Monday, September 27, 2010

Week of 09/27/2010

Memo To Government: You Can Stop Lying Now
– by David Matthews 2

I have a really simple message to the federal government in regards to our economy.


Just stop.

Stop the lies. Stop telling us that it’s raining when all that you’re doing is peeing on our legs.

This past week the “OFFICIAL” word from the National Bureau of Economic Research is that there really WAS a recession. It “started” in December of 2007, and it “ended” in June of 2009.


Stop it.


Stop lying to the American people!

I’m not questioning the presence of recession or its severity. It really is THE WORST economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930’s.

I’m challenging the “official” dates of it.

First of all, the recession DID NOT START in 2007. The seeds of our economic destruction were sewn LONG BEFORE then!

We can trace this economic disaster going back to the 2001 “mini-recession”, when businesses like Enron and WorldCom began to fail. Back then, we the American people were fed a placebo and told it was a cure. That placebo was cheap credit and housing values in the place of a growth in real wages. And we bought into this placebo because we had two wars to fight and terrorists to thwart.

We can trace this economic disaster through the changes made to banking and bankruptcy rules. The changes that allowed big banks to get even bigger and to make more and more risky decisions, while at the same time making it harder and harder for the rest of the American people to get out of the burdens that have been placed on their shoulders.

But if you wanted a REAL date of the start of this recession, then you’d have to go with September of 2005, when Hurricane Katrina barreled through the Gulf of Mexico and our President, having already weaseled in a generous thank-you to his friends in the oil industry, decided than it was more important to attend a fundraiser in California than to worry about the sudden shutdown of oil that ended up affecting the whole country. As far back as then, people started talking about a looming recession and wondering what could be done to stop it. And of course nothing WAS done to prevent the recession, because it was just too profitable to keep the status quo going.

Here’s a little friendly tip to these “experts”… every economic downturn in recent years, no matter how slight, were precipitated by spikes in oil prices. Go ahead and look it up and you’ll make the same connection I made. There’s your true warning sign.

Of course we can endlessly haggle over when the recession BEGAN. But what I REALLY object to - what I have to call foul on - is your declaration that this recession “ENDED” in June of 2009.

Bull$#it! It did not end.

Do you hear me? IT IS NOT OVER WITH!

Unemployment is still a huge problem in this nation. Fifteen million Americans are out of work, with that number expected by some to reach as high as THIRTY-ONE MILLION by the end of the year. Almost HALF of those people out of work have been out of work for at least a year or more, which pretty much makes them unemployable. And that number is not even an accurate account, because as more and more unemployed Americans run out of benefits, they are no longer counted. They cease to exist in the minds of the government.

Foreclosures and bankruptcies are still a problem in this country, and they will continue to be as long as more and more Americans are not able to find work. The people who still have work have been forced to make do with less. They’re not going to be spending money on things that would stimulate the economy. They’re going to be worried that they may not have a job by the end of the year and end up being part of that estimated THIRTY-ONE MILLION.

Plus the recklessness of Wall Street HAS NOT ABATED! The very bad habits that created the mess that we are in are still in effect. The business community has been given ONE TRILLION DOLLARS that they’re just holding on to. They’re essentially carrying on as though it has always been business as usual.

Does ANY of this sound like things are improving? NO!

So why are you LYING to the American people?

Stop it.

Just stop.

Of course it’s easy to see HOW you came to that conclusion when the conditions you list fail to factor in those FIFTEEN MILLION that are unemployed and instead focus on “survey” standards and you factor in corporate profits, which are NOT an indication of a healthy economy because the business world has been sacrificing jobs to MAINTAIN those profit margins.

Wall Street and Main Street are not interchangeable. What part of that statement do you NOT understand? And why do you still have jobs if you fail to comprehend that simple statement?

It’s easy to simply write off those MILLIONS of Americans, especially when the benefits start ending even though those MILLIONS haven’t found work. Out of sight, out of mind.

