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SILENT GENERATION SPEAKS!

On my Millennial journey I was fortunate enough to recently speak to journalist and author Mary Daheim, whose Bed-And-Breakfast and Alpine Series have captured many mystery lover’s minds.

When I initially approach Mary to do an interview, she was with great humor and energy albeit a little hesitant, saying that she comes from The Silent Generation, therefore didn’t know what could contribute in terms of commentary on Millennials.

It waMary-Daheims then when I informed her, what really appeals to me is getting all takes and hearing from all people of various ages and generations to share in the conversation, which only fuels what Bottlerot is about, which is unity of the generation and beyond!
Sure enough (which I never doubted from her vibrant spirt) she contributed to the conversation and then some. We talked her generation, my generation, and her work in the process…

Did starting out as a journalist help inform your fiction and or writing?

Any kind of writing helps any other kind because a writer is always honing his/her craft. Working for a newspaper is a great discipline for a writer because there are deadlines and there are also space limitations, which means you have to give all the information but learn how to keep it brief and to the point.

 What would you say are some of the main differences between your generation and Generation Y or my generation of Millennials?

I can only answer that by observing my three children who are all Millennials or Gen Y. They were born between 1966 and 1980. The obvious difference is that they are very quick to adapt to new technology. I am not. I consider the computer/laptop as a fancy typewriter with pictures and some information I can use for research.

  In your opinion, does an Artists have any responsibility to society through their work?

The only responsibility that I have as a writer is to entertain my readers with my two mystery series. It was a bit different with my historical books. I did a ton of research and wanted to make the events, the settings and the real history as accurate as possible.

 What do you make out of our ever evolving technology? (iphones, laptops, etc.). 

 I don’t have an iPhone, I do have an older model cell, but I rarely use it. I’ve never been on good terms with technology. When I was working for the phone co years ago in PR they introduced computers. The first—and only—time I tried to use the computer I blew out the entire system at 1600 Bell Plaza. Nobody there ever asked me to use a computer again.

 What drew you to writing as a creative expression?

I started telling stores as soon as I learned to talk. Oddly enough, grown-ups seemed to be amused by then. I decided there might be a future in telling stories as soon as I learned to write. I wrote my first mystery when I was 11 or 12.

 From your debut Love’s Pirate to your Bed & Breakfast series, Romance and Mystery seem to be the mainstay in your work, what draws you to these genres? 

Romance novels never were my sort of thing. My first published book was originally written as a straight historical novel, but when I got an agent in New York, he told me the historical novels were out and romance was in. The solution, was to keep my original more or less intact and to add some sex scenes along the way. I wrote the first 85 pages of the B&B mystery on a whim. I was tired of writing historical romances (did 7 of them) and told my agent I wanted a change. He said NO, the money wasn’t in mystery, but in romance. On the sly, I managed to sneak those first 85 pages into an editor at Avon and was offered a 3-book contract two weeks later. Then I had to call my agent and tell him what I had done. After the first B&B book came out I heard from an editor I’d worked with earlier on who had now moved on to Ballantine/Random House. He wanted to know if I could write a second mystery series for him. I hadn’t thought about it, but suddenly I thought of the old abandoned logging town of Alpine where my parents and grandparents and other relatives had lived between 1916 and 1929 before the logging was finished and the town was shut down forever. The result of that series has been that Alpine is now on the state register of Historic Ghost Towns.

 For Millennials, if you could impart any piece of advice, perhaps something that has always served you well from when you were starting out, what would it be?

Never take on a job you don’t like. I never did. And for writers, I quote Hemingway: The art of writing is applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair. In other words, you can’t wait for inspiration.

I want to personally thank Mary and encourage you to check out her website.

 

New Path

Name: ChriscHRIS
Age: 29
Dream Job: Nurse
Current Job: Mail Clerk
Favorite Quote: “Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.” (Bruce Lee)
Overview: After dropping out of college and working odds jobs, Chris is currently underway to reenroll and pursue a certification in Nursing.
Future Ambitions: Aspiring EMT and Nurse.
Hope for the Generation: That we use our time wisely.
Promoting: Individuality!

the original happy girl

Name: Denisedds

Age: 28

Dream Job: Drummer in a Rock Band

Current Job: Social Worker

Favorite Quote: “You light the world with lots of chatter, you laugh and make your feelings matter, you sometimes stay hidden in your bed, you sometimes need to be spoon fed, whatever life you choose to lead, a wife, a doctor, a lover, or chief, you needn’t try to be so good, your life gets crowded with all the shoulds, so let loose and let your wild side heal, all your parts can be revealed, happy girls come in all shapes and sizes, you don’t need any compromises, for if you think you are fat or thin, smart or sexy, or content with in whatever girl you choose to be, in my book you’re right by me, nothing can be wrong in this life song all happy girls do be long.” – the original happy girl by Rokoko

Overview: After graduating in 2011 she obtained a Mater’s degree in social work while still continuing to work at DSW (retail store specializing in shoes) as she had previously through her college years. Denise got her License in March of 2012. From there she continued to work at the store and landed her first professional gig for a not-for-profit agency (outpatient mental health). However it was only 2 nights and 10 hours a week.  “I really wanted to work with kids so I took it,” she sites as her reason, though she quickly progressed to where she currently is today, a  full time position she started September, 2013, focusing intently on her clients and always striving to do better.

Future Ambitions: One day opening her own practice (while possibly doing  a part-time position from an agency). Family, and a nice house, with a porch of course.

Hope for the Generation: We become successful and progressed and break stereotypes that other Generations have created about us… and I hope that our generation continues to become open minded, positive, more tolerant, less violent.

Promoting: The Universe!

Why The Internet Doesn’t Suck

an essay by Laura Storch

internet

     It seems as if the large majority of the world is under the impression the internet is going to destroy us all. As if it is something humankind didn’t create. Although to be fair, it does seem to be larger than life these days, and growing in power. Generations that came before the millennial generation and did not grow up with the internet like millennials did, seem especially susceptible to paranoia and misuse. This is apparent in everything from the music industry’s inability and almost refusal to adapt to the changing listening landscape (such as streaming sites), to every time a politician or other prominent social figure forgets that hacking is a thing and sends something that they wouldn’t want public via email or social media , and are surprised when they are hacked and held accountable. That is not to say the younger generations don’t have their fair share of internet idiocy, but in general they have adapted to it on an almost evolutionary level since the internet grew up with us.

     I’m sure I’m not the only one who has heard a similar lecture from older relatives reflecting on “their day” as if nothing bad ever happened prior to 1980. And although I can accept the fact that the birth of the world wide web changed things, I just don’t always see that as a bad thing. For starters, I can’t help but think how much easier it could have made things for everyone from earlier civil rights and feminist activists to the punk movement of the 1970’s. I don’t see how it is wise for anyone to underestimate the power of a global forum where virtually anyone and everyone from around the world can connect. I find that overwhelmingly powerful, in the same way the sky or the ocean is bigger than us, the internet and its contents is as well.  It’s hard to fathom a world where one could not find a seemingly infinite stream of information. Especially as a student, it makes self-educating more possible than ever.  And anything that gives the power of knowledge to the people is something I can’t help but condone.

     That isn’t to say there aren’t some negative aspects to rise of the internet. The cliches of people who’s phones have become somewhat of an additional appendage, one that is essential for existence, isn’t completely inaccurate. The internet also can be a magnet for every loser with internet access to flood otherwise worthwhile content with negativity, ignorance, and propaganda. As social media rises it is crucial for culture and society to not see that as the only means for communication, but rather a meeting spot to further develop relationships of all kinds in a more personal way. In the grand scheme of things, the internet and social media are very new phenomena that have not been an essential part of life and culture for very long. Naturally, there is going to be an adaptation period that we might very well be experiencing right now. This is evidence in the misuse, misrepresentation, and constant debates involving all things technological. We see some of our art contemplate such philosophical questions as well. Shows such as the British show “Black Mirror” (brilliantly) depicts such paranoia in such a way that seems a little futuristic  yet just feasible enough that it makes the viewer think in such philosophical ways in terms of technology and how it could potentially impact our lives. To go back to my prior comparison of the vastness and infinite appearance of the ocean and the sky and now the internet, there’s one key difference. Humankind made the internet. Some see it as our baby, others as our Frankenstein, but one thing that can’t be denied from either side of the debate is the substantial potential the internet has for good. This is our creation, our super power, it’s just up to us to use our power for good.

All In Time

Name: Kerri Gilchrist                                                                    Kerri

Age: 28

Location: Brentwood, NY

Dream job: Astronomer

Current job: Cheesecake Factory

“I rent a one bedroom for an arm and a leg, work at a job where I need to make more, and am currently going to have to take on a second job just to make ends meet,” Kerri expresses frustrated, though accepting of his current situation.

