Saturday, November 3, 2018

My last political rant on Twitter:

My last political rant on Twitter: It surprises me to say, as an independent, that I hope #Elections2018 go in the Democrats' favor. I don't believe in their party, but it's the natural evolution of the USA to become a globalized progressive capitalist society. Trump is wrong.

I think populism is always a short-term experiment. Democrats are not socialists. Not at all. Never will be. But I think, overall, their way is the future and the American culture of yesterday will stay in yesterday. That's where the past belongs.

Capitalism is the best way to unify Americans, that is after all, what Americans are: capitalists. Republicans are old world capitalists, fixated on old laws and racist ideologies. Democrats are new age capitalists, focused on green technology and Big Brother censorship...

But green technology is what will keep the world going for another 200 years so it's better to err on the side of caution. Our only long-term hope is green...to someday leave the earth and colonize other planets.

Logically, the only way to save earth is a worldwide government.

There is no good or evil, just youth vs. old dinosaurs, as always. Youth always wins...for better or worse, it always wins. Good and evil are speechwriter's words. Take a look at how we Good Americans treat animals and tell me how "we" are "noble creatures."

I've never approved of imperialism, still don't. But imperialism is a human flaw that will continue to thrive as long as humans exist. Everyone thinks of a Utopian society but no one has ever actualized it, not in millions of years of human history.

I like socialism, but it's it's a fantasy, a novel plot, nothing more. Every socialist experiment falls off the scale with capitalism, communism or centrism. All we as humans understand is power, (old world monarchies, religion) and now, the merchants who keep economies running.

We're still stuck in a Utopian-wannabe culture that still worships people like Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Zuckerberg and you @jack.  We can never grow as socialists as long as merchants steer the ship.

But capitalism is what works for now.

Ultimately, I'm proud of millennial culture. #MeToo, #PCCulture and #racialequality #LGBTQ rights - these are all wonderful things.  They have taken some wrong turns, sure, but they are going to shape a better future.

Finally...I do admit, I still wonder in the back of my mind if Trump was a CIA experiment to get millennials interested in politics. 

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Network (1976)



One of my favorite films is considered a masterpiece of 1976. I first watched it as a teenager and even back then I knew this was one to be studied.
This is how all writers should write, at least if they have an ear for comedy and drama.
"Network" was more than just a dramedy, however. It was a satire and a bit of a psychological horror because of the inhumane way it treated its characters, as well as its schizoid-like deconstruction of the human experience.
Howard Beale was the mad prophet, a fun scenery-chewing role to play, by the late Peter Finch, but the real terror of the movie comes from William Holden and Faye Dunaway who inhabited their characters (Max Schumacher and Diana Christensen) with such horrid detachment from all humanity.
Perhaps the deepest thought in Network (a film with so many direct parallels to the culture Modern American has created that it's less a satire and more of a prophecy) is the idea that the news, as well as the dehumanizing approach news producers take to such dark material, makes people insane.
This was certainly the thought emphasized by journalists who directly attributed inspiration of the movie to Christine Chubbuck, who committed suicide on live television a few years prior.
However, in a later interview with Paddy Chayefsky, he stated that Christine did not inspire the idea...in fact, the idea came from the experience of going behind the scenes of a news network and seeing the amorality of what they do to sell stories and get bigger ratings.
That's what inspired Network - the idea that so much dehumanizing language and emotional detachment from life drives one mad.
The movie is all the more appealing nowadays because of the "fake news" war going on between the Right and the Left.
What immediately drew me to it as a young man, was that screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky received just as much attention - if not more - as director Sydney Lumet for writing the satirical script. That was huge for the 1970s and even quite the milestone today, where it seems only writer-directors get any credit as visionaries.
And just to end this on a demoralizing note, you know what movie won the Oscar for Best Picture in 1976?
Rocky!
That's right, you can write something so brilliant only to someday be outvoted by Sylvester Stallone's biceps.

Girly, - Musmy Nanny, Sonny and Girly


#Girly is one of those rare cinema gems that denies you a gut reaction and leaves you in a state of perpetual confusion...until days later when you realize you've actually seen something new and groundbreaking.
Not so much traditional horror as it is psychological horror, an unnerving experience in which you're held hostage by a family that is sociopathic, if not as traditionally violent as the Sawyer / Leatherface family.
The movie was initially looked over because of sheer "indifference" - it wasn't a slasher movie or a thriller. It was very low budget.
I wasn't sure what to think of it when I first saw it, except to label it as a satire...one that critically analyzed UK politics and culture of the 1969 era.
But even today, it's relevant in the sense that it is still a great study in psychosis. It was a pioneer of the psychological horror genre, as well as a political satire.
The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover was a similar film, except that it felt like an absurd and artsy narrative, compared to "Girly", which actually resembled a more traditional horror format. Which is why, I suppose, it's still considered a horror flick. (Just barely)

Raining Cats & Dogs


Raining Cats & Dogs was originally published at Subversify magazine in 2009 and then compiled into an ebook in 2017.
It was slightly ahead of its time, since it took about ten years for filmmakers to explore the idea of an "all dog cast" and a canine stream of consciousness, NOT for children but for adults. Most notably Wes Anderson and the Isle of Dogs, which I haven't seen yet, but might sometime soon. I gather his film will be very different from mine, since mine was written in the spirit of Animal Farm and not a survivalist adventure flick.
I devised the idea of an all-dog murder mystery after being repulsed by the writing business and of course, suffering from a multi-year writer's block. (I finished my last new book in 2005 and took a long break)
It was very loosely based on The Brothers Kamarazov and explored concepts of religion, family and depression from a dog's point of view.
It was a predecessor to The End of the Magical Kingdom for its satirical themes (funny but also disturbing), and according to my writing style, in that it was violent, lustful and dark in subject matter, even while being rather absurd in theme.
I don't think it was the best work I've done, but it was the blueprint for writing superior works like The Saint of Science later on.

