Hello, my Hollywood Railroad peeps! One need only look down one post and see that it's been 3 months and some change since my last post and for that I say...a brothah was survivin' and working his a$$ off!
I know, it's not an excuse and I will do better in 2012 because I do care and I do appreciate the hits to this blog in my posting hiatus/absence. For those who landed here over the year looking up porn or for nude photos of tagged artists within this site, sorry to disappoint! And for those of you readers/visitors who checked this site from links or Linked.In to see if I was real or self-Googling, I'm glad you stopped by (Google Alerts rock, by the way).
This blog has been a great way to impart some true slices of myself and offer a mix of journals, links, archival material and all manner of informed posts - I appreciate your time and there's hundreds of posts to check out if you should ever feel so inclined. I thank the thousands of readers who spent more than 15 seconds here and 2012 is gonna be some fun, so stick with me!
I'm back from vacation on the East Coast after a five-year absence and it was amazing to unplug, save for the occasional Android-mobile-hurry-up-and-wait check-ins on apps that, alas, suck on Android phones. It was good to skate off the grid a smidge as it were and I'm now back in L.A. and fully immersed, so that respite was a mere blink.
I won't post any grandiose year-end lists of hot and happening stuff since I know you've heard of Adele, et al. And besides, the glory of social media, blogs and the Web means that there's hundreds of trending matters you've tracked already and don't need me (or anyone else) to expound on.
My year-end list, and I do have one, will be random and and in the spirit of the democratic blogosphere and Internet we enjoy, I offer you my topical thoughts on:
1) Media: Exciting, isn't it? Most of the time, anyway. I am a bit of a cynic and have seen the sausage made and cased so many different ways that I refrain from commentary on a lot of it on this site to avoid crank-usations. The E! billboard for the Kardashian 'Fairy Tale Wedding' didn't stop me for a nano-second as I crossed the street and ignored it months ago. I can't claim any psychic powers other than I see a billboard like that and start thinking of the gleeful Accounts Receivable department at said outlet and the virtual sizzle of a steak sure to be sent back by a good percent.
Other random false starts: "Boss" gets a two-year commitment despite ratings that didn't predict them; Qwikster tanks despite the Jobs-like pontification with a cool ear mike, facial hair and casual clothes; everyone doesn't like cartoon films or certain 3D presentations. DVD sales are down but still gross billions. I still think the democratization of media and the break-out surprises and attention to those who really do entertain or provide content is amazing. That more people watched the talking twin babies in the kitchen on You Tube than "Sarah Palin's Alaska" for example, is genius!
2) Married people: I'm so happy for you. Please be happy for yourself/selves. Most of you are, so don't think I'm being facetious. I've seen so many pissy married exchanges this year that my new favorite thing is to ask couples how they met. It's amazing how couple arguments over minutiae just vanish into the ether when people stop to remember and recount The Moment they knew their first interaction was worth pursuing. Plus, I'm a romantic and really interested, so if I ask you that question it's not so you'll change the subject. It's just way more fascinating. It's a big world out there and love is a miracle and blessing.
3) Single people: Let's get over ourselves, a'ight? I say this as a single person who's not too worried about being single (the options of the world!) but it AMAZES me (justifiable caps there) how so many people in my generation and age group are some serious Cranky McFees. Dating is supposed to be fun, remember!?
I say this as a man who was a widower at 35 years old. I was happy in my union and it was a hard, emotionally brutal climb from that irreversible loss of kinship and love that I thought would last until the wheels fell off. If a person who has lost a partner/spouse to an untimely death can keep that bit of knowledge to an initial two or three minute encapsulation then you can keep your divorce story to a considerable length as opposed to a 45-minute freestyle. I didn't do it!
I'm just sayin'.
Besides, you're way too young to be going on like someone grousing before, you know, the advent of interwebs and the world at your fingertips or people in front of your face (very analog, right?). I know it's not easy but get that fun spirit back. All amazing things happen in the present moment, not in memory or future projections. Yes, I was reminded of that from memory and a podcast or six! Not that you need a podcast, but I'll take common sense in any form, any day! Happy dating by the way! Relax and shine, y'all.
