If You Build It, They Will Come.

Friday, June 25, 2004

I just got back from "Fahrenheit 9/11." Go see this film. I cannot stress this enough.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

It's Been A While

*editor's note: you may want to get comfy, this is a long one.

Ok, so I've not done this in a while, but I'm going to talk about socio-political issues.

Living in the MFO, I've noticed a lot of conservativism. As is the case with most conservativism, (most, not all) I've noticed a lot of hypocrisy. Maybe it's that small town thing that breeds the most hypocrisy though, I've talked with a lot of conservatives who are a little more experienced with life, and they seem like their views are a little more thought out. Though, I've also found that most conservatives I know come out of small towns.

I'm getting settled in, this is going to be a long post.

Ok, I got a sandwich and a bottle of water, I'm good, where was I?

I feel the need to be charitible when I meet people in Mansfield who say they've never been anywhere else. I get the instict to pack them some clothes, hop in the car and take them somewhere better, to show them what the real world is like. You can always tell who these people are, too. They're the ones who will throw out the racist or homophobic comments the first time you meet them, simply because they don't know any better. All they've known is the whitebred "christian" life and just assume that's what you think too. Those who are a little more enlightened (for lack of better term) do not make assumptions about who a person is by looking at them and guessing. It's not like I'd walk inot a bar and say to a complete stranger, "Dude, I met one of those cracker inbred bible-beaters today, holy crap I hate those people." Why? Because that might be offensive.

Now, I would be the first person to tell you that I am not a christian, so I don't know all the rules, but isn't blatent sterotypical hatred not what Jesus would do?

I know a kid who is driving himself insane, to the point, I just found out, that his anger and emotional state has caused him to beat up a 12 year old kid (this guy is at least 22, 6'1"). He brings a bible with him to work every day. I saw him in the back reading out of it, writing down notes, as if studying for a test, mentally destroying himself. He's panicky, angry, disturbed, restless, all because he's a christian, and he's gay.

Again, I don't know the rules, but I don't think christianity is supposed to make you insane enough to beat the hell out of a 12 year old. There's a little lapse in your belief structure somewhere in there.

Why is it the ones who think homosexuality is wrong because the bible says so, are also the ones who have premarital sex? Why is it that the people who are pro-life are the ones who kill abortion doctors? Why is it that ultra conservatives boycott things like Eminem, or films like "Dogma" or "Bowling For Columbine," instantly making them more interesting and noticable to the public? Why not instead of standing out in front of Planned Parenthood with your picture of a dead baby every friday, you and your friends try to start up a foundation to help expectant mothers with adoption services. Instead of spitting on them for making the only choice they feel they can make, give them a better option.

I don't understand these people. I try to, but I cannot shut off the logical switch in my mind. There's always a little red flag that pops up whenever I say something that I don't agree with, I cannot understand how these people don't have that. All I can assume is that they are too simple. They hear what they want to, they shut out what they don't. They don't truly have opinions on anything, their opinions were fed to them through the generations of their family that never left their small town. They can listen to people like Rush Limbaugh spout out over the years how people with drug addictions are a drain on society, and that they should be sent up the river, and they for some reason or another agree. But when it's revealed that Rush himself is a drug addict, it somehow doesn't even register. They just sit there and blink.

It was revealed last week that Iraq and al-Queda have never had any type of alliegence, financially or otherwise. Iraq has never harbored al-Queda terrorists. Also, we have yet to find any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Before Sept. 11, 2001, before he was even "elected" Bush talked about going back to war with Iraq. Two Americans have now been decapitated on television, hundreds more killed. Since this war started, gas prices have risen from $1.24/gallon to $2.13/gallon locally. With foreign oil markets disrupted since the invasion of Iraq, most of the oil is coming from domestic sources, hence the price bump. So basically, the President lied about reasons to start a war (something basically unheard of in the previous 224 years of diplomacy) in which the domestic oil companies (which has provided the Bush family fortune), Halliburton (who got the contract for the rebuilding processes in Iraq without any competitive bidding, also unheard of, and whose former CEO, Dick Cheney, was given a gift of $20,000,000 when he left the company to become the Vice President), and Lockheed (a military supplier) have made a shitload of money. And sadly, some people still don't get it. Some people think that even though photos have surfaced of us torturing Iraqi's (not soldiers, but citizens, people who are protesting and rebelling against our military) that this war is all about Iraqi Freedom. Well, lets play devils advocate and assume this is true.

