Saturday, August 30, 2008

Tenacity of Hope

Nobody visits here on weekends, do they?

Certainly not holiday weekends. Heaven forfend! This is a blog you kill time with at WORK!

Well, if you're not reading this weekend, I hope you scroll down and see this later. I'd hate to think I procrastinated on this cool animated gif for a sparse audience.

STUDIO CHIEF: Uh... where's the script, kid?
MALICE: Well, I'm not quite done with it, but check out this animated gif I made...
STUDIO CHIEF: Huh... look at that. You're fired.

Friday, August 29, 2008

McCain Unveils Running Mate!!!

I love "30 Rock" and all, but does Tina Fey have the experience to run the country?

Creepy Republican Presidential Candidate John McCain thinks so.

Rather, he's betting that she's the perfect disgruntled feminist-Hillary-supporter lure.

"Hey, we're making history just like THEY are!"

This presidential race suddenly resembles one of those bizzarro Hollywood parallel universes where asteroids are about to destroy mankind.

Steve Jobs Has a P--

Steve Jobs, who helped make personal computers as easy to use as telephones, changed the way animated films are made, persuaded consumers to tune into digital music and refashioned the mobile phone, has XXXX—

Bloomberg accidentally published an obituary for still-alive Apple founder Steve Jobs.

So, dry those tears, Justin Long. Your fucking messiah lives.

Can you believe this summer's done for? Like, nails in the coffin. Ashes to ashes. Goodbye Mary, goodbye Jane; will we ever meet again?

August perishes.

Autumn rises.

I'll be writing this holiday weekend. This doesn't end for me. It's only the beginning.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

People All Over the World, JOIN HANDS

Wednesday afternoon, I'm watching the roll call vote at the Democratic National Convention, state by painstaking state. A big flag-waving, back-patting, chest-puffing parade.

Finally, they get to New York State and Hillary Clinton calls for Barack Obama to be approved as the official democratic presidential nominee by acclamation.

Thunderous applause to this epic Kabuki show:


Terrific theater...

... but then, what do they play?


... and the entire convention center... starts dancing!

As if it was suddenly a party scene from an 80s movie.

And I dutifully erupt in a fit of chuckles.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Foodie Jester

Bad Boy Chef Anthony Bourdain.

I like him. I really do. I was an early defender of his macho foodie schtick, read through Kitchen Confidential and A Cook's Tour.

Here comes the "but"...

His public ridicule of other food-television personalities gets a little old.

Not that I think Rachael Ray or Bobby Flay need to be shielded or praised on pedestals. And I understand that Bourdain's brand of satire is meant in court jester manner: clowns ridiculing kings.

But the guy makes his living on food tv! He might protect his precious foodie street cred by not shilling for TGI-Fridays, but he's in the same business as the people he rails against!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

How I Spent My Summer

[Faces altered to protect identities.]

So, I get one of those Shutterfly photo album messages in my email inbox, inviting me to view someone's collection of photos.

This particular collection is from some folks I haven't seen or interacted with in about 400 years.

A selection of 185 pictures from this vibrant, photogenic young family's fun-filled 2008 summer.

It occurred to me that I should send out my own Shutterfly album depicting how I spent my summer:

185 pictures of me watching different television shows and jerking off to the internet.

(If you're easily offended, I don't mean "jerking off" in a literal sense.)

(If you're NOT easily offended, I totally mean "jerking off" literally.)

It's damn near impossible to write this blog to cater to my peculiar range of lurkers.

In other news...

Monday afternoon, I finished a MASSIVE revision of my script. In about 11 days. I was so elated, I wanted to cry. (Cry more than I usually do.)

I'm sure to be receiving a deluge of feedback this week, but for ONE NIGHT I'm resting easy knowing that it's on the page. All the heavy construction is done. My biggest fear was getting caught at the 11th hour with big gaps to fill.

I am determined to get this fucker made—you fucking hear me, you motherfuckers?! I ain't fucking around here.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Thrill is Gone

Wee hours, Monday mourning.

Finished a rough draft of a massive (and critical) Butcherhouse revision.

