knowmadic meanderings...

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Saturday, March 13, 2010
It's the fear that paralyzes you...

I think I am terrified of failure...of crashing and burning...I had a dream just now that I was making an impromptu film with Todd T. that I wasn't even aware of. I was just going through the basics, putting it together as I went along, trying to make sense of the chaos and improvising as I go along.  I get in a car and have had something to drink but I'm wildly out of control.  I am following next to John E.  I know I am going to crash at some point, it's all so familiar.  Not again.  I end up crashing into an insurance store (of all places).  I want to run, hide...I don't want my parents finding out.  They're going to know I was drinking.  The police tell them my problems are worse than my sister's.  I just want to escape but this is reality, my life.  Thankfully, I wake up.

Posted at 07:05 am by knowmadic
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Friday, March 12, 2010
Long Live the Queen...

Back to the blogosphere for's been quite a while, but I sometimes feel that I need to express myself more than a 2-3 sentence facebook status update allows  and I fear that online communication is going the way of the illiterate and attention deficit world of twitter (no offense to twitterers). 

Anyhow, I just watched "The Young Victoria" directed by Jean-Marc Valée and absolutely loved it.  I am admittedly a royalist and love all things pertaining to royals and aristocrats...although I am strongly proletarian in spirit.  Go figure.  Anyway, I have in the last 2 years or so been slightly fascinated with British royal history, and not purposefully because I have recently become an American expat living in the UK, but I suppose these things have a way of serendipitously working themselves out.  I am particularly fascinated with the queens that have ruled in Britain and admire the strength of Queen Elizabeth I and her tenacity to not give up her power to a man, but always pitied the lonliness she endured in order to maintain control of her power and title, and essentially her life and self-worth.

Enter Queen Victoria and her great love Prince Albert. 

I am always suspicious of biopics and the historical accuracy of people's life stories being depicted on screen, and always try to research fact from fiction (or "artistic license" if you will) and I'm sure there may be inconsistencies in "The Young Victoria" but what I appreciate about the film is the essence and theme of the film- which is more than just an old fashioned love story, which it is.  It's also about balancing power and strength with resignation and acceptance. The male and female energies.  The yin and the yang. Queen Victoria, like her successor, Queen Elizabeth I, ruled in a time when patriarchy threatened even a queen's right to rule. (I suppose much hasn't changed in nearly 200 years, and perhaps that is why the film resonates with me).  I identified with Victoria, in her struggle to prove herself in a man's world and empathized when she felt threatened by her husband when he made certain household decisions for her. But in the end she had to trust him enough to let go of that control and give him responsibilities and allow him to lend her his strengths.  As her aunt, Queen Adelaide, reminded, "A man without responsibilities is just ridiculous."  By the same token, Prince Albert was confident and respectful enough to let Victoria lead the country, but not be led by her.  (Like Luscious Jackson said, "It takes a strong man to stand by a strong woman...") Thus, the balancing of masculinity and femininity, with each embracing both dualities, made for a perfect marriage.  That is the beauty of the long live the queen...and all of us...

Posted at 10:28 am by knowmadic
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Sunday, June 19, 2005


I have been MIA due mostly to the fact that i have been busy with school and with pre-production for my film collision. All information and relevant goings ons in my life (which is my film) can be seen here....

Posted at 09:25 pm by knowmadic
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Wednesday, January 12, 2005
a new year...

