Mythical figure, at least on an episode of STNG, who returns after a thousand years to claim her due. Story goes that she “rescued” a society from doom as long as she gets their bondage 1000 years later.
But Picard discerns her true identity: a con woman. She’s got technical skills and reads about this society and figures she’ll get something from it.
Turns out she’s doing this kinda scam on dozens of planets. Busted.
Makes me think of Trump. He’s got cons everywhere, Trump Steaks, Trump University, all failures, and yet he keeps convincing people to give him money.
What is the mentality that would consider this jerk as President?
Man has sex with three women, all with three-letter names, before marrying his wife, who has a four-letter name. Finds out years later that he impregnated all three.
An alien species is altering our DNA and steering our destiny. They may randomly change one of us, either for entertainment or scientific, purpose. We see the changes as miracles.
I’m thrilled with the surging voice coming from all over but that voice cannot shout down the hatred. Genocide and global catastrophe wipe people away and we do nothing. There needs to be a governing body; the US thinks, well, that it’s us. But we’re not doing very well, actually.
I agree that a governing body, based in its own perfect true, can never be everything to everyone, but we can all agree that one tribe in Africa should not be able to “cleanse” the Earth of another tribe. In the so-called Great Wars, countries came together to fight a challenge too great for one alone and shaped the future in ways that may take centuries to become clear.
The Versailles Treaty fostered the growth of Fascism and inadvertently helped create ISIS. The divisions drawn out, including clumping multiple ethnic groups together that had no reason to be governed together, impacts us now.
Iraq should never have been one country; the three groups could not be farther from each other in beliefs.
Somebody’s gotta be cop, but who decides the tactics? I think some of our police forces could use assistance.
…you may be called upon to make the appropriate gesture or motions determined by your tribal group or just what someone else says. The camera swings your way, the red light goes on and God, don’t be doing something stupid, like picking your nose. That may shape your life for years. Do it right.
One of my life goals is to enjoy as much Beethoven as I can.
How can they work? The speaker is talking out, not down. Is it directional? Like it’s focused on a spot exactly where the sound waves come out of the mouth. I need someone to explain that to me.
Mainstream Christianity is tied up with a specific, published work that rarely changes. In fact, many of the changes alter the meaning, to some extent.
Counter that with wide open, free thinkers, who like the young child, persistently asks “why?”
I want that child to answer that question for me. I don’t want her to be taught rigid thought-patterns but to question. Why?
I’d like to get as close to the first dog as I can. I know the gene pool’s different; there’s no way to replicate that first, magical encounter, when proto-man met what would become dog. Research says it was a wolf, so I can find a wolf.
Could we both see that trust that must have blossomed? That magic?
Four characters, one leading, the “lead” character. He’s being followed and he’s being followed. 3 following someone else.
The story begins with the number two and we don’t know he’s following anyone; he spots his follower and thus it goes.
Do I wish to have the first guy follow number four? Is that too elliptical?
“And he could not take the chance of pitting his certain ignorance against this man’s possible knowledge.” The Pearl, page 36
I’m stupid but he may know something.
I process the day’s input and grasp the ironies when I dream. Unaware of this in the morning, I’m somehow better for it. Something intrinsic yet undefinable.
No particular order.
So many of them are excluded because my like of them overlooks their flaws, like Hot August Night: lots of great parts but not a great record.
Great because they are precious to me
Watching Men’s Volleyball, Canada vs. Brazil, and the camera turns to a group of young women. In the center is a lovely, well-built woman and I thought “I must have her,” playfully imagining that as even possible (not), and thought that would be a good story.
Is that even possible? Could I just pick up a phone and say “her”? How would you even do that?
Watching GotG and noted a weapons controller on Ronan’s spacecraft respond to a command by manipulating a device that was hanging from above.
My perspective is voice commands more and more become the norm; after all, what could be easier? But here, the man uses his fingers to process a task, and the command from Gamora is “get my ship.”
Humans interface with a broad spectrum of contacts: hands, eyes, speech, etc. I don’t think anyone would have been believed to predict my typing this on a computer the size of a box of playing cards, but thinner.
The only thing left after voice commands must be telekinesis.
I first met him one morning and it was a truly magical experience. We spoke, I watched him play, and I dreamed about his, rather our, futures.
I would guide him through the travails that thwarted me and ensure he grasped the opportunities I let slip by.
Thus the story would not be about his life but rather the life I projected for him. I would be “correcting” my mistakes, living the great lying question “what would you do differently if you could live your life over?”
