An Open Letter to Hollywood, and an Offer of Cookies

Dear Hollywood,

Now’s your chance.

ameicancookieNow’s your chance to become the arm of the progressive liberal movement that the right wing has always shrilly accused you of being (clutching pearls optional). And there will be cookies involved.

Let’s go back a bit.

Remember when you made movies or TV shows in which nearly every person of Middle Eastern descent was a terrorist? Remember when ever black person was a thug and every Hispanic was a drug lord? How about when every Asian was a martial arts expert? If they were female, then they were also femme fatale spies because, y’know, “exotic”. Remember when gays were played just for laughs and served no other function except perhaps as some kind of magical friend to the female lead? And women in general… they were prizes for the male protagonists. Or maybe all that hard-working single girl needed was a good man?

Yeah, well, thanks for that. You contributed nothing to the growth of American society.
Now I will admit that things have been a bit better of late. They are far from perfect, but they are a damn sight better than they were 25 years ago. You don’t get a cookie for that, though.

You just realized that–hey, women and homosexuals and minorities watch TV as well, and they also need to buy dish soap or snuggies or cars or whatever.

Whenever you show a cereal commercial with an interracial couple or a fake cheese ad featuring a same sex couple, a bigot somewhere loses what little mind they have and call for a spectacularly-failed boycott as you end up getting more good press and customers from viewers who have long felt disenfranchised from that most American of traditions–consumerism.

The point being… you’re not going to lose money offending bigots. Sure, they’re loud and they’re obnoxious, and sometimes their poorly-spelled protest signs make you feel sad… but you’re in no danger of losing money because of these idjits.

So with that in mind…

Now is the time for you to help make up for all that nonsense you perpetuated before. You want a nice, clear, morally unambiguous villain for your next feature or TV show? I have a suggestion:

Continue reading

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An Open Letter to Dan Harmon of HarmonQuest

Time to get the band back together.

Time to get the band back together.

Dear Dan Harmon of HarmonQuest,

I have enjoyed the entire run of HarmonQuest too many times now to count. Even our two month-old baby has seen it a few times–mostly because it’s 3 a.m. and I have control of the remote controls. After so many repeated viewings, I am sorely tempted to commit myself to a certain course of action, to whit:

Raiding our meager savings to book a flight to Hollywood after which I will disembark, rent a vehicle, and cruise around until I find out where your office is located. From there, I will spend several days camped out in the parking lot while marking your comings and goings in order to establish a daily routine. There will be photos taken so I can determine your jacket size. Once this is completed successfully, I will return to cruising about Hollywood for a second-hand clothing store at which I will purchase a sports jacket of suitable size. You never seem to wear one, and a sports jacket is pivotal to my plan.

Once the jacket is acquired, I will return to your office parking lot and wait for you to come back from lunch when you’re likely to be more easily subdued. At that point, I will approach you from behind, tackle you to the ground, and wrestle the sports jacket on you. At that point, I will turn you over, grasp you by the lapels of the sports jacket (see what I mean by pivotal? You can’t do that to a t-shirt) and lift you up. I will get in your face and yell–

“ANOTHER SEASON OF HARMONQUEST…NOW!”

I will keep yelling this until I pass out.

You don't have time to point. Get to work!

You don’t have time to point. Get to work!

When Security wakes me up and escorts me from the parking lot, I will consider my mission complete. And, because this will be my first time visiting Hollywood, I will make a side trip to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery to pay my respects at Peter Lorre’s grave before returning to the airport, cleaning out the rental car of fast food containers and coffee cups, arguing about the security deposit, and angrily boarding a plane home.

Upon arriving home, I will be in deep trouble with my wife, child, clients, and that clerk at the local convenience store who’s kind of an asshat and totally unrelated to this story.

