Is There a Square Zero?

November 30, 2015

“A dream without a goal is just a wish. A goal without a plan is just a dream.”

This has surely been in the back of my mind for the last month or so. A lot of the things I’ve been trying to do haven’t had goals or plans in place. So I’m basically been wishing and dreaming a lot without achieving much. This I thought I wanted never came to pass because I never had a plan in place to get to them or goals to achieve. There have been times when I’ve been disciplined enough to get things done—I got my Masters and completed 10 screenplays—it’s the steps afterwards that I hadn’t a clue what to do next. I think this is a pattern for most of my life. A lot of things I wanted to do or be never passed because I got stuck in my own head and stayed there daydreaming. Maybe that’s why I’ve felt so asleep these days.

I’m not sure how to get the discipline I used to have back. I don’t remember what plans (if I had any) to create what I have so far. I’m not sure of the goals I have to reach for; a lot of them changed from when I was younger, but haven’t settled into a visible or tangible thing. I used to want fame; I don’t anymore. I thuoght that would lead to wealth; now I simply want to thrive and not give up more yardage. I’m kind of lost and not sure where to begin. This seems to be my biggest problem: not knowing where to start or which way to go.

pj

Standing Up to Fascism

November 28, 2015

In January 1992, I had the honor of hearing Elie Wiesel speak at my undergraduate commencement ceremony at Hunter College. It was thrilling to hear him speak and I know most of what he said got lost in the moment of seeing Wiesel 20 feet away, but one thing he said rang so true it stuck with me all these years: ignorance is a form of fascism and it must be countered at every turn. I think he later changed it to “indifference” especially in a speech in front of then President Bill Clinton. In front of Clinton, Wiesel spoke of indifference as a state—“a strange and unnatural state in which the lines blur between light and darkness, dusk and dawn, crime and punishment, cruelty and compassion, good and evil… Yet, for the person who is indifferent, his or her neighbor are of no consequence. And, therefore, their lives are meaningless. Their hidden or even visible anguish is of no interest. Indifference reduces the other to an abstraction.” (Wiesel “The Perrils of Indifference” 4/12/99) To me if indifference is a state, ignorance is a willful act; consideration of people as of no consequence and meaningless is now a conscious act. When you look at the tenets of fascism itself, the verb “disdain” appears often which means there is a conscious decision about intellectuals or human rights. Because of this, and after holding back for the last week, I cannot stay silent anymore about the Trump Presidential campaign, the GOP non-reaction to it, and the pitch of rage taking over our country.

We see and know how Trump acts on the campaign trail: he’s a malignant narcissist bragging he can “make America great again” if elected. He started his campaign saying the Mexican immigrants are rapists and killers, and has now called for a database of all Muslims in America. He demeans all of his opponents and anyone who criticizes him publicly. He’s seems to be going through the 14 characteristics of fascism pretty quickly and for him there seems to be little going back—at least no apologies for his statements or actions, another way to maintain strength and power. And even with all of that, he’s only down 14 points but still leading the pack, and that is the scariest part of all of this.

It seems no matter what Trump says, his supporters eat it up and he stays on top of the GOP polls. His fans and base keep coming back for more and worse. In Boston, two Trump supporters assaulted a man they thought was a Mexican immigrant. Earlier in the summer when Univision journalist Jorge Ramos tried to confront Trump on his immigration stance—force all 11 milliion Latino immigrants out and build a wall bodering Mexico—he was thrown out of the room by Trump’s bodyguards who told him to “get out of my country.” And last week, a Black Lives Matters protestor was beaten up at a Trump rally before being removed. In each instance, Trump stood up for his supporters/assailants and later further escallated his rhetoric about making America great. This is what can no longer be tolerated.

What made America great is that we are a place where we can have civil discourse that doesn’t lead to violence. We have serious issues with supremacy and racism/sexism/etc., but not every political discussion must lead to demonizing others and violently disagreeing. Now it is more commonplace and worse it is spurred on ,or at least sanctioned, by those who are vying for the top leader position in the country. Some conservative critics have finally started to call Trump’s actions fascist and only presidential candidate John Kasich has been hounding his actions and positions as eventually leading to fascism. One would hope that can solve things but I doubt it. Over he last 8 years, the GOP has made it acceptable to openly spurn a top leader for doing his job, resort to name calling and denigrating them as an “other” unworthy of such a position. We in the public have not pushed back enough maybe out of our own belief that we would never go down the route of totalitarianism or uprising. But now we are partway down that slope and facing people who are unapologetic in their rancor towards anyone who disagrees with them. This is where we have o stand up and say no more. Our indifference is on the verge of becoming willful ignorance and there is no going back from there.

