Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Ho Ho Ho Your Ass

So maybe it’s the part of New Jersey in which I live (an “urban” resort with people on one side of the tracks dealing with unemployment, homelessness, poverty, gang violence, drug use, and struggling to make ends meet while on the other side of the tracks people bitch about inconvenient parking and discuss which restaurants in town have changed their menus), or maybe it’s seeing people I know, love, and care about directly affected by the economy and unemployment …..might even be that the commercialism of the Christmas season has finally pushed me to the edge.  But whatever the reasons, this holiday season has been harder to endure than so many others in years past.

Our kids are older now – fully cooked and well-rounded, scattered throughout the country, living their lives and making a difference in their communities in whatever ways they can.  I’ve lost the fun of seeing their excitement and sharing the love that is supposed to symbolize Christmas (peace on earth, good will towards man, and all that shit….).  Instead I am left with an endless onslaught of ads exhorting me to buy something while counting down the shopping days left until Christmas.  I am so over Black Friday, Cyber Monday, car commercials where there’s a fucking new car under the tree, iPads, Windows 7, gifts that nobody needs and no one else can afford.  Back in those Sunday School days of my youth I don’t ever remember reading about the three wise men showing up at the manger in their new Lexus, or stopping off at Target or Wal-Mart for some last minute gifts for baby Jesus.  I really think that we as a society (one based on consumerism and owning bigger toys than your neighbors) need a change in attitudes and priorities, as well as a solid kick in the ass…..

I don’t know when or if any of this will change – when we accept the day after Thanksgiving as a national holiday and line up at Wal-Mart and Kohl’s before midnight like piranhas feeding on livestock, stampeding into stores and pepper spraying anyone who gets in our way it sounds pretty hopeless to me.  Maybe this year each of us can make a difference in some small way instead – volunteering at a homeless shelter or giving a gift to a kid who hasn’t yet learned the harsh reality that Santa won’t be sliding down his chimney this year because Mom and Dad got laid off and need the cash to pay the utility bills.  Forget running to the mall for last minute presents and comparison shopping for the best deals.  Maybe at the end of the day it’s time to turn off the TV, put down the remote, get off our fat asses, and hug the ones we love and talk to them instead of worrying about measuring love by how much we spend on each other.....

To quote Dr. Seuss:
“What if Christmas…… doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more”

Friday, October 21, 2011

For What It's Worth

So we’re into Day 35 of Occupy Wall Street….a couple of random thoughts about that and other things:

It’s understandable that some are frustrated by the movement’s unwillingness (or inability) to articulate exactly what the problem is and how to correct it, but I haven’t heard the President or Congress stepping up to the plate on that issue.  The next meaningful conversation between both sides will be the first.  And maybe those Fox News pundits and condescending MSNBC correspondents would treat the movement with a little more respect and importance if the protestors dragged a bank CEO or brokerage president into the street and did a Gaddafi on them.  I’m not advocating violence but that seems to be the only thing they understand.  And it’s hard to take serious anything Mayor Bloomberg has to say about the protest – he’s part of the 1%.  Perspective comes from your position.

I have come to the realization that I don’t need to understand everything – I can live quite happily without in-depth knowledge of things like quantum physics, exactly how car engines work, and the composition of the universe.  It’s the job of people much smarter than me to figure that stuff out.  So now that the scientists at the Berkley Earth Project have again confirmed and concluded that global warming is real, I believe we should start doing something about it.  First somebody needs to apologize to Professor Phil Jones for “climategate”.  Then bring Rick Perry into the 21st Century.  After watching the Scorcese documentary on George Harrison, I believe that I haven’t appreciated the Beatles as much as I should….even Ringo.  But I’m okay with my attitude towards groups like KISS, Rush, and Journey as well as the scarcity of their cd’s in my music library.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Revolution Starts Within

The rage continues and the anger grows.   

