Archive for November, 2014

So Far Down the Bunny Hole We Have Our Heads up our Bums

“The hallmark of both the ancient potentate and the modern imperialist State is the armed soldier demanding tribute to cross.” — J. Neil Schulman tweet, November 15, 2014

Work permits? Are you kidding me?

Libertarians just might be the last sane people on this planet. Anyone in modern discussion who accepts as reasonable such notions as needing papers to be “allowed” to work, or to cross from one country to another, or to be allowed within the borders of a “country,” is suffering from a pathological fear of the outsider — anyone “not of us” is by definition a danger and needs to be restrained.


There are two logically consistent sides in the ultimate debate on government. One side says there shouldn’t be any government — the anarchist. The other side says there should be only one government — the world federalist AKA the One Worlder.

Either way, ultimately the human species is one people and only a totalitarian such as in Hitler’s Germany or Stalin’s USSR or Mao’s Red China would demand “Your papers, please” to be able to cross from one town to another.

Republicans claim to favor “right to work” laws — then come out with their own lists of people whom they don’t want to be allowed to work legally. What hypocrites — just as bad as the Democrats who call anyone a scab who wants to work without joining a union.

I have unpleasant Enlightenment news for you political monsters: the right to work to put a roof over your family’s head and bread on the table without being molested by armed thugs — with or without helmets, Kevlar pajamas, and badges — is the beginning of all human rights.

And here’s a “Minority Report” bulletin for you courtesy of the late, great science-fiction author Philip K. Dick: “precrime” — the doctrine that the State can put walls around people who have not yet attacked others — is by definition totalitarianism.

Nine-11 has finished the United States as a free country. The paranoid excesses caused by a despicable megacrime — Orwellian titled “Patriot” Acts that have destroyed what made this country exceptionalist — the principles of inalienable human rights declared in its founding document and preserved in its Bill of Rights — have become dead letter law as “border” guards now interrogate travelers hundreds of miles from even a claimed national border, invade workplaces looking for workers without the government’s permission slips, and a Fox News coven of witches debate under whose authority — the President’s or the Congress’s — people may be allowed to live their lives.

I’m calling out Democrats and Republicans — almost everyone on the Fox News Channel — for debating how and under whose whip they wish to end freedom once and for all in what was taught to us in school as being the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

You totalitarian cowards bring up my bile.

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The Chair: Much Ado About Nothing

As an indie filmmaker I found it irresistible to watch The Chair, a ten-episode Starz series about two indie films being made from the same script by two first-time feature directors. Here’s why the series and the two resulting films were worth watching even though by my standards both directors were stuck with a script that required comedy geniuses to succeed.


The Chair poster

Here’s the storyline, such as it is. A popular high-school student returns home for Thanksgiving from his first semester at college and the first thing that happens is his high-school girlfriend breaks up with him. Romance and hilarity ensues.

Here’s the storyline of Shakespeare’s play Much Ado About Nothing: Soldiers return home from battle. Romance and hilarity ensues.

Here’s the usual description of the long-running sitcom Seinfeld: A comedy about nothing.

Get the pattern? Comedy can be successful making people laugh by frequent gags alone. It doesn’t require Hitchcock level intrigue or plot.

YouTube star Shane Dawson, given writer Dan Schoffer’s formulaic comedy screenplay to direct, understood this instinctively and chose to make a formulaic teen comedy frontloading poop, puke, and dick jokes. He succeeded and won the $250,000 competition.

Why I Couldn’t Turn Down Starz’s Filmmaking Experiment ‘The Chair’By Anna Martemucci

The more serious screenwriter/actress Anna Martemucci when given the Dan Schoffer formulaic comedy as her first directing job decided to make a quality character movie. But because it was much ado about nothing, there was no plot or distinctive characters for her to work with. So even though she made a far better movie by all technical standards, she lost the competition.

What do I know. I’ve made two plot-heavy indie feature films with distinctly memorable characters, neither of which has made back its production money.


Alongside Night Teaser Trailer

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