“ranger bill – smokey in the city”

smokey-03
(photo manipulation of Smokey Bear who debued in 1944, the first poster illustrated by Albert Staehle, the bear named after “Smokey” Joe Martin, a heroic 1920s New York City fire fighter)

RANGER BILL – SMOKEY IN THE CITY

Episode 1: “Welcome to the Forest”

(A single camera, urban-forest dramedy with good guys, bad guys, and dancing bears, in 22-minute episodes; character/scene list in attached spreadsheet.)

## SCENE 1-A – EXT. FOREST, MORNING
Portland OR, early spring – forest bird sounds: jay, crow, hawk, woodpecker.

Shot of tiny clearing in small area of old-growth forest on ridge above downtown, a small cabin with mossy roof, smoke coming from chimney pipe, clearing lined with blooming rhododendrons. Camera pans forward to rustic outhouse behind cabin, pauses on outhouse door which opens as Ranger Bill (RB) in uniform and Smokey hat steps out w/magazine folded under arm, adjusting belt.

He walks to back door of cabin, past bank of solar panels and 2 small wind generators, stopping under cabin roof eave below small satellite dish, where water pipe w/spigot and attached soap dish comes up from ground. RB washes hands and dries them on hand towel hung on nail on cabin wall, then takes ancient, silver mountain bike off back porch, puts magazine in knapsack bungee-corded to bike rack, Smokey hat on top of knapsack tying hat strap through bungees, puts on bike helmet and jacket.

He walks bike around side to front of cabin, past rusty silver Ranger pickup with “Park Service” on door, gets on bike and coasts down dirt drive through trees.

… [full script, and character/scene list in pdf file links below]

wr-tlp-ranger-bill-e001-d03-20170103

wr-tlp-ranger-bill-e001-notes-20161214

20170103 11:18 (4575 words)

_______________

music:
▸ Bear’s Den performing a) “Above the Clouds of Pompeii” from “Islands” 2014, b) “Dew on the Vine” from “Red Earth & Pouring Rain” 2016
▸ Roo Panes performing a) “The Original”, and b) “Stay With Me” — from “Paperweights” 2016
▸ Beirut performing “Fener” from “No, No, No” 2016
▸ Breathe Owl Breathe performing “Explorer” from “Passage of Pegasus” 2013
▸ Andrew Bird performing “Roma Fade” from “Are You Serious” 2016
▸ Ingrid Michaelson performing “Ribbons” from “Human Again” 2012

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“weight-loss cruises”

cruise-ship-02
(photo montage from here and here)

(scene 27 – on-board Weight-Loss Cruise Lines’ “M.V. Diarrhea”)

MC: (at stage mike) Now, fellow cruisers, you’re in for a special treat. So, please, put your anal sphincters together for — Pri-vate Head!!!

(a low wave of muted, arthritic applause trickles out from the dozen people sitting on the folding metal chairs of “The Small Room” between Chef Bill’s “Pasta Supreme Buffet” and kitchen no. 2, as “Private Head,” a.k.a. 80-something Clive Ritchie, enters stage right dressed in World War II army fatigues with boots, gaiters, a “piss-cutter” cap and a well-used, circa WWII toilet seat hanging around his neck)

PRIVATE HEAD: (stops at mike, stares at audience for several beats like he has suddenly found the answer to an eighth-grade algebra problem he’s been working on for 70 years, then returns to the living moment) Thanks for stopping by, tonight. I know you could all be going somewhere else.

OLDSTER LADY IN ROW 3: (turns to Guy next to her, shouting) What’d he say?

OLDSTER GUY IN ROW 3: (shouting) No idea.

OLIR3: Why’s he wearing a toilet seat?

OGIR3: No idea. Maybe it’s a souvenir, from the cruise.

OLIR3: What?

OGIR3: A sou-ven-ir! You know, like taking an ashtray or a hand towel.

PH: It’s been a moving week. Frankly, I had my doubts about a 10-day “weight-loss cruise” that guaranteed “you’ll lose 10 pounds in 10 days, or your money back.”

OLIR3: Is he making a diarrhea joke?

OGIR3: He’s leading up to it.

OLIR3: Why come onto a diarrhea boat, and talk shit?

OGIR3: No idea.

OLIR3: What a shithead.

OGIR3: Yes. It seems to be going around.

20161126 18:31 (293 words)
______________
music:
▸ case/lang/veirs performing “Song For Judee” from “case/lang/veirs” (Neko Case, k.d. lang, and Laura Veirs) 2016
▸ The Weather Station performing “At Full Height” from “Loyalty” 2015
▸ Monsters of Folk performing “The Sandman, the Brakeman, and Me” live in studio 2009, from “Monsters of Folk” 2009
▸ River City Extension performing “Adrienne” from “The Unmistakable Man” 2010
▸ Daughter performing “Candles” in studio 2012, from “His Young Heart” 2011

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from comments left elsewhere

… on “The Grand Tour” vs “The Detectorists,” with London tv producer in the making Lucy Smith

pe-laurel-and-hardy-01
(photo of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy from
pinterest)

… meanwhile yesterday, as you are posting your thoughts from London on Amazon’s “The Grand Tour,” I am watching series 2, episodes 5-6/6 of “The Detectorists” on Netflix, here, in the current “wilderness of excess” that is Donald Trump’s America, where:

– a) I begin to see, after Andy and Becky (and thank you, Diana Rigg, for giving the world the original Emma Peel, and the original Rachel Stirling; and, also, I haven’t seen a couple (Crook and Stirling) this homely-beautiful since Julia Roberts briefly married Lyle Lovett) — anyway, after they name the kid “Stanley,” I realize that Mackenzie Crook’s inspiration for the story may in fact have been an updated version of the adventures of Laurel and Hardy; and

– b) I later (thank you, wikipedia) discover the story behind the “bad gold coin” in episode 5, as being the actual Nazi economic, foreign cash-reserves problem that began in the late ’30s, and was at least one reason for their need to invade other nation states, so they could melt down the gold taken from central banks and other places, using it to buy the natural resources they increasingly needed to feed the growing economic monster created by their war machine; as

– c) I see yet more historical evidence of the good that comes from feeding monsters; as

– d) I prepare for a day of historical gluttony served with turkey, dressing (dried bread cubes with onions browned in butter and spices, cooked in the fat-weeping cavity of the oven-roasted bird), mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, peas — all heaped upon a plate and covered with lakes of turkey gravy — which turns out to be mostly just a story of gluttony without the actual history; so

– e) I’m doing that “writing as a means of recording us in time” thing, here; so

– f) thanks Lucy, and Happy Thanksgiving.

LUCY SMITH: (reading, mutters to self) Where have all these turkeys in America, come from? … (light goes on) … Oh — the answer must be that it’s true, you do become what you eat.

20161124 15:15 (347 words)
________________
music:
▸ Johnny Flynn performing
– the theme song from “The Detectorists” live 2014
– with Laura Marling “The Water” live 2010, and
– with Lillie Flynn “Amazon Love” live 2014, both from “Been Listening” 2010
– with Mumford and Sons “Réveille Mon Âme” (Awake My Soul) live 2010, song by Mumford and Sons (Ted Dwane, Ben Lovett, Marcus Mumford and Winston Marshall) from “Sigh No More” 2009

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notes on writing below

  • Notice of Copyright: all writing posted here by the writer using the web name “zombiedisco101” and the pen name “D.T. Hart,” unless otherwise attributed, is copyright by him on date of posting
  • format: a) “titles” in quotes are fiction, b) titles without quotes are nonfiction
  • music/film/tv links are stuff we listened to/watched before or while writing the posts
  • this wordpress journal was set up Nov. 16, 2016, w/posts dated earlier transferred here from an older journal on livejournal.com

Support Wikipedia

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“sketch sketchy”

hetch_hetchy_valley
(photo of the Hetch Hetchy Valley, early 1900s, from a Sierra Club Bulletin 1908)

With a deep valley of similarity between Sanford William “Hilltop” Englethwart’s ego, and the Sierra Nevada water system that supplied water to the golden real-estated hills of San Francisco and its environs, it may seem only natural, or possibly even neurally-artesian, that his 1,500 page, gold-leaf covered memoir published in 1987 at the age of 41, would be called “Sketch Sketchy — The Art of Making a Big Deal Out of Nothing.”

“Man, this is one sketchy dude,” Willard Wingman said in an interview that year in the weekly “Around and Underneath the Bay.” “Really. It was like his parents drew him freehand, in short, strong bursts of creative gisum glossed with the sheen that only fertile egg yolk gives.”

Wingman had known The Hilltop since eighth-grade progressive algebra when, together, they discovered it was possible to control the naturally associative properties of math by simply hanging the parentheses in different ways and places on the page, then adding stuff up how you wanted. That Wingman would later become an enormously successful “conceptual algebra” artist was “written in the cards,” Englethwart, an enormously wealthy fantasy-real estate developer, often said, referring to the card game they played in their frequent study session breaks, called “Texas Hold ‘Em, Stroke ‘Em, and Shoot ‘Em.”

That algebra could be a beauty of dysfunction was a fashion that nearly caught on in the “acid days” of San Francisco, before the city’s Public Utilities Commission began stopping people from throwing tabs of “window pane” into the aqueduct at various places along its 170 mile run to town.

“So I’m, like, standing on a corner at Powell and Geary. Just watching life go by,” The Hilltop says in chapter 4. “Then — ‘Ding-Ding-Ding-Ding’ — a cable car rumble-steel’s its way by. The carman’s gloves are heavy leather, with gauntlets that stop halfway up his lower arms. He’s pulling on the levers of the car that control how hard they grip the cables running underneath the street. And I realize that, at this moment, I’m living in a working museum.

“Then suddenly I’m six years old, again, and standing on this same corner with my Noobie June, my mother’s mother. Her fingers are wrapped Granny-tight around my hand, as we wait to cross the street and buy a cone at Swenson’s.

“‘Fragile,’ Noobie says, her head turned and tilted toward my ear, ‘remember this: A cat has legs and is a cat because it uses them.’

“I had no idea what she meant. The lady hated animals almost as much as she hated people. The only thing she really liked was ice cream, which is why, when she died at 93, they had to haul her body down the stairs of the Starboard House on Grant, on a door made from three-inch thick white oak.

“But I can feel her fingers, still, trying to squeeze the orange juice from my hand. She was such a nasty woman.”

