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Forum Post: Me, National lampoons, & the middle.

Posted 11 years ago on Sept. 23, 2012, 10:28 p.m. EST by richardkentgates (3269)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Any of you ever watched these movies?


I just watched National Lampoon's Vacation, again. I've seen it before of course but in current context, it had meaning that was not written into the script. This movie series is quintessentially American. It's politically incorrect. Packed with self deprecating humor, absurd punch lines, unlikely scenarios. It's a fun movie.

It's also perfect for making a point about the middle that seems lost on the extreme left and right that tugs and tears at the middle with disdain.

What example of totally socialist countries could you point to that could make movies like this? I can't think of any. Mostly because the culture for it just doesn't exist in Cuba or China, but also because there is no motivation to create something like that.

But, then I was also thinking... what good is a culture like unrestrained capitalism that makes such great movies if I can't afford to take my kids to watch something like that at the Cinema?

Working 40-50 hours a week at $13 per hour as an ATM tech got me an apartment one step above ghetto, a 10-25 year old car, utilities, groceries, gas, and I'm spent. An exciting time for my kids is buying clothes twice a year or going to ride gocarts once in the summer at the local amusement park. Now I'm back to cooking thanks to this awesome recovery and I can't explain with words the level of suck that brings to the picture.

Does anyone get the picture?



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[-] 2 points by gsw (3410) from Woodbridge Township, NJ 11 years ago


I too have avoided movies for their cost. I did have blockbuster account, then there was nothing that seemed good, and OWS coincidentally came along.

When I was younger, and got married to a young mexican, I got to see that in that part of world, multigenerational families would live together. Now, my oldest, her husband, and their son and soon to be daughter, live here and we can split utilities, and I can help with child care, as she makes just a few $ over minimum, with a AA in social work.

I may just give her the house someday, (because I owe another 15 years ) cause I don't see her being able to afford, and I'll just couch surf, or live in car, in warmer place someday.

Middle class is taking such a hit from 1 percent, we're looking like not much above third world. They beat us in health care (Cuba). http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/04/cuban-health-lessons/





“(AP) A different measure, the international Gini index, found U.S. income inequality at its highest level since the Census Bureau began tracking household income in 1967. The U.S. also has the greatest disparity among Western industrialized nations. At the top, the wealthiest 5 percent of Americans, who earn more than $180,000, added slightly to their annual incomes last year, census data show. Families at the $50,000 median level slipped lower. “Income inequality is rising, and if we took into account tax data, it would be even more,” said Timothy Smeeding, a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor who specializes in poverty. “More than other countries, we have a very unequal income distribution where compensation goes to the top in a winner-takes-all economy.”

[-] 1 points by yobstreet (-575) 11 years ago

You're partially correct and partially down right confused; the reason this occurs more in our country is because by and large the rest are too damn poor to grow corporations. But they're working on it, thanks to us.

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) 11 years ago

You make a point about the AA and low pay. The media is selling everyone on the idea that education is the end all be all on poverty but this ignores the reality and assumes a future with no labor which is absurd. To follow the thinking that the fix for poverty is education is to ignore the possibility that people will have to call a plumber or electrician or auto mechanic at some point. Maybe it's a silent acceptance that America will always find room to exploit a segment of the population and there is really no intention of fixing poverty, just hiding it better.

[-] 2 points by gsw (3410) from Woodbridge Township, NJ 11 years ago

currently, the person seeking the education to pursue a career, is assuming high risk, financing that education, assuming jobs will be there in that field.

Education should be mostly subsidized by government. (but the universities need to stop paying their football legends million dollar salaries too)

That would boost the economy.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

I thought college players got NO pay! (maybe you're referring to coaches?) Seems college sports is a boondoggle bordering on slavery of the athletes for the colleges.

I think college can be shorter, (3 years) should be free (it's an investment!) & colleges need to be called on the huge increases well beyond inflation they have imposed.

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) 11 years ago

I'm not for subsidizing room and board for higher education but I do think offering public school up to a 4 year degree should be considered. Society just has that much more information to juggle than it did over 100 years ago. ^

[-] 2 points by richardkentgates (3269) 11 years ago

The lack of response is answer enough.

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 11 years ago

The middle class is gone, Richard.

So are movies in that genre, it would seem.

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) 11 years ago

The middle class is gone, Richard.

...you get it...

So are movies in that genre, it would seem.

...you lost it.

