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Tomorrow

The best thing about the next day is that you can stop and start new things. You can wake up the next day and decide to turn over a new leaf. You can decide that you’re finally going to eat right and exercise. Or read more. Or spend more time with those most valuable to you. Or that you’re going to make the most out of your career and chart out a legacy for yourself with your talents.

The best thing about the next day, is that you can start afresh in numerous ways. And no one can fucking tell you otherwise.

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Never Count Yourself Out

This is a bit disjointed, but bear with me here.  Going to go on a short rant.

Don’t let anyone tell you can’t do anything. Or that the odds are stacked against you… Or that you’re too far gone.

People have been told that they’d never walk again… Only to have willed themselves towards re-rehabilitation and burning desire. Many rags-to-riches stories exist everywhere.

It’s tempting to fall into the trap of determinism and thinking you either have it or don’t. I find myself doing this more than I would like. I didn’t grow up with a spoon in mouth in far too many ways. But it doesn’t mean I won’t fight for what I want in my life.

As long as the will to fight and strive towards better remains in me, I will NEVER COUNT MYSELF out.

 

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I’ve Got Mine, F**K You.

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Team Red vs Team Blue

Late to the party, but I have to get my opinion of this movie out there.

“American Sniper” sure seems to be hitting people hard (no pun intended) both on the left and right in the US. People on the right love the movie. Folks on the Left are attacking the alleged movie’s pro-war bias and agenda. I can’t seem to get an even-handed opinion except for one notable source.

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There’s something about the fervor that the movie itself received that rubbed me the wrong way. I can’t seem to get a nuanced stance on what the movie meant. People seemed too gung-ho on  siding with their particular political parties view of Kyle and Patriotism instead of actually seeing the movie and Kyle for what he is, and what the conflicts of last decade meant.

American Sniper, the movie first and foremost seems to outline the struggle that many troops felt upon re-acclimation to civilian life. Which is why we see Chris Kyle re-enlist so many times, despite the strain that the tours were taking on his wife and family. Kyle was effective at what was asked of him from what we saw in the movies. But the ethics of his actions of dehumanizing his enemies and entertaining the idea of shooting kids are highly questionable.

The movie could have had something if they dealt even more with the feelings of bewilderment and listlessness that members of the armed forces often experience upon returning to civilian life. They could have went full tilt on the “love the solider but hate the prison industrial complex angle. But oh-no, Eastwood decided to make a jingoistic, propaganda piece which engages America, and Kyle’s actions as black and white.

So much more could have been done with that movie. But I think that a lot of the schism with the movie’s message, motives and the division of perception between the two sides is endemic to the current discourse we have in this country.

Perhaps we’ll see another movie or show do it better. But for me, it was just a cliche repeat of the team blue vs team red circus that plagues political discussion in the US.

 

 

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Two Years of Shiny Red Button Media

Over the past few years, I have written close to 60 posts spanning various topics and genres. And hope to open the playbook and write about quite a bit more things. Alas, I have been plugging away at this site for two years! It’s crazy how fast time flies. I have grown a lot as a writer since I first started this blog. In fact, I’d even say that looking at some of my earlier posts make me cringe a little bit. This is part of why you’re going to predominantly see more recent posts represented in this list.

Without further ado, here are my Top 5 Posts that I have written in the past two years:

5. A Review on Women by Charles Bukowski: Debut Post of the website, way back in April 2013.

4. Why I Can’t Fully Support America’s Right Wing: “Although I am merely 25 years old, and barely on the wrong side of twenty, I find that my views having gotten more conservative with age. But I still consider myself a secular left of center person that sees the value and point of tradition and organized religion. But all to often I see the members of the right demonizing potential minority voters with ratchet ideas like Voter ID, and putting off potential minority voters, no matter how hard they work and how much many minorities and immigrants pay their fair share and then some. At the end of the day, the Republican Party wants the good old days of life imitating a Norman Rockwell painting.”

3. The Kanye West Principle: “Perhaps unabashedly believing in yourself and strutting your stuff can be a powerful means to an end towards making it and thriving in the world of arts, sports and entertainment. Something I’d like to call ‘The Kanye West Principle’ after another similarly prolific and controversial figure. Hear me out….”

2. Kill Your Darlings: “As one of my best friends told me as a fellow writer “Kill Your Darlings.” The exact origin of the phrase is said to have come from William Faulkner, but it has become an axiom that I have increasingly found myself following.”

