Sunday, October 16, 2005

Note to self -- no matter how bad things get, it's not the end of the world, unless it is.
Bills, debts, debtors, money, money, money, money. That's the issue that's consuming my life these days. My college loan (a tidy $36,000 or so) takes a big bite out of my monthly income; combined with the auto payment, the rent, the $560 per month to my consolidated credit debts, I'm left with little, if anything, from my paychecks.
It's a huge drag. It's become apparent to me that If you don't make five figures monthly in this country you're headed for the poor house. And you can forget all that blather about saving and scrimping and sacrifice and winding up a millionaire by the time you reach retirement. It's a bunch of crap for the most part. Oh, I know that you can put away $10 a week for the rest of your life and accumulate a nice pile of ducats, but really, how many weeks go by without some kind of unforeseen bill, some surprise payment? And besides, if you're truly frugal you won't go to the doctor when you're sick unless you're feeling like you've contracted something imminently deadly. And given that fact, you'll probably drop dead before you reach retirement age anyway.
I"ve been behind the 8-ball for decades, so long that I've grown used to walking around with air in my pockets and moths in my wallet. Sad, isn't it.
Boohoo. Too bad, so sad.
Well, yea, it is. But it's also the nature of the U.S. economy. The American dream is no longer available to the middle class. Unless those who live making less than $75,000 annually are willing to go DEEP into debt, using credit cards, bank loans and whatever other instrument they might be able to dip into once or twice, well, then, those folks can count on living without. Just obtaining The Basics (i.e. food, shelter, hygiene, etc.) is a hardship, so even dreaming about luxuries like regular dental visits, repairing the damage to your car after backing into a telephone pole or going to the movies and having dinner at a restaurant on the same night is an act of self-delusion and masochism.
And so it goes. Have a nice week.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Joss Whedon is the gentile Spielberg
Seriously! Whedon can tell story like no one in the business today. His "Serenity" film is a wonderful trip through alternate realities, fully realized and cohesively unveiled.
Whedon wields a mighty pen, so to speak. His storytelling is enthralling, believable, humorous and dark. I love the fact that the characters drive the story, not the special effects or gimmicks. I hope that we see more of the little band of misfits who people Serenity, a funky spaceship that somehow holds together (sort of) despite tremendous pressures and bad landings.
The clever plot twists kept me off-balance and engaged with the storyline; the surprise "events" really surprised; the humor was funny and natural, not contrived. Whedon's actors manage to project real human beings into the characters: Nathan Fillion as Capt. Mal (he's a former freedom fighter against The Alliance -- big government), Gina Torres as Zoe (Mal's sidekick); Adam Baldwin as Jayne (a slightly psychopathic mercenary); Sean Maher as Simon (he's a physician and brother to River); Summer Glau as River (she's a 17-year-old girl with peculiar talents); Alan Tudyk as Wash (he's the pilot of Serenity and husband to Zoe); Morena Baccarin as Inara (she's a high-class whore); Jewel Staite as Kaylee (she's a mechanic/engineer); and Ron Glass as Shepherd Book (he's a holy man/ex-covert operative).
Anyway, I've got to run but I want to recommend "Serenity" to anyone who enjoys movies that offer a strong storyline, solid acting, tasteful humor and well-crafted episodes within the tale.
I'm out. Ciao.