Monday, March 30, 2015

Correction is best when done in the moment.

Before anybody reads another word more I want to make it perfectly clear I respect and admire Harley King as a human being and a literary artist.

Anyone thinking or publishing otherwise is demonstrating unfair bias and is not qualified to address this discourse I now begin with his blog posted at the following uniform resource locator.

http://harleyinspiration.blogspot.com/2015/03/harley-king_30.html

But I have a little problem with his blog's assertions.  I find them detrimental to the writing community for the following reasons.

And I rebut those assertions with debate as a creative leader in this post.

I don't believe some one who is an actual creative leader is a harsh critic. They may have high standards, and experience some other emotion or view when they are not met.  However, criticism is a deep, dark path leaders in general vet characteristically in the internal sense and in their external dealings. 

It's just not part of the mind set.  Leaders learn or innately understand what to avoid in cognition in order to preserve the ability to lead - whatever the domain.  

A creative leader also, in my opinion, relies on their talent, skill and also creativity so essentially they treasure it to the point of serving it.  Serving others is a critical aspect of leadership.  


If one is to surpass a certain echelon in creativity or leadership, undervaluing the meaningful qualities that bring value to your work is shunned and are instead things to admire, respect and work with cordially and/or cooperatively whenever possible. 

This is why the process called brainstorming is so inaccurately contextualized.

Creativity is a process, not a storm.  It can happen with sudden intensity often, and can share those characteristics with a storm per se, but it is not a violent, uncontrolled process like a storm using additional characteristics so a full comparison is served.  

This is one of those terrible scarlet letter labels given an otherwise innocent cognitive process working of its own volition.  Not jacked up on drama.  

This is the difference between a drama king and a dramatist.  

Fear of criticism can easily be replaced with confidence in the work to stand on its own two feet when complete as we can make it - and damn the torpedoes - you are being authentic.  That tier where originality and significance are nigh? 

That should come through in the work to the objective person, even if a critic, if you are genuinely authentic.  


If the criticism is not authentic and objective by qualified people in the domain you produce art for, then they exercise bias, and dress it up as criticism, which is a perfect and commonplace example of inauthenticity in ordinary commonplace thinking.  

To be afraid of what others may say is not being a leader in the least.  


This is the trait of the unseasoned amateur.  

Given the bias people judge with without ever exercising the mental acquisition of reducing bias errors in their mental processes and increasing objectivity simultaneously are simply unqualified feedback providers, to use the professional terminology.

Put your work out there and let it stand on its own two feet because you trained yourself in skill, talent and creativity and what other people think of you is far, far less important than what you think of yourself.

With the respect to the creative production process, the feeling you have right after the work is produced and published is the value you instill in yourself few will ever understand - if you are unique.  I once had a standing ovation from hundreds of people for ten minutes.  I had the humility - a necessary trait of anything great to come within oneself - to let it last me (in motivational terms) for twenty years of pretty dry seasons as far as writing revenue is concerned.

If you are a bot or a cog, well, it may crush you, but here is a sad but true rule creative leaders anywhere know.  

Few people really matter.  Take away your digital life and your professional life outside of your everything else life and think of the people who really matter to you and that number will be quite small compared to all the people you know.

That's life, truth and empirical proof.  

As a creator, much less a creative leader, you should already understand that mistakes aren't mistakes, they are ideas that proofs did not work out for at best.  This is evidenced by the Thomas Alva Edison saying, "I have not failed. I just found 10,000 ways that don't work."

And Edison really wasn't that amazing, compared to the guy he fired for having too many good ideas, Nikolai Tesla.  

Of course, Tesla's work was for all humankind and intended to be free, so greed in the form of J. Pierpont Morgan made short order of that great contributor's efforts.

Morgan backed Edison because of course, you and I could be charged for electricity every step of the way that way, while buying endless amounts of light bulbs.  Here it is a hundred years later and we are still accepting this system as advanced technology.

Don't you just love the band aid brigades-as-value society?

Machine serves man, not the other bot and cog way around.

But back to the point, if you accept the way that didn't work as not a mistake, then you could of course find opportunity in it.   Maybe not just a valuable one perhaps being a total waste of prescious lifetime.  0r one that meet the strict definition of an actual creative act.

