Saturday, January 3, 2015

OMG, Endless Rambling Ahead... Hope You Brought Your Hip-Boots....

A WW2 plane in a lagoon somewhere. Man, that photo alone could be the inspiration for a half-dozen stories, eh? And if it's hot there, and inspiration is 9/10ths perspiration, then, man, it's gonna be a hot one in the city tonight! Get your sweat rag ready!

Ideas, ideas. Man, have I got stories to tell. You should see my Movie Idea File! It's impressive, methinks! Of course, in my head, all of my ideas seem awesome... the truth of the matter is something else, perhaps. It's like the vocal impressions I do... in my head, they sound awesome. To others... who knows?

Where was I?

Ah, yes, WW2... for some reason, this particular slice of history holds a lot of deep meaning for me. I know I benefit from distance, as far as history's timeline goes. At the time, I'm sure it was cold and brutal and unromantic... but given a few decades of distance, I've somehow idealized the era and it holds tremendous creative strength and appeal to me. It seemed so clear-cut. Very obvious bad guys, very obvious good guys. So cut and dried. Good vs Evil, on a world-wide level. I realize that, to a certain extend, I am also a victim of my own country's propaganda machine -- both historically and currently. The funny part is now trying to put myself in German or Japanese shoes and imagine it from their perspective, as though they were in the right and we (U.S./ Allies) were "wrong."

It's a cool exercise in perspective. Makes me also think of ISIS and the Taliban and Al Qaeda and all that.. they must think they're "in the right"... they seem so purely evil and "wrong".... is there benefit in trying to see things from the "other" perspective? Or is that just an exercise in self-delusion? Cutting the heads off of people -- even children? How ON EARTH could that possibly be considered the right/just thing to do? It seems ridiculous... and yet, I'm sure those ISIS a-holes think that it's the right thing to do, somehow... is there any benefit in exploring that, mentally? Or should obvious evil be simply condemned whole-cloth and not given another thought?

Getting back to WW2, the same line of questioning applies to the Axis powers. I remember always wondering how on earth the German folks could accept such an obvious (from this point in the timeline of history) lunatic as a leader. At the time, somehow, it must have made sense to them. Maybe it went no further than the fact that their country was in really strung-out shape, and he led them back into some semblance of normalcy and prosperity... therefore, put up with is social idiosyncrasies so that you can enjoy the social/financial benefits.

Makes me wonder about us (the U.S.) now... if I were to flash forward fifty years, and hang out with a group of non-Americans, what would the consensus be, as far as my country right here, right now? What am I convinced of, right now, that I think is true and right and just, but is really out of whack somehow?

Pictures like this propel me places. They unlock stories inside me... stories I feel a strong urge to not only experience (in my imagination), but also relay to others. This brings me back to my Movie Idea File...

I did something impulsive this week.

A local film maker blasted a notice on Facebook, asking local screenwriters to hit him up, since he wants to stay busy this year, making films... if anyone had any scripts they were hoping to get made, talk to him and he'd see if the script(s) would be a good fit. So I contacted him and sent him a short sci-fi/time travel film script I wrote last Summer, about the time of the 48 Hour Film Festival. He had a few of my Facebook Friends as friends of his own, so I decided he must be legit, contacted him and sent him my script. That was a few days ago, and still haven't heard back from him. I figure I'd give him a few days and then make contact. Kinda risky, sending an unprotected screenplay to someone I don't know... I'm a bit naive, I suppose... but I figured maybe it stood a (admittedly remote) chance of actually getting made, which would be cool... but now it's "out there", subject to the whims and impulses of someone I don't know...

But, all things considered, it's small potatoes, compared to the rest of my Idea File.

I've been working on a screenplay lately. Yes, I know... those of you who have frequented this blog over the past few years are used to me occasionally trumpeting the fact that I somehow found the resolve and testicular fortitude needed to actually put one of my ideas into motion. Usually lasts a few days, after which time my interest wanes and relaunches in other directions... so, ultimately, the announcement that I'm doing substantial character work on a screenplay will (and should) be received with a healthy dose of hesitance... I'm hoping that the new year will, in fact, be the start of something new, as far as creative productivity. If I have a resolution for the year, it is to finish First Drafts of a pair of movie ideas.

