Thursday, December 26, 2013

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Accomplishment

Remember when I first started 52 Stickup?

In all honesty, there's a part of me that sees that as somewhat of a blur.

Like, I came out of a trance, and I saw all these goofy post-it notes, so I decided to keep going.

Will I continue Stickup into the new year? Probably not. The urge for an odd webcomic isn't really on my mind right now.

And it's funny, cause the beginning of Stickup seems like such a far time ago.

Time does things to you.
I think a lot of that has to do with how much time you waste, and what you do with it.

Remember LMFAO? Where are they at right now?

I don't think they've underperformed, but they were everywhere. Now, I can't seem to recall a recent appearance.

The same goes with a lot of music these days.

The way the Internet processes information in this day and age makes the year seem longer than it is.

I think a part of this feeling has a lot to do with growing up in a post-9/11 society. Life was no longer measured in years, but events. Following the war in Afghanistan to Iraq created this new narrative for our lives. It was this haze over everyone's heads that didn't seem to end until the death of Osama bin Laden.

I remember the beginning of 2013 how everyone said that this so called "Fiscal Cliff" would cause chaos and disaster. It bothered me. I had plans.

But, lo and behold, it fizzled out. And even if it was drastic, national issues mean you need to finish your goals faster.

2013 was a good year for me. Had a couple missteps, but they still got me in the right direction.

Will 2014 be the same? I honestly don't know.

Let's see.



Stickup #50

Jesus is a Capricorn

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Why The Yeezy and Gaga Misfires Aren't Misfires

You know, 2013 is getting to be quite an interesting year.

All those people who thought Gotye and Carly Rae Jepsen were this wondrous godsend are now deleting their tweets and Facebook posts mentioning them. Cause at this point, both artists seem like future VH1 one hit wonder material unless they get their act together.

And everyone is on the fence wondering if "Royals" will face the same fate.

When asked what he thought of modern music, David Lee Roth was quoted as saying "Here today, gone later today".

Spend a good couple of months in a retail environment playing the latest pop 40 hits, and you will agree with this sentiment.

But now, the most interesting thing about 2013 is that both Kanye West and Lady Gaga have made unpredictable turns with regards to their careers.

Yeezy. Bound2. A part of me wonders if this going to be my generation's "Here I Go Again" in the worst way. And a part of that "worst way" deals with the fact that you can still listen to Whitesnake in your car without acknowledging the sex life of a Mr. West.

It's not the present state of Kanye's relationship with Kim that's interesting. It's the future of it.

Like, no matter what happens, it's going to be interesting.

Cause Kanye West does not sound like the kind of person who would take a divorce well. And you have to wonder where that will take him artistically. I mean, George Lucas produced The Empire Strikes Back when he got divorced. What's going to happen to Yeezy if that happens? How is Kris Jenner going to manipulate the press to destroy him? And how will he respond? Would Hova get involved? There's a lot of questions.

And I know I'm sidetracking a bit, but I feel like the music industry as we think of it no longer exists. We're dealing with some bizarre subgenre of musical tabloid at this point. We speak in terms of beef and controversy and sex tapes, and a whole lot of things that distract you from making music well.

Cause I know a lot of musicians who deserve a lot more credit than they currently get. But they're not getting it cause they're not getting in the enabling circus that is losing control for fame.

Kanye's on weird footing now. Part of that weird footing is due to the fact that his biggest source of controversy, Taylor Swift at the VMAs, isn't so much of a big deal as an incident. And that's mainly Taylor Swift's fault. You can't go on dating guys, breaking up with guys, and writing songs about them.

It's the same reason you don't talk smack about a former employer: All future prospects wonder what will happen to them if they end up in similar circumstances.

So, society's over that now for Kanye. But, Kanye is always willing to make new controversies for himself. Cause that's how he sells records. That's what artists at the top spot do. Cause selling hundreds of thousands of copies in a downward spiral of an economy where you can get it for free is going to take everything you've got creatively to do it.

So you might as well act a fool about it.

Lady Gaga has tried her best to find a loophole in the media machine. And that loophole is fashion. Always having to do something crazy to get in the tabloids.

And that worked. It worked for a good three years.

But we kind of got used to it. That, and Miley's own little episode is a drama of its own. I mean, she's willing to lose a Hemsworth over this thing. She picked foam finger and teddy bears over living an actual Nicholas Sparks novel from the seeds planted filming a Nicholas Sparks novel.

This is beyond meta. This is like meta-alpha-omega.

I don't blame her. You put your daughter out there like that, these things are going to happen. It all comes back to Poltergeist (another sad tale of child stardom), you moved the headstones, but you didn't move the bodies. You thought it was okay to have your daughter pole dance to "Party in The U.S.A", and you have no say to these new antics.

When you do negligent things to your kid for the purpose of stardom, the child will learn that morality is only an option when it comes to their career. Michael Jackson learned that lying about being younger than he was in the Jackson 5 was an asset. He learned that it was important to be young. And it left an impression on him.

I also think that society has to look inside it's self with regards to antics.

Lady Gaga tweeted #popstarscantgetfat

She got a lot of hatred.

So, she got a little chubby.

She got a lot of hatred.

In life, you will learn that any decision you make will face criticism by people who don't like you. It wasn't a failure in policy, it was a failure in politics. All the theory and wishes about how the world should work goes down the toilet when it comes to execution and executioner.

In these situations, you have to trust yourself and do what you think is right for yourself in the long run.

In the long run, all that matters is the long run.

Mozart spent so much time composing his music that his fingers could no longer hold the quill.

And for his dedication, he lives forever. In the long run, we're all dead unless we find a way to live forever.

One must have this line of thinking when they venture. Time is an ocean that washes the minor anxiety creators away.

Look at any comments section at any news story.

A lot of people are pissed off at nothing. Doesn't matter what it is. And they never offer a practical solution to the problem.

You're a bunch of talentless losers.

You complain about the perverse invasive nature of social media without realizing that you've forfeited your information to a corporation.

And personally, I don't think anybody who doesn't hold a job should call for someone to lose their job. Job holding is hard. And the last thing society needs right now is a person losing their job due to lack of a sound mind and plotting revenge because of what society did to them.

People losing their mind is the next logical step when society forgets common sense.

Now, let's talk Artpop.

Artpop is not having the numbers it projected.

A lot of people want this to be a big scar on Gaga. But, it's not. At least, it shouldn't be.

It's still 250,000 copies.

Yes, millions were spent on it, but to call it the end of Gaga is ridiculous.

Lately, it feels, that as far as the entertainment industry goes, you're either really really winning or really really losing.

And that destroys creativity.

It creates arrogance and despair. It forces onlookers into this trend watching mentality.

For those keeping score at home: You don't follow trends, you make them.

And that involves risk. And you cannot risk when failure is not an option.

And a message to all the anti-corporate hipsters: If you don't want the music industry to be run like a corporation, why do you analyze sales results like a corporation? Food for thought.

Do you know how many albums from popular bands bombed? Kiss's Unmasked underperformed dramatically. Same can be said with a bunch of Aerosmith's work in the early 80s.

None of these bands would record some of their greater works in the current media mindset.

Aerosmith would have never had the time to get Permanent Vacation off the ground, let alone be ready for their 90s comeback.

