I paid good money to see it, and I will stay through the end. That used to be with my philosophy when I went to a movie, play, or concert that was incredibly bad. For example, The Crow 2 (1996) tested me to my limits, and finally the realization just hit: this ain't going to get any better, and my time is worth more than sitting here watching this crap. More than that, though, I think I left to honor the memory of the original The Crow. The movie had already been made, and made right; the sequel was not only insulting, it was redundant.
My wife and I don't go out much any more, using Netflix for most movies we watch, which makes watching bad movies a lot less painful. If a movie isn't cutting it, we'll usually watch it in fast-forward. I'll pause to play it at regular speed every-so-often, if for no other reason than to confirm that it still sucks, and then we'll hit the fast-forward button again. Only when it's really, really bad will we turn of…
In 1963, the Beatles gave us "I Want to Hold Your Hand"; in 2000, Ludacris released "What's Your Fantasy?" Now, I personally don't subscribe to the notion that Western Civilization is in a perpetual downward spiral, but it is amazing the difference 37 years makes.
"What's Your Fantasy?" received mainstream radio play, and its subject matter was anything but subtle. Hell, it made George Michaels' straight-forward 1987 hit "I Want Your Sex" sound down-right respectable.
Ludacris, shall we say, left nothing to the imagination. The lyrics reference a complete catalog of explicit sexual acts and escapades, including but not limited to public indecency, ménage à trois, role-playing, and oral sex.
The song was so out there that it even got on the radar of anti-fantasy advocate Bill O'Reilly, who would claim success in forcing Pepsi to drop Ludacris as spokesperson. Ironically, O'Reilly would face sexual harassment charg…
Kate Chopin's "The Story of an Hour" is only 1009 words long, but it's one of the most powerful stories I've ever read. Its power is in its compactness, as well as its "real-time"construction -- much like an episode in the 24 television series.
What is "the joy that kills?" For the answer to that, you'll need to read the story; suffice it to say, the "joy" that Mrs. Mallard experiences and the "joy" the doctor refers to at the end of the story are polar opposites.
Most hours in our daily lives do not contain such life and death epiphanies. In fact, perhaps we can count such impactful hours in our lives on one hand, which might be a good thing, for we certainly wouldn't want to confront each hourly chime of the clock.
Today, take notes on how you spend one hour of your time. How can you turn those notes into your own "Story o…
Emily Dickinson wrote over 1800 poems, but published just seven in her lifetime. It's almost incomprehensible to a modern sensibility, especially for those of us that live in the college mindset of "publish or perish."
Why publish? I think it's a valid question. Is it the need for validation? Most aspiring poets and fiction writers still subscribe to the notion that they are not "real writers" unless they publish, and therefore they send their stuff to small literary magazines that no one reads. When one accepts their work, they advertise the fact proudly. And that becomes the main end. From most, I never sense that they care if any one actually reads their work, just as long as it's published.
Having work published does more than validate, of course. It also provides a certain level of credibility that they can use to secure future publication in other obscure, largely unread literary journals.
What keeps you from writing? For me, it used to be the love of reading. Reading is so much easier than writing. Just absorb the words that others have painstakingly laid out for you. With reading, you can cover 20, 40, even 60 pages in an hour. Does a certain section bore you? Skim it, or skip it altogether.
But as a writer, how many pages can you write in an average hour? Two, maybe three? Then there's the revising, the revising, the revising. The page you write is with you for, perhaps, hours on end. Bored with your own words? As a writer, you don't have the luxury to skim or skip. All you can do is continue to massage meaning and interest into each sentence. Each sentence becomes a piece of the track, and the effort to lay down enough track to take the reader somewhere meaningul is the mental equivalent to building a transcontinental railroad.
So, why bother writing? There are certainly enough people writing today for you to read for lifetimes without end. Why bot…
Every once in a while, Kevin would come over to the house, and we'd sit around trying to think of things to write. Who are the characters? What's the story?
More importantly, how do we begin? At this point, neither one of us were really writers, outside of essays we might write for college classes, and neither of us knew the secret that all writers apparently know: How to begin outlining a story. Can't we just start writing, we thought? (As turns out, that was probably the answer, but neither of us had real faith, real belief.)
I know some writers sit in a room and work collarboratively on writing projects, but Kevin and I never found the key to making our writing partnership work. And maybe it was my fault. I didn't believe in our partnership. In the back of my mind, I knew that we only had a couple hours to work on the project, and then Kevin would return to his college and I to mine, with no clear plan of when we'd find…
When I was alive, if I ever thought about living, I assume I just thought I would reach old age. Sometimes I would joke about dying at 33, like Alexander the Great and Jesus. That would have been sexy. But to die at 35? There's no glory in that.
Everyone wants to live the to see their children graduate from school, to marry, to have the first grandchild. Somehow to die early is to feel slighted from what we feel entitled to.
On the other hand, think of how many old people just live on and on, without the peace that comes from death. Put them in a room, visit them a few times a year. Waiting. Life over, but living on.
For some people, God forgot to include an off switch.
What is the perfect age to die? Are there specific events that you want to experience before dying? Are there specific things you want to accomplish? If so, why?
"To fear death, my friends, is only to think ourselves wise, without being wise: for it is to think that we k…
With age comes experience, and with experience comes wisdom. Hopefully.
