Why We Need the Orville

I’ll admit, I’m a little biased when it comes to this show. I was recently invited to a VIP Presser for San Diego Comicons The Orville Experience, where I met some amazing people, including the co-producer, Tom Costantino, who talked to me and everyone else who came in, like old high school buddies.


It was an unbelievable, well, experience, to see all the props and mock ups from the show. I was also lucky enough to talk to other people who worked on the show, such as the costume designer who not only creates amazing designs from nothing, but uses her psychology degree to make back stories as to why the people she’s dressing, would wear what they do.

These people were not just creators hired to do a job. They are people care about the content. They cared about what the visitors had to say.

In short, they care.

Right now, caring about anything seems to be in short supply. The news is filled with stories of downright evil and it seems the good guys are losing ground every day.

Star Trek Discovery is a great show in its own right and as a nerd, I’ll admit, I wanted to hate it, because that’s what nerds do. If it doesn’t fit into our own fan-fictioned heads, it sucks! After five episodes, I found myself really enjoying it for what it was. It was just a different version of the Star Trek I grew up with.

Different isn’t always bad, it just sometimes takes a while to get used to.

While ST:D is fun sci-fi, is it what we need right now? Escapism is needed  and as much fun that I’ve had watching it, I can’t help but think, I need a future that isn’t filled with back stabbing and plot twists. It’s fun, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes, especially as a father with three kids who I worry about every day, I need something….positive.

Even Star Wars just seems to be a bit……well, more serious than I remember. Again, while fun, I’m hard pressed to find people cheering when they watched Last Jedi.

The Expanse, Other Life, Killjoys. I could go on, but I think you know where I’m headed with this.

Enter The Orville.

While most people I know blew off the show because it looked like “Family Guy in space”, I won’t blame them. It was marketed as more of a comedy to hook people in, but for those of us who watched, we were rewarded with a show that not only had a lighthearted look at the future, but deep down, it had what the kids call “all the feelz”.

In just two seasons, The Orville has tackled stories of gender, family, sex and parenting. It hasn’t tried to ride the fine line of not offending people like some shows do. It gives us reasons to care because like I said before, the creators care.

People tend to underestimate the talent of Seth MacFarlane. They just assume he’s the guy who writes a crude cartoon on FOX. Those people are missing out on something extraordinary because from what I’ve seen on talk shows and social media, Seth MacFarlane may be one of the smartest and most talented writers in Hollywood’s history.

I realize there are other writers helping. I don’t think Mr. MacFarlane sits in a room with a lone light bulb hanging over him as he furiously writes fart jokes and space operas, but he has a big hand in this show and to his followers, its obvious.

I asked the costume designer about a slight change in wardrobe. The emblem that the crew wears on their jacket went from being very colorful to silver. When I asked why, she said, “That was Seth’s idea. He has a vision for the show and changed it.”.

Now that might not seem like a big idea to you, but the fact he cares about a small button on a jacket while some writers in other markets are pushed around by their networks, it tells you, Seth wants this to succeed, not just be a middle of the road sci-fi show.

In an episode from season 2, Bortis, an alien on the ship, begins to get addicted to porn from using the holographic room. Now, we all knew this was probably happening on the Enterprise, but it was never discussed and as a nerd, it was the very first thing I thought I’d do if I ever had the chance.

Face it, we all did.

As the show went on, I could see my wife getting a little bothered by the episode. She grew up in a highly religious home (while I grew up finding my dads Playboys in our basement), so I didn’t blame her, but, she continued to watch. The episode was so well written and the characters so well rounded, it was one of the best episodes of sci-fi I’ve ever witnessed. Were their jokes? Of course, because let’s face it, as humans, even in the most serious of events, we have the need to laugh. To lighten things up. To sometimes distance ourselves from the problem.

Most people know me as “#selfiedad, the guy who went viral by mocking my daughters selfies on her facebook. We’re very close, but as she put it one time, “We’re not a very huggy family”. A while ago, she moved out to a city about 40 minutes away.

In another episode of The Orville, because of a medical problem, the security officer Alara needed to go back to her home planet, where her family still lived. As she visited, we see a family that love each other, but have problems showing it. so later in the episode, after a brutal twist in the story that I still think about,  Alara decides to stay with her family on the planet and leaves the Orville.


Alara was a member of the ship we had come to know and love and the final scenes of her leaving her friends was very touching. How touching?

I balled my eyes out.

As she left, I saw my daughter leaving home.

Will every episode touch you this way? Probably not. What it will do though, is give you a family that cares and you care about.

The Orville is colorful and hopeful. It shows Earth as a beautiful, green planet while majestic looking ships fly around in space, exploring the universe, giving us hope for a better tomorrow.

One of the things I love about the characters is they aren’t afraid to show their emotions. In Star Trek, we saw how sometimes the crew had to trick a species into seeing what was wrong with their culture. In The Orville, I’ve seen the captain tell an alien species, ” Dude, you have been a colossal dick all day – shut the hell up.”.


Maybe I’m just tired of being nice and hoping evil just goes away, but in my opinion, Captain Mercer is the Captain we need right now. A captain who knows what he wants, but questions the way he gets there. He second guesses himself in certain situations but that’s whats great about the character! I’m not the guy who says something and stands by it to the death. I question myself constantly. In fact, I wonder about people who don’t.

That’s the difference I love.

While most shows give you the crew that is the most highly trained group in the universe, the fun in The Orville is, the crew is more like us. They make mistakes at work. They worry about the things we do. I’m not saying no other tv show has done this, but the way The Orville’s actors come across, they just seem more real. There’s a sense of……“relaxation” in the characters. The feel of being serious and militaristic all the time is less felt, so it makes the crew members a little more relatable, since we all aren’t in the military. They act like we probably do at work, which instantly makes the show more enjoyable.

So in a World filled with endless news cycles of problems, it’s nice to sit back, an hour a week and see, not only imperfect characters trying to work in space, while during one episode, nursing a hangover, but forgetting about the countries problems for a moment and think, “Man, I’d love to work on that ship.”



Toy Story 4 is Smokey and the Bandit 2

While I enjoyed Toy Story 4 a lot, though I’ll admit, not as much as I wanted to, I noticed a common theme to one of my favorite movies.

Wait, what? Smokey and the Bandit 2 is NOT anyone’s favorite movie.

