December 20, 2006

For Nancy

'TIS past: dear venerable shade, farewel!
Thy blameless life thy peaceful death shall tell.
Clear to the last thy setting orb has run;
Pure, bright, and healthy like a frosty sun:

extraction from "On the Death of Mrs. Jennings." by Anna Lætitia Barbauld (1743 - 1825)

December 08, 2006

Damn technology

So, my laptop crashed with all of my pictures and music on it. Now, it is at the computer hospital with the Geek Squad doctors, in the middle of an attempted data recovery surgery that might not work (so I've been told).

All of my pictures from Vegas are on it. All of them. Damn it.

But, other than that, things are moving...

I've gotten a director for my latest script. Stan Dragoti, who directed Love at First Bite, The Man with One Red Shoe, and Mr. Mom, among other films, has taken on the challenge of working with me and my writer's ego, lol.

We are currently working on the second draft of the script and should have everything completed by the end of December.

Actor Patrick Warburton (Puddy on Seinfeld and the voice of Brock Samson on Adult Swim's The Veture Bros.) - whom we'd love to play the lead role - has read the script and his manager
says he's excited about it so, I hope that works out, too.

Check out the myspace pages I have for the company and the film:

Leave me a comment or send me a message. I'd love to hear from you!

October 25, 2006

I really can't believe it.

I know, I know. I have been visibly absent from my blog. I have a good excuse.

I just finished writing a feature film comedy script that already has a great chance of being made. The $$ people are promising my funds by the end of November, Stan Dragoti - director of Mr. Mom, among other things, is considering signing on to direct, a major distribution company wants to distribute, the agent of the actor we want for the lead is interested and has accepted the script...all in 2 months.

Amazing. That's the update.

Also, I have pictures from a location scouting trip to las Vegas to post - which I will do in the next couple of days. I will not, however, be posting any pics of my night at Studio 54.

That would be wrong. Very, very wrong.

Look for more updates to this amazing story soon.

August 03, 2006

Welcome to my agnostic soap box.

To the asshole who told me I was going to hell bcs I'm not a christian.

Dear judgemental ass,

Just bcs your church told you that God is an old man with a long white beard, sitting on a throne with another guy wearing a crown of thorns on his head seated at his right, doesn't make it so.

And just bcs they told you that some book, written by men and changed over and over by other men to make it fit their beliefs and to help them gain power and wealth, is the word of God, doesn't make it so.

And just bcs they told you that if you didn't close your mind to all other possibilities and stop thinking, learning and growing, that your non-physical form would, somehow after death, will be trapped in a firey pit, where it will be tortured with physical pain for all of eternity, while a little red man with horns and a pitchfork pokes you in the butt, doesn't make it so.

So...good luck with that.

April 08, 2006

My Increasing Doubt...

Although, its obvious that I do not like nor trust the Bush administration, I am not ususally much of a conspiracy theorist but, uummm.....damn.....look at this.
A little bit of research showed me that this might not be so far fetched. Scary.

March 10, 2006

Welcome to the Program, America!!

Well, a metaphorical "good morning" to you, America! Glad you could wake up and join us.

With an ever-widening glee, I saw Bush's latest numbers this morning. According to an AP-Ipsos poll, it seems that more and more Americans, both liberal and conservative alike, disapprove of his performance, question his character and no longer consider him a strong leader against terrorism. On the personal side. Americans that consider Bush likable, honest, strong and dependable are far fewer than just after his re-election campaign.

Nearly four out of five Americans, including 70 percent of Republicans, believe civil war will break out in Iraq - the bloody hot spot upon which Bush has staked his presidency. Nearly 70 percent of people say the U.S. is on the wrong track, a jump of 6-points since February.

By comparison, President Bill Clinton had a public approval rating in the mid 60s at this stage of his second term in office. Richard Nixon, who was increasingly tangled up in the Watergate scandal, was in the high 20s in early 1974. Bush currently sits at 30%.

What I want to know is...What took so long and what are we going to do about it?!


March 08, 2006

A Question to Guys on the Street

Let me set the scene for you.

It's 80 degrees outside. I'm riding in my car with the windows down. I stop at a red light (because I do not need another ticket...but that's another story entirely!) and standing on the corner are a couple of guys who look like they are on their lunch break from the construction site up the street. They are filthly, covered with dirt and concrete dust, and obviously not too concerned about the odor waifting in my general direction.

Then, I hear this: "Hey baby! [insert annoyingly, gross smooching sounds here] Wanna get with me?"

Now...what I want to know is - why? Did they think I was going to pull my car over to the side of the road, get out and say "Yes, you big, hulking group of nasty sex monkeys! Right here, right now on the hood of my car!"......?! I mean, come on.

Now, I understand that stupidity runs rampant in the world and as I recently reminded myself and a couple of other people, the "average" IQ of the "average" American falls between 85 & 110 and 85 is borderline retarded. I'm not sure what the IQs of those silver-tongued romeos are but, I can pretty much guarantee they're not getting any invites to appear on Jeapordy.