Only he never lived. This would not be apparent until later on. The reader would be absorbed in my fantastical version of my life relived, with Michael as my proxy.
Do I need to “see” what’s there to write a screenplay? The process seems so visual to me but that doesn’t mean that a dialogue-packed script won’t work – let the director figure that out.
One must immerse oneself into the environment being written about, which is why much published work is based solely on life experiences, such as A Tree Grows in Brooklyn or I Remember Mama. While not autobiographies, they still convey a striking sense of place; I feel like I’m truly in the New York or San Francisco of that period.
Humanoids having a human life is 90% of all fiction. Some exploit human misery for profit but many live the battle for what we all want: a genuine life in our world. Happiness. Love. Freedom. Fulfillment. Those are the best stories.
Beethoven had very specific events in mind that helped drive the music: Napoleon was marching through the old feudal system and freeing the masses. Eroica is heroic and there’s no doubt Beethoven had that man as an inspiration.
The composer reaches profound emotional tones of despair and triumph. All through the piece is a broad strength of expression, as if he is for the time truly saying “This is me.” He knows what he’s doing.
And yet he also lived through what is perhaps the worst event in his life: he came to terms with his growing deafness. He wrote a letter when he was thirty-one, coming to the realization that he would never hear his own music again. He talks in terms of dying and being born once more, confident that if I can’t hear it, I’ll make sure you do.
Eroica is the first truly great symphony. Mozart brought the form to life but Beethoven made it live. None better and Eroica is his opening joust, saying confidentially, these are the notes in my head and I want you to hear them, and boy, have we ever.
Always worth listening to, but you really have to listen. Don’t dishonor the man by trying to also do anything else while listening because he’s worth your sole attention.
I recommend Herbert von Karajan.
…and what’s said?
A writer may state that the character does something next but doesn’t have to show it. This works
Only what I can empirically recall is reality. My memories guide my view of reality. I cannot be certain of any fact or event unless it’s in my own mind.
But my mind is in question. Can I really depend on my own memories and thoughts when it’s been proven that they can be altered?
It’s either reason or it’s chaos.
If I could apologize for them, I would. All I can say is I do not agree with them at all. Your family has shown historic grace and steadfastness in the face of inexcusable vitriol. I thank you for accomplishing so much when the GOP’s stated goal was to block you at every turn. Great presidents live through history for their accomplishments but none have a signature legislation named for them. Only the Monroe Doctrine comes close. Nothing FDR, JFK or LBJ did is remembered in their name. “The Great Society.”
Watching a B-film, where the aliens take weeks, months to get rid of us. Makes for lots of action scenes and emotional manipulation, but why would they torture us? Isn’t there a simple, cheap, easy way to wipe out all life on Earth?
Raising the temperature 100 degrees? Flooding out atmosphere with Argon? What’s the quickest means, and leaves the Earth intact for, well, whatever the writer decides it’s good for.
Why would they want to kill us all?
How much water leaves the planet and doesn’t come back? How much water comes into the Earth from outside? How much is there now?
My guess is it’s a management issue or two issues: it’s salty and it’s not where I need it. Science can overcome the first but managers need to tackle the second.
There’s enough water for all of us but it’s not near some or is undrinkable. Move it and clean it. We move vast quantities of oil, how about vast quantities of water?
‘Cause there’s no money in it. “Why spend my tax haven-inheritance on transporting water? Where’s the profit in that?”
So it all comes down to priorities. If we can spend millions on crap why can’t we spend millions figuring how to desalinate sea water?
But the best thing is that the cycle cleanses the water in the process. Ocean water becomes rainwater.
It all comes down to knowing what’s going on. Billions of dollars are flying all over the world, influencing elections, and it’s all hidden.
Hiding your treasure is the ultimate goal, isn’t it? Like a dog hides a bone (I’ve had over ten dogs and none of them hid a bone), folks that got it want to keep it away from us. And I understand that, but I want it to be properly taxed, that’s all.
If we got rid of offshore tax havens we could spend the funds on something important, like you know, feeding starving children? How is that not the better choice? Millions starve so that a few hundred live in mansions?
Begin with the setup: “we’re robbing a bank at noon,” and the rest just cascades from the setup. No need for plot twists; let the setup account for any developments. A well developed setup carries the story.
And character does the rest. Well developed characters move the story along, too.
Attention directors: If you’re going to feature musicians, hire real musician. I’m a bad musician and I always cringe when I see fake-musicians on screen. I can see that they’re not really playing.
I don’t mean expensive ones, just real musicians. It makes a difference.