If Aerosmith had to compete in the current media environment, there's no way they could have made the soundtrack to Armageddon.

Now, I know someone who inadvertently is reading this article to procrastinate on whatever it is we should be working on to get our life together (that thing we all have to do) is wondering why I'm giving such a deep analysis of this thing we call pop culture.

The short answer to this question is "the current state of politics is @#%$, and I can't add anything to it"

The long answer begins with a question:
Do you what the origin of fashion is?

For those of you who have not read Seth Godin's Linchpin, I will tell you: fashion was something that was created by the French during the colonial era so that they could a competitive hold on the other European nations.

All the other countries were taking claim to all the raw materials in the New World, and the French could not compete.

So, the French decided to compete inwardly. They took the raw materials from these countries, and they made their own clothing. But it wasn't any clothing. It was their design. It was their brand.

And different noble houses made different brands. And they did their best to balance exclusivity and popularity. Too exclusive, and the house loses money. Too popular, and the designs are no longer desired. They become the fast food of what they are.

It was from fashion that France had an economic hold on other European countries. It was sort of a con, really. But a country with a legacy with losing wars needs anything it can to stay afloat.

Now, look at modern day economies.

The United States currently owes trillions of dollars to China. Other Asian countries are mere powerhouses that pride itself on its work ethic while the European countries have lazy workers who want to be paid to drink wine.

This current standing cannot hold.

Except for one little thing.

Fashion.

The thing separating the Asian countries from destroying West is the Kanye (West).

The Asian elite covet the Western countries culture. The Chinese Princelings have spoiled children who drive sports cars and blast hip hop while the country tries to blast Mao's message of power to the peasants.

There really isn't anything that's preventing the Chinese from replicating these goods. But replicating them won't make it couture.

The Kardashians have convinced all of us that they are somehow better than the rest of us. But it won't last for long.

And the West has done the same, Kanye or otherwise. And that won't last for long.

So until then, let's all do our best to be people of substance.







Stickup #47

Most turkeys look like brains

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Stickup #46

People learn in libraries cause idiots have to be quiet there

Saturday, November 9, 2013

On Change

You know, they say the one thing you can depend on in life is change.

And I know that "change" is one of those terms that gets thrown around so much, it sort of loses meaning.

But it's still powerful.

2013 has been good to me. I know this.

I don't think 2014 will be that way. I have this weird feeling that doing a fraction of what I've done this year will be feel twice as hard. Don't ask me why I feel this way. I won't try to jinx myself, but things were in alignment this year. Part of that was because I planned it so well in 2012.

2014 will definitely be a reloading year. A year of a lot of working, an ambition year moreso than an adventure year.

And that's okay. I also hope to kick up my feet for a little bit. Actually have something interesting to say in 2015.

Cause there's going to be a lot of unfamiliar territory in the future.


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Stickup #45

Why have plastic surgery when you can iron the wrinkles on your face?

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Why Breaking Bad Succeeded And (Insert TV Show) Failed

You know, there's a lot of potential in television. Like the creators of The Wire said, you can make a TV show like a "visual novel" if you know what you're doing.

And yet, potential is a promise you don't have to make a commitment to. People have this notion of what you will be in a couple years based on what they see now.

And we've seen a lot of shows that made a promise of something crazy happening in the future, only to come up short.

Some shows delivered. Supernatural had there own "Kmart Apocalypse" in the fifth season that made out on all the things it promised. Granted, it wasn't a John Martin painting, but with all the creative, artistic, and managerial difficulties of television, I can't really blame them for this.

And we have had many disappointments. Jericho. Heroes. The later episodes of Twin Peaks.

The Epitaph episodes of Dollhouse that came a little too late.

And Lost rebounded after every other option was experimented and played with.

But there's reasons why Breaking Bad succeeded where those shows failed:

They held nothing back. 

Usually, a four episode rule applies when it comes to television. A creator and their writers don't really know what a show is yet, and so they have to play around for the first four episodes to figure out what they are. As many television shows are now available on DVD, you can watch the first disc of a show and wonder if it's something worth continuing. 

The pilot episode of Breaking Bad did not have any of these problems. We know who Walter White is going into this. We saw his life.

A lot of television doesn't undergo the rewriting that movies do since they evolve with each episode, but the opening of Breaking Bad was cinematic. 

Breaking Bad was also amazing in how they slowly revealed Walter's wrongdoings to Skyler.

There wasn't any Clark Kent/Lois Lane thing going on. Skyler was catching onto things. And the show's writers didn't jump any sharks with each revelation.

There was no amnesia. This wasn't any Pinky and the Brain/Coyote and Roadrunner chaos without growth. Things carried on. Things you as an audience member might even forget about. You didn't scratch your head wondering about Peter Petrelli's lost Irish girlfriend.

Watching Breaking Bad felt like I was reading one of the best graphic novels of all time. You know that feeling you got when you read Watchmen for the first time? Yeah, like that.

You can tell that Vince Gilligan cared. 

It was really refreshing. People have been telling you since the age of nine that you have to leave your brain at the door when you engage in pop culture or else you will alienate a part of the audience.

They Knew What They Were Doing

Breaking Bad didn't treat the audience like a dummy, and they weren't dummies either.

They did their research. And they knew where the show was going. They were prepared. They took calculated risks (like Walter White) and everything resonated because of it.

Even when they didn't know where the fifth season was going (showing Mr. Lambert and going backward) they excelled since it challenged them. They weren't going through the motions.

There's this video online of Louis C.K. talking about how much George Carlin meant to him. C.K. said that his career changed when he listened to an interview of Carlin's where he explained that the secret to coming up with new material was throwing it away after his special was done.

Carlin explained that a person has to dig deep to find new material once they throw away what they had before. And in this digging, one finds himself.

Breaking Bad feels that way. You know how characters in horror movies do dumb things for the purpose of plot? I can't recall a time when that ever happened in Breaking Bad.

There was never an easy way out of things. The villains were as smart as Pinkman and Heisenberg. You honestly didn't know how things were going to be. It was awesome.

They Knew When To End Things 

When things look great, you have this tendency to keep going until it's bad. When things look bad, people tell you to give up.

The creative staff of Breaking Bad quit while they were ahead. I know a lot of people who thought that they should have kept going. These are the same people who also thought Dexter should have ended sooner.

Breaking Bad is also the one show that knew both when to kill characters, and how to give deep meaning to each character's death.

There was no Kirk falling on a bridge that you got with Star Trek Generations. You felt pain when people died. And they died with dignity. There wasn't any crying. They anticipated it.

It was all very badass. 

You didn't have people who should have died two seasons ago hanging around for ratings.

The show made tough decisions. Creativity comes from knowing what to cut. The same goes for the length of a production.

An early finish that leaves them wanting more.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

What I Want...

This is a little diddy called what I want.

What I want:


I want what all those old school movie posters promised me but never gave (well, maybe sometimes).

I want miniatures exploding.

I want the movie I thought Army of Darkness was going to be. Which isn't to say that Army of Darkness is bad, but to say that what I thought it was was actually quite different.

I want all those movies that I thought all those computer games I played in the 90s were based on.

I want to make the movies that everyone thought would have existed by now since CGI meant that "you could do anything" even though we feel it has yet to do those things.