Please don’t test me. I’m no stranger to bad decisions and this would ruin me both financially and professionally, destroy my family, and I’d miss a couple of game nights. None of us want that. HarmonQuest is distributed digitally, so you’re not beholden to typical season scheduling. You can make a second season happen more quickly than the executives with their fancy, no-grip lapels would have you think.

All my love,

–John Teehan
West Warwick, RI

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How we can help…

white-rose-11We ask ourselves how can we help? How can we be part of the solution and not be part of the problem.

This is a question I’ve been working on for the past few days.

It’s been easy to express support and solidarity with people online, but that kind of support is helpful only to a certain point. So what can I do more locally?

Well, for one, I offer to be your friend and, when needed, escort. If you are someplace, or going someplace, where you worry for your safety. Contact me and I will be your buffer. If things get overwhelming, contact me and I will be someone who will listen. If you just need a break, we’ll go get a coffee or something. Or play a game. Or you can hold the baby.

If you need to get out of where you are, we can be, to the best of our ability, your haven. A place to come to. Don’t mind the mess. We’re new parents and we have a large dog, but we’ll make room on the couch and I make a pretty damn good chowder.

DYJ90B Closed safety pins on a blue jeans denim fabric

DYJ90B Closed safety pins on a blue jeans denim fabric

After the rise of violence in the UK following the Brexit vote, many have taken to wearing a safety pin as a symbol of solidarity. That they’re someone that is willing to help those who feel threatened. I see no reason why we can’t adopt that practice here.

Hatred didn’t win here. It only revealed itself. Now we’re in a better position to make some real change, and to make this world a better place.

Yes, Rhode Island is a solidly blue state, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have our fair share of dicks. Hell, there are dicks here that take a weird pride in being dicks.

Yeah, I don’t get it either.

We can make changes politically. We can make changes socially. It’s the duty of all good Americans. Of all good people.

We’re here, and we are open.

–John

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On Recent Events

jackrabbitcircleThere have been a lot of thoughts and emotions swirling about my head in regards to the recent election. Certainly did not see it coming, and I acknowledge that I may have been a victim of my own bubble.

Just the same, that’s no excuse for some many people supporting a candidate who campaigned on a platform of racism and fear.

Most of my thoughts can be found in a recent Dear Jackrabbit letter to my son. You can read it here.

 

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Treating myself

img_20161107_1011481_rewindWith money as tight as it is around here right now, it’s hard to get me to treat myself sometimes. But I’m not made of stone, and gift cards can be wonderful things. My current highlight is an “ugly sweater” Peanuts coffee mug in reluctant acknowledgement of the holiday season that is about to move me from broke to “huh… remember when I was just broke? Good times.”

Joining it is a copy of Nick Mamatas’ latest novel I Am Providence which is a murder mystery set at a Lovecraft convention in Providence. Shades of Sharyn McCrumb going on here. I’m not much of a Lovecraft fan, but you can’t have lived in Providence for a quarter of a century and know fandom in general and not be at least curious to see how it’s all portrayed. I’ll likely write a review no one is asking for because… well, because.

Cheers!

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What’s writing these days…

We keep pretty busy here at casa de Teehan.

jackrabbitcircleWhat with the new baby, things get busier, but we also find time to work on our own projects. For myself, it’s a lot of writing. I like keeping it regular, and I like having deadlines. Right now, I’m keeping a thrice-weekly updated dadblog over at DearJackrabbit.com. You should go check it out and maybe even consider supporting it. I think it’s working quite well. It has some decent readership, but could always use more, so feel free to spread the word of its existence. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I write about parenting… sometimes with tongue in cheek, but not always. On Sundays I write the “Dear Jackrabbit” letter which is a letter written directly for my son about all sorts of topics.

I’m also writing a bi-weekly column for Forces of Geek. I review a lot of YouTube material there, but also often write about gaming and other nerdy topics. Some of the better recent ones include:

And I’m writing some short fiction. New stuff. Poetry, too–all of which is being sent out to various markets to see what all gets a nibble. While I’ve not been able to keep up with a story per week as I had once wanted to do, I’m at least churning something out every couple of weeks.

