Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Let's Not Settle for Settlements

I recently received a check from American Express for a class action lawsuit of which I was unaware.  A few weeks ago, I received a large check from a class action lawsuit against LA Fitness.  I have on my desk, a form to fill out for Anthem (Health Insurance) fee settlement.  While I'm happy to receive all these checks, I feel it speaks to a larger issue. Namely, what are all these corporations doing that requires so many class action suits to get them to stop?  (We hope!)

In two of the three cases, my check was for illegal fees.  In the third case, the one against LA Fitness (my employer), it's because they refused to pay any overtime for instructors.

Despite the clear violation of our laws, the corporations push the limits to see how far they can go and what they can get away with.  In these three cases, they were caught, but how many more times do they get away with it, or worse, as in the case of Wall Street's "too big to fail" buyout of 2008, are caught, but completely unpunished?

Monday, June 3, 2013

Arrested Development

Last night, I finished the new (fourth) season of Arrested Development. I was mildly apprehensive when I heard they were bringing it back since I wondered if they could recapture the original magic. Then I read how the episodes were going to focus on one character and I became even more concerned and with good reason. Although I really enjoyed a few full episodes and some scenes here and there, overall I thought the series' resurrection fell flat. 

The main problem is that some of the characters are just too quirky to be featured in their own storyline without them becoming too annoying. Tobias and Lindsey are very shallow and humorous in contrast to Michael who's dedicated to his son (at least in the original series) when they often forget they have a daughter. But seeing a full episode focused on just one of them left me more annoyed and, in the case of Lindsey, sad as the comedy doesn't work when it delves so deeply into their shallow waters.

They also took the bedrock of the series, Michael Bluth, and turned him into just another neurotic selfish member of the family. He became more pathetic and even backstabbing. ( I'm trying to write this without spoilers so I'll leave it at that for now.)

I loved the original series and have seen it from start to finish at least twice. I was genuinely looking forward to its return, but bringing back the show without bringing back the original formula that made it so great (namely, the family interaction), left me disappointed.  Yes, the series is clever, the storyline complicated, but it often felt too clever for it's own good.

Lastly, I know they're trying to lead up to a movie, but after a long seven year wait for the show to return, they needed to have some kind of closure to the storyline and instead they left it far too open and too many things unexplained.  This might be okay if we knew for certain when we would get more answers, but the series' future is left in doubt and it would be unfortunate if, after the brilliant wrap up of season 3, we were now left with this anti-climactic finish with nothing else to follow.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Food Pictures Rant

I don't know when it became so fashionable to post pictures of food, but I have a request -- please stop. Unless you work in the food industry and are promoting yourself, your services, or your wares, I don't want to see a picture of your meal.

I know that it's now so easy to take a picture of anything that we feel as though we have to take a picture of everything, but really, we don't. This isn't a picture of your significant other on the beach, your child acting cute, or you and your friends hanging out that you'll nostalgically look back on in ten or twenty years. It's a picture of a meal, just one in a thousand that you'll have this year (assuming you eat three meals a day). You don't need a record of it.

If you do insist on photographing your food and posting it (really, it's just the posting I mind. You can take all the pointless pictures of food you want as long as you keep them to yourself), then I'm going to insist you also take a picture of what that food looks like coming out the other end. Apparently, my grandfather started doing this a few years ago to show his doctor (who told my grandfather it wasn't necessary, yet he continued anyway), so why not share that as well? Oh, because that sounds stupid -- well so does posting your meal!

So if you are one of those people who takes pictures of your meals and posts them on Facebook or tweets them to your friends, please stop. No one cares. No one. Not only that, but it's incredibly narcissistic to think that anyone beyond your dinner table cares what you're eating.

If this utterly absurd trend does continue, I just may puke. And take a picture of it. And post it. But I won't!