“When I was a child I used to look up at the night sky, see the stars and the moon, and be completely moved by all of it. No matter how bad things got, I could always escape by looking up at that miraculous sky,” she makes note very emotionally. In the meatime however, she is currently staying focused as she hustles in her position as a cashier and on-call at her restaurant, a place she’s worked at for almost a decade. “The people are great and it really is like a second family to me,” she says when referring to her job.

She is working toward accomplishing  becoming an astronomer, owning a house, and one day starting a family. As she sees these things as being a source of wonderment but achievable nevertheless, like in her childhood, looking up at that miraculous sky. It’s only a matter of time, and with the optimism and hard work she clearly displays, it really is.

Always a bridesmaid, never a bride

08A294D82Name: Toniann Kennedy

Age: 29

Location: Coram, NY

Dream job: Oncologist

Current job: Assistant

“It’s always a struggle to live every day,” Toniann says from the dwellings of her miniscule apartment.

All things considered, that would definitely seem like the case for her, being the soul breadwinner for herself, fiance Brian (33)  and her two children, both of whom have learning disabilities.

Initially completing a one year program to become a medical assistant, she was hard pressed to actually find employment, and does not personally recommended it. “Go to school to get your nursing degree,” she urges others considering to take a similar course as she did, adding, “medical assistant is a hard thing because there really aren’t any jobs after.” However, her positive altitude still never waivers as she continues to push on. She has wanted to be an oncologist, working with cancer patients since her grandparents became stricken with the illness when she was a child, and took solace taking care of them, wishing to one day have her dream profession of being able to do the same.

“I’ve always loved helping people,” she says modestly. What’s interesting to note is the irony in being her job, allowing her to help patients but not in the hands on capacity as she’d like, staying at a distance as an assistant in an eye care center. Increasingly enough, with a heavy heart she states,”ever since I saw my grandparents suffer from cancer, I wanted to be able to make their dreams come true, but, as she seems so close to things that become so far away, when do her dreams become a reality?

The World Through My Eyes

eye

a personal essay by Chris Guzman 

The state in which we find our generation in today is a very ambiguous one. We find ourselves between a rock and a hard place when all our lives we’ve been told to go to schools that are less than adequate and have been for quite some time. We eventually further our education that’s too expensive, to earn a degree that leaves you at a losing position with an insurmountable debt (at least, depending on the degree), and the jobs that pay less than adequate money to effectively live a stable lifestyle, which is the burden we are left with once we graduate from these institutions. My personal experiences are not unlike what I’ve described above, and because I know better, I choose not to follow in with the whole trap that society has blindly accepted as the be all end all to life’s problems. I myself at 27 years old have been through a roller coaster of job search, job landing, of all kinds, from the physical, laborious jobs like moving, and stocking, to clerical office jobs, like mail and file clerk positions. I haven’t been able to hold these jobs for very long due to my ever-curious nature together with gauging which jobs are better suited for me in the long run and a few not-so-nice personalities. My motto is, what’s the point of living life if you can’t experience all that it has to offer?

To me it’s very important that I not be tied down to one path because there is so much unexplored territory that we constantly miss because we as a society are too into our careers and too encumbered by the stresses of life. This goes for my work life but I realize that I carry it over into my general life, as a life philosophy. I feel that society, especially in this country sees your career and associates that with power. Power is thought to last forever when we fail to realize that this power has been given to us through people in higher positions than us, and powers above them, and that they can be revoked, at any time for no reason. We buy big houses, big cars, big screen TV’s, basically shit we don’t need to keep up with the Joneses to prove to others how good we’ve got it. Yeah we’ve got plenty to show for all of our hard work we did in life, but I guarantee you, it’s all because someone in a higher position than us decided to give it to us and just as fast as they gave us that $50k or $60k job, they can take it away. It’s the illusion of power.

As soon as we come down from the euphoria of the “American Dream” or the life we’ve always wanted which is usually by a firing or lay-off, what does all of your “hard work” mean then? Why is it that you get 20k less at the new job you find than what you were making at the job you were laid-off from? People play with your worth, your monetary value. These are things I think about when I philosophize about American life and what it means to me as a young adult in my generation. I’ve also developed this perspective when I changed jobs very frequently and realized the frail reality of what it means to have a position that someone gives you because you have credentials they find valuable at the moment. In the end, when we’ve lost what we’ve worked for, experiences are all we have. People commit suicides over these losses. To me that resembles how closely some people can identify with their belongings and lifestyle. Who gives our experience value? We do, but that doesn’t pay the bills to afford our most basic needs lest we go back to our hunter/gatherer roots.

Tyler Durden in Fight Club had a point when he said “It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.” To me, that quote rings very true in general and especially when it comes to what it means to work for a seemingly secure position that affords you privileges that can be revoked at any time for any reason. What I’m saying with all this is that we have to live in a more reasonable way that doesn’t involve so much pressure on our very existence. Why is it that other economies can thrive with less money, but less stress, low to non-existent suicide and murder rates, lower tuition rates and we can’t? Eventually I myself will come up with my own conclusions to my own questions but they should only be the foundations for newer questions, but that is what I find exciting about life.

There is always something we can learn about our environment and why we are here on earth to do so. This is what I think about as a man in my generation, and I feel like it gives a very accurate picture as to what I feel should be the very issues that should be talked about more in the general public.

HYPERLINK INTO THE FUTURE…

PAUL LAFARGE, AUTHOR. ACADEMIC (RESPONSIBLE FOR INCORPORATING A HYPERLINK IN HIS NOVEL LUMINOUS AIRPLANES, WHICH TAKES THE READING EXPERIENCE TO A MULTIMEDIA EXPERIENCE) DISCUSSES HIS WORK, HIS GENERATION, AND THE FUTURE OF MILLENNIALS…


Paul-La-Farge

For your novel Luminous Airplanes, the immersive text or hyperlink was ingenious as a literary device. How did it initially occur? I think in the age of the Millennials, a more multimedia experience could definitely benefit us. In term of expanding the readership. How do you feel about this?

The idea to make an immersive text for Luminous Airplanes was always part of the project, beginning in the early 2000s. It came out of the work I was doing back then, as a web designer and a teacher of web design, and out of the widespread enthusiasm for Whatever 2.0, which I shared, though with reservations. Was the Web really going to transform our lives? Probably. Was it going to make them better? Perhaps… You can see that doubt in Luminous Airplanes, if you poke around. I’m not sure the project ever found its ideal form, but I’m glad to have made the experiment, and it taught me some things about what works and what doesn’t in non-linear storytelling. I hope it will be useful for other makers of online/multimedia stories also, as an example of what to do, or of what not to do.
I think that expanding the readership for fiction would be a wonderful thing. But perhaps “readership” will turn out to be the wrong word? Reading is a (mostly) solitary, silent experience, in which the page makes a demand on the reader’s imagination, but not (again, mostly) on their decision-making faculties. There’s no reason that digital narrative should replicate that experience exactly. There are a huge number of things one CAN do with digital media, and in terms of narrative, I think these are still the early days. What if it were possible to play a novel, the way one plays a video game? The possibilities might be quite different: instead of being able to build things, collect weapons, and kill enemies, imagine being able to go deeper into the story, to interact with characters on varying levels, being able to explore parts of the story that interest you, and maybe not explore parts that don’t. But you’d have a similar sense of making decisions about your path through the story, and being able to influence its outcome. You’d be creating a playership for fiction.

Throughout your work, I keep coming across a theme of DISAPPEARANCE (e.g. Frank’s parents’ in The Artist of The Missing, Charlie in The Night Ocean) and OPEN CREATION (Like The strong presents Lovecraft plays in The Night Ocean or the painter and Frank Himself in The Artist of The Missing. Not to mention Haussmann in Haussmann or the Distinction, being a sole creator and destroyer and the story setting around the repercussions of such a duality). I mean the examples are numerous.  Does this derive from a conscious effort or the stories just unfold how they do?  I feel there’s more at play here, subconsciously maybe?

My therapist would probably be able to answer this one better than I can. But: I’m definitely interested in disappearance. When a person vanishes, you have a mystery: where did they go, and why? And you also have the potential for activity: Can I find them, or get them back? Those elements can all drive a story forward. So possibly I am a lazy writer? As for the question about open creation, I think again it’s attributable to laziness. I spend nearly all my time making things, and I’m fascinated by that experience and its pitfalls and its complexities. Writing about characters who are making things gives me a way to think about what I’m doing.
Although in The Night Ocean, the story is a little different: I wanted to write about Lovecraft and Barlow and their circle, because they’re terrifically weird people, who also happen to be writers. My interest in them isn’t (for the most part) in them as writers, or in their writing — it’s in their emotional lives and the stupid things they do at parties and so on. The same is true for Haussmann, I think: that book started with an experience of Paris, and the question of what kind of person would have demolished big tracts of this beautiful city, and why, emerged as a function of my being in love with the city. In that sense you could say I’m just curious about causes.

