Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, government, public policy, sports scene and pop culture of Europe, Sweden, the U.S. & South Florida. In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura.
Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, April 5, 2013

re Justin Bieber -Teen Idols and Teenage Girls' Consumer Power and the Backlash: Signs of the coming Pop Culture apocalypse in Oslo: 5 Norwegian schools are rescheduling mid-term exams around Justin Bieber tour dates, and it's okay according to Kristin Halvorsen, the Norwegian Minister of Education and Research. But other politicians are less sanguine about it, and worry what this sort of govt. response will encourage in the future

re Justin Bieber -Teen Idols and Teenage Girls' Consumer Power and the Backlash: Signs of the coming Pop Culture apocalypse in Oslo: 5 Norwegian schools are rescheduling mid-term exams around Justin Bieber tour dates, and it's okay according to Kristin Halvorsen, the Norwegian Minister of Education and Research. But other politicians are less sanguine about it, and worry what this sort of govt. response will encourage in the future
And the one thing we know from the mountain of evidence is that the students who would otherwise have skipped school are NOT teenage boys!
Interesting that the news media is unwilling to state the facts -that the students who will not show up for school are almost exclusively girls, don't you think?

Art Beat blog
New York Times
Schools in Norway Postpone Exams for Bieber Concerts
By JAMES C. MCKINLEY JR.
April 4, 2013, 10:40 am 


This article below from NRK TV's website can hardly be more apt: "The whole world is laughing at us"


NRK-TV
Heile verda gjer oss til latter
Politikarane rasar fordi skulane har flytta tentamen til fordel for Justin Bieber-konsert.
MARIA HOLAND TØSSE
Pubisert 03.04.2013 17:03

Another article about the over-the-top situation is this one that ran on Tuesday, that was dominated by one large photo of a teenage fan's bedroom :


Flyttet tentamen for Justin Bieber, Nedtellinga til konsert i Oslo 17. april har begynt. Da får Kristiane Søvik (15) se sitt store forbilde - Justin Bieber.
Randi Longva
Publisert: 02.04 2013 06:00 
Sist oppdatert: 02.04 2013 14:42

It's like I'm always saying on these pages -twelve-to-seventeen year old girls in Western countries are taking over the world and won't let go of their grip, and as long as they hold sway, pop culture will cease to be a meaningful measure of merit or talent in the way that it often but not always was in the past.
That so much of what teenage girls "Like" music-wise is pre-digested corporate filler product is not a positive sign. 

Old rule of thumb for the blog and his circle of friends is that if the recording artist's album sale or concert is comprised of more than 90% of one gender, they're not really that talented.

Those girls' fingers on their precious cell phones, whether texting or casting votes dozens and dozens of times for no-talents at home, at school or while walking across the street without looking both ways, are like tentacles around real music talent's throat and creativity.

U.S. and Western consumer product companies and their print/TV middlemen are completely afraid to call their bluff, too, which is the worst sign of all.

That's closely followed by the U.S. Mainstream Media's general cowardice and unwillingness to push-back against the LCD group think that says giving more news time to what's going on with teenage girls and their myriad fads and obsessions, is, actually helping.

In many cases, it's pretty clear that the more the media -hard news and general interest- talks about one of these issues -teen suicide, anorexia, bulemia, teen fashion, teens texting while driving- is actually does more harm than good.

But publicly you can't tell teenage girls NO anymore, as per the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas cheerleading scandal here in Broward County, where a mob and a mob mentality made the all-female Broward School Board make decisions not based on facts but on their -yes- feelings.

For more on that, see my October 8, 2012 blog post titled, Dynamite! Bob Norman adroitly uses facts and context to lower-the-boom on the Broward School Board for their abysmal handling of the purported Douglas H.S. cheerleader coach 'scandal" -and drops School Board member Katie Leach squarely on her head; One month before the election, docs show Donn Korn opponent Franklin Sands funds his race with lots of money from his stepson’s lobbying firm -shocker!; @mattgutmanABC, http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2012/10/dynamite-bob-norman-adroitly-uses-facts.html

The firing of Coach Melissa

By Bob Norman, Reporter, bnorman@Local10.com
Published On: Oct 07 2012 10:33:04 AM EDT  
Updated On: Oct 08 2012 11:16:26 AM EDT

http://www.local10.com/news/blogs/bobnorman/The-firing-of-Coach-Melissa/-/3223354/16884040/-/8enkprz/-/index.html

Not giving in to upset teenage girls and their emotionally over-wrought mothers actually resulted in a principal being removed!

