Thursday, May 28, 2009


I'm off to NYC, the city that never sleeps, or, as the song says "a city so nice, they named it twice." Having been there many times, I marvel at how such a small geographic area can fit over 8 million people without sinking. Nonetheless, it does, and does so quite nicely. I intend to hit Broadway. There are several plays that look interesting. Rock Of Ages is full of 80's rock, how can you go wrong there? 39 Steps is a mystery and The Philanthropist seems like it might be amusing. On Tuesday I shall be in the audience at the David Letterman show. Those tickets were free (right up my alley) but I had to answer a trivia question to get them. I lucked out when I knew who Rupert the deli guy next door to the show was. My brother, who is a musician, has invited us to be at his "live recording" concert his band is having. I love the MET and the Museum of Natural History. It would be even better if the Night At The Museum was real and the exhibits came to life. Regardless, it is a fine museum in its own right. Central Park is all abloom. I've seen NYC late at night and won't tarnish its lovely reputation by going into the unique ambiance of a NYC subway station in the wee hours of the morning. (Its not for the faint of heart) Everyone should have an adventure like that before they die, assuming it in itself doesn't kill you. I shall return in a week and a half to continue life where I left off. In the meantime, keep reading, writing and doing whatever it is you love to do.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The thin line of free speech

Recently there has been an obscenity case against a specific comic book owner. Christopher Handley owned Manga books. He was an average individual who ordered some comics from Japan. When the package went into the postal system, the postmaster decided there were questionable images in them. He permitted Handley to pick up the package only to have him pulled over by the police en route to his home. See the background on this here. The images were drawings and not photographs. There were specific drawings the authorities deemed as obscene.
Manga is a Japanese form of comic covering a wide range of subjects. See here. However, Manga has also veered into the more mature themes of entertainment.
I am not into this form of entertainment personally, yet I know those who are. However, the results of this type of restriction has far deeper implications. How is it that the countless forms of pornography is able to be bought and sold in this country? Obviously child pornography is illegal, as it should be. Was the Manga in question in this category? The Comic Book Defense Fund doesn't think so. Handley has given into pressure by pleading guilty. He wants this all to go away and is doing what he believes will do just that. What's to become of those naive individuals who have questionable Manga tattoos? Will our own personal libraries be safe? Why are booksellers still allowed to sell Manga? It comes down to images and what the governing bodies deem as inappropriate. This case sets a precedence. It will surely be challenged in the future as more cases come to light. How many artists throughout history have painted nudes, nude babies and cherubs. Under the guidelines of these certain governing bodies, those paintings would be considered inappropriate.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

When there's no one else to talk to, talk to yourself.

Then, write it down. This advice came from a commercially successful writer. He writes fantasy type stories. He was alone. He had no family, none at all. He had no friends, not really. Readers and fans showed up later. His advice was strange and borderline schizophrenic. Being weird actually paid off, for him. I won't go into which successful author he was because it might take away from his advice. A person might say that it has to be good. Well, yes it does. The thing is, what is good to one isn't necessarily good to another. You have to find your market. If you can get your work out there, then, your market will find you. Remember, someone was paid for those cartoons you read. What on Earth will you do with a bunch of random thoughts. You can stow them away somewhere. Then, someday, once you're gone, someone can find them. Then, they can assemble the writings and make them into a book. Then, this individual can profit from your life's work. Nothing wrong with that. At least someone is able to benefit from you having been born. And, hey, if you have no living relatives, then who cares. right? Then again, why not benefit from your over worked brain yourself? Why not piece together your writings, artwork, or some other creative outlet yourself? Benefit from your own life. Don't leave it for someone else to do it. Don't think about what your talent is. Just do something. Eventually you'll know what it is you enjoy doing. Do it without any particular goal in mind. Then, someday, when you're bored and sitting around staring out the window you can get all that creative stuff out. Piece it together and post it online, find a publisher, sell it yourself...and, if you're lucky, you can be successful. Success to one isn't necessarily success to another. And, here we go again.

Monday, May 11, 2009

In honor of a beautiful soul.

My niece and, overall, wonderful person, left this world on Mother's day. I guess, in a way, it was fitting that, she, a mother and daughter herself, would cross over on a day which honors mothers. Most people I have lost in my life have left on or near significant days. I think it is a way to let those left behind understand that it was their time to pass. The significant day should be special and a day for remembrance. An extraordinary day to remember the life that meant so much. It has been said "Don't take life too seriously, you won't get out alive. "
No one likes to think about the end but it will arrive sooner or later. That is why it is so important to pursue your dreams, live life to the fullest and have fun. As long as you treat others well, the rest will fall into place. What we focus on is what we become. We have a duty to ourselves and those around us to make our reality the best it can be. We cannot truly love another if we cannot love ourselves. It is imperative that we live with purpose and joy. In honor of my niece, I intend to do just that. Those who loved her must live the life she wasn't given a chance to finish. Life doesn't have to be grandiose or like what other's think it should be. Life just has to be lived to the best of your ability. Don't be afraid to try. In fact, fear is the great inhibitor and is best left alone.
My niece lived, loved and had many pleasures. Her family came first in all she did. She loved to read and was intently curious about life. She enjoyed sci-fi and fantasy shows as well as thrillers and movies with a point. She was a deep thinker who loved to analyze situations. Her innate intelligence sometimes left her on the outside looking in. She loved all kinds of music. She had her favorites. She enjoyed writing poetry and had a poetic outlook to life. Her life took a tragic turn and should be an example to the rest of us. Don't allow grief to consume you. Recognize it, feel it and release it. That goes for any problem that may overwhelm you. It isn't always easy to do but those who love you depend on you to come back to them. Sometimes, there are people who care, and you don't even realize it. The bottom line is that you just never know what tomorrow may bring. Become the author of your life. Make it a good one.

How transient is life!
Every minute is to be grasped.
Time waits for nobody.
Inscription on a Zen Gong

Death lies on her, like an untimely frost Upon the sweetest flower of all the field.- William Shakespeare

Life is forever. Death is only a temporary abridgment. It is just a state of transition where you will move from one world into another. You will move from the physical to the causal, from matter into pure energy
Blackbird singing in the dead of night, take these broken wings and learn to fly. All your life, you were only waiting for this moment to arrive, you were only waiting for this moment to be free. - The Beatles, Blackbird

-In the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make. -The Beatles