Even integrate it into the story, like the Zither music in The Third Man. The team stumbled on him during filming and realized that his work would help the movie and, man, does it ever. The music makes a great movie unforgettable.
It’s something of a victory to reach a certain age intact, in one piece. Nothing removed, everything as God made it in the womb.
Considering all the things that could have happened, it’s quite an accomplishment. I have my tonsils, my appendix, all my fingers and toes, arms and legs, both eyes.
About those eyes; I’m going to lose a lens in a few weeks, to be replaced by something man made, so I guess the string comes to an end.
Helluva run though.
Shell. Helms. Miles. Films. Fills. Gills. Hills.
That moment when someone, usually skilled, has to intervene. Either you’ve fucked up, like cutting your finger or perhaps your genes have finally fulfilled their destiny.
The intervenor invades your body with a knife or a laser and fixes something.
My Dad’s gift to me are cataracts. A very nice, very smart man will slice open my right eye, take out the lens and put a new one in.
How does one approach that? It has to be done; it’s quite blurry and must be replaced. Now I know how my dad felt.
Computer generated movies solve a number of filmmaking problems, like keeping the shot in focus while the camera racks or pans and creating a realistic environment. One answer is to mix live shots with computer shots but that requires a film to stay in the fairly confined range of mankind, while an animated feature can exaggerate that or turn it completely inside out.
Truly the ideal medium: no pouting actresses (you can always recast), always perfect lighting (no waiting for the golden moment – just draw it). Don’t like the composition of a shot? Do it over again. Many Pixar and Disney films have made major changes during production. Imagine the same dilemma with live film: are the actors still available for reshoot? Do they even look the same? Will the producers pay to have the sets rebuilt?
The precision of the films are astounding, down to the last detail: every word, every image has a job and it’s very well thought out and elaborate.
And they’re good jokes, for the most part; you can imagine how many times the staff heard them during production. They’ve gotta be good to stand up.
In many cases, multiple views are required to get all the jokes, but the sight gags are almost too numerous to catch them all.
When we lived in San Pedro California, our neighbors “celebrated” New Years Day with gunfire. Scared the shit out of me. I don’t remember calling the cops but hearing gunshots at night was so foreign to me.
Now, gunshots are heard nightly, at least on the news (where the replaying of recorded gunshots is more frequent – and louder). Coverage of Vietnam War was more about corpses than anything else, as I recall.
They let people into the convenience store with AK-47s for god’s sake. I don’t feel safe in any area with a guy that I know isn’t a cop and has a semi-automatic weapon. Can I trust him?
And the cops themselves are in question. Why do they kill so many African Americans? Leave those people alone. It really is disproportionate – and by quite a bit.
Guys with guns don’t kill guys without guns; it’s that simple. Yes, if you’re pointing a gun at me, and I have a gun, I’ll shoot you to save my life. But try not to kill you, if I can (and I know that’s a slim chance, but I’d try – arm, leg, etc).
TV violence in my childhood was bloodless. I always wondered where the blood was; I mean, some of the shots should’ve produced buckets of blood but nope, he just fell down.
Today it’s extreme and everywhere. If you added up all of deaths on television in one program day they’d outnumber the population of our country. It’s so pervasive as to be numbing.
Zootopia is an elaborate joy to watch over and over, still fun. Many people worked on this, some large roles, others tiny. Lighting, story, producers, directors, all with a hand in the stew.
Pose that against On the Road. I have an edition of the “original scroll,” ’cause Kerouac did it that way. He thought about, wrote most of it before starting typing, on a continuous scroll of paper, what would become the raw recording of the thoughts of a man after World War II.
Many or one? Isn’t it cheating when you ask for help? Who decided that? I couldn’t have written Forming without the feedback of almost a dozen people.
I wrote every word but I was guided, metaphysically or basic advice, “try this word here,” or “that’s your opening line,” who really writes alone?
Forming is a nice, tight package and I want it to be read and discussed. It’s done and I do not intend to edit it. The next one will be more carefully thought out.
Forming was a joy to write, a true labor of love, born from a dream but way beyond anything in that dream. It evolved over time, with the help of a handful of other writers. Maybe it needs an editor but I’m happy with it.
Rape is in the news a lot and I have a boundary that tells me “no, you can’t” and I abide by it.
If at anytime she says “no,” it stops. Sure, there’s the second or third feeble try, but stop means stop.
And don’t drug them! Jesus Christ, it’s cheating! If she’s not a willing participant, then I’m not enjoying myself. Isn’t that the whole point? Sharing?
Baseball is all about reaction; batter to pitcher, infielder to ground ball. Were you successful? Can you do it again? And again? Thousands of times.