You're not ready for that definition yet, so I will spare you, because I am busy beating back the hand of time to the now and tomorrow from where Harley set them because, if you listen to century old advice, you get century old results.

As far as embracing the flaws and imperfections, this is fine.  As long as you don't treat it as something to write home to mom or shoot of fireworks about. Embracing flaws and imperfections are part of self acceptance and authenticity becoming on the personal level.

But it is the stepping stone, not the bowl.  The bowl isn't even important in this analogy.  The finding of water is where the meaning lies.  You grew two bowls, for reason's sake.

They are right in your own hands.


Its mostly a waste of time throwing the bowl to begin with.

But it makes us feel fulfilled.  Yet it is empty by definition, so why make it? Because we feel fulfilled when we pretend there is water in it, or, we will put water in it when we find it.

Pretending is something leaders have little time for, and our world is in choke-holds of pretense everywhere you look.  Pretending is childhood's practice for adult creative activity.  


For your children's and creative career's sake, grow up.

Throwing the bowl is but an organic tactile lullaby.  It is empty.  Seek water instead, and you won't need a bowl.

Needing a bowl is allegorically saying, "There is no water yet."  

For your soul, people.  

We are, in both cultural and civilization terms, drowning in lullabies and marching anthems.  Stops singing empty songs.  The best and primary song for life is, "We found sweet water."


The bowl is an empty song.  

Making the bowl whole again is embracing emptiness - a song who's time has long passed and should be buried in the collective consciousness and left for fodder for new consciouness creativity.  That embrace was good a thousand years ago in Zen Buddhism when suffering was a large part of the human condition.


But people -- We've evolved.  There's a lot less suffering going on out there. The time for this song has past and for good reason.  Just because it hasn't been eradicated completely doesn't mean we aren't way ahead of the game from the way things used to be.

Find the opportunity in the mistake controverts two other important creative and leadership principles.

Chance favors the prepared mind.


and

Luck is the residue of good design.


A real leader 
understands already they are not trying to be perfect.  They are being who they are; serving the best version of the perfection model they continually create.

You keep waiting for perfection, you'd better have a hundred thousand year lifespan.

That model is present to their consciousness at the current point in time during their process creatively or otherwise. We won't get into Simonton's hierarchy yet.  You're not ready for it.  

I'll take you there, in time.  You'll be better creators and leaders for it. But not by following hundred or thousand year old advice, unless you want hundred or thousand year old critic mentality affecting your career or thousand year old results.  Who wants more same old same old?

I can't stress enough abandoning old ways of thinking if you want new results in your life, consciousness and creativity.  That is not to say solid rules and techniques of the past are collectively and patently abandoned.  Don't be an extremist - that serves nothing and no one.  Just this particular way of thinking is worth abandoning.  For it can do great damage to tomorrow, like, delaying it even more.

Please, Harley, you are a man whose literary artistry I admire and respect, but you are 
woefully out of your depth and disserving the writing community within the radius of your circle of influence by speaking about creative leadership in these published terms so detrimentally out of date and are counter-effective for creative leadership intention.

With respect,

The Lone Comic TM

Defender of Creativity SM


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Did you know you have an IQ of 1000?

Some times writers have the opposite of writer's block - the creative torrent.

Begin by realizing the creative faculty has no temporal ability - it can't tell time. 


It can only tell stories.  It doesn't recognize the clock ticking.  And it can only tell stories in specific ways that aren't easy to comprehend at first.  

It is because of this writer's block does not exist.


What is really happening is the creative faculty is just working on the idea/problem you put to it for solving.

Questions like, 'what am I going to do in this scene? Where is the action leading the characters next?  What does this place I've never been to before look like, because my characters just parachuted into it?'  


What am I going to write next is often a question.  How am I going to finish this is a heavy question.  

All have answers.  These answers come from the creative cognitive faculty.  In it's own, sweet time.

The other side of this erroneous perception of writer's block is when ideas come to you so fast you hardly have time to write them down.

But you should as best as you can if you are to cement the foundational skill of honoring your creative process.  And perhaps more importantly, honoring and cooperating with your creative cognitive faculty by working with it in consideration of it's limitations your whole life long.  

