Posts Tagged ‘writer’

Reality, really?

June 2, 2012

I recently saw a commercial for a new television show that features Howard Stern, Howie Mandel and Ozzie Osbourne’s wife judging whether people have talent. I will wait as you chuckle at the irony of this. Believe me, I did. After doing so my first thought was I would rather be locked in a room with Jeffrey Dahmer, Sarah Palin and a tiger shark then be forced to watch such a show. The second thought was that reality television has taken over TV and threatens to take over the world leaving us all brainless.

When I watch TV I do so to escape from reality not to observe it. I want to see well written and acted shows that make me laugh, keep me in suspense or make me want to be David Duchovny. However, it seems like people who share my taste for traditional drama instead of “baby daddy” drama are in the minority.

The general television viewing audience has become obsessed with watching other people’s lives unfold before their eyes. What makes no sense to me is, if people are so interested in real life why are they observing it through a television screen? No matter how big or how high a definition a television you have the picture is never going to be better than what you get in real life. No matter what reality television show your brain claims you like real life has a better alternative to offer.

American Idol is a perfect example. Every time I see a commercial for it I wonder how it is possibly still on the air. Why would anyone choose to watch this show? You have a pimple-covered teenager belting out an off-key rendition of Journey while Stephen Tyler’s corpse humps a table. That doesn’t sound appealing. I would much rather go out and see a talented, local band like the Paragraphs rather than subject myself to FOX’s take on live music.

The sad phenomenon of reality television got its start on MTV when in 1992 they released The Real World. The popularity of that show proved that people were interested in spying on other people’s lives. The Real World flourished and before you knew it reality television had taken over MTV. What had once been a network where you could find quality music videos made by creative people turned into a joke that only played mindless reality shows designed to make the viewer dumber.

Unfortunately all these shows are different variations of the same concept. Just throw a bunch of people who are pre-destined not to get along, shove them in a house or on a island or a fishing boat and watch the sparks fly as people stop being polite and start talking shit for real. That’s formula one. Formula two is as follows: They put someone on stage who claims to be funny or play music or just simply because they are grossly overweight. Then they assemble a panel of former celebrities who haven’t been famous for five years and call them judges or coaches or dance partners. Lastly they allow you, the general television viewing audience, to text message which contestant is your favorite. The winner of the show gets to be a judge five years from now.

There is no creativity in these shows even if they are, as I believe, scripted just like a fictional program would be. I agree that writing anything takes creativity but when the end result is in the form of a reality television show that rule gets thrown out the window. How stimulated can one’s creative side truly be when they are watching rich housewives throw fake charity parties that always predictably end with a cat fight between two women who have so much plastic injected into them that they could both pass for action figures?

Real life changes constantly, that’s what makes it real. Reality television on the other hand is always the same which leads me to believe it isn’t really real, but is simply poorly crafted garbage written by ass clowns not talented enough to write a witty crime drama. I believe that the writers of reality television, if you choose to call them that, put the plot on paper and then allow the “real people” they are filming to act in response to the script they are handed.

I can’t help but laugh at people who truly believe that every minute of the reality television they watch is really happening on the fly with no sort of preparation for what is playing out on camera. I believe it is somewhat naïve to think that a television network would ever allow that sort of freedom to be seen. Freedom is the last thing television networks want us to have.

With freedom comes power and with too much of that people might start turning their televisions off. Networks can’t have that. To prevent such an outrage they dumb down their programming just enough to keep the average viewer stimulated, but not deeply enough to require thought. The more of this sort of programming you view the less important your brain becomes because you no longer need it to be entertained. Then one day every free thought that might have popped into your head has been replaced with season two of Jersey Shore and once you reach that point you are fucked .

I recommend taking your brain back before that happens to you. Remind yourself of what it feels like to think freely. If you want to relax and watch a little television choose something that will keep stimulating your brain like an old school episode of X-Files. Or turn off the television and read a book, like Love Life, my second novel which will be available soon on Amazon and Kindle. If that doesn’t interest you then simply walk outside and see what real life is really like.

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Churchill’s Renaissance III Revisited

March 10, 2012

We survived Renaissance, barely, and once again Churchill’s Pub and Grille proved to have the best selection of craft beer and food served by the finest restaurant/bar staff in the world. That’s right, I said THE WORLD. Feel free to further expand our egos at the pub by showering us with over exaggerated compliments in regards to our exceptional skills. That being said I reiterate that some of us barely survived and that’s not even in regards to the staff. Sure we worked our asses off but you, the general drunken public, drank and ate your asses off and for that we love you.