So when a few do it at least fairly well for a long time, or brilliantly for a short time, they’re rewarded, with awards and money.
That’s why I like the Hall of Fame. Griffey Jr. is in and so is Mike Piazza.
I have an idea. Bernie’s a Senator, right? Keep him there but give him Hillary and let the two of them run the table.
Imagine how much Bernie could get done; a sizable more accomplished than the GOPer in charge now.
Some times I think I’m writing my own, posthumous autobiography.
There’s a magic in hearing your own choice of narrator when you read a book. Having someone read it to me is tedious; reading at someone else’s pace, for one thing. I have to hit “Pause” when I hear a great sentence and want to dwell on it for a moment. Some sentences are that good.
Imagine hearing “Day That Will Live in Infamy” speech and want to ask FDR to stop there while we ponder the enormity of what he just said, but no, he keeps going and wow.
How many times does the person you’re staring at turn to look at you? Not often, but enough to make you wonder – how did they know I was staring at them?
Each motion builds from centuries of humankind, whether pouring from one hand to the other or picking an item up without falling over, and without a thought: we just do.
Not a specific religion, just a hybrid of many (Pirsig’s Zen, for the most part and most foundationally). A Course in Miracles is my Mt. Everest. How I should be. What a difference I can make. It’s up to me.
I don’t depend on someone else having died for me (sorry, got the wrong guy – he died to prove a point and not that you’re “saved,” whatever the fuck that means). Just rapture away and leave me alone.
But it’s not what somebody else could do for me; it’s what I can do for me; and other people. The first quote I learned as a child was “Ask not, what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” That sticks to a five year old, you know?
The country he described, of course, was the Gene Roddenbery-Star Trek syndrome. “We’re cool with everybody, no money, no racism,” and we bought into it. It was uplifting, and isn’t that the best motivation?
So, here comes Bernie and he’s the crotchety elder statesmen that’s beyond our wildest dreams, and fuck, yeah, I want him to win. I want it badly.
He’s RFK+JFK+FDR all rolled up in one. And I haven’t caught him in a true mixup, not one. Trump opens his mouth and I know he’s lying about everything. Bernie’s opinion matches so closing to my own conceptions, that I have a hard time placing him in history.
Someone so affirming on the good things, like healthcare? Getting homeless everybody off the streets and into a warm home. We don’t beat each other like we’re animals, arguing over silly things, like what color my skin is.
How can any other position be feasible? What, we go on killing each other over territory or money, God (who, in my mind, is pissed, right about now, if there is a god) until we’re gone? Is anything really worth killing for? Anything?
Bernie is up there with some pretty big company, and my god, I hope he can accomplish all the things he’s fighting for. They’re the things I fight for. I am my brother’s keeper, in the truest since, not corporate charity, like “buy four-hundred Diet Cokes and we’ll donate $1 to charity” (just donate the money; I’ll drink whatever I want, thank you very much).
Too many people need a better life than in a long time, the most in my lifetime, and it was planned by politicians- planned. None of the things that have gone wrong were happenstance, not like meteors that we can’t stop (with or without Bruce Willis) but global greed.
This has been gradually coming, started with Incorporation, which distances owner from responsibility and endangers working people. It’s extreme is unconscionable but it’s here.
Turn the Earth to Sand but Still Commit no Crime
Jesus Christ, people, there’s more than enough resources, like water-we’re surrounded by oceans!
Isn’t making clean water available to everyone important? What’s more important than water for anyone who needs it? I mean, seriously folks, it’s not rocket science, after all. They can desalinate now and just imagine if we spent a few dollars supporting research and capture just some of that surplus. We’re not gonna drain the oceans, but we should be careful.
This moment is my speaking aloud things that are close to my soul, more Francis of Assisi, less Patton, that have been crystallizing in me for a long time. Like coal to diamonds but on a more personal level.
You may not want to listen to me, but you should be able to if you want to. I don’t think I should kill or die just because of what I say.
How do we know how much time is passing in movies? Cut to cut, is this the next day, week or year? I can’t always tell and it takes time to find out, time I’d rather spend on the story. Unless I’m clearly told I miss something.
It always feels like someone is watching me, and that watcher is laughing at me when I do anything, judging me in my own mind.
After reading 1984, I imagine being watched; not a freaking paranoiac but noticeably. Someone sees. Who it is, I’m not sure. But I’m pretty sure it’s me.
Who else would know when to laugh at you? Who else would know that I’m walking outside without a shirt and look fat – are fat?