A Great Muse Is Hard To Find!

#writing

I literally had writer’s block and couldn’t for the life of me finish the 3rd act of a damned screenplay and a good friend sent this to me. As a result, I was reinvigorated (after I laughed by ass off), finished it and now that script is being shot in Germany. Sometimes you need someone to kick that ass into shape and not allow you to punk out. Thanks “T”, you know me well!

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The Need For Speed…Can End In Tragedy!

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Yesterday it was reported that actor Paul Walker of the Fast and Furious franchise was killed in a one car accident along with his friend and business partner Roger Rodas who was the CEO of the automotive company Always Evolving. Walker was a passenger in the 2005 Porsche Carrera owned and driven by Rodas.

The Sheriff’s Department believes that Rodas lost control of the car, hit a light pole and tree, then the car burst into flames. They also feel that speed was a contributing factor in the crash. I find this to be a particularly chilling tragedy because fast cars and speed is what made Paul Walker famous and to die in this most horrific way, it’s life imitating art….just haunting. And to leave behind a 15-year-old daughter that will not have her father there for all of life’s milestones is almost too much to comprehend.

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Though it’s still unclear what actually caused the crash, I would hazard to guess that this was probably a fatal error in judgement that cost two people their lives. I know that since the beginning of muscle cars, guys have wanted to put the pedal to the metal, but many  forget that in films, there are controlled stunts executed by highly trained professionals, aided in some instances by CGI and various other Special EFX.

But when you are throttling down in a high performance vehicle on residential streets, you are asking for the Grim Reaper to come get that ass. From all indications, Paul Walker was a wonderful father, a great friend, a caring humanitarian and an excellent actor. But when you have so much to live for, why put yourself in harm’s way where all that you’ve worked for and those you love, can be taken away from you in an instant? He is gone and nothing anyone can say or do will ever bring him back. But his tragic end is a cautionary tale on why people should think about the consequences of their actions.

Go for a ride in the nice shiny fast car, but use some common sense. When you have children, yes you can still be adventurous, but you need to think about what that adventure could cost you. In this case, it appears that the need for speed cost Walker and his friend their lives and that cost was way too high.

May they both rest in peace, condolences to their family and friends…God speed.

Raising the Minimum Wage…Why Not?

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Today I was reading where Gov. Jerry Brown backed a plan to raise California’s minimum wage to $10.00 an hour by 2016. A number ofLos Angeles-area business groups criticized the legislation, saying it would unfairly burden companies. And according to the article in The Huffington Post – Los Angeles, Stuart Waldman, president of the ValleyIndustry and Commerce Association, called the hike “obscene” and said it’s unrealistic to increase wages 25 percent in two years.

Well isn’t that special and of course the requisite reasoning for these businesses objections is that the legislation is done by people who don’t understand business. And they would have to pass the costs along to their customers and clientele. HOGWASH!! or BULLSHIT!!!!, you choose. California’s minimum wage is $8.00 which is higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25. However, states like Washington ($9.19) and Oregon ($8.95) are  higher.

Most of those who support this legislation says that the hike will add about $4000 annually to a worker’s paycheck thus with the extra money, they can infuse the local economy with much-needed revenue.  How bad can that be?

I feel the problem is not that employers aren’t able to pay employees a fair living wage, it’s that many of these multimillion dollar businesses simply don’t want to. Many of the owners are motivated by greed; they’re money-whores. They have been allowed to cruise for decades with hiring illegal immigrants, low-balling wages, paying no health insurance to many of their employees ( and this is done by keeping the employees below what would be considered full-time) and in some cases,  inciting an atmosphere of fear. Their stance, because of the over-saturation of unemployed people and illegal immigrants willing to work, is that all of their employees are expendable. If the employee puts up a fuss, then SEE YA! And the reality is that they will probably have that position filled within a few days, if that long.