These creative torrents are simply all the solutions and ideas regular rational life likes to repress and bottle up. We repress and bottle them up because we don't understand them, don't want to understand them or are afraid of understanding itself. It's the opposite of the lies we tell ourselves. 


Creativity is the antithesis of bullshit; to of from another or to yourself.  

Be so advised.  

The last one is the big tamale of all the rationales we use to talk ourselves out of evolving.

Solving all this means just learning how to work with the faculty.  I guarantee, you will never tear your hair out, or cut your ear off again.  

However, the Lone Comic always truthfully warns - it's hard work!

The creative cognitive faculty generates ideas that we don't understand due to some factors like their symbolic nature.  The creative often communicates symbolically, and we just haven't developed enough skill in translating symbolic communication into literal interpretation for the transcription process.

This skill acquisition takes time and some development.


The creative faculty communicates in this way because the symbol is a one icon (or symbol) method for representing a concept, no matter how abstract, meaningful, sophisticated or complicated. Multiple concepts necessary to completely illustrate (that's almost literal and goes by another name 'the theater of the mind') a sophisticated or lengthy solution are strings of symbols.

It is up to us to develop interpretive skills. 

We run into "What does that mean?"  and can lose interpretive translated meaning of the symbol because they can often come in strings or in unique forms outside of the nominal symbols systems developed to date.  You have to give yourself a chance and realize even though you got it down, you may not understand it right away.  Fools will throw out the piece of paper, think 'what good was that exercise?' and develop a nice case of self mistrust.  Big mistake, but its your choice, like everything in life.

A string of symbols is a native lexicon expression of creative faculty programming language.  It is often the final product delivered up from your subconscious where the creative faculty resides, and can be a daydream or night dream or something as random as, "What was that I just thought of?  That was wierd!  I'd better write that down or draw it, whatever it was."

You got to keep on top of your 
train of thought in order to capture this data. And I mean accurately, kids.  Some of your best ideas, most difficult solutions to the biggest challenges and greatest realizations come from this process. This is not a place to skimp with yourself.  Some things can't be monkeyed with.  Unless you like selling yourself short.  


Life and the rational world will distract you from recognizing, much less developing a strong interpretation system for this creative data, which is why you need a good place to work. And the discipline to go there and open yourself up the the time irrespective process is key.


Writer's retreats only help so much.  They're often in such beautiful settings, you want to go outside, not work.  Like the great director Billy Wilder teaches us, "When you get the corner office, turn your desk to the wall."  Better to create your own, private creative space.  I consider it critical, if not essential.   

Trust me, this is such powerful stuff that all the time you spend away from work, online life and other people is more than made up for by the results. And they are powerful leaps forward, just the kind of results you need and want.


To quantify just how much can be made up for in terms of results for the sacrifices you make for your creativity can be measured in simple terms.

Your conscious, adult, waking rational mind can be tested for intelligence quotient (IQ). This quotient is a number, based on testing.  My dad was involved in writing a few of the early ones.  

Science estimates that your subconscious (as opposed to your conscious mind) is nine times (900%) smarter than your conscious mind.  

So if your conscious IQ is 120 (a rather standard intelligence measurement) you subconscious IQ is about 1080.

That's pretty fn smart.  No wonder the language of the subconscious is primarily symbolism.  The symbol is the single letter of the alphabet of symbols.  A string or strings of symbols are the words and sentences of symbolic language.  

Your mind is doing you a favor by breaking down this sophisticated conceptual creative (or otherwise) data into digestible chunks - symbols and strings of symbols.  

Your job while awake is to translate this into words and put them on paper. You're gonna say, "That's a great idea, or, that's exactly what I was looking for, or even, wow, I better go back to the drawing board."

This is one of the skills you could develop in order to acquire facility in the process of interpreting and transcribing the meaning of these symbols into words that the rest of us - after you have rewritten and edited them - can understand as written expressions.

Those expressions relate - guess what?

The meaning of the symbols you can understand without having to daydream or dream.  This meaning in words is interpreted by the reader and presto!

You have the purpose of communication to begin with.  The creation, interpretation and meaning of understanding itself.

This is what writing is for - and all communication - whether painting, dance, film what-have-you - to create understanding. So what if you don't understand it immediately?  You will in time.