Little Big Man

My mother once told me that Little Big Man was one of her favorite movies. I remember her saying that the 1960s were a very cynical decade but that the 1970s cinema seemed to get back its heart.
When I first saw Little Big Man I remember scoffing at it--what the filmmakers thought it was supposed to be. A drama? A comedy? A satire of history? Something self important or not important at all? Perhaps I didn't appreciate it back then, but what I take from the movie now is that it's a shady version of the truth--like all history is--and it's as funny and disturbing as real life can be.
The movie tells the story of Jack Crabb (played subtly brilliant by a young Dustin Hoffman), a white man who grew up with American Indians and then later joined the white culture of late 1800s America. His unique upbringing allowed him to move back and forth into two different worlds, two different extreme cultures. Both cultures had altogether different values but the same apparent life dissatisfaction, not to mention an unreserved hatred of one another.
Not only did I personally relate to the protagonist's strange dilemma but I also saw it as a metaphor for the different perspectives we are arbitrarily born into in life. Everything we take for granted, everything we believe but haven't actually learned. Perhaps the film, like the novel it was based on, is a testament to neutrality, pacifism and non-violent resistance. It may well be the antithesis of most 1970s films, which were hard anti-establishment and pro-Democratic.
Little Big Man was actually one of the very first films to depict Native American sympathetically since in years past conservative filmmakers painted them as "savages". But somehow, as I watched the story of Jack Crabb come and go, as uneventful in the stream of time as it was truly unique to behold, I couldn't help but wonder if it truly is the definitive post-patriotic meditational experiment.
In an age of Right vs Left war that never really ends, isn't the only winner the one who lives to tell the story of the bloodshed?

Flowers in the Attic

I list V.C. Andrew's Flowers in the Attic as an inspiration for The End of the Magical Kingdom. Although I obviously don't write incest, I saw the movie as a teen and found it quite disturbing. I still remember images and moments in the film all these years later, even though I haven't seen it in 30 years.
I never read the books. But the conflict in the film, between parent and child, was interesting to me. It was exploring the concept of parental love gone cold. It's something that happens frequently in the animal world and yet it can happen in the human world too. What causes it? God knows, but stories of it happening, whether dramatized or when we read about it on Facebook viral news, are always morbidly fascinating.
This is what makes the film a particularly effective psychological horror.

The Mike Pence Rule

I personally don't believe in this rule.
But I can see why a person, especially in the political arena, may find it necessary to institute an arbitrary rule like this to gain immunity.
If it's well known among a man's peers that he never spends time alone with another woman, it may be a protection against false allegations that hypothetically could turn up later on.
Is it misogynistic? No, at worst, it's evidence of paranoia. But in Pence's case, and in many men's case, it may be paranoia that's actually supported by his spouse.
I know many women who would take offense at knowing their husband is meeting anyone else "alone". Is it possessiveness or mistrust? Maybe...but that's the negotiation between husband and wife. None of our business.
If my own intuition was to tell me, "Don't be alone with this person! Something is off..." I would listen to my instincts, regardless of how politically incorrect it seems. Regardless of whose feelings it hurts.
I being a writer have the luxury of not having to meet with anyone. I have the option to say no (and usually do because meeting with people drains me lol) Pence doesn't have the option to be a recluse.
Self-preservation is always more important than the appearance of being an all-trusting paragon of virtue.
While there is plenty of reason to dislike Pence, this is not one of them.

Centrism Sucks


The very idea of #centrism bothers me. The idea of compromise seems to provoke anyone who believes in a cause or supports what they feel is the "moral" decision.
But the more I study history and observe politics, or simply admit what is human nature, it is quite likely that society is built on compromise. Modern society is built on the notion that two polarized sides will either fight to the death, or compromise somewhere. Minimizing violence requires compromise. Human beings are the ones who ultimately decide whether they feel like killing or dying, or if they just want to let something go.
I as a semi-radical , a journalist and a creative writer, I despise the idea of #compromise or centrism because it feels like a moral failure.
Looking in on the outside, I know that the 1% wealthy elite will never acquiesce completely and history shows they never have. Religion, monarchies, always found a way to tolerate prosperous families because in some indirect way, it benefits them as well.
So while we may see globalism coming a mile away, and decry it as a victory solely for merchants, it is ultimately a compromise that society will always be willing to make. Such is human nature, because at some point, the endless bloodshed does eventually make us wonder what we're really fighting about.
Realizing that the art of compromise and centrism is crucial to world peace, is perhaps what causes many idealists like myself to lose interest in politics. The realization that our views are too absurd, too ambitious to be doable in one generation, is demoralizing.
This is the golden age for mediators, marketers and philanthropists who see great victory in selling out and can materially profit from winning one battle at a time.

