Monday, April 29, 2019

The Teenage Bodyguard - A True Crime Biopic Review

This is a couple of reviews for my true crime / biopic, The Teenage Bodyguard. I lived this story, I researched this story, I wrote this story. The names have been changed to protect the innocent, but not the criminals.
Ruger Blackhawk .357 magnum I carried
I have an alternate title for this story, Slipping "The Enterprise". Because what we were trying to do, was to slip by the Tacoma Mafia family who called themselves, "The Enterprise" and was referred to as such in local and national newspapers all through the 1970s. The question is, could someone like me, at eighteen years of age, protect a murder witness from an organized crime enterprise who was looking for her, and actually live to tell the tale?
Shoulder holster for the magnum
Obviously, I did survive. So the question remains and the intrigue is, who else might have, or didn't survive. And how did this all work out? Because the fun is in the telling of the story of how all of this came to be and how it ended up for everyone involved.

Was a magnum too much against a bunch of guys mostly carrying 38s and 9mm and shotguns? I'd argue, no.

My esteemed self partying at a drive-in theater with the friend in the screenplay the year previous
This is a story that oddly enough, involves and aside from the typical mafia environment and activities, parties, drugs, sex, skydiving, fast cars, flying planes, and... finding dead bodies.

In the end, the Pierce Country government near Tacoma, Washington, had to be changed so another crime or mafia family could not get their hooks so easily into those who were supposed to be involved in crime prevention and prosecution and not criminal support. Here are some photos of the actual things, vehicles, weapons, criminals and weapons involved in the story.



From BlueCat Screenplay Contest:
The story picks up relatively quickly after the explosion in the Carbone party—leaving Lena a few permanent scars. After witnessing the scenes involving [our protagonist's youth] Air Force background, we realize just what kind of a character he’s raised to be: someone who couldn’t really care about his own safety, but as witnessed with his reaction with Lena’s injury (as well as his eagerness to help Sara much later on), someone that has the capacity to care for others.

But it didn’t just stop there. Even with a skydive malfunction, it seemed like [the protagonist's] own life doesn’t even seem to be worth two dollars and fifty cents, as the repack itself was a bit out of his budget.

All this makes [the protagonist] quite the exciting character to follow given his astounding complexity. His nonchalant approach to life is intoxicating mainly because it’s like watching fire: although dangerous, it’s still alluring. The initial hook of witnessing [the protagonist] potentially murder someone, as well as echoing his words “do it” as he did with his first jump, is very well played out—as it shows parallels between one world and another.

The writer also seems to have done quite the research, and it’s impressive to know that the events are chronologically accurate. I was pleased to find out [the protagonist] actually made it out of everything and even had a family of his own. Given that it was a real story based off real events, I could’ve never predicted that he’d make it to that kind of life.

Overall, The Teenage Bodyguard is one heck of a life story that I’m surprised isn’t on the big screens already—a well-done thriller that knows how to lure you into a story about two unlikely people, the protagonist and Sara, and how they took a turn for the unexpected.

John Joseph "Handsome Johnny" Carbone, head of the Tacoma Carbone crime family
From The Blacklist Coverage:

The premise of a coming of age crime drama, where an eighteen-year-old protects a witness fleeing the mafia, could have solid commercial appeal, particularly as it is based on a true story. The narrative's period setting is rendered with a strong degree of authenticity and a specificity, through details like that of the commune, that makes the film's backdrop of the Pacific Northwest feel grittily alive and real.

[The hero] is an intriguing teenage protagonist, who is well-characterized, particularly on a physical level. His courage in protecting Sara from the Tacoma mafia is credibly rendered. The dialogue is well characterized as each member of the core cast possesses a clear, identifiable voice. The down ending, featuring the harrowing final scene of Sara in the mafia car, where she "closes her eyes, puts head back and hears sounds of children happily playing baseball.", right as the hitman next to her takes out a garrote, is chilling, surprising (in a good way), and sure to have a powerful effect on audiences.


THE TEENAGE BODYGUARD has a viable premise and core concept that could have commercial potential, likely in the indie space and is overall a solidly written script.


Every industry type who has read this screenplay so far has really liked it.
I am obviously moving forward on this project.

#producers #studios #screenplay #biopic #truecrime

It is Past Time to Recognize Religion as Myth Worship

Society, especially so-called polite society, rules the day in allowing theists to pretend their reality is real. Isn't it finally time to call religion mythology and its worship of it characters myth worship?

That being said, regarding mass shootings of religious groups... that is not how you evolve beyond something. You cannot do it from outside. You do not have hate for others in order to evoke social evolution. That, is a sign you are on the wrong track.

We have a leadership in America right now in Donald Trump, that is nationalist and ignorant, greedy for power and wealth and evoking more ignorance. Denying science and reality and telling lies daily from our highest office which is inflaming the foolish and the mentally and emotionally and even socially, damaged in our society. Stop it. Americans should not kill Americans. The American government, should not kill Americans. Really, we should not be killing anyone, unless it is to stop them from killing or harming others.

