“I can believe…”

Charles Vess Instructions for Neil Gaiman

Charles Vess Instructions for Neil Gaiman

“I can believe things that are true and things that aren’t true and I can believe things where nobody knows if they’re true or not.

I can believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and the Beatles and Marilyn Monroe and Elvis and Mister Ed. Listen – I believe that people are perfectable, that knowledge is infinite, that the world is run by secret banking cartels and is visited by aliens on a regular basis, nice ones that look like wrinkled lemurs and bad ones who mutilate cattle and want our water and our women.

I believe that the future sucks and I believe that the future rocks…

I believe that all politicians are unprincipled crooks and I still believe that they are better than the alternative. I believe that California is going to sink into the sea when the big one comes, while Florida is going to dissolve into madness and alligators and toxic waste.

I believe that antibacterial soap is destroying our resistance to dirt and disease so that one day we’ll all be wiped out by the common cold like martians in War of the Worlds.

I believe…that thousands of years ago in a former life I was a one-armed Siberian shaman.

I believe that mankind’s destiny lies in the stars. I believe that candy really did taste better when I was a kid, that it’s aerodynamically impossible for a bumble bee to fly, that light is a wave and a particle, that there’s a cat in a box somewhere who’s alive and dead at the same time (although if they don’t ever open the box to feed it it’ll eventually just be two different kinds of dead), and that there are stars in the universe billions of years older than the universe itself.

I believe in a personal god who cares about me and worries and oversees everything I do. I believe in an impersonal god who set the universe in motion and went off to hang with her girlfriends and doesn’t even know that I’m alive. I believe in an empty and godless universe of causal chaos, background noise, and sheer blind luck.

I believe that anyone who says sex is overrated just hasn’t done it properly. I believe that anyone who claims to know what’s going on will lie about the little things too.

I believe in absolute honesty and sensible social lies. I believe in a woman’s right to choose, a baby’s right to live, that while all human life is sacred there’s nothing wrong with the death penalty if you can trust the legal system implicitly, and that no one but a moron would ever trust the legal system.

I believe that life is a game, that life is a cruel joke, and that life is what happens when you’re alive and that you might as well lie back and enjoy it.”

― Neil Gaiman, American Gods

Letters to a Young Poet” [Part XXIII of XXIX]

rainer maria rilke letters to a young poet COVER

“Letters to a Young Poet”

by Rainer Maria Rilke

Part XXIII of XXIX

Post by Jennifer Kiley

Post Sunday 24th May 2015

RILKE Painting blond

(23rd week)

“You are so young,
so much before all beginning,
and I would like to beg you,
dear Sir,
as well as I can,
to have patience
with everything unresolved
in your heart
and to try to love
the questions themselves
as if they were locked rooms
or books written
in a very foreign language.
Don’t search
for the answers,
which could not be given
to you now,
because you would not
be able to live them.
And the point is,
to live everything.
Live the questions now.
Perhaps then,
someday far in the future,
you will gradually,
without even noticing it,
live your way
into the answer.”

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One of Rainer Maria Rilke’s Homes

Dvorak, New World Symphony – 2nd Mvt Part 2,

Dublin Philharmonic, Conductor Derek Gleeson

* * * * * * *

“Could We Imagine”

COULD WE IMAGINE

If there were no Death
No need for Heaven
No need for Hell
Just dreams to live by

Without Death no end to Life
With Life forever it would bring on the Light
It would take away the Darkness
And Shadow worlds would fill the spaces

Without War there would be Peace
Without bullets guns would be broken
With Equality we would be Free
In a World where we live as One

© jk 2015


UNICEF #IMAGINE – North America
(Adam Lambert, Katy Perry, John Lennon, Bill Kaulitz…)

“I’ll See You In My Dreams”


“I’ll See You In My Dreams” | Official HD Trailer

Carol (Blythe Danner) is a retired schoolteacher and a longtime widow in her 70s. She enjoys a tranquil routine playing cards with close friends, keeping up her garden, and relaxing with a glass of wine. When her beloved dog dies, there’s a mournful vacuum that draws new experiences and attachments into her world. She forges a friendship with her pool guy and allows a pal to drag her to a speed dating shindig. And then there’s the gravelly-voiced, exuberant gentleman, Bill (Sam Elliott), who comes out of nowhere.

Rating: PG-13 (for sexual material, drug use and brief strong language)
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Directed By: Brett Haley
Written By: Brett Haley, Marc Basch
In Theaters: May 15, 2015 Limited
Runtime: 1h 49m
Bleecker Street

CAST:
Blythe Danner…as Carol Petersen
Martin Starr…as Lloyd
Sam Elliott…as Bill
Mary Kay Place…as Rona
June Squibb…as Georgina
Malin Akerman…as Katherine Petersen
Rhea Perlman…as Sally
Aarti Mann…as Dr. DaSilva
Max Gail…as Carl

Official Site: http://illseeyouinmydreamsmovie.com

Premiered Sundance Film Festival 2015

Film View: “The Price”


Neil Gaiman’s “The Price”

“Wanderers and vagabonds have brands that are on the walls, trees and doors to inform of his ilk a little about the people who live in the houses and farms as they go on their travels. I think cats must leave similar signs. How else explain what the cats that appear on our door during the year, hungry, infested with fleas and abandoned? “

A short animation based on the story by Neil Gaiman “The Price”, published in “Smoke and Mirrors”.

