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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The 12 Laws, Part 3: It's Not The Team, It's the Coach

What's up, True Believers and True Deceivers? I hope you guys are enjoying this blog series, because I'm only 3 chapters in, so if this is a bust, I'm kind of committed at this point. Ah, who am I kidding? I like it myself, and since I've committed to it, I'm going to finish it regardless. I'm obviously not going to be able to cover everything in my blog, but I'm hoping that what I do tell you will inspire someone else to pick this book up, read it, and apply his principles. He's already proven that he knows what he's talking about, at least to me...


Law Number Three: Get Your Mind Right

I can't and won't say I loved every word of this book. I don't think Russell intended it to be as such. He was doing him, and being honest, so he had to tell the reader the truth as he sees it, and he submitted that we might disagree on some points. This chapter was an overwhelmingly spiritual chapter, and whenever we are talking spirituality (at least in the United States), you could be talking Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, etc. But regardless of who you choose to worship or exalt, your mind is more important to have right than your body or your bank account.

I see updates on Facebook of people exalting the virtues of the P90X system and losing weight, people believe that things are going to be better when they lose "x" amount of pounds, but no matter how much you train, it won't matter one bit if you aren't engaging in prayer, reflection, and self-study.

"Remember, your mind is your most powerful muscle."

I don't want to get into a theological debate, but I have always been of the mind that God can be found within before he can be found without. Buddhists believe in what's called "Dharma", your life's purpose, the reason why you are here. People spend all their time searching for their Dharma, when they really shouldn't be looking for it, they should stop and start listening to it.

Russell spent the majority of this chapter exalting the virtues of yoga, and I have to be real, I haven't tried it, but I do find that many of the principles seem very sound. No, I have not done yoga, but I am a martial artist and have spent some time meditating.

Meditating allows us to shut off the voices in our head in order to hear the God inside us. "The truth is, when you can't hear God inside of you, you're always going to struggle in life." You have two "selfs", the higher self and the lower self. The higher self is the decisions and choices that benefit the world and others, it is the source of contribution. The lower self is the greedy self, the choice that benefits no one but you, or causes harm.

I found this particularly fascinating, when speaking on the higher and lower self, you can tell much about people by what drives their choices. People who tend to be motivated by their higher self inspire through hard work and dedication, they promote positive environments, they are inspiring. Those who are driven by their lower self are selfish, they are takers and not givers, they bicker over credit and are neg by nature. They are the ones that think they are "getting over". Those driven by their lower selves may find some success, but it's always temporary. People who listen to their higher selves move on to bigger and better things, while those who appeal to their lower selves get stuck playing low notes and/or eventually fade out altogether. Listening to your lower self keeps you from accessing the blessings in you.

On the subject of meditation, Russell says it allows us to "be present". Being present is realizing the power of the "Now". We drift between the past and the future, never fully realizing the potential of the present.

"Living like that, you become your own worst enemy. You wait for things to happen instead of making them happen. You imagine what happiness is like instead of appreciating the happiness
that is already present in your life."

At one point you are completely focused in the now is known as "pure presence". Anyone who's been in a car accident knows what it's like. It's like "bullet time" (ironically, being shot at is another moment you experience it, but more people can relate to car accidents); everything slows down, you can see and recall every detail, flying glass, tires screeching, but you're not afraid. No past, no future, just that moment. Every religion has a name for this state. Yogis call it "Samahdi" or "walking meditation". Christians call it "Christ Consciousness" or "State Of Grace", while Muslims call it "Taqwa". Instead of dealing with things as they should be, you deal with them as they are. While shootouts and crashes are rather extreme, there are others doing everyday things in this state. Athletes call it "the Zone". A sketch artist or painter is experiencing pure presence.

I won't go into great detail about Russell's yoga experience, but it was very persuasive, and I can truly appreciate how it can bring balance back to a life that's out-of-whack. He says if you don't know how to meditate, you can practice just being silent, holding still, not moving and maintaining your breathing. Start with sitting still for just 15 minutes a day, listening to the voice of your Higher Self. Take it to 30, then 45. Just putting that into practice can help to be able to see the present. You can't make money in the past, you can't grind in the future, you only have the now, and the now is most important moment you're ever going to get. You can build up your team all you want, but if your head coach ain't right, you won't be going nowhere.

RECOGNIZE THE REAL:

"God has already put a lot of time into you. When you put a litle time back into God through prayer and meditation, that investment will always pay off."

-ere'bodee's favorite mega, blogninja

Republican Woman-Stay Away From Me.. � Davey D's Hip Hop Corner-(The Blog)

Republican Woman-Stay Away From Me.. � Davey D's Hip Hop Corner-(The Blog)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The 12 Laws, Part 2: Who Do You Think You Are?

