Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Future Perfect

I do think there is a future that informs the past. If you pull open the perspective wide enough you see that the future and the past are connected as one thing and they can practically be felt, simultaneously.

When I feel the geopolitical future, I sense that this present (the past in relation to the future) only solidified a great decimation of enormous proportion in The Middle East. The future in that region is hundreds of years of war and what we did was to make sure that happened.

Maybe we had to do that. The future informs the past, somehow.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Timeless Humor

There is almost nothing timeless about filmed humor. Slapstick kind of sticks.

In my lifetime, spanning just a few decades, humor for mass consumption has changed so much. For better or for worse? I don’t know. I particularly liked the smart, verbal comedy of Annie Hall. Now, the shenanigans just seem like behavior, not humor.

Attitudes do not hold. Jokes often mock the current vanities of the era. Once the era passes, the particular humor of that age loses its leveling punch and is no longer needed. So, when reading or watching this humor, your mind reacts more to the era than to the comment on the era. This audience perspective saps the funny.

It’s really too bad.

I have a small theory that farce is timeless. But farce is often poorly done. And if farce is filmed, it suffers the same fate as all other comedy. Unless it is extraordinarily crisp. I believe the humor of The Marx Brothers’ A Night at the Opera holds exceptionally well, even if some of the bits go on too long. The fast tempo chaos outshines the period. This keeps your attention on the pacing, the relationships and the gags and the era becomes just the era.

Written, unfilmed farce has the best chance of survival since it can be produced to be contemporary (as long as the language is not too era-bound). My suggestion, if one wants one’s comedy to last through the ages, is to write a farcical play that relates to relationships and nature. It should hold up for future productions.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Speed It Up

Speed up your computer!

I have been in a sluggish mode for months.

Finally, thanks to my friend Jeff, I downloaded this program and cleaned up the hard drive.

There are gremlins out there. And they want your information.

Get them out of your life.

Ad Aware

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Suicide: A Condition of Obstinacy

Death is so instructive.

Two artists kill themselves in Manhattan. If there’s no one around to review it, did it really happen?

Reports begin with the externals, “They were so beautiful, intelligent and moneyed.” Ah, American press, with its competitions, its grading, also implying, “They had everything. This seems so random.”

This angle makes for a story.

However, they were paranoid. Something about Scientologists coming after them.

Chances are, it will be revealed that someone or both of them went on or off some drugs, prescription or non-prescription, and the thought patterns got into a loop. First, the beautiful, literate woman said, “No more,” in the comfort of her own home, like any good writer. And then the visual guy walked into the sea. How pretty.

Suicide is something people do who are very rigid in their thought patterns. They hold onto some idea that does not serve them until they expire from it. The idea was more important than living. What egocentrism.

Many psychological problems arise from being very attached to wrong thinking.

Albert Ellis, the founder of R.E.M.—Rational Emotive Therapy—just died. He made cognitive therapy very popular in this country. “Stop thinking that way! Think this way!”
Good idea.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

VHEMT

Join us! Take a look outside. See all that traffic? The smog? The endless intersections of gas stations? Wouldn’t it be so nice if there was so much less? Stop what you’re doing and take ten minutes to poke around this website and really consider it.

Voluntary Human Extinction Movement

Doesn’t it make complete sense?

Now the least you can do is click on the following link to tell the senate that you just can’t believe they are cutting money for public transportation. It’s outrageous.

Subways for all!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Drop that Name

Recently, I made the mistake of mentioning someone’s name in my blog. That person found it. He didn’t like it.

It wasn’t law suit stuff. In fact, it was kid stuff. The entry was light hearted. And though it was not flattering, it was truly not meant to inflict harm.

It ended with me deleting the post because not only was the guy upset, but so was his mother. I haven’t seen these people since 1973. I did not even imagine they were alive, never mind having access to the world wide web. Mistake.

If you do not want your past to come back at you, don’t use real names of private citizens. They won’t get it that you are just skewering them as if they were celebrities. The irony is missed and they are not used to being used as subjects for public consumption.

