substance use (87%), the breakdown of families (86%), the availability of weapons (82%), and the presence of gangs (81%) lead the list of causes of youth violence. Socio-economic issues such as poverty (74%), lack of recreational or mentoring opportunities (62%) and lack of jobs (58%) are also important factors. The amount of violence in the popular media is considered a major factor by 51% of state residents.

The public feels the news media does little to help the problem:
* 54% say the news media tend to sensationalize its reporting of youth violence;
* 41% feel the media make the problem appear bigger than it actually is, while 26% feel that the problem is under-reported by the media;
* 57% say that media coverage of violent acts encourages others to do the same; and
* 70% say the media do not devote enough coverage to stories about the causes of youth violence.

The Role of the News Media
The news media plays an important role in informing the public about youth violence. However, NJ residents give newspapers, radio and TV news generally negative reviews in how they handle this function. A majority of 54% believe that the media tends to sensationalize its reporting of youth violence episodes, compared to only 37% who feel they report these events objectively.

Furthermore, residents are split on whether the media’s overall coverage of the youth violence issue accurately portrays the extent of the problem. A plurality of 41% feel that the media make it appear that youth violence and gang activity is a bigger problem than it actually is, compared to 26% who feel that the problem is under-reported by the media. Only 21% feel the news media accurately portrays the extent of the problem.

New Jerseyans also feel that current news reporting on youth violence tends to do more harm than good. Specifically, 57% feel that media coverage of violent acts encourages others to do the same as a way to gain notoriety among their peers. Only 40% disagree with this view.

Residents would like to see the media spend more time covering stories that counter typical images of youth violence. Specifically, overwhelming majorities say the media does not devote enough coverage to stories about urban youth who do positive things in their communities (84%), stories about people and programs that help prevent violence and gangs (83%), and stories about the causes of youth violence (70%).

51% of parents asked never talked about gangs with their kids.

Friday, July 06, 2007


One of the funniest and the most creative shows I've seen in a long time is HBO's Flight of the Conchords. It merges sitcom humor with MTV style music video together in one—and it's just great. The show is about two New Zealand musicians who along with their agent try to get gigs to make it in the Big City. Their fan base consists of one married groupie who follows them when they leave the house. When they get mugged they just break into a song. There's only 4 episodes so far, but I'm looking forward to seeing more. Would love to get their music. Really terrific.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

The Bratz Movie. Fishnet Stockings and Feather Boas?

The big-headed, big lipped, wide-eyed and sexy (some call slutty) Bratz dolls, a new generation of dolls developed in 2001 are making their way to the large screen this summer. According to the American Psychological Association (APA) "Bratz dolls come dressed in sexualized clothing such as miniskirts, fishnet stockings, and feather boas ... It is worrisome when dolls designed specifically for 4- to 8-year-olds are associated with an objectified adult sexuality." The APA created a Task force on the Sexualization of Girls.

Bratz dolls offer an extraordinary case study for “Passion for Fashion” doll branding and media in the U.S. They are well represented in Wikipedia with their development and multi-media history—wonder how their entry got there. The team at the toy company has been very sharp at promoting these dolls with 2D animation movies and continuing to come up with new figures including boyfriends for the dolls. Ok, so how’s this all different than Barbie and Ken? It’s really not. Competition is healthy and Bratz is using an entire arsenal of media ventures to promote the brand. No different than any other consumer product.

But let’s get back to the movie. So now Bratz dolls are turning real. The Bratz movie is all about being anything you want to be—not being in a clique. Perhaps that’s oversimplifying. Oh--they also want to win a talent contest. The movie has Angelie Jolie’s father, Jon Voight as the school Principal and American Idol’s Paula Abdul. Of course there’s a soundtrack, including a Black Eyed Peas song, Express Yourself. According to the producer, Avi Arad "There's nothing in the movie you wouldn't want your 5-year-old to see, there are a lot of great life lessons." It all happens August 3rd. According to Chelsea Staub, 18, a Hollywood newcomer, "I think parents will be impressed." Hmm. I wonder.