OK, I get that, but those movies played at the time when I was fascinated by Burt Reynolds. I thought he was the coolest. So anyway, enough about my past.

Let’s get to it.

(Toy Story 4 spoilers below)

In TS4, we see our old pals again. Everyone is back with a few new faces, but we see almost immediately that Woody, the legendary cowboy from the last 3 movies, is played with a lot, then, as time goes by, he is forgotten. Little by little, he doesn’t matter much anymore compared to other toys.

In SatB2, we see our old pals again. We see Bandit, the legendary cowboy (imagine Reynolds without his cowboy hat,  I dare you). He’s not completely forgotten, but we can clearly see time has moved on and he’s not the legend he used to be.

In TS4, we see that Woody has had to watch the love of his life go away and now he lives without her. He’s chosen a life of being needed instead of running away from it all with her.

In SatB2, we see that Bandit is having a hard time getting by since frog has left him. She couldn’t stay with him because he couldn’t stop trying to be the Bandit. He quest for being needed was too much.

During TS4, a new toy comes into their lives and doesn’t act the way the others do.  It leaves on its own and its up to Woody to take up the quest to help reunite it with its child. His friends tell him not to go, its not worth it, but Woody doesn’t care. He NEEDS to do it. He’s in charge and it might make him needed again.

In SatB2, Bandit takes up the quest to deliver a package, a little for the money, but more for NEEDING to do it because he feels it might make him the legend he once was.

When Woody finds the toy, he still has trouble keeping it in line. It makes the quest harder, but that, in essence, makes Woody more determined to finish it.

In SatB2, Bandit finds the elephant, but has trouble keeping it in the truck as its pregnant, but Bandit is more determined than ever to finish the quest.

About halfway through, Bo tells Woody that he needs to worry about himself more and drop the quest. Stop trying so hard to be the legend he was.

About halfway through, Frog tells Bandit that he needs to stop with this quest and just let it all go. Stop trying so hard to be the legend he was.

Woody leads the gang into a botched attempt to rescue the toy, Bo tells Woody to give up. It’s not going to happen and in a fit of rage, leaves him.

With the elephant pregnant, Frog yells at Bandit that they can’t go on and to just give up. When he says he can’t, she turns and leaves him.

Woody makes a new plan, which involves a wild camper ride, motorcycle stunts and chaos. He finally gets the toy, but only after a lot of demolished toys and wrecked items.

Bandit gets away with the elephant, but only after a wild car chase, motorcycle stunts and chaos. Lots of wrecked and crashed cars, etc.

After everything is done, Woody explains to Bo that likes himself again, and that he does not want to spend the rest of his life without her.

After everything is done, Bandit informs Frog he likes himself again, and that he does not want to spend the rest of his life without her. 

OK, look, it’s not all perfect, so take all this with a grain of salt. It’s just for a little fun.

Also, we could do a lot worse than comparing Woody and Buzz to Smokey and the Snowman.

Found Footage Theater

For the last 3-4 weekends, I’ve been binge watching “Found Footage” movies on Netflix, Tubi and Hulu.
I realize I’m in the minority of liking these, but for those that do, here’s a list of the good, the bad and the forgetful, plus some notes to the creators, because some of y’all need to go back to writers school. I think the reason I enjoy them is because I like to see what creators have to work with and how they make it work. Practical effects, did they rent a hotel or find an old school, etc.?
Most of these did not get a theater screening, which makes it more fun for me, since I won’t even see a trailer.
Mirror: Middle of the road. Nothing that hasn’t been done, but when you have 3 teens staying together for days for a project, HOW ARE THEY PAYING RENT? No one leaves for DAYS. You have to give reasons why all this crap is happening.
Butterfly Kisses: Good premise and the actors seem to fit the roles and do a good job at it. Nice legend. Recommended.
Hunted : The absolute worst of the bunch. If you don’t have a budget, maybe not do a movie. And no, wearing Cabela gear won’t make them sponsor you if your movie is awful. If I have to sit here for over an hour and your “ghost” is never visible and your biggest special effect is people off camera throwing towels, stay home. I’m not kidding. Start to finish, just awful.
Hell House LLC: Some good moments. Believable interviews. I just wish, again, the characters would stop fighting BEFORE anything actually happens. You’re not creating tension, you’re making me hope for the evil spirits. Makes clowns scary.
Final Project: Here’s another tip. Don’t make everyone in your film a D-bag. 10 minutes in, I’m rooting for the ghosts to end it all. Hard Pass.
21 Days: Paranormal Activity had more things happen. Oh, except when something DOES happen and your characters have all seen it, don’t have one deny he saw it just to make tension. Changing your characters halfway through is lazy writing. Pass.
The Triangle: Interesting. It’s all I can say. You either except the ending or not, but the actors do a pretty good job.
The KAOS Brief: Actually one of the better ones. Starts off like it might be stupid, but the characters are likeable enough for you to stick around.
The Ritual: Creepy enough to keep you watching, but again, you either have buy what’s happening or it won’t work.
Chernobyl Diaries: Had potential, but forgettable.
They’re Watching: Can’t recommend enough. This goes from 0-60 by the end. This is one of those movies where you look at someone else watching and say, “What is going on?!”
Hungerford: A UK movie, which felt like it was filmed in a neighborhood where everyone had a part, which, if you watch it like that, made it fun.
Demonic: Again, one of the better ones. The cast includes Frank “Crossbones” Grillo and has a really good storyline. Should have a wider release.
Apollo 18: No. Just…….no.
The Levenger Tapes: “Hey, guys! I have a house on the beach for the weekend. Let’s film a movie.” Gives you WAY too long moments of nothing happening, the characters aren’t interesting and they include events that either make no sense or have no payoff. Burn these tapes.
Phoenix Forgotten: Forgetful. Don’t bother.
I Am Alone: SyFy channel type acting with the same feel. It actually could have been a Z Nation prequel instead of that Black Summer.
So when it comes down to it, here’s the deal.
1) Stop having your characters “bust balls” to the point you hate them. I could pick 4 random friends to go on a trip with and we wouldn’t argue HALF as much. If they spend the whole movie “arguing”, it just sounds like you don’t have a script. Which leads to…
2) If your actors don’t have some background in Improv, DON’T HAVE THEM IMPROVE. Saying the F-bomb 8 times in a sentence, tells me they have no idea what else to say. Long pauses are a killer when you see the actor struggling to find something to say.
3) Have actors that are “age appropriate”. An 18 year old isn’t going to be the acting news anchor of a mass murder.
4) If you’re going to introduce a “legend” or spiritual symbol, you’re going to have to give the audience something. Anything. I’m looking at you 21 Days. “Oh, here’s a symbol that might mean protection but everyone it touches dies, so…..I dunno.”
5) Don’t forget, above all else, watch my movie….