So don't piss down this gold mine by whining "it's too tough, Lone Comic!" Or, "I don't understand it, Lone Comic!" 

Here is a management tool both necessary and powerful enough to allow it not to be a hair puller of a problem.

This problem is common in early maturity stage creativity, but isn't always a early stage problem.

The solution is simple.

A first rate information architecture.

This is as simple as an excel spreadsheet.  If you can't build and manipulate data in a simple spreadsheet program, what the fuck are you doing in the thinking business of writing moron?  Much less in the digital citizenship age?  

It is a simple way to map three dimensional data.  The brain is a matrix of thought, so this is form following function.

I had this torrent problem early in my career.  Once I outlined ten novels on a three by five notepad while waiting for a bus to Ventura.  Talk about managing page space!

In order to manage this massive inflow of creative and detailed data, I found an information management system that allows me to keep it all organized so its not a brain strain.

What is happening to you when the problem of ideas coming to you too fast is a flow adjustment solution.  By that I mean things are coming in at a flow so fast, its a torrent.

In these cases, I simply write it all out and turn it into paragraphs of independent thought.  One thought, one paragraph.  Simple and right. 
 
Then I begin the categorizing because it is a demand of rationale we can hardly ignore even with the music turned way up loud. Then I drop those thoughts into the right document and link it in the right category from my spreadsheet.

By the time you have your categories tweaked to mirror how you think, start the life long big data project and behold, wonder and marvel at yourself for managing your artistic talents.  And having mapped your consciousness.  That's better than a mind map because it is the master mind map for you for life. 

You may thank me by supporting my Kickstarter comedy album project when its ready to produce.

The personal insights it can give you is icing on the cake. Oh, the problems this process can solve.  I leave discovery of this to you, because that is our highest cognitive function anyway.

Its a good beginner's tool to manage the big data that is your working creative cognition put to structure.

Once you have established both a familiarity and translation facility for your abstract creative thoughts, your torrents will be less confusing, less torrential for that matter, and this is the check valve in the torrential type of flow.

Most importantly, it is a big step in honoring your creative process. Doing this brings the torrents under more control, and widens the scope of the ability to grasp even more data your creative faculty is providing you with constantly.

It won't go away, and it shouldn't.  Sometimes the creative problems we ask our creative faculty to provide solution for are easy.  Something we should have used our waking brain for.  It may know this an you don't.  At 1080 IQ, metaphorically speaking, its going to spit them back at you pretty fast.  Be ready with pen and paper or text editor.

Just honor the process and when the data presents itself, stop, be mindful in the moment, and capture the data in words and professionally and faithfully jot them down.

The great leaps forward this kind of cognitive facility use process can give you allows you to leap forward sometimes with self startling speed, power and sophistication.

Welcome to creativity.  It has a power no other thing on earth has.  

Transformation.  

Yeah, I'm teaching you how to ride the lightening, biyatch. Get it and don't sweat it.

Its not something you can turn off or on like a light switch, no matter how much the rational world tries.  It just won't work.

Its a process.  A life long one.  One you manage and grow skill with over a great deal of time. Get used to working with it and honoring it when it brings forth its bounty for you.  

How else do you think you are going to get paid? With automated blog blah? Welcome to automated mediocrity, the penny income.

The creative faculty can't give you the solution when you want it, (this is the perception that instituted the writer's block myth crutch cult) but it does give it to you when it's done, or partially done and gives you the finished part because it needs that space to do the rest of the work on perhaps something more exciting or sophisticated and yes, even more important.  

This is a thing I ran into that really popped my bubble.  I came to Hollywood to become a rich and famous writer, and learned that I was the kind of writer rich and famous writers wished they were.  An important one.

Sometimes the creative faculty, as a connected faculty to the subconscious, is informed by the subconscious (which is working at 9X, remember?) that the partial solution you just got is all that was really required for it to handle, and it is enough for your to figure out the rest in your daily, waking life.

The choice before you is do you want to go into the quiet poet's corner of your life and work with your 1000 IQ, or do you want to believe your entire focus should be on the rational life and pull your hair out in the coffee shop for the rest of your life?

