Thursday, January 30, 2014


It's really hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that 2004 was ten years ago.

I'm still playing with my Game Boy Advance SP.

I remember when the Game Boy Advance was this new amazing thing.  I remember thinking about waiting for the price to go down.

Do you ever look at ads for 90s gaming consoles in the $300-$500 range? It freaks you out sometimes.

As the future quickly becomes the past, as the things you are planning becomes the things you are remembering, I think it shows how silly it is to wait for the future.

I remember being in fourth grade and wondering about the state quarters. California was supposed to come in 2005. I wondered what the world would be like in 2005. That was pre-9/11.

I also want to think about all the false predictions that have come and gone, and how people have wasted their entire lives waiting for some pseudo-supernatural premonition.

Fiscal Cliff.
Anything else government related that the media makes a giant hulabaloo out of.
The failed predictions of terrorist attacks that would lead us into war with Iran.

I have realized at this point in my life that if anything truly bad happens with the economy, the people in power will have to hurry up and fix it, or someone's head is going on the guillotine. I don't think the idea that people will blindly go into the FEMA camps will come true.

It's hard enough to make people evacuate an area knowing full well a hurricane is going to destroy their land. If people will openly defy mother nature, I don't think they will listen to the government.

In the history of world, displacements of poverty similar to that of France before their revolution and Weimar Republic Germany have always been the catalysts of larger military conflicts.

While the new displacement of people following the recession has led to people embracing alternative political ideas, as seen by both the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street, this factions lack clear goals which disables them from enacting reform.

And yet, all this comes down to, is Chicken Little. The sky is falling. They've been telling us this since forever. Old books about how the Antichrist will rise in the U.N. while the Soviet Union invades us. It's that old Biblical fear.

And I think that old Biblical fear, I think that fear of the future is what holds people back.

Society does not live in the wilderness. We are not engaged in some hundred years war. There's food in the pantry, in the dumpster at the fast food joint if you're really that desperate.

I believe it was Sam Kinison who said "if you can't get your act together in America, where else are you supposed to get it together?". He also made the point that America would probably be the best place to be if you found yourself at the wrong end of an economic displacement.

I know telling people who think this is the end that the sky is not falling will not convince them, so I will say this instead.

Yes, the sky is falling. What have you done to prepare for it?

Do you grow your own food? Do you have your own emergency supplies? Do you tell those important people in your life that you care about them?

If you haven't done these things yet, don't you think it would be a larger priority than to scream in an argument with a friend that you have now made an enemy?

And to those people hiding out in the woods: Do you really wanna spend the rest of your lives that way?

Is there not something else you wish you had done?

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Media Circus Nostalgia

Ahh...Justin Bieber.

You finally did it.

Hell, you set it up in storytelling beats. You had your henchman set up little conflicts before launching the main event.

People talked about it for a while, things went in motion, but now it begins.

There's no way you can get out of this unscathed. You're not Heisenberg. You're not witty like Robert Downey Jr.

They might give you celebrity treatment, but it's only fuel to the flame.

It's a weird corner to be in: Like, no one respects your antics, and the teen girl audience that adored you are being hushed away by their parents.

The weirdest thing about all of this is that it still doesn't feel rebellious, just stupid. Like, Bieber wants to be this bad boy, but it isn't working. It's not who he is. He's Canadian. Any Canadian engaging in immoral behavior just looks embarrassing. Ask Rob Ford. Bumbaclot, eh?

But I will say this, I'm not going to pretend to be above the scandal.

There's a lot of evil stuff going on in the world, and this is being used as a distraction from that.

Now, can all those evil things be depressing sometimes? Yes.

Al Qaeda is occupying Fallujah. Would you like me to talk about Fallujah? No, I can hear you yawning already.

It was a lot like how Michael Jackson's issues were a distraction from the Iraq War.

You have to admit, there's something very...I think the term would be..."spectator enriching" about celebrity meltdowns.

Remember how Wacko Jacko was? I remember people in school checking their cell phones for updates (this was when the idea of using your cell phone to check for the news was somewhat of a novelty concept). I remember being in the gym finding out about his innocence.

