Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday On Friday - "Year Zero"

It’s the last “Friday” of the month... and with it, a “feature within a feature”.

Past is Prologue.

He was gone the year before he left, packing a bag of necessary things that grew lighter as he waited... always wondering when and where he was to go. With each passing day, the clock in his head ticked louder, while in his mind, his feet seemed to grow heavy as his resolve seemed to grow light. The one thing he still knew for sure was that the day of his departure was imminent, and any and all plans that he made leading up to the accomplishment of it all were at best ill-conceived, and at worst utterly useless.

He understood now that the factors which contributed to his pending unexpected departure had been stripped of all meaning, much like the plans that went with them. That... and what had once been a well-reasoned sequence of solid grounds for action on his part, were now reduced to little more than feelings or sense-motivations, much like those of a mouse in a maze, seeking cheese. And his words, once one of his better friends, had lately failed him... and he found himself reduced to simply moving forward through his days on impulse or worse yet, mere repetition... like some badly acted, George Romero zombie.

Thoughts that once seemed most wise now held no wisdom at all. They were stupid, and long-winded, and reeked of the need to explain themselves, and lately he noticed that the passing of these thoughts was no longer measured in days or weeks, but with the death of former Presidents. Years were now decades, and the things that had made the most sense once, not only made no sense, but had lost all need to be discussed in the company of those whose futures were most dependent on the outcome of their consideration.

And he knew that it was all up to him...

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday On Friday - "Broken Bone"

I limp, slower than my liking…  A broken bone healed wrong, in the shape of those who came before.  No pain. Joints out of place... Poems that don’t rhyme for shit... fans on high and walls to hit.  Prose covered in Prozac (I wish)... to calm myself and make sense of it.

Night goes... Credits roll and words don’t show, late for their own party... again.  I kill the lights, climbing stairs in the dark... blank pages behind me.  Day comes too soon... and another chance to make creative... with an excuse.

A ramble, a rant... random thoughts, out of order, plain... saying nothing much to no one in particular.  Time and creativity measured in a ten-day beard.  Numb, without pain.  Nothing to give... every day the same as the last... and the next.

Nothing to give... taking made legitimate.  Self isn’t selfish when it’s only you.  Legs up, give it up... all for the process, all for me... irresponsibility.  Leave it all behind, because there’s nothing left to take.
Where does it go?  And where does it all come from?

Mine is gone.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday On Friday - "Carmageddon"

Tonight, when mothers sing lullabies to babies and the children of a simpler time long for days gone by, not even a pale horse will ride the 405 over the Sepulveda Pass. Just as a prophecy foretold of a time when life as we knew it would cease, during a time that will be known as... Carmageddon.

According to the LA Weekly, this short stretch of road between the Santa Monica and Ventura freeways plays travel host to upwards of 281,000 vehicles a day. And, beginning with scheduled on-ramp closures at 7 pm, followed by off-ramp closures at 10, the heart of the busiest road in the United States will be ripped, still beating, from the chest of the West Coast’s largest city like faster than Mola Ram in the Temple of Doom.

On a wacky, coincidental note, for the Getty Museum, located right in the middle of the closure zone, and destination for 1.2 million visitors annually, July 15–17 is the busiest weekend of the year. Or at least it was... until Carmageddon.

And of course, with the freeway closure, comes the unavoidable ancillary surface street gridlock and alternate route spill-over to other freeways, expected to extend as far north and east and south as 30 miles.

But hey, this isn’t just a news article, it’s a celebration of the precursor to the next great moment on the apocalyptic calendar... 2012. It also serves as a reminder of other attempts by Hollywood (right in the heart of the newly drawn thirty-mile-zone that is Carmageddon) to scare the living crap out of the rest of the world with other lame attempts at the End of the World genre.

And as a member of the working Transportation community, I will be at work beginning precisely at the time that the first of the closures takes place. And for those of you who want to know exactly what is taking place at ground zero of Carmageddon, you can all follow my special Friday night tweets in real-time from LAX at And who knows, as a public service, maybe my tweets will serve an even greater purpose than this article... at least it should.

So remember... this weekend, if you live in Los Angeles, and you’re reading this article before it’s too late, get your MREs and your Netflix Online and hunker in bunker till 5 o’clock Monday morning. Unless the city planners were wrong about all this, and the Sunset Blvd demolition takes a few months longer than previously thought.

In which case, “... a prophecy foretold of a time when life as we knew it would cease, during a time that will be known as... Carmageddon.”

[a special thank you to Broowaha columnist Shari Alyse for the idea of the video clip used in this article]

Friday, July 8, 2011

Friday On Friday - "Unlicensed... Poetic"

The bloody awful poet is back.

LOVE overcomes the changes we make
The wrongs that we do
And the chances we take
The wind and the rain and the hearts that we break
In the silence... of our voices.

