A Many Splendored Day

On January 14, 2013, in Past Morning Briefs, by David

UNSUNG HEROES >>> With so much auspiciousness on a single day — the re-inauguration of Barack Obama on MLK Day — it’s a reminder that we are surrounded by greatness and abundant potential. So much to do and so little time. And while we celebrate the doers, as we should, it’s also important to acknowledge those who support those who do.

For every person who gets things done, there are many unsung heroes who helped to get them there. For the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., for President Obama, there are so many people who gave, voluntarily and involuntarily, helping them ascend to greatness. As they said in “Grease” — if you can’t be an athlete, at least be an athletic supporter!

So here’s to those who help others reach the top of the mountain. The karmic assist. The tough and unsung part of the job. The dirty work. The pencil pushing. The boring stuff. They may not get the glory, but the greatness and gratitude are theirs for all time.

HOT MOVIE TRENDS >>> With Abraham Lincoln Vampire Slayer and Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters pointing toward a new trend in film, let’s take a look at upcoming releases with terrifying twists on history coming to a Cineplex near you:

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King: Zombie Decapitator
Manti T’eo in “The Vanishing Part Deux”
Noah’s Ark of Death and the Giant Giraffe Eating Sperm Whale
Barack Obama: Boehner Buster
Harbaugh vs. Harbaugh: Gridiron Sibling Death Match
Saw 07: Dick Cheney’s Torture Chamber
Lance Armstrong in “I Never Called You a Fat Witch”
The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader Chainsaw Massacre
Bulletz, Ballz and Bitchez — The Ray Lewis Story
The Last White House on the Left

CALAMITY JONES >>> Having survived the Millennium Bug, the Rhapsody, Armageddon and The End of Days circa 2012, perhaps now America can get back to the process of slowly and selfishly destroying the world via materialism and ignorance. Or we could take a deep breath and begin working towards solving the world’s problems as individuals and a society. It’s not sexy, or great television, and it won’t sell a lot of papers, but it’s a plan with a future.

GUN VIOLENCE REALITIES >>> It doesn’t really matter what you, or I, or even the more sensible members of the NRA want. The American government has allowed the gun sales industry, which dominates the NRA but doesn’t comprise the majority of its members, to dominate our domestic policies. These policies have turned America into the biggest propagator of weapons in the free world, and the home of more gun homicides and more mass shootings than any nation in the world.

Social theory predicts this, and we are – by blind greed and undisciplined profit motive – enabling gun tragedies every day we don’t slow down the sale of guns and bullets and the management of the sale of implements of death. Americans have a choice. For too many years, we have allowed the will and resources of a minority of profiteers to cajole and manipulate our government into commoditizing our social well-being and public safety in exchange for personal financial benefit.

The choice is ours. By acting today, we can stem the tide of violence and loss that profits the few who make millions every time innocents are slaughtered in our society. Or we can allow the basest among us to keep what could and should be the leading nation of the world on this and other issues a laughing stock when it comes to guns. It should be an easy choice. Let’s fix our gun problem, America!!

THE $1 TRILLION PLATINUM COIN >>> In case you needed actual proof that the people running this country are the dumbest in the history of civilization:

We can spend $10-30 trillion on a completely worthless war.
We can go $16 trillion in debt because of this war.
We can sit idly by while the people who generated the war vote not to pay off the debt that they created because we really need to stop spending on stupid things like healthcare, education, and government benefits we all paid for.
And we can watch it all go to hell while those people bring it all down because they can’t win an election any more.
Or we can print a $1 trillion platinum coin and move on.
I say, let’s move on. Print the freaking coin.

WHOLE FOODS CEO CRIES FASCIST >>> Then apologizes. After a national boycott effort is born.

Knowledge is power. I now know that the CEO of the chain where I buy 80% of my good is selfish and an ignoramus. America’s healthcare problem is more than just a debit on Whole Foods’ corporate ledger. Mr. Mackey, as the CEO of a major corporation, you need to educate yourself on both the realities of healthcare in modern America – it’s not just about Doctors getting paid. It’s about a system corrupted for years by bad government policy, bad business practice, and inhumane principles that have made our country less healthy.

That a company such as Whole Foods – its intrinsic and extrinsic values created in context of the problematic system its CEO is blathering about so unintelligently – is led by someone who doesn’t get it is a reason for customers to question their loyalty and stockholders to question their investment. Mr. Mackey stuck his feet deeply into his own mouth on this one, again, and needs to shed his Libertarian dogma to understand the issue as a human being, not just another elitist corporate executive multimillionaire whose politics validate his economic circumstance.

And while he’s at it, Mr. Mackey ought to enroll in a course on socioeconomic theory so that when he opens his mouth on relevant issues something salient and factual comes out.

SAID THE POT TO THE KETTLE >>> Did Fox News really criticize Al-Jazeera for selectively airing and omitting stories as a form of bias? Perhaps all broadcasters should drop all news networks that do that. Right, Fox?

ANTICLIMAX MUCH? >>> After 30 days and 25 Bowl games of basically no consequence, the national championship game was a game for about 3 minutes. Time for a tournament. Again. For real.

FILM ECON 101 >>> 2012 was the best year for quality American Motion Pictures in recent memory. And, not surprisingly, it was also the best year for the film business at the box office in years. Can we draw any conclusions from this? How about, make product, and your business may limp along, ups and downs. Make the best product, and you will expand your possibilities to experience great success. So for the US Film Industry, here’s the five, ten and 25-year plan: Make Better Films!

FAVORITES OF 2012 >>> The best films of the year in the best year for movies in many years:

1. Moonrise Kingdom – A masterpiece. Best of the new millennium.
2. Life of Pi – A visual and spiritual feast.
3. Zero Dark Thirty – Politically shaky but a motion picture tour de force nonetheless.
4. The Dark Knight Rises – Christopher Nolan should be Peter Jacksoned.
5. Silver Linings Playbook – A quirky relationship story raised to high art.
6. Argo – Terrific telling of a unique and true story.
7. Skyfall – Best. Bond. Ever.
8. Lincoln – Daniel Day-Lewis IS Lincoln.
9. Django: Unchained – Quentin’s funniest picture is patriotic yet problematic.
10. The Avengers – Non-stop fun.

TBD – on my list of films to see ASAP.

1. Beasts of the Southern Wild
2. The Hobbit
3. Searching for Sugar Man
4. The Master


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