I can even understand WHY you would lie to the American people and try to spin this HOAX that the recession is already “over” with. It’s psychological. You want the people spending again, and they can’t do it if they think times are still tough.

But the joke is really on you. Because let’s get brutally honest here… WE KNOW YOU ARE LYING!

We KNOW the recession never ended.

We don’t need fancy degrees to know this. We just need eyes and ears. We just need to see the people still out of work. We just need to see the various financial systems still screwing people over. We just need to see the letter from our local bank saying that they got taken over by the FDIC. We just need to see our neighbors being forced out of their homes. We just need to see the continued misery and the continued despair for us to KNOW that you are LYING to us!

So stop it.

Stop lying to us.

Even worse, your lies about the state of our economy can be used to justify not doing all that needs to be done. You are feeding the insurrectionists that claim that people who are out of work are just lazy. You are feeding the insurrectionists that say that unemployment benefits should be eliminated and the FIFTEEN-TO-THIRTY-ONE MILLION Americans should just be left to rot. Your lies allow you to just throw your hands up and tell us “Well, we don’t have to do anything more… problem solved! It’s business as usual.”

Do you get it yet? Your continual LYING to the American people about the recession being prematurely over could potentially hurt them just as much as the recession itself!

So just stop it.

Stop lying to the American people.

We KNOW the recession is still going on. We KNOW that it never ended. We KNOW that as long as the things that continue to keep us in this recession are still in place and as long as the people that instigated this recession are allowed to continue as though it is business as usual that the recession WILL continue.

Since we’re dealing with politicians, I’ll explain it in ways that you should understand...

Those fifteen-to-thirty-one MILLION Americans that are out of work or will soon be out of work will have plenty of time to show up at the ballot box in November. They’re going to be angry. And they’re going to be angry at the people who appear to be out-of-touch with their plight. They’re not going to be making “deals”. They’re going to vote against anyone in office. They’re going to vote against anyone that appears to be not doing their jobs. They’re going to vote against anyone who is keeping the status quo intact.

Does that get through your dense skulls yet?

So stop trying to convince us that things are getting better when they clearly are not.

Stop trying to tell us that it’s sunny when the rain is still falling on our heads.

Stop lying to us about the economy.

Just stop lying to us, period.

Is it really that hard to do? It shouldn't have to be.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Week of 09/20/2010

“Just Sayin’…”
– by David Matthews 2

I really hate it when people invent loopholes to justify saying what they really want to say.

In the South, we have a little phrase that older Southern women who are heavily religious use when they normally “aren’t supposed” to speak ill of others. Any time they want to void the rules they just add in “bless his/her heart”. As in…

“Oh, you know Mary down-the-street? Did you know she’s pregnant for the third time? She probably doesn’t even know who the father is… she spends half her time strutting around half-naked… she leaves her kids with her parents so she can sleep around with anyone she feels like. That girl is nothing but a cheap whore and an embarrassment to the neighborhood… BLESS HER LITTLE HEART!”

It’s really disgusting, because this is the same group of people that are quick to talk about “tradition” and “ethics” and “values” and then turn around and invent ways to justify their own hypocrisy, and you can’t call them out on it!

Of course being RUDE and OBNOXIOUS and pretty much being a JERK can get you big money if it is done right.

Now I don’t mean people like Howard Stern. Stern is too blatant about it. Plus he never really pretended to be anything more than an entertainer. He’s an actor, and his best character is this exaggerated version of himself that he then brings out unapologetically for a good laugh.

If you REALLY wanted to understand the magic of Howard Stern… that’s it right there. Howard Stern is an actor playing a slightly exaggerated character called “Howard Stern”.

But he doesn’t try to pretend that “Howard Stern” is REALLY him. Nor does he try to convince people that they need to be more like “Howard Stern” and that America is really full of oppressed versions of “Howard Stern”.

