carolyn rose

10

AMERICAN BEAUTY (1999)

DIR: Sam Mendes

Finally, it is time to review one of my personal favorites. This is one of those basically perfect films from start to finish. I myself am always a fan of a black comedy, and this film’s comedic moments are perfectly timed and sarcastic; played against the serious subjects of (almost) complete pedophilia, teen troubles, homophobia, cheating, marriage problems, and family struggles. Anyone can relate to some aspect of this story, especially teenagers when it comes to dating struggles, worries about appearances, feeling left out and misunderstood, and the mundane feel of suburban life. 

Kevin Spacey is a brilliant actor who fits the role of Lester Burnham perfectly. He encapsulates the trend of 1990s men in film tired of their careers and looking for something new in their lives. Annette Bening also puts on a stunning performance of a neurotic, slightly crazed, and emotional woman. It’s completely believable to where you feel like you’ve met a suburban mom like this before. Her losing Best Actress was very much an upset. Of course, Mena Suvari is a stunning choice for the Angela part. Chris Cooper as Frank Fitts is frighteningly realistic.

I fell in love with this film from the first time I watched it. Which was in 2014, in November, while I was wrapping Christmas presents. A strange holiday choice, sure, but I had heard it was good and wanted to give it a go. I fell in love with the actors and the many beautiful shots. It made me emotional. It made me tear up. The idiosyncrasies of suburban life seemed so realistic to me. The story both charmed and saddened me. 

It is more than deserving of the Best Picture, Best Actor (Kevin Spacey), and Best Director Oscars it received (because yes, it is wonderfully directed, too.) It will make you laugh, charm you, make you emotional, and pull at your heart from the story alone. The amazing details and technical marvels are merely a bonus.

So go ahead and Look Closer into a new movie. You’ll be happy you did.

To our elected officials and those who value America’s great outdoors:

This open letter expresses the view of more than 100 leaders of large and small businesses in the outdoor industry, which contributes more than $650 billion annually to the U.S. economy, generates $80 billion in tax revenue and employs more than 6 million people. Together, we represent a huge range of activities - from hiking to hunting and camping to conservation.

Our businesses make the lives of everyday Americans, from every corner of the political spectrum, healthier and happier. We do not often unite as an industry in the way we are today but we are compelled to make clear our collective view on a vitally important issue that affects the economic health of our industry, our local communities, and the lives of all Americans.

It is an American right to roam in our public lands. The people of the United States, today and tomorrow, share equally in the ownership of these majestic places. This powerful idea transcends party lines and sets our country apart from the rest of the world. That is why we strongly oppose any proposal, current or future, that devalues or compromises the integrity of our national public lands.

Yet as the 115th Congress begins, efforts are underway that threaten to undermine over one hundred years of public investment, stewardship and enjoyment of our national public lands. Stated simply, these efforts would be bad for the American people. They include the potential of national public lands being privatized or given to states who might sell them to the highest bidder. This would unravel courageous efforts by leaders from across the political spectrum up to the present day, including Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt.

This is not a red or blue issue. It is an issue that affects our shared freedoms. Public lands should remain in public hands.

We hold these views both as leaders of the outdoor industry — which creates significant economic value for this country — and as individuals who believe deeply that the next generation should be free to benefit from our national public lands as we and our families do today.

The undersigned companies are therefore working together to ensure that all Americans maintain their right to our iconic national public lands and that it is not taken away.

