Sunday, December 18, 2011

Movie Review: "Limitless"

   I am an ardent fan of the cinematic arts. Although I have certain genre preferences, I don’t let that stifle my curiosity and close myself to different flavors of entertainment. That said...I am a huge fan of science fiction, super hero and action movies! Please visit my other blog The Boxed Office for reviews, exclusively, on these types of movies.
The Cast: 
   Bradley Cooper is very entertaining as a man with no options being given a new lease on a very steep cost. He was believable and made a clear departure from the antics he portrayed in the A-Team. Robert De Niro is everything you’ve come to expect...and more. Abbie Cornish plays her supporting role well and Andrew Howard keeps popping up like a bad penny throughout the movie...with very good acting as a lone shark.
The Plot: 
   Eddie Morra (Cooper) is a failed writer that has reached the end of his rope when he is introduced to a wonder drug that changes his whole life around. The drug makes him an overnight success with his writing...and anything else he wants to do. After finding a large stash of the drug, Morra ascends to the top of the financial world drawing the attention of Carl Van Loon (De Niro). With the side effects getting worse and his supply running low, Morra must find a way to continue to break all limits...or die.
   Carl Van Loon (Robert De Niro) is a self made multi millionaire that notices Morra’s abilities as an opportunity to further his own any cost. He seeks to control Morra when Morra can hardly control himself.
   With a mysterious man trying to kill him, a lone shark, Gennady (Andrew Howard ), constantly hunting him for a fix after being exposed to the drug and Van Loon trying to use him...Morra must figure out how to counteract the severe side effects while surviving the never-ending onslaught of trouble.
The Verdict: 
   Limitless is a thriller with a unique angle that is often shown from Morra’s perspective, adding to the chaotic suspense that sustains the film throughout.
   The movie was well cast and the cast was excellent. The directional pace was lethargic at times but was quickly forgotten when the thrills started their bombardment. The suspense of the constant danger and bouts with his old self in situational conflict with his new self, easily carries you to the edge of the seat.
   The film answers the question of choices for Morra, after the world has been laid out by this wonder-drug. With no limits on the thinking process, what would you do? The action and effects were good and the story was riveting...taking more turns than a revolving door...leaving an opening for three and a half cinnamon sticks, out of five, in my cup of tea.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Rap Music...A Passing Phase?

   I remember how it was in the beginning. I remember the first time I heard Rapper’s Delight on the radio and was amazed at the new sound and presentation. Rap music has been exploding and expanding ever since...despite the predictions of many that it was just a passing phase that would never be taken seriously by anyone outside the urban environment.
  To say those that thought rap music would be dead and gone today were wrong would be a gross understatement of the actual facts. This music form has evolved through many incarnations and is steadily evolving as more people experiment with it’s versatile nature. When I was growing up, there were many types of rappers being displayed in mainstream outlets. The diversity between Big Daddy Kane, Fresh Prince, Slick Rick, Public Enemy, NWA, Special Ed, De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest says it all. Nothing like the virtually one subject dominated presentation of today.

   When speaking about rap in a historical sense, even looking forward as this post will shortly do, it would be a crime not to mention Run-DMC and all their innovations. Now that I have, let’s look back so that we can understand what we see when we look forward.
   Rap music is not new, at least not in the sense of it simply being poetry...just presented dramatically different from anything written by William Shakespeare or Dr. Seuss. Looking back, it’s evident that poetry has withstood the test of time. Poets exist now and will in the future...and we are continuously reading poets of the past. Style and presentation are the malleable factors and rap music is just another presentation of many different styles.

   Looking forward, rap is being used in very creative and unique ways. It is revitalizing a diverse pool of interest. We looked back at Shakespeare and Seuss without realizing that rap would have us looking forward at them as well.