so i guess it's been a while since i've posted. sorry, friends, readers, blank spaces, me...well, the holidays came and went. they were like most holidays- refreshing, reuniting, and somewhat regrettable. i did make amends with my sister and her boyfriend, with a bit of support from my man. we even took a trip skiing with them. i miss my sister. it's sad to see your family and close friends only twice a year. it's almost as if i have 2 separate lives- a permanent one here in new york and one i occassionally visit when i go home. its strange to leave the insulation of new york city and go to smaller cities where people aren't as open-minded and still look at you funny...not that that doesn't happen here in the city, people are just less blatant about it, i guess, than in other places. i can't help but feel resentful when i'm in a place like florida, just thinking that the majority of the population voted for Bush...if it is true. I don't know. i feel like i'm in a foreign place. funny how you never notice yourself an outsider in your own home til you leave it. besides that, not much to report. the school semester came and went and i have a couple of films to show for it...nothing spectacular, but i do have a rough draft of my final thesis film, which has been in the works for about 3 years. its' satisfying to see it in form finally. i still have a lot of work to do and am just hoping it doesn't suck. the panel (aka the professors) thought it was do-able. i don't know if they necessarily like my idea, but whatever...i'm starting to feel competitive, which i have never really felt before. i find myself jealous of my colleagues and the attention they get and wonder if they are better than me. i am alos the only female writer/director in the program. i don't think it gives me a disadvantage but some times i feel like i have to work harder or that things are just a little bit tougher. like when i tell people i'm a filmmaker they always ask me if i do documentaries. no, i don't do fuckin' documentaries. what is up with that? can't women be fiction writers or directors? even this guy at columbia was like, "there hasn't been a female director that Hollywood has made a big deal about." no shit. it's a boy's club. i don't really see myself as being a hollywood director. i just want to make something i am proud of and that people appreciate. i'm just rambling...oh, my new year's resolution is to be meaner...dammit.

Posted at 11:07 pm by knowmadic
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Monday, November 08, 2004
where to go from here...

OK, so the initial anger and depression has subsided somewhat, and i want to come to acceptance but i just don't know where to go from here. i feel helpless. i'm hoping things will work themselves out, but i am just so scared and worried and uneasy. The only good thing to come out of this is the camraderie i feel with people here in new york, but its the camraderie that one only feels after a tragic event. A guy didn't charge me tax on my food at an expensive coffee shop in harlem the other day because i was venting about bush. that was nice. i can't get over this nagging feeling that i have to _do something_. i heard only 20% of manhattan voted for bush. this is the center of the terrorism attack. 80% OF THE PEOPLE WHOSE CITY WAS ATTACKED DO NOT FEEL SAFE WITH BUSH AND TERRORISM WAS SUPPOSEDLY THE NUMBER ONE ISSUE FOR MOST PEOPLE WHO VOTED FOR BUSH. i just don't get it...i went to see a depressing political movie just to get my mind off my current political depression. i saw a screening of "Hotel Rwanda" the other day. it was really powerful and don cheadle was amazing in it. don cheadle, the director terry george and Paul Rusesabagina whose life the film is based on were all at the screening. don cheadle was great and kept making allusions to the elections. i think i was more in awe of paul though and the audience gave him a standing ovation. it is being called the "schindler's list" of the year. i think it will get great critical reviews and possible oscar nominations. i don't know how it will fair with audiences though. it is a real wake up call for america and the western world but i don't know if people are ready to digest it. despite my despair for humanity i am amazed at how intelligent and perceptive many people really are about what is going on in the world, but maybe its only in new york. my current employment is test screening movie trailers at the movie theater. i also see the cultural divide between latinos/blacks and whites. its a very interesting sociological study. for example, most latinos and blacks did not like "coach carter" starring samuel l. jackson about a basketball coach who changes the lives of inner city youths, whereas white people think it is a great movie for "minorities." well, if anyone has any suggestions about what to do politically i'm all ears. fight, but how?

Posted at 01:26 am by knowmadic
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Friday, November 05, 2004
book recommendation

if you haven't yet, read david brock's _The Republican Noise Machine_...and see what we're up against. it's depressing but important...i am seriously considering going into exile for a zealand perhaps...

Posted at 02:29 am by knowmadic
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Wednesday, November 03, 2004
i don't know...

I don't have enough energy to talk about it. i'm done talking about it. This is basically how i feel about it ...9/11 we were kicked in the ass, the iraq war we got kicked when we were down and now we're getting fucked in the ass. thank you very much middle and southern america (aka the red states). it's time to take action...maybe you can take comfort in some words of support from my good friend and fellow soldier George Massey.