On the other hand, there are plenty of people who go around serving as the measuring stick and echo chamber for the rest of society. These are the people who host shows on 24 hour cable news channels, host conservative and neo-conservative talk radio programs, and write endless books which somehow make a lot of money even before they show up on the shelves or appear online. And they continually claim (and their fans will back them up on it) that THEY represent the mythical “silent majority” that was made famous by President Nixon.

One of the phrases they use to get away with being rude and obnoxious is “just sayin’.” As in “if President Obama has nothing to hide, then he shouldn’t have had a problem releasing his birth certificate… just sayin’.”

Yes, these are the same people who will tell you that they’re “not Birthers” (people who believe that Obama wasn’t born in this country) and yet at the same time acquiesce to their theories by adding the phrase “just sayin’” at the end of it. It allows them to espouse extremist ideas without being seen AS an extremist.

But… why should they be the ones to have all the fun? I think turnabout is fair play when it comes to politics. I mean let’s get brutally honest here… if politics has truly become the bloodsport of the mind, why should one side be allowed to verbally decimate others without getting so much as a scratch in return?

So here are a few social and political observations that I’m “just sayin’…” about these factions.

For instance… why is it that the same political party that supported then-Attorney General John Ashcroft when he scolded “those who scare peace-loving people with the phantoms of lost liberties” are able to then pretend to be the reincarnation of America’s Founding Fathers and bemoan about those very “lost liberties”? How is it that the “threat” is only real when they’re not in charge of the government? I’m just sayin’…

How is that “no ratings” (or “no viewers” or “no listeners”) is considered the über-insult for cable news and talk radio people when they’re supposedly not doing these things FOR the sake of ratings? I mean, I can understand the rationality that doing stuff for the sake of ratings is considered cheap, but why is it that when their OWN credibility is on the line they turn around and say they have more listeners/viewers than their critics? Since WHEN did validation become a matter of NUMBERS? You can have 99.99999% of the populace believe that the world is flat, but that doesn’t mean that it suddenly is. I’m just sayin’…

Here’s a good one… how is it that someone who RESIGNS from public office barely halfway into their first term simply so they can make a fortune doing public speaking, book deals, and regular appearances on a certain cable “news” channel be considered “more experienced” than someone who served almost a full-term before moving on to become the President of the United States? I mean, it’s one thing if you resign from one public service job to move up to another public service job, but the person in question just out-of-the-blue decided to quit simply because they were looking to make MILLIONS on media appearances. Doesn’t that make that person… I dunno… doesn’t that make that person something of a media prostitute? I’m just sayin’…

I know that one will have the conservatives and neo-conservatives in an uproar, but, hey, I’m using their own “Get Out Of Condemnation Free” immunity catchphrase, so I should be good, right? And besides, it IS the truth, as painful as it may be. I’m just sayin’…

Besides, at that time, experience was considered to be something of a detriment. So how could saying that you’re “more experienced” make you a better candidate if it was better to be seen as an actual “outsider”? I’m just sayin’…

Oh, speaking of said unnamed person, how is it that regurgitating talking points and political catchphrases and only appearing in venues that don’t question said regurgitation make one a credible leader? That’s not leadership… that’s putting on a puppet act. That makes you less of a leader and more of a stooge, or even an assembly-line product. I’m just sayin’…

Hey, speaking of talking points… how is procedural gridlock considered a plan for good governing? Isn’t that called SABOTAGE? That would have even been called ACTS OF TREASON five years ago. It’s one thing to say that you’re for less government. It’s another to do everything in your power to literally SHUT DOWN a government. That’s called INSURRECTION. I’m just sayin’…

And speaking of plans for governing, how does a five-point program where every point starts out with “We will force the President to…” called a plan of action? How is it that FORCING other people to do something be considered a personal plan of action? That’s not a plan, that’s an ULTIMATUM. I’m just sayin’…

