Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

This year, I have dressed up as an angry old animator-beast. Rargh! Fear me! And so on.

Have there ever been any horror movies about psycho old animators? I think there should be. Maybe a variation on that one with the hand that came from a serial killer - animator loses his hand, gets transplant and the hand then draws the deaths of people. Before long, those drawings turn to reality as one-by-one, people die. Under anvils. Or pianos.

Death By Doodle

When cartoonist Manny Pantera lampooned his subjects, people would die laughing. Until the day the laughter stopped.

Screaming Sketch

He'll sketch... until you scream!

2B Terror

Pray you're not 2 B next.

Scrawl From Beyond The Grave

Reknowned cartoonist Lance Doomsmith wants to shake your hand. With his hand. What was once on a serial killer. Who killed people.

So which would you go to see?

Hope you all have a happy halloween! Anyone see Saw V yet? The missus won't let me bring the kids so I haven't seen it yet (so no spoilers!).

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It's like that R.E.M. song

Things are going to be a little slow here for the next week. I'm just getting adjusted to the new change in my life and, well, it's all a little nuts. Even posting this is tricky because number 1 is sitting on my lap insisting on hammering on the keyboard while number 2 sleeps. So I'll be lucky if the rest of the post doesn't turn out like this - bniakdnnnxnbhshsmxmxmmsmamjka.

Actually that looks rather similar to my file naming system at work. All it needs to complete it is a "FINAL1a" at the end. And then "FINAL1b". And so on until "FINAL17Xa4" or something.

There were a few more comments on my "bleak future of animation" posts that I thought were good discussion points but I'll get to those another time I guess.

Halloween is in a few days time. This year, I'm going to be dressing up as a haggard and frazzled old father. What are you dressing up as?

Friday, October 24, 2008

The bleak future of animation - part 4

This could be a long post as I'm going to try to wrap up my current thought process in this one - I need to spend more time figuring out how life is going to work with this new addition!

So what happens when the current generation of traditional animators retire or die? When we lose those people who drew every single day for longer than they did pretty much anything else in their lives? Those people who lived 'practice makes perfect'?

Well, Andy said - the death of animation happens.

In so many ways, yes, yes, yes. Decay sets in, those skills and training die over time and there is a massive decline in animation ability. It's that simple and seems blindingly obvious. You can only learn so much in college - most animators will tell you they learned more in three months (or even three weeks) in a studio than they did in three years in college. Theory only gets you to the starting point. Practice does make perfect. Influence and teachings from people who have put in years of that practice guides that practice. Take that away, and a generation later you'll see that decay set in.

Aaron over at Cold Hard Flash did make some good points however when Brad Bird made those comments. Firstly, Flash has brought animation production back to the US, UK, Ireland, Canada and other countries that otherwise wouldn't have any. This is very true, though I would be skeptical about how long that will last. Aaron also mentions the amount of independent animation that is now being produced, some of which is excellent. He goes so far as to call it a new "golden age". And you know what? He's right. He's absolutely right. Flash has opened up possibilities like nothing else before it. Have an idea? You can make a film in Flash about it.

But is that a golden age for animation as in the actual animation itself? Or a golden age of animated realisations of ideas?

The latter is important and its impact and the opportunities it opens up should definitely be recognised and even celebrated. But, even though Flash and 3D offer their own sets of skills, it is not a golden age for the craft.

If you have any doubts as to the importance that drawing plays in either of those, ask yourself why the best people sketch what they want before they actually make it move in Flash or 3D. Consider what can be explored in a good, finished drawing. And what can be learned by creating one.

And what you lose if you're not doing 7,000 a year for every day you work.

But Aaron from CHF also put me up to it, as does Humphrey in the comments - what do I suggest?

A damn good question.

What do I suggest? I have no idea. Every way I look at it, it seems to me that with the way things have gone, things right now, with many of us getting work in Flash or 3D, it's actually as good as it can be in the current climate. I can think of no way to rescue the craft. I don't come with a solution. I come empty-handed.

And that is why the future is so bleak.

This decay will happen. And this is as good as it gets.

Of course, there's always nostalgia and people will come and try to mimic what was done in the past. But, having lost those traditional animators, not having put in that intense practice, those studies that come from simply doing your job in even cheap traditional animation, people will start from scratch not by trying to relearn the process, but by just looking at what they grew up with as a child and trying to mimic what they see on the surface.