Where do you feel the form of communication in terms of relaying artistic expression will evolve into?

See above, I guess. I think there’s also a question of what will be expressed. Novels are great at representing subjectivity: they can put you in a person’s head, and make you party to that person’s private thoughts. Which makes sense, because the novel came into being right around the time that people started to have privacy, and to have the leisure time to have a developed inner life. The people who read novels weren’t busy working or starving or fighting all the time. So what happens if our ideas about privacy and private time and private thoughts change? What if solitude stops being a luxury (finally, I can afford to be alone!) and becomes a handicap? What if we stop caring about private thoughts, and care about collaborations, or followers, or some new thing which I as an old person have difficulty imagining? Possibly our experience of being people will change — indeed, I think it’s already changing — and so what artists express will change also. And at that point the form of communication will change to fit the new content.

 

As a GenXer yourself, was there any pieces of literature you felt inspired by growing up, and any that relates today in regards to my generation of millennials?

There were so many works of literature that influenced me, growing up, that I’d have trouble identifying a single one as being the most important. And a lot of what I was reading in my teens and twenties wasn’t contemporary literature, either. I tore through Anna Karenina in high school, and it changed my life. I’m actually listening to it as an audiobook now — and it’s changing my life again. I got a lot out of Eugene Ionesco at a certain point. I got a lot out of Keats. I think the trick is to read widely. So many things that feel radically new are in fact radically old: some clever person has gone back and revived them.

Where would you say we have gone as a society, from a literary standpoint and in general in the form of what we digest, and where are we going, and how will that effect, either positively or otherwise for Millennials?

Again, see above. “Literature” is a historical entity; we haven’t always had it and we won’t necessarily have it forever. What we always do seem to have are stories, and engagements between the people who tell them and the people who receive them. The challenge for Millennials — of the 2000s or the 3000s — is to find stories that capture what’s true about their world, about your world. Don’t make books or paintings or companies by force of habit, i.e., by copying the last thing that worked. Kill your parents. Copy your grandparents, or your great-great-grandparents, up to a point. Observe everything closely and be honest about what you see. It’s a strategy that seems to work. At least it’s worked so far.

 

Anything you wanna promote?

Kindness. Generosity. Patience.
We want to thank Paul for his insight.
Check him out at his website!

REX PICKETT ROCKS OUT GENERATION CONVO

PICKET


REX PICKETT author, filmmaker, fellow artist, revealed underlying message in his work, openness of the generations, and bearing one’s own being

I feel in your novel Sideways, Miles is indicative of a passive figure who’s also self-serving in his own right while Jack is more of a dominant, impulsive force. Do you see a parallel from your generation?

There is no question that he is the classic Jungian introverted/thinking type and Jack is his polar opposite:  the extraverted/feeling type.  I don’t think about this when I’m writing, but I see it after the fact. There is no question that Jack is more of a force of nature. 

For me, as a writer, it’s:  opposites clash.  Opposites = conflict = drama = comedy = >> to resolution.  = a novel.SIDEWAYS WASTED

I guess I want to believe the characters are more timeless and not linked generationally, but there’s no question that a book/movie fixes them in a generation.  To me, Miles (me) doesn’t feel a part of any generation.  Yes, he’s bookish, yes he’s a writer and not a software coder or someone who is wedded to his cellphone, and yes he still believes in the transformative powers of art, but I feel those attributes are cross-generational.  Jack is clearly a type whom we all know.  He’s not superficial, but he seems that way.  He sees a positive in everything.  Or tries to.  Miles is a dyed-in-the-wool fatalist, but in his fatalism he sees a deeper, more profound, truth than Jack.  However, Miles desperately needs Jack to take him to the world and uplift his spirits, or else he will end up being a self-sabotaging troglodyte, forever unloved.  Jack needs Miles for the self-reflection that Miles’s superior intellect brings, that he, Jack, so sorely lacks.  They are two sides of the same coin, and though they are a product of their generation, I think the enduring, and endearing, quality of the movie is that we recognize these archetypes in any generation.

I see the wineries representing a bliss or a haven if you will. Almost metaphor for relaxation, where you going for this? Also, ironic how that same sampling of wine has a consumption aspect that plays into their bliss, again, done deliberate? By the end of the book, I’m feeling no matter what they’ve consumed, vis-à-vis; wine, women, adventure, it never amounts to much, as the characters themselves still aren’t satiated. Almost like you’re saying we’re never fulfilled no matter how much we take in which is why we just need to be content within ourselves?

WINERIESThere is no question that Miles — like me at the time — needs to get away.  He’s leaving with little or no money, but on a minor high:  his book has a chance at publication.  Everyone’s dream.  Jack is leaving on a high, too, because he’s got one last week of unadulterated freedom to be whomever he wants to be, drink, get down with his friend Miles, maybe get a dose of life lessons from his intellectual — and recently divorced! — friend.  Miles is too smart to think that wine, or a one-week trip, is going to be an anodyne to any of his life’s worries.  He may want to indulge, he may want to get away from the pressure cooker of his life — different in the book than in the movie, by the way — but his life is always there.  No amount of wine will make it go away, even if it appears at time that neither know the meaning of insatiate.  Nothing anyone does will ever prevent anyone from expunging the obvious:  we’re all going to die.  It doesn’t matter how much success you have, or whatever, that fate is inevitable.  And Miles is keenly aware of it.  Jack doesn’t think like that.  Miles wants to get away from his life.  And Jack needs an escape before he begins his life.”

In the end, the realization for both, as I see it, is that very few are fated for greatness, or to be remembered.  And, yet, I believe, this is an intrinsic desire in all human beings:  to be remembered.  To be immortalized.  And no amount of anything will ever get the vast majority there.  In the end, Sideways is the blur of a memory for both Miles and Jack, one they will reminisce about — and probably embellish — in years to come.  And there’s a sadness, too:  they’re parting, they’re going in different directions.  This sense of parting is more poignantly expressed in the book, as well as the play adaptation of my book, than in the movie.  Alexander Payne (the writer/director of Sideways) is not a sentimentalist, so he quieted that emotion in the movie, I felt.

Do you feel Jack and Miles’s journey is really a vacation, never an exploration?

What starts out as a vacation, and turns into a disaster of sorts, is really, as I wrote above, in retrospect, a great crimson blot on the trajectory of their lives.  And Jack gets this!  He says it in the book and the play.  Miles will one day write about it and make him and Jack famous, as I did.  But at the time, in the moment, it’s Jack who has this revelation.  In the movie, it’s in Jack’s wink to Miles at the wedding.  But, in the book/play it’s in dialogue, and eloquently expressed by Jack, even with his limited vocabulary.  To me, it is an unbelievable exploration of their whole beings, their entire souls.  They descend into the proverbial realm of Persephone and make it back, transformed.  The comedy maybe undercuts this quasi-hero’s journey and, if viewed only as a comedy, can seem trivial.  But, if it were just a comedy, and not a journey of the soul, the film would not have stood the test of time.  Okay, maybe they need the wine to disinter those deeper feelings — uninhibiting them, as it were, to get there — but it’s only in going to the dark side that they realize something greater.  In that sense it is way more than a vacation, but I never wanted to hammer anyone over the head with some ham-fisted, sausage-fingered message-mongering story.  In the end, to sell despair, and psychological growth through despair and desperation and deprivation, I needed the via regia of comedy.

I feel like at the heart of Sideways you’re conveying human connection, in various forms, was that the underlying statement? 

Of course, it’s always about human connection.  It’s always about the human to me.  I don’t write genre.  I’m only interested in the soul’s voice expressed in film or literature.  Or theater now.  It’s hard to do because you have to risk being personal.  And that offends some people.  Or makes them uncomfortable.  It’s risky to go there.  But, I’m unafraid.  And when I wrote Sideways I had absolutely nothing to lose. 
miles and jack
The real hard part is to find your voice and then those words to express.  Many people are great writers when they’re writing in their head.  But, when they sit down at a desk to put it down they realize the story that was only moments ago was streaming out of them is now landlocked in their lack of a craft to express it.  That’s the hard work part.  The dream is easy.

Was the Sideways trilogy a conscious work against the backdrop of the society you know and the culture you live in?

I take from real life, from the era I’m writing in, and then I fictionalize for my narrative needs.  If that answers your question.  It’s not so much about where society is at.  It’s where Miles is at. Writing is not an avocation; it’s a life.  If you aren’t prepared to give it your life, then you’ll probably never make it.

Life is not a meritocracy.  Sadly, with wealth inequality, nepotism — which is rampant in Hollywood — not everyone has the same shot.  I hate it when people say that if you work harder than others, or you’re more talented, that you’ll find a way to make it.  Bullshit.  I’ve seen so many people who were mediocre talents who went on to have great careers because they got more than one chance.  I’m not going to name the names, but everyone knows them.  There’s no question that desire and the need to want to say something, as opposed to people who have the need to say something so they can live the lifestyle, will get you further than not having any talent, but there’s no question that having people believe in you is important.

