Words of Wisdom

In life, we have to choose between the jeans and the cookie jar. Liz Hurley chose the jeans and I chose the cookie jar

~ Nigella Lawson....(on women's body image and her own voluptuous body)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

When fan obsession gets too far....the Tom Kaulitz story

First of all, I AM a fan of Tokio Hotel. I like their music the first moment I heard Monsoon and Durch Den Monsun. Then, I began to explore more songs such as Ich Bin Nicht Ich, 1000 Meere, Schrei, Rette Mich and I liked what I heard. They are not the best of musicians, admittedly but musical craftmanship not what they are about. It's about playing music simply because they love it and they are well aware that they cannot please everybody. My favourites are Ich Brech Aus, Hilf Mir Fliegen, Wir Sterben Niemals Aus, In Die Nacht and 1000 Meere. However, I must say that what turns me off a bit sometimes is the crazy obsessed teenies following and screaming everywhere they go.

I also have a soft spot for cutie Tom Kaulitz. What an adorable honeybun. He's incredibly funny. Quieter and more masculine than his twin. Seemingly protective over his brother.

*Pic: Tom at age 15

In the midst of my birthday week, as I was moping for not being remembered, this young man I greatly admire, who is still at the early journey of his life, was faced with a situation that stretched his normally friendly and calm demenour to its limit. That was when he was caught on a gas station CCTV hitting a girl in the face somewhere in the city of Hamburg. Ist Tom Kaulitz ein brutale schlager?(*My not so good German there)

Frankly, it wasn't too shocking for me because if one has seen footages of these boys especially Tom and his twin Bill being mobbed by rabid fans, one can only imagine the kind of "personal space intrusion" that they have to go through everyday. There are footages from fans who hunted them down to their then-school, recording studio, their apartments and even their parents' home. Some of the footages/"paparazzi" shots are not even from fans, just people who have nothing better to do. Harassing celebrities just for the heck of getting their reactions. How can I forget that footage of Tom and Bill at a MacDonald's drive-through being harassed by a bunch of MEN with cameras. The twins were extremely polite given the situation. I didn't know whether the twins managed to get their food or not.

*Pic: Smiley Tom back in the days before the pressure of fame and crazy fandom turned to danger

The gas station incident immediately caught the media attention. It was quite suspicious to me as to how quick the TV crew got there. I wonder who were called first, the police or the TV people, knowing there was a hot scoop too sensational to pass. There were about four plus-size girls covering their faces there. Why would you want to conceal your indentity if you're the "victim" of a celebrity assault?

As I delved further into the story, it was further revealed that the girl in question belongs to a group of stalkers, a bunch of French girls who call themselves Le Afghans on Tour. The band's management claimed that the girls have been following the band for 6 months. Even moving to
an apartment on the same street with the boys. Somebody managed to capture their MySpace screenshot on cache. There was a slideshow with pictures of the girls with head scarves covering their hair and faces to cover their identities mimicking the way the Muslim girls cover themselves in Afghanistan. Thus, Le Afghans. Also, it's hard to ignore their greeting motto of giving "nightmares to everyone".

*Read about the "stalker gang" here at Tokio Hotel Network. Creepy stuff.

On a personal side, as a Muslim, I am highly offended by the use of Muslim image to engage in their insane activities. It's sad enough to me that Muslims are misrepresented as terrorists and now a bunch of people are taking advantage of the situation.

Then, there was also the chilling picture of the girls with face masks reminding one of serial killers normally depicted in movies. Furthermore, the girls even attacked the people close to the Kaulitz twins most notably their mother Simone. Then, threatening to attack their best friend. Also, sending letters with sentences "We are impatient..." and implied on giving more nightmares. Looking again at the MySpace screenshot, I wonder whether these girls are in fact Tokio Hotel haters instead of fans because they had embedded a video of the band with the title "Tokio Hotel - Wir sind scheisse" or "Tokio Hotel - We are shit". That makes the whole incident even more bizarre as to why would a bunch of haters take the hard work of moving to another country to where their objects of hate reside and spend all their money on making the hate objects' lives miserable?

After reading this, I believe that the CCTV incident wasn't just a spur of the moment but rather the outcome of a series of unpleasant events to Tom Kaulitz. How would you feel if the same people who attacked your mother, threatened your life and followed you around came to your car demanding for a photo? Tom threw out his cigarette to make her go away but she took it and pressed the stub out on his window. Given the ill-treatment he received, I'd say Tom's action was justified. In fact, it was still a lot that he held back as far as I'm concerned. To me, if somebody attacked my mother and dared to touch my car like that, that person would have received MORE than just a punch on the face.

I'm a woman and I'm against violence but so am I against mental abuse, provocation and harassment physically or sexually. Would I regard the Kaulitz twins case as sexual harassment? Yes, I would. They are being harassed by members of their opposite sex for being cute and pretty. It doesn't matter which gender perpetrates the act. Harassment is harassment. When the news first broke, a lot of people were highly critical of Tom. However, now it is clear that the young man acted out of a long series of provocation. The constant pressure finally made him snap. It's an amazement that he had withstood it all this long.

Leave this young man alone!

Tom's problem now is the possible charge of causing bodily injuries which carries a maximum penalty of 5 years. Sure, women have struggled for years to get to where we are today. However, in this case, I find it insulting that a woman can be allowed to be a loony and get away with it simply because she's a woman. Also, I do not support any law that allow a woman to stalk a person, invade his personal space, harass him endlessly, attacking his family and then send him to jail for protecting himself. All these simply because a woman is deemed as the weaker sex?

Now the TWO camps are pressing charges against each other. The stalker girl who got punched didn't want to accept a peace offering whereby the band asked her gang to stay away from the twins and their family. This is the new low for women all over the world! It's humiliating that a girl can be so boy-crazy that she willingly transform into a monster just so she can catch her object of lust. It's humiliating to me as a woman. Duh!

On a more positive note, let me say that, as a woman, I know how girls feel. When a girl looks at her favourite star, she would also look at the possibility of him being her real man. Him as her boyfriend. Him as her husband. Even to have his babies. Notice how fangirls tend to observe just about every aspect of her “man” from the way he laughs, the way he walks, every word he says and how he says it, his favourite food, his favourite colour, the car he drives, which brand of toothbrush he uses (if she can find out, she’d buy it!) etc. Ditto for the way he looks because we want to imagine how our future babies would look like.

However, our favourite rock stars are humans too. That’s where many girls blurr the line. Face it, would a guy fall for a girl who keeps on screaming for his attention and follows his every move? No. Guys are genetically pursuers. No matter what, he is highly likely to go for a girl he chooses to pursue. Even a fan. Guitarist Nuno Bettencourt technically married his own fan, singer Suze DeMarchi. I’m sure ALL three Hanson boys married their own fans too.

Who says a popular celeb wouldn’t approach a girl he likes? Sure, he can’t choose everybody who comes his way. Like the way we say it in my native tongue, he only has two arms and two legs. Multi-tasking can go only too far. The thing is, a guy, even a famous one, just wants someone who is just a normal human being and not sees only his outer shell. If you’re lucky enough to be in his circle and he still doesn’t go for you, then just accept it that it isn’t your fate. Just remember, being a lunatic would only shut yourself out and he’d rather lock you up and throw away the key into an ocean too deep to dive in.

As for me? I can only make wishes. Let the Almighty pick one :-)

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