Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Patron Saint of Underdogs

As I browsed through my screenplays wondering which (if any of them) I should brush off and prepare for the Nicholl, I found that regardless of my theme or genre, I am always following the geek, the falsely accused, the misunderstood, the marginally estranged. Weird. I wouldn't call it a rut. It's a signature.

I like kids, old people and dogs. Anyone else who demonstrates the same vulnerabilities, traits, or misfortunes that you might see in the life of a kid, senior adult, or helpless animal -- well, that's the story for me.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Hold the Feces, Please

There was a time, perhaps while Jane Austen was penning her first novel, but nonetheless a time when a person of noble character who uncompromisingly declared the line between right and wrong as a non-negotiable was NOT somebody worthy of admiration and imitation but the STANDARD for acceptable human behavior. This was what you were supposed to be. Anything less was vulgar and merited a person's denouncement as a scoundrel.

Okay, so scarlet letters were somewhat barbaric but why today is there an acceptable degree of dishonesty and eroded propriety depending on situational circumstances that would have been outrageous 200 years ago? Isn't that like those FDA standards for an acceptable percentage of rat feces in peanut butter? I don't want ANY rat feces, thank you very much. Does that make me a prude? Yet, those of us who find unethical behavior irresponsible are considered pesky letter-of-the-law nuisances because we give off an air of superiority.

I don't feel superior, only free of feces.

I know dishonest people. These aren't other people's friends in lands far away. These are MY friends, family, co-workers, and colleagues. I LIKE THEM but they're slothful and deceitful so it's impossible for me to be in their presence for long periods of time without feeling revulsion. Most of them have a ready justification for their action and pity me for my naivet'e.

The situation may be simple - wanting to slug my nephew for trying to sell his eighteen borrowed text books paid for by tax dollars instead of returning them to the school. Those aren't your books, kid. They belong to the taxpayers. Give them back. Other times, the situation is more complex and yet the same - somebody not doing the right thing and it costing somebody else, directly or indirectly.

I suppose people excuse bad behavior by suggesting that they aren't hurting others but the world is far too occupied to present that argument. You can't even forget your underarm deoderant without gagging people in line with you at the post office. How can somebody possibly make excuses for deeds that violate another person's rights or come at a cost to their health, safety or pocketbook?

I must have been born in the wrong century.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Monday, February 04, 2008

My Favorite Superbowl Ad

Superbowl ads were somewhat of a disappointment for me until this one. Yeah, I'm one of those who also watches the game as much for the ads as the football. I was raised in an ad exec household. It's not my fault, I tell ya! This is just smart. Underdog and Stewie! And the end? Works perfectly for a football game commercial.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Elephant in the Room

Oh boy. This one made my eyeballs hurt. Video written by Seth MacFarlane. Featuring Josh Radnor, Kat Foster, Nick Kroll, John Viener, Seth MacFarlane, and Erik Weiner. Directed by Bryan Carmel and Brendan Colthurst.