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Hollywood Degrades Society and Exports Filth About America

Moviemakers increasingly debase our society via storylines, profanity, and numerous ploys.

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Normally, the Oscar Awards show would be scheduled for the next week or so, but this year it is delayed until April 25. Last September, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences issued a new set of standards for the Academy Awards’s best picture category. Starting in 2022, films that under-represent racial minorities, women, LGBTQ individuals, and people with disabilities in both cast and crew will not be nominated. So watch for Viola Davis to portray Queen Victoria, and for Denzel Washington to star as Teddy Roosevelt, any day now.

Even before the ‘social justice’ edict which the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences levied on the film makers, the movie industry was in a state of flux with new releases delayed, theaters abandoned, and streaming services sharply rising in popularity. One year earlier, the industry was on a roll. When visiting RottenTomatoes, you couldn’t ignore the number of movies rated 80% or higher.

An insidious trend, nonetheless, has continued for decades: Hollywood increasingly degrades society via storylines, profanity, and a multitude of devices. Then it exports its filthy vision of America around the world. Reviewing the last several years, 2017 appears as a turning point. During that year, in the films released, which had been in production in 2015 and 2016, use of foul language in scripts noticeably accelerated, as if screen writers had made a pact with one another.

That’s Entertainment?

In I, Tonya, one might expect to occasionally hear the f-word, but 120 times — more often than once every 60 seconds? In a scene from the acclaimed Lady Bird, the mother rants at her family seated at the dinner table, “Make your own f___ dinner.” Gratuitous, egregious, and offensive behavior, masquerading as entertainment? What parent, who sends her daughter to Catholic school, acts in this manner?

In Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri, the level of profanity is over the top. Every 10th word out of Frances McDormand’s mouth, and out of the mouths of the townspeople, is f___ this, and f___ that. Early on, Woody Harrelson, as the police chief, during his Easter dinner with his wife and his two young children greets a caller, with, “You god__mn ass__e.” He then winks at his children and says, “Sorry girls,” as if such terms are permissible in that setting as some kind of an inside joke.

The website KidsInMind.com counts about 84 f-words and its derivatives in Three Billboards. The sordid language in this 115 minute movie also contains scatological terms, 23 milder obscenities, 15 “anatomical” references, 7 disparaging remarks concerning African-Americans, 4 explicit sexual references, 2 disturbing terms for homosexuals, 2 disrespectful terms for Hispanic people, and 1 demeaning term for small people.

All this amidst name-calling such as dummy, idiots, retards, stupid, dumb, crazy old ladies, fat boy, fat little Mexican boy, wife beaters, lazy, scumbags; provocative language, on average, every 40 seconds. Okay, it’s a dark comedy, we get it. Each of us has the option to skip seeing the movie, but many actors, critics, and film societies chose it as the best picture of the year.

Inept, Unimaginative Writing

In The Florida Project, a story about children of single mothers, living in the throes of Disney World, guess what one hears throughout the whole movie? In the acclaimed thriller, Get Out, it’s more of the same. In dozens of the top movies, the f-word predominates. It’s standard fare in Good Night and Landline, and is lightly sprinkled throughout Molly’s Game and All the Money in the World.

Are screen writers inept and unable to derive cleverer ways to express characters’ emotions? Over-employing the f-word reveals language deficiency. The writer does not have a sufficiently broad vocabulary to intelligently express a character’s emotions.

Is dropping in the f-word frequently “keeping it real?” Today, when few people read history or historical novels, many derive what they ‘know’ from the cinema. Perhaps worse, cultures around the world, who gobble up what Hollywood has to offer, gain parallaxed views of the U.S.

James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, and, more recently, Clint Eastwood played tough guys, often in dire situations, and (due to industry codes) never uttered the f-word once. The same for females playing ‘tough’ roles, such as Barbara Stanwyck,  Lana Turner, and Betty Davis. We recall these actors in their classic roles. Who today can match them?

