Friday, November 24, 2006

Black & Blue Friday

It is the Friday after Thanksgiving 2006... news (or what we accept as news) is filled with stories about people going shopping. That’s the dominant topic of the day. Holiday gift shopping. Can someone please explain this to me? SHOPPING?

Helicopters were dispatched to cover the long lines of people who woke long before dawn to stand in line for the chance to purchase the latest, cheapest, or last available whatever will make their lives better this Christmas.

And as we focus on SHOPPING - half a world away people are blowing themselves up, blowing strangers up, and trying to blow up American troops.

Aside from embarrassment, I’m not quite certain what to think.

At least we’ve stopped talking about OJ’s book or Michael Richard’s racist rant... but we’re not really having an honest debate about the important stuff - are we?

I for one would love for everyone to put down their partisan flags and egos and move towards a respectful discussion of what can realistically be done to solve the problems in the Middle East. The obvious mess in Iraq, the nuclear terrorist state developing in Iran, Israel’s inevitable conflict with it’s neighbors and Afghanistan’s continuing conflict.

I really would love to have that discussion - but there is a midnight madness sale on 50 inch HD-Plasma TVs at Circuit City - the prices are SICK and my friend knows the guy who’s sister is dating the security guard - he’ll put us right up in the front of the line.

More tomorrow - I hope.

Monday, November 06, 2006

3.2 Billion Spent. To what end?

I wish I could have a purple finger after I vote - perhaps I will do just that... just as the Iraqis did.

The elections are tomorrow.
(Ok, hit me with the gigantic DUH and move on to the next thought-provoking sentence.)

If we piled up all the nasty ads being run on tv, radio, in print and on the web - not only would we have a stinky mess to rival the Staten Island Landfill, but we would see what 3.2 BILLION dollars buys.


We could pay a lot of teachers more money... and who better to get a raise than teachers?

We could pay cops, firefighters and EMS more money too.

New Orleans and the Gulf Coast might see a little more clean up happen.

Follow the money folks, follow the money.

Tomorrow we cast our ballots and decide who gets to spend those tax dollars we send to Washinton, DC. That's right, it's not about stem cells, or interns in chat rooms, or even Iraq - at the end of the day this is about trusting our hard earned cash to people who are supposed to spend it on our protections, our educational system, our highways, and ultimately on us.

So think about that. When you get set to pull the lever, punch the chad or point and click your pick for Senator, Congressperson, Governor, Mayor, etc... Think about which one of those people you want to take hold of your wallet and have unfettered access to between 15 and 45% of what you make.

Are the choices any clearer?

In a perfect world we'd get the chance to wipe it all clean and start with a new slate of people who want the job, care about us, and would spend the money as we would want it spent. Sadly we are stuck with a broken system.

Some say we should be happy with a broken system. After all, there are billions of people around the world with no system and most of them want to be here. Good point. However, I say let's fix the system. It starts with one finger making a choice.


If you approach me in the next two years and have anything to say about the way things are being run in your town, city, state or this great country and you did not vote - I will laugh in your face and walk away from you.


Saturday, November 04, 2006

Disturbingly Funny - Brilliantly embarrassing!

Yes... I paid to see it. Yes, I stayed for the entire show... through the last credit roll. Borat would have expected me to do so.

Here he is... the one on the right.

Sacha Baron Cohen's creation is a license to print money. BORAT opened in 834 theaters this weekend and will probably do more business than the two family movies that opened on 3400+ screens each. I'm talking about Tim Allen's latest Santa Clause feature and the animated film, "Flushed Away."

Both of those movies will no doubt be successful, following the formula that has worked time and time again - however they are being eclipsed by a movie that will most certainly find a way to offend every single person who sees it. I must admit that I was warned by co-workers who had seen it weeks ago. They told me it was funny - laugh out loud funny - and also shocking. One friend predicted that it would have earned an X rating had it been released back in the mid-70s and I could not agree more.

If you are not afraid to laugh at clever, crude, ingenious, offensive, insightful, disgusting, juvenile, and brilliant material - then you must see this movie.

It is not so much a movie about a person as it is a mirror upon the world. And yet it is a movie about a person.

Katherine Hepburn once said that acting is very much like standing on stage naked and being forced to turn around very slowly. This movie has recreated that feeling for me. And yet... I loved 99% of it.