A lot of stuff happened back in the day. A lot of stuff I have should have forgotten about. But I still remember that.

I think the celebrity meltdown is slowly filling the void that tentpole cinema used to inhabit.

I remember when Spielberg's movies were huge. They were a cultural event. Society seemed to change with each Spielberg film. Jurassic Park. Hell, even the opening day of Lost World was pretty awesome.

And it sort of happens these days, but the movies they push into an event are always kind of lame. Hunger Games might be the exception, but a movie based on a book about kids killing each other is not something that's going to keep being a norm.

Nah, celebrity meltdowns are the new events. You can't make a film out of it, meltdowns happen in real time. It's fun to watch on social media.

And every tabloid feels like a site in some expanded universe. The melting artist's body of work takes new meaning due to new incidents.

Honestly though, celebrity meltdowns capture what was once so special about the early days of cinema. When Gone With the Wind was in theaters, it was an event. It represented what was going on with people at the time. That can't be replicated now. I can just catch the film on Netflix later.

Looking back, I remember where I was when certain celebrity meltdowns happened.

It's something memorable that you can talk with your buddies about without having to worry about people getting hurt, which the exception of certain pedestrians and bystanders during DUI instances.

Is it going to be sad if Justin endangers himself? Yeah. But there isn't much anyone can do about at this point. He's an adult, with a large disposable income. He can take care of himself.

He's gonna need to in the next couple of months.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Sitting Back And Enjoying Myself (or Why Child Stars Have Meltdowns)

You know, I really wanna do something big with this blog.

Something kind of fun. It's funny when you have goals that are based on abstract emotional feelings. Makes it kind of hard to set goals.

I went in, read all of these books, websites, and pamphlets and I realized that I didn't even know how I got here in the first place.

Things sort of seem to go in a blur. Do I remember creating 52 Stickup? I do.

I remember there were days when I did not enjoy it. Days when I look back and I wish I did things differently. I just wanted to do something webcomic-wise. I had seen all these so called "indie" artworks that took pride in the fact that they were lo-fi, and I wanted to do something like that.

And so, Stickup was born. And Stickup is done.

Could I decide to do something like that again in the future? I mean, it's possible, but I've got a bunch of ideas in my head, so it would have to come from necessity.

You know, I think we as a society forget how cinema minded we truly are. We mock every step that leads up to the finished product, mocking actors as vain, and scorn Hollywood for being phony, but oftentimes we forget that the films we cherish were created in those same bemoaned circumstances.

We factor all those things in after the fact. You watch documentaries on Star Wars where a storm wipes out the desert sets, and you think it wouldn't be a big deal since it was Star Wars, but you fail to comprehend what a giant nightmare that was for everyone involved.

I know it's this cool thing to do now where people complain about the lack of originality in Hollywood.

But all of those complaints were done by people who never wrote and directed a movie before. It's wonderful to be a novelist. A novelist is a mad scientist. A lone creature in some cave etching out some sorcery. And a director has their own pride. A director is a general.

They lead their crew into battle, spend all night plotting things out, preparing the worst but hoping for the best, even improvising against new obstacles.

To be both a general and a mad scientist can be a frightening task. It takes a special discipline to do both. It's why George Lucas suffered hypertension directing Star Wars.

It's coming up with your greatest romantic fantasy, and trying to watch normal people replicate it for you. It can be easy to watch your dreams mesh and turn into some otherworldly Lynchian nightmare. And if you're lucky, that's the best case scenario.

But you do it. And you do it because that's what you want to do. You do it because it's who you are.

There's nothing worse than suffering through the creative process ending up with something no one wants under the impression that you were supposed to win more adoration by not being true to yourself.

This is a new game I like to play:

It's called figuring out what project caused the child star to snap

Miley Cyrus. Amanda Bynes.

I don't think Miley has what you call a "meltdown". She's lashing into adolescence. That's all that is. That girl you know across the street experimenting with being goth. Like that, but on a larger scale. Why that's so hard to comprehend, I'm not really sure. It's promotion. It is what it is.