Dogville

Dogville might not be my personal favorite, but I wouldn't argue with anyone who said it it's the best movie ever made.
It combined everything I love about the theater with everything great about independent and foreign films.
I have forgotten most of the movies I've watched over the past years but I still remember the first time I watched Dogville and the second time I watched it, with my parents, who were scandalized but of course very enthralled with the allegorical subject matter. They were yelling by the end of the movie, very into it. That says a lot about the film's gripping pathos. Hard to watch for multiple reasons, but it earns its climax - psychological horror unparalleled.
I've often heard people accuse #LarsVonTrier of being misogynistic. Honestly, I don't know...the only films I've seen were Dogville, #Melancholia(sort of anticlimactic), #AntiChrist (visceral, powerful imagery like a David Lynch film but with even more sexualized violence), and the sequel to Dogville which was fairly ridiculous and hardly worth remembering the name of. I actually found his last feature, #Nymphomaniac to be surprisingly feminist in its final act.
I don't know much about the director personally and his films are hit and miss, so I don't know if Lars is the internet's public enemy #1 or not.
I know Dogville is the definitive Anti-American film. An allegory so deep most of the cast didn't even get the joke.
It's very long and minimalist but it's very much anti-imperialist America, which is why I liked it. It's classified as an international film since Lars is Danish, the production companies are multiple countries, and the cast is British / American. The movie got pretty savage reviews by the US media, mostly decrying the fact that it was vitriolic, anti-American and bitter. That was one of my coming-of-age moments when I realized most critics don't know what they're talking about. Since when is passion in art a bad thing?
Few films, outside of the torture porn genre, will fill you with as much righteous fury as Dogville. The film is an exceptional allegory for mankind's gross sins against his own people. As much as we would all like to believe that the film is about man's suffering and the injustice of mob mentality, there is one important point we're all missing. This is about your country! Dogville is the harshest criticism of American values I've ever seen and that is strictly because of its allegorical simplicity and PG-rated content that still feels horrific somehow.
Dogville is a triumph of manic depressive, prejudicial rage. I think Dogville is a movie that disillusions you and brings you to a new level of consciousness. Like Kubrick, another influence of mine, I think Lars' voice, his distrust of humanity, is a strong voice in my head I have yet to shake.

Tornado-Phobic

I have always been tornado-phobic.
The deadly Tornado is a childhood phobia I took with me into adulthood.
Last night's tornado warning got me thinking about why certain people have this phobia, when statistically speaking, tornadoes are rare killers of human beings.
Is it the element of surprise or perhaps the gruesome details reported in these rare instances of tornado fatalities?
In my case, I believe my phobia comes from the tornado being closely tied in with my ego/id.
Humankind has historically and superstitiously attributed "Acts of God" to divine judgment against sinful humankind. While most of us have outgrown this concept (very few theists even believe this anymore, given the growing evidence that humankind is the one tampering with the weather) it still struck me as a very potent symbol for man's volatile relationship with heaven.
In my first novel Attempted Rapture, I used the tornado as a motif for divine judgment against errant humankind, namely the #antihero Hal Persill who was an allegorical character representing human arrogance.
That he meets two psychotic antagonists in the book is a symbol for demonic entities influencing humankind and corrupting perfection, or more specifically, the perception of "perfection", which in Hal's case was Satanic pride.
In the last chapter, Jaded Sapphira, we learn that the tornado was actually a Freudian symbol of the Hell we create ourselves by the decisions we make.
While I am proud of Attempted Rapture and did get a glowing review from author #RichardFulgham, (one of my three favorite living authors) I do feel as if Attempted Rapture is a difficult read and hard to understand for readers unfamiliar with biblical allusions, which are prevalent in the book (The prodigal son, Madam Folly and Lady Wisdom, The Genesis Flood).
Someday, I may try to market it again, but preferably after I make some noise with The End of the Magical Kingdom.
The End of the Magical Kingdom is a similar book in theory, especially with the Acts of God theme (the Red Moon, the Zombie Rising) except that it is a bit more mainstream and easier to read, given the numerous political and pop culture references.
I recommend it as a gateway drug book into my style of writing, which is "tragic parody." Then Raining Cats and Dogs, then Attempted Rapture, and then Cry on Cue (if you must...it really doesn't make much sense)
But I still do think about Attempted Rapture every time I hear sirens.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Happily Ever After

