All Quiet on the Western Front
All Quiet on the Western Front

General Posts

Empty Hearth

by on Sep.23, 2012, under General Posts, On My Mind

This is actually something that I’ve been working on for quite some time now, and it’s basically the detailed plot of a movie. I’ve actually gotten the director, and the actors all figured out, along with some of the crew. I’m not quite sure why I decided to post it here, but there’s really no where else for this to go, and here felt best. It’s definitely not the most conventional movie, but it’s a hell of a lot better than the Terrence Malick movie I wrote a few weeks ago. :P

And uhm, here goes nothing (And just a warning it’s long).

 

Empty Hearth
Director: Martin Scorsese
Genre: Historical/Drama
Format: 2D 35mm Film, Shot with Panavision
Cast: Daniel Day-Lewis as Samuel Richter
Marion Cotillard as Éva Bertineau
Tommy Lee Jones as Inspector Russell
James Badge Dale as James W. Marshall
Score: Johnny Greenwood and Carter Burwell
Cinematographer: Michael Ballhaus
Budget: $30 million
Running Time: 2 hrs 35 mins

 

Plot Summary (The Movie’s a lot deeper than just this):

Californian Gold Rush of 1849, Samuel Richter, an Irishman, formulates a clever plan to buy up goldless plots of land from other prospectors cheap, and plant a few pieces of gold in the land, so that he can sell the land to unsuspecting prospectors at a significant mark-up.

Plot:

The film opens with the shot of an alcove, 24 January 1848 Coloma, California is written on the bottom of the screen. There’s a small stream running by, we see a man dressed in work clothes and holding some tools in his late 30s, William Marshall (James Badge Dale) walks along the riverbank, and something catches his eye. He reaches down to pick it up, it’s something tiny, he holds it between his fingertips, and examines it closely. It glints a bit, and he looks at it intently, before coming to a sudden realisation of what he had. He quickly puts it in one of his pockets, and hurries off.

The next scene is at a bar, we see William once again, having a few rounds of drinks with the townspeople, and they smoke, and are rowdy, and trade stories of their day. The journalist tells about his boss and harassing him with deadlines, some of the shopkeepers comment on business, and etc. As the night goes on, William gradually gets more, and more intoxicated, and he tells the tale of this afternoon, and how he found gold, “Gold. Gold. Gold, I tell you. GOLD.” He keeps saying, and all the men get a glint in their eyes, including the journalist.

We cut to Queenstown, Ireland. It’s Spring 1949 now, and we see Samuel Richter (Daniel Day-Lewis), a factory worker from Ireland, carrying his suitcase in a long line of similarly dressed people, waiting to board a ship. Posters of the Gold Rush are plastered all over the port, and the sign above their line reads, “Cunard Line/ RMS Britannia/ Third Class Boarding” They slowly inch forward little by little, and some of the passengers are getting a bit disgruntled. Samuel looks a bit annoyed, and reaches into his pocket to retrieve a pamphlet about the Gold Rush. It’s crinkled and worn from the constant perusing, but he looks at it, and he almost grins a little, and he puts it back into his pocket, and looks back up towards the front of the line.

Samuel sits in his cabin of 4, on his top berth, and he brings out a notebook, and it’s almost brand new, only one or two pages have been used; the writing on them is dense, but we can’t really make out what it says. He’s writing in it quickly, but when someone enters the cabin he quickly closes it, and hides it under his duvet.

On the ship in third class, a lot of the men are gathered in the bar, drinking, smoking, and gambling. The ship rocks a bit, but not one minds. Samuel, and some men are gathered around a table playing some sort of card gambling game. Samuel is doing well, his stack of money is substantially bigger than the others, some have almost non-existent stacks now, and some still have some left. The game goes on for a few more hands, and some people leave, and a few lose all their money. Then, Samuel wins the next hand, taking away all the money from one of the other players, and he erupts and tries to from the opposite side of the table grapple at Samuel. He spews about how Samuel is definitely cheating, and how he cheated him out of his whole life savings. Samuel calmly denies that, but that other man rears at Samuel, and they grapple, and fight, both are slightly drunk, Samuel much less so than the other man. The fight goes on for a while, and while some men looking bored seem eager for this to happen, a few others try to pry the two men apart. Eventually, Samuel wins, and he dusts himself off, and walks away. As he walks out the door, we see him extract two cards from his left hand side sleeve, and slide it into his pocket.

We hear the slam before we see the stamp of the immigration officer in New York stamp it on Samuel’s passport, and with a gruff, “Welcome to America” Samuel clears customs, and immigration on Staten Island. We see him take his stuff, and hurry to the ferry. He gets on the ferry, and as it leaves the island, we settle on a shot of the Manhattan skyline, already dotted with some high buildings, towering above the rest of the scenery.

The next shot is of a train in a train station, there are a lot of people walking away from it, and off of the platform, as the train gives a whistle, and begins to pull out of the station. The platform is almost empty now, and we hold that shot as the train gathers momentum until the train pulls out of sight. Outside the station, people are going about their ways in all different directions. The sight is slightly chaotic, but there seems to be a sort of order to it all, that everyone knows where they want to go, and how to get there. The camera picks out Samuel in the crowd, we see just his head, as he pushes, and shoves a little here and there to get from the back of the crowd to the road. He looks both ways, and then crosses. He heads into an inn, and pays for a week’s stay. The innkeeper gives him the key, and gestures him up the stairs. Samuel heads up the stairs, locates his room, unlocks it, and enters. The camera stays outside of the room, and we see the door slam shut with a thudding finality, and then a moment or two later, the click of a lock.

It’s morning again, and the camera takes an expository shot of the sun rising over the town. We see the town for the first time clearly, we see its style, its life, and the town itself coming to life, and as the town begins to buzz again, we cut to Samuel, inside the general store. He’s haggling with the shopkeeper. His accent slightly confuses the shopkeeper, and he keeps leaning in with an ear. Samuel passes a piece of paper with what he wants to the shopkeeper, and they haggle back and forth, writing, and crossing stuff out on the paper, passing it back, and forth, as they haggle over the prices verbally as well. Eventually they strike a deal, and the shopkeeper goes into the backroom, and returns with the items. He passes each one to him individually, and the camera shows each one. Some dynamite, a few pickaxes, burlap sacks, good panning pans, rope, some miscellaneous tools and equipment, and a can labeled, “Arsenic”. Samuel loads them up into a cart waiting outside, and bids good day to the shopkeeper as he leaves. Outside as he records the transaction down in his notebook, he meets the Sheriff of the town, Inspector Russell (Tommy Lee Jones). They have some small talk, and he welcomes him to the town, and wishes him the best of luck.

The next scene is Samuel at his plot of land, there’s a wooden sign marked Plot: #3192, and Samuel takes a moment, and checks to make sure that it is his, and the number on his piece of paper matches the plot number. In the background there are mountains, and the sun is shining now, brightly high in the sky. He’s standing near the edge of his plot, and we can see the boundary marking lines in the dirt. He takes a look at his stuff, and begins to reach from some of the tools.

The next shot is a close-up of Samuel’s hands as he assembles various contraptions, and mechanisms he’ll need. The camera looks up at his face, and sweat is dripping off it, and he has a look of concentration on his face. He ties a knot tight, and stands up, takes a breathe, and wipes some of the sweat of his face. Looking up at the sun, he nods at himself, satisfied with the work he’s done.

Boom, the next shot is of the earth blowing up in, dust and little bits of dust spewing up. The dust clears, and we see Samuel approaching, looking disheartened. We see similar holes, some dug, and others blow like this one, all a fair distance away. Samuel’s looking more haggard now, like a man down on his luck. He looks among the debris, and into the hole, and he sees nothing, he sighs, and looks even more disheartened. He uses his pick-ax, and shovel, to clear some of the debris out from the hole. His actions are almost lazy, half-hearted, and with a resigned slump to his shoulder. The camera focuses on Samuel’s feet, we see his feet, resting precociously on the rock bits, and he leans forward, and grabs another shovel of small rock dust bits, and this goes on one more time, before he leans a bit too far down to try to reach the rocks bits, and he takes a tumble, his feet fly up in the air, and drags some of the rock, and a pick-axe with him. His hands desperately reach over to try to grab hold of the opposite edge, the shovel falling uselessly into the pit with a clang. He holds on by the very tip of his fingers, but as he breathes a sigh of relief, he begins to slip a bit, and he tries to hold on, but he is forced to let go, and he drops on his feet. He lands joltingly, and he clutches at his the side of his face. It was scraped a bit on the way down, not major enough that it’s profusely bleeding, but big enough that blood is flowing. He looks up at the piece of rock that caused his injury, and he scowls. But, suddenly the sunlight catches a bit, and it glitters and refracts just the tiniest hint of light, and Samuel’s expression changes immediately from one of annoyance, and bitterness to one of hope. He runs over, but as he moves his legs, he jolts in pain, the fall onto the rocks definitely injured him. He limps over, and begins digging at the side of the pit. He uncovers a whole swathe of quartz crystals, and he looks excited, almost with childish glee. He grabs the pick-ax that’s fallen into the pit, and he picks at the rock around the crystal, clearing it off. He then breaks of a chunk of the crystal, and begins to climb up out of the pit. It’s a slow and painful process holding the pick-ax, and the crystal, as well as being injured. The climb is an awkward one, very slow, and mechanical. The shot ends as we see his feet disappear over the edge of the pit.

