Yo, PayPal Pal, pay up that
you don't owe me.
protected speech pursuant to the "inalienable rights" of all men, and the First
(or even the Second)
Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. Don't tread on me, pretty-please.
The US is having so many cultural disasters and
meltdowns you would think it was built on thousands of ancient
Indian burial grounds.
James Hennessy - having recently returned from the semi-triumphant
showing of his entry to the NYC 24-Hour Film Race, A
Drink in the Dark, and already sizing up his next project - just
asked me if I could think of a way to rig blinking red lights in the
eyes of my frozen, skinned goat head, knowing full well the sockets
hold large, milky, blue-white orbs.
I watched a surprisingly good documentary: Cane
Toads: The Conquest. Very quirky, and with an odd sense of humor
- it details the spread of the
Cane Toad throughout Australia in a botched effort to introduce them
as counter pests.
This is the reason "moist"
is the most hated word in American English.
Internal bleeding, , pinching, cramping,
hallucinating, ambulance siren singing, ER room nurse and doc sex
joking, drugs (not the fun kind), liquid diet, more drugs, 100
thousand dollar bill for two nights in a bed ... bad.
It's back online! - A Drink in the Dark -
our entry into the 24-Hour Film Race, having played last Saturday
night in New York City. Jesse and Jason are back on Spokane
soil and are already planning some kind of supernatural detective
series. I'm trying not to get involved so to concentrate on some
personal projects, but these things always seem to suck me in.
I just read one of Spokane local Jess
Walter's early novels "Land of the Blind" (2003), and
really enjoyed it. The structure of the novel is quite original and
the insights into Spokane culture and curious mindset are deliciously
exposed. I also read Walter's recent collection of short stories
"We Live on Water." How could you not read a story called
"Don't Eat Cat."
I just watched Noah
(2014), Darren Aronofsky's bumbling retelling of the biblical story,
including six-armed "angels" (are they good? are they
bad?) who look like bulimic versions of The Incredible Hulk. The
film - while getting generally good reviews (!) - wildly deviates
from the legend and ends up being a frustrating subversion of an intriguing
worldwide archetype: It's like telling the New Testament story where Jesus is
a serial killer. You can't expect to be taken seriously.
Almost all of us have, as adults, gone back to the
stuff we watched as a kid and realized it contained some
"dirty" stuff that went over our heads. Innuendo in kid's
comedies is pretty common. But
how much innuendo do kids understand?
No prizes awarded to the Spokane kids in New York
last night. Last time I heard from Jesse, he and Jason were schmoozing
with filmmakers and young actresses at the event's free bar. More
news coming soon.
Just a stone's throw from Ground Zero, at the Galapagos
Art Space in Dumbo, Brooklyn, at 6 pm, you can see a film that I
co-wrote and in which I co-star - A Drink in the Dark - one of the 24
finalists in the NYC
24-Hour Film Race. Director Jesse
James Hennessy is in The Big Apple and at the gala event at this
very moment along with co-writer, co-star Jason Young. Make us
think it would be funny if someone named Carrie did the Ice Bucket
Challenge and mean teenagers switched the ice water with pig's
Antarctica is actually an ice wall that surrounds
Earth and holds in the oceans, like a scooped bagel: The
Flat Earth Society.
I recently watched
Trier's powerful and
disturbing film "Nymphomaniac"
(Part 1 and Part 2). During the same
time period, I read Cormac
McCarthy's equally - or more - powerful
and disturbing novel "Child of
God." Some of you will understand why I have to be careful or I'll
ask someone if they've seen Lars Von Trier's powerful and disturbing
Footage out of
Ferguson shows a police officer pointing his gun
directly at protesters and press while shouting, "I'm going to
fucking kill you!" When the cop is asked for his name he
responds, "Go fuck yourself."
I am quite amazed at how many people celebrated H.
P. Lovecraft's birthday yesterday.
From May 30 -31, thousands of filmmakers around the
world were challenged to create an original short film in just 24
hours based on a theme (an ultimatum), an action (biting into
something), and a prop assignment (a broom).
The field was narrowed
down to 24 films - of which our film "A Drink in the Dark"
The films will screen THIS SATURDAY at the Galapagos
Art Space in Dumbo, Brooklyn at 6 pm.
