Where does Hollywood's incentive lie? Butts in seats. That's all. If they can get you to buy a ticket, the quality of the movie does not matter. And so the quality of movies suffers. Now granted, there are artists in Hollywood who do care about the quality of the film and most studio executives know enough about business to know that the studio's name is on the line if the audience doesn't have a good time, but what long term value is there in just having a good time?
What I'm talking about is a short-sighted perspective. Many people, companies, and industries are to blame, but sources of fiction propagate this negative trend by portraying it as reality. While what's in front of you might be the truth, it may not be the whole truth.
Our culture today has some significant problems. We are an unhealthy people, facing heart disease, obesity, and cancer. We are in an economic crisis; many of us are unable to get out of debt, much less accumulate wealth. Our relationships are in peril: divorce rates are high, family members aren't speaking, and everyone shifts blame.
Health is the natural result of our bodies functioning properly. Key distinction: you may be HEALTHY right now, but if your body isn't functioning PROPERLY, you won't be for long. Our bodies function properly when they are properly maintained. Like a car, we need the proper intake of certain chemicals to keep our parts working smoothly. Is it fair to say that we don't eat properly? Is it fair to say that few, if any, of us follow the FDA's scientifically backed food pyramid? Many believe that health food is a lot of expensive hype, that as long as they're full, it doesn't matter what they consume. Many would rather watch TV than go for a jog because it's easier. The truth is there are things you need to do now to prevent health problems in the future.
Wealth is the natural result of living within our means. You see, wealth is not about how much you make, despite popular opinion. It is about how much you keep. Not budgeting your money is like trying to build a house without a blueprint. And red-lining your income (or spending every cent you make), is like driving on a narrow bridge with no guard rails. Many think it's just too hard to budget, or that they need to spend money to make money. The truth is the vast majority of millionaires in America are very frugal, and the people that look like a million bucks are broke.
Solid relationships are the natural result of putting other people first. People who feel respected are more likely to respect you. Could it be that sometimes the other person needs more from you than you can get from them? What would happen if you chose to invest in people? Many have a "take care of number one" or a "look out for me and mine" mentality. They figure other people's problems are none of their business and they are happy that is the case. The truth is, it's not. People need people. Relationships both build and crumble by small acts compounding over time.
Is Hollywood causing this? No. The only one I can blame is me. You and I are the community of people who consume these movies, what we buy is what we support. As a society, we are in love with the idea that we are victims of our environment. Hollywood, TV, and other mass media simply caters to this want. The natural result of enabling victim-thinking is the death of progress.
What if we formed a different kind of community? One where there is incentive in the teaching of truth? Stories (true or fictitious), have historically been used to teach lessons about life. Many are still with us in some form today. I believe that classic films are those that hold the most truth, because truth lasts. The films that continue to be watched hold the greatest long-term value and create the greatest residual incomes for their creators (the studios included.)
What if we learn the truth about these three areas? What if we teach the truth by bringing people into an association of like-minded people? What if we banded together to create truthful media that we could proudly promote? What if we inspired people to found organizations of their own, and create truthful media from their unique perspective? What if the process perpetuated?
Let's solve problems, build a community, and put Truth in Fiction!
- The Millionaire Next Door - An astonishingly detailed book about the real millionaires in America. Authors Stanley and Danko have done an exhaustive study of millionaires, and found that many act and look like their middle-class counterparts and are first-generation wealthy.
- Love & Respect - An eye-opening book about the difference between what husbands and wives expect from each other emotionally.