The Guy behind the Guy behind the Camera Operator who’s sitting on the floor leaning against the wall charging His cell phone…

Posted in The City: Los Angeles with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2013 by gregnett

“… boldness is a child of ignorance and baseness . . . But nevertheless it doth fascinate…”
Francis Bacon, Of Boldness

Suggested background music:
Wale featuring Nipsey Hussle – “Chun-Li” & Outkast – “The Whole World” <PLAY. REPEAT if necessary.>

I’ve been away from my blog for quite some time. I did it so I could focus more on my screenwriting career. Well, career is such a strong word, but one needs to write in order to eventually have the career part come into play. (I would never abandon the one place I can be published.) I also did a little soul-searching. The kid’s weight even fluctuated up and down by about twenty-five pounds or so . . . lost a few friends, picked up a few new ones, you know—the usual. Yeah, this past year has definitely given me a hefty batch of lemons to make lemonade with.

ImageBut outside all of that, I’ve been on task rewriting and polishing my screenplay which took an incredible amount of focus and drive on my part to get done. The entire process kind of left me with the feeling that the whole world was conspiring against me—which is absurd; I know it isn’t. But I’ve never seen so much negative ish come my way. It was like growing up all over again. Now finishing my script wasn’t necessarily a page one endeavor, but it was as close to it as you could get. It’s hella tenuous combing through a one hundred and six page document, checking it for grammatical errors, syntax and overall plausibility—and that’s only the first part. Next you have to show it to someone, someone who isn’t going to feed your ego or steal it, and they also have to be able to give you constructive, sound, honest feedback. Then after that: you have to send query letters to industry professionals with the intention that the material you want them desperately to read is your best offering, and that you’ll be able to generate the same quality of work—or close to—time and time again as a paid, professional screenwriter. And after that: you have to get back in touch with loved ones and explain to them why you needed to be so distant for so damn long—some of whom who thought you were dead, or worse: moved back home. . . Nope! I’m still here fighting the good fight.

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If anyone pays attention to this damn blog, you should know that had a meltdown a while back [Hopes & Dreams… CRUSHED!!! – 06/10/2011] and wrote a panicky, scattered blog post about the screenplay that I’ve just finished as of last week, Chalkboard. Back at that time Chalkboard was just a bunch of scenes and a loose treatment wasting space on my hard-drive and I would only look at it from time to time, and my intention for it wasn’t really to finish writing it. It was what some screenwriters (all writers maybe) call their “top-drawer script”, meaning that only my eyes would see it, I could take some liberties wherever, and it couldn’t possibly be sold or turned into a movie, so what’s the rush in finishing it. In today’s movie-making world, it’s sad but that still might definitely be the case. I looked at that old post just before I started writing this one and I still can’t make sense of what my angle was. If I had to sum it up now it would be insanity—and frustration, paranoia too. I guess I haven’t taken it down because I want other writers to know how crazy and over-dramatic we get about ish, and what being nonsensical looks like as far as me. No one wants to steal my script; I’m not that clever. In the future perhaps. . .

ImageBut distancing myself from people and things for close to a year, though gruesome, was a step I needed to take in order to become the professional screenwriter I think I could be. I always knew how good of a story Chalkboard was, but I didn’t want to buckle down and really write it. But that kind of mindset works against my goal and isn’t what I’m about. So, I guess I got tired of talking about it and thinking about it and decided to give it to some folks—the pages I wrote of course—and the feedback was positive, some wasn’t; but overall it felt good to be passionate and defensive about my work again. And ultimately, every bit of feedback I received went into the effort to make Chalkboard the best screenplay possible, my strongest to date. Again, having another set of eyes other than your own read your work pays huge dividends. I highly recommend it—free sets of eyes that is! Image

Admittedly, I didn’t know if I would be up for it. I had my doubts early on, up until the end really. Why do we do that to ourselves, writers? Seeing so much red ink and having to take so much criticism—it kind of made me want to scrap the whole idea altogether. But then that started to feel like 2008 the year I stopped writing and put a two year freeze on my growth. . . I came back to and remembered: that’s screenwriting, or any other writing for that matter—it’s rewriting. Man, I’ve done so much rewriting! I’ve gotten up and went to bed with this damn script for over a year. Even now after I’ve written The End, I’m still going back into Chalkboard and making changes to it. It’s embarrassing. But seriously, I’m done; I’m not going to touch it anymore!

ImageBut I do want to “touch” on something—talent! Only because no one can say to me anymore that I’m not a good writer. It’s unbelievable how much better I’ve gotten. It’s like when Denzel was released from prison in He Got Game and he returns home to see his family, and his daughter tells him that Jesus Shuttlesworth, his basketball prodigy son, her older brother, can now use his left hand with the same skill and precision as his right. This script is money, and it sucks that it may never get the attention it deserves—which is ironic, because that’s why I wrote a story like Chalkboard in the first place: a story the deals with a character moving on from something the character saw as the end-all be-all to his existence. Now I definitely know what the stakes are as far as screenwriting goes, and with spec screenplays too: only a fraction of those pursuing end up doing. But it doesn’t erase from my mind the fact that I belong and that I’m just as qualified as those working in Hollywood. I’m not begging or whining or prophesying, I’m just stating the obvious: I’m that confident in my craft. So, there’s no reason to hang my head either way. There’s no reason why I shouldn’t be taking meetings going into the fall and the coming year. But as far as Chalkboard goes, it just marks my return, my return to writing and feeling good about who I am and what it is that I aspire (still hate that word) to do for a living… I’m back!