Director Jesse James Hennessy
and actor Jason Young will be there! Tickets are still
I'll post any photos or news that Jesse sends me so
check back here Saturday night.
They're calling the dust storm we had yesterday a haboob.
I'm sorry but no matter how ominous or awesome it may be, it's
difficult to take seriously any weather phenomenon that has the word
"boob" in it. Haboob sounds like the name of a
stereotypical Arab marauder in a Bugs Bunny cartoon.
Jesse's latest. It's a hoot! Compare it to my script
on which it's based.
Scientist say the sudden appearance of the giant
Siberian crater may
be the result of methane gas, released by the thawing of frozen
ground; which makes more sense than my theory of an exit portal for
an invading hoard of winged, flesh-eating mole people.
Sorry, it's impossible to keep this updated properly
in this hot weather. My computer will only run for 15 minutes or so
before it rebels and shuts down.
Jesse's fundraiser to send his movie-making ass to
New York City to attend the judging of the 13th Annual 24 Hour
Film Race apparently went well. Our film "A Drink in the
Dark" was chosen as one of the 24 elite finalists. You can
still view and vote for the film here.
Thanks to the few of you who heeded my call to
repent a few days ago. I don't think it's enough to keep God from
destroying us for our multitudinous national sins of militarism,
avarice and gluttony, but it's a reach in the right direction.
"We tortured some folks."
~ President Barack Obama
Bear with me. I'm suffering from a debilitating bout
of existential angst. I'll be back.
Here are some of the photos I didn't take on my
recent trip to the devastated town of Pateros, WA, on the edge of
the 400-square-mile Carlton Complex Fire:
Two women hold each other as if they've been holding
each other for quite some time. The younger looks down at the black
earth with large, black eyes. The elder comforts her. There is an
unsettling, haunting calmness about the elder's stone face. Behind
them are the smoldering remains of what is presumed to be their
An old man sits in a lawn chair in front of his
house, which has been spared. All around him is the evidence of the
flames' unsuccessful attacks from multiple fronts. He holds
the end of a dry garden hose on his lap like a loaded shotgun.
In the midst of a vast, blackened, lightly smoking
hillside dotted with the charred skeletons of small outbuildings, a
bright orange pickup truck glows like an alien craft. A man in a
shiny blue shirt like a spacesuit absently wipes something off of
the hood with a bright white handkerchief.
Forty-five years ago today I was a 14-year-old kid
playing pool with my cousin Greg in the Big Eddy Tavern in North
Idaho while watching a small black-and-white television set showing
the first human being putting a footprint somewhere that wasn't
Later, we went fishing and talked about how cool it
was to live in the future.
B: Speechwriter Bill Safire completed this statement on July 18,
1969, to be read by President Nixon if the moon landing met with
I'm on a grey matter vacation. Don't forget about
me. I'll be back.
Where was Spokane's version of Edward
Bernays when we needed him most?
Seattle's first legal marijuana customer was a tiny,
kindly, 65-year-old grandmother. Awww. Good PR job, Seattle.
Whereas, on the other side of the mountains, Spokane's first legal
marijuana customer was a dingy stoner dude in a tie-dyed T-shirt
shouting "Marijuana! Marijuana!" through a plastic beer
Catch Jesse on KXLY
radio tomorrow morning around 8 am, talking about our placing in
NYC's 24 Hour Race (see below.)
Go vote for Spokane-made "A Drink in the
Dark," and check out some of the other flicks from across the
US, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, Sweden and one country I haven't yet been
able to identify.
Maybe it was all just a dream... Today, no marijuana
shops open in Spokane. Stay tuned...
My favorite media post about Washington state's
first day of legal pot sales came from none other than KXLY
Throughout history people have said some pretty
profound things; Pres. Kennedy's "Ich bin ein Berliner"
speech, Neal Armstrong's first step on the Moon, Hunter S. Thompson
and "Buy the ticket, take the ride." And then there's Mike
Boyer: “I am going to be the first guy to buy recreational
marijuana here in Spokane."
[... which prompted many readers to ask what KXLY
had been smoking ...]
Marijuana goes on sale throughout Washington state
today. Sort of. If they have any to sell, that is. And only then if
you have lots of money. But, give it time: from a civil libertarian
point of view, this is a wonderful moment in the state's history.
The bugs will get worked out. One year from now, the only people
complaining will be the illegal dealers.
