Tuesday, April 25, 2017

I'm on a List!

I've long assumed that the only list I'd ever get to be on is the one the government's created for people who whine about its hegemonic nonsense on the internets. But given that said list includes well over half the country (and most of the rest of the world), it's nice to have recently made it onto a much more exclusive list.

That's right, possibly-fictitious-internet-people, the Austin Film Festival has placed me on its list of 25 Screenwriters to Watch in 2017. I met a fair-few of the others on that list at AFF last year, and let me tell you they're a fantastic, super-gifted crowd. Check 'em out at THIS LINK.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Insane Times

The most frustrating thing about living in these insane times is the number of lovely, kind-hearted people I know who don't (won't?) see how absolutely nut-bonkers everything has gottenthe degree to which so many good things in this world are under serious threat.

Threat-level awareness hasn't done me any favors, that's for sure.

The first thing I did after the election was get horribly, uselessly depressed. Then I banged out a feature length script called RETAIL, an off-the-wall bit of catharsis that'll pretty much for sure never get made. I felt better while writing it, but it didn't break me out of the question that's been pounding my brain since November, jamming me up creatively: 

Monday, April 3, 2017

New Christopher John Album!

My buddy Chris (formerly of Canadian hit-maker band Stabilo) has finally released a new solo album entitled The Pretty Leaves are Following Us.

I've been listening to Chris's music for a good long while, and I love it! I think you will, too... but (yay, internet!) you don't have to take my word on that. Just go listen to it HERE ON BANDCAMP and then pick up a copy. My favorite songs from the album are "Stop Running," "Don't Know What to Do With Myself," and "Real World." Support indie music! 

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Prove it, ya Rat-Weasels!

There's a class of Americans that makes its living trafficking in sincerity. This class wears a mantle of pomposity while simultaneously priding itself in its humility. "I'm here for the people," they say, "I care only for the good of my constituents."

I am speaking, of course, of Politicians and Preachers. 

Now don't get me wrong: there are exceptions to every rule, and undoubtedly many among the ranks of the weasellyest of Pee-Pees who first took up their mantle with the purest of intentions. Pastors, say, who were initially motivated by a genuine curiosity about the Divine and a sincere desire to help and heal the poor and afflicted. Or politicians who wanted nothing more than to up the level of justice in an injust world. But there is something about a Position of Power that tends to strip away pure intentions and cultivate in their place the wicked little heart of darkness that we all carry around in our wicked little chests. You know what I'm talking about: that nasty wad of toilet-goo that's making you right now (At this very moment!) tilt your nose skyward at whatever contemptible group of hoo-manoids you personally find most reprehensible. Perhaps it's Pastors, or Politicians, or maybe even (Heavens forfend!) Me! 

We all have it in us. We all do the deed.

But I'm focusing today on the Pee-Pees because it's these rat-weasels who have largely become, in my not-so-humble opinion, are the bondsmen and spokespeople of whatever Sauron-esque Force of Evil that seems to be currently pulling our twisted American strings. 

Saturday, April 1, 2017

slice it thin

Abraham Lincoln. Ernest Hemingway. Leo Tolstoy. Reese Witherspoon. Mark Twain. Robin Williams. David Foster Wallace. Evelyn Waugh. Owen Wilson. Edgar Degas. Angelina Jolie. Joseph Conrad. Fyodor Dostoevsky. Princess Di. Bob Dylan. Peter Gabriel. Ken Griffey, Junior. John Hamm. Audrey Hepburn. Hulk Hogan. Charlie Kaufman. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. David Bazan. John Lennon. Henri Matisse. Joni Mitchell. Marilyn Monroe. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. J.K. Rowling. John D. Rockefeller. Frank Sinatra. Sting. Kurt Vonnegut. Walt Whitman. Brian Wilson. Me.

Depressed?

Yay, yay, that's okay—you're in GREAT company!
So throw that depression into the art!
Use the pain! Channel it!

Paint a mural. Craft a screenplay
Write an extempore poem.

Sometimes it's extra hard, though. Sometimes, when I think about it a little too hard, I remember that I'm not David Foster Wallace or Kurt Vonnegut or Charlie Kaufman. Not even close. Not now, not ever. And so I wonder: if I'm never going to paint or write something transcendentsomething that'll resound through the ages and bestow meaning and worth on my sad-sack of a lifewell, what's the point in pushing back as hard as I can against the darkness (beyond the inherent value and beauty and joy of creation, and all that)?

Here's the advice I've been giving other people, and sometimes myself:

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Tiny Moments

I get my hope these days from tiny pieces of beautiful goodness. 

Like the one little sparrow unafraid to stay on the feeder outside my window when I get closer, closer, closer with my camera. 

She likes the sliding click of the shutter, perhaps, because it sounds bird-like. 

But no, that's not it. For she likewise eyes me curiously if I tap the glass with a finger, or flipbook-flash her with the bright, pink papers of a pad of sticky-notes. 

She leaves. She comes back. She sits on the edge of the feeder closest to me and waits for me to say hello. Four inches away, she stares into my lens-glass with rare openness, and makes me believe (if only for a moment) that the world is full of love.


Monday, March 13, 2017

North Carolina Snowpocalypse of 2017

It doesn't snow often where I live, but when it does... oooooh, boy!


My wife heads out into the blizzard.
One of those show-off trees get's told what's-what by the white stuff.
My bird feeder.
My dad's bird feeder.

A forsythia bush.









































Wednesday, March 8, 2017

surrender

Lately I've been vacillating between despair and anger at the Great Unveiling. 

Yes, yes indeed. The prophets and artists have been right: 

We are the selfish [illegitimate children] we always suspected. We are the enthusiastic consumers of [bovine excrement] we always knew ourselves to be. We are the fatted, obese golden calf, leaking methane from our [hind cavities], from up here on the [deifically-condemned] pedestals we've fashioned out of the blood and bones of the weak and poor. We are the [fornicating with abandon] racists creating division from unitymaking ashes out of beauty.

Now the ugly votes we've long placed with our wallets have been confirmed. We have voted with our ballot-boxes to affirm our [fornicating with abandon] identity as a class of Babylonian [sex workers]. 

This is us. 

How do I talk about us? How do I get what I feel out into the world? 

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