Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Needs and Wants

In this day and age there are endless things people can have such as fancy cars, shoes, clothes and jewelry and do such as such as going out to eat, shopping or to the movies. Of all of these things there is only a fraction that people actually need to live. All people need to survive is food and water on the most basic level. Then there is also love and companionship, shelter and health. Despite this tiny list of things people need, most of us find ourselves wanting much more than that. We want to look perfect and we want to have fun and feel good. For instance, in the name of fun, people want or need, depending on who you ask, the ability to buy new gadgets, toys for kids, new home d├ęcor, new clothes, movie tickets, admissions to amusement parks and Broadway shows, drinks at a bar or a bottle for their home, or another drug that alters your mood.

I and many people find all of these things I named can be really enjoyable and make life more fun. The problem is how we feel if we can't get any of these things for whatever reason. If we start to feel upset and unhappy just because we can't have the things we think we need to make us happy then it’s not fun anymore. I know I have been disappointed from time to time at the thought of missing out on a fun past time. It happens to most of us. So ironically enough, the things we think are here to make us happy can end up making people sad, angry or frustrated when they can't get them.

Happiness always comes from within. If you look for it on the outside you'll find there are plenty of pacifiers but none of them are ever enough because they only last but for so long. Once you’re done with one thing you have to keep going. You have to keep seeing more movies, get more clothes, and get newer gadgets in a never ending cycle. The solution is to never rely on anything other than yourself to make you feel good. Enjoy all of life’s offerings but never assign a value to them that is greater than the value of just being happy with yourself.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Thumbs Up for Boardwalk Empire

HBO's much hyped series Boardwalk Empire did not fail to disappoint in its first season.  Directed by Martin Scorsese, I find it to be a very smart drama-filled show that is highly entertaining.  For those who aren't watching, it is about the happenings of Atlantic City around the time of Prohibition.  We learn how politicians are chosen by those with wealth, the FBI is easily influenced and bribed to make prohibition impossible, and how woman struggled to get by in a time when they had slim low paying employment opportunities, newly granted voting rights, and were consistently exploited by the men around them.  Violence is very prevalent of course.

HBO shows seem to share a common theme.  They all seem to be very objective when telling stories.  There are no good guys or bad guys.  Everyone seems to have multiple sides to them and can be sympathized with for the most part. We do know that the people committing crimes are not exactly helping matters, but there is also a sense that the alternatives to this behavior would not fix the underlying issues.  Through trial and error the characters all strive to make the best lives for themselves under their circumstances. I in particular enjoy shows like this that are based on reality.  I am a reality show fan so it is nice to see how writers are working hard now to create fictional shows that are more reality based.  This Sunday's finale is sure to be a great end to a very promising new show.