This monastic lifestyle may have to continue for a while yet, but hopefully there's some levity in sight.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Yesterday I Woke Up Sucking a Lemon

Forget that mid-September deadline I mentioned earlier this week. That would have been a luxury. How naive I was earlier this week.

No, I've got to get this new draft done by next week.

You feel me??

Nothing quite like a good two-week screenplay.

Fielding feedback as I go. I can get the work done; it's the "2 steps forward, 1 step back" routine that's a little frustrating.

I have never been under more pressure to crank out a piece of writing.

Jesus, how do ANY movies get made?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

MSNBC Commentary

Olbermann explains it all.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Latin Racists Galore

Racist Argentina Football Team

Racist Spanish Tennis Team

Someone must be spiking their paella with crack because Latin sports teams have gone fucking insane.
The sportsmen and women pictured in the photos have said they did not realise the gestures would cause offence, but their light-hearted approach to racial sensitivity is not unique in their countries.

Spanish sport in particular has a poor reputation for taking allegations of racism seriously.
Huffing whippets with your tapas, ladies?

I think it's time for a little reverse-hate-crime.

Violence can be educational.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Mission: Impossible

Honeymoon's over.

Now, the panic.

Butcherhouse lives. A lot of enthusiasm for it at the studio. They really want to make it. But I've still got to crank out a major revision before we get officially greened.

Monday, I was given a deadline: four weeks from LAST FRIDAY.

I was prepared to do fast work but somehow knowing I've got this firm deadline makes it a whole lot more scary. Especially because everyone else needs to be able to read it before the head of production gets his hands on it, ergo it needs to be done BEFORE the 12th.

So why the fuck am I writing a blog entry?!

Because I'm freaked out and need to vent.

Entries may get more irregular around here. I may still post because I'll need the outlet to vent, but clearly I've got work to do.

When I worked at Bear, I routinely dealt with obscene deadlines. I can handle this. I know how to do this. I'll make this work because I have no choice. I've done it before, I'll do it now and better.

You may not see me for a while. Forgive me for anything I may have to miss.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Star Wars Babies

I admit to a certain morbid fascination with train-wrecks.

From Harry Knowles's passionately negative review of The Clone Wars, released this past weekend:
Then they introduced Baby Jabba (aka Rotta the Huttlet, aka Stinky). At the point of this character’s introduction – it officially became the worst character in the history of STAR WARS. If you hate George Lucas cutsiepoo bullshit – oooooooh boy. You’re gonna have a field-day of venting and hatred directed at this unbelievably fucking awful little shit. It farts, makes pukey faces and is just unbearably bad.
Stop the press.

A character called "Stinky the Hutt"?

That farts and makes "pukey faces"?

Did Mel Brooks write this?

Now I have to see it. I have to.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Flowers for the Dead

Nick & Emma's newborn sent me a lovely arrangement of flowers yesterday...

Clearly, she didn't realize how small the Fortress of Solitude 2.0 is. There's a pointed dearth of free surface area for placing something so whimsical as a vase of fresh flowers.

I guess this means I should clean up my act a bit.

Thanks, kid.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Apple Bottom Jeans!

Apple bottom jeans!
Boots with the fur!
The whole club was lookin at her!

She hit the flo —
Next thing u kno,
Shawty got low, low, low, low, low, low, low, low!

Them baggy sweat pants!
And the Reebocks with the straps!
She turned around and gave that big booty a slap!

She hit the flo —
Next thing u kno,
Shawty got low, low, low, low, low, low, low, low!

You've seen some dark, dark times chronicled here.

No doubt, you'll see more.

But things are going to change.

Whole world's going to get better.

Fasten your fucking seat belts, kids...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Tense Hours

About ready for a "real" blog entry, constant lurkers?

This is an extremely tense week of conference calls. Setting the stage for the next level of my big studio project.

It's part of the process. Every idea and new direction needs to be vetted and approved by the higher-ups. It involves discussion and debate and appeasement. A lot of talk before I get to do any real writing.

Everything is riding on this. My life is on the line. If I can't make this work, Hollywood will dispatch a "Mercy Assassin" to visit me and put me out of my misery for good.

