Saturday, November 21, 2009


It's that time of year, when the parasites emerge from the woodwork looking for nourishing blood and a strong back to carry them to celebrated glory.  Maybe it's the holidays and people are just expecting free shit from folks they barely know, but it always happens around the finale, some embittered biker/writer/actor/producer surfaces with an official looking document on legal letterhead -- claiming that somehow, some way, through a wormhole or some kind of creative-calibrated vortex, FX and I undermined/stole their brilliant idea for an outlaw motorcycle show by creating Sons of Anarchy

Here's a little fact y'all should be aware of -- any semi-literate, shit-throwing monkey can have a fucking idea, it's the EXECUTION of the thought that matters.  

Creation is an action.  

The truth is a TV series about outlaw bikers is not a new idea.  People have been trying to create one for years.  The concept has been pitched to networks every season and there have been probably a dozen scripts that have circulated Hollywood.  They didn't get made because there was either no execution or the execution of those ideas failed.  Sometimes they failed because of quality, sometimes because of timing, sometimes because of the personalities involved.

SOA succeeded because the execution worked.  I was able to create interesting characters, organic relationships and dynamic story arcs.  Then I surrounded myself with people who were a fuckload more talented than I was -- great directors, great actors, great crew and a studio and network who knew how to support and market the show.

I'm sure this happens to creators all the time.  Someone has probably tried to sue JJ Abrams claiming the idea for Lost came to them in a dream while lying on Jones beach.  I guess I should be flattered, but my are-you-fucking-kidding-me button gets pushed when folks blatantly lie for profit.  And when I look at the list of folks who claim Sons was their idea -- it's never anyone with talent, it's always some poor, delusional clown who thinks the fucking world owes him a cookie.  There's one guy who still posts on his website that the character of Jax is based on him.  This guy was a 1%er who turned rat, then cashed in by becoming an "expert" and writing fairytales of the MC life.  How in any way shape or form is that life remotely similar to Jax Teller?  It's not, but he doesn't give a shit, because if it helps him sell a few more pages of fiction, who the fuck cares about the truth, right?  


Tuesday, November 17, 2009


I'm sure you've all noticed how much blogging I've been doing lately.  I'm still waiting to get my movie cast, so I'm kinda in the hallway and as I've said in the past, I really don't do well with down time.  So the blog has been a great way to keep me out of trouble... kinda.

I've also been catching up on my over-packed DVR (remember the days when we just called them tivos).  My teenage son turned me on to Seth Green's masterpiece, Robot Chicken awhile back and last night I caught up -- I watched 18 episodes (I know... I have trouble with moderation).  In the past the show made me laugh, but last night I think I finally "got it", you know the laugh behind the laugh.   

If you've never watched Robot Chicken -- imagine you're six years old and playing with GI Joe's, Barbie Dolls and other assorted action figures.  Then your sexually ambiguous uncle Billy sits down in his too-tight pants and offers to play with you (using exactly that phrase).  With each pose of the doll, he twists your innocent narrative into something violent, crude and sexually inappropriate.  Usually ending each scenario with your favorite action figure covered in blood and/or cum (his).  I love uncle Billy. 

Robot Chicken is stop-motion animation with action figures.  More often than not, Seth and company take the cartoon fantasies from our youth and turn them into hilarious and irreverent tales of mayhem.  RC is not for everyone, but as a writer who struggles with finding an independent voice in the dreck-heavy television landscape, this show is the Holy Grail.  It is irreverence personified.  

That's the joke behind the joke.  These guys are using the innocence of our youth to exploit the decadence of our adult pursuits.  And nothing is off limits.  You get the sense that half the segments are inside jokes.  They are creating shit that makes them laugh, television that they want to watch.  Their 15-minute episodes on Cartoon Network are the perfect medium for their dishonorable expression.  These guys are my heroes.  Offensive language is bleeped, but pretty much everything else flies.  If you haven't watched, it's worth tuning in.  And they attract very hip and eclectic voice talent, from Phyllis Diller to Scarlett Johansson.