I want to give answers to horror cliches in a way that makes sense, but not in a way that thinks it's too clever or more clever than the genre.

I want to suffer artistically for a bit, because I know mental/physical/and financial suffering is part of the equation of making a great film.

I want to be able to watch an enjoyable afternoon's worth of YouTube clips based on my material, promotional material, or a fan mashup of the previous two things.

I want three dimensional female characters. Which isn't to say that they will all be feminist propaganda pieces, but rather human beings reacting rationally in a situation.

I want to set out to venture onto my accomplishments and not worry about the idiots from my past who told me to choose another career path due to the fact that my fanbase will outnumber them.

I don't want fame. But, I want the people who like projects like mine to know that my project exists, and if I have to do endure a little bit of overexposure to get there, I will accept that.

I want to know that my goals have changed since I have ventured onward, and they will continue to change as I progress, and that I am totally okay with that.

Monday, October 7, 2013

How The Evil Dead Remake Explains Pop Culture At Large



So, I just finished watching the Evil Dead remake. The movie was well done, and exactly what it was supposed to be.

I also felt that it was a microcosm of the filmmaking world at large.

The only real issues that the movie had was its familiarity.
But it was a remake. That's what a remake is supposed to be.
I mean Evil Dead II was it's own remake. So it wasn't like there was some tradition that had to held up here. 

And yet, there was something missing. Something that could have made it a lot better.

And I realized what those things were.

It was aftermodern

The Evil Dead remake had pretty much everything a modern Evil Dead remake should have, short of a Bruce Campbell saying awesome one liners as he fights demons.

There was a couple of things that gave the characters a lot of depth, and I'll give them credit here.

I'm a big fan of Ataque de Panico,  Fede Alvarez's short film depicting an alien invasion in his native Uruguay. I think Alvarez is a talented guy with a long amazing career ahead of him.

I don't know, I like a lot of movies made in other countries. I think a part of it has to deal with the military industrial complex. America spends more money on defense than any country in the world. There really isn't a plausible fear when it comes to aliens, zombies, or monsters in Manhattan, unless you act stupid during the entire situation.

But any of those scenarios in another country, like Egypt, or Syria right now, would be interesting. Especially when seeing how its citizens deal with it. We can't all be Brad Pitt and have a special airplane fly us out of any situation.

That, and we are a culture that fantasizes about this nightmare scenario. America lives in codependency with the threat of a giant monster it can be the hero against.

It's why we love movies so much. We're a bunch of drama junkies. We can't be content. Contentedness is boring.

And yet, we feed off of remakes from old movies we have seen many a time before.

I guess it's understandable. It takes five times as much energy to create an original property as it does to make a remake.

Anything in its past is a tangible advertisement, it's money you don't have to spend in marketing. You get that a lot with new stuff "I've never heard of this movie, it it any good?" as opposed to "Oh, I saw the original as a kid. I will check this out".

There's a confidence to working on an established property. It's like building your own boat versus buying an already made boat. If you build a boat, you always have this fear that it might sink. Like, you're not doing something correctly. But, a boat that's already built usually doesn't have those problems. It's an old boat.

Since people did not have a hand in creating the intellectual property they're working with, they tend to develop an entitlement about them. Like people are obtaining what they haven't earned. They mistook a remake's recognition for their own fame. Of course, you have the drones treating the remake like some pet or family member.

It's like when Crystal Skull came out, and you had all those idiots on the Internet saying "Welcome Dr. Jones". That's cringeworthy.

You're supposed to feel like an asshole for making a fan film. Unless that fan film is mindmeltingly amazing.

Remakes do sort of the same thing. You see younger talent in these things, and they have an arrogance about them they didn't earn.

I feel the same way about most DJs/people of the sampling ilk.

There's this Twitter account called "DJ's Complaining", and it's dedicated to well, DJs complaining. Henry Rollins broke this down in his now famous rant about modern music and the egos these people have.

In my work, I have found that the people who create original work tend to be humble (unless someone is actively trying to destroy their creation), but a lot of people who were not involved in the original creation process have an ego about them.

It's the same way with joke thieves. Look at how Carlos Mencia acted during his time on Mind of Mencia. Compare that with Louis C.K.

There could be a couple different reasons for this. One, fame has gone to their head because it was easy for them. Or, they act in this brash manner due to an inferiority complex. That is, they must exude what they believe to be confidence, so no one steps back and realizes that the emperor has no clothes.

Star Trek Into Darkness echoes postmodernism. The movie retraces and reiterates all of the things that Star Trek has done in the past.

I mean, the movie didn't really break any ground, outside of interesting concept art and design. And I know why that is. But, it sort of goes against "boldly go where no man has gone before".

To go where no one else has gone takes risks. And risking is hard. Especially nowadays. We are living in a world that is paying for the risks of the past. All the films and albums that the industry gambled on that didn't pan out is why things are the way they are. But, that can be a huge drain to one's motivation.

Now, I'm not a fan of Kantianism, mainly because Kantianism is not practical. That, and I'm a filmmaker. There's that old interview with George Lucas in the 70s where he says that a special effect is not good in and of itself, but only good if it helps tell the story better. Later in life, it might be argued that Lucas became more Kantian when it came to special effects.

So doing things in and of itself themselves is a weird thing to live by. But on the subject of remakes, schlocky movies, and the difficulty of making movies, it's sort of re-emerged as a counterpoint to working on movies you don't enjoy.

Like, you see all these people working on all these various projects. And you wonder, do they even like movies? All these nerds complaining about stuff. Do they even like movies?

They always work on something in the hopes of getting somewhere else. Somewhere else in the somewhere future. But, have they enjoyed anything they've worked on recently? Is there any sign that their goals are tangible?

Like, they would make a crappy horror film, because they want to build clout and make their serious drama later. But sometimes, that doesn't happen. What ends up happening is that movie ends up bombing, and the drama never gets off the ground. They would have been better off just making their serious drama now when they had an opportunity to make a film.

It's like these people who go on Kickstarter and try to get their short film made for $40,000. Robert Rodriguez made El Mariachi for $7000. Why not just make the movie? Cut out the spectacle, and focus on story. You might not get another chance. Not with that kind of money.

Follow me on Twitter



Friday, October 4, 2013

How To Focus On Your Midterms

So, this little blog of mine has been getting a huge amount of traffic in the last couple of days.

At first, I thought it was because I was just that talented. But, I realized it was something more than that.

You're procrastinating, aren't ya?

That's okay, I do it all the time. I just do it structurally. Like, I learn Arabic while not wanting to mow the lawn, that kind of thing...

Anywho, midterms are upon us. While you find yourself browsing this site at an attempt at wasting time, here are some things you should know:

Obey the 80/20 rule

A lot of math equations are hard to remember because they're so useless, but this is one will remain with you for life. This ratio comes from a little thing called the Pareto Principle, which states that 80 percent of a desired outcome comes from 20 percent of the variables.

You will find that 20 percent of the population makes 80 percent of the money. Another 20 percent of the population is responsible for 80 percent of the crimes, and so on...

The main component of this that occurs in production (or studying) is that you will find that you spend 80 percent of the time on 20 percent of the tasks.

The secret to successfully accomplishing anything is to figure out what that 20 percent is, and focus on it. There's always that one class causing you the most stress. And that's the one you need to focus on.