Synamatiq: george!!!!!
GeorgeMass: I know!
Synamatiq: ahhhhhgggggghhhhhhhhhhhh!
Synamatiq: ;(
GeorgeMass: yup
GeorgeMass: I am quite pragmatic about it - not upset, everyone I know is upset, including my conservative wife.
Synamatiq: i am so depressed, scared, angry, shocked, etc.
Synamatiq: what the fuck. they have control of _everything_ now!!
GeorgeMass: It is what it is.... they have all the rope now, they will hang themselves.
Synamatiq: i hear ya...
GeorgeMass: I think we just need to work on 2006 and claw back the house.
Synamatiq: yeah...
GeorgeMass: every house member will be up for reelection in 2006, we just have to put as much efffort into that as we did into this - I don't think most people pay attention to house elections, we just have to make sure that our crowd does.
Synamatiq: yeah,. i think many mpeople are more aware now. it could be a good thing for the democrats and could really galvanize them...
GeorgeMass: not sure if we can get the house back, but we have to move in that direction.
GeorgeMass: it might take more than one election.
GeorgeMass: if we can get it back in 2006, maybe we can impeach the bastard.
Synamatiq: i know...we need a strong candidate...
Synamatiq: on what basis?
GeorgeMass: illegal war - 9/11 - we can find something.
Synamatiq: you're right, i mean fuck, they almost impeached clinton for fucking lying about a blowjob...
Synamatiq: it's not fair...they play dirtier and they win...
GeorgeMass: I heard earlier this year, than a renowned astrology predicted that Bush would win, but wouldn't make it to inauguration, as a major scandal would errupt and he would be removed before January 20. I don't believe in that stuff but I live in hope.
GeorgeMass: yeah, our side has to learn to play dirty too.
Synamatiq: yeah, fire with fire...i mean, they played up the whole morality and church thing...that's how they won.
Synamatiq: i don't know how you can fight that...
GeorgeMass: yeah, I can't see our side playing the holy thing up - it's not a natural fit.
GeorgeMass: but we need to penetrate those people with our own information... somehow - more Air America type radio and tv network.
Synamatiq: yeah i agree...the media is really where its at...
GeorgeMass: yup - we need to do something big - think Al Gore has something in the pipeline... just hope that takes off and quick.
Synamatiq: yeah, like what?
GeorgeMass: Gore was negotiating a TV network... a la Air America - not sure where that stands.
Synamatiq: hmm...i just don't know how to counter that whole christian value thing...
GeorgeMass: you gently let them know that these idealogues do not honor Christians values. Instead of preaching at them - you approach them with friendship... sell them the truth. Package it and market it.
GeorgeMass: I've gotta go - dinner. Take care - speak soon.

Posted at 07:50 pm by knowmadic
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Wednesday, October 13, 2004

This is going to sound crazy, but i could have sworn i felt an earthquake this morning. Nothing big, but a small tremor. I know i know...there are no earthquakes in Brooklyn, but something woke me up and i felt the ground shaking a little bit. now, if i lived at any of my old places i would have dismissed it as a loud truck going by, but my room is nowhere near the road. OK. maybe it was just a dream, but i remember my dream vaguely and it wasn't about an earthquake. Then when i knew i was awake, i lay there thinking if i had really just felt an earthquake...and then i felt a tiny tiny tremor. is this all in my head? i feel a little crazy. well, school is up and running. i'm starting to get somewhat busy, but not nearly as busy as i anticipated. I like the pace okay though. I guess it's better than being overwhelmed, but i feel a lot of it is DIY, which is nothing i'm not used to. I'm getting ready to shoot a short film, based on the postal upstairs neighbor who shot himself. The final script is completely different from my inital idea so i hope it conveys my original idea i had in mind. Mostly i just hope it doesn't suck.