You Need To Consider The Possibility Your Religion Is Mythology
Still, there is a groundswell rising against religions in the world.

And we're seeing dysfunctional reactions within them against one another. Mostly based in the three desert religions of the Middle East. It's not really being noticed for what it is and is building in the so-called "First World" countries. And why is that?

Also, those Theists who support religion and do notice this are totally misunderstanding what is happening.

I don't believe anyone (certainly not me or anyone I know) are really against people exploring their spiritual beliefs, their religion, per se, or even wanting to end it tomorrow. This is still America, still a free country, regardless of the illiberal actions of some in power at this time.

Hopefully, with our attention and efforts, we will be putting an end to that very soon in 2020 and ending the conservative and Trump delusional form of governing.

However, there are still and always some obvious downsides to religion. Such as extremism. And religion's biggest travesty, "cherry picking" among their beliefs in order to fit them more closely into reality, sanity and logic.

Those who ignorantly profess their "faith" incorrectly and inaccurately enable their religions to continue and evolve when they should have died off centuries ago. It also enables those abusing others for their own misguided religions fundamentalism.

Those who are attacking such groups as transgenders, calling them child molesters, or ridiculously and ignorantly equating trans or gays with bestiality, when the reality is quite different and they are really quite normal, just different than the "norm".

If there's such a thing. When really it's about majorities and minorities. And where so often we see those types who call out others as degenerates, being charged with many of those same offenses themselves and so being outed as the hypocrites they were, to begin with. Typically all for reasons of position, power and wealth.

Kids More Likely To Be Molested At Church Than In Transgender Bathrooms

What this growing irritation is leading eventually to is a reaction against all those who are so-called believers. If they can simply follow their religion and keep their mouths shut, I don't think anyone would care to bother with actions against them in any way.

But when one considers all the bad actions and ill will that has been built around theism in recent times, what else could one expect? Pushing their beliefs into others faces, into our government, is illiberal and incorrect and even criminal. Certainly unconstitutional.

Those who say their religion requires them to do certain things, to get involved, to sway non-believer's beliefs in aggressive fashions, is just asking for a reaction against themselves, and others like them.

And then you have people like Donald Trump as POTUS who use religion in a morally reprehensible fashion for purely political purposes and lying, claiming he is a religious individual, which his only religion us capitalism and even beyond that to kleptocratic and oligarchical actions.

If you take this kind of behavior to its obvious conclusions, it's death for the future of religious institutions overall. To be sure it will take time. To be sure they may never really completely die off in a kind of half-life form of degeneration. Where they will halve in power and membership seemingly forever, but never quite go completely away.

Because religion is a symptom of the human mind, the human brain, and human evolution. It is a form of thought that should fade away as humankind evolves to the next stage and the ones after that. There are some beliefs that are more functional that some of the major religions today. Better than the ridiculous ones we hear of so often in the likes of Mormonism, Christian sects, Muslim sects, and even Jewish sects. As well as corporate thought style beliefs like Scientology.

Buddhism for one, the Buddha Dharma is far more functional that most if not all other "religions". While not a religion itself, but more of what we need in a mental discipline. I am not selling it as an answer. To be sure it too has fallen to the damages of the human reconstruction in ignoring its original teaches and adding nonsense to them down through the millennia so it too is viewed as more of another ridiculous religion.

The one saving grace is what Gautama (Siddhartha) Buddha Himself said, and you typically don't see in any religion, is to trust your instincts and if you're being taught something stupid, simply don't believe it. I dropped religion when I was younger, for sanity and reason themselves:

"In the time of the Gautama Buddha, many holy teachers and priests also wandered from village to village offering their teachings and principles to anyone who would listen. How can we differentiate an authentic teacher from a charlatan? According to tradition, Siddhartha Gautama offered the answer on one of his many journeys:
“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”
Gautama Buddha

In what other "religion" would you come across koans or one such as:

“If you meet the Buddha, kill him.”– Linji

Humankind seems to wish for Magic, rather than Reality. It needs buffers to the daily grind and abuse of living. I learned of ancient Asian philosophies in grade school Isshinryu Karate classes in that Okinawan martial arts and philosophical system.

Through my life, I found one similarity after another to that. I found some similarities in the Catholicism I was raised with and abandoned by 9th grade. I became well read in philosophy from the Greeks to the ancients in India and China and Japan. I found people who grew up in Buddhist countries seemed the most oriented toward Buddhism as a religion. Which to me was reversed to what it was intended to be.

I found that the Catholic teachings appeared to have a basis in Buddhism. At university for my degree in psychology, I found many of the beliefs in that discipline to be very Buddhist in nature. At least the most functional forms. I learned about humankind's relationship to ritual and repetition. And I studied phenomenology and began to see how religion had gone awry.

