Americans spend billions of dollars each year trying to find different ways to relax. Whether it's a spa-infused vacation, a weekly yoga class, dietary supplements, or even a trip to see the therapist, the public is obsessed with eliminating the stresses of everyday life.
And for good reason.
The world we live in is becoming more and more frenetic. We're all plugged into required accouterments like cell phones, iPods, and global tracking systems. We're also constantly bombarded with visual stimulus. The days of watching a relaxing half hour of the evening news have vanished.
Nowadays you not only get the news, but also a stream of sports updates, a daily stock ticker, the time in every major city of the world, a preview of the next story, and a constant recapitulation of what the person on the screen just said.
To make things even more chaotic, when you go online you're immediately inundated with every global instance of a natural disaster, military coup, or financial institution collapse. Sometimes it just makes you want to yell "STOP!"
This is when the deep breathing exercises come into play and that other part of your brain takes over to request a respite from the chaos. And so you find the things that work for you and begin the difficult task of balancing the pressures and demands of daily life.
Before long, if you're lucky, you'll find a way to harness that inner calmness. The next thing you know, you're reading more books, sleeping better, engaged in healthier relationships, and possibly wearing Birkenstocks. This, my friends, is where the real trouble can start.
If you're not careful, the next stage will have you searching for a cabin off the grid, growing all of your own food, and sitting cross-legged in the center of a candlelit chanting circle. If you or a friend is in danger of falling into this trap, I have an immediate antidote: "Quantum of Solace."
The newest James Bond film is one of the fastest-paced films I have ever seen and could easily up the heart rate of any practicing yogi. If you're plug into the modern world has slipped out, this picture will have you re-immersed in no time.
"Quantum of Solace" finds our favorite secret agent back on the trail of an elusive villain, this one intent on cornering one of the tomorrow's most valuable commodities: water. As is the case with all Bond films, we know we're going to get action, but are we going to get a valid story as well?
Any fan of secret-agent 007 will enjoy this new installment and will continue to be impressed with Daniel Craig's portrayal of the classic character. While I found the story to be interesting given the times, I wasn't thrilled with the delivery, which seemed convoluted and difficult to follow for much of the film.
Folks interested in a wild ride will certainly be rewarded, but true Bond aficionados will have a problem with the loose storyline. But while it may not be the best Bond film ever made, it does do a wonderful job of keeping your eyes on the screen and I'm not just talking about the Bond girls. An energetic "B-" for "Quantum of Solace."
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