Make fun of George Bush. Make fun of Rosie O’Donnell. But don’t use the real name of that girl you continued to fornicate even when she was puking. Or the guy who used to pick his nose and eat it. Even if you were on the receiving end of peer abuse, no need to exhume those entities from the grave of your past to have them come back at you. They don’t need it. You don’t need it.

Interesting lesson. Fundamentally, I dismissed someone as even being alive.

Now it is time to mention the REAL MONSTER who lived across the street from me and made my life so miserable I barely left the house for five years. His name was ________, and he was on average three years older than the kids he controlled on the block. One day...

Monday, July 23, 2007

Advice

"You must learn to be still in the midst of activity and to be vibrantly alive in repose."

-Gandhi

Friday, July 20, 2007

Hostile

I needed to see what the kids were up to so once I joined Netflix, I put Hostel as my first pick. After sitting on the table for a week, we finally watched it.

It was just awful. Quentin Tarantino as producer and Eli Roth as director lamely make a case for the existence of this movie in that it is “Based partly on actual events”—but really, it’s Vorn. Vorn is a neologism created on this web log one sentence ago. Violence as Porn.

The movie’s narrative is as slight as a porno until the last fifteen minutes of the gore when it is revealed what the movie is about. Warning: spoiler coming for those who have not seen this splatter flick and want to endure it.

The story ultimately hinges upon men who pay to torture and kill people. It is just awful. Because it lacks character development, it presents true evil at its most existential. Maybe this is the genius of the movie. Actually, this is the genius of the movie.

Absolute darkness exists on earth. It exists in comic books. It exists in history. It exists today. It exists in this movie.

I have a friend, M, who shares with me an ease in conversations about sex and anything else. At a party recently, after a couple of drinks he said to me, “Don’t you sometimes look at a guy and want to grab him by his legs, hold him sideways and slam him into a cement wall? Watch his head crack open until it’s bloody pulp?”

I said, “No.”

He said, “I’d like to do it. Just to see how it feels. Come on.”

And I said as flat as the day, “No, not really. Things like that don't cross my mind.”

I did not judge him for it. I was actually in awe that he could admit it so freely. In fact, since he shows such restraint by not performing this deed, he should be applauded. But still, it was a shock to hear this from someone. I was almost jealous that I never felt that way. I was also aware of this chasm between myself and others. Was I missing something? Is he really off?

Big Jump:

I fear that insemination and aggression are part of the same impulse. If aggression was reduced and human beings were palatable, non-warring, peace loving primates, I bet the birth rate would decrease greatly. I bet the collective sperm count would decrease greatly. I bet the species would disappear. The species exists partly owing to this destructive force.
As long as there is insemination there will be this murder impulse. And there will be these movies. "And when you're done, just slip it into the mailer provided and once it is received, we will send you the next movie in your queue."

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The List

I have much to sell.

I have three plays, a book, three television pilots and a movie in various stages of being marketed.

No kidding.

I wrote all this stuff. And while I’ve been writing, I have also been taking meetings, pushing my stuff around, on both coasts. But then, after the phone calls and the iced teas, I just get back to writing. Writing. Writing.

I have this feeling that something is about to sell. Then, maybe more things will sell because of that thing selling.

It’s like those musicians who have three hundred songs, ready to go.

The limiting factor in creativity is usually not the creative, it’s finding an audience. Often, one is made fun of for the hubris of fathoming an audience exists.

I think creative people actually create the audience, too. Not being far fetched here. The painter lets people know that they need to take a look at the world in a different way. The painter creates viewers. From mere mortals.

It is an ego thing. It is also childish. Grown-up, self-involved children push forward the culture. Of course they do.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Culture War, Smulture War

The divide, the great divide, has been forever.

In some countries, the divide is over and the populace has settled into one camp. It’s less hectic that way. Perhaps less vital. Perhaps kinder. Perhaps not. But mostly, it’s a world of Lords and Serfs. Lords and Serfs.

No matter what, there will be people who side with the bosses and people who side with the workers. Oddly, in our country there are so many more workers than bosses—but everyone wants to be a boss.