Impressionable Viewers

Hollywood is gripping our culture by the throat, and it’s intentional: A 50+ year assault, since the anti-heros of the late 1960s, and getting worse. Dropping the f-bomb is an easy and calculated way for writers, directors, and producers to degrade society. They ought to know better and they ought to do better.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



 
 
 

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Business

Work-Life Balance in Your Life

It the ability to experience a sense of control and to stay productive and competitive at work while maintaining a happy, healthy home-life

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Work-life balance (WLB) is the ability to experience a sense of control and to stay productive and competitive at work while maintaining a happy, healthy home-life with sufficient leisure. WLB, also referred to by some as work-life harmony, work-life shift, work-life blend, work-life effectiveness, or work-life integration, requires focus and awareness despite seemingly endless tasks and activities competing for our time and attention.

Work-life balance entails having what I call “breathing space” for yourself each day, feeling a sense of accomplishment while not being consumed by work, and having an enjoyable domestic life without short-changing career obligations. WLB is rooted in whatever fulfillment means to you within the course of a day and a week, and however many years you have left in your life.

Supporting Disciplines

Several disciplines support work-life balance though, individually, none are synonymous with work-life balance:

1) Self Management

Sufficiently managing one’s self can be challenging, particularly in getting proper sleep, exercise, and nutrition. Self-management is the recognition that effectively using the spaces in our lives is vital, and that life, time, and available resources are finite. It means becoming captain of our own ship; no one is coming to steer for us.

2) Time Management

Effective time management involves making optimal use of your day and the supporting resources that can be summoned – you can only keep pace when your resources match your challenges. Time management is enhanced through appropriate goals and discerning what is both important and urgent, versus important OR urgent. It entails understanding what you do best and when, and assembling the appropriate tools to accomplish specific tasks.

3) Stress Management

By nature, societies tend to become more complex over time. In the face of increasing complexity, stress on the individual is inevitable. More people, noise, and distractions, independent of one’s individual circumstances, require each of us to become more adept at maintaining tranquility and being able to work ourselves out of pressure-filled situations. Most forms of multi-tasking ultimately increase our stress, while focusing on one thing at a time helps decrease stress.

4) Change Management

In our fast-paced world, change is virtually the only constant. Continually adopting new methods, adapting old, and re-adapting all methods is vital to a successful career and a happy home life. Effective change management involves offering periodic and concerted efforts so that the volume and rate of change at work and at home does not overwhelm or defeat you.

5) Technology Management

Effectively managing technology requires ensuring that technology serves you, rather than abuses you. Technology has always been with us, since the first walking stick, spear, flint, and wheel. Today, the rate of technological change is accelerating, brought on by vendors seeking expanding market share. Often you have no choice but to keep up with the technological Joneses, but rule technology, don’t let it rule you.

6) Leisure Management

The most overlooked of the work-life balance supporting disciplines, leisure management acknowledges 1) the importance of rest and relaxation, 2) that “time off” is a vital component of the human experience, and 3) that one can’t indefinitely short-change leisure without repercussions. Curiously, too much of the same leisure activity, however enjoyable, can lead to monotony. Thus, effective leisure management requires varying one’s activities.

Entirely Achievable

Achieving work-life balance does not require radical changes in what you do. It is about developing fresh perspectives and sensible, actionable solutions that are appropriate for you. It is fully engaging in life with what you have, right where you are, smack dab in the ever-changing dynamics of your existence.

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Business

Work-life Balance: The Enduring Quest

Organizations today recognize the importance of supporting employees’ well-being while maintaining productivity

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Thank goodness that organizations today increasingly recognize the importance of supporting employees’ well-being while maintaining productivity. As such, the corporate quest for work-life balance, harmony, and integration has gained great prominence.

Key Aspects

Here are 12 key aspects of this pursuit gleaned from a variety of programs:

1. Offer Flexible Work Arrangements: Offering flexible work schedules, remote work options, and part-time opportunities allows employees to better balance their professional and personal lives.

2. Have Clear Policies: Establishing clear policies and guidelines regarding work hours, overtime, and expectations helps employees manage their time effectively.

3. Support Mental Health: Providing access to mental health resources, counseling, and stress management programs can address employees’ emotional well-being.