Make a concrete list of problems

Emotions are running high right now. Everything is everywhere. It can be easy to panic. It can easy to do the exact opposite of what you want to do and just watch cat videos (and only cat videos), but a lot of times procrastination occurs when you don't even know where to begin.

Luckily, procrastination ends when you know what concepts need to be understood in further detail.

Put it down on paper. You'll be amazed at how much easier it becomes to improve afterward. Make a list of what you don't know if it makes it more doable.

Don't be afraid of asking questions
Honestly, no one cares that you don't know. The class is only for a semester. And if they care, I don't care. The only caring that needs to be going on is you caring about your grade.

See, short and simple.


Now, get back to work. 


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Stickup #40

The Good Ideas/Self-Loathing Graph

As much as I think this picture is stupid/as much I think it's a good idea

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

My Issue With the Literary World

You know, I made a promise to my seventeen year old self not to be a little tapioca sellout.

I understand that might be hard for some people to understand, so I'll tell you a story from my childhood.

When I was a kid, they had these things called book fairs. They weren't really book fairs, they were an additional array of cardboard promotional book materials that the school library had every once in a while. The book fair would come with these multi-colored promotional fliers that showed what books they were selling.

And I'll be honest, the books they sold weren't very good.

And maybe it has to do with a bunch of factors, but I didn't like them. Not the same way I liked Jurassic Park.

You didn't have to convince me that Jurassic Park was good. I know Jurassic Park is good. People tried to convince me that all this post-Harry Potter lit is something to embrace.

If you like Harry Potter, yeah, more Potter for you.

I don't know, I never liked my teachers pushing Potter on me as they did. Never was a Potterhead.

I think the films might have had something to do with it. I was wanting a little more from people being "paralyzed" by the Basilisk than what I was given.  

They water these things down. Cause they think that's what we want as kids.

Cause every publisher wants to figure out how to steal a child's money, but no one ever asked the child what he thinks. Children aren't innocent, and they shouldn't be. I remember being a kid and having long conversations with my friends about nerve gas and the Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual in the fourth grade.

I don't know, maybe I just don't like it when people try to make you like things. This is something that happens every awards season. A lot of parroting about what's good or not. And then you look back and wonder how a certain movie won Best Picture when it is clearly garbage.

I was four years old when I watched RoboCop. I thought about that when the lackluster trailer to the remake came out. Jose Padilha is to said to be having the "worst experience of his life" on the shoot. I think he needs to pull a John Woo, and make more films in the home country. The industry does this to people.

I hate it when you're a kid and people pushed their bullshit on you. You always know when you're someone's target demographic. And a lot of those books at the book fair felt that way. A young boy must go on a quest to do some boring stuff you've heard before cause screw hurting people's feelings with something interesting...

Good art is painful. You ever watch Breaking Bad? That's painful.

Game of Thrones? That's painful too.

There was a lot of media launched on me as a child that wanted to be the next Star Wars. They indulged in each step of the monomyth. And they always wanted to do this thing where "this kid is just like you".

It didn't work. Cause "a kid like me" isn't a distinct character. It's a bland Mary Sue.

And it's funny, because a lot of people talk about the need for story.

But, I don't think it's the need for story/character development that's the problem.

There's a lot of movies with zero plot that I've enjoyed. The early films by Richard Linklater, for instance.

And I have sat through a lot of crappy children movies. They had character development. They had some stupid "save the environment" message. Save the environment. Put it in a flash drive.

It isn't to say that saving the environment is bad. But, it's to say that they had to put a theme in this stupid thing, and that was the default theme they picked.

Which isn't to say it couldn't work. But the angle they've done on it has been explored. Sometimes you have to say the exact opposite to say what you wanna say.

Remember the beginning of Alexandre Aja's The Hills Have Eyes? That wasn't nuclear radiation. That was deformed Vietnamese babies exposed to Agent Orange. The same people responsible for that atrocity are now genetically modifying the food you eat. Isn't that more interesting instead of the same old Captain Planet shenanigans?

I mean, even nihilism is fun when you talk about it. Nothingness. Scary nothingness. Horror movies where innocent people who do the right thing die. It happens. You're not going to live forever. And sometimes you find something out of that. Maybe you wouldn't be killed if you weren't so naive.

We've all seen these movies. People do stupid things, and we root for them to die. Cause we have real problems. That's why we love Walter White so much. He's actively dealing with the things life is giving him. He did the right thing, and life gave him a bad hand. So, he gamed the system a bit. And you can't really hate him (in the first four seasons anyway) because he picked the more adventurous option of a no-win scenario.

He took the rollercoaster for what it's worth, and enjoyed the ride. Again, first four seasons is what I'm talking about. 

There was an incident a while back where a woman came home to find two men holding her family hostage. These two men told this women that they were going to kill her family unless she emptied out her entire life savings and gave it to them.

This women went to the bank, where she withdrew her money, and tried to figure out a way to tell the teller about the situation, without actually saying it, since these hoodlums were watching her the entire time.

She returned home with these men, where she was killed along with the rest of her family. Did what they told her to do, and they killed her. Did what they told her to do, and they killed her.

Can't leave any witnesses.

This is a true story. This is a modern fairy tale (fairy tale as in, Cinderella's stepsisters getting their feet cut off) to tell your children a lesson. And that lesson is this:

When faced with the option of imminent death, one must ask themselves "How do you wanna die?".

See, it started as nihilism, but then you look into it, and you discover some things.

Even in a vacuum, meaning will find itself. 

If you're gonna deal with something, you might as well deal with it in your own way.

Isn't this an interesting thing to talk about?

You discover things when you get rid of the old stuff, and dig for new things. 

Hoarders. This is a show where people suffer from their inability to let go of the past. Now, I can't blame some of the people on the show. When you go on SSI, and have to deal with a limited income and the lacking illusion of control, you do those things. When all you can do is save to better your situation, instead of making more money, you get locked in like that. Urban cabin fever.

That goes twice for those raised in the Great Depression.

Change is scary. That's why knowing one dies is important. The bigger picture helps you deal with those smaller anxieties. You're gonna worry about losing a shirt on your deathbed?

Now, what I have presented is dark, morbid, and depressing. But, it is also what I wanted to talk about, with regards to themes, messages, and the like.

And by talking about this, you learn to appreciate life more. Contrasts help accentuate things. If you wish to win against opposing viewpoints, you must understand them.

Or you could talk about the importance of recycling. Whatever.

You're supposed to go against the grain.

Is there a chance that anything I'm talking about is going to be depicted in the cinema anytime soon, unless I go out and produce it myself? No. That's extremely doubtful.

Now I know why things are this way. Sanitized, processed, and sugar coated.

Honestly, it's counter-intuitive. Honesty in the creation of fiction.

And yet, being honest is what makes a film's theme resonate with the audience. 

It's more about being sincere than throwing money on the screen.

To quote Christopher Nolan: "I want to feel that the people who made the film think it's the best movie in the world". That's an interesting way to word things. It explains why Ed Wood is loved and bland romantic comedies fall by the waist-side. 

Real shit always beats a polished turd. Cause that's what it is. You can't get angry at someone for being who they are. You can always be angry at someone for being something they're not.