People often will say to me that I must live a charmed life.  To which I always reply:  You wouldn’t want to live the life I’ve lived in order to live the ostensibly charmed life I’m currently living.

If you want to write you have to read, read, and read.  And write.  I’m of the school that you should just vomit it out and fix it in revisions.  I’m also of the belief that you should have the story adumbrated in your head all the way to the end — yes, all the way to the end — before you begin.  2017 Nobel laureate Kazuo Ishiguro wrote his legacy work The Remains of the Day in 4 weeks!!  Sure, he spent half a year researching and ideating it, but he wrote the book in 4 weeks.  He’s my hero.  But, everyone’s process is different.

Furthermore, do you feel an Artist has a duty to the world in which they occupy or only to themselves?

This is a very deep question.  Well, if you’re a published writer you’re going to be judged — presumably — for all time — because your work’s in print.  Artists — the good ones — don’t ask for a lot from the world.  They’re not in high demand.  True artists.  Most people I meet who want to be “artists,” really just want to live the lifestyle — agent, high-level meetings … they want all the superficial, materialistic trappings of the life, and don’t want to do the hard work, suffer — like Miles — the rejections, the hardships, the abandonment of family and friends when you persevere and they’ve given up on you, as they inevitably do.  So, first, you have a responsibility for your own welfare, I guess, but you would be inhuman if you didn’t believe that your art could move somebody in the world that maybe helped them see their own predicament in it in a brighter, more brilliant light.  My greatest moments aren’t when I get a royalty check.  They’re when somebody writes me and says how much my work has moved them.  So, I don’t think the artist has a duty, per se, to the world, but they do have a duty, I believe, to be honest to their characters, to their story.  But, it’s harder and harder in this sell-out world of sensationalist garbage.

Finally, my generation of Millennials are up against a lot, no doubt, what would you offer in terms of us gaining footing in the world, in general?

Well, gosh, I’m a pessimist.  I see the world going to hell.  That’s why I never had children.  I didn’t want to bring them into this world.  And, now, it’s even worse.  Obviously, everyone comes from a different standing in life.  If you’re born in the upper economic quintile you have boundless opportunities, and you’ll get numerous chances to fail and get it right — and that’s not fair! — but that doesn’t mean you won’t end up a drug addict or, more likely, a feckless loser.  And if you’re born in the middle or lower quintiles it’s going to be a more difficult journey, alas.   Especially with this current reactionary administration that is polarizing the wealth to the appalling point where America is fast approaching becoming a banana republic.
 
On a sunnier note, I would advise:  for me, I truly believe that 4-5 years in college — even if college isn’t providing you what you need in the future and might saddle you with loans (something I didn’t have to worry about) — really exposes you to so much in the world.  And if you’re fortunate enough to get scholarships or your parents have saved to pay for you, then it’s a great time to play in the sandbox and discover who you want to maybe be/become.  My years at UCSD were some of the greatest in my life.  I know that sounds like conservative advice, but that time in college might revolutionize you in a way that real life won’t.
 
Be careful who you listen to.  If you have talent, be on the qui vive for those who are hanging around in the shadows waiting to take advantage of you.
 
Try not to saddle yourself with too much burden:  children, debt, etc.  That way you can hopefully avoid soul-destroying jobs that founder your ambitions on the shoals of despair and depression.
 
Call me old-fashioned, but really I’m not a Luddite.  I was one of the first to adopt technology and went right to a computer when they came out.  However … however … nothing replaces what reading — reading great books — does for the mind.  If reading were a superannuated endeavor, or great writing had been replaced by another means to grow cerebrally, I would be the first to embrace it.   But, I haven’t found that to be the case.  To me — a guy who spends too much time on the Internet — reading saved me.  I took two gap quarters at UCSD and read the entire Collected Works of C.G. Jung.  20 volumes!  Took me six months.  I was 19.  No TV, no Internet, no Roku.  Just me and those books.  And it wasn’t always easy.  But, in the end, it was a transformative experience.  
 
Think about, in your youth, all the thousands of hours you wasted on the Internet, and how those wasted hours bought you so little in the development of your mind, your aesthetic sensibility, your social skills, and worse, and how you’re never going to get them back.  Think of all the hours wasted on Snapchat and playing stupid video games.  What did it buy you … as it enriched others who addicted you so they could live on an island and retire at 30? Don’t have children.  When they’re adults, owing to inexorable ecological and socio-political catastrophes, they’ll be the prey of rats the size of Golden Retrievers ravening the scorched planet for the last vestiges of humankind.
 
“The Internet is a dark road to infinity potholed with links.  Just as the tobacco industry did everything they could to keep your addicted to their horrible product — ditto for the sugar industry; Big Pharma — remember, Apple, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc, only want one thing from you:  your endless, mindless engagement.  They see your brain as an ATM machine, the same way Big Pharma does, Big Sugar, the medical professions.  Your mind, your body, is the last frontier of exploitative, colonialist capitalism.  I hope to God your generation understands that you are being conned by this technology.  And that comes from someone writing this on a MBP in an email browser.  I hope to God your generation realizes that they control their minds and their bodies and not these venal capitalistic interests, driven by insanely powerful computers, competing for you very soul.  Resist.”

 Rex Pickett is currently writing The Archivist, a novel for Blackstone Publishing.  And he will soon be working on the libretto for Sideways the musical comedy with composer Anthony Adams
Wise words to reflect on.
Thank you, Rex 

ELITISM RULES OUT FOR ROTTERS!

Amongst THE BOTTLE ROTTERS WE FIND ONE OF THE MOST HARD WORKING GENERATIONS where elitism is foreign and hard work is ever present. Apparent as the results are inreserved!

81% have donated money, goods or services, (ACCORDING TO Walden University and Harris Interactive). Considering the sparse job market and fact that they are the most in debt generation in modern age it is inspiring how they give very generously. 

Outdoing Generation X in the largest amount of contributors in the American workforce. (Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.)

FACINGTHE STRUGGLE OF A STILL SUFFERING, STAGNANT ECONOMY, THEIR VAST PLANS NEVERTHELESS ARE UNDERWAY TO BRANCH OUT INDEPENDENTLY.

Unfortunately the days of living free is a hurdle, as 18- to 34-year olds are considerate to be homeward found (pew reports). No doubt in large part to the student debt crisis in what Bloomberg reports $1 trillion in student debt.

The journey ahead is fierce but the movement never stops for a millennials/bottle rotter!

2017 Game Changer

coop


Name: Christopher Coop
Age: 28
Location: Lived all over island, but graduated in Centereach
Favorite Quote: “The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership” – Harvey Firestone
Overview: Graduated with an MBA in 2010, gave my life to The Lord a year later. Attempting to figure out God’s plan
Current Job: Ops Manager
Dream Job: Serving The Lord in all ways
Hope for the generation: That people would turn away from idolatry and lean toward The Lord
Promoting: The World race. God can use you to build his Kingdom for 11 months

WOMANHOOD STILL STANDS

Majorie, a bottle rotter who is doing her part in the all out defense and offense against Women’s liberation, talked to us about Feminism in the age of the bottle rotter…
  womanhood3
Do you consider yourself a feminist or a female empowered promoter?
There is no doubt that I am defiantly a feminist to my core. I always say that Bikini Kill’s ‘Rebel Grrrl’ song (which was released a few days before my birthday) was on the radio in the delivery room when I was born. Also, being an Aries I have this strong desire to lead, advocate for change and fight for the underdog – which in society would be women’s rights. Growing up I was raised in a family full of strong and successful women which shaped my views on feminism early on. The women in my family embraced feminism and so did the men. There was never a divide,  and this is what I want to advocate through my blog Womanhood. In general, I feel that you cannot be an empowered promoter for women and women’s issues unless you believe in some aspects of feminism. They go hand in hand. Even if you do not consider yourself a feminist, every woman in modern society today has benefited from feminism in some way. 
 
It seems like woman’s rights within the past few years have really taken a  surge,  recent political debates, policies,  the media with controversial statements about  woman. What do you attribute the recent rise of it coming more to the forefront?
 

The internet and social media. Theres no question that without these two attributes, women’s rights and the re-emergence of feminism in this century would even be relevant. I wish the past generations of feminism had the technology that we do today. If so we probably would have solved so many of these revolving issues decades ago. With social media more people are becoming aware of political debates and female empowerment. Before the internet you had to find ways to advocate for change, study courses, or use snail mail to connect with communities that shared your same views. Today, with the internet it just takes a second to be informed and to be connected to similar minded individuals through our phones and through social media networks. This makes for a more aware and informed society that can move change forward. The generations before us – who dominate politics today, are more rigid in their thinking  and I believe they are hurting women’s advancement. I look forward in the future when my generation is old enough to occupy the government, because I feel that a fresh perspective will keep women’s rights in focus, however, that day has yet to come. 
that was womanI also feel that the younger generation is more liberal minded which helps the feminist movement of today. High profile young feminist like Emma Watson are bringing a positive light to the movement and inspiring a new generation of men and women to fight for equality. Feminism supports the modern lives that women lead, and this adds relevance to a women’s reproductive health and power in the media. Another factor would be that the majority of families today in America are multi-cultural and with this merge of diversity and beliefs systems, make for a more open minded and accepted society. 
 