This one is for the air-fluffed ego-driven media… how is it that you can pride yourself in JOURNALISM when you tout your greatest assets as being egotistical media personalities that engage in nothing but OPINION? There is a difference between REPORTING the news and COMMENTATING about it. It’s a line that I have to point out every day. So why advertise that your 24-hour cable NEWS channel is superior over the competition when you’re glorifying the people that have NOTHING TO DO WITH REPORTING THE NEWS? I mean, that’s like trying to sell a car for its gas mileage by talking about the plush interior. I’m just sayin’…

Speaking of 24-hour cable news channels… how is it that you can have ALL of these so-called EXPERTS from think-tanks and political action committees that are willing to show up seemingly EVERY DAY to talk about the issue of the moment, but have absolutely NO IDEA how to RESOLVE the very problems that they’re talking about? You would think that with all of these EXPERTS around that there shouldn’t be single a problem left in the country to resolve! Where do these people COME FROM? And where can I get a job doing what they’re doing? Talk about a sweet goldbrick position! I’m just sayin’…

By the way, media personalities and politicians, can you guys stop trying to pick fights with Jon Stewart over at Comedy Central? Ditto for Bill Maher. I know this is going to be hard for you to comprehend, but these guys are COMEDIANS. That means they get paid to poke fun at things! Being interviewed by Jon Stewart is not like being interviewed by Oprah or Larry King. Sure you can promote your new projects just the same, but Oprah and Larry are not there to get a laugh out of the audience. Maybe you should pay closer attention to the name of the cable channel that Jon’s show is on… it says COMEDY Central, not COMMENTARY Central. I’m just sayin’…

And finally, how about a little consistency? I mean, if you want to talk about wasted spending, fine, but don’t talk about wasted spending while you’re inserting your own blank check political earmarks. If you want to talk about law and order, don’t do it while at the same time excusing out-and-out criminal activity. If you want to talk about family values and the so-called “sanctity of marriage”, then you better make sure that your personal number of marriages is less than TWO and that you don’t have some extramarital skeletons in your closet. Oh, and if you’re quick to condemn theocracies in other nations, you better make sure that you’re not backing the same thing by piecemeal in this country.

In other words, you’re not really doing a damn thing to clean up the mess called our political system if all you’re doing is swapping one batch of corrupt hypocrites with YOUR OWN batch of corrupt hypocrites and than expect things to somehow be different. Because I’ve got news for you… we just DID that between 2006 and 2009… and things only went from bad to worse.

I’m just sayin’… bless your little hearts…

Monday, September 13, 2010

Week of 09/13/2010

The REAL Stimulus - Employment
– by David Matthews 2

It should come to no big surprise that the economy isn’t faring too well. The so-called “recovery”, as so proclaimed by Wall Street and the White House, is just another house of cards falling back down.

And the so-called “experts” are all scratching their heads and wondering why this is so. After all, we gave over ONE TRILLION DOLLARS to Wall Street to kick start the economy, right?

That’s what President Obama and his people were saying was needed. And as soon as the money was handed out, all of those “experts” proclaimed that the economy was “on the mend” and that we’ve “come back from the brink”.

And they MIGHT have been right… if unemployment wasn’t still a problem.

What? WHAT?

How can this BE? We handed over ONE TRILLION DOLLARS of money that we didn’t even have to Big Corporate! They were supposed to use the money to create new jobs to replace the ones they either destroyed or shipped overseas. What did they expect the money to be used for… to fatten their profit margins?

Well, yes, that is EXACTLY what Big Corporate did with they money. They’re sitting on the money and letting it collect interest as they continue to operate like the October Surprise of 2008 never happened.

Oh, they’ll use the money to create jobs… eventually… but on THEIR timetables, not America’s. After all, they’re hearing from their best buds in the whole world… FoxNews and conservative/neo-conservative talk radio… that Obama is trying to destroy their businesses!