What's good True Believers and True Deceivers? I'm back with Part 2 to my 12-part Blog covering the 12 Laws Of Russell Simmons. I appreciate any and all feedback I get on this, and if you like what you see here, I urge you to go out and get a copy of Do You: 12 Laws To Access The Power in You to Achieve Happiness and Success (Damn, Rush.... couldn't get them to edit that title down a bit???) Anyway, it's $6 if you follow my link to Amazon.com. Trust me, this will be a book you read more than once, and I'd love to see more of my friends adopt some of the principles therein. So anyway, let's get down to business:

LAW NUMBER TWO: Always Do You

"It takes courage to grow up and turn out to be who you really are." - E.E. Cummings

"Never change for the mainstream - stay in your lane, and if you're talented and resilient enough the mainstream will come to you." -Russell Simmons

Here's a very interesting anecdote (at least I hope it is) from my childhood/adolescence when I first started doing music. This is something I've done from a very young age, I did talent shows all through junior high and high school, I paid for my first studio session when I was 15 (or more accurately, my homeboy put us in the studio at that age). Prior to going to the studio, I was doing my thing on the block and in the hood. One of my closest homies and my first real artist I made beats for was John Kemp (RIP) aka John-John, he was our neighborhood jackman (for those unfamiliar with Floridian slang, this meant he robbed people). We didn't go as hard as NWA back then, but we were definitely roughnecks, and our music was definitely profanity-laced (we rapped how we spoke and how we lived, without resorting to testifying against ourselves like a lot of idiots do nowadays). Our neighborhood barber, a guy by the name of Walter, made the offer to manage us. He had connections with a lot of hair shows and he said he could get us booked to perform, but we had to have music that was more family-friendly. Studio time back then was $75 an hour, so a trip to the studio would set you back $300 easy for a minimum of 4 hours, which was about how long it took to record and then mix a song. We did 2 songs that we performed for a number of shows and got a pretty good response for. Everything was all good...

I met a guy by the name of Keith Dixon back then (hey, DLR, remember IHOP after the Carousel show? I know you do). Keith was in the movie business, he was fresh off a little film by the name of "Boyz In Tha Hood", he directed "Dead Homiez" for Ice Cube (if you watch the video, at 2:03 there's a close-up of him in the video, it's pretty dark, tho) and "You Can't Play w/ My Yo-Yo" for Yo-Yo. He was originally from Houston, and had a job working for Rap-A-Lot. Keith liked us and offered to shop our material for us to J. Prince. We were ecstatic. We sent the tape to him and waited to hear back. Unfortunately, the only songs we had to send were the two songs we recorded at Walter's behest. What was the word? J. Prince loved our stuff, but said that we were "too soft" for the label that was home to Scarface and the Geto Boyz. He said that if we had anything else he'd be open to hear it. My homie that paid for our studio time got knocked off in North Carolina and caught 4 years, and we never got another chance to submit.

The moral of this story? Had we just done US, we might have gotten that deal with Rap-A-Lot instead of being patted on the head and sent on our merry way. I regretted that decision for a long time, but I learned that I would always be true to who I was from that point on and not adjust my music to suit anyone's approval other than my own.

"The concept behind Do You is fairly straightforward: Always try to be yourself."

Any kind of lasting success is rooted in honesty. We understand that truth on a personal level- certainly no one seeks out a long-term relationship with someone's who's dishonest. One of the examples Russell uses is our old friend Robert Van Winkle aka Vanilla Ice. "Ice, Ice Baby" was a catchy song, the lyrics were not atrocious (certainly not in comparison to some of the shit that comes out of Waka Flocka's mouth), had he been more honest about where he was from rather than fabricating this "thug" persona, the backlash against him might not have occurred. If he could have just Done Him instead of fabricating his history, he wouldn't be history.

Russell and I share the opinion that the driving force behind HipHop is not a catchy beat, or a dance, or a pitched-up soul sample. To quote Chubb Rock, the beats are "cosmetic backgrounds." The thing that's brought HipHop through the years to where it is now is the honesty and integrity of artists. KRS-One has never sold the amount of records on one album that Vanilla Ice did, but he's still active, still performing, and very much respected as the Teacher and The Scholar. Vanilla Ice is melting down on VH1 "Reality" Shows (that's a dash of irony for ya).

Now I don't want to mislead anyone in thinking that Doing You is automatically going to garner you respect, success, and praise. That's not at all what I'm saying. Russell confesses that when Outkast came out, he did not like them, nor did he understand that what they were doing expanded HipHop. His words were, "That ain't HipHop." Those of us from the South immediately understood what 'Kast was doing, but when they won the New Artist Of The Year award at the Source Awards, NY was hostile. If Big Boi and Andre had taken the advice of Russell and the New York HipHop community, they would not be (arguably) the biggest HipHop Group of All Time.