   It doesn’t look to me as though rap music will be passing into the great beyond any-rhyme...uh, anytime soon. In fact, using complimentary videos to creative raps seems to be stirring the inquisitive juices of the younger minds that are exposed to them. Coming up with questions and investigating the available facts to answer those question is part of the scientific process. Although science and rap music might not seem like quite the same mix as chocolate and peanut’s this very diversity and versatility of rap that makes such a union not only possible, but extremely entertaining.
   How smart was Albert Einstein? Who is Stephen Hawking? Who is smarter of the two? Who is the better rapper? Well...I suppose that last one isn’t a serious question, but the first three are, and can be prompted by any inquisitive young mind enraptured with the video below. 

   Entertainment, message, story, teaching, dance, inspiration...and the list goes on about the various uses and effects of rap music. When I watch these videos and others like them, I see innovation and creativity...and although there are some that are better than others, I don’t see any imminent end to rap music or any indication that it is a “passing phase.” There is every indication that it is doing what it has always done...evolving.

WARNING: Other Epic Rap Battles of History have profanity and adult content.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Jobless Future...March On.

   Some time ago, I had a terrible thought. When I first witnessed the automated cashier in the supermarket, I wondered how many jobs it had cost to implement the device. In my local store, there were three such of which had clearly replaced a register were a person had been. I started thinking of the calculations the corporate executives had made in saving some overhead of the company by replacing humans with machines. As it turned out, the automated cashier’s were just passing through...since they hardly ever worked correctly and no matter how simplistic they were, some people just couldn’t operate it. I thought we had dodged the bullet of technology aimed at the human workforce...but I was wrong.
   Technology is a wonderful thing. It makes our lives easier and overall convenience to have. However, there are some instances where technology can be costly...especially to the person being replaced by a machine, or out of work because technology has made their industry obsolete. I’m a keen observer...of just about everything, and what I have observed lately is a mixed bag. Stepping into the future is leaving some people behind.
   I wrote earlier about the great strides and stunning changes that have occurred in my lifetime thus far in “Then, Now and Far Beyond.” I made some very interesting observations...and now I must add to that, but it isn’t good news for some.
   Direct video streaming and electronic reading has had a direct impact in those respective markets. Getting instant video streaming of your favorite movies is putting the neighborhood video store out of business...and eliminating the jobs of everyone that works there. In the case of a franchise like Blockbusters, that picture is exacerbated. Even sending movies directly to your mailbox can’t compete with it coming right into your computer. Technology is marching forward...while some are marching into the job search market.
   Reading a book isn’t what it used to be...and doesn’t look to be so ever again. Bad news for me as I write my third...but I’ll just have to step up and learn the electronic market. Bad news also for the local book store...and surprisingly worse news for the bookstore franchise. My local Borders has just closed it’s doors for good...and technology isn’t blameless. With Kindle and other electronic reading devices exploding on the scene, was there ever a chance for the old fashioned book? March on technology...march on.
   Truly, I’m surprised the U.S Postal system hasn’t taken a bigger hit...since I haven’t received a real letter from a real person, seeking to convey information to me, in years. Email replaced “snail mail” and with instant messaging and texting, I’m shocked they even make pen and paper anymore...cause I don’t know anyone that uses them with the intent of sending a thought through the mail. How many jobs will be lost when this aspect of technology finishes marching...?
   The advances in technology that we are making are wonderful...if all they do is enhance your life. Those same advances are terrible, if they set back your livelihood. It’s a sad fact that technology is forcing many people into a jobless future. With no easy answers, all we can march on.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Pay It Forward

   A while back there was a movie called “Pay It Forward.” I have never seen this post isn’t about that movie. However, it is about a derivative of the main idea of the story...the idea that a good deed or opportunity given, should be paid forward to another instead of back to the source. If only my posts were that simple...

   I was in a recent conversation (isn’t that how most of these get started?) about our society today and the idea was put forth that to build a better society, the children coming up need to be educated in the way of understanding the opportunities given to them...and pay back, by way of paying forward, the benefits they receive from the hard work of their parents. As a parent...this was starting to sound good already.
   I listened intently at the idea that was being shared, looking at the conversation as an opportunity to learn, and therefore improve, my own understanding of the world. Without recounting every detail, I’d like to pass on the most profound parts...and hope that sharing this, in some way, pays forward the opportunity I had to expand my horizon.
   It has been my experience that very few people volunteer for anything, unless it’s a chance to get he cost of nothing. We are a give and take society, with an emphasis on the “take.” Again, just my experience and I acknowledge that it’s not shared by everyone. It was, however, shared by the participant in my conversation.