Small shiny, crystal pebbles pile up on the ground. Samuel limps over; carrying the metal can of arsenic, and a few small beakers. He opens the can, and pours a little, hands shaking into the beaker. He spreads the pebbles around, flattens the pile, and pours the arsenic into the pile. The effect is instantaneous; there are slivers of gold material leeching out of the material, solidifying with each other, forming a piece of gold. He holds it up to the sky, and he yells, and reacts almost like a madman with glee. He lets out of whoop, and the scene ends as the camera focuses on the gold, glinting in the sunlight.

We’re back in the hole, Samuel’s dug into the side, revealing a very large cluster of crystals, easily hundreds if not thousands of branches, an entire vein, reaching in all directions, and going deep, fairly deep. He has a ladder inside of the pit now, and he takes the quartz crystals by the wheelbarrow full, and wheels them away. We see tins, and tins of empty arsenic, and a whole lot of smashed crystals. Samuel pours the entire tine of arsenic over the crystals, and watches as nuggets form. The Camera focuses on his eyes, full of greed, and full of pride.

We’re at the trading post, and Samuel is haggling over the price of gold, the trader’s willing to pay him $10 an ounce. Samuel is heard saying that you can get $16 an ounce in San Francisco. Eventually they settle on $12.50 an ounce, and Samuel sells his piece of gold he brought to sell today. He brings out his notebook from his coat pocket, and records that transaction down.

It’s night time, at the bar, and Samuel’s having a few drinks with some of the other prospectors. He overhears another group griping about how they have empty land, and that they have nothing to show for their hard work, one of them comments on how he brought his daughter with him, and now they can barely scrape by with the money they have left. He gestures into the corner, and we see the shadow of a girl, in her mid-late 20s, Eva. He comments about such a shame, she never got married, and how pretty of a wife she would’ve been.  They then move back to the topic of gold, and how they’d pay a high premium if they could get a guarantee that this land had gold. Samuel overhears this, and his eyes light up and he freezes, his hand holding the beer keg, halfway between the table and his mouth. This lasts barely a second, and goes mostly unnoticed. When the other prospectors suggest another round of drinks, Samuel declines and instead heads up to his room.

Inside his room, we see his notebook open again, and we see him mapping out a structure. A voice over explains, how he’ll buy up land cheap from failed prospectors, it shows him haggling with prospectors, and how he’ll transplant a few crystals from his “mine”, we see him digging holes, and depositing crystals in them before covering them back up, and stamping the soil firm. And then sell the land at a significantly mark-uped cost by proving gold exists by uncovering one or two of his buried crystals, we see him do that, and we see him negotiate the cost that’s many times higher than before.

The next scene is of him loading as much of the crystal as he can into a cart, and we see him pull this same scam off in many prospector towns in California, buying up land, filling the land, and making it seem like it was new. Then he’d leave the town, and come back weeks or months later and sell it to new prospectors, and it never fails. The unsuspecting prospectors never suspected a thing, and he never stayed too long in a town to arouse suspicion. Each town recorded down in his notebook.

1851, it’s been two years since Samuel first arrived, and he’s a wealthy man now, we see him return to his original mine to collect more crystals. He’s dressed in the same work-clothes as he did 2 years ago, but back in his inn room, we see him change into a gentleman with formal wear, top hat, and the works. We follow him to a new town, in a flashback we see the change in his business, and now he hires people to purchase empty plots in his name, and fill in the holes.  Back in present time he gives a speech, “I’m a Gold man, and when I say I’m a Gold man you’ll believe me. You see, I run a small firm, individual firm, which thrives on finding gold, mining it, cultivating it, and expanding our horizons, but you see I’ve rather bitten off more than I can chew. I’ve got many parcels of land all over California, all guaranteed to have gold. Together they can produce many hundreds of thousands of ounces of gold. But, I can’t mine it all. I propose to sell you the land. As new prospectors to this country you have the energy to flourish in this harsh environment, and if you buy this land not only will you survive, but you’ll thrive here in California. If you want this land, I’ll be in town for a couple more days, I’m accessible, and you know where to find me. Thank you for your time.” Samuel steps of the make-shift stage, amid excited murmuring in the audience, and he leaves through a side door of the building. The camera focuses now on the crowd, and they are excited, and they seem to be pretty convinced by Samuel’s sales pitch.

Next scene shows Samuel showing an interested prospector the gold and he uses dynamite to blow through the rock, and he does it in a few different locations before “finding” the gold, and he smashes the crystal, and extracts it, showing the prospector the gold. They are at the inn now, the same prospector, and they’re haggling over the price of the land, and the prospector keeps hammering Samuel to lower his price, and Samuel is increasingly getting annoyed His hand goes over to his temple, and eventually, we see Samuel burst, and tell him, “You’ll accept the price I give you, or I’ll walk away. I can get someone else in 5 minutes, someone who really wants it.” The prospector clearly alarmed, calls for Samuel to wait, and that he’ll take the deal, but Samuel’s already walking out the door. Outside the prospector calls out to Samuel but he doesn’t stop. However he does say, “I wouldn’t sell you the land, even if you gave me all your money.” The camera catches a glimpse of Eva Bertineau (Marion Cotillard) hiding among the shadows of the buildings, her eyes focused on Samuel.

It’s a new day now, and Samuel is finished with his business in this town, as he shakes on a deal for one last plot of land. After the prospectors leave, Samuel brings out his notebook, now quite full, and almost all used up, and records the town, and what transactions happened here. That night he celebrates with some of his customers with a round of drinks on him in the bar. Everyone is in high spirits, and by the end of the night, everyone’s fairly pissed, and as Samuel tries to stumble up into his room, Eva makes her move. She’s dressed provocatively (For the time), and she cuts Samuel off as he tries to make his way up the stairs. She throws herself at him, using her beauty, sex appeal, and charm to seduce Samuel. In his drunken state, Samuel doesn’t need much persuading, and they stumble up the stairs in a mess of limbs, and Daniel hurriedly tries to unlock the door, but in his drunken state he has no such luck. Eventually, Eva takes the key from him, and Samuel actually raises his hand a little in protest, but she doesn’t listen to him, and opens the door. She leans into him again, and kisses him, and then they hurriedly stumble into the room, with Eva kicking the door shut, and they stumble onto the bed. We see Eva pocketing the key.

We see them in various stages as the night progresses, before finally going fading to black. The next scene is the morning after, and Samuel’s recovered from last night, albeit hungover. He’s trying to convince her to give him back the key. She just smiles at him, and replies, “Humour me.” Samuel chuckles at that, and we see them wrestle in bed. Eventually she relents after he captures her, and tickles her. It’s a light-hearted scene, and they eventually get out of bed, and laughing as they go down the stairs.

Over breakfast, Samuel inquires a little bit more about Eva, he flirts a little with her, and she just blushes, and responds to some of the questions in her “cute” French-accented English. Eventually, Samuel invites her to go with him to the city, and broaden her experiences. She clearly is convinced, and wanting, but she plays hard to get for a few moments, before giving in.

On the way to San Francisco, we see the inside of the horse-drawn carriage, and Samuel, and Eva have sex again, as Eva seduces Samuel, who needs no prompting at all. It’s a heated moment, and after they finish they take a quiet moment, and everything is still for a while, with only the sound of the carriage rolling along in the background, until the carriage goes over a bump, jumps a little, jolting their two out of their reverie.

