Category Archives: Reblogs

Bullhead City Couple Arrested After Their Newborn Baby Dies From “Brutal” Sexual Attack


Bullhead City Couple Arrested After Their Newborn Baby Dies From “Brutal” Sexual Attack

Bullhead City Police Department Police believe Staci Lynn Barbosa and Jonathan Edward Vandergriff brutally raped their one-month-old son.

A Bullhead City couple was arrested yesterday after their 1-month-old baby died as a result of what police are calling a “brutal sexual assault.”

Bullhead City police spokeswoman Emily Montague tells New Times police believe the baby was “raped” by his parents, 19-year-old Staci Lynn Barbosa and 23-year-old Jonathan Edward Vandergriff.

Montague — for good reason — wouldn’t go into detail about the sexual attack but says authorities believe both Barbosa and Vandergriff were involved in raping their one-month-old son.

According to police, at 11:20 a.m. yesterday, police were called to Western Arizona Regional Medical Center’s Emergency Room where a baby was “fighting for his life.”

Police say they saw bruises and sores all over the baby’s body and his eyes were red and swollen shut.

Doctors then told police the baby had several broken ribs, a broken femur, was malnourished, dehydrated, and showed signs of sexual abuse and shaken baby syndrome.

The baby was airlifted to Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas — the closest hospital with a trauma center, according to Montague — and Barbosa, who brought the one-month-old to the hospital, was immediately taken into custody.

Doctors were not able to save the baby and he died early this morning.

Vandergriff turned himself into authorities yesterday and police served a search warrant at the house where the couple had been living, which turned up marijuana and other items of “evidentiary value.”

Vandergriff and Barbosa were arrested for molestation of a child, child abuse, aggravated assault, and sexual conduct with a minor.

Police say more charges are on the horizon for the two, including murder. Both parents were booked into the Mohave County Jail in Kingman where Vandergriff is being held on a $500,000 bond and Barbosa’s bail was set at $250,000.

Perceived Privacy

Perceived Privacy

Over the past year I’ve followed a blog called Raptitude. David, the author of the blog, publishes a new article on the average of about 1 every week or so. Almost as soon as he posts a new article I’ve found myself eagerly waiting with anticipation for his next bit of genius to post to my Pulse reader. I have a few favorites that really resonated with me. Some have even changed the way I tend to view and even interact with the world. I will add links to my favorite Raptitude articles at the end of this post for anyone interested.

Today I was pleased to find my Pulse reader had a new Raptitude article, of which I quickly devoured every word. It is again an article that delivers insight and perspective on the day to day happenings of a large part of the human race that is an interesting perspective to say the least. I hope you read it as well as take some time to dig around the Raptitude website, as there is sure to be something that everyone can relate to and enjoy reading.


You are a public figure

New Year’s Eve, for the first time, I had an alarming moment when I realized spaceships really were watching me through the ceiling. They knew where I was in the house. I was troubled by it and said so to my friend, but by midnight I forgot, and felt much better.

Rewind a week or two. I was taking adorable pictures of my toddler nephew typing on his grandmother’s iPad, when I had one of those bewildering, revelatory moments.

I realized I was photographing a member of the first generation that will be able to revisit its entire life in sparkling, high resolution. Between me, his parents and his grandmother, there are easily more photos of him than there have been days in his life.

His brother is six months now. In 2081, when they’re both old men, they’ll be able to access their childhood in extraordinary detail. They’ll see their first Christmases, their first bike rides, their graduations and wedding days all in high resolution images and HD video, and it might seem strange to them that previous generations did not have much access at all to their pasts, aside from memories and a few grainy photographs.

Contrast that with my father, (1947-2008) of whom I’ve only seen one or two pictures of as a child. In those pictures he’s someone I don’t know. He has a smooth sepia face that could belong to just about anyone except my dad. He wore a moustache from the day I was born to the day he died and I couldn’t recognize my father in any other face.

The kids born after about 2007 constitute the first generation that’s younger than Facebook. Today, it’s fairly normal for human beings make their first appearance on the internet when they are less than a week old. Think of how many newborn photos you’ve seen posted by your Facebook friends this last year.

(Read More…)


David also sites this article  which was written by a fellow wordpresser about 4 years ago. What then seemed kinda Jetsons-esque then, now is very close to reality. Interesting.

Here are some of my favorite Raptitude articles:

What we refer to as happiness is really just what the absence of suffering feels like.


Defeated, I stood on the mat and let the cold air flood over me. I watched the ice fog pour over the sill like freezing smoke. I just let it have its way with me. I didn’t get mad at it, I didn’t shiver or scramble to dry off. I just let it feel like whatever it was going to feel like, and noticed something peculiar.

It didn’t hurt me.

Life is uncertain by its very nature.  Except for this:No matter what is happening right now,
It will never happen again.

Why should *I* be forced to help someone else?

Here’s why:

Because you’re better off if other people aren’t suffering so much.

life is the present only. The past is thoughts in the present. The future is thoughts in the present. You can argue all you want that the past “existed”, but the notion of something having existed is also just a thought in the present.



Another awesome post from David over at

I just love the fresh perspective David from shares with the world on his blog.

How To Make Good Things Happen

How To Make Good Things Happen –

Preventing Child Sexual Abuse-An Adult’s Responsibility

Preventing Child Sexual Abuse-An Adult’s Responsibility

I have taken Darkness to Lights prevention program. Unfortunately it was after the fact. I am now a STEWARD FOR CHILDREN and encourage anyone who reads this post to visit the links to both the article I’ve quoted below written by Anny Jacoby, A Personal Safety Expert and Coach. You will also find a vast amount of helpful links and resources on her site.

ReBlogged article from Anny Jacobys website:

In the past thirty years the field of investigation, identification, and treatment for children who have experienced sexual abuse has progressed and changed tremendously.  But child sexual abuse prevention had remained relatively unchanged—teach kids about good touch/bad touch, tell them to say no, and teach them to tell a trusted adult if something happens.  But this set of strategies puts a weighty burden on the slender shoulders of children.  Most people who sexually abuse children are not only known to the child but trusted by the child and their family.  Teens and adults who abuse children can easily confuse and shame a child into silence.  Most victims of child sexual abuse do not disclose their abuse; leaving the victims to struggle alone with the emotional fall-out from the abuse.

Darkness to Light has developed a child sexual abuse prevention training, Stewards of Children, that puts the burden of preventing child sexual abuse on the shoulders of adults.  Stewards of Children aims to teach the facts about child sexual abuse and increase the protective behaviors of adults.  It encourages adult participants to learn the facts about child sexual abuse, to review the policies and procedures of the child serving agencies and communities of which they are a part, and encourages all child serving staff know what to do if a child discloses abuse to them.