  The offered solution for this was that children should be taught to volunteer. Specifically, to do so periodically in three ways:
1.) Volunteer for something that has a direct effect on your family or community. This will instill a very real and personal sense of self worth and drive home the reality that you are an important part of your surroundings. You matter...and the things you do impact those you care most about.

2.) Volunteer for something you always wanted to do, but never did. Too many times we let our dreams and gaol slip away without ever knowing if they were even something we really wanted. I always wanted to be a veterinarian...and volunteering at an animal shelter would have been an amazing experience as a young person thinking about entering that field. I would have found out much earlier that I’m not the animal guy I wanted to be.
3.) Volunteer for something that you really don’t like. It’s amazing, the self insight that can be achieved by willingly stepping outside your comfort zone. Just as it’s true that this process can reveal that we don’t like some things we thought we can also show that we like some things we thought we didn’t.
   The idea of all of this is that if a child is taught and continues this process early in life, that the result will be a better citizen in adulthood. I admit it sounds very good and seems like an enlightening process...but it remains to be proven until it’s applied on a large scale over a time. However, I remain optimistic that this idea is better than most..and have witnessed how “paying it forward” can be contagiously positive. 
Thanks for the conversation L.D.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Movie Review: "W."

   I am an ardent fan of the cinematic arts. Although I have certain genre preferences, I don’t let that stifle my curiosity and close myself to different flavors of entertainment. That said...I am a huge fan of science fiction, super hero and action movies! Please visit my other blog The Boxed Office for reviews, exclusively, on these types of movies.
The Cast: 
   Josh Brolin plays a superb George W. Bush without going over the top with a comedic impression. Jeffrey Wright does well as Colin Powell while Thandie Newton’s Condoleeza Rice just made me laugh every time she had screen time...and I’m sure it wasn’t her intention. Scott Glenn plays a very good Donald Rumsfeld and creates his own gravity with his intensity. The same can be said of Richard Dreyfuss as Dick Cheney, which is no surprise considering the excellent body of work he has done. James Cromwell plays George H.W. Bush and does an adequate rendition of the 41st President.
The Plot: 
   This biographical take on the 43rd President starts with his early days in college and follows through to his 2004 re-election campaign. Along the way there are glimpses into his military service, governorship of Texas and bid for the Presidency in 2000. The main story settles with his first four years in office and it’s from here that all other glimpses spin from.
   During his first term, the decisions and thought process are explored from an insider point of view and we are treated to, seemingly, be on the inside with the Presidential cabinet as they weigh decisions and plan the course of the country.
   Made during his first term in office, the film culminates with the 2004 re-election campaign and ends leaving us to ponder the rest of the process that carried on through the next four years of his Presidency.

The Verdict: 
   Although meant to be a biographical movie, there is very little in the way of accuracy verification that the viewer can it is as much an entertainment presentation, probably more so, than an accurate historical account.
   Josh Brolin is excellent as the 43rd President and captures much of what we’ve been able to observe from real life events. The presentation of the subject is mildly entertaining and even with no measure for accuracy, is very thought provoking. Jeffrey Wright raises eyebrows, not so much from his performance...which was very good, but from the idea that Colin Powell was the only voice of reason making all else, by comparison, seem like insanity.
   Oliver Stone is well known for making films that provoke thought and tug on the conspiring strings of truth versus conjecture...this film is no different in that approach. The best part of the experience isn’t even in the film, it’s a segment on the dvd called “Dangerous Dynasty: The Bush Legacy”...and it’s fascinating enough to give this movie two and a half cinnamon sticks, out of five, in my cup of tea.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Boundaries of Love...Blameless Desires