Which we found, in following the links involved with our own rereading-and-rewriting story of today, may have been the one accomplishment The Hilltop never thought he’d leave behind — as Donald Trump would read that line in the summer of his own long, twisted run to a Poli-Sci-Fi town, in a book he found left tent-open on a bench in Central Park.

“Such a nasty woman,” Trump would mutter to himself as he read the words, then look across the path at the fairy-tale life grandeur of his Tower. “It’s a sign. The Gods are saying: ‘Donald, you’re our boy.'”

Or, possibly, it’s just a sign of an older free-association problem, that confuses the beholding of a species’ individual ideas of youth and value, with the dead-meat social hugging of a tribal immaturity, while vanitizing everything around and in the parentheticals.

20161029 17:19 (666 words)
_____________
music:
▸ Bruce Cockburn performing:
“Pacing the Cage”, in studio 1998, from “The Charity of Night” 1997
“Open” and
“Put it in Your Heart” from “You’ve Never Seen Anything” 2003
“Listen for the Laugh” from “Dart to the Heart” 1994
“Call it Democracy” from “World of Wonders” 1986

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act 4 – curtis hanson

curtis-hanson
(Curtis Hanson, b. Reno NV, Mar 24, 1945 – d. Los Angeles CA, Sep 20, 2016, age 71; photo from picsofcelebrities.com)

_______________
music:
▸ Bob Dylan performing “Things Have Changed”, music video 2000, directed by Curtis Hanson, song written for his film “Wonder Boys” 2000

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“angerona”

… as the aging goddess of standup comedy

angerona
(photo montage from: a) Angerona (Ahn-jer-‘own-a), by Johann Christian Wilhelm Beyer (1725-1796), Schönbrunn gardens, Vienna; and b) empty stage from heathkrueger.com)

(Scene 27 – The Romance in Carbon Dating.)

ANGERONA MARKSALOT: (steps from mark to edge of stage-front, one hand shading eyes, speaks to director sitting 7 rows back in the empty-darkened theater seats) So, my motivation here, again, is what?

DIRECTOR BILL: Like your namesake, the Roman Goddess Angerona, you’re alleviating pain and sorrow. Here, by beginning with a short backstory of who you are by indicating who you aren’t.

AM: By saying that I am not related to either Groucho, or Karl, Marx, the 20th-century American, and 19th-century German, social humorists?

DB: Right.

AM: I am, instead, descended from the great marking pen inventor A. Lot Marks who gave the world a felt-tipped pen that would leave A. Lot of Marks on a-lot-of-stuff, so permanently that the Smithsonian is now burying its important, Marks-A-Lot-ted records deep beneath the Mall in Washington.

DB: That’s it. Then, almost as a linking afterthought, you work in the cherry trees that line the Tidal Basin in Washington, given to the U.S. in 1912 by the City of Tokyo, a gift to which the U.S. responded 33 years later with the uniquely American presents of “Little Boy” and “Little Boy, II — The Boom Continues.”

AM: So my personal story becomes, then, just one girl’s journey within the larger story of the 20th-century social holocaust?

DB: Yes. And then we explode a block of 25 seats in the balcony, as Special Forces troops storm the auditorium and take out the terrorists, and other collateral casualties, in the first six rows of main floor seating.

AM: Which is why I’m dressed in a Kevlar toga?

DB: With a Kevlar butt-plug. You know, so …

AM: … I’m ready for the 20th-century social holocaust, theater after-party?

DB: Right.

AM: Okay. But the connection from all that, then, back to my namesake? I guess I’m not really seeing the link. How am I a modern version of the goddess of calm that, after the anger storm abates, brings the alleviation of pain and sorrow?

DB: (turns to writer in the 8th row, 3 seats closer to the aisle) Maybe YouRipADeez can help with that. Rip?

WILLIAM HELMSTEAD “YOURIPADEEZ” LORDE: (sends text “later” to OnFrigidTipToes, a senior at William Taft High, and closes phone, looking up) Yeah, sure. Uh — it’s like the story of the 13 wise men and a girl from Joliet named Tremble Blow, made into the breakout movie of the Crony Brothers — “Shake, Rattle and Blow — There Is No Country For Old Rock Men.”

(Rip pauses for 5 beats that fill the space around the darkened theater seats with the beating silence of the central universal question, finally given voice by Angerona.)

AM: Sorry. I have no idea what the fuck you’re saying.

RIP: (recovering) Sure. It was just a passing reference to events that might have happened in a parallel universe.

AM: A parallel universe that’s parallel to what?

RIP: Good question. If this, or any, universe is, in fact, infinite, how could there then be another universe occurring in-parallel to it?

AM: Are you asking me a rhetorical question about the rhetorical question that you are posing as an answer to my question? Or is what you’re saying, now, as tortured in its absence of meaning, as what you are saying in the play?

DB: Maybe this would be a good place for a break.

AM: Maybe this would be a good place to break this fucktard’s head, wide open. You know, and have a look inside, in the chance that someone may have left the instruction sheet for the play’s assembly.

(Suddenly a lone spotlight in the bar above the stage goes out in a flash of light that begins white hot, then runs through the colors of the spectrum, ending in a deep purple-blue like the color of velvet popular with European royalty for centuries, as everyone looks up in frozen-wonder, and Stagehand Rack enters stage-left.)

