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Friday, January 01, 2010

2009. THE YEAR IN REVIEW

 
I don't believe in resolutions. They are planned disappointments and future resentments. I do believe in inventories. Listing all the good things (gratitude) and all the bad things (defects of character). I simply list them, acknowledge them, accept them, learn from them and move on. Here are some of the highlights that I am legally allowed to share. In no particular order: 

THE GOOD 

Sobriety  
On 3/23 it was 16 years since my last drink or drug. Everything good in my life is a result of this. Everything.  

Faith 
Knowing at the core of being that there is God and I am not it. 

Family 
Before Katey and my kids, love was a need, now it's an action. 

Work  
I am blessed to get paid a lot of money for something I'd do for free. 

Health  
I probably am in the best shape I've ever been. Stronger now than when I was in my 20's. And I have all my hair. 

Talent  
I'm very lucky that I've found the right outlet for all the scary things in my head. 

Friendship 
I don't really like people, so letting folks get truly close is a struggle for me. But the ones who do, I value dearly.  

Stuff 
Success has afforded me the luxury of owning a lot of really cool shit. Beautiful home, nice car, lots of man toys. 

THE BAD  

OC ism 
My obsessive compulsivity bleeds into all areas of my life. Perfectionism, need for control, my indulgent relationship with food, sex -- anything at all pleasurable. My default is always more, more, more, now, now, now. It's a daily struggle, from which, if I'm spiritually centered, I get a modicum of relief. My mind is a very exciting, hard to follow, ping-pong match.  

Anger 
All my mistakes are born of one cause - fear. Fear of losing what I have, fear of not getting what I want. At my core, I am a dissatisfied man. I was born hungry and pissed. It's taken a lot of work to get happy. Anger is my first reply to any challenge. It is my greatest defense and my greatest weakness. It manifests into sarcasm, moodiness, impatience, etc. The upside is that the anger rarely becomes rage these days. I can usually check myself before reacting, so the person who suffers the most is usually me.  

Over-sensitivity 
Again, and offshoot of fear, but it deserves it's own category. Some of it is being an artist. We create not only for ourselves, but to express something to others. To communicate a vision. I wish I had the capacity to hang my work for public consumption and not care about the opinions that follow. But alas, I am not cut from that thick cloth. I take every criticism personally, from the most inane blog, to the New York Times, to Twitter remarks. I have no skin. As I am lying in a puddle of my own creative blood I am usually taken to the next defect -- 

THE UGLY 
 
Self Loathing 
I am blessed. I have an amazing life, an amazing family an amazing career. And still there are times when I want to tie a fucking chain around my neck and dive off my roof. 

On that note, I wish you all a happy and sane 2010. I thank you from the bottom of my big dark heart for all the love and support. 

Peace. Please.

55 comments:

kimshum said...

The most honest - and meaningful - year in review I've seen. You, sir, continue to amaze.

Here's to a better 2010.

Paul said...

You’re one talented mother fucker. I love this blog. I teach a TV criticism course and you make the reading list a few times. Your show has a prominent role in my class next semester as well. Wishing you a great 2010.

Laura said...

I hope you never give in to the ugly! Along with all the other good things you mentioned, you're honest with yourself. That may be as important as anything else. Here's to telling great stories in 2010! Happy New Year to you and your family!

PaultheIrish said...
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East Coast said...

had no idea you were a frind of bill w.'s congrats. I did 14 years and decided to go back off the wagon. lol

so far so good, but thats just me. Miss the show, and really sorry I missed the swag giveaway.
be well dude
support 81

chevyjr said...

U r a magnificent talent.Thank u for sharing your dramatic ideas !! oh and HAPPY NEW YEAR !!May many more appreciate u.

Shelby Light said...
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Chris said...

I can't remember why I started following you on Twitter. i don't watch SOA, I don't follow your wife if she even has a Twitter. And now I'm following your blog?

I totally appreciate you honesty in everything you write. That may be all there is to it.

