Monday, August 31, 2009

Magic Mountain Mix (or MMM)

Tailor made for a trip to the amusement park Six Flags: Magic Mountain. Sadly it didn't make it to disc in time for the journey, but the friends and I had a chance to listen during the rest of their visit. And now you can check out all of the tracks as well.

1. Magic Mountain - Blonde Redhead
2. Nico On The Night Train - Bedouin Soundclash
3. We Dance Alone - Beck
4. Blind Mary - Gnarls Barkley
5. Biko - Bloc Party
6. Revolution In The Heart - Ed Harcourt
7. Hang Me Up To Dry - Cold War Kids
8. Why I Am - Dave Matthews Band
9. Afraid - David Bowie
10. Twilight Omens - Franz Ferdinand
11. The Orange Billboard - Moonbabies
12. Jennifer Eccles - Eels
13. Borderline - The Flaming Lips w/ Stardeath And White Dwarfs (cover)
14. Tied Up Too Tight - Hard-Fi
15. Death From Above - Smashing Pumpkins
16. A Certain Softness - Paul McCartney
17. Stone Me - G. Love
18. M1 A1 - Gorillaz
19. One More Time With Feeling - Regina Spektor
20. No One Said It Would Be Easy - Cloud Cult

And if you wanna know how the theme park was... think Mexican Disney. If you ever get a chance though, check out the Tatsu. You're actually flying!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Freeconomy And Catching Laptops Where Laptops Were Not Meant To Be Caught

This is funny. I guess I never realized how much thought and work goes into those youtube virals that make their way onto everyone’s screen... See my mind just doesn’t work this way, but somebody actually visualized an audience for The Amazing Acrobuttocks. It was produced by a company and I was somehow given a spot in this little video. I originally laughed off the idea when I read the breakdown, but something compelled me to submit anyways (a serious need to pay rent).
It’s amazing to think that this video has almost TWO MILLION hits (and counting) right now. People read a crazy title like “Guy Catches Laptop With His Butt” and they just have to know.
It takes a very interesting type of mind to come up with something like this and visualize the market where it would actually work... but that’s what the Freeconomy is all about.
Chris Anderson talks at some length about this idea in his book FREE: The Future Of A Radical Price (Check it out on iTunes for free). The idea is that of trading viewership and clout as if it were money... rather this particular market, known as the Freeconomy, is not based solely on monetary values but on credentials like the ability to gain a massive audience through a free video that may get laptops sold.
And this video probably will get laptops sold. The compony will make the money it spent on the production back after less than a hundred sales... and considering the massive viewership, they will probably make a very hefty sum above and beyond. It will probably be close to 90% profit. 
And that just amazes me... this silly video that everyone in the world can watch for free is making this one company a ton of money.
Now I don’t really understand economics. I’m fairly certain economists have little to no clue what it’s all about. But there is something ticking deep in the bowls of that word... and if somebody could actually make it all make sense, well then we’d have a real story on our hands. Yes sir. Yes sir.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Colbert Has Taken NASA Too!

It’s amazing how far popularity can take you. Stephen Colbert’s been riding high for years now via his fanbase at Colbert Nation. They somehow manage to get him everything from his own flavor of ice cream to a sea turtle (that actually won the great race) to... Official NASA space equipment?!?
KSC-2009-3796 -- Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill
I’m serious. NASA’s Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill... or C.O.L.B.E.R.T. is an actual piece of astronaut exercise equipment to be taken aboard the International Space Station in 2010.
Now I’m a fan of Mr. Colbert: I’ve read his book, watched his show, and enjoyed him for years before that on the Daily Show... but I’m just completely amazed that his fans stretch so far and wide. He has infiltrated NASA! Does this baffle anybody else?!

The Blog Has Landed

As I listen to old Creedence tapes at 5AM I am proud to say my blog is finally online.
I’ve been building it for some time now and it’s been painful writing things without any kind of viewership. But I finally got the time and the will to thrust it all on the internet rather than that lame old intranet I’ve been using.
Browse through the old posts for some interesting thoughts, and I will begin updating as soon as I possibly can.


