I’m No Fan of the Media

I will make this short and not-so-sweet.

It’s funny how when a celebrity dies, the media thinks it’s everyone’s business how the estate gets divided up. It does not matter how the math works out in one’s head because it is nobody’s damned business.

Duncan Jones’s mother left him with David Bowie long before Iman came into the picture. He provided for his education and such. That was well before his sister was born. If you figure that in, it pans out in the end. However the three of them just lost what no amount of money can replace–a husband, father and friend.

That being said, it is not the public’s business where the estate ends up, and the media along with the armchair experts should shut their collective pie-hole.

That is all I will say on that subject.

Another Day in My Life: First post of 2016

In the last four days I’ve come face to face with the reality that I will be an orphan. The word “orphan” is usually associated with a child who was given up by parents or both parents are deceased. Well, the inner child dwelling within me will fall into the latter category one day…

My sister and I respect our mother, and as we were taught, we will respect her wishes.  We have placed her into in-home hospice. Over and over she has let it be known that she wants to die in her own bed, and being that this woman is the most important person in my life at the moment, what she wants is all that matters. This is how 2016 began for my family.

As opposed to when I lost my dad or a grandparent, the emotions here are different. Mom has good days and bad days. Given that she has days where she is lucid and is the woman I knew, there are days when she is not. During the latter, the dementia can totally transform the people we know and love into an alien life form, barely recognizable…

Those are the days that are difficult but I am going to hang onto every lucid moment that I can get. The nurses and workers who are in the trenches every day with this should be commended. Thank you, Ms. Colorado for your monologue on nursing. People need to watch it.   The nurses that took care of my mom at Hendrick Medical Center treated my mother with dignity and respect. She hasn’t been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s but she does have some dementia.

The nurses are more than nurses. The aides are more than aides. They also helped me to cope. They also bore the brunt of the difficult moments. For that I am grateful. Anyone who wants to make a detracting, snarky statement should come talk to me.  Joy Behar,  in particular should take note. If she wants to continue in her snarky commentary due to her lack of education and/or common sense, she should be job hunting because journalism is clearly not her forte.

When dealing with sensitive subject matter, if someone is going to editorialize and not report the facts of a matter, they should remain silent rather than reveal themselves for the incompetent writers that they are. Entertainment at the expense of the elderly, the vets, the nurses, doctors and aides is not entertainment. It is an insult and this viewer will not watch any show that allows its writers and/or hosts to engage in such detracting garbage.

Why? Because my mother is the most important person in my world at this moment, as is every other person who suffers from such things. If writers cannot comprehend that we should be responsible adults when dealing with these subjects, then it is time to back away from the pen and the keyboard.

 

 

The Managing Writer…

This is a strange title isn’t it? I think it is, but the duties of a writer and the duties of a manager (as in retail management) are not that different. Are you wondering how this can be? Think of it this way, what do managers do?  They are responsible for the following things in the course of their duties:

–protecting the money

–protecting the assets (property and such)

–protecting the merchandise (if applicable and they do their best although no industry is “thief proof”–including the writer’s market)

and making sure others can tell when they walk in the door of a business that these things are all part of a manager’s job.

In retail management, they make plans based on observations, direct labor so that areas of the businesses are covered throughout the day, and then they follow through with those plans. When a manager fails in making plans and directing labor–that goes to leadership and in time a manager failing to produce a plan that will get results will result in demotion or termination.

Why? Because if customers can see such weaknesses in a manager, they will work very hard to find the “weakest link” in the store so they can walk out with whatever they can get.

Anytime there is a failure, it goes back to the manager…Why? Usually because of a lack of leadership skills in getting things running as they should.

How does this pertain to writing?  It does so in the following ways:

–The writer has a responsibility to ensure credibility and integrity by ONLY pertaining to what is KNOWN with hard evidence, unless he/she is writing fiction. Then again, it is important to be true to the Historical perspective from which one is writing–even in comedy. When writing well, the author is protecting his her potential reward, be it money and/or recognition. Not all writers do this with an expectation of becoming the next Louis L’Amour or Elmore Leonard–or Stephen King.

