Facts About Life: 101

I  have not been on a lot but if you think your life is going bad, you need to remember that there is someone out there somewhere who is having a worse go of it than you are. We have to find our own solutions to these dilemmas we go through.

Right or wrong, life is about learning. Once you become unteachable–than you are going to find that you are not only a little fish in a huge pond, but you will find yourself standing alone, stuck at the starting line instead of moving forward in this race called life. You can learn much from anyone around you, but you have to be willing to adapt and accept some changes along the way. If you cannot do this, you will not get very far down the track…

Think about it the next time someone tries to show you something you could do differently. Offering solutions is not designed to hold you back, it’s to help you toward your goal in the end. Change is something anyone has to consider from time to time. In fact we should embrace it, and not fear it, but to learn to adapt to it. If it is something that absolutely cannot work, then we should work together to change THAT, face the problems head-on and not run away. Don’t be closed to the idea of it. You are only hurting yourself if you do. This is lesson 101 in “Facts About Life”.


So the question is, how far are you willing to go? This is a new year–a new beginning. Do not let yourself get trapped inside the “box” thinking. Thinking outside of the box will actually help you–not hurt you.  It all goes back to a question I posed a few years ago to a colleague: “What kind of leader do you want to be?”  A good leader is always “teachable and willing to learn”.

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!

Political Correctness Truly Defined (My Not So Humble Opinion)…

Political correctness is the art of forcing a society to conform to a set of norms for a segment of the population that cannot deal with the normal processes of changing from a teenager into an adult. It is not about racism. That is a separate issue. It is not about misogyny. That is also a separate issue. It is also not about silencing religious views, which is still another issue.  However those pushing to monitor and control free speech are combining these issues in order to kill three birds with one stone so that they can live in a world that is only big enough for them to thrive on.

To be politically correct is to not have your own opinions on an issue that are not in agreement  with those who are writing the playbook. They will certainly be censored or omitted altogether. Your creativity will be subject to censorship and ridicule should you offend someone who is nothing more than a panty waist who cannot deal with the fact that not everyone will agree with their views.

It does not make the politically incorrect cowardly or dastardly when the opposition pushes this, it reveals those pushing it off on society as persecutors of those who espouse the U.S. Constitution.  In essence, those who push the “PC Movement” are cowards themselves. They fear what they hear rather than deal with the reality that they should be looking at.

The people should be setting the course for this nation–and I do not mean those in Hollywood. I mean the people as a whole. I also do not mean the powers that be. Why? Because all I have seen recently is failure and disappointment with their actions–or the lack of them.



As for me I’m with Voltaire on the issue: “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”




People Who Complete Suicide Should Never Be Judged…

I had originally written this as a Face Book status, but decided to share it here as well. We never know what is going on in the mind of someone who dies this, but I do know this much, for whatever reason they could bear no more–and should not be judged by some standard set by those who have not walked a mile in that person’s shoes. That being said, here is what I posted:

” Those who commit suicide should not be judged. My stepmother completed suicide in Sept. of 1978. She had more going on than a lot of us knew. She was truly mentally ill. She had actually became the different personalities that possessed her. One of those personalities loved to point the same gun to my head that she shot herself with. THEN it hit me when a year or so passed that it could have been me. She also had problems so severe that she was medicating herself beyond belief. Not all people kill themselves over the same issues .When I came to understand the hell that mental illness can cause another human being as an adult, it became much easier to forgive her. As a child I was unable to understand the depth of her torment. Some people can hide their torment rather well by channeling it differently. It is too bad that many hide it well but never truly overcome it. We have lost many a great talent due to this. RIP Robin Williams. “

I am not saying that he suffered as my stepmother did (before anyone starts in on that idea). I am simply pointing out that no one ever truly knows the depth of suffering one who does this goes through at the time they complete the act.

I’ve heard people talk about those who commit suicide as being “selfish” and such.  That is farther from the truth than Earth is from Pluto. It is more accurate to say that  those who do this tend to seek a permanent solution to what could be a non-permanent problem.

I’m convinced if my stepmother had received treatment–proper treatment–she may be alive today. She could not overcome her illnesses and demons on her own, so she escaped the only way she could see to do so.

As for Robin Williams, he fought with his own demons for years. He also learned that he was suffering from a debilitating and potentially (and often) deadly illness. In my opinion taking his own life in his mind and in others who are now aware of this is anything BUT selfish. In fact, I feel that in his mind he was probably trying in his own way to not be a burden to others as his illness progressed. He chose the means and way to go, and completed the act.

Now that this has been revealed, I have asked myself, “If things ever came to that would I take my life?”

The answer is “No. I wouldn’t.”  Why? “Because I would never want my family to suffer the way I did after Judy took her own life.”

I also have some very good reasons to hang around and here is one of them:

Here’s the Lil’ Man–My grandson…And he just turned 2.




Kevin with Football

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.

Alternative Was Around Long Before the ’90’s in Another Form, I Think…

Call me crazy…Call me whatever you will, but some of the lyrics I hear in songs I grew up on would kick ass if updated today.