How through anthropology and philosophy, sociology and psychology, it became clear where we began and how we evolved.

Religion is not the end, but the beginning, sadly. As when one learns how to walk, one changes and drops that methodology when one learns how to run, ride a bike and fly a jet or a spacecraft. And yet we hang onto the old ways out of fear. Out of conservatism. Out of ignorance. An ignorance we no longer need to cloak ourselves in.

We just need to be brave, learn the better ways and move into the future along with our overall inevitable development.

Still some, especially the conservative mind, holds onto it as if life depends on it. And it thoroughly does not. We may never evolve fully into our potential if we cannot finally let it go.

On the one hand, while they want to expand their ranks while religion is in this current phase of dying off. They aren't considering the reasons for religion's warnings because it's been discussed as a part of their theologies and epistemologies simply because they've been persecuted in the past.

Humankind and society have tried again and again to purge themselves of religious, but have failed repeatedly because they needed a replacement. A modern and functional form of mind management. It will happen, but it is like fighting an addict's cravings for what they are so used to, what they are indoctrinated into from childhood, to need.

While the individual may need something in daily life, society at large obviously does not. And we're seeing the dysfunctionality of it all over the world today.

One wonders perhaps why anyone would want to persecute someone else because of their beliefs until you have had to deal with someone being really and truly religiously annoying on continual and daily basis. Those who flaunt their mythology in the face of reality and against reality.

While religion will surely not end once and for all anytime soon, and while we do need to allow people their freedom in their choices, the rest of us should not have to suffer through living within their delusions around our society. It is a kind of reversed abuse. To be sure, enjoy your religion, just allow us the benefit of enjoying not enjoying it.

We can and should at least all agree that others are worshipping their chosen myths from the past, and then go on our way. Undisturbed and unperturbed by those theists who still wish to continue with this internal mental standing bicycle of a mentality spinning its wheels and going nowhere. Certainly not progressing into the future of the continued evolution of humankind.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Corporate Thinking Disease, Syndrome, Disorder

Many, many, years ago America found out that intersection stop lights are not installed or changed until three death situations were recorded. Three separate accidents where deaths occurred.

At that time, we all became complicit in the "corporate thinking" models that had invaded America and most of the world through capitalist thinking..

It has invaded our schools, our government, our consideration of the 2nd Amendment, our religion, our communities, our clubs, and our homes. And our children's way of thinking, for generations now.

So that today we are so inundated with it. Where no one even sees what the problem is anymore. We are just astounded, shocked, that things are as they are in common practice. With apparently no idea what is going on. Because it has become so inherent in who we are.

We don't see how to fix most of what is wrong today. Because we are standing on a carpet of complicity and our politicians and our corporate leaders lean into it furthering our ignorance and satiation and our desire to not be responsible for any of it.

We are. And we can fix it.

WE just have to see where the problem began and know that we have to go through the pain of changing something that is now woven into the fabric of nearly everything involved in our daily lives, in our government, in our religious institutions, and in our choices.

But they are OUR choices.

What is the point? The point is that we seem incapable of proactivity.

Rather than looking at a situation, seeing it's flawed and doing something before there are deaths (or destruction of various kinds), we have got to instead wait until there are deaths or destruction (i.e., Donald Trump as POTUS, NRA such as we allowed it to become, or the current defective and destructive GOP in its current mode of failed political party and paradigm), before we ever act.

That is the mainstay of our problems today. We have got to find a way to become more aware, more intelligent and stop praising and supporting the most stupid of us and our most foolish considerations.

Greed, is not brilliance. It is Greed pure and simple.

Ignorance is not ignorance anymore, but stupidity.

Especially when, as Eric Idle put it, "It is artificial ignorance."

It is time we see how ignorant we are and why. It is time to see corporate thinking as the burden that has been placed upon us by those wishing to enrichen themselves. Even at anyone else's costs.

It is time to see that capitalism has become a disease, a syndrome, a social and mental disorder that is woven into the fabric of our nation and our daily lives.

And it is time to make changes. if we follow the current Republican party we continue on this path.

116th Congress
However, we see today in the changes in the Democratic party, with young and diverse voices, more closely adhering to the makeup of our nation today, a potential for change, and something we've been lacking for some time.


We now need to pile on top of this something else that is extremely important and dangerous to ignore.

We need to realize how close we are to barbarity, how recent our evolution has been to our modern, hard fought for society today.

How precious and delicate our democracy is. And how quickly it has been slipping away.

How quickly we can revert to old and ignorant beliefs.

Remember the story of the Handmaid's Tale. In that story, only things that humans have done before to humans has been used.

