Monday, January 12, 2015

The Do-It-Yourself Guide To Social Interaction

I used to keep a blog as part of my job at a digital production company. As the writer/director of a popular web series, I garnered a pretty good following. Here's an example post about social etiquette. 

As most of you know; I receive a lot of fan mail. Most of it is from a nice man named Dr. Clement Okon from Nigeria who REQUESTS AN URGENT BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP. Well, I sent him a money order and pretty soon I'll have 25,000,000 (DOLLARS U.S.)! 

Occasionally, I get questions as well. Here is one of those:

Dear Matt:

I have a hard time communicating with my fellow man. I can’t handle greetings and salutations. Today some girl waved to me and I smiled and waved back. It turns out she was waving to her boyfriend, who saw me waving to her, and he gave me one of those “don't look at my girlfriend, douchebag” looks.

I immediately pretended to be waving to a guy on the street behind the girl, but then that guy gave me an even weirder “are you trying to pick me up, weirdo” look. The girl and her boyfriend started laughing. I ran home,, had a panic attack, then spent the next four hours drinking and contemplating my life decisions.

How do I prevent this in the future?
Thanks, Ezra

Great question Ezra. The best advice I can give you is avoid unnecessary social interaction of any kind.

Here’s a little multiple-choice quiz which illuminates my point:

You’ve seen this guy you vaguely know in the hall three times today. First time you smiled and said, “Hey, how’s it goin’?”, second time you gave him the old closed-lip grin and half wave, and the third time you gave him the acknowledging eyebrow raise and head jerk.

He’s coming down the hall again...what do you do?
  1. Turn around and avoid walking into him with the “I forgot something” snap of the fingers.
  2. Start violently coughing and pretend you don’t see him.
  3. Pick up your cell phone and call your mother, start an argument with her about why
    you don’t have a girlfriend. Cry.
Personally, I prefer to mix it up; turn around, coughing violently, then cry. But enough about my sex life. The bottom line is that, unless you HAVE to talk to someone, there's no reason to acknowledge them. It's unnecessary and awkward.

So, you're thinking: “Easier said than done, Matt. What if someone's trying to – GASP – talk to you?” Well, a good way to avoid having to carry on a conversation is to completely ignore what other people are saying and respond in a distant, perplexed deer-in-the-headlights manner. My mom is great at this.

Read and learn:

Mom: (stuffing food down my throat) Why don’t you eat, put some meat on those bones, you're walking around looking like your thin cousin Herbert. Do you want to look like Herbert? You'll never get a girl looking like him.
Me: Herbert's gay, Mom.
Mom: Your uncle Albert would have a heart attack if he heard you talking like that! 

Me: Albert had a heart attack last week. Remember? I was talking to him about his gay son Herbert. 

What can we learn from my mother? Marriage is a huge mistake, according to my father. What else?
Don’t pay attention to what anyone says to you. Look confused or angry when someone tries to talk to you. If they don't give up, offer them some food. That way you can seek out the kitchen window while they're eating your kasha varnishkes.
Now this advice doesn't work for everyone. A lot of people love talking to strangers. For some mind bogglingly odd reason, they find it easy and enjoyable.

Well, some of us can handle the pressures of social interaction. I call these people “gentiles”. Here’s a little chart I’ll “chart” out for you so that can tell you what kind of person you really are:

Potential Social Situation:
A Pretty Member of the opposite sex walks up to you and asks you for the time.
As your asthma starts to act up, you make an awkward joke about the metaphysical relativity of time.
You say, “I’ve got the time my pants”. You are married and driving an SUV in no time.
Someone engages you in an inane conversation about a local sports team in the elevator.
You smile and nod at your elevator man and pretend to know what he’s talking about. Leave him an extra large Christmas bonus because you are afraid he thinks you don’t like him.
Sign his autograph and tell him the knee injury is day-to-day and you’ll be back on the court in no time.
Your accountant asks you out to dinner to discuss financial matters.
Give him that secret “Brotherhood of the Jews” handshake, eat Matzo, make fun of Christ.
Tell him you’re busy. Slam down the phone, complain to the wife about how the Jews are “ripping us off; damn hebes”. 
Try to convince him Israel isn’t the cause of all the world’s problems, and that if the Palestinians wanted, they could have peace and their own land. Feel really, really guilty for absolutely no reason at all. 

