I AM

It is amazing to find things that truly resonate with you. A nice piece of art, an awesome song that makes your soul move, or in this case a movie that illustrates exactly how you feel.

For years those close to me have heard me talk about how relationships and connections with other people is what is really important. When a connection is severed or a bond it lost, I really feel it. The movie I AM really puts things in very simple language and truly makes you think

So many people spend countless hours trying to obtain wealth and status only to feel empty in the end. I know understand the need for money to survive but there has to be a point of balance where getting more “stuff” should yield to being a better person and capable of sharing with others. I don’t think is all about giving your money away either, but just being truly able to share yourself with others.

The wife and I just spent a wonderful weekend with friends from out of town and their kids. It was an amazing time connecting, sharing and just being happy. It is amazing what can happen when people are open to create and awknowledge the importance of connections and how that is what we really are all about as humans. It is not about the individualism of “I have to be first!”

The One Percent

Money and being rich is a very interesting subject to me(wow I wrote that six years ago). Jamie Johnson is someone that is very interesting to me, almost like Anderson Cooper he was born into a very rich family but want to make their own mark in the world. I watched his documentary Born Rich a while back, and recently was able to catch The One Percent. Both films have the same theme, wealth; but the second one speaks more of responsibility. Are the rich supposed to give their money away? Why does only one percent of the population in the U.S. have all the wealth?

While all those subjects are something that can make a series of post, what I want to share is something very simple. After watching the whole movie about wealth and economic policy and very rich people being very arrogant …. the whole movie was made worth while by a Taxi driver. The guy said some things that I wanted to share with everyone that read this, mostly because it spoke to me in a very real way.

This is totally paraphrasing the guy’s word but the ultimate message is there. After Jamie lets him know that he is driving someone from the Johnson & Johnson family the word rich seems to trigger something in the Cabby’s head and he says simply…

I am rich because from my family I learned;

The following qualities are worth more than money and you cannot buy,

My Family taught me how to love people for who they are, not who I want them to be

Taught me how to get along with people,

Taught me to treat people how I want to be treated,

Treat each person for who they are and not to clump them together because we are all different in our own way.

The dude in a handfull of lines defined true personal wealth. I still hold the same feeling I did a while back, that some of the happiest people I have ever met or interacted with did not have a dime to their name… and yet so many, with so much are constantly so unhappy.

Fahrenheit 9/11 (****)

I must admit that I did not want to watch this movie when it came out. I have been a republican ever since I could think of myself voting. One of the most important things for me in my life was to become an American because I could then vote. Politics do matter because they run your life. Too bad that I have lost faith on what our president can do for us.

My argument for the war always was, hey he probably has information than you and me will not know about for years or maybe ever. He has his reasons for what he is doing. After watching 9-11 that changed. Not because Michael Moore is an excellent film maker, I am still not a fan, but because some of the things that Bush said and did during the movie could not have been taken out of context, or miss portrayed. He is as the Green Day songs put it an American idiot.

The movie is an documentary, and even though I originally dismissed it as propaganda, it has some merit as a story told very well. A lot of things have happened that have changed my mind pre-election time. I actually voted for Kerry, believe it or not, because in the time leading up to the election I thought I had my mind made, but meeting Cielo changed my life in more than one way. I am not a democrat just yet, I still think that expecting the government to support you is wrong, but at the same time a government that is lying to you is worse.

I could talk about the biggest deal to me, where are the WMD’s? But what makes me the angriest is what this war is doing to my generation, the young people of this country. They are out there in that country that does not want them there fighting a war that is truly not ours. Those poor man and women are going to come back changed disillusioned by their government and tainted by war. There has already been people that came back and snapped and while that is scary is not as scary as a generation lost to a war that has not benefited anyone except the people that have their hand tainted by oil money.

If you have not watched this movie, even if you are a die hard republican please do. It might not change your mind but at least it will make you ask yourself some questions. I am paying more at the pump than I ever had before… this is sad a ridiculous… I sit here and don’t know why we are at war. Bring the troops home!


buy at Amazon.com

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Anime Hate it or Love it

I have been watching anime since I was a little kid. I was lucky enough to not have to differentiate between Western and Eastern animation when I grew up. One of the first cartoons I remember watching was La Abejita Maya (Maja the Honey Bee – Mitsubachi Maja no Boken) when I was probably 4 or 5. The series is very well written and always had a good message at the end of the day.

Back then I had no idea I was watching Japanese animation because to me everything was considered cartoons. Some kids experienced the same thing here with a couple of series like Astro Boy and Speed Racer, but overall Japanese animation was not really popular in the US until about 5 years ago when the market started getting saturated with some very bad anime.

Anime is a hate it or love it kind of thing for a lot of people. I don’t really see the point on totally disliking it but there are a lot of people out there that just despise it. I totally respect their point of view. Anime has been linked to the negative geek label now, but I would only put fanboys on that category. The internet makes it even worse, trying to find information about anime can leave you with a headache because most websites that follow it are poorly written and have the most obnoxious colors available in the RGB world.

There is a lot of good adult anime, that rivals in story depth with some of the best hollywood has to offer. I think Spirited Away showed anime in a different light that some people might not have expected. If you have never really experienced anime I think this is a good starting point. I would steer you away from the recommendation most anime fans give you as a start which is Akira. While the movie is excellent it is quite complicated and not in a good way.

Anime is far reaching when it comes to subjects. You can find anything from animal series that are for kids to adult geared hentai that tends to be a little too bizarre for my personal taste. Just remember that there is a lot in between. My favorite genre of anime is the post apocaliptic future Tokyo type of theme. A lot of times this series involves humanoid robots that develop a soul, in what I believe a heavy Asimov influence ala Ghost in the Shell. Or robots trying to fit into our society like the movie Armitage III of the series by the same name.

Also from growing up I hold a series dear to me, Captain Tsubasa or Supercampeones as it is knows in Spanish. This soccer fueled series falls prey of the repetitive animation and impossible physics that sometimes turns people off, but I just love it. It is a great series and there are a lot of people that still follow it today. I have most of the original series dubbed in Spanish, and have always wished that they release it here in the US. I was hoping that with the popularity of soccer in the US, they might bring the latest iteration (Road to 2002) but I was not that lucky.

The last series that I want to mention is Rurouni Kenshin, which I own the whole series on DVD. This anime has a lot of history about Japan and how the country changed when Samurai became a thing of the past. Very similar in some aspects to the recent Tom Cruise movie The Last Samurai. While it might not be actual history, it does open a window of at least interest to a time when Japan was changing from being complete feudal to become the industrialized nation it is today.

Anime has a lot of flavors and while some might be quite bitter, there are also some sweet flavors that are worth trying. I think it can be a good experience as trying ethnic food, but of course with a little guidance. I say when looking for anime try to find something that might mix something you are already interested in. My bet is that one or more of your hobbies have an anime already linked to it. Just don’t let a bad experience keep you from trying something else in the menu.

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