The day the super-villains won

This is not a post about comics per se but it begins with the 2003’s release of the Superman: Birthright 12-issue miniseries by DC Comics in which a new, revised origin story was imparted on the character.
As it turns out the publisher decided it was time to give a different, more modern approach to the character and get him onto that Smallville (TV series) bandwagon. The result was not pretty; it was actually a mish-mash of good ideas thrown in with very poor execution.
Anyway, the story (also) expanded upon the frequency range covered by Superman’s vision; as it goes Superman can now see beyond radar and radio waves and whatnots; he can actually glimpse this quasi-Kirlian halo glowing around each and every living being. It is suggested that Superman can, hence, see our souls (and because of that he’s made a vegetarian, but I digress).

I think I might have a similar super-power, only in reverse: I think I might be able to automatically look for the worst in everyone. This is a claim corroborated by as early as my mother (going for more than a decade now) and as late as old College classmates, my ex-girlfriend and room-mates as well.
(Work-mates obviously don’t count for not being the same as real friends, but they probably have the same opinion anyway.)

Up until now I was kind of torn between love and duty, see? Yeah yeah yeah I know, such a cliché, but all those books and movies and etc would eventually end up piling up on my psyche like that. What can you do.
I sincerely hoped that, being such a supposedly-bright, smart, rightful kid as I am, I would indeed find a way to beat the system, find a way to circumnavigate the mundane and the ordinary, and make good to the promise of a pristine tomorrow shining in silver with just the right person by my side (means you, by the way).

Life itself, however, marks the passing of the days on the calendar by how many of our dreams it shoots down and how many high-hopes lie crushed beneath the wheel of fortune:
Love has been quelled by Atavism, Friendship has been soiled by Pragmatism, Romance has been silenced by Routine and above all the wind beneath our wings has simply stopped blowing with no greater explanation or advance warning other than, Grow up and Get real.

Wanna know the truth? Real life f*cking sucks.
Each of us is alone in this and there is nobody left to save the world, so let’s not bother keeping our hopes up- because in the end the very last one of us will too be forced to sell out and give in to conformity.

All that said- despite all the venting and the rambling above- this one ends with J.D. Salinger quoting from some Austrian shrink in The Catcher in the Rye:
"The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one."

Damn those super-villains for having taken over the world… Heh.


Excerpt from the book

“(…)What does she like, I was thinking. Questions raced through my mind- does she go wild during sex, does she come easily, does she freak out about or*l sex, does she mind a guy coming in her mouth? Then I realized I won’t go to bed with a girl if she won’t do that. I also won’t go to bed with a girl if she can’t or won’t have an orgasm because then, what’s the point? If you can’t make a girl come why even bother? That always seemed to me to be like writing questions in a letter.”

The Rules of Attraction
Bret Easton Ellis

...and all of a sudden we've got a new contender for best book read this year!


31°04'00"N, 81°18'45"E

There is this mountain up in Tibet by the name of Kailash. It’s the alleged throne of Shiva the destroyer, also the axis of the world.
Local gentry believe that if you take a walk around that mountain you get you get to purge all your sins, and if get to walk around the mountain for about a hundred times (supposing you’re that bored) you get to erase the all the sins of your very soul, of all your lifetimes.

Back in College, say about seven years ago, we’d share our apartment with this guy who did have a friend by the name of Kailash; I don’t think there’s much relation to the mountain because if I remember correctly the guy was of middle-eastern descent himself and the name of the mountain is Sanskrit for “crystal” (Okay, I had to look that one up, I admit).
Also, the guy- our friend- had a bit of a speech impediment so he’d call his friend kah-yo-lah-sh or something, like it was two names: Caio Lash.

Turns out Caio (as we’d call him) must’ve been a bit of the Übermensch himself because as time went by XXXXX developed a kind of a sect after him; it was hero worship times a hundred and he would do anything us homo sapiens couldn’t:

1. He developed WAP technology for internet access in cell phones earlier than the rest of the free world, by himself;
2. He held a handful of speed records in off-road motorbiking;
3. His father owned thousands of square miles of real state in one of the world’s largest cities;
4. He drank only imported beer;
5. He got all the best-looking girls;
6. He’d traveled to the farthest corners of the world, also to Australia;
7. He single-handedly manned the web-site with the biggest hit ratio for 1999.

The rest of the list belongs now to the mists of time, but one can only assume Kailash the man will eventually circle Kailash the mountain enough times to save the world…



A few days ago my boss called me in his room.
“Son, I’ll tell you this as your manager and your friend: I’ve been watching you,” he said. “And I’m pulling your emergency brake.”
Then he went on that people are now quite used to seeing me hurrying things up a bit and moving at 100 mph day in and day out, but turns out that day, it was a little after 7 am and I’d been pushing things through at 200, 300, 1,000 mph already and people were getting edgy and he was getting edgy and I was getting edgy myself; then later in the morning I snapped at this other guy and I think after that I broke down on him and boy, it wasn’t pretty.

He was actually pretty cool about the whole thing; he wanted to know whether HQs was giving me a hard time and even offered to call them up and tell them to cut me some slack. “Not really,” I told him. “They’re actually pretty cool about the whole thing themselves.”
(On a sidenote, this is what I’ve been getting from Headquarters: Tranquilo!! No te apuras!!)
He then asked if I thought I had something to prove to myself.
I said nothing, just shrugged.

“There’s this question that’s been on everybody’s lips for the past couple of weeks, son,” he said, “and that what’s bothering you?”
I told him it was the whole apartment thing; it seemed to suffice for him but it was only half-half-half-half the truth.
Here’s the truth, then: Three years now and I think I’ve had it with the neckties and the shiny shoes and the power-plays…

Once College was over and I’d pulled out of all the bad bits towards blue skies I honestly thought the restlessness was over, that I was through with feeling lost, that I had a purpose in life, etc… and three years later of keeping this beast repressed, nagging inside my guts, I can feel it clawing its way back to the surface once again and it’s telling me that it’s not here either.
It’s telling me that life’s to happen somewhere else, under different circumstances.

Still, money changes everything. Period.
The whole apartment thing taught me something invaluable, the concept of a safety net because I sure as hell need a roof to get back to if things go wrong, and it pretty much set the tune for the next couple of years or so.
“Just you wait a little longer, buddy,” I’m telling myself. “It’s not really that late to fly when you’re twenty-eight or twenty-nine.”