I haven't been very active on Facebook lately, nor on any other social media sites the last few months.
Or frankly, the last few years to people who have known me a long time.
I have been wrestling with demons for a while now, figuratively and literally. Well, maybe not so much literally.
I am a person that suffers from Writers Block and have done so ever since I stopped considering myself an “amateur” writer and started writing from the perspective of self-respect and craft. When I was a teenager, I retreated into my fictional world as a means of therapy and processing events.
For a good while, I was a volunteer pastor / minister type at church and developed my journalistic and persuasive skills in that line of work.
By the time I was aiming to seriously write novels, plays and screenplays, I realized that it’s very difficult to write when one lacks passion about the subject matter. From about 2000 to 2005, the novels I wrote became much longer but the palette of subject matter converged and themes became far more focused. I realized that if I couldn’t consistently “top myself” I shouldn’t even bother saying anything.
That very few people were even listening at that stage was beside the point. Mostly lady friends were reading my stuff back then. Attempted Rapture wasn’t even published until 2004. Cry on Cue in 2005 and Jaded Sapphira was just published last year, as an add on to Attempted Rapture. Gouging the Wound was permanently retired and The Song of Solomon remains in literary purgatory as, with dignity, my self-professed “most worthless novel ever written in the history of humankind.”
After briefly flirting with the “art of trolling” at a few writer forum websites, (which was actually a good experience, mingling with so many hateful people and learning to respond creatively to unwarranted and unsolicited criticism) I realized my efforts could be far better spent looking for work.
During this time, I began to turn my writing obsession and hobby into a paying career and gradually understood that like giving sermons in church, there was something very perfunctory about writing for profit. You had to do it, if you wanted to eat. You had to shake off the writer’s block, the laziness and the stubborn rebellion to do anything else except writing about these awful vacuum cleaners, or whatever I was helping to sell.
I avoided ghostwriting fiction during this time because at least nonfiction and sales was easier to write or “fake”. Fiction still felt very real to me.
My first real writer’s block started after I got married in 2007. It wouldn’t get it back until I was writing Raining Cats and Dogs in 2008. During these years, I became distracted by more journalistic endeavors, writing news headlines, humorous commentary and satirical pieces for work.
Eventually I became bored of the salesy articles at work and became drawn to commercial fiction. Genre flicks including romance, horror, Christian, sci-fi, historical, erotica (nice!) and the like. At first they were a lot of fun.
Over time though, I really lost the passion for writing fiction that was ultimately someone else’s idea and a bunch of clichés, hackneyed plots and familiar territory.
It got to the point where I was writing fiction in a perfunctory manner, not caring about any of these shallow characters, and quite frankly, hoping they would all die terrible deaths after the fade out.
So while I was experiencing “Writer’s Block” during this time, it didn’t actually prevent me from working. I shoved through the blasé and the empty shell of a passionless, pointing writing prompt of an exercise, and I wrote anyway.
I even distracted myself for literally years, re-writing and re-editing Attempted Rapture, which I released as a self-published book in 2014.
At some point I realized Attempted Rapture felt like a very year 2000 book. It represented my mind at the age of 23 or 24 and yet didn’t feel like a book that was actually the Current Me, plus all my accumulated wisdom, cynicism and nihilism. I really had nothing to claim for my modern self. Nothing that represented my views of the world, which of course in 2015 was a world defined by polarized social media commentary.
While I did waste hours of time arguing with people on Facebook, I still had a lot of manic energy that had no real outlet. Then I had the idea of The End of the Magical Kingdom, not as a book, but as a cartoon musical. I researched ways on how to turn this vision (an admittedly simple idea about gay marriage) into reality.
That never turned out because raising money and making time for thousands of hours of work proved impossible. That’s when I decided to complicate the idea and turn a simple argument that says “a witch and a princess should be allowed to marry” into a “chain reaction of events that led to world war.”
It seemed fitting, in lieu of the doomsday discussion happening for most of Election Year 2016, and that’s why I followed up Part 1: The Evil Princess with Part 2: The Saint of Science and Part 3: The Watchmaker’s Child, which essentially represented doom, gloom and the triumph of evil over good.
I really tried to end the princess war novels with episode 3 but it really bothered me that I ended on such a simple, fatalistic note. The concept was there… “How can there be a Happily Ever After” ending in a world where happiness was stomped out by corporate greed and commercial war?”
I felt I jumped the shark with The Saint of Science, given how horrific the imagery was, and the complete lack of redemption in developing the villains of the book and how they essentially win the war. The only way to “top myself” again was with The Watchmaker’s Child, and indeed to bring not only sci-fi and technology to the discussion, but returning to the concept of God as a non-omnipotent being, the Watchmaker who simply keeps the world turning with only limited intervention.
Finally, I conquered my writer’s block by writing about subject matter I was passionate about – words that demanded to be typed, characters that demanded to speak through me, as if I was channeling genetic memory and not merely using my imagination.
The Watchmaker’s Child was the most disturbed and yet beautiful work of art I had crafted and yet it felt completely soulless, as Schizoid as the lead character herself. The fact that the villains prevailed in the series was a nod to The Empire Strikes Back, and the idea that bad guys usually do win in real life.
The only way to top myself again would be to write a “Happily Ever After” ending to all this madness and ultra-realism (stubbornly reincarnated into a fantasy comedy). I struggled with the idea for years.
And now, as I am 100,000 words into my Work In Progress, I have finally found the Happily Ever After that eluded me for so long. I’ve found the passion that was missing in my creative life. I really did feel as if I tortured my characters for so long, they simply deserved restitution, redemption and rejuvenation, despite their irredeemable suffering.
They didn’t just deserve Happily Ever After For Now, they deserved a lifelong healing, a feeling of peace. The same peace, the same Happily Ever After that I slowly realized my wife gave me, my writing partner gave me, my parents gave me.
We make our own happy endings in life by changing our perspective, by getting rid of conflict and misery, and as much as possible, by reimagining our universe to be successful, peaceful and magical on a daily basis.
If only I could capture that thought and turn it into a gigantic novel that saves everyone and everything, and hopefully gives the human race itself some hope, even at the brink of World War IV, even in a world where nihilism, atheism and cynicism reign supreme.
And now that project is consuming me and most of my energy.
What is the new book about?
In a word, forgiveness. The final episode 4: “The Twin Flame” is about one simple idea, multiplied by numerous variables. The idea that an evil person can change - perhaps the one true honest thing that Religion gives us, and one that a secular society falls proudly short of giving us.
When I finally finish this book, probably by early 2019, I will have figured out where I stand with God, Religion, Agnosticism, Cynicism, The Secret of the Universe, and Questioning Everything.
I will most likely readjust my viewpoint and my values.
It is a book that I feel will change my life permanently and hopefully some day, will change the world itself for the better.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

The Most Worthless and Pointless Novel in World History


I'm not the best writer who ever lived...I'm not the worst writer who ever lived. But I admit to penning the most worthless and pointless novel in world history.

I wrote a 75,000-word book for a woman who didn't love me & who actually despised every fiber of my being. The cover sucked too. The company that offered to publish it was a SCAM company that literally took my money and ran. This was the old days, before Lulu and Amazon Publishing.

My girlfriend (at the time) read the book, broke up with me months later. My parents hated it & never finished reading it. Literally, every friend that knew of it is dead or permanently estranged from me. My wife to this day doesn't like to talk about it. The only PG-rated book I ever wrote too.

I actually never published it. The girl I loved didn't even read it or know of its existence. It's one of those "open 100 years after I'm dead" books. 😄  At least I can laugh about it now.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Mary Melancholy - Anti-Feminist Princess?


"Is Mary Melancholy a terrible feminist and does she set the feminist movement back to the Snow White 1930s era?"

This is a tricky question to answer. Mary is a parody of a Disney princess and is thereby, inhabiting the same anti-feminist qualities as Snow White, Belle, Ariel and Jasmine. Belle tolerated violent outbursts and manipulative behavior from the Beast. Jasmine tolerated Aladdin’s chronic lying. Ariel figured it was better to seduce a man with looks and body language than to talk and show her personality. And Snow White and Sleeping Beauty…well, let’s just say they thought rape was kind of romantic.