(I'm not being melodramatic: this is in my contract.)

This is the only thing in my life.

You know when you're on a roller coaster and you're riding up that first big hill—the one that generates enough kinetic energy to get you through the remainder of the ride? That's what this project is for me. It's that first big hill. There will be more hills to generate more energy along the way, but I need this first hill to generate the kinetic energy budget to reach those future hills.

Or else the ride stops and I get taken out of the car.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Spain Sends Retards to the Olympics

Apparently, Spain thought that Beijing was hosting the Special Olympics, so they sent a bunch of retards to play basketball.
Spanish sport has been mired in rows over racism in the last few years. In November 2004 black English footballers were subjected to relentless racial barracking from home supporters in a match in Spain. Before the World Cup there were calls for Luis Aragones, then Spain's football coach, to be sacked after he called Thierry Henry a "black shit".
What year is this? Slanty-eye pics? Really, Spain? Are you all this stupid? As a nation, you're ALL on-board with this, then? For real?

Is something wrong with this picture?

Spain's shitty basketball teams go to the Beijing Olympics and disrespect the host nation with group "ching-chong" portraits...

... and no apologies?

... not even a half-assed explanation?

Oh wait --

Jose Calderon, a member of Spain's Beijing Olympic basketball team, speaks up:
"It seemed to us to be something appropriate and that it would always be interpreted as an affectionate gesture... I want to express that we have great respect for the Orient and its people, some of my best friends in Toronto are of Chinese origin."
All right, you dumb fuck-hole. You make a fine ambassador for the retards.

Fire up the hate-machine. Immediately. Fuel the fuck up.

Stupidity this egregious needs to be paraded about on sticks.


blog away over this.

Crucify them.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

They Cut Heads

Historically, I'm terrible about getting my hair cut. I use hats to keep it contained but I tend to let it get too long. It gets way out of control, becomes sentient and tries to destroy the world.

That said, there's a haircutting salon that I've gone to for the better part of the last year or two. There's an older Japanese woman there who does a good job. It's a unique comfort when you've got a regular barber who knows you. (Or at least knows your hair.) When I go there, I don't have to explain to her what I want. I go in, I sit down, she gets to work.

And we don't talk.

In fact, I'm pretty sure that I got my hair cut by her back in college, when she was at a downtown location. Neither of us has ever commented on this.

I hate making small talk while getting my hair cut. You're sitting in a chair, staring at yourself in a mirror the entire time: that alone makes me squirm. But talking to my own reflection really turns my stomach.

So it is a pleasure to go somewhere and not have to explain anything.

It's a small salon near where I live. A Japanese woman, a Hispanic woman and a South-Asian woman. I sit there quietly while listening to the three of them carry on a conversation in broken English. And most often, I've got no fucking clue what they're talking about.

"He say he fix de wataa but ih no work!"

"He do it this weekend!"

"I doh know what he does."

"You see in theh news, someone putta bong on the plane in Germany..."

"A what?"

"A bong! A bong on theh plane! It deh terroris."

It's the strangest conversations. Three women from different countries in their shared workspace, talking with each other in their shared second language. Hours on end. Every day. For months and years.

Ain't that America?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Isaac Hayes Has a Posse


Isaac Hayes has a posse, now? Really?

And it's just a coincidence that this is coming right on the heels of Bernie Mac's untimely death?

Maybe it's like Final Destination

Morgan Freeman cheated death and now DEATH is going on a fucking angry-bitch rampage.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

New World Order

Notice anything new?

I've so little time to squander right now, which is why I've pissed a bit of it away this morning tinkering with my blog template.

Maximum possible width of entry pictures have gone from 400px (original) to 510px (recent revision) to...

... a whopping 640px (current version)!

I also figured out how to upload pictures directly to Blogger and display them at their full resolution (instead of auto-scaled down to 400px). If this is complete jabberwocky to you, you might not be able to decipher the solution. But trust that it's cool and it means I don't have to lean on my Flickr account so much. One-stop blogging, you fucking motherfuckers.

Obviously, this also affects the way the lines break and will probably affect the content a bit.