Needless to say, the fifteen million Americans out of work and struggling to make ends meet are on the losing end of the equation. Bankruptcies and foreclosures are still a looming threat, the loss of tax revenue is strangling state and local governments, and as the old saying goes, the beatings will continue until morale improves, which means that we are seemingly locked in an economic DEATH SPIRAL.

In other words, when the “experts” tell President Obama that we’ve “come back from the brink”, they were actually LYING to him. And then when he repeats that mantra to the masses, he comes off looking like just another Pollyanna politician. (Note: I’m actually giving Obama the benefit of doubt here. But breaks are hard to come by around here… much like jobs… so he shouldn’t waste what little trust he has left.)

So now that the news is starting to sink in that the economy WASN’T “fixed”, Obama’s so-called “experts” are now splitting hairs over what happened and what needs to be done next. Some say the “wrong people” were heard. Some say that they were too “timid” with the money, and that they actually needed to give away STILL MORE tax money that we don’t have.

Look, giving out ONE TRILLION DOLLARS for something that doesn’t involve military combat and the removal of an Iraqi leader is pretty much unprecedented. Calling it “tame” or “timid” is like saying the Titanic only took on “a little water”.

Okay, so obviously the glorious “summer of recovery” (that’s their catchphrase, not mine) turned out to be a dud. We got punked by Wall Street… AGAIN! No big surprise.

So… what now?

Well the same “experts” that came up with the idea of giving Big Corporate ONE TRILLION DOLLARS of money that we don’t have decided that we need a NEW stimulus package. And they decided that the best way to stimulate the economy is through… INFRASTRUCTURE!


Yes, apparently the same “experts” that falsely believed that big infrastructure projects “saved” the economy the last time around are at it again. They want BILLIONS to be spent on more road and bridge improvements.

Well I suppose that would work… provided that the projects were all built with the bodies of the fifteen million Americans out of work. Oh, and some are estimating that number to get as high as THIRTY-ONE MILLION by the end of the year.

At this point I have to seriously question the wisdom of these so-called “experts” that Obama is relying upon.

First, I object to the “official” definition of “creating jobs”, which according to the White House is now “create a new job or saved a current one”. We spent seven out of the eight years of the previous White House tenure operating under the “disproving a negative” theory when it came to national security. Why are the current “experts” (and I use that term loosely) so fixated on using the SAME dysfunctional logic when it comes to the economy? Technically EVERY job that is currently active is a “saved” job, and that doesn’t help the fifteen million - eventually going up to thirty-one million - that NEED a job.

Well the dirty little secret is that this bastardization of “job creation” is going on so they can justify spending billions on infrastructure projects, since failing to fund these projects could mean more layoffs as state and local governments would not have the money to fund them. So in their distorted mindsets, keeping already-employed highway crews busy with more projects is considered “job creation”.

Of course that same revenue could have been generated through the normal economic cycle if those billions were spent on ACTUAL job creation, where those fifteen-to-thirty-one million Americans would be able to once again contribute to the tax coffers. The only difference is that it would take some time before that could happen.

Second, spending billions on further infrastructure projects does absolutely NOTHING to alleviate the current economic death spiral. The U$$ Titanic is still sinking, and the Obama White House is seemingly fixated on keeping the decks waxed and the brass shined.

What good is re-paving a stretch of road when there won’t be as many vehicles driving on it? Why expand current highways when the traffic capacity is going DOWN instead of up because more and more people are being laid off?

Well that’s the other dirty little secret behind this… because it keeps the union workers employed now instead of having them wait through the normal economic process. Gotta keep your base happy, right?

Unfortunately the matter only gets worse as time progresses. Statistically speaking, the longer a person is unemployed, the more they are considered “unemployable”. When their benefits run out, they disappear from the system altogether. So every time you hear “unemployment claims drop”, that doesn’t mean that people are being EMPLOYED. It means they are removed from the system. They cease to exist! Already ABANDONED by the private sector, they are now ABANDONED by the United States! They are essentially refugees in their own country!

That is unacceptable.

