SHUT UP ABOUT MARS!

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I know that we’re screwing up the Earth and badly need to find a new place to stay. In fact, if the sun has its way, it’s a race against time before it eats us in 7 billion years. That said, we need to hustle off this rock asap. Forget the fact that the closest planet to ours is an inhospitable hell zone that we don’t have the necessary technology to even safely visit. That’s just silly semantics. Pack your shit, everybody. We’re gonna make it to the red world of 3-boobed women if it’s the last thing we do! (and it will be.) Continue reading

Book Review: The Sun Also Rises (Unless You’re Black, Jewish Or Privileged)

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“I’m 34, you know. I’m not going to be one of those bitches that ruins children.”

Lady Brett Ashley’s decision to not “ruin” children with settling down and raising a family works out just fine for her. She is one of a long line of literary Delilahs who turn male characters insane with adoration. Another one is Gatsby’s Daisy. There are more – the early 1900’s were littered with them. For some reason these hapless foolish fellows fall deeply in love with women in words who lead them into their dens of promises and false hopes, only to crush them before the story’s end. The early 1920’s seemed a rough time for men desperately in love. And blacks. Jews too.
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On The Courageous Cat & Minute Mouse Episode “The Case Of The Cat-Cave Treasure,” And Its Insults To Our Intelligence

car 1Bob Kane’s parody of his greatest invention, Batman, ran for 130 short episodes. I remember being obsessed with this cartoon as a kid, yet now, as with most old school shows I try to re-watch (CHiPs, A-Team), I consider it stupid. But what I didn’t expect in these recent viewings is how brain-dead the writers took us to be. I sit here at my laptop bamboozled and insulted, dissecting one particular episode designed to play us for all for morons. Behold! ‘Courageous Cat & Minute Mouse’ gets put on blast – are they really the heroes the show’s writers portrayed them to be? Let’s have a look at the episode first.

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I’ve Been Nominated For The Liebster Award For Bloggers!

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Thanks to Tahir from over at Words Across Borders, I’ve been nominated for a Liebster Award! She is a self-described political junkie. I personally despise politics now (long story) so I try to stick to her poetry. Drop by and start clicking LIKE on things!

Liebster is basically an award by bloggers for other bloggers in a sort of chain. You can only nominate blogs with under 1,000 followers, so this is also a great way to give exposure to blogs you enjoy.

Here are the rules:

The Official Liebster Award Rules:

  1. Thank the blogger that nominated you and link back to their blog.
  2. Display the award somewhere on your blog.
  3. List 11 facts about yourself.
  4. Answer 11 questions chosen by the blogger who nominated you.
  5. Come up with 11 new questions to ask your nominees.
  6. Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you think deserve the award and who have less than 1,000 followers.  (You many nominate blogs that have already received the award, but you cannot renominate the blog that nominated you.)
  7. Go to their blog and inform them that they’ve been nominated.

Okay here go the…

11 FACTS ABOUT MYSELF!

1. I am from Asbury Park, NJ and, though I’m super glad I don’t live there anymore, I take a great deal of pride in being FROM there. Growing up by the beach has desensitized me from caring much about beach vacations and things of that nature. And while I was growing up, it was a real shithole. They’ve been working hard to bring it up for years and it’s looking pretty good.

2. I worked in television for 20 years. I was a loyal member of CNN’s technical staff in New York City and when they illegally broke our tech contract in order to bust the union, we ended up in court. 0ver 100 former employees have been fighting them ever since and CNN keeps losing and appealing. It’s been 11 years.

3. I’m a hardcore geek. Always have been, as my avatar can tell you. I love comic books and superhero stuff especially. So I have an affinity for looking at cosplay. Not interested in participating in it though.

4. I write Yelp reviews in my spare time. When I moved from NYC to down south, I knew I’d need cool new things to do, so I banged out a ton of reviews until I was offered Yelp Elite, and therefore invited to lots of free events and parties. I’ve met some cool people and have constructed some sort of social life that way.

5. I hate cheese, unless it’s mozz on pizza. I find it so revolting.

6. I was married to a woman in New York City who divorced me and took the dog. The two things I hate the most from losing that union are, 1. she was rich 2. I miss my dog. In truth, I don’t miss the woman though.