That already happens now. Imagine what that will be like in 30 years time. 40 years. 50.

If my zombie corpse rose up to see Disney's Tai-Chi Platypus, I'd be weeping. But with joy? No. Of course not. I'd weep a single dramatic tear and then shuffle off to eat somebody's brains.

And, compared with animation, I think that's a pretty bright future to look forward to.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The bleak future of animation - part 3

I meant to get to this post yesterday but ended up having to attend the birth of my child. Live blogging would have been seen as bad form. So where was I?

7,000 drawings a year. Possibly a little less. Possibly much more. That's how much a traditional animator or would-be animator could rack up in just the normal course of their day. That doesn't include personal studies or sketches or little thumbnails that they would do along with those drawings. That's 7,000 finished approved drawings.

You don't get this from Flash animation.

Nope, really. You just don't.


In Flash, with most working methods, it is about manipulation of libraries, often totally flat and completely predefined. Drawing within Flash is for two things - to rough out a piece on the timeline so you have an idea of what you're doing (and some animators skip this, at their peril), or to make a missing symbol or hide a join, and some studios discourage or completely disallow this for fear of loss of control. The good Flash animators will likely (hopefully) have doodles of poses and expressions around their desk from the scenes they are working on. But that's not the same or even close to what is expected from a traditional inbetween, clean-up or animation drawing. And certainly doesn't approach the same numbers in volume.

But Flash animation isn't the same thing, is it? So does it matter?

You also don't get this from 3D. In 3D animation you are manipulating marionettes effectively. It's about posing them. It's an art in itself of course so not really all that directly comparible to traditional. But, like Flash, good animators will often have poses roughed out in pencil first. Again, not close to what is expected from a traditional finished drawing.

3D animation is a whole different form though, more like stop-motion. So does it matter?

Some of the best Flash animators learned traditionally and then were trained in Flash. Some of the best 3D animators learned traditionally and then were trained in 3D. In both methods, traditional animators have a massive advantage, are often the people directors seek out first and can have a great positive influence in studios.

Those are the 7,000-a-year drawing people.

Could it happen the other way around? Could someone spend five years animating on a Flash show and then produce a great piece of 2D animation? Or even 3D?

Not the way the 7,000-a-year people could.

Yes, I'd say it matters.

The most-excellent Cold Hard Flash reported on something Brad Bird said about a Marky Maypo spot. He said "I sometimes worry that people whose knowledge is limited to Flash tricks will never be able to reach the level of skill demonstrated in these little demonstrations of genius." Personally, I think he's right. How could he be wrong? We're comparing with the 7,000-a-year people.

But what happens when those animators retire or die? What happens when their influence is gone? What happens when you take away the people who were practicing to the tune of 7,000 drawings a year?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The bleak future of animation - part 2

So what's the difference between the way an animator used to work their way through their craft and the way it happens now? A difference that could matter so much?

Well, what you guys said in the comments is all relevant (and some of it I'll come back to) but Limbclock got where I was going. It's the drawing. He says "when the person learning animation the pen and paper way, he is able to learn all the important fundamentals, such as timing and spacing between frames, and how to actually create simple stuff like walks and so on". I believe this to be very true.

But people who end up in Flash animation likely did loads of drawing in college, or their own personal sketches and same with many people in 3D. The difference is the drawing but that's just the start of my thought process. Just take a look at how it works -

With the way it used to work, no matter which end you came in on, you would be drawing constantly every single day. Drawing after drawing. For 8-10 or more hours. How many drawings you would get done in a day depends on where you come in and what type of production you are on but let's say as an example that you're doing 4 drawings an hour. On an 8-hour day, that's 32 drawings a day. On a 5-day week, that's 160 drawings a week. 640 drawings a month. 7,680 drawings a year. That's rough of course. It could be less, it could be more, especially as I was conservative on my studio hours (we've all worked much longer hours than that).

But that's around 7,000 drawings a year during work hours. Finished approved drawings. All having to conform to certain structures, so they can't just be self-indugent. All having to be approved by animation directors, animation checkers, directors and producers. All having to work within the animation of other people. And that doesn't begin to count your own personal drawings.

