Monday, September 25, 2017


I love football. I love the Seattle Seahawks, a team whose existence came about just in time for me to take an interest. One of the things I've been excited about moving back to the Seattle area was to be able to participate in Seahawks events and celebrations with other fans. So, it was a hard year for me to find I could not in good conscience participate in the NFL during the season that others were #BlackOutNFL.

On my too often lily-white, nominally liberal social media feed, this phenomenon has gone essentially unmentioned, not even to bother explaining or excusing their participation, but taking it for granted. Perhaps others are, like me, just doing it quietly. Much of the #BlackOutNFL activities, such as praying, are not relevant to me, so there wasn't an easy terminology for my decision.

I'm not sure I would have been inclined to announce it and hash tag it anyway. I generally find a boycott to as a personal decision. I'm always skeptical of political boycotts. I think they occasionally have value when they can be implemented very specifically.

In this case, it was just one reason too many, and I didn't feel comfortable participating anymore. I'd say the straw that broke the camel's back, but it's really not a straw, is it?

I wasn't, and I'm still not, trying to convince anyone else. It's fun to watch. I love watching it.

I have people give me very good reasons why they gave up eating meat. I can listen, respect their opinions, even find some bordering on convincing. I love meat, though. It's delicious.

So I've been sitting here, watching the events of the last couple of days from a place away from the games themselves. It's an interesting point of view.

NFL Owners and Executives Who Protested Donald Trump Are the Biggest Hypocrites Yet by Shaun King is great, by the way.

But we come out at this, A Donald Trump Boycott Wouldn’t Just Hurt the NFL.

Mind you, there's a good, plausible conspiracy theory to made that the new boycott could be engineered to cancel out the first. Not one I believe, mind you, but it makes as much or more sense than most others out there.

I don't think anything dramatic will change this year or next or whatever. And you can point to that preceding sentence if it does and anyone suggests I was prescient in the rest of this.

But I do think this is the moment everyone will point to many years from now when football is a much smaller sport with more of a large cult audience, where the tide turned. Frankly, even if there's some other turning point that's more significant, I think this one will feel more dramatic and people will continue to look back.

For me, I can watch Adam Ruins Football here.

And now, outside the bubble of watching football every weekend, that's harder for me to dismiss. Mind you, if Colin Kaepernick gets hired tomorrow, I'm still jumping at my chance to watch my Hawks face the Colts next weekend. I'm not sure that will be true forever, though, and I'm less sure as each day passes.

I know whichever Trump-led conservative backers come from a different mindset than me, or even that I'm a good or understanding enough person to even comprehend, so I don't know if they will have those kinds of doubts sewn in their absence, but I suspect it will still be a change that will make some difference in their perspective, one way or the other.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Rebel without a plan

So, Robert Rodriguez is involved in this new El Mariachi-inspired contest for Rebel Without a Crew - The Series. My wife, Kimberly Rae, suggested I try for it.

At this point in my life, I've got to say the "the series" part was the first thing that made me think this isn't for me at this point in my life. Don't get me wrong, I'm pretty sure it was never for me, and now I'm just self-aware enough to know that it's not.

Now, there were a number of thick-heads trying to argue whether the $7000 was valid because of inflation or because of arguments regarding what other money that was spent on the final El Mariachi product. These might all be valid points if this weren't a contest and the rules just what they are. It's not a grant or anything that would have any reason to use any sense of what is "fair" or sensible like that. In fact, the arbitrariness is part of the point.

It happens, weirdly, this appeared in my life shortly after I'd already had really low-budget moviemaking in mind already. I had done a short poll of some friends and made this list of Low budget movies to watch or revisit soon in order to have that in mind.

So, with Kim's encouragement, some feeling that I should take a chance on some possible option for forward momentum in that too often neglected aspect of my life and some bit of ego, I decided I'd fill out the application, lock myself away and finish a workable ultra-low budget "Gaunt Land" script and see what happens.

I was going through the ponderous questionnaire full of the kind of insipid questions they ask to find out how good a reality TV contestant I might be, and rethinking the whole thing, but psyching myself on, when I skipped to the end and found you need to submit a short movie or a "sizzle reel". For fuck's sake.

If there's any low budget moviemaker on the planet who has no valid excuse to not have an amazing "sizzle reel", it's me. Seriously.

My excuse is merely that I'm an obscene failure perhaps should never have begun.

The fact that I have the makings of it, but not quite the resources to get them into any order, is a shame that seems to big for me to overcome at this point. A shame that overwhelms my ability to get over it. The ultimate stumbling block.

But not focusing on that for a moment, I recognize that I still need to lock myself away and finish that low budget "Gaunt Land" script and see what happens at the other end. Hopefully it can be the rising tide that raises all boats, if only by re-instilling me with something like confidence.

So, if you're looking around for me soon and can't find me, hopefully I'm living up to something and not just aimlessly hiding away from the world.

I won't know until I come out the other side.

Not listening

I can't tell you how exhausted I am by everything right now.

The 2016 election has clarified a number of things for me.

One of the key things is that none of us listen to each other. It's the way we got the result we, as a society, deserve in that election.

We are a society of it. We are too busy looking for how to show how right we are and not considering the ways we might be wrong.

I had a whole plan for this post where I went into the different ways I see different groups doing it, not just the ones you expect, or where you're supposed to expect it. The problem is that the ultimate is that it's essentially everyone.

I'm not stepping away from my general political beliefs or questions, as I just said, in Moderation and the failure of the future, I'm a radical by nature, and I believe what I believe. Right now, the thing we are all short on has nothing to do with individual beliefs, it is actual listening. Not the kind where we are trying our next move in a great conversational chess game, but the kind where we try to understand our fellow humans so we can actually connect with one another

As long as we are all failing at that, and we are, we are losing as human beings by definition. If we're not getting there, then all of the other arguments don't really matter.

I don't know. I'm pretty fucking disgusted with all of us, quite frankly.

Here's Living Colour, whose new album, Shade, is as good as anything they've done, performing "Wall", from their 1993 album Stain on Late Night with Seth Meyers. It's more optimism than I suspect we deserve, but it's so nicely done, and I hope we live up to it.

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