A Trail in Two Countries

Years ago I traveled the sands of Saudi Arabia, stopping along the way to tour the  old camel train forts. I visited these caravanserai along the Hejaz Railway, the line targeted by T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire during World War I. My journeys between 2003-05 took me north from Jeddah through … Continue reading A Trail in Two Countries

“The Whites…”

An ugly and violent upward trend divides us along ethnic lines today. In order to stay sane in the face of this spreading and dangerous hate, one need only look to Walter Sobchak, the right-wing nut job Vietnam vet (and convert to Judaism!) from The Big Lebowski... https://youtu.be/dQbpx5Be5rI His utter disdain for his own dirty … Continue reading “The Whites…”

A BenEast FilmFirst Production

This week I enjoyed a 30-minute interview with Matthew Whiteside, head impresario at Uniweb Productions. The man's doing a lot for indie writers, pumping out interview after interview exploring the challenges we face, the inspirations that drive us, and the rewards that come with pursuing our creative demons. He even inspired me to put up … Continue reading A BenEast FilmFirst Production

Ele-Vader Pitch

Like so many of their peers, my sons are obsessed by the Harry Potter books. No wonder, then, that while introducing them to Star Wars I came upon this happy epiphany. As I brought popcorn into the living room, I overheard one of them reading the Amazon plot pitch for The Empire Strikes Back as if it … Continue reading Ele-Vader Pitch

Darth Vader’s Henchmen…

Darth Vader's taskmaster Admiral Piett, promoted under choking duress during the Star Wars Trilogy, bears an uncanny resemblance to a peculiar and unlikeable figure serving the current administration. See if you can tell them apart. That's Piett in the Nazi-looking uniform. Miller, rhetoric notwithstanding, dresses a different part. But let's go to the tapes. Here … Continue reading Darth Vader’s Henchmen…

Death Star

We call this project the Death Star. The Death Star is going up across from my flat. Just outside our bedroom window, as a matter of fact. Here's an eyewitness account of how they build the Death Star: After fielding an unusual duty call at midnight last night, I returned to bed at 01:00, badly … Continue reading Death Star

Freddy!

I’m ready for this. I’m hanging on the edge of my seat. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mP0VHJYFOAU       ##

A Gift at Navratri

Navratri celebrates female energy and the conquest of good over evil. Appropriately, this year's nine nights marking Goddess Durga's battles against the buffalo demon Mahishasuran arrived in concert with the power of India's #MeToo movement. Accusations of sexual assault and harassment by men against women first took aim at prominent figures in the Indian film … Continue reading A Gift at Navratri

Cricket

Travels around India don’t have to include the Taj Mahal, the Gateway of India, or a dip in the Ganges to be special. Our four-day journey to Karnataka state included stops at Chamundi Hills, the ancestral village for which my father-in-law takes his name—Kuppahalli, and half a click from where we stayed, the Mysore Palace. … Continue reading Cricket

American Tabloid*

In one quick blow The AP updates James Ellroy’s 1950’s noir as contemporary political sleaze. National Enquirer hid damaging Trump stories in a safe WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Enquirer kept a safe containing documents on hush money payments and other damaging stories it killed as part of its cozy relationship with Donald Trump... Tabloid … Continue reading American Tabloid*