“Don’t die, until you’re dead.”
– HK / 2010
You Be The Judge
“Will You Be Living Forever”
So many of us would have quit if we made the mistake of listening to or taking advice from someone deemed by society to be in a supposedly high place. We may even contemplate quitting after listening to some unqualified simpleton who society holds in the lowest tier of life’s pecking order.
Many giving the advice are fools who are paid to do so. They read books, and plays, and scripts of every nature; attend the theatre, going to dramas, comedy musicals, and watch every movie in distribution. Ballet, the opera, modern dance, and every area of music that exists; they never do any of the performing skills, because in fact they have no creative skills of their own. While they crave an audience’s applause, none will ever come, until they breathe their last earthly breath. These are the paid assassins known as “critics.” Try to remember: Assassins are not your friends.
Much of what were the earliest of Hollywood talent appraisals have remained the same. So many get to a high place in “No Biz” because they were in the right place at another’s perfectly situated time of need. Those early days still exist and flourish in almost the exact same manner.
“He can’t act. He can’t sing. He’s bald. He can dance a little.”
– Movie Executive, about Fred Astaire’s Screen Test; 1929
“No one can really like an actor.”
– Alfred Hitchcock
“All actors are stupid.”
Otto Preminger; circa 1960
That 1929 movie executive became dust, while Fred’s career advanced to unbelievable heights.
Regarding what that fat little guy, Alfred, had to say: What the hell did he know anyway.
Otto was a piece of work beyond description.
Most likely it will be one of the most difficult procedures you will ever have to follow. “You Be The Judge” is the only correct critical allowance anyone toiling in the arts should ever make. Since your condition is a condition of the heart, it is an absolute impossibility for a critic of any stature to expound on what is right or wrong for you. There have been many giants deemed to be lacking sufficient talent to make it.
But giants come in all sizes; not conventionally measured by inches or feet, but rather by degree of personal determination to excel. Personal determination is what I’m speaking of. A man or woman’s desire can’t be measured by a stranger’s critical assessment.
Don’t confuse what I say about being your own judge. I’m not speaking of God-given skills. Judge your conviction to the task. Judge your desire. How badly do you want it? Are you self inclined enough to give up the niceties of life for the most meager of existences, and not seeing or caring about what your missing out on? Those are the real judgment calls. While it is nice to receive another’s appraisal of your work, each will be a fleeting moment. It is the body of your work that will ultimately be the yardstick for measuring the degree of merit, or criticism in appraisal of your skills as a talent; whatever the field.
Those who go all out are always remembered. Complete and total effort is the only critical measure of success; because it is the only true judgments that will be made; not by a paid assassin, but from the very purest of truths which only you will ever know.
(Make the call.)
“Will You Be Living Forever”
Once again… it’s your call.
For some, living forever is entirely possible, if you can make it your work.
“I’m living, as in being alive, when I’m working.
I will never stop working; it is my passion.
I will therefore live forever!”
– HK / 2010
Since the beginning of time, man has sought out not only the meaning of life, but also how to prolong it.
Can you possibly imagine how far along we would be if women were equally as interested in the same pursuits? It’s always man this and man that.
Think about it: When Ponce de León hunted for the “Fountain Of Youth,” there wasn’t one woman in his party. Sure it was the queen who financed his trip, but she didn’t have any interest in traveling along with him on a ship that didn’t offer shuffleboard or a fully stocked bar.
Let’s face it: The queen gave Ponce the money in order to get rid of him. It was really his reputation, which preceded him that got him the financing. It seemed Ponce was doing a little extra curricular activity with a few of the queen’s ladies in waiting. The trouble for Ponce began when he returned from his voyage with Columbus in 1493.
FYI: It was one year after Columbus, who was himself a party animal, returned from his second trip to the new world, which he claimed to have discovered the previous year (1492). The women in the queen’s realm found Ponce to be comparable to today’s star athletes. It wasn’t really his fault; every place Ponce would go, the gals were there to meet him.
The queen had no choice but get him out of town. There were just too many little kids trying to emulate his training procedures.
The press reported his antics incorrectly. He wasn’t really out to find the fountain. The guy was a typical politician. He explored Puerto Rico and was made governor; until he shot his mouth off and, for political reasons, they kicked his ass out. Anyway, the queen figured there could never be a man who could outlive any woman.
To date, our “Queenliest” has been accurate in her presumption; women do have a greater life expectancy than men. Year in and year out for centuries, we men keep on looking for ways to improve our longevity.
Today, we accept old age as eighty, ninety, or even one hundred. Science has confounded the world by increasing life expectancy by leaps and bounds; still the gals outlive us. Some like to say it’s because we (the guys) do all the chasing.
The shorter life span, in years past caused marriage, childbirth and a lot of other things to occur much sooner when measured chronologically; certainly much sooner than today.
In my own lifetime I’ve personally witnessed major sociological changes. As an example:
* I was married at age twenty-one.
* My wife was eighteen.
* By age twenty-three I had twice become a father.
* In those days (mine), it was a given; by age thirty or so, women were no longer interested in becoming pregnant.
* And retirement for men, believe it or not, was around age fifty-five.
What a difference a lifetime makes. Staying together until death do us part seems like an invention that worked during our country’s revolution.
With the revolution gone, as well as some major world wars, a Civil War, and a variety of destructive forces, the beat still manages to go on. We have learned to live with it all; well almost all. Marriage lingers on, and in it’s own way possibly hampering the chances of living forever; although scientists attest to the institution of marriage as providing longer life expectancy. Many believe, living with a pet would accomplish the same trick. (Of course, that wouldn’t be me. I’m a happily married man.)
We’ve conquered many deadly diseases and persevered through disastrous epidemics. But we still hunt for the magic serum, which will provide total invincibility. Certain occult groups believe “Budweiser” is a major restorative, providing the consumer isn’t driving and consuming simultaneously.
Others believe in the more innocuous; perhaps a substance which has been staring us in the face for centuries.
It might even be on my desk as I write this. Maybe I should look in all the drawers one more time? Or as Woody Allen pointed out,” Wait until they find out that nicotine is good for you.”
FYI: I stopped smoking about ten years ago. If they’re going to find cigarette smoking is beneficial for human health, I wish they would hurry up. I haven’t had a smoke break in years.
I remember the good old days, when I’d spend half of my waking hours sitting at a typewriter with one burning cigarette in my mouth and another I’d forgotten about in the ashtray. Those were the days. I didn’t know I was shortening my life, and I had no idea my home always smelled from stale smoke. I sit here today at this beautiful and clean computer. The house has a variety of smells; none of which are stale.
The only person of renown I know who still smokes is the current president of these United States. I wonder if the “White House” smells of stale cigarettes? Rumor has it even Laura Bush puffed away from time to time. Perhaps neither Laura Bush nor Barack Obama devote much of their time to thinking about living forever. Come to think of it, I know for sure one of them does. (I can’t prove it. I’ll just have to wait and see.)
I just completed having a major medical exam done. It’s been six years since I had the last one, and I had forgotten how many openings there are in the human body. Yesterday the doctor called me (himself) to say I have the most perfect body he had ever examined. My hearing isn’t as good as it once was, so I might not have heard it exactly the way he said it to me. In any event, the bottom line is I’m good to go, as long as I keep the same workload. I plan on doing so.
Passion is a good thing, especially when it happens to be your work.
Kidding, the doctor said, “Keep going like you are and you might live forever.”
I told you about my hearing. I never heard him say the word “might.” To me it sounded like “will.”