They say practice makes perfect. How is 7,000 drawings for practice? Five years in the business? 35,000 drawings worth of practice. 70,ooo in ten years. Each drawing in just about any traditional animation studio (yes, even the crap ones) teaches structure, adherence to rules, flow, posing, acting, expression, control and even time management - principals and techniques that can be applied to all styles and methods of animation.

So what's the difference between the way it used to work and the way it works now?

About 7,000 drawings a year.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The bleak future of animation - part 1

As many of you know, I started in this business animating traditionally and have since moved into Flash because that is the way the idustry would have me go. I blogged about why I thought Flash both rocked and sucked before, here, and here and here. Oh and here too. And here and here. That series of posts seemed to strike a chord with people who had been working with Flash far longer than I have so I reckon my initial feelings were on the right track.

That's probably not a good thing because some of my feelings on where it could lead the industry were pretty bleak - especially regarding the devaluing of the craft and outsourcing of even cheaper Flash animation. But that's not what this post is about (or series of posts actually, because I'm realising this will be too long for one post).

It is, however, about the demise of animation. But not from a financial/production end. From an artistic end.

I was discussing animation recently with an animator who has some really good traditional skills in terms of movement and timing and is now working in 3D. We were just talking references and stuff and then something hit me. Hit me hard. I realised that this animator was now at a disadvantage. And then, the next day, I was looking around the studio and I saw it - the beginning of the end. The decay of animation. Not just old fashioned bitter 'animation ain't what it used to be when I were a lad' stuff.

No. I'm talking proper end is nigh stuff.

The first thing you have to consider to know where I'm going to go with this is that Flash (or Flash-equivalents) and 3D are dominating the markets. Flash is cheap, can be produced with small crews in high volume and it makes perfect sense for television production. 3D is shiny, works for games (which employs a huge number of animator and shouldn't be discounted), and right now dominates the larger budget productions. Flash and 3D dominate.

Traditionally-made frame at a time 2D is slow and is reserved for very rare features (which industry-wide don't employ a significant percentage of animators) and still some television production (which is shipped to Korea etc. and will likely be replaced by Flash in the very near future).

The next thing to consider is - what leads to a good animator actually getting good?

Here's the way it used to work - a person with decent drawing skills would study animation in college, then they'd get employed inbetweening or cleaning-up or, if they had a serious amount of raw talent and were going into a tv studio, they may even get to start directly as an animator. And off they'd go, moving up the ladder and getting better.

Here's the way it seems to work now - a person with decent drawing skills would study animation in college, then they'd get employed as a junior or trainee animator in a Flash studio or games company or whatever. And off they'd go, moving up the ladder and getting better.

So what's the difference?

Well, the difference, as it turns out, is pretty damn huge. Feel free to let me know what you think it is. I'll let you know my take on it in the next post.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The weekend rambling

What, the same post? Nah, I just had coloured it after I posted it the other day, meant to replace it in the post and then lost track of the day so didn't do it. Here it is now though. Late. And pretty pointless.

Any games players here? Well, I know we have at least one and that one in particular (Mr.Trombley) will be interested in this piece of news. So, you know Earthbound, right? It was a SNES RPG about aliens and was just about one of the most charming games ever made. Well, Earthbound fans outside of Japan got kind of shafted. The original game, Mother, (Eartbound was Mother 2) was never released in English. Then, years later, they made another game in the series, Mother 3, for the GBA. No English release either.

Well, after a long wait, some frustrated yet talented and hardworking fans have done a complete fan translation. The whole game, now in English. That's nice of them, eh?

I finished reading Joe Murray's 'Crafting a Cartoon' ebook. He's the man behind Rocko's Modern Life and Camp Lazlo. If anyone is curious about what it takes to get a cartoon made, that's the book to read. Well, in the US anyway. It actually works quite differently for the most part over here in terms of selling it and financing. The book is a good read with a great attitude behind it. It's positive, not bitter (I find that refreshing) and yet also entirely based in reality. Who would have thought the realities of animation these days could be viewed without bitterness? Really? Certainly an eye-opener for me.

So the plug has been pulled on the Masters Of The Universe movie that was due to be made. Good thing? Bad thing?

Yeah, rambling... always the same at the weekend. I think my brain goes into shutdown. Or something. Still in a Star Trek mood so I'll leave you with the clip below and the brag that I once met Mr.Sulu.

Friday, October 17, 2008

If I were Captain...