SR: (stops stage-front, scans the awestruck faces) Wow. This is like that scene in “Flight of the Avatar” where Captain Clerk’s pants fall down and everyone on the bridge is suddenly transfixed by the music coming from the speaker in his penis.

AM: (comes to, looks at Rack) What?

SR: To be, or not to be, transfixed — that is the step-back question, now.

20160918 16:44 (756 words)
___________________
music:
▸ George Ezra performing: a) “Budapest” (00:30), and b) “Blame It On Me” (05:15) — in studio 2014, from “Wanted on Voyage” 2014
▸ The Head and the Heart performing: a) “City of Angels”; and b) “Rhythm & Blues” — in studio 2016, from “Signs of Life” 2016
▸ Adele performing: a) “Crazy For You”; b) “Right as Rain”; and c) “Hometown Glory” — live 2008, from “19” 2008

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“modest-o”

… life in California’s ego-free zone

flying-busker

(flying busker in silver lamé, KT Tunstall, playing air guitar on the video of “All or Nothing” *)

Before being originally settled by the continental migrant-descendants of human cargo originally shipped across the Atlantic from Europe and Africa on cruise ships with few staterooms, banquet meals, happy hours or evening floor shows, the city of “water, wealth, contentment, health” was, of course, settled by people who were the descendants from earlier long-distance walkers who crossed the old-timey northern land and ice bridges that still occasionally connected the magma-floated and now drifting Gon’d Wanalands — even if it took a few hundred years more for the long-distance-walker kids to fully participate in purchasing their own franchises for democratically controlling the free will of the people.

LITTLE WOLF HANDSOME FEATHER: (incredulous) So you’re saying $3 million is a good price to determine a local election in the Bad Lands of North Dakota?

MR. BILL FROM AMERI-FRACK: Oh, yeah. It’s a steal. If this were California you’d be paying five, ten times that. You know, it’s still mostly prairie, here. And until prairie dogs can agree long enough on anything to hire legal representation, there just won’t be that many potential voters.

LWHF: You actually think that one day prairie dogs will have the right to vote?

MBFAF: Sure. Once the science of political-business-science can figure out how to deliver prairie dog voters.

LWHF: Why does that come first?

MBFAF: Democracy only works when some people are free to determine how other people vote.

In the 1870s of California’s Central Valley, however, determining how other people voted was more complicated. No tv ads. No sound bites on a tv evening news that’s read today like used-car journalists who are selling as much information characterization as possible in a 20-second spot. No computer-generated mailing lists. No means of tapping in to the trillions in hidden assets buried in coffee cans in the backyards of offshore banks. And no way to show, using computer graphics, definitive proof that your opponent is the alien spawn of travelers from a distant galaxy who “hate America for its free-dom.”

Back in 1870, with more people standing in front of the curtain than behind it, the “don’t vote for alien spawn” strategy was still just a political-action-committee dream waiting to be realized. In Modest-O — a town where a hundred years later hometown boy George Lucas would immortalize cruising in the 1960s on the town’s “American Graffiti” version of 10th and 11th Streets — humility was still something people could wear in public without the threat of being stoned.

MAYOR WILKINS: (writing letter) Dear Mr. Ralston: Just a note to let you know that the founding fathers of our fine community would like to call the town “Ralston” in your honor, as a way of thanking both you, and your Bank of California, for support.

WILLIAM CHAPMAN RALSTON: (writing letter) Dear Mr. Mayor: Thank you for your kind letter. To have your town named for me would be an honor I am, however, too humble to accept. As with other customers here at the Bank of California, we are only too glad to realize our humble part in using the money entrusted to us by others, to provide the investments necessary to help people realize their futures. That through diligence and perseverance our customers succeed in that endeavor, is the best return possible on our investment as it honors the very idea of social stability through shared wealth, that we in the financial system are working hard to keep alive.

CUSTODIAN IN MAYOR’S OFFICE: (holding broom handle, reads letter on desktop; mutters to self in Spanish) Oh, muy modesto.
20160902 17:10 (621 words)
___________________
music:
▸ * KT Tunstall performing: -a) “All or Nothing”; and -b) “The Healer”, both from the EP “Golden State” 2016
▸ Winstersleep performing: -a) “Santa Fe”; and -b) “Territory”, both from “The Great Detachment” 2016

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“exacerbations”

… on a song of time and place, with help from 3 dumbwaiters

dumbwaiter

(photo from Complete Lift Company)

1) The door to dumbwaiter no. 1 rolls slowly, up and back. Like a chicken that stiffly elevates her bulk at 4:15 a.m. in the third week of July, waking from a peaceful sleep. Then yawns and fluffs the feathers of her nest-head butt before waddling to the toilet in a corner of the coop.

Where she pees and two-square wipes, then thinks, perhaps, of the Starbucks ad from last night’s stream on Tubi. Wondering just how complicated barista math must be to anticipate a customer demand for fresh 20-hour cold-brewed coffee, 20 hours before it happens. Then, following the link-link landscape of that thought, she lingers on the chicken pot a moment longer and imagines a Seattle classroom full of Scandi-blondo chicks at Starbucks’ “Barista U.”