With each day that passes it becomes increasingly clear that the movement that started on Wall Street a few weeks ago (OCCUPY WALL STREET) as well as the one continued by WE ARE THE 99 PERCENT is gaining traction across a wider, diverse audience of people who are pissed off about corporate greed, inefficient policies and the politicians who created them, and the direction this country is heading.  The movement is about accountability.  And in spite of Mayor Bloomberg’s sadly erroneous (and seriously misguided) claim that the protestors are targeting bankers who are “struggling to make ends meet”, the real targets of this movement remain the banks and financial institutions who continue to run roughshod over the 99%.  Appropriate that this week Bank of America – the same financial institution that paid zero taxes over the past three years, earned $3 billion in profits, and announced plans to cut 35,000 jobs to increase profitability – announced plans to impose fees on debit card use.  Bloomberg, like Trump, exemplifies what is wrong with the elite 1%.  We need to kill that myth that banks are in business to lend money and create jobs.  That is a fairy tale.  Banks are in business to make profits.  Nothing simpler than that.

Occupy Wall Street and We Are The 99 Percent are everything the Tea Party pretends to be.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Burning Down The House

            Thanks again for stopping by and allowing me to rant about more things I believe, and many more things that piss me off.  I believe we are a country with increasingly distorted priorities and we cannot just blame the politicians for all our problems.  The changes in FB and increased rental fees at Netflix should be the least of our issues.  Maybe we need to channel that rage and angst towards our politicians instead – tell them that not only are we pissed off about unemployment, a crumbling infrastructure, political ineptitude and inaction in Washington, the need for better bank regulations and Wall Street reforms, etc., but we want them to fix it.  NOW.  Stop fucking around.  We seriously need a reality check about what really matters.  Someone needs to drive a size 10 ½ up the collective asses of everyone in Washington, bitch slap the leaders in both the House and Senate, and take real tangible steps to solve our problems.  I believe that cutting costs is beneficial, but every politician who trumpets their “small business” background and expertise has to know that to succeed in business you need revenue.  In business that’s called sales.  You need to generate revenue.  Business 101.
            I believe that explains why there aren’t too many business people in Washington and why there are too many lawyers (for all the lawyers in the crowd who need a lesson in this, revenue is the money you get for charging clients…..maybe next time I need a lawyer and he talks about his billable hours and fees I’ll suggest that he cut his expenses).  I believe that the soundtrack to life definitely needs a couple of Eddie Cochran songs mixed with a good dose of Buddy Holly and Roy Orbison.  I believe that both Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan may have had their detractors, but they knew how to sell their ideas and make things happen.  I believe that you can’t complain that the US doesn’t make things if you do most of your shopping at Wal-Mart.  The key to life and happiness can’t be all about lower prices.  And I believe that some movies should never be remade if they got it right the first time.  Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

New Jersey School Bans "Controversial" Books

Another WTF moment that makes my head hurt.

In their infinite wisdom, the parents and administration at Monroe Township’s high school have together asked that the books “Norwegian Wood” and “Tweak” be removed from the sophomore students reading list.  Reason: “graphic lesbian sex passages, drug use, and a homosexual orgy.”  And according to the same Washington Post article, Peter Spriggs from the Family Research Center (a Christian organization that promotes the traditional family unit) added that it was further proof of “…the homosexual agenda being pushed”  in public schools.  Seriously?

I guess by following that kind of logic I’m supposed to conclude that reading about homosexuals will make me want to engage in that same activity?  The same way that reading about a handgun will make me want to pick up a thirty-eight and take out my neighbor in a moment of random violence?  Or that reading about someone’s tolerance for pain will encourage me to stick a needle in my own eye?  And I love how God gets drawn into these battles by people who cannot come up with a more compelling argument or reason to ban a book/action (like God doesn’t already have enough on his plate).  I believe that God cares more about tolerance, forgiveness, compassion, and helping those in need than he does about mundane little dramas like this….

And don’t get me started on the definition of a traditional family unit…..

Maybe instead of worrying about what books our kids are reading, schools should be promoting honest and open discussions about the content of those books so those same kids can draw their own conclusions and make their own decisions.  Better yet, maybe parents, schools, and administrators should concern themselves with an agenda that educates our kids to compete in today’s global market – learning skills like science, math, reading comprehension, and deductive reasoning abilities.