Go get some John K Candidate Dolls.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Bernie Mac Has a Posse

Hospitalized with a bout of pneumonia, there was word that he was going to be released within a few weeks.

This mourning, BERNIE MAC HAS A POSSE.

No more Charlie's Angels. No Oceans Fourteen.

Let this be a lesson: Do NOT fuck with Barack Obama.

Meanwhile, Morgan Freeman lives.

Friday, August 08, 2008

I'm Gonna Burn this Whole World Down


So much promise in the world and yet I have been in a black mood.

Maybe it's that ever-looming threat of failure.

Despite all the (potentially) exciting projects I'm developing, I live in a startlingly empty world. Profoundly empty.

The other day, I had a few conference calls that I'd been stressing about. When they were over, I had this sense of relief and euphoria. I felt like talking to someone.

And then I realized—

I had no one to talk to.

Let me tell you, that is one rotten fucking feeling.

I know how important this creative stuff is. It's a realization of a childhood dream and so forth. I'm not discounting it and I'm up at some ungodly hours trying to get the work done. I'm in this to win.

But what's it mean, at the end of the day, if you've got no one to share it with?

There are some vile fucking things I'd love to say here. Some black, hideous things.

But I won't.

It's a long war. I've got my eyes trained on the future. The past and present are empty places. All I've got is the future.


Looks like somebody's combing through the history here today...

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Fat Princess

Sony's got a terrific new IP exclusive to the PS3...

"...a strategy title that's a little bit capture-the-flag — except in this case, the 'flag' is a very fat girl, made difficult to move because her captors are tasked with feeding her cake."

Sounds like a game that WALL-E would enjoy.

Curiously enough, the game is stirring up some controversy.

The blogosphere's up in arms:

"... I can't figure out is why anyone would want to rescue a fat princess in the first place, since everyone knows that fat girls are unlovable human garbage at whom any sensible bloke would sooner hurl invective than cast a longing glance."

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

A Million Miles Away

Kind of hard
Hard to see
When you crawl
On your hands and your knees

With your face
In the trough
Wait your turn
While they finish you off

Don't know when it started!
Don't know how!
Should have found out!
Should have happened by now...

Got these lines
On my face
After all this time
And I still haven't found my place!

I jump from every rooftop...
So high, so far to fall...
I feel a million miles away...
I don't feel any thing at all...

I wake up
On the floor
Start it up again
Like it matters anymore

I don't know
If it does
Is this really all
That there ever was?

Put the gun
In my mouth
Close your eyes
Blow my fucking brains out
Pretty patterns
On the floor
That's enough for you
But I still need more...

I jump from every rooftop...
So high, so far to fall...
I feel a million miles away...

I don't feel anything at all...

I don't

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Self-Loathing Asians

"Even if you allow that Chang influenced Chinese-Americans to participate in sports beyond the Academic Decathlon, he still shackled us with another stereotype. Thanks to him, we were all seen as determined counterpunchers, tireless tongue-lolling retrievers who compensated for our lack of physical gifts by outlasting our opponents because we couldn't outplay them."

I've got some mixed feelings about Huan Hsu's SLATE article bashing Michael Chang.

I see where it's coming from. And it's obviously a bit tongue-in-cheek.

But it's a trap to bash Chang.

And the article itself reinforces a broader stereotype of Asian guys with inferiority complexes. Which is just a fucking deadly thing. That shit needs to be exterminated. Not that Asian guys can't or shouldn't have inferiority complexes... but the idea of it being tied to race is just fucking corrosive.

End soap boxing.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Defending My Life

My favorite Albert Brooks film, by far, is "Defending Your Life".

Revisited it this weekend, on Universal HD (which has the most peculiar programming), and was completely won over by it again.

The central idea is that the purpose of life on earth is to overcome your fears. Once you've proven that you've done that, you're allowed to "move forward in the Universe". If you can't prove that you've overcome your fears, you need to go back and start over.

Albert Brooks's character arrives in Judgment City to defend his life. Key scenes from his life are screened and we see, time and time again, how he's routinely succumbed to his fears.

