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My fellow writers and friends/family,
I just needed to express this...peace to you all. We will survive this. To my brothers and sisters in NYC...we love you. God Bless America.
Quite frankly, today's bullshit, cowardly attack puts a lot of things in perspective. We're all a bunch of talented writers who come on here to complain about our various problems and seek advice. Guys, what we have aren't problems. What happened in NYC is a real problem. None of us should cry again about not making a semi-final round, because you could be crying about losing someone close. I'm blown away. I'll tell you this to it was kind of an eye-opener. We (me especially) watch films like Independence Day or Die Hard 3 and marvel at buildings exploding and think wow that's cool. You know what? When you see it for real...it's not so cool. I'm really sad about all this. As a former New Yorker I offer all my prayers to my brothas and sistas as well.
I popped in here a few hours ago, to sort of hide from the shock. I'm still in shock.
The husband of a pregnant woman I work with was on one of the flights going from Dulles to L.A. The plane that went down in PA, was evidently targeted for the county I work in. Fort Detrick or Camp David, it's speculated. Just about everything shut down. My office closed by noon.
With retaliation being addressed, someone's going to get bombed. I'm truly afraid we're headed toward a war here.
Who gives a shit about a damn script, or a conference, now?
I'm on the upper west side of NYC. Couldn't find my girlfriend for hours, and the phones were useless. She watched people leap to their deaths from 80 stories up from two blocks away before running.
I've got 2 friends who worked on the 104th floor of the WTC. No one's heard from them.
I consider myself a writer, but for once, I can find no words.
Yesterday was the worst day I've ever seen. Today, here I am safe, comfortable, and typing words into my computer while people in the World Trade Center ruble are buried alive and wondering if help will arrive before they die. The tragedy of all of this is really more than I can comprehend. But after the mourning, I intend to resume as normal as possible. The evil that we've seen is bent on occupying us with fear, anger, uncertainty, depression, etc. And while the sadness and anger I feel are unavoidable, I won't allow evil to manipulate me. There is still more good than evil in the world.
Maybe someday I will again be able to spout the bromides for tolerence and restraint but for now I just want our pound of flesh. A BIG pound. And until a better target shows it's head I'd like to start with that gap-toothed Palistinian crone who couldn't contain her glee before the CNN cameras yesterday!
First of all, my prayers go out to all those people and families of the injured and for those who have past. My heart goes out to all of them. Second, it is one thing to cheer for beating the United States in a game of sport, but to cheer and pass pasteries out for those who have died is just sickening. Whatever is to be done, it must be done thoroughly because I fear the children that were celebrating in those streets. If the problem is resolved now, we will still have a problem in the future with those children who have it in their minds to hate America. God Bless Us now and in the future.
This is going to be one hell of a case of widespread Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Hammer away folks. Hollywood is going to need light fare entertainment.
Easy on the conflict. Generous with the laughs. This is what we're needed for.
Just a thought --
In the darkest days of World War II, when the Japanese and the Germans seemed unstopable, Hollywood still produced movies. Why? Because we needed something, anything to get our minds off of the horrific battles and the brutality that seemed to engulf the world.
The entire entertainment industry still has a duty in dark times likes these.
To keep our nation's spirits up.
To keep hope alive....
People will need those comedies, they will want to be lost in an adventure film, they'll want to be sweeped up in a romance. They'll want to travel to a new world, if it's just only for 120 minutes.
They need to escape.
And WE are the artists who provide that escape.
I will soon finish a script that I know will not be made for a couple of years because of these circumstances. But --
I have a comedy script idea that I WILL write. My hope is that I can make people laugh and forget about the tragedy in their lives, if only for 120 minutes.
If you're sad, write about it. Angry as hell? Write about it.
Want to forget? -- write a story that has nothing to do with these events. Something that provides escape in YOUR mind.
But don't let those evil people take away your will to write.
Because that is what they want you to do.
What they want is to see us dead. Our ultimate response to the attack on Pearl Harbor left few doubts about this country's resolve to protect its shores. Our ultimate response to this attack must be equally devastating. Make no mistake, Afghanastan is a nation of outlaw factions, a safe haven for the most radical of terrorist cells. If any one of these groups were to come into possession of a nuclear weapon, they would not hesitate using it. I care not about men, women, and children who rejoice in the streets over the deaths of thousands of Americans. A nuclear arsenal serves as a deterent only when it is clearly demonstated that those in possession of that arsenal are not afraid to use it. It is time, once again, to strike fear into the hearts of those who would rise up against these United States. World opinion be dammed.