In San Francisco, they arrive at Samuel’s house. It’s a large mansion, built on the outskirts of the city, with lush grounds, and lots of space. There’s a party going outside on the expansive lawn one evening. There’s a marquee erected, and there’s plenty of guests, among them other gold men, business men, politicians. We see the true expanse of Samuel’s climb up the social ladder. As Eva accompanies Samuel in the party, many guests assume that Eva is Samuel’s girl, and they comment on how beautiful she is, and you can see Samuel calculating the benefits of it. You can hear the gears turning in his head, V.O. “She’s beautiful, and it’ll help my social standing. I’ll take her.” Eva just blushes, and looks away, embarrassed. But, that night, as the last of the guests are leaving, and Samuel promises to stay in touch, it is Samuel who approaches Eva, and kisses him. He asks her to stay with him, and be his girlfriend, and she accepts.

We see them go on dates, and go to plays, and shows, and surprisingly Samuel is beginning to fall for Eva. The girl he took because it would make him look good has actually captured some of his feelings. That night that Daniel realises this, he holds his head in his hands, takes quite a few drinks in the corner of the lounge. There is some strange rustling in the background, probably from another room, but Daniel doesn’t seem to care about what it is. Then, he moves slightly shakily moves from the lounge next door into his office, he slips on a sheet of paper that’s left on the floor. He looks at it, and it looks like a bill from somewhere. He seems a bit confused as to why it’s on the floor, but quickly drops the questions. At his desk, he brings out his notebook, and writes a little bit, hands shaking, and writing sloppy. Eventually he just gets frustrated in his drunken state, and gives up, shoving the notebook back into his coat.

A few weeks later, their relationship is still going fairly well, they seem well matched for each other, and they’ve settle into a good routine. In this time Samuel’s fallen a little bit more for Eva, and it shows on the outside now too just a little though, and as Samuel comes home for the night, and the butler takes his coat, we hear the scream of Eva. Samuel looks up in alarm, and runs up the grand staircase, and towards the living quarters. He finds her in the washroom, hand rubbing her stomach, and he asks, “What’s the problem, dear.” Eva lifts up her nightdress, and shows Samuel a slightly swelled stomach. I think I’m pregnant, she replies. Samuel arranges for his butler to send for a doctor, and tells Eva, that they’ll have to start planning the wedding immediately.

We see the next day, them at the doctors, and the doctor confirms Eva’s suspicions, but tells her that it could still possibly be a fake pregnancy. That night Samuel lavishes her with a dinner at an upper class restaurant, and they share a quiet kiss, and a smile over a few glasses of wine. This Daniel, refined, and upper classed is in stark contrast with the Daniel just a few mere years ago, the poor Irish prospector. Daniel’s eyes wander for a moment as he remembers those times, the music changes a bit, and the soundtrack returns to some of the motifs, and some of the pieces heard in the beginning portion of the movie on the docks, digging for gold, and etc.

In the next scene, the baby bump is already somewhat prominent, and we see Eva and a few servants planning the wedding. They want a small affair, but lavish. They’re working out the guest list, and as they do, we see Samuel come into the parlour, and give Eva a quick kiss, telling her that he’d be going out for a little while. Eva excuses herself from the servants on pretense of going to take a little walk outside, and proceeds to go to Samuel’s study/office. She pulls out a sheet of paper, with the office drawn on it, and markings on it. She goes over each marking, and mumbles to herself, not there, not there. And, she moves over to an area unmarked on the map, and opens a drawer, rummaging through it, looking for something. She pulls out sheets, reads them, and discards them, putting them all carefully away. She’s getting increasingly frustrated, as she mumbles things about records, and not being there. She’s practically getting increasingly frustrated and the sound of her rummaging gets louder as she rummages with increased urgency, and speed. Amidst the rummaging, we hear the faintest sound of a door opening, and closing, and steps. She throws her hands back in frustration, and whoosh she gets clubbed in the head with something, and as she crumples the scene quickly cuts away.

The next shot is from Eva’s POV, and we see her opening her eyes, and we see a very dimly lit room, everything’s very out of focus, and we suddenly hear a drunken statement, “Sleeping Beauty awakes from her slumber….” Eva shies away a bit almost from the sound, and we finally see in focus as we see Samuel towering over her. “I catch you.” He says bluntly. Switching out of Eva’s POV we see the room, Eva’s bound up with rope, in a corner. There’s a single small window on the other wall, a table with a wine bottle and glasses on it, and chair is set in the middle, and Samuel is standing, disheveled, drunk, towering above Eva. Face right above her face. Eva just nods a fraction, and she struggles a bit at the bounds. “Little Child, you’re powerless.” Samuel retorts at her. He pulls up the chair, and sits on it, so that he straddles the chair, and he faces the back of the chair. “So, tell me now, everything.” Silence from Eva. Eva doesn’t respond. “A quiet one aren’t you? How about if I make you scream?” Samuel replies back almost calmly, but with a thinly veiled sense of anger. Eva’s eyes widen momentarily, but she stays silent. “Well let me tell you, what you’re doing. (Pause) You’re stealing my cake. My cake! What do you want with it? What do you want?” Eva just shakes her head. Samuel gets angry and goes ahead and slaps Eva across the face. Eva emits an audible gasp, and Samuel smiles that almost displays satisfaction. “You are really a smart one aren’t you? Sly like a fox.” Samuel seems proud of his analogy, and he repeats almost like a madman, “Sly like a fox. Sly like a fox.” Samuel extracts the notebook from his jacket. “Sly the fox is, but not sly enough. The fox has been outwitted. What you wanted has been with me all the time. Outsmarted the fox, I have.” Samuel seems almost gleeful now. Eva tries to raise her hands, and use her eyes to deny that’s what she’s been looking for. Samuel looks at her, and drawls with an air of fake surprise, “Noooooo? That’s not what you’ve been looking for? I’m sorry, you want me to untie you now?” He suddenly changes moods, and booms out, “Of course that’s what you’ve been looking for. I’ve committed no crimes, I have no other sources of monies but my gold. I keep no record of my gold, except here, with me. At all times. I’ve won, you’ve lost.” Eva looks a hint surprised. “Don’t be surprised darling, now, my explanation if you please?” Eva still refuses to answer. Daniel bursts at this point, he rants about how she was a bitch, and how she was using him, and how he was falling for her, and Eva looks shocked at this point, and she almost opens her mouth to say something, but even if she did, Samuel would’ve steam rolled on. He continues, he talks about how she just used him, set him up, and tore him apart, and how he L-; he catches himself, and cuts himself off and ends with I hate you. Eva seems shocked into silence momentarily, but then she opens her mouth, and closes it again. Samuel looks furious, but also almost on the verge of tears, and as he takes a long drink straight from the wine bottle murmurs, “I thought we had something.” Then he stares at the bottle in his hands, and brings it hard on Eva’s skull.  She gasps in pain, and he brings it down again. She stares into Samuel’s eyes, and murmurs, “I’ve won Old man, there’s someone coming for me. Someone knows I’m here, someone’s coming. You’ve lost Old Man.” Samuel brings it down on her head again, and Eva’s skull breaks, and she dies. Samuel slumps over the chair, and stays there, body wracking with sobs. The bottle slips from his hand, and shatters on the floor. The scene stays that way, and the light begins to fade from the room, as the sun sets. And, eventually the rooms fades entirely into the dark.

The next scenes is in the morning, back in the room, and as the room is beginning to be illuminated by the rising sun, Samuel rouses from his stupor. He looks around the room, and slowly begins to process what’s happened. He’s surprised, and scared, we can see it in his eyes, as he grabs the unbroken neck portion of the bottle, and almost mechanically walks up the stairs.

Inside the bedroom, we see Daniel, lying on the bed, contemplating, thinking not knowing. His butler walks up to the bed, and says, Master Richter? Sir? Samuel weakly acknowledges his presence, and the butler informs him that the Police is at the door, someone by the name of Inspector Russell. Samuel is surprised by the name, it seems familiar. We can hear him questioning inside his head, and then suddenly he remembers, it’s the police chief from his original prospector town. He springs into action, and he’s scared suddenly again, very scared. He instructs the butler to tell the Police that he isn’t home, and that he’ll be home soon, and to get the wagon prepped for journey back to the town. The butler is surprised that he’s going back to the town, but Samuel says that he’s going back to cover his tracks. Nothing else. We see him hurriedly pack a little bit of clothes, and some essentials, and then he’s racing through the house towards the back, and to the stables. A carriage is already waiting for him by the time he gets there, and they race off into the distance.