1. Ways to Prevent School Shootings: “Mental health is an often ignored issue in our country. A lot of these outbursts wouldn’t happen if we didn’t allow these guys to fall through the cracks. America being the individualistic society that it is unsurprisingly has a lot of people falling through the cracks. I wouldn’t be surprised to see that such tragedies are more rare in more collectivist and community oriented nations.”

 

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On Answers

Delegation is Okay

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about myself in my twenty-five years of life, it’s this: you’re not always good at everything, and you won’t always know all the answers. And that’s okay.

But the most important part of all that is having awareness of your strengths and weaknesses and being interdependent on others.

It’s okay to write or craft big ideas and stories, but need editors to polish your ideas. Many people relish stitching and smoothing over the little details just as much as many folks love the big picture.  It’s okay to create great beats and rhythms, but need a producer to tie it all together.

Or to create entertaining videos, but need to hire translators to reach wider audiences.

I know for me, I love to write. I love putting my ideas down on paper or screens. Or passionately rambling for endless paragraphs. But unfortunately, I’m not the biggest Grammar Nazi out there. But I’m well aware of that, and I enjoy getting constructive criticism on how to improve. Or delegating areas where I don’t have expertise to the folks who may.

You are NOT special.

You are NOT special.

Big Boy/Big Girl Jobs won’t spell everything out to you or give you a gold star for figuring things out. That’s EXPECTED and IMPLIED of you. Not being afraid to ask for their help and absorbing their knowledge and delegating accordingly is key.

You DON’T have to always know the answers. But you SHOULD know where to find them and who to ask for them.

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On Punishment

A concise video from Last Week Tonight that I liked. Enjoy!

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Kill Your Darlings

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Kill Your Darlings

As one of my best friends told me as a fellow writer “Kill Your Darlings.” The exact origin of the phrase is said to have come from William Faulkner, but it has become an axiom that I have increasingly found myself following.

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What does this mean in the literary sense? To me, it means that one should take their favorite writers and artists off the pedestal and stop seeing them as infallible individuals. Or in other words, learning to stop dick riding.

I don’t want to name names, but I have found that I have had to do this in the past year with one of my favorite bloggers. His blog posts and insights about psychology, dynamics in life and popular culture in general were things that I gained a lot from. He drew out his arguments very fluidly, and wasn’t afraid to break up his synopsis into several parts to fully drive home all that he had to say. He wasn’t afraid to talk about tough and blunt truths on just about any topic.

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Non-Sports Watchers Have No Soul

I Don’t Watch Spectator Sports: Don’t Be That Guy

The more I think about it, “I don’t watch sports” is the new “I don’t watch TV” of the 21st century.

I am inherently mistrustful of people who don’t watch sports.

Look, I’m not saying that people have to worship sweaty men in uniform or live vicariously through them. Watching sports isn’t necessary the pathway towards Basic Broness or Basic Bitchiness. But, in conjunction with constructive hobbies, watching sports can be a great way to unwind and bond with others.

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The Next Chapter of Turning Pro in 2015

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Turning Pro in 2015

In the book review of “Turning Pro,” I wrote in-depth about the importance of cultivating passion in life. Pressfield’s book taught me a lot about the importance of passion and cultivating that fighting spirit towards bettering myself as a writer, entrepreneur and a man. Although I’m still relevantly young to a lot of people at 25 years old, I can say with full confidence that this is the year that I’ve learned that I’m not quite invincible, and that I am in fact vulnerable to the wears and tears of life.

Becoming a More Credible Writer

One of my goals this year is to actually grow as a writer. I want to continue to take my art seriously through reading and learning from the best, and putting myself forward and practicing my craft to the best of my ability. The thing that I am striving most for this year is credibility.

It’s one thing to wax poetic about being an artist. It’s another thing to actually have the integrity and put in the work that is needed to be a creditable writer.

Writing isn’t just making a long and lofty Goodreads list, but it is actually putting in the work, reading the books, and learning from the best to perfect my own voice. It also isn’t dick riding my favorite writers and journalists on Twitter without fully reading and taking in their work.

I want 2015 to be the year that I fully walk the walk. Expect to see me post more frequently and add my new upcoming passion project into the mix.

I am ready for the next chapter in my life of Turning Pro.