February 28, 2006

Happy Fun-Shine Purr Boy

Someone ran over my favorite cat. I'm pretty pissed off about it.

His name was Rick (after the character from Magnum PI) but, we called him Happy Fun-Shine Purr Boy because when you touched him, he was already purring. The damned, sweetest cat I ever had.

People suck.

The strangest thing is, I have cried more about that cat than I have about people, in my life, who have died. I wonder why that is. Maybe its because animals trust us and love us unconditionally and when they go, a little bit of that goes with them. I don't know. I'm not really feeling very existential; just - as I said - pissed.

February 04, 2006

Power Places

This is Spirit Pond at sunrise. It is in the small Spiritualist community of Cassadaga, Florida about 30 minutes from my house. Today I sat by the water's edge and...well, just sat...and breathed. Spirit Pond is one of my power places. From it, I receive calming serenity.

We all have power places; places where we feel the most energized, focused, and empowered. Some we may seek out; others are stumbled on by accident.

One of my accidentals is off the Blue Ridge Parkway, just outside of Ashville, North Carolina, near the Cradle of Forestry. Swift, rocky brooks babble down the mountainsides into the valleys and feed one of the most beautiful waterfalls on this planet. When I experience that rush of thunderous sound, I gain strength.

We all go through life seeking power but, most of us seek the wrong kinds and from the wrong places. We seek it in the controlling of others or the money we make or the positions we hold or the titles we're given. We drain others of theirs to uplift our own, like energy vampires. This results in faux, not genuine power. Faux power doesn't last and as a result we are driven to search for more. It is a constant, selfish, negative circle.

Alternatively, nature has all the genuine power you will ever need. It supplies us with a never-ending flow of positive energy. Don't believe me? Climb a mountain, stand at the top and just breathe. It will forever change you.

Everyone has power places. What are yours? If you haven't found them yet, seek them out in nature and enjoy the journey.

January 28, 2006

The Artisanally Common Brilliance of Vonnegut...

An extract from Kurt Vonnegut's A Man Without a Country: A Memoir of Life in George W. Bush's America...

...enough said.

"Do unto others what you would have them do unto you." A lot of people think Jesus said that, because it is so much the sort of thing Jesus liked to say. But it was actually said by Confucius, a Chinese philosopher, five hundred years before there was that greatest and most humane of human beings, named Jesus Christ. 

The Chinese also gave us, via Marco Polo, pasta and the formula for gunpowder. The Chinese were so dumb they only used gunpowder for fireworks. And everybody was so dumb back then that nobody in either hemisphere even knew that there was another one.

We've sure come a long way since then. Sometimes I wish we hadn't. I hate H-bombs and the Jerry Springer Show.

But back to people like Confucius and Jesus and my son the doctor, Mark, each of whom have said in their own way how we could behave more humanely and maybe make the world a less painful place. One of my favourite humans is Eugene Debs, from Terre Haute in my native state of Indiana.

Get a load of this. Eugene Debs, who died back in 1926, when I was not yet four, ran five times as the Socialist party candidate for president, winning 900,000 votes, almost 6 percent of the popular vote, in 1912, if you can imagine such a ballot. He had this to say while campaigning:

"As long as there is a lower class, I am in it.
"As long as there is a criminal element, I am of it.
"As long as there is a soul in prison, I am not free."

Doesn't anything socialistic make you want to throw up? Like great public schools, or health insurance for all?

When you get out of bed each morning, with the roosters crowing, wouldn't you like to say. "As long as there is a lower class, I am in it. As long as there is a criminal element, I am of it. As long as there is a soul in prison, I am not free."

How about Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes?

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the Earth.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.

And so on.

Not exactly planks in a Republican platform. Not exactly George W Bush, Dick Cheney, or Donald Rumsfeld stuff.

For some reason, the most vocal Christians among us never mention the Beatitudes. But, often with tears in their eyes, they demand that the Ten Commandments be posted in public buildings. And of course that's Moses, not Jesus. I haven't heard one of them demand that the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, be posted anywhere.

"Blessed are the merciful" in a courtroom? "Blessed are the peacemakers" in the Pentagon?

Give me a break!

It so happens that idealism enough for anyone is not made of perfumed pink clouds. It is the law! It is the US Constitution.

But I myself feel that our country, for whose Constitution I fought in a just war, might as well have been invaded by Martians and body snatchers. Sometimes I wish it had been. What has happened instead is that it was taken over by means of the sleaziest, low-comedy, Keystone Cops-style coup d'état imaginable.

I was once asked if I had any ideas for a really scary reality TV show. I have one reality show that would really make your hair stand on end: "C-Students from Yale".

George W Bush has gathered around him upper-crust C-students who know no history or geography, plus not-so-closeted white supremacists, aka Christians, and plus, most frighteningly, psychopathic personalities, or PPs, the medical term for smart, personable people who have no consciences.