7. I am currently unemployed, and have been for over a year.

8. But I’m not without money. My brother owns a detailing business and I work with him a few times a month. I am also a Yelp Brand Ambassador and they send me the occasional gig. I am a freelance Social Media Manager, and my clients include Edutainment, Detailed By Lamont, 319 Media Group and New Hope Outreach Church. I pick up some cash from all these gigs and they keep me from starving. I’m always looking though!

9. I moved from NYC to NC because my brother and sisters and their families are here. After the divorce, I decided that being with my family was probably a good idea, so I relocated.

10. One of my other jobs is staff writer for Nerd Bastards. It’s a geek entertainment site and it’s lots of fun. Go to the side of the page where it says “Meet All The Bastards” and click on it. I’m presently the only black guy on staff lol. Holy shit, four jobs is pretty good for a guy who’s unemployed…

11. I’ve been shaving my head since 1997. One time in my early 30’s, I decided to grow it out. Not only was it super thin on the very top, but it came in mostly gray. To hell with that idea.

And here are the Questions From Tahir!

The Questions:

1) What is your connection to place?

I have no idea what that means. I will shape it into something: I have an intense connection to France, particularly Paris and the French Riviera. The most beautiful places in the world, if you asked me. I hope to one day have a vacation home there, but hey…reality and all.

2) Who was one of your role models growing up?

As a comic book geek, my role models were superheroes. I also watched wrestling, which showcased a distinct difference between right and wrong, featuring good and bad guy characters. These things shaped within me a very strict code. Outside of fantasy, I was a jock and primarily played baseball. Rickey Henderson of the New York Yankees (at the time) was my favorite player and I worked hard to emulate him.

3) If you could talk to a past version of yourself, what would you tell him/her?

Don’t go into communications. Center on the things you’re deeply passionate about, even if they don’t make you rich. Even if you have ups and downs, at least you’ll love doing it. Some people have ups and downs just doing the things they’ve settled on. Don’t be one of them.

4) Are you political or a-political? Why?

I’m Liberal, leaning Libertarian, but I’m jaded on politics. There is no such thing as an honest politician and anyone who truly believes that their party or their chosen candidate is out for their best interests is fooling himself/herself. Those fuckers are out for themselves ONLY. It’s all bullshit and the only way to find a modicum of sense in that flawed structure is to vote for the person who tells the lies you like to hear. I voted for Obama because his lies were far less destructive to my personal lifestyle than the Conservative candidates’ lies.

5) Aside from writing/reading, is there a particular art form you enjoy?

I’m a junkie for creativity in all its forms, from painting to sketching to building anything from scratch. I respect and love it all. I’m also an artist, so if I had to pick something in particular, I’d have to go with drawing.

6) What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

They are too many to count. I was with my brother today and said, “I’ve done a lot of ill-advised, insane shit. But if I didn’t do them, I think I’d be bored with life.” I sometimes have daredevil behavior. I’m lots more boring with age, tho. There’s this ramped road that crosses a railroad track by my sister’s house. You have to take it gingerly. One night about 20 yrs ago, when coming to visit her, I said “fuck it” and upon approaching the asphalt incline, I hit the gas pedal. I probably jumped that ramp (in a Mercury Tracer no less) about 30 feet. My heart was pounding and the adrenaline rush was incredible. And I kinda messed up my car…

7) What color are your eyes? (Just curious.)

Brown.

8) What are you most afraid of?

Death. Not just death, but the end of life. I treasure my faith, but I weigh it equally with science. And sometimes they don’t meet in the middle. I love the idea of Heaven and an afterlife, but the possibility of being wrong depresses the shit out of me. I hate hate hate the thought of just going black when this is all over, and then there’s nothing. We just cease to exist. It terrifies me…

9) What is something you inherited from your family that has greatly effected how you see the world? (Can be anything including a story, family history, item, language etc.)

I inherited my house in Asbury Park from my dad when he passed away. He had property and all his kids got a house. But my inheritance had to be sold off to pay for my mother’s assisted living expenses and subsequent nursing home charges. It bummed me out at first, but made me stronger. It taught me that hope is nice, luck is awesome, wishes are shit and nothing is set in stone. But, most importantly, material possessions are just dust. Don’t love them too hard. There are better things in life to cherish.