"You have to realize that when you do you, people are not always going to understand you at first."

This goes back to vision and being clear about what it is you want to represent. I feel that's the challenge of most new artists. My son right now wants to make music, and I'm trying hard to get him to realize the most difficult part of being a real artist is finding out what it is you want to say, and then figuring out who exactly you want to say it to. It's easy when you're standing in front of that mirror holding the brush pretending to be whomever the latest hot act is, but when you start putting your life, your words, your impressions out there it's not so easy. If an artist can get that nailed down early, all the other stuff is a real cakewalk. You won't make any mistakes on your way to your destination, because you won't have to question any decisions you make.

Doing an authentic you means you don't chase what's hot, you develop a trusted brand. It's like being a quarterback. They don't throw where the receiver is, they throw where he's going to be. You make your choices based on what feels true to who you are, and you maintain your vision. You don't chase that tiger and grab his tail, you jump on his back. You sell CDs, you sell t-shirts, you sell whatever, but make sure your Integrity never has a price...

-ere'bodee's favorite mega, blogninja

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

You Can't See What I Can See: The 12 Laws

What's up True Believers and True Deceivers? It's your favorite digital scribe trying to breathe life back into these pages. It's been awhile since I been consistently blogging, and that's due to me working on a book of my own, and when I'm not doing that I'm reading everything I can get my hands on, but I do miss this, and I need to be more consistent. I've been yelling at one of my blog-mates El The Roller Derby Chick about her blogs, then looked at my last posting and realized just how hypocritical I've been. She's a good 3 postings ahead of me.... thanks for making me look bad, El.

So there's this blog I've been wanting to do for some time now, but I didn't feel as though I could really do it justice. Something like 2-3 years ago, I had the chance to read Do You!: 12 Laws to Access The Power In You To Achieve Happiness And Success by Russell Simmons. From time to time I've touched on some of the principles he outlined in the book, but I really wanted to delve into each one of the laws and give them their proper due. I wish I could give copies of this book as gifts (and now that's it's in paperback, I might do just that) to people I believe would be receptive to the ideas Russell puts forth. So without further ado, let's make this the first blog in what will be a 12-blog Series.

LAW NUMBER ONE: See Your Vision And Stick With It

"I dream my painting, and paint my dream." -Vincent Van Gogh

"Degrees are helpful, but they won't guarantee you success in the business world. Only faith and dedication to your vision can do that." -Russell Simmons

There's a funny practice in the music business that I see repeated over and over again. Guys who work with major labels take meetings with certain acts, and they have to document these meetings, but many go out of their way to mention with certain acts "We never met." It's hard to determine what will work and what won't, there's lots of success stories that still have me scratching my head, and A&R don't want to be the guy that took the meeting with Artist X and decided not to sign them when they go on to humongous success with a competitor. Anita Baker, a legendary soul singer (in my opinion) and a very unique voice was told by a group of suits that she could not sing, and should explore other options in entertainment. Every time I hear "Sweet Love", I just shake my head and wonder exactly what these guys could have been thinking? Maybe they had another artist in mind? Who knows? Either way, when it comes to Ms. Baker, they couldn't have been further off the mark.

Russell states that "...visions are actually God's way of communicating with us." This is a perspective shared across religions. In Proverbs, it says, "Where there is no vision, the people perish." In Islam, Muhammed didn't sit down and write the Koran- he received it in a vision. Many sports stars talk about visualizing what they intend to do when they are on the court: They see themselves receiving the ball, moving it down court or down field, making that shot, making that throw, throwing that punch, whatever their discipline. Until they see themselves doing it, it can't be done.

J.K. Rowling, self-made billionaire author, said the idea of Harry Potter came to her while she was on a bus. She just got the idea of a boy who finds out he's a wizard, she saw Hogwarts, she saw the teachers and the things they would learn at the school, and she couldn't wait to get somewhere to write down what she saw. She felt like this story was the story she was born to write. In her interview with Oprah, she was asked when she felt like or when she knew she was on to something. She said that she realized "Getting it published would be the hard part, but if [she] could get it published, it would be huge." She faced rejection after rejection until she finally came across a publisher who shared her vision. That vision is now printed in multiple countries and multiple languages, it's been made into movies that have grossed billions worldwide, and now has a theme park.

"Anything worthwhile is going to take time to manifest itself. And a lot of perseverance."