The reality of child sexual abuse is hard to face in both its prevalence (some experts estimate that 1-4 girls and 1-6 boys are sexually abuse before their 18th birthday) and its impact.  The Chapel Hill-Carrboro and the Chatham YMCA, North Carolina has decided to face the harsh reality of child sexual abuse and has started the YMCA Community Coalition for Awareness and Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse.  Community awareness meetings (Prevent Now!, one hour) are available as well as Darkness to Light prevention training, Stewards of Children, (2.5-3 hours) for interested community groups (day/evening and weekend training available).

continue reading this article here…

Preventing Child Sexual Abuse-An Adult’s Responsibility

What you did is not okay! And I am staying depressed to prove it! | Psychology Today

“What you did is not okay! And I am going to be depressed to prove it!”Nobody wants to be depressed! Or do they? If you have suffered depression, you might be aware of the irrational part of you that objects to letting go of depressed feelings. In depression people are more inclined to feel the unfairness of life.

Repost: What is Rape Culture? (via Dr. Kathleen Young: Treating Trauma in Chicago)

Repost: What is Rape Culture? Today I am sharing another post from the archives.  I think you will see why this one is important to revisit during Sexual Assault Awareness Month. In order to get involved, we need to understand the cultural context in which sexual violence occurs. What is Rape Culture? Given that it is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, I think it is important to place sexual violence within a context. Understanding that sexual violence is more than isolated acts … Read More

via Dr. Kathleen Young: Treating Trauma in Chicago

Or read the full article below. But please visit Dr. Kathleen Young’s blog. She has a multitude of wonderful and insightful articles and links.

Today I am sharing another post from the archives.  I think you will see why this one is important to revisit during Sexual Assault Awareness Month. In order to get involved, we need to understand the cultural context in which sexual violence occurs.

What is Rape Culture?

Given that it is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, I think it is important to place sexual violence within a context. Understanding that sexual violence is more than isolated acts by individuals is needed if we truly want to effect lasting change. I have written before, in my response to a commenter on How to Prevent Rape:

Only by putting responsibility where it really belongs, on those who commit acts of violence and abuse, can we start to break this cycle… It means looking at the larger cultural issues that create (mostly) men who become rapists/abusers.

The responsibility does not only belong to the individual perpetrator. As  a psychologist well versed in an anti-oppression model,  I understand sexual violence not just as random, individual acts, but also as existing within a broader cultural context. This context is a culture in which rape and other sexual violence (usually against women but also those who do not conform to expected gender norms) are common and in which prevalent attitudes, norms, practices, and media condone, normalize, excuse, or encourage sexualized violence. This is Rape Culture.

Melissa McEwan of the blog Shakesville has a comprehensive and impactful post about Rape Culture. She details the stuff, both obvious and subtle, that keeps violence against women going. You can read her Rape Culture 101 post in its entirety here. I am sharing much of it here below as well:

(Trigger Warning: Please keep in mind that reading about sexual violence may be very triggering for survivors, so check in with yourself before and after).

Rape Culture 101 by Melissa McEwan

Rape culture is encouraging male sexual aggression. Rape culture is regarding violence as sexy and sexuality as violent. Rape culture is treating rape as a compliment, as the unbridled passion stirred in a healthy man by a beautiful woman, makingirresistible the urge to rip open her bodice or slam her against a wall, or a wrought-iron fence, or a car hood, or pull her by her hair, or shove her onto a bed, or any one of a million other images of fight-fucking in movies and television shows and on the covers of romance novels that convey violent urges are inextricably linked with (straight) sexuality.

Rape culture is treating straight sexuality as the norm. Rape culture is lumping queer sexuality into nonconsensual sexual practices like pedophilia and bestiality. Rape culture is privileging heterosexuality because ubiquitous imagery of two adults of the same-sex engaging in egalitarian partnerships without gender-based dominance and submission undermines (erroneous) biological rationales for the rape culture’s existence.

Rape culture is rape being used as a weapon, a tool of war andgenocide and oppression. Rape culture is rape being used as acorrective to “cure” queer women. Rape culture is a militarized culture and “the natural product of all wars, everywhere, at all times, in all forms.”

Rape culture is 1 in 33 men being sexually assaulted in their lifetimes. Rape culture is encouraging men to use the language of rape to establish dominance over one another (“I’ll make you my bitch”). Rape culture is making rape a ubiquitous part ofmale-exclusive bonding. Rape culture is ignoring the cavernous need for men’s prison reform in part because the threat of being raped in prison is considered an acceptable deterrent to committing crime, and the threat only works if actual men are actually being raped.

Rape culture is 1 in 6 women being sexually assaulted in their lifetimes. Rape culture is not even talking about the reality thatmany women are sexually assaulted multiple times in their lives. Rape culture is the way in which the constant threat of sexual assault affects women’s daily movements. Rape culture is telling girls and women to be careful about what you wear, how you wear it, how you carry yourself, where you walk, when you walk there, with whom you walk, whom you trust, what you do, where you do it, with whom you do it, what you drink, how much you drink, whether you make eye contact, if you’re alone, if you’re with a stranger, if you’re in a group, if you’re in a group of strangers, if it’s dark, if the area is unfamiliar, if you’re carrying something, how you carry it, what kind of shoes you’re wearing in case you have to run, what kind of purse you carry, what jewelry you wear, what time it is, what street it is, what environment it is, how many people you sleep with, what kind of people you sleep with, who your friends are, to whom you give your number, who’s around when the delivery guy comes, to get an apartment where you can see who’s at the door before they can see you, to check before you open the door to the delivery guy, to own a dog or a dog-sound-making machine, to get a roommate, to take self-defense, to always be alert always pay attention always watch your back always be aware of your surroundings and never let your guard down for a moment lest you be sexually assaulted and if you are and didn’t follow all the rules it’s your fault.

Rape culture is victim-blaming. Rape culture is a judge blaming a child for her own rape. Rape culture is a minister blaming his child victims. Rape culture is accusing a child of enjoying beingheld hostage, raped, and tortured. Rape culture is spending enormous amounts of time finding any reason at all that a victim can be blamed for hir own rape.

Rape culture is judges banning the use of the word rape in the courtroom. Rape culture is the media using euphemisms for sexual assault. Rape culture is stories about rape being featuredin the Odd News.

Rape culture is tasking victims with the burden of rape prevention. Rape culture is encouraging women to take self-defense as though that is the only solution required to preventing rape. Rape culture is admonishing women to “learn common sense” or “be more responsible” or “be aware of barroom risks” or “avoid these places” or “don’t dress this way,” and failing to admonish men to not rape.

Rape culture is “nothing” being the most frequent answer to a question about what people have been formally taught about rape.

Rape culture is boys under 10 years old knowing how to rape.

Rape culture is the idea that only certain people rape—and only certain people get raped. Rape culture is ignoring that the thing about rapists is that they rape people. They rape people who are strong and people who are weak, people who are smart and people who are dumb, people who fight back and people who submit just to get it over with, people who are sluts and people who are prudes, people who rich and people who are poor, people who are tall and people who are short, people who are fat and people who are thin, people who are blind and people who are sighted, people who are deaf and people who can hear, people of every race and shape and size and ability and circumstance.

