😀 Hate mail! 👍

I never thought anyone would take my shit posting seriously enough to write out an entire comment longer than the initial post itself. But I forget, “the internet ruined everything”.

Btw, this comment was made on my “your damn right ignorance is bliss!” post.

I don’t know if this person was real or some bot trying to spread some article around (about COVID, a subject that I don’t recall discussing on this blog), but my response was “the post was a joke”.

But then I got to thinking: was I joking?

Sure, the intent was to post some stupid thought that crossed my mind. But the more I think about it: hell yeah an existence void of desire and knowledge of good and evil sounds pretty damn good!

Of course, that’s not how my hater saw it. He/she thought I was embracing “keeping the masses ignorant”, or “listening to establishment propaganda”, or blah blah blah.

I get it. I got lost down that road of political ideology too. I’ve spent all of 2021 trying to get over it. That’s why I created this blog for fuck’s sake.

But there is no truth in ideology. That’s why it’s ideology. We have to form these ideologies. You know why? Because the truth is too terrifying to handle.

That’s why I always thought that Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, the shit in The Matrix, “the truth shall set you free”, etc. kinda miss the point. To get the gist of what I’m trying to say, Slavoj Zizek, whatever you think about him, once said about the shitty film The Joker (paraphrase): “it’s through the mask that we can be our true selves.”

Because there is nothing underneath the mask.

So you want the truth?

Here it is:

The “establishment”, however you want to define that, doesn’t give a shit about you. They don’t even give enough of a shit to form a conspiracy to fuck with you. They don’t think about you. They don’t fear you.

You are nothing.

You were born from standard biological processes and one day you will return to nothing. Most people you know do not think about you. When you die, only 3 or 4 people will truly mourn for you. After a few weeks, you will be forgotten.

This has been the story of billions of people throughout history. Statistically speaking, you will be totally, utterly forgotten.

Beyond this life lies nothing.

So in this life, there is absolutely nothing stopping you from doing the most heinous crime you can think of. Absolutely nothing. You can do it right now.

So what are you gonna do with that freedom?

You think there’s someone pulling the strings? Well guess what buddy, it’s worse than that: NO ONE’S pulling the strings.

The universe is just there. It’s infinite. YOU’RE NOT. You will never make sense of it.

I hope everyone reading laughs at this, because that’s the only sane response.

So now you can understand why I want to be “ignorant”. We should admire the Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, Hindus, etc etc. Hell, I’ll even admire Conservatives, libs, leftists, rightists, libertarians, etc. At least they believe something.

There nothing wrong with sublimating our beliefs and desires into ideologies, but, taking from Sigmund Freud, the aim of this life should be to “sublimate well”.

Anyways, gotta go. Left my wallet at Hardee’s. Bye ✋

another Shot at the Title (part v)

After Christian (Bale’s) funeral, I began lamenting some of my decisions at the production studio. “Maybe I shouldn’t have asked him to gain 150lbs,” I said.

“You’re one arrogant son of a bitch,” Jeffery Greco said.

“Don’t blame me for his death!” I replied. “Chris could’ve turned down the role!”

Kat was two sheets in the wind when she spoke up. “I’m finished in this town,” she said. “Because of you, I’ll never work again.”

“Lay off the sauce, Kat,” I said. “Now pour me a drink.”

“There’s no way we can release the film now,” Kat continued. “$7 billion down the toilet!”

“Now calm down!” I interrupted. “We’ll just have to do some reshoots. I’ll step in for Chris’s role. I’m an Academy Award-winning actor too, ya know?”

“Hold on there bucko,” Greco said. “There ain’t no way the studio will let you back on the set. Not after the lawsuit with Dallas and killing your leading man. That’s to say nothing about the numerous investigations into your international holdings!”

“If the film’s gonna be completed,” Kat said, “then your assistant, Pee-Wee, will finish production.”

“Well that Machiavellian son of a bitch,” I said. “I knew he had an ulterior motive.”

“Since we are 90% finished with filming, we’ll use CGI to complete Chris’s scenes,” explained Kat. “That will considerably jack up the budget, but we have no other choice.”

“Then I guess I’m fired,” I said as I stood up. “But I still want full credit for directing this picture.”

“Not happening,” Kat replied.

“Kat, you’ve crossed me for the last time,” I said. “I’m going to the Director’s Guild. If you want a court battle, you’ve got one sister!”

TO BE CONTINUED

Christian Bale (1974-2021) 😞

Another shot at the title (part ii)

Pablo and I made the journey to Trainwreck Studios in Burbank. What a god-forsaken place. I swore to myself that I would never return.

“We’re here to see Kathleen Kennedy,” Pablo told the receptionist.

“And you are?”

“I’m Pablo Dunbar, the agent of James…”

The receptionist’s eyes widened when she saw my face. “You mean, James…”

“Yes, THAT James,” I interjected. “Tell Kat we’re here so that we can get this over with.”

“I thought you were retired…” she began to say as she stumbled through her words. “Anyway, she’s waiting for you. Fourth floor. The only way up there is through the air ducts. Elevator’s broken.”

So we climbed up the ducts into Kathleen’s office. “Damn it Kat,” I said, “when are you going to get that fucking elevator fixed?”

She turned around and was wearing sunglasses. She appeared to be somber over something.

“Hello James,” she said.

“Hello Kat.”

“Can I offer you gentlemen a glass of scotch?”

“I’ll take the bottle please.”