Agree to bomb Iraq, Pakistan, and any "Mooslum" countries. Reaffix 9-11 Soaring Eagle "Freedom Isn't Free" bumper sticker.

Are you a Jew or Gentile? Note: there's no such thing as a Jewtile.

The bottom line is that if interacting with people makes you uncomfortable in the slightest – then don't. Avoid it like the conversational plague it is. Because, as we all know, the best way to deal with your problems is by avoiding them. 

OK folks! Keep sending me your questions. If any of them makes me uncomfortable, I'll pretend they don't exist.

Suicide Notes To Random Acquaintances

I wrote this for a comedy website

Dear Facebook Friend I Only Sort Of Remember Meeting,

Yes, that's it, I'm killing myself. I can no longer take this unending misery that is existence; goodbye friend...on Facebook.

You knew this was coming the one and only time I met you when you looked at me and said "nice to meet you": remember the sorrow in my eyes? Remember the painful sigh when the bartender told us that the mixer was over and the drinks were no longer half price? Remember how I added you on Facebook less than 10 minutes after meeting you? Well, that's because I add people in the hopes that an inflated friend count will inflate my self-worth.

Wait, that wasn't you. How do we know each other again?

Signed, Matt

Dear That Producer I Worked With Who Also Sold Drugs,

I'm writing you this note to say goodbye, that Producer I Worked With Who Also Sold Drugs. I will miss all those times when a small group of 18 year old boys came into your office and asked for "Shine", then, when you told them you were "Shine", you opened a giant box full of Marijuana and Magic Mushrooms, then told me to never say anything about this..."or else."

Remember the group gatherings? All those poker games you invited me to that ended up being 10 minutes of poker, 45 minutes of 30-somethings smoking Pot and ordering Cocaine, and another 20 minutes of said 30-somethings doing cocaine while discussing all the producing they'll be doing and all the great projects they're working on.

You're still the most professional guy in Hollywood. Signed,


Dear Guy I See At A Party Every Once In A While,

I hope this note finds you well. I thought it would be important to tell you know that I will be missing you, whatshername, and that dog or maybe cat you showed me a picture of a few times.

It's always good to be around someone who enjoys eating carrots with hummus, talking in broad terms about one's professional life and someone that knows the right time to say "this is a great song" when something comes on the mix that they like.

My one regret is that I didn't go to your Housewarming party, which may have been an Apartment Warming Party, or an Apartment Painting Party. Either way,...sorry I missed it - just, you know, I was too busy contemplating taking my own life. Plus, it would have been super awkward.

Yours in the afterlife, Matt.

Sarah Palin Took America's Virginity

A post I wrote for a political blog during the 2008 election. 

Remember when you were young? Back when sex was this magical, mysterious thing that meant everything and nothing. The time when the briefest moment alone with the opposite sex caused fluttering hearts, pickaxe headaches, and sweaty palms.

Ah, the jittery fear caused by the beautiful unknown. Whatever sex is, it has to be amazing and wonderful. Sure, maybe you've read about it in a magazine, seen "a sexual documentary" or two, but it's still the great unknown. Transcendent in its sheer abstract potential.

Then you have it and you're like...OK...maybe this wasn't the intense metaphysical journey it was cracked up to be. Because the basic truth is: no matter how great a sexual experience you have, it will never be as amazing as you thought it was going to be. An unknown quantity is limitless in its potential.

America feels the same way about Sarah Palin.

"Hey," says America, "there's a hot -ILF (add your own first letter) with a funny accent running for vice president! What a great speech! Hockey Moms and Pitbulls! Wow! That's hysterical and new! I don't know who she is or what she stands for, but she certainly SEEMS wonderful. She makes my heart a-flutter!".

But then Americans had a nice dinner, went out for drinks and got a cheap, awkward hand job from Sarah Palin by way of the Charlie Gibson interview. "That wasn't too wonderful," America thinks. 
"But maybe if we go all the way, it will get better".

...And that's just what America did with the Katie Couric interview. They took Sarah home, undressed her and made awful, "where do I put this?" sex with her.

Every mixed-up talking point was a "penis slipping out of the vagina" moment, every "can't name the magazines I read" was an unpleasurable missionary position thrust.

Sarah Palin popped America's preverbal cherry and we didn't like it.

And now they're downplaying her debating skills, much like a boyfriend would call up and say "well, it was our first time! I mean, it won't get better for a while." Palin's trying to get away with a second awful screw by setting the bar really low. Of course the sex will be bad, because we shouldn't know better.