Rape culture is the narrative that sex workers can’t be raped. Rape culture is the assertion that wives can’t be raped. Rape culture is the contention that only nice girls can be raped.

Rape culture is refusing to acknowledge that the only thing that the victim of every rapist shares in common is bad fucking luck. Rape culture is refusing to acknowledge that the only thing a person can do to avoid being raped is never be in the same room as a rapist. Rape culture is avoiding talking about what an absurdly unreasonable expectation that is, since rapists don’t announce themselves or wear signs or glow purple.

Rape culture is people meant to protect you raping you instead—like parentsteachersdoctorsministerscopssoldiersself-defense instructors.

Rape culture is a serial rapist being appointed to a federal panel that makes decisions regarding women’s health.

Rape culture is a ruling that says women cannot withdraw consent once sex commences.

Rape culture is a collective understanding about classifications of rapists: The “normal” rapist (whose crime is most likely to be dismissed with a “boys will be boys” sort of jocular apologia) is the man who forces himself on attractive women, women his age in fine health and form, whose crime is disturbinglyunderstandable to his male defenders. The “real sickos” are the men who go after children, old ladies, the disabled, accident victims languishing in comas—the sort of people who can’t fight back, whose rape is difficult to imagine as titillating, unlike the rape of “pretty girls,” so easily cast in a fight-fuck fantasy of squealing and squirming and eventual relenting to the “flattery” of being raped.

Rape culture is the insistence on trying to distinguish between different kinds of rape via the use of terms like “gray rape” or “date rape.”

Rape culture is pervasive narratives about rape that exist despite evidence to the contrary. Rape culture is pervasive imagery of stranger rape, even though women are three times more likely to be raped by someone they know than a stranger, and nine times more likely to be raped in their home, the home of someone they know, or anywhere else than being raped on the street, making what is commonly referred to as “date rape” by far the most prevalent type of rape. Rape culture is pervasive insistence that false reports are common, although they are less common (1.6%) than false reports of auto theft (2.6%). Rape culture is pervasive claims that women make rape accusations willy-nilly, when 61% of rapes remain unreported.

Rape culture is the pervasive narrative that there is a “typical” way to behave after being raped, instead of the acknowledgment that responses to rape are as varied as its victims, that, immediately following a rape, some women go into shock; some are lucid; some are angry; some are ashamed; some are stoic; some are erratic; some want to report it; some don’t; some will act out; some will crawl inside themselves; some will have healthy sex lives; some never will again.

Rape culture is the pervasive narrative that a rape victim who reports hir rape is readily believed and well-supported, instead of acknowledging that reporting a rape is a huge personal investment, a difficult process that can be embarrassing, shameful, hurtful, frustrating, and too often unfulfilling. Rape culture is ignoring that there is very little incentive to report a rape; it’s a terrible experience with a small likelihood of seeing justice served.

Rape culture is hospitals that won’t do rape kits, disbelieving law enforcement, unmotivated prosecutors, hostile judges, victim-blaming juries, and paltry sentencing.

Rape culture is the fact that higher incidents of rape tend tocorrelate with lower conviction rates.

Rape culture is silence around rape in the national discourse, and in rape victims’ homes. Rape culture is treating surviving rape as something of which to be ashamed. Rape culture is families torn apart because of rape allegations that are disbelieved or ignored or sunk to the bottom of a deep, dark sea in an iron vault of secrecy and silence.

Rape culture is the objectification of women, which is part of a dehumanizing process that renders consent irrelevant. Rape culture is treating women’s bodies like public property. Rape culture is street harassment and groping on public transportation and equating raped women’s bodies to a manwalking around with valuables hanging out of his pockets. Rape culture is most men being so far removed from the threat of rape that invoking property theft is evidently the closest thing many of them can imagine to being forcibly subjected to a sexual assault.

Rape culture is treating 13-year-old girls like trophies for men regarded as great artists.

Rape culture is ignoring the way in which professional environments that treat sexual access to female subordinates as entitlements of successful men can be coercive and compromise enthusiastic consent.

Rape culture is a convicted rapist getting a standing ovation at Cannes, a cameo in a hit movie, and a career resurgence in which he can joke about how he hates seeing people get hurt.

Rape culture is when running dogfights is said to elicit more outrage than raping a woman would.

Rape culture is blurred lines between persistence and coercion. Rape culture is treating diminished capacity to consent as the natural path to sexual activity.

Rape culture is pretending that non-physical sexual assaults, like peeping tomming, is totally unrelated to brutal and physical sexual assaults, rather than viewing them on a continuum of sexual assault.

Rape culture is diminishing the gravity of any sexual assault, attempted sexual assault, or culture of actual or potential coercion in any way.

Rape culture is using the word “rape” to describe something that has been done to you other than a forced or coerced sex act. Rape culture is saying things like “That ATM raped me with a huge fee” or “The IRS raped me on my taxes.”

Rape culture is rape being used as entertainment, in movies and television shows and books and in video games.

Rape culture is television shows and movies leaving rape out of situations where it would be a present and significant threat in real life.

Rape culture is Amazon offering to locate “rape” products for you.

Rape culture is rape jokes. Rape culture is rape jokes on t-shirts, rape jokes in college newspapers, rape jokes in soldiers’ home videos, rape jokes on the radio, rape jokes on news broadcasts, rape jokes in magazines, rape jokes in viral videos, rape jokes inpromotions for children’s movies, rape jokes on Page Six (andagain!), rape jokes on the funny pages, rape jokes on TV shows, rape jokes on the campaign trail, rape jokes on Halloween, rape jokes in online content by famous people, rape jokes in online content by non-famous people, rape jokes in headlines, rape jokes onstage at clubs, rape jokes in politics, rape jokes in one-woman shows, rape jokes in print campaigns, rape jokes in movies, rape jokes in cartoons, rape jokes in nightclubs, rape jokes on MTV, rape jokes on late-night chat shows, rape jokes in tattoos, rape jokes in stand-up comedy, rape jokes on websites, rape jokes at awards shows, rape jokes in online contests, rape jokes in movie trailers, rape jokes on the sides of buses, rape jokes on cultural institutions

Rape culture is people objecting to the detritus of the rape culture being called oversensitive, rather than people who perpetuate the rape culture being regarded as not sensitiveenough.

Rape culture is the myriad ways in which rape is tacitly and overtly abetted and encouraged having saturated every corner of our culture so thoroughly that people can’t easily wrap their heads around what the rape culture actually is.

That’s hardly everything. It’s merely the tip of an unfathomable iceberg.

I know there is a lot to take in here. I’d love to hear your reactions and thoughts.

Kathleen Young, Psy.D.