ImageI’ll let the universe sort it out, but it feels damn good to be blogging again… I have lot of ish to get off of my chest! And so it begins…

The Talk Now: The Movie-Slow, Slow Motion I-Don’t-Give-A-Fuck Head Nod

Posted in The City: Los Angeles, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 13, 2012 by gregnett

Suggested background music:
Frank Ocean – “Forrest Gump” & Theophilus London – “Wine & Chocolates” <Play. REPEAT if necessary.>

“It was the Saturday of the football game . . . It was the last game of the year, and you were supposed to commit suicide or something . . . and you could see the two teams bashing each other all over the place.”
J.D. Salinger, Catcher In The Rye

“Baseball is what we were. Football is what we have become,” Mary McGrory once said at some point long before she ceased all life functions. And knowing what I have experienced playing the sport of football—and many other sports—in my youth, watching the games on television; and living, breathing & sleeping football everyday of my life it seems like for the past 13 years or so now that becoming football can’t be a good thing for us as a nation . . .

I too get most of my references—which can be glimpses into the not too distant future or blasts from the past—from pop culture (movies, music, magazines, social media) and am a bit concerned and turned off by the sounds as well as the looks on the faces in the crowds at sporting events in movies like Gladiator and Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace—one being thousands of years before my time, the other being a thousands of years after. Both movies however mirror what I see when the cameras are turned on the crowds today at American sporting events, especially the crowds at professional football games.

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Run #44…

It seems like all Empires, or those with a good run at least—Federation for Episode I‘s sake (not a Fan Boy)—all have a centralized live-action sporting event posing as “entertainment”. But in looking closely we should see that really what’s being pushed is the ideology of the controlling oligarchy. (Love our country [U.S.A.] and no one else’s, Love our God [Jesus Christ and the other two-thirds of the Holy Trinity] and no one else’s, Love our Armed Forces [Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Seals, etc.] and no one else’s, and be mindful, but not for too long, of whatever happened during the week—usually a death or an empirical holiday like Thanksgiving—prior to the Big Game we want you to pay attention to, but never politics: ‘Good God, No!’ or our oppressive ways in the name of “World Peace“/”Enduring Freedom.“) [It's always so controversial nowadays when professional athletes talk about voting when not made to do so in sponsored P.S.A.s of their respective leagues. I guess when you have people right where you want them—asleep—the last thing you want is for them to get a wake up call.]

It’s no secret that football is now the United States’ biggest sports cash cow. Baseball used to be, though it is still very lucrative, but is way too slow of a sport (4-hour Yankees-Red Sox games which end 1-0 for whichever), family oriented (family fabric currently being ripped a part each day seems like) and has been crippled the past 15 years by performance enhancing drug controversies. (Ain’t it funny watching a bunch of old, white, out of shape, washed-up baseball players mill about courtroom telling on each other?) My faithful Red, White and Blues our new pastime is FOOTBALL. But something tells me you knew this already.

Football is white men (usually overweight) with hard-ons for black athletes; it’s men of all races spitting and yelling over women who somehow got a ticket to a game—and more often that not the men spitting and yelling are doing so at each other and it’s over a touchdown (6 points); it’s alcohol and meat-on-a-stick; it’s lusting over Barbie Doll-esque cheerleaders; it’s throwing beer (the much storied Browns game and the following Monday night Saints game in the Louisiana Superdome and probably many others left unreported); it’s parking lot brawls and dunking the opposing team’s fans in the toilets of bathroom stalls (rhyme intended); it’s threatening the lives of game officials—regular people like you and I—who wear black and white vertical stripes one day a week to pay their bills who are trying to do their best—we must allow for some human error—to “regulate” the violence of the game. Oddly enough: going forward: a football stadium could potentially be the only place a man can feel like a man—or any sports venue for that matter. (Please, I hope you’re laughing at that last line.)

[Much of what I've said in the paragraph(s) above can be applied to all American sports, but American football—the big, nasty juggernaut it is—has the strongest grip on the American psyche and reflexively that's where most of my decision to shake free of all sports came from.]

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Game Day…

Rome, Hollywood’s (America’s) interpretation of it, tells us that the Romans were the most civilized people of their time even though their army was out raping and pillaging the known world. (Didn’t some of our high ranking officers get busted earlier this year underpaying some prostitutes down in South America? Oh yeah, and the American Troops who took photos of P.O.W.s giving them fake BJs like it was standard op?) Again not a Fan Boy, but when you title a trilogy—twiceStar Wars it couldn’t be more obvious what the Federation’s method for implementing its ideology on the galaxy might entail. (It’s no coincidence Disney is launching another trilogy—the third—of their own. Lucas polluted our minds for a while and now’s he’s passing the baton. And we all should know what Disney has done to the minds of children . . . I know what they did to me. I know I like blondes for some reason and I don’t know why.) What ensued? Games! Games went on while epic (thanks Sheen) battles ensued, but eventually the good guys won right? I think they did? Anyway, having humans slaughter animals, or the other way around, animals killing humans in the case of Gladiator or people cheering the death of a driver whose vehicle speeds at high velocity over desert terrain into a mountain side and burst into flames in the case of Episode I aren’t the forms of live-action “entertainment”, at least I don’t think so, and how these societies saw themselves, of civilized people.

Game Day...

