We all know that a good person can be a bad artist.
But no one will ever be a genuine artist
unless a great human being and thus also a good one.

Marc Chagall

Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions.
Imagination embraces the entire world,
and everything there will be to know and understand.
Imagination points to all we might yet discover and create.

Albert Einstein

Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter
and those who matter don't mind.

I ♥! Dr. Seuss

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
Eleanor Roosevelt


Public Philosophy: Steve Simone Standup Storytelling

STEVE SIMEONE: “I think that as a society we’re really good at judging each other instead of loving each other. And if you look at the world now never in my life has it been so segmented. Everybody’s at each other’s throats. Like if you just walk down the street and smile, people are like, “Look at that prick! I wish he was dead.” Everybody’s so angry. Right? Old people versus young people, rich versus poor, black versus white, gay versus straight — everybody’s judging, judging, judging, judging. When deep inside? We’re just little kids that just want to hang out, love, and have some laughs. And here’s the great thing: the less you judge, and the more you love, you’ll stop judging yourself and you’ll start loving yourself, and you’ll be a source of that happiness for other people. So that’s what I’m here to tell ya. Stop judging and start loving, good night and god bless you.”

If you’ve read the above and listened to the clip, my guess is Steve would want to extend this generous offer posted on an Reddit AMA to you:

“Send me your clips to stevesimeone@yahoo.com if you want. I would love to see them. If you’re ever in LA, please send me a message and i’ll put you on the guest at the comedy store, so you can see for yourself.”

Robert Greene: Mastery and Pop Drug Culture

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“In Western culture a particular myth has evolved that drugs or madness can somehow lead to creative births of the highest order. How else to explain the work that John Coltrane did while hooked on heroin – or the great works of the playwright August Strinberg, who seemed clinically insane. Their work is so spontaneous and free, so far beyond the power of the rational and conscious mind. This is a cliche however that is easily debunked. Coltrane himself admitted that he did his worst work while hooked on heroin.  It was destroying him and his creative powers. He kicked the habit in 1957 and never looked back. Biographers who studied the letters and journals of Steindberg discovered a man who was quite histrionic in public, but who in private life was extremely disciplined. The effect of madness created in his plays is very consciously crafted. Understand: to create a meaningful work of art or to make a discovery or invention requires great disciple, self-control, and stability. It requires mastering the forms of your field – drugs and madness only destroy such powers. Do not fall for the romantic myths and cliches that abound in popular culture about creativity – offering the excuse and panacea that such powers can come cheaply. When you look at the exceptionally creative work of masters you must not ignore the years of practice, endless routines, the hours of doubt, and the tenacious overcoming of obstacles these people endured. Creative energy is the fruit of such efforts and nothing else.”

Role Model to Superheroes: John Ridley ‘On Story’ (EP 1502)

86th Academy Awards Nominee Luncheon - Portraits

“The past, it is vibrant, it’s alive. You know there’s the old saws that ‘if you don’t learn from the past you’re gonna repeat it’. But I think more than just learning from the past is really understanding how we’ve arrived, as people, you know, we have – as difficult as it may seem, whether its in this country or around the world, um, you look at the arc of ‘us’ – and its been phenomenal. You look around this room, and you see, so many different kinds of people – you know, not that long ago we couldn’t come together like this. And talk like this. And share like this. That in itself is phenomenal.

So I think it’s one thing to say that history, you know – much like Baskerville’s, although that’s fiction – but it’s about making things relevant, so, it’s not just about swamps and bogs and things like that, but, it’s about feeling something in the moment about curiosity, about fear, about being thrilled – and those are the things in history that excite us, you know, it’s those moments.

Entertainment is an empathy machine. You know, we’re not here to just make pronouncements about things or to dictate. If that’s what we’re here to do the world would be that much more advanced in terms of where we are because there is so much in books and cinema and tv and things like that. It’s not about trying to dictate to individuals: here’s how you should feel, here’s how you should think, and here’s my big idea about the past. It’s about can you feel something. Can you put yourself in a place.

And these films that you see, about so many different subject matters – whether they’re of great importance or small delicate thesis, little pieces that just move you, and the people around you, and your gut clinches, your heart opens, your tears flow. That’s what we’re here to do. So, if we can take the past and make it present like you’re saying…if we can take emotion that seems like its coming from another side of the country, around the world, and make people in their space feel that same thing – that’s what I think we’re here to do.

Writing is unique in that there are amazing actors out there. Great actors but they have to wait for that story to come to them. Great directors have to wait for that story. The writer can go and write. You know, you can get up in the morning and it’s – not to go too far on tangent but it’s the difference between – read long time ago, someone said, “What’s the difference between Superman and Batman?”, and, the difference is you know that Batman – Bruce Wayne has to put on the costume to be Batman. Superman wakes up in the morning and he’s Superman. That’s it. He’s gotta put on a costume to be regular. And when you wake up in the morning as a writer you have the opportunity to be heroic, to tell a heroic story. In any way shape or form. And everyone else, as great as they are, as much as they contribute – as vital as they are – because you cannot do it without this team of people, you know, they’ve gotta wait for that story to come out there. So for all of those individuals who are writers, aspiring writers, you know its not about the check, it’s not about going to Hollywood, or, somewhere in Austin, or whatever – it’s about: wake up in the morning, saying, you know, I’m a writer. That’s it. I’m doin’ it.”

http://www.onstory.tv/zpodcast-2/

Stephen King on Substance Abuse and Creativity

Screen Shot 2014-12-06 at 7.26.42 PM“The idea that the creative endeavor and mind-altering substances are entwined is one of the great pop-intellectual myths of our time. The four twentieth-century writers whose work is most responsible for it are probably Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Sherwood Anderson, and the poet Dylan Thomas. They are the writers who largely formed our vision of an existential English-speaking wasteland where people have been cut off from one another and live in an atmosphere of emotional strangulation and despair. These concepts are very familiar to most alcoholics. The common reaction to them is amusement. Substance abusing writers are just: substance abusers — common garden variety drunks and druggies, in other words. Any claims that drugs and alcohol are necessary to dull a finer sensibility are just the usual self-serving bullshit. I’ve heard alcoholic snowplow drivers make the same claim, that they drink to still the demons. It doesn’t matter if you’re James Jones, John Cheever, or a stew bum snoozing in Penn Station. For an addict the right to the drink or the drug of choice must be preserved at all costs. Hemingway and Fitzgerald didn’t drink because they were creative, alienated, or morally weak. They drank because it’s what alkies are wired up to do. Creative people probably do run a greater risk of alcoholism and addiction than those in some other jobs – but so what? We all look pretty much the same when we’re puking in the gutter.”

Stephen KingOn Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

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Inexpensive time-locked “safe” to keep keys, cards, and wallets from loved ones…