Give thought a chance

Ever wonder why events like the Olympics seem good from afar, but once they happen, they seem far from good? For instance, these Olympics were supposed to be great – the Aussie games from Down Under and any other catchphrase or story of human drama that NBC can ram down our throats. By now we were all supposed to be rushing to Outback Steakhouse, playing `Stralian rules football with boomerangs and calling our professors mate. Thankfully, things did not exactly turn out that way.

This sort of fiasco just proves that for all the hype that goes along with almost everything these days – from net startups to TRL bands, from TV shows to Action films – the quality has to go in before the people will buy into the hype. Except for the throngs of teenage girls that are hyped on Britney McSimpson and `N Sync. I’m quite proud of the intense skepticism the American public has displayed as of late. Until a short time ago, crap packaged properly could leave a Hollywood studio with a $100 million payday. Lately, packaged crap has been yielding nothing but a bunch of movie executives desperately flinging their movies around like gorillas in the primate house. I am relieved by this development.

I wonder how it feels to spend massive amounts of money on projects like movies, or the Olympics, and see them fail so spectacularly in the public eye. Perhaps one could liken the experience to an epiphany, or a catharsis. Somehow, I’m sure that losing $100 million dollars involves having a vision of God or a moment of clarity at least once or twice. Of course, these days the networks, studios and record companies are all a lot like the government: throwing money at the problem to say that at least they did something.

There’s this overwhelming notion of late that just doing something will help make a problem go away. This is true on an individual level, but also in society. For instance, an acquaintance said to me, I screwed up on the first test, so I sat in the library all day yesterday. Somehow it did not occur to this person to describe their time in the library as studying – probably because a good deal of time was spent on smoking breaks, cell phone diversions and just plain sleeping.

Come winter, I will not be transported to mountain bliss. I will be several hundred dollars away from my favorite activities, but a job, combined with a will to save some money for the future is all I need. I guess I could max out the credit card, but I don’t want to pay for a snowboarding trip for the next three years. Nor do I want to sit at home because I needed to blow my wad on booze and cab fare.

Making mistakes in life is a given, but learning from those mistakes seems to be a quality that eludes so many of us.

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