It was very warm that evening and to put it bluntly I was kind of bored sitting alone in that hotel room so I got myself some nice little pills and popped in thrice more than anybody should, confident that it was enough to down a horse and make me relax; then I took to the streets outside by the sea shore and sort of hang around by myself for an hour or so in quiet introspection. What is it that they say? Better living through chemistry?
The pills hit and I felt pretty relaxed. I rested my back against a lamp-post by this statue of a man surfing over an actual working fountain and closed my eyes under the quiet moonglow; I bit my lower lip and thought of you.
Life became perfect for a couple of seconds.

I called up my father when I got back from the beach and he said, “You’ll never guess who stopped by this afternoon looking for you.” I told him I had no idea; I wasn’t very interested anyway. “Well, it was your old friend XXXXX,” he said.
“I don’t have any friends with that name,” I replied.
He said sure I did, how come I didn’t remember the kid who was the doctor’s son (now a doctor himself), one of my closest friends from age 5 to 18, et. al.
“Why did he do that for anyway?,” I asked. “What does he want?”
My father gave me hell and asked why I had to be like that. I didn’t say anything in return but thought to myself if I owed the guy some money.
No of course I don’t, so no real need to call him back.

…Old friends are a failed institution anyway.

…so we’d all gone to this wedding on Saturday night in some restaurant on the outskirts of the city and the bride was very pretty but also very young and everything else was made so half-assed I seriously wanted to scream for all the wrong reasons and also I was eyeing this other girl wondering for the entire evening whether I should make a move on her or something but then I figured maybe it wasn’t really gonna amount to anything extraordinary and let it go- to be frank with you I wasn’t really giving it much thought and it was past 3 am and this guy was driving everybody home in his car so I turned to her and blabbered something I expected to sound smart as usual and…
Anyway, it was only later as I lay in bed that I remembered it had been the very same words I would frequently tell everyone during my time in College.

I told her, “I think I don’t exist.”
It sounded just as true as it did all those years ago.


The Tao of Kirsten Dunst vs. the Tao of Natalie Merchant. Or: Why I packed my crappiest shirts and shittiest underwear

A few days ago I stopped by the bookstore to pick up some stuff and there was this guy in line before me, he had this book The Tao of Jeet-Kune-Do in his hands. It’s a posthumous collection of the writings of Bruce Lee.
Kind of funny, isn’t it? Guy goes to this fancy bookstore and orders in a book about martial arts… Like, I’m not criticizing nor anything, I just think it’s a bit amusing. I am, after all, the guy who goes to the bookstore and walks out with Bret Easton Ellis and Superman in the same bag.

Anyway, I’m not really into martial arts but it was then & there that I couldn’t take this thought out of my head, that the book’s name would make a terrific post title, and hence the present post.
Only, not entirely:

Every time I come back from weekends at my hometown of Hell they show a movie in the bus. The ride takes about 2 hours so it’s pretty much the time for a movie.
The menu is kind of varied. Lots of police and war movies, some comedies, and the occasional oddity such as Walt Disney’s 1961 animated movie 101 Dalmatians.
The current trend is pretty much centered around movies with Kirsten Dunst in them, ranging from Jumanji to Elizabethtown. No Spider-Man as of now, though.

I think it means that life is trying to tell me a message. Synchronicity all over again.
I wish for this message to be, Thou shalt take Kirsten Dunst out to dinner- yet something tells me it’s gonna go through a path a lot more sinister than that.

…Either that, or just that I should let go of going back to that town of lost souls. Else that it should be b*mbed down.
Morrisey wrote a music about that, you know? You probably know it from 10,000 Maniacs version.
“Every Day is Like Sunday”…?

There’s this line in the song that goes something like:
How I dearly wish I was not here
In the seaside town
...that they forgot to b*mb
Come, come, come - nuclear b*mb

…Then I remember that I’m due back at that hellhole of a coastal town, the port, this afternoon, and I gotta stick around from today to Saturday in there, teaching this thing at the local office.
I mean, Jesus Christ, to spend a Friday night at the seaside town that they forgot to b*mb down.

Last time I was down there, it was about a month ago and I kid you not, there was this guy in the building right next to the hotel and he bred f*cking geese atop the building. In the middle of the city.
Damn birds kept squawking all through the night.

…And that’s why I had my crappiest shirts and shittiest underwear packed; what are the odds of getting laid in a dump like that anyway?
If I ever got laid in that town, I’m thinking, I would probably kill myself first thing in the morning, probably with a spoon, right after cursing those damn geese as usual.


Creative thinking for a comic book script, pt.IV

I might have a situation.
Plan was, let’s go slow and have this one planned out right from the start, and turns out I might have gotten carried away and written the first SEVEN pages into the script already.
Creativity both rules and bites at the same time!

The idea for this installment was to plunge headfirst into the plot itself, so let’s do it anyhow:

As discussed previously, Act I has to do with a rather lengthy conversation at a Diner between Path (who’s still an active superheroine) and Peer (who is visiting old friends after being totally absent ever since ’00 or ’01).

Peer, mind you, used to be this superhero called the Centurion ever since he was a small kid, kind of like Captain Marvel. He quit for good by the time he was say, 18 or 19 years old, and now it’s years later, he’s in his late-20s, an adult, with no interest whatsoever in resuming his past life. Still, why is he visiting Path after all this time? –He just won’t say it.
Path herself came late into the game, she’s a little older than Peer, she has been a superheroine for slightly more than six years; she’s also in her late-20s but has stuck around with the life.

They will talk and it’s basically some catching up. We’re not showing the two old friends meeting and hugging, no, the idea is to place the reader straight in the middle of the conversation, we’ll fill in the reader as we go.

Then we’ll split the story twofold:
From one side we got Peer visiting Anton Riley, corporate mogul (previously known as the anti-hero “The Antagonist” but we’re basically ditching most of the characters’ heroic personas for this one). Riley is worried by Peer’s sudden and unexpected return, because he (Riley) is the link between the still-active, “free” superhero community and the United Nations.
The UN’s post-human operatives department is headed by Marcus Pictor (also known as the Praetor, one of the Centurion’s past mentors). Marcus has mostly forfeited his superhero role, choosing to spearhead the metah-human effort towards international politics… so it’s a safe guess to say he’s getting very annoyed once Peer, who was once a loose-cannon, seemingly returns to duty.
Or does he? The plot itself, especially in #1, will dwell around the big question of what Peer’s doing back in town and why.

