My father died at age ninety-eight years and twenty-six days, after a decades-long struggle against the cruel wraiths of dementia. As of this writing, there is no winning that war, only enduring until the foregone defeat. He was the last surviving member of his family.

It’s a strange exercise to find words to describe a life that ought to be familiar. Except it isn’t, because all I have to go on are my experiences and a collection of data points. Like a shaman casting bones, we are desperate to read meaning into the handful of traces yet to be swept…

Creative Brain Always wants to play

The creative mind is a terrible thing. Those unburdened by it wish for it, because they are only exposed to final products. People want to be able to generate the product of a creative mind without the ickiness of the creative process. And that’s the easiest part.

The time between projects might be the least talked about struggle for a creative person. You can’t demand innovation and creativity of the brain just when you want it. The mind keeps going, whether or not you want it to. …

Eventually, everyone needs a Smuggler’s Cove

Tonight I became a whiskey smuggler.

Wait. Let’s back up for a minute.

I like whiskey. Maybe it’s the Irish and Scots in my not-very-distant heritage. Maybe I just like the directness of high-density alcohol. No prancing and pussyfooting around with low percentage drinks. If you want to feel the booze, then use real booze.

But I’m not a snob about it. Scotch tastes, not surprisingly, like smoked dirt. Snobs will sniff that “it’s an acquired taste” which is what all snobs say about nasty shit. Well, Graeme, I don’t want to acquire that taste.

I like Irish better, which…

Photo by Avel Chuklanov on Unsplash

(Originally published on

Hollywood is a blood-sucking creative vampire. It might seem immortal but, trust me, somebody out there right now has a holly stake and a mallet. They are contemplating driving it into the heart of the industry. And I’m going to sharpen that fucking stick for them.

Like most (normal) people, I feel like I’m stuck in an abusive relationship with the film industry in the U.S. It lies, takes my money, never gives me any say in what it does. It breaks my heart constantly. It talks shit about me. …

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Filmmaking is hard. No, that’s not quite right. It’s nearly impossible. “Movies aren’t made,” said Spielberg, “they are forced into existence.” Even a small, zero-budget, short films made with friends and family is a huge effort.

I know, I’ve made shitty short films. I have poured myself into my own projects, having expended massive efforts and my own resources, so when I criticize or make fun of Hollywood I am in no way denigrating the efforts of the people involved.

But too often the level of effort and the desire of the filmmakers is held up…

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Hello, class. Please take your seats quickly and quietly, we have a lot to cover. Today we will compare and contrast two very different types of performing artists.

The actor vs. the movie star.

In the specific, defending the movie star position we have Soft Cheese, I mean Brie Larson. Her upcoming film is Captain Marvel — please study the trailer at the link. Put your hands down, yes there will be a quiz.

If you take a wheel of brie and wrap it in a pie crust with strawberry preserves and then bake until golden…

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Most films made this century are boring as fuck.

I remember one weekend as a film student, back in the mid-90s, standing outside a multiplex agonizing over which movie to see. At least three of them were must-see and the budget simply wouldn’t allow for it.

Look at some of the titles from 1990: Ghost, Dances With Wolves, Pretty Woman, Hunt for Red October, Misery, Goodfellas, Edward Scissorhands, Quigley Down Under, The Lord of the Flies, Postcards from the Edge.

I have seen at least 80% of the top 100 films from that year. And yet…

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You may have heard about a little scrap last century between, oh, just all the major (and many minor) nations on the planet. The Pacific conference of the war dragged dozens upon dozens of islands into the conflict.

Local tribes would wake up to find one or the other of the most advanced industrial civilizations landing on their turf. Chunks of jungle were cleared so that flying metal boxes could bring treasure literally out of the blue.

Then one day, as suddenly as they arrived, the warring people left. Locals, lacking the foundational knowledge to comprehend…

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Remember when Steven Spielberg made movies you couldn’t wait to see? You’d be watching a trailer and it could be nothing but 30 seconds of a single black title card, no music, but if it said, “From Spielberg Coming this November” you would be excited. No clue what he was cooking up but by Christ it would be good.

And then something tragic happened.

Somebody (Amy Irving) started whispering in his ear, like one of Homer’s siren bitches from hell. “You could be important, Steven. You could have respect. Awards. Honors. Foundations. Use your talents to…

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Movie trailers have existed since Gorak finger-painted on a cave wall about his latest hunting adventure. The paintings made the clan want to hear the whole story, with dancing and sound effects and costumes.

I remember as a kid (don’t start with me!) sitting in a cavernous theater watching trailers that boggled my mind. How the hell could they fit all of that action into one movie?

I hate shitty movie trailers and am going to make you hate them, too! Fun for everyone, unless you make the shitty movie trailers. . . then maybe not…

S.K. Berit

SK Berit is a writer of fiction, non-fiction, creative non-fiction, semi-fiction, and quasi-fiction. Pretty much anything with the word fiction in it.

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