Monday, June 28, 2010

Zombie Extra

video

Wandering around a cemetery in Mays Landing while wearing zombie makeup is an interesting way to spend the weekend, especially if you're an extra in a Grindhouse Pictures movie called "For Love of Zombies," playing the part of a shambling undead. Working on a movie set is tough. Between takes, it's a lot of waiting. During my downtime I shot this video of me in this wonderful zombie makeup. Even zombies , especially ones in latex makeup on a hot June afternoon, need a refreshing bottle of water.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Burgers and Bullshit



So President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev took a breather from important White House meetings to have lunch at Ray's Hell Burger in Arlington, Va. today.
I guess the drive thru at the Jack in the Box was too full.
There's a certain decorum with being the head of state, an image based on refinement which should awe the hoi polloi into a state of pride and wonder.
Eating off bone china in the State Dining Room, hosting a soiree at Camp David or a banquet aboard Air Force One are all events the President of the United States should engage in. Even participating in secret rites beneath a huge owl statue at the Bohemian Grove makes good PR for POTUS.
Obama's tactics are abundantly blue collar, meant to define himself not as a Washington insider but as a man of the people.
I'm not saying the president should be carried everywhere on a solid gold sedan chair lifted by elephants while Nubian slaves cool him off with ostrich feathers, but taking the Russian president out for burgers is just tacky.
Thanks to an obsequious media, we know exactly what the two world leaders ate. Obama had a cheeseburger with cheddar cheese, onion, lettuce, tomato and pickles and drank iced tea. Medvedey had a cheeseburger with cheddar, onion, jalapenos and mushrooms and drank Coke. Both men shared an order of fries.
They might not agree on everything, but they can share fries.
Are they dating? What's next? Sharing a milkshake with two straws?
Notice how the Russian had the jalapenos? Obama should prove his strength by eating a burger with ten habaneros, wasabi sauce and a hunk of lava.
Nobody would call him a sissy or question his patriotism then!
It's great that First Lady Michelle Obama's obesity initiative is going so well. With the president scarfing down burgers, it's a fine example to set for the little butterballs who park their Zeppelin-sized asses in front of the TV and binge on Doritos all day.
What's next for the president? Taking Medvedey out to Scores and stuffing dollar bills in a stripper's g-string while discussing nuclear proliferation and economic recovery? Talking about global energy initiatives over a bong?
There's a price with trying to look cool to a world not used to it.
Giving an iPod to Queen Elizabeth II and 25 DVDs to former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown that were not formated to European DVD players is simply stupid. A first edition of Mark Twain or Walt Whitman would have sufficed as a part of America's history, but Obama chose to give current technology. Maybe the gift was supposed to reflect where America was going, the mass-produced, information culture of Chinese-made crap that Americans can't live without. Maybe by proving that he was a young, urbane president plugged into the 21st Century, he'd show those stuffy European countries that the United States dominates world culture.
Maybe eating fattening fast food is his way of saying that he's a regular guy, an Average Joe and just as piss-poor as the rest of us slobs.
I don't want my president to have a crafted image of a regular guy. I want him to look and act like a president should: haughty and clueless and tethered to a plutocratic oligarchy. Like Reagan or Bush. Some wealthy, pampered fool who doesn't even know what a cheeseburger is.
Maybe then we can get rid of the fluff and start concentrating on real substance instead of splitting fries with the Ruskies.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Eric Goes to the Mayor