[-] 0 points by yobstreet (-575) 11 years ago

I've been there and the answer is yes, college in the form of night school, or whatever, should be free for those in your situation. To accomplish this and other similar goals we must rein in government.

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) 11 years ago

I wasn't talking about for poor people. Allow me to reiterate.

I do think offering public school up to a 4 year degree should be considered

[-] 0 points by yobstreet (-575) 11 years ago

Maybe but I don't think that's necessary. We need to discard the curriculum as it currently exists and begin preparing individuals at a much younger age. There is no reason, for example, why we can't graduate fully certified electronic techs, auto mechanics, or IT professionals, from high school; there is no reason an attorney or a doctor requires an eight year prerequisite consisting of both high school prep and four years of pre-med. Our current system only serves the establishment, it wastes the best years of their energetically creative, cerebral lives. And that waste will influence if not determine their future direction.

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) 11 years ago

My son started in pre-k. There is no starting at an earlier age. You have to add time to the existing system.

[-] 0 points by yobstreet (-575) 11 years ago

I don't agree with that at all - we have to stop wasting their time with useless never to be remembered or utilized mandatory classes; it's a waste of tax dollars, brain cells, and psychologically antithetical to "learning."

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) 11 years ago

Useless classes? Such as....?

[-] 0 points by yobstreet (-575) 11 years ago

Haha... ask me again when your children are in junior high school, when you've examined the curriculum and the text books; ask me again how much is relevant. Because the answer is: very little.

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) 11 years ago

You made an Ass-umption and also overlooked personal experiance. I'm not going to point it out, you need the practice. You still didn't actually name anything you thought was a waste of time. Very politician of you.

[-] 1 points by yobstreet (-575) 11 years ago

It's not an assumption; based on personal experience, it's a "fact." Adolescents should be permitted to follow their own interests and not hammered cookie cutter style into a curriculum; if a child is not amenable to learning he or she will not learn; if he or she is not amenable it's very likely that the information presented is perceived of as irrelevant to life experience. And it is.

And as a result at least one third of our population, despite all of these educational mandates, cannot read or write above the elementary level - put lipstick on a pig, it's still a pig. And that's a far more brilliant observation than much if what comes out of our educational system.

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) 11 years ago

Still didn't name anything you want to remove from the curriculum. #Fail

[-] -1 points by yobstreet (-575) 11 years ago

You don't get it - I want to discard the entire curriculum. I want children placed on the path of either academia or vocational training by they time they are ten years old; I want all ensuing to be voluntary commensurate with personal interest - they're wasting their lives away when they could be doing something personally constructive.

We have teachers with the equivalent of a doctorate teaching sixth grade English... it's a waste; they utilize ten percent of their degree. And 9th grade creative writing is a waste to those who have no interest; four years of high school math is a waste for a surgeon... we can go on and on. It only serves the establishment and it destroys that space of adolescent potential in the process.

Look around - how many people go through life without ever utilizing any formal education whatsoever? Virtually all... Ok, so maybe I'm exaggerating but still the percentage is relatively high - 60%? 70%? That utilize less than 20% of formal education?

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 11 years ago

Agreed. Four-year college for everybody would be very wasteful. Both for some of the students and for the people paying for it, if they're not paying for it. And that's one argument against offering it for free to everybody. If it were free for everybody then more people might take advantage of that when what they really should be doing is learning to repair a muffler or configure a router instead of playing hackey sack on the student union lawn. We can't afford to subsidize all of that wasteful hackey sack playing, and those people would consume valuable educational resources that would be more effective if they were dedicated to more serious students.

[-] 0 points by yobstreet (-575) 11 years ago

Well that's exactly what happens now in our enforced "until 16" public high schools. And you really can't blame students, a lot of it is just a complete waste of time.

[-] 0 points by yobstreet (-575) 11 years ago

I do, but I don't care.

[-] 0 points by richardkentgates (3269) 11 years ago

shocking :|

[-] 0 points by yobstreet (-575) 11 years ago

I know, right?

[-] 0 points by BetsyRoss (-744) 11 years ago

We rarely watch movies at the theater. We Redbox them for a buck, or Netflix is $8 bucks a month. There are plenty of things to do that don't cost money. Did someone force you to live where you do or settle for a $13.00 an hour job?

[-] 0 points by yobstreet (-575) 11 years ago

I've been to New Hope and I've been to Fort Walton... we both know the answer to your question, Dear Betsy... We're gonna change what we can; in the meantime, you gotta keep on truckin'. So give the guy a chance, he's on the right path... if only we could market his writing, just saying.