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9th September 2001
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Feroze, Iffaz and Anuruddha
The Bard unplugged

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The Goss

  • Jacko recruits Brando, Sopranos for video
  • Disrespectful Britney 
  • An Oscar in his pocket?
  • Jacko recruits Brando, Sopranos for video

    When you hear Michael Jackson's new song "You Rock My World," you don't automatically think of Marlon Brando, Reservoir Dogs toughie Michael Madsen, or the cast of The Sopranos, do you? 

    But industry buzz says you will after seeing the music video to the song, the first single off Invincible, Jackson's first album in four years. 

    The King of Pop's offer to Brando to appear in the video reportedly wasn't refused by the Godfather star. The two eccentric celebs have been friends for years: Brando's son Miko worked as the singer's bodyguard, and the mumbly Method actor gave Jackson acting lessons for his Thriller video, according to the New York Daily News. Brando is also among those honouring Jackson at his 30th anniversary celebration at Madison Square Garden next month. 

    Jacko's first "You Rock My World" choice was said to have been Robert De Niro, but the Daily News reports that the two-time Oscar winner "[didn't] give it a lot of thought." Others reportedly roped into appearing in the video are Rush Hour 2 funnyman Chris Tucker and Traffic's Benicio Del Toro. 

    Jackson, who opened trading at the NASDAQ stock exchange, previously burned through the dough for the videos for "Scream" and "History," which are said to be among the most expensive mini-movies ever made. 

    According to the Daily News, the star-studded "You Rock My World" video will get a major theatrical premiere in a few weeks. 

    Representatives for Jackson's record label, Epic, said that the upbeat dance tune was released a few days earlier than planned after the track was "leaked" by a pair of New York City stations that had obtained a bootleg copy. 

    But several radio programmers seemed skeptical, saying they believed Epic itself leaked the song early to generate a buzz. 


    Disrespectful Britney 

    A Britney Spears fan club is closing down because its organisers think the star does not respect her fans. The people behind the Belgian Go Britney Fan Club will continue to run their Britney website, but are winding up the club. They claim Britney finds her fans "annoying". 

    An Oscar in his pocket?

    Russell Crowe won an Oscar for his acting not his music but that didn't stop him from waving the coveted golden statuette in front of rock fans in Texas.

    Crowe caused quite a stir earlier this month when his band, Thirty Odd Foot of Grunts, performed at Stubbs Barbeque in Austin, Texas. The Gladiator star waved the Best Actor Academy Award before fans. Was that Crowe's latest act of self-love? No, he told reporters in New York City on Wednesday. It was all a joke. 

    At the Austin gig, Crowe explained, fans were holding up a huge sign that said, "Is that an Oscar in your pocket or are you just glad to see us?" "That obviously took a bit of effort," the Aussie actor said, "so I asked one of the guys in the crew to drop what he was doing, run back to the hotel and see if he could find it." Crow says the fans laughed, and he doesn't care if reporters portray him as egotistical. He had fun. "That was a moment between me and the people that really support what I do and respect it and understand it. It wasn't a media moment," he said. "I'm sorry that if I'm open enough to react in the moment that it bothers some people, you know?" 

    Crowe, unshaven and sporting a baseball cap and a military-style shirt, was in good humour as he answered questions about his acting and his music. His band completed its tour at Bruce Springsteen's old stomping ground, The Stone Pony in Ashbury Park, N.J. If you got the feeling that Crowe doesn't think much of his Oscar, think again. "I'm very proud of that thing and I've never said that about anything in my life," he said. "I hate using the word 'pride', but that represents a lot of work, and people who have followed that part of my career know that." 


    I wanted to live

    Drugs took eight years of his life - a one-time addict's story as told to Tania Fernando 

    Where to get help

    Name of Centre                                                                   Address                        Tel

    National Dangerous Drugs                                                       383, Kotte Road        868792
    Control Board (NDDCB)                                                        Rajagiriya

    N D D C B Centre                                                             Manpitiya Watta                08 315504
                                                                                              Handessa

    'Sethsevana' (N D D C B)                                              173/2 Shanthi Mw,                872090
                                                                                              Koswatta, 
                                                                                              Thalangama North.
                                                                                              N D D C B 
                                                                                    Mahena Watte, Urapola                033 26984

    Al Ano Club                                                             74 Chilaw Road                           031 6034/
                                                                                    Wennapuwa                                 031 5202

    "                                                                            8 Kalinga Place                    581595
                                                                                         Colombo 5

    Sarvodaya Samodya Seva                                        Rilahena                                        045 74363
    'Mithuru Mithuro'                                                     Pelmadulla

    Apeckshawa                                                        Katuwawala                                   074 306450
                                                                               Boralegamuwa

    Youth Rehabilitation Centre                                 Bindunu Wewa                              057 22214
                                                                               Bandarawela

    Nawa Jeevana Sewa                                        Unawatuna                                        09 32104