(We have talked in previous posts about the way Path as a character will act as Virgil to Peer’s Dante, she’s like her spiritual guide in a sense her questioning will lead him to a personal revelation- and those very questions she’ll have to Peer should read like a leitmotif to his own revelation)

On the other side it’s Path and her commitment to an old friend (which is the main plot, and will eventually intertwine with Marcus’).
Elisabeth Foster, who was once a superheroine known as Stardust (and also an old flame of Peer’s), has married into Faerie royalty, see. Yes, as in “land of the fairies and elves and etc”. And she had a son with the elf-prince of that dimension. Yes, that’s it. It’s particularly silly, I know, but we’ll make it work.
So once their baby son gets ill on Earth it’s this HUGE political situation for everybody, for the United Nations and Marcus himself, because the baby cannot be moved to his father’s dimension due to his fragile condition, and he’s gotta be treated on Earth. The baby is ill, and it’s not a curse nor anything, it’s just that he’s ill because he’s a half-breed and so on. It’s important to make that bit very clear because it should automatically imply a lack of opposing force to the protagonists, which is very intentional from our part.

So we got a sick baby on Earth and there’s this only thing that can restore him to health: The Dreamstone, which was like the lynchpin to reality itself and the keystone to the existence of the Universe.

…We are, by the way, relying 100% on past continuity. Or rather, 100% of our characters come from existing (past) stories and past continuity which I created many years ago when I was a kid myself- we’re only giving a completely new spin on them, for a new, different, more adult audience.

…So Path, who’s this huge friend of Betty Foster, is asked to go on a mission into deep space to retrieve the Dreamstone- and nobody is really aware of its exact location- and off she goes, on Marcus’ blessing (and unofficial behalf).
And Peer, who doesn’t have anything better to do, to put it bluntly, and wants to spend some quality-time with Path, tags along for the ride.

…So by the end of #1 we have Path and Peer going to outer space in a quest for this so-called Dreamstone thing, and that’s our plot for the first issue.

…and that, it’s important to point out, happens on a Friday night.
Our whole story’s supposed to happen in say, three or four issues (22 pages/each, a total of there about 70 pages- a gross average), starting with the tail-end of a Friday (#1), and ending on the tail-end of a Sunday (last issue).
Issue #2, and most of #3, will happen in space. The end of #3 and #4- as we wrap up the tale- it’s back on Earth… but THAT’S a subject for future posts.

As a plot-device, though, we’ll not open #1 on said Friday night; page 2 will start at the Diner on a Friday night, the conversation between Path and Peer, but page 1 is two days in the future, on a Sunday morning, to give the reader a peek of what lies ahead.
We’ll open the story, #1 pg 1, somewhere else entirely:

It starts in the Middle-East, in Lebanon’s border with Syria, two days in the future, with Peer in what seems to be his old superhero costume, and he’s just slept with this girl, see…

NEXT: Writing the first issue…


Creative thinking for a comic book script, pt.III

I have thought about the story in the broadest sense possible. I have seen the whole of the moon under faint, faint brushworks. I have pictured a scene or two in my mind and I have sort of dreamed up the general plotline for a 3-act storyline.
It’s time, then, to bring it down to the specifics, beginning with the main character himself:

For starters:
I want to tell a story; I want to write a story and I want to do it in comic book-script format. Full script.

Right. What do you want to write about?
I want to write about, oddly enough, love.

Wait. Love?! Wasn’t it supposed to be a superhero story?!
It’s still a superhero story, in a sense; it’s actually a love story disguised as a superhero story. The superhero thing is more like a pretext… or rather, a vehicle through which the love story is to be conveyed to the reader.
And as far as superheroes stories go, this one should be mostly unusual anyway.

So why love?
Why not? Love’s the bottom-line for everyone. For anyone. Love-based stories are the best stories ever.
If you really think about it, that’s like our compass to life. Besides, there’s this big difference between teenage romance and love, anyhow.

So it’s not a boy-meets-girl, falls-in-love story?
Oh no, because life itself hardly follows that path. I mean, conceptually speaking that’s how it should go for everybody, indeed, only that’s not the way it happens in real life.
In real life it’s more like, boy-meets-girl, then-screws-up, and then life-gets-in-the-way. We’re following that road for this one as well.

Okay, but let’s focus on the subject instead: so what is this love/superhero story about anyway, I mean protagonist-wise?
It’s about this guy who’s either getting his act together, or has just gotten his act together, and is now a little unsure what do with his life.

Too broad.
It’s Montgomery Peer, previously a kid-superhero called the Centurion, now a few years into retirement from his alter-ego. He’s been leading a regular life with a regular job for a few years now. He’s in his late-20s.
He’s been through this bad bit in life, which was not wholly related to superheroics per se but prompted him to quit in the first place anyway, and now it’s gotten better.
Well, not really “better” but things have been de-worse-ning for the last year for lack of a better word.

Still too broad. Let’s nail it down, step-by-step. Baby steps. Go slow.
Point taken.
So things have gotten better for him, for the character, slightly, and now he wants to check back on his old friends.

…Because well, he’ll tell himself that it’s because he’s feeling better all of a sudden, and wants to check in on his friends from long ago, not really to return per se but to see that everyone’s alive and so that everyone will see he’s alive as well.
The “old friends” routine.

But that’s not all, is it?
See, the thing with this guy is that, now that things have gotten better for him (albeit slightly) he thinks he can make a difference.
He will not get back to being a kid-superhero, first of all because he’s not a kid anymore, and also because he has more down-to-earth priorities in life. Still, he has this secret feeling inside him that all it takes is a couple of days and he can make all the difference, he can make everything right, he can save not the world per se but the people in it.
He harbors a secret and he’ll never admit it to himself: He feels that, deep down, the world’s still a mess because nobody’s really tried hard enough, because he’s the only guy capable of trying hard enough, and succeeding.

Whoa. Some nerve there. That’s not a very noble feeling, is it?
Well, isn’t it?
Exactly the point, and he’s not really a very noble person himself.

So he’s flawed.
Yes, but not as in Peter Parker-flawed, but more like in me and you-flawed. He’s a regular guy and regular guys aren’t supposed to be change the world.

But that’s a paradox, isn’t it? You’re talking about a guy who secretly thinks he should come back for two days to save the world because nobody else has been capable of, and yet he feels that normal people, such as he is, shouldn’t try to save the world…?
Well, yeah. Ahh. You got me there.