Meanwhile, we see Inspector Russell and a few other police force members at the door, they’re waiting, and waiting, and nothing happens. They turn their heads as a carriage emerges, and breakneck speeds from the carriage gates of the house further down the road, and they put 2 and 2 together, and realise that Samuel is escaping. The police members ask Russell if they should go chase him, but Russell says no. “Leave it for me, I know where he’s going, I’ll follow him. You guys, go search the house for the body.” The police members forcibly barge their way into the house, with the staff all protesting. Russell takes one look at the house, sad, tears falling down his face, and walks back down the steps. He whispers almost inaudibly, “I love you Eva.” And disappears out of sight.

We see Samuel again, back at his original discovery sight, he’s covering up that hole now much, much deeper than it was originally, hauling back into it rocks, soil, and etc. He’s already made some progress, but the whole is still deeper than what it originally was. Samuel turns as he hears footsteps, and he sees Inspector Russell walk up to him, Samuel takes a step back, he’s standing on the edge of the hole now, and he seems like he’s going to run, or something, but he stops when Russell’s voice rings out, “I thought I’d find you here. (Pause) You have a fast horse, you’ve been here for hours now, I left not soon after you, and just arrived.” Samuel just moves his head in a weird action, in what could be classified as a nod. “I just want to talk right now.” Samuel seems a bit shocked, “You don’t want to arrest me? After all I’ve done?” Russell replies, “No, I do. That can wait, I’ve been working for a long time for this moment. I can wait a bit longer.” Samuel nods, and asks, “That girl you sent? Who was she?” Russell answers almost crying, “That girl, was my daughter.” Samuel looks confused, and Russell says “It’s a very long story.” Samuel answers, “I have time.”

We descend into a flashback, and it’s assisted with some Voiceovers/Narration from Russell. We see the story of how Eva came into Russell’s care. Her father was a prospector, spent all his money buying plots that never turned up anything. Eventually he killed himself, leaving Eva all alone in the prospecting village. Poor, and homeless on the streets, Russell offers her some charity to give her a room at he and his wife’s place, at least for a few nights. At first Eva denies the charity, despising the pity she thinks everyone feels for her. But, one cold winter’s night, Eva relents, and she’s welcomed by Russell’s wife into their home. At first it was only for a couple of days, but eventually, Russell and his wife, came to fare for Eva like their own daughter, especially as she begins to open herself up to them. We see Russell talking with his wife about adopting even possibly informally Eva as their own. They approach her about it one day, and she breaks down in tears, as Russell holds her, we delve into her flashback with Eva’s voice overs. We see her old life in France. Her mother dead, Father barely scraping by, their country still primitive compared to the rest of Europe with their industrialisation. We see how she came to California, from a boat at Calais, to the New York port, the same one that Samuel passed through, we see her and her single father, leaving behind a life of loss, and smiling joyfully at the prospect of a new life, a better life in California.

It doesn’t turn out that way, we see Eva despair as her father fails to do anything, we’re at the bar, as we see Eva in the corner watching her father drink away some of his sorrows with a few other down on their luck prospectors. Samuel sits in a different group, with a different group of prospectors. He comments on how he brought his daughter with him, and now they can barely scrape by with the money they have left. He gestures towards Eva in the corner. She continues to watch her father sadly, and we see Samuel in the background walking up the stairs slightly drunk, eyes filled with some new inspiration.

The next scene is Eva standing by the door, as her father emerges, we see Samuel in the room, going out the other door. Eva’s father just bought a new plot of land, from Samuel, at a very high price, but it has gold, Eva’s father looks ecstatic. But, it turns out empty except for just a few measly pieces of gold, in stark contrast with what Samuel promised. Eva’s father, out of money, and out of life, commits suicide after this, Eva finds his dead body, outside underneath their inn room window. She crumples, and cries.

We go back to Russell’s memories, we see him and his wife holding Eva, and comforting her. Eva, eventually starts to get better under their care, happier, and better. Soon, they discover that all of the prospectors that bought Samuel’s land save for one struck empty, and she’s suspicious. She tells her suspicions to Russell, and Russell at first thinks it’s nothing. He remembers Samuel as a fine man, who got lucky, a good man, and dismisses the notion. He still sees him from time to time, as Samuel comes back occasionally. But, Eva’s nagging eventually gets the better of him, and Russell promises her that he’ll investigate for the sake of her closure. He tells himself that it isn’t anything, but he’ll investigate.

As the investigation goes on, Russell does find things, he goes to different towns visited by Samuel, and finds the same things, empty lands, and he begins to suspect Samuel of fraud, and of knowingly selling prospectors empty land to make a profit. He sees Samuel occasionally when he returns to the town, but Russell never lets anything show, doesn’t give a clue that he suspects Samuel of anything, and they act like acquaintances. They say hi to each other, catch up for a while, and sometimes go for a drink, but they’re not friends, just acquaintances in an everyone-knows-everyone town. Back home, Eva seems joyful that she turns out to be right, but crestfallen when Russell tells her that they can’t do anything about it as they have no definitive proof. Eva over the next few weeks slowly but surely pieces together a plan, a plan of seduction, but when she approaches Russell about it he says no, he says it’s too dangerous, and that he’s afraid she’ll get hurt. But, Eva eventually persuades him, with Russell agreeing only if they schedule check-ins every day so that he can make sure that she’s safe, and if they pull out the moment things get to dangerous. She agrees to the terms, and we see her and Russell follow Samuel through the towns that he visits, looking for a good opportunity to strike. One night Eva is looking on from the shadows of the buildings as Daniel says without looking back to the people behind him, “I wouldn’t sell you the land, even if you gave me all your money.”

We see Eva now, getting ready the next day as Samuel’s getting drunk in the bar, and we see Samuel stumbling towards her, as Eva makes her move.

There’s a gap in time now, and we see Eva now dressed finely with clothes that was bought with Samuel’s money meeting Russell in a private room in an upper class restaurant. She tells him how everything’s going to the plan, and how getting pregnant was a good thing, as now Samuel’s determined to keep her with him, and that this will buy her even more time to look for the proof. She says how she’s been going slowly through his office, but yet to find anything, but she says that there’s still a lot to look for so she’s confident that she’ll find what they’re looking for. We end with her saying that she’ll meet him again here, tomorrow for a check-in.

The next scene is of Russell sitting in the private room, and Eva doesn’t come, Russell waits for hours, and hours but nothing happens, and Russell gets worried. We see him rushing to Samuel’s mansion, but he doesn’t see anything. He approaches a police station, and using his Police Chief status, he manages after some time to convince the San Francisco police to send with him some back-up the next day as he prepares to search Samuel’s manor for Eva. The next day at around 10 or 11am, Russell knocks on the door of the manor, and the butler opens the door, and kind of surprised says, “Hello Officer, how may I help you?”

We return back to real time now, and we see Samuel standing there emotionless, and reactionless. Russell says quietly voice shaking, “Come now Samuel, we have you already for murder, and don’t make it harder than it has to be.” Samuel doesn’t respond, and simply pulls something out of his pocket, and Russell thinking it’s a gun ducks, and tries to reach Samuel before he fires. But, it isn’t a gun, and Samuel simply drops a rectangular object from his hands, it’s his notebook, and as it falls the book opens, and lands open on the ground. He says, “Ruined,” as he takes a step backwards, and falls into the stone filled pit. Russell jolts forward in surprise, and he stops along the way to take a look at the notebook that had fallen, he sees notes on gold transactions, and Samuel’s unsuspecting victims, he almost smiles quietly inwardly to himself, but then he notices the writing on the other side of the page, and we see glimpses of it, as we hear Samuel’s voice reading some of it out, “She’s driving me crazy,”; “She’s so lovely,” “I think I’m falling for her.” “I think, I might, I love her.” With that, a single tear drops off from Russell’s face as he’s reading it, and lands on the word love. Reaching the end of the page, he closes the book, with a quiet thud, and walks over the edge. He takes a look, and then his face is a mixture of emotions, anger, relief, sadness, care, compassion, as he quietly puts the notebook in his jacket pocket. Russell then moves his hand in a weird, half formed motion at Samuel, which could be construed as a wave, and walks away. We focus on his retreating back as he slowly walks down the slightly inclined land, and out of sight.

The camera then turns back to the pit, and we see Samuel spread-eagled at the bottom, head bleeding, not breathing, dead. We see him holding in his right hand a second object he took from his pocket, the still unbroken neck of the bottle, now slightly cracked from the fall. We can see some of the gold containing quartz crystals at the side of the pit, as the camera continues focusing on Samuel’s body, and we cut to the credits as that shot fades to black.