We shall see, eh?

Love, love, LOVE that graphic.

I love what happens inside me when I read an amazing book. I love what happens inside me when I see top notch acting. I love what happens in me when I hear an amazing song, headphones on, volume loud, only me...  I love what happens inside me... I want to be able to do that to others. There's something exceedingly valuable that happens. I don't know what it is.

After much debate, I think this is my favorite song from the past year...

I know, I know... still, there's something about that song that I love. And I don't use that term lightly.

I play guitar. My dad taught me to play, a decade or more ago. I used to play daily, with great enthusiasm and fervor. I wrote a bunch of songs (30 or more), a couple of which are still played at church occasionally, during the worship service. You see, my guitar playing has always been wholly within the confines of the church mindset. All of my songs were spiritual/religious in nature. The guitar was always used as an instrument of worship.

And then, as with everything in my life, I hit the wall. The guitar slipped behind the glass wall, taking its place in the trophy case along with the rest of the hobbies/interests that I used to be intensely interested in, but then one day awoke to realize were done. I mean, one morning, things were going full-tilt, pedal to the floor, playing the guitar, songwriting, etc., and then the very next morning, I awoke to realize I was simply done. I went from playing the guitar for hours every day to simply being done with it. I put it up and didn't pick it up again, for years.

Recently, I've dusted off the guitar and have played it some. I can only play it briefly, since my finger callouses have long-since disappeared, and I need to get them active again (so trying to play too long becomes very painful)... but I've discovered that, for the first time, I'm playing a wide variety of songs, not just spiritual in nature. Some Beatles, some Pearl Jam, some other non-Christian nonsense... it feels almost sacrilegious, yet also it feels right at the same time. An instrument that always stood for one thing... now expanding it's reach.

As a spiritually-inclined person, it makes me wonder. Is there anything inherently beneficial in things that are not God-focused? Anything that a spiritual person could co-opt and claim as his own, for his own benefit?

I've been a dad for 24+ years. That's a pretty substantial amount of time. It's only been recently that I've pondered my track record, as far as being a dad. I've found myself lacking. For years and years, I felt it was awesome that I was home and available if needed. That seemed to me to be a huge step up from my own dad, who simply wasn't there. No slam on him -- he did what he felt was right, etc.,... it was what it was. He bailed. He wasn't there. I swore to myself early on that I would be there for my kids. As hard as it got between Wifey and I (and trust me, I've been through the fires), I was going to stay around. When they needed me, I'd be in my office, accessible.

Only recently I've seen the folly of that. It's been a hard pill to swallow. I see that I needed to be more interactive with my Eldest and Middle Daughters... it wasn't enough to merely be there. I needed to be a present part of their lives, their upbringing. I needed to sit them down occasionally and talk to them about stuff. The bulk of that was left to my Wife. She's done an admirable job, but it would have done much better had I actually been there beside her when the girls were going through their hardest times. Like my daughters should have known when it was best to "come get me" to elicit advice, etc., from me... I was a fool and I didn't know... what's worse, I thought I was doing great... I wasn't...

I recently brought this up to Middle Daughter, and she was quick to say (of course) that I was a good dad to her. But I wonder. I'm learning so much from my Youngest Daughter and my interactions with her. I wish I could take what I've learned with her and retroactively apply it to my other kids. But I can't. I can only hope that, like me, they've learned from the example left by their dad, and will take a step in the right direction, as far as how they can better deal with their own kids. I suppose it's left to me to prepare myself to be the best grandpa that I can be...

There was this one time when I endlessly rambled about this and that, and, somehow, you managed to wade through it all, thus earning my gratitude and appreciation. Remember that time? It was a long time ago.

Adios for now,

Dave the Meanderer


Anonymous said...

Wow much to think about....personal or world history can take so many directions depending on perspective....being there is the best seat in the house so keep your eyes open..keep you.GK

Dagger said...

Best blog post of 2015.

Seriously, so awesome, you could have broken it into like 5 posts.

Woot woot!