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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Summing up 2009 -observations

We end 2009 on a quite dismal note. If u ignore the nonstop happy talk of the MSM and seive/sift beneath the layers of BS you will find a prostate country with record high UE, out of control public debt, record # of bankruptcies, record foreclosures, ect.
It has been questioned whether we are as bad off as the first great depression 80 years ago. Hard to judge as society has altered greatly and the US gov has become much more interwined in the economy with more active assistance to those who have fallen through the gaps.
10-15% of the population is now on food stamps, and the gov keeps extending UE benefits. Also the Fed is printing money non-stop and is throwing bailout money
at everything. At least the banking system appears to be more or less stabilized, with a chosen few mega-banks controlling the credit system, with the active(maybe sinister)assistance of the FED.

In CA( my home state), at least 50% of the population is receiving direct assistance(handouts) from the state and feds, whether in food stamps, section 8, healthcare subsidies(medicare/medical/healthy families),UE bennies, diability pmts,supplemental SS,amd probably a 100 other forms of direct aid.
A significant portion of this aid has to be supplemented by Obama stimulus funds as CA is plain broke and prostate. I will say more about CA being in dire straits in another post.
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In sum, 2009 goes down as a bad year for Joe Public, especially with the dismal UE rate being at 17% U-6. Worse, credit has tightened severely and credit lines are severely constricted for both consumers and small businesses. 2009 was above all a deflationary year, a year of contraction. Everything contracted except maybe movie house receipts. In bad times folks flock to cheap entertainment such as movies in order to escape their bad economic predicament.

What makes Avatar click

I have to admit i am a big Avatar fan. I've seen the movie 3 times on 3D format, the only way to see it. It is an astonishing cinematic achievement from James Cameron. I have seen all his movies and it ranks right up there with T2 and Aliens, his prior masterpieces. It may not quite have the pulse pounding adrenaline action of T2 and Aliens but it is more like Titanic in it's script flow. The special effects are, pardon the pun, out of this world.

To bring balance to my discussion, there has been quite a bit of negatives put out in the Web from readers discussions, and even mainline media pundits. It think it is because of the hugh amt of publicity and advertsing put out in the marketing of this film. Avatar has become the 1600ib gorilla in the minds of the naysayers, given it's $240-300 million production cost. It is seen as this gigantic special effects mega-movie, without content and meaningful dialog. It is a special effects movie and yes, the plot and acting is average, on par with such other entertaining content-empty megahits as Transformers, Star Wars, and Spiderman. Also the 3D ticket prices are a bit high($11.00 average in LA/SCal), but so is everything else. It might be a good strategy to lower prices for Avatar3D to $9.50/9.99 across the board, adult price. In a bad economy when folks are on tight budgets this would bbe a good strategy to make Avatar more accessible to a wider audience.

There has also been some negatives regarding its anti-corporate, anti-military, and pro green message(rape of the earth). My advise: leave the politics at the door and just watch the movie and enjoy its astonishing CGI/3D generated special effects.

I will add that being an avid camper and hiker i can relate to the scenes of the Pandora floating mountains,big trees,jungles and waterfalls. They are all CGI generated but the 3D really makes the cliff drop offs, jungle plants,trees and water scenes so lifelike you actually seem at times to be participating in the action. There will come a time when you can walk into a 3D/CGI animation screening room and do simulated rock climbs, parachute drops, or plunges over a high cliff into a water pool.