 

 

 

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Bent and Broken

by on Mar.08, 2012, under English, General Posts, School

I feel obligated to put up a warning before my short story, so here it goes, if you are in any way are adverse to reading a story containing suicide, self-harm, and homosexuality, I’d advise you not to continue. But, you have been warned, so proceed if you wish to. That’s all.

Step. Step. Step. The ominous, and eerie, click, and clack of my shoes sound loud, and brilliantly, but I only notice one thing. Step. Step. Step. Things are going to be different in just a moment, just a second. I reach the edge; I stand 5 stories, 30 meters above the ground on top of an English Baroque manor spanning 4 wings, and nearly a third of a million square feet, still standing in all its glory. Its home, but to me “home” is like a prison, it’s like a hell.  All around me is pristinely managed countryside, all 20 000 acres untouched, it’s so beautiful, so quaint, so peaceful, so much in contrast with what’s about to happen, what I’ve never had the courage to do, until today.

A breeze blows across my face almost as if it’s telling me everything will be all right, but I don’t notice it, I hardly notice anything. I look down, and the drop is dizzying, surely enough to kill a man. In that moment I feel exhilarated knowing what I’m about to do, and I wonder why I waited so long, I had no one to say goodbye to, no one to leave behind. I’m snapped out by what I perceive as the faint sound of a Sikorsky, but it could be right on top of me, and it still would be faint. I catch another glimpse of the ground and berate myself for getting sidetracked so easily; I always have been easily distracted. I berate myself for potentially allowing me to lose my resolve, after all I’ve waited so long for this day, I can’t back down now.

I take a deep breath to refocus myself but before any other thought could cross my mind the wind blows, caresses, and tugs at the sleeve of my Prada button-up, revealing a mess of angry red lines, faded white lines, and those in-between. I stop, distracted, to admire my years of handiwork, each line representing the disgust, the failure, the monster that is me. I crave the cold metal, dragging against my skin; I crave the light metallic scent that’s control, as the blood drips down my arm. What got me here, what have I become?

It wasn’t always this way; things were once brighter, nicer, and happier. It’s truly astonishing how quickly one can be torn down, left without any shred of self-confidence, of belief, of life. I was systematically torn down at school, and at home from every possible angle, physical, emotional, and mental. At school it was because I was different, I was gay. It started with a few, and the occasional shove, but I let it go in my stupidity, in my weakness. People took that silence as a green light, so the crowds grew, and their actions escalated. At home it was because I was a failure, neither the perfect son, nor the perfect heir. They want me to be the straight, strong heir who will one day take on the family firm. They don’t care about me, for them it’s one of two things: it’s about the “Family Legacy” supposedly dating back to 1527; it’s about keeping it intact, growing it, adding to it, and to their overinflated egos. The second is about the family business, the Hedge Fund; it’s about working, working, working all day, and trying whatever moral, or immoral, fair, or underhanded way to grow that money like crazy, as if it’s on steroids. That’s their family, not mine, I don’t know that cold, unfeeling, egotistical family, I’m more caring that that, even now, when I’m all broken down. No one will miss me; the one person I had left, Mark left me, everyone left. No one can stay with me, not ugly, vile, disgusting me. They’ll always leave a reason, but deep down I know the truth, and it hurts, but it doesn’t make it any less true, any less deserving.

I want to live; I want to live so badly, I have such dreams, such aspirations. One day I’d like to be in Fashion, make my own path, and reject the gold paved road I’ve been directed to. I’d like to work my way up from intern, to places like Vogue, or Ferragamo, Elle, or Balenciaga, and eventually maybe even launch my own label. I’ve always been fascinated by the fabrics, and the designs, the ever changing avant-garde, and the eternal classics. I know that fashion is a gay stereotype, but it really is me, the real me. Once you peel off all the barriers, all the walls, and all the blocks you find that I am not one to shout my sexuality from the rooftops, but proud of it, out and proud, as someone who is more bubbly, more soft, and more flamboyant. There are the more serious, the more grave sides to me, it’s what makes me unique, what made me determined to find my own path, and while some would conform to the gay stereotype, others would be as normal as your next door neighbour. But that mentality’s gone; I’ve long lost the battle.

It was a mental battle with the devil on my shoulder whispering, corrupting me. How can one person fight a tsunami that’s coming from all sides? It’s insurmountable, like taking steps on the sun; you can go, but you’ll be immediately broken down. I’m not a naturally subdued person, but years of neglect, of problems, of harassment have forced me to close myself off, out of necessity, not out of choice. It’s like me the kid in lower 6th against the entire school Rugby team, sure I’d get one or two punches in, but in the end I’ll always be beat back down deservingly, no matter how many times you get up.

There was time when I thought what my father always said about his firm “No matter what, the storm always passes, and on the other side we’ll eat Diamond’s lunch” could be true, that I could have a future; that I could succeed. I was sitting in a diner, alone, as if that wasn’t always the case, and I spotted a nice-looking man in the table next to mine. I’ll admit I checked him out, but it was what was on his arms that surprised me, faint white lines. But, he was smiling, he seemed happy, and I thought perhaps everything will work out, and I’ll be like him, happy, and content, if I just survive for just a while longer. But, that wasn’t true, things never got better, he was just an actor like me. Pretending to be fine, to be happy, to be healthy, but that was far from the truth. Soon, I was back into my hole, thinking I belonged there, and as I’m reflecting as the storm rages on, I’m so much more certain. Maybe, this distraction, this reflection, this looking-back was a good thing, it’s only strengthened my will to act; reaffirmed my belief that I’m not wanted.

Yesterday was the final straw, at school I had “fag” spray painted on my locker, and at home I’ve been ripped into for whatever infraction too tiny to even care, to even remember. I’ve long learned to keep my mouth shut about school, my parents don’t care; they have the key to number 10 but they will opt to stand at the sidelines and cheer on the other team. So I told myself last night as sobs racked my body, and blood leaked down my arms, that today, I’d do it.

There’s a movement behind me, I register it as a slight flicker, and a mild drone. No one will be home for some time, I’m alone, and that can’t be anyone. So, I take a breath, take a step, and take a leap of faith. As both my feet meet the air, I hear my name being called desperately , and I tear up a little, feel guilty a little, thinking that maybe someone did care, and I would leave behind someone. For that, I’m sorry, but that can’t possibly be true, no one could be here; the servants can’t come up here, and my parents don’t care; but in that moment of desperate hope as the winds carried that one word, I clung on to my last splinters of hope. But that doesn’t matter, for I only had seconds left to live. I see the ground now fast approaching, and I board the train I’ve been waiting so long for to take me far, far away. It doesn’t matter where; I’m on the train now, going far, far away.

I wake up, it’s the same nightmare, over, and over, and over again, I’ve beaten everything except for that. I think that it’s some sort of connection a reminder of what could’ve happened if my cell didn’t ring, and didn’t break my resolve. But, it did, and I didn’t jump. I got better, and I have my own successful label, and I have a beautiful, sexy husband sleeping beside me, 15 years later. At 31, looking back, I just think how lucky I was, how just by chance my parents found out later that night. I was completely right as to their reaction; they looked at me in disgust, in loathing. Set me up with a nearly billion dollar trust fund in Monaco, kicked me out, told me never to come back, and checked me into the nearest Priory. I couldn’t believe I had until the end thought maybe deep down they cared about me just a little, but those actions left me with no doubt as to their true nature. They are monsters.

I thought I’d never get better, and for a week, two weeks, three weeks, I didn’t. But, I met the handsome, blue eyed, brunette resident next door, James. He understood me, for he had done the same himself; he held me as I cried about what happened, and as he showed me his scar covered arms. His flirty smiles, his confident persona, and his gorgeous features, had me falling for him faster than plummeting rock. When he told me he was gay my heart swelled with hope for the first time in nearly three years as I thought maybe I had a chance with the guy totally out of my league. It took me nearly 3 months to ask him out, and he told me as we dined over Italian on the rare nights we were allowed to leave Priory that he’d been waiting for me forever, and after we got back from dinner and a movie I just thought, “God, he’s more perfect than he already is.” With his help, showing me how far I could go, how far he went, I checked out with him by my side after just a year of residence. We moved in together, into a little flat in Kensington right along the A4 where Sloane intersects Brompton at Knightsbridge, 1 bedroom, but it was enough for us. He went into Law, and became a children’s lawyer, as I went with my heart, as my dreams once crushed became ignited again, into Fashion, as I worked my way up from an intern to owning my own label. It was 4 years after Priory that James proposed to me as we stood on the bank of the Seine the wind serenading us; it was the night that I got promoted to Creative Office in McQueen, and it was 2 years after that when we finally got married. None of our families showed up, just the new friends we made, and I didn’t want it any other way. I’m sure James didn’t as well. The trust fund laid mostly untouched, as we wanted to prove ourselves, I can count the only 3 major expenses it funded when the needs outweighed the moral hazard: our first apartment, our education, and my label. Now 15 years later, life is perfect, thanks to James, he truly is my everything.