Of course, being an anti-feminist character didn’t make these princesses unwatchable or uninteresting . It simply made them complicated heroes. Keep in mind that more modern Disney feminists—like Pocahontas, Mulan and Merida—are evolutions of the old Disney princess archetype. They are socially-aware improvements made over time, something that we only now have the environment in which they can thrive.

This original Disney Princess archetype was based on stories from the Brothers Grimm, who didn’t understand modern feminism in the 21st century, but simply created a fictitious world of horror and lore, along with moralistic stories that were intended to scare children—not promote positive role models. It is a very trendy thing today to paint every female character as intelligent, confident and kick-ass; a world conquering, Amazonian female that just happens to look beautiful and be 17 or 18 years old.

In that respect, Mary Melancholy was conceived as an anti-hero, one that would be polarizing because she wore her weaknesses in plain view and tolerated great injustice from other people. In addition to being self-conscious, self-loathing and depressive, she is also socially awkward, in a time where every mainstream female character knows exactly the right thing to say. In other words, Mary is a fairly realistic character in an imaginary world, and the type that many will find provoking because she hits far too close to home.

She represents everyone’s worst social fear—people laughing at you, pushing you around and dominating your life because they’re so smart and you’re so stupid. It’s not true but it’s the illusion that you buy into, if you trust people too much. Mary, much like my other literary anti-heroes, is a woman you will instantly despise or admire, because there is something very Christ-like about her. She is the feminine Jesus Christ. A prophetess. A Gandhi-esque figure, living in the shadow of her Goddess, who was the perfect representation of feminism and falling short of that.

To say that Mary should be more of a feminist is…

(1) Not realistic, because very few teenagers have a full sense of their identity or where their own unique feminism will take them in life. It’s a gradual learning process that culminates in their 20s or 30s.

(2) Is contrary to the suffering of Jesus, Buddha, Gandhi and other righteous figures (or self righteous, if you’re a cynic), who tolerated violence from humanity so that they could teach a lesson in showing great mercy.

(3) Is taking for granted that in modern society we have the gift of mass communication, an age of tolerance, and a politically-correct mafia that will come to your aid whenever you are being oppressed. This was not always the case in human history; certainly not in medieval times or the renaissance, where many Disney films are set. Even growing up in the 1980s and 1990s, I can definitely say many minority lifestyles were oppressed by the mainstream and it did seem that when you “came out”, you really didn’t have a friend in the world. To me, feminism is not about society coming together to help you because it’s the right thing to do…it’s about you, standing alone, and realizing that you can be better than them. You can be stronger than you think you are. And you can aim higher.

(4) To misunderstand the nature of the “Anti-Hero”. The Evil Princess is a literary work and an impostor genre piece. To be anyone else but Mary would be untrue to her character.

In episode 2 of the “The End of the Magical Kingdom: The Saint of Science”, Mary will continue to grow as a moral activist and pacifist, and will continue to provoke people who stubbornly see morality as black or white.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Death & Kitties



Something minor happened two days ago that ordinarily would have pissed me off and put me in a depressive funk for days, even weeks.
But the truth was, I was already emotionally numb by that point. Because I lost my cat of 10 years just a few days ago. I haven't felt much of anything or cared about anything ever since. I suppose I was in denial the first few hours or so, trying to convince my brain it was just an animal and not my child. But eventually the grief set in and suddenly the world changed for the worst.
Not just the idea of losing him, but the reminder that he was part of my daily routine for ten years, a significant part of my life. Now that world, that existence I took for granted, was over. A part of my life was over.
We were a quartet (two parents and two cat babies) who were there for each other, very often at times when our fellow human beings abandoned us, didn't care, and made no effort to stay in touch. Our kitties were they for us in the best of times and the worst of times.
Our pet family members are not merely surrogate children, but furry adopted sons and daughters who help us survive life, especially when we're at our rock bottom. I said, "if heaven exists, then it must be full of cats". Cats, and really all animal life, are so much better than people at least when it comes to providing unconditional love, trust and motivation to keep on going.
Your animals love you even when society hates you, even when the world judges you. Even when your friends find better things to do than to bother paying any attention to you. Humans are self-involved, animals are fiercely loyal.
How anyone can equate acts of barbarism, violence and cruelty to ANIMAL behavior is beyond me. Animals are truly beautiful.
I suppose right now, I'm progressing past the pain and guilt, and depression stage, and am stuck in Anger Phase.
I am angry. Angry at the world, particularly those people out there who post hashtags about #suicideprevention thinking they're doing such a big favor for us, directing us to a Suicide Hotline.
All of their simulated caring and compassion feels dishonest to me. As someone who has struggled with depression their whole life, I know the difference between someone who feels what I feel and someone who is smiling for cameras, or posting on Facebook or Twitter to let the world know they are "against suicide" whatever that means.
The truth is hard to swallow. Ninety percent of everybody doesn't care about you while you're alive. They insult you, mock you and ignore you when you need help. Social media is a gladiator arena of instant judgment. The cruelty of humankind is there, online. It's not just the "deep web" where evil lurks. It's on the most "popular sites" where we swallow war propaganda daily, where we learn to despise others for their flaws, and where we learn that rehabilitation is impossible...HATE is clearly the answer. Our side destroying their side.
But when you DIE, or when you're thinking about suicide, they put on such a show, don't they? "Don't do it because we're all there for you. Don't give up."
The thought of death bothers them. The guilt of not giving a damn about fellow human being gets to them.
But when do they ever bother to help people who are struggling to live?
Of course, of course, they have their own lives to live. They have their own problems, their own to-do lists that don't involve us.
Which brings me to the point, outcasts, misfits of society and depressed people like us need each other. We need someone who understands the struggle, not fucking phonies. Not people who send "warm thoughts" (you know, "thoughts" and "condolences" and "positive energy" - which are the EXACT same thing as "thoughts and prayers")
We don't need happy people lecturing us about how terrible our despair is and what we need to do to change it.
If you're a happy person wondering what you can do to help, the only thing you can do is to offer to help with your actions...offer to listen, and to sit with a person going through grief, so you can talk about what hurts and what they miss. Spend time with them.
If you're happy in life and doing well, keep it to yourself. Be thankful your life is going well and be respectful of those whose lives are not going so well. Stay out of our way. What we need is someone who actually cares, someone who loves us despite our most serious flaws.
I wish I could say that I, you, or someone else I know could be there for you 24-7. We all say something like, "I'm here to listen..." and we mean it. And yes, I know, I know, I know, it's not always realistic to say. Days go by and rob us of free time. Work piles up, distractions, family time, sleep...sometimes all we have in us is to fall asleep and have some peace for a few hours.
But what I've gathered from all of this, is three things I know for sure
(A) Whenever you can afford the time, please reach out and ask a friend or family member how they're doing. Ignore their first answer and ask them again. Maybe they're just dying to talk to someone about their problems but don't know who to talk to. Don't just say you care...show it by investing your time. I know you can't afford to do this to everyone you meet, but at least to your friends, to the ones whom you've shared life with. Don't take friendships for granted. If they're not nurtured they do wither away...I know from experience. RIP, all my friends living or dead, who wandered away without even a "goodbye."
(B) Stop waiting for people to save you, stop waiting for people to show they care. They seldom do. People are self-absorbed. They're so fixated on their own pleasure and survival, they don't have time for you They have time for "causes" that make them feel better about themselves. People won't be there for you, they will disappoint you.
(C) But Goddamn it, your pet will always be there for you. Your fur baby will love you 24-7. Your pet is one good reason to continue getting up in the morning. Your pet is one reason not to give up on life. Your furry, feathered or scaly friend will make life enjoyable. The little moments in life are what make it good. Pets make those moments possible. They don't speak the same language, but they communicate emotion just as well as we do. Let your pet entertain you. Let your little adopted child comfort you and be there, when human beings are too busy.
The only thing STRONGER and more POWERFUL than the despair you feel right now because no one else loves you, is the desire a pet has to love you, and worship you, and need you - if only you have love to give.
Hug your pet goodnight and treasure these moments. If you don't have an animal in your life, get one. Don't live alone. Fill the room with the sounds of tiny feet.
There is love in the world, this I know. Just keep looking...and look below you at the little creature pulling on your leg.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Late Mitchell Warren RIP

