A lot of people operate under the silly belief that you have to be extremely wealthy to be able to help people. While it is true that the people who produce astonishing wealth tend to have the habits that make charitable efforts the most effective, you don’t need to be rich to make a big difference. In fact, if you take on and model some of the habits that wealthy people tend to have, both your giving efforts and your earning efforts will receive a boost.
When you think ahead, as Christine Gibbs does, you can plan for things that may happen instead of thinking only about what has happened and what is happening right now. While a lot of people don’t put a lot of thought into the future beyond preventing problems, with a little bit of positive foresight you can accomplish some great things.
What a lot of folks don’t realize about the wealthy is that this is one of their biggest advantageous traits over most other people. Instead of just focusing on today, focus on what your contributions can be doing tomorrow; even next year or several years down the line. With a long term goal, today’s efforts seem like time well spent.
Providing Value to Others
Some people believe in the zero sum mentality that comes out of scarcity. If you think scarcely, you’ll naturally believe that everything you give to someone else will hurt you in some way. Interestingly enough, the wealthiest members of almost every society in the world understand that when they give to others, they’re also helping themselves to gain more in life.
Providing value is the same as giving to others. When someone starts a business with the intention to serve others, that individual can make a fortune simply by providing value. When you give to others, you can experience the same emotional benefit, and possibly advance society as a whole. While there’s no guarantee that giving to a charity will make you or society richer, it almost never hurts.
Sticking it Out
One of the other major advantageous traits that wealthy people have is the above average ability to stick it out regardless of initial failures or problems that come up. Life is full of problems and no one has ever been able to escape all of them. This is a fact of the adult world. However, the more problems you can push through and overcome, the better you tend to do in life.
Maybe you aren’t making as much money as you’d like to make. Maybe you aren’t experiencing much fulfillment at work, and you feel like a zombie. But when you give to other people and keep making the effort, ultimately it pays off.
Sebastian Gutierrez’s new comedy, “Girl Walks Into a Bar,” may not be the third installment in the director’s much-talked about “Women” trilogy, but it very well could be considering the talent involved. Instead, it’s an entirely separate movie with a twist of its own – the first major motion picture produced exclusively for the web. It’s an interesting experiment that could revolutionize the way that independent cinema is distributed in the future, especially for those not fortunate enough to live in a major city. But while the movie makes good on its promise of delivering big stars and high-level production values, “Girl Walks Into a Bar” is Gutierrez’s weakest film to date – a movie that most people will probably only watch because it’s free.
The film begins, fittingly enough, with a girl walking into a bar. The woman in question is undercover private detective Francine (Carla Gugino), who’s there to meet with a nervous dentist named Nick (Zachary Quinto) under the pretense that she’s an assassin hired to kill his cheating wife, completely unaware that Francine is recording the entire conversation. But when she loses the evidence after a modish pickpocket (Aaron Tveit) makes off with her purse, Francine sets off a chain of events that connects a seemingly unrelated group of people, including an exotic dancer (Emmanuelle Chriqui), a retired criminal (Robert Forster), and a sex-starved student (Rosario Dawson) working part-time at a nudist ping pong club.
It’s essentially just a series of vignettes that take place in different bars and clubs throughout Los Angeles, with Gutierrez relying on the relationships between his characters to form the connective tissue of the story. He’s used a similar structure before in films like “Women in Trouble” and “Elektra Luxx,” but with “Girl Walks Into a Bar,” the breaks in between each section feel less like a transition than an opportunity for advertisers to plug their product. Granted, the movie wouldn’t even exist if it weren’t for these advertisers, but if the viewing experience is marred as a result of forced commercial breaks, then what’s the point of changing the system?
Gutierrez’s obsession with exploring the psyches of his characters via theatrical fantasy sequences also messes with the flow of the film. They look great in comparison to the static two shots that populate most of the movie (especially one featuring Chriqui as a stripper with a unique insight into the minds of men), but they’re a distraction at best. “Girl Walks Into a Bar” is much better off when it just lets its characters talk, because as Gutierrez’s sharp-witted script proves once again, he’s a far superior writer than a director. It’s no wonder he’s able to assemble such talented ensemble casts, because his dialogue is outstanding, and it makes the performances feel really natural. Unfortunately, it takes more than just great dialogue to make a good movie, and though “Girl Walks Into a Bar” isn’t bad for a film being offered for free, filmmakers will need to adopt a much better attitude than that if online distribution is going to succeed.