Maybe I need to read the books again for leisure, but Harry Potter is a stupid concept. It really is. It really is the epitome of entitlement. Be famous for sitting on your ass while Snape suffers in the background. Even if you think Snape is the secret main character of Harry Potter, you'll have to admit that Harry Potter is not someone worth rooting for.

I mean, the Frog Brothers did more with less against a bigger threat. 

I think I'm projecting childhood strife onto this cultural icon/media franchise, so to J.K. Rowling, I apologize. However, this agitation has helped fuel many a writing of mine. Blogging is not fun. No, that's a lie. Blogging is not fun sometimes.

But let's be real, if anybody can be your protagonist, it's hard to root for them when they suffer in conflict and do dumb things.

If your protagonist's role in the story can be replaced seemlessly by a toddler, the story needs to be reworked. That's why everyone hates the Phantom Menace, in addition to a bunch of other things.

I'm not Indiana Jones. I can't decipher Egyptian cultural artifacts and shove bald guys into propellers. I'm not Dr. Grant. I cannot look into the genes of African frogs and realize that it's going to make the velociraptors have babies. Even if you told me, I'd have a hard time believing you.

Can I fantasize about it? Sure.

But that's because I can't do it. I don't fantasize about things I can do, unless I'm having that dumb dream where I'm brushing my teeth again. .

I mean, call it my contrarian nature, but I want to move away from kid's movies for the time being.

I think doing so will help people grow up. All these kids from the millenial and onward were raised by people who didn't want them to grow up.

That's stupid. You're supposed to grow up. You're supposed to invent things, build empires, drink alcoholic beverages, find the cure to liver cancer, and have a lot of sex to celebrate your accomplishments.

But some asshat will be offended by my previous statement. Probably someone who didn't accomplish anything in their life. Someone who doesn't deal with things.

And it's the people who don't deal with things that make life difficult.

It's those people who make you feel awkward when you pitch something of meaning to them. Who make you question your accomplishments. And now they wonder why people lack motivation.

Wow, people have a hard time transitioning to adulthood in the golden age of bureaucracy. Who would have figured? Can't even work a simple job without a mounding pile of paperwork. It's easy to have it suck the enthusiasm out of you.

And don't tell me about watering things down cause it makes more money. You can make a lot of money smuggling an invasive species of poisonous frogs that spit in your face. Does not mean you do it.


Don't worry about the children. Worry about yourself, and the children will be fine. In elementary school, we talked about hypothetical scenarios where we blew up gophers with M80s.

I wanna remember those conversations. Cause that's who we were. No rose tinted glasses. No J.D Salinger Catcher in the Rye hymn on innocence. No, we talked about nerve gas. And we talked about it with enthusiasm, as juvenile as we were.

The Literary Collective wants to take this feeling away from me. They say it's offensive/some other thing. And that's why all their manuscripts suck. Cause it's about not making you feel a certain way, and you end up feeling nothing at all.


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Why Fandom Is Hateable


I don't know, the general masses have something about them that makes them hateable.

But, there is a certain amount of nerds/dweebs/etc. in the current that are bothersome. It has been something that has irked me for some time. I know this sounds like a crappy thing to do. I mean, they are fans and the like. And understand, this is not a blanket statement for the general fandom at large.

Rather, it is something that is occurring as nerds become more and more accepted into the mainstream.

Most of it has to deal with the fact that we are quickly approaching a nerd bubble if things continue to be the way they are. Repetition is needed for an artisan to be skillful, but the public sees repetition as tiresome. The brain loses meaning of a message as it continues to be repeated on and on.

And when that occurs, we get backlash. Backlash occurs when people forget why you're famous. Anyone can accept someone doing the crazy celebrity shenanigans when they are on top. But, if your partying outshadows your current slab of output (music, movies, etc.) it can be damaging.

Backlash, like fame, can take a while to grow. It also can be hard to detect now more than ever. Trust me, if the Bee Gees had Twitter, they would have never known disco was dead. They would receive all those tweets from fans telling them how much they loved them, and they would have never known the difference.

If culture acted the way we do now in the 80s, Van Halen would never have a chance, and some hack would have belted a half remixed version of Stayin' Alive that would have been number one in week and then drop off the charts in the following week.

I can't be one to blame the industry at large. We have done this to ourselves. A lot of times, I see a bunch of original films in theaters. Kind of things we compliment without watching/paying to see. And yet those projects come short. Not necessarily because we didn't watch them, but because there are as many bad original films as there are remakes/sequels/mixed chronological media franchise pieces.

A lot of movies that we view with nostalgia as childhood classics bombed at the box office. I mean, they destroyed people's finances. Secret of NIMH comes to mind. Again, ambitious, but it didn't sustain itself in its lifespan.

You can't make a living off the imaginary wages and praises of the Bohemians. Woody Allen lives in a little apartment for such a reason.

In 1997, it was said that out of all the albums that are put out by a record company, ninety percent will lose money, only to be compensated by the ten percent that make a profit.

You ever watch a music video by a crappy band and wonder where all the fans came from? The record companies paid for all those extras. They paid a whole bunch of money for flash and flair. It started in the eighties, it sort of continues now, but the record companies had to back off because they had taken too much debt promoting original acts that didn't make any money back.

Can we make speeches and examples of record companies ripping people off? Sure, it happens all the time. But the risk has gotten too high for these companies, and if they will see a sampled 2003 hit with some rapper's name dropping designer brands in exchange for everybody keeping their jobs, so be it, they will do that.

It is only when we see both sides of the spectrum that we can truly bring about change. Understand that for every action, there is a reaction. For every file shared, there is another Justin Bieber.

It is easy to be a "foodie" and complain about boring food on Yelp. It is a whole other thing to run your own restaurant. And yet, the consumers think it is so easy to profit from concoction.

Negativity Is Reciprocated When It Is Not A Vehicle Of Change 

I can understand hating something. It's an evil world. They build you up and tear you down. It happens.

But, a lot of film critics don't make this a pleasant experience. You go to Twitter and they talk about all the negativity and complain about every damn thing like anyone cares. If you find yourself an artist under scrutiny remember to look at the person, not the words regarding harsh criticism of your work.

I mean, I'll deal with criticism. If you don't like it, and there's a way to fix it, we'll do that. But I won't deal with people who don't know what they're talking about. I won't deal with people complaining about mumblecore when they haven't watched mumblecore. I won't deal with people complaining about a film that is obviously not in their target audience.

Might there be an exception? Maybe. But some big picture common sense goes a long way.

Sometimes I see somethings that remind me of how large the world is. How it's larger than my concerns. It's usually the silly things that make me realize this. Mostly involves angry Australians complaining about how their favorite soccer player has been traded, people in India complaining about new laws that have been passed, or Filipinos blocking up Twitter with love of their own Bieber-like teen idol.

Again, silly things. Americans have been taught to think that rest of the world is so much more refined. But, the Internet has proven this is not the case. This is so not the case.

Cause look at what people complain about on Twitter. It's always some vague relationship thing. Do you ever stop to wonder how much time is wasted on relationships which will inevitably go nowhere? How much time is wasted on an argument that started over where to place a towel or some other silly nonsense?

I could have been doing something productive that entire time.

It's like when you watch Maury and see the arguments those people get into. It's gotta be so consuming to deal with that on a constant basis. Who the hell cares?