Do you feel the upcoming presidential race is critical for the importance of where we go as a nation, in terms of woman’s advancement?

 

Defiantly, I feel that either the next president will move women’s rights forward or things will stay the same. Having a female president will of course change the lives of women and bring our rights to the forefront of political importance for the first time in history. Women’s rights are always on the back burner, because men have the patriarchy to support them, women do not. Men in politics have other agendas on their mind and if its women’s rights its far down the page as level of importance. This is why nothing has really changed or been done on a major level in women’s rights since the second wave of feminism in the sixties. It’s going to take a woman president or more women in positions of power who fully understand the complexities of womanhood to move feminism forward in this country. You cannot make the right decision without a women at the table. 
womanhood strong
There are major holes in our political systems regarding women’s rights, but there is no huge sense of urgency to fix them. The lives of women have not gotten better over time – things have been coasting along and we have been complacent. I think its time to shake things up. I also feel that a woman as president would inspire young women and girls to fight for positions of power. Its hard to image being something you can not see. When you have more examples of women in high leadership positions it will inspire more women and girls to set higher goals for their future.
 
How was Womanhood, your beautifully constructed, woman empowerment website, initially conceived and what do you have in store in terms of developing it for the future?
My initial inspiration to start Womanhood was from my love of magazines and learning about the world around me. I am a hardcore magazine hoarder and from a young age I have subscribed to magazines, read them cover to cover, highlighted, wrote in the margins and even worshiped some publications like you would the bible. However, getting older I noticed the magazines have more of a man’s ideal of sexy or interest to them – which happens because men control the majority of the media industry. When reading magazines I’ve notched how they can at times be very destructive towards women’s image and self esteem, including my own growing up. I wanted to create a platform that showcased women who were following the beat of their own drum and doing really rad things in the world, not just for men’s attention. Womanhood showcases woman and girls who are beyond superficiality and are real. Another reason I started Womanhood was because my personal heroes have never been mainstream musicians or actresses. Most of women I see on magazines today are not empowering women to embrace themselves, the women are their to sell a product not to be authentic to the viewer. Also, reading so many magazines I was tired of seeing the same faces year after year being featured and their story never really changed. I wanted to read about high art, influential stories about the world, and my personal heroes like Kathleen Hanna and Tracy Emin. I wanted to read more about women who were like me, not just an actress or singer. I never really could see or read about my idols and I feel like young girls should be admiring more independent artist, because they portray uniqueness and are more so creating for the sake of art not an image or profit. Womanhood was a way for me to showcase the women who I believed were really showcasing true girl power in a positive way. Of course there are many women I admire that are showcasing great examples of feminism that have mainstream careers, but I am more interested in highlighting independent artist and musicians, because they are telling a different story, one we haven’t really heard yet and need to hear more of.Also, my feminist upbringing was a major factor as well. I wanted a platform about women for women. A place where women and girls could go to and find a similar connection and a safe place, or a new woman or friend they could be inspired by. I of course welcome men to Womanhood with open arms so they can embrace feminism too. The idea of having a sort of like riot grrrl themed site for women made sense to me. I feel like if the riot grrrl movement had the internet then they would have blogged instead of pen paled.  So there are defiantly some influences of the 90s riot grrrl movement in Womanhood, because I am totally a 90s girl. My future dream for Womanhood is to literally live the Carrie Bradshaw Sex and the City life and write for a living. My goals next year is to grow my audience, have more writers, create and self- publish a zine, interview more bands and rad feminist, and launch the e-commace site. Short term goals are to get major funding so Womanhood can become an online magazine and I can have office space in the city with a few full time writers, then finally the end goal is to have a print magazine. 
How old are you and what are you currently doing, school, work,  etc.?
I am in my early twenties, a women never revels her true age. I am a fashion designer in New York City and freelance writer on the side.
How did you start to get personally invested in woman issues and rights in really wanting to be a pillar for advancement?  
 Growing up in a family of strong women defiantly helped. However, my grandma who is my best friend inspired me to embrace feminism head on. My grandma for as long as I can remember has a businesses where she portrays women in history. By traveling with her and helping her during her portrayals I learned about the history of feminism and it started growing into a passion for me to help other women. Also I am biracial my father is African American and my mother is of European decent so I also have been faced with racial issues growing up – which also are withstanding in feminism. Being a young woman of color I am subjected to a lot of racial discrepancies as well as issues facing female rights and so I want to advocate for a better world for women of all ethnicities and backgrounds. 
 
Any advice for people who want to get proactive in woman issues?

I feel that if you want to get proactive in women’s issues you can start by volunteering  or joining an organization like NOW (National Organization for Woman). I would research what opportunities are in your area. Or in general just reading or advocating for change in your passions and social institutions. It starts with what you know and what you like. A great way for me to learn more about feminism was from the music I listened to which opened me up to different art and perspectives.

Where do you see woman’s rights going, as it appears to have this almost ironic trajectory, a one big step forward then two small steps back approach, being we seem to revisit issues from years back that we appeared to have already settled and or accepted? I feel that with social media and the internet women’s rights will continue to be relevant and stay in the publics eye. I feel like the waves of feminism before always phased out and then re-emerged every 20 years because there was no instant gratification or consistancy of being witness to women’s issues. Social media is making it easier for feminism to have exposure and you cannot go on Facebook or Twitter now without witnessing some article about feminism, tweet, or debate, which is great for the movement. More women will and need to be in positions of power so real change can happen in this country, its time for a new perspective and I feel like women will be the new leaders.  Women haven’t really used their full voices yet in politics, they are just getting started.  The internet is feminism’s voice and this voice is being heard all over the world and changing the conversation of power. So my hope is that with a constant awareness and appreciation for feminism it will inspire young women and girls to continue to fight for empowerment, because no one else will do it for us if we do not maintain the movement.  Lastly, I just want to declare that Feminism is cool and shows that you are intelligent. When you are a feminist it shows that you have a high sense of worth and value others. More women will embrace feminism as a means to create more power and independence in this world. Women are not a silent sex, we may have been pushed down and silenced before, but we have found our voices and we are using them
Feminism can no longer be silenced, its here to stay for good, and WomanhoodNow will be sure of it. 

womanhood2 peaveCheck out their websitewww.womanhoodnow.com
Also follow them on Twitter and Instagram!

SHEPARD SPEAKS OUT

asan interview by Louis Falcinelli

Adam Shepard, Author (Scratch Beginnings, One Year Lived) Public Speaker, and all around Cooool Dude, shares his thoughts on AMERICA, MILLEINAILS, and HIS OWN MESSAGE on improving where we are and where we’re currently going, as a GENERATION as well as a NATION in general.

 

When you set out to embark on this social experiment that became Scratch Beginnings you had stated initially that you didn’t know if it was a book, you just wanted to shed new light on what you felt was already confirmed, that of, The American Dream was still very much alive for anyone who wanted it, which had in subsequent years been more grimly portrayed, motivating your experiment in the first place. Do you believe since writing it that The American Dream has been more stifled or just as obtainable?

The American Dream is just as obtainable now as always. The American Dream is not a time period or a particular economy or good luck and bad luck. And it’s most certainly not a woe-is-me-in-these-circumstances scenario. The American Dream is an attitude that exists here, as it does in other free and democratic countries, that if you wake up in the morning and decide that you are going to kick your day in the ass, you can. And if you want to sleep until 11am, well, you can do that, too.

Out of the Great Depression emerged a great generation of workers and entrepreneurs and thinkers. And the same has been true since this country was founded as it was during our most recent recession, that the economy will always ebb and flow, but the attitude of the American Dream remains constant.

Do you feel it’s a particularly challenging time for Millennials as of now? If so, what can they do to utilize what’s available to them in terms of breaking through?

The challenge for Millennials now is to break through a sense of entitlement that has been ingrained in us from the compilation of our parents, our teachers, television, and social media. Society has dictated that we are special, or different from any other generation, and the fact is that we are not. Once we recognize that, we recognize that we have the capacity to be good or bad, lazy or hardworking, kind or mean, frugal or spendthrift, greedy or selfless. And once we recognize that capacity, we can recognize that Millennials have the power to break through and make a positive impact on this world. It’s up to us whether we want to exercise that power. Or sleep ’til 11am.

as2

In just the last decade we have seen a major shift in the country; politically, economically, socially, etc. Where do you see the vast, unique  landscape of America currently going?