Happy New Year~

PatD64 said...

"Faith
Knowing at the core of being that there is God and I am not it"

Haha!!!! What a great line,Thanks for being so honest with us about who you are! Love ya buddy! Happy New Year to you and everyone from SOA!

Danielle said...

This whole blog is soooo close to myself and my day to day struggle. I'm not a blog poster or a blog reader for that matter. But I like millions of other people, am a huge fan of the SONS. And my interested in you as the creator lead me here. I think you are doing a phenomenal job with the show and I also strongly believe you, the show, or your wife haven't been given the credit you all deserve. I'm not sure this will reach you in a way that I hope it will. But thank you for this latest blog entry and I hope the year brings you, your family, and the SONS all the credit you deserve. I have faith that will happen.

Susan said...

Peace to you.
You had a great year, thanks for all your hard work on SOA. Much appreciated.
And a blessed 2010

tammi said...

wow found this on Twitter. Very well said. I share some of your Bad & Ugly. I will work on that. Happy New Year, Dark heart.

Iberostar said...

Whoa - great blog - my friend and I were talking today about the darkness that goes along with the creative gift - a touch is okay - too much and you're on the couch talking about your compulsions. You are right where you need to be. I visit your blog a lot. Here's to a great New Year for you and SOA.

WI_Debi said...

Happy New Year to you too.

I hope this doesn't piss you off...but you didn't say No and I'm basically an adolescent in an adult costume so I consider that permission granted..I mean seriously dude, it's 14 degrees here we deserve a party don't ya think??

We've decided to go ahead with the Golden Cheddar Sphere Awards, a fan based FUCK YOU to the nominating committee of the Golden Globes. All nominees will be SoA associated.
Categories so far:
Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor/Actress, Best Episode Season 2, Best director (I could use some help with names in this category),Character you love to hate (performer), Best death, Favorite Cameo...that's all I have so far.
There will be 2 other awards for fans:
Criteria yet to be determined
Gemma's Skateboard Award
Opie's Hat Award
SoA T-shirt design contest, winner to be determined by penny in a pickle jar vote, proceeds to be donated to a local charity cuz I'm only schlepping pennies once

The GC Awards will take place at: Tailgaters
4706 75th Street
Kenosha, WI 53142-3776
Sunday January 17
3:00 p.m. C.S.T.

Anyone wanting more information can join our Yahoogroup F_U_GG or contact me via Twitter.. I'll attempt to set up a facebook page for contact also.

I could use some volunteers to help out with vote counting, videography and cheddar sphere creation so feel free to spread the word far & wide.

So, barring any cease & desist orders from the left coast, I'll look forwad to seeing everyone on the 17th!

Happy New Year Everybody : D

Julie said...

I don't suppose you have a single brother/dad/uncle for me, do you? I think your review is honest and direct and reflects a damn good balance of family and work.

Congrats on where you are, where you have been, and where you are going.

Anonymous said...
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Jane said...

I spent New Year's Eve re-watching Season 1 SOA. Thanks for such a great show. May 2010 be a wonderful year for you and your family.

Anonymous said...

"You are only as sick as your secrets" Sounds like you've been through 12 steps, congrats on the sobriety, that is amazing, and you should always be grateful for that, amazing bro.

You are not alone in your feelings and sickness, there are many just like us. Fear is our enemy, keep facing the day to day struggle. Fake it until you make it. That's what I am trying to do.

Love you work.

still looking for a place to get my hands on a sample script to work a spec off...

peace.

Kingsley said...

Your complete honesty is beautiful... May God bless you in this new year.

Derek C. said...