But, I think I've figured it out.

The next time some lovable Disney/Nickelodeon freaks out, go to their Imdb/Wikipedia page and look at the projects they were working on.

Nine times out of ten, what they were working on doesn't look like admirable material.

Making one film is exhausting enough. Going through a cycle of films, probably a couple before that they didn't enjoy either, does things to one's mental health. So, you have people who were forced to be actors, who don't enjoy acting, working on films that they don't enjoy.

All of the ammunition for rebellion are laid right there.

Can you imagine what horrible people we would all be if our high school drama was covered by a tabloid? What did you think was going to happen?

This goes again to a motif I've repeated for the last couple of times. It all goes back to Christopher Nolan who said that the quality of a film comes back to sincerity, like the "person making the film feels like it is the greatest movie ever made".

The Mileys, and the Amandas, and the (insert next one) probably did not want to be in the film industry. Pretty sure. They were doing favors for their parents.

You ever see someone trying to fulfill some legacy that doesn't fit them? It's saddening.

The child stars that made it big, the Leonardo DiCaprios, the Joseph Gordon-Levitts, they wanted to be actors. It was enough motivation for them to go through all the difficulties that comes with making a film.

A lot of child stars get to this point where they don't enjoy the craft, but they love fame and whatever hedonistic pleasures that comes with it.

I wonder if Corey Feldman would make a film of his that has a strong vision to it. A drive.

If not, it might just be a job. Which isn't bad. A lot of people work jobs that they hate.

But that has to suck. When you churn out twelve films a year, wouldn't you at least want to make one that's good? Even if you work at a job you hate, wouldn't you have fun with yourself at work every once in a while?

It seems like a horrible vicious circle of people being forced into hateful career choices.

You have a parent telling their child not to pursue their dream. They listen. They hate their life. They hate themselves.

And so, this person grows up and forces their kids to live out their dream. And that becomes the disaster that that is.

And the spectators and the bystanders talk smack when actors openly say that this is something that they don't wanna do.

Again, so much culture is beamed down onto us, mostly because the West turns more and more into a consumer/commodity exporter everyday that we somehow pretend to know what being a performer is like.

Which isn't to say we should act as some white knight each time a celebrity acts up. No, that is not what this is. That is not truthful. But, we need to figure out how to solve this problem without going in with this uninformed conception of what life in the public eye appears to be.

I decided to just sit down and write today. I didn't want to do some target assignment thing. No, that doesn't get it done. Why would I even do that? What fun is there in doing that? There's no endgame to that.

I'll be completely honest with you: as much as I think writing a novel might be fun in the future, the writing community annoys me. I can't honestly enjoy myself in that environment. They are a bunch of individuals who will punish me for my enthusiasm. I can't deal with that.

I'd rather go H.A.M. I'd rather throw money, sweat, and time into some James Farr/Freddie Wong multimedia event. But you know that just baits the haters.

You need to accept that. Every hero's journey comes with adversity. Yours will not be any different. Everyone you have looked up to has faced the same challenges.

So, you need to go out and do what makes you happy. At least take the chance once.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


You know, despite the obvious oncoming obstacles, I like where I'm at in life right now.

I know who I am as an artist. Hell, I acknowledge that I'm an artist now, which is something I didn't do a couple years ago.

I was the kid who got made fun of because he named his gecko "Hitchcock". I got bullied for writing Paper Mario fanfiction in the fourth grade. When who you are is under constant scrutiny, it does something to your work. Like, you work on it, and you keep quiet about it. And when it comes out, there's this angst to it. Your work began as this puppy that was abused. And now it's this snarling dog.

There's a bite to it.

I'm also the guy who's not afraid to bother people by being who I am.

I think it's a wonderful thing to piss people off by being who you are.

This is different from a Gaga-Cyrus-Marilyn Manson thing when your artistic expression is based on pissing the audience off. Cause it can come off as insincere at the time.

