Wednesday, May 23, 2007
This video aired on VH1's "Rock Docs" special that featured Left Eye from TLC. Her friend in the passenger's seat caught the accident on camera.
It's kinda eerie. She was the only one wearing a seatbelt (lap belt), yet she was the only one killed; None of her friends really know what caused the crash, yet they all screamed before the car veered off the road; and Lisa seemed extremely calm during the whole thing--not to mention the fact that whoever was shooting the film never put the camera down before impact.
It's very strange.
The bigger question is was it right for this tape to be released to the public? Is it right to broadcast someone's last moments and re-open her family's, friends' and fans' wounds?
Below is a piece written by Neely Tucker of the Washington Post. In it she discusses the VH1 documentary which Lopes had filmed, and also analyzes her mental state during her last days while on her "spiritual retreat" in Honduras.
In life, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, the "L" in the pop group TLC, was probably best known for burning down the Atlanta mansion of her boyfriend, NFL star Andre Rison.
In death, after she was killed in a car crash in Honduras in 2002, she was again famous for something other than singing, when a picture of her corpse was a morbid Internet sensation briefly before it was taken down.
Tonight at 9, VH1 and VH1 Soul debuts "Last Days of Left Eye," a 90-minute documentary that includes a clip of the fatal wreck, shot from inside the car. Lopes was filming a documentary about herself and a camera operator was sitting in the passenger seat when Lopes lost control of the SUV she was driving. The last sound is Lopes screaming. The last thing filmed is the onrushing ditch where her car would crash.
It has the awful rubbernecking quality of any wreck you see on the highway, and we can only imagine how quickly it's going to be posted on video-sharing Web sites.
But whatever the grotesqueries involved in watching a pretty young woman die, it's fair to say the 30-year-old Lopes would have wanted you to see it. In a career downturn after personal upheavals and alienating her band mates, Lopes had taken a camera crew to Honduras to document a 30-day self-styled spiritual retreat with friends and family. She opened up her mind, body and thought to the camera, sometimes to cringe-inducing effect.
The wreck clip was included with her family's consent, and director Lauren Lazin ("Tupac: Resurrection") says that after viewing more than 200 hours of raw footage she was convinced that Lopes would have wanted it that way.
"She embraced just showing everything," Lazin said in a telephone interview this week. "She talks about death in a very different way. I don't think she was looking forward to it, but she saw it as a transition to another state of being, and I tried to use that in the film."
The show is much too long, but TLC fans will get a recap of the group's career, along with footage of Lopes growing up in Philadelphia, and plenty of her beliefs about numerology, astrology and herbal dieting. Perhaps more of the latter than you want to see. We're thinking of the scene in which she forces members of an aspiring girl group who've come along on the retreat to drink her foul-tasting concoctions, until one of them says, "Sorry," and vomits on camera.
Lopes was at her best onstage, where her mugging and impish personality were framed by the restrictions of a four-minute song. She wrote the rap parts of the group's 1990s string of hits (which were produced by LA Reid and Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds) and provided the group's edginess. On their 1994 disc, "CrazySexyCool," Lopes was the "crazy" one.
It wasn't entirely an act. As she reflects on film, she burned Rison's house amid a series of violent arguments about fidelity. As a means of proclaiming her love for him, she carved "Love" into her forearm with a razor while serving time in alcohol rehab after that incident. When he didn't visit her as often as she wanted -- this just after she burned his house down -- she carved "Hate" over it.
"Look how nice it came out," she says at one point in the retreat, holding up her arm for the camera.
As the show progresses, the degree of her narcissism and turbulent thought patterns becomes achingly clear. She's riding in a car that hits and kills a 10-year-old boy, and her analysis of this tragedy is that a spirit chasing her killed the boy instead. She holds up the dead boy's shoes for the camera and muses that his name was Lopez, like hers. A clip of her on MTV a year or so before her death shows her proudly describing the 40-day fast she's on as part of her "self-cleansing" regimen. What was most clear was how ill she looked.