Interviewing a politician on his way out of office is like being a vulture laughing over the carrion. The tendency for schadenfreude is rife, yet there’s also a tinge of sadness in watching someone exit defeated.
Ocean City's mayor is leaving office June 30 on the eve of a new administration that will take power the following day. With only a week remaining, the mayor reclined in a leather swivel chair behind an immense conference table in his Egg Harbor Township law firm and reflected on the past four years.
The mayor’s critics treated him like he was an amalgamation of Nixon and Voldemort. They called him a liar and said he was trying to stifle dissent, that he was skirting the pay to play law and that he was colluding with a lumber company to embarrass council when rainforest wood for the Boardwalk wasn’t delivered on time.
If you talked to anyone who hated him, they said he was using lawyering strategies to argue and persuade his way through issues and not cooperate with council or the public.
To them, it was all about the mayor winning the argument. Everything else was political theater.
His critics circled the wagons and just pounded on him. Instead of accepting the regular bullshit spewing from City Hall, they questioned motives, produced documents and brought to light what the administration didn’t want the public to see.
A perception was that his administration was so overzealous in keeping shit hidden that it changed the rates for public access to records under the Open Public Records Act. Though the fees were lowered after a citizen filed a complaint, the stench still hovered in the air.
He did accomplish the things he set out to. He got council to pass a series of zoning ordinances that changed building density in residential and commercial areas. He’s credited with many aesthetic improvements in town, and a movement to redesign the downtown commercial district as a more visually-attractive place to shop.
Yet despite these accomplishments, he rubbed people the wrong way. One criticism was that he took no prisoners and had a strong-arm approach when it came to his own agenda. Not in any brutish sense, but one of intellectual wordplay, logical gymnastics and legal maneuvering. He would often argue with council, somewhat disparagingly, jabbing them with the tenacity of a prosecutor.
He was a keen administrator who knew how to get grants and other funding and to give his town a financial advantage. Where other towns were barely making it, Ocean City rested comfortably or nearly as comfortably as it could during a financial slump.
He was like the captain of a runaway ship who lashed himself to the wheel, steering it away from the jagged rocks while his critics cowered in the crows’ nest warning of impending danger.
I really think he loved this town. I think he cared about its people and its future. That’s one area where his critics can go suck it. He wasn’t as aloof or apathetic as people portrayed him.
I saw how he handled himself with residents and guests over the years and I think he really wasn’t a touchy-feely politician. So be it if he was uptight. That’s Ocean City for you.
I can’t help but feel that this is somehow a Shakespearean tragedy, the tale of a proud king who wouldn’t mollycoddle his subjects but ruled with cold distance and absolute authority. Along the way the king faltered and instead of showing humility, was overtaken by hubris and ego.
One thing you can say about him; he stuck to his guns. He wasn’t indecisive and hated to lose.
After I had shut the recorder off, the mayor confided in me, “You know, the one thing I regret was that you and I never really got a chance to know each other. That’s unfortunate. We never really communicated.”
Probably because you tried to get me fired by ratting this blog out to my editor and accused me of bias because my landlord was one of your biggest critics, I thought.
“But you never invited me over for coffee or cake,” I said, paraphrasing Brando in The Godfather. I’m always good for movie references.
“Maybe we could play squash or badminton together,” I suggested.
What could I say? When he first got in, he was a straight shooter and told me everything. As time passed and his administration ran into criticism about rainforest wood on the Boardwalk, the city solicitor overbilling the city, a possible violation of the pay to play law when a donor gave him $500 and later was approved as city public defender and when residents weren’t notified of a city building that impacted their neighborhood, the mayor changed.
Suddenly his tone wasn’t so open.
It became very brusque and sharp. It was an administration in a tailspin, doing damage control to avoid the crash.
Yet I always called him or the business administrator to get quotes. I felt the administration should be represented in any article I wrote. His administration was well represented in print, even when everything was falling to hell.
Over the past year, his confidants drifted away and once loyal supporters defected. In the end, he was left with a controversial legacy, many critics and little support.
In January, he announced that he wouldn’t run for re-election. He spent the last few months circulating through various city events, relaxed and jokey, confident that his time in office was nearing an end.
Perspective keeps us grounded. Realizing he was just the mayor of a small seashore town in New Jersey and not Pol Pot or Idi Amin is important. Americans love complaining about their political leaders. It’s the new national pastime, right up there with incessant tweeting and gossiping about who’s fucking the Kardashians.
He wasn’t some berserker from Asgard or mighty Olympian god sent to earth to govern mankind. He was just an old man in a suit who the people entrusted with a public office. He was flesh and blood and flawed like the rest of us.
If you want to know who a person really is, give them a position of authority.
The people of Ocean City know the man who governed them for the past four years.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Devil's Jester

