Archive for November, 2003

Eminem’s greatest gift : Hailie Jade

Sunday, November 23rd, 2003

Hailie Jade is Eminem and Kim’s daughter.
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Viewing culture through Eminem

Sunday, November 23rd, 2003

Anthony Bozza met Eminem in 1999 when the milky rapper’s fame was “still a whiff on the air.”
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Nathan Mathers

Saturday, November 22nd, 2003

Nathan Mathers is Debbie’s second son with Fred Samra Jr and Eminem’s half brother. Both brothers have a good and close relationship. Along with Hailie, Nathan belongs to the persons that really matter in Marshall’s life.
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Benzino and the Source’s plot against Eminem

Friday, November 21st, 2003

Some people are ready to do anything to get some publicity. They would walk on the dead if they had to.
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Russell Simmons supports Eminem

Friday, November 21st, 2003

Influential hip-hop figurehead Russell Simmons has come out in support of Eminem against allegations of racism.
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Todd Nelson

Thursday, November 20th, 2003

Todd Nelson is Debbie’s elder brother and thus Marshall’s uncle.
In the early 80’s, Marshall spent a few years with his uncle in Warren, Michigan, in a little house. The two family home was purchased by Eminem’s great grandmother Bessi Viola Whitacker in 1950 and has been put on sale on eBay in 2002 by Todd. Appearently, his financial situation didn’t allow him to keep the house :
« This is a very emotional thing for me, because this house has been in our family for 50 years. I didn’t want to sell it, but I had to because my finances won’t allow me to live here any more. »

Todd Nelson has made the DVD “The Man Behind The Mask” that is all about Eminem. The DVD certainly contains interesting stuff and allows you to view places like Eminem’s primary school, the house where he used to stay with his uncle and other significant and interesting places in Detroit where Eminem used to rap.

About his nephew, Todd says:

“It never occurs to me that he’s famous. I changed his diapers when he was a kid.”

According to Todd, Eminem was very protective towards his mom. When he didn’t like her boyfriend, the man had just to carry his luggage and leave their home.Todd talks about Eminem’s will to become famous and about Kim’s suicide attempt.

Some of his statements are unbelievable. He claims to be the first who has taught Marshall how to rap, what we may, of course, doubt : Eminem’s maternal uncle has never released any rap tape nor done any work related to rap music. Eminem denied his allegations.

He describes Marshall as a sissy, who was afraid to go fishing with him, because “the water was too cold”.
Todd also states Marshall has turned to the worst since he started making bad songs. Those statements sound funny from the mouth of a man who spent 8 years in a Missouri state prison for killing his brother-in-law.

Eminem’s uncle has rather shown a real eagerness to sell his nephew’s privacy to the British tabloïds and to talk about his sexuality which is really none of his business, no matter if those facts are true or not. (*)
(*)http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_811455.html?menu
Eminem’s fame shouldn’t allow him to talk about such private matters.

No doubt that both men’s relationship is bad. Todd stands on Debbie’s side, pretending that she was “real good to the boy”.
About Marshall’s mom, Todd says:
“His mother looked after him so well. He grew up not having to take responsibility for anything because Debbie did it all for him.”
But Debbie’s sick behavior is no longer hidden for the public’s eyes. He totally denies that Marshall has had a hard life and denies some facts related in 8 Mile.

Since Eminem became famous, many of his family members turned their back to him and focused their interest on his money. Todd also wants some publicity and tries to find a way to make easy money on Eminem’s back.

Eminem’s sentence summarizes it all: “My family has never been there for me. They expect things because we’re blood.”

Eminem’s mistakes

Wednesday, November 19th, 2003

At the beginning of his career, Eminem has made two big mistakes that could have had bad consequences for the talented artist.
On June the 3 rd 2000, Eminem had an argument with his rival Douglas Dail from the ICP (Insane Clown Posse) group. He threatened him and brandished a 9 mn semi-automatic gun on his rival Douglas Dail from the ICP (Insane Clown Posse) group.
The same day, Eminem went to Hot Rocks Cafe where he found his wife Kim kissing another man, John Guerra. He went mad and hit John Guerra with an unloaded gun. Eminem was arrested after the police received a 911 call. He was charged with assault and carrying a concealed weapon.
Judge Viviano finally sentenced him to two years of probation under the condition to refrain from all excessive use of alcohol and to submit to a regular drug testing.

