Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Books and Miscellanea at The Do-tique

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

A little update on the viewing culture here at The Do-tique:

The big news is that Behemoth (our 1979 RCA floor TV) is going to be moving to the basement to make room for a new LCD TV. We're seriously moving from 1979 to 2010 in one fell swoop in terms of technology! 

Since the new TV comes with a grounded plug, we'll be replacing the old receptacle with a GFCI outlet that will provide the necessary grounding without re-wiring the whole house. If you live in an older home like we do, you might want to do some research on installing these in locations like kitchens, bathrooms, and living rooms - the job is pretty easy and it's a smarter way to go than the traditional jury-rigging that happens when you either cut off the grounded prong (not recommended!) or put in a regular grounded outlet and simply don't connect the ground to anything (also not recommended!). 

In short, our viewing experience will hopefully improve greatly when New TV arrives - especially since the sound on our Behemoth was pre-stereo, which made a lot of DVDs hard to hear properly!

Up in the Air with George Clooney was the most recent flick playing at The Do-tique. The main character, Ryan Bingham is a guy whose job it is to travel across the country firing people on behalf of their employers. He is the quintessential road warrior and he only spends about 40 (miserable) days a year living in his apartment, which he has set up exactly like a hotel room. His major goal is to amass 10 million frequent flyer miles and become member number 7 of an exclusive club of individuals who have attained this status.

One of the best quotes in the movie is, "Loyalty is valuable" and this becomes a theme that runs throughout. Ryan's most loyal relationships are with American Airlines, the hotel chains he uses and his car rental company. He is loyal to the company that he works for and also to his beliefs about how their business should be done. He resists the push to outsource the job of notifying employees from video call centers manned by "human automatons," but it's clear that if he doesn't get with the program soon, he might be the one without a job.

The question of loyalty is also examined in the reactions of the employees that are being fired: "This is what I get (ie. a hired gun coming in with a package) after 18 years of loyal service to this company!?!" The supporting actress, Natalie Keener, is fresh out of Cornell's business program and passes up a better job opportunity in San Diego to move to Omaha with her boyfriend. He later dumps her in a text message!

When Ryan finally decides to choose a human relationship based on love rather than a consumer exchange, it turns out that what he gets is exactly what he "paid" for - a casual, sexual relationship - as his girlfriend ultimately chooses to remain loyal to her "real life" of a husband and children and can offer no more in return to him than precisely the causal relationship he bargained for in the first place.

DIY Rating: 8 

for both installing GFCIs yourself 
and for watching this movie!

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