Thomas Edison was interviewed and asked how he felt about the fact that it took him 10,000 tries (or failures) to create the electric lightbulb. His reply was "I don't feel like they are failures, I feel as though I found 9,999 ways NOT to invent the lightbulb." This is very close to my own perspective that I cultivated from Tupac. His version goes: "If you die trying to do something, you never really failed." Sticking to your vision is not an easy thing.

First, harness your vision. When you find a vision you find yourself feeling very passionate about, that's the one you need to go after. Freeze your vision, you must freeze a powerful vision in your mind immediately. If you're a writer like me, commit a few notes to paper or a digital file, label it with something descriptive so you can come back to it later. It's lightning in a bottle, folks. You have to catch it when you feel it.

Be clear in your vision, don't make it so lofty that the average person can't see it, or fill it with so many ideas it overshadows your original concept. Clarity and confidence. When you have a good idea, you will know it. People love to be around someone who is crystal clear in their future.

Which brings us to my final point: Share your vision. Be excited about it. Don't be afraid to expose your idea to the light of day. Yes, there will be detractors, but look at them as a counter-balance to your enthusiasm. Don't let the fear of criticism distract you. Look to rabbis. Russell describes them as spiritual advisors, people who speak to your spirit in a motivational way. Dreams are singular visions that can be contagious in the right circle. There's more on that later, but you can't reach that point if you aren't willing to share. I'm excited about my book because I have good friends who share in my excitement and offer opinions. I take the advice of those who genuinely want me to succeed, and I implore them to be honest.

So share your visions with me in the comments, or tell me what you think about mine. If you've had a chance to get the book, lets talk about your own motivations. Our imaginations are our connections with the universe and with one another...

-ere'bodee's favorite mega, blogninja

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

You Say It Like It's A Bad Thing?









I had a great conversation with my friend DJ (his initials, not his profession) who's actually had a life this summer so he missed out on the news that “Heroes” had been canceled. I relayed to him my conversation with DH Lawrence XVII, the actor who played Eric Doyle the Puppetmaster (and chronicled here in my blog) and how he gave me some insight from a professional stand-point. I totally understood David H's diplomacy (don't go blasting potential bosses on the Internet), but as a fan, I can voice my disapproval of NBC and the depths of their contempt for us as fans. They are beholden to those who own stock, but profitability and good television are not synonymous (the music industry is a prime example), so they will give you what they think you want and expect that we are not intelligent enough to know the difference.


So I've been subjected to their promotion of two new shows: “The Event”, the recipient of “Heroes” 9pm timeslot (which I will boycott on default), and another show called “The Cape”. “The Event” looks like “Lost” meets “Heroes”, with a little “24” thrown in (anytime you have a Black President, you're going to draw “24” comparisons). I'm not sure about the “Heroes” portion of the show, but there are foreshadowed references to a group of “people” that aren't like regular folks, which means either aliens or mutants, and I just have to give NBC a “C'mon, Son!” Are we really so gullible that you can so obviously rip off other shows, repackage it and expect us to come flocking? USA Network, which is owned by NBC/Universal, has come with original shows with original characters, but NBC can't commit to quality shows and give them a chance. Like “Life”, a thoroughly fantastic show that would fit perfectly alongside “Royal Pains”, “White Collar”, “Burn Notice” and “Monk”. NBC moved it from Monday, to Wednesday, to Friday, then unceremoniously decided to not bring it back. Stupid, stupid, stupid. That's a sign that your network has no faith in you, nor do they care about whether your fanbase can find you. Gone are the days of “Must-See-TV”. We are in the age of the Tweet and the DVR. NBC has no bona-fides like “The Vampire Diaries”, the network answer to the “Twilight” series (which is really unfair to both franchises, the only similarities are the vampires...) and to HBO's hit, “True Blood”. Honestly, the people that like one, usually like the others. Vampires are okay, but well-written vampires are just delicious.

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Jumping back to “The Cape”, NBC has gone out of their way to say that their new show is “...nothing like 'Heroes', because there are no superpowers.” Okay, have you folks ever heard of this multi-billionaire playboy who's parents got murdered and inspired him to fight crime in the streets of Gotham? Again... say it with me... “C'mon, Son!” I'm not going for this, folks. You don't cancel (without allowing at least a semblance of resolution, that season finale is NO ending!) one of the best shows ever and give us this garbage in return. You people are idiots, one and all. Suits have no souls, they can't create anything.

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On the flipside, I might have to give ABC props on “No Ordinary Family”. I've heard that two former “Smallville” writers (you screw'd the pooch with the Doomsday storyline, folks) and a producer from “Chuck” are on-board with this one, and that means they should/could be good. It's original material, so there's no canon to absolutely destroy in a quest to grab some quick ratings. I'll give them a couple of episodes and see how I like it (it's like a modern-day Fantastic Four), so the jury's still out on that one.