Effing the Ineffable


Effing the Ineffable

How do we express what cannot be said?

photo: Richard Legner/Getty

By ROGER SCRUTON Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thomas Aquinas, who devoted some two million words to spelling out, in the Summa Theologica, the nature of the world, God’s purpose in creating it and our fate in traversing it, ended his short life (short by our standards, at least) in a state of ecstasy, declaring that all that he had written was of no significance beside the beatific vision that he had been granted, and in the face of which words fail. His was perhaps the most striking example of a philosopher who comes to believe that the real meaning of the world is ineffable. Having got to this point, Aquinas obeyed the injunction of Wittgenstein, whose Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus concludes with the proposition: “that whereof we cannot speak we must consign to silence.”

But Aquinas was exceptional. The history of philosophy abounds in thinkers who, having concluded that the truth is ineffable, have gone on to write page upon page about it. One of the worst offenders is Kierkegaard, who argues in a hundred ways that the ultimate is inexpressible, that truth is “subjectivity,” that the meaning of life can be given by no formula, no proposition, no abstraction, but only by the concrete experience of surrender whose content can never be given in words.

The same idea occurs in Schopenhauer, for whom the truth of the world is Will, which cannot be represented in concepts. Schopenhauer devoted roughly 500,000 words to this thing that no words can capture. And he set a fashion that continues to this day.

I am currently reading a mercifully short book by Vladimir Jankélévitch, Music and the Ineffable, in which the argument is stated on the first page —namely, that since music works through melodies, rhythms and harmonies and not through concepts, it contains no messages that can be translated into words. There follows 50,000 words devoted to the messages of music —often suggestive, poetic and atmospheric words, but words nevertheless, devoted to a subject that no words can capture.

The temptation to take refuge in the ineffable is not confined to philosophers. Every inquiry into first principles, original causes and fundamental laws, will at some stage come up against an unanswerable question: what makes those first principles true or those fundamental laws valid? What explains those original causes or initial conditions? And the answer is that there is no answer —or no answer that can be expressed in terms of the science for which those laws, principles and causes are bedrock. And yet we want an answer. So how should we proceed?

There is nothing wrong with referring at this point to the ineffable. The mistake is to describe it. Jankélévitch is right about music. He is right that something can be meaningful, even though its meaning eludes all attempts to put it into words. Fauré’s F sharp Ballade is an example: so is the smile on the face of the Mona Lisa; so is the evening sunlight on the hill behind my house. Wordsworth would describe such experiences as “intimations,” which is fair enough, provided you don’t add (as he did) further and better particulars. Anybody who goes through life with open mind and open heart will encounter these moments of revelation, moments that are saturated with meaning, but whose meaning cannot be put into words. These moments are precious to us. When they occur it is as though, on the winding ill-lit stairway of our life, we suddenly come across a window, through which we catch sight of another and brighter world —a world to which we belong but which we cannot enter.

I too am tempted to eff the ineffable. Like my philosophical predecessors, I want to describe that world beyond the window, even though I know that it cannot be described but only revealed. I am not alone in thinking that world to be real and important. But there are many who dismiss it as an unscientific fiction. And people of this scientistic cast of mind are disagreeable to me. Their nerdish conviction that facts alone can signify, and that the “transcendental” and the eternal are nothing but words, mark them out as incomplete. There is an aspect of the human condition that is denied to them.

Moreover, this aspect is of the first importance. Our loves and hopes in some way hinge on it. We love each other as angels love, reaching for the unknowable “I.” We hope as angels hope: with our thoughts fixed on the moment when the things of this world fall away and we are enfolded in “the peace which passes understanding.” Putting the point that way I have already said too much. For my words make it look as though the world beyond the window is actually here, like a picture on the stairs. But it is not here; it is there, beyond the window that can never be opened.

But a question troubles me as I am sure it troubles you. What do our moments of revelation have to do with the ultimate questions? When science comes to a halt, at those principles and conditions from which explanation begins, does the view from that window supply what science lacks? Do our moments of revelation point to the cause of the world?

When I don’t think about it, the answer seems clear. Yes, there is more to the world than the system of causes, for the world has a meaning and that meaning is revealed. But no, there is no path, not even this one, to the cause of the world: for that whereof we cannot speak, we must consign to silence —as Aquinas did.

Roger Scruton is a writer and philosopher living in England. His many books include Beauty and The Uses of Pessimism and the Danger of False Hope. Learn more about him at

Dana Fowley


How could she by dana fowley


T Shirt Shrug

pride and prejudice

Image by Apostolos Letov via Flickr

T Shirt Shrug

How romantic.

  • Completed Project: T Shirt Shrug Picture #1
  • Completed Project: T Shirt Shrug Picture #2


My friend and I went to the arthall in Rotterdam and saw an exhibition called ICON DRESSED designed by Annette Meyer, each garment was made of paper and represented a decade of women clothing from the 1800’s till now. I was amazed by a garment which looked exactly like the dress Keira Knightley wore in Pride & Prejudice, I went home got into a romantic state of mind, converted that into creativity and made this.

  1. 1
    Step 1

    Grab a shirt

  2. 2
    Step 2

    cut along the red line and cut off neck band.

  3. 3
    Step 3

    Turn shirt inside out and fold 1 inch along the red line to form the casing.

  4. 4
    Step 4

    Pin and sew

  5. 5

    Pull the ribbon through the casing using a safety pin. Pull tight and tie.

Embed this project on your website »

Hot Sagittarius

November 22 through December 21

Weekend Update:
Mar 25, 2011

Stay focused on a personal goal this Friday. With the moon winding through Sagittarius until nighttime, cosmic forces are conspiring in your favor. It’s an excellent day for pitching projects and ideas. Ask for a little more than you think you can get. It’s better to overshoot the mark and negotiate down than to shortchange yourself on the front end. Later that night, the moon settles into Capricorn and your house of budgeting, income, and financial planning for the remainder of the weekend. This is a half moon and a natural place in the lunar cycle to assess your current monetary position. It takes money to make money, so look at where you’re investing your hard-earned cash. While luxuries are nice, you may need to cap your spending therein and flow more funds towards experiences that make you more marketable in the job field. When you’re earning more cash, you can drip in diamonds without draining your savings. Til’ then, patience and persistence pay off. If you haven’t done your tax planning yet, this is the weekend to crunch the numbers. Could you become a better financial planner overall? Take a look at your budget for the rest of 2011. If you need to earn more in order to cover costs it’s better to know that so you can up the ante on your ambitions, or cut back expenses to balance things out. On the personal front, loveplanet Venus makes a shift on Sunday into your sector of cozy, intimate bonding. More private time is what your love life needs, so find ways to get your sweetie alone between now and April 21. Your nurturing nature comes to the fore, which is great in measured doses. Monitor that though, or you could go from “Sexy Mama” to just plain “Mommy” in your lover’s eyes. Not hot, Sagittarius.

