Sunday, July 13, 2008

Cleveland, the environment, Kurt Vonnegut, Fannie Mae, Screenplay

So it goes.

I reread The Avclub's very excellent article entitled "15 Things Kurt Vonnegut Said Better Than Anyone Else" today. Vonnegut was the first person that made me realize that sad-eyed and cynical secular humanism wasn't something that I invented when I was 15. Apparently, he had been doing it a lot longer than I had.

"So it goes" has probably been the title of about fifteen billion livejournal posts from emo kids who "found" _Slaughterhouse Five_, so I kind of hesitate to make too much of it now. That said, it really helped to get me through the day. The mounting evidence that we might be facing the worst economic collapse of my lifetime coupled with ongoing reports that everything man has ever made is both toxic and creating greenhouse gases really got me down.

I've always been the type to worry about these things. I remember in '87 when the stock market went kablooey, I went to school the next day with a stomach ache. I couldn't understand why all the other kids weren't upset. Didn't they realize that we were all about to be turned into chimney sweeps and pickpockets by nefarious cockney ne'er-do-wells? I mean, when the economy collapses, that sort of thing happens.

Now that I have a son, the worrying is worse. My connection with the universe - always pretty tenuous - was increased against my will when he was born. I now have to not only think about myself, I gotta find a way to feed and clothe that little bastard.

It's a common complaint parents make, but god, I had no idea how powerful the emotions were.

Every day, I read more and more reports about how everything is spiraling out of control: the economy, the environment, the war in Iraq. I try to imagine what my son's life will be like. If things are as bad as the people posting on Digg and the Drudge Report make them out to be, he won't even have apples to sell when the next depression hits. If I had a nickel for every time I've shuddered at the thought at where we're headed, I might be able to buy a gallon of gas.

So, rereading Vonnegut's phrase came at a very necessary time for me. So it goes. There's nothing I can do about it, and the greatest achievement I can hope for as a human is to just accept things. I won't lie to you, I'm still scared to death, but thinking about that phrase - even saying out loud, like a prayer - helps just a little bit.

It's cheaper than drugs, I guess.

I'm in Cleveland right now working with D.L. Hughley. He's a great guy, a class act, and a hell of a comedian. It's nice working with a celebrity who doesn't act like an asshole. It's not a common thing.

(And, as a super-awesome side note, his bodyguard/manager/brother-in-law was Jaxx in the Mortal Kombat games. Yes, you read that right, I got to hang out with Jaxx this weekend. Comedy might be a scary game and I might never make it in this business, but shit, I got to meet Jaxx. That never would have happened if I was teaching still.)

The second draft of the screenplay is out and being read by the fine folks at Mandalay. Let's hope they love it as much as Brian and I do. It'll make next week a lot nicer if they do.

All right kids. I'm off to sleep.

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