Kat sat down behind her desk and began to shuffle through some paperwork. Pablo and I plopped down in the leather chairs.

“So, what did you think of Antonio’s script?” she asked.

“To be honest Kat,” I said, “it needs some work. Too much talk. Film is a visual medium. ‘Show, don’t tell’ as they say. If I can do a second draft and clean up the dialogue…”

“James,” Kat interrupted, “Fart in a Windstorm is a court drama, there’s going to be a lot of dialogue. Besides, I already promised Antonio that he would get final say in the script.”

“Fine, whatever. But I need to put my stamp on it if this is going to be a film by James…”

“Look, I get what you’re saying,” Kat said. “But in agreement with the writer’s guild, he must get sole screenwriting credit. That’s going to put a limit on what you can do.”

I just stared at her.

“You don’t want to relinquish creative control to me,” I said. Out of my periphery, I could see Pablo getting uncomfortable.

“Don’t be ridiculous,” Kat replied, “the studio is willing to put $1.5 billion into this project ONLY if YOU are signed on to direct. Once when this meeting is made public, Hollywood will be in a tizzy over the return of its most famous director.”

“Kat, you know I can’t make a small scale courtroom drama for anything less than $2 billion.”

She learned forward on her desk as she began rubbing her temples. She appeared as though she was about to be sick. I took a big gulp from the bottle of scotch.

“What’s with the sunglasses?” I asked her. “Did you have eye surgery? Did your husband beat you?”

Kat removed the glasses, revealing her puffy red eyes and makeup smeared from crying.

“Jesus fucking Christ,” I said.

“We haven’t had a hit since This Taste Like Ass,” she said as tears rolled down her face. “The board wants me out. I’ve become the laughingstock of this town.”

“It’s no fun when the rabbit has the gun, eh?”

“James,” Pablo said. “Mrs. Kennedy, James and I are both in agreement that this script is doable. Sure, there are problems that need ironing out, but we are committed to making this work. Right James?”

I just shrugged.

“Really?” Kat said.

“Absolutely, the gang’s back together. Let’s have a drink on it!”

We all stood up and Pablo forced a group hug. Kat’s spirits seemed to have been lifted slightly.

As we were climbing back down the air ducts, I grabbed Pablo by the ankle. “You better not fuck me out of this contract like you did last time!” I told him.

TO BE CONTINUED

leadership

As you know, I have nothing but regrets.

I’m reaching that age where some of my superiors are younger than me. I don’t begrudge them. They all deserves their spots. Some older guys I work with don’t appreciate that they got passed over, but I think it’s our responsibility…as the “elders”…to bestow upon the younger generation what wisdom we have learned (in my case, what little wisdoms I have learned).

I don’t know if this is a regret I have, it’s more like a big “what if”. I spent some time in the military. Even did three years of ROTC in college. It’s laughable to think I could have been an officer now, but it almost happened (before I realized that I loved drinking WAY more than I loved the military). Despite the abysmal failure of that endeavor, a few lessons stuck with me.

“Just make a decision,” I’d always hear, “don’t worry about if it’s the correct one.” I thought that was stupid advice at the time, especially in a military situation where people’s lives might depend on it. But it seems to make a little more sense now.

Who are the three greatest military commanders of all time? It’s obvious: Captain Kirk, Captain Picard, and Captain Sisko.

The three guys in the middle

“But they aren’t real,” you might say.

So? Real life isn’t real.

I remember Mike Stoklasa praising Bill Shatner’s acting capabilities (in a video discussing Shatner’s hatred of Mike Stoklasa). You can laugh all you want, but it’s true: Shatner is an extraordinarily effective actor. And, for better or worse, Captain Kirk is Bill Shatner and Bill Shatner is Captain Kirk.

Kirk understands that he is playing a part as Captain of the Enterprise. He has to project confidence as its leader because the survival of his ship might depend on it. Shatner, I think, understands that Kirk himself is playing a part, which might explain some of the strange speech patterns he exhibits throughout the series and films.

That’s why I think it’s great that the handlers of Star Trek (at least back then) cast classically trained thespians for the role of the Captain. Just the ability to “play the role” is necessary for the crew to rally behind, even when the leader isn’t completely confident in his (or her) decisions.

Obviously Picard is the superior Captain. No disrespect to Shatner, but Patrick Stewart knows when to dial up the acting and when to hold back (even if, in my belief, Stewart didn’t completely understand the appeal of his character or Star Trek). But what Picard does better than anyone is embrace his mission: “explore strange new worlds”. He seeks out moral quandaries and mysteries because he understands that these hold the secrets of the universe. He’s an explorer but not in the usual sense of the term.

I think to be a leader, one has to be open to that sort of exploration.

Of course, Sisko was far more grounded than either Kirk or Picard. He had a life outside of Starfleet and his job was to navigate the political complexities of a particular section of the galaxy. While Kirk and Picard were explorers, Sisko’s mission was different: he was an ambassador attempting to bring together warring factions. But just like everyone else, he had to “play the part.”

“But those were actors that had scripts,” you might say. “Real life doesn’t have a script.”

True that, but if you understand the more technical aspects of your work, in a sense you kinda already do have a script. You can’t just willy nilly your way through a job, you are confined and in many aspects you have direction. It’s just making the best decision with the options you have.

So I think it’s interesting that the three best Captains in Star Trek history each explore the three most important aspects of leadership: confidence (or the projection of), eagerness to accept challenges, and being the middle man between conflicting parties. But most importantly, “just play the part.”