If these people also belive Bush when he said that Iraq was a sponsor of 9/11, and that 9/11 happened because "they hate our way of life... they hate freedom," then why would we shove our way of life down their throat? Doesn't that seem counter-productive, pissing off the people that we fear may be future terrorists?

Michael Moore's new movie "Farenheit 9/11" comes out this friday. Please, everyone, go see it. I only wish it came out closer to election time. I'm nervous about this election. I mean the USA has made enemies with just about every nation on the planet because of this clown we have in office. But a lot of them understand that it's not us, it's him. Many aren't as conservative minded and choose not to judge us all based on one of us. They know we didn't elect him, they know we don't like him, and they know there's not much we can do about him, so they're understanding. The reason I'm nervous is that if we re-elect him, then we have no excuse. We are as guilty as he is. We'll look like we support him. And I'd bet the farm that if he gets re-elected, we'll have another 9/11 all over again.

It's a little comforting though that now he and John Kerry are at a dead heat, tied in the polls, and I can't think of one thing John Kerry stands for. I don't even know if he has a running mate yet. Kerry is tied with Bush on the sole fact that he is not Bush. When he actually says something, it might be in the bag. I have two concerns. The republicans play dirty. Very very dirty. The "moral" party is the antithesis of such. Being that Kerry isn't in the spotlight yet, they might be digging. Two, the latest poll I saw shows Bush at 44%, Kerry at 44%, and Nader at 3%. Once again, Ralph Nader, the advocate for safety, is putting the entire world in danger. Ironic, isn't it? He reminds me of a spoiled bratty discourtious elementary school kid who takes your friends seat that you were saving in the cafeteria, just because there's no rule that saving seats is binding, and as a student in the cafeteria, he should be allowed to sit where ever he wants. And even though there are twenty open seats right next to him, he wants yours so he can get some attention. He's being an idiot, he's pissing everyone off, but he's well within his rights, so you can't sue him for it.

Back to religion. I realize that earlier I stated that I am not a christian. To all my MFO peeps, or anyone else who happens onto this page, most of you will jump to the conclusion that I am an athiest. I am not. I do believe in a higher power. Call it God, fate or Karma. Not because I read it in a book, but because I can feel it. Cheesy and cliche as it sounds, things have happened in my life that I didn't understand until much later. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and that nothing is coincedence. If you read between the lines you can understand everything, you just need to look. I smashed my week old brand new truck. At the time, I thought, "Why did this have to happen?" But I paid $4800 for it, and got an insurance check for $10,000. My classes in Florida were cancelled. My whole plan for the next few years of my life uprooted in an instant at the very beginning. As a result, I can go to the same school in LA for $7000 less. Had I not smashed my truck, and had my Florida classes not been cancelled, I wouldn't be able to afford going to school in LA. And really, if I make it in this business, I'm going to need to be in Hollywood, not Disney World.