– Horoscopes provided by The AstroTwins


The New Yorker: Dana Goodyear “Hollywood Shadows”

Excellent essay from The New Yorker by Dana Goodyear.
Re-blogged from:



A cure for blocked screenwriters.

by Dana GoodyearMARCH 21, 2011

Barry Michels tells his clients that success in the movie industry can entail confronting their darker selves.

Barry Michels tells his clients that success in the movie industry can entail confronting their darker selves.

The writer was in despair. For a year and a half, he had been trying to write a script that he owed to a studio, and had been unable to produce anything. Finally, he started seeing a therapist. The therapist, Barry Michels, told him to close his eyes and focus on the things he was grateful for. The first time he did this, in the therapist’s office, there was a long silence. “What about your dog?” Michels asked. “O.K. I’m grateful for my dog,” the writer said after a while. “The sun?” “Fine, the sun,” the writer said. “I’m grateful for sun. Sometimes.”

Michels also told the writer to get an egg timer. Following Michels’s instructions, every day he set it for one minute, knelt in front of his computer in a posture of prayer, and begged the universe to help him write the worst sentence ever written. When the timer dinged, he would start typing. He told Michels that the exercise was stupid, pointless, and embarrassing, and it didn’t work. Michels told him to keep doing it.

A few weeks later, the writer was startled from his sleep by a voice: it sounded like a woman talking at a dinner party. He went to his computer, which was on a folding table in a corner of the room, and began to write a scene. Six weeks later, he had a hundred-and-sixty-five-page script. Six months after that, the script was shot, and when the movie came out the writer won an Academy Award.

Michels, in the words of a former patient, is an “open secret” in Hollywood. Using esoteric precepts adapted from Jungian psychology, he and Phil Stutz, a psychiatrist who is his mentor, have developed a program designed to access the creative power of the unconscious and address complaints common among their clientele: writer’s block, stagefright, insecurity, the vagaries of the entertainment industry. “The Jungians I’ve always been uncomfortable with, because they kind of drift,” Stutz says. “They say that the dreams will tell you what to do, and that’s bullshit.” Instead, he and Michels tell their patients what to do. Their brand of therapy is heavily prescriptive and not always intuitive. “I had one guy who was terrified of public speaking,” Michels says. “He had to learn to make more passionate love to his wife. If he could expose himself to his wife and really let go, I knew he’d be able to speak publicly.” He hands out three-by-five index cards inscribed with Delphic pronouncements like “THE HIERARCHY WILL NEVER BE CLEAR.” His starting rate is three hundred and sixty dollars an hour.

Michels is fifty-seven and trim, with a clipped beard surrounding his mouth and silver hair that ripples back in waves from a high forehead. He looks uncannily like Barry Landes, the psychiatrist on “24,” who was patterned on him by Howard Gordon, an executive producer on the show and a former patient. Michels’s manner is meditative; to illustrate his points, he draws slow circles in the air. He rarely swears except during sessions, when he says “fuck” constantly—as in “Fuck, yeah,” “Fuck, no,” “Stop being such a fucking baby,” and “Shut the fuck up”—a habit that can shock patients used to coddling and, in some instances, is a sympathetic mirroring of their speech patterns. At times, his language is just a matter of expediency. When P. K. Simonds, a self-effacing writer, got his first job as a show runner, a managerial position, on “Party of Five,” Michels said, “P.K., you need to be a much bigger bastard.” Simonds, too, wrote a Michels character in homage.

Michels’s office, in West Los Angeles, is spare, and generically therapeutic in its décor, with a black leather couch and, on the walls, carved wood African masks, along with his diplomas: one from Harvard, which he attended as an undergraduate; one from Berkeley, where he went to law school (he worked at a white-shoe firm for a couple of years before quitting, at the age of twenty-eight, and going to Europe to play guitar on street corners); and one from the University of Southern California, where he earned a master’s in social work, in 1984.

As he finished his training, Michels, already disenchanted with what he felt was the passivity of traditional therapy, met Stutz, who became his supervisor. In the course of their work, Stutz, a transplant from the Upper West Side who had recently arrived in Los Angeles, introduced him to his unconventional approach, a series of tools and principles, often illustrated by stick-figure drawings on index cards, which he calls “the information.” He showed him how to make the drawings and weave connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena (driving buzzed and problems at work; mistreating assistants and marital discord; going to matinées on weekdays and writer’s block). The two share a facial-hair style, and a habit of closing their eyes when explaining something recherché. Overhearing Michels talking to a patient on the phone, his wife, Judith White, a Jungian psychologist, once pointed out that he did therapy with Stutz’s New York accent.

For the past several years, Michels and Stutz have been collaborating on a manuscript tentatively titled “The Tools.” If “The Secret,” a best-selling self-help book, promises riches through manifestation—think about a pile of gold and one will literally appear—“The Tools” represents a prosperity gospel better suited to a patient base that repeatedly encounters humiliation and failure even as it is conditioned to expect life-altering windfalls.

Patients are told to visualize things going horribly wrong, a strategy of “pre-disappointment.” The tool for this, which Michels and Stutz teach to those who are hoping to win an award or who are about to submit a script for approval, involves imagining yourself falling backward into the sun, saying “I am willing to lose everything” as you are consumed in a giant fireball, after which, transformed into a sunbeam, you profess, “I am infinite.” Needless to say, neither therapist relates much to the wider analytic community, and both suspect that the techniques would be met with consternation. “My method and orientation are radically outside the mainstream of my profession,” Michels told me. “I like being a little bit of a maverick.” On a low bookshelf at the far end of his office sits a Carl Jung action doll.

Paging through his calendar on a recent afternoon, Michels enumerated the week’s appointments. “Writer, director, entertainment attorney, actor, investment banker, agent, writer, writer-director-producer, guy who works peripherally in Hollywood—let’s say catering,” he said, for the sake of discretion. According to a former patient, “His waiting room was like the red carpet.” Michels has treated warring agents from the same office and opposing parties in a creative dispute, who may or may not know he’s counselling the other side. Many report feeling a prickle of eagerness and curiosity when a green button on the office wall lights up, indicating the arrival of the next patient.

Once, in a previous office, Michels caught an agent patient wooing an actress who had the next appointment. “I was, like, ‘Get the fuck out of my office!’ ” he said, but he wasn’t really mad. “That’s the agent just being an agent. They’re relentless. There’s something in me, I think it’s my father’s entrepreneurialism, that admires the chutzpah.” Michels’s father manufactured furniture; his mother, late in life, became a therapist. They brought up Barry and his sister in West Los Angeles, and their best friends were Rod Serling, who created “The Twilight Zone,” and his family. Serling gave Michels his first lesson in writerly discipline. When the families took vacations together, Michels noticed that Serling woke up every morning at five or six to work and did not emerge from his room until eleven.

