Common Sense

Common sense is defined as the following: good sense and sound judgment in practical matters.

Unfortunately, some are so blind, they cannot see when common sense is smacking them in the face.

Let’s start with a story that makes me sick to my stomach. In Paraguay, a ten year old girl was raped by her stepfather. As a result of the rape, she became pregnant.  The government has a strict anti-abortion rule, except when the life of the mother is in danger. Any attempts by the girl’s family or supporters to convince the government to allow this child, for that is what she is to have an abortion fell on deaf ears. Now she is new mother at 11 years old.

Maybe it’s me, but common sense dictates that an abortion would have been the right thing to do, as well being common sense. She is a child, not an adult. She is not in a position to care for the child, nor was she in a steady relationship where the sexual act was for mutual pleasure. She was raped by an adult who she trusted. Now she is the mother of this man’s child. At 11 years old.

Is that common sense?

Netflix, the company that we rely on to binge watch our favorite movies and television shows when we don’t want to go out, is in a bit of a quandary.

They have offered paid sick leave to their staff. But there is a catch. They must be full time and they can only work in certain divisions. If your an employee of Netflix and you need to take time off (and your not in the division who has been provided this benefit), well then, let’s hope you have enough vacation days or PTO saved for that time.

Paid sick leave makes sense for several reasons:

  • It encourages hardworking employees to continue to do their best because they know that their employer appreciates their time and effort. This also helps to decrease employee turnover and the time, energy and cost of re-hiring and re-training.
  • It doesn’t force someone to choose between the sick relation or their job. Your damned if you do, damned if you don’t, no matter which one you choose.
  •  It allows new parents to build a relationship with their children and ensure that they provide for their child emotionally and financially.

Common sense dictates, at least in my mind that paid sick leave should be part of every company’s benefit package. But then again, not everyone uses common sense.


Throwback Thursday-A Midsummer Nights Dream (1999)

Some stories are meant to live forever. No matter how they are interpreted, the nothing can change what keeps the story fresh and alive with every re-telling.

William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream has it all. A battle of the sexes between royalty, actors looking to make their mark on the world and lovers whose lives are turned upside down by magic.

In 1999, the play was made into a film. Oberon (Rupert Everett) and Titania (Michelle Pfeiffer) are the sparring royal fairies. Theseus (David Straithairn) and Hyppolita (Sophie Marceau) are the non magical sparring royals. Nick Bottom (Kevin Kline) is part of an acting troupe hoping to impress Theseus and Hyppolita, who is for a short time, turned literally into an ass. Lysander  (Dominic West) and Demetrius (Christina Bale) are happy to marry Helena (Calista Flockhart). But Helena has only eyes for Demetrius and her best friend, Hermia (Anna Friel) is desperate for Lysander to notice her. If that is not enough, Puck (Stanley Tucci) likes making trouble and mixing things up a bit.

This is how Shakespeare should be done every time.  This film is funny, very entertaining, modern while most importantly true to the text and the characters.

I absolutely recommend it.

Throwback Thursday-Pirates Of The Caribbean (2003)

Audiences have always had a fascination with pirates. There is something intriguing (despite the dangers) of throwing off the cape of convention and living by your own rules.

In 2003, Disney released Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl, a movie based on the ride with the same title.

Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) is a blacksmith who is in love with Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley), the governors daughter. But she is engaged to Norrington (Jack Davenport).  When Elizabeth is taken by pirates, led by Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), Will must team up with the eccentric pirate Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) to bring her home.

This movie is very interesting. Relying on certain traditional character and plot tropes for the genre, this is a movie for the masses. I have two issues with the movie. The first is that for the most part, Elizabeth is nothing more than the traditional love interest/damsel in distress (which was thankfully corrected in later films in the series) and it’s seemingly endless number of sequels. The premise worked for the first three films. After that, the writers and producers seemed to be scrambling to fill the growing plot holes.

Do I recommend this film? As a standalone film, it’s not bad. But as the first in a series of films that get worse with each release, I would say stay away, especially the more recent sequels.


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