4) Social media: The engagement possibilities are endless for us and like most, I'm still researching what works best for my own tastes and time commitment. Facebook is still an incredible way to reach friends, family and users with links that deliver. despite tagged Thanksgiving photos that don't match how I thought I looked. Google+ I can't really say much about since I haven't joined yet and, yes, it has something to do with the fact that I was never invited when 60% of the people I know had invitations when it was beta. Stingy beta divas, yes, I'm talking to you. Twitter is still a great way to get news feeds and topical immediacy (or for the kids to tell each other #whatsucks) even if a disproportionate amount of professionals use it as a marketing onslaught that would get them defriended on Facebook in 4 seconds/posts or minus-ed on Google+ or whatever you do there when you move people out of the rotary circle grouping or what have you. Look. I'm still trying to clear CDs and magazines out of my kitchen, I don't need to organize more stuff...until I take the time and I'm sure I will! Right? Right? Anyway, there's Chime.In, Tumblr, and tons o' popular and successful sites worth you taking a look at. Tell me all about it at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm truly interested and that's the troof!
5) Oprah: I miss you. So many random cult-of-personality meltdowns this fall season and they don't have you to interview them for mass redemption. I am being serious here. Who is Demi going to talk to when the time is right? "The Chew"? I miss you, but 25 years at your craft and signature excellence is more than most are able to do, so I know we just have to deal. It was also an honor to have my realtionships docu-series pitch considered by OWN this year (and this was well after any Oprah-related posts in this blog). Continued success, Ms. Winfrey!
6) The Next Generation ( 18 and over, in this case): Hang in there! I am a firm believer in not hating on the youth. I say that because I remember being an 18-year old who didn't live on campus and had his own apartment while I rang up (and sometimes made) Slurpees and nachos tubs in Oak Park, IL to pay for books and my slumlord's rent. College student or not, you're coming into some crazy shit these days and we know you're not all wearing skinny jeans, centrifugal hair and texting (LOL!... JK!) and even if you are, you'll have plenty of time to reminisce on those breezy days in time. When I let my hair grow at 19 and started making the audition rounds I had people looking at me like Satan come home and many people in the very business I work in now wrote me off as momentary shock value or whatever they thought. I'm still here!
The point is: you're working hard, navigating collapsing constructs that my generation found when we got degrees that didn't, in the short-term, seem like they'd ever pay off and 3 years at a gig was pushing it. Believe and achieve, because I think you're light years ahead in a lot of ways. I have been in Hollywood for 15 years (30 years in elapsed time) and everyone deserves their era's version of what they think is hot...unless you're ridiculous. Even the 23-year old who asked me on a date and got pissed because I said I don't like drinking coffee in public (it's just lame....I'm sorry...on a date. I'd rather eat something with utensils in case it's a disaster...but that's me) and said, "Well, then how about, like, a walk, you know? Like, an activity?" didn't sway my understanding. You're supposed to be a smart-ass at 23 and think you invented walking and interactive activities. It doesn't get you dates with a guy who was in college when you were in your first trimester but it's not supposed to! Don't fall for the stereotypes or the media reflection of yourself that says you all have Bieber hair, attention defecit, and a prediposition to sext.
7) Sexting: Speaking of sexting, technology allows anyone to be an amateur hottie but that stuff really does go viral quickly, as we've seen many times this year. I'm not judging... but as a guy I can't help but look at some of these public sext scandals and be thrown off that an entire generation of guys are in one-armed photos with no irony showing off their junk in front of a bad hotel bathroom mirror (room service will get those towels. Look at my luxurious lotion!) or with their Mom's wallpaper in the background (or worse, their own pot pie tins, etc.). I'm not talking about celebs who want to keep the booty calls rolling and then cry hackery.
I don't know, the one-armed self-portrait is a defining statement in itself and I guess, even with clothes, that we're in the age where archeologists will wonder if at this point in the 21st Century we didn't have people to take pictures of us. I'm old enough to remember when Food 4 Less developed nudie consumer film with no conifiscation (I've been in L.A. a long time! Not that I did it - besides, black actors don't get asked to do nudity. It doesn't "travel") Again, not hating, but if you're wanting to not be a headline and keep it 'private', be savvy. Like, put your junkage on a plate or a Bounty paper towel and zoom instead of the tube sock stomp in front of your oscillating fan or bachelor drapes. At least when you get busted you can say, "No way that's me, I'd never put my peen on Chinet or 99-cent store paper towels."
Last but not least, here is to 2012: I wish everyone a great, fortifying New Year that surpasses anything amazing that you could imagine. Here's to continuing to set the trends and social change that advance us further into the 21st Century and our ultimate expression. The last word is yours and don't let anyone tell you different. I wish us all the best!
I thank you for reading and visiting this blog, as always, and will see you next year! - Karl