Now, as the great Beth Lapides says, "Get back to work."


Faithfully yours,

The Lone Comic TM
Defender of Creativity and Entertainment SM

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The story of Rod Serling is the story of all writers whether they are aware of it or not.

I worked as a pizza delivery driver years ago in a small, sleepy California beach town.  Ours was the only pizza place open until the wee hours.  Resultantly, I commanded every tip and order in town unavailable to other pizza delivery drivers after 11 p.m.

While serving a small, exclusive entertainment enclave community, I was able to meet many household name stars, up and coming acts working their way to the top of the industry in their respective artistic disciplines and many more who were, like me, aspiring young creators.

While I do not intend to dish and divulge many of the great and significant personal interactions I had with the rich and famous, famous to be and famous only in their own minds, one experience of my own mirrors a step along the path many aspiring writers will, have or are encountering now.

I was a dedicated entertainment writer.  And it should be said no matter where you are or what you write (perhaps with some exception academic or technical writing), every writer who is in the creative stage of writing for themselves or writing for an audience of one type or another - all of us are in the entertainment business. 

I studied the film and entertainment industries and writing in places like The American Film Institute, the Writer's Guild archives and the Director's Guild of America as a journalist for Actor's Weekly covering 'the biz', as I call it.   

I remember the advice given to me by Michael Douglas, who said to me, "You want to be a writer?  You'd better study everything else.  Otherwise, people will tell you you don't know what the fuck you are talking about."

I became so steeped in the mindset, worldview and personality types of the entertainment industry I came to that place everyone can and ought to get to where you know the breed when you see it.

One night, on my last delivery taking me well past two in the morning, the door was opened by a tall gentleman who was clearly the customer.  I knew this was going to be a good tip.  While my instincts served me well in knowing the breed when I see it, my predilection for opening my mouth and speaking my mind did not.

"You're a director," I said immediately.  The man looked at me weirdly, like I was a psychic.  He paused, collected himself and recovered by asking with some wariness, "How'd do guess that?"  

"I'm a screenwriter.  I know the breed," I confidently replied with my trademark big horse grin.  

We talked film and writing for a few brief minutes after his guard came down and Ross ended up being my first script writing assignment.

Guidelines are notoriously flexible in this business, but I had to ask him what kind of story he was looking for. 

Given the lateness of the hour, the fact we were both tired and a long, specific conversation would have detracted from the freshness and temperature of the pizza - my purpose for the visit anyway - he replied, "I'm looking for something sci-fi and something Serling."

I'd been writing science fiction for a long time, but didn't know outside of the provincial view (the thorniest view one can have) what 'something Serling' meant, but I agreed to write for him and set a quick three week deadline to provide him with a first draft.

I went to work researching Rod Serling's life, writing and creative experience.  I read all of the autobiographies on him I could over the next six days.

A week after that, I was able to adapt both worldviews into one story, and my first script, "Monkeys on the Moon" was born.

It was a great first step in my writing career.  Ross passed on directing a second script I'd written, but he me did the professional courtesy of reading it thoroughly and considering it thoughtfully.  

And so I began entertainment writing, and repeat again, for the most part, all writers are in the entertainment business.  

Whether one believes this or not may be proven by the simple question, "How are you going to get the reader to turn to the next page and keep reading?"   Technique and style are easy answers.  Being entertaining is the right answer.  And audience will forgive technique and style challenges if they are entertained anyway.

That is how tickets are sold, my friends.  And copies if you are writing in a reading format.

Even a dry textbook writer needs to utilize style, technique and approach to make the manuscript engaging to their target audience to the best of their ability, but at a certain point, they have to consider what is going to keep the reader on the page.  Required reading is not always the best guarantee of attention or for that matter, qualitative execution of the manuscript when only expertise is required for editorial review.  

While most creators have only a general idea who they are writing (or producing in another medium) for to greater or lesser degree, it is good advice to write for yourself no matter what stage of your career you are at; though this is not necessitate in all narratives.

At a certain point, your writing and creative faculty matures.  You begin to work on less personal themes (though this is not exclusively so) and begin to treat with your story's worldview (something you could and in my opinion, should develop for works in pre-production scripting phase) looking at larger scale worldviews and subjects. 