I’m kind of bossy. A lot of people are unmotivated. Being bossy, I often feel I need to motivate people. I can understand why people prefer to give the Lords a lot of power. Because often (or at least the impression of often), the Lords are a busy lot, making sure stuff gets done. Why not give them as much power as possible since they are the ones out there, making the big things happen?

But I loathe authority, so I cannot give these people too much power. Because usually, power hungry people are blind. They cannot see anything greater than the need to maintain their power position. Taking this stance, they concretize their positions and beat away anything that is a threat. If the world becomes greatly polluted because of their position or people die because of malnutrition or poor health care because of their position, no matter because the position is everything to them. And they blind others with the light of this position. Others follow because of adolescent thinking-following, accompanied by the need to be with the Lord class, in addition to a general patriarchal genetic coding. It is natural in many ways.

To turn one’s back on this patriarchal set-up, to join the Serfs is an act of trust. It’s the Christ thing. It’s the Buddha thing. It’s the human thing. But it is na├»ve and it assumes that everyone would be better off as Serfs. All together. Working together. But if there is no master with a whip making the Serfs work, would they? Really? I mean, I imagine I would (but please, not until the afternoon). Some other people would. But most would not. Then, we would starve to death. But if we could all become Serfs, happy ones, who are happy to chop some wood, to haul some water, and then go enjoy the day then, why wouldn’t we? Power would certainly become more evenly distributed. Lovely. To organize it all, hm...it would take a lot of education and again, trust. Though let us all remember, the French, after much reeducation (including the Enlightenment, the Revolution, Napoleon and Josephine Baker) only work thirty-five hours/week, forty-seven weeks/year, and they have the highest productivity rate on earth. Of course, they also have incredible soil, abundant water sources and a temperate climate.

This culture war is the natural state of human affairs. It is the perceived but also very real conflict over how things need to get done. Whether we need bosses and incentives (real and imagined) to keep us motivated or whether we trust ourselves to motivate ourselves without sticks, carrots or anything else, this is where we are in the conversation. Many men are frightened.

We had the experiment of the great push rightward. The pendulum swings toward personal freedom now. This time, let it swing very slowly. Not a reactionary swing. An adjusting swing just to the left of center. And let it stay there until I’m dead.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Corn Fed Hogs

All this talk about Americans being obese is fine. People should change their habits, etc.

But what no one talks about is the psychology of Americans, not to mention the difficulty in locating healthy food.

Because our nation has no safety net, people are naturally anxious. It is in everyone. There is genuine concern that survival or at least dignity is something that can be taken away, swiftly. Part of the obvious tragic nature of this set up in this work camp called The United States, is the daily message, “There is not enough. You are not enough. There will never be enough for you.”

This triggers emotional starvation. What are people then left to do, but eat?

Then, sadly, what is mostly offered to people, as they devour their way into trying to assuage their psychic hunger, is corn and wheat, both, hog makers.

Why there has not been a revolution in this country is hard to figure. Not a violent revolution, but a quiet one where people put down their forks, dump the corn syrup, come to their senses and insist on a quality of life that, yes, is loaded with entitlements. Huge, healthy ones.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Why Get Out of Bed?

Now that I can type a text message and send it right to my blog via go@blogger.com--My dog and I can just hang until meal times.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Filthy World

My car is parked on the street because the filthy cats took over my garage stall. I have allergies and a small heart, etc. It is now a pussy palace, complete with rugged towers, a cheap couch from Ikea, a circulating water bowl, a window ledge, many different lamby mats and cushions, a litter box and a mountain of dry food. It’s been almost three years.

It’s nice.

And I do not have much sympathy for homeless cars. Filthy, awful beasts. Worse than cats.

Tomorrow, the ten year period is up and I have to go to the DMV to get my license renewed. In my vanity, I did not drink any alcohol today. I’ve had much water. I exercised Monday, Tuesday and today. There is something about a picture that you have to look at for ten years that really motivates a person. The Drivers License photo is worse than actor headshots. The latter can be tossed as soon as the mood hits.

It is odd to me that the card one uses for identity is connected to the automobile. It really wreaks of, “Drive, drive, drive! If you believe in your citizenship, then get behind that wheel and put the pedal to the metal!” Soul destroying.

