Saturday, 1 March 2008

Odds and Ends #1

Movie Extras

While scrolling through an online employment site, I was intrigued by another of those talent companies trolling for movie extras. Besides the usual head shot this outfit required, there was also this request.

Please list in detail the following applicable information:
- Wardrobe: Business, Tuxedo/Gowns, Traditional Costumes, Uniforms, etc.
- Equipment: Snowboard, scuba gear, bicycle, skateboard etc.
- Specific Skills: Motorcycle, Military, Weapons, Equestrian etc.
- Vehicles: please list the make, model, year, and color of the vehicle.

Wonderful! They are only willing to pay minimum wage for movie extras yet expect them to have the resources of millionaires. The film industry after paying the stars does not have enough left over to handle wardrobe, recreation equipment and also expects film fodder to provide vehicles (and please ensure the tank is full – no reimbursement). And don’t forget the ‘agent’s fee’ of 15% still to be clawed back if and when the pay checks are ready. Lucky for the agencies there are so many people willing do anything on the off chance they are discovered.

Plastic Bags

Judging by the number of news stories lately, one could easily believe these bags are the greatest threat to human existence since the sabre toothed tigers scoffed us up as hors d’oeuvres. And the experts cannot agree on whether paper or cloth replacement carriers meet environmental criteria. When presented with the sight of thousands of plastic bags full of garbage and dog excrement covering the surface of landfills, I pause to consider how this refuse will then be handled. It could be amusing to watch pet owners scooping up doggie leavings with their bare hands and carrying it home in their jacket pockets. And then, they can use the living room composter to turn the offerings and kitchen waste into fine soil amendments. Just maybe most of the media reporting could be branded as overkill.

Opium Poppy Production

Somehow the drug problem in Europe and North America rests solely on the shoulders of the growers in Afghanistan. Stop them and we save the entire world from descending into a drug crazed hell. If the Afghanis grew plums and exported them to the western world where people rejected them; they would be quick to halt production and experiment with other crops. A better question is why more and more westerners are succumbing to drugs to get through life – are they not happy with their lot in life? And secondly, we are led to believe the billion dollar drug trade is solely supported by non-working, back-alley dwelling, east side residents. In reality, most of the cocaine and illicit drug trade has been supported by high rollers, top income earners and pillars of society. One only need look to the entertainment industry and the sporting world to see the buyers and consumers of the majority of drugs both illegal and legal.

Conrad Black

Imprisonment couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. After a few years, he will be allowed to request a cell with a view. Wonder how the guards will deal with his arrogance?

Shell Game with Oil

One of the better articles questioning the soaring crude oil prices in spite of almost negligible increased demand. The financial manipulators keep dreaming up new methods of concentrating the wealth into fewer and fewer hands. But, there are always rational reasons for the fluctuations, even if it was only a sneeze from a Saudi prince reacting to pepper laced caviar.
Remember, the rising price of oil is not a conspiracy, price fixing, collusion, manipulation: it is the law of supply and demand working at its finest – the controllers of the market demand money and maybe will supply a pittance if they are so moved. Courtesy of the financiers of the world, they plundered some of your money and savings in the meltdown, and then grabbed more with the easy money mortgage schemes, and now intend to drain the balance of your cash through your veins if necessary.

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