I shouldn't expect much, so I won't be disappointed when Palin's brain starts to leak out of her ear as she speaks in unintelligible blatherskite .

Hell, now they're even saying Gwen Ifill is biased against her because she wrote a book about black politicians that happens to use Obama as a focus point. That's like your boyfriend telling you that your best friend is a bitch that's going to hate him no matter what because she was once did a book report with the guy who asked you out last week.

Did that sentence make little or no sense? That's because attacking Gwen Ifill makes no sense. 

But come on, Sarah; You don't need to be jealous of our ex! You popped our cherry; and we're always going to have a special pl

Hebrew School Memories

Short creative writing piece for personal blog. 

You are a distant, innocent spec of nothingness resting on an incomprehensibly large greatness. This greatness neither notices you nor will acknowledge your existence, because you are such a giant nothing; a never will, a never was. Your smug sense of self importance is a huge mask of ignorance, a macabre charade of limited experience and close mindedness.

You are nothing and the fact that you think you're something means that you're an even smaller nothing.

"This, you have to admit," the teacher spoke.

The class of 5 year olds looked confused. Hebrew school had taken a strange turn for this group of kindergardeners; one minute it was all apples and honey, and the next a depressing diatribe of diffuse downers. To put it colloquially; "Ms. Johnson's scary!"

Irving Shacter, the proud, yet intensely schlubby principal opened the door: 

"Ms. Johnson, a word we can speak?"

When they got outside, Mr. Shacter was more frank:

"To the students you speak like this?"
"Well, Irving, don't you think they deserve to know the truth?"
"We're not in the truth business, Ms. Johnson; this is a religious school."
"But don't they deserve to know that life is a giant void and we spend our hours fruitlessly attempting to fill it with meaninglessly inconsequential wastes of time?"
"You mean 'are we going to teach Atheism in a Hebrew school'? No. Now get back to those students; I can see Peter Sachs eating a paste by the handful."

Dejected, Ms. Johnson solemnly walked back to class.

"Well, kids; I guess it's time we get back to teaching you about Noah's Ark." A young Jewish boy raised his hand.

"What is it?" Ms Johnson was nervous. Would she have to lie some more to these poor kids?

The Jewish boy smiled. "Ms. Johnson; don't be down. We all know that these stories aren't actually true".

"You do?"
The entire class exclaimed: "Yeah!"
"But if we stop pretending like we believe it, we don't get grape juice and challah on Fridays. Grape juice and challah is pretty amazing".

That's when Ms. Johnson realized; religion isn't about actually believing in anything, it's about getting cool stuff when you pretend to believe in stuff.

A class-wide group hug ensued, with the exception of Peter Sacks who was rushed to Mount Sinai hospital with an acute case of septic shock brought on by excessive paste-eating.

Hey, Mind If I Add You On Facebook?

A short humor piece for my personal blog.

Hey there! You know my friend Will? I can't believe we're both at this party and we both know Will! 

Where'd he go? I'm not sure, I think he said he was grabbing a beer. You know Will, one minute you come up to him and start complaining about your job and ask him "where the single ladies at?" and the next he's awkwardly introducing you to an acquaintance and quietly slipping away in the pursuit of more alcohol.

But never mind him! Tell me a little bit about yourself. At least enough so that I can remember the barest fact about you and immediately add you on Facebook, thereby increasing my friend count and giving me an inflated sense of self. If I have more friends than somebody, that means I'm more important, right? RIGHT???

What, you think adding a complete stranger is weird? I hardly think so; I mean, I have 1011 Facebook friends who can vouch for how awesome I am. Sure, I've only met 980 of them once, but they definitely got a sense of who I least enough of a sense to click "accept" when the friend request fell into their inbox.

Why are your eyes darting around the party as I'm talking to you? Are you trying to find another cool friend to introduce me to? Maybe I can add them too!

OK, that's cool - you're pulling out your iPhone while I'm telling you about my top 10 albums of the 2000s. Now just look down at the tiny screen in the palm of your hand.

I've got you just where I want you.

Remember how I casually asked your last name when we first met? Well, it's gettin' formal up in here now bitch because I can spend this uncomfortable beat adding you on Facebook.

It's the 21st century and if I know your first and last names...we're friends.

OK, watch this, I'm pulling out my phone and opening up the Facebook app and looking you up. Even as you're walking away from me because our conversation died a painful, awkward death after I made that vaguely sexist Bill Cosby joke...I know that we'll be virtual friends forever.

