Sunday, May 31, 2009

Movies Being Run by Venture Capitalist Attitude

My parents' generation complained about the music my generation listened to. I think as my generation grows older, we will complain about the movies made McG and the other moviemakers and today and onward. And apparently I come from the MTV generation.

A rant about the dearth of crappy movies in the theaters these days:

You know what probably makes for the crappy movies today? It has to do with a venture capitalist attitude rather than a quality craft attitude (I almost said quality art attitude, but these days, that means someone thinks the statement is more important than the entertainment factor).

The studios probably just throw money at these directors, producers, actors, etc. etc. thinking that something 1 out of 5 movies will make enough profit to make up for the crappy movies put out. Issue is that it probably costs more money to think critically about the talent to hire than to just throw money at a few of them.

Then they probably make the argument that they need to follow this model because the consumers have the demand for quantity rather than quality.

And the thing is, the mass consumer hasn't done what it needs to do to tell the studios to value quality over quantity.

I think some kind of organized movement needs to occur. A movement that will write letters to movie studios to value quality over quantity, and a movement that will work to enrich the population's ability to judge movies, literature and other artistic craftwork rather than just gobble up this crap that is even lower on the food chain than pop art.

Marxist criticizes art as a tool to manipulate the masses into accepting the status quo and power of the dominant class. Either the entertainment of today does a great job of getting the masses to accept the dominant class by making the masses dumber, or Marxist criticism could not have foreseen that capitalism did something worse than control the masses. . .it just made classes dumber and accepting of crap.

Well, I guess if being dumb and accepting of crap means inactivity, then I guess that's control in its own type of way.

Let's get smarter, people.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Malnutrition Posing as Burn Out

Around the time that I stopped writing, my consciousness felt like it was spinning out of control. I lost a lot of motivation. I felt down. I think I may have even felt a little paranoid or attributing unrealistic motivations to people, especially the wife. I intelligently didn't act overtly on my discontent except to voice my frustration about not understanding the things happening around me or engaging in healthy habits.

Feeling out of touch with my myself in all sorts of way, I started journaling privately again. I had a need to turn inward. If I couldn't pinpoint an issue with the world around me, maybe the issue lay within me. I also had plenty of things I wanted to write about that this blog would provide an appropriate venue, whether because of privacy issues or because my topics and meanderings wouldn't have appeal to a public audience. Frankly, I didn't feel as if my thoughts, reflections or activities really would fit here.

Actually, I didn't engage in many habits other than journaling until a few weeks ago. Going to Jamaica with the wife for a long weekend could possibly prove a healthy habit, but we've only done that once. If only. . ..

A few weeks ago, though, I really had hit a bottom. My wife had gone away for the weekend on a business trip. I pretty much just sat at home, watching tons and tons of TV. All the while, I wondered why I couldn't get my ass off the gear. I told myself to do it, and I just didn't do it. I wasn't physically sick, I just didn't do things that I told myself to do. I could move my arms, wiggle my fingers and toes and all that. I just didn't have the willpower to do the things I wanted to do.

A friend of a friend even was putting on a concert to fund raise for cancer or some other important cause. Many things I value there: a cause, socializing, bar and checking out new music. Did I want to go out? Nope, not one bit.

By the end of that weekend, I remember that I had taken some "whole" supplements to deal with coming off an ADHD medication. I had just come to Chicago, didn't have health insurance, didn't have a job and only had limited money to live on until I got a job. I didn't have to worry about losing the roof over my head or anything, but I still wanted to watch my money. . .and having an expensive medication to help me perform better didn't make it to the top of my list of priorities.

Funny thing: I performed better and accomplished more on the "whole" supplements rather than on the ADHD medication.

I had stopped taking those "whole" supplements, however, because I ended up dealing with another problem using something else. I thought that something else interacted with the "whole" supplement weird and that that something else would actually help fix what the "whole" supplement had supposedly fixed. So I went on my merry way for about a year.

Looking back, now, over the the last year or so, though, I can see that my performance and productivity had suffered. A couple weeks ago, though, I just needed something to kick me in the ass and get me going, doing the things that I needed and wanted to do, to bring that shininess back to the world, too.

I started taking the "whole" supplement again. It helped immediately. I started having the ability to focus a lot more.

When the wife and I went to Jamaica, I ended up taking the primary vitamin/mineral in the "whole" supplemented that I needed. I didn't want to face anything going through customs by bringing this "whole" supplement with me. It's a perfectly legal "whole" supplement, but I didn't want to have to deal with any trouble. I get anxious enough just flying in a plane or going through security. The pure vitamin/mineral had some interesting side effects that didn't make me too uncomfortable, and it still helped me to focus.

I started doing some more research after coming back from Jamaica. Since then, I've been making sure to eat foods with a lot more healthy stuff in them, from more protein to more minerals to more vitamins. It's some exciting stuff to read about and even more exciting to live through.

I feel great! I've got more energy, more focus, more happiness. I haven't been able to keep it up steadily, but I think that's just because I haven't been doing a great job getting enough protein for awhile now except at lunch. Tonight I made sure to have a protein shake, and I feel much better. My mood feels good and pleasant.

Too bad I've had a time crunch of spending some extra time after work, getting my grocery shopping done, cleaning the dishes and making lunch for tomorrow. At least I'm not getting down on myself for never having enough time. Tomorrow will be a better day, and I'll get home earlier since I don't have to grocery shop. Then I've got the weekend to work on my projects.

All is good, just as long as I keep making sure I put the good stuff in my body. Think of that next time you're feeling down, unfocused and unmotivated, find out what the good stuff is and put it in you.

Unfortunately, I can't provide advice on the good stuff because my professional capacity puts me into a strange capacity that might convince people to listen to me. I don't want someone to get all screwed up because I said try something, and they trusted me. I found out all this stuff by doing my own research and listening to my skeptical common sense about it all. I think you can do it, too. It just takes time and effort. It's not that hard.

So yeah, that's how I thought I was burnt out but was probably malnourished.