Why the World Needs A Superman

“The World doesn’t need a savior, Clark.” – Lois Lane ( Superman Returns)

Now, before you read this, just understand, I will get to a point somewhere along the line, so bare with me.

I recently binged every Superman movie since Christopher Reeve took to the skies in 1978. It is, without a doubt, one of the greatest superhero movies of all time. From Gene Hackman’s iconic take on Lex Luthor to the blue eyed, square jaw of Christopher Reeve. It’s why I will always harbor a hate for the Salkind’s, because, as their heart might have been in the right place, their writing skills were not.

It has been noted that they wanted more “slapstick” in the movies. In fact, one person said if they had gotten their way, the Superman movie would’ve ended up more along the lines of the 1960’s Batman and less of the heroic movie we view today. Unfortunately , they got what they wanted around Superman 3 by not only changing the heart pounding intro we all loved, but also by making it a Richard Pryer movie, guest starring Superman.

The thing is, even then, Christopher Reeve gives an outstanding memorable performance as he battles “himself” in a junk yard. The man WAS Superman.


To call Superman III better than Superman IV: Quest For Peace is like saying it’s not brain cancer, but its still cancer. The movie was so bad, rumor is Christopher Reeve flat out told Jon Cryer that “the movie will be really bad”, but still gave it his all. It wasn’t all their fault though. The budget was slashed, the writing horrific and most scenes were shot in such an order, they make absolutely no sense.

Superman IV killed Superman.

It’s criminal that Christopher Reeve gave us Superman The Movie, only to be used for the last time in a movie so bad, it had us believe Margot Hemingway could breath (and scream) in space.

Finally DC tried it again with Superman Returns, and if you think I’m going to trash that movie, you’re either too much nerd and you need to dial down your basement rage or you don’t know me at all.

Edit out the “superkid” and about 20 minutes more and you’ve got what SHOULD have been Superman III. Brandon Routh gives an excellent performance and strikes a near perfect image of Reeve in most scenes.

They also brought back the heart pounding credits.

The movie didn’t do what DC wanted it to do, so they quit making them for a while until they could finally gives us a darker, meaner and rougher around the edges Superman that no one asked for.

While there are some scenes that stand out, David Goyer, the man who brought you Blade Trinity and Kickboxer 2, thought he should make Superman more realistic, which he did, but in a way that made you feel when you finally met your hero and he says he’ll gladly sign your baseball for $40.

It’s no secret I have my thoughts on Man of Steel and if you can see through the grey tinted camera lens they used for the film to make it look edgier, you might see them.

That brings us to Justice League. While not a giant hit, it wasn’t bad, putting aside the villain who is about as C List celebrity as, well, as I am.

But! Somewhere along the line, they finally got Superman right. In fact, during one scene, if you listen closely, you can hear the famous John Williams score as Supes heroically shows up to save the day.

When you hear, “Look, up in the sky!”, they aren’t talking about looking for Superman. They’re saying , Hold your head up high. Take pride, because someone out there, up there, is watching over you, hoping for the best”.

Superman isn’t the Savior. He’s there to make you believe in something.

  • Superman is the feeling you get when the Thailand kids were rescued from the caves.
  • Superman is the feeling you get when you see your baby for the first time.
  • Superman is the feeling a child gets when their mom or dad comes home from active duty.
  • Superman is what you feel when you stop someone from tripping and they look at you saying, “Thanks”.
  • Superman is that feeling when, even though you’ve lost everything or a decision could cost you it all, you still do what’s right in your heart, no matter what happens.

Superman is that feeling in your heart when it pounds loudly and the adrenaline rushes through your body while your brain adds “Everything is going to be ok.”

In Man Of Steel, Superman tells Lois Lane that the symbol on his trust stands for “Hope”, but it’s more than that. It’s stands for “Relief”. Relief in knowing everything is going to be ok, because for some reason, at this moment,  life is grand. You can stand tall as you hear trumpets blaring in the background.


Superman isn’t just a man. It’s a feeling.

One the finest things ever written in the history of comics or anywhere else, is written by Garth Ennis and is the story of when Hitman, Tommy Monaghan, meets Superman on a rooftop. Superman quietly tells Tommy how he failed to save someone that day. A space shuttle was going to explode and he failed to save everyone. It’s also hit him especially hard because the man who didn’t survive, looked Superman in the eye as if to say, “Superman will rescue me.”, but he didn’t. He couldn’t.

Finally Tommy tells him the following:

“Lemme tell you the problem with America, okay? This could be the greatest place on Earth. It really could. You got all these different people comin’ here to get away from oppression an poverty, all lookin’ for a better life. But what do they do? They hang on to all the things that got ’em into trouble in the first place. They wanna go fightin’ the same wars and hatin’ the same people they did in the old world. They wanna be Italian or Greek, or Irish or Polish or Russian, or African or Vietnamese or Cambodian or whatever…So they hang onto alla’ that. They stick to their own kind an’ everyone stays suspicious of everyone else and for what..? Culture? History? What the hell is that, a bunch of stuff your folks said you hadda believe in  all your life? Does that make it real? But you, man, you showed ’em how it’s done. You’re the classic immigrant guy who comes to the states sayin’ — okay, I’m from planet Krypton or wherever, but that’s all in the past. I’m starting over. I’m American. What can I do to help?”


Right now, things are bad. I won’t sugar coat it. Racists reporting on little girls selling water or swimming in pools, Nazi’s on the rise and America’s closest allies treating America like the new kid who came to school dressed in a dirty white tank top with chewing tobacco in their mouth. And that’s just in the 1st grade.

Which is why we need Superman now more than ever.

Maybe not even the man himself, but we do need something. We need something to rally behind. At this point, you’d expect I would say religion, and just like your guess on my love for Superman Returns, you’d be wrong again.

No, religion has too many “outs” at this point. There’s too many things to believe and disbelieve for everyone to find one page to agree on, when in all seriousness, Jesus’ main theme was “Don’t be a douchebag”.