Paparazzi have sometimes staked out Michels’s building; some years ago, he got nervous about the amount of attention a celebrity patient was attracting, and transferred the patient’s file to a bank safe-deposit box. A few days later, he arrived at work and found the place trashed: someone had thrown a brick through the window, torn apart his file cabinet, and left without stealing anything. Now, for extra security, he assigns high-profile patients aliases like P. G. Wodehouse, John Milton, and John Keats.

The writer-director-producer Adam McKay started seeing Michels about four years ago, around the time he opened a production company with the comedian Will Ferrell. (They make movies and run the Web site Funny or Die.) He soon discovered that he knew a number of other patients. “Many’s the time I’ve gone to see him and seen someone I know in the hallway,” McKay said. “It’s, like, ‘Wait a minute, you go to Barry?’ I’ve seen one of my colleagues here, one of my agents. It’s like a brotherhood.”

McKay’s presenting problem was a fear of the red carpet and talk shows, which aggravated a neurological condition he has called “essential tremor.” “My existential nightmare is ‘Charlie Rose,’ ” he told me. The first time he went on the show, promoting “Step Brothers,” he had a panic attack and started to shake visibly. “People are, like, ‘Oh, my God, are you all right? Do you have Parkinson’s?’ You think no one will notice and then you read the comments online, and people are genuinely worried, or, worse, they’re making fun of you.”

Michels gave him an index card bearing the mantra “YOU ARE MARKED TO BATTLE THE FORCES OF JUDGMENT” and one with a drawing of a stick figure radiating arrows to symbolize the internal seat of authority, which McKay keeps in the visor of his car. Michels taught him a tool called Cosmic Rage, which entailed his shouting “Fuck you! Fuck you! Fuck you!” in his head to a roomful of faceless critics. (Kelli Williams, a patient of Michels’s who plays a psychiatrist on the television show “Lie to Me,” told me that when she does her version of Cosmic Rage she just pretends she’s running lines.) After McKay finished his next movie, “The Other Guys,” he said, “I decided, I’m going to do every bit of press on this. Fuck it.” He visualized the worst-case scenario and told himself, If I get shaky, I get shaky, who the fuck cares. “I did Jimmy Fallon, the red carpet, all the press junkets where you’re filmed a hundred times, and I did great with it,” he said. “But for some fuckin’ reason ‘Charlie Rose’ got me again.” During the show, which also featured Ferrell, he forced himself to engage in the conversation, even as he started to tremble. He said, “I talked to Judd Apatow about it and he said, ‘That’s because you know President Clinton is watching.’ ” McKay still sees Michels once a week.

“My buzzer looks like I’m a hooker or something, ’cause the button is completely worn out,” Stutz told me, when giving directions to his apartment, which is also where he sees patients. The apartment, in a run-down brown stucco building on a residential street not far from Michels’s office, is a two-bedroom, with a tiny, mustard-yellow kitchen, a small living room that doubles as a waiting area, and a balcony where shyer patients have been known to hide until it’s their turn. Stutz’s patients—C.E.O.s of companies, high-level producers—hate the place, and complain constantly. “One guy said he was going to buy the building and evict me,” he said. “There’s a rumor I have this huge estate in Bel Air or something.” Stutz, who is sixty-four, lives alone, and believes that his monastic example can be therapeutic. “Part of what we’re doing is to get this result-free attitude,” he said.

But simply being a Stutz patient confers status. He charges up to four hundred dollars an hour and hasn’t taken a new patient in years. Mark Levin, a writer-director who has been working in the business for twenty years and seeing Michels on and off for fourteen, understands it this way: “Oh—you got to Hollywood before me, because you see Phil.” (For a number of years, between other projects, Levin and his wife, Jennifer Flackett, have been working on a movie in which six filmmaker patients each make a segment about a character based on Michels.) Stutz’s patients have won so many Oscars—twelve or thirteen, he told me, reluctantly—that he has developed a coping strategy he calls the Stutz 96-Hour Academy Awards Principle, which postulates that by Day Four life sucks again and no one knows who you are, so you might as well get over it now. His credo for writers is “KEEP WRITING SHIT, STUPID.”

Stutz is thin, with a haunted look; he wears his pants tightly belted above his hips. When he came to Los Angeles, seeking a milder climate for the chronic-fatigue syndrome that then afflicted him, he hated it. “I was pissed off when I saw that smog,” he says. “I saw everybody in the morning driving to work through the smog and I thought, These fucking people are crazy. Six months later, I never noticed the smog again.” This gave rise to a principle that Stutz calls Ceaseless Immersion—the idea that it’s easier to live with painful conditions if you accept them.

Stutz had no patients, and so he cold-called established therapists to ask for referrals. Every day, he’d force himself to approach the scariest person on his list, an undertaking that he described as eating “a death cookie.” Most rejected him, but he found the process generative. “The risk you take has a feedback effect on the unconscious,” he says. “The unconscious will give you ideas and it wants you to act on them. The more courage you have when you act, the more ideas it will give you.” Over time, Stutz began to build a practice among entertainment-industry people; for a number of years, he held workshops in his apartment that were attended by actors like John Cusack and Hank Azaria.

Hollywood psychotherapy, when Stutz arrived, was divided between the classical Freudians, who had started coming West in the twenties to treat nervous stars and studio heads, and the followers of Jung, whose arcane symbology appealed to the arty spiritualist impulses of the locals. Jung’s school of thought, particularly his belief that universal archetypes—the Mother, the Father, the Hero, the Maiden—play a role in humanity’s collective imagination, found purchase with the industry’s storytelling class. The assumption that a universal archetype will hold universal appeal has been proved at the box office: George Lucas famously credited “The Hero with a Thousand Faces,” by Joseph Campbell, a follower of Jung, as an inspiration for the “Star Wars” franchise. The allure of Jung’s ideas persists. To celebrate the recent publication of Jung’s “Red Book,” an illuminated manuscript full of paintings of mandalas and snakes in which Jung recorded his investigation of the archetypes inherent in his own psyche—a document so bizarre that his heirs kept it in a bank vault for twenty-three years, perhaps for fear it would damage his reputation—the Hammer Museum held a series of talks. Helen Hunt and Miranda July were among the featured speakers.

At the center of Michels’s practice is the Jungian figure of the Shadow, the occult aspect of the personality that Jung defined as “the sum of all those unpleasant qualities we like to hide, together with the insufficiently developed functions and the contents of the personal unconscious.” In “Memories, Dreams, Reflections,” Jung describes a dream in which he was out on a windy night, cupping a tiny candle in his hand. “I looked back, and saw a gigantic black figure following me,” he writes. “When I awoke I realized at once that the figure was a ‘specter of the Brocken,’ my own shadow on the swirling mists, brought into being by the little light I was carrying.”