So nice to meet you. We'll definitely be friends forever even though I've only met you once for about a minute and a half and I will most certainly never see you in person again. But I will be seeing your face. Or whatever your profile pic is. Maybe it's the puppy you said you just got. Can't wait to find out!

Get ready for a lifetime of "thumbs up" to statuses you really wish only your closest friends could read.

Prepare yourself for annoying invitations to join my Farmville community and empty, meaningless birthday wishes like "hbd bro". Do I even know how old you are? Please! I don't even know what decade you were born in. 

Isn't technology wonderful?

If Jews Ran The World:

Comedy post written for a Jewish blog. 

Big news out of the DNA community today! Syrians, Palestinians, and Lebanese share more DNA with Jews than they do with neighboring gentile populations. Talk about your self-hating Jews!
The theory is that most of them were Jews to begin with, but converted to Islam somewhere along the way. This doesn't actually come as a surprise to me. I mean, let's take Arafat for example. The man looked pretty freakin' Jewish - maybe a Jew who spent a little too much time in the Florida sun, but what Jew doesn't spend a little too much time in the Florida sun? 

(pic: Jasir-Arafat-1max.jpg)

Honestly, the guy could have been Jackie Mason's angry, comically hilarious headcover-wearing brother Shlomo.

(pic: 16824641.gif)

They've got to share similar schlumpy DNA, no? So where does it leave us?
0.2 percent of the world is Jewish. 19% is Islamic and 32% is Christian. That's 51%! Let's think about that for a second.

If Jews were 51% percent of the world's population, do you think we'd have such socio-political strife in the world? No.

Here are the 5 reasons why:

1) POPULAR AVAILABILITY OF PASTRAMI SANDWICHES: Have you ever been to the "2nd Avenue Deli" in New York? No? How about "Langer's" in Los Angeles? Not that one either? OK,
well here's a little Jew-insight...we like Pastrami sandwiches and have for thousands of years. Do you want to commit sectarian violence after eating one? No, you want to drink a Cel-Ray tonic and unbutton your pants.
If Jews ran the world, these delights would be available in McDonalds and Burger King and everyone would be too pacified by deliciousness to argue. 

As famed prophet George Costanza experienced - pastrami only makes life better. In fact, his girlfriend once said: "I find the pastrami to be the most sensual of all the salted cured meats." This is both true and delicious.

2) GREAT SENSE OF HUMOR: Jewish people are hilarious. Even if most of the time it's unintentionally. We're just funny. All the way from The Marx Brothers to Seth Rogen - Jews got the jokes.

Christians? Jeff Foxworthy. Go ahead. Try to laugh at him. If Jews were running the world, there would be too many awkward Larry David-esque exchanges to start a war. We're over-thinkers! We'd be too busy dissecting dinner portions and tip amounts. Who wants to start a war when you're exhausted after arguing about the societal costs of leaving a small tip for a waitress who never – I MEAN NEVER – refilled that damn water? We asked like 10 times!

3) DOCTORS AND LAWYERS: We've got your ass if you're sick. Have you ever been to a BAD Jewish doctor? Think back...when have you gone to a Jewish MD, and left thinking "boy, I really didn't recieve A+ service?” Sure, we might charge an arm and a leg, but at least we made sure that said extremities are still attached to your body.

As for Lawyers - who would be left to sue the Christian doctors who fucked you up? Not convicted murderer OJ Simpson's lawyers in 1994? Robert Shapiro, Alan Dershowitz. Convicted murderer Scott Peterson's lawyer? Mark Geragos.

Case closed. Go with Jews if you want to get away with murder. We're certainly getting away with murder with our hourly rate.

4) WE'RE GOOD WITH MONEY: OK, Do I need to even go further than this: 

Clinton's budget surplus under Jewish treasury secretary Robert Rubin? $127 billion
Bush's budget deficit under Christian treasury secretary Henry Paulson? $482 billion
We run the world and even starving African Children will be enjoying $14 Pastrami Sandwiches AND leaving a big tip for mediocre service. The world would be utopia. Goodbye, poverty!