I mean, really. Read that book. He’s just saying, “Don’t be a jerk.”, but a lot of people, somehow or another, are misinterpreting even that, so whattya gonna do?

You find what the Ghostbusters said when they needed everyone to be on the same page.

“We need something that everyone can get behind. We need …… a symbol.
Something that appeals to the best in all of us.
– Something good.                                                                                                                                    – Something pure. “

And that’s what Superman is when you get down to it. It’s that smirk and wink when you’ve done something good. It’s a smile when you’ve helped someone up. It’s that feeling that, when your head hits the pillow, there’s no worrying about tomorrow, because you’ve got this.

You’re Superman.

We’re all Superman.

We just need to show it more.

(roll credits)



DOG DIARY: Watching my wife’s dogs while she’s gone:


Day 1.

Everything normal. Feedings and bathroom breaks all done.

Day 2.

The dogs seem to be watching me more intently than yesterday. Weird.

Day 3:

I feel they are planning something.
The dogs are being good, but out of the corner of my eye, I see movements, like hand signals…..or…..paw signals, if you will.
The oldest one seems to be ignoring them.
He wants no part of their plan, seemingly planning something of his own. He is regularly looking out the window, staring for hours, making me assume he’s constantly in thought about his plans.
Chica has chosen to be by my side, but I won’t fool myself. She’ll flip at the drop of a bread crumb. Literally.
The puppies have not chosen sides as they don’t seem to care about any outcome. They play in their poop, so I don’t see that attitude changing anytime soon, but when the time comes, I can only assume they will side with their mother.
I’m more worried about the map I found this morning.
It would explain why they walk all around the yard near the fence.
They’re measuring the distances, for what, I do not know.
The most frighting part for me is the time table in the corner, about my eating and sleeping habits.
I left the map where I found it, as to not draw any suspicion.
But… who is “Escap”?


Day 4:

I was woke very early this morning by a small pounding sound on the side of my bed.
I was Chica, who had snuck into my room. Her constant jumping up and down on the side of mattress startled me, but this was understandable since her little legs would not give her the strength to hop all the way up onto the bed.
After I felt a small bit of pity for her, I lifted her up because she said she had urgent news.
She told me about the other dogs plans to escape.
She said they were planning on tying dog blankets together, throwing them over the fence and then climbing up and over to freedom.
I asked her where they would be headed off to once they got over the fence.
She said the dogs had not thought that far ahead.
So this morning before work, I let the dogs outside to go to “tinky-poo poo”.
One dog would not come out of the room and hid under a desk. Later I would find out that this was a diversion because as I was trying to coax her out, the other dogs were dragging their blankets outside to fashion into a rope.
I let them back in (earlier than usual to throw them off) and quickly went back outside to find their escape rope, which was already thrown over the fence and ready to go.
As I took it down, Chica gave me a small wink.

Later I found out, her small wink ended up just being an eye booger and she didn’t even know I was there.


Day 5

I MUST be more cautious now!
When I woke up this morning, I had found one of my action figures’ heads, laying on the pillow next to me!
(Poor Rick Moranis from Ghostbusters)

This was clearly a warning that I had gotten too close to the the dogs plans of escape.
After calming myself, I went upstairs to make breakfast and let the dogs out to go to the bathroom.
As they left, before going completely past the door, each one would stop, turn, look me dead in the eye, point its paws up to its eyes, then point back to my eyes, two to three times, then turn back around and leave.
As I went back, I noticed Chica had not left, so when I went back to the room, I saw her sitting in the far corner of her bed, cowering, something besides extra fat, dangling from her neck.
They knew who ratted them out.
Chica’s scared now and I can’t blame her.
I will have to have a sit down talk with them today. Chica says it will make things worse, but I must try something.
I think things have gotten out of hand and I need to step in before someone gets hurt.


Day 6:

I think I have finally reached a peaceful solution with the dogs by asking for a meeting to hash things out.
During the gathering over canned food and water bowls for each, I addressed their concerns for more freedom and outside time. We came to the conclusion that I would be less in command and they would in turn, not try to escape and forgive Chica for ratting them out.
As a reward, I gave them a movie night with popcorn and Life Of Pets.
They also wanted to spruce up their living quarters with a poster, which I agreed to. It was an odd request, but easily granted.
I think things have finally calmed down and a more rational approach to us sharing the house until Jani returns, has now started.


Day 7:

As I went to walk the perimeter of the fence this morning before letting the dogs out, I noticed small piles of dirt around the area.
As I looked further, I noticed some pieces of drywall were mixed in.
I quickly went into the dogs room and discovered a hole behind the poster they had asked for the previous day.
Worse yet, I caught one of the dogs still trying to wiggle through to the other side.
We are now on lockdown.
Bathroom breaks will be one dog at a time and yard time only be available to a single dog as to avoid more “plans” of escape.
One of the dogs has been scraping her metal bowl back and forth along the metal gate yelling “ATTICA! ATTICA!”.

I’ve also stopped one of the dogs from doing my taxes and running the animal library, just in case.



Day 8:

CHICA! It was Chica all along!

As I woke up this morning, I went upstairs to let the dogs out and felt something hard hit me in the back of the head.
When I woke up, I was tied to a chair, tape on my mouth!
When my eyes finally focused, Chica was pacing in front of me.
She looked at me and pointed to her “snitch” sign which was hung on her neck days before.
She then pointed to an ink pen and then to herself.
It seems she wrote the sign herself and hung it around her neck so I would pity her, leaving her outside the dogs room,
which gave her ample time to get supplies to dig a hole.
Later, I matched the writing on the sign to the writing on the map
I found earlier and the letters matched up.
It was HER that had made the timeline of my daily routine.
It was also her that tied the dog blankets together and through them over the fence. She WANTED me to find them, thereby getting all the dogs together in one room so they could dig through the wall, which was the original plan, since she knew the dogs wouldn’t have the arm strength to climb over a fence.
I should have thought of that.
She even promised the dogs a movie night if they all helped her escape!
She then pointed to the clock, which made me understand, she was on a time schedule. She had to escape before Jani came home and I was mucking it up too much, so she had to improvise quickly, hence the clunk on my head.

As I finally wiggled out of the ropes (*note: dogs can’t tie knots very well because of their lack of really long thumbs.), I found an email from her with attached photos.
Apparently she is on a beach somewhere in Mexico……


Fandom is dead. Can it get a reboot? 