Everything Has Become Disposable 

I guarantee you that people will leave the nerd scene. I know enough about trends to know it is coming. It happened in the 90s when the comic book companies launched seven different collectible copies of the same comic book. It gave us titles like Youngblood. The industry reached its peak, and it never truly recovered.

That's where the root of the disdain comes from. Popularity is temporary. We are up. Let us fall, before we aren't paying attention and end up hurting ourselves.

As bad as this may seem, it isn't as bad as the worst thing about fandom:


It Destroys Creativity 

Anyone will tell you that they want Hollywood to have an original idea. But, go to any convention, and you'll see a lot of stormtroopers, and a lot of Marvel characters.

You see a lot of artistic echoes is what I'm saying.

I don't hate cosplay. I just think the people who spend thousands of dollars replicating other people's work could use that same energy to make an original idea.

I'll echo a previous statement of mine: If George Lucas had the same mindset that we do now, we would have never had Star Wars and instead be given a cheaply made version of Flash Gordon.

And it would be cheaply made, because money spent on licensing fees is money spent not making the film. This is why so many video games based on movies suck.

And I'm getting really tired of fandom mentioned in media. Can it be executed properly in certain situations? Absolutely.

Were there any nerd characters in Star Wars? Indiana Jones? Not really. I mean, Indy knew his stuff, but he was also a womanizer.

Did Han Solo have a tattoo of Darth Vader on his arm and give a detailed lecture of the lightsaber schematics? No, he did not. Luke did a little "golly gee" thing when Obi-Wan mentioned the Clone Wars, but he grew to leave that in his past.

One cannot grow if he does not grow up.And if we do not grow, we're probably dying.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Why Chris Brown Is The Villain (And Charlie Sheen Is Not)

You know, life has its questions, follies, and tragedies. People are quick to question why good things happen to bad people and vice versa. Or why basketball players make more money than teachers or firefighters (that answer involves the demand of skill over supply) and things like that.
Such goes with regards to the R&B performer known as Chris Brown.

Chris Brown, for those not in the know, is a musical performer whose songs have been overshadowed by an incident where he assaulted the musical artist Rihanna.

This incident is four years old as of this blog post, and yet it continues to follow Chris Brown wherever he goes.

Chris Brown has not handled any criticism of the incident well. He thinks society will accept the few apologies he has made, and will forget everything.

And when journalists bring up the incident, Brown lashes out in anger. He breaks windows.

He lashes out. He embraces in other incidents which does not win empathy with the public.

And lately, he's been making comparisons to other controversial celebrities as a way to justify his actions. Chris Brown has complained that the media has vilified him while giving a pass to Charlie Sheen for his antics. Chris Brown also thinks that Jay Z should be given more scrutiny for stabbing someone.

Chris Brown wonders why life has treated him so unfairly.

Well, Chris, let's go over some things:

Charlie Sheen was never pushed as a role model to children

Chris, you guest starred on an episode of The Suite Life of Zack & Cody. Zack & Cody. The beginning of the high gloss artificial overacted tween sitcom. That was you. Charlie Sheen would not have been allowed anywhere close to the premises.

Now, it can be argued that Two and A Half Men is the adult counterpart to Zack & Cody. All the glossy elements are there. Except the oversexualized themes, of course.

But Chris, you were packaged and sold as a contemporary teen idol.

And maybe your brand wasn't who you are. And I get that. But there's a smarter way to go along with this.

Which brings me to my next point.

You need to be in a movie where someone beats the crap out of you.

Do you know why everyone loves Jesus? Cause he died for your sins. No, dying was the easy part. Did you see what they did to Jesus?

Anybody getting their ass kicked is instantly lovable.

Karen the bus driver got $500,000 cause she was verbally abused.

That's why Chris, you need to be in a movie where someone beats you up. 

Double points if it's some Breaking Bad conflict setup. Like, you woke up one day and found your fridge empty and your girlfriend cheating on you, and it made you angry. But now mobsters are after your newly ex-girlfriend, and they wanna kill her, so you place her under the bed where you caught her cheating. But the mobsters find you instead, so they torture you. They beat you up a lot. They wanna know where she is, but you don't say anything. You confess that you still love her.

She hears this. And yet, the mobsters aren't done. They pull out a laptop and play a video.

It's a video of her with four other guys. She's making jokes about what a sucker you are for not being there right now. One of the guys eats food from your fridge while doing the nasty. That's why it's empty. Another guy rubs himself against sandwich bread you used to make toast this morning.

You vomit your guts out. And yet, you say nothing.

And the pain continues.

Something like that makes you lovable. Same way as Charlie Sheen in Red Dawn. Or Charlie Sheen in Platoon. Or Charlie Sheen in Navy Seals. Or Charlie Sheen in something else I can't think of right now.

People emphasize with the suffering.

No one wants to see anyone succeed. So, do you know how to make someone want you to succeed? By amping up the suffering. You have to suffer like Sylvester's succotash to get the public to love you.

People love/know your victims

You beat up Rihanna. Rihanna. The pop star signing autographs and telling little girls to follow their dreams. That Rihanna.

Has Rihanna done a couple things recently to lose sympathy? Sure, late concert dates, rude behavior. All textbook rock star stuff.

But you beat her up. There were pictures. I have yet to see a picture of someone abused by Charlie Sheen, let alone one on the level of Rihanna's pic.

More people know Rihanna than they know you. More people know about the incident than they do your music.

You got angry at a woman going through a very public bout with cancer on live television. You went from guest starring on Disney to being a Disney villain. Hell, you even sing musical numbers when you talk to people. Your next album should be called "Long Live The King" with song titles like "Hyena Hype" and "Wildebeest Stampede (remix feat. Tyga)".

Sheen has been around longer. We know who he is. 

And while we're on the topic of content:

Charlie Sheen has never made clear arrogant boasts to people in his body of work

Yes, he said winning. He said he was a rock star from Mars. That didn't translate into his acting.

If Charlie Sheen left Two and A Half Men and was on a show called "Winning", everyone would say "yeah, f--- Charlie".

But he didn't do that.

If you knew nothing about Charlie Sheen, his movies would still be watchable.

Chris, you on the other hand, made an album called F.A.M.E. Not H.U.M.B.L.E. Not P.O.V.E.R.T.Y.

Fame.

And you weren't talking about the musical.

Charlie Sheen never painted a sports car to match the color of his shoes.

Charlie Sheen never threatened to shoot Frank Ocean over a parking spot. He did accidentally shoot Kelly Preston, but he didn't do it in the open. These were private/personal matters. Is it detestable? Absolutely. Arguments in relationships happen all the time, and Charlie should have controlled himself.

But, do you ever think that Charlie Sheen would shoot Michael Bolton over a parking spot? Hopefully he wouldn't, that's just unstable.

To sidestep for a second, Chris Brown made recent comments about how Jay Z stabbed someone and is loved by the media.

Now Chris, this might be hard to understand, but...

Jay Z does not present himself as someone who stabs people

When Jay Z is asked about the incident, he gives a simple explanation, and he shrugs it off in his calm demeanor. Something along the lines of "things got out of control, I wished I handled it better, but I learned, etc".

He didn't explode in a couple trashed windows. That's the actions of someone who stabs people.