I knew you must be a friend of Bill's from the jump when I heard the words"character defects"God I hate those two words.Not as much as I use to though.Going on two years myself and its been an uphill battle.SONS gave me something to look forward to every week for the past 23 months and I thank you for that.I think what pulled me in the direction of following your words was when I found out that you were the character "Otto" on the show.I remember saying "Man! That guy looks like he knows the part all too well" Like I could feel from your character that you've maybe been to a portion of the places that the person whom your portraying has been himself.Anyway here I am waiting for season two like its my next "high" and reading everything you've put out on the internet.God bless you and your family and thanks a million times for the best, most intense feelings I've ever felt while sitting in front of a T.V.Love any kind of healthy,sober rush!

The Mulkster said...

Well, at least you said, "Please?" Every asshole can muster up a shred of politeness every once in a while. So, if I may, I would like to demonstrate my capacity for politeness as well and say, "Thank you." If it’s any consolation, I, myself, have had the glorious deed of taking personal inventory and the results are never pretty. Through all of the internal bloody messes I have to constantly tidy up for myself, there is one theme that always seems to give me solace. Maintaining my ability to work and create. For each man, I am sure that it's different. But for me, having the privilege to gather all of my life's experience in this sick and wrong head of mine and actually create something externally is liberating! In a fucked-up way, it gives me hope to sit here and read these words of yours. The notion of another poor bastard having a similar constitution as myself is fine and dandy, but to know that the same tortured soul happens to be at the top of his class is enlightening! I guess misery loves company. Nonetheless, Thank You for not letting the demons conquer and thank you for giving the demons a venue to entertain the rest of us miserable pukes who are out there fighting the good fight right alongside you! Keep coming back. We need you out here. Happy New Year, Sutter!

Indianacat said...

Happy Mew Year from Indianacat!

Fascinating how we creative souls are so prone to the same good, bad and ugly things.

I'm truly blessed in these times to have a home over the head, a job, a husband I adore (and who puts up with my obsessions), good health (off smoking for 20 years plus), and my sanity...not necessarily in that order.

The ugly? Self loathing. Still working on that myself and that's half a decade of work right there. It is truly a battle royal won in not letting the fucktards in life get you down.

The bad? Anger and oversensitivy go hand in hand, my friend. That is my #1 vice. When you have Scot and Irish background, the temper tends to be hair trigger.

As far as critics go, Johnny Hart once said it real well about 'em. What's a snake's eye view of things? A Critic.

Critism when constructive and helpful can be a good thing. Criticsm just to be a fucktard (that's my new colorful metaphor of the year) is destructive. When faced with the second, I often want to shoot first, ask questions later. But remember that doing so puts me at their level, and while my opinion of self might be grandiose, I KNOW am higher up the evolutionary scale than them.

You've had a great year this year. Awards? Screw 'em. They take up space. The best award is the egoboo you get from the people who watch, and read, and live.

Enjoy the ride. May it be long and prosperous. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, the fans, and for posting and reading our comments!

WI_Debi said...

Facebook page is up.
Wi-Debi Kenosha
for info on The Golden Cheddar Sphere Awards/ F_U_GG's

Ingeborg said...

I'm glad you decided to make SOA, because I love love love it. And I can't wait to get the first season on dvd (because unlike other people I don't like downloding films and series). I'll get it sometime in Febuary, depening if keep my pre-ordering on play, or if I cancel it and buy it a store.

Anyway: I wish you and your family a happy (and sane) new year too.

Mary said...

Happy New Year!!! I love your blog, you are so talented, your honesty makes you a beautiful and interesting man. Katey is a lucky woman to have you. I think everyone at one time or another wants to dive off their roof!

Anonymous said...

Querido Kurt,

Feliz Año desde España.

And keep kicking asses with your show!!!
Awesome blog, by the way.

Javier

Pointman said...

Without those conquered and controlled vices to test us- life would be pretty fucking boring!
You are an example of channeling everything that motivates you, haunts you, into a creative force.
Have a great 2010 and beyond~

Ride forever- Work Whenever!

tonilost said...

All I can say is thanks be that you met Katey. Your honesty is cringeworthy to me because I'm quite like you in my faults. Never enough used to be my motto in all things. It turned out being a vain woman was a good thing, the excesses I indulged in werent making me look younger, lol. The control issues were really the hardest to change and I give you props for even recognizing you have these problems. Happy New Year and Buona Fortuna!

