Hollywood Ending…

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Haven’t we seen this movie (hacked) a hundred times already?

Okay, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is the definition of Insanity… and Hollywood. Think sequels! Here’s a big idea to remember in this technological age in which we all live; the last thing that is yours, the last thing that no one can steal from you, the last thing that no one can use against you, is your own internal thoughts. They are privately held in your mind. They are the very origin and exacting definition of “intellectual property.”

That’s a term Hollywood knows well. They’ve got thousands of lawyer’s and hundreds of ways to screw you out of your intellectual property, while having the FBI protect theirs. But I digress.

We are talking about the smartest people on earth here. That must be because we shell out 35-billion dollars a year for their games and movies -almost everything they produce. Well, these masters of technology, art and marketing, forgot that an E-mail, a computer and even the Internet, are not extensions of their central nervous system. That cybernetics is not an extension of who they are. These inept TECHNOSPIENS are seduced away from the common sense logic that the web is not a part of their private, mental space, but instead a public, at times very public, space. When these high-priced executives foolishly think it’s secure they believe they are actually communicating, one-on-one with another person in private.

We now know, and have seen this movie at least a hundred times so far, that they are in fact connecting through at least a dozen nodes, network choke points and just as many opportunities for someone to invade the communicated thoughts of these geniuses. Their most insightful, embarrassing and detrimental thoughts that is… laid bare to the world. Smug little comments and corporate secrets, all damaging to their business and stature that they freely expressed in an E-mail. AN E-MAIL!… HELLO.

This is so unnecessary because Hollywood has made at least a few dozen movies (including optioning my book, The Eighth Day) about when evildoers assume identity; erase a person’s data, or hackers hack (starring Gene Hackman, I believe) . BUT not once did these enlightened folks ever get the very message they were sending out to an enraptured audience… that being: Beware the Internet, take heed that Big Brother is always watching, listening and digesting your entire “on-line life.”

Of course they have an excuse. In most of their dystopian-internet yarns, the evil is the government… the all powerful, all knowing and very capable federal government (only in the movies, by the way) So here’s the behavioral truth brought out by how these guardians of the public taste and trends- these titans of Hollywood conduct their own lives: They never really thought the government would do this to them. At this point I have to remind you that the name of this blog and my tag line is, “It’s Only Fiction ‘til It Happens.” After all, they support political candidates and causes. They donate, in a way, by waving their huge appearance fees to show up for a lowly “cause non-celeb” and make it an instant, cause-celeb! We can deduce from the actions and false trust in the Internet, that they never held much faith in their own storylines, namely that someone would, purloin, scrub, scrape or out-right expose their private E-mails … Amazingly these are the same folks who thoughtfully considered how many millions to spend on, and how many movies to “green light” into production about Edward Snowden!

Well they got it half right and half wrong… it was the government, just not ours. How do you say, “That’s a Wrap!” In North Korean?

P.S. How do you say, “Did they mention, The Eighth Day, in the e-mails and whether or not why were considering funding the movie?” in North Korean?

Argo, the True COVER Story…

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I am constantly amazed at how people connect things. In this case, my fans and specifically the realization for many of them of the resonance between Argo, the movie and The Hammer of God, my novel.  In response to the many e-mails and comments linking the two, I decided to see Argo. (I had already read my book)

Good movie, solidly crafted, good story, well told. Affleck did a great job, which he now knows having won a Golden Globe, but I am sure he appreciates my opinion anyway.  So, yeah… I guess there is some relationship but it’s as thin as Lindsey Lohan’s future prospects as a Nuclear Scientist at Brookhaven Laboratory. (Radio-isotropic co-generation of mononuclidic elements? WHAT-Ever!)

The commonality lies in that both stories highlight the universal power of movies. In fact, here’s an early set of cover designs for Hammer (by Lorenzo Concepcion), which were being considered right up to publication. The log line on this set of covers is a quote from one of the characters in the book,

“Movies… They’ll be the death of western culture!”

Two books

As you can see the movie industry played big in the cover sell. That’s because unlike Argo, where the U.S. used a fictitious movie production as a cover story to free Iranian hostages, in Hammer an Iranian movie company is using the power of Filmmaking permits and the general awe most municipalities treat movie companies with, to actually execute a devastating attack on New York.

Despite the few similarities, the stories are divergently different. However, I certainly wouldn’t mind if Ben Affleck were so moved to make a film of The Hammer of God

What did Kim Kardashian do right?

A few weeks back there was a tragic local story here in New York about a Staten Island teenager who threw herself in front of a subway train.  It was her way of escaping the cauldron of hate, derision and character assassination that ensued after this young girl made a bad decision.  She participated in a sex tape.   Hold it, wait, actually given today’s relative morality and the age of sexting, hooking up and other sleazy “social activities” that are now common place in our elementary, junior and high schools and communities, how could she have known it was bad.

Kim Kardashian made a sex tape and it was a brilliant career move.  She is universally loved by all the “cool” kids.  Why couldn’t this Staten Island teen find even a tenth of that adulation?