If I knew that, I would be writing to you from one of my many homes, this one on Barbados, and I would shortly be boarding my private jet to go have dinner with my wife in Paris for the evening. I guess the excitement, though, and what keeps me getting up in the morning, is that we don’t know where it’s going. That what we have today could be gone tomorrow, and that is a very exciting challenge, and one that we can control with our effort and our spending habits and how we treat people.

Do I interest myself in political candidates and interest rates and who my friends are? Sure, but I only do so to the extent that I recognize there are things that I can and cannot change, and regardless of the swirl or calm around me, I’m going to keep plowing forward with the same conviction.

Technology, essentially for Millennials, seems to have even affected our sensibilities,  as no one has to deal with real conflict or engagement, when a majority of us are on our phones, on our computers, completely disengaged. How can we redirect this in a more positive fashion?

Take time to step away. It’s simple. Technology is a beneficial component of all of our lives, but it also has the dark side, and much like gambling or alcohol or hashish, it can be abused. So use it to your benefit for an hour or two (technology, not hashish), and then walk away and realize how beautiful it is to cuddle up and read a book, to meet a friend for coffee and dive into some heavy issues, to take a moment to engage a stranger with a smile or a nod or a wave.

When you give your lectures, what are some of the main focal points you try to instill amongst your audience to lend themselfs  to a more fulfilling way of life?

My talk isn’t so much centralized in seeking to help someone fulfill their life as much as it is to say, “Hey buddy. Life is tough. And awesome. And when you get kicked in the teeth, you either get back up or you lie there whimpering. And when you win, you either call and tell everybody how fantastic you are or you work to capitalize on that win.” as4

Dealing with failure, maintaining a positive attitude, setting goals, getting after it…every speaker’s messages–including mine–are commonplace but if they are wrapped around entertaining stories, they can be packaged in such a way that those messages become very real and relatable.

Can you tell us about shepardspeaks.com?

I have been fortunate over the last 8 years to travel the country addressing these very same issues with high school and college audiences around the country. I love it. Storytelling is what I do, and when I speak to an audience, and then I get an email that says that I touched someone in the audience, and inspired them to action, it makes my life a little bit more worthwhile than it already is.

Is there a main source toward where your inspiration lies in terms of your natural desire to explore the uncharted, like putting yourself in places you haven’t’ been, encounters you wouldn’t normally have, people you wouldn’t normally meet?

The inspiration comes from my parents, and it is the belief that experience trumps income.

In the middle of it all, a few years ago, I took a year to travel around the world. I volunteered in Central America, I worked on a cattle station in Australia, I rode elephants in Thailand, and I spent a couple of months traveling around Europe with my future in-laws. (Oh yeah, and I fought bulls.) And all along the way, as my eyes continued to widen, I gathered this sense that as long as we remain curious, it is incredible what we can learn about the world around us.

And even more exciting is how those teachings, while enriching our lives, allow us to then give back to the world in a very purposeful way.

Finally, What’s on the horizon for Adam, in what direction does your journey currently take you?

as3I just finished working on a second feature-length documentary (with a really skilled and passionate group of Millennials!), and now I have another really big project in my sights (that I can’t quite discuss at the moment).

I just moved to Orange County, California for my lovely wife Ivana to go to grad school, and we’re loving it out here.

 

Well, I wanna personally thank Adam, and know he’ll be fulfilled as he continues on his journey.

Sane Thoughts of a Mad Man

insane man

 

 

By. Izzy B. Rael

 

They say that insanity is the action of desired change, yet doing the doing nothing to actually change the current results. Well, I guess to some degree we are all insane. We wait and pray for new jobs, new spouses, and sometimes even a new life. We are human and with being human we are fickle at times. Not really understanding that our actions have an uncompromising consequence. We are creatures of habit, and even in the moments of our knowing disasters, we seemingly choose to blame the universe. Life in my opinion is about the deeds, not the amount of material items we can account for in a closet or a bank account. This ideology is not something new or profound. But I find that life is more about the people we impact. Money makes the world go around is a phrase that I have found to be completely idiotic. Money only has the value that we put on it. So, why don’t we put this same importance on people as we do on money? I believe that it is easier to love something that you do not have to give patience to or have to allow into the depths of our dark realities. Our dark realities really consist of our ability to lie to ourselves. We will lie to our lives about everything. From the people we love to the dreams we tell ourselves that we still desire to achieve. Love is about as insane of thing to lie to yourself about, yet we do it anyway.

            I remember telling my mother once that love changed, and she quickly replied, “love never changes but people’s perception of love changes.” I have seen marriages fail and relationship falter like the fall of Roman aqueducts after a few hundred years. The aqueducts were a great idea and were inventive for the day, and just like these relationships they collapsed. Not because they were not meant but it was like all great things, they age and the next invention improves on the last. We are blinded by our desire to fight our ability to look in the mirror and deal with the monsters in our inner being. Some of are afraid what we might find, and afraid once we find the monster are afraid what maybe told to us by this monster. We all have demons, so why do we judge others regarding their demands. I think it is the main-state of psychologist. We all have the ability see ours problems and can provide a detailed path of how to escape the issues, but that ability seems to escape us in our relationship issues. I guess, it’s like seeing a storm from miles away, you can tell those in the village how to get out, but the villages can only see the flooded areas. You cannot love someone else if you do not love who are at that moment. If you do not know what being loved feels like how can you show love to someone else. At that moment love is only a theory, a concept of ideas and it is not real. Can you watch a movie a alone or do you need the breathing of others to quite your thoughts. Wanting the best for yourself starts with the inner-self.

Personal Growth is something that we seem smirk at when one mentions it today. The statement “I want to find myself”, seems have an undercurrent that one is lost and does not no know they are or their place in the world. I seem to think the opposite, I think that it inner-being knowing that they are capable of more than what the world is offering them at that time. It knows there is a higher plane of existence in the physical that their inner-being is craving. Many old world religions and practices speak of it; it’s the connection of the physical and the spiritual. Or simple put, the avatar state from ‘The Last Airbender’. It’s a scary journey walking in the spiritual realm for the first time but fear is an illusion. It is what stops us from ascending to our true self. Some may need to travel, some may need to suffer (emotional, mentally), and some may never understand or experience the feeling all together. But I believe every human at sometime or another needs to ask the all-important question when he or she are alone, “What am I worth?” The next question is “what is my time worth?” Time is the only currency that cannot be replenished. ‘What are you worth?’ Every moment is not like the last, don’t allowing the world to make you believe differently. Carpe Diem!

– Until we speak again

COBAIN WARNED US

By Louis Falcinelli

“Load up on guns, bring your friends It’s fun to lose and to pretend. She’s over bored and self assured. Oh no, I know a dirty word.”

Those are the introductory lyrics to “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, off of Nirvana’s sophomore, acclaimed album, Nevermind, solidifying their stance as Grudge royalty, and propelling its frontman, Kurt Cobain, as its King.

CobainThe music video, reading like a f*ck you statement to young adult conformity, set in a rundown auditorium, where an almost zombify cheerleading squad, with classic high school stereotypes, preps, stoners, slackers, wastoids, among others, scattered throughout in the bleachers, and flashes of a withered janitor, perhaps hearing the sound of the music, which in turns ignites his own nostalgia for a younger time but now long behind him. The sentiment in the song of true distain for tainting our youth with phony conventions, rang true then as it does today.

Their Songs, deeper, darker, probing, with perhaps an emphasis on examination of youth culture. Their Style, plain, worn, carefree. Their Attitude, much like their style, while throwing it all out there to be heard. This struck a cord with the music psyche at the time, when an infusion for something different was very much needed, with the more conventional sounds of rock and roll, needing an interjection, for a different kinda sound, style, and attitude, and through Nirvana, they certainly got it.

Cobain, a solemn, somewhat even reserved, introspective man, piercing eyes, scruffy face, and long hair draped in his eyes was certainly probing for questions.

His own adolescence marred in early disillusionment, parents divorce, high school dropout, where a young Kurt struggled to find his place, seeking solace in the creation of those hard hitting sounds, that would become the impetus for his band, and a source of refuge for all he sought against and embraced in one cycle. It more than likely lent itself to not only the frustration of his own inner demons, tragically taking his own life in ’94 at only 27 (self inflected gunshot wound) but also spoke to that same generation he grew up in, known as GenXers.

For as Bleak as the band could get and the unfortunate demise of its leader, they posed questions, raised awareness, and above all, made us think, while at the same time delivering it to us in that aggressive sound, penetrating lyrics, aware, but smart enough to deliver it abrupt, in your face way, to emphasis their point, in the age of immediacy they knew to deliver it intensely and timely, to truly reach the masses of young people, speaking to their inner self, what was at their inner core, well, whatever, nevermind…

FACING DOWN THE GIANTS

By: Louis Falcinelli

Interviews for anyone can be quite nerve-racking, especially in today’s shaky economy, many-a-times you seem to be bobbing and weaving, when it comes across more like a force-field or interrogation than it does an actual interview.