5) WE AREN'T WHITE: Lest you be mistaken, Jews ain't white. We're not even close to being white. White people have a history of being Oppressors. Jews have a history of enjoying a good schmear on our bagel. Shit, we couldn't even do that in most places. We had to eat bagels in basements under a blanket while bleaching our hair strawberry blonde. Do you even know how often we've been oppressed? Check this out

Once every 100 years or so, 20% of us are murdered and kicked out of wherever we are. That's why we've been around for 3000 years, but we're only .2 percent of the world's population. 

This ain't about being religious. A lot of Jews are secular. In fact, we celebrate being secular.

Here are but a few Jewish "non-believers"
Albert Einstein
Sigmund Freud
Emma Goldman
Karl Marx
Woody Allen
(one assumes)  
David Cronenberg
David Cross 
Stephen Jay Gould 
Theodor Herzl 
Mark Zuckerberg

The list goes on and on. What all this teaches us is that we've got good DNA - which means the
Syrians, Palestinians, and Lebanese do too. 

Maybe this world peace thing isn't so far off after all.

So you wants to be a hipster!

I wrote this post in 2005, long before the “let's make fun of hipsters” genre became as played out as a mustache tattoo on a finger. It went viral, and was even linked to by a US poet laureate. So there's that.

So you wants to be a hipster! But do you have what it takes? Sure, you’ve moved from the mid-west to New York; OK, you’ve made inroads in the Lower East Side music scene - and yes, your 'rents pay your rent. But does that really make you a hipster? An emphatic no! Sir or Madam; an emphatic no.

To understand what a hipster is, we must first look at the origins of the word: “Hipster” comes from the Latin “Hypsterdoophus,” meaning a group of slightly different potatoes, or potato salads. It has, in recent times, come to define a culture of young, mostly unemployed (or unemployable), layabouts whose main talent is sleeping, being ironic about irony, and sleeping some more.

Let us dissect these creatures.

When moving to New York City from Generic Small Town, the true hipster knows that appearance is everything.

First, adorn your body with several tattoos. Who would know you were into Asian lettering or stars on your elbow without pumping ink your frail, pasty arm? 

Next, you must find decent clothing. Go to designer stores that sell vintage shirts for a 4000% mark-up. Tee-shirts are a must: Sleeveless, preferably, to show-off aforementioned tattoos. They should have pun-filled sayings poking fun of irony, like “Tee Shirts are So Yesterday,” or “Ithaca is Gorges.” To be post-modern is no more! Post-Post modern is the way to go: remember it makes a delicious paradox. And so do you, sexy hipster, so do you. 

The shirts should be tight enough that nipples show: whether they be erect or not. Make sure the shirt is so ridiculously tight that it forces your posture into a sloping hunch. This way, pensively gazing at your shoes isn’t such a chore!

If you’re really feeling brave, a form-fitting blazer is a plus. Remember nothing says, “I’m sort of sophisticated, in an ‘I dropped out of college to spend more time writing my blog’ sort of way” like a blazer that you found in a salvation army “rejected by the homeless” pile. 

For pants, the lower the cut, the better. Even for men, show it all: Shaving your pubic hair isn’t just for the criminally insane and people riddled with STDs anymore! 

Glasses are requisite, whether you have eye sight problems or not. Remember, glasses make you seem pensive and emotionally troubled. Plain old thick black frames went out with mesh caps like 6 months ago! Nowadays it’s all about REALLY thick black frames. Remember to obscure your ugly, acne scarred face.

As for hair cuts, there’s an easy equation you can remember: 

Today’s Style=Hair Style of musicians 20 years ago 

Does anyone remember when long, dirty hippie hair was popular in the late ‘80s? Or when people spiked their hair punkishly in the late ‘90s? Well, the same can be applied today. It’s that simple! Beat everyone to the punch: Flock Of Seagulls is making a comeback.

Now that you’re dressing like a hipster, it’s time to live like one. Living within your means is out, living within your father’s means is in. Here’s a little guide to help you choose where to situate:

Next, you must find music to talk about. This forms the basis of every conversation and social event that you will have for the rest of your mid-20s. Sure, you may “enjoy” the Beatles or REM, but these are bands you listen to-not talk about. 

Seek out bands that have two word titles, where the first word is “the”. This is generally the way to go. If you can’t think of any bands, just make up one: “The Somethings” or “The Fake” are just as believable as any other band name out there. Tell people they have an EP out. They’ll believe it, and some will even claim to have heard them before, or even own the album. Also, remember to sneer at people who don’t like your music. They don’t understand you, or your movement. 

