Archive for the ‘Day’ Tag

Where is all of our money?

It is true – the rich are getting rich and the poor are falling into greater poverty. This, however, is no fault of the government. Guess who is to blame.

Us.

That’s right, you and me. After all, who goes to see expensive concerts? Who continues to pay overpriced movie tickets? Who pays an arm and a leg for season tickets to athletic events? It’s not the government, it’s the consumers.

There is also a terrible misconception in this country that it’s always the government’s responsibility to fix our problems. I challenge that thinking – keep in mind the government is responsible for most of our problems. This topic however will be reserved for a future rant.

In a small survey I did with some close friends, here’s how our money usage is spent.

  • A little less than a third spent in taxes
  • A little more than a third spent in bills including shelter
  • A little less than a third spent in “entertainment” and food.

Ok, so let’s take a closer look at the “entertainment” section. For most Americans that means
movies, compact disks of some kind (DVD/CD), concerts, comedians, restaurants, etc.

If I go and see a mainstream artist in concert (depending on my income and the quality of the seat I paid for) I just gave this already ridiculously rich person MORE of my hard earned cash. In my specific example, a good seat at a mainstream concert probably cost me %10-%15 of my disposable income (the money left over after bills/taxes/etc). Sure, I might like the artist, but do I REALLY need to give them that much of my money?

The answer is no. Anyone who complains that we don’t tax the rich enough but goes supports these rich people with their personal funds are hypocrites. How ridiculous is it to say “Ok, I’ll give you my hard earned money” and then come tax season say “Hey, give that back to us!”

Music is a classic example – see my previous blog by clicking here.  I talk about MIDI files and how mainstream musicians do not deserve our love or money.  Music is an industry where one attractive person has a good to wonderful singing voice… that’s it.  They have entire staffs of people to write their lyrics, write their songs, and technology to make these processes flawless.  The technology utilized in concerts is dishonest and contrived.  The end result is this: Consumers think they are supporting an artist.  The fact is that every dollar spent in that artist’s name is a waste.  The artist (who is already rich) didn’t do nearly the amount of work that you did for that money.  Remember how hard you worked for that $75 concert ticket?  Say the concert had 3,000 attendees.  That artist just raised $225000 and did little to no work whatsoever.  Come on folks – our money is worth more than that.  I’d rather not have to remind people about impoverished people in our country and other parts of the world; I’ll save that for another post.

The bottom line here is this:  If you feel like athletes are overpaid and more money should be spent on cancer research, then don’t go to sporting events and donate more money for cancer research.  If you think the money in the pockets of the Hollywood types would be better spent in the pockets of those in poverty, don’t go to Hollywood films.

I understand as well as anyone else the value of entertainment.  We’ve all been brainwashed into thinking we can only get entertainment from big companies.  THAT IS COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS.  You like sports?  How about PLAYING them with your family or friends?  You like movies?  Hit up the independent movie theater or local film festival.  Remember Memento? Pans Labyrinth? These were at one point film festival movies that were so successful they were mass produced.  Independent films are great – do not believe the stereotype fed to you by the big studios leading you to believe that anything that does not come from them is crap.  Remember Speed Racer?  Pearl Harbor?  Superman Returns?  Valentine?  These were studio pictures and they were TERRIBLE!  How about music – do you really need to go to a concert and hear music (that is probably pre-recorded) when you already have the Mp3 files and/or the radio?  How about the local coffee shop that features talented folks in your community – don’t they need your support more than the mega-artists?  The answer is obviously YES!  Again, it is propaganda that only the big guns are talented.  At least the local kid who is getting NO CORPORATE HELP probably wrote his or her own songs for goodness sake.  We should definitely be supporting them and I’m telling you the music is just as good.  I’ve been to local coffee shops and small venues and I know it can be just as good.

In conclusion, think about this.  If you think the rich in America are too rich, you’ve got to stop supporting them.  WE are the reason they are getting richer and richer.  No matter poor we get – even if we can barley support ourselves, we STILL give these ultra rich people MORE of our money.  We’ve got to wake up.

The only thing more terrifying than being exposed to 5,000 ads a day (which we are) is realizing that IT IS WORKING.

Just think about it.

There Will Be Blood…? 8 nominations… really?

A modern day Citizen Kane. These are words that I would NEVER USE to describe this film.

I liked Magnolia. I have not seen Paul Thomas Anderson’s other films but I am sure I would like a few more of them. I liked what I saw of Boogie Nights. And you know, I’m sure he’s probably a really nice guy on top of everything else.

I did not like There Will Be Blood. Not even a little. In fact, I’ve never been so frustrated in a movie in all my life (and I’ve seen Valentine). I’ve only been moved to write a review about two films. This one, and Star Wars Episode III. I did not like Star Wars Episode III at all, but I prefer it 100 fold over There Will Be Blood.

At no point am I going to rag on any particular individual involved with this film. I will say that in my humble opinion, nothing really worked. Again, not trying to be a jerk – just in my opinion nothing really worked… at all.

BEING UN-CONVENTIONAL
The friends that I saw this film with said It wasn’t bad, it was “un-conventional.” Let me explain something. If you make a film that is un-conventional, that does not give you a free pass to avoid criticism. Movies can be un-conventional AND terrible. There is an important category that must be paid attention to. The quality category: that is “good” and “bad.” An example of a “good” and un-conventional movie would be Memento.

THE PERFORMANCES:
Daniel Day-Lewis is incredible. I loved his performance, and nothing bad can or should be said about it. Not too excited about anyone else. I guess the translator was pretty good.

THE SCORE:
It sounded in some sections like the THX logo was about to come up. In other sections it sounded like a musician fell into a closet full of instruments. No kidding… at one point a teenager came into the theater ringing some Christmas bells and… I am seriously not kidding… I thought it was part of the movie. Totally out of place, completely strange and I didn’t even realize it was not supposed to be there. No kidding.

THE STORY:
Movies are storytelling. Some stories are not worth telling. Maybe I’m crazy… maybe I’m alone in this but I just didn’t care. If someone walked up to me at a party and started to tell me this story about this guy who was a gold miner and then got into oil drilling and went from town to town looking for land that had oil under it and one day he found a crazy religious guy who caused him no end of trouble but he took his advice anyway and then made a lot of money but- right about here I’d probably just give them the back of my head and walk away. I don’t care about this story. At two hours into the movie, I still didn’t care.

THE CHARACTERS:
Everyone was a Jerk. I couldn’t root for anyone; I didn’t care about anyone, and I really didn’t care what happened to them. So incredibly boring.

THE GOOD PARTS:

TWO HIGHLIGHTS OF THE BAD PARTS:

  • Whenever the characters started to get violent with one another the majority of the folks in the theatre I was in began laughing. I don’t blame them. It came off funny. I don’t know if it was supposed to; I really don’t think so, at least not most of the time.
  • Why did I have to watch him look for gold in the beginning? I suppose to show that he started a man by himself; just a one man show that by the end has a mansion and tons of money? I feel like we would have gotten that anyway. If not cut that, then please cut something – or pick up the pace. Way too slow; way too long.

I feel like I’ve ranted enough for now. Long story short, great performance by Daniel Day-Lewis, but that’s all I have to say. He was a flower growing out of a pot of dirt (no offense to anyone – just saying it like it is). Yes, I know it was nominated for lots of awards. I have two words for you: English Patient. Not many folks liked that movie, but it still won Best Picture in 1996 over Jerry Maguire.

Where am I going wrong here?

-dm