–As a writer, there is a responsibility to preserve (protect) the integrity of all aspects of the written work. This goes from the framing of characters and plot all the way up to the copyright and such. If one is writing an original piece of work, it is important to copyright it so nobody steals the idea, but it is also important to make characters and plots honest, believable and credible. There is a difference in the 3 aspects of those things. Credibility is probably the most important of the 3 in my opinion.  Even in fiction, a reader likes to believe that something could happen if certain elements became reality.  If this is hard to understand, all one has to do is look at the Star Trek stories.  In the 1960’s it was doubtful that these things could become even a remote possibility–until man landed on the moon, right?

–Protect your vision. It doesn’t matter what any critic says. What you write is your vision. You own it. If you have an audience for that, then enjoy it. Critics usually aren’t the ones who will buy your work anyway. The same holds true for scriptwriters and songwriters. I agree with the late Elizabeth Taylor when it comes to reviews. In my opinion, they are only good for lining the bird-cage, because I do not need anyone to be paid mega bucks to speak for me as a reader when I’m quite capable of deciding whether or not I enjoy a certain work that someone else is being paid to condemn.

The last thing I want to point out is not to let yourself get discouraged. If you want to share your vision, then do it. As you do more of this, you will only improve in the areas you might be weaker in, and there is nothing wrong with that.

Political Correctness Truly Defined (Part 2)

I want to make something perfectly clear here. I do not feel that one’s political views should have any bearing on whether or not they are accepted as artists, writers, singers, etc…The trend in Hollywood has been for decades to embrace the far left and shut out anyone with any views that deviate from that view, even if the person trying to make a living is middle of the road.

There is a view among many in society that a comic should only entertain according to the point(s) of view that are personally acceptable to them. Artists in all camps do not accept this notion as it is a form of dictating their material, or in easier terms to understand, societal censorship.  Politicians have been subject to ridicule from both sides of the spectrum but it is only when someone who is in power on the left that the specter of censorship rears its ugly head.

There were proposed rule changes to the FCC about writers and reporters that did not get put into place because those rules interfere with the first amendment and since the media is largely “owned” anyhow, it was a waste of taxpayer funds to make such rules. If the people of the United States wanted government controlled media, they’d start moving elsewhere.

Reporters, if they have any sense of ethics, should be reporting the story truthfully, without interjecting what they think should happen as a result of the evolving stories coming into place. The people do not need a journalist to help them make up their minds. They have a sense of what they feel is right and what they feel is wrong.  In fact, if anything, viewers should find any reporter that takes it upon himself/herself to try to change their views on any issue to be insulting. That is not their job. If they want to get preached at by anyone, they will turn off the television and go to church. The audience, for the most part, wants the story–without how  the person reporting “feels” about it.

Both the media and Hollywood have worked very hard to be the self-appointed moral compass of this nation and that is the last thing they should be. Individuals can decide the course of their own destinies without their advice. For the most part if they are not paid to entertain, they are paid to inform. Personally, unless I’m watching the news or PBS, I do not want to hear about political topics. I go to movies to escape these things. I go to concerts to escape these things. When those in these fields try to tell me I should have point of view A rather , point of view B, I tend to get rather angry.

I do realize that some acts in general ARE politically motivated and write their music accordingly. If the fans want that, that is their decision. Those acts are doing what they think is their “mission” in life which is to bring awareness. There is nothing wrong with that.  The same holds true for writers who make it known what the purpose is for script A or script B. However if it’s not on a topic that has my interest, I won’t go or watch the show.  However that is NOT the job of the journalist and they need to get back to reporting the news and stop giving 3 minutes of story and 30 minutes of editorializing.

When writers insert politics into a script with what otherwise would be a very good drama that isn’t pushing their views, I change the channel. I do not want to watch a TV sitcom and hear about how good Obamacare is. That is not why I watch TV. Thank God the Brits aren’t doing that crap. However getting money from grants to do so is an incentive. I’m sure if the GOP had done that, the left would be screaming bloody murder about taxpayer funds going toward that. Well I would also, but it is because taxpayer funds shouldn’t be going to pay for advertising government programs and campaigning on mainstream TV shows on MY DIME.

We have a 17 trillion-dollar deficit and that is the last thing government money should be going to…Common sense should dictate as much.