  I have come to realize that if you live long enough, you will become dated. There is just no way to avoid it as you will inevitably feel nostalgic for a certain period in your life that others simply can’t relate to because of age. There are ideas, however, that are everlasting regardless of age. They last because they are rooted in the behavior of as long as we remain human, they will remain with us. Howard Jones made a song in 1985 that exposed a core part of evidenced by the continuing struggle with the subject.
                                You can look at the menu, but you just can't eat 
You can feel the cushion, but you can't have a seat 
You can dip your foot in the pool, but you can't have a swim 
You can feel the punishment, but you can't commit the sin 
And you want her, and she wants you. We want everyone 
And you want her and she wants you 
No one, no one, no one ever is to blame 
You can build a mansion, but you just can't live in it 
You're the fastest runner but you're not allowed to win 
Some break the rules, and live to count the cost 
The insecurity is the thing that won't get lost 
And you want her, and she wants you. We want everyone 
And you want her, and she wants you 
No one, no one, no one ever is to blame 
You can see the summit but you can't reach it 
Its the last piece of the puzzle but you just can't make it fit 
Doctor says you're cured but you still feel the pain 
Aspirations in the clouds but your hopes go down the drain 
And you want her, and she wants you. We want everyone 
And you want her, and she wants you 
No one, no one, no one ever is to blame 
No one ever is to blame 
No one ever is to blame
   It has been said that the song is about unfulfilled attractions...”the frustration of experiencing attraction but being unable to act on it, for whatever reason.” Anyone that listens to the song will take from it their own idea of what it means...but there seems to be one dominating interpretation that is worthy of discussion: A love or desire that cannot be realized. The question is why...? And the answers are many...marriage, racism, disease,...even impotence.
   Whatever the reason is for why the desire or love remains unfulfilled, the fact remains that feelings of desire will everyone. The study of human relationships and sexual desires is ongoing with the only fact of it being that it happens to all of us, naturally...and thus there is nobody to blame.
   Could the song simply be about sex...? Is it really necessary to assign a deeper meaning of love...? Both can go together, but can also exist separately. The line “We want everyone” is what led me down this particular rabbit hole since, at least from the male perspective, sex is a paramount desire more frequented than love that could be applied to “everyone.”

  In truth, this song raises more questions than it answers and they aren’t new ones...they are very old. I wrote this post, as something that departs from whatever my “norm” is because recently this issue keeps being I will raise it. Love and relationships can be polarizing subjects like religion and politics...but no matter how much we avoid them, they have to be discussed at some point. So...let the discussion begin.

   Should we be victims of our desires...suppressing our internal callings...? Or masters of them...embracing that which we want most...? Simple questions with complicated answers that we all must ponder as we navigate the vast ocean of life.

   I’ve added an alternate live video version of the song...simply because I’m a huge fan of the piano. Enjoy.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Madness From the Bench

   I never cease to be amazed by human behavior. I don’t mind amazement, but when it comes at the expense of common sense, it tends to sting a bit. This stinging sensation seems to happen quite a bit in our legal system, particularly when it comes from the bench the judge sits on.

   We look at judges to be the fair arbitrator of our disagreements in accordance to the letter of the law. How quickly we forget or abruptly we are reminded...that a judge is not some computer program or supernatural being, but very much human. They are exactly like those they pass judgement over, complete with all the flaws and problems that plague all of humanity. I don’t have an issue with that...I mean, really...what is the alternative? A computer without human compassion or capacity for emotion? I would rather not travel that road if at all possible.

   So, I can’t knock judges for being human, what else are they going to be? My issue is when  they abandon common sense for madness and smash the gavel on it. There should be some sort of process for dealing with judges that habitually do this...and by “process” I mean something quick, immediate and effective for correcting decisions clearly without enough common sense to make change. All jokes aside, people’s lives are being ruined by the ineptness of those we trust to fairly apply the law.
   I’ve personally never had to go before a judge that thought common sense was a crime...but I personally know people that have. Recently a close friend went before a judge for an ongoing situation with visitation rights. Quite simply, he wants to be a bigger part of his child’s life, and wants his child to be a part of his. A man with absolutely no criminal history, no history of abuse on anyone...he even has great credit, was lambasted by the judge for failure to fill his visitation obligation for two years.

