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International Awareness of 'Desert Flower' & Waris Dirie

Based on a best-selling novel of the same name, “Desert Flower” tells the real-life story of Waris Dirie from Somalia. After being circumcised as a toddler and then sold by her father at the age of 13 to be the fourth wife of an older man, she fled Africa and then worked as a maidservant.

Monday  Movie Meme,A to Z Challenge
Waris Dirie was later discovered by a fashion photographer and went on to become an supermodel. Instead of discussing her experience of going from poverty to walking down runways around the world, she tells her story of being mutilated at five years of age (or 6 or 3? some sources, including the film's website differ on the exact age and while I do have the Desert Flower book that was published, I didn't read it yet) in the Somali desert.

The “Desert Flower” movie focuses on childhood trauma, womanhood and many other important issues that are relevant behind the fame, fortune and glamour of this particular high fashion model. It is something worth watching because the story not only reminds us how different our cultures are but at the most basic level, we are all human beings who should understand how certain experiences such as what the Waris Dirie went though change women's lives forever. “Desert Flower” stars actress (and Goodwill ambassador for maternal health) Liya Kebede and is presented by National Geographic.
Monday  Movie Meme,A to Z Challenge
It is Now Playing in select cities in the U.S. and other places around the world. The producers and/or National Geographic encourages those who wish to see this movie to call their local movie theaters and request it if it is not available on your area.

Here are the upcoming Dates:

April 1, 2011
Irvine, CA at Westpark 8
Palm Desert, CA at Cinémas Palme d'Or
San Rafael, CA at San Rafael Regency
Chicago, IL at East River 21
Portland, OR at Fox Tower Stadium 10
Houston, TX at Edwards Greenway
Palace Seattle, WA at Pacific Place 11

April 8, 2011
Boise, ID at The Flicks
Boston, MA at Kendall Square 9
Charlotte, NC at Regal Cinemas Manor Twin
Monday  Movie Meme,A to Z Challenge
I chose to highlight this “Desert Flower” movie as a part of this week's Moday Movie meme because The Bumbles selected a topics about flowers. This blog post also features “Desert Flower” because Waris Dirie worked as an ambassador for the United Nations to speak out against genital mutilation, bringing an international element to the movie.....which can be in tune with my choice to make “I” stand for “International” during this year's A to Z Challenge.

Maybe I also posted this because when I received a message about it screening in a local theater, I was shocked about this new movie coming out...not because of the subject matter but because it was based on a book that someone told me to read a long time ago and it still sits in my apartment collecting dust (that was figurative, not literal....the book is in very good shape).


What do YOU think?

Is this a human right's issue that all countries should be concerned about?

Should those who do no live in countries where this is a normal practice ignore the subject?

Should there be just as much effort to spread awareness about the effects, if any, of male circumcision as there is about the handling of little girls in Africa who are being mutiliated by people who do not have any medical experience to perform such an act?

Should female circumscision be accepted so long as it is performed by medical professionals in a doctor's office, hospital or other medical setting?

Monday  Movie Meme,A to Z Challenge
When I was in school studying film, I was approached by a fellow student who I believe was from New York City, to write a screenplay for this movie. She claimed to know Waris and is the reason why I bought the book (because I wanted to figure out what this was all about) but many, (MANY!) years later....I still haven't opened it up to read even one page of it.....and now I sorta wish that I took it more seriously.

Then again, things (supposedly) happen for a reason, right? Maybe this girl didn't know Waris and was trying to make a movie of her own based on the book. Maybe she wanted me to write the screenplay so that she could sell it for another project or to gain industry connections for future projects. Or, maybe she was for real and I missed out on an opportunity.


No one will ever know!

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FAME! - What Does it Mean to YOU?

Bonus Post,Sunday Posts
Despite it's clear definition as either a person's reputation or public acclaim, the term "Fame" is still perceived differently by many people. For example, a guy who does a weekly radio show may receive the benefits of fame among people in his hometown but if he travels to another area, locals may not be as familiar with him. Someone like Howard Stern, however, is probably more recognized in many areas thoughout the country. So, that brings me to the question......what does Fame mean to YOU?