Friday, August 5, 2011

By The Way

     With another birthday looming in the headlights, it’s time to turn reflective and thoughtful (although only for a little while – it’s impossible to contain the rage too long).  I wrote about this in an earlier post, but one of the benefits of getting older is realizing what a jackass you might have been at earlier stages in your life, especially when you reach that age where juvenile behavior starts to look sad, depressing, and pathetic….I believe that having friends helps you through those kinds of bumps along the road of life.  And I believe that you can never have enough friends – old friends from high school and college (who have lived, died, and cried with you through those formative years, and who know where the bodies are buried yet still won’t tell), as well as the new friends you meet along the way as you get older.  Years ago I was a headstrong individualist who believed he could go it alone, no matter what, and although I still maintain that the choices I make and the paths I take are my responsibility, I couldn’t have gotten where I am without the support of a tight network of friends.  Although I think one of the limits of friendship is sharing stories about medicines, aches and pains, weird growths on unseen body parts, and prostate exams......I wish I had done a better job of maintaining friendships from long ago, and I regret letting some of those friends slip away, but the beauty of modern technology makes it easier to rekindle what was once lost and rebuild things that might have once been broken.   
      I believe I should have paid more attention in school, at least in certain classes, but I’m convinced that no matter hard I studied and how much extra effort I gave, I would never understand chemistry.  Nor calculus for that matter.  And at this point in my life, I can live without that knowledge.  I believe that the phrase, “it’s the economy, stupid” has more relevance now than it did in 1992.  And I believe that all the politicians who cite their “business experience” obviously never learned that a key component in running a business isn’t just controlling expenses, but increasing sales (or in the case of the economy, REVENUE.....maybe that's why they're in Washington and not still running those businesses).  I believe that while a little Creedence Clearwater Revival, Foghat, and Grand Funk on the car radio makes the ride that much better, a James Brown song can have you doing ninety in a thirty-five without even realizing it.  Really.  Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Times They Are A-Changin'

          It’s not often that I rant twice within one week, but….earlier this month Eric Felton wrote an article in the WSJ bemoaning the increase of indie writers flooding the market and how all the really good authors will have their books buried under mountains of shit – how it’s only through the skills, expertise, and visionary abilities of traditional publishers that the reading public is even able to find quality books and literature.  In essence, publishers are the only true and righteous gatekeepers to the literary realm and without their guidance we would be lost. 
          Any validity in that argument was blown out of the water yesterday when Simon & Schuster released more details about Jersey Shore literary talent Snooki’s second book.  Seriously?  WTF?  For the people who still believe that legacy publishers care about, nurture, and promote literature (or even good writing), I believe it’s time to wake up from that dream and face the reality of the present.  It’s not the 1920’s.  F. Scott and Zelda and Hemingway and Gertrude Stein are all gone.  Publishing is a business – plain and simple.  It is all about sales units, revenues, profit margins and managing losses from books don’t sell.  For most publishing houses, quality of the written word, plot, story, and character development don’t matter as much as the bottom line. 
          The New York Times Best-seller list and those publishing controlled book reviews are bullshit - worthless for anyone who isn’t an A-List writer.  Even though the traditionalists and sycophants cannot face the facts, there’s a whole new world of opportunity out there for writers.  For publishing houses it is all about holding on to the past.  That movement is dead (to paraphrase a quote from UNDER SIEGE) because a movement by nature only goes a certain distance then stops.  A revolution gets its name by always coming back around in your face……so welcome to the revolution.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Ain't No Rest For The Wicked