Well, I got chapters to finish... thanks for swinging through the blog, True Believers and True Deceivers... I got you.


-ere'bodee's favorite mega

Monday, August 30, 2010

Glenn Beck & Restoring Honor: Stupid Enough To Be Dangerous

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In the interest of disclosure, and making sure credit is given when due, Brother Roland S. Martin's blog started this stream of consciousness. Here is his podcast from the Tom Joyner Morning Show:


http://www.rolandsmartin.com/blog/index.php/2010/08/30/roland-tjms-08-30-10-roland-s-martintom-joyner-morning-show-roland-martin-discusses-glenn-beck-and-the-restoring-honor-rally/


Not since 2008 have I really ventured much into the political landscape, to be honest it became quite exhausting, an endless debate with people who's appeal to xenophobia and ignorance would allow them to dismiss the simplest of fact. Polarized bi-partisan politics have no logic...


Last night Jon Stewart and The Daily Show won an Emmy. I take a fair amount of satisfaction that even in the self-congratulatory industry of Hollywood, “The Daily Show” is recognized for it's voice of reason when there are outlets that thrive on misinformation, and stoke the fires of hatred and discord. Don't make me say it... it's Faux News. They make it up as they go along... It's a Right-leaning tool of Rupert Murdoch to maintain an agenda. If this were a chess board, Glenn Beck is the White Pawn.


So the White Pawn is going to take the Black King. They coincidentally choose the anniversary of the “I Have A Dream” speech and claim that they are going to “reclaim the Civil Rights movement.” This co-opting of the “Rodney King” portion of the Movement. “Can't we all get along?” Doesn't seem like it if there's an effort to make the playing field level.


What we have here, is a case of “White Victimhood” as Brother Roland so succinctly put it. The Tea-Hadist Movement doesn't have any new moves, but they don't really need them. It's the same old attack points over and over again. “Barack Hussein Obama”. Here...we...go...again. It's like these people have a pocket watch swinging back and forth in their face, or they have a trigger word like that old Three Stooges Episode... “Niagara Falls... NIAGARA FALLS?! Slowly I turned...step... by step... inch.. by inch...” Public Enemy, “Fear Of A Black Planet”.


Here we have those who claim they are trying to protect us from “...the spread of radical Islamic elements within the United States...” yet the ones who are setting pipe-bombs are of faiths other than Islam. I won't assume that it's “Christian”, but I doubt that the Buddhists are up-in-arms. Kinda goes against the whole ideology. A wise man once said “Don't judge people by their words, but by their actions.”


How many times does someone have to say “An eye for an eye leaves everyone blind” before someone GETS it??? Beck and the Tea-Hadists played much in the way of lip service to the “Dream” of King, but tried to separate it from the core message of economic equality.


And where were the Black Radio Stations throughout this literal white-wash of Dr. King? Why did they not give time to scholars who could have provided clarity on the Message and Mission of King? Where was Brother Cornell West? Dr. Laura called her caller “hyper-sensitive” and proceeded to “de-sensitize” her by saying the n-word repeatedly. Sarah Failing then comes out in support of her and says “She's no racist.” Then she and Beck (who incidentally called the bi-racial president “...a racist.”) put on this 3-Ring Circus under the guise of “...putting God back in...” and coming out “...for veterans.” Cone on, Son! What criteria do you run on? Do you have to have your lynch-card punched or hang out with David Duke to fully qualify for your Grand Wizard Bobblehead? If it quacks like Daffy Duck, gets its face shot off like Daffy Duck, and is painted black like Daffy Duck, it's the n-word duck.


When it comes to rights, it's pretty damn simple... use 'em, or lose 'em. Don't vote? Lose the right to do so. Don't speak up? Have others dictate your place and position. Like Roland, I won't sit here and drink the Kool-Aid. Let yourself grow weary of due diligence, you'll find that people like Glenn Beck are only-too-happy to liberate you from all this “hard-thinkin'...” you don't have to do that when you're being told what to do.


Dr. Laura has a label for you, you just have to put “dumb” in front of it.


-ere'bodee's favorite mega, blogninja

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Straight Men That Like "Twilight", and the Haters That Hate Them

I know the cool thing to do is to counter the culture, buck the system, that's a lot of what HipHop was about, and a lot of what's happened to it. I've been alive just about the same amount of time that HipHop has, I've grown with it, and I've seen all the cycles. Anti-disestablishmentarianism at it's best. (Yes, that is a word...) Musicians in the ghetto couldn't afford instruments, so the turntable became our instrument. We took technology that wasn't really meant for us (TR808, SP1200, they were not designed with us in mind the way the MPC was), and carved out a space in history, all the while they labeled us a fad. HipHop is approaching it's 40th Anniversary. Success breeds discord, and it's all-too-often I hear musicians decry “HipHop sucks.” They say it's not music. Say what you will... we ain't going nowhere.