Principals upset over cheerleading coach's firing
'They're furious. They're absolutely furious over this'
Published On: Oct 08 2012 06:30:41 PM EDT  
Updated On: Oct 09 2012 10:16:48 AM EDT
http://www.local10.com/news/Principals-upset-over-cheerleading-coach-s-firing/-/1717324/16903370/-/t6vkfa/-/index.html

And you certainly can't say aloud in the media that many of their so-called "problems" actually seem much more psychological in nature, and based on their own self-esteem or lack of it, not something physical, otherwise you're labeled as not being understanding.

But if these things were physical, shouldn't there be at least some measurable incidence of bulimic or anorexic activity by girls in countries like Pakistan and Iraq, too?
But there aren't any.
Why the dissonance?

Because these groups all have an incentive to not tell these Western teenage girl consumers the truth -that they can't always get their way
They want to sell them something: a product, a fad, an idea... that will make them like themselves better.

So, while consumer product companies and the advertising industry falls all over themselves to get in (and stay in) the good graces of teenage girls -because they'll be making the family buying decisions in the future, so they want to favorably shape those opinions ASAP!- the news media just capitulates rather than stand up for common sense or the truth.

And they just can't wait to find out the new trend and fad of upscale teenage American and Western girls and obsessively report on it as if it's something more than it is.

My last post on Justin Bieber was an August 31, 2010 post I titled simply,

Examining a music phenomenon: ABC News Nightline's Chris Connelly interviews pop sensation Justin Bieber: "The Business of Being Bieber"


http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2010/08/examining-music-phenomenon-abc-news.html

It's now been read 4,081 times.

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Hallandale Beach Blog is where I try to inject or superimpose a degree of accountability, transparency and insight onto Florida and local Broward County government and public policy issues, which I feel is sorely lacking in local media now. On this blog, locally, I concentrate my energy, enthusiasm, anger and laser-like attention on the coastal cities of Hallandale Beach and Hollywood.
If you lived in this part of South Florida, you'dALREADY be stuck in stultifying traffic, paying higher-than-necessary taxes and continually musing about the chronic lack of accountability among not only elected govt. officials, but also of city, county and state employees as well. Collectively, with a few rare exceptions, they couldn't be farther from the sort of strong results-oriented, eager work-ethic mentality that local residents deserve and expect.
This is particularly true in the town I live in, theCity of Hallandale Beach, just north of Aventura and south of Hollywood. There, the "Perfect Storm" of years of apathy, incompetency and cronyism are all too readily apparent.
Sadly for its residents, HB is where even easily-solved, quality-of-life problems are left to fester forYEARS on end, because of myopia, lack of common sense and ineffective supervisory management. It's a city with lots of potential because of its terrific location, yet its citizens have become numb to its outrages and screw-ups after years of the worst kind of mismanagement and lack of foresight. On a daily basis, they wake up and see the same old problems that have never being adequately resolved by the city in a logical and responsible fashion, merely kicked -once again- further down the road.
I used to ask myself, not always rhetorically, "Where are all the enterprising young reporters who want to show that through their own hard work and enterprise, what REAL investigative reporting can produce?" Hearing no response, I decided to start a blog that could do some of these things, taking the p.o.v. of a reasonable but skeptical person seeing the situation for the first time, and wanting questions answered in a honest and logical way that citizens have the right to expect.

Hallandale Beach Blog intends to be a catalyst for positive change. If there's one constant gripe in South Florida, regardless of your age, race, nationality or political persuasion, it's about the fundamental lack of PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY here among Florida's state, regional and local govt./agency officials.Hallandale Beach Blog aims to be a small step towards regaining some of that needed accountability, whether it's thru simple public scrutiny, or requires a degree of follow-up investigation and public exposure of incompetency, cronyism or simple negligence -South Florida's usual governing style.
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Some older elements and building blocks formerly seen at Hallandale Beach Blog, such as photos, graphics and videos have been moved into cold storage. Visit them again or see what you've missed at: http://hallandale-beach-blog.blogspot.com/

New this year: you!