This was clearly a talented, troubled young woman who needed serious counseling, not to be playing nude in the Honduran rain forest, talking about how she always wanted to be "in the jungle, naked, friends with all the animals."
It's a pity she never found the peace she so clearly sought. Instead, we have her life, loss, fame and early demise all caught on film.
Truly, sadly, the way things are now.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Dear Intelligent and...Not-so Intelligent Readers:
Your boy will be going to Las Vegas for the weekend. I'm going to cut to the chase: I want to win money!
I'm sure that someone out there has been to Vegas and has some tips for the kid on what games to play and tips on winning big. So to any and all Intelligent Ignorance readers that can put me onto some game, please drop some knowledge on me.
In addition, please share any suggestions on sites, clubs, corners, curbs, bathroom stalls etc. that I ABSOLUTELY have to visit while I'm there.
Your suggestions and comments will be greatly appreciated (or despised if I come home broke...don't do that to me).
Sunday, May 13, 2007
I ran across this tidbit on another blog. I'm not really one to speak on disposable news, but I couldn't pass this one up. Apparently, research has shown that 50 Cent was only shot 3 times, as opposed to the 9 times that he so heavily claims. Check out the above police report and article written on 5/14/2000 (before the 50 Cent campaign began) confirming him getting shot only 3 times.
Now don't get me wrong-- getting shot once is bad enough, but there is a big difference between getting hit 3 times vs. 9 times. In a culture dominated by street credibility, I guess 50 Cent (who borrowed the name from a deceased neighborhood hitman of the same name) wanted to capitalize off of the experience and use the bigger number for marketing purposes. It worked!
What baffles me, however, is how he has become wildly successful by rapping about shooting and killing more people in the streets than Rambo, yet he's famous for being a victim of gunfire and not actually really shooting anybody. Seems a little ironic to me.
I guess to that kid in surburbia, it's really neato to go on a ghetto safari by purchasing a glossy, celophane-wrapped record of a real, live crack dealer from da streets whose "bullets will splatter your brains all over the sidewalk." Not to mention the fact that he was shot 9 times! Wow! He's REALLY Hard!
Hey guys...how about everybody come over to my house this weekend. We'll shoot each other once, tell everybody that we were shot 6 times, and then become rappers!
Who's with me????
Ignorance: The above post
Friday, May 11, 2007
This post comes from a good female friend of mine that we'll call serialblogger. In it, she poses the question of why is masturbation so taboo? Please share your thoughts.
Masturbation is one of those things that people talk about but supposedly noone does. One would think that since the turn of the sexual revolution it would be more commonplace to talk about and not just when it involves humiliating someone else. We live in an age where there is a market that longs to fulfill the sexual desire of any person without the need of a partner. From toys and props to pornography down to good old fashion KY, (or Jergens for those men who won't admit they use lube); the fact is that there are venues and outlets for anyone who is looking to have a good old fashion time with themselves. So why is it that there is still a sense of public shame when it comes to the act of self love?
Masturbation is OK! As a matter of fact, it's the safest sex that you could ever have. You should only question it's usefulness if it starts to interfere with...say, your livelihood. If you are spending a lot of your time masturbating and it is interfering with your school work, your job, or the rest of your life, only then might you want to stop and think about why you are doing it so much. A person can become obsessed with anything.
Let's face it, this is something that we have all tried at one point in time of our lives, and for some it has become a ritual as regular as brushing our teeth and washing our face; but for others it is an event that comes sparsely and is followed by extreme feelings of guilt and shame. Is it a cultural thing that tells us that sex is private and to admit that we masturbate would be divulging too much info into one's personal life?
If at some point during the course of reading this post you got the urge to touch yourself or remembered that you didn't get your daily dose of 5 on 1 contact, please make sure you clean up after yourself. It's just the courteous thing to do. Thanks.
Now if you'll excuse me...
Ignorance: "They call it a Rabbit because... it just jump all up and down ON the clitoris." -Alexyss Tylor