Unless there’s some guilt involved.

How so?
He somehow blames himself for everybody else not being able to save the world, because he’s quit in the first place.

…And since he’s quit because of personal reasons…
…He feels he’s one hell of a hypocrite and an egotist, exactly!

So he’s looking for redemption?
Not in the pious sense of the word, but yeah, on a strictly personal level. He doesn’t want a guilty conscience.

That’s why he’s not wearing his superhero costume for this story, right?
Right, because he’s not the Centurion anymore, and that’s also why he’s not calling himself the Centurion.

So he’s just called “Montgomery Peer”?
Yeah, kind of.
It’s not like he’s been interviewed on TV nor anything. He’s just visiting a few friends, and they’ll call him Centurion at first, though he’ll promptly tell anyone to call him by his name, to call him Peer.

Sounds good so far, but what about love? How does that fit in the story?
That’s a bit too much into the plot, which should be discussed in a future post.
But for now, mind you, you got the main character- a man- and you also got two important supporting characters, both women… and I don’t mean it’s a love-triangle, just that you got this… interaction thing… going on between each of them and…
No, hey. The love-thing’s got to do with the plot; of course I do have a few very specific ideas right now, basically how the main theme (love) should fit into the story, but that theme should have a stronger relation to the plot itself than anything else- else it’s all too abstract- and if we start talking about the plot we’ll take this conversation through a different path.

Right, let’s avoid the digressions for now. Back to Peer, then: What about his superpowers?
It’s a bit of a gray area.
It’s not like he’s not using them; he is. But it’s mostly for going to point A to point B, basically that kind of stuff. Transportation. I mean, it’s not like he’s walking around leveling apartment buildings nor anything.

But he (still) could if he wanted, right?
Up to a point.
I don’t think we’re going too deep into that. Peer’s exact power levels aren’t really important to the story.

So we can expect a plot with zero action?
No way!
It is a superhero story after all, when all’s said and done. It’s just not a conventional superhero story.
One of the problems raised by his return is that not everybody is actually happy with it. I mean, people have had to fill up the vacuum left by his absence, and there’s some of them whom have gone into international politics, the U.N., that kind of stuff. Everybody’s grown up a bit, not just the main character. So whenever Peer’s back- and we’re talking about a guy that as a kid could indeed blast apartment buildings to dust, could travel through time, etc- Some of those guys are actually a little worried when an once-omnipotent being walks back in the world, especially because now that Peer’s (also) older he’s not confined to his own adolescent power-fantasies anymore.

Wait. Now you lost me a bit…
No, see: It’s just that, since we are talking about a guy who’s more liable now to pay attention to real-world problems instead of sticking to the old jail-the-supervillain routine…

Apropos of that, you have mentioned the Middle East situation in a previous post. Is that what’s the whole thing is about, then?
By all means… NO!.
It’s still a story about people, it’s still a story about this guy checking back on the world and sort of wandering around, wondering… trying to make sure “it” wasn’t his fault- and that “it” sure has got a vague meaning in there.
The Mid-East thing was just a specific shot I had in mind because I thought would look cool. Whether it’s really going to make into the final draft of the story’s another business, for another day.

I see. But you started out this post aiming at specifying things a bit and it’s still too vague.
It is, but now we have a better grasp at the character himself- if not of the story’s per se then about his motivation and that’s just as important if not more, because it’s the people that give shape to the stories.
I have a general idea of the main character now, and once we start throwing in the bits about the secondary characters and general plot, we’ll know exactly how the character will behave given those very settings, and thus we’ll be given a notion of the progress of the plotline itself within any given specific timeframe, say those two days (the story happens within a weekend, remember).

…You mean the character giving shape to the plot…
That’s the idea.
The plot, whatever it is, should flow naturally from & around the characters (plural), and not the other way around.

So your next step is planning the plot per se?
I’ll just give it some time, let my mind wander, I should have a bright idea or three in the meantime, start gathering up all those cool scenes and shots popping in into my mind, then I’ll just cram them up in one big cake and order them chronologically.
And that cake’s the plot. Add the character to that plot- modifying that plot through their actions and general behavior, that is- and there you have the outline for our story.

I think it’s going to work.
Hey, thanks!
Yeah me too.

NEXT: Plotting, actually.


In conversation with Me, Myself, and this other guy named Me Too

M1: I think I got a problem with this housing thing, and I might have bitten more than I can chew at work.
M2: I don’t think so.
M1: How so?
M2: Item one: A problem’s a dinosaur eating through a concrete bridge in the middle of the city at noon, anything else’s a situation. Item two: No such thing if you think big enough.
M1: Okay. I’ll agree with you on #2, but the thing about the dinosaur is oversimplifying things a bit…
M2: No. No, it’s not. The world’s built on aphorisms, truisms…
M1: …And one-liners?
M2: Damn right.
M1: Still…
M2: So?
M1: If not a problem, it’s still a situation that needs to be taken care of…
M2: And you want my blessing?
M1: I need your blessing so I can use our… stuff? That thing we do that nobody else does…?
M2: Do you have any idea how silly that sounds?
M1: For lack of a better term…
M2: Come up with one, for chrissakes…
M1: Maybe later. As of now, I need…
M2: But come on, it wouldn’t be fair.
M1: Well life’s not fair, buddy.
M2: Aww. Do what you will, then. But just this time.
M1: Is that a yes?
M2: Sure.
M1: Cool. Thanks.
M2: Don’t mention it. Anything else?
M1: Problem’s as good as solved.

(enter, M3)

M3: If I called the shots in here, I’d use our stuff 24 hours a day. We’d rule the world!
M1: Hey, I’ll second that!
M2: Maybe tomorrow.
M1: Why?
M3: Wuss.
M2: Maybe when we’ve settled on a few pending issues first. Then I’ll let us fly.
M3: Feels like keeping a Porsche parked indoors for life…
M1: I think I’ll…
M2: You’re the leading man.
M1: But I need you guys.
M3: I just think it’s not normal to talk to yourself in stereo surround
M1: …But I’m just thinking…
M3: …in three different voices!
M2: Well, now. This is my cue to leave the building.
M1: Hey. No, wait.

