Kelly Thomas- July 5th, 2012

One year later and Kelly Thomas is still gone, but his memory lives on with all of us. He died one year ago to the day. Now on that sad night, I had the distinct privilege to meet Mr. Ron Thomas and Mrs. Cathy Thomas.

Ron is a brave father, unlike any other father I’ve met. He’s the calm in the middle of what most would call a terribly tragic storm.

I can say nothing else other than, keep supporting the Thomas family and live. Life is a gift, as cliched as it sounds-we all deserve to live.

-CV

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Kelly Thomas Update

 After seeing this horrible video, I stand by everything I said on NPR.

 I said “The police were the truly mentally ill ones,” i.e. they attacked and killed an unarmed man.

I honestly believe that every single one of these cops involved are all extremely disturbed sociopaths.  

Each cop deserves life in prison without the possibility of parole.

I have nothing else to say. In other words, I’m utterly speechless.

The LA Times & NPR

I’d like to thank everyone for reading my Op-Ed in the LA Times and for tuning in to me on NPR.

In case you missed either of them:

NPR: Click here: http://www.npr.org/2012/04/02/149857042/a-patients-perspective-police-and-the-mentally-ill

LA TIMES: look here: http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-valone-police-and-mental-illness-and-kelly-t-20120311,0,7465544.story

I’d just like to clear up a few things:

1.I don’t write things in hopes of getting a pat on the back nor do I expect sympathy-more so I expect empathy. There is a big difference, and the empathy I expect to go for all of “us.”

2. After being called “Fantastic,” “Inspiring” and then being called “Lunatic” or “Insane” by complete strangers I am more apt to say this is the first and last time I will ever read my “online critics.” In other words, whether they be negative or positive feedback, I actually get my validation from my own self worth. (Although I do appreciate the positive support!) And now I really do understand why Woody Allen never bothers with critics. As critics are just that: negative critical people who probably would rather not be critics, usually with some sort of agenda attached to a number of their own personal issues. I can only imagine how lousy it must be to be Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie-I’d imagine they don’t even have a modem at home let alone any form of magazine subscriptions. Art is often subjective and some art works for some and some art works for others.

3. I don’t consider myself a “mentally ill” writer. I will give you that it is a topic in some of my creative non-fiction writing but I also write fiction, screenplays, and even stage plays. I also paint and am fond of existential writers, philosophers, and the Muppets-I have to mention the Muppets. Let me ask you, was Basquiat a black painter or a painter?

4. Yes, I am re-editing my memoir about my days of what most would call “being mentally ill.” It’s taken a while, but I think I have it under control.

5. I don’t let my past, present, or future define me as a writer. Nor do I let my race, gender, or sexual orientation define me as an author. To live inside other minds, hearts, and lives is the job of writer, not just to re-live one’s own experiences.

6. Thank you for reading my rant, which isn’t particularly directed at anyone at all, but more so just some things I wanted get off my chest that would not fit nor work as a tweet.

Here is Happy in the snow. Have a great week.

The 2010 Mexico International Film Festival

A quick summary note: This was a great festival which reminded me that film is art in its purest form if done right. If done well it is poetry, light, music, and art. In other words, it’s a moving painting that breathes and talks aloud.

My highlights:

One particular short film from Spain: “Dejar A Marcos”, was particularly heartbreakingly good.

Another short film: “Chicken Heads”, a Middle Eastern themed film was really well done and interesting in the choices it created.

The best short film ever (Oscar nominated): “The New Tenants” by Joachim Back was probably the best short film I have seen in years. It featured an aging yet brilliant Vincent D’Onofrio, a crazed Kevin Corrigan, and many other greats. Darkness, comedy, irony love, blood; it was missing nothing.

http://www.climaterefugees.com/

This documentary in essence is a film that changes how we look at the world as whole and I think every single person on this planet should see it. I have now started looking at everyone as either my brother or a sister or some form of estranged relative. There is too much to say so I will just say go see it. It really changed my life in a few ways.

There were also a few other films that I missed, but that’s life. Often when great films battle with an amazing sandy beach….the sandy beach wins.

Screenwriting stuff:

I did win an “Honorable Mention” in the screenplay competition of the Mexico International Film Festival this year for my original script based on a novella of mine called, “My Happy Afterlife”, which is about a failed LA novelist, and the general whoredom that is Hollywood when it comes to ‘writing’. It was an early draft of my novella which I have since then polished up nicely. I call this script a nice unhealthy mix of Dramedy and Neo Noir. It’s my own stab and jab tribute to misfit writers like myself, beautiful drunks like Bukowski, those that live life fully like Hemmingway, and finally those who lie in the gutter in-between everything (Again, like myself). It’s also a love song of sorts to Mexico, or to my Mexico. It is about all that that I love and find to be so wonderful and so very tragic about it as a whole. I also touch on themes of human rights when it comes to “Illegals”, because to me there is no such thing as an ‘illegal’. All Americans are here from somewhere else, and there is nothing illegal about it. Except for the fact that this land we call America used to be just land for the Native Americans and the Aztecs. So in closing, we (Americans) in essence are the real illegals.

