Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Greatest Film Scene of All Time, Forever

Pretty sure this won a Writers Guild Award when it came out.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Last of Us

I'm getting older and I can't afford to spend the amount of time on videogames that I used to when I was younger and time was cheap. Certainly couldn't afford to spend an entire winter hiatus trying to beat a game I borrowed from a friend, so... I played it on the "Easy" setting. Which I think officially makes me a "casual gamer".

I played it on "Easy" and I played the entire thing through over the course of two days.

I think the narrative made more of an impact because I played it straight through without getting too hung up on any one particularly difficult section. (Though even on "Easy", there were a number of sections I had to replay a few times because of the difficulty level.)

I'd heard rumblings about this game, but the story's fucking intense. The ending (NO SPOILERS) is fucking intense. And troubling. And moving.

It's weird when videogame narratives rise to the level of feature films. Because a lot of people who might be moved by this narrative will never experience it. This is a serious, gut-wrenching story. And it builds character in a way that many feature films fail to.

Awesome game. A little heavy to take all at once... but awesome.

This will concern an even smaller fraction of you, but after you've completed playing the game, I think that THIS is a good article which sums up a lot of thoughts I've got on the game. Except for the fact that I don't think this game should have a sequel. It's a perfect, closed ending. Yes, there's always story to explore, and it leaves you imagining what the future holds, but I think that's perfect. This shouldn't be turned into THE WALKING DEAD: a story that doesn't know when to end and just keeps going without aim.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Other People Getting Paid as Writers

John Cockring won a million dollars on his last season of SURVIVOR. He'd been through law school but when host Jeff Probst asked him what he planned to do next, he stated that he didn't see himself as a lawyer. He said he thought he had "the gift of gab" and wanted to try to be a writer. Next day, he gets a call from showrunner Greg Garcia asking him if he'd like to be a writer for his new CBS sitcom starring Will Arnett. And just like that, with no experience, John Cockrain started a paid writing career. After winning a million dollars.

Shelby Fero is about 20 now. She finished about a year of college at USC, majoring in screenwriting (though never actually finishing a complete screenplay). She had a bunch of Twitter followers and wrote some shit for Cracked. Now she's a writer for Chris Hardwick's Comedy Central show, @MIDNIGHT. She's 20.

It's hard to describe what it feels like to see these people — and many others like them — trip and stumble into paid writing careers. Maybe if I could adequately describe what it feels like, I could reach their level of success.

Bitter...? You're wondering if, perhaps, I'm feeling a little bitter? You humbly posit that, possibly, this might in fact be a rather bitter blog entry, do you...?

All right. FUCK IT. Shit like this makes me want to take a wrecking ball to this industry.

But you don't wanna write for shitty sitcoms or shitty late night talk shows or whatever the fuck fucking Greg White is writing for, doooya Malice...??

Doesn't change the fact that it BURNS seeing people succeed without breaking a sweat. Without *suffering*. Without *loss*.

I know I'm a better writer than these fucking ridiculous nitwits. These people fit into slots and are recyclable, so it's easier to break them. I've got to work harder because I've got an "original voice", so I'm not going to get work writing bullshit for Chris Hardwick to say. I've got to create my own intellectual properties. Which is harder to do in an increasingly risk-averse environment.

Do you wish you could get paid writing bullshit for Chris Hardwick to say, Malice...???


... no.

But not getting paid is getting old.

I've got to work harder for my success, but that's just what I do. I work harder because I have to.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Happy Birthday, Asshole

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

All of Yesterday's Parties

This is, what— the third year that my invitation to the Writer's Guild East's holiday party has not appeared? Last year was the first year, since I joined, that I didn't attend. I wouldn't have attended this year, either, but it would have been nice to see a *fucking* invitation. I'm paid up in dues and certainly get all sorts of other WGAE detritus in the mail. And then I have to find out that this party already happened by seeing pictures posted on fucking Facebook?! FUCK!!! Fuck you. Fuck union.


All right.



It's petty and beneath me to lament over yesterday's parties. It's insulting, and it is a final insult to a brutal year, but it's the least of my concerns. I won't go into all the reasons this year has been severe.

Suffice it to say, I am working to change things in the new year.


Monday, December 16, 2013

Nike Town

When you live in a walking city like NYC, sometimes getting new shoes is like getting a new car. It directly affects your daily routine. It had been a little too long since I'd gotten a new pair of sneakers, and since my bro-in-law had gone back to work for Nike this past year, I decided to get my 40% "family" discount at the local Nike Town. Behold, the Lunar Glide+ 5. (I'd been walking around in Lunar Glide+ 1s like some kind of fucking asshole.)

These new sneakers *literally* put a bounce in my step. It's like walking on the goddamn moon.

(The brother-in-law is a bit of a sneaker pimp, by the by, and also recommended the Flyknit Lunar1+. And his current favorite: the Zoom Terra Kiger.)