As for Hollywood, they should have followed Clint Eastwood’s example when he hired both Tim Robbins and Sean Penn to be in “Mystic River”. He hired objectively and their political views didn’t make a bit of difference. He hired them on the merits of their talent.  Remember Matt McConaughey’s Oscar acceptance speech and how Hollywood cringed? I hate to burst their bubble that speech was indicative of a more “new age” view than anything, which many there embrace.  Hollywood, by exhibiting such bias, is alienating  the movie going audience. As they continue to lose more at the box office due to this and the rising prices of tickets, they should bear in mind that if they cannot be open to viewers of all factions, this trend will continue.

That being said, if anyone is open to the idea of opening up an Independent movie studio in TX, I know of a place that is for sale in a desert location that would make an excellent spot due to it’s historical significance alone–for a cool $2.9 million bucks and you’d better snatch it up before a certain studio in California decides to do so (if they get the idea)! I just had to throw that in, but have a great day!

A Day in a Western Dreamland…

I had a very weird dream the other day. I dreamed I was in a saloon in during the 1800’s. All was unusually quiet, save for one man who sounded a hell of a lot like Sam Elliot, who was telling a story…

“…Then the ol’ coot was sittin’ on the porch yellin’ at his woman to hurry up on gettin’ grub ready. She told him every time it was going to take a while because she was waitin’ for their boy to get back from the store with some salt pork.

I suppose he finally gave up n’ fell into a deep sleep. For two years he yelled and fussed over the drought goin’ on n he dreamed during this particular nap that clouds were a-gatherin’ about how it was sprinklin’ n he was jumpin all up n down “, hootin’ and a-hollerin’ (and the narrator demonstrated again) and slappin’ his hat when all of a sudden, he figured out the dust was still a-blowin’ n it was hotter than heck!

He took his hat and looked closely like this at it (demonstrates again), then he threw it down n stomped around like a crazy man!

“Why in the hell did he do that?” another man who sounded a lot like Anthony Zerbe asked.

“Well it was most likely because the bird in the nest above him on the porch pissed on his hat while he was sleepin’.”

They laughed as I woke up.

Here are My 2 Cents on the Ventura Ruling…

Here is another peanut gallery post for the subjugated masses…Why do I say that? Because it is short and it is simple.  The Ventura verdict is a joke that isn’t even funny.  He says now he would have dropped it if Chris Kyle had simply “apologized” for what he wrote…Apologized? The guy died!  So what does Ventura do? He goes after a dead man’s money.  In the public eye, if he wanted to prove himself to be the bigger man, he should not have taken a swipe at the grieving widow.

Sure one can always try to say “He didn’t do that. He went after the estate!” but since she is the executor–it’s the same bloody difference.

If Mr. Ventura ever goes back into politics like he’s considering, this is something that will bite him on the ass for the fact that he lost the respect of a lot more military members after this verdict than before it.

Have a great night…

The Pen Continues and Banshee is Totally Cool!

How many of you have watched “Banshee” on Cinemax? If you haven’t you are missing the only show on TV that doesn’t try to force political views down one’s throat, doesn’t force any agendas whatsoever and it definitely doesn’t preach to any side of the moral spectrum. Why? Because nobody is innocent in that town–except a few kids.

You have many characters who have either lost their way–or they deliberately went off on a certain path to escape from someone or something…Take Ana/Carrie Hopewell and Sheriff Hood…Fifteen years prior, she left home, got a new identity and began a new “soccer mom” lifestyle. Prior she was the daughter of a Ukrainian gangster and very involved in her father’s organization.  Evidently when she got pregnant she wanted more than that life for her own child. Who can blame her for running away?

Then there is Sugar, played by Frankie Fayson…He is what I call the “God” character. He knows everything about everyone…Why? He owns the bar. Go figure. However he and a transvestite hacker named Job provide a bit of comic relief at times in this show considering the plots and sub plots…In fact, Job at times is a scene stealer and he totally kicks ass! He really has me cracked up at times. Check out this scene.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZ7mSXN1J4s

At least you now know this is one character that doesn’t put up with BS!

You really need to save a duck and watch Rabbit too…That is Ana/Carrie’s dad…He’s just your average old softie with a bit of a sociopathic twist!  Strangely enough, both he and Ana are characters one ends up having some empathy for…I mean, who wouldn’t be pissed after finding out one is a grandparent of two and they were kept from you?  Rabbit is not without his flaws though. If you watch Banshee: Origins, one learns that years ago he stole his brother’s wife–who is Ana’s mother…AND he killed a few people…Oh–but wait…Alright! He killed a LOT of people! There!