In Iran. "Iranian women are oppressed and they always have been. There was a period where they were liberated and stopped from wearing the veil, during the Pahlavi dynasty from 1925 to 1979." The Telegraph (2015)

One day in 1979 women were wearing miniskirts and the very next day they were forced to wear full body length black Burqas and hijabs. Under penalty of law.

How would you like that... tomorrow? That is what some conservatives are asking, for women to be treated to restrictions they are no longer familiar with or desire, or require.

We need to realize how directed the Republican party is to going back to the way things where when America was great, apparently, in their mind. One might argue, tiny minds.

The GOP even now has a president in Donald Trump who gets cheers when he calls out that he wants to "Make America Great, Again! "

What he is saying, what you are cheering for, is not what many of you think, and yet exactly what many of you think!

Things That American Women Could Not Do Before the 1970s:

1. Keep her job if she was pregnant.1978
2. Report cases of sexual harassment in the workplace.
The first time that a court recognized sexual harassment in the workplace was in 1977 and it wasn’t until 1980 that sexual harassment was officially defined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

3. Be acknowledged in the Boston Marathon.1972
4. Get a credit card.1974
5. Refuse to have sex with her husband.1993
6. Compete as a boxer in the Olympics.2012
7. Get a divorce with some degree of ease.1969
8. Celebrate International Women’s Day.1980
9. Have a legal abortion in most states.1973

Make America Great, Again?

Start with correcting corporate thought all through our culture and government, social and religious institutions. 

Bottom line is...treat one another with more concern for humane treatment, than corporate or individual profit, and certainly, at any or all costs. 

Monday, April 15, 2019

Gumdrop City, My Next Short Horror Film

The reasons I retired from my career in IT was to focus on writing and selling my writings, to continue writing in new ways, to branch out, to feel free to choose my directions. But also to start making small movie productions... of my own writings.

The Rapping was a POC. To test my new equipment and my methodology. This link goes to its place on the Once A Week Online Film Festival for the week of January 2nd, 2019. So I can do it. Well, I've done it before. It's just been a while.

Cover art by Marvin Hayes
Marvin Hayes did the original cover for the ebook so you can see the character in his "Rex Harrison" hat above in the cover art.

I decided on Gumdrop City as the first production of my writings into a short film. Mostly because I could simplify things and use little f/x. Even if it is to be a prequel and not the actual story itself. But that frees me up some as it can be an origin story, and I don't have to follow exactly the previously published story. It's working title is now, "Gumdrop Sampson".

Which also sets up an interesting dynamic on several levels. Creatively, artistically, marketing wise. I've written about this story on here before.

This will be my first narrative horror film from one of my published writings. The Rapping, is an Attic Tale, written expressly for filming it. As was the as yet unproduced film before it, Garage Tales. As I've moved houses since then and no longer have a standalone garage (or an attic), my next might be in that similar vein as, a Basement Tale. Or not.

Selling your writings is like trying to get unknown others to desire a certain drop of water in a lake of so very many others. Or from an ocean. Or so it feels anyway.

Producing your own works is like creating that lake yourself. Perhaps starting with a puddle for others to access, rather than merely a drop. Hopefully, an entertaining puddle. One that unknown others may desire. Who does not have to take from an ocean or a lake, but perhaps just a good sized pond.

Some of it is in your own mental image, in your efforts. Some are in your discovered reality.

An ocean: Google Books estimates that there are about 130 million books in existence. If you double that, it's probably more than enough to cover all the books that ever existed. UNESCO estimates that about 2 million books are published worldwide each year, but that includes older books as well as new ones.

A pond: It has been estimated that there are approximately 500,000 movies (of narrative fiction feature-length, theatrical-cinema films) currently in existence (Vogel 2011, p. 102).

Nothing really grisly will be in the film prequel of Gumdrop City, that's in the short story, the ebook, and Anthology of Evil, version. Eventually, there will also be an audiobook version of the original story. My hope for the ending of the film is to lead to a disturbing and satiating conclusion while setting up the sequel of the published short story.

I had also worked on Gumdrop City as a feature film length production with a producer in Hollywood a few years ago. We fleshed out the storyline. In that version, we added some characters and more storyline. While I liked this story for a film project, the producer liked another idea I had of a traveling angel.

Perhaps that story is now even more apropos than it seemed back then around 2011. I'll eventually get back around to it. Kind of a good feeling Frank Capra type story, only with more of an edge.

One that America may need more now than ever before.

As I indicated this film will be a prequel of Sampson in Gumdrop City, the weird old guy trope in your neighborhood that the kids (and adults) fear or at least, shy away from.

And no, it's not an autobiography.

It IS, however, a true crime story I had first fictionalized in college after hearing the story in our popular and sometimes disturbing abnormal psych class at WWU. We all walked out of that class that day with a bit of dread and disgust. And I knew I had to write it as a horror story.

