The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Random Thoughts On Movies And Fear

Movies do not scare me. Generally, that is. I had a difficult time sitting on a toilet after watching Jaws but that was more apprehension than fear.

The other night, I watched 2001: A Space Odyssey. The last time (and the first time) I saw it was a theater in San Francisco in 1969. My ship was in drydock at the shipyards there and a few of my stoner friends thought it would be a good idea to watch the movie. It was quite the experience, especially since we had gotten quite stoned before we entered the theater. And got more loaded while watching it since it was San Francisco (meaning no one much cared if you lit up a joint) and theaters still allowed smoking in some designated sections. So we did.

Watching the movie the other night, I have to wonder what I was thinking back then. The movie doesn't make a lot of sense. Parts of it are very good but, overall, the story is incoherent. Lots of pretty colors and great music, though, I am sure I appreciated those things at the time. Excellent special effects at the time. Now, with CGI graphics, it is bland.

The movie was not a scary one. Not by anyone's standards, I hope.

But fear has become a selling point. I just saw an ad for precious metals wherein William Devane asks "What's in your safe?" and brings up the national debt (the size of that debt is truly scary). Soon after, another precious metals ad talked about a pending financial disaster. I have to admit, I am a bit worried about a possible super-inflationary period that will make what many of us went through in the 70's seem tame by comparison.

I had just separated from my first wife and had transferred to West Palm Beach. I bought a house at what would have been a truly cheap price in California but wasn't just so-so in Florida. I assumed a VA mortgage at 13% and was happy to get it. Inflation rates were high (around 11-12% in the month I bought the house) and mortgage rates were outrageous. And I would have had a hard time qualifying so getting an assumable loan at pretty much a lower rate than a bank would charge was a Good Thing.

But, as I watched that ad for precious metals, I began to think about what the underlying message was: FEAR! Fear of inflation, fear of financial disaster, fear of the future. I started to think about other ads which had that underlying theme. Some of them are mild; just fear of missing out on a good deal. Some were more stark, like the precious metals ads, but all had some element of fear involved in the pitch.

I don't know about you but I don't buy anything out of fear.

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