Late Mitchell Warren is a character I created years ago because I was afraid of speaking my mind...and because I was eager to offend everyone, troll everyone on the Internet, and prove something to the world.

Nowadays I don't really care about any of that stuff.

I think this is what 40 feels like, realizing that the stuff that really bothered you in your 20s really doesn't matter in the stream of time.

Politics and religion today will all be irrelevant in another 1000 years. We only pile on the miseries by devoting so much time to nonsensical right vs left hyperbole.

We burden ourselves with stress, sleepless nights, and bouts of rage over the fact that we can't change certain animals from following their instincts and being those animals. (P.S. the answer is war...it always has been and always will be)

But I think maybe there is clarity as you grow older.

There is symmetry in admitting that you don't know. That everything we tell ourselves about what "IS", what IS for sure, is all speculation, the pats and caresses we give ourselves because we're afraid to admit some things are unknowable.

Happiness is realizing that none of it matters, and that "nihilism" is simply trying to see the ends of the universe from a microscope. What matters is not how you define life and the universe, because such perspective-based dogma is as useful as your grocery list. Such is merely the things that sustain you.

Happiness is in experiencing joy in the little moments. Because joy reminds you that you're alive. Joy is life.

Negativity reminds you that Life is not ENOUGH. It's a death sentence to an intelligent person. It's a prescription for insanity, especially if you write a million words about allegorical depressive nonsense.

Happiness is not being optimistic about your plan to change the world. It's about *not* changing the world and accepting that you never will. It's about admitting your complete lack of value, a minutia of life, a infinitesimal speck that grew from space mold. But still finding the time to enjoy Good Things.

Your perspective, your mindfulness, allows you to enjoy good things.

Happiness is in realizing that life is all a hologram. And that there really is no difference between THEN and NOW. All you are is your current perspective and what you think your memories have turned you into.

All you are is what you accept that you "see" in real time. Whatever it is that you see, the lies you tell yourself, or the illusions you insist are there, will be your reality as you know it.

I realized this just a few days ago, when I experienced what is called "unconscious selective attention."

For about two years, I've been occasionally going to a local church. In this building, I saw an empty wall in the corner.

I had always considered it a fire hazard since the emergency exit door was on the other side of the building. What if there was a fire or a shooter? I sit near the back...so in the event of disaster, I would be sitting against an empty wall with no escape.

I had numerous conversations with people about that empty wall. I thought about it a little obsessively for the longest time.

Most people I talked to about it said, "I doubt anything would ever happen" or "If that happens, just work your way back towards the library room and lay low." (No mention of the fact that the fire exit was RIGHT THERE and all I would have to do is just exit quickly from that door that was just a few feet away from me)

Then, one day I suddenly noticed that there was a huge fire exit door with a fire extinguisher. It had been there the whole time, but I never saw before it until that day.

I told my wife about seeing that "empty wall" and had full conversations with her about my paranoia of something bad happening because of a lack of an exit door.

Then the last time I mentioned it, she said, "What are you talking about? The second emergency exit door has ALWAYS been there." (Proving that they did not just recently install it)

To my perspective, it seemed as if the fire escape appeared out of thin air. I could argue all day that it was in fact NOT there and that the environment changed. That was "fact" to me, that it wasn't there, because my perspective told me it was.

Was it always there (and am I going senile) or did it suddenly appear? Was this a glitch in the matrix?

No, my perspective and my unconscious simply demanded that it wasn't there and so I never saw it.