Just a mix promoting peace and the importance of love. Chill to these songs:
1. Until Tomorrow Then - Ed Harcourt
2. Penelope - Pinback
3. Love It All - The Kooks
4. Keep On Hoping - Jason Mraz & Raul Midon
5. Sleepin’ Is All I Wanna Do (Stars On A Sunny Day) - The Duhks
6. 12:59 Lullaby - Bedouin Soundclash
7. Where You’ve Been Hiding - Architecture In Helsinki
8. Enthusiasm For Life Defeats Existential Fear... - The Flaming Lips
9. Loving Me - G. Love
10. Love Of Strings - Moby
11. Over The Rainbow / What A Wonderful World - Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
12. Breath Me - Sia
13. Slow Dancing In A Burning Room - John Mayer
14. Such Great Heights - Iron & Wine (cover)
15. Nature Springs - The Good, The Bad & The Queen
16. Strawberry Springs - Clodplay
17. Life Gets Beautiful - Break And Repair Method
18. Chemicals Collide - Cloud Cult
19. Rhododendrons - Bloc Party

Breaking The Rules I Set Out To Promote

Post Dated: August 3rd, 2009

It’s been a crazy couple of months. And as you can see I haven’t updated this blog in a while. See, the Universe gave me some opportunities and I couldn’t say no. But this isn’t a story of love and unity, rather one of coming back to Earth.
I was trying to write it all out, but I’d rather just give you the short version. I left my job and was immediately rewarded with a slew of auditions. I booked four gigs and life was good. 
Then someone hit-and-ran my car. And everything I had been ignoring... all of the relationships I had been unhappy with suddenly forced their way to the forefront of my mind.
See the Universe runs on two major laws, the Law of Love and the Law of Opposites. I like promoting the Love one, but Opposites have to intervene. Things can’t be great forever. Life needs drama.
So the negativity I took from that one experience forced its self into my view of everything. I developed a bit of spite. And my mind is in a place of disrepair right now. I’m working to redevelop my happiness, and all will work out I’m certain, but I’ve needed some time.
Hopefully, I’ll be back to myself in a short while. But my ideals are still spinning a little... still asking pointless questions and searching for half answers.
I’m still loving, but there’s a bit of me that needs to vent. That may be the healthy way to live in general... but I don’t want to break my own rules again. I never want to fall into an angry mindset... at least not for longer than ten minutes at a time.
What do you think?

Fourth Of July Free Speech Movie Marathon

 Post Dated: July 4th, 2009

Today, in celebration of our Independence, I’m watching six movies with a tie to free speech and the importance of journalism in the American way of life. So here’s the schedule...
1. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - to start things off with a kick and put me in a mood to watch five other films during the course of the day. Ouch.
2. Living It Up - to accentuate the joys of the American way of life.
3. Good Night and Good Luck - because, when a man is right he should be heard.
Intermission - I intend to take a break and enjoy the beautiful summer day. I woke up early for this and I’ll probably go to sleep late finishing these up.
4. Network - for the simple hope that corruption can be defeated in all sects of life.
5. Brewster’s Millions - saying that the greatest Americans can come from the strangest places and have a good deal to say once they’ve gotten themselves heard.
6. Citizen Kane - because sometimes people can miss out on the simplest joys of life. But hopefully learning their stories can help us not to make the same mistake. And that’s the point of journalism (and keeping track of history), to keep us from repeating the same mistakes over and over.
There are several other flicks I would have wanted to watch but for whatever reason didn’t so I’ll list them here: Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, The Contender, The Fountainhead, Frost/Nixon, Broadcast News, and Sergeant York.
Anyway, I hope you all have a good Fourth of July. Try not to do anything you may regret tomorrow, but have fun.

Fire & Sea

Just a warning folks, this one’s made specifically to depress me. Why would I do that? To write a script... a tragedy. I’ve never really gone all-out drama before, so I need some help putting me in the mood. That’s where this newest mix comes in.
I tried to tell the story putting these songs in a corresponding order to the events that were already pre-planned... and it’s definitely been doing the trick. Take a look:
1. El Condor Pasa (If I Could) - Simon & Garfunkel
2. Know You Rider - Hot Tuna
3. Wait - The Kills
4. I Could Die For You - Red Hot Chili Peppers
5. Eli’s Coming - Three Dog Night
6. Spitting Out The Demons - Gorillaz
7. Street Spirit - Thom Yorke
8. God, Make Up Your Mind - Cold War Kids
9. Lovetones - The Duke Spirit
10. How Kind Of You - Paul McCartney
11. Dogs - Damien Rice
12. My Alcoholic Friends - The Dresden Dolls
13. Gap - The Kooks
14. Long As I Can See The Light - Creedence Clearwater Revival
15. Transatlanticism - Death Cab For Cutie
16. Stinger - Razorlight
17. Who’s Gonna Save My Soul - Gnarls Barkley
18. Bottom Of The Sea - The Duke Spirit
19. I See You - The Duhks
Try to make up your own story to go with these songs and maybe put an outline below... maybe we can compare notes.

