Since I don't post here nearly enough to make that "first line of the month" meme even remotely worth it, I am instead going to post a quote from my favorite movie that came out every month this year. And then you can try to guess the movies, I guess. Is that how this works?
"You got your whole life ahead of you, but for me, I finish things."
"You probably think this world is a dream come true... but you're wrong."
"Nah, I don't know... You nicknamed me Pistol, and I just called you... 'Joben'... It means nothing... I don't... I'm drunk... I'm gonna call a cab."
What is that? What kind of sick freak carries around something like this in a box? I am shocked to my fuckin' core. You have got some big problems, motherfucker. What the fuck is that?"
"The trick to not feeling cheated is to learn how to cheat."
"I'm on your side! I hate Godzilla! I hate him too! I hate him! He destroys cities! *Please*! This isn't your fault. I'll get you some pants."
"He's covered in blood again. Why is it he's always covered in blood?"
"So, what's your Mother like, then?" "She's big, and beautiful! But, she can be very scary." "Just like my Mom."
I did not see a single movie in September.
"We were gonna make a whole world like this. Now, everyone used to come here, but you know... you know what it feels like when all your teeth are falling out really slowly and you don't realize and then you notice that, well, they're really far apart. And then one day... you don't have any teeth anymore."
Didn't see any movies in November, either.
"Madame, I need you to remain calm and trust me, I'm a professional. Beneath this pillow lies the key to my release."
...wow, this list actually turned out kinda depressing.
So as many may have heard, I finished my Reed thesis. It was pretty awesome. I wasn't sure I could do it in one semester, and pulling it off felt like a real accomplishment. I couldn't have done it without the support of all my wonderful friends. As much as I just want to enjoy this moment in my life, it's kind of hard not to acknowledge that now I'm looking at a much bigger wall I've got to climb (or bust through, depending how the metaphor plays out). It's time to start looking for my first real television job, and to start planning my move to LA. I've realized over the past semester just how much I love everyone here and how much I'm going to miss them, but I can't let that stop me from going.
One of the things that sucks about telling people that you want to write for television is watching them try not to say "Jesus, good luck with that." Thanks to the rules of casual conversation, neither of us can acknowledge that there's basically a 99% chance that I'm not going to be able to pull it off, and I'll eventually have to choose to do something else with my life. It would be rude of them to acknowledge that reality, and I certainly can't be acknowledging it every time it comes up or it might be too hard to keep going. The amount I could change the world if I manage to hit that one percent is worth all the chance of failure, however bad it is. But I can't fight as hard as I need to unless I lie to myself and pretend that I know that it's going to happen. When I talk about it, people look at me like I'm deluding myself, which wouldn't bother me except I am.
Really though, things are great. I love my life, I love my friends, I love the world. I love being done with my thesis, and I love that I'll never truly be done with it. I love writing, even if nothing ever comes of it. I love driving through the desert with music blasting. Life really is glorious. I just have to remind myself that it's the things that keep me up worrying all night that drive me to do what I have to do.
I don't normally like to angst on Livejournal (in fact, I detest it), but for whatever reason I feel like sharing today. Gods of the internet, forgive me this trespass.
You know what sucks about being a screenwriter? You work in a medium that in inherently visual, yet you are given only words to work with. The characters, the scenes, exist vividly in your mind, the best ones so real that you feel like you should just be able to imagine them into being. But all you can do is vaguely try to suggest them on paper. Only a lucky few writers even ever make it past that stage, and if you don't you're left wondering whether a great work of art was never born all because you couldn't do the images in your head justice. It's like being a painter, but never getting to actually show anyone your paintings, just having to describe them to people. It's frustrating sometimes.
We now return to your regularly scheduled programming.