In my book, The Hammer of God, a young girl, damaged by our culture’s confusing signals of morality and acceptability, attempts suicide the same way, but in her case, someone instinctively reacted and saved her from the on rushing train.  But it’s only temporary, as her self-image is solely dependant on the acceptance of males. This eventually leads to her demise after having been used by many different kind of men, from her professors, to fellow students, to even a terrorist. Each man, asserting his societal given right, and rationalization to her, which somehow always inexplicably ended in her giving them sex.

Neat huh? I mean how our society has made youth and beauty the standard by which young women judge themselves,  mostly and harshly, by other young women.  You see how genius it is that somehow men-kind has convinced them (and their mothers) that  attracting a man sexually can help you define your esteem.

Okay, but lets get back to the body parts and blood splattered tracks in Staten Island.  Her friends turned on her, her school ridiculed her, the video was passed around the homerooms for the momentary visceral thrill.  All at the expense of this young girl’s esteem.  A crushing peer pressure which had she lived long enough, some  “sensitive” male would have convinced her could be eased by sexual attention to that very male!

And yet, she did nothing different than Kim!  However, there is a double standard, it resided in her.  I guess Kim could laugh off the names and ridicule that came her way from some quarters by focusing on the cool accolades coming from the Hollywood-schooled throngs who know Rodeo Drive but couldn’t identify Tottenville on a large map with big type.  But our desperate little girl wasn’t a skinny blonde, wasn’t rich, didn’t have a sliding moral scale of “pop” culture and a heritage of “what – evvv-er.” So something inside, some self-conscious, ate away at her and darkened every option until all that was left was self destruction.

She’s dead. God rest her soul and comfort her family, who must be going through unimaginable pain and anguish.  But Hollywood, the media and fashion industry roll happily along, perpetuating the greatest scam MAN has ever perpetrated on WOMAN.  The objectifying of females and diminishing standards of morality (read: our society saying to little girls, Shhhh, That’s okay, shhhh see it’s art, it’s beauty, it’s fashion, it’s what’s expected, Shhhh, it’s just sex, it’s cool, it’s how you become popular, you want to be popular don’t you?)

Just ask Kim Kardashian.

Out of the Box… Office

Elsewhere in these Blogs I have written about the comments of some people who write me to say, “I could see the movie as I was reading your book.” That started me thinking, if someone can “see the movie”, how good a director, art director, casting director etc. are they? My book becomes the screenplay, but the color, tone, composition and flow of the “movie” is totally developed by them.
How interesting it would be for them to You Tube their movie of my book to me. What would I see? “Wow, I didn’t know that character was a short guy?” “She was a redhead?” “He talked slow like that?” “He would never wear that tie.”
Unless of course I wrote, “ He was wearing his emerald green tie with the shamrocks embossed on it in honor of St. Patty’s day. Otherwise, chartreuse? How does the internal movie director of my reader, affect my story?
Recently, I participated in a Book Club Q&A session over Skype. When people who read the book, recounted their favorite scenes, I was amazed at the details they “wrote in” as they went on and described in almost perfect recall, like they were there, even down to the green tie!!!
My initial urge was to correct their staging and directing of my scene, re-edit the action, recast the players and adjust the props. But… All you can do is put it on the paper. The rest of the process happens in the mind of the reader. That’s why they read books! After all, what everybody really wants to do is DIRECT!

 

 

Sex and the Single Technosapien

The hottest women in the world are magnetically attracted to two centers of power.  One on the west coast, Hollywood.  One on the east coast, Washington, D.C. These incredible emBODYments of every male’s fantasy are as much on display in the Capitol dining room as they are in the commissaries of the major studios.  Sound sexist?  Yes.

But hey, do you really think (male) politicians went through all the crap they had to go through to get elected, to actually SERVE the public?  (See: Bill Clinton, John Edwards, Elliot Spitzer, John Ensign, Chris, Lee, Eric Massa, Mark Souder, Mark Sanford, Larry Craig, David Vitter, James McGreevey, Gary Condit, Bob Packwood, Gary Hart, Wayne Hayes, Wilbur Mills, JFK, and Anthony Weiner)  We’re talking a well stocked pond here. And the bait wiggling on the hook is power, influence, and money.

My first experience in Washington was sitting in the Senate dining room, watching 90-something year old Claude Pepper, the Congressman from Florida, sitting amongst five women.   Continue reading

Read the Book – See the Movie

A hundred years ago, the book was the primary narrative. It transported readers to places that they’d probably never see and cultures that they’d never experience in their lives. The book was a window to another world in their hands.

Even today with our LCD, Flat screen, Smart phone, iPad screens, we still usually make visual associations when we read. This is a part of human psychology, people come in three flavors, visual, aural, or kinesthetic as they read and learn. That is, at first, do they see something, do they hear something or do they feel something? People who gravitate towards my books are either visual learners or my style brings that out in them. Continue reading