But I look at religion, organized religion, as a distortion. A skewed means to a selfish end. People use religion as a guide for their lives, but also interpret it in ways that fit their own morbid thoughts, and therefore making it's purpose forfeit. The bible says to love one another, and thou shalt not kill, but if someone interprets that as "kill all the gay people" then they feel justified in doing so. To me, I think the message of every religion is very much the same. To quote Bill S. Preston, Esq. "Be excellent to each other." But what if you look at religion as a more philosophical observation, as opposed to a spiritual guide. Particularly the difference between heaven and hell. Now hell has never really been about evil. It's always been a place without God. The people who write the bible, and are christian will tell you that being without God is evil, but then you must consider the source. It's like asking Ronald McDonald about Burger King. God is good, everything without good is evil, ergo, hell is evil. But hell is really the abscence of god, and those who forego their religious morality and are evil are the ones who are sent there. So hell is filled with "evil" people, but isn't an evil place. But if you observe hell in a more philosophical sence, then hell is the absence of god or the abscence of faith in god. If you have god in your life then you are happy, if you do not, you are miserable. While that's not necessarily true, it's to me the idea of faith that makes you happy or miserable, not necessarily in god, but in something spiritual, magical, or otherwise optimistic. For example, Santa Claus. Think about it, when you were a kid, and Santa came on christmas, the world was a magical and wonderful place. You'd sit up at night and imagine that you heard hoofsteps on your ceiling from eight timy reindeer. You'd leave cookies and milk out for Santa, and go to bed filled with the giddiest excitement imaginable. With that innocence is heaven. But when you get older, you figure it out. There is no Santa. Christmas loses its magic. Suddenly you see that it's just the most commercialized mall shopping spree of the year. It's depressing, it's tired, and all it means is days off school so you can go be around your family who usually get into fights, and college bowl games. This is hell. When you're a kid you dream of being an astronaut, you hang up pictures of the space shuttle, you go on a tour of NASA, you love outer space movies, everything that has to do with space travel excites you, and this is heaven. When you grow older, you give up that dream to become a night supervisor at Taco Bell, and this is hell. Not necessarily the abscence of god, but the abscence of faith, the loss of dreams, the idea that you can look at the world and see everything it is, as opposed to believing that there's something more to it, something hidden, something magical, something spiritual, something happy. It's the loss of hope. It's not your situation, it's your mental state. It's not working at Taco Bell, it's losing your dreams.

Pretty deep. It is 3:37am, this is when I peak at the philisophy.

At any rate, this may be my longest post ever, and I should get to bed.

Go see "Farenheit 9/11" this friday.

Please vote this November.

Don't hate people you don't know.

Don't believe the Bush Administration.

Don't crap on other people's religions, because they have as much reason to believe what they believe as you do. Myself included in that, though I don't think I slammed christianity at all, just bad christians.

Be excellent to each other.

Party on, dudes.


Friday, June 18, 2004

It's four in the morning, and I'm still up. I'm not sure why. I just finished reading Deception Point, by Dan Brown. I really enjoy his books (The Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons, and Digital Fortress are the other ones I've read, and to my knowledge the only ones he has.) I notice something though. Dan Brown Books follow a distinct pattern. Someone always mysteriously dies in the Prologue, the cause and reason are figured out later, and in the end, people boof. The main character is always knowledgable about things most people don't know due to their job, beit a symbiologist, an agent of the NSA or the NRO. A fear from childhood usually is very prevalent in their current lives as well. It's interesting.


Monday, June 14, 2004

I'm sleepy, not sure why.

So far Nopa, Johanna, Jamie and Jason are into driving across the country with me. Super coolness. I've got the most awesome friends ever.

The first wave of the DVD's have been mailed out. They should be arriving in a few days with the exception of Jason, Jamie, and Jamie's mom and dad's copies. They were all packaged as more than one, so they will take about a week (I mailed Jason and Jamie's together, as they live in the same house.)

A quick shout out to that moron in Times Square who was somehow deeply insulted by a defensive basketball game when the Pistons beat the Pacers to move on to the finals. His cocky stupid ass said to the Pistons, and I quote, "Congratulations, you'll be out in five." It's looking like he might be right, only, I'm sure he meant the Lakers would knock them out, and not the other way around.

I have to call NYFA today. I have to look around for student loan crap. I have to work at 4. I don't feel like doing any of it, I don't know why. I'm sleepy I guess. A little grouchy too. I know it's one of the pitfalls of living at home, but I hate it when my parents feel the need to constantly remind me of what I have to do, as if I have no idea. When my mom wakes me up five minutes before my alarm goes off, or after I hit the snooze button, to make sure that I know what time it is. I've lived on my own for six years, I can function on my own. I know they mean well, and they don't do it because they feel I can't handle it. My mom is just kind of a worrier. She gets anxious thinking that the one day that I hit the alarm and don't get out of bed immediately and she doesn't say anything is the day that I fall back asleep through the rest of the day and wake up five hours late and get fired from my job and like get in a big car wreck and then lose my legs or something. I only know that because I feel like that sometimes too to other people. I don't blame her for it, but it does get annoyinbg sometimes. My parents have this belief that if they don't harp on me to do something, I won't do it. The truth is that I lived in Kalamazoo for six years, and they didn't see what I did and didn't do. But now that I'm around and they can see me, they are learning that I do take things into my own hands, I do take control, and it's a little insulting how shocked they seem to be.