Yeah... that's what I'd do. If I were Captain. Make Spock perform his duties in nothing but a thong. You all know you'd want to see that. Picture it. Picture it now - his Vulcan butt crack. Yeah, get a good picture of it in your mind.

Or picture the women in their shortest possible skirts. Your choice.

I think I'd make a good Captain. I'm no Shatner obviously (who is?) but I can rip my shirt and start a fight with the best of them. And I'm a devil with the ladies. In my mind.

Back to those new Trek images yesterday, notice how the uniforms have that chainmail/scale pattern on them. That seems to define modern costume design - Spiderman was given them. Superman too. And... probably others. And now the Star Trek crew. Just take the existing design, add scales and, BAM, you've got a modern 'reimagining'. It's very now. To steal from Harry Shearer in A Mighty Wind, it turns retro... to nowtro.

Among the costume design community (a small but militant group I've heard), I think it's going to be something they look back on and wonder what the hell they were thinking. And in a few years time, some poor new costume designer is going to throw scales on to their latest creation and be laughed out of it - scales are so over. Did Iron Man have scales? I don't think so but I can't quite remember. If not, I bet that movie doesn't date as badly as Spiderman among the costume design community.

But, as Sephim pointed out in the comments of yesterday's post, it should have been velour.

Always velour.

Yes, even Iron Man.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

So what's changed on the Enterprise?

I woke up this morning to shots all over the web from the new Star Trek movie.

I love classic Trek. I find it hilarious and has so much character and it's pure entertainment. Everything that the later iterations didn't have, I love. So I have been, and still am, very skeptical of this new film. Recasting Shatner? Im-fucking-possible. It just can't happen. It's that simple. There is no god greater than Shatner and anyone who tries to fill his shoes will stumble in his footsteps (thanks to Depeche Mode).

Nimoy too. Anyone trying to play Nimoy can go and shite.

So I have expected nothing but cack from this new film. I, unlike the rest of the world, have never been wowed by this Abrahms guy except to say that Lost had a great pilot (but what the hell happened to the rest of the show?). But I see these images and, well, I'm surprised. I'm surprised mainly by how close the uniforms look to classic trek, even down to the positioning of the seams. I honestly did not expect that at all. If you haven't seen the images, go track them down on any movie site.

But check this one out in particular as it contains the main cast - Pic at UGO.

There's Simon Pegg in the background as Scottie. We all love Pegg, don't we? And Karl Urban as Bones (Doom rocked and if you don't think it did, you're wrong). Some sexy Uhuru girl and a curly haired guy (no idea who he is) and Sulu and presumably that guy in the black is Kirk (stumbling already). I think the uniforms look pretty great and a couple of those guys actually look good in the part (not Kirk, he looks like he's supposed to be the main perpetrator in a frat-boy rape case drama).

But something seemed wrong to me in the image. It took me a while to figure out what was wrong. And then I realised - none of them look like they actually eat food. Like they actually might enjoy tucking into a burger or a great big pepperoni pizza. Or a fat steak. No, they look like they should all be on America's Next Top Model purging with the best of them. The uniforms just sort of hang there, like clothes are supposed to do on a runway show, not on actual human beings.

It's not like I expect a big fat old Scottie there but there's not even a hint of variation in the body types.

Do people who eat food not get cast in movies any more?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

When real life attacks

Do they teach about tax returns in school these days?

Back when I was in school, they taught us a whole bunch of stuff it turned out I would never need. They taught me about rods and cones in the eye, for example. They taught me about boring ol' early 20th century political history. They taught me how to say 'swimming pool' in German.

But did they teach me how to file a tax return? Buy a house? Make a lasagne? Wire a plug? Anything that might actually equip me for living in the actual here and now?


No, they did not.

And this is why I need a PA. And an accountant. And probably a therapist. I was failed by the education system and now I am terrified by those three of the most hellish letters: T, A and X.

If I ignore those letters long enough, they'll go away, right?


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Why some things are difficult to talk about

I've mentioned before what I originally wanted with this blog - just a place I could get that shit out that I can't talk about elsewhere.

Well, one part of that was completely scuppered in the very early days of its life. You see, my lady friend found my blog (while searching through my browsing history - which she likes to do). Instantly, a whole part of my life was off-limits. It shouldn't be. It goes against the very point of this blog. But it is.