There's a quote by Plato that goes something on the lines of "If someone spreads a lie about you, act in a way that would make no one believe them".

It's good advice.

Chris, you went through an incident where someone you got in an accident with claimed hit and run. Now, the pictures on the Internet seem to show you exchanging insurance information, so it's in doubt. It's all he said/she said at this point, but it's not wise to explode at any false accusations. 


One day, they will teach a course about trial by media to celebrities.

Until then, these are three things you need to know for future incidents:

Everyone goes in thinking you did it

So don't act like a total psycho when no one believes you. You just have to carry yourself in a way that will make them believe you. America is a country that has been brought up on criminal procedurals. If you know you are innocent, the plotholes in the accusations will speak for themselves. 

Yoo have to be plausible/likable in your innocence

The best example of this that I can think of is Kobe Bryant. Kobe was accused of raping a hotel employee at the Cordillera in Colorado.

At first, everyone thought Kobe was guilty, but a mounting number of inconsistencies in the accuser's recollection of events didn't add up. An examiner found sperm samples from three different men during the investigation. Witnesses who saw her afterward said she seemed happy and was not in any distress.

Bryant's accuser also made various lies regarding what she did after said events occurred. That, and an attempted stint on American Idol made people wonder if this was an attempt for fame. And so, the accuser decided on a settlement.

Even with all of this, Kobe did not come out clean. This greatly damaged his career, and every team he has played against has had fans who have brought up this incident.

But, the public at large has pushed this aside because of the inconsistencies.

And so, if one finds themselves in a similar situation, it is best to act calm and let the facts speak for themselves.

Act in life with a jury mindset

You know, people will cut you slack if you play your cards right. This is America.

We are a country that was founded by people who committed treason against the biggest empire in the world.

And in this revolution, poor people succeeded and rich people failed. And we blew stuff up to celebrate this occasion. Even if the forefathers weren't as poor as they wanted you to believe.We broke the law cause we thought it was the right thing to do. And we established sets of laws where one's life is decided by a jury of his peers.

It's important to live life with a jury mindset.  Do things in your day-to-day life in a way that people will cut you some slack in regards to your unforeseen circumstances. Don't do stupid things that make people lose sympathy for you.

I really hope I'm not jinxing myself by saying this.

And if you find yourself compelled to indulge in a little arrogance, do so in a way that resonates with other people.

Superhero movies are like this. At first, it was cool that someone with a lot of power acted humble. But then, it became a little less plausible. Like, what's the point of having powers if you act like everybody else all the time?

That's why we love Tony Stark. He acts in a way that a lot of people would act if they were a superhero. He tries to do the right thing, but he also enjoys it.

He also acts the same way we would act when bad things happen to him. Or rather, he acts in a way we wish we would act if the same thing happened to us.

None of this Peter Parker crying all the time nonsense.

And while we discuss arrogance:

Tattoos, while attractive, are hateable

This one is a little subconscious, but let me explain. Tattoos are arrogant. And hateable.

They're hateable, because it means you never considered the option that you might lose your current job and have to move somewhere else. That means no one has any sympathy for your current employment troubles cause you made the gamble that you'd be awesome forever. 

It's hard to feel sorry for someone with no job and a bunch of tattoos. It's like, you've done this to yourself. It's hard to have empathy for that. People everywhere have real problems.

And face tattoos and neck tattoos are expensive. And they depreciate in value over time.

This isn't to say to not get tattoos, but to have a plan for life's unexpected things. Tattoos force you to walk the walk. And walking hurts your feet. Everyone needs to rest their feet from time to time. But you can't do that, because you said you were better than that.

I mean, Charlie Sheen got his tattoos removed at one time to show his commitment to his girlfriend once. Just saying.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Things That No One Tells You

Life is weird. I've probably said this before, but it bears repeating.

But life is downright bizarre sometimes. Like, a lot of great things happen at the same time a lot of bad things happen. And you only figure out how to do things correctly after you lose a thousand times.

This is some things I've realized:


Failure is not that big of a deal:

Look at yourself. Are you fully capable of reading this? In that case, your life does not suck as much as you previously thought.

Hell, sometimes it's supposed to suck. Financial stability is hard. Maintaining a relationship is hard. Growth only occurs when you encounter obstacles.

Is This Gonna Matter In A Year From Now?

This is the new yardstick I used when I'm in the middle of figuring out a situation: is what I'm dealing with going to matter in a year's time?

This little question has helped me weed out what is important and what is not important. Little moments of anxiety that sprinkle into life's obstacles don't sting as much as they used to when you ask this simple question.

Hindsight Must Take A Lack of Foresight Into Account 

Maybe something you thought wouldn't be a big deal a year from now ended up having huge consequences.

That can hurt.

It can really easy to beat yourself up on your biggest failures. When you blew the game winning shot and let a whole bunch of people down. The stigma can burn for a very long time. It can be easy to say "If I had made it instead of missed it, my life would be fine". But that's a conclusion you make only after everything is said and done.

Have you ever been involved in a large production? There's a lot of variables and a lot of things to worry about. No one goes in wanting to lose. They might come in unprepared, but that has nothing on the outcome they desired.

If you find yourself in the folklore of people who have messed up, understand that under the pressure you were in, a lot of people might have done the same things you have done.

Anybody can look at their past and want to do things differently when they know what exactly is going to happen. That's why we tend to idealize the past a lot. But, it's dealing with the future that's scary. That's why the future scares so many people.

So, if you ever wish you didn't do something, look at your circumstances exactly as they were. Try to cut yourself some slack if you were dealing with a landmine you didn't know about.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Protrusions

Lately, I've been lacking in the motivation department.

A lot of this has to do with negativity. A lot of it has to do with how the world is.

We live in a world where people have joy from making people lose their job over a stupid tweet. We live in a world where talking about someone's criminal past gets you trouble, and yet the same person can go on and perform at awards shows, and be told he is a respected member of the community.

I don't care about Miley. I don't know why anyone cares about Miley. Do these people not know how to use Google? Who the heck watches MTV? Who let's their children watch MTV? Who decided that they should let a Disney Channel teen idol be a role model for their children?

You know what I mean?

Do these people actually watch the old Disney movies? Do you know how dark Snow White is? Or Sleeping Beauty? Let alone how dark the original material was.

I want to come up with a new term. I'll call it "brand evangelism". I mean, you can call it fanaticism, but fanaticism is such a redundant term that it wouldn't explain this new phenomena.

People have this strange notion of how things should be. This notion is created when content, whether that be a film, story, album, whatever, grows into something more due to its marketing and cultural acceptance. And from that point on, all of these things become a bigger part of whatever the original material was.

Star Wars comes to mind. Can you imagine how hard it must be for George Lucas to watch a movie without someone mentioning his work. He wants to relax and watch Breaking Bad and now he has to watch Badger talk about the Death Star. An artist can feel alienated when he feels he is received the wrong way.

Or worse, he is received the right way by people he is trying to offend. I like Jackie Brown more than I like Pulp Fiction. I also like Reservoir Dogs that same way, and I think a lot of that has to do with this. Any idiot can give the Royale with cheese speech. But you can't do that with anything from Jackie Brown, so I don't have all those images of all those idiots in high school messing up the Royale with cheese thing.

Trust me, I've heard a lot of those.