Kim expressed about the incident that happened with John Guerra. She sent a letter to the Detroit Free Press :

“My husband came up to Hot Rocks to check up on me. Why is still unknown to me because if I was to cheat on him it wouldn’t be in a neighbourhood bar where he knows I am. Had he asked any questions before he flew off the handle, he would have realised that everyone with me were only friends. The fact that he just jumped to conclusions has gotten him and myself in trouble.
“I would also like to state, since my husband has had no problem trying to make me look like an unfaithful wife, that every time I find a picture of him with other women, or read in magazines that he’s involved with ‘groupies’, I don’t go and show up where he is making a huge scene and getting our faces put all over the TV and papers. I have always taken his word on things and stood by his side.”

Kim has not really proven to stand on Marshall’s side. In the past she had left him each time he was financially down. This drama has lead to the couple’s divorce in 2001.
It is well known that Kim gave a rather intimate kiss to John Guerra that day. Even Guerra admitted it. John Guerra was a married man having two little kids. He only worried about his family when he saw the gun Eminem pointed at him.

This event is related in the skit of the Eminem Show called “The Kiss”:

The Kiss (Skit)

[Eminem:]
I’m gonna kill this bitch
Im’a kill him
I’m going to fucking jail
Cuz im gonna kill this bitch

[Dave:]
Yo man

[Eminem:]
What

[Dave:]
I dont know
I gotta realy really bad feelin about this

[Eminem:]
Man would u shut the fuck up dave you always gotta bad feelin man
Thats her car right there

[Dave:]
Aight let me park

[Eminem:]
Just park

[Dave:]
Im parkin!

[Eminem:]
Turn the car off dogg

[Dave:]
Aight

[Eminem:]
Aight we wait

[Dave:]
We wait for what

[Eminem:]
We wait till she comes out and then im gonna fuckin kill her

[Dave:]
Man you aint gonna kill no one
What the fuck did you bring that for

[Eminem:]
Man shut the fuck up dog
Just shutup, the fuckin clip is empty

[Dave:]
Man dont point that shit at me

[Eminem:]
Its not even loaded bitch, look

[Dave:]
Dude, god i fuckin hate it when you do that shit

[Eminem:]
Yea but its funny as fuck

[Dave:]
Muthafucka im gonna kill you one of these days i swear

[Eminem:]
Gets you everytime
Is that her

[Dave:]
where

[Eminem:]
Right there mothafucka

[Dave:]
Oohh yeah

[Eminem:]
Aight get down get down

[Dave:]
Fuck, what u doing to her

[Eminem:]
Get Down!

[Dave:]
What the fuck you want me to get under the car

[Eminem:]
Yo, who she walkin with

[Dave:]
How the fuck am i suppose to know, you told me to duck down

[Eminem:]
Its the fuckin bouncer
Did she just kiss him

[Dave:]
I dont think so

[Eminem:]
Dogg she just fucken kissed him

[Dave:]
No she didnt

[Eminem:]
Shes kissin him

[Dave:]
No shes not

[Eminem:] Gets out car

[Dave:]
Ohh shit

[Eminem:]
Come on

[Screaming & Running]

Eminem is sitting inside of his car with a friend who advises him not to use his gun and who tries to control his reactions. But in the end, when he sees his wife with another man, he just runs out of the car, ready for some uncontrolable action with bad consequences.

Like anybody of us, Eminem has made mistakes in his life. But those mistakes have made a stronger and a more mature man of him: his maturity is visible in his current statements as well as in his work. Eminem has learnt a lot from his former mistakes that could have sent him directly to jail for five years. He uses the dramas that happen in his life as a creative force that will enable to understand them better and to analyze them.

Benzino plays Eminem’s former recordings

Wednesday, November 19th, 2003

Benzino at The Source press conference

“I hope people will take it for the foolishness that it was, not for what somebody is trying to make it into today.” — Eminem

NEW YORK — Eminem found himself on the defensive Tuesday (November 18) after The Source magazine owners Ray Benzino and Dave Mays held a press conference to play a recording of the MC delivering racial slurs.

On the first of two tracks purportedly recorded in 1993, an audibly young Slim Shady raps, “All the girls I like to bone have big butts/ No they don’t, ’cause I don’t like that n—– sh–/ I’m just here to make a bigger hit.”