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The Clock is Ticking

by on Nov.02, 2011, under Eminent Person, General Posts, On My Mind

“The only way to be happy is to love. Unless you love your life will flash by…

Do good to them. Wonder. Hope. Future.”

It isn’t always that you interview someone with something to say, something meaningful that is, people say things everyday, most of it garbage, very little of it is gold.

Wednesday 26 October 2011, I don’t confess myself to remember everything from the interview, I probably remember very little, but the message was there, the message I remember. Over the past few days, the message changed, it evolved, evolved based on my mood, my feelings. In the end it wasn’t even about education, or teaching anymore.

Dave Truss was a wonderful interview subject, and I thank him for that, we talked about a lot centred around education, and the changes we need. We talked about the shortfalls, and the adversity we have to change, for the system we have today was built when crops still needed to be harvested by the majority, and summer break was given, to tend to the fields. It was a different situation then, yet why does it still exist? He pointed out two things, one which was direct, and one indirectly, I remember him saying to me, “We don’t like change,” or something along those lines. The other thing was power, the current system puts power in the hands of the teacher, and the students just follow like a Shepard leading sheep. We all like power, who doesn’t? The people up there, who call the shots are afraid of letting go, or as Dave Truss put it, “putting more power in the hands of the students.”

He was right, he is right, you know. There is guiding along the path, and then there is controlling the path, we should be the ones as learners to shape the path, we should get more involved, and be more in control. He believes that the system should be catering to the students, an all inclusive system, where we all build it, that’s not saying that we shouldn’t have teaching goals, just teaching them in a manner that pertains to the students’ strengths, and weaknesses. You could also say that there are students who don’t work without being pushed, and in most cases even when being pushed. In a free market system, as the world should be, those who work hard, innovate, and create are rewarded, those who don’t are punished accordingly, and after all School is about preparing you for real life, and that is pretty close to real life is it not?

“Education now is about utilizing all available resources to create a learning environment where sharing and teaching goes both ways, and beyond the classroom doors.” Learning has to evolve now, it has to be global, especially with accessibility getting more and more pervasive in the technological sense, it’s become necessary to prepare students to deal with the global community. We need to spread our sights from local to global, because it builds our skills, and with our global network of trade, connections, we need to go global, with students online in Canada teaching others in Mumbai, from London to New York, and from Paris to Tokyo, teachers teaching teachers, students teaching teachers, and etc. We have to really let go of our past confines, and understand we all have strengths, and there are definitely students in the room who know more than the teachers in certain areas, and while teachers didn’t utilize that knowledge before, it’s time to change, adapt to our strengths, and if the student is better then let them teach, let them reach out, and become part of the community of teaching, and shape their path, and influence others. We have to be the one to take the initiative now, if we want to survive, and prosper.

The one thing that stuck especially deep with me, was when he said, “He lives the life,” he could easily just dictate his wishes, or influence change, yet live his way, but he does go with the change, he lives his words, from laptops in China, to now working in Open Learning changing that, from more textbook based to more community based.

Over the weekend I saw a movie called “‘In Time” with a couple of mates, it was better than expected, but the concept the movie is based on, time is money, and your life. You stop ageing at 25, and you have one year left to live, the poor die young, and the rich live forever, made me wonder how much time would I have? 500 years? 3 000? 10 000? 512 136? or more? That led me to think, what would I do with those 10 000 years? How would I spend it? Living life is about love, you don’t live unless you experience, and love what you do. You can live a life alone, but you must love that way, and love what you do. A life without love is no life at all, live life the way you love it, don’t let people change that. Don’t live simply because you have 10 000 years on your clock, do something with that time. Do something you believe in with your life, like Dave Truss, like so many others that keep the world the same, or change it, whatever it is, they do it because they believe.

Now tell me something, what would you do with 512 136 years 2 months 4 days 6 hours 42 minutes and 13.75 seconds because I sure as hell wouldn’t waste it.

Whether it be this

In Time

Or That

In Time 2

“Life, love to live it, live to love it.”

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To Be or Not To Be

by on Oct.24, 2011, under General Posts, On My Mind, School

newspaper

“What is it to you? Why should I care?”

“If this was your life, and you had one year left to live, would you care?”

Two, that is integral when examining the effects that the abolition of the “Canadian Wheat Board” monopoly will have, Consumer vs. Producer, Wheat Board now vs. Wheat Board 5 years from now, and big industrial wheat farms vs. small family wheat farms. Generalizing even vaguer than that, and you will run the risk of being not comprehensive, and contradicting yourself.

 Keep that in mind, but we must first delve into the basis of this decision, why it was made. The main key is that it is The Conservative government made the decision, simply conforming to their ideology, putting theory into action, keeping with the doctrine of beliefs, that the best market, is free market. That is the Conservative belief, the best market, is free market, where the mistakes are corrected by the market, and those who work are rewarded, those who don’t are punished accordingly. It only makes sense then to get rid of one of the biggest regulatory institutions in Canada, that can safely be abolished, like we saw with the banks in the States, and around the world.

Skyscraper They say that the Tories are for the big companies, for big corporations, and this time they are; the decisions made today, impact corporations, in a good way, in a profit maximizing way. They opened the floodgates to new options, options once bound by the shackles of law, choices that never could have been made, now open, for maximizers, for new opportunities.

The abolition of the Wheat Board as it is today, stands to unlock the wall between big commercial farms, and the world marketplace, a world marketplace once sealed off by the CWB where more than 80% of our wheat goes, exported, elsewhere. The CWB represented a premium, a mark-up, a hidden tax, on what the wheat would’ve sold 100 cents on the dollar, market value. The abolition allows the firms to take control of their wheat prices, to price the wheat at their price, competitive, and cheaper than before. This as explained in the law of Downward sloping Demand, the lower the price drops, the more quantity demanded goes up, and hence the revenue. Wheat may be considered inelastic, but essentially all goods have a elastic, and an inelastic side of the curve. to the left elastic, to the right inelastic, staying within the borders of the left, the lower price goes, the higher the demand, the higher the revenue, yet the price must stay to the left. Crossing over, and the higher the demand, the lower the revenue goes, it’s a delicate balancing act, don’t venture past the unitary elastic point.

The big corporation have the resources, have the team, and the capital to market their wheat, market their product, and have the margin to hold the wheat in their stores, or sell it extremely cheap during years of excess. They are able to sell it, and compete in the world marketplace, because they have the size, and the reach to succeed. You see this in the States, after the strict banking regulations were repealed, the investment houses, and the commercial houses did what they did best, and even better than before; make money. So, the abolition in fact will raise the profits of the big farming corporations, and benefit them in a positive way to a substantial degree.

Tree of LifeWaking up on the farm, another day on the family farm, waking to a new morning, a different morning. A morning where what you knew before no long stands no longer. The Canadian Wheat board is a guarantee for the small farmers of Canada, who for many years has purchased wheat at a stable price, purchasing more in a year with high yields, guaranteeing that the farmers won’t be left to deal with storage problems, and wasted goods, they provide a return, a sum of money even when the Wheat Board runs a deficit, guaranteeing income, it is essentially a safe guard. However, the farmers if they make the right decisions should not be at a loss, should not be harmed. They certainly won’t be better off, maybe a little tiny bit, but they will not be harmed, the Wheat Board will still exist, still possess its connections, its marketing team, its routes, and abilities, albeit now it is a private corporation, no longer a government institution with a monopsony on the wheat industry. However, it will still exist and farmers can still participate in it, thought now participation is voluntary, so if the Wheat Board understands the situation, and the gravity of this change, and adapts to this, then the small family farmers should not be worse off. However, to be competitive the Wheat Board must be willing to slim down, and actually actively compete with both big Canadian Wheat Farming corporations, and the world markets, to survive, and to bring the profits back to the farmers.

The competition involved will then, as competition always does with the extra number of sellers, decrease prices, which will drive up consumption more, and then in turn make the revenue even higher, which would be a good thing for everyone, the small fry, the big fish, and the consumers.

