Saturday, November 28, 2015

olympic moments

Whenever I finish the first draft of a screenplay, I get depressed.

It's not the whole "Post-Olympics Syndrome" thing, though, where an athlete'll come down hard after attaining the goal they've been after for decades.

It's more that I've worked for months and months on an idea I've probably been mulling over my entire life, and then I finish and realize what a teeny-tiny thing it is that I've done. That movies are so hard to get made that my latest screenplay will most likely only ever be a thing that's read by a dozen or so friends and family, and then shelved. That this will most likely be just another on the list of unproduced titles I've been pounding out over the past five-ish years.

And even if it does get made, it'll be transmogrified into an entirely different animal than what I've envisioned in my head. Other creatives will come along and maybe make it worse, maybe better. But either way, my little brain-baby will die.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Call Me Lucky

I'm convinced that if you could just hop into this time machine I've got here with me and go back a few thousand years to when there were hair-shirt Biblical prophets running around eating locusts and cutting their personal concubines into pieces, you would find that they were a generally unpleasant, unpopular group of scruffians.

Not just the stink of their unwashed bodies, but also their thoroughly un-politic yelling at the powers-that-were, and the way they perpetually violated every societal norm they could think of in their demand for justice, justice, justice.

Oh, and they'd be swearing a lot—like Jesus might've done, I reckon—because there's some sort of symbiotic relationship I don't quite understand between the profane and the holy.

Anyway, I just finished watching a great, moving documentary about one of our modern-day prophets, a Mr. Barry Crimmins. I recommend you check it out, and tell a friend, and then also do something.

Because like all good prophets, Crimmins' voice demands action.

Monday, November 16, 2015

lying about God to your kids

While eating supper with my parents and my seven-year-old son a few days ago I got to talking about the screenplay I'm working on (MARLENE THE DIVINE), in which God is a deliciously-plump black woman who kidnaps a vengeful ex-lawyer and drags him on a road trip across America.

Before bed that night my son said to me, "Dad, what if God isn't real, and what if people just make him up because they want him to be real?"


I mean, not the first hard question he'd ever asked, but daaang—that's a tricky one.

Friday, November 13, 2015

a little more DFW

Since I've been literary-crushing on David Foster Wallace again, here's an hour and a half  un-cut interview chock-full of DFW wisdom. Or better yet, go find one of his books. And read it.

"we gotta make democracy safe for the world"

In retrospect, that last bit I wrote on here was garbled non-sequiturialness, so I think I'll re-institute the sanity by posting a quote from the "IMPOLLUTABLE POGO," by Walt Kelly. 

This is the foreword of the book, entitled, "AN EARLY FINAL THOUGHT."

"...The personal hummock in our common swamp is frail. The tough mind is very often an attempt to retain the property of self. If we identify with possessions and powers that are transient, how is it possible to scoff at the youth, who for at least this one young, blinding moment, realizes that these are not the things he yearns for?
    We old grumps will remember that one of the drives of our youth was to 'Make the world safe for democracy.' Now, as goblins loom on every side, we are with George Washington. We cannot tell a lie. Youth looks at the Big Bomb, Big Government, Big Labor, Big Crime, Big Britches, and we must admit with him, in the words of a Pogo character, 'We gotta make democracy safe for the world.'"

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

wrestling God in the darkness

I just got a junk email from some guy who's calling himself the Prophet Nathan Paul Agostini, the headline of which reads, "You Will Die This Year!"

I looked it up. The Prophet Nathan Paul Agostini's got a website with images cribbed from disaster movies, youtube videos—the whole shuh-bang. He's obviously legit. I'm doomed. 

Part of me wants that to be true.

I mean, it must be... right? Why else would there be such a huge market for apocalyptic entertainment? Unless I guess maybe it's cathartic. Like, we look around at the fact that the guys driving the bus are obviously loony and, I dunno, the growing police state... and yet we somehow still can't bring ourselves to really talk about it. 

So it's nice to have someone say, "Yep... we're doomed." There's a kind of hope in it, like that maybe the fact that we're hearing about it ahead of time and acknowledging it means we're special—that we're gonna be part of the lucky few who survive all the raining-blood-fire-hellishness and then after a perilous journey across a sun-scorched desert we'll make it to the promised land. There's a mythic quality to this narrative that has basic, human appeal. 


Sunday, November 1, 2015


Are you a reader?


Are you reading Margaret Atwood's stuff?

Well, why not?

Here's a little tease for you, a must-read piece for The Guardian called "We Are Double-Plus Unfree."


Support my writing habit: click below to...