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Still hands and a thousand yard stare

January 29, 2015

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Issue 2.
Vol. 4

So Far 2015 has been pretty cool. Its been warm…NFL playoffs…books…yep. STUFF. I did learn something about myself. I cannot read and eat at the same time. Well not a book certainly. Maybe something on the internet but definitely not a book. I only really watch TV now when I am about to eat, eating or just finished eating.

It doesn’t feel right. Lets get this started.

Overrated.

Let me be blunt. I hate when people’s sole motivation is to be provocative. I knew a guy once who loved to tell people how much “he didn’t give a shit what they thought.” He offended people and was loud. He even went without showering for longer than any adult should just to be off putting because he was out to make sure everyone knew he didn’t give a shit. He wasn’t innovative or interesting. He was a toddler that wanted you to pay attention to him, his antics and his toys.

So when I say that I think “Star Trek: The Next Generation is overrated, specifically Captain Picard” I want you to know that I do care about what you think. I just wanted to share my point of view.

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First lets start off with this. I am a Star Trek Fan. I enjoy most of the movies and really love DS9. When It talk about Star Trek with someone they always say “Aw man Picard is so awesome!” I don’t have a problem with him as a character but the fact of the matter is that he isn’t much of one.

Picard gives long, painfully articulate and pompous speeches about the nature of humanity and freedom. Picard is never wrong. He is a boring, self-righteous megaphone for the staff writers of TNG. And when he is on a roll he is always attacking the most painfully obvious strawmen I have ever seen on TV. Be it Q or the Ferangi (which was supposed to be the number one enemy on that show until the Borg showed up) or any number of poorly fleshed out enemies that are little more than plot devices that serve to give Picard a reason to wax and wain about whatever.

Deep Space Nine isn’t perfect. Far from it. BUT If I removed Sisko from the show and removed Picard from TNG and compared the remaining characters what TNG has is walking tropes (Boy Wonder, Pinocchio and Fish Out of Water) set in space.

Quentin Tarantino is, at best, a decent director with a mastery of mimicking other, better, directors, or as he might pronounce it “an homage to”. Pulp Fiction and Django Unchianed are entertaining but Kill Bill (both volumes) is a goofy kung-fu movie and Inglorious Bastards is a reason for Christopher Waltz to speak for 2 hours too long. The name sake of the movie, the bastards, hardly show up and when they do the movie is interesting but the rest of the movie is just Waltz talking, rambling, in a confused and drawnout attempt to build tension. After the opening scene I could careless about Waltz or anything he was doing. Eli Roth and Brad Pitt made that movie watchable.

..."Blah blah blah blah"...

…”Blah blah blah blah”…

Kill Bill was fun, at moments, but over stayed its welcome. Truth is I haven’t seen that movie in years and when I did it was only because a friend of mine in high school was obsessed with it.

Taco Bell is an abomination. Anyone who answers the question “Where should we eat?” with “Taco Bell” or says, out loud, “Taco Bell is food.” should be mercy killed. Yes, you can eat Taco Bell but it isn’t food. I can eat the small orange pebbles at a playground but that doesn’t make it food. You know what hell is? Hell is that movie Demolition Man. Not because personal freedom and sex have been outlawed or you have to wipe your ass with three seashells but because of this…

What hell hath man wrought?

What hell hath man wrought?

 

California Dreaming

I swear its not the bitter cold or the on-again-off-again snow. Its not any of that. Its the fact that every time I drove home I would make this slight turn, almost a lean to the right and I would see a valley full of houses, stores and all of suburbia laid about before me. Boxed in by high hills, each one lush with green and where it wasn’t green there was this rich, almost earnest and earth brown color that everything seemed to be bathed in. There was this dreamy vision of San Diego that seemed to remind me that anything was possible and that there was adventure just beyond the horizon.

Maybe it was my early and mid 20’s or maybe John Steinbeck knew what was up and California was the real deal. Goddamn I miss California. I always said that I would live where ever I found work. I would take a paycut to work and live out there again. I don’t care. I would find a way to make it work.

This is a little too on the nose isn't it?

This is a little too on the nose isn’t it?

 

Just Under the Wire

I have nothing to talk about. I hate doing these but sometimes man I have to and when I do it is some of my best writing. It is the night of the 29th and I have less than 6 hours to produce something…anything and share it with the world and then the clock starts again. I love to write but recently I have been coming up dry with topics. I could write about the most flattering news I heard in a long time but I don’t think I should share that information.

It did make me think though, made me think of the nature of talent. I have said before that I don’t believe in talent, or that it is overrated. No where near as important as everyone believes. So much of my world when I was younger was predicated on the idea that I just didn’t have “it”. That certain something that was necessary to succeed. That was the root cause of most of my angry and feeling of inadequacy in high school. If there was one thing I could tell myself back then was that the Sarah Connor was right, “The future is not set. No fate but what we make.”

I don’t totally believe that. So much of my current circumstances are because of choices that were made for me decades and eons before I was even a thought. I do believe that I would have been happier if I believed that back then. I would have tried more things and understood why teachers, coaches and my parents pushed me as hard as they did. If only I knew. If only I believed.

I hate a lot of things. Maybe hate is a strong word. Loathe? Is that less hate filled than…hate? I like loathe. Either way I loathe “Manic Pixie Dream Girl“. Like the “Magic Negro” its almost laughable that there is someone out there that with the power of the existence will teach you the meaning of life or has some insight. I believe that friends, family, and even God is here to help but if you really want to be saved you are going to have to save yourself. No one else is going to complete you, no one else is going to guide you.

I have thought about writing YA fiction where the main character isn’t special or chosen. They are very run of the mill and have no qualities or preordained destines. They would struggle with this and eventually learn to accept this or be a small piece in a bigger change or revolution. In the end I think my character would just end up making soap, writing manifestos, and blowing up buildings like a maniac.

When I was going to enlist I had my parents and extended family tell me every awful and terrible story about how the military wasn’t a good place for “black men” and how I would never “get close to what you want to do.” They had every reason why I shouldn’t enlist. Now on the inside looking out I am faced with the same pessimism and doubt “You will have to make 100,000 a year to simply maintain your current quality of life.” or “There isn’t really any jobs out there.” or perhaps my favorite “You have 6 years in maybe you should just do the next 14 and get retirement for the rest of your life.”

I don’t have anyone else to worry about and I know one thing. I know the same thing I knew 6 years ago. I know that if I don’t even try to do what I want I will always regret it. I know that if I never attempt, I mean really try to be a penetration tester I will always regret it. I know that if I never write a book I will always regret it. I regret so much of what I didn’t do already and I don’t want play it safe only because I am afraid or don’t know.

I love the St. Louis Rams. In fact I love them so much I live vicariously through my Madden franchise. Madden is an excellent game. Players get better as they gain experience and thanks to my expert tutelage one Aaron Donald broke the record for sacks in a season. The old record was 22.5. Impressive by any standard. His first season with me, when he was a rookie, he had 38. He was an unholy and unblocakble beast. I’m going to be honest if the Rams move back to LA you should come looking for me. I will be in a snuggie, drunk, and sitting in my shower just crying.

Thats all I got. I will be back next month with something more? Let this tide you over.

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~ Adam

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