"Many films diminish us. They cheapen us, masturbate our senses, hammer us with shabby thrills, diminish the value of life. Some few films evoke the wonderment of life's experience, and those I consider a form of prayer. Not prayer "to" anyone or anything, but prayer "about" everyone and everything. I believe prayer that makes requests is pointless. What will be, will be. But I value the kind of prayer when you stand at the edge of the sea, or beneath a tree, or smell a flower, or love someone, or do a good thing. Those prayers validate existence and snatch it away from meaningless routine."
"The world is safer," Mr. Obama said as he appeared at a White House ceremony bestowing the Medal of Honor to two soldiers killed in the Korean War. "It is a better place because of the death of Osama bin Laden."
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From Matt Taibbi's article Why Isn't Wall Street in Jail? (subtitled Financial crooks brought down the world's economy - but the feds are doing more to protect them than to prosecute them) published in the March 3, 2011 issue of Rolling Stone magazine:
Over drinks at a bar on a dreary, snowy night in Washington this past month, a former Senate investigator laughed as he polished off his beer.
"Everything's fucked up, and nobody goes to jail," he said. "That's your whole story right there. Hell, you don't even have to write the rest of it. Just write that."
I put down my notebook. "Just that?"
"That's right," he said, signaling to the waitress for the check. "Everything's fucked up, and nobody goes to jail. You can end the piece right there."
Nobody goes to jail. This is the mantra of the financial-crisis era, one that saw virtually every major bank and financial company on Wall Street embroiled in obscene criminal scandals that impoverished millions and collectively destroyed hundreds of billions, in fact, trillions of dollars of the world's wealth - and nobody went to jail. Nobody, that is, except Bernie Madoff, a flamboyant and pathological celebrity con artist, whose victims happened to be other rich and famous people.
The rest of them, all of them, got off. Not a single executive who ran the companies that cooked up and cashed in on the phony financial boom - an industrywide scam that involved the mass sale of mismarked, fraudulent mortgage-backed securities - has ever been convicted. ...
... Instead, federal regulators and prosecutors have let the banks and finance companies that tried to burn the world economy to the ground get off with carefully orchestrated settlements - whitewash jobs that involve the firms paying pathetically small fines without even being required to admit wrongdoing. To add insult to injury, the people who actually committed the crimes almost never pay the fines themselves; banks caught defrauding their shareholders often use shareholder money to foot the tab of justice. "If the allegations in these settlements are true," says Jed Rakoff, a federal judge in the Southern District of New York, "it's management buying its way off cheap, from the pockets of their victims."
Pak So is an artist, writer, and the Director of Operations at the Howard Greenberg Gallery in New York City.
Anna Tan is an award winning Design Director who has successfully completed creative projects for major companies and clients in the travel, arts, entertainment, retail and publishing industries.
Pak and Anna are currently producing an upcoming title for Trips of Wonder on the business capital of Tokyo, Japan.
TRIPS OF WONDER
PAK SO STUDIO
ANNA TAN GRAPHIC DESIGN
Most of us want to reach an end, we want to be able to say "I have arrived at self-knowledge and I am happy"; but it is not like that at all. If you can look at yourself without condemning what you see, without comparing yourself with somebody else, without wishing to be more beautiful or more virtuous; if you can just observe what you are and move with it, then you will find that it is possible to go infinitely far. Then there is no end to the journey, and that is the mystery, the beauty of it.