It’s a good thing his brother forgave him and became a priest, but let’s just say they need to keep Julian Sands around because he is bad ass!  The character is likable despite the fact that he does have a dark side to himself. I know if I were him, I’d sleep with a gun nearby being that Rabbit is capable of almost anything.

Then there is Kai Proctor. He is the town mayor and on a bad day, he can make Rabbit look like a bit of a choir boy depending on how pissed off he gets. He is behind almost every criminal enterprise in Banshee.  He is also allowing his niece, Rebecca, to live with him now that she has gotten kicked off of the family farm…Oh by the way, they were raised as Amish.  Proctor has a lot of issues stemming from his relationship with his father, too.  I feel that as Banshee unfolds over time, we will see why it is Proctor chose his path as well.

As one watches this show, it is like watching a novel unfold. The writing is excellent. There is no political crap getting in the way of the story line and definitely nothing preaching to anyone’s morality on this show.  This is exactly the type of show I would watch because I am really tired of prime time TV injecting crap from the political realm into every show. I watch TV to escape that garbage. However, I’d rather not have a TV and watch what I can online.  One needs to be aware that this  is not a show for kids to watch but this is one of the best shows that most of you probably  have not heard of–yet.

I will say this–IF you like Sons of Anarchy, you will probably like this show too because there are times that everything going on is total lawlessness and chaos. There are no motorcycle gangs, but the very nature of the Ukrainian gang and Proctor’s operations make this show intriguing enough. The acting is flawless in this series. Each actor and actress seems to have been carefully picked and plays his/her part to perfection. However, I’d love to see some of the out takes!

The acting ensembles are above and beyond anything you will get on the regular networks. They all know their craft and do an excellent job. All of these characters stand out on their own and their stories work well within the time frame the show is given for each episode.  There is character growth and development as well.  Ana/Carrie is the one I see evolving the most. Her past has come back to haunt her, and her kids are paying the highest price for it. The big question is, will it destroy her entire family, or will they be able to pick up the broken pieces later and put them together into something new.

Rabbit’s character is even understandable in some ways. He is not incapable of love, but his sociopathic nature prevents him from simply letting go of Ana and doing what is best for his grandchildren. He wants vengeance on Hood for “stealing” Ana from him. Being that she left Hood behind and began a new life with a new identity years ago–and married someone else, one might think Rabbit MIGHT have some empathy for Hood…After all, they both got, in essence, “screwed over”.   Hence the reason the entire town of Banshee is now in an uproar. Between Rabbit, Hood and the agendas of Proctor and now the newly introduced Agent Racine, I’m sure this season will be just as explosive as the last, if not even more so.

There is one scene that stands out between Rabbit and Ana/Carrie.  It is where she said, “I will kill you.” and he replies, “You already have.”  At that point one sees pain in Rabbit’s eyes. That is when one knows that Rabbit, for all the evil stuff he has done, does have a heart capable of breaking in that carcass of his someplace.

It would be nice to see a few of these cast members up for prime time Emmy’s in 2015.  So far, Ben Cross, Ulrich Thomsen and Hoon Lee top my list on this show.  It would be nice to see Ivana Millicevic get a nod as well. Not only is Ana/Carrie a strong, surviving character, but her vulnerabilities also come out well on-screen.  Antony Starr is the perfect one to cast opposite her as there is much growth in both characters as the realities of their situations slap them both squarely in the face–and the chemistry between them is great. This growth occurs with casualties though–both living and dead in the series 1 finale.  What will drive this sequence of events to the Series 2 finale? We will have to see but I see endless possibilities for some of the characters on this show.

I hope to see this show last for a VERY long time!

For those of you who are fans of the show and/or fans of the actors/actresses involved, here are some links to their FaceBook pages and most of them can also be followed on twitter! Enjoy! Most of them do answer fan posts and tweets too when they can and have time!

https://www.facebook.com/actorbencross

https://www.facebook.com/banshee

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Antony-Starr-official/119407884769823

https://www.facebook.com/IvanaMilicevicFans

*Hoon Lee is on twitter as @MisterHoonLee    (He’s the actor who gives us that kick ass character of Job!)