I have found a lot of songs in the weirdest places where the lyrics seemed way ahead of  their time. I can listen to this one and go straight to “Cat’s in the Cradle”, or “Wonderful” by Everclear since to me, they are songs in a parallel universe.  I can  listen to “Pleasant Valley Sunday” while remembering what it was like living on a military base as a kid, and then going straight to “Smells Like Teen Spirit” when I snap out of fantasy of what family roles while living in some of the places we grew up in should have been–and a lot of dissatisfaction that there was no real “Brady Bunch” after finding out that fairy tales were nothing more than illusions. Hell everyone I knew in school wanted a Dad like Mike Brady–or a Mom like Shirley Partridge. I kid you not!

I will also go so far as to say as these were some early alternative rock lyrics set to pop. They made people think about the “status quo” and the possibility of changing it I think. Since I spent time on military bases–I can tell you that Pleasant Valley Sunday does speak to how everything is the freaking “same” on them–appearances and otherwise. However this one is “Door Into Summer”–and believe me, if telling a story, I can definitely see this as a precursor to “Cat’s in the Cradle” since dear old dad gets left behind–like the kids.

I am putting this link up because the video from the show is really too damned cheesy and it’s the lyrics I want you to see.


For further reference here are “Pleasant Valley Sunday” and “Daily Nightly” as well.

Who would have thought the Monkees could evoke such a response?


I mean, seriously, did anyone realize how deep these lyrics really were and what they addressed when released the first time around? I think “Daily Nightly” does well at describing addictions to various things–and the fall of the person addicted, if you know what I mean. However it was reported that it was about some rioting that went on and a club that was burned down. Again I post the lyric version so one can actually get the gist.


Am I the only one out there that has these weird trains of thoughts and the ability to impart to what most people, unless they are writers or musicians, could be the most useless pieces of information in the universe unless one is going to update these things? I’m just wondering because to me, these songs ARE worth updating. These lyrics are genius. I could see a “Nirvana job” on “Daily Nightly”,  if you know what I mean. Man I wish Cobain was still around. When he was here, he made people think. Trent Reznor can make people think…What the hell is wrong with these record companies that promote so few artists with that ability?

And here’s one more thing: “I still say the Monkees belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! I don’t even have to outline the reasons as most fans and a lot of other musicians probably know fully well why they belong in there.

There…I’m through…Coming back to Earth and down from my soap box. Good night–or should I say, “what’s left of it”…?

Methinks I Read Too Much Dorothy Parker Tonight…

* Methinks I read too much Dorothy Parker tonight–but damn I love her work!*
8 Lines of Reunion BS

There was a day when I could walk
and heart ruled not the head
and then the words came tumbling out
that you were back instead.

Of love we will not dare to talk
so climb back to her bed
Honestly for years I thought
that you were actually dead.

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.



They started it all...

They started it all…


We Spend Our Lives Doing TWO things: Becoming and Dying…

I know this sounds bleak in a title, but it really isn’t. It isn’t fatalistic either.  Is it just possible that we spend so much time trying to work on others that we forget where our focus really SHOULD be? I think so. That is why I opt for brutal honesty. I know I can’t change a damned thing about the past or the future because those are two things I cannot control, but I can control how I react when put in a certain spot.

I nearly got killed tonight. No kidding. Some bonehead decided to slam his brake when NOTHING was in front of his vehicle. My son was driving and we were going the speed limit (75 mph). He swerved to the right and fish-tailed.  “Ease up on the brake and stay calm.” Shit! I don’t know how that came out of my mouth, but it did. He swerved again to the right and fish-tailed again, then over corrected. This resulted in being spun around across the freeway and landing in the median. He tried to start the car and it wouldn’t start. “Brian, put it in park.” Once he did, it ran fine. No damage to the vehicle and more importantly none to us or my dog!

I don’t know HOW I managed to stay calm during that crap, but I was shook up when it was over. I said, “Let’s get the hell out of this ditch and go home!” and we did.  It was a miracle that he didn’t hit another vehicle, and more importantly, that we are alive.  He was laughing a few minutes later, and made a comment about reliving “Too Fast and Too Furious”…

I looked at him and said, “Brian, that is not funny to me.”  I think he was just grateful that we were alive and that is how he handled being shook up.

Either way it could have turned out very differently.  Brian and I are working hard on improving from within, and then this happens. It just goes to show that in an instant, the world can be changed for our loved ones. When we got to Kevin’s house (my other son), I gave him his birthday presents and hugged my daughter-in-law and my son. I held onto my grandson for a bit as well.  Let’s just say it gave me a new perspective on things this time of year, but  in the end, are we not all born to die?

Better yet, didn’t Beckett describe it best?, “…We are all born astride a grave…”?

I’d rather die working on the person I’m trying to become, than to regret the person who is now dead that is my past being,  OR  meet my future being who might be a bit more cranky than this particular incarnation of me in the present…

And how was your weekend?