I'm with Melvin. And I wouldn't trade one more American life for a thousand Afganistans'--or whomever else proves to be our enemy.
I'm all for getting revenge on everyone responsible for the WTC tragedy and everyone who has sponsored or harbored the monsters.
Ultimate revenge, however, will be God's. The souls of the terrorists will be forever denied to be in the presence of God--and that, not bathtubs of fire--is Hell. The punishment that we might take out on the extremists can't even begin to compare to what they have damned themselves to.
This is my little refuge from the TV, if just for a moment. To hear from all of you lifts me just a bit as we all are thinking about the horrific deeds. My elderly father who is living with me is perhaps the best source of knowing "Both sides of the coin" being not only a WWII vet with 2 Distinguished Flying Crosses, but is a Russian Orthodox Priest. Even HE says to bomb 'em. ALL of them - or they will come back and KEEP coming back. And not to feel guilty, because sometimes we are all forced to do terrible things to keep even WORSE things from happening. Remember the victims - and KEEP remembering them. This way, we will all stay strong. God bless.
Today I ventured outside. I live on a resort island on the Jersey shore. All the summer residents have packed up and returned to their lives, leaving me and a few others to our peaceful and quiet off-season existence. I walked to the post office, then to the produce market and on to the fish market. What is normally an enjoyable solitude, today seemed eerie, almost ghostly. The postal clerks, the produce man and the fish monger all looked at me with the eyes of the dead. None of us spoke of what was on our minds. We didn't have to, and what was there to say? On my way home, I thought of what it must have been like at the start of WWII. I imagined the same ghostly quiet and and understood why so many men felt such a strong sense of duty to our country. I was too young for Vietnam and though only a boy, I was very much opposed to that war. But today, had there been a line, I would have eagerly signed on the dotted line. Returning home, I was warmly greeted by my cat who always delights in my trips to the fish market. I wished that I, like her, had no concept of the week's events, and stopping in front of a mirror, I wondered when my eyes too would return to life, and when we all could return to the living. I hope and pray that it is soon, very soon.
My Dad called me on Tuesday morning from Texas to wake me and tell me the news.
On Wednesday I called him again and said, "now I know how you felt on Dec. 7, 1941". I knew the criminals would be found out. Another website for filmmakers criticised me for knowing who they were. All is silent now that I was right. Doesn't take a rocket scientist. Real proof is on the way.
Today they found more terrorists who tried to board planes at La Guardia and in Boston. Hundreds of lives were saved by their arrests.
Thousands of Police, Firemen and volunteers are working around the clock...risking their lives in order to find more survivors. The heroism continues...and I am not surprised.
I could never live in New York. I'm too much a country boy. BUT, I LOVE NEW YORKERS. They are cut of such a tough cloth. God knows, I pray for them and consider them to be some of God's finest children.
I am an ex-American Airlines Flight Attendant. Getting into the cockpit is not that hard. The AAL and United Flight Attendants were stabbed and perhaps killed in order to get to the cockpit. Those were my kin. I will never forget their sacrifice.
We will respond by acknowledging the war against us. We will respond, and we will hate the carnage that will be a part of it, but it is WAR. We will stop, somehow, the terrorism, and it's heartless, souless, religious fanatics who give their religion such a bad name. I will double my efforts to understand my fellow Americans who are Muslim, and would never condone such actions against the innocent. I promise to never blame you for the actions of fanatic fundamentalism.
This is the greatest country in the world. New patriotism will return, and we will regain the control of our lives we, as a nation, so richly deserve. This country will survive, and will become stronger for having to go through such heartless, and cruel evil. Our lives will change forever, and we will never forget the sacrifice, the heroism and the long road to recovery.
God Bless you and your family.
Gos Bless America.
Were those images of the Palestinians celebrating real? Maybe not. Go to this web site for more info.
Let's not forget our heroes. Not only the police, firemen and medical workers who were crushed, but also those on the fourth flight who made the plane crash into the ground before it could reach its target.
God save us from religious fanatics!