Ideally, any new “stimulus package” would involve IRS Auditors and a Brinks truck showing up at EVERY financial institution that received previous stimulus money and having to PROVE that it was invested on actual JOB CREATION, or else they have to give it back. Unfortunately, the current White House people are just as obsessed with appeasing Wall Street as their predecessors were, so there’s no chance it could ever happen.

But let’s get brutally honest here… ANY kind of meaningful stimulus program from this point out should be focused on three things: Jobs, Jobs, and JOBS!

And here I have the simplest of solutions for job creation that the White House could enact… instead of wasting money on Big Corporate and HOPING they do the right thing - which they have clearly demonstrated they are incapable of doing… they should borrow a page from FDR’s playbook and hire those unemployed people DIRECTLY!

Think about this: the same money that was handed over to Big Corporate on the “promise” of creating jobs could have employed ALL FIFTEEN MILLION unemployed Americans with a job paying $66,000 a year before taxes. (That’s basic math. Get a calculator and figure it out yourself if you don’t believe me!) Fifteen million Americans suddenly employed again, suddenly contributing to the tax system again, suddenly adding to consumer growth. That would have turned the economy around in a matter of MONTHS, not in the DECADES that the so-called “experts” now predict.

So how about taking the people who have been unemployed for at least a year and giving THEM a job? It would give them employment experience, access to employee benefits, and it would take them OFF the state programs while at the same time they would again be contributing to the economy besides for essentials.

And it’s not like there isn’t work that needs to be done! Auditing the Federal Reserve is a nice herculean task to fulfill. Same with evaluating how the previous stimulus programs were spent. Plenty of opportunities there for office workers, administrators, paperwork handlers. There is also currently a glut of office spaces in America - which is a part of the failing economy that the media HASN’T picked up on yet - so there is no shortage of places where an interim “US Jobs” office can be set up to do these thing. That would also stave off the next phase of the real estate crunch.

Oh, wait… that makes too much sense, doesn’t it?

Of course Big Corporate’s friends in the conservative and neo-conservative circles are throwing temper tantrums over public sector jobs already. They certainly don’t want to see the economy recover while Obama and company are in charge, and they would rather have all of that “free money” go into THEIR corporate coffers than invested in someone’s payroll. They currently thrive off our misery, but, make mo mistake, if they were in charge they would just as quickly abandon the rest of the U$$ Titanic and leave us to sink in misery and despair. That’s what they did before Obama was elected, and there is no reason in the world why they wouldn’t be willing to do it again in a heartbeat.

The problem comes down to one of focus. Do Obama and company REALLY want to fix the economy? Do they REALLY want those fifteen-to-thirty-one MILLION Americans back-to-work? Or do they just want the attention to the problem to go away and let those people suffer and die in misery and destitution? As long as the Obama White House is busy listening to their so-called “experts” instead of the people that PUT them in office, they have shown that they have no indication of caring about the sinking ship called our economy.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Week of 09/06/2010

No More 3-D!
– by David Matthews 2

I have a really simple request to make…

Can we PLEASE get rid of this whole “3-D” junk?

I’m serious. It seems like the whole multimedia world is on this “3-D” kick.

Hollywood has really hyped the “3-D” gimmick, especially with computer animated and with the new “Resident Evil” movie. Magazine publishers now want in on the “3-D” scam. Playboy Magazine already did its first “3-D” centerfold, and the Italian version of “Vogue” just did something similar with Victoria’s Secret model Miranda Kerr.

And it’s enough to literally give me a headache.

Okay… first of all “3-D” is NOT something new! In fact it has been around for over fifty years! 3-D was one of many gimmicks used by theater-houses to keep people showing up instead of watching television.

That’s all that it was back then. It was a gimmick. It was right up there with “Smell-O-Vision” and all the myriads of different ways to describe stereo audio. It was an attempt to market the whole experience as another way to “feel like you are there” instead of being stuck in your seat just WATCHING it.