Outdoor Industry Association, Amy Roberts, Executive Director

Appalachian Outfitters, Mike & Karen Leffler, Owners
Ascent Solar Technologies, Victor Lee, President & CEO
Backbone Media, Penn Newhard, Founder & Managing Partner
Backcountry, Jonathan Nielsen, CEO
Backcountry North, Tracy Mayer, Owner
Backwoods Retail, Inc., Jennifer Mull, Owner & CEO
Benchmade Knife Company, David Fee, Vice President
BioLite, Jonathan Cedar, Founder & CEO
Black Creek Outfitters, Joe & Liz Butler, Owners
Cascade Designs, David Burroughs, President
Chaco, Seth Cobb, President
Champaign Surplus, Dan & Shira Epstein, Owners
Clif Bar & Company, Kevin Cleary, CEO
Columbia Sportswear Company, Tim Boyle, President & CEO
Combat Flip Flops, Matthew Griffin, CEO
Confluence Watersports, Sue Rechner, President & CEO
Dakine, Ken Meidell, CEO
Darn Tough Vermont, Ric Cabot, President & CEO
Denali, Chris Howe, Owner
Diamond Brand Outdoors, Will Gay, Owner
Eagle Creek, Roger Spatz, President
Eastside Sports, Chris Iversen & Todd Vogel, Co-Owners
Exxel Outdoors, LLC, Harry Kazazian, CEO
Far Bank Enterprises, Travis Campbell, President & CEO
First Lite, Kenton Carruth, Co-Founder and Owner
Fishpond, John Land Le Coq, Founder & CEO
Flowfold, James Morin, Owner & COO
Goal Zero, William Harmon, General Manager
Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, Rich Hill, President
Great Outdoor Provision Co., Travis Zarins, Owner
HipCamp, Alyssa Ravasio, Founder & CEO
Ibex Outdoor Clothing, Ted Manning, CEO
Idaho Mountain Touring, Chris & Jill Haunold, Owners
JanSport, Steve Munn, President
Kammok, Haley Robison, CEO
Keen, Casey Sheahan, CEO
Kuhl, Kevin Boyle, President
La Sportiva N.A., Inc., Jonathan Lantz, President
Light Speed Outdoors, Brian Cox, CEO
Lucy, Laurie Etheridge, President
Massey’s Outfitters, Mike Massey, President
Mountain Hardwear, Dennis Randall, CMO
Mountain Khakis, Ross Saldarini, President
Mountain Safety Research (MSR), Chris Parkhurst, Vice President
Mountain Works, Inc., Jim Smith, President
My Outdoor Alphabet, Seth Neilson, CEO
Nemo, Cam Brensinger, CEO
New Balance, Rob DeMartini, President & CEO
Oru Kayak, Roberto Gutierrez, Founder & CCO
Orvis, Perk Perkins, CEO
Osprey, Layne Rigney, President
Outdoor Research, Dan Nordstrom, CEO
Outside Brands / Outside Hilton Head, Mike Overton, CEO
Pack & Paddle, John Williams, President
Pack Rat Outdoor Center, Scott & Carolyn Crook, Founders & Owners
Patagonia, Rose Marcario, President & CEO
Peak Design, Peter Dering, Founder & CEO
Piragis Northwoods Company, Steve Piragis, Owner
Packtowl, Doug Jacot, Vice President
Platypus, Doug Jacot, Vice President
Point6, Peter Duke, CEO
prAna Living, Scott Kerslake, CEO
Ramsey Outdoor, Stuart and Michael Levine, Owners
REI Co-op, Jerry Stritzke, President & CEO
Redington, Travis Campbell, President & CEO
Rio, Travis Campbell, President & CEO
River Sports Outfitters, Ed McAlister, Owner
Roads Rivers and Trails, Emily White, Co-Founder & Owner
Rock Creek Outfitters, Dawson Wheeler, Founder
Ruffwear, Patrick Kruse, R&D Director & Founder
Rutabaga Paddlesports, Darren Bush, Owner & CEO
Sage, Travis Campbell, President & CEO
SealLine, Doug Jacot, Vice President
Simms, K.C. Walsh, President & CEO
Skinny Skis, Phil Leeds & Scott O’Brien, Owners
Soar Communications, Chip Smith, President
Sorel, Mark Nenow, President
Stanley PMI, Kelly Kraus, Vice President, Stanley Brand
Summit Hut, Dana Davis, President & Co-Owner
Sunlight Sports, Wes Allen, Owner
Superfeet Worldwide, John Rauvola, CEO
Tahoe Mountain Sports, Dave Polivy, Co-Owner
Tenkara USA, Daniel Galhardo, Founder
The Base Camp, Scott Brown, Owner
The Mountaineer, Vinny McClelland, President
The North Face, Scott Baxter, Group President
The Trail Head, Todd Frank, Owner
The Toggery, Trek Stephens, President
Therm-a-Rest Brands, Doug Jacot, Vice President
Timberland, Jim Pisani, Global Brand President
Toad&Co, Gordon Seabury, CEO (& OIA board chair)
Trail Creek Outfitters, Ed Camelli & Brian Havertine, Owners
Travel Country, Mike Plante, Owner
Ute Mountaineer, Bob Wade & Maile Spung, Owners
VF Corporation, Steve Rendle, President and CEO
Weighmyrack, Allison Dennis, Founder & CEO
Western Spirit Cycling, Ashley Korenblat, CEO
Woolrich, Inc., Nick Brayton, President
Zumiez, Inc., Tom Campion, Founder & Chairman

