I know you have some concerns. Many of them are understandable, and most of them are valid. But by the end of 2016, you'll see a thoroughly improved me -- assuming the following New Year's resolutions take hold
Most of us naturally think about the future which often leads to worry and fear, and takes us away from living in the present. The key to living a purposeful and intentional life resides in the present moment. The past is gone and the future has yet to come. Live in the present and choose your words and actions intentionally.
Now, I am not too much of a sci-fi geek. I don't speak Klingon, never watched Battlestar Galactica in any of its iterations, and by the third Alien movie I started rooting for the slobbery beast with too sets of teeth: anything to get Sigourney Weaver to stop scowling. Star Wars is different.
We are entering the most hopeful time of year; a time when goals, dreams and vision matter. It's the time when new beginnings -- or at least the idea of them -- have us feeling inspired and motivated.
Movies are supposed to make us feel something. Comedies should make us laugh, horror films need to frighten us... I'm not sure a spaghetti western set in space was supposed to make me wax philosophic on fatherhood, but it did.
Our cultural biases often make it difficult to see the prevailing side of an argument, especially when it's political in nature. Most of us inherit our politics from parents, peers, and social structures. When disagreement ensues, we tend to dig in our heels instead of trying to see the other person's point of view.
The Force Awakens is a brilliantly manipulative piece of film-making meant to reel in everyone who loved the first three Lucas films and rightly despised the next trio. And make them bring their kids, too.
On December 8, The Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald reported that the Woodland, N.C. Town Council overwhelming rejected a proposal for a solar farm. The council later voted for a moratorium on all future solar farms.
Our strictly controlled airspace will soon become a society in the sky. Much like Star Wars, there is already a battle between the good and the evil, as the feds and the states try to police and regulate drones.
I just watched Stars Wars and I am so proud of Disney for creating the first true Warrior Princess.
One would say "It's not possible to sneak in any more huge-budget films in one year." 2016 laughs. We haven't yet realized how crowded with blockbusters the next year is going to be.
The box office news just keeps on comin'. Having already passed $1 billion in ticket sales faster than any movie in history, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is set to overtake Avatar as the highest grossing film of all time within days.
She is brave, skilled, resourceful, determined. She has a past that is not spelled out for us but rather is left as a tantalizing mystery. She is no one's love interest, and is not defined by her relationships with or unrequited longings for any particular man. And she kicks tremendous ass.
On Christmas morning, millions of children woke up early to see what was under the Christmas tree (no doubt, merchandise from a certain movie set "a long time ago" was well-represented). But millions more woke up to a very different reality filled with fear, instability and misery in parts of the world where conflict, civil war, and massive refugee displacements rage. And that's to say nothing of the xenophobia, scapegoating and ugliness that have taken hold of our political culture here at home. No matter what tradition we come from, as we enjoy the last moments of the holiday season with our loved ones, let's remember those around the world for whom Peace on Earth isn't just a holiday greeting, but a dream that is tragically out of reach.
There are times when Abrams leans too heavily on the in-jokes and those nostalgic inversions -- the reintroductions of the original trilogy characters are especially awkward. But when the film focuses on its new characters, as it does more confidently in its latter half the more it becomes its own thing.
This week presented a unique opportunity to test consumer and voter engagement around the marketing of a major movie, "The Force Awakens", and the race for President. We commissioned a national survey to research the intersection between pop culture and politics. This survey was not only fun, but insightful. Below are the findings: