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Are You Really Okay with Eating that?

by Sonise Lumbaca

Do I own a list of movies that I can watch over and over again because of the way it makes me feel? Indeed I do. Am I a movie buff who can recite the lines to some of my favorite movies? Once upon a time, but not anymore. But, I can look at a two second scene from a movie and in various instances tell you the name of the movie. I once was able to recite the lines of the movie “Stand By Me” and “Labyrinth” line-by-line. Even in today’s day and age where many movies are about special effects and various other bells and whistles, these two movies are still ones I would be willing to sit down with family and friends and watch while snacking on homemade unprocessed snacks. There are tons of other movies I would do this for as well. And, that’s just the point. Many of today’s movies I am unwilling to do this for. In fact, I stopped going to the theater altogether because much of today’s movies no longer has the power to enthrall my attention. Even most of the movies and television shows currently streaming fail to enthrall me. I killed most of my subscriptions because the content wasn’t worth it; especially with the awful economy that many news agencies are mistakenly broadcasting is doing well. But I digress.

Some of today’s movies and television shows no longer appeal to me. But, I am one person so it may not matter to you what I think. But, I believe I am not alone. There is a silent majority out there who probably agree. Sure there are a handful of movies and television shows that I am willing to watch, but in the grand scheme of entertainment, I’d rather watch a movie from my old DVD collection. I’ll share with you something about my vast DVD collection of films and TV series (I’ll save the story behind why I have an archaic archive rather than digital files for another blog post); I only purchased what I knew I would want to watch over and over again. Okay, I’ll admit, there was that one time I was deployed to Iraq and I bought a few movies because that was all they had. Movies at times were the only thing that helped some of us get through operating in a combat zone during out limited down time. I have since donated those few movies and TV series, purchased during a time of desperation, to my local library, hoping that they may entertain someone else. But, once again, I digress.

Some studios and smaller production companies seem to have forgotten their role within society- to entertain the masses (there are some that would argue that Hollywood and its role was born for nefarious intent, but that’s another story). Instead, they are appealing to social agendas, attempting to push narratives that half the population (maybe even more than half, their just being quiet), are unwilling to support. Whatever happened to just entertaining?

My point is, like the food I put into my body, I have become quite picky with the entertainment I engage in to occupy my time. I use the food as an analogy because like food, that is feeding and nourishing my body, entertainment in the form of visual and audio sustenance. Why would I ingest processed foods laden with ingredients I can’t pronounce and ones that cause side effects that are poisoning my body, creating inflammation like canola, seed oils, and high fructose corn syrup? Heck, some are even carcinogens. These ingredients destroy the body; in the end, they destroy life as you know it. I apply the same question to some of the visual entertainment that Hollywood is dumping on us, with their take it or leave it approach. Well, I choose not to take it and am more than happy to leave it. I am the consumer and like the food I purchase, I will not pollute my mind with some of the “garbage” that is being produced. We must remember that we as consumers have a choice.

But consumers are part of the problem since we accept it. Once upon a time the ingredients in food were honest all natural and benefited everyone. They weren’t grown in some lab like some of today’s experimental sustenance that is being pushed on society all in the name of “saving the planet.” Can these pushers tell you how these ingredients will affect our health 10, 20, 30 years from now? No, they can’t. And you may ask how does this relate to film and television entertainment? It’s simple. As consumers, the more we buy into these film and television shows, that lack a high standard of storytelling and aspects of realism (even in fantasy and science fiction- because what pulls people into these genres are the notes of realism that directors masterfully weave within the production), as time passes, I fear that these forms of entertainment will get worse; ultimately with society accepting substandard entertainment they are willing to digest; the same way much of society digests the substandard food offered in supermarkets. That old saying, “You are what you eat,” come to mind.

So, in conclusion, studios, makers of films, and the powers that be that “grant” the opportunities of filmmakers to be catapulted into stardom—allowing them to continue to entertain the masses— just do us all a favor and tell a good story. Just help people tell a good story without the in-your-face agenda. While it may be true that agendas existed in the movies of yesteryear, at least the directors and storytellers masterfully wove their agenda’s without off-putting the audience; unlike today. I’d like to go to the theaters once again. I’d like to renew my subscription to watch something new on one of the streaming services, and not regret purchasing it. So please, just stop and let’s get back to entertaining. Thank you Mel Gibson, John Krasinski, and Tom Cruise. Thank you for understanding what it takes and what it means to entertain the masses.

Note: You may or may not have noticed but in this blog, I too was pushing an in-your face agenda with regard to highlighting the processed and human-altered food that is being pushed on society. See how that works? 😉

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