I watched an amazing movie last night. Enemy
is a Doppelganger-type, Canadian flick with an ending that'll punch
you (or that person who looks just like you) smack in the jaw. The
cast had to sign a confidentiality agreement that forbids them to
explain or even speak about the meaning of spiders in the film.
Over the last decade, archaeologists have uncovered
more than 100 Nazca "trophy heads" - decapitated heads
attached to ropes which were hung from buildings and strung around
people's waists. What
was their purpose?
of where on this planet you live, and no matter what your
nationality, the fact that the indefinite detention provisions of
the NDAA are still on the books, should disturb you on a fundamental
level. If not, give it three
Our entry for the 24 Hour Film Race - A
Drink in the Dark - has been selected as one of the 24 finalists. (I co-wrote, and played
the priest.) Jesse says he is going to New York to watch the
Yes, you did wake up in the future. The headline in
today's Spokesman-Review: Pot
grower's prep will soon pay off, along with a big photo of a
warehouse full of lush, ready-to-harvest marijuana plants.
I'm not saying I'm better than anyone else, or that
I'm quicker on the draw, or that I have a better aim; but, in the
"Who Can Pepper Spray The Largest Number Of Drunken And
Aggressive Hoopfesters In The Face" competition, I have clearly
jumped to an early lead.
Good folk, hide your daughters. Restaurateurs, count
your silverware. Hoopfest
is back in town!
Watch our entry to the 50 Hour Film Slam,
"Cursed," tonight at 7:00 PM on the local public
television station, KSPS channel 7!
You can find the show times for all of the Slammers here.
Here is Washington state's informational web site LearnAboutMarijuanaWA.org
that provides "science-based information" about pot. It's
just a matter of days until the weed will be openly sold in shops.
watched the police this morning as they tried to pick the locks
of the Daiquiri Factory so to evict them, and it took them forever.
You'd think they'd know people who could do it quite well.
You know you're from Spokane
when you tolerate that
small percent of frightened, small people who have never walked
through the most beautiful downtown park in America, have never
people-watched in a local espresso shop, have never conversed with a
street performer or skateboarder, and who are so paranoid and
gullible as to believe and repost a phony article about Spokane
being the "second most dangerous city in America," when
there are endless similar stories where Spokane isn't
Spokane? More dangerous than Detroit, Oakland,
Stockton, South Chicago, East LA?
Seriously, I don't understand how these people can
even tell they're from Spokane with their heads lodged so far up
their own ass.
The International 24 Hour Film Race people emailed
us the criteria: Your movie must contain a broom, a bite, and an
ultimatum. You have 24 hours to write, cast, rehearse, shoot, edit
and submit the finished product. Keep that in mind as you watch our
calls out Hilary over her lucrative speaking tour in the run up
to the 2016 presidential elections as well as outlining the former
first lady's corporate ties including Wall Street fat cats and
you can buy your BodyGuard - a "bullet resistant protective
blanket" designed for children to duck behind during a school shooting.
The video is very unsettling.
On Thursday, June 26 at 7:00 PM on KSPS channel 7,
you can watch CURSED, our entry to the 50 Hour Film Slam - on the
tele-vision! Put away that stuffy Brit highbrow pretentiousness and
have a healthy snort of good ol' American tale-telling ingenuity.
You can find the show times for all of the Slammers here.
I could not convey how wonderful, interesting,
funny, sad, tragic, touching, provocative, surprising and sexy is the documentary
Bettie Page Reveals
All (2013). The cult icon and world's greatest pinup model
recounts her amazing life, in her own words, recorded just before
her death in 2008 at the age of 85. Her career ended over 50 years ago, yet
she continues to influence today's popular culture.
Also, I was totally surprised by Eddie:
the Sleepwalking Cannibal (2012). Ah, yeah, that's what I
thought, too, when I saw the title. And it does start off a bit
corny. But, it pulls you along, and eventually has something to say
about the nature of art and humanity, relationships, creativity and
inspiration, albeit in a rather bizarre way.
One of the best photo-ops of the year happens today
in downtown Spokane. But the colors of the Gay Pride Parade could be
a bit muddled by the forecast of blustery nastiness at the noon
Here's an interesting article
(in The Weekly Standard(!)) about the science and
philosophy of putting on/taking off weight: Flesh
Researchers believe they've found the real-life
Dracula's grave, hidden in the crypt of a church. And they want to
open it. Seriously.
