What I Liked This Week: 2/9/13

Something I did not like this week was the migraine that slowly knocked me on my ass last night. But, like many painful things, that particular annoyance eventually passed. The morning brings new vigor.

Sah what did I like this week?

  • The sight of my 10-inch tall terrier, bounding happily through 6 inches of snow. Not only was this ca-yute — my dog is normally frightened of dirt. And sticks. And microwaves. I call it progress.
  • The Paperboy, the latest flick from Lee Daniels, who also directed Precious. Without going too far into the reasons why The Paperboy didn’t perform as well as Precious, suffice it to say that the film — I liked it. I don’t know how many people are likely to agree with me (I could see how it could be hard to like) but I have a few reasons why the flick works for me. First, it’s audacious. Lee Daniels has some big, big balls. There’s no other way to describe the choice to cash in all the cred he earned with Precious to make a film that he might not have been able to make otherwise. Enormous respect (for his enormous balls). Second, the story manages to exist in at least four genres at once. I don’t think it’s very easy to accomplish this (most wouldn’t try!) while still managing to create an entertaining, eminently watchable (IMO) film. Like Perks (from last week’s WILTW) The Paperboy may admittedly end up more palatable to those of us who admit to being at least a little broken. But again, like Perks, it probably first requires that more of us admit brokenness than are willing to, on a day to day basis, before it can do its true “job.” You can’t fix what you won’t acknowledge isn’t working. I liked The Paperboy.
  • This article about the jump in millennial unemployment. I don’t like this. However, I like that someone is paying attention to this. Little made me angrier during the past presidential campaign than claims on the part of the Romney ticket and the Republican party that the President’s policies were alternately killing jobs or failing to create enough jobs. The reasons this made me angry include:
    1. The fact that the President often succeeded during his first term in doing at least something to create jobs and foster growth — in the face of intense Republican opposition that was clearly prioritizing his ouster and the agenda of special interests, instead of the good of the people (who need good jobs, and the opportunity and ability to learn new skills, and higher wages).
    2. The fact that such ridiculousness was and is distracting us from the fact that the economy still sucks (for most Americans, at least), that the limited job growth we’ve seen is largely coming in the form of part-time work, or low-skilled jobs, and comes with low wages — even as corporations continue to perch themselves atop piles of record profits.
    3. The fact that, as the above article alludes to, we’re killing our future. Sorry, scratch that. Our future is being held hostage by a slim minority of rich old people who, in the face of uncertainty they engineered, greedily and obstinately continue to choose to squeeze blood from the stone instead of…maybe…I don’t know…working to expand the economy such as to provide opportunity for the future? But, no. I’m the crazy one (I’m not the crazy one).
  • This article, about a program that introduces teens to the grisly (deadly) consequences of gun violence, as they appear at a North Philadelphia hospital. I actually hate this. I hate that it makes sense to me. Do you know why it makes sense? Because we’ve become that divorced from reality that ideas like this seem necessary. We’ve become divorced from the reality of what goes on everyday in our society, as well as the reality that the solutions to our problems don’t rest in political squabbling, or new or old policies, or through more debate. Definitely, such solutions don’t rest in more restrictions on our privacy and freedom. They rest where they’ve always rested: in education. In knowledge. In reasoned thought and experimentation. You have to start somewhere, in attempting to “solve” any given social issue. Why not start close to the beginning? This is how ugly and sad it is.
  • This column, analyzing the persistence (and growth) of racial resentment in the United States. I don’t actually like this. It makes me feel ashamed, more on behalf of our country than on a personal level. I’m not ashamed on a personal level because I used to be a little bit racist (and a little bit sexist, and a little bit homophobic), and now I’m not. Because all those things are wrong, and antithetical in the completest terms to ideas of equality and freedom.

And if you can’t agree on that, you’re fooling yourself. Stop it.

Thanks, as always, for reading. Hit me up anytime. Have a good week.

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