Remember “The Tingler”? It was the name of a movie that employed a gimmick whereby old World War II buzzers were planted in certain seat cushions. Audience members were then warned before the movie began of a disease that would be similar to an electrical shock. At the certain time during the picture, the projector operator would hit the buttons, and random audience members would feel the vibrations and mistake that for the disease.

That took creativity, imagination, skill, and a little bit of investment, not to mention working with the theater owners. Did it work? Well it got the attention of the masses, and that was important. Even the movie posters referred to it as a gimmick, but that didn’t stop the audience from paying their money and wondering if they would get shocked or not.

And that was still far better than today’s fare of over-hyped “3-D” films.

How lame is 3-D? This is how: you still need those stupid glasses!

One red filer, one blue filter, one for each eye. You can even make them yourselves! That’s how simple they are!

Or sometimes the companies will use “special” glasses, but the basic principle is still the same. You add a red line and a blue line, and the close those two lines are, the closer the image is supposed to be.

It’s cheap, it’s cheesy, and it really has no place in the 21st century theater experience.

Let’s get brutally honest here… we live in an age of incredible technical advancement. We have multi-layered audio, digital-quality pictures, computer-generated special effects that are so realistic you’d believe that Brandon Routh really DID fly in “Superman Returns” instead of using green-screen and wires.

Plus we’re in the age of digital video, where you can create your own theater experience at home. You can get better quality video on your HDTV set and Blu-Ray player, better quality audio with the latest home theater setup, and you can even get the same kind of popcorn and candy from the grocery story. The only thing missing is the soda fountain.

So WHY is Hollywood still wasting time on this “3-D” gimmick?

One word: MONEY.

You pay $9 for a normal movie in the theaters. Cheaper if you go during matinee times. Cheaper still if you were still alive when “3-D” made its original debut.

BUT… if you spend a little extra for the added gimmick, you can bump the ticket price up to $18. Same movie, double the cost, plus you have those cheap glasses which can be recycled over and over again.

What a waste! And I really mean WASTE!

Listen, there was a reason why studios played those gimmick games fifty years ago… they wanted to get their money back on really bad movies they bankrolled. So why waste the money now?

And, worse yet, why waste this on lame gimmick on movies that clearly don’t need it?

Why waste the animation on movies that you know will be box office giants? Why waste it on movies that are already stunning viewers with computer animation?

And let’s think of the sheer stupidity of this gimmick in the typical theater environment. If you’re there in a movie that is popular, then you’re probably NOT going to get a seat where you could fully appreciate the illusion of depth. If you end up with a seat at the front, then the entire peripheral vision will be filled with the movie, and you’ll be at an angle where you’ll be looking UP, not OUT. That neutralizes the whole “illusion” of objects coming “towards” you. You just wasted eighteen dollars.

Do you know what the REAL advance in 3-D animation is? Being able to see the full “3-D” illusion WITHOUT the need of those stupid glasses! If you can’t do that, then stop trying to force-feed the half-century-old gimmick on us just for a lame excuse to double the ticket prices.

And for the rest of the multimedia group… the magazine and comic book publishers… please, just STOP. Showing a fashion or centerfold model should be good enough without the needless gimmick and it actually takes away from the quality of the images where you use it. Ditto for the comic book industry. Reading “Superman Beyond” and trying to figure out how it played into the whole “Final Crisis” story was painful in and of itself. There really was no need to go through it WITH the “3-D” feature. It just caused a strain on the eyes to go with the strain on the intelligence.

The difference between a good gimmick and a cheap one is whether or not it plays into the product. The hidden buzzers in “The Tingler” worked because they tied into the movie. Forcing people to pay double the normal ticked price just for a few seconds of “special” animation added after-the-fact is nothing more than a waste of time and money.

Until the technology exists to give the illusion of depth without the need of external devices like glasses, it is high time that this gimmick be relegated back into the dustbins of history.