Rush Limbaugh, 59, married his longtime girlfriend Kathryn Rogers, 33, in an opulent wedding in Palm Beach, Fla. The big flap wasn’t the age difference (younger women are naturally attracted to powerful older men, after all) but with the entertainment. Seems that Sir Elton John was reportedly paid $1 million to perform at Limbaugh’s wedding. John, who is openly gay, was surprised to receive an invitation to Limbaugh’s wedding, said in a statement that “Life is about building bridges, not walls.”
Funny thing to say about Limbaugh, whose entire career is about building walls between whites and blacks, rich and poor and conservatives and liberals. But Sir Elton said that he, like Limbaugh, opposes gay marriage and instead favors civil unions.
Limbaugh jokes about the gay community, with such gems as:
“When a gay person turns his back on you, it is anything but an insult; it’s an invitation.”
“The difference between Los Angeles and yogurt is that yogurt comes with less fruit.”
“We had gay burglars the other night. They broke in and rearranged the furniture.”
Okay, that’s harmless. Homosexuals are an easy target for comedians because, let’s face it, the shit’s just funny.
Yet Limbaugh takes it further, and once claimed that if there were a hypothetical gene that determined homosexuality in unborn babies, “How many parents, if they knew before the kid was gonna be born, was gonna be gay, they would take the pregnancy to term?”
So if your future kid was going to be born gay, you recommend an abortion? I’m sure Limbaugh’s friends at National Right to Life would just love that.
Now I’m the first person to stand for First Amendment rights. Insensitive speech is still free speech and anti-gay remarks only pander to Limbaugh’s audience of white, evangelical conservatives who don’t cotton to the fact that gays want equal marriage rights.
I get it that Limbaugh is paid a dumptruck full of money to cater to his base.
But Sir Elton is gayer than “All You Can Drink Mimosa Night” on Fire Island. He’s seen more gay action than the gloryhole in the men’s room of Studio 54. So why perform for Limbaugh?
That $1 million check might be the reason.
Elton John may be a knighted peer of the realm but in the end, it’s all about whoring your talents out to the highest bidder.
And money is the great prime motivator. It turns saints into sinners, celibates into whores and gay rock musicians into puppets for anti-gay zealots.
In the end, both Elton John and Rush Limbaugh are entertainers. They’re all about putting on a show for their respective audiences. Would you begrudge Elton John for doing what he does best – performing – regardless of who hired him?
The biggest complaints are coming from the gay and lesbian community who accuse Elton John of selling out and that he should donate the money to a gay-friendly charity or lobby group. Like this is such a scandal. Why, it’s enough to make Harvey Milk turn over in his gay grave!
It’s like Limbaugh purchased Elton John on a whim, like some decadent Roman Emperor. Limbaugh, the debauched Nero, just wanted to see the little fairy perform for his own perverse amusement, to pull the strings on the sequined-covered clown while his ultra-conservative friends chortled gleefully over their martinis.
I can just see it now:

RUSH: Where’s my jester?! Bringeth me my pink and turquoise-clothed motley harlequin, my faggy troubadour to perform for me and my child bride!

(Elton John minces towards a piano, curtseys and begins the first few notes of “Rocket Man,” when Limbaugh stops him.)

RUSH: Cease that cacophonous racket! Have you no words to say to me and my lovely Aryan wife?

ELTON: What? The plastic mannequin that looks like a less mannish Anne Coulter?

RUSH: This is my trophy wife, sir! She’s the ideal portrait of American beauty, the woman who completes me.

ELTON: I’m sure both of you are deeply in love, sir.

(Rudy Giuliani starts snickering.)

RUSH: Put a sock in it, Giuliani! How many trophy wives are you on now? Seven?

(James Carville and Mary Matalin begin deep tongue-kissing by the bar.)

RUSH: Get a room, you two! Talk about a fucked up marriage! I can’t believe that you two mutants are still together. To think you two spawned children into the world!

ELTON: Shall I sing "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" for you and your daughter...I mean, your wife?

RUSH: That song blows more than you! Sir Elton, before I met you I thought the only British queen lived in Buckingham Palace.

ELTON: A very clever jape, sir.

RUSH: Silence! Now then, Sir Elton! You have been summoned to El Rushbo’s court to amuse me with your fruity songs as my beautiful Stepford wife rubs coconut oil on my flabby belly and I imbibe from this goblet containing a mixture of vodka and Michelle Malkin’s menstrual blood.

ELTON: Yes, my liege!

RUSH: Sing “Crocodile Rock”, cocksucker!