One Tin Soldier Rode Away…

I am shocked and saddened to learn that Tom Laughlin has passed away.  Even though he was 82, his death was unexpected.  For those of you who do not know who he is, I consider him to be the grandfather of the Independent Film.  He is the one who took on Warner Bros. and then distributed his own films which are still among the highest selling films of all time.  I am referring to the “Billy Jack” Trilogy.  These films inspired an entire generation to look within themselves and to try to make a difference in the world.  The release of “Billy Jack” also signaled the birth of a whole new way of marketing film–and it changed the industry whether some recognize this or not.  The world of Independent Film owes this man much more than people realize.  So it is here I will pay my tribute. I cannot think of a more fitting tribute than to close with this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qswm7lHp7oY

My thoughts and prayers go out to his friends, his wife of 60 years, Delores, and his children and grandchildren.

Here is a copy of the obituary as well:Obituary – Tom Laughlin (1)

How Times Have Changed…

In 2014, the 3oth Anniversary of Live Aid will be celebrated, I’m sure.  1984 was a self-defining Christmas for me and for a lot of my generation because we were forced for the first time in our hedonistic generation’s existence to think about someone else in another part of the globe. The artists had the guts to put this in our faces and to this day I still respect them for it.

In recent years we’ve seen so much focus on the self among our own youth that somewhere along the road, they didn’t find that same sense of purpose–yet. It appears to me that we are so focused on ourselves and pissed about what our government is doing in this country that we’ve lost sight of ONE fact.  WE CAN CHANGE THINGS–ONE PERSON AT A TIME.  However we must start with ourselves. We can and must  lead the way for a younger generation.  We cannot leave this up to others because it is not their job to do our job. It is up to us to impart a sense of what is good and what is right into our children, our grandchildren and in a few more years–maybe our great-grandchildren.

Have a great weekend, and enjoy the video. I hope it renews the fire in your soul that we had back when were younger.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjQzJAKxTrE

 

They started it all...

They started it all…

 

A Question Most Who Engage in this Will NOT Answer…

Why is it when a celebrity dies, there is some sort of envy that they were ever famous?  Better yet why do people feel the need to bring attention to themselves by slamming the fans who are grieving or putting posts up about who or what they feel focus should be on? Seriously…People need to get off of that self-elevating crap  because that is exactly what it is. It is not about anyone who died, it is about anyone who wants to bring attention to themselves by bashing those who are expressing sympathy for the celebrities‘ families and such.

This part is for those who feel the need to engage in such behavior in social media:  Look, if you don’t want celebrity status that is your choice. You chose your life path, and you are simply jealous of their recognition so you try to bring some to yourself by bashing them. They earned their status and whatever else came their way. If you are jealous of that, it is you that has the problem, not the celebrity (or late celebrity).  It doesn’t garner you much respect either. Either way, the fans identify with the celebrity they are grieving because they come into their homes or into the theaters and are visible to them. If they are musicians, they hear their words that touch their lives daily.

YOU want them to grieve the invisible–the ones they don’t see, but yet you seem to have a connection with. This is especially true when people post about troops that died on a celebrity death thread. That doesn’t mean the fans feel no regret for the loss of anyone–especially a soldier, sailor, airman, etc…But you have no right to tell anyone how they should feel or how they should express grief–let alone WHO they should grieve at any given time. You have no right to try to lay a guilt trip on them for your own pleasure either.

IF you want to grieve someone, put up your own tributes and leave the fans of the celebrities alone. You don’t help yourself by bashing them, belittling or bullying them either.  They are entitled to what they feel as are you.

For those wondering what the heck I am talking about, THIS appeared on FB the other day:

This is one example of what people will create to bring attention to themselves and cause crap...

This is one example of what people will create to bring attention to themselves and cause crap…The chances are, the person who created this didn’t know who Paul Walker or Roger Rodas were, but used this to bash fans with because he/she had nothing better to do with his/her time.

And just so everyone is aware, I have seen condolences posted toward both families on twitter, FaceBook and elsewhere…This behavior is inexcusable and immature–period.

The bottom line is that when anyone dies, they leave friends, family, co-workers and in the case of celebrities, a lot of fans and colleagues behind.  They are entitled to grieve in any way they see fit and if the people making such posts have a problem with that, they need to find another way to channel their negative energy or simply get quiet.

Then again, I am sure they will continue to engage in such behavior because it is far easier to bully a group from behind a keyboard than it is to say it to their faces, isn’t it?