Tom Remick, my voice actor, is set to act the lead role. Should be pretty easy physically, in that he has to act like a somewhat hobbled, weird old man. Typecasting? No, I assure you. Tom is a great and compassionate guy. But he's looking forward to playing the role. It's easy to relish playing a character that is very different from your own personality or experiences.

As this is a prequel, things may evolve between this project and the published version. So if he lives one place in the film, that may change before the story timeline.

I am still working on the first draft of the screenplay, but it's coming along nicely. Tom is reading the short story this weekend and we'll get together this week to talk. he found a "Rex Harrison" hat at a store this week. We still need a tattered tweed suit jacket. And a burlap bag. And maybe, a teddy bear.

Yeah, see? You can already see this is descending into madness. But it should be, I don't know, if not fun, entertaining.

This is the fun part for me, the creative process. I'm making it as simple and effective as I can. There will be humor in it. Weirdness. And in the end hopefully, if I can pull it off, horror. And in that should come the fun for horror aficionados.

And in the end? I hope to have a viable film to submit to film festivals. If I can get it done in time, and I believe I can, I will even be able to submit it to our own local film festival here that I was among other things, a judge in during last year's first-ever Gorst Underground Film Festival.

We're looking forward to another great and second annual festival later this year. I had a blast and met some great new people. Like "Man in Camo" Ethan Minsker from New York and his awesome documentary.

Also, there is the next town over the festival which actually begins May 3rd: The Port Orchard Film Festival. And those here in the Pacific Northwest as well as others around the world.

I will also be at Crypticon Seattle that weekend of May 3rd at the Doubletree Inn in SeaTac. I've been to two now but not for a couple of years now. I also was at the first ever Seattle ZomBcon which was a blast and it's second year. Just a few years ago I'd never been to a convention all my life and now within a couple of weeks, I'll have been to five within a few years. I have my friend and horror filmmaker Kelly Hughes to thank for that.

I even got to meet and have a heartfelt conversation with actor Lance Henriksen last time, just standing at the latte bar one morning at the Hilton SeaTac hotel. We got to hang out and talk alone for a while and I tell you, that's the way to meet these celebrities. What a sweet guy but so scary on screen. And he was just one of those I got to meet and hang out with. These things can be a great deal of fun.

Being able now to show up as an actual filmmaker and not just a writer, author, and mere screenwriter should be a lot of fun. So if you should happen to go, I'll keep an eye out for you!


Monday, April 8, 2019

Not Raising Rapists

I really don't get this need to train guys on sexual harassment and rape. Maybe the harassment side, but rape? Really? What is it about "No" that isn't "No"? What happened to just being a gentleman? Drunk or not.

If a girl is too drunk to make a decision, make it for her, err on the side of caution. Walk, the hell, away! Come back another day when she is fully involved in her decision to have sex with you. Feel like a jerk if you are trying to get sex and she isn't into you. Even if she is taunting you or being a complete bitch, be a Man for God's sake (for your's and for her's).

Isn't having sex with a girl, too drunk to move, kind of like necrophilia? What's next? You going to ask (more likely pay) a girl to lie in a tub full of ice and then have sex with you while not moving and barely breathing?

Not to mention, have you advanced to using date rape drugs yet? So basically, you're into having sex with dead girls. Are we experiencing a rash of spawning necrophiliacs?

Yes, your actions do define who and what you are.

Being a "Man" doesn't mean getting sex ANY way possible. It means taking the high and more difficult road tempered with some degree of class and manners. It means giving her an environment and experience where she enjoys it (and you), so much that she WANTS to have sex with you. See, SHE gets to enjoy it too; not just you, you jerk.

All that being said, Ladies, when you say No and you mean yes, you are setting yourself up. Be damn sure you know you both know, just what's going on. This "No-for-Yes" thing really is best with someone you're in a relationship with, Right?

I've experienced this one myself and it can be pretty frustrating. What the hell DOES she want? Let's face it, it takes acting to convey that meaning clearly and some people just aren't that good of an actor, regardless what they want.

But what percentage are we looking at in this for overall rapes,, the No-for-Yes" thing. Very little I'm pretty sure.

Yes there certainly are women who claim rape later on, when really it wasn't at all. But I suspect in all the alleged rapes, those are far fewer than the reality of real rapes (no not "legitimate" rapes, I'm actually talking about actual or not actual rapes). When a woman yells rape and she knows very well it's not, that is not a real rape, okay? That's what I'm referring to here.

Still, I suspect we do need some kind of sexual harassment training for women too, not just for men, and obviously not the same kind of training because from a woman's point of view and position in life, they have a somewhat different set of rules to deal with.

Though it's obvious that there are many more male abusers, let's not ignore a viable complaint just because of that. There actually are things women do (could not do, or could do to help things) that could alleviate some of these issues. But those are minor things compared to out and out rape. I'm afraid that one, is on the guys doing it.

