Why So Serious?

“Here...fix my watch. Your kind made it,” a bully had said, shoving his Casio watch at me. Thank tha lawd this wasn’t a recent event because sometimes my big mouth writes checks I can’t cash. This occurred during my junior high years. Obviously, what the bully said was racist.

Somthing's In My Ear
Somthing's In My Ear

“You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger." – Buddha

A friend of mine watched The Wolf of Wallstreet, starring Leonardo Dicaprio, directed by Martin Scorsese. My friend said it was racist because one of the characters was named Chester Ming “The Depraved Chinaman".

Are you fucking kidding me?

My sensitive friend was serious. I stated that maybe in real life that was Ming’s nickname, and given how the movie ended, Scorsese wasn’t going to make the PC choice and rid him of his moniker. Shit. None of Scorsese’s movies are PC.

"Only if we are secure in our beliefs can we see the comical side of the universe." – Flannery O'Connor

“Learn to laugh at yourself,” I stated.

He argued that I hate my own culture because I mock Chinese accents, often greeting people with “Herro”.

“How important is your culture to you, buddy?” I asked. He rambled on with no clear answer.

“I know more Chinese than you do,” I said.

“And that’s the real shame,” he admitted.

When people spout about how important culture is, I usually never cry out against it. But I will analyze their lives and see how important it is; my friend talks the talk, but doesn’t walk the walk. He doesn't speak a lick of Chinese. 

It’s like anything in life. If it’s important, you’ll do something about it.

Why Are We All Bald
Why Are We All Bald

When my niece gave birth to her daughter, she had read books, blogs, articles on how to raise children, researched the potential causes of autism, and began cooking every meal so she could control what her daughter ate. Diet was a strong suspect as the cause of autism due to the chemicals in processed foods.

My serious pal, however, stood his ground, assumed I hated my own kind, and we moved our conversation topic to women.

“If you can make a girl laugh, you can make her do anything.” – Marilyn Monroe

Excuse Me

Salt N Pepper

Salt N Pepper

I was sitting in one of my favorite Vietnamese restaurants during my lunch our. Within the garbled conversation and slurping of Pho noodles (pronounced fuh, not fo like "What's up fo"?), I'd heard two middle-age men talking.

"Will they gain the life expectancy back with the time they put in the gym?" a salt-and-pepper haired man said.

Let's do the twist!

Let's do the twist!

"Not likely," a chubby-cheeked man said.

"They've done studies where going to the gym doesn't extend life expectancy but usually results in more injury," salt and pepper said.

"It's just a waste of time," chubby cheeks said. "I have better things to do than spend my whole day at the gym."

I wondered how much television they watched and how that was contributing to their quality of life. To some, a lot. To others who like to exercise and have passions outside of creating excuses for themselves, not much.

During my voluntary confinement in my 6 X 6 cubicle, what I'd like to refer to as my day job, my cube mate said, "I'm still carrying weight. I had him like a month ago."

Her cube mate said, "It's not like you're a celebrity."

Before: Dayem!  After:  Damn!

Before: Dayem!  After:  Damn!

One of the things I've done as a teacher, as an actor, and now a writer, is listen to what people say and do. You can read a lot about a person by what they're saying. In both the above cases, excuses are being fed to themselves and each other about not doing something, exercise. But the excuses could've been anything:

"I don't have time to pursue my art."

"My passions aren't going to pay for my bills."

"It's just a hobby. I can do it anytime. But with work, family..."

"I don't even know where to begin. And who am I to think I can paint?"

"I don't have them money to start this."

I've definitely used excuses. What are they good for? Ultimately, excusing yourself from knowing the truth. What might that truth be? How powerful we are.

To attain anything great, we must first realize that we are capable. Once we become too entwined in our own self-doubt, we begin to create roadblocks that actually block us from moving forward.

Hell no we won't go!

Hell no we won't go!

I can't tell you how many people widened their eyes and told me how impossible publishing a book can be. But the only way I can become a published author is to first write. If I don't write and only focus on how difficult the road may be, I'll never take the first step to get published. Does that mean those thoughts don't occur in my head? No. I just focus on the task at hand, which is simply to write.

There are pundits at writing conferences that say you have to network, have a web presence, have white teef (teeth for you ghetto challenged), walk the walk, talk the talk, and be one with the all mighty universe (that would be Oprah) to get published.

Be as you wish to seem -Socrates

But none of that is important until I write. Writing to a writer is the most important task. Obvious write (right)? This simple philosophy is lost at writing conferences.