Now that I'm a father, I wonder how my daughter will take my advice; but I think I know the answer to that, for I know how well I took advice from my parents. (My advice will be better, though! But how to convince Tavi of that...)
In my 20s, I believed in the power of experience. Yes, I thought, you've made your mistakes. Thanks for your advice, but let me find out for myself. All experience is good experience, and as long as I don't kill myself or others in the effort, just give me the space to experience things for myself...
Looking back on my thought process, I know that it was the piss and vinegar of youth speaking. On the other hand, I still believe that a person needs to gain wisdom through experience, and if I would have just accepted advice and foregone experience, I would be a weaker person today.
Write a letter to your past self 20 years ago. Knowing what you know now, what advice wou…
Note: I didn't buy my first Dokken album (Lightening Strikes Again) until this year. If you've never gotten into Dokken, it's a pretty good album. Give them a listen :)
Dwight Shrute, the lovable character in the American version of The Office, created a time capsule for himself in 1985. His plan was to open it 20 years later (although he actually forgets about it and doesn't open it until 2007).
In that time capsule, he writes his "future self" a letter:
“Hello Dwight. If you’re reading this, then you are not dead. Good. If you are not Dwight and you are reading this, be aware that this letter is cursed and the ghost of me will haunt you forever. Dokken Rules. Dwight.”
The nearest thing I have to a letter to myself from the past are the journals I kept in college. But I certainly didn't have any thought about a future self. I was far too caught-up in my own petty "present-self" problems.
Write a letter to your future self 20 years from n…
My name isn't dead common, and yet when I google "Bret Fuller," I find someone of that name that's a senior research consultant; another Bret Fuller earned a Ph.D. in Counseling, while a "Brett Fuller" is a senior pastor in Virginia.
Checking facebook, more than a few dozen "Bret Fuller" and "Brett Fuller" hits come back. It's enough to give a guy an identity crisis.
So, the world is full of people running around with the same names. What are their stories?
Google your name and find someone that shares your name. Based on the information you can find about that person, how does the life of the person that shares your name differ from yours?
"And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many." -- Mark 5:9
I'm happy to say my married life isn't exactly following this video time-line; however, it does make you wonder... We're all going through this mating and marriage and having children and buying houses and creating man-rooms in the basement life... What's it all for? :)
The English language must be female, for I will never fully understand her mystery, her beauty, her illogic.
Mike Myer's art-drawing, bath-loving Saturday Night Live character Simon taught us that a "bum-looker" is someone that likes to catch a peek at a person's bare bottom. Fair enough. So, what is a "navel-gazer"? Wouldn't it follow that a navel-gazer is someone that likes to, oh, I don't know, look at Britney Spears' midsection?
Navel-gazing, as it turns out, refers to people that like to look at their own navels, not the navels of their neighbors. The Greeks, with their far superior language, called the practice Omphaloskepsis, and it used to refer to people trying to enter a meditative state -- by looking in, finding center, etc. Now, apparently, the term has taken on more of an intentionally narcissistic connotation -- folks that are too self-absorbed with themselves (and their own navels) to notice anyone else.
Disturbed's new album Indestructible is now out, and I'm really looking forward to it. At their best, this may be the best American metal band going today.
The only downside to Disturbed is that they don't seem to be able to do a great album. Each album contains amazing songs that other groups could only dream of doing, but each album also seems to be about half filler, too.
Nevertheless, the title track "Inside the Fire" is awesome. Go to the website for a listen.
Force people to read poetry; it's much more effective than sending them to jail.
Apparently some kids decided to drink beer at Robert Frost's house, and then they trashed the place. Their punishment? They were sentenced to read Frost's poetry, of course. Maybe that will give them a real reason to trash his place the next time??
I'm still watching CNN, still thinking about how selfish Hillary is. My thought is, the real reason Hillary isn't conceding the race is that she's still looking for more donations to her campaign. Who knows how much in debt she is.
Barack, if he's smart, will tell Hillary that she's very important in the U.S. Senate, and that he couldn't possibly consider her for VP or a cabinet position.
And anyway, Barack doesn't need to make her VP to secure her voters. Where are they going to go?
Barack Obama secured the number of votes to secure the Democratic nomination tonight, but Hillary Clinton's speech sounded like she won.
She still made all the arguments for why she thinks she's the best candidate. She asked people to go to her website to give her advice on what to do next. She did not indicate that she would suspend her campaign or concede the race.
The pundits are suggesting that the speech was designed to put pressure on Barack to select her as his VP.
No one's talking about the possibility of Hillary going 3rd party. Is that a possible option? Why not, if Hillary really believes that she's the best candidate. Let's hope she's not pondering that option, as it would totally change the dynamics of the race...
Hillary has reportedly told the AP that she would entertain the idea of being Barack's VP.
Translation: Hillary wants to be Barack's VP.
There's been speculation for months that the two might join forces to make a "superticket." Will this actually happen? For the longest time I didn't think so.
But now my gut's telling me it will happen.
Hillary is such a polarizing figure that I hope Barack will find someone better. Who might he select?
It's a real longshot, but it would be REALLY interesting if he would select a Republican... one that's to the right of McCain. Would he dare do that? Doubtful, but it would certainly get people talking.