(exit, M2)

M1: Now see what you did?
M3: I didn’t do anything. Besides, you’re greenlit anyway.
M1: I’m a little… nervous, that’s all. Edgy.
M3: Wuss.
M1: Knock it off.
M3: W-u-s-s.
M1: I’m not a wuss, I’m just…
M3: What, afraid? Scared?
M1: Well…
M3: Oh c’mon. I know you. Tell me the truth…
M1: It’s…
M3: It’s so good to feel something for a change, isn’t it? Like, anything?
M1: …I guess…
M3: Oh please. Don’t throw uncertainty at us like that. You know you love it… Being afraid? Sailing through uncharted oceans? To embrace fear and drink it like cold water in the desert? Aren’t you a trailblazer? That’s what trailblazers do. So blaze that damn trail, you big S.O.B., come on!
M1: …Yeah.
M3: Yeah?
M1: Oh yeah. I think I love it, alright. You. Us.
M3: Riiiight. You’re damn crazy. Downright schizo, man.
M1: Takes a crazy person to live in a crazy world…
M3: Sic transit gloria mundi…

(exit, M3)

M1: Well, now. Bring it on!


Internet, I love you!

This is a post in which I’ll state the obvious… only, it’s something I want to say aloud before I die or before the world ends. So that you know. So that I know I haven’t taken it for granted:

Today I woke up thinking about obscure 1980s bands like the Waterboys and Big Country, so when I got to work I sat down with a cup of coffee and entered youtube.com, and downloaded those videos (Big Country’s In a Big Country, and The Waterboys’ The Whole of the Moon).

Meanwhile I accessed the web-site from this newspaper from Seattle to read their online comics strips- Dilbert and Lee Falk’s the Phantom.
I read those every day.

As the music played on I got to e-mail my ex-girlfriend about my cousin’s dog who’d just died, then I got to send some files down to the guys in Santiago, also via e-mail, and since I’m currently looking for an apartment I had to keep myself away from eBay and not buy that Lex Luthor in Battle Armor action figure from DC Direct…
(also looking for an apartment, online).

Except for space-travel and world peace, this is pretty much how I dreamed the future should be when I was a kid.
So here it goes, Internet, babe, so that everyone will hear- I love you so much; you’re the coolest thing a kid could ever wish for!

There. I’ve said it.

Excerpt from a play

“(He) was a salesman. And for a salesman, there is no rock bottom to the life. He don’t put a bolt to a nut, he don’t tell you the law or give you medicine. He’s a man out there in the blue, riding on a smile and a shoeshine.”

Death of a Salesman (Requiem)
Arthur Miller


Creative thinking for a comic book script, pt.II

Now don’t look at me the wrong way but you’ll find inspiration in the oddest of places. Like, I’m pretty used to come up with solutions to most of my office-related problems while taking a shower at home or brushing my teeth. True story.
As far as this comic script goes, though, it was actually about a couple of weeks ago and we were all at this bar and there was this band thing going on, and it’s not that it wasn’t cool nor anything, it was pretty cool & I was leapin’ like a gremlin on methadone as usual, but still, there it hit me like a bolt from the blue… and all of a sudden I came up with these two key scenes for our story, which in turn gave me the faint inspiration for an even-fainter outline of a 3-act plot:

Act I is pretty much a meeting then a conversation at a local diner, plus Peer meting some old friends along the way and discovering he’s not really wanted around, because the world all of a sudden grew so serious and adult and he (still) fancies himself just a kid, up to the point where we use Lightpath’s own sub-plot (we’ll giver her one, by the way) to establish the conflict.
Keyword here is, a solid dialogue and tons of existentialism. The plot for this act is basically a vessel for whatever it is that I want the characters to tell each other. Mostly introspective stuff.

Anyhow. I was so psyched about the whole thing that I couldn’t take the thought that I should open right out of my head, thus I came up with a zillion possibilities, each of them grander than each other, but I was never satisfied. So I thought, Go small. First and foremost, get that ball rolling willya. Fill in the reader as you go. Something not quite unlike this:


A page-wide panel. We’re looking straight at Montgomery Peer, now in his late-20s, garbed in full civilian attire (jeans and a T-shirt, etc), shot from his wait up, from behind a table, as seen from Path’s POV. Path/the reader is talking to Peer, and Peer is kind of sneering, pointing his right finger at her/the reader.

1. PEER: Jack Burnley’s a nitwit!

But ahh. Ixnay, ixnay. Then I just remembered Chris Claremont did this very opening with Kitty Pride in an X-Men comic from twenty years back. I think it was the very first issue to feature Paul Smith’s artwork, by the way.
“Professor Xavier is a jerk,” something like that.

Anyway. Opening with a slow, low-key conversation at a diner seems like a good idea, despite the sheer-un-originality of the proposed first panel.

Act II is a sci-fi, outer space opera, only condensed, and only not really. Path and Peer visit some old friends out there and discover that not everything is as it seems… Meaning, they will meet old acquaintances for the first time… sounds absurd, but it’ll make sense as we go. We’ll go deep into past continuity during Act II but in a totally new way, in which every character, every interaction, will seem brand-new.
And whereas in the first act we’ll have covered a question like, What’s your role in the world?, we’ll reverse that thinking for Act II, and it’ll go like, What’s the world’s role in your life?
This is basically a voucher for Peer’s having abandoned the life so soon & sudden, and should spring up the thought in Path’s mind that, Hey, maybe he hasn’t really returned after all, maybe he’s only here for the weekend…?

Act III is Peer back on Earth and of course everything is all right and all lives have been saved, the quest (partially) successful; the reader thinks the story’s over, only it’s not, because Peer, well now he wants to save the world and here’s where the writer should have his fun, because what I’m thinking about is, letting loose a super-powered being on the Middle East situation, just because, and I’m thinking:

(just a note I wrote to myself)

…Shot from atop the bombed ruins of a small town in the Middle East, Peer stands brushing his teeth… well, either that or shaving. Anyway. Peer’s almost naked but oddly enough he had the pitch-black skintight pants of his superhero uniform on, and only that. This is the first time in the whole story that we’ll show Peer dressed like, or almost dressed like, the Centurion.
Somebody lies naked on a mattress on the floor nearby, dawn’s breaking outside, the girl moans something, wakes up, Peer smiles.
They notice the invading army marching in, she asks what’s he’s going to do. “Gonna cut through their ranks like a hot knife going through kosher butter,” he says- To which she’ll promptly reply, “Peer. I’m Jew.”
“No you’re not.”
“Yes am I.”
“It won’t change anything,” he’ll answer her. “Because there’s gotta be somebody with enough guts to intervene and…”
“And…? And what, Centurion?”
“And save the world.”
Then he’ll take flight and plunge straight in the middle of the tanks and the bombs, hell ensuing.