Rape as we all know is really about control, about power issues. There are always going to be some rapists just do to their own physical limitations in how their brains work. But that doesn't mean we can't learn and make changes to decrease the amount of men who obviously can't handle their situation and so rape out of a need or desire that shouldn't be there in the first place.

It takes practice and a foundation to know what to do rather than rape someone. So it would seem that there are many men who are being raised in an environment, or culture, that trains them in such a way, or allows them the thoughts that they can alleviate their discomforts by way of controlling and sexually abusing a woman. When you see groups as we've seen recently in India, it becomes quit obvious there is more going on here than someone's brain composition or home environment. It's a cultural thing.

Perhaps we really need the men being given sexual harassment training to share those classes with women. Not to humiliate the men but to open their eyes. We need to grow compassion in them, somehow. But that really is something that needs to start as a child.

Families need to empower their children. Some communities need to be less restrictive and punitive. And religions are always going to be a problem and a burden for their restrictions that simply for many of them, are unrealistic in these open times.

Dear America, liberals, progressives, and abusive conservatives weaponizing these issues against those people... please do not conflate communication and proximity issues with those of sexual abuse and predation.

As it actually is in Donald Trump, and so many actual sex abusers so frequently exposed on the conservative and religious side of things where it shouldn't exist according to their own professed beliefs.

Don't be a Trump who actually is the things he accuses others of being in calling THEM lars, or stupid, or in being abusive so he dilutes the meaning of those things for when he does them in his attempts to normalize and obfuscate. For his own benefit.
We're better than that or we should be and we need to be smarter than that. Save your anger for the real situations.

Frottage can be disgusting but it is not date rape or violent rape. Even more distant issues are not those of frottage or rape.

If we don't keep that appropriately in our minds and social discourse, we're going to cause a lot more problems that we really don't want to see in the first place.

Even at times where it does not exist.

I worry as do others about this proximity issue, about the range of sexual harassment or unwanted sexual intention, or unwanted proximity.

There ARE degrees.

From what I've seen and heard, the Joe Biden and even Al Franken issues are not the Donald Trump or a rapist on campus issues,

Perhaps we shouldn't look at this as sexual situation unless they definitely are. Even in some rape situation while there is no issue of sex being involved there is one of consent and understanding, or can be.

Sex, magnifies everything.

But what much of this really is, is about communication.

Women are tired of communications, especially sexual communication being a one-way street where they either have no say in it historically, or they are supposed to be quiet about it.

When all they really want is a say in a social dynamic between two (or sadly at times) more people.

Because communication is a two-way street and they are reasonably quite tired of it being their job of being the silent receiver, especially in situations where one has power over the other as in a boss/employee dynamic. Where one has power and the other is instantly in a precarious position and unable to speak up.

Because seeing this as a communication issue would eliminate some of the confusion in some of these situations as it doesn't put the woman on a shaky standing and if a man (or other) doesn't abuse him either, if that happens to actually be the situation.

We obviously haven't been communicating properly and it's time to be sure about that and readjust our dynamic.

Look, some people are just abusive. Donald Trump comes to mind. Rapists in and out of prison also.

But then there is an entire group who simply have poor communication skills and to claim sexual harassment when it is not

Does Having A Child Change You, Asked Boyd Crowder

Just watching the last season of Justified and something was said, that got me thinkin'.

Character Boyd Crowder asked US Deputy Marshall Raylan Givens:

"Does having a child change you?"

Raylan took a moment to think about it.

And so did I. I paused the show. It got me to thinking back.

Back to about a year and a half after my son was born. I was driving down the street, alone. I can remember it like it was yesterday. So I must have thought about it many times since then. Plus, I can see myself driving in this memory, so it's not an original memory.

I was thinking: if I have a kid now (I did) and considering some of the ill feelings I have about having been a kid myself, perhaps I should consider knocking off the wild stuff in my life? Now I hadn't done any wild stuff for a while since before he was born anyway. But the future was unfolding as I thought about it and I knew quite clearly just who I was. And what I might want to do at some point or other. Add some excitement to my life. Do something fun, dangerous.

Still, because of my own childhood, I did have an unusually strong consideration of responsibility about things. Most especially, toward children. And more so, toward my own.

Film audition headshot of myself around the time my son was born
So I decided in that very moment, surprising even myself, that my life would have to change where much of my "crazy" was not going to be allowed to be active any longer in my life. Because I felt I should be there.

At least until he grows up and moves out. But even then decades after, when it might be nice for him to have a dad around. My hope? That I die first, before my child. As every parent does. But then, he had my genes. And his mother's. Good grief. She was even wilder than I was, in ways other than I had chosen.

See, I had myself two dads. I grew up with my mother and my step-father. But neither dad figured much in my life. One ignored me as he had remarried and had eleven kids. My stepdad seemed to hate me. My mother said he was jealous of me. Weird. Just, weird. In some ways in my own mind, they did have some relevance in my life. But not in their active, positive and daily influences on me. Not really so much in reality.