Fandom: the fans of a particular person, team, fictional series, etc., regarded collectively as a community or subculture.



Before the Internet, if you were a fan of something, you had 3 ways to nurture it.

  1. Go to your local comic book store and look for like minded individuals.
  2.  Write an email to Starlog or one of the many other magazines about it
  3.  Go to a comic convention and try to find other fans

Now, with the Internet, you don’t even have to leave your couch. You can still find those people but beware. Heaven help you if you have a different opinion.

Now before I get started, I will admit, Man of Steel and Insidious are two movies that get my blood boiling and I’d be hypocritical if I didn’t mention how much I dislike them, but I can at least admit that, if YOU like them, we can still be friends. Sadly, that’s not the case for most places anymore.

I first noticed the slow destruction of Fandom around the time of the new Ghostbusters movie. Not a single shot was filmed before anonymous mouth breathers logged on everywhere they could to tell everyone how they felt, and if you felt differently?

Well then you were an idiot. No more questions needed.

Forums everywhere started to explode in the worst, nerdiest, knuckle dragging word fight that the World was embarrassed to witness.  The phrase “If you’re not with me, you’re against me” was pretty much the motto being used and used it was.

No longer did fans simply disagree. Now it was all out war. Simply saying you would wait to see the finished product before commenting meant you were complacent with the destruction of the media and it was all your fault. There was no grey area. You were the reason this movie marched into France and oh….how i wished I was kidding when I say that.

Instead of a simple movie coming out, apparently you would be FORCED to watch it and all other references to previous movies would be collected and burned in the town square.

This was a fact I sadly witnessed. People would leave hashtags of #notmyghostbusters because yes, you would be marched into the theaters by gun point and made to watch the movie while all of your previous Ghostbuster memories would be erased. There was no choice.

Honestly. Some of the postings that were written made this new movie feel like it was going to be a second Holocaust, mainly from people who probably had less than a 5th grade education, so maybe they didn’t get to that point in history yet.

Actors for the movie were now receiving death threats and having racial slurs posted on their social media pages. “Fans” (and I use the term loosely) were arguing with actors and past writers, such as Dan Akroyd and Ernie Hudson, and telling them that they weren’t “true fans” and were only shills now for the production company. If they didn’t come right out and declare the Ghostbusters movie an out and out tragedy,  then they didn’t deserve any respect they earned from making the very product those “fans” came to love which brought them to the forum in the first place.

Now we have Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

While trying not to post any spoilers, I believe I can say that the movie makes some twists and turns that makes you think differently about everything you’ve seen before. It touches on previous movies, like the prequels.

You remember the Star Wars prequels? Those 3 movies that grown men went to see and immediately started a blog just to tell you how bad they were?

I’ll even admit, I found them nowhere near as good as the original three movies. I found the script below average, quit racist and at points, the CGI was awful, but here’s the thing:

I don’t care if you like them, because that invents a reason for real fans to talk and debate. A point where we could come together and discuss our love for a galaxy far, far away.

In fact, that’s what I loved about The Last Jedi. It made me re-visit the prequels and see them differently. All I needed was time. Something apparently “fans” don’t have anymore.

After reading some comments in other Star Wars posts, it seems most people need everything spelled out for them, every character talked about and no surprises. I mean, NO surprises. Like Anchovies on a pizza for Michelangelo. There should be NONE.

Unless its a surprise “fans” argued and agreed about for the last 2 years. Then its ok.

You see, “fans” nowadays seem to think because they’ve watched a movie and bought the merchandise, they somehow OWN that movie. That even though they have zero experience in script writing, production, PR, acting or casting, they have a say in every movie they’ve seen, because hey, they bought an action figure and spent a whole weekend being non-productive and binged the whole franchise in a day, so that should be enough to have JJ Abrams phone number so I can fill his ear with my disgruntlement.

If that’s all it took to have a say in a movie, I’ll have a nice credit in any of the next movies that star Scarlet Johansson.

“Fans” seem to think that somehow, having a free blog or 100 followers, that they’re important enough to have their fantasies inserted into the media they profess to love, that is, until it doesn’t, then its stupid and off the rails and will likely crash and burn and have the production company go bankrupt!!!!

It’s like loving something so much, you smother and kill it while holding it too tight. Maybe ease up on your fandom there, Lenny.

I understand that certain movies or shows mean a lot to us. Here’s an example.

I love LOST. I have great memories of watching it with my wife and family. Memories I’d never trade. Looking up theories, discussing it on forums. Trying to talk about science and the paranormal with my kids when they asked questions about it. I even bought action figures (well, in-action figures since most didn’t have any articulation) and books and magazines. I would have been devastated if, for no reason, the entire thing was shown to be the dream of a special needs child staring into a snow globe. I had an “invested” interest in the show. I’d not only spent time, but also, money into the show, but here’s where I differ from the fear mongering nerd-nazis.

I’d get over it.

I would still have those toys. I would still have those DVDs. I would still have those memories and the one thing I wouldn’t do, mainly because I’m not a crazy person that can’t tell the difference from fantasy and reality, I wouldn’t write the actors and scream death threats at them. Or go around to every forum I could find to tell people how I hoped ABC would crash and burn and this would be the end all of everything, EVERYWHERE!! HERE COMES THE RAPTURE!!!

If a reboot happens, or another movie is made that gets tacked on, you STILL own what you own. Much like the Chicken Littles of the Right who yelled Obama would come take your guns, no one is coming to take your previously bought merchandise or memories.

I’m not sure where the exact point is when “fans” went from Corey Haim and Feldman in Lost Boys to gun toting, blood thumping, vein showing in the neck fanboys who yell in all caps that you’ve been manipulated by a film and are stupid for liking it.

After all, isn’t being manipulated by a film, the point of a film? The only person who should feel the need to have all their expectations met from a movie, are the the people who actually made the movie. Who wants to spend $12 on something you know everything about?

But then, who wants to spend $12 to watch something you know you’re going to hate?

Now you can’t throw a Porg without hitting an anonymous, crying “fan” who’s furiously typing from his dimly lit, basement dwelling about how some film should have never been made or the fact that its very existence encourages you to make a petition that would remove it from the canon.

(Look that up. Some unwashed, gorilla fingered movie Nazi wanted the last performance of Carrie Fisher, erased from the Star Wars universe and still had the nerve to call themselves a fan of the series)

I’m not sure Fandom can be fixed. I’d love to see it come back to its glory days of simple debates, but sadly, I just don’t see it happening. Not as long as anonymous keyboard cowards can sit in their stolen office chairs, ranting to everyone they can while giving scathing mad emojis on Facebook.