Everybody 'hates' Twilight right now. There's a spoof movie coming out called "Vampires Suck". “Real” men call it “gay”. Vampire purists say that the vampires aren't supposed to “glitter like diamonds” in the sun, they are supposed to explode. To the real men I say “Get over your homophobic selves.” To the pseudo-vampire experts, I say go back through literature and see just how much and often authors take liberty with the undead lore. Sometimes crucifixes work, sometimes they don't. Some vampires are burned by holy water, some gargle it and spit it back in your face. People were none-too-thrilled with Ann Rice's depictions of the Children of the Night. Her vampires were seriously homoerotic. Nothing was more beautiful to a vampire as another vampire, male or female. Every possible objection I've heard has been pretty much from the insipid to the inane. The only reason people hate Twilight is because someone else hated it, so they hate it too. I guess with "True Blood", "Vampire Diaries", and "Twilight" there has to be some vampire backlash, but the three of them are similar only in that they have vampires... Hammerheads, Angels, and Great Whites are all sharks, but nobody could argue that they are all the same. (Honorable mention goes to "The Gates", I hope you find an audience....)

So for those who don't have the time to open a real ink-and-paper book, here's the preface of “Breaking Dawn”, the fourth book in the Twilight Series:



I'd had more than my fair share of near-death experiences; it wasn't something you ever really got used to.

It seemed oddly inevitable, though, facing death again. Like, I really was marked for disaster. I'd escaped time and time, again, but it kept coming back for me.

Still, this time was so different from the others.

You could run from someone you feared, you try to fight someone you hated. All my reactions were geared toward those kinds of killers- the monsters, the enemies.

When you loved the one who was killing you, it left you no options. How could you run, when doing so would hurt that beloved one? If your life was all you had to give your beloved, how could you not give it?

If it was someone you truly loved?


I don't know how many of you have ever attempted to write something, anything, but let me tell you as someone who has, that is a serious bit of writing for setting tone. This character is faced with a question none of us want to ever have to answer. Any good drama is conflict and the resolution of said conflict. Can you give up your life for someone you loved? I can see a good many balking for romantic love, but at the risk of being a slight bit spoiler, what if it was your child? Further still, she's established that the character is no stranger to peril, has escaped it on multiple occasions, yet somehow it circles back for her. The experience has not changed her, she reveals with “it wasn't something you ever really get used to.”

Maybe my appreciation for Stephenie Meyer is amplified due to my own endeavors in storytelling, but am I wrong? This is good shit. I'll be honest with you, I hated the first movie. If I had been an obnoxious know-it-all like a lot of other people I know, everything could have come to an end right there. Someone who was a fan of Meyer asked me to to read “The Host”, another of her books to get away from the vampire hype and assess Meyer as a writer.

“The Host” was fantastic, and if I felt that way about that book, I had to give “Twilight” the book a try and forget the fluff that was the movie. Smart move on my part, that's why I love being me.

After reading the book, I understood exactly what it was about the first movie that I didn't like: much of the book takes place in Bella's head, and that would have made the movie one giant voice-over. I've heard that is not something you should over-use when working on a film, but it's integral in it's written form. I read somewhere that the voice-over is a lazy film writer's tool. When you took away key elements of the storytelling, the story lost a little something. I think they managed to get back on track with “New Moon”, but we all know that movies are less than books.

So anyway, it's been so very long since I blogged, just wanted to get that out of my head and on to your screens. Thanks for reading, the middling few that do anymore, and I hope you're reading other things besides me. There's so much good writing out there...


-ere'bodee's favorite mega, blogninja

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Imagine


I miss Def Poetry. I don't have HBO anymore, I might go back and get these on DVD. Black Ice so eloquently poses the question of what life could be like on a level playing field. I wonder how some conservatives can hear the obvious skill and intelligence presented when posing this question and still somehow believe that anyone can be born with a 'losing' hand? Maybe the soulless can't identify with soul? Anyway, check out the video... and if you are so inclined, listen to some of Black Ice's other work. The guy is a genius.

-ere'bodee's favorite mega, blogninja

End Of An Era: The Death Of Heroes

Heroes Flashback

This is the blog that has taken almost 2 days to even sit down and prepare to write. Some may feel that I'm being melodramatic, but I'm only trying to accurately convey my feelings on the subject.

