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Wednesday, October 14, 2009
The Ugly, the Bad, and the Good
Chock full ‘o Links
In my ceaseless quest to share the wealth and pass on items of interest, I offer another Wednesday compendium of bits and pieces.
First, the Ugly – at least for those of us who live and work here in California. You in the Great Beyond, blessed with fat taxpayer-funded subsidies luring Hollywood productions to your fair states, should take some comfort in the California's bumbling inability to stanch the flow as our once-thriving film and television industry bleeds away to the north and east.
Feel free to point and laugh.
In a democracy, it’s been said, we all get the government we deserve, so I guess we in the Not-So-Golden-State brought this on ourselves. That doesn’t mean I have to like it, but there we are – and here you go.
Although the article describes a few feeble efforts to encourage local production, the overall message -- bolstered by statistics on just how much work we've lost in the past few years -- is grim and grimmer.
Next, the Bad -- two recent articles from the LA Times detailing the ongoing contractions in the film industry. Given that Hollywood’s corporate overlords know quite a bit about selling the widgets that made them rich, but very little about making movies not based on comic books (or board games, believe it or not), it comes as no surprise that the studio’s reaction to the current economic downturn is one of raw panic. Indeed, it seems these studio samurai are pulling up the drawbridges and hiding under their beds.
Oh, and they're firing people. Lots of people.
Something tells me the bloodletting has only just begun...
Finally, the Good -- if you’re into baseball (hey, it’s October, with the playoffs in full swing!), you’ll enjoy reading the web diary of a minor league pitcher in the San Francisco Giant’s farm system. Garrett Broshuis has been through good times and bad in his quest to make the big leagues, but at 27, is now taking a hard look at his future. For him, this is Very Big Deal – it’s his life, after all – but for the readers, his blog is a real treat. Garrett writes with a depth and sensitivity that might surprise you, painting a vivid picture of chasing a dream through the minor leagues.
The story is not simply about baseball, but a young man's struggle to balance his love for the game (and the harsh realities of minor league life) against the primal desire to build a viable future together with his wife: in a way, it's America's Pastime vs. the American Dream. Unlike so many sports-insider chronicles, this one doesn't resort to cliche or retreat behind a wall of stoic platitudes. In his posts, Garrett is refreshingly candid about the pressures of his dilemma.
You can find his blog here, and when you do, be sure to read this, this, and this – then follow the link to the ”Suitcase Chronicles” he writes for “Baseball America.”
Right now, Garrett Broshuis stands at the crossroads, looking both ways and testing the wind. I'm sure he'll make a good decision in the end, but whether he decides to stay in baseball or chart a new course for his family, we should all hope he keeps on writing.
He's good, and will only get better. Check it out.