Sometimes things aren’t what they seem at first glance. My current life, for instance.
A casual observer – although I don’t see anybody else around here – would look at my life these days and say I am lazing around. Goofing off. Maybe even (and chills run down my arms as I type this) Letting Myself Go.
After all, Casual Observer would say if asked, I’m not working at any job or scheduled volunteer activities. I’m not earning money; I’m living on a modest retirement income. I sit up late reading books and magazines with the TV on. I sleep later than I ever did when I had a job, then take my sweet time about getting dressed and leaving the condo. I spend lots of time online, and have devoted untold hours to editing my digital photos – and wandering around town taking even more photos, which I then sit down and edit. I go to movies and plays with friends, dine out with friends, hang out with family. I’ve taken two serious trips to foreign lands and a few road trips in the USA. And so on.
But our C.O. is – besides being hypothetical – not getting the whole picture. Continue reading
In George Clooney’s excellent new film, Michael Clayton, I don’t recall seeing the main characters dining. They plot, scheme, react, go nuts, negotiate, manipulate, argue, fret, and work around the clock. They even sit down at a restaurant table. But we don’t see them consuming food. With one exception, food only appears with the minor characters. It’s one of the subtle ironies in this story turning on a lawsuit against a giant agribusiness corporation – a behemoth player in production of the nation’s food supply.
These people live in an alternate universe: the corporate stratosphere populated by CEOs and their legal eagles. The lawyers are in-house corporate counsel and the “outside” top-flight law firms. They probably live on coffee and catered meals in the office, room service on the road, nice dinners out – and none of that is given a minute’s attention in this film. They have bigger things to think about.
Mostly, they are about adjusting the truth. The film’s tagline – “the truth can be adjusted” – refers in part to the work of Michael Clayton, a lawyer who’s “of counsel” to the Wall Street powerhouse law firm in the film. Continue reading