I can recall reading the advance reviews of Heroes in TV Guide and other media calling it "interesting". I already knew two paragraphs in that this was going to be an unadulterated hit, at least in my world. One of the criticisms about the show was its similarity to X-Men, and I thought that was rather stupid. Not everybody read the X-Men, and it wasn't exactly the same thing. Anytime you talk about mutation, people are going to throw Marvel's merry mutants at you. So what? Regardless, the idea of mutation allows for rich storytelling. People fear what they don't understand. I couldn't wait until the 1st episode, and the first season did not disappoint. Save The Cheerleader, Save The World.

Then comes the Writer's Strike. I understood the mechanics of it all, but that strike was the single-worst thing that happened to my beloved show. Chopped our season in 1/2, left us hanging for a year, and one of our best writers, Bryan Fuller, jumped ship to write another show that ultimately failed (lose-lose for everybody). I don't want to speak ill of anyone, but I don't think anybody really knew what they were doing after that. I had a conversation with D.H. Lawrence XVII, he is of the opinion that you shouldn't criticize writers unless you've written, but I disagree. You don't need to be an expert in something to know when it's going wrong. I don't need to write an entire series to know that this series was going wrong. Had it been going right, I wouldn't be writing this blog. We had character after character being introduced and suddenly being forgotten (Micah's cousin, the flying kid that dated Claire), the story was all over the place, and many people became disenfranchised with the series. Diehards like myself hung on, hopeful that things could and would turn around.

I don't know if that turnaround ever actually happened. I personally want the head of the nimrod that brought in Kristen Bell (Elle) and Brea Grant (Daphne) only to kill them off. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Personally speaking, I think they would have benefited from being more intricately and intimately written in to the core characters' storyline. Killing them was a cheap trick, a pull at the heartstrings that accomplished nothing. Kristen had a following coming off the cancellation of Veronica Mars (victim of a network merger) and Brea was gaining popularity rapidly (I liked her more than Ali Larter's character, who had been there since Day 1). Arguably they were underused resources that were indicative of the scramble behind-the-scenes to gain footing when the series started to slip in the ratings.

When they announced that Bryan Fuller would be returning for the 4th (and now final) season, I thought all would be well again in the world of Heroes (I re-watched the 3rd Season on DVD, and I liked it better the second time around). Somehow, that never happened. I'll need to go back through the 4th season to try to determine what might have been considered "wrong" (it's all subjective), there were a few stand-out episodes that I enjoyed, but we couldn't stop the axe from falling. I think we could have benefited from being on another network (sorry, Big Dave, but even you can't defend the Network responsible for the Jay Leno Experiment. They might sign the checks, but they are just rich idiots, and idiots nonetheless...), but we are stuck on a 3rd place network that cancels shows like "Life" and thinks that one vastly over-rated late-night host could be the salvation for their boneheaded leadership.

I'm not nearly as hostile as I originally was, because D.H. did point out that they were smart enough to hire him and all the other fantastic actors, producers, production assistants, and crew that made up the Heroes family. The Mighty Foz, Wendy & Lisa, the "other" Wendy, through Twitter, they connected us in a way that makes this so much more than just "another tv show being cancelled". I envy those who can just turn the channel and move on to the next show. It's really not been that simple for me. I have plans for fan-fiction of my own once I finish my own original stuff, I am going to have marathons just for myself, I will not let Heroes die. I wish I could say I was absolutely sure that it's totally gone (the resurrection of shows like Jericho and Family Guy give me hope), but for now, I've got to move on.

In the most cosmic stroke of Irony, The Mighty Foz (a producer on the show) tweeted this yesterday from his mobile (I know he wasn't driving and tweeting, right?):

"Almost hit a fucking peacock. A fucking PEACOCK!"

Foz, you should have squashed that fucking peacock into oblivion.

-ere'bodee's favorite mega, blogninja.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

100 Notes And Running

It's really important that you know exactly who and what you are... because until you do, every single thing you do is never going to measure up. That's 100% IIWII, people (It Is What It Is). If you refuse to accept this very simple life fact, you are going to fight externally what you can only fix internally.

I came up with this little gem on my own while watching the new version of Carson Daly's show, Last Call. For the longest time, NBC had him as the 3rd string late-night host on a last-place network, but he maintained a small core audience. Carson has slowly cooled (in popularity) since his days of the now-defunct TRL (I guess TRL needed him more than he needed them...) but there was something missing from his late-night rhythm. He was trying to come up with original bits, spoofs, but nothing stuck. The show was very much a take-it-or-leave-it-type experience.