The second track featured Eminem rapping about a black girlfriend he broke up with. “Blacks and whites, they sometimes mix/ But black girls only want your money, ’cause they’re dumb chicks,” he rhymes. Later in the freestyle Em raps, “Never date a black girl, because blacks only want your money/ And that sh– ain’t funny.”

The first track was only a few lines long, but the second track went on for several minutes with Em — seemingly rhyming off the top of his head — repeatedly saying he did not like black girls and that they were only out to get money. Both tracks sounded amateurish.

“Don’t make this right now a double standard,” Benzino said at the press conference. “We gotta treat this the same way you treat Mike Tyson, like you treat Kobe Bryant, like you treat R. Kelly, like you treat O.J. Simpson.”

Eminem responded by insisting he isn’t racist and explaining that the recording was made when he was young, foolish and angry.

“Ray Benzino, Dave Mays and The Source have had a vendetta against me, Shady Records and our artists for a long time,” Eminem said in a statement. “The tape they played today was something I made out of anger, stupidity and frustration when I was a teenager. I’d just broken up with my girlfriend, who was African-American, and I reacted like the angry, stupid kid I was. I hope people will take it for the foolishness that it was, not for what somebody is trying to make it into today.”

Eminem, 50 Cent and the rest of the Shady/Aftermath team have had a long-running feud with The Source, fueled by Benzino’s accusations that the media operate on a double standard when it comes to the multiplatinum white MC and that an artist of color could never get away with saying some of the things Em says in his music (see “Benzino Ignites Beef By Calling Eminem ’2003 Vanilla Ice’”).

After their comments, Benzino and Mays refused to entertain questions about the tape and its origins. They did say they plan to include a CD of the Eminem recordings in February’s issue, and they promised another press conference concerning Eminem will be held in the future, when they’ll answer questions and have civic leaders and members of the hip-hop community on hand.

Wow, Benzino probably thinks he will end the talented rapper’s career with this tape? He’s laughable.
It proves that Eminem went out with a black woman. A real racist wouldn’t date black women at all.
At this time, he was young and angry. We all know that Eminem often expresses his feelings of the moment to let out his rage. He probably had a bad experience with a black woman who actually wanted his money. He shouldn’t have generalized this. He has made a mistake and he admits it.
Eminem has proven not to be a racist person and I think Benzino won’t convince anybody.

Kim found by the police

Wednesday, November 19th, 2003

Rap star Eminem’s ex-wife, Kim Mathers, was arrested on a bench warrant after she had reportedly been missing for weeks.

Mathers was arraigned at a local court Tuesday afternoon on charges for missing two court dates.

Mathers had failed to appear for a preliminary hearing on Nov. 6 in Warren District Court to face possible charges in connection with a drug raid at a local hotel.

“Is Kimberly Ann Mathers in the courtroom?” Judge John Chmura said before issuing the bench warrants on Nov. 6.

Mathers’ attorney said he and her family had not seen or heard from her since Oct. 30.

“Her family and her children are praying for her. We are really concerned,” said attorney Michael Smith.

Two bench warrants were out for Mathers since she did not show up for the court dates, according to Local 4.

Mathers, 28, faces charges for a Sept. 29 party held in her Warren hotel room, according to police.

Acting on a report of a disorderly person, Warren officers spotted Mathers talking on a cellular phone outside her room at the Candlewood Suites shortly before 3 a.m., according to the Macomb Daily.

Police told the paper they heard yelling and loud music coming from inside. When she opened the door, officers saw several people inside, as well as several open bottles of alcohol and cigarette rolling papers, according to a police report.

Mathers apparently told police the room was in her name and that people were using marijuana and Ecstasy at the party, the police report states.

Mathers is scheduled to appear for a pretrial hearing on Dec. 18. A judge set her bond Tuesday at $50,000 cash.

The price of fame

Tuesday, November 18th, 2003

Eminem recently expressed that he was afraid of « global fame ». His biographer, Anthony Bozza, confirmed that the rapper was scared of massive commercial success that has made a global superstar of him. Eminem has made it really big.

Marshall wasn’t prepared to such a rapid ascencion. In less than one year, between 1998 and 1999, Eminem has become famous. Working at Gilbert’s Lodge the year before and signing with the famous Dr Dre the year after, is really disconcerting. If you also consider the high level of pressures that were put on Eminem’s shoulders at the beginning of his career and the numerous controversies that surrounded the release of his albums, this is pretty much to bear for one single man.
In an interview given to Brian Mc Collum from the “Detroit Free Press” on June the 30th 2000, Eminem stated:

“ Nobody really understands the pressures put on me, to always be good, to always be on point. There are so many pressures that go with my job right now.”

