Now THAT’S What I’m Talking About!

I just wrote a long, involved post the other day about the middle class, economic trouble, corporate excess, welfare reform etc etc (Who We Are, What We Need). One of the things that I mentioned was paying it forward, reinvesting in communities and employees, and basically, just CARING for one another. My post got a lot of hits and generated some very thoughtful discussion both online and within my personal circle.  I thank all of you for your comments, questions, thoughts and respectful debate (which occurred “off blog” and within the family,  in case anyone is wondering)  Imagine my wonderful, astonished surprise to read this morning that something good is coming out of the awful tragedy in Aurora CO.

Aurora Shooting Victims:  Medical Bills Paid

Corporate Hollywood is stepping up.  Warner Brothers,  the studio that released “The Dark Knight Rises”  in conjunction with some other members of the public, has contributed about 2 million dollars towards charges for medical care for the shooting victims.  Additionally Children’s Hospital of Colorado,  Medical Center of Aurora, and Swedish Medical Center are waiving insurance co-pays or eliminating the charges for medical care entirely.  This is exactly the type of thing I was referring to when I was discussing investing in communities and paying it forward.  The Huffington Post reports that one in three Coloradans are either un- or under, insured.  (see linked article above) Sadly, I believe this issue germane not just to Colorado.

So here we have examples of corporations in the entertainment and medical fields who walk their talk. Bravo.  I hope to see more in the future. Now I’m not saying that big corporations should go out and pay for medical care for the uninsured – but how about part of those obscenely large dollar figure bonuses I talked about the other day go into a rainy day fund that the company’s employees can access if they fall on hard times (there’d have to be qualifications and a selection process of course) This may already be getting done – but if so its not getting much press – and it should. I’m sure there’s many corporations giving back to their communities every day and we just don’t hear enough about it. More family friendly work environments need to be created by allowing more folks to job share or work from home. Much work is done on computers these days, right?  Why does the employee have to go to the office to use the computer when he or she can do so from home.  And it would save gas, too.  .And how about more companies providing on-site child care as a benefit?  A happy employee is a productive one.  Businesses should always remember that – just as without customers; without employees there would be no business. Balance. Corporate Ethics. Ethical Corporations?  Oxymoron? perhaps, perhaps not.

In the Star Trek universe there is a quote that is resonating with me now.  “Beware the spear in the others heart. It is the spear in your own, you are he.”  We must take care what we throw out into the world, because it will come back to us. Just as individuals should be expected to act in a moral, responsible and compassionate way – big business should be held -and held aggressively – to that same standard. How refreshing and uplifting to see a portion of the Hollywood movie machine showing an interest in humanity and putting its fiscal bottom line on the back burner. Warner Brothers, those anonymous private donors, and the local CO hospitals just created some great Karma for themselves – if only this once,  and if only for the moment.  We need more of these types of good karmic moments   They lift us all.

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13 thoughts on “Now THAT’S What I’m Talking About!

  1. Donna, great post and good news. I wish it would not take a tragedy to make people “be excellent” to each other quoting Bill and Ted, the adventurers. We tend toward decency, if we would just let the other stuff get out of the way. Well done.

  2. I agree with your general concept of individual, civic, and corporate contributions (not just money, as this will come long after the movie goers and rescue squad folk helped tend to those who were injured or kill in this event). I have ambivalence about the beneficent of the movie studio, and maybe even hospitals. Sorry, if this sounds like a wet blanket. This movie broke income records that weekend, around $160m in the USA, I believe $240m worldwide. One weekend. Thus the $2m contribution toward medical expenses is about 1.25% of the first USA weekend income. As Barney noted, one person with an eye injury might consume that amount. Working in rehab, I know how many months orthopedic and how many years head injury trauma may take to recover, if at all. (As to hospitals, working for one, I know that they have “charitable funds” which are used to offset income, thus maintaining their not-for-profit status). The gesture is in the right direction, but I would be careful about assuming the motivation.

    I’m more concerned about how movies, especially the comic book hero style, are affecting our culture and youth. I just saw irony that people would go out at mid-night, with children, to see a movie about mayhem, chaos, and violence, and then not know that such was actually happening. The shooter appears to have a distorted (possibly neurologically) identification with the Joker character front his comic book world. Sorry, but the movie studio is not looking like a Dark Knight, but for years has been selling us a Dark Night vision of the world. No super hero’s here.

    By the way, I don’t like Shakespeare’s “Titus Andronicus” either. Violence without purpose.
    Oscar

    • I agree that small children should not be at a midnight premiere on a weeknight. At least it wasn’t a school night. I’ve been a superhero fan since I was little. Batmans always been my favorite-he’s a regular guy with no actual superpowers. We are seeing purposeless violence everywhere, I think movies and entertainment in general reflects that, but doesnt necessarily cause it. That’s like blaming Judas Priest/their music because some whack job listened to it and killed someone. I don’t think anybody blamed the Beatles for Manson and the Helter Skelter murders. That said, at least the studio did something. And I heard they’re kicking in more. You’re right, the bills for care are going to be heavy indeed with long roads to recovery. WB can indeed afford to throw more in the pot but, they’re not actually obligated to – so whatever they do is better than nothing. You raise excellent points and food for thought. We need to keep talking about social issues. As always, a pleasure to hear from you! D. 🙂

      • Regarding attributing causality between media and personal behavior, people have used all sorts of source to justify all sorts of behavior. History is full of examples of people who have used religious texts (e.g. Bible, Koran, etc.) as the basis for behavior which I disagree with.