“So, class,” Professor Olafson continues, “the formula for determining a market push 20 hours before it happens is simple. It’s also secret and, having been turned into a software program, is now copyright protected. Since the 20-hour market forecast is a fundamental element of our marketing campaign, which is, in turn, as was decided correctly in ‘Pinkish vs. Hue’ — ‘a pre-delivery characterization of a product that becomes the reality in which that product, then, continues to exist.’

“Or, as summarized later on the Twitter account of the 13th Circuit Court of Appeals: ‘Yo, bitches — what we say is what it is!'”

Heather Jenkins, 19, is recording everything that Prof O says on the “Bean Chip” clipped to the neckband of her sweatshirt. Which is good since she’s thinking of the weekend and driving with “the crew” to the beach at Ocean Shores. Then sitting around an evening campfire while roasting hot dogs, buns, and marshmallows, after dropping E and swimming naked in the surf.

Three rows down in the lecture hall at 111 Kona, RiskAdverse, a.k.a. Frederick Temple James, is actually asleep and dreaming that he’s swimming in the surf with Heather, in a liquid metaphor for a fantasy the knotted boner in his jeans is pushing to become completely literal.

“Come, Monday,” Professor Olafson says louder now in closing, as RiskAdverse’s head abruptly leaves Heather simmering in the surf, “there’ll be a quiz in your discussion groups, where you will be expected to describe in detail Grindstone’s 20-hour forecast algorithm.” He then turns the overhead projector off and glances at the class before turning toward the door.

“So study hard, and play care-ful-ly,” Prof O says. Which is sound advice at Barista U, or at any of the other thousands of employer-driven business universities, that have now become the current-future state of formal education.

Continue reading

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“view from the 19th hole”

19th-hole
(photo from the Conrad Pezula Hotel & Resort Knysna, South Africa)

(sitting on the clubhouse terrace: Elaine, Seminole, the Basker Brothers (Slim and DickHead) — at a table with a view of the 18th green, deep into their 7th round of cocktails)

ELAINE: (looks at hands; sweet) My hands are so, fuck-ing clean.

SEMINOLE: (offhand, passing) Cool, babe. … So, Slim, tell me how you managed to slice and dice the Tenderloin deal?

SLIM: (smiles, smug) Not saying.

DICKHEAD: (in the dying light of big-brother adulation) He says “not saying is the key to all success.”

SEMINOLE: Yeah, I can see that. Mystery as the Queen of Leverage. Wasn’t it that Berkshire Hathaway dude who said “Give me a mystery large enough, and I can move the world?”

ELAINE: (looking at course) I think that was Newton.

DICKHEAD: Actually, it was Bobby Orr, holding up his stick after the Bruins won the Stanley Cup for the first time in 29 years, in 1970.

SLIM: Actually, I think it was NostrilDameOhs, that hot, Greek girl with an incredible, honker nose for prognostication.

ELAINE: (glances at Slim then back at course, casually touching nose)

WAITER JOE: (walks up with tray of refills, begins setting drinks on table) Actually, it was Archimedes, the Greek toga party impresario, in Chapter 14 of “How to Make Your Toe Gaga Produce Returns.” (bounces eyebrows at DickHead)

DICKHEAD: (gives him look that says) Go hand-fuck yourself, waiter boy.

WAITER JOE: (finishes) Gentlemen. (turns and leaves)

ELAINE: (pause; big sigh) I wish my calves were smaller. Like they were when Mom and I just roamed the range, alone and free, before the arrival of the cowpokes.

SEMINOLE: (looks at her) Babe — I thought you liked the cowpoke thing?

ELAINE: (glances at him, back at course) Uh-huh.

20160717 11:25 (290 words)
_________________
music:
▸ John Doe performing “Go Baby Go” on video Mar. 2016, provided to YouTube by The Orchard Enterprises, song from “The Westerner” 2016, available from Cool Rock Records and Amazon
▸ The Head and the Heart performing “Cats and Dogs” & “Coeur D’Alene” in studio Jul. 2010, from “The Head and the Heart” 2011
▸ The Lemonheads performing “Rockin Stroll” by Evan Dando, on music video Oct. 2009, from “It’s a Shame About Ray” 1992
▸ The Paper Kites performing “I’m Lying to You Cause I’m Lost”, from “twelvefour” 2015

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“movie magic”

… laying out the life in underplay

spotlight
(theatrical release poster for the film “Spotlight” 2015*)

“What is this about?” Olivia Flanders asks, calm as toast without the butter. She’s a natural for the role of gatekeeper — a superhero of the resolute polite, sitting at a clutter-empty desk like a ballerina of communication, her back an upright arrow laid back against the long bow of the chair, forearms stretched out upon the polished cherry desktop framing the yellow pad she has for notes, the phone’s thin half-headset hanging like an epiphyte on the outside of an ear.

“It’s a revelation,” Jeffers answers. “Just tell Mr. Bingley it’s the secret Mammoth Pictures has been looking for since Victor Mature was lost at sea in that pirate with self-doubt issues movie.”

“And the secret involves what?”

“Magic. Why movie magic happens, and how to make it happen again and again by following a simple formula.”

“A formula you call ‘Ringo’s Dance Card’?”

