Monsanto Madness

Monsanto madnessNews Reporter:  “Can you tell us what the ingredients are in this can of food?”

Monsanto:  “Stop asking questions and just eat it.  We have a fiduciary responsibility to our richest shareholders, and that is our only concern.”

No College Degree, No Job?

144187876I am noticing a trend in hiring that I find very disturbing.  Let me give you a great example.  A friend and former co-worker was laid of last December.  He does not have a college degree, however he is a specialist in accounts payable.  He managed the accounts payable department where we worked for 13 years.  He knows accounts payable inside and out from getting invoice approvals, making sure the invoices are correct, entering the data, generating checks, preparing journal entries, generating weekly and monthly reports and making sure the checks are mailed out.  You name it he is an expert at it.  Not to mention that he has been with the same company for 13 years which proves his job stability.  The only reason he is no longer with the company is because he was laid off in company efforts to save cash.  You would think that any other company out there looking to fill an accounts payable position would love to hire him.  Well, think again.

My friend does not have a college degree so he was having a challenge finding a job.  It matters not that he already knows the job inside out.  Some of the companies he applied to would not even meet with him for an interview because he lacks a degree.  What he has in lieu of a degree is 13 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE.  One of the companies who refused to see him contacted the head hunter several weeks later saying they decided to make an exception in his case.   They were not successful finding what they were looking for in a person with a degree.  My friend had just accepted an accounts payable position with another firm and turned down their offer to finally interview him.  The company lost out on a great employee.  My friend has not only all the qualifications and job stability the company was looking for, but he also has a great work ethic and is honest.  He had references also from the CFO and Corporate Controller, yet the company initially would not even see him.  I am appalled by this because it smells of elitism.  Behind the resume is a person, not a thing that you discard like a piece of chewing gum.  What the heck is going on with humanity?

I have respect for college graduates and I value education too.  I am having my credits transferred to the local college where I live so that I can complete my BA degree.  However, having years of experience counts for a lot and I would say it does more than my degree.   I am a payroll administrator and you don’t learn that in college.  I have heard of people losing their job after 10, 15 and 20 years after new management taking over because they did not have a degree.  It didn’t matter that they have been doing the job expertly for years.  All of a sudden these people are not qualified?  These people don’t deserve to make a good living too?

Many college graduates are not working in the field they studied in College so what is the point of degree snobbery?  One person I know works in investor relations but has his degree in zoology.   Where is the connection?    I am not knocking school and education.  I just don’t care for the trend the job market has gone into.  Many people who have lots of experience are being passed over for solid good paying work just because they do not have a degree.  I was told that companies look for degrees because it shows them that you value education.  That is assuming that everyone who does not have a degree doesn’t care about education.  A lot of people would love to go to college but cannot afford it.  It is simply not correct to paint everyone with such a broad brush.  I don’t like any form of elitism or snobbery.

I had to get that off my chest.

Thanks for listening.

Sadie Thompson

I actually already met my period drama goal, but I am having so much fun watching the old movie classics that I am continuing the fun.  Sadie Thompson is an old silent film starring Gloria Swanson as Sadie Thompson, Lionel Barrymore as Mr. Davidson and Raoul Walsh as Sargeant Timothy O’Hara.  Sadie Thompson was released on January 7, 1928 and was produced by Gloria Swanson.  I streamed this movie on Netflix.

 Gloria Swanson
Lionel Barrymore
This silent movie is about a former prostitute who arrive on the island of Pago, Pago to await a ship that is leaving for Apia (wherever Apia is).  Sadie says that she is looking for a better life and has a job waiting for her in Apia.  The boat to Apia is quarantined though for 10 days because of a smallpox outbreak.  Sadie ends up spending the time in a hotel with an extreme religious reformer named Mr. Davidson.
Gloria Swanson as Sadie Thompson in the film.  Gloria Swanson is gorgeous in this movie and her acting is quite good given the fact that this is a silent film.  In silence movies the actors need to over act in order to get the messages across to the audience.  Miss Swanson’s has big penetrating eyes that lures you into her character.

Sadie Thompson also meets a military sergeant named Tim O’Hara.  Sadie refers to Sargeant O’Hara as “handsome” throughout the film.

Mr. “Handsome” is bowled over by Sadie.
Mr. “Handsome” falls in love with Sadie and asks her to go to Sydney instead of Apia.  In Sydney Mr. “Handsome” and Sadie will get married and start a life together.

To Mr. Davidson and his wife, Sadie is a sinner and must repent and be “saved”.  At first Sadie stands up for herself but then she is so afraid of being sent back to San Francisco and going to jail that Mr. Davidson finally succeeds in breaking her down.

Sadie repents and agrees to be sent back to “Frisco” because according to Mr. Davidson it is the only way that Sadie can be redeemed.  Mr. “Handsome” does not take this well and tries to talk some sense into Sadie who has been brainwashed by Mr. Davidson.


