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This Week’s Inspirational Pop Culture Moments

By Amy & Nancy Harrington, Pop Culture Passionistas
This week a charitable rocker gets a town named after him, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” gives back, and John Lennon sends some posthumous advice. Here are this week’s most inspirational pop culture moments.
Snidersville Named for a Twisted Rocker
It’s not every day a heavy metal singer gets a town named after him. Then again it’s not every day a heavy metal singer steps up to do charity work.
Dee Snider of the ’80s hair band Twisted Sister has been working with the March of Dimes for over ten years. After two of his four children were born prematurely, he became the national spokesperson for Bikers for Babies, the organization’s initiative that fights to end preterm births.
On Saturday, August 21, Dee will ride his motorcycle from Lima to Cridersville, Ohio during a Bikers for Babies fundraiser. And to show their gratitude to the rocker, Cridersville is officially changing their name to Snidersville for the day.
Snider joked on his website, “That oughta send property values skyrocketing!”
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Gives Back
The name Rooney Mara might not ring a bell for you–yet. Soon, she’ll be on the tip of everyone’s tongue when she takes on the title role of the much-anticipated U.S. film version of the top-selling novel “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.”
Up until now Mara has made the pre-requisite horror film (the 2010 remake of “A Nightmare on Elm Street”), TV guest appearances (on shows like “Law & Order” and “ER”), and Indie flicks (like “Dare”). But between “Dragon Tattoo” and the highly anticipated Facebook film “The Social Network,” Rooney Mara is about to become a household name.
That’s good news for Faces of Kibera, the non-profit organization that the altruistic actress founded a few years ago. In 2006, Mara traveled to Kenya to volunteer at a Kiberan orphanage where she was exposed to the dreadful conditions at the facility and in the region. When she returned a few months later, she decided to found Faces of Kibera.
While Kibera is only one square mile big, it houses one million people–making it the third largest slum in the world. Many of the children are orphaned and a significant number are HIV positive. According to their mission statement, “Faces of Kibera is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to helping the rising number of orphans in Kibera, Kenya.”
Their initial focus is building a facility in the Nairobian suburb of Ngong, which will aide and educate young women from Kibera. To find out more about Mara’s organization, visit their website
John Lennon’s Advice Delivered 34 Years Later
Sometimes those inspirational words you’re looking for don’t come exactly at the moment you need them. Such was the case with Steve Tilston, a 60-year-old British musician, who received a letter from John Lennon–34 years after it was sent.
In 1970, then aspiring songwriter Stiltson had done an interview with ZigZag magazine in which he wondered whether or not financial success would put a damper on his songwriting abilities. His favorite Beatle saw the piece and sent a note to Steve via the ZigZag offices. Only one problem–it was never forwarded to him.
Flash forward almost 35 years to 2005, when a Beatles collector called Tilston to verify the missives authenticity. Understandably, Steve was disappointed that he had never received Lennon’s letter, especially since the music icon had included his phone number so the two could chat.
But even after decades as a working musician with over 20 albums to his name, Tilston must have appreciated Lennon’s words of wisdom. According to the Australian Associated Press (AAP), his message was simple, “Being rich doesn’t change your experiences in the way you think. The only difference, basically, is that you don’t have to worry about money–food–roof etc. But all other experiences–emotions–relationships–are the same as (anybody’s). I know, I have been rich and poor and so has Yoko (rich–poor–rich). So, whatya think of that? Love John and Yoko.”

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