  I don’t know what your thinking...but if you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know the twist is about to drop. He hasn’t had a visitation with his son for two years...because he had been deployed to Iraq to fight for his country...for two years. The judge, in all her wisdom, retorted that his reason was absolutely no excuse at all for missing his visits. Huh..? Excuse me..? No excuse...? He’s fighting for the right for this judge to be a complete simpleton and that doesn’t explain adequately why he never made his required visitation?
   Never mind the fact that he went before the court to amend the visitation schedule now that he is back, so that he could spend MORE time with his son...but shame on him for not telling the insurgents to stop shooting at him so he could go AWOL and see his son.

   Forgive my sarcasm, it’s a coping mechanism...but this is the sort of thinking that defies logic. That a judge would dismiss his active service as if he were simply sitting home on the couch in front of a television is reprehensible...and you can consider me thoroughly disgusted.

   As I said, I can’t knock judges for being human...but I’m all over them for being nonsensical, and dispensing madness from a bench that we go before to receive reasonable judgments under the law. Take a moment, please, to visit the links below...and help put a stop to the madness.


The madness continues as a judge has ordered a child renamed because of her personal beliefs !! When will there be some oversight for a judge that breaches their duty?…/

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Jeb Corliss: Joy of Life

   I have recently become aware of a man by the name of Jeb Corliss. A friend posted a video of him in a facebook group...and I was astounded, and inspired. Jeb Corliss is a professional BASE jumper, skydiver, and wingsuit flyer. The video below, to me, is amazing. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this video is worth a million words...literally. It has over four million hits and although I can’t speak for anyone else, I will share why I have viewed it numerous times.
   The short answer is that it’s a great video. It’s well filmed and the music compliments the visuals. The music is by a group called Awolnation performing a song entitled “Sail.” I had never heard of them before this...but I’m glad I know now. There is a scene shown from multiple camera angles to capture the effect and shear awe of what Corliss has done...and it does just that. Everyone I show this video to has the same response during this segment. Don’t worry, your response will be the response I’m talking about.

   It’s not until the very end of the flight that the bigger picture dawned on me that led to the inspiration to write this post. It’s very subtle but very revealing as well...and it’s the look on Corliss’s face after he takes his helmet off...a look of pure joy. In that instant, the joy of life is evident even though it was already conveyed when he flew threw the crack...and you were struck with awe.
   Jeb is doing what he loves to do. He is embracing the joy of life in his unique way, and sharing that with the rest of us...and it’s addictive. It’s also a perfect example to follow. I’m not talking about jumping off cliffs in a wingsuit, although many reading this will want to do just that. I’m talking about finding whatever it is that brings you the joy of life and embracing it with every moment you’re able to.

   Corliss is getting in touch with that child that wanted to fly, and taking him on a journey of pure bliss. The inner child for many has grown, but the journey of pure bliss is never an outdated travel plan...and everyone should take it as often as possible. I don’t think it’s about how you lived or why you died, but instead about what you took from embracing each moment and the gift that others received from that embrace.
   Thank you Mr. Corliss...your embrace of the joy of life has reminded me that the daily struggle is not the totality of the moments offered, and inspired me to remind others that the true potential within each moment can translate into a life of joy...where we can experience the joy of life.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Movie Review: "Unknown"

