Skip to main content


Joy, hope and fear
Suffer not near,
Drive grief away: Shackled and blind
And lost is the mind
Where these have sway.

This short poem is from Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy, in which Lady Philosophy, who is wisdom personified, gives advice to a man on his death bed. She says:
"If first you rid yourself of hope and fear you have disarmed the tyrant’s wrath. But whosoever quakes in fear or hope, drifting and losing mastery, binds the chain with which he will be bound.”

They say that a wish brings its own fulfillment. That desire and its object are like two sides of a coin, one bound to the other. A wish can take one of two forms. Either it is a hope, or it is fear. By hoping you draw something favorable to you by desire. Through fear, you draw its opposite to you in dread. Both hope and fear rely on the power of thought, the law of attraction. Watch your thoughts. Another way of saying be careful what you wish for.

Back when I was a screenwriter I once told my brother GT that if I could only sell one single script, see just one of my works made into a film, I'd die a happy man. We were watching Don Juan de Marco, a delightful movie, and perfectly written. Something like that, I said. This back in 1997.

I used to go see movies and afterwards sit outside listening to audience members as they came out of the theater. What did they have to say about the film? Did the comedy bits work? Was the horror really scary? I'd imagine they were discussing my story. It wouldn't have to be a blockbuster, my movie, not necessarily. Just do maybe 10 million in sales. That's about as many Twitter followers as the Dalai Lama has. I'd be in good company.

Eighteen years and ten screenplays later and nada zip zilch. Until the other day, this chap from Nigeria, one Mr. Livingstone, emails me. I found your screenplay online, he tells me. I had forgotten that I had posted it on this sharing site. It was so long ago I can't remember when. And may I have your permission to make it into a movie? I laughed to myself. Is this a hoax? A scam? No, and he was serious about making the film for "home viewing." I guess they make a lot of films in Nigeria, so many that it has earned the nickname "Nollywood." 

I thought about discussing a price, or involving agents to do it for us. But I have no agent and I'm sure this Mr. Livingstone has no money. He's small time. I saw a sample of his work and it is amateurish at best. I've seen home videos more expertly done. Also, the guy can hardly write a lick of English. His grammar is atrocious. Do they even speak English in Nigeria or is it Pidgin?

Maybe the film will have subtitles. The screenplay in question is so talky that if he chooses to do it in subtitles it will be like reading a digital book on the big screen. You can forget about appreciating the actors. It will be enough of a struggle just trying to understand what they are saying before the words get replaced by another block of my wordy dialogue.

So I said OK, do it. Thinking that for sure it will never be made. But maybe it will. The script is a thriller, but with low-budget filming and botched dialogue and worse acting (I'm just going by what I saw of his work) it will probably come off as an unintentional comedy. Unintentional humor. It so often happens in life. The guy promises to send me the DVD once it's done.

Dreams do come true, just not always how you'd imagine. So be careful what you wish for, and also what you fear. And next time you happen to be in Nigeria, look up my movie, Asphyxia. I'm sure it'll be worth a good laugh or two. That is if it ever gets made. I'm beginning to fear that it may.



Popular posts from this blog


I was watching the TV show Naked and Afraid last night as I sometimes do. The show teams together two strangers, a man and a woman, who attempt to survive on their own for a period of 21 days in some remote and isolated region. Some of the locales featured include the Australian Outback, the Amazonian rainforest and the African Savanna. The man may have a military background, or be an adventurist or deep sea fisherman. Sometimes he's an ordinary dude who lives with mom. The woman is a park ranger or extreme fitness enthusiast or "just a mom" herself. Sometimes the couple quarrel, sometimes one or both "tap out" (quit) in a fit of anger or illness. It is satisfying to see them actually make it through the challenge and reach their extraction point. The victors are usually exhausted, emaciated, begrimed and bare ass naked. 

Even more satisfying, at least for me, is the occasional ass shot, snuck in at strategic intervals to boost viewership, of course. It's co…


There is no such thing as screw-ups.

Case in point. My excellent friend Deej comes over to help me beautify the garden. He immediately dives in, crouching down on his knees and weed whacking with his bare hands. Before I can say yay or nay, he proceeds to remove a huge clump of daisy greens from the oblong patch of Earth adjacent to the driveway. The area instantly looks bare. Like the back of Woody Allen's head. Smoothing out the soil and shaking his head Deej mutters to himself "I fucked it up!" over and over again. We try everything. Planting succulents in the daisy's place. Covering it with rocks. But still the area looks barren. And every time you water it the water trickles down onto the sidewalk in the absence of roots to hold it in place. It's getting dark so we go back inside. The next day I return to the spot with a clear perspective and remove all the other daisies, leaving only rose bushes and the succulents that DJ planted, and depositing 10 bags of m…


This is not a commentary on the latest fitness fad. Because if it were, the little I'd have to say on the subject would be largely derogatory. I simply cannot see see how crouching in a stuffy, dark, cramped room surrounded by sweat-drenched strangers while expending a lot of energy and going nowhere deserves to be called fun, though aficionados tell me it is (fun). I tell these aficionados that if no pain no gain is your thing, discomfort can be had for a lot cheaper than $50 an hour. Try plucking your nose hairs. What we don't do for the sake of beauty. This endurance heir to the Stairmaster and elliptical is all hype. There's a name for the type who likes to run (or otherwise move) in place. It's called a hamster. 

This reminds me of a joke my father likes to tell, about what living with a woman turns a guy into. You go from a wolf to a sheep to a hamster. After nearly 40 years of married life, my dad has added cockroach to the zoological lineage. Which I'm sure …