To say somebody is a PP is to make a perfectly respectable diagnosis, like saying he or she has appendicitis or athlete's foot. The classic medical text on PPs is The Mask of Sanity by Dr Hervey Cleckley, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the Medical College of Georgia, published in 1941. Read it!

Some people are born deaf, some are born blind or whatever, and this book is about congenitally defective human beings of a sort that is making this whole country and many other parts of the planet go completely haywire nowadays. These were people born without consciences, and suddenly they are taking charge of everything.

PPs are presentable, they know full well the suffering their actions may cause others, but they do not care. They cannot care because they are nuts. They have a screw loose!

And what syndrome better describes so many executives at Enron and WorldCom and on and on, who have enriched themselves while ruining their employees and investors and country and who still feel as pure as the driven snow, no matter what anybody may say to or about them? 

And they are waging a war that is making billionaires out of millionaires, and trillionaires out of billionaires, and they own television, and they bankroll George Bush, and not because he's against gay marriage.

So many of these heartless PPs now hold big jobs in our federal government, as though they were leaders instead of sick. They have taken charge. They have taken charge of communications and the schools, so we might as well be Poland under occupation.

They might have felt that taking our country into an endless war was simply something decisive to do. What has allowed so many PPs to rise so high in corporations, and now in government, is that they are so decisive. 

They are going to do something every fuckin' day and they are not afraid. Unlike normal people, they are never filled with doubts, for the simple reason that they don't give a fuck what happens next. Simply can't. 

Do this! Do that! Mobilise the reserves! Privatise the public schools! Attack Iraq! Cut health care! Tap everybody's telephone! Cut taxes on the rich! Build a trillion-dollar missile shield! Fuck habeas corpus and the Sierra Club and In These Times, and kiss my ass!

There is a tragic flaw in our precious Constitution, and I don't know what can be done to fix it. This is it: only nut cases want to be president. This was true even in high school. Only clearly disturbed people ran for class president.

The title of Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 is a parody of the title of Ray Bradbury's great science-fiction novel Fahrenheit 451. Four hundred and fifty-one degrees Fahrenheit is the combustion point, incidentally, of paper, of which books are composed. The hero of Bradbury's novel is a municipal worker whose job is burning books.

While on the subject of burning books, I want to congratulate librarians, not famous for their physical strength, who, all over this country, have staunchly resisted anti-democratic bullies who have tried to remove certain books from their shelves, and destroyed records rather than have to reveal to thought police the names of persons who have checked out those titles.

So the America I loved still exists, if not in the White House, the Supreme Court, the Senate, the House of Representatives, or the media. The America I loved still exists at the front desks of our public libraries.

And still on the subject of books: our daily news sources, newspapers and TV, are now so craven, so unvigilant on behalf of the American people, so uninformative, that only in books do we learn what's really going on.

I will cite an example: House of Bush, House of Saud by Craig Unger, published in early 2004, that humiliating, shameful, blood-soaked year.

In case you haven't noticed, as the result of a shamelessly rigged election in Florida, in which thousands of African-Americans were arbitrarily disenfranchised, we now present ourselves to the rest of the world as proud, grinning, jut-jawed, pitiless war-lovers with appallingly powerful weaponry - who stand unopposed.

In case you haven't noticed, we are now as feared and hated all over the world as Nazis once were.

And with good reason.

In case you haven't noticed, our unelected leaders have dehumanised millions and millions of human beings simply because of their religion and race. We wound 'em and kill 'em and torture 'em and imprison 'em all we want.

Piece of cake.

In case you haven't noticed, we also dehumanised our own soldiers, not because of their religion or race, but because of their low social class.

Send 'em anywhere. Make 'em do anything. Piece of cake.

The O'Reilly Factor.

So I am a man without a country, except for the librarians and a Chicago paper called In These Times.

Before we attacked Iraq, the majestic New York Times guaranteed there were weapons of mass destruction there.

Albert Einstein and Mark Twain gave up on the human race at the end of their lives, even though Twain hadn't even seen the first world war. War is now a form of TV entertainment, and what made the first world war so particularly entertaining were two American inventions, barbed wire and the machine gun.

Shrapnel was invented by an Englishman of the same name. Don't you wish you could have something named after you?

Like my distinct betters Einstein and Twain, I now give up on people, too. I am a veteran of the second world war and I have to say this is not the first time I have surrendered to a pitiless war machine.

My last words? "Life is no way to treat an animal, not even a mouse."

Napalm came from Harvard. Veritas.

Our president is a Christian? So was Adolf Hitler. 

What can be said to our young people, now that psychopathic personalities, which is to say persons without consciences, without senses of pity or shame, have taken all the money in the treasuries of our government and corporations, and made it all their own?

© 2005 Kurt Vonnegut Extracted from A Man Without a Country: A Memoir of Life in George W Bush's America, to be published by Bloomsbury on February 6, 2006