Thursday, March 29, 2012

Be The Difference

Thanks for taking the time to stop by.

Highest on the list of things that piss me off this week (beyond the Tayvon Martin case, the Supreme Court debating and deciding health care, the usual political ineptitude in Washington and points elsewhere, and Dick Cheney getting a new heart) is the new film: BULLY.  This is the movie that is part of the Bully Project which is being distributed as an unrated film by the Weinstein Company because the MPAA decided it deserved an R rating due to its strong language and violence.  Specifically – the word “FUCK”.  The Hunger Games (which is no doubt a good movie and made $155 million at the box office last weekend) gets a PG-13 rating even though the premise has to do with kids killing kids in a futuristic sci-fi world.  Bully gets an R because the film’s content deals with real violence between real kids in the real world.  And because of several instances of bad language - specifically that world “FUCK”.  Seriously?  What the fuck?  Walk through any high school or hang out at the mall for thirty minutes and listen to kids – the word is so over-used so often that it has lost its shock value.

This is a film every kid over 13 should see.  As well as every parent who has a kid over thirteen or might some day have a kid who will be over thirteen.  This is a film meant to inspire advocacy, engage conversation and solutions, and empower people who are bullied (AND their families AND people who too often stand by and do nothing).  Hunger Games will inspire sequels and rip-offs and knock-offs.

On a completely different note, I believe that friendships are one of the most important things we carry with us.  Having spent the past few days re-connecting with old friends and high school classmates, I believe that although time might erode memories, the strength of those friendships endures no matter how many years pass. Even though the fast cars have given way to sedans and mini-vans, and running around all night has evolved into watching our kids and grand kids running around soccer fields, it doesn’t take much to flash back to the familiar joys and pains of high school.  And know that inside there’s still a part of each of us that misses those days….at least sometimes….

Monday, March 19, 2012

Against The Wind

Thanks for stopping by – having made it through the dark days of winter I am finally ready to rip into 2012 with a list of things I believe (and an equally long list of things that piss me off).

I believe that Kony 2012 was a great concept that educated the mainstream about the atrocities committed by Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army.  But I believe there’s more to getting involved than posting the link to Facebook or tweeting about the video.  If you want to make a difference you need to get involved (and that means learning all the facts – not just the YouTube sound bites).  It takes education, effort, and real action.  And speaking of getting involved, Occupy Wall Street showed what happens when you give voice to the voiceless but don’t identify your objectives or what you’re trying to accomplish.  It comes down to identifying objectives, targeting an audience, and execution…..”End The War” is clear, succinct, and easier to make happen than “End Greed.”  I believe that we need to spend more time, effort, and money on space exploration – not less.  This is a reversal of my earlier position in which I bitched that space exploration was a waste of money.  The big picture (as explained by Neil DeGrasse Tyson) is that space exploration is about innovation.  Discovery.  Pushing boundaries.  I believe that collectively we as a nation have stopped pushing boundaries and we’re falling behind.  Seriously behind.

I believe in Made In USA and I think we need to find more effective ways of manufacturing products in the USA.  Here’s an idea – factories and shops in inner cities, tax breaks for companies willing to investment, and job training for people who might want to work but lack the necessary skills…..and maybe if 1 or 2 big box retailers got behind this and pushed their suppliers to swing bigger percentages of the manufacturing back to the USA it might happen.  I believe no husband or man in any serious relationship wants to hear the words: “we have to talk”, because inevitably it just involves some aspect of our behavior we need to change (even if we don’t want to change it).   I believe too many politicians are out of touch with the realities of America in 2012 and the issues affecting their lives.  I believe Justified and Southland are two of the best shows on TV right now (followed closely by Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire).  And I believe I can happily live my life without ever seeing another reality show, except maybe Intervention.