As the liaison to the unconscious, Michels says, the Shadow is the source of all creativity and agility in life, business, and art, which he calls “flow.” “If you can really know your own Shadow, you start to know the Shadows of everyone,” he says. “People who can write that way start to articulate universal themes, which not only makes them more successful on that level”—in other words, commercially—“but it’s a more gratifying endeavor.” In Hollywood, mentioning the Shadow can draw a look of recognition, followed by instant camaraderie. “It’s like we all went to the same school,” one of Michels’s patients—seven of whose good friends also see Michels—told me. “As in, ‘Oh, you went to Princeton? What year?’ ” Talk of Michels’s services spreads through productions, casts, and groups of friends. Howard Gordon says, “Outside the military, I can’t imagine too many collective communities sharing that kind of professional help.”

Michels asks his patients to relate to the Shadow as something real, which can be coaxed from the cobwebbed lair of the unconscious into the physical world. The process, as he describes it, is spooky, a kind of daylight séance in which he plays the role of guide. In “The Tools,” Michels tells the story of “Jennifer,” a model who lobbies to get her child into a fifteen-thousand-dollar-a-year kindergarten but is too ashamed of her self-described “trailer trash” origins to talk to the other mothers, whom she views as “a superior race of Range-Rover-driving goddesses.” The secret to her crippling sense of inferiority lies with her Shadow, which she must accept and integrate into her public self. “I asked her to close her eyes,” Michels writes. He goes on:
“Go back to the parents’ meeting where you froze up; re-create all those shaky feelings you had.” She nodded. “Now, push the feelings out in front of you and give them a face and body. This figure is the embodiment of everything you feel insecure about.” I paused. “When you’re ready, tell me what you see.”
There was a long silence. Jennifer flinched suddenly, then blinked her eyes open. “Ugh,” she said grimacing. “I saw this 13 or 14 years old girl, overweight, unwashed. Her face was pasty and covered with zits . . . a complete loser.”
Jennifer had just seen her shadow.

If the Shadow has a flesh-and-blood counterpart in the hierarchy of Hollywood, it is the writer: a pasty loser, whose suggestions are constantly being ignored or overruled. “No one looks to the writer to make the decisions,” one of Michels’s writer patients said. “You’re trying to fulfill everyone’s expectations. They think of you almost as an arm to do their thoughts.” “We’re like carnies, always out there trying to sell some idea,” another writer, who sees Michels, and whose husband, also a writer, sees Stutz, told me. It can be a frustrating, demoralizing job; scripts are bastardized to the point of being unrecognizable, if they get made at all. According to Michels, “Writers always feel beaten up. They always feel like an underclass. How do you maintain a sense of self in this environment?” In sessions with writers, Michels listens to pitches and plot lines, an attentive, albeit paid, audience. He reassures them that they are “off-the-charts smart”—a turn of phrase that some are surprised to learn does not exclusively pertain to them. He has occasionally been known to read scripts and, he says, “I give pretty good notes.”

To help a patient avoid freezing during a pitch—a problem that Michels attributes to trying to hide your Shadow from development executives—he’ll tell him to reassure his Shadow with the words “I love you and I care more about you than I do whether this pitch sells.” That is step one. Then he must invite the Shadow into the conference room, so that together they can address a silent scream—“Listen!”—to the assembled suits. “What it does is assert our—me and my Shadow’s—authority and right to have something to say,” Michels says. The third step takes place afterward, when, regardless of the outcome, the patient thanks the Shadow for its time, so that it knows the ego wasn’t just using it to get money. For writers, the analogy is clear: give the Shadow the respect you long for.

Then, there is Dust, a super-technique, good for the red carpet, auditions, and any situation in which you want to impress people. It involves pretending that your audience is covered from head to toe in dust—“a nice, thick, two-inch coat of dust, like you’re going up into an attic and everything is covered, it’s been up there for eight months,” Stutz says.

Molly Newman, an established television writer who started seeing Michels after a pilot she had written did not get green-lit, told me she used Dust when pitching to a roomful of executives. “I have radar for what people are thinking of me—Do-they-like-it-do-they-like-me-am-I-doing-it-wrong-oops-I-lost-’em.” She recounted going to the FX network to try to sell a half-hour character-driven comedy. “You walk in and there’s the head of the network and three development people and your agent and a junior agent,” she said. “They all sit down, there’s thirty seconds to a minute of small talk, and then it’s Now go! And you have to describe your idea and tell the story of what your pilot script is and how the series would progress and who the characters are—and make it sound like the most exciting idea in the world.” All the while, she said, she pictured her Shadow at her side, emanating light, and everyone else in the room blotted out by dust. Michels told me he had also used Dust with a creative executive whose boss was such an irrational screamer that she couldn’t speak to him unless she imagined him caked.

By far the most common problem afflicting the writers in Michels’s practice is procrastination, which he understands in terms of Jung’s Father archetype. “They procrastinate because they have no external authority figure demanding that they write,” he says. “Often I explain to the patient that there is an authority figure he’s answerable to, but it’s not human. It’s Time itself that’s passing inexorably. That’s why they call it Father Time. Every time you procrastinate or waste time, you’re defying this authority figure.” Procrastination, he says, is a “spurious form of immortality,” the ego’s way of claiming that it has all the time in the world; writing, by extension, is a kind of death. He gives procrastinators a tool he calls the Arbitrary Use of Time Moment, which asks them to sit in front of their computers for a fixed amount of time each day. “You say, ‘I’m surrendering myself to the archetypal Father, Chronos,’ ” he says. ‘I’m surrendering to him because he has hegemony over me.’ That submission activates something inside someone. In the simplest terms, it gets people to get their ass in the chair.” For the truly unproductive, he sets the initial period at ten minutes—“an amount of time it would sort of embarrass them not to be able to do.”

One recent afternoon, Michels put on his glasses, pulled out a file, and began to leaf through a pile of yellow legal-pad pages. It was a difficult case—a writer who had been blocked for two years. He was a type Michels sees frequently: someone vacillating between thinking he is God’s gift to mankind and thinking he is garbage. “Mmm, now this is interesting,” he said, looking at his notes. “That voice, the voice that says ‘I’m shitty’ or ‘I’m above this,’ is going to increase in volume the closer you get to actually doing the deed. You have to anticipate it, label it, and reject it every time it comes up.”

The voice belongs to what Stutz refers to as Part X, a deeply primitive dimension of the personality he identified after he began to work with show-business patients; its characteristics are petulance, rage, arrogance, hypersensitivity, a sense of victimization, and, above all, a resistance to process. Michels explains it by invoking the behavior of a two-year-old. “It’s the part that’s pounding on the table because nothing’s good enough,” he says. “They’re saying no to everything, even the color of the sippy cup—unacceptable. Most of us grow beyond the expectation that life will meet our needs in every instance. Some don’t. That’s the head of the studio, the head of the agency, or whatever, pounding his fist on a table and saying, ‘God damn it, somebody is going to pay for it!’ It’s the part of the ego that is so egotistical it believes it’s God, king of the universe. At every moment, the universe is telling him, ‘Sorry, bub, you’re not God,’ and he’s screaming, ‘No, you’re wrong and I’m going to prove it to you!’ ”

Of course, in a certain environment—around indulgent parents, say, or yes-men—Part X can be effective. “It’s not only that there’s more of it in Hollywood—it’s that there’s more reward for it,” Stutz says. After years of practicing in the industry, Stutz subdivided Part X into the Seussian categories Type 1 and Type 2—Type 1 being most people, who must conquer their X in order to succeed, while Type 2 never works on himself and gets away with it. One of his patients, a well-known actor, explained this to a younger actor he met in rehab, saying that they were both Type 1, hence the need for rehab; the younger actor took this in and asked, “How do we become Type 2?”