If the wheat board does fall then, then the small farmers will suffer, as the main reason is that they are not able to market the wheat as well or as far reaching as their fellow big corporation competitors. However, the suggestion at this point is for the government to try and ease the pain, by providing as much as it seems socialist, a capital injection, an investment into the individual farmers to allow them to in turn invest them into Capital, which makes production a lot more efficient. Capital intensive production is always more efficient and cheaper than labour intensive, this will make the farmers more competitive compared to the big companies, and ease the pain a bit. The second thing that would be suggested is to allow the farmers to form their own co-ops to create a loosely structured version of a wheat board, with more marketing power, capital, and resources combined than individually.

Woman in the disctanceWhat would you feel if the price of your flour went down 10%? 20? You’d be happy, because you’d be able to spend less of your limited resources getting the same stuff, you’d essentially pay less. With the cheaper price, you can demand more, and afford to demand more. This will be a net benefit for the consumers as they pay less, and use less resources for the same items, end of story.

Clint Eastwood Shilotte
In the end, we see a better picture, a clearer picture compared to the shadow before. To conclude that the Canadian Wheat Board’s abolition, and subsequent change into a private corporation has its benefactors, with no one getting a worse deal out of it, the Tories put their theory in action, the Big Farming Companies getting deregulated to do what they do best, the small farmers still possessing a corporation to guarantee, and to market, and the consumers paying less with the wheat board premiums gone, and competition between factions driving prices ever lower.

Do you care now?

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What have nothing, if not Hope

by on Oct.17, 2011, under General Posts, On My Mind

“Faith is believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.” 

Red Trust. Do you trust me? Would you trust me? If I told you I was a teacher? a banker? a murderer? Would you still trust me? Would you still put your fate in my hands, your well-being at my whim? Would you still help me up, or let me give you guidance, give you advice? We all do hope for the best in people, sometimes too much, we even hope for the best in those too far gone off the edge. Why? Is it because humans are built on trust? or something deeper? Red.

Blue Yourself. How do you look? How do you really look? Follow your guidance, find peace with yourself, with your goals, and your motivations. Understanding yourself first, then others. You can’t change anything if you can’t stop for a moment, and just close your eyes, and focus on yourself. Discover it, cherish it, stay true to it. Find that deep instinctual belief you were blessed with at birth, find it, and follow it. Blue.

Yellow Hope. To quote a rat, “We have nothing, if not hope.” We need hope, god, we live on it. Close your eyes for a moment, and just imagine a world without hope, without belief, then that is a world without a future, forever stuck in a dark looping circle, forever stuck on repeat. Get up, go to work, eat, sleep. Get up, go to work, eat sleep. We are not driven by ability, or ambition, inspiration, or vision. It is hope. It is hope that drives those 4 characteristics, that in turn drive us. We cannot say we are driven solely by ability, or vision, but we are driven, only by, and solely by hope, the hope of a better you, a better tomorrow. We all are. We always will be. Yellow.

Light Blue Virtue. Hold them close, hold it to your heart, to your mind, and run with it. Run like the wind, and travel wherever it takes you. Not all of us have the blessing of ignorance, and the innocence of virtue. Keep it as long as you can, guard it, protect it, one day it will be ripped from you, but you can only hope that it is later rather than sooner. Hold that virtue, believe in your moral excellence, hold faith, and run. Light Blue.

Navy Blue Evil. The evil held at bay. All that separates you and evil, a thin barrier, a barrier held up only by the strength of your convictions, and the fire of your hopes, you beliefs, you faith, your religions whatever and whichever faith you believe in, whether it be Anglicism, or Atheism. Just focus on your hope of your future, and the shield shall not falter, but one day we’ll move on, just remember to pass on the torch before you leave. Ask yourself this, in your mind, does there “live no evil” or do you “live on evil?” Dark Blue

Purple Whitehall. We have to hope don’t we? That what they’re doing is in the best interests isn’t it? There’s nothing we can do, but wait, and see, but in the meantime we have to hope that at least a portion of what they do benefit us. It may even most likely be in vain, but faith is a currency, and trust is your money. They earn your trust, your faith, they earn the money to spend to campaign to serve again. We just have to hope don’t we? Purple.

Bright Green Integrity. “I wouldn’t care if you went out pole dancing all night, as long as you did it with a little bit of integrity.” – Nate, TDWP. Down there, something everything effects, every step, every action, every accusation, and praise. Our integrity. Don’t let that happen. Keep it strong no matter what, our integrity is a measure of our faith, or would you say our faith is a measure of our integrity? People with strong integrity, have strong faith, a good blend, strive for it. It may seem hard at first, but “Am I reaching for the stars here? Not really, no.” Green.

Red Leaving. Not the sun is setting, and the sky is red, what do you realize. Look at the sun, and tell me what you see. A ball of light? A ball of gas? or a meaning? A meaning hidden in plain sight? So, strong, so dignified, the sun runs its course every day with strength, integrity, and faith. If someone told the sun that it was useless, would it still rise the next day? yes. If the whole world said the sun was useless would it still rise? Yes.

In life, nothing is fair, you’ll be met with hardships, and good times, but always believe, always trust in yourself, in your friends, and in your destiny, your path, and your future. Don’t lose the faith you have, the trust you have in your future, in a better future. Never let it go, you do, you will never succeed. After all, “We have nothing, if not hope.” right?

“A faith is a necessity to man. Woe to him who believes in nothing.”

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The Lady’s Not for Turning

by on Oct.10, 2011, under General Posts, On My Mind

“Where there is Discord, I may bring Harmony, Where there is Error, I may bring Truth, Where there is Doubt, I may bring Faith. “ 

Tree of LifeAge. A huge expanse of a tree. A gnarly mass of wood. Gone so far, lived so long, yet it is alone among its era. Once it was one among the many, yet now it is one among the few. It aspired to the sky, outgrowing its peers, out competing its rivals, and out performing its companions. 65,000 pounds, standing tall, yet without a purpose, more out of instinct than anything else. Oak.

Sparking FlameAmbition. A spark of flame, the drive in the engine, culminating towards moving the train, and climbing the mountain. Keep it, take it, treasure it, and mother it. Hone it, and then use it if that is what you really want. Fire.

White flat disksAspirations. Close your eyes, and give in to the temptations of peace. Dream, and your mind will lead you to what your dreams, your hopes, your future. See them all, and then carefully choose, the needle in the haystack, one among the myriad. Work towards it, take the train towards the destination, no matter how laborious, and how much coals you have to shovel. Disks

NebulaPurpose. In the middle, a mass of dust, and matter, reaching out, for what? Nothing. Doing what? Nothing. Accomplishing what? Nothing. Yet, it carries itself with purpose, with intention, with drift, majestic, and elegant. Lost sight of the dirt road, lost sight of the disks, yet still tall, proud, and filled with intent. Nebula

WaterMass. Expansive, control it, never-ending, mold it, sweeping, shape it, violent, destroy it. Confront those who seek to destroy, but court those who support the wave, for now. Take the masses head on, bend them, and seduce them, don’t let them seduce you. Take what you know, and throw it out the windows, for the waves U-turn at moment’s demand, and you could turn as well, but the Lady’s not for turning. Direct the traffic. Water.

Smoke

Loss. An empty bed, an empty table, a phone with no contacts, no calls, or texts. A stately house empty except attendants, and on occupant, snoring slightly as they dream. The sun will soon rise, and the noise will sound, and the occupant will go again, on the monotonous daily routine, devoid of anything but decisions, nothing else, no one else, but those who were paid to do a job. Smoke.

ExplosionVoice. “Because, I have a bloody right to be heard!” “Don’t do this to yourself, don’t let it consume yourself.” “I will do this, I have to.” “No, let go.” “I need to preach, my dream, my vision.” “Let go, and come with me, we’ll move on.” “It is my destiny.” “Your destiny is with me, together.” “You say that because I am a woman, all of you say, you don’t want a housewife, you want a strong lady, and you all lie! They all lie, they all leave in the end, but I will bloody do what I want, even if I am a lady!” “You don’t mean that, I love you.” “Yes, I do, now, are you with me, or against me? Come with me, or back off.” Explosion.

Mask Fear. Take off the brave face, and what are you left with? A fearful being, a fearful real human being, you no longer are the untouchable, but among the hidden, and one among the many. As your face melts away, revealing a true blend of colours, you are left with nothing but yourself, because no one believes you are touchable, and yet beneath the Iron surface, there is a heart of gold. Mask.