Game Day…

These live-action sporting events masked what was really going on: wars. Wars to wipeout buildings and structures not like our own. Wars to have people assimilate against their will—people that were in opposition to the agenda of furthering an empire and so on. Yes, wars were going on in these movies yet the general population were focused on the games. War, wars are going on right now and the biggest topic this late into fall—now winter—and quite possibly the largest trending topic on Twitter this year—and continuing into 2013 most likely—was the referee’s final decision of whether or not a wide receiver caught a football pass (everyone and their grandma knew/knows Golden Tate didn’t catch that football) in the back of the end zone not the re-election campaign for Obama or the wars America is fighting all over the world. I can’t front: I got caught up in it, but that’s why I had to back out and for good. Hopefully, you can see how they relate. . .

 As posted on my Twitter page (@GNetterville) on 12/10/2012: I’m done with professional sports FOREVER! (At the time of this post I’m up to 77 followers on Twitter and 2 followers, I think, on WordPress—Yay! So that means at least 79—some are pornbots now that I think about it—of you who have me on record as saying I’m no longer paying attention to sports, and I really do want you to hold me to this.) Again, it’s scary to think how much America has in common with the above mentioned two movies (empires).

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Run Forrest…

Still not convinced a singular sport hallmarks an empire . . .

Here’s a quote from former NFL Commissioner, Paul Tagliabue. During his tenure he added a lot of cash to the pockets of the 32 NFL owners (31 for profit – The Green Bay Packers are city owned):

“I’m a firm believer that all sports will eventually be global. Someday, we may have a quarterback from China named Yao Fling.”

All Sports? (A racist, candid comment like that—wow! And spoken out loud, and so freely—yikes!)

One, Paul means all American sports. Fuck what everybody else plays. Soccer is about as popular as Leap Year is inside these borders. And two, Mr. Tagliabue meant American football. A game a year is already being played in London, and he was so ahead of his time when he spoke of China; so we can bet more jobs, even football related ones, are going to be on their way to the Orient.

Football has that kind of reach—it will at least because the owners of 32 NFL teams (31 for profit) who already share a king’s fortune in earnings still want to grow their product. Don’t get me wrong basketball is popular (China loves it, just ask Kobe), and so is baseball (Latin America is where we harvest most our major league talent), but consider the fact that there are currently two stadiums (FedEx Field and Cowboys Stadium) in the NFL that can seat 80,000 raging football fans eight Sundays a season, respectively, not including the playoffs and a bid for the Super Bowl. If the Redskins and Cowboys organizations could ever win on consistent bases each venue could see their attendances balloon over that number. And just for good measure, there are also a ton of 70K seat stadiums operating right now. And if your favorite football club is still playing in a 60K seat stadium, why the hell is your state taking so long to give its (its being yours in this case) tax dollars to a for-profit entity so that it can have a bigger building to put its product in? (Awkwardly funny, right?)

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CATCH THE DAMN BALL…

Sadly, Jerry Jones (egotistical football titan) and Mark Cuban (obnoxiously cool hipster braggadocio owner) had to give away free tickets just to get the 2010 NBA All-Star Game which was hosted at Jerry’s World (Cowboy Stadium) to their ambitious 100,000 [108,713] mark which made it the most attended basketball game in history. There are college football stadiums that clear that number easily for cupcake squads (Miami of Ohio football wise and Duke Univ. also), and also sell out months in advance.

And everything else: NASCAR most likely if the technology improves it can hang around in the outer regions of the [American] empire, and I can’t help but think it will considering Star Wars; NHL: on strike last I heard; PGA: for retirees and people who won’t let the knit crew shirt and khaki pants look die; and the rest . . .  not going to bother. Nothing comes close to fucking with football! Let me just roll some more numbers your way:

The estimated size of the entire United States sports industry is $435 Billion dollars which I’m guessing is quietly being tucked away offshore somewhere. All are white owned sans Usher (? – I forget which team he has a stake in), Jay-Z (the Nets and he won’t shut up about it) and Magic Johnson (Lakers, I think? and Dodgers out of nowhere). And these minority owners, no pun intended, own decimal point percentages of their respective sports teams. They would probably fair better franchising a few Subways and a few El Pollo Locos. . .

Take a look see at where football measures up.

Annual Revenue[s]:
NASCAR — 629.7 Million
NCAA — $777 Million (Players or Employees rather don’t even get paid)
NHL — $3 Billion
PGA — 3.2 Billion
NBA — $4.3 Billion
MLB — $7.7 Billion
NFL — $9.5 Billion
Other Spectator Sports — 33.9 Million

Equipment Sales Wholesale (All Sports) — $77.3 Billion
Equipment Sales Retail (All Sports) — $41.5 Billion

****side note****
Nike is synonymous with sports—and space exploration too for some reason—and an estimated 24.12 billion will be collected in revenue by big money-bags himself, Phil Knight, before the world ends at the end of 2012 . . . LOL (I always joke to myself that if all Foot Locker is going to sell is Nike products—it’s has to be at least 85% of their store merchandise—why not just call the store Nike? But, then again, Foot Locker used to go by another name, Woolworth’s, and ole Woolies got bullied out of the market by Wal-Mart, so I guess holding on to a name the second time around must mean more to them.) [Anyone younger than me probably didn't have the opportunity to shop at Woolworth's. They were pretty much gone by the time I reached my teens. Bummer.]