“Yes. Named for the cheat sheet drum chart Ringo used for reference, taped to the inner, bass drum skin just beside the pedal. Except here, of course, there are no drums. Just natives beating back the bushes along the quakey trails of Tinseltown, as they try to make a movie.”

Olivia is smiling. It’s one of the perks of interacting with the weirdness — to look beyond the rites of chaos passage, and see the human show for its inherent, entertainment value.

“Still there?” Jeffers asks after a few beats.

“Yes. Both here and being still.”

“Cool. Still life works. It’s just a crap idea for the central theme in framing out a moving picture. Moving still life — in what self-reflective, zero-sum idea farm did this idea start?”

“So tell me about the formula.”

“‘Conscious underplay’ — it works by doing conscious without the attachment of a hyphened-self. Which is like convincing both the conscious and the self that maybe they should spend some time apart. Then you buy the self a ticket on a bus to Vegas via Anchorage, so the conscious can finally open up the windows of the crib and catch a breath of unclaimed air.

Olivia is silent for a moment as she begins to draw a bus on the AlCan Highway to Alaska.

“Still there?”

“Yes. Both.”

“Good.”

“So the underplay, then?

“Is just the story of the conscious self without the self. Which is analogous to a dog watching nature shows on t.v. If the dog becomes entranced with gazing at its own reflection in the t.v. screen, it’s going to miss the part where the kangaroo deals cards.”

“And if I ask you to bring this brief visit to the land of theory-ville back home to “formula,” and hold the entertainment, would that cramp your style?”

“No. Sorry. You get to conscious underplay without the self, by taking out the stuff that puddles-up to make the self. Suppose, by some happy, finder’s chance, you find a story of real life that has so much depth-of-real about its story life, the idea of nailing up the story-boards to form the framing for a mirror of life, just seems like painting over gold.”

“And this would be the model?”

“Yes. The model of the depth-of-real you’re looking for. If what you find is a moving van of that, then lucky you. But still, even with a happy load of that, it still requires a lot of digging through to find the story-patterns in the links. Which is the link-link narrowing we call “finding,” that becomes a qualitative mirror of the quality involved with “looking.”

“So the mirror is –”

“– a story of the looking.”

“As the whole process becomes —

“– like doing 3-D cultural archaeology, as it’s happening. Which is how you get to resonance, which is when the well of story links begins to hum, and what happens in the movie model link I sent.”

“And that’s the future opening that you, and your electronic word shovel, are auditioning for?”

“As Victor Mature said to his chief engineer in ‘Grand Coulee — The Story of a Damn Fine Dam’: ‘Can you dig it?'”

20160629 00:02 (702 words)
______________________
film:
▸ * “Spotlight” 2015, currently available on Netflix, YouTube, Amazon and elsewhere
music:
▸ Brown Bird performing “Thunder & Lightning” 2012, from “Salt For Salt” 2011
▸ Daughter performing “Youth” from “If You Leave” 2013
▸ NOAHS performing “Love Will Save Us” from “Cedar & Fire” 2014
▸ Wolf Alice “Lisbon” from “My Love is Cool” 2015

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“sawn the light”

saw
(photo from antiques.com)

“Wait — not creatively-grammatically correct? As in: ‘After years of toiling in the lumber mill of life, I feel pretty certain that I have now, finally, sawn the light,'” Handle says and turns her head to Weary Dean.

They’re both sitting back in a pair of dark-green enameled Adirondacks, in their underwear with bare legs and feet stretched out on the cool grass of a warm after-nooner May, grass that Weary Dean cut just this morning along a shaded border stretch of the blooming, wildflower meadow at Painful Acres.

“Past-imperfect-creative is a language dog that never gets a chance to run? Like language — or any other thing that’s struck by gravity to this turning ball of darkness mewing toward the light — has never, ever, seen the mewing light of ‘new’?”

Weary Dean shakes his head and smiles, then drains the final quarter of his 12-oz bottle of Wilde Flume, a new craft beer brewed my a group of non-religious “apostles of the true and good” on Forward Street in Rutland.

“One more?” he asks, standing-turning toward the house.

“Sure. And bring the bag of Macy’s Chipped Tortillas?” she asks please-and-pretty.

“Ok. And the ‘Webster’s Collegiate’? You know, in case this is heading in a lost-in-following-the-word-links direction?”

“I’ll shut the fuck up.”

Weary Dean is standing with one hand resting on the picket-fence of the Adirondack chair back, looking at her. Then he turns toward the house. “Like that ever happens, when you’re not dancing through the streets of dreamland.”

“And cookies?”

“Ok.”

“And left-over pizza?”

“I’ll bring the wagon.”

The breeze picks up and rustles the new-leafed oaks that block the late-day sun on this small corner of a world too deep in chaos story to be seen at all, except in sawing out small excerpts of coincidence from the passing seens of time and space.