BloodshedBump. “All’s fair in love and war child.” There’s nothing you can’t do to get there, to stay there, do what you must. Stay strong, stay brave, stay standing. You must deal with those who are now your; enemies. You must not be afraid to take them down, for the greater good, for your greater good. If you aren’t with me, then you’re against me. Black, or white, two options, two futures, one choice. Blood.

Sunset Letting Go. “A new dawn has broken, has it not?” This is not your new dawn, it’s your sunset now, but you cling to the light, even as it fades, faster, and more rapidly. Everyone has left, moved on, or jumped ship. There is nothing left  for you, no fire left to fight for, no path left to take. Leave now, while you’re still strong. Sunset.

SkyscraperPower. The price you pay, an all consuming ambition for those who seek it, alienating anyone, and anything in their way. Reap the rewards today, to pay the price tomorrow. Pay in your sweat today, and pay in your solitude later, power. It will seek to disrupt, corrupt, and tear you apart. Be prepared for what is to come, if this is the path you really want to seek, it will never be easy, not now, later, forever. Sky.

“Unlimited Power is apt to corrupt those who possess it.”

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Thin Red Line

by on Oct.03, 2011, under General Posts, On My Mind, Uncategorized

“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation … while the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?”

Thin red Line

Thin Red Line. What does it look like to you? Three sections on a piece of paper, a flag, yellow, red, brown, or perhaps just a piece of nonsensical modernistic art, and the name reminds you of Terrence Mallick’s Masterpiece. See it from my perspective, see it as a symbol of life, as a representation, that can be interpreted and manifested in a myriad of ways, to describe one thing. Life. A Thin Red Line, that’s us, sandwiched on both sides by everything. Time, the good and the bad, want and need, legal and illegal, fun and learning, all the many choices in life. Choice A and Choice B, that is what I see, you always have two choices, a choice between two goods, two bads, two options, and the lighter side is the choice we choose, and the brown side the one we reject. Consequently, it can be a physical representation of this earth, the only earth, the red being the surface on which we live, the yellow being the sky, and the brown being the crust. The line could also be your perspective separating things not into black and white, but which way it leans, there is no true black, and no true white, simply what the circumstances dictates as in the light, or on the dark side. Thin Red Line.

Star nebula Priority. Such a vast proportion, yet Man aspires to master everything in it, and beyond, the never ending reality of our universe, countless have dreamed towards that future, and yet more seek to make it reality. Why do we aspire such big goals, when we have so many problems so immediate to home, on either side of the thin read line? We can’t even deal with everything on our own thin red line, let alone the lines of all those in our galaxy, the next, and beyond. Stars.

TreesMolds. Non-Linear storytelling, that is the way I like it, stories shouldn’t be constrained by chronological orders, movies shouldn’t simply show scenes in that order because it is how the time flows, and like the thin red line, the possibilities are endless, like a line that stretches on forever, storytelling so often follows chronological order. Take out the chronological, and the possibilities are endless, it doesn’t have to be linear, it doesn’t even have to be in the order that makes sense the most, that paints the picture with the background first, then each individual object. Paint a little bit here, and there, and you’ll paint the exact same picture, tell the exact same story, but now your reach, your potential is endless, make it abstract, tell the story but a little at a time, a piece of narrative here, and piece of different narrative right after. Change the way you’re thinking, change what you follow, and you’re potential will stretch on forever, like a thin red line, your thin red line. Trees.

Clouds

Ability. My father would always say, you see that cloud in the distance, aim for it. I never did, I always did think that he was setting me up purposely for failure. However, it is through the active pursuit of these unattainable goals that you grow the most, learn the most, goals that you know you can achieve, or could be achieved tend to be put off, but the goals that ate unattainable get the most attention, as you have a need to prove the impossible; possible. If you pursue what you cannot achieve, you will grow beyond your dreams, extend further, and travel farther down the thin red line than every before, and ever imaginable.  Mountains.

Light over PlanetFaith. The light within the dark, the candle in the tomb, and the spark within the cold stone heart. It stands for hope, the belief in the good, the inherent trust that something is going to be alright, we have nothing if not hope, belief, trust, and faith. It doesn’t matter what religion you are, or if you are any religion at all. Faith, have faith, and you’re possibilities are endless, trust something, someone, even if it is just yourself, and it will lead you everywhere. Anywhere. Planet.

Kid in BathtubTime, use it wisely, it is a gift, however Time is like a sponge, if you squeeze, and squeeze and squeeze it will keep on giving. You always have time for everything in a normal life, you have time to do all your homework, and still have a social life. Put, the time you spend complaining and stalling to actual work, and see if that makes all the difference. Squeeze that sponge, and you will find that like bubbles it seems endless, like that thing red line.  Bathtime.

Planet and StarPerspective. Step into someone else’s shoes, and consequently have everyone step into yours, maybe then we will have an understanding accepting society. Broaden your mind, and see something for once not just from your own narrow perspective, and don’t disagree everyone has a narrow true perspective. Those who have wide perspectives simply learn to see things from other angles. A more wholesome picture, see in different perspectives, and you will be granted that, an ability to make more informed decisions, to better further your path down your thin red line. Star-system.

FallingPower. Water, the most powerful element on this earth, yet when you see it in the sea, in the ocean, in your cup, and in your lakes, it is peaceful, simply waiting for the right moment to strike. It is infinitely patient, waiting on and on without tire, have patience, wait, and you will have your opportunities, just be ready to seize the chance to travel farther in your journey down the thin red line. Niagara.

Dinosaur Oneself. Be aware of yourself, aware of your actions, aware of what you do, who you are, and what your potential is. Knowing where you are, knowing what to do, knowing where to be, and who to be, will lead to expanding your horizons in a whole different way, down the thin red line. Raptor.

NebulaMystery. Take the risks, and delve into the unknown, the untested, the unexperienced.  Take that chance, you never progress, without risk, without trail and error. Take that opportunity, and don`t look back, even if you fail, learn from your shortfalls, and pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and hurry along the thin red line. Nebula.

Spiral GlassReflection. We`re at the end now, and looking up you can see all the clues, all the sights, that point us to one single purpose, living our life, and finding that tree of life. Live life to the max, life’s too short to look back, and regret. Make your decisions, and don’t stall, make wise decisions, but also unwise ones. Unwise decisions are ones which break from the mold, challenge the textbook definition of wise, and instead present a whole spontaneous, and uncharted world for you. When I was growing up, the choices in career I had were Wall Street, and Wall Street, its still Wall Street and Wall Street, but for an entirely different reason. Not simply because it was chosen, because it is where I won’t regret going, where I can make my decisions, believe in my ideology, and dogma, and innovated in our ailing brain pool. Which brings us back to decisions, as we truly live on a thin red line. Stained-glass.

“And so he prays to him, “Keep us. Guide us. To the end of time.” “

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Why?

by on Sep.27, 2011, under General Posts

Gold Statue

Don't take this too literally, the Oscars are a good thing.

Why do we act the way we do? Everyone plating themselves in gold, forgetting about peeling it off again. Everyone, identical, unfeeling, materialistic, glamorous. Why are we conforming to society, and bending to the rules? Materialistic, or not, you don’t have to adapt to what life as a whole deems as vital, needed, required. Choosing that handbag, or that coat simply because of your whispering surroundings, telling you get this, and that, is wrong. Choose something because you really want it, choose something because it’s screaming you.

For the person like me, who at this moment is probably screaming, sacrilege. I love material, I grew up with material, but, picking up designer simply because entity A screams, “You Need That!”, or institution B breathing, “You need that to fit it, or else…..” isn’t right. If go around buying things simply for the sake of that, I advise you to pick up something different, something new, something avant-garde. Your surroundings don’t always have to be the same old, same old, trying something new, trailblazing somewhere no one has been to before can lead you places you never imagined, and will never imagine. Take some risk, those who love you, who cherish you, and those who are always there for you, lending a hand, and holding a door will never leave you, because you like taking some risk, even if you do fall flat on your face. Other people, are simply just temporary, they’ll leave sooner or later, anyways.

Sitting there hovering over the publish button won’t do anything to help you. It doesn’t matter if the blog post is good, horrible, or bad. Those who you treasure will help you get back on your feet, no viciousness, no judging involved. Those who are just bystanders, be they obstacles, nuisances, or simply just there, won’t be anywhere near you to do any harm, no ripping into, no tearing apart. TALONS is a big family we’re here for everyone, don’t be afraid to be yourself, we’ll accept you for whatever you are, we won’t be doing any judging, or discriminating. Be yourself, and don’t be afraid.

You have nothing to loose, and stand to be gaining everything, and remember any publicity, any comments are good comments.

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