If, like me, you grew up a weird kid compulsively watching the Marx Brothers, Abbott and Costello, Laurel and Hardy and, yes and alas, the Three Stooges, then you might well enjoy “Backwash,” an enjoyably dippy web series with its final episode to be uploaded on Crackle this Monday night, December 20. The series stars Joshua Malina, who also wrote it, as the grumpy and conniving Val, who is, for whatever reason, charged with the care of the childlike and lovably idiotic Jonesy (Michael Panes). When they accidentally rob a bank with a sausage — you kind of have to be there — and hook up with a flamboyant ice cream truck driver, Fleming (Michael Ian Black, who I was unable to nab for a quick interview), the on-the-lamb trio begins a cross-country odyssey of sorts.
The enjoyably lowbrow but sometimes surreal silliness is book-ended by introductions from a rogues gallery of comic and acting talent, the funniest being a mysteriously bearded Jon Hamm, Allison Janney, John Cho, Dulé Hill, and Sarah Silverman. Somehow, Victorian author William Makepeace Thackeray is maligned as being the originally author of this more or less contemporary travesty lovingly directed by Danny Leiner, who also helmed “Harold and Kumar Go to Whitecastle.”
It was my privilege to chat with with some of the actors and creators of “Backwash” at the theatrical premiere of a somewhat shortened feature-length version of the web series. I started with Josh Malina, an actor I’ve been rather fond of since I stumbled over “Sports Night,” the show that convinced me that the writer of “The Social Network” was something more than an entertainingly glib semi-hack, actually a lot more.
“I think you’ll dig it. If not, what the hell, it was only a buck.”
That pretty much sums up creator Kurt Sutter’s feelings on the release of the new “Sons of Anarchy” app for the iPhone and iPad, and while it’s hard to imagine any fan of the show not drooling over the prospect of getting more background info on the show’s rich mythology, the fact that it only costs 99 cents makes it well worth the risk. Or you can just take my word for it, because I’ve spent some time with the app over the last 24 hours, and it’s something that most fans would gladly pay more than a dollar for.
The core of the app is dedicated to exploring SAMCRO’s roots, offering back stories on everything from the origins of SAMBEL, to the history of the IRA and its relationship with the Sons of Anarchy. There’s also a Bonus Material section that includes pictures and scripts from deleted scenes of recent episodes, with ones for the season premiere and Episode Five already available, as well as access to direct feeds of Sutter’s personal blog and the official production blog, which are ripe with behind-the-scenes info.
The app itself has a simple yet slick interface that accommodates future updates, and this is where it really shines. Though there are only two story sections available at the moment (the aforementioned “Belfast and SOA” and “The IRA”), the app is scheduled to be updated every Monday and Wednesday – although presumably only when the show is in season – with brand new content that often supports the episode airing that week. Future updates promise more deleted scenes, sections on SAMCRO’s early years and John Teller, information on the bikes of “SOA,” and cast bios.
It’s like a digital Bible for the diehard “Sons of Anarchy” fan, and although there are a few issues that need to be fixed in a future software update (the lack of an icon letting you know when new content is downloading makes it seem unresponsive), it’s nothing too major. More shows should really adopt this model when creating their official app, because while you don’t necessarily need it to watch the show, it gives you the inside track on what the writers know and makes for a much richer viewing experience.
So, what’s funnier than “Between Two Ferns” the (I hope) fake web interview program from comic madman Zach Galifianakis? That would be “Between Two Ferns” blended with the now legendary trailer for, what else, “The Social Network.” Yet another demonstration of the miracles of editing.
Ah, the wonders of a choral rendition, sung by what sounds like nothing but angelic 11 year-olds, of Radiohead’s “Creep.” I miss that great pop guitar lick from the original, however. You know that “chu-chuh” — not to be confused with the “Law & Order” “cha-CHUNK” — that comes in just before “I’m a creep, I’m a weirdo…”