Daily Archives: September 6, 2014

Why I Stand With The Striking Fast Food Workers

Since the recession in 2008, millions of jobs have been lost. If you were able to maintain a job with a reasonable salary and benefits over the past five or six years, despite the economy, consider yourself lucky.  Many have been not so lucky. Many have been forced to take jobs that they are overqualified and/or underpaid for, just to have a job.

This week, fast food workers from all over the country came together in protest of the low wages and lack of a union.  Fast food and retail jobs used to be the primary employment of high school and college kids, just looking for a little extra income. In this economy, making $10/hr in retail or fast food is the best many can get career wise. Some of these fast food and retail employees are extremely intelligent. They have spent years and many thousands of dollars to receive degrees that they hoped would open doors to a good life.

Instead many are asking one of two questions: “Would you like fries with that?” or “Would like to apply for (insert store name here) credit card?”. There is nothing wrong with working retail and fast food. However, when your a thirty something with a masters degree and the only job you have been offered is Starbucks, that’s a problem.

I live in New York City. As beautiful as my hometown is, it is an expensive place to live in. I have friends who live in upstate New York who pay the same amount of money for a mortgage that I pay in rent. They get for their money a house, I get a one bedroom apartment.

I stand with these fast food workers because I understand their struggle. Trying to get by on $10-12/hr as a single person without children is difficult. I can’t  imagine how much more of a struggle it is to raise children, even in a two income household, earning that salary.

These fast food chains make billions of dollars a year. Burger King was recently accused of tax evasion. Instead of evading paying taxes and using the money to pay a legal team, the executives at Burger King could use that money to pay their employees a decent wage.

A living wage is not an unreasonable request. A living wage allows us to not just to pay our basic bills, but to have fun with our lives. Eating out, going on vacations, etc. When we spend when we have that little extra income then flows back into the economy creating more jobs, raising salaries and making our country better.

And that is why I stand with the striking fast food workers.

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Wuthering Heights Book Review

Teenage angst and ups and downs of first love seems to be timeless. Most, if not all us, are struck by first love at a young age. While adults older and wiser than us may try to convince us otherwise, we have tunnel vision.  The only thing we know and feel is love for this person whom we are told is not right for us.

Emily Bronte was only thirty when she died. She spent most of her life in the home that she was raised in. From what we know of her, she had no interest in men or marriage. But she still wrote Wuthering Heights , a multi-generational story of doomed young love.

Catherine and Heathcliff are siblings, sort of. Catherine is the natural daughter of the Earnshaw family, Heathcliff is the foundling brought to the Earnshaws by Catherine’s father.  They are childhood playmates who will become teenage sweethearts. But the class system and the reality of life in Victorian England will separate them.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I think the same can be said about love. Sometimes when our love is tested, we find that it is stronger than we think it is. Time and again, Cathy and Heathcliff return to each other’s arms, despite the barriers in their way.

What can I say about Wuthering Heights? It’s romantic, dramatic and wild. It is a novel about love, but it is not prim and proper. It is primal, lusty and animalistic.  Sometimes, as  a reader, I don’t want prim and proper. I want to read a book that get my blood pumping and my imagination soaring.

Do I recommend this book? Absolutely.

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Filed under Book Review, Books, Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights

Flashback Friday-Titanic

Titanic, the ship sank on April 15th, 1912. Titanic, the movie sailed into movie theaters on December 19th, 1997.

Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a poor artist who wins his tickets to the Titanic in a card game. Rose Dewitt Bukater (Kate Winslet) is returning to America via the Titanic to marry, though not by choice. Their romance is as ill fated as the ship they are sailing on.

Was I one of those teenage girls who saw this movie more than once in the theater? Yes. Was I one of those teenage girls who listened to the soundtrack till I was blue in the face or the CD became so scratched that I had to replace it? Yes. Was I also one of those teenage girls who thought Leonardo DiCaprio was the hottest thing on screen? Yes, though now I know better.

Let’s put this movie into perspective. Rose and Jack’s doomed relationship has a Romeo and Juliet, Heathcliff and Cathy feel to it. Complete with fate and those around them determined to see the lovers going their separate ways.  Is James Cameron a good director? Yes. Is he a good screenwriter? That depends on your opinion. The dialogue in this movie, even with the A list actors reciting the lines, is a little wooden.

But it’s the kind of movie that on a lazy, rainy weekend afternoon, that you watch just because it’s on. And for my generation, it’s all about nostalgia and a movie (complete with it’s iconic theme song) that played on and on and on….

And just because this movie takes itself a little too seriously, I give you SNL’s take on Titanic.

https://screen.yahoo.com/titanic-alternate-ending-000000567.html

Do I recommend this movie? Sure, why not it’s only an iconic part of my teenage years.

 

 

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Filed under Flashback Friday, Movie Review, Movies, William Shakespeare

The Critics Were Wrong-Smash (2012-2013)

There is a mystique about putting together a Broadway show.  It all seems so easy. But in reality, it takes time and a lot of work, both on and off stage.

The 2012 television series, Smash  took this concept and put in front of the television viewing audience.

The book writer and lyricist, Julia Houston and Tom Levitt (Debra Messing and Christian Borle) are writing a musical based on the life of iconic actress Marilyn Monroe. Directing is smarmy British director Derek Wills (Jack Davenport). Behind the scenes producer Eileen Rand (Anjelica Huston) is doing all she can to bring the show to Broadway. Competing for the lead role is fresh from the farm ingenue Karen Cartwright (Katherine McPhee) and pulling herself up by her bootstraps chorus girl Ivy Lynn (Megan Hilty).

Was the drama a little hyped up? I’m sure it was. Was the writing, especially in season 2 after taking on a new show runner a little questionable? Yes.

But sometimes, we need this kind of television, even if the critics hate it.

 

 

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