Something like that.
But you know, I’m just toying with an idea or two…
(and before you ask, “Jack Burnley” is another character in the story).

NEXT: Bringing the idea down to earth.


Good dogs never die, they just cross the street one last time into the sunset

So last night my cousin (14) called me up to let me know her dog had just died that afternoon. He was like the family’s pet because he didn’t really like anybody and it was so funny.
He’d gone out for a walk and crossed the big, wide, thronging avenue and was run over by a car. He was taken to the veterinary by a few good neighbors but died of internal bleeding shortly afterwards anyway.
[Dog’s name] was a seven year-old mutt whom pretty much spent the last seven years of his life doing exactly & solely what he wanted, caring not a damn about the world in general… except for that one time during Christmas, ’01 in which me and my (ex-)girlfriend bought him a Santa Claus suit that cost us five bucks in the back-alleys of the city. He bit me twice that night, but got to wear the suit anyway, even if for a split-second, and was immortalized in kodachrome forever.

It’s kind of funny because when she rang me up she was kind of laughing. She was joking about the whole thing, first saying she had good news, then all of a sudden switching for the bad news, etc. It made me remember how being a teenager really sucked, because we’re all able to qualify everything then, such as death, but we can’t really quantify anything. Hence, the girl knew exactly what death meant, she’d gone to her share of funerals herself, but she still doesn’t know how to talk about it, how to deal with it per se.
And it made me remember how cool being a grownup really is.
…Because when you’re say, 19, people will step up to you and expect you to babble out some wizardry out of your lips, and you find none because you’re still tripping on your own feet. But at 26? It’s not perfect yet but it’s a whole damn better; you’ve met people, you’ve read books, you’ve seen the movies and listened to the songs, you’ve lived a bit and when all of a sudden this small girl is looking up to you for guidance and you gotta come up with a good bit about her dead dog… well, all of a sudden I was staring through the window and thinking about that scientist guy Rupert Sheldrake, the biologist or something, for no good reason whatsoever, and I’m thinking about his crazy-assed theories about the Morphogenetic Field… like about dogs knowing their owners are coming home before they arrive, or how if a determined number of monkeys learn this new trick the whole species automatically learns the same trick, etc… and I’m also thinking about C. G. Jung’s tombstone which has this line in Latin written over it and it goes like, Vocatus atque non vocatus deus aderit, and that’s pretty much where I find the words to tell the girl.
I tell her (all very tongue-in-cheek as customary in the family) that [dog’s name] is not a dog, but a state of mind, and it makes her laugh. I tell her that the first thing we’re going to do is throw this big party celebrating [dog’s name]’s life, then we’ll begin a systematic series of visits to municipal dog pounds everywhere looking for the next [dog’s name], and this new [dog’s name] is going to be the meanest, weirdest dog ever to walk the Earth, and she agrees.
“Kind of like the Dalai Lama, see?” I tell her, “only it’s not so specific because we’re not talking about a holy person but about a force of nature.”
“…What?,” she asked, not really getting it.
“Uhhh… More of a totem, really,” I explain. “Like this Indian animal spirit?”

Funny bit is, [dog’s name] is actually the second dog to have that name. The first one was this dog I had myself for a few months, didn’t really have the time to get emotionally attached to him, then my cousin was given a (new) dog herself, she was like 6 years old, and chose the name [dog’s name]. So it stuck, so the legend began, and I think it’s time to move on, then, not really believing in all that metaphysical crap but actually using it as a fulcrum for a good joke.
Meaning that in a few months we’ll probably tell the world that Mother Earth is tapping into the Morphogenetic Field and coming up with a new [dog’s name], the third one, and so the legacy shall endure, and the girl will smile, and we’ll have yet another short, stocky, grouchy mongrel to (try to) dress up like Santa during Christmas.

…I still have that picture.
My hand hurts every time I see it, that’s where [dog’s name] bit me when I tried to fasten the big black belt with the silver buckle around his waist.


Hourgirl (the song)

Just because, and also just because I think I’m a victim of arrested development, here’s what I got out of the lyrics to my own pop-rock song so far. It’s not complete because I’m still missing an intro and an ending.
Also, it’s not supposed to be Shakespeare nor anything. It’s very silly, straightforward, cut-to-the-chorus stuff- kind of like some bad High School poetry in itself:


And in knowing my worst sin is fear,
here´s your whispering in my ear:
"Boy, lay off your sex-queen dreams,
please put aside those old magazines-
their cheap pulpy musty paper smell-
you take me up & I’ll take you out of hell!"

Baby you´re my miracle pill,
baby you´re my two-Dollar bill
I take you & I can walk right thru walls,
I take you & we can take on this world.
Baby you´re my miracle pill,
baby you´re my two hundred-Dollar bill
I take you & it’s an hour-long shot against chance,
‘cause all I got is one hour left to see you dance!

[guitar solo, long]

And I’ll never count you out of my addictions,
simply put I like ´em better than my own indecisions.
For one hour we´d have night & day,
that very hour I recall today.
So if you´ll just slip yourself in my bed again,
You touch me, trust me, I´ll touch you back.

[repeat CHORUS]



The weekend, as stuck at a conceptual Lagrange point between Thomas Wolfe and the devil

Godi, [insert your hometown's name here], poi che se’ sì grande,
che per mare e per terra batti l’ali,
e per lo ’nferno tuo nome si spande!

adapted from,
Inferno, Canto XXVI
La Divina Commedia
Dante Alighieri


Book of days

On Sunday I woke up with a fever, then got better as the day went, and I went to the movies to see Superman Returns for the fourth time because I had nothing better to do that afternoon.

On Monday I went to the office with that same fever; also the kitchen at my uncle’s burned down back in my hometown.

On Tuesday that same uncle, when cleaning after the fire, fell down and broke his hip. Also, I spent that night dreaming of buying an apartment for myself and even bought a trinket for the day I finally move in.

On Wednesday we kicked off Day 1 for the implementation of this software here at the office, this project we’ve been working on for the past few months now and (good news) the world did not end then & there. When I got home around 9 or 9:30pm my mother called me up and told me it was her birthday and I’d totally forgotten it. A few minutes later, I was told by my roommates that they were leaving the place for good in 20 days- which gives me those same 20 days to leave for good as well- I knew it was coming, only I had no idea it would be so soon.