That’s not bad considering the schedule of the day.

dragonpackSo writing. It’s where it’s at. Oh, and an older story of mine, “Dragonscaling!” has recently been reprinted in The Dragon Super Pack an anthology from Fantastic Stories. It is now available for order as both a large trade paperback and in various e-formats.

shitgibbonOh, and I’ve been trying to do a bit of fan writing again–most recently with a rant about No Smoking signs for John Purcell’s one-shot Shitgibbon available as a free PDF download.

So… keeping busy!

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Another reboot? C’mon, man!

bootsYeah.

I’m back. Well, I didn’t really leave, but I’m back to trying to update this site more. Seems like the last time I tried to do so was a bit over a year ago and guess what? I was talking about the Republican primary debates. Now it’s over a year later and the presidential election is still to be determined (although in many ways it is also a foregone conclusion).

The point is that I’ve been away for a while and now I’m back.

So, why now?

Well, we have a new addition to the family… my son John Eric Reilly Teehan. This isn’t news to many of you who know me on Facebook. You may even know that I started a blog dedicated to Jack and to parenthood called DearJackrabbit.com and, thus far, I’ve been pretty good about keeping it updated and on schedule. If you want all the skinny on young Jack, you can visit that site and, perhaps, look at some of the fundraising links if you like what you see.

As for johnteehan.com, i.e., this site, I’m going to go back to writing regularly. Some of it will be items of personal interest such as what I’ve been up to with work, with writing, and with life. Some Jack stuff may slip in, but I promise it’s not going to be baby heavy. That’s what the other site is for.

Me and the boy.

Me and the boy.

More likely I’ll revive some of my more creative posts such as the “Dear Monster” letters and other mystery mail. I’ll post updates on what’s happening with the Merry Blacksmith side of my life–both the publishing part of it and the art part of it.

And whatever else strikes my fancy.

Will there be a set schedule? Nothing too onerous. I do have a job, you know. Just the same, I expect I’ll be updating a couple of times a week. Two or three. Just enough to keep y’all interested. I’ll post link updates on Facebook and Twitter.

Again, why now?

I feel a little guilty about not even considering trying out for NaNoWriMo this year. It’s just not in the cards as we get used to having a baby in the house and maintaining a proper work schedule. Still, I like to be in the practice of writing. Between three weekly Dear Jackrabbit posts and a bi-weekly column at Forces of Geek, you’d think that’d be enough.

Not really. Not for my tastes.

So we’re back. And we’ll see how this goes.

Cheers!

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Last night’s tragicomedies and a Call To Adventure

Cups ran over last night. So much to keep up with. We’ll start tragically and move to comedically and end with…adventure?

legion_of_doomLast night was the first major Republican debate of this election cycle. It was entertaining—featuring much bombastic strutting, sniping, dishonest or ignorant claims (your pick), and a generous amount of self-congratulation. This last item might have made the whole affair seem tragically comic were it not for the lack of any redeeming qualities held by any of the candidates. For a tragicomedy to work, one must sympathize somewhat with the subjects.

If there was any “winner” last night (assuming we set our bar very low) it would probably have to have been Governor John Kasich who managed to sound like an adult almost the entire evening while touting various liberal-sounding social programs such as drug addiction treatment and prison reform, and a seeming support for gay marriage. It struck me as a cynical ploy to independents and some Democrats. He talked very fast and didn’t want to remind anyone of his attacks on education, his strident support of an anti-gay marriage amendment, and the scandal-prone, trigger-happy police in his state.

Moving on… and note that I’m not even going to comment on the kids table debate that happened earlier in the day. Lunatics.

*  *  *

jon-stewartAs for the tragically comic, my favorite definition is from that episode of The Simpsons with John Waters guesting in which Homer thinks that “the tragically comic” is when a clown dies. Jon Stewart didn’t die. He’s just moving to a farm where he can run and play with other animals. In New Jersey.