But while in Judgment City, he falls in love with a woman (Meryl Streep) who HAS overcome her fears, who's ready to move forward in the Universe. And so, he's forced to overcome his fears if he wants to be with her. (That's the dramatic conflict, get it?)

There's a lovely simplicity to the script. It's a fantasy film which means that rules need to be established, but it doesn't feel forced. And I just really respond to the idea that life is about overcoming your fears.

My life is dominated by fear.

If you've read this silly fucking blog long enough, you probably have a sense of this.

Fear and desire and loathing. Fear at the top.

Even with all the exciting career prospects before me right now, it's hard to enjoy this time.

I tell my little inspirational story to people OVER AND OVER AGAIN. I don't do it to brag. People want to hear it. Sometimes they just feel obligated to ask. And so I perform it, like a pop song that used to be fresh but has gotten overplayed. People want to hear "Hey Ya!" even if they're sick of it; at least it gives them a reference for who you are.

But in the two years since this ride began, I don't think I've really been able to celebrate. It has been a tense two years. My closest friends wouldn't know what I go through on a daily basis. This is a long, dark ride. I don't know where the tracks are leading. It's hard to anticipate the turns.

Two very dear friends of mine had their first child this weekend. Sure, I have other friends who've gone out, gotten married and churned out their own muppets. But this is the first scenario where I consider both parents to be good friends of mine.

It's far more terrifying this way.

I haven't even met this baby yet, but I'm automatically invested in her long-term well-being. I want her to have a good life. I want her parents to have a good life. Because I will never fucking visit them in New Hampshire.

I kid!!! I kid. Everybody, just settle down. What was I talking about, now...? Oh yeah...

I guess in closing:

a) I live in constant fear.
b) I'll probably die alone.
c) Albert Brooks has directed one movie that I like.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Bean Counter

This is a poor place to announce a child.

A dark, misanthropic, sarcastic, sorrowful pit of a place.

But my good friends Emma and Nick brought a baby girl into the world.

Georgia Rachel Gaffney.

August 2, 2008.
10:42 am.

I have a feeling she's going to have a good life.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

I Don't Get It

Luc Dimick made me animate a jogger and produced this video.

Now go and rate it 5 stars for us.

Just fucking do it.

Friday, August 01, 2008

You Don't Know What It's Like

Nick finds some of my entries depressing. Here's one for the collection.

I was thinking, recently, about what would happen if I disappeared.

If I got hit by a car or a piano fell on my head, that would be one thing. It might be an amusing NY1 news story, I'd probably have identification on me: people would know that I was gone.

But for fun, let's say I died in my apartment. Maybe I "accidentally" overdosed on sleeping pills. Or I got clumsy with a razor blade, cut my wrists open and lost track of time in a warm bath. You know, whatever. One thing leads to another and then -- OOPS -- I'm dead. I lived alone and I'm dead alone.

How long would it be before ANYONE knew I was gone?

I write a bunch of blog entries in advance and have them scheduled to publish automatically at specific dates/times. You'd probably see new blog entries being published here posthumously! (For all you know, I might be dead already.)

I could go for a long time without seeing specific friends. Even if I'd made plans and never showed, what then? They'd send me a few text messages. A few phone calls. A few emails. It'd be easy to write it off as me just flaking out. For a while, at least.

Paramount would try to call and email. Then my managers would probably check in to see what's up. After that, my lawyer might try to step in. I wonder if my lawyer might actually have someone try to check up on me, or file some police report.

Days would go by. Weeks, maybe.

Certain people might worry but what would they do?

The sickening thing is, I'm willing to bet that the first person to discover me would probably be my fucking Russian super.

My mailbox would fill up pretty quickly. My rent would go unpaid. Pretty soon, that motherfucker would probably just open up my door to see what's what. Maybe he'd steal some stuff before reporting me.

And then I'd be one of those fucking news stories that OTHER people could irreverently blog about. And thus, the circle of blog would continue.

Well, let's just hope that this blog entry doesn't become an eerie foreshadowing of what's to come. (Cross those fingers!) But next week, when you're reading entries about "Michael Chang" and "the controversy over FAT PRINCESS", know that I could be dead already.

Welcome to August. Have a drink and hang out a little.