So what is a bottle rotter to do?

interview

I can recall being at an interview, where I was so fine tuned, so perfectly prepped, I thought, there isn’t any question I can’t answer.

Q: What would you say are your strengths?

A: Efficiency. (I feel like this one covers it all.) To be efficient is to be on time, hardworking, and devoted.

Q: Where do you see yourself within the company?

A: Continuing to advance and progress. (They always love this one, cause it means you’re not going to flee.)

Then, the powerhouse question hit:

Q: What would you say are you weaknesses?

What?!?! Weaknesses? But I have no weaknesses, I thought. How can they ask such a question?! How do they expect me to answer this?!?!

Stumped, I quickly answered, something to the effect of ah… I… I would say, sometimes it’s hard for me to focus (inside voice: worst possible thing to say! cover!! quickly cover!!!) Not that I’m not focus, I can just sometimes I… um.. Too much of something can hinder someone’s ability to stay focused and not work as productive (inside voice: greeeattt! that just made it worse!)

They nodded and smiled, and needless to say, I didn’t get the job. It was after, as in…

during the ride home.. later on my bed, ponderingwaking up in cold sweats reliving it.. where I finally figured out what was going on.

I got it now! This was a trick question, a wild card that they throw into the mix  to see how well you fair. Obviously I hadn’t really faired. The whole point of the exercise was to be aware and ready, efficient, in the purest of forms, instead of just saying the word as a clever façade. It was to demonstrate it. I had learned a valuable lesson, something of “practicing what you preach,” and no that’s not just a Madonna song.

If given the opportunity to answer it again, I would combine what I had learned and build on it from the question, for instance, in the interview do over (if ever such an incredible thing existed) and that question came again:

Q: What would you say are you weaknesses?

Here would be my genuine answer:

A: I would say that sometimes, for all my strengths of being an efficient employee, I may overwork myself in the process, and need to take a moment, as to not lose track at the task at hand.

Blam! I aced it! I provided the essentials as to what I can offer as a good employee and in the process admitted that I am not a robot and may need a moment to recharge just so I can go full force again. Something any respectable employer can surely understand.

Unfortunately, there are no interview do overs, or life do overs at that. Instead, I have to take what I’ve leaned and apply it the next time. So, until then…

INTERNET FAMOUS!

By: Louis Falcinelli

You’ve heard the term, but what does it mean…

I was at a party and I made reference to this guy, around my age, late twenties,  who I had heard of from his “crazy antics” on the web. I brought this up to my cousin *whose always hip* and she identified him immediately.  “Oh ya, “he’s “internet famous,” she said without missing a beat.

“But what the f*ck is that?” I wondered.

“It’s like, you know, being known through the net. ”

Wow, I thought. I hadn’t heard the term. Of course, I knew of all those infamous viral videos of animals and people on youtube and whatnot, but an actual person having a label for it… when I searched my mind, I thought, yea, well this is definitely true.. but I needed to know more…

After doing some in-depth research (round 3 minutes) sure enough I had found it! On good ‘ol urban dictionary, which never disappoints:

“internet famous”

After some more digging around (1 extra minute this time) I found a list of names (that you may or may not have heard of), but thought they were worth sharing, being that they seem to fit the mold:

internet famous people

Enjoy! I know I did, well… sorta.

SELFIE STYLE

RE

What does your selfie say about you…

By: Louis Falcinelli

Selfie, a word recently admitted into the actual dictionary, (aka. the book of real words and stuff). The word is now as acceptable as a rachet hoe on a hot, sticky, sweaty summer’s day. But with everyone in selfie mode, how do you usually perceive your own? According to a 2013 British survey, 36 percent of bottle rotters (18-24) admitted they change their selfies before posting. Most of them retouch skin color (39 percent) or eye color (24 percent). 44 percent of those who edited their image said after changing one photo, they then edited every or most of the selfies they posted. I think anyone can relate to going filter mad when editing options are essentially endless.

MIRROR IMAGE, selfie devotees being used to seeing themselves in the mirror, might find it jarring that a 1977 study found that people preferred their mirror image to their real image. Imagine that? As in… not the mirror reflecting your own image into the lens which in turn captures you as well, so it’s not YOU YOU YOU from all avenues. Cites search engine journal, Selfie was officially added to OxfordDictinaries.com in August 2013. Rundown of facts:

  • The first time that Selfie was used was in 2004 on Flickr.
  • The word selfie in the English language has skyrocketed in use. It has increased by 17,000% since 2012.
  • Google searches indicates selfie began increasingly popular in late 2012

Selfies in today’s culture take on all different forms:

Group Selfie

Animal Seflie

Bathroom Selfie

Gym Selfie


But who are we to actually hold that camera phone up to our face to illuminate, attract, or frame in our direction? Are we content, insecure, or merely dealing with a culture that teaches, IT’S ALL ABOUT ME and nothing else matters. Well, one things for certain, when you’re bold enough to take your selfie, do it right this time, not too much, too soft, self style, which is just right.

COMMUNITY CARE

President Obama’s dream of free community college for all may actually be a reality

By: Louis Falcinelli

images

Rundown of requirements:

(cites white house blog)

  • What students have to do: Students must attend community college at least half-time, maintain a 2.5 GPA, and make steady progress toward completing their program.

What community colleges have to do: Community colleges will be expected to offer programs that are either 1) academic programs that fully transfer credits to local public four-year colleges and universities, or 2) occupational training programs with high graduation rates and lead to in-demand degrees and certificates. Community colleges must also adopt promising and evidence-based institutional reforms to improve student outcomes.

  • What the federal government has to do: Federal funding will cover three-quarters of the average cost of community college. Participating states will be expected to contribute the remaining funds necessary to eliminate the tuition for eligible students.

 

Currently this is a proposal, we will update with any additional details

AGE OF THE RAVE

LET’S GO CLUBBIN, Or rather… LET’S RAVE!

By: Louis Falcinelli

BRIGHT LIGHTS, HYPNOTIC MUSIC, OVERFLOWING DRINKS, AND ENERGY GALORE!

“Welcome!” The environment immediately greets, as many bottle rotters have finally reached the pinnacle of social engagement.

L0G2A5

It’s 10xs bigger than a club, with aspects of a lounge, sports bar, dive bar and hall, combining these aspects and bringing them to the next level, with everyone there to vibe as opposed to dance, to be lifted, instead of lax.

It’s a Rave.

“They’re fuckin’ awesome!” Fellow Raver, Kaitlin MacDowell, 21, says. But what is a Rave?

It has been described as a bond of closeness amongst people who congregate at them, that it’s so tight knit, many on the outside wonder what it is that has been so rapidly appealing among our generation. While there, no experience ever too fleeting, everyone thoroughly enjoying its offerings, having a deeper, more personal understanding, leading many to cite them as a “community of ravers,” people coming together for the sole purpose of engagement.

PEKCF“I think it has to be the scene itself. Everyone is so nice, and we’re all there to have a good time and let loose a little so you never have to worry about looking ridiculous, ” Kaitlin elaborates.

Not passive or having social hierarchy that many clubs or lounges emphasize. There is no need for materialistic items or statuses that people tend to use as their calling cards. Ravers build on the hype of the latest and best Dj/Dance music, transcending them to new heights, carefree emotions and substances (you can use your imagination). It fills the void or maybe it becomes part of it, however, raves have definitely struck a serious cord for fun in today’s world for any young person who may feel constricted, isolated or simply just want to get out there and rave, which is really another way of saying have fun. It has become an experience that young people devote themselves to when they make their outings.

One thing is for certain, It’s a new day and time for a night out on the town for a bottle rotter. It’s the day, the era, the age, to no longer just “club” but rather… to Rave!

MISMATCHED OR perfectly suited?

61C38E9

By: Louis Falcinelli

Dating for a bottle rotter isn’t always perfect, then again is any relationship? However, the saying “how it’s done today isn’t how it was done back in the day,” still yields true, but it does have a twist for the way we communicate within the technology we are exposed to; cell phones, dating aps, texting, among many other ways to facilitate a relationship, but is this a way to express oneself in terms of how you feel, and who you really are…

Variable of options to take into consideration:

  • Online Dating, making it much more accessible to meet people from all over the country.
  • Dating Online, almost the reverse of online dating, you’re not on a dating site but you’re on a social media website, enabling you to facilitate a relationship of your choice. Send them a request, write a private message, like a comment, leave a sentimental “private message” in hopes it will lay the groundwork for a relationship. Many do find this a rarity nowadays, with the rise in social media visibility, keeping it more relative to who you know.
  • Dating Apps, usually focused on the immediacy of meeting someone, with the start of a site like Hot or Not to the immediate rise of tinder.