On Thursday morning my stomach’s trying to eat itself as I work my way down a Superman Returns mug filled with black coffee, going through King Features’ the Phantom daily newspaper strip, and thinking about a different time…

Three or four years before that, though, I was driving my girlfriend home and this song was on, the Pet Shop Boys singing an Elvis Presley song, and she told me the lyrics fit our then-present situation like a glove and quoted from it repeatedly, as if apologizing.
She asked me if I still loved her.
“I don’t know,” I said, “I guess I do.”
She thought about it for a minute and then said things had changed a lot that past year. I nodded in silence.

On Thursday morning, 2006 I’m thinking that building that perfect world in white inside my head will do me no good at all because in times like these, like this, when the world comes tumbling down upon your head you’re better off carrying strictly your own luggage around. Looking out for no one but yourself.
So do what you will, kid, just please do not come home with a girlfriend in ’06.

On Thursday morning, 2006 I’m half-wishing for someone, anyone, to fly down from the sky to save the planet and make things right again… But then I remember that this is the real world and people don’t get saved by other people- that people actually save their own asses when push comes to shove- and if there’s this one thing I’ve learned in these last few years is how to get by on my own.


Laying the foundation stone

See, I gotta do something about getting that apartment for myself.

Yesterday was that time of the month when I bring my stuff together and do figures. Each and every month, going for a few years now, and the answer is always the same, “Nope. Not today either.”
Then I see all those other guys with so much more luck than me, kids are what, barely shaving and suddenly having it so easy, driving the coolest cars, going to the coolest places with the coolest people, under the omnipresent aegis of daddy’s safety net; and me, I’m living in that dump downtown with say, three hundred people I barely know and working like an SOB, and that’s when I sigh and whisper something about life not being fair, and begin to lose heart.

So last night- I’d gone to the Shopping Center for dinner & people-watching as usual, and to do some reading at the food court- I stopped by the toy store and decided, what the hell, what I really need is a FOUNDATION STONE to mark where my dreams truly start.
So I bought this Superman kit thing which comes with this really cool soft plastic insignia, a life-size chest shield just like in the movie, with all those tiny-S’s etched on its surface (I gave the cape and the phony-chain that came along to the cleaning lady at the office, for her small son), and that’s my foundation stone, you know? Because I’ve always wanted to have a Superman crest on the outside of my bathroom’s door.
Like, to read “boy’s room”?

So all I need now is a bathroom door, and a bathroom, and an apartment per se. The Superman logo I already have… so kid, whatever comes your way now, you gotta remember never to lose heart, and you gotta chant it like a mantra:

Buddy don’t you lose heart… Buddy don’t you lose heart… Buddy don’t you lose heart… Buddy don’t you lose heart… Buddy don’t you lose heart… Buddy don’t you lose heart… Buddy don’t you lose heart… Buddy don’t you lose heart… Buddy don’t you lose heart… Buddy don’t you lose heart…

One day, kid, we’re gonna look back at this and it will all seem funny. We’re a day closer now.
Each day a day closer now…

Trust me on this one, and buddy don’t you dare to lose heart on me like that ever again willya. I need you to stand your ground and be a man for chrissakes so we can carve our place in the world- or etch it, just like all those tiny-S’s on Superman’s chest symbol up on your bathroom’s door, many years from now.


Reading list for Jul.06 (some miracle I actually found the time to read books last month!)

Title: How We Are Hungry
Author: Dave Eggers
Year: 2005
Publisher: No idea.
What: A collection of contemporary short stories by the same renowned author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, bordering somewhere between the existential and the tongue-in-cheek.
Comments: Some of the stories are truly great, for Dave Eggers is probably one of today’s hottest young writers, guy just surfs that hype y’know, but there’s also the problem that, once you get to know his previous stuff- AHWOSG and You Shall Know Your Velocity- you get to expect him never to drop the ball, never to lower the bar. This is not to say it’s a bad book or the tales are necessarily not that good, only that all in all, they’re not as great as Egger’s other stuff.
Still, recommended, especially for those people whom like You Shall Know… The character Hand, from that book, is featured in one of the tales.

Title: The Complete Maus
Author: Art Spiegelman
Year: 1996, collects Maus I (1986) and Maus II (1992)
Publisher: Don't know.
What: A Pulitzer Prize-winner graphic novel that is biographical and autobiographical at the same time; it tells the story of Art Spiegelman himself, the son of a Polish Concentration Camp survivor growing up in America after the war, and his father (the survivor himself) before, during and after the war. This is basically Anne Frank’s diary times a hundred, told in comic-book form, as an allegory where the Jews are mice (maus), the Nazis are cats, and so on.
Comments: I actually avoided this book for years because, well, because I’m a sh*thead and I actually thought, “I bet it’s one of those cases when the author’s trying too hard”… Only, he isn’t, because the damn book’s a work of genius and he actually nails down the atmosphere of the times just right, you can feel it in your bones, especially the parts set in the Nazi camp.
It’s the feel-bad book of your life, but it’s also a work that will leave you truly amazed. Once every 1,500 years somebody steps up to the challenge and proves that the comic book is an Art Form, and Maus is no exception to the rule.

Title: Cat’s Cradle
Author: Kurt Vonnegut
Year: 1963
Publisher: Clueless
What: It’s a mockup of an anti-war science fiction novel by master satirist Vonnegut, in which a writer/reporter finds himself in a series of odd events that lead him to a small island-nation in Central America, after the offspring of the true father of the Atom Bomb, three dysfunctional kids whom possess a terrible weapon called Ice-Nine, a chemical substance capable of freezing all the water in the world.
Comments: Vonnegut is not my favorite writer, but the more I read something out of his… the more I say, Vonnegut is Vonnegut. It’s a wonder that in an age like ours, with a guy like that, we still have wars! The book’s plot is basically the vehicle for the author’s message against the doomsday clock of the Cold War.
What attracted me the most in the book was the island’s fictional religion, called Bokononism, which is like halfway between Christianity and Zen Buddhism, and despite the sheer insanity of its aphorisms, one gets the weird feeling it could actually work in a world like ours…
Makes you think, and that’s what books are all about.