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Dead-and-Gone since ’91

In knowing all of this, we can safely say that America—that’s us—spends a shitload of money avoiding the reality of what our government and the other the industrialized powers of the world (Europe) are doing to the planet. And not to be too serious, we just plain ignore life for that matter. Hate to give it to you in downer form, but that’s what it is. And the preferred drug of choice is football and we’ve upped our dosage to three days a week (Sunday, Monday and Thursday), four (Saturday) if you’re in need of the college version, five (Friday) if you’re type of person still trolling the bleachers at a high school varsity game.

We’re doing our best to ignore something. Is life that hard to bear? Are there some truths out there we’re not sure how to deal with? (As much as I love film, I couldn’t devote all of my time to it.)

Why is it that after I’ve gone through the trouble of writing a lengthy blog someone will declare me insane for not liking sports? (Really it’s no trouble all, cathartic if anything; especially after reading the last batch of literary representation rejection e-mails I got in my inbox.)

How are we to become better human beings when we subscribe to things that are so savage, cliquish and time consuming?

Have we become so desensitized and jaded to the world around us that we no longer care about the carnage we glorify?

Before reading on: Do you agree or disagree with what I’ve said?

I’m fine either way. Don’t fret . . .

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That “1” Will Never Be a “S” . . .

Here are a few examples of how sports have affected my life:

I once ended a date early because the girl with whom I was having dinner with was a Steelers fan (Pittsburgh, PA’s football club). The conversation gravitated towards the subject of kids, a big no-no on the first date anyway. But what began as light banter turned into a heated subject on whether she or he, the hypothetical unborn child her and I would hypothetically have together, would it either be a Saints fan or Steelers fan—both not being an option. Then gender became our proverbial coin toss: If our hypothetical unborn child is a girl, fine she can be a Steelers fan, but if it’s a boy—for damn sure he’s a part of the Who Dat Nation—point blank! She rolled her eyes. I flagged down the waitress. Check please.

Well, I’m still single. A connection lost over sports ties . . . and a chance for me to see how sexist I am. (I’m working on that also.)

Another.

I tell stories to my friends all the time and if I were to stop unexpectedly at any point during my tale—I usually stop at certain intervals to let the laughter dissipate or to allow the absurdity to set in or to reestablish old information—I would make the “Time Out”, arms-coming-together-to-make-an-uppercase-T motion like coaches and players do, and then say “Let me finish first.”, or “You better believe it!”, or “No, that happened afterwards.” Or worse, the dialogue I’d use to tell a story: It would be laden with sportspeak, sort of like newspeak, borrowing my reference here from 1984, George Orwell’s dystopian novel. “Yeah, bro. I didn’t read the coverage on that one. I thought I was looking at man, but I didn’t see the safety creep down into the flat. She was in a soft Cover 3 and intercepted my advances as I was trying to throw a quick 5-and-out. No first down. She took it to the house!” — Just to serve up an example.

If my example isn’t suffice, I recommend that you download or rent (notice I wrote download first) the movie Ted and take notice to the dialogue in the breakfast scene. And just so you know, Wahlberg’s & McFarlane’s characters are just as analytical.

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Couple-a-Teddi Brewskies…

Another.

A friend of mine spent two months of his life in a coma earlier this year from a gunshot to the abdomen because of what transpired in a NFL playoff football game. He doesn’t even watch football, or any other “real” sport—he’s into wrestling, of the WWE/F? variety—and his only crime was walking into a chain restaurant to pick up his to-go order. I’m not going to go in detail here because bringing it up again sickens me.

And I can go on and on about sports continuing in an empirical fashion; paternally, communally. . . I can examine the overt misogyny towards women, the revenue numbers, and its impact on pop culture—completely smother you.

Ultimately with any decision I make, no matter how drastic—and in this case some will see this as excessive and too dramatic/drastic… whatever. My decision is always a mixed bag. The larger elements of my decision are based in race, humanity and existing in society. Here’s why:

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I just love a good Center-QB exchange…

It seems like we all want to be in a gang from the biggest of the biggest (nation) to the smallest of the smallest (PTA) with our own logo, chant and color pattern. For twenty-eight years—definitely twenty consecutive ones—my logo, chant and color pattern was the fleur de lis, “Who dat say they gon’ beat dem Saints?”, and black & gold. (I supported a few others but my allegiance had always been to the New Orleans Saints.) And now that I’ve left sports behind, perhaps I’m asking to be allowed to do so safely and without bodily harm, my punishment now is to forever be an outcast, a pariah, a raised eyebrow to everything I do and say, to be second guessed, made fun of, to assume I must be lost or misguided, un-American—straight trippin’. It’s no wonder that the football and religion analogy in this country is so popular (accepted). Because removing sports from my life, on some level, is like breaking free of Christianity:

I mean if something doesn’t feel right, can’t I step away from it for a while? Forever if I want to?

But society, ours at least, holds on to these stereotypes. Like even though I aspire (I fucking hate this word) to be a filmmaker (writer-director), every time I’m seen at a Starbucks writing/sketching, no one comes up to me asks me if I’m a writer; they sit down next to me and say to me I must be a rapper or what I’ve been getting as of late, a spoken word artist because that’s what young black males do, right. And I can’t help but think, what the fuck kind of rapper am I to be hanging out with a bunch of house moms and their noisy-ass kids at 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning, and at a Starbucks in the Valley for that matter? And if I’m approached while I’m standing, because of my stature (6’2″)—well, you must definitely be a ball player, USC or UCLA? Which one?—because that’s what young black males do, right.