Now that the Casey Anthony trial is over, all that remains to be determined are when her tell-all book will hit the best seller list and how soon before she winds up in Playboy, Penthouse, or Hustler (maybe one of those “Girls From C Block” features).  And a “not guilty” verdict doesn’t mean she is innocent – just means that the Prosecution couldn’t connect her to the crime and that the evidence presented wasn’t strong enough to sway the jury.  Just re-enforces my belief that having a child doesn’t qualify anyone to be a parent.  Some other thoughts and beliefs….I believe that it’s time for Nancy Grace to go away, and on her way out the door she needs to take Rush Limbaugh and most of the talking heads from Fox News with her.  Debate and differences in opinion are a good thing but shouting down anyone who disagrees with you went out of style in the 3rd Grade (thank you Miss Moody, wherever you are). I believe that time doesn’t heal all wounds, some actions and behaviors can’t be excused, and forgiveness is something not easily given, no matter how important or vital to the healing process.  And that anger can be a good thing.  Some times.  I believe that writers need to have a solid grasp of literature as well as the fundamentals of what makes a good book (take that Snooki….), and I appreciate the talent and strength of writers like Faulkner, Jane Austen, and John Updike even though they aren’t in my list of top favorite writers.  But for the life of me I don’t get David Foster Wallace or Infinite Jest.  Same for Thomas Mann.  And Virginia Woolf too. And speaking of appreciation, every time you crank up some of that early 60’s music from The Stones, The Animals, The Who, The Yardbirds, or Hendrix, remember those old blues artists like Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson, or Willie Dixon who laid down the beats and rhythms that form the backbone of rock and roll.  Just too damn bad that Smokestack Lighting by Howlin’ Wolf is forever linked with Viagra commercials.  There’s absolutely no justice in that……..

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Dear Dad

Dear Dad,
Another Father’s Day.  Just another day on the calendar for me. Guess you never realized how much I hated this day when I was a kid.  It’s been years since you’ve been gone, but you had disappeared from my life a long time before the cancer claimed you.  I wish I could resign myself to that loss but time hasn’t diminished the pain, taken away the bitterness, or made me less angry.  I will never understand what it was that kept you from being a part of my life (those 2 days when you showed up with a girl friend not much older than me don’t count).  You have no idea about the emptiness – no clue about the lies I told myself to make it through those tough parts of life when I was truly alone.  No comprehension of the scars that are still there.  I am proud that everything I had to know I learned on my own, but it would have been nice to have had some guidance about things like courage, integrity, and strength.  Even better to have learned how to be a man instead of figuring it out on my own, looking for any kind of role model I could find to fill the void you left.  I haven’t always been a perfect father myself but I’ve been there for my kids (your grandkids by the way), and they know that my love is unconditional and will never have to wonder about that.  They will never have that huge, sucking hole in their hearts that you left me with.  I will never understand what it is about some men that makes them abandon their children – maybe it’s because you lack character.  Or values.  Or maybe, in the words and language of the characters I write, you were really “just a piece of shit.”
          I think some times that’s closer to the truth.
          So, today, if you’re up there in heaven looking down (although I believe there’s a special place in hell for a guy like you), I want you to know that the anger and pain you left me with has driven me to succeed.  To be different.  To be better than you.  To be nothing like you.  And if we meet again in the afterlife, just pretend you don’t know me……because let’s face it, you never really did.
          Thanks Dad.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Updates From The Edge

So once again it’s that time when I look at the calendar and realize that weeks have passed since I last took the time to vent and rail against the world…..for those who wonder why I don't bother with Twitter, there's your answer.  I believe that in most cases, “right now” is more important than “a few minutes ago” – you can’t spend too much time looking backwards if you want to move forward.  Nostalgia, however, is a wonderful thing and there are times when each of us believes you can go home again (no matter what Thomas Wolfe had to say about that).  I believe that when you tell someone you’re a writer they are often very generous in sharing their ideas on what to write and how to do it better – I would never presume to show up at a loading dock and tell someone how to offload a truck.  Although given the state of our economy, I have a couple of ideas that politicians,  bankers, and various executives at Wall Street financial institutions might want to consider, especially when it involves spending what you don’t have. I believe that each of us has a God-given right to the pursuit of happiness – that doesn’t mean we get it automatically – just that we should be able to seek it and work towards it.  I believe that acceptance of gay rights/marriage will not cause the end of civilization as we know it.  I believe that the Bruins were the better team in the Stanley Cup finals regardless of how Luongo played, and that the Mavericks were better than the Heat.  And on the list of the greatest guitarists, Brian May of Queen and Paul Kossoff from Free don't get enough credit.  Same for Mick Ronson.  And Glen Buxton from Alice Cooper.   

