fajivity said: How was kissing Micheal Swaim at the end of Agents of Cracked? Was it as dreamy as I imagine it to be?
We both ended up bleeding from the mouth after. I can’t remember the specifics exactly (I think one of us got hit in the tooth when the other one came in too strong, but I can’t remember who that happened to and I certainly can’t remember why the other one was bleeding). It really drove home the fact that Michael and I are not kiss-compatible (unless mutual-blood-loss is your thing re: kissing [and if so I’m not judging]).
Soren made us film another take where the kiss was less “wild and intense make out” and more “soft, sweet and tender smooch-session,” which was weird because Soren wasn’t directing that episode or anything. He just happened to be there that day and after Michael, Abe and I had decided we got the take that we wanted Soren said “No, no, no, again, do it again. Slower.”
I’m like most of you. School shootings stay with me for a very long time. I get sick and numb and useless. I see on the news that another kid took a gun and pointed it at a bunch of other kids with hearts and squeezed the trigger again and again, and then my brain short circuits. Then I call my Mom because she’s the smartest person I know, and even if SHE can’t explain with this happened, at least we can be upset together at the same time.
Then I read everything. Everything. Every expert in psychology who wants to figure out the shooter, every random person with an opinion, every woman sharing her story about the abuse and assault they had to live with. I read the articles saying “This happened because of [X]” and “This wouldn’t have happened if not for [Y]” and I just say OK to each and every one of them, because I never know WHAT shootings mean or how you can ever get enough distance to THINK it means anything. I don’t know how strong you have to be to see mass, school shootings as anything other than sad, just that I’m not that strong.
Another little boy got upset that the world wasn’t behaving the way he was told it would so he shot some other little boys and girls and now they’re all gone.
Six or seven years ago, I wrote and released an online, action-comedy novella called The Bartender. It was supposed to be a very long love letter to my two best friends and my older brothers, and then a few thousand people read it, which was nice of them. There was drinking, action, jokes and sex. It was the kind of story that I grew up reading and watching. The kind of story I grew up loving, the kind of story that got me interested in making stories in the first place.
It’s also a story where a bunch of guys save the day by pulling out lots of guns and firing until all of the problems go away, and it’s a story where the only female character in the entire book functions as, at one time or another, the nag, victim, sex object, traitor and eventually corpse.
So I’m getting rid of it. There are enough stories where the guys with the most guns win, and there are enough stories where women are underdeveloped sex props and target practice. We don’t need mine. And I don’t want anyone else to stumble on a story where a bunch of guys shoot a bunch of other guys as an answer and think “COOL!” So I’m deleting it, and it’s a very easy decision. I’ll leave it up through June 30th, as a courtesy to the people who are reading it currently, and then it’ll be gone. It won’t be re-released later, I won’t revise it. It’ll be gone because it should be gone.
I’m not a politician or a lobbyist or a teacher or a parent or a smart person. My function here—my contribution to society—is jokes and stories. That’s the only small thing over which I have any control. Previously I would have looked at how small my corner of influence was and dismiss it as too small to make a difference in anything, but I want to try… not doing that, anymore. I want to try to make this a world where my grandkids don’t pick up guns and kill someone else’s grandkids, and that means every single one of us needs to look at whatever small things we control— whatever tiny corners we influence—and ask ourselves “Could this be part of the problem?”
It means I can’t call myself “one of the good ones” on the justification that I’m not as bad as men who beat women. That’s the mentality I used to have, and it’s one that immediately stifles self-reflection and growth. Once I tell myself “I’m a good feminist because I would never hit a woman” or “I’m a good person because I would never stab another person,” I am instantly giving myself permission to not go through my past and investigate the subtle ways in which I might be contributing to this problem. No one should let themselves off the hook that easily. Self-reflection is a good thing, always. Always! Even acknowledging that you are or were part of the problem is good, because it means now you know how to be part of the solution. We made a world that is toxic and it’s going to take everyone to fix it. It’s going to take everyone looking at EVERYTHING, at all of their corners of influence and behavior and seeing how and if that behavior might be part of a problem that is bigger than all of us. Maybe one day I’ll be a politician who can change big things with rousing speeches but, for now, I’m a small person who can only change small things, but that’s what it takes, because if enough small people change enough small things, eventually it will look like a big change, and that’s what we need. Unless you think what we have now is fine. Unless you think this world we built where kids kill other kids is acceptable.
For my stupid part, it means re-examining my relationship with women and destroying a book I loved making, and that’s alright, because that means there will be one less book where heroes solve problems with violence instead of thoughtfulness and where women exist to be either lusted after or threatened depending on what the plot needs. It means that I won’t get to write the stories that I grew up reading. It means I won’t get to make the movies that got me interested in making movies in the first place and that’s okay, because those movies and stories helped shape our current society, and our current society is one in which our babies keep killing each other. I will never get to write Die Hard, a movie where the straight, white man is so good at killing weird-sounding bad guys that he gets rewarded with sex. And that’s fine. I’ll take that loss, because me training myself to think and write differently isn’t even a loss.
I don’t think a movie or all movies made some child kill a bunch of other children, but I do know that movies are part of our culture, in the way that books and music and sports and art and advertising and literally everything else are part of our culture. That, at least, is undeniable. And when our culture is one wherein kids kill other kids, it means to me at least that the culture is broken and that it’s worth considering how my tiny, corner of influence might be contributing.
No one wants to think they’re part of the problem or that they need to change, especially when there are so many clear and obvious monsters out there for comparison. Everyone’s knee-jerk reaction to being told to change is defensive; “Fuck you, I’m a good person, I’d never hurt anyone and I voted for [X Legislation that means I’m progressive and open-minded].” Because it feels like an accusation, and life is hard enough for everyone as it is that no one wants to be told they’re part of a problem. I understand that. And I understand that it’s hard. And I understand that change is hard, but it’s not as hard as watching kids get shot.
franksdenke said: Hi DOB! Can you make a playlist of the infinity prison videos and/or a post with them linked to? I want to show all my friend(s)/ tumblr followers. Also, you're a hilarious writer and a huge inspiration, I loved How To Fight Presidents! Thanks, Francis!
Anonymous said: Wait, are you and Jack O'Brien brothers, or...?
Jesus fucking christ no.