(Elton John begins entertaining as the wedding guests dance furiously before a giant golden statue of Ronald Reagan. Fred Thompson begins breakdancing, while Karl Rove and Sean Hannity chug beers through a funnel.)

RUSH: Yes! Play louder, you bespectacled catamite! Break into a rendition of “Tiny Dancer” with Clarence Thomas!

(Elton continues playing at a frenzied pace, but cannot keep up with the requests. He tires and removes his swollen hands from the blood-stained keyboard and stares at Limbaugh pathetically.)

ELTON: Please, sir! No more!

(Limbaugh removes a fat cigar from his mouth and flashes a sinister grin. He then grinds the cigar into Elton’s quivering hands. The multiple Grammy winning artist shrieks in pain and doubles over.)

RUSH: Ha! You call yourself a man? George Will could take more physical abuse without wincing and he’s a total pussy!

ELTON: You monster!

RUSH: Now you’re getting it, Peaches! Just wait and see what I have in store for you. For the next hour you’re going to perform all Anita Bryant songs dressed only in a leather codpiece and stiletto heels. For an encore, I’m going to have Rachel Maddow crying in the corner with her shirt off. Then I’m going to drink her lesbian tears through a Krazy Straw!

(Elton John begins sobbing uncontrollably. Limbaugh stands over him and drops $100 bills over the singer’s head. Elton watches the money flutter earthward and ceases weeping.)

ELTON: $1 million, right?

RUSH: That’s right, faggot!

(Elton thinks for a moment while the wedding guests await silently with anticipation.)

ELTON: Where’s this leather codpiece you want me to put on again?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

By My Fantasy Fiction, You Shall Be Slain!

I've been trying to get my novels published for a long time, yet I haven't had any luck. My writing is contemporary lit with some humorous elements that explore love, loss and transformation. Yet book publishers apparently don't want that. They want something that sells. They want a sure thing.
They basically want genre fiction. Like fantasy fiction or science fiction or modern romance or horror.
An agent I contacted rejected me outright, saying my novel has "no commercial potential."
It's great hearing some guy in Brooklyn telling you that your writing has no commercial potential. I'm glad I spent all that time writing the novel, paying to have it professionally edited and sending it out, only to be told it will never sell.
Maybe I should try crafting fantasy fiction. I know there's a market for it. Below is a sample of a story that I think editors will jump at the chance to publish. It's got action, adventure and nubile maidens and is about a superhero who battles fantastical enemies in a crazy alternate Earth.
I just know that any agent or editor will sign me to a four book deal if they read this.
It's called WonderWinkle.
Enjoy!