Connie said...

Abraham Lincoln once said "A man with no vices is a man with no virtue". Nobody is perfect and we all have our own demons, just most of us hide them. You are lucky enough to channel them into some of the best television anyone has seen in a long while.

I used to have a Calvin and Hobbes sticker on my bulletin board at work that said " I HATE PEOPLE". There is nothing wrong with that. I would give the shirt off my back if you needn't it, just so long as you said thanks and left me alone.

We are the types that don't bother anyone and would like the same courtesy extended to us.

Nobody's perfect. God Bless you, Katie and your family. Healthy, Happy and Prosperous New Year to you all. This is the only blog I follow because you are so honest and real. Thanks and please shoot some of Season 3 in NYC !!!

connor said...

Some musical considerations for season three.Too Slim & the Taildraggers>"Free Your Mind"; Joanne Shaw Taylor>"White Sugar"; Shane Dwight>"Plays the Blues.

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Anonymous said...

It is very interesting for me to read the post. Thank you for it. I like such themes and everything connected to this matter. I would like to read a bit more soon.

SOA_MEN_OF_CHAOS said...

ARE WE EVER GOING TO GET A CHANCE TO READ "THE LIFE AND DEATH OF SAM CROW" ? US DIE HARD FANS WOULD LOVE TO READ IT.

The Crazy Horse Flame Shop said...

Hello Kurt, A reader on my blog left a comment that I thought you might find interesting. I was taking poll on SOA. He asked a question about getting SOA DVDs in Canada. Here it is:

"I am an edumacated western Canadian who loves to ride and is stuck in the snow. I have ridden motorcycles since about 10 and live to ride, ski, fish and drink hard. My two bikes are currently a duli purpose given to me by my father and a 76 KZ 900 LTD. Both are rat bikes not by choice but competing interests of ambition, time and money. My first gang was on bicycles around 6 years of age. Presently I am a lone wolf but that is okay as it provides freedom on the pavement and in the mountains. Although i have never belonged to an outlaw biker gang, I can't get enough of the Son's of Anarchy on the internet, it realy hits a cord with those that understand the freedom of riding. I am currently trying to order up the DVD for myself and my brother in law, does anyone know a place where that is possible?"

Marc said...

Kurt...absolutely LOVE SOA, have been recommending it to all my friends here. Thought the Zobelle and Weston characters were solid, sinister and believable. Rollins was understated and simmering....am also dying to see Darby resurface (if he is indeed alive). The building tension between Hunnam and Perlman towards the end was superb. Anyway am here to make a point...it's a problem Hollywood and the world has had in general for a long time...yep Irish and more specifically Northern Irish accents. I am sorry to say the "True IRA" characters have some of the worst approximations of the accent that I have ever heard. I know it must be difficult to find actors with a real N.Irish accent...but I have a few things to beg of you...please PLEASE find Northern Irish actors to play Northern Irish characters. There are only a few English actors that I have seen that can do it correctly even...Secondly...the end of Season 2 suggests that Jax might go to Belfast or Ireland to reclaim his son. I beg of you, don't do it...unless you actually plan to shoot on location in Belfast with decent local actors (alot of them over here are theatre divas who overact!). Cinema and television is littered with poorly conceived attempts to address the "situation" in Northern Ireland. SOA works best in Northern CALI. Beyond these minor issues, it is simply the best show on television. I know you are a very busy man, but if you wanted to discuss any of the above is there any way I could get an email or address for you or pass you mine. Obviously do not want to post mine here.(I am not soliciting for work etc. not involved in the film/tv biz at all) Thanks for your time and hope this post gets approved.

Kat Bogart said...