If you are a supporter of Trump, please reconsider. He has promised nothing except a vision with his own ego in charge and no other way but violent means to get there. If he is spurring violence towards reporters and people who have the constitutional right to speak up for matters thay believe in, he is not fit to be a leader and you need not follow him. The “throw the bums out” mentality has taken a dark turn and the actions of others has shown this. Making America great again only happens if we have great Americans upholding our values; right now Trump and his followers are displaying the worst of us. We need to be better than Mr. Trump (which isn’t hard) and we need to not fall for pie in the sky promises that have no hope of fruition and all the markings of ruining who we are as a nation.

We know Trump will never apologize for his actions or who he is, but we can make sure that he never gets to office he seeks. We can also make sure that whenever the brand of Trump is uttered, it brings to mind fascism in bad hair. The best punnishment for Trump is not only losing the nomination, but to lose his businesses and fall into obscurity like some discarded misguided philosophy we never needed. It would be the best thing to happen to him and America.

Thank God It’s Thursday

November 27, 2015

I’m so glad it’s a long weekend, because I need to recoup. I’m still dealing with the cold, but now sort of the aftermath of it. I’m sore from coughing so it hurts to sneeze, cough or breathe heavily. I’m exhausted and Sophia isbored in the house. At least I have a little time to sleep which I hope I can put to good use. I tried so far but with mixed results. One of the many reasons I hate being sick. I’ll feel better when I’m back to work and not dozing on the couch.

int

Sick Daze

November 26, 2015

I’ve had a cold since late Monday and I’m doing my usual OD-ing on Dayquil/Nyquil to cope. I hate being sick. I may have mentioned it before but I hate it. I don’t like feeling lethargic and still not being able to get enough rest to feel better, and I hate feeling loopy enough to only be able to watch TV yet cognizant enough to be aware of all that ‘m doing is sitting on my ass for the day. I was given the day off anyway from the job (it’s slow leading up to the holiday), so that helps; but I would rather be working than doing nothing. I remember one time in college that I was so sick and delirious that I wasn’t able to do much of anything, but I traveled from my girlfriend’s house in Rego Park Queens to the Upper West Side of NYC to see my mom that weekend because I was scheduled to see her that weekend rather than go to my dad’s house and collapse in Jackson Heights Queens. I remember waking in my mom’s apartment in the middle of the night with a vague idea how I got there, but mo real idea what was going on. I’m not that bad right now, but a couple of entries ago I said my brain was somewhere near 10% ability; I think I’m at 5% or 6% now (that time traveling I know I was at 1%).

Still I hate feeling phlegmy, tired, and sluggish all the time. Trying to suck it up and feel better. On the positive side, I was able to watch Miller’s Crossing on demand for free. Love that film.

Scrounging Around

November 25, 2015

So yeah, I feel like I’m struggling to find things to put into a blog to keep up with the challenge. I think one of the reasons I go long time between posting normally is I like writing essays of things going on in my life or stuff, and commenting on it. Otherwise it becomes a diary where I say “Woke up, went to work, came home, played on computer, picked up Sophia, dinner, went to bed.” Boring stuff and I’d like to be a little more than that. I could also comment on mental illness… again. Though I will do that more often than not to get things out of my system. But that only goes so far.

At the moment, I’m running out of things to say. I do have stuff I want to write about political stuff but 1) things are going SOOO fast that I can’t keep up without being obsolete before I hit “publish” 2) I usually do that on another blog, and 3) I really don’t want to ONLY post a meme as an entry.

Anyway that’s the blog for today.

Senses Working Overtime

November 23, 2015

While walking home from Sophia’s afterschool program on one of the chillier days this week, there was this conversation:

Sophia: I can smell the frost.
Me: Excuse me?
Sophia: I think I can smell the frost.
Me: How did you manage that?
Sophia: I don’t know. I can just smell when it’s cold.
Me: You don’t need to smell when it’s cold. You can feel it.
Sophia: I know but my nose bothers me when it gets cold.
Me: Mine too, I just don’t believe I can smell the air when that happens.