WONDERWINKLE


WonderWinkle takes no prisoners and prefers it that way.
High above the world in his mountainous fortress deep within the ice-capped Himalayas, WonderWinkle views the wretched excesses of humanity with a scrying crystal he received over a millennium ago from an enchantress he bedded in the gloomy netherworld of Aghartha. There, deep within the murky caverns of the Hollow Earth, by the crumbling remnants of Shangri-La, WonderWinkle received his immortality by paying a steep price: his very sanity. Driven mad in the starry womb of the Angel Memnok the Inscrutable, WonderWinkle viewed the whole of the universe in a brief flash. All of creation and destruction he beheld in one churning, violent second, and screamed in tormented pain, which reverberated through the cold eons.
Imprisoned in the frost jails of the Bal-Hoard of Taratrus, WonderWinkle spent centuries scheming and planning for his liberation. Starved, naked and crazed, he supped on the rotting flesh of fallen prisoners and drank his own sweat and urine, satiating his hunger and thirst and fortifying his strength. Mightily, he fought his captors, first with his bare fists and then pike, lance and sword he freed from the dead bodies of the guardians. Clad only in a leather loincloth, flip-flops and a metal helmet, WonderWinkle destroyed the Five Armies of Lemuria in a blood-soaked battle that lasted 200 years.
When he emerged victorious from the conflict, WonderWinkle made his way to the Gates of Abaddon, where the Sorcerer-Worm Kamasotto challenged him to a duel of the mind with a riddle quest. For the next decade WonderWinkle, tricked by the wily magician, wandered blind in the fungi forest of Mirth, looking for a salve to placate his wounded eyes, which were rendered blank by an insidious spell.
Tired from his moist journey in the mushroom patches, WonderWinkle sat at the foot of a dung bush when he heard a voice belonging to a Mold Fairy, who promised the brave adventurer a cure for his blindness if he would kill the Minotaur haunting the forests. Using the bones of a slain mold dragon, WonderWinkle impaled the Minotaur, skinned the creature and wore its pelt as an overcoat. The Mold Fairy returned his vision and with renewed vigor, WonderWinkle cornered Kamasotto and cleaved his scull in twain with the enchanted Sword of a Thousand Wounds, which he stole from the hermaphrodite troll Floppo, who dwelled in the Ashen Pits of Daemonseed.
Then he did mortally wound Atog the Horrible One, the six-headed, four-assed dragon who guarded the Portal of Dreams. Amid the Dream World, he slew the Frog Warriors and Cyclops Werewolves before purging for good the foul Zombie King Doomshredder.
Bursting from the Dream World, WonderWinkle trudged through the Vomit Fields of Perdition and broke through the Earth’s crust to reach the surface world, where he used his super powers to fly to the Himalayas where he did battle with the Ronin of Light and defeated him.
In the Temple of a Million Light Flutters, WonderWinkle bedded several concubines who fed him fatted calf and mulled wine and anointed his body with scented oils and musky aftershave. After slaking his carnal desires, WonderWinkle built his fortress, using cheap Mexican labor to construct the outer steel bulkheads and gun turrets that graced his palatial mountain redoubt.
Within the protected confines of his lair, WonderWinkle, clothed in spandex jumpsuit, flowing cape and hobnailed boots, manned Odeon, his powerful supercomputer that could control every satellite in orbit and every computer on Earth. With this much vast power, Odeon became self-aware and threatened to plunge the world into a second Dark Ages. WonderWinkle responded by fighting this menacing machine. For a solid year WonderWinkle battled Odeon and his electrical minions, gigantic robots built from artificial intelligence and forged from a Japanese assembly plant cursed by dark magic. The automaton army nearly laid waste to WonderWinkle’s fortress, but he bravely fought them with his heatvision, freezevision and lukewarmvision.
WonderWinkle triumphed over the robot army and secured his mountain realm, where he rules as an absolute autocrat and protector of humanity. His steel-eyed gaze contemplates the violent whims of humanity as he sits on his golden throne, surrounded by wolverines, Bengal tigers and chained naked maidens who feed him grapes, sweetmeats and Hostess cupcakes.
Nobody will ever defeat the superhero and human god who calls himself WonderWinkle, though many have tried in vain. And these attempts, though feeble they are, make WonderWinkle smile. For WonderWinkle laps up the tears of his wounded enemies and feasts like a glutton on their misery.
That’s because WonderWinkle, despite being a living Titan, superhuman and modern marvel, is somewhat of a dick.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Commencement Speech