Hi,

I think one thing that is a constant between Sons of Anarchy and you - is honesty. Sometimes we barely look at ourselves in an honest light. We don't want to point out our faults or weaknesses. I see both happen in Sons of Anarchy and reading your blog. I find it refreshing. We are human. We make mistakes and we can learn from them. But first we have to be honest with ourselves in order to move forward.

Thanks for your blog. I hope 2010 gives you happiness, joy and satisfaction in all that you do.

Kat

Allston said...

Honesty is refreshing; it also hurts when it's so close to home. I'm sad(glad) that my own shit is on a similar plane as others (you, however, are far more eloquent in your recitation) and success can be reached by all.. Best wishes and happy thoughts for a happy, peaceful, HEALTHY, prosperous New Year for Sutter Ink and followers

Greegor said...

Hey, Kurt.

Excellent, excellent show. Well done. Can. Not. Wait. For. Season. Three.

As a displaced New Englander in Australia, the only way I could get the show earlier this year was through a buddy of mine who's an IT maniac. We gulped down both seasons in, like, four afternoons. Since then we've been evangelists for SOA in our little patch of Oz.

The ex-military guy in me appreciates the sense of brotherhood and community found in the show (even if that community is far from idyllic). Oddly enough, that sense of community was present in one of the other (of very, very few) shows that I watched or collected: Northern Exposure. Yeah, I know - on the surface you couldn't ask for two more dissimilar shows.

Anyway, thanks for giving us something with texture and interest to watch. Keep the self-loathing at bay. I guess it's the price paid... the pendulum swinging both ways, that is... little acts of destruction evening out the creative instinct. The universe's tax, if you will.

Good blog, good show. Thanks again.

Greegor

Marineposa said...

Wow! I must respond. First, will AA help me express myself that honestly? Though I'm not an addict I'll join! How ironic that you hate people--your work has brought you more of us! And we all want a piece of you--you willingly bleed for us. It's like there a million full of sound and fury Kurt Sutters in that head with a brilliant spark to let them shine through. I'm self-conscious--I don't allow the self to the open range. So, I often ask myself why I'm such a crazy fan? When deep inside I always thought Hollywood is evil! That we would look back and compare it to the long gone Roman expectacle! You see the inner critic was silenced the moment I saw the first episode of SOA. Do what we fans do--ignore the critics and focus on the show. Of course if in some sick twisted way it fuels the work then do what you must... Can't wait for Sep 2010! Viewing party at my house!

Tsalagi said...

I knew at least one of the writers for SOA was a friend of Bill's. It is so good to hear such honesty for someone with time. I had 16 years on 8/18, but still manage to be an idiot from time to time (still have a lot of work to do I guess). I just love how you had Jemma using service to others as a way out of her inner torment.
The bondage of self is a bitch. It is a constant battle; one that I actually enjoy when I am putting some good hard work into helping others, but a battle I loathe if I rest on my laurels at all for long. It is so easy to get tired.

Your wife is the best actress out there. If she doesn't get some kind of recognition for her work on SOA, then the critics have utterly failed.
Keep up the amazing work brother! Keep passing it on!

Anonymous said...

sounds familliar... get rid of all your chains and die old and happy after you got wise on any day in the future...

Cheers from a german reader...

Anonymous said...

You and your wife are amazing artists and I want to thank you for entertaining me. Love the show!

dadgadjohn said...

We have much in common. Reading this post was a little like looking in the mirror.

Thank you for your honesty.

sskingsolver said...

So that's why I feel a kindred spirit to you and SOA. I've been a friend of Bill's since 1984 and ditto to almost everything you said.
Happy New year to you and yours.
Susan

m1k3y said...

I love SOA. I have been clean for 4 years and 3 months and it has been a long road. It is getting easier though and I am grateful for every day clean. Here is to another year of being clean for the both of us!

Jaime said...

I loved loved loved this. Thank you for sharing. Please keep being brutely honest, so that you can keep being humble, so you can keeping creating amazing television.
I just love my fellows and celebrate your success as a result of your recovery.

mikonos said...

