Place Your Bets

My life has been touched by some strange events over the past couple of months…yet I believe they are all connected. I know somewhere within the center of these events is an underlying message. Let me share some of them with you:

I got a chance to rent the movie “Two for The Money,” this past week….an interesting film starring Al Pacino and Matthew McConaughey. The premise of the movie is that Matthew’s character has a knack for picking winning football teams on Sunday. His percentages are so good that it reaches the ears of a large bookmaker in New York, played by Al Pacino, who offers Matthew’s character a job with a large salary. What is revealed during the movie is what great lengths people will go to in order to bet money to win on games. It is shown that betting on sports is an over 200 billion dollar business a year. What we eventually see is how important money is to the general population. Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Monte Carlo, etc….the planes fly in daily for the chance to touch the golden nugget, despite the odds against them.

I also visited an Assisted Living facility, where an aged friend of mine who recently lost his wife, lives. As I entered the lobby and passed along the corridor, lining the walls were painting after painting done by some of the residents. I kid you not, the talent and the dedication were obvious. Underneath each painting was a price which someone could pay to purchase the artwork. Unfortunately, not many of the paintings appeared to be sold. One doesn’t have to stretch too far to come to the conclusion that there are more who are willing to spin the wheel for a dance with Lady Luck than to appreciate a one of a kind expression of the heart.

The streets of Hollywood are lined with actors, screenplay writers, and wanna-be directors, just hoping for the chance for their dreams to light up the Silver Screen. In Nashville, Tennessee, each day a bus lets someone off with a guitar in their hands, searching for the elusive Recording Contract. Does the “Starving Artist” always have to starve? or is there, or could there, be a way to put a little food on their table?

Writers, musicians, photographers, painters, filmmakers…..a system must be created to address and appreciate each one of their talents. I know…the cream rises to the top….there are grants for the asking….but seriously, if a system can be created to engulf sports betting and gambling, is it too far-fetched that some of that money could be directed to the Arts?

I’m sure you have your thoughts….here’s one of mine: I recently paid a visit to a local music store…what astounded me is the amount of musicians and singers who purchase equipment weekly from the store. I asked myself, what are they doing with all that equipment? So I mentioned to the manager, “I know this may sound crazy, but wouldn’t it be great if you put together a small selection of CD’s from local musicians who purchase equipment from your store? Can you imagine the buzz that it would send through the music community in your neighborhood?” The manager looked at me baffled but said, “You know, it’s not such a crazy thought…let me think about it.” If a store sells items, it’s not a bad thing to display the fruit that springs forth from those items.

Money is Power….and it does send a message. How we use it contributes not only to our environment, but also to our lives.

Place your bets,

Jennifer Avalon
© 2006 Jennifer Avalon

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