Archive for October, 2015

Ants underrepresented in the media, says new study.

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 26, 2015 by dakofman

According to a new study released by some educational institution, ants are the most underrepresented group in all forms of media.

Ants account for the same amount of biomass on the planet as humans do, but they make up less than 1 percent of all biomass seen on film. Cars Tomuk, ant expert and the lead researcher for the survey, was disturbed by the findings.

“Even in the few films that ants are in, they are the butt of a joke. Most ants in films and television shows are killed by terminators for laughs. This is very problematic. Ants deserve to be treated with respect like any other species.” said Mr. Tomuk.

Of the 350 films included in the study, only one featured ants in a prominent role. But according to Mr. Tomuk, Marvel’s Ant-Man also has many problems.

“Marvel had a chance to go out and get an ant for the lead role but instead they went with the safe choice, Paul Rudd. Paul Rudd is not an ant. He does not know what it is like to be a pupae or how to live in an ant colony serving your queen every day. The daily life of an ant can be demanding. Does Rudd know anything about that? No. We need more films about the genuine ant experience. ”

The findings of this survey came as no surprise to the ant community. We reached out to a prominent worker ant of an molehill in Antrim, New Hampshire for comment.

“It’s about time America woke up! It’s 2015! There are trillions of ants living in this country and they should be able to watch television shows about their lives and their experiences. ” said Colony Ant of Molehill MSXVMXXX.

“Millions of ants live in the white house right now! They live right under it! But no ant has ever been elected president! This is supposed to be the land of the free! But the only freedom ants have is the freedom to be stepped on by the boot of oppression. Billions of ants will be crushed this year. But does any one care? Will the government do anything to stop it? The senseless slaughter of ants is encouraged by current regime. And it will not stop until ants stop fighting over sugar cubes and start working together for a better future for ants everywhere. ”

Progress may be coming for ants in Hollywood. Film studios have responded positively to the survey. Disney and Sony are the ones taking major steps towards species diversity. Sony has announced an all ants version of Ghostbusters coming to theaters and garbage cans this summer. Disney is re-releasing A Bug’s Life on Blu-Ray with a special documentary on how the film changed bug cinema forever.

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We Want More Money

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2015 by dakofman

GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson of "The Hunger Games" are guests on "Good Morning America," 11/13/14, airing on the ABC Television Network.   (Photo by Fred Lee/ABC via Getty Images)

Jennifer Lawrence recently wrote an article about how gender discrimination had impacted her wages on American Hustle. She made only 1.25 million dollars or so during filming and that was not proper compensation according to her.

I am just so taken aback that she has something to complain about. She has more than most people will own in their life time. She has the privilege to work in an extremely lucrative industry that only accepts a select few. She is the highest paid actress. When accounting for actors and actresses, she is second to only Robert “Ironman” Downey Jr. She has earned the highest accolade in her profession, an Oscar. Everyone knows who she is. She has franchise action films set up to make her more money for many years to come. She has accomplished this all by the age of young age of 25. Yet Ms. Lawrence still feels as though, she has been slighted by society. She has been discriminated against. One of the most privileged people in the world looks at the few who have more than her and asks “Why don’t I have what they have?”

I’m not going to get into the myth of the gender pay gap because I don’t find it all that relevant to Ms. Lawrence’s case here. There is a personal responsibility that goes into contract negotiation. You have to convince them to pay you what you are worth. If you sign the contract, you’re agreeing to those terms. It’s not the company’s responsibility to make sure you get paid. It is on you.

Most of us do not have all the leverage when negotiating our salary. Some of us have to take pay cuts if we want to move to another company because they’ll find someone who will work for their set price. But when you’re the hottest actress on the planet like Ms. Lawrence, you have the leverage. You can turn down projects and only work when you want to. If Ms. Lawrence felt she was being unfairly compensated for her work, she and her agent could have easily walked out of that room. There’s no limit to the jobs available to Ms. Lawrence. If 2.5 million dollars for 19 days of work was sexist discrimination to her, she could have went somewhere else. And if Ms. Lawrence felt that all of Hollywood was underpaying her because she was a woman, she could have retired with all her millions at the young age of 25.

But instead she agrees to take the money and then writes an essay about how she was not adequately compensated for her work because of her gender.