To call murderers religious fanatics seems to cast an aspersion on religion as well as buying into the illusion that the murderers are trying to create. They are murderers who are trying to use religion to justify their desire to murder. Timothy McVeigh was a mass murderer who tried to rationalize his desire for murder by projecting himself as some sort of super patriot. All of these people have one common denominator...they want to murder other people. They try to wrap themselves up in religion or politics to try to disguise their evil desires to murder other people.
GOD B LESS AMERICA
Have a safe weekend.
They murder BECAUSE they are religious fanatics.
John -- I agree with you. Fanatics they are, however deranged they might be. But they are murderers -- that is their crime. And we must punish their crime. I don't care if we wake up tomorrow and the entire middle east is one cloud of vaporized dust. Yes, we must return the favor. The difference will be, Americans will feel remorse for killing innocents. But if we try to narrow down where the "bad guys" are, we'll end up with a farce like Desert Storm. A year later, we'll be faced with the same problem.
I would argue that discrimination is necessary. Anger is not enough. We also need cunning to ferret out who the real culprits are.
Remember, many of those countries in the Middle East are our allies, and not just Israel. As for an indiscrimate nuke attack, two wrongs don't make a right. (Forgive the cliche)
In calling them religious fanatics, you let them off the hook. What's embedded in your labeling is that religion made them do it or led them in that direction. It wasn't religion that led them to their evil deeds. It was the evil in their hearts. Religion is not the problem. The problem is evil. These people are evil. I know the media has for many years labeled certain groups as religous fanatics, but that doesn't mean that the labeling is accurate.
Every good student of history knows that clashes over religious differences are responsible for more deaths throughout the ages than all natural disasters combined. For decades we were locked in a cold war with the Soviets over differences in political ideaology. Not a shot was fired. Had our differences been religious in nature, I doubt we would be alive today. In Ireland, schoolgirls can't walk to school without having hand grenades tossed in their direction due to clashes between catholics and protestants, both mainstream christian religions. We are not a civilized world, and only some of us are evolved enough to understand and practice the true intent of religion which is enlightened spirituality. Religion, like everthing else in this world, is often subject to corruption.
The line that separates good from evil is always the greatest dividing line. There are good Christians and evil people who call themselves Christians; good Muslims and evil people who call themselves Muslims, etc. What history has shown us is that people have frequently used religion to justify and sanctify their innate evil intentions. Religions say good things like be good to one another, don't kill each other, etc. If a person were to adhere to what their religion told them, they would be a good person. But it is the nature of evil to try to cloak itself in something honorable.
I agree with Melvin. Most religions have a piece of the truth, but many of them take the next step and act as if they had ALL the truth. I was born and brought up Roman Catholic, but I'd be the first to admit that our church is one of the worst offenders in this regard.
The really offensive people are the ones who imagine they speak for God, and who think they know what God wants. This is the source of the evil. As if our puny human minds could comprehend what God "wants." Look at the Universe. It's unimaginably greater and more mysterious than we could ever comprehend. And yet, if God created it (as I believe), then God must be far greater and more mysterious yet.
In the Middle Ages, they tried to bring the universe down to human dimensions by placing the Earth in the center, with everything else revolving around it. (BTW, at least they knew the earth was round) And we still want to bring God down to our petty concerns.
The worst people are those who say, "I know what God is like, and if you don't agree with me, I'll kill you." This is Bin Laden and his gang of thugs. They mistake God for a projection of their own egos and culture.
But one good thing about the Middle Ages is that the Schoolmen (Aquinas, etc.) taught that the essence of God is Existence. That is, God is the truest thing that exists. And since God shares this existence with the Universe, all existence is good. As William Blake wrote, "All that lives is Holy."
At this point, we may be talking about two different things. I see religion as what is written in the books of each particular religion. And then there is the administration and interpretation of religion by churches, cults, and individuals. That's where things get screwed up. It's people who pervert things and try to claim that they, and no one else, has access to God. That's the primary reason I don't go to church.
Okay. We're probably in agreement.
But I think that no book, even, can contain the truth.
<< There are good Christians and evil people who call themselves Christians; good Muslims and evil people who call themselves Muslims, etc. >>
Simply, there is good and evil. And it is the responsibility of the good to destroy the evil.