“Adventure Is Calling II”

“Adventure Is Calling II” by Shane Black

Take another trip around the U.S. and parts of Canada through my eyes, with Adventure Is Calling II.

I was fortunate enough to spend several months this past summer traveling around the U.S. and parts of Canada, teaching workshops and shooting timelapse along the way. Since the trip was so similar to the year before, I thought it was fitting to dub this video as a sequel to Adventure Is Calling. This trip spanned just shy of 4 months, covered around 14,000 miles and led to this film, composed of nearly 20,000 still images.

It was so great getting so much feedback on the last video about how it inspired so many to get out, travel, and spend more nights under the stars. I hope this video will revamp those desires.

Special thanks to Arn Andersson for making an extended version of his song The Truth Beyond for me to use for this video. arnandersson.com

Editor’s Corner 101.30

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner – Loving Our Villains.

You learn eventually that, while there are no villains, there are no heroes either.
And until you make the final discovery that there are only human beings, who are therefore all the more fascinating, you are liable to miss something.
― Paul Gallico

Scribe smallOnce upon a time – at least according to popular culture – the world was a simpler place. There were white hats and black hats and we walked through life with the certain belief that, no matter how grim things got, good would emerge victorious in the end. It is a comfortable worldview, littered with archetypes and stereotypes. We need not look too deep within ourselves to know who merits cheers, who boos.

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Empirically speaking, of course – and taking absolute nutters like Caligula out of the equation – villainy – and heroism – are much more situational qualities. Napoleon or Nelson, Pizarro or Atahualpa, Saladin or Richard I. Each has their supporters and detractors, with the balance tipped by the passage of years and history’s shifting tide. As Ian Fleming – a man who knew a good bad guy when he penned one – wrote, “History is moving pretty quickly these days and the heroes and villains keep on changing parts.” [Casino Royal] True-life villains are characters of passion and action, with the sort of laser conviction that makes them heroes in their own minds and those of their minions. (One has only to look at the current American shame, aka the Republican Party, to see this playing out in real time.)

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The best literary villains – nutters still excepted – have always been closer to this real-life model than to two-dimensional mustache-twirling brutes or murderous harridans. Shakespeare’s legion of dark characters (Macbeth, Richard III, Goneril, Tamora, Claudius, et al), Marlowe’s Barabas, Hugo’s Javert and Claude Frollo, Quilp, Moriarty, the list is long and colorful. A complicated age requires complicated characters; modern audiences demand more layered, multifaceted antagonists, people who flirt with the shadows, one foot in light, one in dark.Charles_Buchel_Sir_Herbert_Beerbohm_Tree_as_Shakespeare_s_Shylock moby-dick

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It is from this ambiguity that we get characters who, though considered villains by previous generations, might be now seen as sympathetic, occasionally even heroic. Shylock, Dracula, Captain Nemo, Moby-Dick, even Milton’s Lucifer, each are characters with complicated pasts, complicated motives. Personally, I cheer for them all, cheated, abused, betrayed – human – as they are. Gregory Maguire (“Wicked,” “Confessions of a Ugly Stepsister”) has taken this one step further and made a career out of turning tales on their heads and showing us just how heroic some famous villains are. All depends on who is telling the story.

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(It being the Month of the Dragon, I would be remiss not to at least mention one of the most maligned “villains” of all time: Dragons. Smaug, Fafnir, Smok, Beowulf’s Dragon, all are literary black-hats who, in actuality, are simply guarding their homes and property, avenging past wrongs, in short, defending themselves from those who, by virtue of comely looks and Homo sapien “superiority,” believed they had the right to take what they wanted, when they wanted and where. Dragons are different and what is different is easily feared and vilified.)

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What is the role of an antagonist in an increasingly grey literary landscape? And how do we make them memorable? Your antagonist is the one who drives your story. They compel the protagonist into action, give them someone to rise against and outshine, to save the kingdom or rescue the lost. Without villains, our heroes would just be sitting at home, enjoying their boring lives. Villains make heroes great.

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To make them memorable, we must write characters we like. Their hearts may be cold as Pluto’s core, but you, the author, have to like them. You want to write villains you’d enjoy inviting over diner (just be sure to lock up any stray firearms and hide the silver). You want people who not only have an interesting take on their world but who, despite their ethical flaws, can also be understood. As much as we might enjoy the occasional larger-than-life monster threatening cosmic devastation, the best antagonists are simply people who, when confronted with crucial choices, opt for the more sinister path. The more heinous a character’s actions, the more they need some spark deep in their background that holds the possibility of being just like us.

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As their creators, we have to recognize this and tread joyfully in their shoes. Then, in inky Stetson or raspberry beret, our antagonists will be memorable and alive.

I will try to respond to messages as I am able. At times it may be in the form of a post or a direct email response. Guests who post, I will forward messages addressed to them. It is up to them how they decide to correspond.   — Shawn MacKENZIE – MacKenzie’s Dragonsnest