These less personalized and more objective scope manuscripts can run the gamut from the family as the social unit such as in Death of a Salesman, written by the great Arthur Miller, or Cat on A Hot Tin Roof by the great Tennessee Williams.

At the other end of the manuscript worldview context are large scale views such as Star Wars by George Lucas or War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy.  

At any worldview scale, forces defining conflict at the heart of most stories are described to greater or lesser degrees depending on their position in the narrative hierarchy required for exposition creating clear understanding of the scale and types of forces affecting your principle characters, circumstance and goal(s). 

Each character has their own worldview (or as the old screenwriting axiom states, "What's at stake?") affecting speech, actions (protagonistic or antagonistic) and relationships to other characters and/or the story world.

At a certain point, reconciliation of each of these views can be mandatory or not, depending on the fate cast by the author for each element described in a consistent, cohesive story world.  I like to have all the loose ends tied up in my manuscripts when possible, but each creator is unique.

Which brings me to the case in point regarding Rod Serling. 

Let me background you a little here by turning back the hands of time to the days of the television drama, a popular medium just after the days when radio was no longer the predominant media of the times.

Television drama was consumed by American television audiences rabidly.  Many writers from the radio era successfully made the transition to writing for the small screen.  Those of you not familiar with the medium and message reasoning so brilliantly presented by Marshall McLuhan would be wise to read and understand Understanding Media, his seminal work, and not only getting it but become adept at putting it to use. 

These television writers, many of whom went on to successful film writing and directing careers, among them Paddy Chayefsky and Sidney Lumet, lived and wrote in an era where communist witch hunt mentality by the infamous Senator Joseph McCarthy and his followers.

I almost want to invent a word that is a derived sub-classification of followers called 'fallowers' intended to describe the uncultivated among the larger class of followers.  McCarthyism devastated the ranks of entertainment workers through a practice still utilized but unspoken in cloistered society known as 'blacklisting.'

Great actors such as Humphrey Bogart and many others took issue with the witch hunt, facing down Joseph McCarthy and his minions in congressional hearings and well, the truthful disputation of McCarthyism's assertions are well documented and more importantly laid to rest where they belong - in the past never to arise again, with reason willing.  

Many people have memories of this tragic aberration of congressional responsibility today.  We must never forget.
It is important for all creators to remember this demon does not lie fallow in our society, our culture and our collective consciousness in order to be capable of combating the enemies of freedom.  You must contend with such socialism at every turn it rears it's ugly head.  

Writers in particular found then, and today the timidity and hesitance of publishers, producers and yes, even the audience itself can prevent significant new work from reaching the public eye or ear or above all, the consideration of the reasoning human mind.  This was for meany reasons.  Fear, greed, conservatism, protection of the status quo.  No matter how you describe it, you must realize these are the things that hold back the hands of time in the greater sense, and for the petty sake of mere politics destroy the lives of able, culture contributing creators.  

Concerns for economic goals over creative goals often leads to the milquetoast mire we find our culture in today with (my phrase, and remember everything I say is copyrighted you internet pirates) 'kinder media', appropriateness to the point of apathy and accountability agnosticism attempting predominate status in the collective consciousness.

Worst of all, the marginalization and the relegation to the fringe of society by the status quo creators who challenge established (right or wrong) tenets of society as a whole can be a result of this concern.  This is not a progressive society.  

Challenging the established norms of society is a way to create a better, future society.  In an era where 700 corporations control 98% of all goods, services and trade, you would think this would be a paramount concern of creators who want to use their imagination, creativity and the advocacy of audience influence within their grasp for the betterment of culture.  But a lot of creators and others just give up, with rationales like, "There's nothing I can do about it."  Or, "Politics is corrupt anyway, nothing can be done about that."

This is yesteryear thinking, and has no place in our future.  

But we seem to have stalled on this underlying responsibility of creators.  That this is an underlying responsibility of creators at all is subject to debate. But let me ask you, what creative acts have changed the world from important and great degrees to smaller incremental ones?  Every one.  There is no new thing which is not created. That is absolute.

