Tuesday, March 17, 2015
The first monstrous chunk I dislodged landed in the snow pack and looked a lot like Superman’s Fortress of Solitude. I told Max (the nine-year-old) to grab an action figure so I could take a picture. (Ex. 1). I returned to the roof to chip more.
Nina (the 14-year-old) saw me through the skylight and ran to get her mother. “He’s going to die,” she said. Sarah explained that the snow was five feet thick. I could, and probably would, fall off and survive.
Nina pointed to the ice sculpture I had position for better light. Right in my landing spot. Rock-hard, spear-tip ice. (Ex. 2)
“What a moron,” Sarah said as she returned to her business. Max and Nina sat staring through a window at the ice. Waiting for the whoosh, crunch and scream.
Which never came, I’m proud to say. Not despite the danger, but because of it. The spikes below made me better above. I think I’m going to start taking this approach with everything I do. Starting with my writing. If this piece is not well liked, I’m going to put a hole-punch to my left nostril.
There. That upped the ante. I’m going to put a shark in my pool before my next novel comes out.
Posted by Michael J. Martineck at 8:21 AM
Thursday, February 26, 2015
While I’d love to carry shark repellent, 300 feet of Kevlar line and a smoke bomb with me wherever I went. Sadly, my life requires a different set of tools: Chapstick, reading glasses, an iPhone and car keys. That last one is the straw the broke my pockets. My new car key is bigger than a Phaser 1. Starfleet Velcroed those things to a belt because they don’t fit in your freakin’ pockets. Again with the utility belt.
I’m thinking something tasteful. Black leather. Not some SWAT team web system. Something that almost looks like it belongs. For all the stuff that belongs.
Because I can’t carry a purse. I’ve had my eye on a Coach clutch for some time, but no. Captain Malcolm Reynolds, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Jacque Cousteau – they didn’t carry purses. Belts all the way. I’m starting my hunt now.
Posted by Michael J. Martineck at 7:53 AM
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Not all designated time periods are stupid. It’s good to draw attention to breast cancer, fire safety or black history. But being nice doesn’t need any press. It’s a default position. Putting a spotlight on it creates the opposite effect – it makes niceness look unusual. Special. Like we’re not nice all the time when most of us are – at least more than 50%, if you don’t count your time in the car.
Kill kindness day and its random acts week. Kill them so we can let kindness live.
Posted by Michael J. Martineck at 7:18 AM
Monday, February 2, 2015
Sport can create great stories, though. And this one has a moral. Cheaters win. Cheat often, without remorse and cheat whether you need to or not. Cheat for that feeling that you took something from someone else. That makes you feel extra clever. In end, to the winners go the spoils, or get spoiled, or simply spoil. Can’t remember. One of those is right.
I liked the commercial with the girls running like girls.
Posted by Michael J. Martineck at 8:10 AM
Thursday, January 22, 2015
Football is a game and a game is nothing but a set of rules. You have four tries to move a ball 10 yards. Move it one hundred yards and you get six points. The team with the most points wins. Rules. There is simply no game without them. That the rules are minor or frivolous or technical doesn’t matter. They are the structure. The purpose is not to get around the rules. The praise, if any is to be deserved, is from achieving despite the rules.
The National Football League doesn’t share this believe. The fine for tampering with game balls is $25 grand, which is like asking me for $3. To gain a little advantage in a playoff game I would’ve paid $6 up front. Maybe even $9.
The NFL is also dumb and short-sighted. Poor referees, criminals on the field, a disregard for the very make-up of the game – football is number one in America right now, but each degradation threatens that perch. If you don’t believe go ask someone at the boxing commission.
All of which is bad for America. Because a nation is nothing but a set of rules, too. You’ve got to respect the little rules if you don’t want a culture that ignores the big ones.
Posted by Michael J. Martineck at 7:22 AM
Thursday, January 8, 2015
I understand the Quran says those who insult Islam shall be seized and slain without mercy. (33:61) Aside from the fact that it was 1,000 years ago and the world was different – and skipping over the fact that these morons forgot to seize before the slaying – you’ve still got to define the insult. That is neither easy, nor full proof. Satire is both irreverent AND elevating. Any celebrity will tell you, you know you’ve made when you’re being made fun of.
What did the extremists accomplish? Killing, in the end, leaves you not with new converts, but new enemies. So it’s not a good growth strategy. As far as image goes, gunning down unarmed jokesters makes you look pathetic. “We have avenged the Prophet,” they shouted. What arrogance. To think Muhammad ever needed the help of these cowards.
They made hate out of people who made jokes.
Posted by Michael J. Martineck at 10:59 AM
Monday, December 22, 2014
Shelving a movie the government of North Korea doesn’t want anyone to see is not just stupid and cowardly – it’s a lost opportunity. If you want to lose $40 million, do it with style. Give The Interview away. Post it. Let everyone in the world see if for free, without any hard targets at your local Omniplex.
To quote the Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Give it away, give it away, give it away now.” Because, like David Bowie, “We can be heroes.”
Posted by Michael J. Martineck at 5:26 AM