I finally saw fahrenheit 9/11 this weekend on DVD. Even though I appreciated some parts of it, i have to say overall as a documentary it kinda sucked. The reason i didn't see it in the theaters, despite all the hype, was because Bowling For Columbine, although entertaining and amusing, left somewhat of a bad taste in my mouth. I like the questions that Moore raises, but i find his techniques to be a bit propogandistic(ok, all documentaries can be argued as propagandistic). I dunno. I hate to say it but moore is starting to look like the liberal's equivalent of rush limbaugh. I just found the piece and Moore's argument to be so fucking convoluted. Conjectures does not an argument make...i'm speaking specifically about the Bin Laden/King of Saudi Arabia/Bush argument. The parts that i thought were powerful were the "day before Iraq" was attacked with scenes of children riding a bike and smiling and being happy, which could or could not be the exact day before Iraq was bombed. Also, i thought the airport security part was good. The guy protecting the borders of Oregon could have been cut out. come on, you're making a fuckin point about the lack of security through some park ranger in Oregon??? I did find the film expressed a lot of the anger that i felt shortly after 9/11, with the color-coded warnings and absurd and arbitrary security around the country. oh, i also liked Bush reading to the kids and just sitting there like the fuckin' moron that he is. But, I felt Moore was trying to make too many points and trying to give a history type of lesson while trying to be funny and entertaining a la Columbine, which combined just invalidated all of his points, especially for "non-believers" (that is, liberal-minded folks like himself). Also, I don't know if he should have gone into the whole Carlyle Group thing. I think a more subtle documentary which conveys the same message on the Carlyle Group is Exposed. Also, the stupid movie got me in a huge fight with my boyfriend, and i didn't even like it that much.

Posted at 09:23 pm by knowmadic
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Sunday, September 19, 2004
remembrance of things past