        I think with this situation, finding justice is complicated by many levels of responsibility. Certainly the man who planned and carried out these murders and assaults is liable. From the news reports, I gather than he has been in treatment for a thought-disorder. Is he also responsible for not using insights or other inventions to curb his impulses? Do the clinicians bear some responsibility for not connecting with him a way that helped him realize the danger that he posed? Is the state responsible for not confining someone who became a danger to others? Is the movie industry responsible for creating such graphic portrayals of violence that someone acts on them (literature, theatre and film have included violent acts for centuries, but only in the last 30 years have we had them shown to us, with every year making the guts messier). Are the gun dealers responsible for selling the weapons and ammunition without any questions? Is the right-to-bear-arms lobby responsible for creating a political climate in which we cannot filter out those who do not use their products wisely (sorry, but only highly trained military personnel with proper equipment could have whipped out a concealed weapon and take out the shooter in a dark theatre through a smoke bomb).? Are the politicians responsible for avoiding tough legislative decisions? Is the news media responsible for making this local tragedy international news before anyone knew what was going on (I heard the first report on BBC at 5:45 a.m. EST), and then kept up the “live reports”? Are we all responsible for funding these types of movies and news by attending and tuning in? Well, we are pretty much up to “he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

        • I would be willing to bet my hard earned cash that he does in fact have some sort of mental illness. My pick is schizophrenia with paranoid,psychotic features (hes at the prime age for onset); and/or he’s sociopathic (there’s a new term for that one but I can’t remember what it is). Unfortunately psychiatry is an inexact science so it would be difficult to prove from a legal standpoint that a treating clinician was negligent. Sociopaths in particular are really good at fitting in (look at Bundy) and this guy is also super smart with an IQ off the Richter scale -so to speak. So of course he would be good at hiding overt signs and symptoms. Yes, the state is responsible for confining those who present a danger to themselves or others. Sadly it is usually only after a tragedy occurs that we realize the person was a danger. I dont agree that the movie industry is responsible per se – its “entertainment” Those that get confused about that should be red flagged, and reported to their physicians. But I do think that the gorefest mentality of filmmakers these days could be toned down. There’s something to be said for imagination after all. HItchcock is a fine example of that, and one of my favorite directors. Psycho still cares the bejesus out of me.

          I heartily agree with the right to bear arms. But with that right comes great responsibility- to be well trained in operational and safety procedures so as to lessen the possibility of accidents. We need more rigorous scrutiny of people’s bona fides before we just hand out the Glocks and HK’s. Its not like we’re saying people can’t have guns. We just need to make sure that stable, responsible, good citizens are the ones getting them. Speaking facetiously for a moment – perhaps a doctor’s note attesting to good mental health? Speaking seriously, I think a firearms safety course should have to be passed in order to purchase any gun or ammunition. And no one under 13 allowed to use weapons – except in rare circumstances with certification. In most cases, they haven’t got the fine motor skills, the upper body strength, or the hand eye coordination to use a weapon safely or effectively anyway. (look what happened in my town in 08 with that 8 year old and the Uzi – BAD mix) Yes the NRA is responsible for promoting a reckless climate. Yes, the politicians are dancing around the issue. And the media has its own agenda and purposes for how it spins the news. We get instant updates on any news story as soon as available. The BBC got the scoop because more folks in the UK were up and at work and saw the story. Most of the US was sound asleep when this happened.

          My sister in law lives one town over from Aurora. I’ve shopped at that mall &
          driven past that theater numerous times. Her husband was working in Seattle – called and woke her up to tell her. Our nephew was supposed to have been there with his friends. thank god they decided not to go. SCARY scary stuff. We should definitely not be selling guns or ammunition over the internet. Its too easy to sideslip the safeguards (what few there are) Thanks again for your excellent thoughtful comments!

  3. One person was shot in the eye, and has a wife and zero insurance. The web has claimed his bills could total over $2 million. Thanks to the hospital for picking up this tab. Perhaps another reason for national health care?

    BTW: Have a great weekend trip. Enjoy yourselves and leave everything behind. My thoughts are with you two.

    Best

    Barney

    • Perhaps a great reason. I heard that Warner Bros might even be kicking in more at some point. Also, I was just thinking more about corporate ethics – I’m not sure the terms mean what the gen pop thinks they do. Some might argue that personal ethics have no place in business. Or to put it another way, whats ethical for a corporation means what is best for the bottom line – short of illegal activity (but of course that goes on anyway) Gone are the days of the family style business that really cared about its employees. You don’t like it here, fine – there’s 10 others just like you waiting at the door to fill your shoes. It would be great to get back to a more personalized work environment, don’t you think? Sigh* Balance, moderation….. have I digressed? lol Anyway, taking the camera and the iPad will try to post if I can upload pics. Leaving tomorrow am. WoooHOOO!

    • “Social responsibility is an ethical ideology or theory that an entity, be it an organization or individual, has an obligation to act to benefit society at large. Social responsibility is a duty every individual or organization has to perform so as to maintain a balance between the economy and the ecosystem. A trade-off always[citation needed] exists between economic development, in the material sense, and the welfare of the society and environment. Social responsibility means sustaining the equilibrium between the two. It pertains not only to business organizations but also to everyone whose any action impacts the environment.[1] This responsibility can be passive, by avoiding engaging in socially harmful acts, or active, by performing activities that directly advance social goals” Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Responsibility

  4. I read your whole thing and absorbed the message. I liked it 🙂
    But woah! That’s awesome about them paying the bills. I hadn’t seen that part yet!

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