I think Ms. Lawrence should take personal responsibility for her bad negotiation skills and leave sexism out of it. It does seem that her negotiation skills are improving because she’s going to make 8 million dollars more than her co-star Chris Pratt for their new film, Passengers . If Ms. Lawrence wants to be paid her worth, she should replace her agent with Number Two from the Austin Powers movies.

The Arranged Marriage

Posted in dating, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 12, 2015 by dakofman

“I’ve thought about marriage before in a couple of relationships I’ve been in in the past. I thought I probably could be married to this person. We sort of even discussed it. It seemed kind of real then because there was already a flow to the relationship. You felt like what would marriage be except some kind of formalizing of this bond. But here is like going from nothing to everything. It’s like one of these commercials for cars. They go from zero to sixty in two point three seconds or whatever There’s no starting point. It’s all of a sudden You’re going at sixty miles an hour and you don’t even know how you got there.”

– A young man on arranged marriage vs. choice-based marriage.

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Arranged marriages are counter to the relationship ideology held here in the United States. We are all about choosing who we want to love. The idea of a partner chosen by your parents might send chills up many people’s spines. But there are cultures where a person does not have that choice.

I’ve wondered what is the mental state of a person in such an arrangement? Are they angry with their society? Do they feel cheated out of a real opportunity for love? Do they resent their partner? Are they less happy than people who got to choose someone they loved? What keeps the couple together when things get hard? What is the glue to arranged marriages?

I needed these questions answered so I could answer another question that I’ve been wanting to find an answer to. I zoomed to Youtube to watch a documentary on contemporary arranged marriages. I’ve linked to it below.

It wasn’t exactly what I was looking for. The arranged marriages in this documentary did involve choice. The people weren’t betrothed at an early age and then wed once they could bear children. Some of the subjects in this documentary dated normally before they got involved in an arranged marriages. They had their choice of suitors. One woman placed an ad in a newspaper looking for a husband, and received over two hundred letters from men. She had a choice in them

I did figure out that the glue to many arranged marriages was tradition. Children wanted to make their parents proud by finding a partner that continued the traditions of their cultures.

One scene where this was evident was a car ride between two friends. One girl was adamant that her partner had to be Indian like her because it would be easier to live with her partner. Her friend struggled to understand why she couldn’t accept someone else. The other girl said that it would be so annoying to explain her culture to an outsider and proceeded to attack her friend’s Indianness for not seeing it the same way.

While the documentary was informative, it didn’t give me insight into the mental state of a person in an arranged marriage. So I did some heavy research and googled the subject. The first entry was this article.

Here’s a snippet from it.

” We found absolutely no difference between participants in arranged marriages and those in free choice marriages on the four measures we included in our study. Regardless of the nature of their marriage — whether their spouse had been selected by family members/matchmakers or had been personally and freely chosen — the participants in our study were extremely (and equally) happy with their relationships.”

This is just one report. I was unconvinced so I went down to the fourth entry on google where I found this article.

“They are seen by many as business deals that have little to do with love.

But arranged marriages are far more likely to lead to lasting affection than marriages of passion, experts claim.

According to research, those in arranged marriages – or who have had their partner chosen for them by a parent or matchmaker – tend to feel more in love as time grows, whereas those in regular marriages feel less in love over time.

Relationship experts claim this is because arranged matches are carefully considered, with thought going into whether potential partners’ families, interests and life goals are compatible.

This means they are more likely to commit for life – and to stick together through rocky patches.

Those who marry for love, on the other hand, tend to be blinded by passion and so overlook these crucial details. ”

It’s very possible that those in arranged marriages are lying on these surveys and are saving face for their relationships, pretending to be happy when they are miserable. But then perhaps the same could be said of choice-based marriages. People will always lie to save face and look good in front of others. Lying is more convenient than telling the truth. Just look at politics.

But if everyone was honest with their answers, then it seems to me that these two types of marriages are not so different after all. They both end up with the same destination. They just go through a different process of weeding undesirables to get to the ideal partner. This does stem to many other questions, but now I’d like to focus on the question that led me to look into arranged marriages in the first place.

Is love a choice?

I’m still trying to discern how best to find an answer to that question. There is a lot of material I may have to shift through from love psychology to human biology. I’d also have to find a working definition for love which is much harder than it sounds. Love between two people today is not the same sort of love that existed in two hundred years ago. If I do find an answer, I’ll write about it on here some day.