It was a brisk, snowy day on Saturday. SantaCon revelers infested the streets. I could have stayed in and kept warmth, responsibly tending to this lingering illness — a sporadic, insistent cough that had settled in and become something of a pet — but for some reason the idea of NEW SNEAKERS got trapped in my head and I was convinced it would make my entire life better. So, I made the street trek into whiteness that is 5th Ave and 57th Street and picked up my new sense of well-being.

On the walk back, a peculiar sight...

Tourists, obviously, packed the sidewalks. But I started seeing a few young girls carrying... dead babies. That's what my brain registered amidst the chaos of snow. Girl after girl carrying lifeless babies under EACH arm.

No, these were not dead babies. These were American Girl dolls.

I knew the American Girl HQ was around there somewhere but it didn't hit me until I'd seen a few little girls carrying their next gen Cabbage Patch kids. TWO-FISTING fucking American Girl dolls!

You know the thing about an American Girl doll, she's got... lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a shark's eyes. When she comes at ya, doesn't seem to be livin'. Until she bites ya and those black eyes roll over white. And then, ah... then you hear that terrible high pitch screamin' and her dress turns red and spite of all the poundin' and the hollerin' they all come in and rip you to pieces.

All these little girls are going to outgrow those things eventually. And they'll be left with a small army of American Girl dolls in their homes... just waiting for Phase 2.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Peter O'Toole Has a Posse

Peter Seamus Lorcan O'Toole
August 2, 1932 – December 14, 2013

Peter O'Toole has a posse.

The Sparring Girl from that T-Mobile Commercial

Achilles Girl spotting.

Don't you just hate that "cute tough girl" routine? Almost as bad as the "tough cute girl" routine.

I mean, really, who is she fooling?

It's sad, when you think about it.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Sick Puppy

You're supposed to feel incrementally better when you're recovering from a cold, aren't you? I've woken up every day this week feeling physically debased.

Consulted my doctor this mourning and it seems I've got a case of acute bronchitis. A cold that's deepened into a chest cold that could last... up to TWO WEEKS?!?

Headed to the drugstore before work again. TGIF, Americans.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Out of the Ground, Into the Sky, Out of the Sky, Into the Dirt.

I used to be unkillable. I could go through an entire winter suffering maybe one bout of sickness.

I've been sick at least twice in the past few months.

One too many nights spent trudging through inclement weather, underdressed.

I was feeling it Friday, it was sinking in by Saturday afternoon, and by Sunday I was out cold. Thought I could sleep it away all Sunday, but it wasn't much better by the Monday mourn. Took my first sick day since I started doing these gigs. Slept more, watched screeners. Thought about hitting the gym but decided to take it easy and rest up.

Tuesday mourn, I somehow woke up feeling even worse. Swollen lymph nodes, sore throat, black thoughts.

No matter. I'd shake it off. At my pay rate, I couldn't afford two sick days. Took a long shower, staunched a bloody nose, hacked up a lung, bundled up. Hit the gym for a light run before heading to work.

Then a persistent cough betrayed me. Like a pipe-cleaner stuck in my throat. A prickly itch that could only be scratched by coughing.

The guys sent me home, in a teamster van. I chased down the UPS guy to get my latest screener. Got some chicken noodle soup to go and retired to The Tomb. Hoping I can heal myself enough to not miss more goddamn work.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Achilles Girls

Once, I chased a girl for over a year without getting anywhere. An entire wasted year of my precious early-20s chaining myself to this girl who'd frozen me in the friend-zone. When I finally cut it off, I vowed never to chase a girl that long again.

And I didn't. But in a way, I never stopped chasing her.

Years later, I met a girl who reminded me of that earlier girl. She directly resembled her. But now, I was a lot more experienced and I hooked up with her. It felt like getting another chance at that wasted year. Reliving it but learning from my mistakes.

When that relationship petered out, I wasn't looking to replicate it.

I did, of course. I never actively sought to replicate it but it happened.

There are certain women I find myself drawn to, despite knowing they may be toxic to me. It speaks to some profound issues and being aware of them is half the battle, I suppose. I never thought I ever had a specific "type"... but I realize, at this later stage, that I do have a weakness. Hard to define precisely (or perhaps I just don't want to publish it here), but there is a certain type that makes me physically weak. Not any one race or physical type... but when she's in front of me, I know it. I can smell it. I can feel it. It feels like a knife wrenching in my stomach.

I imagine most (or many) have, perhaps, an unconscious weakness. An Achilles Mate they end up pursuing again and again, defined by certain traumas from childhood. A pattern that develops because they are unconsciously seeking to replicate a negative scenario... with the hope of changing the outcome.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Wolf of Wall Street

Attended a screening of Martin Scorsese's THE WOLF OF WALL STREET on Saturday. Fucking sensational. This is GOODFELLAS-level Scorsese. There's no reason a man his age should be making movies this vital.