Christopher Lee... Man Or Legend?

Post Dated: June 13th, 2009

Christopher Lee

Christopher Lee is officially a knight today. At least, so says the Queen of England. So I wanted to take a moment to discuss his most awesomely amazing performances, and why they prove that he is worthy of this honor (not that we need proof).
The Return Of Captain Invincible: One of the strangest movies ever made... and it includes one of the most glorious musical numbers I’ve ever had the pleasure of viewing, thanks to our man of the hour Sir Christopher Lee (just rolls off the tongue). Check out Pick Your Poison. If this performance doesn’t best Elton John’s claim to knighthood, then I don’t know what a man can do to gain the title (short of saving damsels from dragons in the age of chivalry. Any takers?).
The Wickerman: The original film is brilliant, and Sir Lee is the dot on the exclamation point! (see what I did there?) My favorite moment only appears in the director’s cut... it’s during the wacked out, sex through the wall/pub scene/musical number when Lord Summerisle (who hasn’t been introduced yet) watches the crude goings-on from outside the window. There is a snail on a leaf and he takes a moment to poeticize this (in a sexy way? I don’t know, it’s at least raunchy). Anyone who can make a snail into a sex symbol is worthy of some serious props.
The Man With The Golden Gun: Yes! Scaramanga!!! Now that’s a Bond Villain. Who cares that Roger Moore helped dumb down the franchise for a while? We still had fun. And now we’re back on track again, so maybe it was worth it. Sir Lee should come back and be a part of the rebooted franchise. Maybe this time he won’t die in a poorly attempted Lady From Shanghai mirror trick... He and Christopher Walken could become best friends and form the ultimate Bond-fighting team with David Bowie!! Oh that would be a dream.
The Lord Of The Rings: It’s like, these old dudes can actually fight! Hard core! Sir Christopher Lee’s still got some serious kick in his step. So yeah, he could totally defend the Queen of England from Gaul-ish (?) invaders.
The Private Life Of Sherlock Holmes: In which we see Holmes in a slightly less flattering light, though I do not blame the man for his addiction... he earned it. And Sir Lee plays his brother, Mycroft Holmes. He is actually almost a knight in this flick as he serves the queen and has a long conversation with the woman (not the same queen that knighted him just now).
Now these are just my most favorite performances by the man. But there are many many others worth noting... I just won’t do it here and now. Because I need some sleep. Join me in applauding the newest knight to join the fold. He and Sir Ian McKellen will do a great job defending their homeland. I just know it.

On Climbing Mountains And The Rules Of Morality (which are equally as steep)

Post Dated: June 9th, 2009

I climbed a mountain today.
I didn’t do it for the view or the exercise... though those were fantastic perks I must say. I did it because I believe in a cause. And something drove me to keep trekking... it was a force of untapped knowledge that once I took the apex I would be rewarded. And Oh was I ever.
I met someone up there, up top, who believed in that same cause... and just as strongly as I do. She and I spoke about the environment and what is to be done... and oddly enough, Buddha. Which certainly brings me back to some odd memories that I’ve been ignoring for a while (why would I do that?).
Anyway, It goes like this: Two people down below us (I had met them earlier) lived their life in hateful spite. Why? They lost? Or something like that... perhaps they were unemployed (as so many are) and couldn’t find a way to release their aggression, so the aggression took over. They were lost in a vision of hate. So they couldn’t understand why I would hike up their steep driveway. What could make me do such a thing? I knew I was right. And they told me that the greater of two evils was now in power. And I left them because they wouldn’t hear my opinion. They were too wrapped up in their hate. But (as usual) I digress. 
See there was another man who stepped through the threshold of his home with a gawk of an expression. His mouth was wide and he said to me, “No one ever walks up those steps. Most people just see them and give up. But when I saw you coming up here I realized I had to at least hear you out.” See everything is so far apart in this world... so distant. And that’s why we have technology. We need it to at least try to stay connected. But again, I digress.
The reason I climbed those steps is the same reason I climbed that mountain. Because I know I’m right. And secretly, those two hateful people know so too.
Okay. A friend of mine did the same thing today. She spoke to an Astronomer who told her Global Warming wasn’t real. And I agree (hear me out). The Earth does naturally find ways to heal its self... and it goes through fazes... and some people keep ignoring that. But this is not the purpose of my cause. My cause is to make us more conscious of what we do.
One of my best friends works in this way... he agrees with all the issues that make sense, sure. So he thinks and takes the time to understand. But his attitude says “can’t be bothered.” That’s fine. But he doesn’t act on the things he says. One day soon he will, because one day soon he will have to. As will we all.
This is an important ideal to remember. Love one another, and with that love show the others you care (through simple acts of kindness every day), and do this because the others will not take advantage of your love. Maybe they will reciprocate. Maybe if you smile, they’ll smile too. How’s that for an idea?
Maybe we should all try to hold ourselves to a higher standard.