Along with the pressures that came from his label , other pressures came from people who protested against his music. All of a sudden, the GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) turned Eminem into the symbol for misogyny and homophobia. Eminem’s career debut has been far from uncontroversial. The dramas that happened in his personal life increased the fact that he was in constant ebullition.
In the same interview, Eminem expressed about his dream come true:

“You gotta be careful what you wish for. I always wished and hoped for this. But it’s almost turning into more of a nighmare than a dream.”

After the release of his movie”8 Mile”, Eminem has earned more respectability among people who used to dislike him. The success of his movie has been determinant to increase his fame.
“8 Mile” also helped people to focus an interest on Detroit, who is usually viewed as a dark and annoying industrial city.

Is Eminem really satisfied with his every day life? According to the lyrics of “Say Goodbye To Hollywood”, the answer is clearly no.
It is sometimes difficult to realize for us, who are not famous, how superstars are forced to live and to behave.
Eminem expresses it in “Say Goodbye To Hollywood”:

“I don’t wanna quit, but shit, I feel like this is it
For me to have this much appeal like this is sick
This is not a game, this fame, in real life this is sick
Publicity stunt my ass, conceal my fuckin’ dick
Fuck the guns, i’m done, i’ll never look at gats
If I scrap, i’ll scrap like I ain’t never whooped some ass
I love my fans
But no one ever puts a grasp on the fact i’ve sacrificed everything I have
I never dreamt i’d get to the level that i’m at, this is whack
This is more than I ever could of asked
everywhere I go, a hat, a sweater hood, or mask
What about math, how come I wasn’t ever good at that
It’s like the boy in the bubble, who never could adapt, i’m trapped
If I could go back, I never woulda rapped
I sold my soul to the devil, i’ll never get it back
I just wanna leave this game with level head intact
Imagine goin’ from bein’ a no one to seein’,
everything blow up and all you did was just grow
up emceeing
It’s fuckin’ crazy
Cause all I wanted was to give Hailie the life I never had
But instead I forced us to live alienated, so i’m sayin’…”

Marshall sometimes feels like being trapped. He has to hide and to protect from the papparazzi, the press, from some freaky fans. To summarize it all, he feels like he has no peace. Wherever he goes, he needs to hide his face. He feels like he’s been deprived from the freedom he had when he was underground.
He expresses quite the same in “Sing For the Moment” from the Eminem Show:

”But then these critics crucify you, journalists try to burn you
Fans turn on you, attorneys all want a turn at you
to get they hands on every dime you have…”

He feels like everybody wants something from him. Even worse: some journalists destroy his public image, fans don’t leave him alone, attorneys are ready to take his money, because he constantly gets sued.
I personaly think that Eminem likes the fame and the love he gets from his numerous fans, but sometimes he doesn’t manage to cope with the pressures that surround him and also with some people’s crazy behavior in front of him. He is perfectly conscious of the fact that he is an easy target for the media who don’t like him.
When he feels exceeded, Marshall wants to quit the game, but he also knows that “a normal life is boring/ The superstardom is close to post mortar” and that he has reached the high level of fame he talks about in “Lose Yourself”.

Ronnie Polkingharn : Eminem’s closest friend

Monday, November 17th, 2003

Although he was Eminem’s closest friend, we know very few things about Ronnie. Ronnie Dean Polkingharn was Betty Kresin’s (Eminem’s grandmother) sixth child. He was only two months older than Marshall. Both kids used to spend their whole free time together.
Ronnie had a major influence on his nephew. He intoduced him into hip hop and break dance. It was his first album that inspired Eminem to become the gifted breakdancer he is now. Eminem remembers when his uncle Ronnie bought him the ‘ Breakin’ ‘ album in 1981 :

‘ When I was 9 years old, my uncle put me on to the Breakin’ soundtrack. The first rap song I ever heard was Ice-T, ‘Reckless’. ‘I was fascinated.’

Marshall and Ronnie used to record rap tapes together. Both kids were separated when Debbie went to Detroit, but each time he returned to St Joseph, Missouri, he spent his whole time with Ronnie.
About Ronnie, Marshall says:

‘ He was just like my best friend. He was the only family that I had, that I was close to. ‘

According to Betty Kresin, both kids couldn’t stand being separated for a long time and insisted to see each other after several months of separation.