    Bandaranaike Memorial
    Ayurvedic Research Hospital                             Nawinna, Maharagama                     850333

    Mel Medura                                                     Colombo   07                                    693460

    National Christian Council                               Dharmapala Mw, Colombo                   7596442
    Of Sri Lanka

    Sahanaya                                                       16/20 Kithulwatha Road, Col.             8685960

    Yovun Mithuro                                              65A High Level Rd,                            Maharagama 

    Mr. Elmo                                                       Kristhuraja Mw, Mahabage                   958305

    Nelson Fernando                                           15/4 Aponso Mw. Dehiwela                 732005

    I am a 28-year-old father of two children, one aged two and the other a baby of four months. I used to be a drug addict. 

    I was hooked on heroin for six years and I kicked the habit five years ago, after a two-year stay at a rehabilitation centre in Wennapuwa.

    It all began after my O/L examinations when I had quite a lot of time on my hands. I used to 'hang out' with my friends and we used to listen to music and smoke 'grass' once in a way. I always thought that I could handle it and it never entered my mind that it would get out of control. I kept telling myself that I knew the consequences so I would be able to control it, since we had even had family discussions about the dangers of drug use.

    I gradually moved from 'grass' to heroin and did it once a week. Then it increased to twice a week and eventually it became an everyday habit. We used to listen to rock and punk music and in a way that influenced me too. When you listen to that type of music you get more into the drug habit.

    I never realized what was happening to me and neither did my family. About two years into my addiction, my family were hearing rumours about me being an addict, but I think I was such a good liar and an actor that they never suspected the truth. I had a horrible temper too, so whenever the subject was broached I would flare up and it was left alone.

    My parents would give me pocket money, but eventually that was not sufficient, so I had to start selling my belongings, CDs, Walkman etc. I had run out of things to sell and then I started to steal petrol from my father's car. He would park the car at home in the night and I would sneak out and get the petrol out and put it in my bike so that I could sell it the next day. I tried selling drugs too for a short time. I think the most expensive thing I sold was my sister's gold chain.

    Due to my addiction my studies got neglected. I could not concentrate and my studies for the degree I was reading came to a standstill. I would let my family believe I was looking for a job, when I was actually too busy trying to find the money for my next fix.

    After being an addict for about six years, some sense finally prevailed. I decided that it was enough, and that I needed to clean up and get my act together. After my decision to get into rehab, I spent about two days getting totally stoned.

    When I visited the Sri Lanka Anti-Narcotics Association (SLANA), the lady who spoke to me was one of my lecturers and she was quite shocked to see me. But I felt comfortable talking to her and she told me which rehabilitation centre I should approach. 

    I remember the day my mother and uncle took me to the Rehabilitation Centre. I told them that I wanted them to stop the car as I need to get a cigarette. I left them and went and pawned my watch for Rs. 1000, went to a friend's place and with him we went to get another fix. And all the time I was doing that, I kept wondering what I was doing there. If I had not made the decision to go back, who knows I might still be an addict.

    When I returned two hours later, my mother and uncle were still waiting for me where they had dropped me off. Although my uncle had driven around, I don't think he had the faintest idea of where to find me.

    The first few days at the rehabilitation centre were terrible, I was even tied to the bed while they gave me saline and medication. It took me almost one year to get over it - naturally. At the rehab. centre, it is the recovered addicts who help you in the recovery process. It is nice to see people who are cured giving the others a helping hand, it really gave me the boost I needed.

    During therapy they help you patch up your relationship with your family. The nicest aspect of the centre is that no one in particular watches over you. After you have been there for sometime they let you go to the shops and even go to work and come back. It is totally based on trust and your desire to recover. 

    I felt so comfortable there that I never wanted to come home. The person who was in charge used to forcibly bring me home on weekends. I think I was scared to face society. I had been hiding away for such a long time and when I went into the rehab centre I had this tough attitude but here I was, coming out two years later with my tail between my legs. When I came out, people used to stare at me and I suppose they wondered whether I was still an addict.

    While I was there I used to help other addicts who came in after me. We don't pick anyone, we watch the new guys for a few days and you can spot the ones who really want to kick the habit. We stay with them, talk to them and encourage them and give them hope. Even during therapy we give each other courage and talk about how we are going to resist the temptation when we come out.

    The most important part of the battle is admitting to yourself that you have a problem and that you want to get over it. If the desire is in you, you can do it. There is no point in anyone else wanting you to kick the habit; the desire has to be within you. 

    The saddest part is that when you are an addict, most often family and friends treat you as a leper, but this is the time when family support is most necessary. My family was very supportive of me. They supported me and they were the greatest influence in my life.

    Even after I came out, there were times when I was tempted, but I always did something against the temptation. But now I don't have even the slightest desire to take drugs. If someone were to sell drugs a few yards away from me, I know that I can walk away and not feel tempted.

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