In this day of “Extreme or nothing”, where if a movie doesn’t change your life, it should be burned, pee’d on to get the fire out, then salt added to the Earth afterward so no reboots can be made, I think we’re too far out to sea to come back to shore. There are some great forums out there that still cater to manners and civility, but the fact you have to search them out, makes me more worried for the future.

Like finding small pockets of resistance.

Then maybe something CAN happen. After all, there was a certain country in Europe that survived with pockets of resistance. Given some time, if those vintage smelling, virginity still in mint condition, drama Nazis want to treat every new thing like a certain, horrific event from our past, we can defeat them and go back to the way things were.

And to those nerds out there that still understand the love of something and welcome new theories and debates, I only have one thing to say.





*the Author is well aware he is hypocritical in insulting people that have been insulting people, but he’s ok with it because those people are the worst and he’s pretty sure they can’t even read.

As My Brain Sees It – Children


For the first time ever, I feel the need to say the following disclaimer. I in no way am making light of the young woman who was killed in Charlottsville . Her name was Heather Hyer. I didn’t even need to look that up. And as a guy who still can’t remember the correct date of his own wedding Anniversary 28 years later, I remember her name because it means something. But I’m a comedian, not a broadcast journalist and my intention is to make people laugh. So the following rant is just something I felt I needed to get off my chest. Nothing more.


It proves that sex will either lead to one of two things. STD’s or kids, and coincidentally, both of them have one thing in common. The more you have, the less you want.

A few days ago, there was a nice peacefully rally in Charlottsville. Well, about as peaceful as you can get when there’s a group of people chanting for genocide.

During the rally, someone decided to run their car into a crowd, killing a woman. He turned out to be James Alex Fields Jr., or as the Nazi party seems to be calling him, employee of the month. When the mother of the man accused found out about her sons involvement, she said, “”I try to stay out of his political views. I don’t really get too involved”. Now, some people may get upset about that, but to me, this is like being the parent of a 16 year old boy. “We hear sounds coming from his room, he’s up there all day and only comes down to wash his hands. We try not to get to involved.” Both sets of parents knew what was going on, but mentally knew, they weren’t up for the challenge of having to deal with it.

And know this. The mother of the woman killed is now getting death threats for speaking out, by, you guessed it, human beings who used to be kids.

What I’m saying is, sometimes, eventually, you have to say to yourself about your kids, “I don’t want to know.” And the same goes for kids.  I once came home from school early while my parents didn’t think anyone was there. After that, I knew, there were some things I shouldn’t want to know, even though I still see the image in my nightmares. Do you understand, even when I close my eyes, sometimes it’s still there! I didn’t want to that, daddy! Why? It was 1 o’clock in the afternoon!

Then there was the family who publicly disowned their child when they found out he was marching in Charlottsville. After telling everyone they despised his hateful beliefs, the father added “ my son, is not welcome at our family gatherings any longer. I pray my prodigal son will renounce his hateful beliefs and return home. Then and only then will I lay out the feast.”

Which at first, I thought, good for him, he’s standing his ground. Then second I asked myself, Who talks like that? It sounds like he’s taking away his throne from Robin Hood. “I renounce his entrance into thine kingdom until he get-ist his crap together.”

As much as I applaud that families stance on saying enough is enough, also noticed that he left a loophole. His child can come back if he stops hating black people and just hates the mittens made of yarn that Aunt Harriet keeps giving them year after year on Christmas. “No one can throw a decent snowball with yarn mittens, Harriet! Stop it! Just send us a check or a box of sample chocolates like everyone else!”

You see, as much as we try to teach our children the right things, some other things stick more. It’s like a piece of toast falling onto the floor. Sometimes you get lucky and the butter side stays up and other times, it lands butter side down. But you still pick it up in hopes that, maybe, you can salvage what there is, because that bread was in the oven a long time and even though it’s now dirty with things you don’t want near you, you still care about it.

trump – As My Brain Sees It


Trump has been all over the news lately and with good reason.

He loves ratings. And like NBC’s America’s Got Talent, he assumes if he’s on almost every day of the week, all those ratings scores add up and makes him a good president, not understanding that it is not ratings that keep you on, it’s the charismatic characters you put on and Trump has all the charisma of an episode of Friends that just centers around Ross the whole time.

I actually don’t like making fun of Trump. I know I may lose some fans for it, but It’s not like I’m making fun of Jerry’s grandmother who owns too many cats and yells things at the  Mark Harman in NCIS because she thinks he can hear her.

There seems to be one accusation after another for our president these days. He’s like his own Russian nesting doll. As soon as we get rid of one allegation, there’s another one right underneath.

And I get it. A lot of people who voted for Trump aren’t racist, bigots. They were people who voted for Trump because they hated the other candidates.

Sort of like when your watching a horror movie and you start rooting for the killer because all the teenagers he’s stalking , are terrible characters and you want them gone.

The problem is, after November, the cops weren’t called in at the last minute and the guy wearing a terrible orange Micheal Myers mask with bad hair is still running around looking for victims.

So as I see it, some people still support Trump, but much in the same way they’re supporting your wife’s brother when he comes by for a hand out. You still like him, but some of the decisions he’s made lately, you not only question, but see them as how he got to where he is now. Still proud, but not proud enough to ask you for money and a place to stay for the next 4 years.

But sometimes you can only care for a family member so long before you realize they are an adult. They can make their own choices and you’ve got your own life to figure out, you can’t keep helping them any more.

So as only 35% of the country still sees him as a the killer, chasing down heathens and drug users, the other 65% have seen the killer is more like Inspector Clouseau, bumbling around the woods, stepping on rakes that keep popping up to hit him in the face.

But if I can give you any advice, it’s to the new minority of America, Trump supporters, it’s this.

Step outside your bubble and take a day to look around at other people.

Stop yelling all the negative parts of the Bible about who’s going to hell and crack open the pages that talk about loving one another as he has loved you.

Because in the end, once this horror movie is over and the lights come back on, we all have to walk out of the theater together and decide on what to see next.

And that’s how my brain sees it.