In 1991, on December the 13 th , a big tragedy happened in Marshall’s life . Debbie called her son that day to tell him the bad news :

‘She was crying’she was just kept crying, and I was like, what’s the matter, what’s going on’she was like, Ronnie is dead.’

Eminem was so shocked that he couldn’t attend the funeral. He just isolated himself and kept listening to Ronnie’s tapes.
As you probably know, Eminem upset his grandmother when he wanted to use his dead uncle’s voice for a new release in 2001. She misinterpreted her grandson’s intentions and intented to sue him. She also pretended that her grandson changed for the worse. At this time, granny Betty and her grandson had a serious argument. Betty wanted Marshall to pay for her bills when he became famous.

“The next time I saw him, he asked me how much my bill was. I told him, and he never did a thing for me. He has never offered anything to his mother. Her gutter is falling off her house, and she has only recently got a used washing machine.”

She also wanted him to exhume her dead’s son’s corpse in order to investigate on his death.

“They were really good pals”, she stated.

And she told Marshall : ‘ Now you’re famous, you’ve got money, and you say you love Ronnie so much with that tattoo on your arm. I want his body exhumed to find out the truth about what happened. ‘

Suddenly, Betty changed her mind and decided that Marshall wasn’t the bad guy she was talking about and reconciled with her grandson. She completed her book ‘ The Ties That Bind ‘. This book will certainly and help us to know more details about Ronnie and Marshall’s childhood.

Eminem ‘s intentions were clearly to honor his deceased uncle :
” I loved Ronnie. I’ve got a Ronnie tattoo on my arm.I wanted to pay tribute to him. Nothing bad, I’ll sell records regardless”

The dog tag he wears around his neck comes from him and his tatoo is on his upper left shoulder (“R.I.P Ronnie”) is dedicated to his uncle.

It took Eminem a long time to cope with his uncle’s death. He was obsessed with his suicide and also fantasized about killing himself in his lyrics.
In an interview given to ‘Music 365′ on April the 28th 2000, Eminem was asked if he wanted to end his life for good after this dramatic event:

-Music 365 : “Your uncle Ronnie committed suicide. Have your ever felt so low that you wanted to end it all? “
-Eminem: “That’s always been something that’s been in the back of my mind, but I don’t think I have the balls to do it. There was this one time when I really felt like I wanted to do something to change my life, whether it would be doing something I regretted, or with rap or whatever. “

Fortunately and thanks to the inner strength he has cultivated inside of him, Marshall ‘s will to rap was stronger than his suicidal tendencies.

There are many references to Ronnie in Eminem’s songs. In his song ‘ Stan ‘, from the Marshall Mathers LP, Stan says :

‘I read about your Uncle Ronnie too I’m sorry
I had a friend kill himself over some bitch who didn’t want him…’

Those lines refer to the circumstances of Ronnie’s death. His suicidal girlfriend might be responsible of Ronnie’s death, but it will remain a supposition. Ronnie was known as a sensitive man. He has been kicked out of the US army because he couldn’t stand guns. His death by gunshot was ruled suicide.

Another reference to his uncle can be found in the ‘ Cleaning Out My Closet ‘ song where Eminem screams his pain and anger at his mom :

” Remember when Ronnie died and you said you wished it was me? Well, guess what, I am dead. Dead to you as can be.”

His everlasting pain expressed about Ronnie’s disparition can also be found in ” My Dad’s Gone Crazy” :

” More pain inside of my brain, in the eyes of a little girl inside of a plane
Aimed at the world trade, standin’ on Ronnie’s grave,
Screaming at the sky’ “

The D12 song ‘ Shit can happen ‘ lets appear another reference to Ronnie.

” One man army, guns can’t harm me
Young and army, worse than my Uncle Ronnie
Ever since I got my first gun pulled on me
I can’t stop carryin out my dirty laundry
Middle fingers flipped and censorship’ “

Marshall used to idealize Ronnie and he always considered him best rapper than him. He didn’t even dare rapping in front of him, because he thought his rap wasn’t good enough compared to Ronnie’s.
Once Ronnie visited him in Detroit and Marshall told Ronnie about his dream to become a rap superstar and his determination to go to the end. But Ronnie had given up rap for good, because he was convinced he would never make it.

Marshall’s best tribute to his beloved uncle is his success as a talented rapper.

