Ever since all of this outrage over a cartoon depicting Muhammad has broken out all over the Middle East, I've been trying to think about anything at all that me or anyone I know would be so angered over if put into cartoon form. I can't think of anything. I wonder what that says about our society … and I wonder what it says about their society. Maybe its true that nothing is sacred anymore in the West. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
After noting the steady downward trend in the quality of movies hitting the multiplexes for the past couple of years, it's my guess that planning might be the direct culprit. Maybe they don't call themselves planners, and maybe instead of saying it was planning, maybe I should say it's bad planning. I can only imagine that these major studios have hired some kind of research goons to figure out how to make a buck by making the movie that John Q. America wants to see. I can almost visualize the questionnaire that certainly would have questions like:
On a scale of 1-5, what makes your loins tingle at the movies:
From these kinds of things, you can tell what a consumer thinks that they like, but honestly, most people don't know what they would like. Henry Ford once said "If I asked the consumer what they wanted, they would've asked for a faster horse." There are a lot of planners that would take offense to that quote, but it's true, and I think it's what truly separates planning from research. Digging up data is easy, anyone can learn to do it. Digging up data and then coming up with intriguing ideas is where the meat of the discipline lies. In my limited experience I've found that at their most useful planners are idea people … and at their least useful, planners are just researchers. Anyways, if this is actually taking place in the movie industry, I hope they get their act together soon. I like going to the movies.
There is an article on CNN.com about these two billionaire investors and their thoughts on various oil price scenarios. After I read the article, it reminded me of a conversation that I had with my sister a week or so after hurricane Katrina. What would happen to society if oil suddenly became so scarce and expensive that it wasn't possible to continue its everyday use? Would suburbs continue to exist but turn into self sufficient villages around larger cities? Would there be a panic and mass exodus to the big cities? Would science be able to find a suitable replacement in time before society collapsed? Maybe society wouldn't collapse at all, but watching New Orleans deteriorate into a war zone in less than a week didn't give me much hope.
Of course all of this is completely uneducated speculation…and probably a little silly.
Since my surgery I spent one week completely on a liquid diet and now I'm spending four or five weeks on a soft foods diet. The problem with soft foods and liquids is that they tend to be sweet. My diet is probably right around 70% pure sugar right now with splenda making up 29% of the remaining. The other 1% is eggs and pasta. I'm to the point where I might never want to eat anything sweet again. Ice cream or candy or soda or iced tea…I'm sick of it all. I once loved sugar so…I loved candy and soda so much and now I just want to wretch whenever I think about it. I pine for the day when I can eat salsa and salty chips and steaks and salads again.