Obama Made Some Serious Sense In Cairo

Post Dated: June 7th, 2009

So, I’m a little late on this... but it’s only because it aired at 3 AM over here and I had some Environment work to do the next morning. But I finally watched it (all 54 minutes). And my god! I couldn’t believe it. For once in the past seven years, a president got on the air and made sense about everything that’s happening in the Middle East. Why did it take so long? All you had to say is stop killing each other... be nice*. But he finally did it. And I don’t know about you, but I’m proud of my country. I’m proud of my president. And I’m more hopeful for the future than I think I have been... ever. Yeah, I’m only twenty, so that’s not saying a whole lot. But hell, it accounts for everything I’ve ever seen and known, so that’s gotta account for something.
If you have not yet seen the speech, or you have to see it again as soon as possible check it out here.
*Not really all he had to say.

I'm In Love With Audrey Hepburn

As I sit here watching Charade (which is awesome by the way) I feel a need to discuss my love for Audrey Hepburn. It’s not often that dead people catch my attention so completely...  she could be the perfect woman. She can play nerdy and sexy without ever seeming ugly and hoarse. She can dance crazy and break your heart. She breaks mine in every movie. So let’s list the ones I’ve seen and what she does to drive me crazy:
Roman Holiday: This flick is badass. And Audrey makes me smile all the way through... the awkward motorbike and the hand-eating statue and Gregory Peck... what else do you need? I still sort of wish this was in color, but it was worth it to get the real experience of Rome.
Sabrina: Oh my god! This is one of those things I can’t believe actually happened. Audrey is the nerdy Sabrina and she is in love with William Holden (lucky). But then there’s Humphrey Bogart... and he makes things interesting. Did you ever think you’d get to see Audrey and Bogey in a flick together (old news but still great). The remake can’t compare because there’s no match for these two...
Funny Face: I’ve talked about this flick before on here... but it’s one of my all time favorites, and Audrey in that black one-piece dancing all awesome-like!! I try to pretend she’s doing it all for me... not the late great Fred Astaire. P.S. - I’m glad they had that great ad campaign that accidentally re-awoke interest in this flick.
The Children’s Hour: Not so much a movie for me, but Audrey is still quite love-able.
Charade: The guy just said, “Here we are on the street where you live.” It was fate. This movie’s cool and Audrey does some very good work here. Not the kind of flick I’m used to seeing her in, but very cool. Very cool indeed.
My Fair Lady: This is one of the greatest musical films ever made. Why would you want to remake it? Hm? What would be the point? But I digress. See here Audrey makes a glorious transformation, far more extreme than in Sabrina. And by the end, she is a lady. And a beautiful one at that.
So in review, Audrey Hepburn stole my heart before I was even born. And though she died before I hit Elementary School, she will always hold a special place in my heart. The only problem is, I have trouble loving other women because I’m always holding them to her standards. Oh well.
P.S. - I still need to see Breakfast At Tiffany’s.

Interesting People: The Couple

Post Dated: June 6th, 2009

I met the couple after a long three-hour hike up Angelus Hill. I knocked on their door and the Man came out. He wasn’t old, maybe twenty-nine to early thirties, but his demeanor made me feel like he was a wise spirit. I gave my pitch and he listened intently and smiled with me. Then the cat came outside. We closed the front gate and the Woman came up. She carried a similar demeanor and we began talking about their cat and my cats (Dexter and Kobe). She called the cat Copernicus... and referred to it as a she. After a while the Man told me its name was Spartacus, and it was a he. They cutely argued over it for a moment, but I could tell they were truly in love. It’s a rare sight, but when people are that happy with each other, it’s hard not to notice.
Maybe I’m being too sentimental, but these two people are saving lives on a daily basis... at least that’s how I see it. They probably bring a smile to the face of every person they meet. And again, they agreed with me and my cause. And they showed open support for a better world. It makes me feel so good knowing they’re out there living and loving. They get it. And it makes me believe I get it too. And who knows? Maybe I do.