Anyway, I guess what I'm saying is... about that question? "Does having children change you?" That is really a loaded question. At least two issues about it now immediately come to my mind.

Yes, my son, who was an exhausting, but awesome kid
One is that day when you change and take the responsibility, not just for your kid. Which hopefully you did some nine months before they were born. But also for yourself and how YOU fit into THEIR lives.

Now we get into question number two, what people mostly mean about, "Does having a child change you?"

In the daily activity (and misery, and joy) of raising a child, that bonding, that restrictiveness of action and motion, and desire, that downside and then that upside...all eventually come together. Should, come together.

Eventually, you start to see the upside more and try to laugh at or ignore the downsides. You begin to enjoy a laugh, read things into what the kid does, start to play with them on their level. Or manipulate them into having fun and giving you a laugh.

Essentially and unknowingly, programming yourself into what they call, bonding with the child. Something hopefully you have also and already done along with your child's other parent. But they are on their own journey, along with you, and along without you. Childrearing can at times be a very lonely thing.

And so too I realized, that I had indeed finally bonded with our child. I hadn't been ready to be a parent, you see. I wasn't sure I ever wanted to be a parent. Though I knew I wanted to have an offspring some day. But I questioned if I ever should propagate, or endeavor to raise a child. My childhood had been pretty messed up. Did I want to pass that along? Would I?

Now some people do bond quickly, even immediately. Some weirdly, ahead of time. Others? Well, it takes a while. Some never do bond. Or ever take responsibility to change their lifestyle. All when it's really all about the child.

And if you don't get that? Well, puppy dog, YOU (and a friend presumably) brought THEM into this world. Sorry, it IS YOUR responsibility. Your responsibilities.

Just like if the government puts you in jail. You are now their responsibility and the things you can no longer do, they now have the responsibility for, to take care of, and to pay for, YOU.

But for your child? That doesn't mean protecting them to their point of paranoia (or breaking), either. Because you have to let them live, to fail, to become prepared for actual, LIFE. To be able to think their way out of, if not at least a wet paper bag, of any of life's future and traumatic situations they may come upon.

So when someone asks, "Does having a child change you?" The answer is two-fold. At very least. So know that.

Of course, you don't have to answer both parts publically. But you do have to know that both are there to be answered. So do know it. Do know, them. And address it all. Let that full change happen to you. Evolve.

Because really, it may be the most productive thing you can do. For yourself. Certainly for the child. And perhaps one could argue, even more important than either of you, for society at large. As well as for History. Even before it's been made.

So? Does having a child change you?

You're god damned right it does.

Even if you run away, never to see that child again? Yes, even that, just changed you.

Just go the other direction. You'll be glad you did. And so will someone else.

Including all the rest of us.

With my son many years ago...

#BoydCrowder #child, #childrearing, #Children, #dad, #father, #fatherhood, #Justified, #kids, #maturity, #parenthood, #raising,


Monday, April 1, 2019

Twitch - The Nikolas Hayes Channel

Do you play computer games? Do you know Assassin's Creed Odyssey, for instance? If you've ever played some of these games you know you can get stumped, frustrated. You can read about them, follow posts about them. Try to learn the hints and tips for how to get through a game or just through an especially difficult part. But there's another way. You also know it's fun and can be informative to watch some others play.

Heard of the streaming site Twitch? It lets you do all of that. You can follow people, some who are very good players and, in real time. There is a CNBC article on how some of these players can even make six figures on Twitch. ... Twitch is a live streaming video platform owned by Twitch Interactive, a subsidiary of Amazon.[3] Introduced in June 2011 as a spin-off of the general-interest streaming platform,, the site primarily focuses on video game live streaming, including broadcasts of eSports competitions, in addition to music broadcasts, creative content, and more recently, "in real life" streams. Content on the site can be viewed either live or via video on demand. - Wikipedia
You can watch on your phone, tablet, laptop or home computer. Some of the gamers put their video recordings of live play on their Youtube channels. Or you can just follow thing in real time, listening to their live commentary. Even talking to them.

Twitch console
It's an interesting experience. There are quite a few channels on Twitch to follow, to jump into and follow their live play. Then leap to another user, or game. I found one lifelong experienced player who is somewhat new to Twitch. So I contacted him. He literally won his first computer game as an infant, playing a very simple computer game back in 1988. The year he was born. It's not that he's a savant. He just happened to win that day. But it makes for an interesting legacy as a true story...for a gamer. 

I watched some of the big time players and that was fun. But it's interesting to watch some of the not so big players, too. Not big because they've not been on Twitch for that long and so don't have a big following. Yet.

There's something exciting about finding someone before everyone else does. To be one of the first. 
What you get either way though, is insight to not only gameplay but also to the life of a gamer and... it can be quite fascinating. 