10) If you could talk to one person right now, who would it be and why?

Jesus Christ. Because I gotta know.

11) Dog, cat, or both?

Cats are cool, but I’m allergic. I prefer dogs anyway. A dog’s capacity for unconditional love and affection makes my heart flutter.

If you got this far, thank you so much for reading. Here are my nominees…

Sacha Dichter’s Blog

Lam on the Lam

2 sojourners

DIY Made Simple

SPLICED PERSONALITY

Hated Yankees

Here are the questions…

1. What is the most interesting thing to happen to you in 2014?

2. What is your favorite non-writing/non-blogging website outside of WordPress?

3. Hipsters…cool or lame?

4. Name three things you’d rather be doing than this.

5. What was your dream job growing up?

6. What you’d say in your acceptance speech:

7. What is your least favorite food and why?

8. What do you think you have to add to the lives of those who read you on this site?

9. What do you personally get out of the material you produce on this site?

10. Name the two most awesome places you’ve ever been to.

11. Love…is it overrated or underappreciated?

Thanks guys! Not everyone likes to play these things, so it’s okay if you back out! Take care!

I’m So Glad I’m Not You.

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It’s a treat when I browse Freshly Pressed and come across real winners from people who actually have something to share. Every now and then it’s a bust – some “feminist” will spew more man-hate than show support for her team, or Your Deep Highness might bore the absolute shit out of me with “Metaphysical Musings On Existentialism.” Sometimes there’s venting, sometimes there’s falling in love with your own words, and other times, though unpopular in the free liberties blogging world…there’s just plain old “I have something to add.”

And then there’s Mr. Random Bullshit. I think that’s me. It’s hard for me to pinpoint exactly where I belong in the grand literary scheme of things, and that’s why I’ll never succeed at this. As a master of nothing, with a severe inability to give a fuck, I can’t bring myself to clutch onto one cause, topic or idea, and make it my long-term effort. I would rather set myself on fire before using this outlet for just posting my original poetry. Or daily entries about the black experience. Or all the crap I shoot with my DSLR. No, I’d be quicker to shove a knife right through my face first.

Firstly, I don’t want to think too hard about any one thing. How far did all that over-analyzing get you anyway? Did you change the world? Were you happy with all the arguments you won? What about the wonderful things you missed in this beautiful world while your one-track mind ran straight and narrowly along that lonely highway? Is it really working for you?

Secondly, when you concentrate on something too hard, it’s gonna piss you off. That’s why nobody’s happy on “The Walking Dead” – they’re always thinking about the goddam zombies! If not for segregation, Malcolm X would’ve smiled more. And what about world domination? I bet those Bond villains could rock the hell out of a party, but nooOOOooo, being fixated on ruling the planet always killed the buzz. When bloggers only write about one thing ALL the time, there’s anger in them thar hills. Confuse it with passion if you want to. It’s a free country.

Me, I’m not perfect, and the blog proves that I’m not right in the head, so come with me if you want to die. But I do manage to find happiness in the smallest things. And thank God for them because I own nothing big. A little Star Trek here, a walk in a park there. Sprinkle in some 9GaG.com and a gym visit, and I’m the village idiot for the rest of the day. Might post a book review or a list about nothing or something too geeky to feel proud of. I try not to take things too seriously and have fun blogging about meaningless foolishness that gives me a giggle. Like I said…I won’t succeed at this.

Damn, I sound like a freakin’ court jester, huh? Aren’t you so glad you’re not me?

Book Review: Jonathon Livingston Seagull

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This thin book lasted roughly an hour from cover to cover. The words take up half of each page and other pages are packed with just as many photographs of
seagulls. Everything about the novel is pedestrian, except for the message – which I respect, but only halfway agree with. To wit:

All seagulls have human names and, in this edition, speak English, presumably with seagull accents(??). This story centers around Jonathan Livingston, a
seagull who desperately needs to break away from the demands of his society and just be himself. But seagull world ousts any members that choose to do more with their fowl lives than look for food. Jonathan is that member. He wishes to push himself, fly faster and farther than any bird; do fantastic acrobatics in the sky, and will risk his life day in and day out searching for his idea of the very best that he can be. And it doesn’t take long before he is sent packing by his seagull brethren.