>>>Religion, like everthing else in this world, is often subject to corruption.<<<
Amazingly enough, however, is that -- and my more knowledgeable fellows here can correct me if I am wrong -- a religion that's gone through centuries of change and "corruption," and yet always remained essentially peaceful, is: Buddhism. Taoism I believe also remained peaceful throughout the centuries, but I am not clear about how corrupted it ever got. I mean, that Buddhists did not go wielding the sword at any point in history to gain converts/kill infidels, unlike most every single other religion that's been around at one point or another.
I think the dividing line is simple: when the religion begins looking at others as UNconvertable "infidels" worthy only of death without recourse, warning, or mercy, then that *particular* religious belief has become a pestilence that itself must be rooted out to enable the rest of civilized (though differing) society to function normally.
It has become a case more of getting rid of rats in the basement, than revenge.
Yes, Craig, I too believe Buddhism, Taoism, and Hinduism have many admirable tenets which we should incorporate more into our religions.
For one thing, they don't seem to have a set of beliefs and practices that everyone has to adhere to. Other religions might presecute you or even kill you if you disagree.
Buddhism, etc., seem to place the emphasis on the inner self, and its lifelong struggle to get in touch with the Guiding Spirit of the World.
The question is, to what extent could we Westerners adapt ourselves to such a religion? For one thing, it would mean that we might have to spend a little less time in the pursuit of money. "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" involves something much broader and deeper than fixating on the "bottom line."
I'm no religionist but the murders committed in the name of God pale in comparison to those committed by madmen with no faith. Stalin killed 20 million and he was an atheist. Hitler caused 50 million deaths and I don't imagine he'd ever seen the inside of any place of worship. And Pol Pot (what the hell kind of name is that? What could his parents been thinking??) was another atheist. On the other hand, this Islam thing needs some serious explaining. I see a Muslum walk down my street I'm following him.
Both Hitler and Stalin were raised Catholic. Austria, the country that Hitler came from, is the most Catholic country in the world, even including Italy.
Stalin had even studied for the Orthodox priesthood. At some point, of course, he stopped being religious. Same goes for Pol Pot, who was presumably raised Buddhist.
Anyway, these mass-murdering dictators were brought up religiously in their formative years. And Mussolini, Franco, and Salazar remained Catholic.
Hitler, I'm told, used to pride himself on walking through the red light district of Vienna without giving in to sins of the flesh. The Church always preached the virutes of celibacy, but didn't seem to have too much to say about mass murder.
I say this as someone who was raised Catholic myself--Catholic parochial school, high school, and college.
I don't agree that particular religions have become corrupted. I say that that people created corruptions in their minds and among themselves which has nothing to do with the religions as they were originally set forth by the prophets. For example: Have the particular so-called Protestants and so-called Catholics in Ireland who advocate and practice terror against each other corrupted Christianity? I don't think they have. They have created a bastardized belief system in their own minds and a hypocricy for themselves but they haven't affected Christianity as it was set forth 2000 years ago. And as far as building a religion with bits and pieces of other religions, I don't believe that whatever you end up with could be called a religion. You could call it your own fragmented belief system based on various religions. And maybe that wouldn't be a bad thing. However, unless you're a prophet from God, you can't just make up a religion. (Of course, you can make up a belief system, such a sophomoric philosophy filled with circular logic ala L. Ron Hubbard and his Scientology.) And as far Western enchantment with Eastern religion or belief systems, that goes back pretty far. James Joyce wrote a short story entitled "Araby," which illuminates that subject pretty well. It's easy to romanticize about something (such as Eastern religions or belief systems) when it's removed from us by either time or space. When something is in your face, you see the imperfections. But if it's far away and we can't see the dapples, so we can think of it as being better. The guy next door, who happens to be a Christian, may also be a jerk because he annoys you for one reason or another. But we don't have a Taoist living next door, so we can romanticize about Taoists and others--and the mystical Eastern qualities makes it fun (I know we all liked watching Kung Fu). But if we want to stay grounded in reality, we should neither romanticize nor demonize religions.
I agree that no religion is perfect, nor are its followers. Some (including me) say that Christianity was perverted as far back as the fourth century, when it became the official religion of the Roman Empire, with all its pomposity, grandiosity, and worship of earthly power. Christians had been persecuted by Pagans. Now they began persecuting Pagans. They had learned nothing. None of this invalidates the teachings of Jesus, however.
And I agree that we sometimes romanticize the Eastern religions. After all, it was a Hindu who murdered Gandhi. And Hindus have persecuted Muslims.