It’s also important to KNOW people in a band. Even if they only know you as “the guy who stands next to us at the bar all the time”. Constantly say to people, “I’ve got to go, my friend’s playing a gig” or “hey, you should come with me to see my friend’s gig.” Sure, that “gig” is in someone’s basement or a Mexican restaurant, but who cares? You KNOW someone in a BAND! 

If you really want some hipster cache, start a band. What’s that? You don’t know how to play an instrument? Who cares. It’s all about the look, which you have already. Anyway, if you're able to pick up a ukulele and strum tunelessly, you're 90% towards "having a jam session in my friend's living room. He's got Vinyl. Bring some pot!"


That way, when people ask you what you do, instead of saying “Drink alone while crying” or “throw rocks out the window to watch people bleed,” you can say “I’m in a band,” which will invariably lead to you getting sexy-hot action, or at least a communicable disease. 

As for other forms of music: you’re allowed to like rap, but only for it’s irony value. Remember to use the word "crunk" a lot. Call your ghostly pale friends “niggas” and adorn your neck with gold-plated chains. Continue to cross the street at night when you see black people approaching. 

Speaking of booty shakin’- how do hipsters get some arse? It’s hard, because it’s so yesterday to be honest with someone and tell them you want to buy them a drink. It’s just... unironic. 

Solution: The INTERNET! Yes, the internet, once thought of as merely a device to acquire music and increasingly disturbing pornography, it is now home to a growing community of dating sites that masquerade as places where “friends can connect”. 

Putting up a singles profile is not as easy as you think. The specifics are key. Never say you are actually interested in sex or a relationship. Make it seem like someone put you up to it, or that you’re doing it for a laugh.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Crying while...Golfing?

I was in the NYC area this weekend, taking a blissful repose from the everyday blah-ness that is also known as "life in LA" (for those not as hip as me, this is also known as "being stuck in traffic, screaming at no one about a lack of adequate public transportation"). As part of my family routine, I stayed for a few days with my father in Connecticut.

While I love my dad, I'm not sure I love staying there. I mean, OK, there's a lot to do. For example, watching TV while eating dinner, watching TV while napping, and watching TV while wistfully pining about how you've wasted the best years of your life...but being there always leaves me in an existential state - questioning why I'm alive; or rather "why I'm watching the Tennis Channel at 4pm on a Thursday afternoon".

There are always those moments in your life when you say to yourself, "Dear God, I'm within 10 seconds of literally killing myself. And yes, I do mean literally literally - not literally figuratively - like all those hyperbolic so and sos who use the term "literally" like it means "kinda" do". Last Friday afternoon was one of those days.

Believe it or nuts, I enjoy playing golf. In fact, if my back didn't hurt when I sneezed, I would actually most likely-probably-maybe go out on a weekly basis. As it stands, I hit the links a good 1 or 2 times a decade. Because I know my father enjoys to play, I use my visits to him as an excuse to get behind a 7 iron and swat maddeningly at a tiny ball until my eyes pop out of my socket. So that's what I did last Friday.

While approaching the driving range (for I am not good enough to hit the literal links, dear reader - and I do mean literal) I came across one of my father's friends - a former film kinda guy, who still has stars (and cataracts) in his eyes. Let's kindly say that he's 74 years old.

He walked up to me and this was our conversation:

Him: Hey, how is your movie coming?
Me: Well, you know it's like starting a business. A little slow until you find the right people to collaborate with.
H: Oh don't worry about it. You've got plenty of time. How old are you?
M: I'm, uh...31.
H (suddenly serious). You've got 4 years. After that, no one wants to listen to you. All the executives are in their mid 20s to early 30s. If you're older than they are, they don't want to talk to you. They're so young, it makes me sick.
My Father: Did you hear about that young executive who made that movie at Disney? They lost 200 million! Those kids! What's the movie called?
H: John Carter: who wants to watch that movie? But the kids. They think they know best. (to me) You've got 4 years. I'm serious.
My Father (to me): I should have messed you up more. Your career would really be taking off if I just messed you up more.
M: Well, I'm writing things...
H: What do you do to make money?
M: I write and direct commercials.
H: Yeah, Ok, but what do you really do to make money?
M: I write and direct commercials.
H: That pays?
M: Yes.
H: Are you in the DGA?
M: No.
H: I guess they've lowered the standards since my day.

And scene.

The next 30 minutes or so were pretty hilarious, if you think "swatting miserably at a tiny ball with tears in your eyes" is comic gold.

