Monday, June 13, 2011

STOP, in the Name of Love

by Pam

 It’s been over four years now that Alex O’Loughlin has been a part of American television.  I only know one person who first discovered him on The Shield.   Most became a fan from watching him in his first starring TV role as Mick St. John in Moonlight (2007-2008).  It was the second episode of that series where Alex’s acting just blew me away.  I suppose it was also the fact that I had a preconceived notion that vampires looked a lot different than this handsome man, and were just evil creations of good writers.  For me, Alex’s portrayal made vampires real.  I was definitely hooked, and I had never been interested in the genre before.  I’m sure a lot of Alex fans feel the same way.

Of course, I watched and learned all I could about the actor.  Again, like most of his fans. 

It was when I joined a few fan forums that I found out that there are people out there in cyberspace that just behave badly.  The majority was respectful of their fellow fans and of Alex, but there were some people who had no qualms about bashing each other for a differing opinion, and expressing their anger for the choices Alex was making.  Their personalities screamed know-it-all.  Some of these people are still around, and frankly, I find them annoying.  In the name of fair play and decency, I just want them to shut the hell up.  No one knows anything about Alex except Alex.  We can only speculate about his life.  Now that’s good, clean fun.

When Moonlight was cancelled there was a group that rose up which became known as Alex’s “rabid” fans by the media.  Not only did they want Moonlight back on the air, they felt a need to protect Alex from the baddies at CBS.  They wrote letters, emails and made phone calls in the name of love.  Love for Moonlight and love for Alex, which brings me to my point.

I love Alex.  Not only do I enjoy watching him bring a character to a point that makes me feel a real emotion, he also reminds me of my 33 year old son.  I love my son to death.  Though some of his choices as an adult haven’t been the best, I would never chastise him for misguided decisions.  They were all HIS choices which he has a right to make.  He’s a grown man and I treat him as such.  I don’t protect him, but I support him.  In that mindset, I would never belittle Alex for what choices he’s made, either in his personal or professional life, which I thought were wrong for him. He’s a grown man and should be allowed to succeed or fail all on his own.  He needs no help from us strangers, but he appreciates our support.  What gives us the right to even think we know what’s best for Alex, when most of us don’t even know what’s best for ourselves?  It’s human to make judgments; it’s rude to publish them.

When we do something “for love,” it means we expect nothing in return.

It is my opinion, and only my opinion, that Alex will not reach out to his fans through any kind of social network because of his experience with the fans that feel the need to control his life for their own sake…all in the name of love.  How selfish does that sound?  What could Alex possibly say to appease each person with a varying “life plan” for him?  He can only ignore them, and to ignore the extremists he needs to ignore all fans.  It’s a real shame, but it’s been going on for four years now. I still cringe each time Alex’s name comes up in the middle of some turbulence.  Those who are not fans are instantly put off by the drama, and there goes the potential of even more people experiencing Alex’s work.  

From now on, if you find the urge to openly reprimand Alex for his choices, how about substituting your own name.  If you wouldn’t mind reading it all over the internet, go ahead and click “submit.”

*If you want to comment, please be general. We appreciate no one pointing fingers.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

What You See May Not Be What You Get, Even With a COA

by carol

Go to eBay and you will find a slew of signed photos of actor Alex O’Loughlin from Hawaii Five-0 ranging from $0.99 to more than $100 in price.  

Yes-sir-ee-Bob, you can buy a genuine, swear-on-my-meercat’s grave, certified autographed picture of the appealing Mr. AOL himself. Or at least that’s what some sellers claim.

The Entertainment Autographs section of eBay has over 25,000 autographs for sale on any given day from movie stars, rock stars and teen idols of various accomplishments. But shop carefully. Collecting celebrity autographs is now part of a huge, global, multi-billion dollar business. Fraud in the celebrity autograph industry is widespread and just as you have people who forge copies of famous paintings or documents, you also get those who fake autographs in order to make a profit. 

eBay has developed programs for celebrities to protect individual copyrights and to remove any fake autographs for sale. eBay created the Verified Rights Owner (VeRO) Program to protect Intellectual Property. VeRO is a tool used by a growing number of celebrities and their representatives to provide authentication and to remove fraudulent autographs, bootleg items (illegal recordings), etc. How do you find an actor’s eBay VeRO representative? If the celebrity has an official site, contact the webmaster. Some celebrities sell autographs on eBay to raise money for their charities and concerns. Other celebrities will have their VeRO reps playing cybercop on eBay, making sure that any item that uses their name is legit.

Does that mean the fan selling her signed photo of Alex on eBay is a fraud? No, of course not. Although it does beg the question WHY would she give up Alex’s picture… 

Autopen machine
If the authenticity of the celebrity’s autograph is really important to you, research the seller carefully. There are a few links to articles at the end of this blog to help you. Searching “celebrity autograph fraud” on the internet will produce hundreds of articles to read.

So why does that hurried ink scribble make a photo so valuable? To a fan, it’s a captured moment in time - a small, tangible piece of that celebrity’s personal attention. For many fans, an autograph is worth the pursuit - and it should also be worth buying carefully.