But religions do become corrupted. Shortly after the death of Mohammed, for example, the Muslims began a campaign of conquest that lasted hundred of years. (But at the same time, Jews generally fared better in the Muslim world in the Middle Ages than they did in Christian countries)
(BTW, "Araby" has nothing to do with Eastern religions)
Araby has to do with Western fascination with Eastern mysticism. At the heart of Eastern mysticism are Eastern religions.
I think our disagreement here is in our perceptions of religions. If a man who proclaims himself to be a Christian murders someone for Christ, has he corrupted Christianity? Multiply that by thousands or millions of people and ask the same question.
I would say that a corrupt thing has been created but that it has not corrupted Christianity.
I do believe that many religions have been corrupted. The most corrupted? Christianity, Buddhism, and probably Hinduism. The least corrupted? Probably Judaism and Taoism. But see, by corrupted, I am using a non-perjorative sense; I mean, that the religion has fragmented significantly from its originally core values, beliefs, cosmology. Buddhism was pretty much atheistic to begin with and certianly didn't believe in an afterlife. That came later. Christianity: who knows what the core original beliefs were? They were certainly different from the scores of denominations we have now.
So again: when I say a religion has become "corrupted," I do not mean it has become "decadent." It's not "bad" now, was "good"; "impure" now, was "pure." I mean it's become "different."
(And notice how I can get away with all the generalizations here by using those cute little quote marks!)
Nobody can agree, and nobody is changing their minds based on the other's point of view. How many thousands of years do you think this will continue. Religion is a blight on mankind. Spirituality is its original intent and its only solution.
>>>Nobody can agree, and nobody is changing their minds based on the other's point of view. How many thousands of years do you think this will continue. Religion is a blight on mankind. Spirituality is its original intent and its only solution.<<<
With all due respect, Melvin, history proves you about as wrong as you can get. "Other points of view" were what spurred Muslims to topple Hinduism as the national religion of India, and what turned much of the barbaric world to Christianity, and there are countless other examples. These "points of view" are, in a word: religion.
I am not personally "religious" (I don't subscribe to any religious institution or doctrine). But I would never go so far as to say that "religion is a blight on mankind." Religion *can* be, but isn't necessarily so. I am sure that a Christian wife who just lost her husband in the Twin Towers this week, doesn't think of her religion as a blight upon humanity. I would venture to guess that at this time, more than her whole life, that religion might be providing her some very needed comfort and community.
Spirituality is expressed for many different people in many different ways. I have no problem with people even trying to "stuff religion down my throat." So what? Who cares? No, I have a problem with people trying to fly their religion into my building.
Religions are not subjective; they are not evolutionary; they are absolute belief systems. You can't add, subtract, change, modify, or pervert them. They're not subject to public opinion or whatever is popular at a given time. They're etched in stone as absolutes...period. You can create a perversion and call it whatever you like but you haven't affected the religion, you've affected yourself. Religions exist in tact regardless of whatever interpretations churches and people might might place on the religions. As far as not knowing what the core values of Christianity might have been 2,000 years ago as opposed to now...are you serious? I think we do know what the core values of Christianity were two thousand years ago. And they haven't changed since then.
Craig, go look up BLIGHT. Also, I'm a very vain writer longing for reognition, so stop quoting me. It gives me a chubby... The religious discourse is all yours, fellas. I am outta here.
I do agree with Melvin's assertion that spirituality is the intent of religion.
I can disparage a man's religion as well as the next guy but Stalin and Pol Pot were card carrying communists and hence, card carrying athiests, regardless of their earlier upbringing. But they were also psychopaths; the one commonality of all people of terror. An expert on the subject claims 5% of all populations are psychpathic. Some causes--religious or humanist--give these madmen a special platform to vent their evil. I've had special traffic with this breed. I've been to war and seen them personally in action. And my best friend was a psychopath--I was a secondary character in a book called "Son" and a t.v. movie entitled "Sins of the Mother" made a few years ago about him. He was an agnostic but a fervent follower of Aynn Rand ,the humanist leader and author of "Atlas Shrugged", "The Fountainhead", and "The Virtue of Selfishness". It's zeolotry in all it's forms we need to watch out for. And that's why I'm now keeping a special watch of those Muslims (refer to the first part of my first sentence).
Countries that border Afgahnistan: 1,Pakistan; 2,Iran; 3,Russia; 4,China; and 5,United States(soon, very soon).
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