20160529 09:20 (331 words)
__________
music:
Not Waving But Drowning performing “from/to” from “Any Old Iron” 2008
Ben Howard performing “The Fear” from “Every Kingdom” 2011
Gregory Alan Isakov performing “She Always Takes it Black” from “The Weatherman” 2013
Cat Stevens performing “The Wind” live 1976, from “Teaser and the Firecat” 1971
Vandaveer performing “A Little Time Off Ahead” from “The Wild Mercury” 2016

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act 4 – george carlin

george-carlin
(photo of George Carlin * b. May 12, 1937 New York, d. June 22, 2008 Santa Monica)

________________
stand-up:
▸ * George Carlin doing “7 Dirty Words” (in part, the bit originally broadcast on WBAI radio in New York 1973, this video possibly from the HBO special “George Carlin: Again!” 1978)

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“cookin’ with the captain”

captain-cook
(Captain James Cook’s ship the HMS Endeavour off the coast of New Holland, by Samuel Atkins c. 1794; as researchers with the Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project announce on 20160504 they are “nearly sure” they’ve found the Endeavour — sold and renamed the Lord Sandwich in 1775, then used as a troop transport until being scuttled by the British in 1778 during the American Revolutionary War, and now lying on the bottom of Newport Harbor.)

Captain Angel — aka Angel LaDuke, 32, a bi-colored h. sapes, reed-thin girl with dreadlocks falling past the light, creamed coffee of her shoulders, and hot pink of her bikini halter top — is swinging plastic bins full of food and other resupplies, from the dock at Pirate’s Bay on the northwest coast of Guadeloupe, onto the deck of Hasty Pudding, her 42′ Beneteau sloop.

“That it, girl?” Wide Size Charlemagne asks, grinning. “You need me come aboard, help you wash the laundry?”

“Uh-huh,” Angel says, glancing up as she shifts the final bin. “Like that would happen on a day when Hell was not beginning another Ice Age.”

“Just askin’.”

“And just sayin’, no way no day.” She straightens up. “But thanks, Wide Size, for wheeling out the cart. And say hi to your moms?”

“Sure thing, Angel on a boat. Drive safe.” Then he turns and pulls the four-wheeled cart back up the dock toward Fixies, the only store for “Groceries and Other Nauticals” on this part of the island.

Angel takes a breath turning toward the water, where she’ll anchor until tomorrow when the Hansens from Detroit are scheduled to arrive — a couple pushing 40 with two teenage daughters, who have booked her and the boat for a ten-day cruise through the northern Lesser Ants, ending up at Charlotte Amalie where they’ll fly back home.

She has run the winter charter business for five years by herself, since her dad died and left her the boat and cottage a half mile up the dusty road that snakes along the shore from Fixies. Which was both a change for her, and nothing really different, as she’d grown up helping on her father’s boats since she was six, then doing more after her mom left for London with “The Groomer.” Though her return to Guadeloupe from Berkeley, after six years and a Master’s in “post-romantic poets,” did take some readjustment.

“What the fuck?” she asked her father on the first day back. “You still have dial-up?”

“Works fine for email,” he replied. “What else is the Interwebs about, if not communication?”

“That, and everything else.”

“Like what else?” he asked.

“Like ‘life’? Imagine that you’re living in a room with a sturdy door. And suddenly the door is opened and you walk out and there’s this whole, other world outside the door that you now have access to?”

“Uh-huh,” he said. “So it’s like sailing on a boat, then? You leave a shore you’ve come to know and go someplace else, and see things that are both similar and different from what you’ve come to know. Which you can also do by just leaving home and going for a walk. Or opening a book. Or changing channels on tv. Or tinkering with how to fix the fuel pump on a boat, with something from the catch-all boxes in the shed?”

“I guess.”

“So same thing, then, just different –”

“– ways of following the link-link in your head,” she said, finishing the thought.

“Uh-huh,” he said. ‘Link-link’ is good. You get that from the web?”

“Yes. Some people think the real reason that we built the Internet, is just to help us better visualize what’s going on inside our heads.”

“The story in a story. Like James Cook’s voyage of discovery, where he plants the British flag on what is now Australia?

“Yes,” she answered. “As part of a larger voyage of individual discovery, with Cook sailing around the outer surface of an enormous sphere, on which we, the h. sapes home boys, have learned to do a step-back look that, from a place outside ourselves, sees an infinity of indie points that move through 3-D space and time.”

“So what was going on inside your head in Berkeley, then, is still going on on Guadeloupe. Which would be the welcome home inside a welcome home, from the head you never left.

“Wel-come home, An-gel!” he added, grinning wide, with a high-pitched, sing-song voice, his hands and fingers splayed out on both sides of his head as it bobbed from side to side, in a clownish, mirror image of her “talking” head. And Angel cracked up large at 24, like she had at seven, at the spontaneous unexpected in her father’s humble, indie song-and-dance.

20160505 01:26 (750 words)
___________________
music:
▸ KT Tunstall performing
“Push That Knot Away” from “Tiger Suit” 2010
“The Boys of Summer” by Don Henley and Mike Campbell, from Henley’s album “Building the Perfect Beast” 1984
“On Melancholy Hill” by Damon Albarn of Gorillaz from their album “Plastic Beach” 2010

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“leaving u behind”

mussel-pier-amsterdam
(“View from the Mussel Pier in Amsterdam” by Ludolf Backhuysen 1673, from siftingthepast)

From “Directions on What to Take and What to Leave Behind” — a recently undiscovered pamphlet published for passengers by New World Shipping, London and Amsterdam, 1690.

What to Take.

1) Five photos of family, friends, and other loved or formerly-loved ones.