Huh?

Nope. No baller here, no rapper here either. (Although I was talked into making a rap song—shamefully misogynistic—a few months back with a friend of mine. The song was meh, and I hated hearing my voice rapping back to me. For laughs I’m thinking about putting the song on YouTube. See, I too can get caught up in the Fame Monster.)

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And I was runnin’…

At this point a confused look will cover their faces. What else could he possibly do for a living?, is what the looks on their faces say to me. But they never ask me what I do. (Why in L.A. do people need to know what you do for a living? — I live for a living.) They just grab their New York Times, turn around, an order a bagel or something . . . Woe is me I guess.

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2-points…

None of this alienates me by the way, but the media has marginalized black males to a certain extent. I guess you can say I have a fear of being caged in. Moreover, it bothers me when I hear that black athletes who were able to “overcome” adverse conditions go back to their hometowns (the place with said adverse conditions) and build and/or upgrade sports facilities for the kids in the very neighborhoods they grew up in. Why? Make the NCAA do it. I read somewhere recently that the University of Texas’ football coach is expected to make $5.7 million next season (2013).

What’s the English teacher getting?

Or make the NBA do it. They’re getting the largest cut and exploiting black athletes altogether—already a win-win situation. For realz, the NFL’s and the NBA‘s profits are in the billions (see figures above) and they can’t spend a couple hundred grand painting lines through the grass or getting rid of the milk crates for shape appropriate iron rims?

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Still 2-points…

My heart goes out to the parents—especially the minority parents—who let their kids (usually the sons) play contact sports, especially football. The game is violent, too too violent. We ooh & ahh when we see the collisions, when we see a race cars go up in flames, when we see the human bodies bend in a way they’re not supposed to on the instant replays . . .

Dear SportsCenter, stop showing us (not me anymore) instant replays of nasty violent hits. How do you expect the NFL to “clean up its act” (won’t happen) when you undermine NFL‘s efforts by showing, over and over on the hour through the early parts of the day, the violent hits they’re trying to rid the game of? Then again, that too, isn’t my issue anymore either . . .

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The Truth We Continue To Ignore . . .

Let me stop for a moment and say that this isn’t an attack on the players. They have paid, and are paying the ultimate price—a heroic sacrifice to say the least—in putting forth their bodies for your entertainment. This blog, if it were in attack mode, trust me it isn’t, but if it were, it would be on the American sports industry and the global, predatory, corporate complex it has.

Again, I’m not attacking the sports industry, I’m just letting you (my 2 followers and whoever else) know I’m not down with sports anymore, and here are a few things to consider in and around life (mine and yours) that helped me make the decision in doing so . . .

If you can truly consider what I’ve written only then will you begin to understand that the more you tune in, the more THEY justify their being in existence hence more 3rd degree fuel burns, plastic face guards, broken fingers, missing teeth, ACLs, MCLs, ripped Achilles tendons, concussions and suicides. I wouldn’t wish any those things on another human being, not even my worst enemy.

That’s the mark of a nation that is civilized!—A nation looking to do no harm to its people . . .

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#1 pick of Draft Class 2083 . . .

Hopefully, we—players both current & past and myself—can work together on ways to give insight to future families about how the American sports industry robs their kids of their youth by making them way too competitive at a young age, how it makes them chase a “dream” (I prefer the term hustle) with odds that are 1-in-50,000—football’s odds but I’m sure the other sports’ odds are just as long. Personally, I’m open to giving these jobs to the machines—this being a rare time you’ll get me to okay putting a machine to work over a human. Hell, FOX Network’s back-from-commercials promo features a football player robot; and is the reason why a movie like Real Steel gets made. (We get tested for future products and we don’t even realize it.)

Same year but a 3rd rounder . . .

Same year but a 3rd rounder . . .

Closing remarks. . .

I’d like to acknowledge a few people who I’m going to miss: Charles Barkley, Cris Carter and Arian Foster. Currently, they’re being paid to only talk about/play sports (No complaint; just a reality). Not to say that there aren’t others athletes I’ll miss, but how much do we really care about athletes? (Some of you have prayed to your God that an opposing team’s star athlete gets hurt so that your team can win or put matters into your own hands, re: The Kobe food-poisoning game.) [So don't bring that over here! *Brooklyn voice*] Anyway, I caught the tail end of Jordan’s career. I’m still new to the reign of Lebron and the ascension of Kevin Durant. And I’m not sure why I should be impressed with Carmelo Anthony’s scoring efforts.

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Shooter…

And let’s be honest, most of you (me too) have never met the people we’ve spent our afternoons in awe of, and the sound bytes of your favorite athletes you love are always of the after-the-game variety, after they’ve been knocked around by other grown men for a couple of hours (damn commercial breaks). They’re usually mumbling—probably because they’re exhausted or concussed—or speaking vaguely about what they did in the game, or skating around any question that’s actually serious. So it’s safe to say we don’t fully know any of them. If it weren’t for Twitter most of the bench players wouldn’t have a voice, a face even—for damn sure a fan base that actually cares about them being on the team. (True! **2 Chainz voice**)

But athletes like Charles Barkley, Cris Carter and Arian Foster just happen to be three people who bring more to the table:

Cris Carter – I can hear in his voice how much he loves the game of football—definitely a been-through-it-all Gladiator type. He did his business in an era where getting off of the line of scrimmage was an every down occurrence. Modern day NFL receivers aren’t really sure what that means. They spend the entire game flinging their arms up in the air, crying for pass interference calls, with a defender playing seven yards off of them. Cris never complained. He just got open. I value his mentorship ability. He speaks to rookies at the NFL combine about how to handle life in the NFL. I’m no athlete but I’ve been apply some of what he has spoken them about to my life.