Podcast Link

Racism – How My Brain Sees It



White nationalists protested Friday night on the University of Virginia campus, which marks the first time 99% of those marching were even at a school since the 3rd grade. I say 99% because I’m a nice guy and giving benefit of the doubt.

But, whats new about racism?

Most times when you join a club, its fun and fresh and new. Like when you join the Shriner’s or the Lion Club or even the Boy Scouts. Here’s the rules. There’s a free brunch on saturday.

But when you join some Aryan nation, skinhead group, what exactly is the thrilling and new part? I mean, you pretty much know what you’re getting into. Long hours dipping torches into gasoline and Shirtless nights looking over some guys tattoo sleeve.

When you join a group like Shriners, you get new club business. “Hey, this week, we’re going to target helping out the new children’s hospital and also, we have a new fez cleaner for those hats.”

When you join a racist militia, why do you even have meetings? Is there that much new business from 1945? “Hey, everybody still hate colored people? OK, I guess we’re good. See you at the next meeting

The only way I can see why racists are the way they are, is by thinking it’s like meeting a new family for the first time when your adopted. Things are different, you know they’re going to be different and these people look nothing like me.

But adopted kids eventually get used to their new families while racists just keep pointing out how different their parents look and screw this, I found a few other kids who feel the same way, now I have to go buy 5 American flags to use as curtains and start buying as many guns as I can to make sure no one bothers me and new peaceful friends.

And why do racists keep holding up the Confederate flag? Its been a while since my high school history class, but if I remember right, the South lost. That’s like marching into another sports teams convention center, holding up the flag of the team that just got beat and yelling “We’re still #1”

No you aren’t. That’s why You don’t see Americans running around England declaring victory.

As a white male for most of my life, I’ve had it pretty easy. We all have. Louie CK mentions that, as a white guy, we can go anywhere in the world in a time machine and be ok. You can’t do that if you’re a woman or black. “Where you want to go, Margaret? Oh, I don’t know. How about back to the time I couldn’t vote.

This is the problem with our new administration people aren’t seeing. Its Like a fart in a crowded living room. Everyone smells it, but it’s not until someone speaks does everyone else start agreeing. Once you have someone telling cops to be rougher to suspects, Mexican people are rapists and Obama was the target of all your problems, it’s the not so level and shaved headed that start coming out of the woodwork, thinking its safe to start screaming about how Levon got the job ahead of because he’s black instead of realizing you didn’t get the job because your neck tattoo says, “Eat the rich”

And Understand. Trump is a racist. If he said half the things he usually does, but in a smoky late night bar holding a cigarette between his crooked fingers with about 3 inches of ash hovering over a whiskey he’s been nursing for an hour, you’d either ask the waiter for another table far away or start recording his conversations to tell your friends about on twitter. Only 1 and one half percent of Americans are in the military. By trump denying trans people for joining, our biggest and strongest military now has to start handing out dishonorable discharges to a certain group of people and we get to watch our military shrink like the dangle on a naked skinhead trapped in Alaska.

A cold, cold, Alaska.

I’m not here to stop racists from being racists. Some guy that does a podcast isn’t going to stop you from hating other people. But understand, I have a peaceful podcast and I can sit there recruiting people to do good works by talking to them. I’m not out marching with torches and pitchforks yelling about equality for my race, hoping to round up more people for the next Aryan nation arts and crafts festival.

So how about we tone it down their white mcwhiterson? Pick your knuckle dragging hands up out of the dirt, close your mouth and start breathing through your nose and go find someplace where you’re actually wanted. In fact, I hear Guam might be a nice place for you to visit here real soon