2) One pot.

3) One pan.

4) One pair of extra socks.

5) Two pairs of drawers, if the drawers are large enough to be used later for cleaning rags. If not, then only one pair is allowed.

6) One good book. (Not necessarily “the” good book, just a book you won’t mind reading-and-rereading five or ten thousand times.)

7) One map to your destination, no larger than a postcard when folded.

8) One postcard, to be mailed back home upon arrival to let the folks back home know you’ve made it across the vast and sometimes angry ocean, thanks to New World Shipping.

What to Leave Behind.

1) Everything that is not essential. Stuff like extra letters in the alphabet you don’t really need (i.e., colo[u]r, hono[u]r, etc.). Learning to live with less, like using shorter words, is absolutely essential to survival in the wilderness. And, really, survival in the wilderness is what this latest episode in the history of h. sapes’ wanderlust via long-distance boat travel, is all about.

2) Your sense of loss. Really — just leave it on the dock, since recent studies have shown that engaging in “regret, and the bottomless pit of looking back” is when most settlers in the wilderness are eaten by bears.

BEAR: (taps settler on shoulder)

SETTLER: (sighs, and turns from looking back) Yes?

20160420 11:43 (280 words)
__________________
music:
▸ Sly and Robbie “Boops”
▸ Them Crooked Vultures “Scumbag Blues”
▸ Kathleen Edwards “Back to Me”, and “The Cheapest Key”
▸ Langhorne Slim and the Law “The Way We Move”, and “Changes”

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“night school, week 1”

night-school
(photo by Vivienne Gucwa from nythroughthelens)

(scene 27 — interior, evening; Day sitting on couch)

DAY: Okay, this is the part that always creeps me the fuck out.

MYSTERY VOICE: And why do you think that is?

DAY: I don’t know. The light is fading and, as usual, I haven’t really done my Night homework.

MV: And so you feel filled with, what — dread?

DAY: Yeah, sure. I have no idea what to expect.

MV: So you think if you were a better student, you might …

DAY: Actually enjoy the night? Sure. Boogie down with the night people. I think I could really dig cruising the streetlight-shadowed boulevards and alleyways, the leafy lanes and deadend-transit mamas. (sits up, starts rocking head) Checkin’ out the shadow peeps. Bumpin’ with the grunge. Mono-gender BITCH-uhs, ev-ree-where! Yeah. I could definitely get my funk top ON!

MV: Really?

DAY: (slumps back) No. Who am I kidding. I like the light, man. I mean — why eat in the dark? I like to see what I’m eating.

MV: And what’s eating you?

DAY: That’s it. (pause, looks around) Can we turn the lights on?

MV: Sorry. That’s not what night school is about.

20160417 10:57 (209 words)
________________
music:
▸ The Lumineers performing
“Submarines”, lyrics and
“Stubborn Love”, lyrics, by Wesley Schultz and Jeremiah Fraites, from “The Lumineers” 2012
▸ Whetherman performing
“In the Melody” by Nicholas Williams, from “Seeds for Harvest” 2015, lyrics
▸ Cat Stevens performing
“Father and Son” live 1971, from “Tea for the Tillerman” 1970
film:
“Moonlight Mile” 2002, to watch two characters/actors (Gyllenhall and Pompeo) being totally alive)

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“discovering AmErica”

… one girl’s selfied voyage of self-discovery

america
(Maliblu, from the ER doctor)

 

### — Episode 1: “Like Magellan in a Hoodie, Heading West”
(a 22-min, 4K-word tv pilot in 8 scenes, w/cast at end*)

 

## — Scene 01-A — exterior, day, car [music].
(Erica Adams, struggling actor, sitting in her car, windows up, stopped in L.A. traffic, listening to music on radio; she glances around, gently nodding head, then reaches out and turns music up, closes eyes, begins air dancing; traffic begins to move, guy behind her lays on horn; she opens eyes, looks in rearview mirror and smiles, raises right hand, turned-around, waving fingers at guy in car behind, as she moves slowly forward)

## — Scene 01-B — interior, day, office [music].
(Helen Stoffle, Erica’s agent, sitting at her desk with WiFi headset on, listening to music; looking at calendar on laptop, calls Erica from computer)

(Erica’s car is stopped again as phone rings; she sees caller i.d. on dash display, mutes radio, answers on speaker)

ERICA: Hey, Hel. I’m in the car heading west on Olympic, about ten blocks, or three hours, give or take, in “L.A. traffic time,” from the Bull Fight.

(Helen breath laughs, turns in desk chair and looks out window)

HELEN: The streets are a mess?

ERICA: No. The roads are fine. They’re just full of cars, with people going places. Which isn’t bad, if you think about it. It’s a really good thing for the economy. Which is the only reason I’m doing this at all. I could care less about acting in movies or tv. I just want to help Los Angeles reach its full potential, and become the city it knows that it can be.

HELEN: Uh-huh.

ERICA: So I leave a few days early for each audition, and get to spend some quality time, car-strolling through the place I love.

HELEN: Sweet.

ERICA: Thanks. I like you, too.

HELEN: So give us a call after the Bull Fight’s over?

ERICA: You bet. Olé.

HELEN: Olé, sweetheart.

(both end call)

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