And in honor of Father's Day, I believe that while it takes a village to raise a child, one of the most important villagers has to be that child’s father.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

More Things

I believe that it is important to remember all of those men and women who served our country (or continue to serve right now) every day - not just when it's dictated by a date on the calendar.  Too many have given up so much on battlefields all over the world so we can enjoy the freedom to drink our Budweisers and eat our bar-b-que while offering opinions that don't really matter a whole lot in the overall scheme of things.  Freedom is something that should never be taken for granted; and the same way we owe a debt of gratitude for the sacrifices that so many of these soldiers have made for us, we to need to appreciate what they have given us. 

Thank you to everyone and anyone who gave of themselves. 

Happy Memorial Day.

Friday, May 6, 2011

More Beliefs

Thanks for stopping by and taking a look at more of my personal beliefs.  A little too much time seems to pass between these posts – I’d offer an apology but sometimes too many half-assed “I’m sorry’s” sound like the poor excuses third graders use when they forget to hand in their homework assignments.  I believe there is not enough accountability and personal responsibility in the world today.  Too many people are not willing to stand up, accept the blame, take the heat, and own up to their mistakes.  It’s much easier to point the finger at someone else and make excuses.  With that in mind, it’s time to admit that it was me who threw that eraser in Mr. Sussman’s 6th grade class, even though my buddy Mark got blamed for it.  I believe that nobody writes better dialogue than Elmore Leonard, although Robert Parker, Michael Connelly, and Lawrence Block come close.  Sa,e with Pete Dexter.  I believe it’s impossible to look at a star-lit sky or feel the cool breeze off the ocean on a warm summer’s day and not believe in God, no matter what science says.  Same thing with children laughing and experiencing the birth of your own children.  Hard to believe that the beauty in the things we see and touch evolved from a random explosion of matter billions of years ago.  I believe that Graham Parker, Elvis Costello, and Rockpile don’t get enough credit for their contributions to rock and roll.  Same with the Kinks.  On the other hand, Black Sabbath just doesn’t do it for me (sorry Ozzy).  I believe that every writer just starting out should read Stephen King’s: On Writing from cover to cover, and that no matter how many years you have been writing, you can’t stop trying to improve (readers can tell when you just phone it in).  I believe that no matter how hard I try, I will never understand nor finish David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest.  I believe that a little bit of nostalgia can be a good thing, but too much living in the past can impede  any progress and growth we hope to achieve.  And finally, for those of us still lucky enough to have our moms, I believe “thank you” doesn’t say nearly as much or enough as it should, and we shouldn’t wait for the second Saturday in May every year to say it.  Thanks again for stopping by – hope to see you soon!

Monday, April 4, 2011

More Things I Believe

Thanks for coming by – I appreciate your visit to my neighborhood.  For first timers, this is my periodic rant against all the injustice and things wrong in my world….think of it as a documented soul cleansing.  I believe that critics have too much power and get too much credit for what they have to say.  Same with athletes as role models.  I believe that free speech is one of the basic principles that our country was founded on but there is a huge difference between opinion and fact, and a large number of people need clarification about that and have to learn the difference between the two.  I believe that a dog by nature is generally dependable but cats don’t give a shit about anything.  I believe that nobody really cares about the things going on in anyone else’s life– work, friendships, relationships, joy, sorrow, attitudes, desires, bad hair days, and which shirt matches which pair of shoes are of significance to no one else, no matter how much importance we place on them.  People only care about the things that affect their lives.  And with that in mind, I believe that those same people will let you down and disappoint you when you trust too much or rely too heavily on them to do something for you, no matter how low you set your expectations.  Nothing hurts worse than the failure of someone to do what you need or expect (and I am just as guilty of that as anyone else).  The only way to accomplish anything is to expect nothing and do whatever needs to be done yourself, and anyone who gets in your way can go to hell, or at least move off to the side.  I believe that Charlie Sheen’s fifteen minutes are just about used up.  Same with Snooki, the Situation, and the entire cast of Jersey Shore.  Lindsey Lohan on the other hand, probably still has a little gas left in the tank.  I believe there’s something special about going to a professional baseball game as a kid, and every dad wants to share that feeling with his own son/daughter (although in my case, hockey became a substitute for baseball).  I believe that Marvin Gaye was a great talent and is sorely missed.  I also believe that contestants on American Idol need to learn a little more about the social change he was singing about before trying to turn “What’s Going On?” into some kind of love ballad.  Really, WTF?    I believe there are too many commercials on TV for pharmaceuticals that will solve all our problems, and I believe we are too reliant on medicines and pills to cure our woes and illnesses.  As a nation, we are medicating ourselves into oblivion.  I also believe we watch too much television.  And for a kid who grew up in the 1960’s, I believe the Monkees are a guilty pleasure.  Once again, thanks for stopping by – hope you’ll come back again.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