It's like being related to a comedian. If I had a brother who was a comedian, I'd no doubt have to put up with being the brunt of his jokes, being called an idiot, having every childhood embarrassment brought up on stage, the time I got stuck in that pipe, time I climbed the tree and couldn't get down and had to be rescued by a neighbour, some incident where I'm sure I wet my pants at some point. But it would be funny, which would at least soften the blow.

Or if my brother was a psychologist, no doubt I'd end up being discussed in a paper entitled My Idiot Brother, A Study On Sexual Repression. Or if he was a pro-wrestler, I'd end up being his practice dummy for his half nelsons. Or even his full nelsons.

That's just the way it works when you bring family into it.

But I'm not a comedian and I'm not funny, so there's nothing to soften the blow. I'm just tired, bitter and generally pissed-off. So, if I were to rant about my idiot brother (I don't have a brother, by the way), it would just be hurtful to read. It's not like I'd be balancing it out with the good times, the time he beat up a bully for me, or slashed the tires of some girl who dumped me.

Balance has no place on this blog.

So the question was asked about why family life wasn't brought up here, specifically the imminent birth of our child, and here is the answer -

Because you read my blog!

Rest assured, if you ever lose the ability to read, it will be open season here on My Medicated Cartoon Life.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The basics of economics

Perhaps my inability to sleep at home is my brain's way of educating me on the economics of the situation. You see, at home, I don't get paid to sleep. In fact, it eats into my free time.

Whereas, at work, I'm paid, and I'm here anyway so it's not like I can get any of my own stuff done. And they would frown upon me bringing in a games console and hooking it up at my desk. So I've got nothing to lose by sleeping at my desk and everything to gain.

I don't know why I didn't see this before. It seems so obvious now.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Blogger hates red

See? Blogger really doesn't like red. It's compressed the ass out of it and added this weird fleck pattern. Nasty. It's supposed to look more like this.

I did this image back when I made this post here, but the one I ended up posting was better. Still, I kind of like something about it. Maybe it's the Spambot shirt. And maybe it's just the 'seeing red' idea. I don't know. Blogger may hate red but it seems to come naturally to me these days.

It didn't always. I used to be far more laid back. Is that just part of getting older?

I'm currently playing Lego Batman and still hoping the banks collapse just for the sheer hell of it. I'm quite enjoying both.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Some day, they'll find out

But, while I fool myself into thinking I can, I put some development time away each week for my own work. Each and every week, a little bit of time to progress my work, which will eventually further my career.

That time, that me time, has seemingly become a running joke with my family.

Because, each and every week, at my unchanging scheduled development time, I get roped into doing everything that isn't my work. Everything that doesn't progress anything. That won't ever further my career.

Every god damn time.

It's a joke. It has to be.

But the result will be that the day I'm hauled out of the studio by the Animation Police, I'm shafted. Completely shafted. With pox all to show for that development time.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

It's me. As an animal.

I just thought this might be fun.

While it wasn't fun exactly, it wasn't entirely unenjoyable. It's me, as an animal. You see? It's a crocodile. But it's also me.

It took me a while to figure out what animal I'd go for. Quite a bit of thought went into it. If you were an animal, what would you be?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

What the hell?

Animation brings the loons.

It really does. What is it about animation that attracts the absolute nut jobs? Find anyone who has been in the business for any length of time and you'll find they'll either have loads of stories of people melting down and going crazy, or they're the subject of some of those stories themselves.

I guess a lot of us have 'creative' personalities. Creative as in volatile. Emotional. Temperamental.

And we're geeks in a way but, let's face it, animation or art college is not a hangout for the intellectual. So we're nerds without the smarts to back it up. To add substance.

Putting that together with a career path that has you sitting at a desk all day, immersed in the actions of a cartoon character, making films one frame at a time (the height of insanity) with nobody to interact with but those like you and, well, is it any wonder that so many of us are totally and utterly bonkers?

Monday, October 6, 2008

I think I'm going to need a bigger box

Last night I had a dream I was in this huge castle. There was this grand entrance hall filled with artefacts - swords, rare animal skins (or maybe dinosaur skins), chalices and the like and a whole bunch of doors. Everything was marked with chips, gouges and signs of battle.

In my dream, I knew that this was the place that Conan the Barbarian and an evil Sorceror Emperor had fought time and time again. An endless struggle.