   I am an ardent fan of the cinematic arts. Although I have certain genre preferences, I don’t let that stifle my curiosity and close myself to different flavors of entertainment. That said...I am a huge fan of science fiction, super hero and action movies! Please visit my other blog The Boxed Office for reviews, exclusively, on these types of movies.
The Cast: 
   Liam Neeson is excellent, once again, and delivers a superb performance of a man waking up from a crash into a world that doesn’t know him, even as he struggles to know himself. Diane Kruger doesn’t give a “break-out” performance, but she’s adequate as a woman that gets caught up in the middle of a dangerous mystery. January Jones doesn’t have much to do...and she’s pretty good at doing that.
The Plot: 
   Dr. Martin Harris (Neeson) is a biochemist newly arrived in Berlin with his wife for a conference, that must figure out who he really is...who everyone really is, after recovering from a car accident while trying to retrieve his lost briefcase. His wife doesn’t know who he is while her husband claims to be him. Nobody can be trusted and people are trying to kill him...and he doesn’t have any idea why.
   Gina (Diane Kruger) is the part-time cab driver that was driving the car just before the accident. Pulled into this web of mystery and murder, she is ultimately a loose end in a bigger plot and must commit herself to helping Harris find out who he really is to secure her own safety.
   As the pieces fall into place, it becomes clear that Harris is much more than he appears to be...and his situation is much more precarious than the slight case of amnesia everyone around him seems to be having.
The Verdict: 
   Unknown is a mystery with plenty of thrills and an adequate amount of action. The movie entices you to ask questions, and then raises even more when it attempts to answer.
   Liam Neeson carries this I expected, and being a huge fan, didn’t bother me at all. Almost every scene is dominated by him as we follow his wild chase to track down the truth of who he is and why nobody seems to know him...especially those closest to him. Once I was pulled into his world, it was easy for me to ignore much about the film that would normally detract from it.
   There isn’t much drama in this film, at least not anything that would win anyone any kind of award. Humor is nonexistent as I don’t recall a single joke or funny moment in the entire film. It was just off an running from the very beginning. Although somewhat slow for me at times, Liam Neeson delivers well for this film earning it two and a half cinnamon sticks...out of five, in my cup of tea.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Freedom of Health

   In the hustle and bustle of life, it’s very easy to become complacent and take certain aspects of life for granted. Everyone is guilty of it at some time or another. I have recently found myself in this category as I paused one day to ponder my circumstances. In reflecting, I remembered that I live in a country where freedom is a right that is precious and most revered. “The land of the free”...but there are some notable exceptions that I find disturbing.
   When it comes to the medical industry...and everyone should have an issue with those two words being coupled together, the idea that we live in a Topsy-Turvy world is only reinforced. Too often treatment that works is overlooked for treatment that can be prescribed. I’m not just standing on a soapbox and spitting in the wind...I’ve lived it. Believe me when I say it makes no sense at all. I offer anyone to comment here if they can make sense of what I’m going to recount next...
   Several years ago one of my children came home with Ringworm...and very kindly spread it to the other siblings. It was a severe case located in the scalp and called for a very specific treatment plan. When seen by the doctor, the course of action was to use anti-fungal cream and prescribe a pill that would eradicate the infection. I was all for eradication...what I wasn’t for was the possible side effect of liver damage. I don’t care what percentile of children actually get damaged livers, I wasn’t rolling the dice with mine. So here’s the million dollar question (for which I will not be rewarding a million dollars should you get it right):
*Does it make sense to prescribe medication that could potentially be fatal...for a condition that is nonfatal?*
   I didn’t think so either...and proceeded to do my own research into the subject. If you’re reading this and take only one thing from this post, let it be this...take control and responsibility for your own health. My research uncovered many treatments for ringworm that were natural and very much nonfatal. Established medical practice may scoff at the homeopathic approach, but I’m an advocate of anything that works effectively and efficiently.
   I used three alternatives in addition to the prescribed anti-fungal cream. One was a root from North Carolina (forgot the name). Another was tree resin...and the third was garlic. With four heads to experiment on...I wanted some solid answers...and I got them. All three alternatives worked better than the anti-fungal cream, which didn’t work at all. The most aggressive of the three was the far. Never seen anything like it...ate away the fungus like a school of piranha’s on a dead carcass. Now if I can find out this information without billions of dollars in funding, what is the excuse of the medical establishment?
   When we went back to the doctor, she wasn’t pleased at all, in fact, she was quite angry. So was I. I was angry because those I trusted with the health of my children wanted to risk their livers without any justifiable cause. Wait...I’ll correct myself because I was given a reason why the pill was prescribed and nothing else could be...or even spoken about. That was the directive from the medical board that all doctors must follow. Hold on...I’ll correct myself again, because although it was the reason, it still wasn’t a justifiable one!