New this year: you!
Close-up photo of the cute head-turning window display at the Apotek Hjärtat -Sweden's largest independent pharmacy chain- located at Ringvägen 113, near the Skanstull T-bana in Södermalm, Stockholm. Sign reads, "Årets nyhet: du! Ett helt nytt och obrukat år är här. Just nu känns det lite lättare att välja om, förändra vanor och bryta gamla mönster. Vi hjälper gärna till. Du vill, du kan, du törs!' (New this year: you! A brand new and unused year is here. Right now it feels a little easier to choose, change habits and break old patterns. We're happy to help. You want to, you can, you dare!) Sounds like good advice that I ought to be following, too! January 12, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Paradise Lost? South Florida

Paradise Lost? South Florida
TIME magazine of November 23, 1981: Paradise Lost? South Florida . Click photo to see original article.

A fish rots from the head down, and so does local government in Hallandale Beach, FL

A fish rots from the head down, and so does local government in Hallandale Beach, FL
City of Hallandale Beach Municipal Complex, 400 S. Federal Highway. The City of Hallandale Beach Municipal Complex: If it's true that a fish rots from the head down, so it does in local government in Broward County, FL. This monument sign on the west side of the intersection of U.S.-1 and S.E. 5th Street, across from Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino and the Village at Gulfstream Park retail complex, alerts you to your proximity to HB City Hall and the HB Police Department HQ. It's a place and culture whose very own words and actions have made clear to taxpayers of this city -regardless of age, race or income- that it holds itself apart from and above from the very citizens it's supposed to serve, often acting like they don't have to follow the same laws that govern everyone else in the state of Florida and the U.S., whether of logic, reason or contracts. (More to the point of this blog, the Florida Statutes on Sunshine Laws and Public Records.) City employees in Hallandale Beach routinely refuse to answer perfectly reasonable questions posed to them by taxpayers, and as I have found out myself and witnessed, are not above berating you for even having the nerve to ask! As it happens, it's also not a very safe area, despite who operates here, and over the past nine years, the public parking lots have often been pitch-black for 6-9 months at a time, including in front of the HB Police Dept. HQ. Then-Police Chief Thomas Magill even shrugged his shoulders at City Comm. meetings when told about this a few times. As if they couldn't make a worse first impression, at one point, even the spotlights shining on this sign didn't work at night for over FOUR YEARS, either. October 13, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Palm tree, Stars & Stripes

Palm tree, Stars & Stripes
Palm tree obstructing the sun at Hallandale Beach City Hall, May 28, 2012 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino and Village at GP retail complex, Hallandale Beach, FL

Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino and Village at GP retail complex, Hallandale Beach, FL
Entrance monument to Gulfstream Park Race Track & Casino and The Village at Gulfstream Park retail complex on U.S.-1 & SE 3rd St. Hallandale Beach, FL. October 5, 2010 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Hallandale Beach Water Tower, looking east from State Road A1A/South Ocean Drive; May 2009 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard)

Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard)
Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard) wearing the teal-colored Miami Dolphins cap I gave her in January 2013 (in Stockholm) while recording her 2nd album, "The Grazing Grounds" at Sandkvie Studios in Visby, Gotland, Sweden. Also pictured here are sound engineer and co-producer Linus Larsson and musician/DJ/co-producer Mats Jönsson, April 12, 2013.Click the photo to see her videos, read my blog posts and Tweets about her and learn more about this dynamic and original talent with personality to spare!

North Miami Beach Senior High School, the Home of the Chargers

North Miami Beach Senior High School, the Home of the Chargers
Before I was a Hoosier, I was an NMB Charger, Class of 1979.

In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation

In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation
"In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation." -South Beach Hoosier, 2007.

Let's end the 28-year NCAA title drought!

Let's end the 28-year NCAA title drought!
IU All-American and U.S. Olympian Steve Alford on the cover of the 1987 Indiana University basketball media guide, months after IU won the NCAA basketball title.

The NCAA Championship Banners

The NCAA Championship Banners
Assembly Hall, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana. I was there in 1981 for NCAA Title #4 vs. North Carolina. Click on photo to go to the IU Basketball homepage.