A NASA-funded study has found that there might be
serious drawbacks to having a bunch of extroverts on a long space
mission. Finally, a
win for the introverts.
a totally radical - and rational - Friday the 13th! Also, there
is no corresponding, sign-in-the-sky full moon tonight to cast its
orange dread o'er our part of the planet. You missed it early this
I love being in the shoot-em-up cowboy times of
Right now in Seattle, you can have up to one ounce
of high-quality weed delivered to you anywhere in the city - at,
what seems to me, in my limited knowledge of such things, fairly
decent prices ($13-$17 a gram/$250-$300 an ounce).
In the online FAQ of one
such delivery service, they admit that what they're doing is
illegal, Washington state has banned recreational cannabis delivery,
but law enforcement officials have not enforced the law.
They are careful to point out (in a bizarre, stoner
legalese) that they are not selling marijuana: "We purchase
cannabis products from various venders and have them in stock ...
Once an order is placed, we then transport existing inventory to a
customer for a nominal delivery fee."
Hands up, cowpuncher.
An interesting point...
"Here are white men poised to run big marijuana
businesses, dreaming of cashing in big - big money, big businesses
selling weed - after 40 years of impoverished black kids getting
prison time for selling weed, and their families and futures
destroyed. Now, white men are planning to get rich doing precisely
the same thing?"
Alexander, author of The
New Jim Crow
Yesterday, Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq,
fell to "Al Qaeda" (actually people worst than Al
Qaeda). Huge parts of Iraq - that we paid for with thousands
of American lives, tens of thousands of Iraqi lives and trillions of
dollars - have now fallen. The US-trained Iraqi Army shed their
uniforms, dropped their rifles, and scattered.
As is always the case, the only winners are the
warmongers. Too bad those US soldiers - before taking up residence
in cold boxes - hadn't turned their weapons against the true
enemies: the weapons makers and the military brass and their
enabling politicians who are, even now, planning new crimes.
New York Times writer Maureen Dowd was in Denver
covering Colorado's new legal marijuana industry when she tried a
pot-infused candy bar and got way too high. She later wrote
critically about the experience and the industry. Was she wrong?
My take: Maureen, you made some good points, but,
you - a New York Times investigative reporter - went all the way to
Denver to consume a drug you've never taken before, and you didn't
first investigate the drug? Were you drunk?
to kill: The policing tactics the public isn't supposed to know
I just watched two films that have a definite Lovecraftian feel to them:
Horizon (1997), a rescue spaceship investigates signals received
from a long-missing craft. The ships builder reveals that the core
of the craft is a time-bending machine that allows faster-than-light
flight. Of course, something unimaginable happens.
Birds (2004), a bad of thieves take refuge in an old mansion
during the Civil War, only to discover the strange rituals that took
place there and the resulting horror.
I also watched The
Searchers (1956), (definitely not Lovecraftian) a richly scenic
Western by the great John Ford, starring John Wayne - that's right,
haters, I'm talking the Duke - as an ex-Confederate soldier out to
find his niece who was captured by Comanche warriors. It's an
awesome flick, but obviously from a different era, where the "injuns"
are undeniably the bad guys. After a woman is raped by the
renegades, Wayne declares, "Well, she ain't white no
And, I watched Gravity
(2013), which won seven Academy Awards, nominated for 10. I assume
the awards were bones thrown to someone, as it was simply a decent
sci-fi flick. But seven Oscars, including best director, editing,
and cinematography? I don't get it...
During last night's filming, I set up my camera so
to do a behind-the-scenes time lapse of the entire event: the
setting up of lights, the positioning of the camera, the actors
acting, the director directing - that sort of thing, all in really
fast motion. Evidently I bumped the camera and ended up with five
hours in the life of a napkin holder, told in an uneventful three
and a half minutes.
At the tail end of an all night film shoot, I caught
myself looking at my battered, blurry-eyed form in the mirror and
saying, you know, maybe you need to remember, you're not fifty
Just a guess about what we don't know yet about the
Santa Barbara stabber/shooter: Think about it. He wasn't a bad
looking guy. He was rich. He drove his own BMW. His father was a
movie director. He lived in Southern California.