Protests Loom In London for Visit by Bush

Monday, November 17th, 2003

LONDON — When an aging cargo ship from Virginia loaded with toxic waste crawled into Newcastle’s harbor in northeast England last week, Peter Brookes, editorial cartoonist for the Times of London, quickly saw an analogy. He drew President Bush (news – web sites)’s face on the bow, with a sign reading “Highly Toxic.”

Bush doesn’t arrive here until Tuesday evening, but his four-day state visit to Britain already has set off protests and criticism aimed at him and his geo-strategic partner and close friend: Prime Minister Tony Blair (news – web sites).

The trip, planned months ago, was supposed to be a celebration of the Anglo-American alliance following the anticipated triumph of U.S. and British forces in Iraq (news – web sites). Blair’s aides had looked forward to what they called a “Baghdad bounce” in the polls that would restore their leader’s popularity at home. Bush’s aides had relished the chance for the president to present his vision of the war on terrorism on the world stage in the relatively friendly and secure environment of America’s closest ally.

But the escalating violence in Iraq — combined with a series of lingering disputes between the two governments and perceived slights from Washington — has tarnished the glow. The trip has become an opportunity for antiwar protesters to stage three days of demonstrations. One protest leader, Lindsey German, called Bush “the most unwelcome guest this country has ever received.” Critics across the political spectrum here are raising anew questions about Blair’s close partnership with a conservative Republican administration.

“Unless Saddam Hussein (news – web sites) arrives and gives himself up personally to the queen, I can’t see any upside at all for Blair,” said Peter Riddell, author of “Hug Them Close,” a new book about American-British relations. “You’d have to go back to the Vietnam War to find a time when a presidential visit would have been so controversial.”

Many Britons say Bush is taking advantage of his junior partner by coming here for photo ops with Blair and Queen Elizabeth, his official hostess for the visit, to help launch his reelection campaign. Some Democrats, among them Sidney Blumenthal, a former Clinton White House aide, have chided their counterparts in Blair’s left-of-center Labor Party for bestowing political aid and comfort on a Republican president. But analysts warn that the visit could backfire on Bush.

“I think Americans will be surprised to see the extent of the antipathy toward Bush here,” said James P. Rubin, a former assistant secretary of state in the Clinton administration who now teaches at the London School of Economics. “When they think of Britain they think Tony Blair, our stalwart ally, and they’re probably not aware that in terms of public opinion Britain is not all that different from the rest of Europe.”

Britain was America’s closest ally before and during the Iraq conflict, thanks largely to Blair’s personal commitment. But a large majority of Britons favored winning U.N. approval before launching military action. Although the public rallied behind British troops during the conflict, support for the war — and for Blair — has plummeted in the months since, especially among members of the ruling Labor Party.

Bush, labeled “the Toxic Texan” by critics here, has never been a popular figure in Britain. A poll last week for the antiwar Daily Mirror newspaper found that three of four Britons surveyed believed Bush’s war on terrorism had made the world a more dangerous place. Things have gotten so bad that commentators noted the high number of compliments Bush paid Blair in a recent interview with British reporters — Riddell counted 15 during the 40-minute session — and warned that each one could further damage Blair’s political standing.

On Sunday, Bush said he was not worried by the prospect of protests during his visit, the Reuters news agency reported from Washington. “No, not concerned at all,” he said. “Glad to be going to a free country where people are allowed to protest.”

Beginning with Harry Truman in 1952, Queen Elizabeth has met every one of the 11 U.S. presidents who have served during her reign. But the invitation to Bush is the first formal state visit ever for an American leader. It came about reportedly through the hard work of U.S. Ambassador William S. Farish, a Bush family friend and major Republican Party donor.

Farish has been all but invisible during his three years here, but maintains close ties to the royal family, due in part to a shared interest in horse racing and breeding — the queen sends mares to Lane’s End, his stud farm in Kentucky, and she reportedly has visited there four times. The trip was first broached 18 months ago, officials said, and final plans were cemented in the spring, just after U.S. and British forces rolled through Iraq.

“They probably thought it would be a victory lap,” Rubin said.

Already, officials say, the trip has been a planning nightmare. Bush and his wife, Laura, are scheduled to spend the first two nights at Buckingham Palace in the heart of London, and the Secret Service (news – web sites) has demanded that a large area be sealed off to protect the president from potential terrorists and from the 100,000 or so demonstrators expected to protest in the streets. About 250 armed Secret Service agents have been assigned to supplement Scotland Yard’s extensive forces. But the queen reportedly vetoed, as too noisy, plans for a Black Hawk helicopter to hover over Buckingham Palace.