Take that, Arizona. I am also boycotting Arizona, and instead of just doing nothing I am encouraging the world to travel to Mexico. Trust me; it’s quite safe these days.

Now be well, people of the world. I must go and do more creating and living.

Happy Festivus –

First off here’s my damn cute holiday dog photo:

Festivus website

Wikipedia Festivus

Happy Festivus to everyone! Starting this year I will be “airing of my grievances” via my blog.

So here they are:

1. When I am driving and I hear a song on the radio that has some sort of horn in it that sounds like a real horn next to me, it pisses me off! What kind of musician thinks a car horn or a horn that sounds like a car horn sounds like a good piece to an ensemble of a song? It just makes me look for this non-existent car that’s not honking at me. Stop it!

2. Why do radio commercials always sound louder than the songs on the radio? It just makes me change the radio station.

3. Why does all of Los Angeles Radio suck? Either I get bored on KCRW-National Public Radio, or get dumbed down on KROQ with fart jokes from those idiots Kevin and Bean….or they replay the same crappy unpunk but ‘punk’ song on the radio again and again. Then there’s the classic rock radio station DEEJAYS who all sound as conservative as GW Bush’s grandson or something. They also play the most unoriginal songs; never the hard-to-find classics, but the same popular songs again and again. Old should not always mean Bush supporter. Start playing those hard to find classic songs.

Finally, I beg of you Los Angeles….please bring back Indie 103.1 to the car radio!! Thanks for listening.

4. Why do these ‘exclusive’ La clubs (this goes for Vegas clubs too) sell ‘exclusive’ tickets to their ‘exclusive’ events online? If they’re so exclusive then why can I buy tickets on the internet?

5. People who stand outside AA meetings chain smoking? I bet you would be able to quit everything if you quit smoking along with the crack problem….

6. Twitter-it’s sometimes used to express original thoughts, but most of the time its everyday people kissing celebrity ass….you all have your own voices-no need to ass kiss or Re Tweet things again and again. Use it…look at the country of IRAN. They used twitter to express human rights violations and voting outrage…and we use it to ask some celebrity who they like in the next basketball game. Express your own damn voice.

7. Old rock stars don’t all deserve reality shows. Some should just retire or learn to play the acoustic guitar, not have TV shows on what it’s like to date young strippers and or actress wannabes. I think most ‘rock stars’ didn’t start making music to be a reality TV star. Has anyone even heard Brett Michaels’s music? It’s horrible…..and he’s just the beginning.

8. Shut up about Tiger Woods. I didn’t care about him or Golf before his affairs and I sure don’t care about him now.

9. People who think my blog is any reflection of my screen/novel writing. Newsflash-I don’t put alot of effort into my blogs-I mainly write stories….screenplays, novels and yes the occasional stage play. Blogs are good for opinions, ranting and or expressing non narrative moments.

10. Yes, I am a Dyslexic writer, so what. To me, what counts is-that I know how to tell a story and that I tell that story to you all. I have written 3 screenplays, 1 stageplay, 1 novella all just this year.

Thank you and happy holidays.
Xo
CV

We all live and die a little everyday……

Sometimes life just happens.

My wife if you didn’t know is a Celebrity makeup artist…and one of her very first celebrity clients, Brittany Murphy has died.
It’s a very sad day indeed. My wife was very upset when she heard the news and said that Brittany was, “the nicest, funniest and sweetest celeb” she has ever worked with.
I am actually working on a script and she would have been perfect for the part, it’s so sad. I never try to write for a specific actor but sometimes parts you write just fit certain people. It’s a Broadway themed script….that’s all I can say. I never discuss a script until it’s done.
Brittany had some of those amazing qualities and some classic Broadway skills that not many actors are born with or have.

Well, a lesson is there somewhere under the murk and tragedy. It’s an odd thing…life, screenwriting and so on.

Let’s all enjoy and create while we are here…whether it is creating: art, life, or just simple love for others.

Life happens; we all live and die a little each day.

Be well to each other no matter what.

My 2009 in the form of a poem……

Novelists think they are better than screenwriters,

Screenwriters think they are cooler than novelists,

And bloggers want to judge either of them.

Myself, I don’t care either way,

A story is a story is a story-as long as it just doesn’t bore me.

Speaking of poems….here’s Charles Bukowski’s new poetry book, The Continual Condition. I do recommend it.

Happy Holidays or Happy Non-Holidays……whatever floats your boat.

May you float away happy-

Much love-

xo

CV