Interesting People: The Hustler

Post Dated: June 6th, 2009

I got a new job... and that’s why I’ve been so lax on the updates. It’s tiring, because I’m walking around all day. But it’s cool at the same time, because I get to meet a lot of people in places I’d never have gone before. This week I was in the high hills of Echo Park. And I’m just gonna list a few of the characters I met there (In the future I’ll ask if I can take a picture of them maybe?):
The Hustler - He is a 54-year-old ex-con. I met him in a driveway and we quickly got to talking about the environment. He told me stories about his past... his lost wife, and his cancer. So here goes: It seems that after he got out of jail for what I can only assume was a long con gone wrong (lol) he and his woman must have joined some branch of Green Peace  (perhaps not, he didn’t go into detail) and they went to Iraq. Wile there his wife found a strange, colorful rock. She picked it up and showed it to him. He noticed it was glowing and quickly took it from her and tossed it away. It turns out the thing was actually the time of an anti-tank nuclear device and the radiation from holding it for only a couple seconds played havoc with both of their systems. They both came up with cancer and she died only two years ago. So he sits in his car thinking about life pulling out of his driveway and then back in again... While I can’t be sure how much of his tale was true (being that he was a professional can-man) it felt like he was at a point in his life where he didn’t want to lie anymore and he wanted to release all of his woes.
You can decide what you think... but what I pulled from the experience is that my job (going door to door promoting support for the environment) may actually help people in the long run. Now I wasn’t sure about it at first, but when you find the right door to knock on and people welcome your message with open arms, very little in life feels more contenting than knowing you all agree and believe in a better future.

Desert Songs

Designed for a trip through the desert during our long trip to California. We drove from Coral Springs, FL to Studio City, CA in about three days... obviously some music was needed. Here’s a small mix that only lasted for a fraction of the tedium that is Texas:
1. Permutation (Live in Montreal 2006) - Red Hot Chili Peppers
2. Coyotes - Jason Mraz
3. Vultures - John Mayer Trio
4. Campfire Resemblance - Tiny Vipers
5. Hyenas - Moby
6. Runaway - Jamiroquai (so good, it made it on two mixes)
7. After The Gold Rush - Thom Yorke
8. General (Live) - Dispatch
9. I Am A Rock - Simon & Garfunkel
10. Hold On - Hot Chip
11. Until We Burn In The Sun (The Kids Just Want A Love Song) - Bedouin Soundclash
12. Sinnerman - Nina Simone
13. Pioneers - Bloc Party
14. Wolves (Song Of The Shepherd’s Dog) - Iron & Wine
15. El Manana - Gorillaz

Tiny Vipers Can Eat Your Heart

Post Dated: May 31st, 2009

This is going to be a very strange review. Firstly, it is my first time discussing a new album on the site. Secondly, this is the strangest album I have ever listened to. 
The Band: Tiny Vipers
The Album: Empire Prism
It is made up of two tracks My Shadow (29 minutes and change) and Can I Use Magic To Stop The World From Dying? (22 minutes and change). This is the third album by the band. The first album: Tiny Vipers. The second album: Hands Across The Void. I’d rank all three as five star achievements.
Now, the whole thing is highly experimental... this is not necessarily a new thing for the band, though the vocals have been nearly stripped to oblivion, which is okay except that I’m in love with Jesy Fortino’s voice. But that’s the point. At least to me, it is.
You see, Jesy is... well she’s not what you’d call physically attractive. And some people have gone so far as to say she looks like a man... and I’m only saying this to explain the album, because I think it needs the explanation before you sit down and try to listen.
This is an experiment in pain, and isolation (correct me if I’m wrong, though I don’t think I am). Jesy is using this album to evoke pain... and during the first track I began to tear up pretty bad and started looking over my shoulder. It scared the crap out of me... and that is not an easy thing to do. But it’s music, and there is something special and quite mysterious about music. It makes us feel things for no good reason. It forces our minds into a mood. That’s why we listen to “pump-up jams” when we go to the gym or are heading to a party. They help us feel what we want to feel.
This makes me feel sadness and fear. And while you may not want to feel those emotions, sometimes it is important to let them take you over... it makes the happiness that much happier. We need to feel and recharge our batteries by allowing the whole spectrum in.
So, as I digress more and more, it seems that Jesy is using this music as a tool to release her sadness and isolation... even if she doesn’t show it in regular life (probably more so...). But I don’t know her personally, and though I’d like to meet her and try to understand I doubt that’ll happen any time soon.
But, if you’ve got a morbid curiosity check this album out. Her first two albums are much “friendlier” though at times they unleash a sense of what is covered on Empire Prism... but this is very new stuff for Jesy and a very new direction for Tiny Vipers (which I’m pretty sure is just her alias... not much info on her). And while I’m interested to hear more, I’d still like to get a few more tracks of her folksy stuff from the first two albums as well. Check it out.
P.S.- just found out she has a new album coming out (already? sweet!) called Life On Earth which I think will have everything I’m asking for. She has yet to disappoint! I’ll fill you in sometime in July.