This is what it means to me, or at least what it means to me at the moment:

F – “Footloose”, “Flashdance” and “Friends.” The movies come to mind because I think they represent fame on a local level, as the characters make a name for themselves through activities that they enjoy. This kind of defines that whole “do what you love” notion that those business experts and motivation speakers like to promote while also reminding viewers about one of the simplest joys in life.

The “Friends” TV show is important because so many people try to become these celebrities with million dollar paychecks and busloads of fans while the people who really matter are their friends. Fame can bring you the wrong friends while real friendships can make you feel famous, even if you're not because real friendships are genuine, so that is more valuable than a spotlight and red carpet treatment.

A – Always in the spotlight. Speaking of “spotlight,” It's unbelievable how far that paparazzi goes with getting into every little bit of the professional and personal lives of celebrities. Some people I know think that the celebrities asked for it and cannot complain because they chose to be in the splotlight. Other people I know think that the pararazzi and mass media take things too far and are invasive when it comes to the lives of celebrities. Me...I'm on the fenze regarding this subject because I tend to agree with both of these perspectives depending on the situation.

For example, I don't think that we really need to be told about what is going on with Charlie Sheen and his children but I do not mind learning that he is trying to sue the people at CBS or “Two and a Half Men” while also demanding a higher salary to return to the show. The latter is important because how this plays out may affect business dealings and the development or production of entertainment shows in the future....on CBS or any other network, much like what happened in Egypt had an impact on other countries.

Bonus Post,Sunday Posts
M - Money. Fame has a type of social currency that you can't really buy anywhere. People either like you or they don't like you, which is similar to money. Fame can help someone earn more money or receive more money but it can also cause people to lose money as well.

A hit song could make an upcoming singer or musician a very rich person, especially if the person parlays his or her newfound fame into some endorsement deals or live appearances to boost revenue. On the flip side, a pizza restaurant that has mice on the premises could lose money if customers start complaining and they do nothing about it. This, or any other business then becomes known for poor business practices and neglecting the necessary tasks to do what is best for their customers.

E – Eagerness. Have you ever been to a retail store where the cashier has such an attitude that it seems like this employee hates his or her job? This is what I think about when it seems like Fame is not for everyone. It is not difficult to notice whether people enjoy what they do or not....unless they are really good at hiding it....kind of like actors, I guess? A filmmaking buddy of mine and avid movie fan was recently turned away by an actor who refused to sign his movie still. I would think that the celebrity actor would be delighted that a fan of his work was excited to meet him, but I guess not.

How does this all relate to “eagernees” you ask? Well, it's like this.....if we are not eager about ourselves or our work, business, interests, goals, hobbies, etc. then it will be difficult to convince others to be. People will be just about as eager as YOU are about whatever it is that you want to put out into the world.

So, there's my perception of Fame.

Now it's your turn.

What does FAME mean to YOU!

*This is a Bonus post that I wrote for the A to Z challenge this weekend because I forgot that we were up to "H" and didn't realize that I already posted an interview for the letter "F" earlier in the week. Since we're skipping Sundays during the challenge, I'm adding this as a bonus post.

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Head Honcho D'Onofrio

Give me an “H”!
Give me an “E”!
Give me a “A”!
Give me a “D”!

King Dong,A to Z Challenge

Now what does that spell?

HEAD...for The Madlab Post's new Head Honcho.....Vincent D'Onofrio!
King Dong,A to Z Challenge
Join me in congratulating this oh-so-talented and oh-so-sexy “Kill the Irishman” and “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” actor in becoming our King Dong of April 2011. He won by a majority vote of 2-0, supported by his fans participating in the A to Z Challenge. Subsequent posts on this blog will be dedicated to Vincent D'Onofrio every weekend throughout the month. He may also be the subject of posts on random weekdays during April, at my discretion.

Who rocks the tube,
I said D'Onofrio rocks the tube
and when D'Onofrio rocks the tube
he rocks it all the way down.

Who rocks the (big) screen.
I said D'Onofrio rocks the (big) screen
and when D'Oofrio rocks the (big) screen
he rocks it all the way down.

Make sure to watch him on "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" Season 10 when it premieres Sunday, May 1st at 9/8c on USA!