Charles BarkleySir Charles, I have to get it out of the way one last time. He taught me that I can say whatever I want and people will have to just deal with it. He actually tells you who’s a good athlete and who isn’t. There’s no sense in lying about it. And he wasn’t caught up in being a role model, just rebounds.

Arian Foster – I won’t know how far your prolific “flowing like water” running style will take you in the NFL, but I’ll continue to read your tweets. Arian sees himself as more than an athlete—I believe he says “an aspiring (his word not mine) human being”—which is exactly what I aspiring towards. He has charisma and once he moves on from football, I hope he considers acting. I’d cast him. I’m eager to see how his approach to working out a scene would be. I could easily have a five hour conversation with him.

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Namaste . . .

Please don’t say to me that I’m taking the fun out of life. Because fun isn’t staring at woman’s chest while chugging beers with the boys from the office in stadium bleachers and saying to her, “shake them tits like the ladies down there on the sidelines.” That’s sexual harassment. Or cheering when a player (usually a quarterback) for the team you’re rooting for gets hurt—that’s malice and foolish! He’s supposed to be your guy. Or beating up a father wearing the opposing team’s colors in the stadium parking lot on his way home from an away game with his wife and young kids within inches of losing his life—that’s assault?, or attempted man slaughter?. . . savagery!

There isn’t much good left in the games to continue watching it or defending it. I choose to be human. And I feel like I’m on my way to becoming a better human by staying away from sports for good.

And it isn’t like I’m not going to know what’s going on. I can walk up to any random group of men—and women too now for some reason (The NFL‘s Breast Cancer Awareness Scam worked. Scam because they were looking to open up to new a demographic and going for women and their jubblies was an easy move.) and the conversation eventually lands on sports if it already wasn’t. I’ll probably have to use the bathroom at that point. Because there’s nothing like having to hear the same opinion—which means they all have watched SportsCenter on repeat since last night and couldn’t wait to yelp at one another like a pack of wild hyenas eager to say the same damn thing—that makes me suddenly want to take a shit.

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Celeb Endorsement…

 

//

Mmmmm. . . That Cooked Bacon Smell!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 24, 2012 by gregnett

“Whatever colour you wore when you went into the shop, you
always came out in grey or bottle-green.”
Julian Barnes, Metroland

Gotcha!!

I was told the other day that I was spiritually clogged up. I was on a date catching up with an old friend who was visiting from out of town and we were having the best of time of our. . . She insisted that we have our palms read. I smirked like all cynics at the idea. Her persistence, if anything, was the reason why I went along with it.

We approached the fortune teller “stand”—it wasn’t a booth—and allowed commerce to take its natural course. A laminated 3×5 card which could’ve easily been a happy hour menu at the bar behind their operation was placed down in front of us. I didn’t like any of the prices. They started at $250 and decreased in very small increments: Trust fund-Beamer brat; Middle class to upper class well-wisher; Pretend middle class card swiper. . . blah, blah, blah; landing on the last: Obviously YOU need this money more than we do. I (we) chose the $20 – Obviously YOU need this money more than we do package. (Hell, I’m not going to put much value into what’s going to be told to me, I thought. And when I sit down to look over my finances for the month I most likely won’t sigh when I see – $20 bucks “fortune read” 8/20/2012 – as one of my purchases. Anyway my friend said I needed to loosen up and have more fun. When did having more fun require spending more money?—I’d never bitch like this in front of her.)

Come and get it…

My friend went first. Having spent the afternoon talking in detail about her trek through life, I was amazed at how close (It was a little pop-up over second base that landed right in front of the center fielder for a single to start of the inning, not a bomb cranked deep right into an auto insurance ad forcing the right fielder to put heels to butt so the defense doesn’t give up a triple) the fortune teller had gotten to a lot of what was going on in my friend’s life past & present and neither of us could stop laughing at how eerie all of it was.

Moving on. . .

Now me –

“Make a tight fist,” her first command. Her eyes the least bit understanding of how procedural all of it looked and how it added to my cynical view of the entire process. “Open them and relax.”

Yeah right!

(I’ve often wondered what I look like when I’m trying to impress someone, that someone being a girl. I see other guys doing it and I roll my eyes at them. [“Damn, you must think everything is so beneath me.”] I’m guessing I draw the same analysis. You’re not your real you when you’re trying to impress someone—correction: I’m not my real me when I’m trying to impress a girl. And I shouldn’t say impress because in my mind I don’t believe that’s what I’m trying to accomplish. There has to be a milder verb I’m not thinking about at the moment to more accurately describe what my agenda is on dates when I’m hanging out with “friends”. What I’m getting at is that my style—or way of courtship—is not to draw any attention to myself which would in turn make me do all of the things I’ve seen men do when they’re trying to impress a girl: be very excited about trivial shit, talk with my hands, mic check famous people I know or saw once, etc. . . Complain about all of the things wrong with my car, you know the routine. Knowing that I can comprehend, think rationally and speak in full sentences should be impressive enough. That and I don’t stare at a woman’s breasts, especially when the woman is looking directly at me. [“C’mon, I’m no Saint!”] I’ve always felt like these kinds of movements have hurt me more than they have helped me.)