And he still
couldn't get laid. I'm predicting the autopsy reveals one of the
smallest penises known to mankind.
Over 160,000 people died
here, creating what many believe is the most haunted island on
Earth. And now it's for sale.
I just watched an excellent documentary - Beware
of Mr. Baker - about the iconic, wildly influential, and
thoroughly crazed drummer, Ginger
Baker - best known for his work with Cream
and Blind Faith,
as well as many excursions into jazz and world music. Streaming
The $666 Burger food truck in New York City mocks
the expensive burger phenomenon with the Douche Burger: a
cheeseburger featuring a Kobe beef patty wrapped in gold leaf, foie
gras, caviar, lobster, truffles and imported aged Gruyere cheese
melted with champagne steam. According to the owner of the truck,
Franz Alique, "It's
a fucking burger topped with rich people shit." (Bacon
Here's a cover I did out of torn paper for The Scene
magazine, July 1991. Some people freaked out about it. (They should
have freaked out about the horrible design. At the time, I thought
it was edgy.)
Check out this week's Inlander
for the otherwise interesting cover
story on the businesses along Sprague Avenue. "A Downtown
Bar" tells a short story of a man who nonchalantly buys eight
hits of acid from the bartender of a tavern that the Inlander map
(shown in the print copy but not in the online edition) identifies
as being next to P. M. Jacoy's.
Being a patron of one of the alleged dens of drug
iniquity, and having known the bartenders for many years, I had to
wonder why I've been excluded from this convenient
service. Strangely, none of the bartenders knew what the hell I was
I called the Inlander's office for some
clarification: Which bar were they referring to? Who wrote the
article? The nice lady told me that, for obvious reasons, they could
not answer any of these questions.
Well, isn't that as libelous as naming four or five people who
happen to be in the same area and saying one of them likes to
torture kittens? You're not going to say which one, and you heard it
from someone whose name you're not going to reveal either.
Would you like to express your concerns in our voice
mail box, sir?
Sure, will it be your voice mail box? Or will it be
the voice mail box of one of four or five possible weekly magazines?
one on our Top 40 list of Missing Top 40 List Compilers With
Parkinson's Disease Who May Or May Not Be On A Washington State
Indian Reservation is none other than the great Casey Kasem.
My oldest child turns 39 today. My youngest
grandchild is about to turn one. A slew of offspring populate the
decades between. And while my part in the whole ordeal was rather
easy, I feel my biological imperative has been realized. Nature has
pat me on the back and said with a wink, "Well done, Earth
creature. Well done."
list of winners of the 50 Hour Film Contest - notably the Judges
Choice award and the Audience Choice award. No we didn't
(officially) win. They're still going to do an online vote; all of
the films will be online at 5 pm, later today. I'll provide a link.
Not only is this an incredible busy and stressful
time at work, but my pleadings for caution and my warnings of
catastrophe were totally ignored during a switch of internet
providers and the entire website and email for the business
tragically disappeared into the void. As we're losing thousands of
dollars of business and countless customers, please let me take this
public opportunity to say, "I told you so."
Scene magazine co-founder Rick Nesbitt
me that 22 years ago today, while editors of The Easterner, Eastern
Washington University's student newspaper, we were responsible for
the ultimate headline typo: Instead of Cinco de Mayo, we wrote
Chinco de Mayo. No one believed it was a mistake. We were accused not only of insensitivity but also
of not knowing that it was a Mexican and not an Asian holiday.
The winners of the 50 Hour Slam should be announced
today. All of the films should be on line by Wednesday. I didn't go
to the Bing fling but Jesse says our film "Cursed" was
One of the great things about Bloomsday is that
the auto-correct features on most cell phones will change Bloomsday
to Doomsday, resulting in many wonderful texts such as "I sure
hope the weather is nice on Doomsday," and "Be sure to
thank the many volunteers who are working to make Doomsday a
See our entry to the 50 Hour Film Slam,
"Cursed," tonight at 6 o'clock, on the big screen at the
Bing Crosby Theater in beautiful downtown Spokane.
From Karen J. Greenberg's "The Road from Abu
No one questions whether some individuals died being
tortured in American custody. (They
did.) No one questions that it was a national policy devised by
those at the very highest levels of government. (It
was.) But many, it seems, still believe that the torture
policy...was a good
thing for the country.