When you act like who you are, and do the things that you do, it is guaranteed that it will ring in tune with someone. And maybe that does feel like a contradiction.

But this all goes back to what Christopher Nolan said about a quality film being one where "the person making the movie feels like it's the greatest movie in the world".

This is why Tommy Wiseau's "The Room" and James Nguyen's "Birdemic" resonate with people. The (dis)respected filmmakers truly believe in their work.

This differs greatly from a "Sharknado" when the people making the film clearly don't give a shit.

I doubt Uwe Boll enjoys the movies he makes.

And I feel that a large amount of filmmaking output are not enjoyed by the people making it. There's a lot of people who I want to ask "Do you even enjoy doing what you do?".

This goes for film critics too. Film critics are tortured artists without the artist. That just feels like a miserable existence. More miserable than any task I have encountered in life.

They get caught in the commodity. Worrying about award shows and not offending demographics. That shit ain't rock and roll. That destroys creativity.

These people are suffering because deep down they know they are not living their full potential.

Full potential is not about making the most money, or having the most fans. Full potential is about being who you are to the highest level. It's Hitchcock spending the first twenty years of his career making amazing films that most people don't even know about it, cause the next twenty years of his career had just as amazing work.

Now, it can be said that films like "The Lady Vanishes" and "Sabotage" differ greatly from the Hitchcock name that we all came to know. Writers like William Goldman have gone even far enough to say that the auteur theory of the French had greatly damaged Hitchcock's later output with films like "Torn Curtain" and the like.

But you can't worry too much about the misfires. Misfires will happen.

Bruce Lee was undefeated. This is true. But Bruce Lee deep down felt like a failure. He pitched a project to Hollywood that ended up becoming Kung Fu with David Carradine. His original vision was lost, and he ended up having to flee to Hong Kong to make his movies. This felt like a large personal failure for him. But no one will call him a failure. Failing does not make you a failure, nor does winning make you a winner.

It's about the mindset.

I know a lot of people who would rather bring someone's wisdom down than live their dreams. I know someone reading this wants to argue over syntax.

I'm not going to lie, I used to be one of those people. But that gets old. And it didn't get me to where I wanted to be. And I was miserable for it.

Eventually, with time, you figure out who you are. You know what you're willing to put up with.

You figure out what you want.

You can have access to all the power and influence in the world, but it will be useless if you do not know what you want. The genie can't grant an unknown wish.

The first draft of your life is constantly being written. It is only when many years go by that you figure out what the narrative is. Sometimes, you emphasize events in your life that didn't seem like a big deal at the time over others.

So, do everything, experience the ups and downs, and find yourself saying "oh well" more than "I wonder what could have been".

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

New Beginnings

Well, Happy 2014 everybody.

Let the countdown to hoverboards begin, but they probably won't.

I think it's funny. I still feel like it's 2007, to be all that honest with you.

I think a lot of people feel that way.

It's for two reasons:
1. It's easy to categorize decades that began with "19--". You can point a difference to how the 70s is different from the 80s. Now, it took a while for the fads that we associate with those decades to actually take place (watching that old trailer of the original Prom Night and noticing that a movie in the 80s still utilizes disco music).

2. The event chronology of the past decade and a half. Think about it. 2001 was the beginning of a reality television show called "Hunting Bin Laden". And Hunting Bin Laden has had many spinoffs since then. But so much time has been placed tracking this event, that when Bin Laden was finally killed, we stopped and were shocked at how much time went by.

The same can be said with regards to time and the Iraq War. 2003-2005 felt like a whirlwind.

It's also funny how things change culturally.

Twilight is dead. Straight up.

Zombies are in.

We got what we wanted. And it's...okay. We can make it better. There's ways to do these things.

Dystopias have become the subgenre of white women. This is odd.

Imagine going five years back in time. And you tell people what happened to Miley. And Bieber. And Chris Brown.

Time changes things.

This kernel of truth can be an amazing thing to apply to your life. Things can change a lot in five years. Make it inspire you, and make it be a cautionary tale.

Take the step and go forward.