Luckily we refilled her allergy medicine the other day.

Lag Time

November 23, 2015

Yeah I know, I missed a bunch of entries for the NaBloPoMo. I need to post one a day for the challenge and I’m behind about a week, at least. The thing is I’m not sweating it right now (rare for me I know, but interesting nonetheless). Life will always get in the way somehow; whether it will be illness, a death in the family, busy workload, or a desperate need for grocery shopping. For me it was the last two, usually not a problem but this week left me exhausted. Your brain should be at least 20% power for you to create and write, and I think I was barely at 10% most the week. So I took a break.

There’s lots to do creatively and real world logistics and you can’t do everything at once as much as I’d like to. Sometimes you’ve got to ride out the stuff going on. The trick I’m trying to get better at not beating myself up about it (as much as I’d like to do that, too). Sometimes the best you can do is forgive yourself and move on to the next day. Now THAT is something worth incorporating into your daily routine.

Solidarity for Paris

November 14, 2015

Stand with Paris as they stand up against terrorists of ISIL. I offer my favorite scene from “Casablanca” for obvious reasons.

Friday Night News Dump

November 13, 2015

This is a sort of compilation of mini blogs of events that I hadn’t posted during the week:

  • I don’t have a word count for all the postings I’ve written so far during NaBloPoMo. It’s obviousy way below the 25,000 word halfway mark of the NaNoWriMo challenge. Just glad to be posting more often and regularly.
  • I haven’t been keeping up on the sci-fi western short story. This is not even because of the aforementioned blog writing, but because I’m too exhausted. I still can’t get used to getting up at 5:30am for Sophia then waiting to go to work. All I want to do is sleep for a few days straight, that would help. Granted it doesn’t help that I haven’t been to the gym in forever…
  • I have my zombie apocalypse team in place. There is a pre-zombie infection feature length script I want to write and I figured out the of characters on the team and how they know each other. This is sort of Fear the Walking Dead and Contagion via Poe’s “Masque of the Red Death.” For what I have in mind, I can’t simply throw characters who don’t know each other and watch them come together; I need to get a loosely cohesive group of people trying to survive and watch them fall apart, Have the group; next is fleshing out the timelines and plot.
  • Rented Pitch Perfect 2 with Sophia the other day because the Peanuts Movie show we wanted to see was already sold out when we got there. The film wasn’t what I expected, not a bad sequel. Nice ending. Felt less cohesive than the first film. The original was better, but the sequel was a decent film.

Sophia has been getting more into the music I like, which means I can listen to my rock stations in a car with her (whenever I rent a car). One station I listen to, WAAF 97.7 out of Brockton, does this thing on Tuesdays that she’s really gotten into which is Looney Tunes Tuseday. At the top of every hour each Tuesday, they play a comedy song or parody or something of the like. The first time Sophia heard it they played a Weird Al Yankovik song, which we both love; so when Tuesday comes around she expects to hear a Weird Al song or something funny of that nature. The thing is WAAF sometimes plays funny parody songs; other times they play odd humored songs that tend to trend more adult that one would hope—two weeks ago we both got to hear Kid Rock and Joe C’s “Devil Without a Cause” for the first time. On our every other week trip to therapy, I hope for Weird Al, but usually get the adult stuff.

This week, we were heading back from therapy and th etop of the hour hits, so Sophia wants to hear what song it is. I flip to WAAF and the song starts. It takes me a measure to hear it correctly and realize that it is the band King Missle and their only hit (like they have any other popular songs in their catalogue). I roll my eyes as I realize they’re already into the lyrics and any chance to switch the station is gone.

The worst thing I want to do is lie to my daughter so this is how things go.

Sophia: “What are they saying?”
Me: “It’s a song called ‘Detachable Penis.’”
Sophia: Phoenix??
Me: It’s not Phoenix.
Sophia (suddenly realizing what I said): Oh.

I’m amazed I had an out in there and missed it. We listen to more of the song in an awkwarrd silence.

Sophia: What genre is this song?
Me: I have no idea.

Yeah, so that happened.