The Awesome Mix

A few years ago I made a two part mix for a long car ride. On it was a very short list of things I was listening to. Mixes can capture a certain period in a person’s life... an emotional trend that they were going through.
Below is a slightly updated version of that first mix (I lost the originals long ago but did my best to recapture the spirit of it):
1. Lookin’ Out My Backdoor - Creedence Clearwater Revival
2. Magnolia Soul - Ozomatli
3. San Diego Super Chargers - NFL Themes
4. The Rain - K-OS
5. Gold Lion - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
6. Cantina Band - John Williams
7. Kiss The Sky - Shawn Lee’s Ping Pong Orchestra
8. Breaking The Girl - Red Hot Chili Peppers
9. Beth - Kiss
10. Novocaine For The Soul - Eels
11. Save Tonight - Eagle Eye Cherry
12. Baby’s Got Sauce - G. Love & Special Sauce
13. Gimme Some More - Busta Rhymes
14. Life On Mars - David Bowie
15. Hotel California - Gipsy Kings
16. Window - Fiona Apple
17. It’s What You Need - Cloud Cult
18. Pink - Aerosmith
19. Sleepin’ Is All I Wanna Do (Stars On A Sunny Day) - The Duhks
20. Hang me Up To Dry - Cold War Kids
21. The Golden Age (CD101 Version) - The Flaming Lips
22. Better Do Better - Hard-Fi
23. I’m Afraid Of Dying... Aren’t You?? - The Flaming Lips
24. Move On Now - Hard-Fi
25. Run Away - Jamiroquai
26. Paper Bag - Fiona Apple
27. Shadowplay - The Killers
28. Smile - Lilly Allen
29. Toxic - Local H
30. Paper Planes - M.I.A.
31. Smooth Criminal - Michael Jackson
32. Extreme Ways - Moby
33. Tina - Louis XIV
34. That Time - Regina Spektor
35. Kiss From A Rose - Seal
36. Latin Simone (Que Pasa Contigo) - Gorillaz
37. Take Me Home - Phil Collins
38. Bad Things - Jace Everett
It’s a long list of obvious and not-so-obvious songs that made a long car ride not so bad... then I had to make another one... and another. So I’m gonna list Mixes as they come from here on out.

Michael Moore? Or Fred Savage?

Post Dated: May 30th, 2009


After watching Canadian Bacon last night, I realized that maybe Michael Moore had a point... I mean, Bowling For Columbine is a great documentary, and I’m still very interested in seeing Sicko. But the guy is definitely right about something.
If my Dad read this he’d probably lower his brow and shake his head... but it’s true. We have a serious issue with violence in this country and no one’s really taking the time to listen when they should. If the world is really an angry machine standing only for profit and reward (even if it‘s unjustly received), then we as a people need to fix it. We need to stand up and say why am I letting this happen.
My point is well exemplified in our voting process. Every four years we look at the ballot of candidates and half the time (more than half the time) we say, I wish I could vote for one of these other guys... but they’ll never win. And just like that, the machine is victorious again. 
So I may be happy with this last election, and yes, I’m still happy... but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to fix the problem. The opinions of absolute Democrats and absolute Republicans alike are morally flawed. They flip flop on issues that hardly make any sense. Some people like Libertarianism, but that is not necessarily a full possibility... I mean, absolute freedom? What’s that?
But Objectivism is possible and morally sound. If you don’t know what that big word means, look it up... read Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged... too big? Grab a copy of The Virtue Of Selfishness and see if that doesn’t make sense of everything in a very few pages.
Now, I’m digressing, but it’s for a good reason. See, Michael Moore may only be Fred Savage in a very clever disguise, but he still makes me at least consider the fact that the way the world is run is not right. He’s trying to force us to ask questions. And that’s exactly what we as individuals need to do. Ask the question, stand up, and do something about it. Clap if you agree.