Man this fortune teller began rambling and fumbling all over her words. All of the flickering of the eyelids that ceased the moment we gave her our money started back up again. She started talking with her hands, being overtly excited about trivial shit that happened in my life—she lost all of her swag. Over moi! You would’ve thought I had paid her to act that way. I got my $20 bucks worth but this was borderline excessive. I felt like we were on a date, a date that she wanted to end right—you know what I mean. Maybe she should’ve listened to her own command and relaxed.

It got beyond embarrassing. I could barely face my friend whose eyes grew with intrigue as the fortune teller unraveled what I had spent all afternoon keeping laced. There was nowhere to hide from all the attention. My friend kept squeezing my arm and hitting me as the fortune teller forged on giving us glimpses of what my life was potentially going to be like for me.

“You’ll be fine,” she ended, standing there proud and almost to the point of exhaustion with her conclusion.

My friend, she was like: is all of this shit true?

Yeah, I guess it is true give or take a few things, and not knowing my future of course, and really nothing I hadn’t heard before from drunkards and the one other time years ago I had my palm read (long story):
— Success means everything to you.

— You’re highly creative and torn between your love-life and career.

— Something from your past is troubling you.

— You’ll (I’ll) be fine.

I’ll be fine. That became the theme for the day after that. My friend playfully attacked me whenever she got the chance.

“I forgot everything that bitch said about me,” my friend said as we sat down for a nightcap, two glasses of champagne bubbling up in front of us. “But you, this bitch couldn’t stop talking. How long did she even talk to me for? Less than two minutes? She hands you her card because she wants to get your spirit unclogged—what the fuck! What did she say about me again?”

But I wasn’t moved by any of what she had said. Spending what amounts to two monthly cell phone bills to have my chakra? (I think this equates to spirit and what the lady wanted to tap into) “unclogged”—come on, really? She seemed way too enthused about it all. It just felt like she was gaming me. So let me get this straight: if I fork over more of my hard earned cash then I get to see what’s really holding me back from a life of luxury, something you say I’m “destined for”, something I can’t know any further having been spoon fed a sampling at the cost of $20 already unless we dig deeper? What am I: a sucker? Quite possibly in her eyes if I hadn’t held firm in declining her offer.

The whole ordeal got me to thinking about the past month or so. I’ve been tempted by the likes of lottery tickets, MLMs (multi-level marketing scams – look them up yourself), sorcery (the current), sure-fire stocks, the list goes on. It’s like Americans want the cheat code for everything. And none of this falls on my friend’s shoulders, she was just looking to have “fun”. This observation is of my own doing and has been a long time coming. I’m disgusted with what I’m seeing out there with all of the shortcuts whether it be health, money, love, success, etc. I’m sick of bad people dumping these intoxicating ideas onto the masses minds. I’m sick of being preyed upon and taken advantage of. These are interesting times right now: the economy is stale, those on the job hunt are walking into Costco-like lines at interviews, and those with jobs are walking on eggshells because they know how rough it is out there yet people still believe there’s a cheat code for a way out of this hell, mine being as simple as unclogging my spirit. It’s not that! Nor is it stocks, lottery tickets or MLMs.

I get it. It’s attractive enough. It looks good when it’s presented to you in a colorful, eye-popping PowerPoint package—it even smells like cooked bacon (not sure of a vegetarian/vegan equivalent), but these offers are designed for taking your loose change. That’s their niche. Your lose change equates to millions for them because you foolishly believe that you, you of all people are going to get a front of the line pass. You’re making it easy for them! – to sample a line from one of my favorite films: Michael Clayton. Life’s tough. I’m right there with you fighting the good fight, but now more than ever you have to be aware of the morally bankrupt who want to extract from you.

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Nuff said

Probably too deep for an entry, but seeing as there has been a nice chunk of time since my last post went up, maybe it’s a good idea to let loose a little; I’m sure my friend might like it if I loosen up. :-)

Phrases like “you-I-we-she-he-they’ll be fine” plant the wrong kind of seeds. Although it’s “fun” to get caught up in the moment.

Heat up the frying pan!

Ah, the caveat!—30 Verbal Questions or the Online Questionnaire

Posted in The City: Los Angeles with tags , , , , , , , , on May 29, 2012 by gregnett

“You tell me lies that should be obvious to me.”
Marvin Gaye, Ain’t That Peculiar


More like rarely…

“You show me two busy people and I’ll show you two people who don’t give a fuck about the existence of their significant other.” — Gregory A. Netterville
[Shitty attempt at coming up with a cool quote. Either way Marvin’s got me!]

Bar scouting got me to thinking about relationships. Relationships got me to “looking” at the FaceBook™ page of a young woman (I’m a sucker for brunettes!) I was unsuccessful in courting earlier this year. Earlier this year I said I would be more proactive. Proactive the adjective not the acne fighting solution is usually at the tail-end of declarations made by desperate people. Yes, it’s crass but it doesn’t mean it isn’t true!

We, us desperate folks that is, live in constant fear that we’re within seconds of missing out. So we make bold, desperate attempts to keep a firm grip on whatever it is that is slipping away from us, even if what’s slipping away from us is something that was bound to happen. For moi, it’s my youth. It didn’t occur to me until earlier this year how precious it is. And by youth I mean freedom: the ability to be available at moments notice and open-minded enough and adventurous enough for just about anything.