Podcast Link

A (almost) Year In The Life Of An Internet Meme


As I write this, it will be about 2 weeks before our (Cassie,  my daughter and I) one year anniversary of “breaking the Internet” with our photos.
It all started out innocently enough.
I was on Facebook when I noticed a “racy” photo my daughter had posted. As with Facebook, under the photo, sometimes you can see comments made and this photo was no different.
Except for one thing.
The crude comments left underneath.
Being a passive/aggressive dad and understanding that arguing and getting upset with someone on the Internet would be futile, so I did the only thing I could think of.
Make fun of myself.
I decided to let the “boys” know, not only was I watching, but also, to show my daughter what it looks like when someone posts a “racy” photo who’s not really pretty. It was teasing her, but that’s the relationship we had.
Cassie was living 40 minutes away and this was how we checked in on each other. With jokes, so essentially, I was killing two birds with one stone.
We had some laughs, some of the boys laughed, others deleted their comments and left.
As the days went on, I posted a couple more photos, nothing really harsh, just to get a laugh and “checking in on her”, basically letting her know I was still thinking of her, even miles away.
Then, one day while watching tv, my wife came home and threw me a white tank top, laughing and saying, “Cassie posted a photo you HAVE to copy.”
So I found the photo and went into the bathroom to draw on some fake tattoos. It took me almost 20 minutes to copy her, as we were both laughing at how stupidly I looked in this too tight of a tank top and leaves on my head.
I posted it and we all had a good laugh. I really didn’t think anything more about it.
Then about a week later, I came home from work and my wife had the strangest look on her face. She said, “Have you seen your photo?”
I said, “No.” and then she showed me how multiple sites had started posting our Instagram photos everywhere. Mashable was the first. Then more. And more. Hundreds were posting them. My gmail exploded from people asking to use them, copyright issues, contracts, etc.
We spent the entire night answering emails and granting approvals. I was suddenly talking to people all over the World!
But there was a dark side to the fame.
You see, as much as I was being adored, my daughter was getting hate mail.
“Slut”, “shameful”, “Sinner”, even called a Satanist because of a Supernatural tattoo. Yes, from a tv show. People were emailing someone they didn’t know, telling her what they thought about her and calling her names. People were taking time out of their day, to bash a teenager who’s dad made her famous. I later learned she spent hours crying because of the mean things people were writing about her.
Now don’t get me wrong. There were smarter people out there who understood the joke. Parents who had kids, other teenagers, even celebrities like Ashton Kutcher and George Takei were “getting the joke” and posting about it.
My anxiety hit an all time high. I was not only worried about strangers coming to the door, but the safety of my daughter, not to mention how the guys at my work would take it.
I work with a lot of truck driving, blue collar, rough, drinking guys and while my private life friends knew I dressed in costumes for charity events, etc. I never worried about what they would say, my “work” life had no idea.
Monday came and so did the tv interviews. Luckily, Cassie was able to tell her side and show how it was just a way we teased each other. More and more people started to laugh with her. Yes, there was still the occasional “You should have taken her phone!” and “I wouldn’t let MY daughter dress like that!” comments from people who again, didn’t even know us.
Couldn’t tell me her birthday. Didn’t know the name of her first pet or even tell me what caused her incredible pain when she was little. So much pain in fact, she couldn’t move. We had to take her to the hospital, leaving one of the first times I broke down in front of her.
Let it be known, the Internet is full of armchair psychologists.
More days passed and the interviews kept coming. We had a blast skyping to people from all over the World. China had about 4 interviews. We did remote interviews with our local tv station that allowed us to talk to Australia and the UK.
Cassie was finally getting some real positive feedback and I was actually nominated as “Hero of the Week” by listeners of Premiere London.
My youngest daughter had a ball seeing my emails from Australia (“Champion”) and the UK (“Cheers”) and more email etiquette I was trying to learn on the fly.
I was also getting heartbreaking emails from kids.
“You remind me of my father”
“You make me wish my dad was still alive”
“I never knew my dad, but I like to think he might be like you”
You can’t just take those lightly.
Then came the tv appearance we wished would come. A new show was starting and wanted us on. (No, I won’t mention it here, just out of kindness.) They wanted us to “go dark”. Don’t post anything else, let them know what we were doing all the time and tell them more about our past. In other words, they wanted a broken family to fix.
I finally told them, that wasn’t us.
It could have changed our lives forever, what with the huge tv coverage. We were seen all over in other countries, but for some reason, here in America, tv appearances were not happening. They preferred to get the videos we already did with other Internet sites.
I just didn’t want them going through our past. I’ll admit, it wasn’t a perfect past. Who’s is? We’d had some problems, but we overcame them. Why dig them up again?
Fame or dignity. It’s a decision I’ll have to wonder about for the rest of my life.
Slowly the interviews died down. The emails went from 20-30 a day to about five. I would (sadly), wake up and immediately check my phone for messages. It was like a drug wearing off. Cassie was worse because no one was contacting her, just me, since I was the parent. Those days when nothing came, I’ll admit, I felt like crap.
Then the wave hit again. I had accumulated twice as many followers as Cassie and that was the new angle. I’d gone from 69 followers months ago, to over 120k. More interviews, (Australia, China, London, Germany) and every now and then, followers would email me photos of magazines from their country with our faces on them.
Cassie and I were flown down to film a small segment about Internet fame for the TD Jakes Show, and while we had a great time doing it and everyone was SO nice, the segment never aired.
Needless to say, we were a little heartbroken.
I was constantly asked how much we were making for all this coverage because “Chewbacca Mom” just got a book deal. “Chewbacca Mom” just got to ride in a car with JJ Abrams. “Charlie bit my finger” kid got a scholarship.
We were now being compared to other Internet Memes and trust me, we weren’t adding up. I’ll be honest.
All in all, we received about as much money as a small down payment on a mediocre hot tub or barely running car.
We helped Cassie with a bill and bought a bargain price tv from Walmart for Christmas.
It’s been a few months since then and things have really calmed. I still get the occasional email from someone saying “Hi” and our story still gets posted on Facebook about 20 times a month, but nothing like it used to.
As I look back on what happened and what could have been, I’ll be honest again. I wished it were more.
We tried to get on Ellen, as that would be the final straw in our dream, but nothing happened. I had AMAZING friends who tried to help us by tweeting and posting our story. I was really touched on how many people tried for us.
It was about this time I learned the “cas’me ouside, how ’bout dat” girl was to make about $20,000 by lip syncing a concert with a Q&A afterward.
That….uh…..that one really hurt.
Don’t get me wrong, I had a blast. Cassie and I experienced something few ever will. We talked to people from all over the World. Not bad for a guy who’s only been to Canada twice and Tijuana once (just to say I did).
It gave me an opportunity to start up a podcast, something I love doing, and also, meet some really great, new friends. Comedians and more. People I might never have worked up the courage to talk to.
I also had an adventure with my daughter. One we can talk about forever. The whole experience in fact, was one in a million for a parent and child.
My one regret is, well……me.
I wish I was better at keeping the fame.
Should I have said yes more? Should I have gotten an agent? Should I have NOT done something? So many questions I’ll have to live with, without ever knowing the answer.
As a parent, you want more for your children. You want them to not have to worry about things. You want them to have the best life.
And here I was, famous around the World. A guy who made the whole World laugh, in any language. A guy who was told that he “broke the Internet”
Yet here I am, seeing my sons car totaled by a reckless driver with no insurance and no way to help him replace it.
The guy dubbed “Selfiedad” who’s had a crack in his car window for months.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m still happy. I’ve had amazing opportunities to talk to great people and see my face in different countries magazines. Not many can say that, but as the song goes, “regrets….I have a few…”
What strikes me as one of the funniest things about the whole event is, that my mom and dad still don’t understand how big it was. They still treat it like it was an article in the local shopper magazine.
So while our anniversary comes near, I’ll start seeing “Facebook Memories” that were at the time, great, now though, I’m hoping they won’t be a painful “What if”.
Of course, if nothing ever happened, I’d never know about the woman with the autistic daughter, who shares our photos and has a precious laugh with her daughter.
Or the man who lost his daughter to a car accident, who laughed for the first time in months because of us.
Those are things happening all over the World, right now. People finding what we did, in a positive light and making them feel good.
How do you tell yourself you wished it never happened?
Someday, Cassie will have kids of her own and she’ll be able to show them.
“Yes, this is your grandpa….”
I want to thank everyone who was so kind.
Kind to me and especially kind to my daughter.
Friends who stood by me.
Friends (and family) who took my “celebrity” in stride.
Followers, who I call friends, that have stayed with me and those who have wished me well in emails, etc.
I’ve changed in so many ways because of this. I’m more aware of women’s rights. Gay rights. Humanity in itself. Things I would make fun of before, I now want to champion and help. That’s all because of the people I’ve talked with.
I wish everyone could have just one day of talking to people from around the World.
I really believe there would be more peace.
More understanding.
Less being afraid, leading to hate.
I’ve learned a good lot of us just want to laugh, be with family and watch sunsets.
I wish the next Internet Meme good luck and if I had any advice, I’d say, stay smart. Think about whats going on, but also, just enjoy it.
Enjoy the moment.
And of course, take pictures.