Family Is Family... And That Stuff's Important

I wish I was closer with my family. Wish I could talk to them more often. And it may be hard keeping contact due to the time difference, but that’s just an excuse. We barely talked when I lived at home... partly because when I lived at home, I was always out with my friends trying to have fun. But it’s not just my fault.
My Dad’s a quiet person (most of the time). And my Mom is always working or asleep. For some reason, my sister and I hardly keep in touch, though we have plenty in common... Actually, the only family member I really am always up to date with is my brother. Don’t really know how it fell that way.
And I’ve tried to be better about it in the past, but I always only get so far and then just recede into my usual habits. Well now I want to break some of those habits. So I’m gonna start calling them... Sounds like a real plan, right?
Don’t really know why I thought this was worth a post. But maybe it’ll make you ask how you get along with your folks. Maybe it’ll make you think about it for a second. We all have our reasons for the things that we do, but sometimes it’s nice to experiment.

Good Superheroes Are Hard To Come By

I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s noticed, but Superman isn’t as popular as he used to be. Some say it’s because he’s boring (which is only a half truth at best). Here’s the problem, people don’t deal with the interesting arc of his character. Oh no. They ignore the juice and jump head first into the Death of Superman story as if that concept makes any sense at all. 
And f@&* Doomsday.  That character is a poorly put together ham and cheese sandwich. Though the over all “New Gods” concept is really cool... but why does this flake of a character get to kill the man of steel? Why not someone important like Lex Luthor or Brainiac? But I digress.
What people ignore are the “human” (or in his case kryptonian) elements. What happens when Lois and Perry and Jimmy grow old and die but Superman is still around saving the world. Isn’t he immortal? Does he age? What does he do with himself when the alias of Clark Kent no longer means anything? And (to poorly quote Watchmen) “Why should [he] save a world [he] no longer has any stake in?” But that’s what interests me about the character...
Maybe I’m biased because the first serious thing I ever sat down to write was a Superman Trilogy that covered all (at least most) of these questions. Superman Vs. The Old Ones. I still think it’s a badass idea...
But there’s another thing responsible for the collapse of Superman’s popularity. His movies are always (ALWAYS) lame. Who wants to watch Superman fly around for two hours fighting natural disasters? I mean, what’s the point? What we need is a Superman that’ll actually do battle. And if you wanna shove that Doomsday plot down our throats, at least have the decency to make that final war entertaining.
P.S.- A very similar thing happened to the Incredible Hulk... but they fixed that with this most recent installment.
P.P.S.- Neither of the above mentioned heroes are my favorite... but that’s a different article.

A Love Of People And Their Love For Life

When I first came out to LA people kept warning me about the folks here... it was that whole point Crash tried to make (and I hate Crash) that people are so disconnected and need to punish each other every once and a while just to feel something. But with deepest sincerity I can say that not a word of that is true. People in LA are nice friendly folk looking to make their lives better. This is an Objectivist town no matter what people will tell you. Pragmatism only exists in the limping, waning politics slowly being forgotten. But the truth is, people here do everything for themselves... and that is not a bad thing. No sir.
Acting in your own best interest is the most natural, truthful thing a person can do. If it makes me feel good to give to charity I will. if it makes me happy to help clean the environment, I’ll recycle and drive less and all of that stuff. It’s out of love for myself... and if you can’t love yourself, why should anybody else love you? It’s that simple. Really.
I find that, because I love and understand who I am, I can find an understanding of everybody else (over time) and therefore love them in kind. When I notice a person is just happy to be breathing and doing, I gain a respect for them. Because life is so simple (despite what people may say). Life is doing and being and acting when the cause is just. And if you’re not  living, your dying. I can’t explain it any simpler than that.
I love people because people love life... and when a person loves life, it makes me love life even more knowing that we share this single common bond. And it would make me happy to make them happy, because they deserve it. But please just realize, you do it all for yourself... and you can make a difference.