My friend Katie asked me why I was so worked up about Roman Polanski, and I found my answers interesting enough that I decided to post them here. A good place to start is with the article I stumbled upon thanks to Alex, Reminder: Roman Polanski raped a child - Broadsheet - Salon.com . There's nothing about this act that I don't find absolutely repugnant. The man took advantage of both his age and position of social power over this girl, raped her, tried to get off on a lesser charge, and fled the country when he feared the sentence would be too harsh for him. Absolutely reprehensible behavior. And then I read this,http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,557286,00.html?test=faces , which lists several of the people putting their significant influence to use attempting to have the charges dropped. As many of you have probably experienced, my attitude toward horrendous shit happening in the world is generally, hey, horrendous shit happens in the world, so we deal with it, we do what we can, and we move on. Why, then, is this the thing that pisses me off so much? As pretty much anybody reading this likely already knows, I'm hoping to go to Hollywood and to work as a television writer someday. There's a lot that I absolutely love about the entertainment culture, but also much that I find utterly repugnant. At the top of the latter list is the shocking lack of humility and responsibility felt by some of those in the highest echelons of the industry (many of whom consider themselves "liberals", but that's another rant.) Considering that the entertainment industry is uniquely dependent upon a well-ordered, advanced, and interested society in order to function, it appalls me the extent to which many who have succeeded in that industry consider themselves above the rules of that society. They are given unparalleled privilege and a medium with which to express their opinions and ideas on a massive scale. They are looked up to and admired for their talent and (rightfully or no) for their fame and success. Yet so many of them treat these privileges as entitlements, and abuse them however they see fit. Furthermore, they throw tantrums when they feel they deserve even more privilege, such as the ability to break the law and go unpunished. Of course, celebrities are not alone in this. Politicians, successful businesspeople, sports stars; all groups who have access to great power seem to have to some extent a culture of abuse of that power built up around them. But these are supposed to be my people. I've long abandoned the idea that everyone in the entertainment industry aspires to artistic greatness, but it would be nice if they could at least aspire to basic human decency. In the end, that was the conclusion I came to when Katie asked me why I was so angry about this. I get angry about things like this because I want to make sure I never become one of the people who doesn't get angry about things like this.
P.S. I do have some trepidation that this post could someday come back to bite me in the ass and ruin my career in some way. Such are the dangers of the internet. But frankly, I'd rather be mopping the floors in the gnarliest strip club in LA for the rest of my life than stay quiet about something like this in order to impress the very people who disgust me.
I sent this in to the Quest for publication, but my livejournal friends get a special sneak preview!
Journal Entries from Thesis Hell
The following are excerpts from a journal turned in by accident to the circ desk on September the seventeenth, in the year of our lord two thousand and nine. It was bound in what appears to be human skin.
Starting on my one-semester thesis today. Met with my advisor, began to get all of my research together. Nervous, but also excited. I finally feel like a real Reedie!
I don't know what everyone's been complaining about. Thesis is awesome! I get to read about something that interests me and challenge myself academically. Sure, there's a lot of work to be done, but I just need to buckle down and spend more time in the library.
Rough day in the library today. Couldn't find one of the key books on Classics in Cinema. Checked the stacks, the circ desk, summit. No one knows where it is. Beginning to doubt that it ever existed.
Spent the night in the library. Evaded the CSOs by duct-taping myself to the bottom of a book cart. Have not encountered another human being in three days. The internet has become my sole means of social interaction. I think I may accidentally be legally married to a level 59 Orc Shaman named xBonerBoix. Perhaps he (she?) would be willing to order me a pizza. Now if I can just figure out where I am...
Wandered into a section of the library I have never seen before today. Not sure how I got here, but sign on the door says "LL666". Books are full of strange and horrifying runes that are indecipherable, yet eerily familiar. The walls seem to be bleeding, and the air is filled with the sound of human screaming. Also, the copier is out of toner.
Was tracking a rat through the new pit when a librarian asked me to please keep the noise to a minimum. I have fashioned his femur into a crude machete. The hunt will be good tomorrow.
It is so very cold here. Lost my clothing days ago; do not remember what happened to it. Set fire to a collection of books in order to keep warm. It appears to be the sociology section; no one will miss it.
I walk the balcony above the new pit, clad only in pages of feminist theory critique of early Hollywood epic stapled to my genitals, gazing down upon the unsuspecting cattle below me, safe with their trifling hum reading, unaware of what awaits them. One of them whispers to his neighbor, complaining about the six-page paper he has due the next day. I cannot tell if I am laughing or sobbing.
I'm going to die here.
I have abandoned all pretense at clothing. Clothing is an illusion. All is an illusion but the knowledge. I am one with the knowledge now. I do not read the books; I rub their pages against my naked skin and feel their power coursing through me. I encountered three of the infidels in the southeast stacks. They speak of an outside world, but I know that this world is nothing but lies, pictures painted on the windows to deceive me and tempt me away from the world of the True. I sacrifice the infidels to The Catalog, crushing them between the rolling stacks. The Catalog is pleased by their screams, and rewards me with more knowledge. I think I am becoming a god.
The horror... the horror...
Hot turkey sandwich day in Commons. Things are looking up!
I'm not really sure who all I'm livejournal friends with, but I just figured I'd mention to anyone who I haven't told that for financial reasons I'm going to be writing my thesis in one semester and then possibly moving for work sometime soon afterward. Wish me luck.