The emotional trauma exposed a vulnerability that lay beneath all outward signs of success: a career as film critic for New Yorker magazine, a resident of New York’s upper west side, and the father of two children.
“All around us we see signs of this confusion. Americans are often called a “materialistic” people and we certainly are surrounded by material possessions and revel in them. But at the same time, the “real world” of physical location seems to be evaporating before our eyes.”
Hilary de Vries
The dot com slump, a shift in journalistic standards in the celebrity-driven Hollywood mill, and an overwhelming desire to be honest in her reporting, were the catalysts that propelled award winning Hollywood …
Shocking and heartbreaking, Food, Inc. gives us those nitty-gritty details of how a tomato is grown or how a chicken is raised. It reveals that every step of the process from farm to factory to functional product is not as scrupulously regulated as government organizations like the USDA and the FDA would have you believe. According to Pollan, “the industrial food system is always looking for greater efficiency. But each new step in efficiency leads to problems.”
“The Internet, of course, is a huge source of data. Every click and keystroke can be analyzed. Every movement we make with our cell phone produces data about our location, every call on the phone describes our circle of contacts. Credit cards paint our portraits as consumers. Growing numbers of security cameras track our movements in stores and city streets.”
“At Wynn Las Vegas, for instance, there is a special and very luxurious entrance for guests who pay, or are invited to stay in the “Tower Suites”—hotel rooms that are no larger or different than the rest of the hotel other than that they have this special entrance and more intimate front desk. The swimming pool for these suites is literally above and overlooking the pool for regular folk—so Tower Suite guests can look down on the hoi polloi. In fact, the whole resort has been designed to allow these patrons to move around in their own private sphere.”
When AstraZeneca was on the verge of losing its patent to manufacture exclusively the $6 billion a year heart burn drug Prilosec, it put in place a bold strategy: it patented and gained approval for a new heartburn medication, Nexium, that was, in reality, the active ingredient in Prilosec without the inactive ingredient.
Since our society began its retreat into Social Darwinism tricked out in the guise of laissez-faire economics, those of us who enjoy our economic history red in tooth and claw have the guilty pleasure of reading about business scandals.
After winning reelection in 2004, President George W. Bush made restructuring Social Security his top domestic priority.