Only not endless. There was just one untouched door. I went up to have a look, knowing that this area would be the last place they would fight - in there was where Conan would finally kill the Emperor.

And just as I reached the door, I turned to see him coming up the stairs. Conan was coming to kill me.

I wonder if there will be a time where we'll be charged to use copyrighted characters in our dreams? The worst will be when they start beaming ads into our dreams. I have no doubt that, at some point, that will happen. "We interrupt Conan Versus the Emperor to bring you this word from our sponsors."

Yeah, that's coming.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Oh, silly Andy!

You can't drink that, Andy! Silly boy.

It's the weekend again? Jeez, I'll be dead soon at this rate. Right this second, I'm listening to Hybrid's 'Hybrid Soundsystem 01' mix. It's rather good. Very moody.

Anyone else find it weird that sound requires time to have meaning and image doesn't? I mean, a single snapshot from one moment in time can say so much and tell you all you need to know about that moment. A sound, well, a tiny snapshot of a sound is nothing. It's meaningless unless it continues across time. Music requires time to exist. Whereas a picture can exist as a single frame or across time.

I'm willing to bet that a large percentage of people who stumble across this post and got here through the drawing end, and draw themselves, also make music. Am I right? In some shape or form? Play the guitar? Compose tunes on Fruitloops or play with the (totally fantastic) MicroKorg? Creative people rarely seem to limit themselves to one creative outlet. Anyone got a Kaossilator? Man, those things are fun.

Yeah, it's a rambling Saturday morning here on Planet Doom.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Scheduling for dummies

Sorry, I mean scheduling by dummies.

Should I be a producer? Would I be that good that I could actually consider the possibility that there are holidays taken withing the course of the year? Is that skill and foresight really so lacking that I could enter that end of the business as a producing megastar?

Is it that the holidays only magically appear in that little diary after you've made a schedule and are requiring people to work their asses of to stick to it?

It's like these people who stand at the bus stop making small talk, telling each other how the mornings are getting darker. Of course the mornings are getting darker. It happens every bloody year! Every single goddam year. That's not news. That's not a talking point. It just happens. But seemingly those people forget each and every year that it happens and are taken by surprise the next year. Just as producers are taken by surprise by the possibility of the same bloody public holidays that happen every single year ever.

How does one become a producer and where do I sign up?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

And now, a word from my soap box

I don't normally comment on world events here. Or anywhere else for that matter. And I'm unlikely to do it again any time soon. Had I started this blog a few years ago, that would have been very different. I used to scour news stories, trying to find alternative versions (as there always are and the media simply can't be trusted), seeing what seemed verifiable and what didn't, and basically trying to find out just how messed up this world is.

I had to give that up and go on a media blackout for my own sanity. It was fuelling my depression. I still don't think that was a good thing because, if we're living in ignorance, how can we make the world a better place?

I think I've mentioned all that before.

Well, the whole bank fiasco is like Big Brother over here. Even if you're trying to avoid it, you can't. Everyone is talking about it. So I guess I felt I had to look into it and see what was going on. Yesterday morning, where I am, the local banks almost collapsed. Completely. That would have left most of the people in the country with little to no money. Even if they'd had loads to start with. Many people here don't seem to have realised how close that was to happening yesterday. The Government intervened and guaranteed everything sitting in those banks (although now a whole bunch of hard working average Joes don't realise that many of the banks here are actually owned by foreign banks and those aren't guaranteed in the slightest).

Had it happened, it's hard to know what the fallout would have been. Rioting? Looting? Quite possibly. It effectively would have been the collapse of society here. At least for a time.

So is it self-destructive for me to sit here laughing my ass off at the whole thing?

Yeah, I guess it is. But then I think - this world is completely messed up. We live in a sham of a democracy that only serves the interests of big business, driven by greed and nothing but greed. A huge percentage of everyday people here know it's messed up and yet they are too busy living their lives, paying their mortgages, trying to keep their jobs, raising their children, worrying about the next paycheck or just watching reality tv shows to be able to do anything about it. But they know. So many people know, even as they sleep through their day, that the way things are run right now just isn't working.

And that leaves me thinking that maybe a complete collapse would have woken people up. Maybe it would have led to a fresh start. A new society.

By getting bailed out, it only serves to maintain the status quo and there is a powerful minority that wants nothing more than for us to all stay asleep.