The novelist Bret Easton Ellis told me that he went to see Michels after he moved to Los Angeles to help with the production of a movie based on one of his books. The situation had grown sour—he was no longer speaking to his best friend, Nicholas Jarecki, with whom he wrote the screenplay, and the director, he felt, had misinterpreted the material. After working with Michels for a few months, he called Jarecki and invited him to a makeup dinner. Jarecki brought along his friend Sharon Stone. Ellis recalls that when the dinner conversation turned to the work that he had been doing with Michels, Stone interjected, “Barry and Phil and all that Shadow shit, all that Part X shit. I love my Part X, I’m not letting go of my Part X. Fuck Barry!”

Back in the office, Michels turned over another sheet of legal paper and, referring to the blocked writer, said, “He was one I taught Reversal of Desire to.” Reversal of Desire, Michels says, helps a patient face something he’s avoiding, and involves another silent scream—“Bring it on!”—addressed to an imaginary cloud of pain. While pushing into the center of the cloud, the patient says, “I love pain,” and then, “Pain sets me free.” For this writer, Michels said, it was the pain of focussing on writing when he was at his computer. “Just the little pain of when you’re writing and you really want to flip over to the Internet, which writers always want to do,” he said. “And that little pain of No, I’m not going to do that, bring on that pain.” In addition, Michels counselled him to embrace the pain of not flirting. “For a lot of guys, seducing and having sex with a woman symbolizes an exemption from process,” he said. “Sex is almost like magic—I’m there, I’ve made it. It’s the ultimate accomplishment, especially for a writer. They spend all their time alone. They usually have little—I mean we all do—feelings of inferiority. That’s going to cure it all in one fell swoop.” Reversal of Desire worked on a number of levels, Michels said. “We used it not only to get him to write and face the pain of not seducing women but also to understand pain better, because one of the criticisms of his writing was that his characters weren’t deep enough. He couldn’t quite connect to their pain, because he was avoiding his own.”

Another population on whom Michels uses Reversal of Desire is agents. “The typical agent is a very likable person with the attention span of a flea,” he says. “Agents tend to be very pain-averse and pleasure-oriented. They’re on the phone, writing an e-mail, texting, and maybe reading a script. It’s a little bit painful just to focus on one thing at a time. You get a boredom and itchiness, a feeling of ‘I don’t want to do it.’ ” But this, Michels knows from talking to talent, is alienating, and often the reason an actor or a writer will seek new representation. Sometimes, with agents, Michels starts by prohibiting them from bringing their BlackBerrys into their children’s rooms when they are putting them to bed.

A writer went to see Michels. “I don’t want to do this thing where you have to write it down,” the writer told him. He blamed the screenwriting software Final Draft for the tedium of crafting a script. “You press this button to get to Character and then the margin changes. It’s all in Courier. It’s all sanitized and the same and that aspect of it is antithetical—”

“That’s your enemy,” Michels said.

“What is my enemy?”

“That attitude,” Michels said. “You understand why? Because it’s a given. It’s like a lawyer who says, ‘I love the law, I love the research and the writing and the documents—it’s just that fuckin’ judge, I mean what the fuck, why’s he there.’ ”

Michels said that in order to love his work again the writer had to break down. “It’s really your ego that resists the form that is the accepted form.”

“No, I hate the fuckin’ form,” the writer said. After a while, he added, “I have such a knee-jerk reaction against authority.” He explained, “The selling of a script and the expectation that comes with it is a manifestation of authority. They’ve given me money, I have to satisfy what they think.”

“Here’s the secret,” Michels said. “You’ll stop rebelling against authority when a part of you—spiritually, we call it your higher self, but I don’t care what you call it—has so much faith in the breakdown-leading-to-breakthrough process (and it’s been through that process so many times) that it doesn’t really care that much about the external authority. In a sense, it has substituted the authority of process for the external authority.”

The writer said that it always seemed to him that if writing was too hard it wasn’t right. “Rocky,” after all, was written in just a few days. Michels tried his theory again. “There’s this cycle of death and rebirth even in the space of a single lifetime, and, if you can endorse the death, say, ‘Bring it on, I have to break down before I break through, I have to die before I’m reborn,’ then the process in a weird way actually gets simpler, because you’re not fighting.”

“Right,” the writer said, uncertainly, and then, more forcefully, “There’s a large degree of fuck ’em. Forget what they’re paying me, what they mentioned in an offhand e-mail.” He said he was going out of town. “Hopefully, in two weeks’ time, I’ll be back here, reporting, ‘I just spat out a first draft,’ ” he said. Michels reminded him to have faith that being stuck would defeat his ego, making room for the Shadow. “The green light is on,” the writer said, cheerfully ignoring him. “It’s time to go.” ♦


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My dad is an abusive alcoholic…


bonesandpetals asked: first and foremost, this blog is absolutely beautiful.
what i’ve been through is minor in comparrison to most peoples story, but reguardless its still chil abuse. my dads an abusive alcoholic and is hooked on various drugs, for my entire childhood he negelected my brother and i, until about two years ago. he now swaps between hitting my brother and threatening me, to telling us he loves us entirely and our mother couldnt care less because we’re unimportant to her.

i think the people that are telling you to stop talking about child abuse are narrow-minded, and pathetic. people should know about whats going on around them, and i have so much respect for making this blog. keep at it, no matter what anyone says<3

Thank you for being brave & sharing your story. Have you done anything about the abuse?


much love & support


Posted at 2:46 PM Permalink ∞

Just maybe, if I’m lucky, I’ll die.

 Reblogged From:




Anonymous asked: I walk away every time he tries to hug me. Every time he gets close to me, I squirm away. He hasn’t touched me. But he makes me feel uncomfortable. I take the blade that’s in my bathroom and I hold it to my wrist. I pray that maybe, this time, I’ll cut too deep and not have to deal with this anymore.
Just maybe, if I’m lucky, I’ll die.


Oh, please don’t do that! You are so worth being alive. Tell somebody that he makes you uncomfortable, he should be the one hurting for it, not you. You deserve to live without wanting to die & having to deal with this. You shouldn’t have to choose between being afraid or death. You don’t have to.

much love!



Posted at 1:27 AM Permalink ∞