So I followed Nikolas Hayes' channel. Nikolas also has some of his videos of live play up on his Nikolas Hayes Youtube channel. There you can watch some of his past sessions, going up to four hours or longer. Also, you can follow him on his TwitterSteam and Instagram accounts and there's more on his Twitch profile. He currently has up on Youtube some of his Assassin's play (one is almost six hours of initial playthrough), Middle-Earth (2.5 hours of play), Mass Effect (nearly five hours of play), and others.

Young Gamer Nikolas
His Twitch channel says:

"Hello and welcome! I am the owner of Forethought United (art+science) and love gaming. So I just started streaming with spare time when not hanging out with the love of my life or family/friends.

"On my twitch stream, there are adventures in single player games to be had, plus some multiplayer. But my ADD.kind of takes me all over. Looking at various aspects of different games to see and show what they have to offer for new worlds and mechanics to interact with. As I said I do some multiplayer games but not a lot. Although the overall list is heavy on single player. But it's fairly varied. The channel does have mature content so just stay strong. I hope you enjoy the journey. I look forward to talking with everyone that joins in! Safe travels and have an amazing day!"

Like I said, I got together with Nikolas to ask a few questions. I've not included everything but here are some you may find interesting...

High School Nikolas
 Tell me a bit about yourself, Nikolas. What brought you to Twitch?

Today's gamer interview, Nikolas Hayes
A: I’m a new Twitch streamer, mostly streaming single player and I dabble in multiplayer periodically. I like to have an open-minded stream with people of all kinds that can hang out and chat while watching the many worlds that unfold in the games. I’d say that’s what brought me to Twitch, too. Having some company in my favorite hobby.

Q: What games do you stream?

A: There tends to be a lot of open world and sandbox. I love the ability to have a whole world that I can jump into. And watching the consequences of the choices and actions from whatever I do in that world, come to life. I love seeing people’s stories unfold and help untangle complex situations like saving a multiverse, all the way to fetching a lost donkey. Whether it’s science fiction, fantasy, or anything in between, it’s the ability to immerse into a new world and interact with many outcomes that I love so much. And, games are art that you can play with!

Nikolas and his dad, early 90s
Q: It seems like you enjoy games. When did you first play a video game?

A: My dad began teaching me when I was about six months old, back when MS-DOS was the operating system. I've also been into playing musical instruments for as long as I can remember. And I was into art nearly from day one. Learning a keyboard for me was just, natural. My dad was a computer expert (to be brief about it) and wanted me to start young. My first computer was a terminal and metal keyboard from an old mainframe. It was so tough I could beat on it as a child and not hurt it. But it would display green numbers and letters on the screen. So before I knew what I was doing, I was experiencing computers as a natural extension of myself. On an actual PC, I remember using a paint program, Commander Keen, Cosmos Cosmic Adventure, Doom, Duke Nukem, and all kinds of things. Including Pong and Centipede! One of my favorites though was the Windows 95 spaceship demo disk. That kept me up many a night with all the fun games to check out as a new gamer. Mostly I’ve played PC but I’ve also got an Xbox 360 and used to have a PS2. I grew up with that and a Sega. Go Sonic! As an adult, I was a lead on a video game testing team including Microsoft games for several years. Also including working on a NASA sim.

Q: When do you usually stream?

A: Lately it tends to be around 7am-12pm Monday through Thursday. But it can swap to nights on those same days depending on how work schedules are. I tend to do a lot of other things like running my company Forethought United. We are currently working on the online store to start selling digital copies of our art. Currently brought to you by Marvin Hayes. Amazing works of art!

Q: What is the latest game you have been streaming. What do you most like about it?

A: Lately I’ve been streaming Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, a sequel to Assassin’s Creed Origins. I would say it’s the best of the newest Assassin’s Creed games of the series. Right next to Black Flag and AC3. They kept a lot of features from Origins and refined them while adding a lot of new mechanics. I love that they are doing a good job of adding myth into a fresh new storyline that follows after AC Origins. I’m going to take my time on this one. Especially since I got it on sale when it was $23 down from $60. Although, if I had the money I would have still bought it at $60 for what an amazing job they did!

Q: Last question. Any thoughts or comments for closing?

A: I just wanted to say thank you for your time and hanging out. It’s awesome fun talking to people in and out of the entertainment industry and I like your writings! Especially Death of heaven. Certainly paints a picture, just with the title. I also hope to bring some solid and enjoyable content with my new stream and see how things build in the future. I love connecting with new streamers to see what is going on around the world. It’s a fascinating place! Thanks again and...have an amazing day. Hope to talk to you soon!

So there you have it! Thanks to Nikolas for taking the time to answer some question and best of luck to him on his Twitch and in all his endeavors! I suspect we may be hearing more from Nikolas Hayes in the future. Remember that name!

Game on! Cheers!

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