Posts Tagged ‘2009’

Anyone not living in barren wastelands (or under a rock, as the cliche goes) knows the United States’ economy is terrible.  Since this past summer things have looked bleak; the housing market crashed, millions lost their jobs around the country, and everyone’s keeping a wary eye on the stock market.  Add in the credit/bank bailouts, and the overall money-grubbing and corruption in that area, and the U.S. ceases to be a world power, and starts to look more like a failing steam engine now on the brink of utter disaster.

Okay, perhaps it’s not so bad.  President Obama is taking steps to ensure we don’t fail, and states have seen slight drops in unemployment as the NYSE has finally rallied back from the brink of a crash.  But everything is still terrible on the workforce front.  According to the U.S. Department of Labor site, unemployment was still high around the nation for the month of October (please forgive this, those were the only recent numbers I could find for the nation as a whole).

My home state of Georgia, while not the top state for highest unemployment numbers (U.S. DoL numbers for October rank Michigan in the top spot), still reached a new unemployment record high in July with 10.3 percent.  Since then the numbers have fluctuated very little, especially in the north east portion of the state (where I live).  The rural parts of the state (and the country) are being hit harder than most people realize.

While it’s unfortunate that city businesses are cutting jobs to make up for losses, the money crunch felt around the nation is making the biggest impact on the small business owner in the rural regions.  Home growers, local farmers, and the small towns that revolve around and thrive on these even smaller businesses are facing the very real reality that they won’t be able to make it.  In areas of the state (and the country) where suburban or metropolitan areas are miles away, and outsourcing business to China to save money is not an option, the fight to stay afloat in today’s economy has become one of the toughest fights my generation has had to face.

Essentially, if President Obama’s other bailout plans and plans to grow jobs doesn’t come through in time, the breakdown of the country will start in the rural areas of the nation and then radiate outward.  This rings true in Georgia, where roughly 29 percent of the state is used for farming (40,000 farms across the whole state).

The small towns I keep mentioning need more help than perhaps Washington realizes.  I may sound biased in this, but I can’t help it.  I live in a small town in north east Georgia and I see first-hand how the unemployment rate is affecting people.  Around the area I love, more people are unemployed than employed, and come January 2010, I will be among them.  Having been told a week ago that I was losing my job, I am now faced with the same issue so many other Georgians are facing: finding a job.

Coupling the unemployment with the news that state officials are appealing for more money to keep paying unemployment benefits, and the situation goes from bad to worse.

I had originally thought about doing nothing more than bitching about the fact that I’m losing my job in January, how my soon-to-be former employers could have avoided this, blah blah blah, but that’s not really what I’m trying to do here.  Yes, it is true that the layoffs at my job could have been avoided; and avoided very easily, but that’ s no longer the point.  Bitching about my looming situation will do nothing to change the unemployment numbers either, especially seeing as how I will be adding to the numbers soon enough.

The point is that it’s not just my job, or my town, or my state.  It’s the entire country.  It’s everyone’s job, everyone’s town, everyone’s state.  I’m not alone in this, and stating that fact definitely hasn’t made anything suck less; and it certainly hasn’t made the job hunt any less detestable for me.  I’m one of several hundreds of thousands of people in the same boat, and although I had this mindset before my job “ran out” on me, I say now with definite clarity along with the other disgruntled voices of the nation:

Something needs to be done about this. Quick.

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So this post may be a bit delayed, as Paranormal Activity has been out for a while, but I wanted to give my views on the movie.  I can’t help but give a positive review of this movie, because I liked it.

While I’ll try to just give a basic overview of the movie, I’ll go ahead and give a spoiler warning just in case.

Common knowledge: this is an independent movie.  I’ve found over the past few years that I enjoy indie films far more than the nationwide releases.  Adding to this the fact that my parent’s satellite TV subscription included The Sundance Channel and IFC, it was simple for me to see limited released films.  (Sundance’s late night Japanese horror flick on Sunday nights was the highlight of my week)  I use past tense because my mum changed our subscription and took out movie channels, I think those two gems were included.

This independent movie is nothing short of perfect.  In my opinion, this is exactly what horror should be.  That being said, I’ll this moment to have a mini-rant.  I want to know why it is Hollywood has come to the conclusion that violence + gore + sex + soft core porn = horror?  There’s very little suspense, let alone substance or plot.

Moment over.  I think Hollywood could learn a few things from this movie.  One of the driving points of the movie is that you never see the thing in the house.  You see what it does, but that’s all you need; the actors do the rest.

I found this movie scary, plain and simple.  I went into this movie not sure what to expect, having only seen the teaser trailers.  The hidden cameras used in the limited screenings were brilliant, and the audience reaction in the commercial mirrored the reactions in the theatre I was in.  I’ve never seen a film where everyone screamed, or jumped, or reacted to every part of the movie.  Knowing I wasn’t alone  in my feelings of the movie was a small comfort.  It got to where I dreaded the upcoming night scenes because I knew more was coming.

Call me weak, or what have you, I had trouble sleeping the next couple of nights.  The movie kept replaying in my head and I found myself tossing and turning before I went to sleep and just before I fully woke up.  This is something that has never happened to me, so I give lots of praise to director Oren Peli for creating such a masterpiece.

I can’t say too much else about this movie without giving everything away.  I’m on the fence about buying the DVD of this.  If the alternate endings and all the deleted scenes are included, of course I’ll want to check it out. (There’s three alternate endings, and a completely different version of the movie that corresponds with one of the endings)  But I’ll watch the movie during the day, and that’s if I could bring myself to watch it alone at all.

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