I picked up this nasty habit—where I’m not sure—of making myself unavailable. Weddings, house parties, picnics, dinners, dates… whatever the situation I was M.I.A. I lumped all of my correspondences under the umbrella of “I’m busy”. And for a while I was. School and worked consumed most of my time, but that’s not the case in 2012.

Here’s what 2012 looks like:

2012 Bucket List…

—As you can see 2012 WIDE OPEN—

But that isn’t what I wanted to get off my chest. It’s this notion of saying to someone that you’re busy. It’s the verbal Golden Gun. It’s worse than saying “Fuck off!”. Hell, some people use it like a “Fuck off!”. I know its power which is why I no longer use it. But lately, “I’m busy” has been used on me and with high frequency.

It’s just not something I believe to be true anymore. I can honestly say that when I used “I’m busy” I wasn’t really busy; I procrastinated when it came to homework and I worked less than 30 hours a week. Simply put, I wasn’t in the mood to be around that person. If I really wanted to, I would’ve found a way to make it work.

true…

“I’m busy” or “I’m a busy person” is too absolute. That’s what bothers me about the phrase. It makes me feel like nothing can be worked out—take it or leave it. And seeing as the year started off in desperation, it’s safe to say that I chose the former.

You’re Weird!: Why You Be Lookin’ At Me Like Dat?!

Posted in The City: Los Angeles with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 8, 2012 by gregnett

“Lover, I don’t play to win. For the thrill until I’m spent.”
St. Vincent, The Strangers

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I like stories about young, confused people who come from broken homes and all sorts of other adverse conditions who then have to trudge through life with little or no insight or clue even as to what’s out there in front of them aided only by some shitty “education” they’ve rustled together to figure it out. Who marvel at scandal and grimace at conventional proceedings. Who view marriage as trite, who aren’t bashful at the sight of seeing stray dogs stuck together post-coitus behind the dumpster at Wal-Mart.

They share with us stories about how they spent their summers hiding in plain sight, the malaise of having to rely on public transportation, barnyard remedies for curing hangovers. And how being bougie felt the first time they tried it. In these stories the protagonists don’t hold hands on the first date—or get yogurt. They walk barefoot over cullet-lined urban waterway shorelines, click pigeons, or sever a right pinky finger underneath a rickety suspension bridge in the rain to see if it’ll grow back. They never even get to see their favorite indie band perform. At best, they get a muffled impromptu harmonica performance from the blind man in apartment 6F.

Disorganized is organized.

Stories where two warm bodies don’t treat sex as the finish line but rather the starting block. Foam. Whiskey. Plastic covered furniture. Wet socks. Inner thigh tattoos. Dank, smelly apartments. Uncomfortable silences & long stares. Morning-breath kisses. M&M’s.

Charter schools. Greyhound stations. Grandma’s bloody panties. Teaching English to strippers in the old Eastern bloc. Human piss in water bottles. Three page pullouts of Thai Ladyboys. A plum farm!—All of this so I can wink at myself in my bathroom mirror…

Because I can relate!

The One About The Hamster

Posted in The City: Los Angeles with tags , , , , , , , on February 10, 2012 by gregnett

“Suddenly I am furious, that with my life on the line, they don’t even have the decency to pay attention to me.”
Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games 

 

 

I haven’t written a post in quite some time so forgive me if I’m rusty. Also, this is sort of a shitty attempt to sound all hip & vibrant, and this is also to mask the reality of my situation, that situation being that I hit a wall–figuratively speaking. I’m like 2 pages away from being officially done on a script I’ve been re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re. . . one more re-, rewriting that I’d like this well-connected manager to read. (I need a literary agent, you know what I mean. **Brooklyn voice**) I usually remedy this situation by taking a nighttime walk around the block but I don’t feel like walking around in the cold. It’s a shame Los Angeles sells you on the weather. Truth is: the temperature drops well below 60 degrees on most nights and if I don’t plug in my electric heater I spend most of the night shivering. As if I’m not shivering already.

Which sort of brings me to a point it looks like I’m going to make. (I was wingin’ it up until this point. Definitely not the case anymore.)

My film. It’s done and all. I’m happy with the way it came out. Believe me, it’s creepy what you can do when you put your mind to it. Thanks to a talented cast & crew, couldn’t have done it without you. Sorry, I haven’t laced my blog with the updates and all the behind the scenes junk like originally planned. I’m not being paid for it and no one reads this blog anyway. . .

But my shivers are way out of control. Sending that up to the universe once more to see what happens. I wrote this poem, I Still Shiver,  (I won’t drop it on you now) and reading it again recently made me think about the coming months, 2012 in general, because I’m going to be doing some shivering. And what I mean by that is that my nerves are bad and are getting worse.

Why?

All of the above.  Just cause.

The kid’s got a lot of stuff going on.  Some good, some bad. And it’s been real hard for me to keep still–you know, not shiver. At least writing this blog keeps me stationery save my fingers. But that’s only temporary. And I’m clueless on how to get my nerves to settle. I’ve done everything.

Any thoughts?

The biggest shivers come from what could potentially happen after this film gets seen? And trust me,  I’m having nightmares about that ish! It sucks not knowing.

 

THE END

3 Day Weekend…

Posted in The City: Los Angeles on August 18, 2011 by gregnett

Here’s something to hold you as we begin filming this weekend. Some goodies for your visual pleasure.

Some of the time…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What the hell… here’s one more.

 

Gray Man... Chalk artist, Jennifer Ripassa

Almost there...

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