He loved me like a child and hurt me like a man and yet he still wonders why I couldn’t stay with him. He didn’t understand that the highs were anthills and the lows were valleys, that I measured laughter in inches and heartbreak in miles. He didn’t understand that I couldn’t pay his million-dollar hurts when all he gave me were pennies.

I don’t intend to speak to him again, but if I did, I would tell him that I could never get better when all he gave me to fix up scars were bandaids. I would tell him that no matter how much he thought we lived at two extremes with no in between, he was never anything but mediocre at his best and hell at his worst. He wasn’t a rose with thorns or stars in darkness but a storm cloud descending and shrinking up all the blue.

I would say to him, you never made me smile for more than a minute and never made me cry for less than a day. How could I forgive you when your apologies were so much shorter than your excuses? How could I be big enough to see the best in you when all you wanted was to make me smaller?

One day I’ll write him a letter and all it will say is this: you planted a seed and gave it two days to grow before you dried up the rain and covered up the sun.

I’ve decided to grow my gardens elsewhere.

—  c.w.it all seems simple now 

Protect Our Public Lands: An Open Letter To America

The North Face deeply values the preservation of our public lands – not simply because they are integral to one of our country’s largest economic engines (the outdoor economy) and are an important part of our business – but because public lands are one of the most vital shared spaces of our civilization. Protecting, preserving, honoring, and embracing these lands gives people places to play, enjoy our country’s iconic beauty, and push their physical limits.

We are proud to have signed the Outdoor Industry Business Leaders Letter on Public Lands to support preserving public lands for future generations to explore, play and connect with nature.

To our elected officials and those who value America’s great outdoors:

This open letter expresses the view of more than 100 leaders of large and small businesses in the outdoor industry, which contributes more than $650 billion annually to the U.S. economy, generates $80 billion in tax revenue and employs more than 6 million people. Together, we represent a huge range of activities – from hiking to hunting and camping to conservation.

Our businesses make the lives of everyday Americans, from every corner of the political spectrum, healthier and happier. We do not often unite as an industry in the way we are today, but we are compelled to make clear our collective view on a vitally important issue that affects the economic health of our industry, our local communities, and the lives of all Americans.

It is an American right to roam in our public lands. The people of the United States, today and tomorrow, share equally in the ownership of these majestic places. This powerful idea transcends party lines and sets our country apart from the rest of the world. That is why we strongly oppose any proposal, current or future, that devalues or compromises the integrity of our national public lands.

Yet as the 115th Congress begins, efforts are underway that threaten to undermine over one hundred years of public investment, stewardship and enjoyment of our national public lands. Stated simply, these efforts would be bad for the American people. They include the potential of national public lands being privatized or given to states who might sell them to the highest bidder. This would unravel courageous efforts by leaders from across the political spectrum up to the present day, including Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt.

This is not a red or blue issue. It is an issue that affects our shared freedoms. Public lands should remain in public hands.

We hold these views both as leaders of the outdoor industry — which creates significant economic value for this country — and as individuals who believe deeply that the next generation should be free to benefit from our national public lands as we and our families do today.

The undersigned companies are therefore working together to ensure that all Americans maintain their right to our iconic national public lands and that it is not taken away.

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