That experience helped me to realize something else about my current perspective: that I don't like myself.

I don't like the person I've become.

I am the result of a lifetime of mistakes and on hyper-focusing on the most negative, depressing and vile stories of humanity. I am an internally, destructive force, the cerebral equivalent of a tornado, and all my friends, enemies and acquaintances can hope to do is survive my presence.

I no longer consider myself a writer. I am retiring from writing permanently. Tis better to leave the world in the hands of writers who believe in something...who still have faith, or hope, or vision, preferably something better than the swamp of futility that I refuse to leave. The nothingness, the frailty, the imperfection and the suffering of mankind that only the depressive perspective sees.

I think my life is more than half over. Another thing you realize about turning 40: all the seeds you sowed from 18 and on either grow or they die within 20 years.

To the young, I suggest you sow those seeds as soon as possible rather than waiting. Because when you're my age, it's time to start ENJOYING what you have, rather than waste anymore time chasing rainbows.

Most of the friendships and career opportunities I had in my 20s have long expired. Even some of my best friends are dead or at least are ghosts of their former selves, back when I knew them.

What do I have to show for my life 40 years later? Just over 100 friends on my other profile and a much longer list of acquaintances who used me for various purposes and forgot me when they found better offers elsewhere.

I now cling to what still IS, rather than what could have been.

The only thing I have left in this world is not anything I have to give, but only what I have been given.

My wife Heather Warren who has tolerated my stupidity and (Mary) melancholy for ten years, like a wonderful and fearless witch. (And I use witch only in the most respectful and affectionate terms-witches are beautiful)

That, together with the fact that she can stand my horrifically ugly face and my even more demonic and poisonous personality, which has historically repelled all other women, is a testament to her moral and intellectual strength.

She is and always will be my Prince Valiant - a character from "The Twin Flame", a book I will probably never finish. But the point was, she is pure, she is stalwart and the incorruptible knight every Disney Princess dreams of marrying. Nothing of which I deserve, but that which has been generously given to me.

I will spend the rest of my life enjoying my limited time with her. Enjoying life and shunning the depression and moral decay that has permeated my life for so long. Hopefully, my parents will move up near me too, and give me a few moments of peace.

I have no more time to waste wondering where I went wrong in life. I only want to dwell on happy thoughts from now until the end of this world, and this human body, because I have dug myself into the molten bottom of despair and discovered Hell for what it always has been - the present-tense perspective of human suffering.

The book "Jaded Sapphira" ends with my legendary character Hal Persill committing suicide as retribution to a God he hated. He does so without ever learning of his daughter Floren's existence. She was, perhaps, the only thing that could have made him happy in life. She was the blessing of God that he missed, in his arrogance, and in his nihilism.

All these years later, I understand why I wrote it. As a reminder not to go down that path - it's a road to nowhere.

So yes, I do consider myself *blessed* in that I have a wife who loves me. She is quite literally, I feel, what God has given me in this life.

What I needed to survive, what I LACKED from a previous life, because I missed the point of existence when I lived so self-indulgently as King Solomon.

She is God's blessing, a love note from the Universe and she always has been. Whatever God is, if he/she exists, permeates the likes of such an honorable and altruistic creature.

Feel free to join me on my other pages...but know that Late Mitchell Warren is officially dead.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

The End of the Magical Kingdom Pre-Interview, 2017




L.M. Warren's "The End of the Magical Kingdom” trilogy was always devised as the strange mutant baby of internet cartoons and social media trolling.  Subversify caught up with Mitchell and piqued his mind regarding his unique writing style, which is often described as “emotionally violent” and “hostile to the audience.”

Q: Many of your glowing reviews liken your writing to “trainwreck poetry”.  It’s beautiful, it’s poetic and yet it’s a traumatic experience.  Why?

A: I believe it’s the voice of the Now, as opposed to ten or twenty years ago.  This is a new generation.  Modern writing is emotive.  It’s harsh.  It’s more clever than soothing.  Many of us in the Y-Generation used to read for education but we relaxed by watching cartoons and flame-warring on message boards.  The language of script writing has always been, historically speaking, punchy and aggressive.  That’s probably why people who love movies enjoy my writing.  It feels like a cartoon or a live-action play, rather than a traditional novel.

Q: You cite Susan Harris and the sitcom Soap as one of your main influences.  Why go for laughs when most novels are about deep introspection and high drama?

A: I think a lot of writers are so keen on following rules of serious literature, they forget the essence of human storytelling.  It’s about conflict.  It’s about keeping your sense of humor, even in the darkest of times.  It’s holding the audience’s imagination hostage with a glimpse into another world.   Maybe that world is Hell, but it’s always interesting.  I really don’t think any show has ever matched Soap’s tone either, at least as far as telling a dramatic story in an exaggerated and funny way.  All in the Family was realistic comedy.  Soap was surreal and yet emotionally brutal.  I was inspired a lot by that. The Maxx was another influence.  It was tragedy written in quirky comic book speak language. Fusion literature.

Q: With your trilogy of books you do just that, fuse together “serious literature” with juvenile profanity and sarcasm.  You’ve described it as social commentary that the South Park generation can appreciate.  Yet, whereas cartoon shows have a “nothing sacred” collection of barbs, you insist on adding scenes of such unrelenting depression and tragedy in between sitcom-like scenes.  You tell the audience it’s time to laugh, only to leave them in tears.

A: Yes, it may come from the fact that I’m a depressive.  Or it could be that I simply have a great desire to write literature but in a brand new comedic voice.  Some of my darkest creative influences come from the distant past.  Our Town, Death of a Salesman, Animal Farm and the original Brothers Grimm.  This is what’s shaping my world.  And I don’t believe in going all Stephen King on you and describing the grass for 50 pages.  It’s happening in real time, at least in my mind it is.

Q: Is the book for younger readers?  Or does it target more sophisticated readers over the age of 40?