Polls indicate that many Britons resent the planned show of force, the potential disruption and the estimated $10 million bill for presidential security. But there is much deeper resentment stemming from the widespread sense that Blair has gotten little but grief from a relationship that, viewed from here, looks increasingly one-sided.

While insisting publicly that relations have never been better, British officials privately keep a laundry list of complaints about the Bush administration, beginning with Iraq itself — both the run-up to the war and the aftermath. The British had pushed behind the scenes for more time for U.N. weapons inspectors to complete their task before taking military action, but say they were overruled by impatient hawks in the White House and Pentagon (news – web sites).

After the initial fighting ended, they proposed maintaining the Iraqi army, albeit under a different command structure, and pressed for a faster handover to local authorities. Most of all, they have complained that they are seldom consulted, much less heeded, by U.S. officials despite having 10,000 troops on the ground in southern Iraq.

There are other sources of tension, from the ongoing detention without charge or trial at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, of nine British nationals suspected of terrorism, to Washington’s alarm over British involvement in the new European Union (news – web sites) defense project and the Bush administration’s effective abandonment of the “road map” diplomatic initiative in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Washington has also viewed critically a British-French-German effort to negotiate an end to Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons program. Apprised of Europe’s carrot-and-stick approach to Iran, Undersecretary of State John R. Bolton mockingly told a recent seminar here, “I don’t do carrots.”

In all of these areas, British officials complain they have gotten little or no support from Washington. “The feeling is that every time something really matters, Blair has to go and beg personally for it,” said Bronwen Maddox, foreign affairs columnist for the Times. “There have been a lot of bruises this year.”

Blair, as always, has put the most positive face on the Bush visit, insisting in a recent speech that “this is exactly the right time for him to come.”

“The first thing you learn in politics is that those that protest the most or shout the loudest aren’t necessarily entirely representative of the whole of opinion,” he said in an interview last week. “Most people in this country, I believe, are immensely proud of the American alliance and support it.”

The queen and the president have met before, most famously in 1991 during his father’s administration when he made her smile by wearing cowboy boots stamped with “God Save the Queen” during her visit to the White House. U.S. and British officials are hoping his quirky charm, combined with his deeply held belief that he is protecting the world from rogue states and terrorism, will somehow capture hearts and minds here.

“The president cannot back down from this fight,” said one U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity. “If you don’t address the issue, then the argument goes by default to the other side. And this is still the best European capital, the best environment, to make the case.”

Kim still missing

Monday, November 17th, 2003

Despite rumors and mumblings in the court system that she may soon turn herself in, the ex-wife of rapper Eminem remains a fugitive at large on two distinct drug cases and has lost custody of her daughter to the hip-hop star.

Warrants remain pending for the arrest of Kimberly S. Mathers, 28, of Clinton Township, and an order filed early this week in Macomb County Circuit Court ascribes temporary custody of her 7-year-old daughter to Marshall Bruce Mathers, aka rapper Eminem.

“(Eminem) shall have sole legal and physical custody of the minor child, Hailie … until she attains the age of 18 or until further order of the court,” an order signed by Circuit Judge Antonio P. Viviano states. “Kimberly Scott Mathers’ parenting time is suspended as long as she remains a fugitive, or until further order… .”

Mrs. Mathers has been missing since Nov. 1, when a tether placed on her for failing to appear in court on drug charges indicated she had left her restricted area. Judge John Chmura of 37th District Court issued a bench warrant for her arrest the following week.

John Courie, a Macomb County assistant prosecutor handling one of the cases against Mathers, said he has heard from another attorney claiming that she will turn herself in sometime later this month, but no official plans were made and as far as he knows she remains wanted for arrest.

“This new attorney had said he apparently talked to her and it’s all set,” Courie said. “But her current attorney, or previous one, supposedly knew nothing of it. So who knows?”

Michael J. Smith, an attorney who has been representing Mrs. Mathers in the drug cases, did not return repeated phone calls seeking comment this week.

The Warren drug case stems from a Sept. 29 hotel party raided by Warren police, who found marijuana and the designer drug ecstasy inside. Ms. Mathers did not have any drugs in her possession at the time, but police said she had rented the room and so she is charged with maintaining a drug house, a 2-year misdemeanor.