Ladies and gentlemen of the Class of 2010:
Looking out on this sea of bewildered, bored and stoned faces reminds me of my own college graduation in 1992.
Yes, I’m a living fossil.
I remember listening to my commencement speaker, U.S. Congressman William Hughes, an affable old gentleman who spoke at great length and with much chagrin about how terrible the recession was and what an uphill climb we’d all face in the job market.
Even though my friends and I passed the time during the commencement speech riffing on the speaker, we were apprehensive about our own futures. For example, which graduation party to attend?
I promise you that though my commencement speaker totally sucked shaved Rhesus monkey balls, yours won’t.
Now I could wax eloquently about your college sagas, about the struggle it took pulling all of those all nighters and cramming for exams to just only squeak by, about getting shitfaced at that Kappa Sigma kegger and hooking up with your best friend’s girl, and about the time you woke up in a puddle of your own vomit at Denny’s with bits of Moons Over My Hammy in your hair.
I could speak with great flourish about continuing your educations, about life being some wondrous adventure of self-discovery and improvement, about never quitting in the face of great odds and working tirelessly and with dogged determination to realize your dreams.
I could tell you that, but I’m no bullshitter.
Basically, the only real and practical wisdom I can impart to you is not to take crap from anyone.
Life is a harsh mistress, one that repeatedly will rub out cigarettes on your flesh and kick your ass like some German dominatrix. Life is unforgiving and cruel. Sure, there are moments of great joy and levity, but for the most part, it’s a jungle out there.
The world doesn’t care if you have the best grade point average or the nicest car or the hottest girlfriend. Your college years are just a springboard to your professional life, a training ground and boot camp that will prepare you for dealing with assholes, dicks and douchebags. Some will want you to kiss their asses, while others won’t even know you’re alive, though you’ve been working in the adjacent cubical for ten years.
My next bit of advice is to not get too depressed when things don’t work out according to plan. You probably won’t get the dream job you’ve hoped for. I’ve always wanted to be a published novelist. Instead, I’m writing for a local weekly newspaper at the Jersey shore. At times the work is mundane, but I work with really great people and have cultivated sources and friendships over the years.
The Rolling Stones sang, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” Sir Mick and the boys are right. You can’t, so don’t feel sad. Instead, get angry. Get crazy pissed off and do something about it. Have one of those Network moments where you throw open the window and scream, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!”
I know that working at a Starbucks making venti mochachinos for a bunch of bored housewives isn’t your paramount reason for being on this Earth, but don’t let that define you. New opportunities will come along, so be patient and keep your eyes open.
Never give up.
Refuse to be mediocre. Refuse to compromise your integrity. You might be working in a bookstore well into your 30s instead of landing that job as an accountant with a posh corner office and a BMW. So what?
Many young people today expect guaranteed employment as soon as they graduate.
Life doesn’t come with guarantees, younglings. It doesn’t owe you a good career with a high-paying salary, a happy marriage or a house in the suburbs.
The only thing you can expect in life is to improvise and muddle along, to survive and be happy. Not everyone gets to be Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. Not everyone will be a celebrity. The vast multitude of us slog through our day, working, paying bills and tolerating bullshit. Once in a while we find solace in others, in love and relationships that soften our hardness and make life worth living. We choose which moments to treasure, what to remember and what we forget.
Some people whine about what they don’t have and express their regrets ad nauseam. Don’t be like these people. Seriously.
All of you worked hard to get here. Along the way, your families and friends prodded and supported you in your scholastic endeavors. As a bunch of trust fund babies, you might have been given a boost, but it was still an uphill climb. Never forget their sacrifices, and would it kill you to visit your parents once in a while?
Nothing lasts forever. Many of you are under the misconception that you’re indestructible and things will never change. Remember that change occurs all the time. Your parents or friends won’t always be around, so be good to them while they’re here.
Get plenty of exercise and take care of yourself. I know it’s tempting to sit around eating Cheetos and watching that Battlestar Galactica marathon for 18 hours, but using a forklift to move your ass to the bathroom is a telltale sign of obesity. I’m not saying do the Ironman Triathlon or anything hardcore like that, but just get enough exercise to prevent you from looking like Jabba the Hutt.
Have a sense of humor. Life can be a tragic horror show, with death and unhappiness. Your best defense is laughing at disturbing shit. Try to see humor in things. There’s a reason the grim, suit-wearing executives keel over and die from stress: they take everything seriously. Remember, he who laughs last doesn’t always laugh best. He might be a dipshit who didn’t understand the joke to begin with.
Stay active. The worst thing you can do as an adult is settle and grow complacent. Volunteer at the library. Get a hobby. Go back to night school and learn automobile repair, medieval tapestry making or animal husbandry. Becoming well rounded and knowledgeable makes you more interesting.
Be the person you’ve always wanted to be. That sounds New Agey and superficial, but think of it this way: you only get one life to develop and grow. Every decision you make moulds and shapes you. Instead of using time to kvetch and moan about President Obama, that bitch Judy in the next cubicle or that crappy finale to Lost, do something constructive for your future.
Sometimes you’ll get lucky. As life is unforgiving, it can also show you a shimmering light of mercy and reward you. Embrace these lucky moments in your life because they might be few and far between.
Lastly, my future unemployment recipients, do what makes you happy. Joseph Campbell’s maxim to “follow your bliss” is appropriate here. The most unforgivable sin a person could commit against themselves is to reach the end of their life and realize they ignored their happiness. Some do this out of convenience, others out of fear. Never be afraid to do what makes you happy. Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet, “To thine own self be true.” It made sense in the 17th century just as it does in the 21st century.
Understand who you are, what makes you tick and what you desire. Then, and only then, will you be ready to get what you want out of life.
Congratulations and good luck.