Fred Astaire Is Tapping In His Grave

Recently I’ve been watching a lot of classic Fred Astaire musicals. When I was a kid I never wanted to see any of these because I imagined they’d be sappy and annoying... which is totally not the case. Though some may be better than others, they all seem to own a sense of pride in their star that modern pictures can’t comprehend. Now why is that? 
Back in the time of the Studio System actors were forced to pump out up to (and beyond) five movies a year. Now that’s a lot of time on set. I don’t know if you realize, but every minute of a film takes at least an hour (at least) to capture... you’ve got the lights to put up and the set to set, and once you’ve gotten the perfect angle on that camera you go ahead and you shoot a take of the actors. This take will probably never be seen again, because that same day fifteen more takes will take the first take’s place and another ten takes will take those takes’ places. Even I’m confused. 
But everything has to be perfect (we hope). And the musical is one of the hardest formats to shoot “perfectly”. Choreography has to pop, and mouths have to match up with the track, and everything has to look spectacular. So what’s my point? Go and watch Moulin Rouge! (a flick I still love) and see how many times in a song the camera will cut between shots... that is very possibly because they had to cover up a mistake (or Baz could just be a total spaz). Now go back and watch a film like Funny Face (a top five favorite musical of mine). How much of Mr. Astaire’s dance was faked? None. Not a single bit. He tapped and he tapped and he’s probably still tapping in his coffin, because that is what the man was made for, and his movies prove it. How many takes do you think it took to get that quality? Hmmm?
Good flicks to check out (not listed above): Top Hat and Swing Time.
And if you’ve got some more free time on your hands, check out these slightly less topic related flicks: Living It Up, All That Jazz, Singin’ In The Rain, and Kiss Me Kate.
Then check out The Producers and try and figure out why people were so negative on that (I’m still scratching my head).
Snap if you agree.

Writing Should Never Be A Chore

Post Dated: May 28th, 2009

Today I read the most tedious screenplay of my life. And at no point during the process did I put the text down, walk into the kitchen, open the bottom drawer, and nail myself over the head with a rubber mallet. How did I achieve this feet you ask? I endured because, in my mind, I had to. 
You see, this particular piece was given to me as a “work-in-progress” (which really means the author couldn’t figure it out the first time... which is fine, nobody’s perfect), an assignment for me to “save”. And I wanted so badly to save it. But as I read this manuscript I found myself completely baffled, for there was not a single original thought in the whole thing. As I sifted through the pages I found myself reminiscing about films I didn’t enjoy like A Farewell To Arms and The Notebook (no offense ladies).
And I regret to say I probably will not finish this particular assignment. It’s a challenge, that’s for sure. And lord knows I’d love to rise to any challenge. But I have made the decision in a most firm state of sanity... you see, writing should NEVER be a chore. Writing is creation and beauty and love. And when something like that becomes a chore, we have lost a piece of ourselves that would be most tedious to try and get back... almost as tedious as reading that script again. And if I worked on this script it would most decidedly become a chore. And I do not intend to lose that part of me. Not now, not ever.

War Films Are Kind Of Boring

Post Dated: May 27th, 2009
I’m gonna make this real quick because a lot of people probably disagree with me whole heartedly... but War Films are kind of boring. I spent Memorial Day watching some “classic” ones (Flicks I hadn’t seen before) trying to broaden my horizons. Well what I figured out is I can’t pay attention to them.
The Longest Day was actually great... the exception of the day. It was original and interesting. And it didn’t feel bogged down.
But Patton and Tora! Tora! Tora! and Air Force (not as bad) were incredibly boring.
That's President Bartlet going to kill some commie ass!
Charlie best be careful next time he enters the oval office.
I guess when I hear War Film I expect to have my head messed with (Apocalypse Now!) or I expect to learn a valuable lesson (Sergeant York). But if I’m falling asleep during the movie what’s the point?
Good examples of entertaining War Films other than the three previously praised: Paths Of Glory, Saving Private Ryan, Three Kings, The Dirty Dozen. Now those are flicks you can sink your teeth into. They have weight and entertainment value, even when they’re saying war’s a damn shame... which they usually are. 
P.S.- Out of all the flicks i just named the only ones available on Blu-Ray are The Longest Day and The Dirty Dozen? Cool... but???