Perhaps this is a good place to direct you to six short minutes of film from the film "The Fountainhead" to illustrate the importance of the creator in society, and the rights to which they are entitled.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRXcaWVr_uI

Luddites who feel they cannot change anything have played the sloth card in life and are not contributing citizens. Comfort and convenience rule their worldview, and they are excellent servants, as if this were the fate of their lives.  It is not.  

Morons who believe there is nothing new under the sun, well, time has shown this rationale as retrogressive.  

This is not the American way.  

Rod Serling knew this, and when he ran into obstacles to his creative expression when writing about bias based issues such as race relations, religious persecution and human aspiration, he had to win some and lose some.  But he fought the good fight, as we all can choose to do.

Rod Serling knew he had the creative ability to dig deep and reach out with creative expressions engaging the audience.  He stimulated thinking and conversation ultimately leading to change in views necessary for a healthy and progressive society.  This leads ultimately to a healthy and progressive civilization.

There are only 11 countries in the entire world right now that are experiencing peace.  To paraphrase Rod Serling, I submit for your consideration that creators can have, and should engage in if they choose, a massive effect on the current state of civilization.

We can do this with the tool that is foremost in all our creative abilities.  The ability to change hearts and minds with the descriptive work they produce for public consumption.  As I like to say from time to time, control the description and you control the narrative.  Control the narrative and you control reality.  

Rod Serling took on tough issues and presented points of view many of the corporate sponsors of his day either thwarted through compelling changes to the original work altering it's potential or denied supporting said works based on the 'profit uber alles' worldview usually involving changing absolutely nothing.  Only a fool believes commercialism is the be all, end all of society.  

Yet Rod Serling persevered, pushed and changed the worldview of the status quo in spite of it's resistance to change.  Along with many other creators of his time, he led to the advancement of society and civilization that we enjoy the benefits of today much as the early advocates of civil rights, gender and class equality did and we enjoy (but should not take for granted) today.

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.  

You can learn from Rod Serling.  Do not take for granted what you have been told by populist perception (which is often failed logic, just plain wrong or designed for forced consumption) of a person or a topic.  Use your power of creativity to make the world a better place, not just the repetition of outdated, inadequate themes simply because it is profitable to do so in comfort and convenience addicted society.  Discovery is why we think.  

This is far wiser than reinforcing the patrician pablum so predominant in the popular media run by corporate personages (yes, they are legally persons under law) designed solely to extract every penny you ever earn from you and enrich themselves.  Yes, that tired, old theme.  

This media assault if it conquers you, leaves you under a mountain of debt you will work off for the rest of your life (I call it soft slavery - its not illegal yet it exists and permeates the very essence of society) an unfulfilled life where your very time (the only thing granted to the living) is sacrificed.

These sacrifices take terrible toll on our personal relationships and individual happiness (the pursuit of happiness is one of the inalienable rights granted all in The Declaration of Independence for and in the United States) and leads to a pathetic state of civilization as history has proven time and again.

You, the creator, have the power within your talent to change these things to the best of your ability.  You the creator, have the right of choice as to whether or not you exercise your creative power to make your life, your society and the future a better place for everyone.

To understand the individual struggle within a worldview of resistance to change, rather than write them down, just watch the American Masters documentary on Rod Serling.

I am asking a lot for you to spend an hour and a half watching this, I know.  But it is time well spent in my opinion.  It clarifies a struggle that has been going on for centuries, and will not go away until we make it go away with the individual creator efforts with the intent to create a better society for all.

I may be a comedy writer, but I also produce and publish solutions for all kinds of social problems, such as homelessness, the environment and education.  I do these social service projects to contribute to a better tomorrow on one hand, and because as a creator, I recognize the personal creative growth opportunity within producing those particular works.

I encourage you to consider that your talent and creativity are far greater abilities that you currently understand.  I encourage you to consider writing about things that matter to us all as well as the things that matter to you.

For is it not true that when you create for yourself, you create for us all?  

It is solely the power of an idea that moves civilization forward.  You have in creativity a skill that can produce or retard progressivism.  

The alternatives to not continuing this tradition of creator's progressive ideation are tragically and well documented in darker, inhumane and primitive eras of history.

Don't be a part of that dark, sad legacy.  Change begins with you.

This is the voice of an American Screenwriter.

The Lone Comic TM
Defender of Creativity and Entertainment SM