More Beliefs From The Edge

Thanks again for stopping by - I appreciate that you've taken the time to visit.  Without further drum rolls or fanfare, let's get at it.......I believe that politicians today have forgotten the art and skill required in compromise.  No matter what your political allegiance, it has become a landscape filled with "my way or no way" rheoteric on all sides.  The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution - 2 relatively meaningful documents in our history - were put together by men with strong opinions and divergent points of view, yet they hammered out the framework of our government by something called "give and take."  In other words: compromise.  I believe that leaders across all bodies of government, from small municipalities to our congressmen and senators would do well to re-visit some of those history lessons.  I believe that Robert Mitchum was one of the most under-rated actors of all time.  Same with Lee Marvin.  And despite his star power, Steve McQueen too.  Same for Michael Madsen today.  And in spite of the addictions, I believe that Tom Sizemore rates right up there too.  I believe that the things that don't kill you make you stronger, but they can also make you bitter.  Especially if you tend to hold a grudge.  I believe that writing is equal parts inspiration and perspiration, with a significant amount of time spent working at that craft.  But none of it means anything if that same writer doesn't sit his ass in a chair and actually write.  Consistently.  And often.  I believe that you can't beat the music of Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, or Charlie Parker on a cold, rainy day.  Unless you're cuing up some blues by Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, or BB King.  Or Motown.  I believe that the use of contractions in writing is the product of a classic education and their use often misunderstood by writers today.  And I believe that guys of my generation still get a thrill at watching reruns of Rocky and Bullwinkle, Mr. Peabody and Sherman (with the Wayback Machine), and Fractured Fairy tales, as well as Jonny Quest.  That's it for now.  Hope to see you again!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Every so often I’m overwhelmed with an obsessive need to write like there’s no tomorrow – someone once remarked about Australian rocker Jimmy Barnes that when he sang, he made each song sound like it was going to be the last thing he ever sang (especially when he recorded two tracks with INXS).  When that same feeling wells up inside me, growing, festering, screaming to get out, and then explodes on paper, the power of those words is all consuming.  I believe that as a writer you cannot ignore those feelings, and like surfing, you have to ride that wave when it comes.  Everything else I’m doing or thinking about doing or planning to do grinds to a halt.  Including updating this blog with my beliefs and sophomoric rage against the world.   

Sadly, those feelings have now disappeared and life has returned to normal.