We learn later on the Mr. Davidson has dreams about Sadie Thompson that are not morally clean.  It turns out that Mr. Davidson is a hypocrite because he is actually sexually attracted to Sadie and has been wanting her.
Mr. Davidson takes his own life and Sadie agrees to go to Sydney and marry Mr. “Handsome” after all.
This is a very good silent film that kept my interest from beginning to end.  The music is nice, but It does not seem to me to be original to the movie.  This film had to be restored and is missing the ending, so it was pieced together using still photos of the film that were in Gloria Swanson’s possessions.  The storyline also flows along at a good pace.
Miss Swanson was a very independent woman and in 1928 it was hardly common for a woman to produce her own movies.  Miss Swanson wanted creative control and really fought it produce a couple of films.  In order to get Sadie Thompson made Miss Swanson there were a few loops that she had to jump.  The movie ended up going way over budget because of constant delays in completing filming.
Joseph P. Kennedy was in love with Gloria Swanson.  He convinced Swanson to sell her rights to Sadie Thompson.  Kennedy did not like the character that Swanson played and was convinced the movie would fail.  Sadie Thompson went on to earn 1 million dollars in the USA which was plenty of money back then for a movie to earn.  Joseph Kennedy did finance other film projects for Swanson.
One of the things I have noticed about all the classic movies I have been watching is the incredible amount of cigarette smoking throughout the films.

Old-Fashioned Charm

The Agony And The Ecstasy

I am really having a blast participating in the period drama challenge because I am making the time to be still to watch some movies that I have been meaning to watch fo quite some time.  Early yesterday morning I streamed The Agony and The Ecstasy on Netflix.  I really enjoyed watching this movie.  All of the period movies that I have been watching over the past several days keeps making me wonder why we no longer get to see great epic movies  anymore.  Well, there is The Hobbit, but instead of it having an intermission Peter Jackson stretched it to two and then three separate movies.  I would have preferred an intermission to get it all over with.

Anyway, The Agony and The Ecstasy is based on part of Irving Stone’s book of the same name.  The movie focuses on the conflicts between Pope Julius II and Michelangelo.

Charlton Heston plays Michelangelo and Rex Harrison plays Pope Julius II.  Michelangelo does not consider himself a painter and prefers sculpting using marble.  Pope Julius commands Michelangelo to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.  After much resistance Michelangelo decides to accept the commission to paint the ceiling, however, he does not like the Pope’s ideas of what should be painted on each panel.  Michelangelo is inspired to paint the story of creation in the book of Genesis.

I have mixed feelings about Charlton Heston’s portrayal of Michelangelo.  The character comes off as very argumentative, stubborn, no respect for authority and just a general pain in the ass.  I can understand wanting to remain true to yourself, but being normally difficult to deal with and an ornery cuss is something else entirely.  Was Michelangelo really like that?  I did not like Michelangelo much in this portrayal even though he was a great artist.

For most of this film Michelangelo looks quite scruffy, dirty and sweaty.

 David, sculpted by Michelangelo di lodovico Bounarroti Simoni

I loved the beginning of the film where a narrator provides you with a brief biography on Michelangelo.  Examples of Michelangelo’s sculptures are shown during the narration.  It is like watching a segment of the Biography channel before the movie starts.

 Charlton Heston as Michelangelo painting the Sistine Chapel

I always wondered about the process of painting frescoes on a ceiling and this movie showcases that.  I found it very interesting and it was actually my favorites parts of the entire movie.  I have a lot of respect for fresco painters.  You have to finish painting before the plaster dries and that was probably extra challenging for Michelangelo working on a ceiling and on your back.  You also have to not have a fear of heights.  I love art and enjoyed taking art history classes when I was in school   I found myself more interested in the process of painting the ceiling of the Sistine chapel than the conflicts between Michelangelo and Pope Julius.

Some of the Sistine Chapel ceiling panels.  While Michelangelo did the actual painting of the panels and designed them, he did have other artists assisting him.  I always had visions in my head of Michelangelo completely alone in the Sistine Chapel creating this beauty, but there were other artists helping to mix the paints, apply plaster to the ceiling and outline the designs.  I have to give big props to those people as well.


The Agony and The Ecstasy was released on October 7, 1965.  It costs $7,175,000. to make and made 8 million dollars at the box office.  I loved the musical score by Jerry Goldsmith and Alex North.  The movie was nominated for 5 academy awards.  I thoroughly enjoyed Rex Harrison’s portrayal of Pope Julius II.

I loved the element of the intermission half way through so that you are not overwhelmed.  This element is used in Gone With The Wind and Romeo and Juliet.  I am not thrilled about having to wait an entire year to see the rest of a movie.

By today’s standards The Agony and The Ecstasy may seem a bit dull and old, but I think it holds up pretty darned well.  I enjoyed this much more than I did The Hobbit.

Old-Fashioned Charm

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