HATE underscores the hits that we take
The fights that we lose
And the faith we forsake
The grey rolling fog through the souls that we take
In the silence... of our choices.

HOPE overrides the lines that we fake
The people we use
And then leave in our wake
The good that we don’t and the bad that we do
In the silence...

Friday, July 1, 2011

Friday On Friday - "Toleration Day"

“I’m a mess... a great big, contradictory pile of shit and bones. I don’t want to be loved. At best, I just want to be tolerated.”
Unnamed character in the unpublished story, “Day Sleeper”, by Bill Friday

Sarcasm: A sharp and often satirical or ironic utterance designed to cut or give pain. A mode of satirical wit depending for its effect on bitter, caustic, and often ironic language that is usually directed against an individual.

Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary

I’ve gotten a lot of feedback lately on my recent progress as a writer. All positive, which is funny, because when I began this literary adventure five years ago, a few glaring differences between the me that was... and the me that is today... are obvious. And while I could waste your time and mine on all the tiny details of why reading me today is better than reading me in 2007, the most apparent difference is summed up in this,

Now... I’m cool.

Ask anyone, “Who’s cool around here?” Chances are, your answer will be, “That Friday guy. He’s cool.” So now you’re probably wondering, “How can I be considered ‘cool like Friday’?” I’m glad you asked.

Never disagree with anyone in public. In my experience, backstabbing is the way to go. On this site over the last four-and-a-half years, I have received 170 anonymous “you suck” (one-star) ratings for my 101 articles. This alone uniquely qualifies me to comment on such matters.

Never write about anything that matters. Content that matters tends to polarize... and polarization leads to hatred by at least 50 percent of potential readers. Writing about things like “feelings” (which, by the way, also works great on a first date), not controversial or trending topics, will ensure that while your readership may be suffer diminished numbers, those few who do read you regularly will love you all the more because each reader will know that every word you write is written directly to them.

Don’t write too often. People will get tired of you and marginalize you, then sick of you altogether. I wrote 40 articles in 2007 and 39 in 2008. By 2009, I was down to 6, and my popularity grew more in my unexplained absence, proving the made-up right now by me adage, “Between prolific and witness protection... lies the legend.” And when the legend becomes fact, print the legend.

Make friends with the cool people. Cool people are just that, “cool”. And cool people tell other people who the cool people really are... they move the needle. Make friends with them, and you go from writer to trending topic. Say things on the comment board that the cool people agree with, even when you have nothing to say. Nothing says cool like saying nothing.

Just ask Joaquin Phoenix.

Make friends with the un-cool people. There are more un-cool people in this world than cool people, and unlike cool people, un-cool actually read. Reading headlines is for cool people... reading whole articles is a job for the un-cool. By dropping literary cookies into your articles that resonate with the un-cool masses (like references to LARPers Weekly or the G-4 Network), not only can you guarantee pageviews up front, but also when the un-cool use nerd tools like the keyword search box, because you thought in advance to include hash tags like #baseball, or #scott boras, or #el g.

(regarding comments) Stay cryptic. Fans don’t want to be told what you mean when they already know what you mean... because you were “speaking directly to them” (see "Never write anything that matters", above). While being cryptic in the comment threads of others can get you accused of being an internet Troll, being cryptic in your own threads gets you accused of being obfuscatively original.

Never, ever, tell the truth. Even if it’s really true. If other people suck, never tell them. If you suck, well… that’s just something to keep between yourself and yourself.

Always, always, remember where you came from. The past has a funny way of reminding us of two equal, yet opposite things. We really are worse than we think we are, and… we really are better than we think we are. No, you read that right. No one is as good, or as bad, as their press clippings… except maybe Carlos Mencia. To prove that bi-polar point, read this excerpt from January 9th, 2007.

This just in: My popularity is 0. Zeeerohh! As if I needed proof. Thanks for the update. A clean slate by any other name, etc.

Oh well.

Guess it's better than entropy. Not "Entropy", the movie that almost killed the career of Phil Joanou, but "entropy", from which we get the nursery rhyme (for the sad children of rocket scientists), "We cannot win, we cannot tie, and in the end we're all gonna die".

(Warning! This is not a movie review, a SciTech article or a children's story. It's safe to keep reading - Ed.)

I know, this intro is probably going to keep my popularity at zeeerohh for the remaining years of my writing life which in this town is more like less than zero. Not "Less Than Zero", the movie that should have killed the career of Brad Pitt (really, Google it), but...

(Warning! Bill Friday has never been popular and therefore has never known when to shut up - Ed.)

The good news in all of this is that, if I've done the math right, I can never receive a rating that isn't at least a zeeerohh. A lot like the song, "Saved By Zero" by The Fixx that really did kill the careers of...

(Warning! Bill Friday will never write on the topics of physics, poetry, movies or music ever again - Ed.)

And there you have it people. Be tolerant of the newb you read today. You never know, one day, he may be really cool.