So when I watch Jackie Brown, I feel like I'm watching the film as it's originally intended.

And yet, I have a fear that some of those people will receive me openly. Like, you work on things to rebel (in like a Nirvana against hair metal kind of way) and you find that all your hard work gets assimilated and it's back to square one.

A lot of times, I watch a plethora of films that have received raving festival reviews and wonder what the hell all those people were thinking. And then I remember that what I'm responding to is someone watching a film as it's intended for the first time before anyone can get their hands on it and claim it as their own.

Of course, ironically it's these festivals that have critics putting their hands all over the movie and completely ruining it before it gets out of the gate.

The only way to get the same effect from a film is to watch it many years after it has gone to DVD, and people have moved on. But that can be a long process to wait. And even though that's great as a viewer of film, it can be hard to measure successfully as a filmmaker.

A film can only be successful if other people like it. And for some reason, the general public has this nasty habit of forgetting what the entire meaning of things is.

I watch Breaking Bad and I can say that selling drugs is not fun. I would not want to put myself in the same situation that Walter and Jesse have put themselves in.

And yet, when the press junkets arrive, and when pop culture lampoons it, it's all fun and games. Every junket has some bubble headed girl who asks the question "How fun was it making all that meth?". That wasn't the point of anything that was going on lady. People have died. Come on now!

It can be hard for an artist to continue to create and promote his work due to this promotional nature. A lot of people like to complain about how evil Hollywood is. I've never seen anyone actively support it. I mean, I don't even think that Spielberg likes Hollywood. No one likes Hollywood, but everyone seems to be in such a hurry to work there.

What I have discovered is that Hollywood is much like any other business or bureaucratic group entity. There's people who do it well, and then there is a corporate back and forth where a project you have worked on for a long time is pushed aside. It's not just Hollywood that does this. The only difference is that you're dealing with people's dreams.

You're dealing with people who have fantasized about leaving a conventional dream for the flash and the fantasy only to realize that show business is a business like everything else and that your company promoting revolutionary change sells handbags at Wal-Mart.

Again, this can mess with people.

But at the end of the day, the media is just people. It's just a lot of people talking. The biggest issues with your life goals probably has more to do with you and your circumstances than any collective entity. Or maybe it can be a component, but it can be dealt with.

This also gets scary when people stop making good movies and they get thrown in the gravitational pull of other people's agendas. Like when some committee called Raiders of the Lost Ark one of the best movies for kids.

Raiders of the Lost Ark. The movie with the dude who gets chopped up by the propeller.

And then when Temple of Doom came out, every half wit wrote a letter complaining about its violence.

So, Lucas and Spielberg listened. And that's how we got Jar Jar.

No one thinks about the other implications of this stuff.

I mean, we're getting soft. It's amazing the Syrian Electronic Army hasn't just hurled a bunch of racist and homophobic tweets to make us piss our pants.

At the end of the day, these "offended" people are the reason why the prequels sucked. George Lucas and Spielberg catered to that.

I am writing this as a letter to my future self.

Tell the housewives to piss off. If they don't like it, they can wake up at four in the morning and make their own damn movie.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Stickup #34

 
 
 
"I'm not even hungry, I just like pooping everywhere"

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Monday, July 1, 2013

Sweet Purgatory

Time is interesting.

You get better. They get better.

People who used to intimidate you crumble. They don't know what they're doing.

And there's this new bounce though that makes sure to keep you on your toes.

The game as it is said, changes.

I get a little of what I wanted. And feel odd cause I've gotten it. Said I would have settled for it. But I'm not settling.

Lot of raw potential. Internet and technology shows we all have raw potential.

So, this is the attrition game.

Sweet purgatory.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Monday, March 4, 2013

Primordial Angst

People complain a lot. And it's never about anything practical. It's always something stupid.

Lawmakers on the Oscars. Instead of, I don't know, poverty, the economy, something actually worthwhile. Everybody blabbing their stupid worthless opinion.

It shouldn't be law or anything, but unfunny people who should not criticize comedians. Organizing events and working on jokes is one of the most stressful things you can do. Anyone who disagrees is free to go to a comedy club and work on an hour's worth of material.

People who emasculate the act of writing most are also the same people who "only spent a year in college" and had issues getting into sports programs due to issues with reading comprehension.

We've been placed in a society of whiny bitching. What is whiny bitching? 

Whiny bitching occurs when a complaint is issued without any sense of constructive criticism. You think the government sucks? Great, so does everybody else. Do you have any solutions? What's that? You don't? Then please, shut up.

The same can be applied to education. Everyone knows how to fix education. If you don't, John Medina wrote a book about it. Does anyone actually apply the steps needed to fix said problem? Nope, but they'll sure complain about it. Fixing education is a lot harder than talking about it.

Over the last couple of months, I have done my best to be someone who walks the walk more so than talks the talk. And I know I will have hecklers at all future sprints and marathons.

On top of all of this malnutritutional criticism is a word that's come up a lot lately. One which, is losing its meaning with repeat usage.

And that word, is entitlement.

Entitlement is a funny word. It's funny because with usage, anything can mean entitlement.

You can pay for something, and if the company doesn't give it to you and you complain, they can consider you entitled. A customer can want something expensive for free, and if you don't want to give it to them, they say that you as an employee and a company are entitled.

A person angry at their sexless marriage can be considered to be entitled. Me analyzing these things can be a sense of entitlement. You see how it is? What was once simple cause and effect has this new layer of ethical egoism over it. 

It's ubiquitous and is now becoming the new thought terminating cliche for any new rising issue.

Nevermind the fact that society has lied about the whole college=high paying job thing.

"College students make a million dollars more than high school graduates over the course of their lifetime"

And they're working on paying a trillion dollars worth of debt too, last time I checked.

I have been reading up on the traits of successful people. It's the little things that are the most interesting. Like, the fact that successful talk about ideas, whereas, unsuccessful people obsess over objects and gossip. Or how successful people concern themselves with the future moreso than the past.

Which I think is awesome. Cause lately, I've seen a lot of people in my surroundings use the past as an excuse. Past struggles with breaking wings as the reason they cannot fly.

People love telling you how hard their life is. Even when it's good. Yet, the measurement of "good" also comes with our surroundings. You can kill yourself if your neighbors make too much. But then again, I don't think you're relaxing in the projects either.

A lot of people want to stick themselves to the past. Not in a nostalgia sense, but in a "the book on me has already been written" sense.

You ever read a book about an artist you admire? You ever notice that they always make it look like destiny? Like they knew what they were doing the entire time? Like George Lucas knew Star Wars was gonna be successful in between heart attacks? Like, the storm they encountered in Tunisia didn't bother them? Like knowing not having reshoots cause of Mark Hamill's accident was a blessing in disguise?

Of course they didn't know.

And most people don't know their future now. 

People love prophecy. Only problem is there's a lot of false prophets.

The bad news about this global economy is that it has short term memory. A woman who, I don't know, sold a 70 million dollar startup is quickly forgotten until she goes to prison for selling drugs.

Then again, the good news about the global economy is that it has short term memory. All those shots a winning athlete misses in the earlier season are soon forgotten. Nothing good came out of past failures. Hell, nothing good came being lazy and pointing to past successes.

When you live in a world where a cloud carries all your past successes, it should be a sign to go out and get new ones.