Sunday, May 31, 2009

For Love of Zombies

Grindhouse Pictures held the production kick-off party for their latest movie, For Love of Zombies last night. It was a spectacular evening filled with great music, food and friends. Director Ron DiPrimio showed clips from his upcoming horror film Sorrow Hill and held a prize raffle. Good times, good friends, plenty of zombie references.

Teddy Wycheck, Rick Cahall, Ron DiPrimio, me and Matthew Carr at the For Love of Zombies production kick-off party at The Rail in Richland.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Doing the Bullshit Dance

This city has a problem. Its government is run by a bunch of corrupt charlatans who'd rather pat themselves on the backs and tout worthless drivel and public relations fluff than tackle real problems and serve the citizenry. If one thing being a journalist at a small town newspaper can teach you, it's that human nature is Machiavellian at best and Hitlerian at worst.
Despite what 95 percent of the media critics and stuffed shirt pundits say, the responsibility of the American press is to get factual information. Unfortunately, when agendas are tossed into the mix, the truth is cleverly buried under exaggerations, deception and lies.
It's a clever little number I call the bullshit dance.
The bullshit dance is when an official, usually a politician or someone in a powerful position, dances around the truth by dodging questions and regurgitating canned responses, exaggerations or untruths. Lawyers and public relations people are great at the bullshit dance.
Asking members of the city's administration about a particular item that might be embarrassing to them usually elicits the bullshit dance. I tried to interview the city attorney about one such topic and he diverted the topic away from my line of questioning and brought up a whole new topic, utter misdirection on his part to avoid discussing the controversial issue.
Why not just come clean and tell the truth to the journalist? Why do government officials feel they must lie in order to protect whatever dark little secrets they have? To avoid embarrassment? To divert or distract?
Officials would serve their constituents better if they'd only be open and candid. Facing the heat now is better than getting burned later. Shunning a possible embarrassment or humiliation is far worse than a lie or a cover up only to be caught later.
But they don't listen and they do the bullshit dance, dodging, bobbing and weaving away from questions that they might view as awkward or embarrassing.
The bullshit dance is America's latest dance craze. In the 1920s and 1930s it was the jitterbug and the Charleston. In the 1950s and 1960s it was the mashed potato and the twist. In the last 20 years it's the bullshit dance. From Iran Contra to Monicagate to the mishandling of the Iraq war, the bullshit dance rages on in boardrooms and governmental offices throughout the nation. It's public relations melding into politics, creating a palpable slant the people can swallow instead of facing the bitter, cold truth that things we're doing just aren't working.
People want accountability. They demand it. The press should demand it instead of cramming American Idol/Britney/Brangelina down the throats of a brain dead populace.
When the public doesn't care, when the media is lax and lazy, the bullshit dancers win. When government is not held accountable for its actions, officials can get away with anything, whether it's wiretapping, corporate bailouts or stealthily invading some country Americans have never even heard of.
When the public is lulled to sleep by powerful men of contempt and deception, the entire nation dies a bit, smothered in bullshit.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

One Failed American Writer

At the keyboard, trying to make words flow, trying to write something. Trying to create from nothing, summoning sentences into being. The life of a writer is one of drudgery and pain. It's one of solitude and loneliness. It's a wretched life of dark rooms and late nights, of regrets and anger. It's the life I live because I'll know no other.
A failed writer sits surrounded by manuscripts and rejection letters and stubbornly plods on, vivisecting a bit of his soul and stapling it onto the page. words ooze forth from his mind and trickle in tentative drops, then a deluge and downpour. I know people in Hollywood who work on films and I know people living in Manhattan with connections in publishing. unfortunately, they can't help me, so I must shoulder the burden. It's my cross I'm forced to carry up the hill, one I'll be crucified on, impaled like a slab of beef in the butchers' window, a pathetic spectacle worthy of gawking and ridicule. Americans and their shadenfreude. They love to see suffering, and them ore personal, the better. There the failed writer hangs, food for flies, dejected and alone, his epitaph reading "Here Lies One Failed American Writer. At Least He Tried."
My only regret is I've waisted the last decade of my life and didn't send anything out. I didn't write anything serious or worthy of print. Just empty articles and empty, shallow words clinging to the page like past echos. Hollow and devoid of substance, cringe-worthy and drowning in pathos. Nothing bold or vibrant, nothing stellar or remarkable. I spent my thirties lost and floundering.
Maybe it'll all peak later for me. After a lifetime of experience and misery, my writing could only improve, become more disciplined and meaningful.
If there's such a thing as karma, then I'm long overdue for some good fortune.
Monastic existence, spartan heart, realistic to the point of numb. I've poured bottles of Guinness down the drain, purging the alcohol and sobering up. I don't frequent that horrid dive bar anymore. I exercise and get some fresh air.
Earth turns as its always done, another day passes, another night falls. Within the back room of my apartment, I sit and type this blog, recording something - anything - of mental recollection. For posterity. To alleviate pain. To just get the words down somewhere.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Happy May Day

Began the day watching my favorite May Day movie, The Wicker Man (the original 1973 version, not the ridiculous one with Nicolas Cage dressed as a bear).
Just as I thought Christopher Lee's Lord Summerisle would lift the blues of a cloudy day, another surprise welcomed me from Reality Blurs. Relics & Rumors #2 came out! For those who have been living in a cave in Siberia, Relics & Rumors is a product line for my RPG, Ravaged Earth. Each month, R&R contains five relics and artifacts from history plus a short adventure for each one.
R&R #2 explores the following treasures: Blackbeard's Cutlass, the Boomerang of Wati-Kutijara, Charlemagne's Crown, Chief Crazy Horse's Rifle and the Crystal Skull of Doom.
I'd like to thank Sean Preston, "Weird" Dave Olson and Adam Shaw for their combined talents in making R&R #2 a fantastic product.