i just saw the documentary "nine innings from ground zero" on HBO about the yankees playing the world series that year. Just the vibe of the crowd puts me back to that tragic time...i guess its something that you never get over. i think the weather being 50 degrees and feeling like fall brings back memories too, more so than the actual anniversary date. i've heard that your senses store more memory than anything else, like how a touch or a scent triggers memories. i hate when things slip into the back of your memory til you barely remember they even happened, sort of like most of my childhood so i thought i would recollect my memories of the world trade center and 9-11-01....when i woke up that morning on september 11, 2001 i had a bad feeling. it just seemed dark, somber like a rainy day when you don't feel like getting out of bed. although it wasn't raining. i had this feeling that i shouldn't go to work that day. But i was working as an intern for a documentary edet belzberg (whose doc on homeless romanian orphans got her an oscar nomination) and i pulled myself together and dragged my lazy ass to work. on the train ride over i heard some people talking about a fire at the world trade center or something. knowing the rumor mills that float around subway trains and new york, i basically just ignored them. when i got up to edet's apartment on 72nd st., i rang her doorbell and she was still in t-shirt and boxers. she asked me what i was doing there. i thought i had gotten the day mixed up. i said, "coming to work?" to which she replied, "sharyn, the city's under attack!" as if i should know. i was dumbfounded, confused, etc. and she hurriedly told me to come inside. she had her t.v. on and it was a news broadcast in which the twin towers were literally falling apart. "wait, what? no, this can't be happening. is this real?" it seemed like a hollywood stage or something. it just didn't seem real. i think the news stations were trying to make sense of it too. cnn kept cutting away to footage of palestinians cheering in the streets. "wait...are palestinians behind this?" it was as if they were trying to remain business as usual in the world of news reporting and image manufacturing. as if they could "explain" this as "some terrorists" (i.e. arab palestinians) just bombing a country. Put in that context i said "its like we're the israelis now and they're cheering at our demise." i tried to call my boyfriend at the time. he tried to rationalize it politically, saying that he's not surprised and giving me his pro-palestinian schpeil. i was frankly disgusted that he would even justify it like that. i wanted comforting, sympathy, not some political bullshit. i quickly hung up with him and told edet, who is jewish but she had no opinion about it. she was on the phone with her mother. i decided that i needed to be in the company of friends or home. so i left edet's and told her i would be okay and i walked to the train station. the station was closed. i hailed a cab. we didn't move for nearly 10 minutes. I decided to get out and walk to another train station and the cabbie was generous enough to not charge me anything. i walked several block to get to another train station. meanwhile, everything looked in chaos around me. it felt post-apolcalyptic. i always compare it to the ending of ghostbusters, when the ghosts take over. there was a homeless man holding up a sign that basically said the chickens had come home to roost (is that the right phrase?). i saw business people covered in soot walking around. i saw people selling bottles of water. the commercialism starts already...or it never ended. the stations were closed for a few hours so i basically just wandered around and finally i found an open station. as i crammed my way into the train, bodies literally pressed against each other, worse than any rush hour i'd ever seen, i heard one woman telling a co-worker that in her in country they were used to things like this and that you just have to try to keep living normally because if you live in fear that's what they (the terrorists) want. all of a sudden a homeless "busser" comes on the train and he's singing an operatic song trying to make a buck. tension was high and as he came around panhandling, one irate man from long island yelled "DON'T YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TODAY?? PEOPLE DIED TODAY!!" to which the opera singer casually and flippantly replied, "so what? are _you_ going to tell all of their families?" which upset the already upset man even more. so doing what most testosterone-fueled men do when they are emotionally upset, he grabs the homeless guy and shoves him against the wall. i start getting pissed and yell "STOP!" but no one really hears me in all the commotion. the irate man is literally trying to push the homeless man out of the train doors, which keeps the doors from closing and the train from moving. so now other people start getting pissed off because they can't get home, not because this big muscle-y white man has this skinny haggard black homeless man by the scruff of his neck and pushing him off the train. finally a train conductor comes by and tells the homeless man to get off the train. he remains proud even though he's been humiliated and assaulted in front of everyone and says no, not until the other guy gets off. they both refuse to budge. i say "why don't you BOTH get out!" no one hears me. finally the homeless man moves down to another side of the train and then the train finally gets moving. i think i ended up going to my ex-boyfriend's house where he lived with 3 other guys in forest hills, queens. andy and his girlfriend ana were the first to come home. they both work in midtown and tell us about their day and having to evacuate from their buildings. its starting to get dark now, people should be coming home from work now. the reality of what happened is starting to hit me more. i think about all of the people who won't come home from work like they normally do and about their families. i start getting really sad. i want to light candles or something. dennis is worried because he knows someone from high school who works in the world trade center. he doesn't know if he's okay. dennis is worried for a couple of days. the roommates subsequently go to his funeral a week or 2 later. i think of all the things i remember most about that day and those dark days afterwards are the sirens. even now when i hear a siren i panic. "did something happen!" i think to myself. i also remember the burnt smell in the air and the soot that covered cars and streets all around dan's house. i stayed most of the time there because i felt i needed to be around other people and i didn't like my apartment that much at the time. (it gave me an eery feeling. i later found out from my roommate that a postman who lived there had shot himself in the house. that is another story entirely, but it was always creepy after i found that out because we still got mail for him from the NRA!) anyway, back to the events of the world trade center demise...even though i didn't know anyone personally that died it was like losing distant family members because new york is like a family. even though it's one of the most densely populated city in the world, there is a community in new york city that you can't find in any other city. i think because struggling in new york bonds you in a way that no other city can. you share the same trials and tribulatons: the hassles, the hussles, the frustration. i also actually worked in the world trade center about a year before the attack. i temped for 2 days at a law office that had just moved into the building. when i took a film class over the summer of 2000 we had to share an anecdote and ironically, i joked about how high security was at the world trade center and how much of a hassle it was to even get up to the building for a receptionist temp job. that seems like such a distant memory now, along with going to windows on the world, the restaurant/bar on top of the world trade center. i can still remember that view though, i did always think that it was such a luxury to be up there and to see that kind of view, the illusion of invincibility.

Posted at 12:08 pm by knowmadic
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Saturday, September 11, 2004
today is...

It's 9/11 again. I saw a great documentary on HBO this morning called Through A Child's Eyes: September 11, 2001. The kids were exceptionally perceptive and even though it's intended for kids, i think it's very powerful for adults to see how understanding children are and how we can learn from them. I'm sure they picked the most eloquent and peaceful children to show in the interviews since they talked to over 500 kids, but it showed how violence really is a learned response. I thought the kids all sort of represented the child within all of us and that we all essentially want to feel safe and live in a "nice" world.

Posted at 11:28 am by knowmadic
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Who am I? And why should you care?

I am a filmmaker/writer/daydreamer helping to evolve our world in whatever way I can. These are just my thoughts.

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