She also had a pending drug case from St. Clair Shores from earlier in the year, where police stopped the Cadillac Escalade she was driving and found cocaine allegedly belonging to her and another occupant in the vehicle.

She was placed on a tether after missing one or more previous court dates in that case before Macomb County Circuit Judge Edward Servitto. After she went missing again Nov.1, Servitto scheduled a show cause hearing in court the following week and then issued a bench warrant when she didn’t attend. Officials haven’t located her since, and Smith has said in the past he is concerned about his client.

“Mr. Mathers has no ill will toward her, and he wishes her well and hopes she is doing well,” said his divorce attorney, Harvey Hauer, who sought the custody change after she went missing. “But I have no knowledge of her current whereabouts.”

Mrs. Mathers shares one child, daughter Hailie, with Eminem and has one other child from another relationship, officials said this week

Eminem’s Scots heritage rapped up

Monday, November 17th, 2003

A HIGHLAND film company has discovered that Eminem, the world’s most famous – and infamous – rapper, is actually a Scot.

The Black Isle firm Move On Up traced hip-hop star Eminem’s ancestors back more than 200 years for a television programme and found he has Scottish blood on both sides of his family.

On his father’s side, the company found a Peter Mathers, from Pennsylvania, who married a Scottish woman.

The singer, who was born in Detroit, is also descended from Ailsa McAllister, an Edinburgh woman born in 1847, on his mother’s side.

The star’s real name, Marshall Mathers III, is his most obvious link to Scotland, as the name originates from the Barclay clan.

The television programme, Eminem’s Celtic Connections, also compares the superstar with Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns.

Maureen White, who directed the programme,

said: “Eminem is truly and definitely Scottish in his genes.

“We managed to get his family tree to him and it is just a case of whether he picks up on it or not.”

She added: “We could not get anyone to say a bad word about him. The general response was regardless of what you think of him, the man is a genius.

“He is saying our society is misogynistic, racist and homophobic. Just because a singer sings in the first person it does not mean that those views expressed are his own.

“We are posing the question whether an expression of someone’s creativity is nature or nurture,” Ms White said.

“Is it important that Eminem has Scottish genes or is it because he is white trailer-trash, or is it a combination of those factors?

“We make a comparison between Eminem and Burns – and a former professor of English at Cambridge University says they can stand side by side.

“It is like Burns in his day was shunned because he had a child and all of a sudden society decided they didn’t like him any more. Eminem is certainly a man for a’ that.”

Don Coutts, the owner of Move On Up, says he is a fan of the controversial star. He added: “He is a very talented guy and I have become a big fan since doing the film.

“His record company know we are making it but I don’t think they wanted to get involved because they tend to like things they can control.

“We interviewed a woman from the Burns Society and she spoke away about Eminem. She didn’t think people in 200 years would be celebrating an Eminem night.

“Personally I think he is a genius. I have all his stuff, and everything he says in interviews is always way out there. He gives you a lot of material to work and play with.”

Eminem’s Celtic Connections is presented by Zevi Watmaugh and will be broadcast on BBC2 on 30 November.

Men are from Mars…

Monday, November 17th, 2003

The author of the famous book, “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus”, John Gray, is a fraud.

Man I haven’t seen this story anywhere…

The relationship guru who constantly promotes himself as ‘Dr. John Gray’ and lists a ‘Ph.D.’ has only one accredited degree, a high school diploma. Neither his BA nor his MA is from an accredited institution of higher education.

John Gray’s first wife was the inimitable Barbara DeAngelis, ‘Ph.D.’ For those of you out of the loop, ‘Dr.’ DeAngelis is another one of ‘America’s leading experts on relationships.’ She has written a number of relationship bestsellers including ‘Are You the One For Me?’ and ‘Chicken Soup For the Couple’s Soul,’ and she is the producer of the ‘Making Love Work’ video series. Like her ex-hubby, DeAngelis likes to frequent Oprah, Good Morning America, and Larry King Live. Barbara DeAngelis and Larry King must have a lot to talk about. He has been married eight times, and she has been married five times. John Gray was husband number three for DeAngelis. …I don’t know the details of John and Barbara’s courtship, but perhaps they met while registering for classes at the now-defunct Columbia Pacific University. Because – you guessed it – that is where DeAngelis received her ‘Ph.D.’ as well.