The line to enter the pub allegedly started at 3:30 Saturday morning. We have since confirmed this to be true by consulting one of the many secret cameras we have hidden in and around the pub. By 6:30 it was already leaking out of our parking lot. When I walked up at ten it had grown to a thousand according to the crack head at the halfway house who repeatedly cursed at me to stay off his porch.

At 10:55 the staff shared one last moment of meditation followed up by a group hug. Then, the doors flung open and the madness began. People bum rushed the bar in a frenzied attempt at being the first to order Churchill’s Finest Hour. Waves and waves of customers slowly marched in and filled the entire bar, restaurant and patio. Ninety-Nine percent of the crowd was polite and patient as they realized that amongst the insanity the entire staff was doing everything in their power to keep people drunk, fat and happy. Those who were rude or impatient usually only got served once.

The vomit level was low much to the relief of our bar backs who were forced to bring their own puke buckets from home. The one glaring upheaval did unfortunately happen in the fire pit which was thankfully not on. Anyone who has ever caught a whiff of a flaming pool of vomit knows how horrible it can be and that it often leads to a ferocious cycle of group puking.

While most customers ordered efficiently so we could help them as quickly as possible there were those who decided that they were more important than all the other customers waiting for food and drink. That’s right string order boy, I am talking to you. At a quiet bar where it’s just you and your buddies making the bartender or server make multiple back to back trips for you is accepted, although still frowned upon. At a bar filled to max capacity with rabid beer aficionados foaming at the mouth to be served a drink this sort of behavior is unacceptable. If you can’t order all your drinks at once you are making others suffer. Even at my most busy and scatter brained I can handle up to eighty-one drinks in my mind at once, so please don ‘t be scared to try to overwhelm me. The quicker I move on from you the quicker I can help the cute girl in the corner, who if I keep serving in a speedy fashion may get drunk enough for you to get lucky.

Other than string orders the only other glaring ordering offense was found in those people not ready to be waited upon. As I pour beers I scan the bar and have a pecking order in mind of who I am going to serve first. It goes regulars first and then it switches to first come first serve. I generally plan out the next five people I am going to help even before I have approached any of them. If I ask you what you want and you look away to consult a friend or beer list then by the time you face the bar again all you will see is the back of my head. I will return, eventually, but that pecking order I just talked about, you’re now at the bottom.

The ultimate asshole award for the day goes to that idiot I personally had kicked out myself. While I doubt he lacks the ability to read I hope he gets a hold of this because I have a message for him.

“No, bro, I didn’t think you were drunk enough to be cut off, I just plain didn’t like you. Your constant groping and sexual harassment of every woman who walked up to bar coupled with your loud and obnoxious voice/laugh/personality/presence/face/existence was what did you in. Had I not been stuck behind the bar I would have grabbed that cell phone you were shit talking me on and shoved it so far up your ass your tongue would be text messaging every time you spoke.”

Despite these minor complaints Churchill’s Renaissance III, The Revenge of Ivan, proved to be the greatest day in the history of beer just as some brilliant writer predicted a week ago. What made it so great was the food, the beer and most importantly the people, both staff and clientele. For that I thank and applaud everyone involved in such a wonderful event. The next big pub event will be St. Patrick’s Day, which compared to the distinguished esteem of Churchill’s Renaissance will be a bro-infested slop fest filled with strewn jello shots and people’s wives being left for dead on bathroom floors. Can’t wait!

Televised Demise

February 4, 2012

Poets sit like sickness

bleeding my pen

watching my lines

shadows cast between

hate-filled eyes

believing spoken-wise rhyme

could ever outwit my mind

cuz whiskey always

did intrigue this scribe

who loves

dark and empty bars

that allow chain-smokers

to drink all night.

A frightening sight

when held beneath the light

a belly bereft by bourbon

a brain beleaguered

by any hallucinogenic available

forever searching for

an endless high

to brighten up these

star-less skies

left black and empty

by countless lies

that’ll haunt my writing

till every pen

runs dry

a sign to anyone

who reads that all

creative thought has died.

And on that day

I’ll be in me pub

buried in the corner

spitting literature’s eulogy

pausing only for

muffled shots and

occasional cries.


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