At any rate, I knew I'd have to deal with this when I moved back here, so I'm not that upset about it. It irks me a little every now and then.

Los Angeles, though. I don't think the idea of me moving to LA has fully sunk in yet. It's a little creepy. Very intimidating. I'm going to work on the Universal Lot, so I'm going to see famous people like all the time. I can handle all of it though, I know I can.

Gotta go. Promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.


Saturday, June 12, 2004

Johanna, I love you. I will probably take you up on the trek across the country. That would be super cool. Also, NYFA sent me some recommendations as to where to live that I am going over this weekend. I'll let you know what I come up with.

Also if anyone else wants to go, I'm sure we could take more.

In other news, the first wave of the Twelve Page Paper DVD's will be in the mail monday. They're done, in envelopes, addressed, and ready to go, but in Lexington, the post office isn't open at all on the weekends. Mainly because there are two people who work there. Seriously.

A quick note about the DVDs. The covers turned out lovely. They look different than the cases I had at the premiere, it's no longer just the black cover. The discs themselves looked awesome too. Look'ED' But they no longer do. See, I came up with this design for them which actually looked cool, and I had to use those disc label stickers to stick them on. They looked super sweet, but after the labels were put on, for some odd reason, the DVDs didn't play. (Yes I put them on the right side). They play a little, and then pixelate and lock up, just like the disc we had at the premiere, which was also stickered. The ones without stickers play fine. In fact, to test this theory, I had one, watched it all the way through without the sticker and it played fine. Afterwards I stickered it, and it crashed five minutes in. If anyone has any better ideas to make the discs look better, help me. The ones being sent out are just the blank DVD-R covers with my writing on them. Boring and cheap looking.

My mom needs the computer, I gotta go.

Friday, June 11, 2004

So.... what's new in my life....

I'm not moving to Florida. I covered that much in my last post, but here's why. NYFA has workshops all over the world. One in New York, one in Los Angeles, one in London, Paris, Milan, etc. The one I signed up for was in Orlando. Apparently, film school students would rather be in one of the more extravagant locations, and so barely anyone else signed up to go to Florida. That being the case, they decided to close the session. So, I come to find out after getting an apartment (almost) and having everything planned out, that once again, it is foolish to make plans.

Now the good news.

In exchange for the trouble they've caused me, they have discounted my tuition by $7,000. (It took a little haggeling, but I got it that low) if I were to go to another one year program offered in either NYC or LA. After some consideration about how an extra seven grand could cover my rent for eight months, I've decided to head out to Los Angeles. New York seemed a little too costly still, plus if I were going to make it in this business, I'd end up in LA sooner or later.

So at the risk of sounding cheesy, I offer you this. Every bad thing that happens to you isn't necessarily bad. It may be at the time, but there can always be something positive to come out of it. Both getting my plans screwed up to go to Florida and smashing my truck have allowed me to afford to not only do what I love, but do it in Hollywood.

The when and the how are both still up in the air. I need to drive to LA moving all my stuff. I also need my car. So I need to drive two vehicles across the country, and there's only one of me. The most likely option is that I'll have to make the trip twice. Drive out, fly back, drive out again. That's ugly. So if anyone wants to drive across the United States with me, we could make a gynormous road trip out of it! It would be great! We could stop in Las Vegas, or at the Grand Canyon! Hooray!! Right?! No...? Oh, ok....

It's about a three day trip one way, and I can probably get NYFA to pay for a plane ticket back. Believe me, if no one wants to do it, my feelings won't be hurt. I don't even want to do it.

I should learn spanish.


Friday, June 04, 2004

Mother f#@$er....

I'm not going to Florida anymore....

Just my luck. What have we learned? No matter how sure something is, no matter how solid and set your plans are, there's a good chance they aren't going to happen.

It's not all bad. Rob and Lola may have me as a neighbor in New York. I might be in Los Angeles. I really am sick of this "up in the air" shit.

In other news, the DVD's will hopefully be finished tonight. Audio Commentary, easter eggs, gag reel, the works. If I get them done, I'll start mass producing them soon, and you's guys will get one in the mail soon.

Snooch to the nooch.