A: Older readers immediately catch onto the social satire.  But younger readers will like it regardless of whether they understand what every allegorical character represents.  We’re not giving the younger generation enough credit.  Sure, there are many that don’t read.  But the ones that do are eager to read something new.  The millennial generation doesn’t want clichés, formulaic plots and predictable Harlequin romance.  If you actually read modern fanfiction on the Internet, some of it is very bleak and bizarre stuff.  This is what younger crowds enjoy.  Something they’ve never seen before, something their parents have never seen before.

Q: You’ve written a War and Peace-sized trilogy of books written for short-attention span audiences of today.  If the objective is to appeal to short attention spans, why make the series so long?

A: Everybody loves an ongoing story.  It just takes some planning to make it accessible.  If our goal as modern and influential storytellers is to build franchises, then we’re actually writing books to read for people who hate reading.  The challenge is in hooking them with strong imagery, with comedy, and with easy flowing contemporary language.

Q: You made these books as ADHD-friendly as modern writing can get, with scenes of intense emotional brutality, obscene limericks posing as faux Disney-songs, over the top descriptions of sex and violence, and as many references to illegal drugs as you could fit into a PG-13 rated book.

A: Yes the mock of Disney is intentional.  It’s a mask of a family friendly G-rated book, a tongue in cheek sort of thing.  In actuality it’s a horrific satire of man’s violent nature.  It does feel as if “you’re there”, because the prose relies on hypnotic suggestion, which I’ve also studied for quite some time.  And in scenes of brutality, yes, that’s harrowing to read.  But we imagine ourselves in this hypothetical world, experiencing a new life.  And yes, if your imagination is vivid, sometimes that world is uncomfortable.  It’s an experience you’ll never forget.

Q: You’re having far too much fun trolling the literary world.

A: I think we as new age authors have a responsibility to save writing, to keep the art of it alive.  I have no interest in making movies.  My heart is in writing and always will be.  But that doesn’t mean I will deny my readers of the full cinematic experience that the movies give them.  If the worst they say about my book is that it’s a series of books for people that hate reading, then I’ll take that as a compliment.  If the second worst thing they can say about me is that I troll the literary world, that’s a fascinating compliment and I’ll take that too.


A:Now that the NSA and FBI have been alerted with carefully chosen keywords, let's talk about what "terrorism" means.


MW: Terrorism is defined as the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.
That's a broad definition and one that encompasses the State as well as the Revolution. We identify terrorists as such because we cannot bear to describe our "enemy" as merely another group of soldiers. We cannot imagine our own country as one that uses violence or intimidation to ensure their political aims.

We outgrew the term "commie" because we saw the fall of the Soviet Union, and though there is a renaissance of Russian-hate building again, most people will not accept another war that has already come and gone.

Now it's time for companies / countries to re-brand the marketing. "Enemy" is such an empty word and it makes people think too hard about who is actually good and who is evil. "Terrorist" is a much easier word to accept because it is implied that terrorists are without souls, without conscience or compassion, and that they do cruel and sickening things to innocent people.

But if you take away the label of terrorist and describe a Good Christian who is willing to die for Jesus, or a Good Soldier who is willing to die for his country, you have something wonderful and inspirational.

The State not only takes on the actions of terrorists by using violence against innocent civilians (called Imperialism when it's the wealthy attacking the poor) but sometimes they can actually help promote other terrorist entrepreneurs as a means of distraction. Whether it's funding "terrorist" groups overseas or creating fictitious terrorist threats, or inadvertently creating vengeful monsters out of the remains of broken people. Sexy, if it's someone like Sylvester Stallone or Arnold Schwarzenegger looking for patriotic revenge - disgusting if it's a dark skinned man speaking Arabic, fighting for the vengeance of his dead child.

The people of the French Revolution, rebelling against the rich and elite were the terrorists of their day. Witches, who resisted the teachings of Protestant and Catholic religions were something to be abhorred, even more disgusting than terrorists - they were heathens, orgiasts, baby killers and Satanic vessels, deserving of nothing but rape and death.  Even in modern terms, mankind has used words like "Savages" to describe Native Americans or African Americans - because they were the "enemy" that threatened our own lives, our selfish expansion of culture.

"Witches Are Terrorists"

Everybody loves a hero and despises a villain because that's what evokes emotion and emotion incites war.

In my book, "The End of the Magical Kingdom", witches are terrorists or "horrorists", as the civilized world calls them. Some are merely labeled that way because they are enemies of the state. Others are self-identified because their mission is to overthrow the government and start a new change - the very thing Trump supporters wanted months ago, and now the very thing Hillary followers crave more than anything.

The point being that to describe something as less than human, as something as disgusting and soulless as an animal (er, except dogs and cats, because they don't deserve the death and torture that cows and pigs are subject to because of their immoral lifestyles) is to justify the most vile and exploitative behavior we are capable of - to show us the harrowing mob justice mankind dispenses, once he is driven into an emotional stampede.

Terrorists are not human. They are witches, they are roaches, they are evil, and they are godless (or they don't believe in Science like we believe in Science). They are stupid, they are unworthy of procreation, they deserve imprisonment, they deserve disease, old age and suffering.

The easy route is to declare all terrorists, and anyone that disagrees with the government, as a threat to national security.  To stamp them out, to cleanse the human race, and to destroy their families while we're at it.  The more challenging route, the more "evil" and unpatriotic thing to do, is to try to determine how to end the war - how to negotiate a compromise that can bring some stability, not just to one region, but well beyond the borders.  It is the very thing that politicians promise to do and a higher standard we should continue to uphold.

But yes, to call a terrorist "sexy" is a very tasteless thing to do.

My last political rant on Twitter:

My last political rant on Twitter: It surprises me to say, as an independent, that I hope #Elections2018 go in the Democrats' favor. I d...