Don't expect or want you to post this. Very self observant, kudos on that. But understand you and the crew are not "experts" on the biker community or bikes. When questions come up about boots or sneakers, leave it alone. Don't have a strong opinion one way or the other. Bikers don't like direction and they frankly don't follow that kind of "well, if you understood the biker lifestyle you would know they don't wear boots they wear sneakers" You know what? They wear whatever they want and they dress their bikes however they want. There is no bullshit formula or "how does my ass look in these jeans?". The bikes are often Dyna style but usually older FXR bikes that are arguably the best frames built in the history of the motor company. Look at a group of outlaws and they have every imaginable combination of dress and bike style. If you want to tell them a cut down windshield or fairing is "out of style", go for it but they don't really care and they might pop you in the mouth but drink a beer with you later.

Anyhoo, to your point on hiding behind an alias. Michael Vos, founder of Von Dutch Kustom Cycles. Live in Yorba Linda California USA. And I had a few of the pop in the mouth experiences.....but not that resulted in those looking at me like an asshole.

Respect

Michael

Elizabeth Grace Ruff said...

Kurt-

I finally got a moment to catch on things after Christmas and when I read your blog all I could think was, "Ohmigosh... he has practically described me in a nutshell!"

We must be related! bahaha. Just kidding.

I loved it and I love to continue reading your posts! Just thought I would pop and in and say a little something!

:) Elizabeth

Outsider said...

man I wish there was a merciful god or any god but there sure as fuck isn't

Outsider said...

I don't like people much either, misanthropy, but there are the exceptions that prove the rule.....
and restore my appreciation of how we all suffer from
the human condition....

Maybe humanity is a scourge in some ways...
Too successful for it's own good...
But the social darwinism that says only the Strong
have the right to survive.....is about as unfair and unegalitarian and politically manipulative as it gets...

So there's the Paradox....One can be a personal misanthrope..While still having sympathy for those of us suffering the malaise of the human condition
Meaning most everyone....except maybe for the worst killers and oppressors who are twisted beyond recognition by their own demons...
Life is a high stakes game we all lose in the
End

Sabrina said...

Coming in late on this one, but wanted to say that honesty is refreshing even when dark. Quite a few things I can relate to in this particular blog. Hope 2010 is as good to you and yours as 2009 was!

isagenie3 said...

Wow, Kurt I just stumbled across your 2009 year in review. Thanks for the words of wisdom.

I thought I was the only one who abhorred new years resolutions ... and who, even though I live a very blessed life, on certain days can be one step away from my own personal suicidal blend.

One dark, damaged heart to another, thanks for putting it out there. Thanks for the inspiration. I wish you and Katey and the Sons the peace and balance in 2010!

Chadler C aka Chub Daddy said...

Love ya bro! Any friend of Bill or Jimmy is a friend of mine. 2/4 will make 13 years since my last drink or drug. Had no clue you were one of "us" before reading this and the references to inventory and not being God. Now it all makes sense why I love your shit so much and think Sons is the best show ever made: You're a sick mother fucker too! Seriously, I used to think Dexter was the best thing on. (Still love it by the way). But Sons far surpasses any show I have ever loved. If you can out-dark Dexter you gotta be a beautifully sick person. Thanks for keeping it real! -Chub Daddy (aka Chadler C) friend of Bill W, Jimmy K, and huge Sutter fan!!!

Lostbhoy said...

Dude u are inspiring and refreshingly honest. I have only actually just found out you are Otto!! lol Can't wait for new eps and your wife is an amazingly talented actress but just like the way Lost gets overlooked way too often, that is happening with your cast too which is shocking! Peace Bro :P

Sean from Windsor, Ont. said...

Hey, I stumbled on your blog after someone recommended your shows to me, honestly though I still haven't checked them out.

Congratulations on making 16 years, that's a lot of days at a time. I'm in my second shot at my first year and it's nice to see another example of someone that's come through, continued on and prospered.

I'll have to check out your work. Thanks for sharing your thoughts