Last night, Stewart received an incredible send-off. Good for him. Good for him. He’s earned some downtime and while we’re going to miss him terribly, we assume—have faith, if you will—that we’ll see him again.

*  *  *

This morning I am reading through an old journal I found at an estate sale which hints toward the existence of fortune and glory to the person made of the right kind of stuff. The right kind of stuff might be wrong, of course. There is always that chance.

new-york-public-library-lionsInterested in an adventure? Here’s a list of things you’ll need:

  • Three eggs: one robin, one turtle, one rooster
  • A fireplace poker
  • A _bent_ fireplace poker
  • A pre-World War II set of architectural plans for the New York City Public Library
  • A three-inch long piece of chalk
  • A portable Tesla light
  • Two matching pairs of farmer’s boots
  • A raincoat. You will most certainly need a good raincoat
  • An unassembled crystal radio kit
  • An alibi

Obviously, this adventure features the use of subterfuge and some trickery. This is what I mean about right stuff and wrong stuff. I can tell you this; however…don’t feel bad for The Belgian. He has it coming.

If interested, leave your resume with the hot dog guy on the corner of 34th & 5th. Expect a reply by nightbird.

Until next time…

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Letters to Monster Wednesdays

11025275-stack-of-old-letters-on-white-backgroundI’m still trying to make up for some time lost due to a 30-hour power outage and other unexpected wrinkles to my work schedule. Today has been a furious flurry (flurryious?) of activity. Still, I didn’t want to entirely miss one of my scheduled update days, and fortunately I had been able to write this on my Kindle before the battery died yesterday. I meant to post it this morning, but you know… flurryious times. But the afternoon beats never, so here we go… Letters to Monster:

If I had such a thing as an alter ego, it would be Monster. My current ego is just fine, so I tend not to need any alters–just the same I have fun being Monster whether its calling in a dinner reservation, signing a painting, or stalking a stretch of beach an hour before sunrise. Now Monster is handling some of my mail–to-whit, my Q&A mail. Word has apparently already gotten out, and perhaps Monster has started reading and answering mail without me. This is some of what Monster (me, I guess) has been up to in that regard:

 

Dear Monster,

My boss says to work harder, not smarter. That doesn’t sound right. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

Kenessa Popcorn, Kennesaw, GA

Dear Kenessa,

The Japanese have a word for working oneself to death–karoushi. You should check with HR to see if your company has a life insurance policy out on you.

Yrs,

Monster

 

Dear Monster,

Our teacher wants us to make a diaphragm commemorating the Oregon Trail. What does the westward expansion have to do with birth control?

Sincerely,

Calvin Watterston, aged 9

Dear Calvin,

Everything.

Yrs,

Monster

 

Dear Monster,

My husband says I keep him up all night with my snoring and that he is considering sleeping in the garage from now on. Thank you for the suggestion. My snoring doesn’t bother me at all.

Much love,

Grenadine Psalter (Mrs.)

Dear Grenadine,

Happy to be of service.

Yrs,

Monster

 

Dear Monster,

Every morning when I wake up my feet are covered in mud. There are no footprints tracking in our out of my bed or bedroom. I live on the 8th floor of an apartment building in the middle of a concrete jungle. What gives?

Silas Silo, Chicago, IL

Dear Silas,

This is not an uncommon issue with people from the Midwest.

Yrs,

Monster

 

Dear Monster,

My boyfriend has taken to wearing blue nail polish. Should I be concerned?

(signed)

Concerned

Dear Concerned,

No reason to be worried. Your boyfriend just wants to be more like Monster.

Yrs,

Monster

 

And that’s all we have for the moment. If you want to write in and ask Monster a question… well, I wouldn’t recommend it. (If you’re insistent, then that’s what the comments section is for, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.)

Until next time…

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