“Ultimately, we are each responsible in a time of stress and trauma to hold that ground. Each person must be able to hold the ground on which they are standing. If the ground is not solid, you can’t stand on it. Not having a spiritual base, not acknowledging the greatness of God, not saying we can’t do this without God, we had no solid ground. Instead, we turned against God, and how you gonna win like that? You have to have a moral imperative to win.” -Afeni Shakur
“I’m for the individual as opposed to the corporation. The way it is, the individual is the underdog, and with all the things a corporation has going for them an individual comes out banged on the head. The artist is nothing. It’s really tragic.” -Marilyn Monroe
I want to have a frank conversation about an inner sickness that I see few, if any, addressing: how and why Hollywood creates a f***ed-up mirror for you to look in. How you are seeing yourself through your own eyes, but perhaps not your own mind. Hollywood affects your life in ways you may not even be aware of.
In my past of being sold as a product, I have been a part of massaging your brain. I wiggled into your mind professionally. I was the cigarette the advertisers told you you needed. I’ve also been on the other side of the looking glass. Watching you. Studying you. Impersonating you. All of us in Hollywood, media, and advertising do. And you know what? We are really good at it. We have had it drilled into us how best to be marketed to you. How best to be sold to you. How to implant what “we” want into your brain, into your thoughts, into your wallet. And it works. You’re sold a fake reality all for the rock-bottom price of $14.
The men who thought they owned me think that they own you. They are the latest in a long line of myth peddlers, from the men behind the Bible to these modern-day ‘content-creators.’ They’re mostly self-aggrandizing, egomaniacal abusers of power. And they’ve never been more dangerous. Few in Hollywood, and no actress that I can recall, has gone rogue. Hollywood operates like the Mafia when it comes to protecting its own. Especially if your ‘own’ is a rich white male. Yes, I said it. But here’s the thing, it’s true. I didn’t make it so, it just is. In other news, the sky is blue.
By telling some of my story, I aim to shine a light. For those who think Hollywood is a silly joke…it’s not. It’s a deadly serious business and one that keep its winnings. You may think it’s as simple as forking over hard-earned cash for a night out at the movies or paying a cable bill to be entertained. I’m here to tell you the price you are paying is much higher than you know. You are paying with your mind, your behavior, and your patterns. Things that should have no price tag. In our as-seen-on-TV society, the simple fact is that what you have watched and consumed, from birth, has formed you and continues to form you. Even those who’ve opted out of its false reality have to stay vigilant to remain free from the lies and from the messages that do far more harm than they should. Because they are insidious, and they are everywhere.” -Rose McGowan
“Since those who believe they need a hero/celebrity outnumber the actual heroes/celebrities, people feel safe and comfortably justified in numbers, committing egregious crimes in the name of the greater social ego, ironically diminishing their own true hero-celebrity nature in the process.” -Lauryn Hill
“Quiet time. I must have directness and self-confidence to triumph over my surroundings. God gave me a gift and he meant for me to use it. He did not mean for me to waste my time…I must pray for help in difficulties I now face. I must have strength of character, courage, and determination.” – Philippa Schuyler
“I could always talk. My problem was knowing when to shut up. Articulating my feelings was never a problem. But I don’t believe artists are cultivated like corn or cotton. Artists are messengers from God. They get here on earth and express themselves because of Him.” -Afeni Shakur
“Tupac had a voice. The one thing he didn’t have was subtlety. If he had continued on the same path he had been on, someone who have taken him out. He as disruptive, and he was a threat. He was a threat to the establishment. I don’t know who took him out. But whoever took him out took out someone very important who could have dome a lot for African Americans and humanity as a whole.”
It was love that sustained and lifted me during a fragile and frightening time in my life. Love led me when I couldn’t see my way out. Love carried me when I couldn’t take another step. When my hunger was insatiable, love fed and filled me. Love comforted me when I was sick and hurting. Love kept me sane, focused, and steady- all day long, all night through.
Love brought me back.”- Natalie Cole