LOVE which we know takes time to build a foundation on, may appear too accessible today, but it’s no wonder with rotters having it all at their fingertips, just a click of a button, a scroll of a mouse, a tap on a keypad, and they are instantly transported into the dating stratosphere, where the possibility of “LOVE” sold, seems more like it’s traded as a commodity with ad space right next to the picture of the one you wish to court, or a swipe which deems one individual from another worthy or unworthy based entirely off of physical attraction.

love

Have our hearts been fooled? Do we accept this as the new standard in how we love, how we court, and what a substantial relationship is built upon, or does it serve as just taking up time, filling up space, eliminating the void that remains to be there but hidden in the digital era of the dating pool… 

Has this new dating styled cause less style, tact, or basic class and replaced it with a lack of etiquette that does speak to this day in age for having little to no idea about courtship, being that their already conditioned to removal brought upon from that distance online, controlling the conversation from a text, email, messenger, or another digital replacement for genuine affection. I mean, does an emoticon really do it when it comes to romance…

RENTAL DAZE

By: Louis Falcinelli

Some time back, I was driving through a familiar area, and caught, out of the side of my eye,  a building, its lettering, faded, its color, worn, and its frame, essentially condemned. It had been a popular video store I had frequented in my youth, it was a Blockbuster. This shook me up, immediately transporting  me back into the store that was the cornerstone of my youth, renting movies. Any bottle rotter can surely remember the days of waiting for your parent or guardian to get home just so you could go out and “rent a video”. It was on par with a heavenly experience to any child, as it allowed them to get out of the house and get lost in a place that manufactured a way for them to get lost in a reality of their choosing. You didn’t rent movies, you rented dreams, ideas, possibilities, in general.

bbWalking through the front door of this place filled with a variety of movie candy and popcorn, allowing you to roam the many genres, each aisle might as well have been another world from the box covers alone,  laughing faces usually served as Comedy, frightening images or horrific expressions, Horror, space covers and or futuristic creatures, Sci-fi, and so on. It was an exploration or odyssey in its own right. Truly glorious.

rent

There were instances where your parental figure could use it as a bartering tool:

“Now if you’re good will go to the video store.”

Or a punishment:

“Cause you were bad we’re now not going to the video store!”

Other times when you invited a friend over or you went to their house, this would add to your hanging out, serving as a popular social event,  while still a preteen, and beyond. Late night rental sessions when you were old enough to drive, getting a few movies based on the most bizarre covers, some fast-food,  and you were set! What a night! But… When we grew, technology seemed  to get too advanced too quickly , and the days of no late fees and a buck a video, were no longer relevant, quickly replaced with an entire video store in a box. There was no more exploration, the odyssey had ended.

Now you either swipe a credit card and touch the screen for your movie of choice, or have it all  from the  comfort of your very own home, where your TV screen streams any movie, anytime, anywhere. Driving past this place, that nostalgia quickly rushed back, making me sad. Cause as fun  as I had, and memories I shared, I thought, my children, the next generation of children, will never know Blockbuster or the like, well, they may know about it, but never be able to truly know that indescribable feeling of what it was like to go into a store, which was more than a store, and  rent a movie, which was more than just renting one.

fairly unfair wage

By: Louis Falcinelli

“Would you like fries with that?”

a phrase uttered time and again from the supposedly deemed underclassman, underachiever, slacker, struggler, or youth, working at a part time and or half fasted, dead end job, is now becoming a reality for the bottle rotter fully formed with a degree, skill set, or opportunist, looking to better themselves.

Younger workers who enter the workforce in lower wage jobs will have a hard time catching up later in their careers (cites New York Federal Reserve, taking into account over 200 million pieces of earnings data from 1978 to 2010.)

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Some 58% of the jobs created during the recent economic recovery have been standard lower wage positions, like retail and food prep workers, (according to a 2012 report by the National Employment Law Project.) These low-wage jobs had a median hourly wage of $13.83 or less.

The rate of barely $14.00 or, more often than not substantially lower, make it a virtual impossibility to have any substantial independence, making millennials/bottle rotters stagnant in the advancement of their professional development, in trying to obtain a more decent position.

The jobs that were promised, hoped for, or needed, aren’t there right now, the ones that are there remain a grind to get into upper mobility within the social structure of all good “key holders” who are really weighing down bottle rotters, refusing to leave their coveted positions, due to a still recovering economy (they helped to put in the crapper), leaving that degree student, that educated opportunist, that hopeful one, waiting, as the John Mayer song says so brilliantly “…waiting on the world to change.”

CREDIT… where it’s definitely due?

 How bottle rotters live smart and get penalized for it

By: Louis Falcinelli

credit

In another example of how a stand has been taken amongst the younger generation.  At 63 percent, bottle rotters (ages 18 to 29) don’t have a credit card. (According to a survey commissioned by Bankrate and compiled by Princeton Survey Research Associates International.)

Bottle Rotters, 19 to 29 have around 1.5 credit cards on average, fewer than the 2 cards of Generation X borrowers (ages 30 to 46) and 2.7 cards of Baby Boomers (ages 47 to 65), (according to data provided by Experian, a credit reporting firm.) In addition, only 35 percent of adults 30 and above currently don’t have credit cards either… showing this trend being carried over to all those that precede the rotters.

On a conscious effort to be wary of the ways of their over indigent parents’ generation (baby boomers), with an economy they were in witness to exploding into their very wittle baby eyes, bottle rotters, now grown as young adults, are immune to the economic devastation done, and with financial debris scattered about for over a decade, they have made a valid action in restraint from the good ‘ol plastic. You think this would be commended, but instead, furthest thing from.

Through all this credit card withholding, or hardly using, has served to hurt their overall credit score by not giving into what they do not have an abundance of, (money). Leaving them with low credit, no credit, or unobtainable to posses one, simply because they didn’t want the “debt till death” tradition, honored since time immemorial, only now, seeing it as preventable by staying away from the card that loves to loan, that of which they do not want. However difficult the struggle, many currently remain committed to stay away from the hassles it incurs, interest rates, overdrawn fees, penalties, etc. adding to their already current disposition.

In a society where MORE is NOT LESS, because when you spend money you don’t have, it serves to advance lenders in thriving on your increased rates, principle balance, and any other additional, fine print charges you owe, all adding to suite the credit card companies, instead of your own interest (all pun intended).

 

TEXTMANIA

textBy: Louis Falcinelli

SINGLE WORDS,  EMOTICONS,  Oh… and other fun things for your brain to decipher

With the words used in the texting lexicon not exactly resembling the English language, the supposed side effects, unfortunate accidents, mishaps and promotion of social isolation, among  other possible out causes attributed to this new phenomena, known as texting, has many, previous generation no doubt  wondering, is texting really driving us mad?

As the technology of conversation only continues to develop, with the way we receive, relay and distribute,  making it more accessible to say much without really having to converse,  has a generation of bottle rotters  against the grain of what many perceive as madness.

Rundown of facts:

TWD (Texting While Driving) 1,600,000 accidents per year – National Safety Council 11 teen deaths everyday –  Institute for Hwy Safety Fatality Facts Nearly 24% of ALL car accidents.  (Approximate average) 44 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands ban text messaging for all drivers. (NCSL)

SIT (Socially Isolated Texter) Researchers at the University of Maryland studied 200 students after 24 hours of no texting or any media,  found many of them were basically experiencing withdrawal, anxiety, and difficulty functioning.

Hyper-texting, texting more than 120 times a day, can lead to an increased risk of smoking, drinking and drug use, physical violence and sexual activity (study released in 2010 by the American Public Health Association reported). With the rise in a new way we communicate, it’s both an exciting though unpredictable entrance into the main stage of communication, with the youth obviously  leading the way in this revolution.

Will it call for a mandate, moderator, or be given free rein, remains to be seen. What do you think or, WBU?

STUDENT LOANSOME Ride the wave to debt…

untitledBy: Louis Falcinelli

The stakes for wanting to be able to continue your education just got a little higher…

According to the U.S. Department of Education, the federal student loans have increased to over a trillion dollars, from 2007-2014, just a 7 year period!

It is in that time span that the median earning potential for a full time employed, approx 25 year old, has actually decreased, sites The U.S. Beau of Labor Statistics.
So this is to say that as the rise of debt continues to increase for students wanting higher education, the ability for their earning potential keep plummeting in the meanwhile.

Therefore, it should come to no surprise that the U.S. Department of Education reports that to the tune of 40%, roughly half the student debt, is not being paid back, and over 50% of borrowers are struggling to pay their loans on time, which doesn’t even factor in the actual loans, or the interest rates compounded on top of them, sinking a former student into the financial hole even more so.

When the costs have risen to such levels of almost nonsensicality while the earning potential continues to decline, making the education you are swimming in debt to afford more and more less valuable, serves as the ultimate irony, and a real cause for reform.