   Some doctors know this information and are aware of other alternatives that work better and safer than what has to be prescribed...but there is no freedom to practice the caring of health, only directives to follow protocol. This wouldn’t be a bad thing if that protocol was motivated by the Hippocratic Oath...and not the hypocritical profits.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Topsy-Turvy World

 I live in a world turned upside down. They call it the planet Earth...and I simply don’t understand the gift of intelligence with much of what I see of the use it’s being put to. Life isn’t too complicated...most of the time, and many issues can be resolved by the application of common sense. I go again assuming that sense is shared by most, if not all, thus making it “common” when in reality it seems the only person using it is the one I see in the mirror. I’ll wager it’s the same for you...and since we all have mirrors...well, I can begin to see where the idea of it being common came from.
   In a world that made sense (not this one), certain things wouldn’t happen. I take that back...a lot of things wouldn’t happen, but if I start there I’ll never stop writing. Instead, let me focus on a couple of examples that prove my hypothesis that the world is indeed upside down and one-third of the population jumping at the same time just isn’t gonna be the fix I hoped it would.
   Let’s go to the bank and make a transaction. We’ll go on a Tuesday in the late afternoon because there will be no line...and every window will have a teller. Life is great at the bank on Tuesday afternoon. Now let’s go back on Friday between eleven a.m. and two p.m....because we are on lunch and we need to cash our check. The long line we encounter is expected...everyone is on lunch and needs to get some money. However, the ONE teller working during this time has turned the world upside down. Only the brightest branch managers can master the art of sending away all the help during the busiest time of the week. I’m just glad they fired all those other dolts that were scheduling the teller’s lunches around the rush...I mean really...I’d be pissed to walk in the bank on Friday...and think it was Tuesday instead. Who needs that kinda stress?
   That’s just the tip of the iceberg though. Mentally gifted bank managers is the least of my worries. Try this on for can throw a football with incredible speed and accuracy, and do it while avoiding a group of very large men intent on doing you harm. For being able to do this, we will pay you millions. However, if you are entrusted with the education of our future, or charged with keeping us safe by upholding the law, or selflessly put your life on the line to rescue total strangers...well, we’re gonna have to sit down and “discuss” this money thing.
   I like sports...I really do. Loved playing it in my youth, and like watching it now. However, I think the amount of money we pay athletes to do whatever it is they are doing is absurd. Erase professional sports from life’s equation and we’ll find another means of entertainment. Erase teachers, cops and firefighters from existence and we have a much bigger problem than deciding what to watch on Monday night instead of football. I have no idea when our value system tipped on it’s ear, but let’s tip it back for a moment and see the world right side up. 
   Imagine a world where the million dollar jobs were those of teacher, police officer and firefighter. Everyone would want to have one of those jobs...and aspire from childhood to get them. However, like sports in Topsy-Turvy World, only the absolute best could would qualify. A masters degree would only get you in front of a kindergarden have to do better than that if you want to get in front of six graders...and start making the big bucks. NFL training camp is where we weed out those that qualify to carry hose into a burning building or run down a robber. Can’t bench press three hundred pounds and run the forty yard dash in four-seconds...then you won’t be carrying a gun or an axe, and the only badge you’ll be wearing is mall security...if you’re lucky.
   I know...there aren't nearly as many professional athletes as there are public service maybe we won’t set the bar that high, but my point is we have to set it very high indeed if we’re going to pay out the big bucks. Every cop and firefighter will be the finest physical specimen society has to offer, and every teacher will be a mental juggernaut specifically set to unlocking the youthful mind. If you choose to be a professional athlete, a yearly salary of eighty-thousand dollars is a decent living for throwing balls and playing games.
   Yeah...imagine all that AND a teller at every window during the Friday rush. We can still call this the planet Earth if you like...except things will make sense.