I wish my car was a box that linked into a cabling system. Just punch in your destination and off you go. Magnets powered by the sun. No fossil fuel. One day, there will be something like this. It will be so fun to hear the stories about people punching in the wrong location, falling asleep and then waking up in Bakersfield. Or Camden.

I have a strong need to visit Iceland. Before they turn it into an aluminum tailings dump.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Democracy

Democracy to each person means something different.

To some people it means, “The freedom to enslave others so I may have a huge mansion.”

To some it means, “Full rights for all the Righteous who believe in God.”

But for me, I think The Pursuit of Happiness is the big deal. More fundamentally, I think it means that each person should be able to maximize their aliveness. Not a mania. But a true aliveness. Without apology.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

A Mighty Heart

Don’t kill yourself (or cut off your own head) to go see it. But, this is the first movie I’ve seen that really hit home how radical Islam works. There are these men who just need to be awful. And they are. Lying. Tribal. Filled with sick pride.

The critics have gushed over Angelina Jolie, as Mariane Pearl, remarking that she does all this stuff to find out what happened to her husband. But really, she just walks around her nice apartment in Karachi looking concerned. She does have the big emotional moment when she finds out that her husband has been beheaded. But it’s overdone. Ah.

The star of the movie is the Captain, played by Irrfan Khan. The actor is incredible. He plays it real, close, without gilding. Fine stuff. Very active.

The nature of this story reminds me of the war games of my youth. My brother often wanted to play Cops and Robbers, Roman Warriors, Cowboys and Indians, etc. I did not have much interest, though I did like fashioning fake knives by rubbing sticks against concrete until they were sanded into points. But really, so many kids were able to play these games of simplistic good and evil. I just didn’t get it. But watching this movie, I kind of got it. Maybe there is a place for black and white thinking---especially if you are dealing with people who take joyful vengeance in hacking up journalists.

Karachi looks like an awful, unpleasant zoo.

What a world.

A Mighty Heart

Monday, July 09, 2007

The Glory Saga

Lately, I’ve been thinking if there is any truth to “souls choosing their birth parents” or some other such intergalactic voodoo---then if one has the fortune or misfortune of being born in The United States, then one has made the choice to forge forward, like an adventurer, and prospect for gold, within oneself and out in the marketplace. Being born here is probably more of a chance thing than a soul thing, and even with this, well, there you are in an individualist-go-get-‘em fantasy land—so with that, you practically have to pull on your pioneer boots, find the best that is in you and sell it across the land. Fight like a dog for as many greenbacks as you can chew into.

But is this really the most efficient use of your time?

Think about sales. All those 0% credit card offers in your mailbox. What a waste of paper. It staggers and saddens, no?

And after seeing Sicko this weekend, shouldn’t we all have basic human dignity? The guarantee that we will not die if we grow ill? Even if we are not rich or even a mild mannered office worker in Nebraska? It does make one want to move to France, the country with the best health care on earth...

As I was flying over the Sierra Nevada Mountains, I had a clear view of Yosemite National Park. Half Dome. El Capitain. Amazing. Yet the mountains were brown, dead brown. I was sitting right over the plane engine and all I could think was, “I fly all the time. And these planes I’m in are just scorching the planet.” I was further scorching the Sierra Nevadas. All I do is scorch.

It makes one think that perhaps Americans need to tone it down a bit. There has to be a way for people to do all that they do without all this aggressive consumerism, this grotesque push for gain. Sure, you come out of that Yankee birth canal all gooey and ready to take the land by storm. And if you don’t, very few people will take you seriously as a sexual partner. People have to change their idea about what is a preferred sexual partner.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Nice Day for a Green Wedding

This blogger is off to Portland, Oregon for a wedding. One of the coolest, greenest cities in the country.

Have a great holiday week.

Go see Sicko.

Ignore GWB’s Libby-tarian actions. Contemplating it will only make you ill.

Stay Independent. Or figure out a way to become a citizen of Europe or Canada.

Portland, Oregon

Monday, July 02, 2007

La Vie en Rose

No point in even talking about it. Just go see this movie. Marion Cotillard’s performance is out of control amazing.

La Vie en Rose