My lesson? I either get more fucked up or my father and his strange elderly friend won't respect me. I guess it's time to start that cocaine habit...

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Don't Call It A Comeback (no seriously, you shouldn't call it a comeback)

Writing a blog post is a lot like sex. The longer you wait between entries, the more difficult each attempt becomes, until you're sitting in the shower, crying, wearing nothing but a sock to hide your flaccid shame.

Or, I guess writing a blog post is a lot like writing a blog post. It's not easy if you all you feel like writing are terrible, terrible metaphors.

Back in the oughts (or the "naughty oughties" as I called them), I would post with the regularity that would make you think I was eating nothing but brain fiber topped with imagination flax seeds. Yes, my brain would poop with regularity. I pine for the halcyon days of brain poopery and all the wonder and magnificence that would entail.  There was even a point when I had regular readers who regularly commented. With regularity!

Alas, much like my salad days of yore (those days when I ate nothing but salads at Yore: the dyslexic's pronoun restaurant and eatery), my blog posts have become seldom, like I was eating nothing but brain wheat.

The Writer stopped writing. "I should probably discontinue the use of metaphors when describing creativity," he opined. "Frank Zappa was a genius and I really need to stop shitting out crap-filled metaphors".

The Writer smiled at himself. "Yeah, you're going to stop those prose comparisons, but will you ever stop the real life comparisons to geniuses and/or people who have just simply worked harder than you?". Then the smile kind of turned into a grin, which swiftly morphed into a blank expression, and then finally graduated to a frown. It was a slow process, but then sometimes realizations take a bit to settle in.

"You need to write more", he said to himself. "You also need to learn the correct usage of commas inside quotation marks," he continued. He had never mastered the art of grammar. He had never wanted to, really. After all, what use is it, to have proper comma use, if that use is to separate, words that were meaningless, to begin with?

Soon enough, he thought, writing will evolve into nothing more than a series of abbreviations (or abbv). and graphic characters :). The language we speak now will look to future generations like Old English looks to us. "Who were these weirdos who spoke in words longer than three characters? Yuck! So boring!".

The Writer sighed.

What's the point in writing if no one knows how to read?
What's the point in reading if no one knows how to write?

It was at that existential crossroads when The Writer decided it was time to stop writing that particular blog post: slightly disappointed at the quality of the work, but with a newfound hunger for future entires. Sure, there may be no regular readers left, but maybe the point of writing is to write. Maybe the point of reading is to read. Nothing existential, nothing profound. Maybe you just do something for the sake of doing it, and you worry about the grander consequences later.

At that moment, The Writer knew he needed to end the post with something appropriate. Something that future generations could look back and actually understand. Something that readers would read and say "hey, that wasn't a totally useless ending".

The Writer knew there was only one character that could sum it all up. The beginning and the end. Alpha and Omega.

And that character is:


Monday, September 19, 2011

The New Website

As some of you may know (or may not know - if there are "some of you" out there - which there might not be) - I am in the process of putting together a film. During that process I am keeping a blog, which I will be updating regularly - so feel free to check it out:

There's also a bunch of delicious filmy goodness contained therein - so check it out: I command you!

I will also be updating this as much as I normally do - hopefully more when my fancy strikes. But really, when does your fancy strike? How hard does it strike? Who is this mysterious Fancy? These questions and more will probably not be answered by any upcoming posts.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Denise Huxtable: I think NOT

Who the fuck were the Cosby show producers trying to fool? Denise? A member of the Huxtable clan? Why not make George Wallace a black panther - it would be more believable.

First off, Denise is whiter than your teeth after Crest Whitening Strips - that is...kinda white, at least not as yellow as they were after the last disgusting carafe of staining black coffee. I mean, this beautiful specimen is cut from the same cloth as Rashida Jones. Hot Jew mom, sexy Black dad. Have you seen a picture? A side by side?

Could this girl:

Really be the daughter of these two people:

I doubt it. She's more like the child of Natalie Portman:
and Gary Coleman:

Or at least the child of Gary Cole:
and this woman:

Now, as a child of the 80s, I may have spent many o' nights dreaming of what might happen if Denise Huxtable fell into a giant vat of super creamy lard while wearing only her bra and a spandex loin cloth, but I never once said to myself "gee, her parents: Cliff and Clair, would mind".