4. Give Leave: Offering generous paid time off, including vacation, sick leave, and parental leave, allows employees to address personal and family needs without fear of repercussions.

5. Prevent Burnout: Encouraging employees to disconnect from work-related technology after hours helps prevent burnout and supports work-life separation.

6. Support Workload Management: Ensuring that employees have manageable workloads and realistic deadlines prevents excessive stress and long working hours.

7. Provide Wellness Programs: Implementing wellness initiatives, such as fitness facilities, nutrition programs, and health screenings, promotes a healthier work-life balance.

8. Enable Employee Assistance Programs: Such programs provide confidential counseling and support services for employees facing personal challenges.

9. Promote a Culture of Balance: Company culture plays a significant role in work-life balance. Leaders should model a balanced lifestyle, and the organization should celebrate accomplishments beyond work.

10. Maintain Continuous Communication: Engaging in open dialogues with employees about their needs and concerns regarding work-life balance fosters a supportive and responsive corporate culture.

11. Empower Workers with Training and Education: Providing training on time management, stress reduction, and resilience equips employees with the skills to better balance their lives.

12. Leverage Remote Work Policies: Crafting clear remote work policies and expectations ensures that remote employees have a structured work-life balance.

Bringing in the Hired Gun

As the world’s only holder of the title, “The Work-Life Balance Expert®,” as issued by the USPTO,  I am often summoned by organizations to enhance work-life balance for their troops. In all, I’ve delivered programs and spoken to 960 groups. Below depicts an encounter with a company who shall remain nameless for reasons of confidentiality. See if this squares up with your experience in your organization.

The following responses were derived as a result of my sending a questionnaire to the conference meeting planner where I was to be their keynote speaker. I requested the names of 10 people who would be in the audience. I called each of them to discuss their current challenges. Here are their actual replies to three of my questions:

1) If you could magically resolve a work-life balance issue, what would it be?

* Have more breathing room between high-level projects.
* Accomplish more during the workday and leave mentally free.
* Hire more staff!
* Take vacations and time off with no big pile ups when returning.

* Be allowed to take some Fridays off and catch up on much needed appointments.
* Reduce the number of pop-up requests and questions flying at me all day long so that I could ACTUALLY do what I need to do each day.
* Be approved to work from home or adjust my hours. My personal time isn’t respected.

2) What do you seek to derive from attending a session such as mine?

* Manage my time more effectively.
* Gain tools to embrace life while living it
* Develop stronger skills.
* Make work-life balance a reality in our company’s work-first culture.

* Acquire strategies, tips, or ideas to re-think my approach.
* Learn to change my focus, to be more productive, balanced, and focused.
* Be able to balance the few things that I do control during my day.
* Discover tips for keeping my staff in balance.

* Gain a realistic expectation of what we can achieve or experience.
* Develop a more positive outlook for the group.

3) Are there any observations you could offer?

* Work-life balance is a huge topic organization-wide. We are high performers who want to do a good job. We compromise our personal lives to meet work demands. We have to keep pace with the leaders and teams we support. If we don’t, we’ll be deemed unresponsive.

* A frenetic pace seems to be inherent in this company. Our team does a good job of emphasizing work-life balance; the problem lies with the surrounding divisions that thrive on working all the time, for no good reason. Yes, we are in a global space, working in different time zones, but some of these people are beyond the pale.

* What I love about this organization are the people. They are dedicated to the cause and truly want to deliver reliable, affordable, dynamic, and versatile solutions to our customers. However, our frenetic pace isn’t necessary. Not every project is the most vital. Not every problem is an emergency. Not every request has to be filled now.

* If in charge, I’d implement a more efficient, logical pace organization-wide. If we all took a breath and reevaluated how we work, in a more focused environment, we might find that we could produce better results with less stress.

Resonates Strongly

As you can see, the topic of work-life balance resonates strongly among today’s career professionals. Going forward, may more organization recognize and acknowledge the critical role that employee wellness and work-life balance has on the organization’s overall effectiveness.

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