I understand what is happening here. Bach is celebrating personal identity. Fine, I’m all for people doing what they want to do with themselves.  It’s all we did in New York City. But I don’t love Bach’s approach. Through JLS, he displays the view that not only is being different a right, but sheer brilliance as our protagonist not only tops himself and his kind physically, spiritually and mentally, but he literally attains more awesomeness than any human. He becomes a seagull Jedi Knight whose outrageous superiority even allows him to travel through time.

Yes, yes – the sky’s the limit! I get that too. Yes, yes – some people need this kind of self-help message. Also understood. But Bach’s “Break rules! Be different! Or you will never aspire to greatness” theme creates limitations for those who prefer a counter approach to life than his own, and is therefore underlyingly hypocritical. For instance… Jonathan knew the mandates of his community yet he chose to go against them, shun them, break them openly. If he was so dead set on his own agenda, he should have willingly took off on his own, free to do whatever he wants.

But no…Bach indirectly preaches rule-breaking instead, when rules are the very things that keep a society from falling apart and becoming chaotic. Destruction
and bedlam are what make the Joker and various other villains of yore so infamous.

Not saying JLS is a criminal mastermind in the making, but he is a seagull with phenomenal super powers, a psychiatric profile of lusting for personal gain and a history of life-altering rejection. All he needs is the straw to break the camel’s back and God help the seagull population…

Okay, got carried away a bit with that last paragraph. All in all, Bach put together a self-indulgent short with a strong message that one could call both good and bad. I am indifferent to it.

Four Questions and Four Answers On Writing.

Writing FLow ChartEver wonder why you do it? What’s the urge? Where wil it take you? Where do you want to go?

This entry is a piggyback to Jodie Llewellyn’s An Inspiration Post, for writers. I liked her post and commented that I was gonna do one of my own and link her. Her motivating tool was four questions…

1. Why did you start writing?
2. What do you love the most about writing?
3. What goals are you working towards, right now?
4. What advice do you have for other writers who may be struggling with a lack of inspiration, right now?

And she gave her four answers. I’ll do the same. Have some fun and play if you want, because I feel like when you ask questions like these out loud, your answers may surprise you. And hopefully jazz you up for some serious creativity.

Here are my answers:

EN GARDE!

1. Why did you start writing?

Couldn’t help it. It called to me. In high school, I had the urge to start a novel. It was crap and I only did one chapter, but I got better and my wordsmithing caught the eyes of some teachers and next thing you knew I was writing for the community paper. Then, I got the Asbury Park Press Scholarship for college and they gave me a job for the summer. I was always writing something somewhere and that has never stopped.
2. What do you love the most about writing?

When I was working for newspapers, I did my job. That was all I could do. But now when I write for the hell of it, I try to create as much as I possibly can. Even when I’m writing a Yelp review, though I’m largely just fucking around, there are times when I will really try and invent a theme or a point or just make something out of nothing that I can feel proud of. Creating something that I like is the most rewarding part of writing.
3. What goals are you working towards, right now?

Right now I’m happy with the Yelp reviews because it fuels my fix, as does this blog. Pushing words into existence without talking gives me a feeling of gratification. Not like I’m a god, but more like a contributor. As if I’m helping build worlds upon worlds upon worlds that we can all take part in and let our imaginations run wild in. Tolkien did that for me, as did King. But the big scheme is to begin writing my novel.
4. What advice do you have for other writers who may be struggling with a lack of inspiration, right now?

Depends on what you’re trying to write. I’m trying to write a novel, and that involves deep characters. When I write stories (screenplays or whatever) I go back to the grandparents of each character. I create origins for them, and that tells me what their children have to work with. Then I work on their children’s children. Next thing you know, I’ve got characters built that are much more interesting than the ideas I began with and I’ve got a whole new and better story. Chapters have built themselves (in my outline so far) because I dug so deep into my characters’ pasts.

Please keep this model going. I thought it was so cool when I saw it on Jodie’s blog. And I’d love to hear about your own journey!

Spri