Sebastian the Ibis, the U-M mascot

Sebastian the Ibis, the U-M mascot
Like longtime U-M fans everywhere, including me, Sebastian the Ibis, the U-M mascot, hasn't had very much to cheer about lately, given the general state of mediocrity and underwhelming performances coming from the Hurricanes. Isn't it about time for fans to finally see some tangible signs that the new AD is moving things in the right direction? Where are the signs? I'm NOT seeing them. The woeful U-M Women's program is largely composed of teams that are NOT even close to being competitive for NCAA titles like their ACC competition, and they don't even field Women's Lacrosse or Field Hockey teams. It's embarrassing! Click on Sebastian for retrospective photo gallery of The Orange Bowl

ABBA

ABBA
The welcoming party that greeted me at the luggage carousel at Arlanda Stockholm Airport in January of 2013 was... ABBA. As seen in my May 7, 2013 blog post. Click photo to see that post!

Congratulations Sweden - 200 years of peace! Solveig Rundquist (@RundquistS)

#Södermalm

Hej #STHLM, jag saknar dig, hejdå. So wish I was there RIGHT NOW!

Using a map of Stockholm and my Samsung mobile's Latitude app to find out where some friends and contacts in Stockholm were before I called to let them know I'd arrived from Arlanda Airport and had checked into the B&B in Södermalm. If only it had been an OpenStreetMap! January 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved; Click the photo to see OpenStreetMap's amazing map of Stockholm and a whole world of useful maps you never even knew existed

Solrea - Sveriges bästa resesök

Solrea - Sveriges bästa resesök
The colder and snowier it got in Stockholm, the more this simple ad seemed like genius. Sometimes, you don't have to reinvent the advertising wheel. When you're a travel agency and it's cold and snowing, make your target audience think of summers and traveling to an inviting warm beach. Above, one of the many Sistaminuten.se display ads I saw on the side of pay phones throughout Stockholm. This one was located on Ringvägen, across the street from the Åhléns Dept. store (with the Hemköp grocery store in the basement that I frequented) west of busy Götgatan and the Skanstull T-bana, the southern commercial heart of trendy and fun Södermalm. January 11, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. I used this photo in my April 22, 2013 blog post titled, Tourism game-changer for South Florida travelers & Fort Lauderdale-area businesses -but only if they're smart and start planning now. Ruminations on the upcoming Norwegian.com flights b/w Ft. Lauderdale and Oslo, Stockholm & Copenhagen, and the need for Broward's hospitality industry to take full-advantage of the opportunity; @Oslo, @norway, @stockholm, @sweden, @copenhagen, @denmark. Click photo to see that post

More travel advertising in Stockholm

More travel advertising in Stockholm
Speaking of advertising, only two blocks from the wonderful 4trappor B&B I stayed at in Södermalm, Stockholm on my trip -and also located on Ringvägen- were two more display ads promoting travel. The one in the distance is for SAS, Scandinavian Airlines Systems, which I flew on to Stockholm, and the one in the foreground, on a public telephone booth, is the "Holiday is where the Heart is" ad campaign for VING. January 12, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. Click the photo to see their TV ad!

Risk för snöras, istappar

Risk för snöras, istappar
One of the many such warning signs that I saw on buildings and on sidewalk barricades while in Stockholm in mid-January 2013, alerting you to the possibility of falling snow and ice, often by men shoveling it off roofs. This one was spotted on a residential building in the Södermalm area of Stockholm, on Ringvägen, while I was walking over to the Åhléns Department store on Götgatan. It wasn't until I was walking back later to the B&B that I noticed the inflated Santa that some resident had intentionally placed outside of their window, so it looked like Santa was falling! January 13, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Ringvägen, Stockholm, Sweden

Ringvägen, Stockholm, Sweden
Poster display on Ringvägen, Stockholm, Sweden. January 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. The Affischplats plan in Stockholm, while not perfect, strikes me as a pretty good compromise in helping cultural and civic groups catch the public's eye in a way that's better than a free-for-all of groups plastering posters on the sides of buildings and utility boxes, and watching as the weather makes a mess of them. The tangible effort the city makes to get the public involved in a genuine and meaningful conversation about what is going on long-term for the city as a whole, or in a particular neighborhood, is very impressive, and made me wishful that the local government employees and planners where I live and write about regularly in my blog and in conversations with other concerned civic activists did even one-third of what Stockholm's planning employees seem to do as a starting-point.