Now, I don't know what prompted the change, I just remember when it happened. I just happened to catch his first show in the current format, it was a black and white shot. They also shot a low handheld from underneath, and it looked to me that Carson was... Carson again. It was like the whole idea of putting him in a studio behind the "other" Carson-type desk was going to make him a late-night host. If you looked at his numbers, you could easily dismiss the idea of Carson Daly with his own show as being a mistake. I don't feel that is true. What was the mistake was trying to take Carson and make him into something he wasn't. I won't say it's anyone's fault, Carson himself could have insisted on the format for all I know. Whatever the reason, it wasn't working.

Now that Carson has stripped things down, made things simple again, he's gone back to his music roots. He's in pubs and taverns, he's in the Viper Room, he's interviewing people in a relaxed environment... you feel like that's what you're doing. You're with friends, just chatting & relating to one another. I haven't seen any numbers on the new show (ratings), but this isn't about that. I'm talking about how his show made me feel. Outside of being introduced to a lil' new music from time to time, the show was quite underwhelming before. But watching this new show, I just got drawn in. His interview with Kat Von D gave me my first official Bucket List Entry: Get a tattoo from L.A. Ink. Something original. I also found out she's classically-trained as a musician and has some aspirations of a musical nature. But I digress...

You gotta do you, and the better you do you, the better you do (damn, that was a hook if I ever heard one... if ya' don't credit me, I'll find you, biotches!) Find your groove. You can't find your groove if you don't know who you are. Find your Tao. If you can't "Temet Nosce", then how can you ever hope to master anything else? I'm a fan of "Supernatural" now, and Bobby was talking to Sam about an outlandish plan to allow Lucifer to take control of him and accept his destiny of being his Vessel. Bobby said to him, "You're not exactly Mr. Anger Management... how do you expect to control the Devil when you can't even control yourself?" I said it before, you can't change internally by fighting externally. You can't know anything until you first know nothing.

I am sure that I am oversimplifying this, because if it was this easy, everyone would be doing it. Most of you don't know yourselves. It's apparent. Everyone else is "the problem" and you are "the solution". Not possible. Y'all know my favorite word: hubris. Pride is an assassin of so many good things. Overbearing pride and presumption. Until you can readily identify it in your life, you got no chance. It's a one-handed clap. It's a one man teeter-toter.

Keep it 100...

-ere'bodee's favorite mega, blogninja

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Forever And A Day

That's how long it's been since I have posted anything, and I do apologize for that. I apologize to you, and to myself.

I'm not referring to the months that I wasn't online, I mean since I've returned, I haven't posted once...

Hi, my name is Tango... and I have writer's block.

It's not complete writer's block. If that were the case, I wouldn't have the couple-thousand words or so of my book. It's a very specific type of block. I can't get a blog out to save my life.

It's like everything is going on, and nothing is going on. I see certain things that have me busting at the seams (the Birther Bill, Arizona as the Retard Racist's Capital Of the United States) but these people are so insipid that it diminishes me to argue against and give time to them/it. I've read a ton of books (Stephen King's "On Writing", 6 of Anne Bishop's Black Jewels books, The first two Twilight Books, and I'm halfway through Kim Harrison's "Dead Witch Walking"), but most often those authors get me thinking about my own book and characters. This writer's block affects my blogging...

(side note: Zack De La Roca of Rage Against the Machine has a PSA regarding this negligent legislation attempt and the ramifications of it. Please, please, watch...)


Contrary to popular belief, I don't put everything on my blog (and my twitterstream is sans bowel-movements), there is usually a cool-down period before I blog, much like the 3-day wait when you purchase a firearm. I don't pull the trigger on a blog until it almost begs to be written. Not all my disputes should be aired in my blog. Truth be told, only 50% of what goes on in my life makes it to my page. There's 25% I don't put out because people beg/order/threaten me not to, the other 25% I just don't want to subject you to over and over again (same shit, different day).

One of my blogging peers has drawn me back to the keyboard in an effort to help spread the word, my boi She Hate Me was a good blogger (before I left) who has grown in quantum leaps, and his last blog hit very close to home for me... so much so that I decided I would write a blog to tell about his blog, because it's just that good. If you don't think so, don't bother to tell me. Just quietly disagree. If you do, I'd appreciate it if you'd let him know on his blog.

I wish I could say I'll be back soon with another blog... truth is, I don't really know. What I'm afraid of is that this specific block might turn into a general block, and then I'll know what's causing it. In the meantime, if you didn't get a chance to watch the video, go over to to AltoArizona.com and sign the petition to be sent to the Governor. If we don't speak out against this kind of thing, you lose your right to complain about anything... so basically put up, or shut the fuck up. 'Nuff said.

-ere'bodee's favorite mega

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