No! As someone who puts a lot of thought into such things, Denise totally took me out of the reality of the Cosby Show. I was willing to believe that they created a complex socioeconomic world for Theo navigate in under 24 minutes (that one episode where he had to find his way in the world, before he returned to not having to find his way in the world), but Denise, not at least partially Jewish? No chance.

Oh well, I guess I'll just go back to my horrendously inacurate Netflix and enjoy the show:

Philly Doctor? That's almost as big a deal as Denise's quandary - as in, I'm basically the only one who cares.

As an aside, Zoe Kravitz? We're all kinda just waiting for you to sing the Ma Nishtana while wearing nothing but blush, sunglasses and ten pounds of latkes.

Just sayin'.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


After I heard about the earthquake on the east coast yesterday, I called my mother to see if she felt it. Here is the conversation:

Me: hey Mom.
Mom: Matthew, can I call you back? I'm on the phone with Evie.
Me: Oh, I just wanted to see if you felt the earthquake. People are talking about it on Facebook.
Mom: (to Evie) OH MY GOD! EVIE! IT WAS AN EARTHQUAKE! (to me) Matt! I thought it was a mouse!
Me: A mouse?
Mom: Yes, I thought a mouse was in my couch and moving it around. (to Evie) MATT JUST CALLED AND SAID IT WAS AN EARTHQUAKE! IT WASN'T A MOUSE!!! HE HEARD ABOUT IT ON FACEBOOK!
Me: Why did you think it was a mouse?
Mom: Because the couch moved.
Me: The couch moved and you thought it was a mouse?
Me: I should go.
Mom: Oh my fucking God, it was an earthquake. I picked up all the cushions to find that mouse! All of them!
Me: OK, I'm going back to work.
Mom: It wasn't a mouse! Unbelievable.
Me: Love you!
Mom: The couch shook! Can you believe that! The couch shook! Holy fucking shit!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Trying to keep up

I don't write in this blog that much anymore. I think it's because I'm not as inspired as I used to be. Why is that?

Probably because I work at home all day long. There's only so much inspiration one can derive from the following schedule:

9-11am - "brainstorm" on the toilet
11am-1pm - "toilet storm" on the toilet
1pm-3pm - watch "Toilet Storm", the A&E reality show about a group of tattooed plumbers and the drains they fondle
3pm-5pm - fondle my own drains while thinking about "toilet storm"

Coincidentally, my high school nickname was "the toilet storm", but that had more to do with my shitty personality than anything else.

It's a sedentary life. One which includes brief insights into the human condition - for example, the other day I woke up with the following tidbit written into my "thought pad" (if you can call it that): "there is a fine line between porno stash and porno 'stash."

Sure, Ron Jeremy and my comprehensive pornography collection might be of interest to pale, undersexed hornballs - but who wants to listen to them? No one - not even that one prostitute I tried really hard to recite poetry to.  Seriously, if she couldn't pretend to be into E.E. Cummings, then what am I paying her $50 for? Hot Carls? It's not worth it!

I guess another reason I don't write here as much is that most of my creative energy is spent attempting to craft Hollywood gold. It's funny - I expend much more effort writing that stuff than I ever did writing for this blog. And honestly, I'm pretty sure that my writing's much, much worse.

When you write scripts, you are allowed to type things like: "He looks at her. She smiles. They hug." Taken out of context, that would seem like a second grader's "happy time story telling", but you know what? That came from the script of a multi-million dollar project. Not going to say which one, but do I really have to? I'm sure you've seen it - if not on screen - in your nightmares.

So honestly, writing this blog is easier, more fun and less cringe-inducing than writing for Hollywood. That's probably why I barely update it. Too good and easy. I'm one for punishment. And I guess I don't have much to complain about - with the exception of the fact that I've obviously started beginning sentences with "and", which is such poor grammar that I believe Priscian is currently rolling around in his grave. Do you not know who Priscian is? Good, he's happy you don't. He says "fuck you and your terrible grammar, you indolent ne'erdowell". His words, not mine.

I guess the moral of the story is...don't try to make money writing. If that's your dream, then stop following your dreams. Aim low. Aim so low that humongous failure is a step up. That way, if you bugger your shit up - you're still doing OK. Priscian won't judge and you'll still have time to brainstorm on the toilet.

See? I can't write shit anymore. On a side note, this blog post has been optioned and will be turned into a buddy comedy staring Martin Lawrence and Ashton Kutcher called "Big Momma's...oh who the fuck cares?"