Title: Of Mice And Men
Author: John Steinbeck
Year: 1937
Publisher: Dunno.
What: A novella about two friends working their way Westwards through the Depression, out of farms, looking out for each other, until one of them (the big, tall one, strong and dumb as an ox) finds trouble in a ranch they’re working on.
Comments: I don’t know. Everybody and the kitchen sink say it’s one hell of a tale, but I guess its magic just didn’t work with me. Despite the sheer, obvious difference of length, it still reads way too much like a lightweight version of Steinbeck’s own The Grapes of Wrath… and you just can’t beat those Grapes now, can you?
(Of course Of Mice… actually predates The Grapes… for a couple of years, but the point is moot.)

Title: The Comics Journal Library 6: The Writers, book one
Author: Gary Groth (managing editor)
Year: 2006
Publisher: Forgot.
What: It’s collection of interviews from circa 1975-1985, with the period’s then-hottest comic book writers and editors, such as Lein Wein, Alan Moore, Gerry Conway, Steve Englehart, among many others.
Comments Now this is freakin’ gold, baby! Thank you soooo much!
Spread out before you is a time-capsule of an age when only Marvel and DC Comics ruled the comicdom landscape and their best writers- then truly gifted people- were only beginning to push the boundaries of a medium that was coming of age. Each interview is like an x-ray into the growing pains of the North-American comics scene, in which the so-called “second generation writers” (the first wave of fanboys-turned-writers) were getting past theirs 30s and seriously dreaming of manners to usher the funnybook beyond the then-shrinking men-in-tights market in order to reach wider genres and audiences.
It’s really fascinating because, if you think about it, it’s like they were all screaming in silence- like a sun waiting to go nova- Then all of a sudden, WHAMM!, you got stuff like Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns and The Killing Joke pouring out of the comics shops, and comics, mostly superhero comics, were never as good or as adult as they were during those mid-1980s years.



It happened the other evening at dinner when just like Siddhartha sitting under the Bodhi tree I had this sudden realization; I was eating this steak thing which came with a salad of cherry tomatoes and mustard sauce, and it suddenly dawned upon me as Johnny Hates Jazz hit the muzak:

I have been oddly attuned to pattern recognition these last few weeks, more than the usual, which in layman’s terms means that the statistics of everything has been shooting through the roof and everybody’s got a significant other in Canada or three.
It’s a thermometer to life itself, whenever you spread out your wings to see the world beyond your nest, quasi-synchronicity-ist events start piling up on your doormat.

Some weird month this July past, Jesus Christ. All of a sudden there were tons of C-130s flying in carrying friends, lovers and family alike, all plural, old and new, into my life, and everybody tweaked up the way I see the world a bit. There is this- I think it’s Chinese- Chinese proverb that says if you save a life, it’s yours forever, and I’m wondering if it could be used on a strictly conceptual level as well, meaning not saving a life per se but actually… well, not really changing it but more like… being a part of it? Integrating it?
What is the term I’m looking for here anyway? It’s the ahh… not connectivity but… the inter-connectiveness of everything?
Is there such a word?

Old man Proteus himself is the herald for the year’s second half, and that’s pretty much the rule of thumb to the way I do things. The first six or seven months, well, it’s the crescendo. It’s the ta-ta-ta-ta-ing of the percussion as the brass inhale and the strings twang.
Come July, August, those guys, it’s like standing on a rocky cliff by the sea under a stormy sky and trying to catch Proteus before he sees you: you plunge forward, he changes shape. He becomes a sea turtle, he becomes a bird, he becomes the sea itself, then flows away free from your grasp and the future lies untold.
…But it hits you like some damn brick wall anyway.

There’s that line from a Kurt Vonnegut novel and it goes like whenever somebody from this (fictional) religion is saying Busy, busy, busy it means the way the Universe is working on its own devices to our lives- something like that.
Well me I’m most certainly busy, busy, busy: I have this funny feeling that I have so much to do but I still don’t know exactly what that much really is.

Today is August 7th, 2006 and July hasn’t ended yet; I still have a movie to rent and a letter to write- then I’ll move on to August per se… then I’ll move on to life itself.
Proteus had forfeited the future; it’s ours if we can just take it.

(Incidentally speaking I think it’s past the time I got myself a girlfriend or something, what do you think?- Sister, will you spare me a place in your dream?)


Thinking of flying past strata after strata of clouds in order to catch a beam of light or two

The day after a bad hangover is kind of worse than the hangover per se: You feel better, sure, but you also feel like Superman depleted of his stores of sunlight.
I’m not really up for anything today, I think (yet), and there’s this awful taste lingering in my mouth.

I’m also coming up with a flu.

There’s gotta be somebody left to save my world tonight.



It’s not just that hey, since I had high-speed internet at the hotel I could hook up a connection with the notebook and fool around in the evenings, and once I decided to try that MSN Messenger which everybody uses during my very last night in town, coming home from this German bar, I stumbled upon my ex-girlfriend online, completely by chance, and it’d been two years since we’d last talked to each other, so we stayed chatting online about the good ol’days until past 3am, and it felt so good to remember the past with a lighter heart.

I guess it’s just that, simply put, once I got home from the trip Thursday night I hit the office first because I didn’t feel like hauling my luggage across town. Then they called me up and said since it was XXXXX’s last night in the country we should go out and have a blast, etc.

By having a blast I obviously mean not sleeping at all between Thu and Fri, and not only that but getting to work downright drunk on Friday morning (today), downright a mess… Let’s just say I just floored whatever feeble chances I had at scoring with the cute brunette whom shares the bus with me every day, and it’s a good thing I’d left my luggage at the office because there was a folded, neat clean shirt there and it was the very salvation of me.

Hey, being in the gutters like that, down & out at the office, it most certainly feels like being nineteen all over again- The difference being no classes.
--Well, scratch that last bit. Classes still, but this time I’m literally the teacher, how cool is that?
…It goes to show that what do you know about life, in the end… Teaching classes to interns and managers alike; it’s so cool. If I’d known teaching was this fun, I’d have done it before, like a zillion years before.

I have a headache right now, I have a stomachache, even my neck aches, I can’t keep even a single gulp of water down in my gut, and damn am I dazed or what-- and I have just realized I have spent more money in clothes these last 30 days than in books, for the first time in close to a century or three.

…It means it is happening right now, right? Like, the quickening? It was supposed to happen in two or three years in the future, only naaw; everything points out that’s it’s already begun.

So let’s make the most of it.