As always, there is much news in the news today.
The US Supreme Court examined its first abortion case in five years Wednesday
under an intense spotlight for signs of how the conservative new chief
justice would lead the institution.
US and Iraqi troops launched a joint operation Wednesday in an area west
of Baghdad used to rig car bombs, while American soldiers rounded up
33 suspected insurgents in a sweep of southern parts of the capital.
Bush still has not announced any plans for withdrawal.
I can't image that it would be a good move to announce a date.
The war is not
without its benefit for some of the people in Iraq.)
as of today, Wednesday, Nov. 30, the record-breaking 2005 Atlantic
hurricane season is over. The 26 storm season started earlier
than ever before, with storms forming almost one right after the other.
named storm, Epsilon, formed Tuesday. Katrina will be the season's
most remembered hurricane. The storm was the most destructive
strike the United States in recorded history.
Etc., etc., etc.
So we have matters of domestic policy, foreign policy and Mother/Father
Nature. Any of these would be food for fodder.
But tonight I am interested in writing about Julia Roberts and money.
It was announced on the Hollywood Reporter site and then flashed around
the globe that, for the second year, Julia Roberts is the highest paid
woman in Hollywood. She gets 20 million dollars a movie.
I was so impressed in Dallas with the Nasher Sculpture Museum.
He made gobs
of money in his shopping malls, and couldn't wait to give
the money back to his community. There are generous people in
and people are generous in many different ways. "Judge
20 million dollars.
The implication of the article was that she was paid comparably
to male stars of her class.
Ok, I'm all for equal labor, equal time.
But how does anyone come up with that equation?
It is call the free market.)
And why does anyone,
male or female get paid that kind of money. And if should
asked, why should they?
I know, I know all the usual defenses of capitalism,
people can ask for what the market will
But when Julia Roberts or anybody gets paid that much money, we all pay
for it. The cost making a movie goes way up, as does the price
of seeing one. As does the price of lots of stuff.
I am always amused when I read about movie stars who are concerned
about the environment and other social justice issues. Why don’t
they lower their fucking fees and make things more affordable for
everyone. It’s all connected.
we could make a long list of the costs and benefits to having
highly paid actors and athletes
in our society. It is obviously a two-edged sword.)
are my two money stories for the day.
#1: Emma, a 66 year old woman from Tennessee who cleans our
offices was telling me at lunch that her cost for medication
was $80 last month and
will probably be more next month. Before all of the Medicare
changes, she paid about $20 a month for the diabetes medicine
and check ups. That
She asked me what I thought she should do. I told her I didn't
And I don’t know. And I feel ashamed.
It is a shocker when the rules change.)
#2: I received
a call from our grant rep at the NEA. I am glad she called to
say she had some questions before the
panel review on Monday. I wish they had a draft review process so that
have nipped any issues in the bud.
Our rep, whom I have never met, behaved as if it were a character
deficiency or perhaps a moral failing that we didn't provide
what they wanted
according to some template that we didn't see. Because it wasn't
Ok, so that happens.
But she was really rude. Now, before you start in on your victim,
as in don’t be one line, I want to say that I made
a conscious choice. We need the money and so I put up with
it. I thanked her
profusely for her time and assistance.
She's a victim of her unhappiness and her lack of knowing how
to come off as a decent human
being. Sounds like you did as well as you could have...but
Mother Theresa would have accessed her nice side and the woman
be rude again.)
Some of her suggestions were
actually helpful for Grant Land. But the air of moral
superiority was not.
It is not her money. In a sense, it is our money. We
are taxpayers and it is public money. Our work is important
productive. We contribute richly to the fabric of society.
So I think we should
get the money.
I don't like the term "public money." It is
private money that we should all have a share
of. I don't like government support of art (in this way) because
of the control that comes with
it. I'd rather see more tax breaks for those
who want to give to art.)
But it is not that simple. So
I listened to her basically complain about us to us for
And even thought I made a deliberate choice
to play along, so we can put out best foot
forward for the
grant, it felt
Is there ever reason for condescension or rudeness?
How does money as a source of exchange make that more
Money isn't the problem. If we traded cows some would
also communicate their unhappiness.)
When was the last
time that someone was condescending to Julia Roberts or Tom Cruise?
Didn't someone squirt water at Tom Cruise last year?)
was the last time they couldn't afford to pay
for their medicine?
At this point we are taxed in various ways 50% of our
income. If we want to be taxed
more we can pay for more medication for everyone. In
the meantime, we eliminate incentives
for saving, education, and work. It isn't easy.)
Wed, Nov 29, 2005