More periodic updates will follow in the next couple of days…………

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

More Ranting and Raving From The Edge

Once again, thank you for taking the time to read my periodic rant about my personal beliefs.  For those of you who are new, this is my sporadic attempt to share some of my innermost thoughts…..although I believe that in the context of important world events like earthquakes, tsunamis, nuke meltdowns, and NFL work stoppages, none of this matters too much.  That being said, I also believe that one of the benefits of getting older is realizing what an idiot you might have been at earlier stages in your life (which can be as recently as last week).  I believe that God forgives most of the moronic things you did in college.  I believe that there are too many reality shows on TV competing for my attention – other than news broadcasts and the History Channel, isn’t the point of watching television to escape from reality?  I believe that we are becoming a society too engaged in our Twitters, TM’s, and instant messaging and that there’s a whole generation of kids who have lost the ability to have meaningful conversations or interact face to face.  I believe that if I am talking to someone and they are too obsessed with their iphone or Blackberry to pay attention to me, I should be able to smack it out of their hands without remorse.  I believe that the use of the “n-word” is wrong, no matter who says it or in what context it’s used – it is a word deeply rooted in prejudice and hate, and I don’t think Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, or Robert Kennedy who fought so hard and gave their lives to eliminate racial divides would ever use it to greet each other if they met up on a street corner somewhere.  I believe that Bobby Orr revolutionized the way hockey was played and was one of the greatest players ever.  I believe that an addiction is a sickness but not a disease.  I believe that the first car a guy buys is the car he remembers for life, and all other cars he ever owns get measured against it (btw -1970 Ford Mustang fastback).  I believe that Alice Cooper was an underrated influence on rock and roll and belongs in the HOF, but ABBA?  Seriously???

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

More Things I Believe

Once again, thank you for taking the time to not only find my blog but read it (and special thanks to those of you who left comments).  I’d like to take this opportunity to share some more of my beliefs.  I believe that the guy who invented speed bumps – especially the one you hit so hard that it knocks the fillings out of your mouth – needs to be slapped.  Then hugged because some kids haven’t figured out that they’re not supposed to run between cars or play in the street.  I believe that Muhammad Ali was the greatest, despite losing his best years in the ring to the US government because he had nothing against those Viet Cong.  I believe that writers write.  It’s all about the words and telling a story.  But that doesn’t mean that procrastination and distractions aren’t vital parts of the writing process, or key components of creativity.  And I believe that the internet has created a world of opportunities for writers to find their audience through e-publishing, literary zines, and blogs, even if some of the literary traditionalists don’t agree.  I believe that while Shemp was an underrated and unappreciated Stooge; not a single Marx Brothers movie hinged on the comedic talents or acting abilities of Zeppo.  I believe that The Wire was one of the best shows on TV, following closely by Homicide.  I believe that grown-up men should never use emoticons unless they want to look like teen-aged girls.  And I believe that everyone, no matter who they are, cranks up the volume and sings along with Aretha when R.E.S.P.E.C.T. comes on the car radio.  That’s all for now.  I hope you come back for more.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Things I Believe #1

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog – I know you’re busy, so this shows a wonderful commitment on your part in sacrificing some valuable time…..time that can be better spent watching reality shows or catching up on the latest episodes of Charlie Sheen and The Porn Stars.  So while I have your attention, I’d like to take this opportunity to share with you some of my personal beliefs. I believe that everyone thinks they can write. This is not true (there is some kind of prevailing thought that a bunch of monkeys locked in a room with laptops can bang out the equivalent of War and Peace). This is not possible – what is possible is that they could ghost-write the latest books attributed to the cast of Jersey Shore.  It is also true that everyone can criticize and they often do, especially when it comes to the efforts of writers.  Good writing is a craft and the best ones take the time to work at their craft, honing their skills, and fine-tuning their abilities.  On the other hand, it takes no skill whatsoever to be a critic, and there are no shortage of critics ready to offer an opinion, no matter how blatantly ill-informed, mis-guided, or erroneous their facts.  I believe that the Laws of Karma do not apply to writers, where talent-less hacks get book deals from large publishing companies while other more skilled writers toil away in anonymity, praying for one big break or one good review in a magazine or online literary journal.  I believe that Johnny Unitas was the greatest football player ever.  I believe that I've spent my life expecting people to behave in a certain way. I believe that when they didn't behave according to my expectations, I became angry, sad, confused and occasionally violent. As a result, I now believe my expectations are the real problem. I believe that everyone has this very same problem, and each of us needs to change our expectations. And I believe that every guy who came of age in the 1970’s still rolls down the windows and cranks up the car radio when “Radar Love” by Golden Earring comes on one of the classic rock stations.  Once again, thanks for reading.  Please be sure to come back again for more….