RUN THE JEWELS Last Night

I took my cousin Nacho to see Run the Jewels last night. He’s only here for a month so I figured I’d surprise him with a very American experience, a rap concert. Openers are rarely more than filler but Gangsta Boo and The Gaslamp Killer both made me a fan of their music. Gaslamp Killer especially. He made magic happen with his DJ booth. “My grandmother’s Syrian,” he said. “My grandfather’s Turkish. If it wasn’t for this government, I wouldn’t be here. We will survive this shit. This country was made by immigrants. Latinos and Latinas, African Americans, Chinese, Arabs, …

GO WATCH “MOONLIGHT”

Yesterday, I finally saw Moonlight with Fernanda and her CubaOne friends. The story is so important. Watch it at least once. So much depth and vulnerability to the people in the film. I promise it’s unlike anything you’ve seen before. It pushed me to make my work significant. Every one of us has a story to tell. Your life matters. Your perspective matters. Be yourself more. I know, it’s scary to be more honest about what you think and feel. But focus on being you, not being right. In the end, we’re just a collection of angles, of viewpoints. None …

Do Yourself a Favor and Read The Godfather

Even if you’ve seen the movies, you need to read The Godfather. I couldn’t put it down. Almost six hundred pages and I swallowed the whole thing in a week. As soon as you think the dust has settled, the author Mario Puzo throws something else at you. It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read, and there are significant differences between the book and the movie. So fast, complex, entertaining. I start editing my crime novel, Mad City, this week. Before I started, I wanted to learn from one of the best crime novels ever written. Please, give …

“They Live”: The Movie They Don’t Want You to See

My literature teacher, Jeffery Dearing, recommended this movie years ago and I’m glad I finally watched it. In “They Live,” the rich and powerful are part of an alien race dedicated to enslaving the human race through pop culture and consumerism, pretty much making it a documentary. I’m linking my favorite scene below. The Resistance makes sunglasses that expose the elite’s intentions. Roddy Piper looks at a billboard advertising a vacation to the Caribbean featuring a woman in a bikini. He puts on the glasses for the first time, and the billboard says MARRY AND REPRODUCE. He walks past a …

Read More in 2017

Please. Do it. Good stories find themselves into your everyday life, they inform your relationships, they stay with you. They shock you. There’s this book Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs that I read a year and a half ago. I’m rereading it because it stuck with me. The images, the scenarios, the people, the tone. It reads like a disjointed series of nightmares, drug delusions. It’s disgusting/violent/obscene you name it! But the sentences in there…this book changed what I thought writing could be. I’ll read some passages today on my Instagram Story so check it out. I wanted to …