Archive for April, 2013

Writing in the sky

April 28, 2013

I saw it too late to read it. I hope it’s not important.

20130428-144043.jpg

Advertisements

Cause I’m dead if I find what I’m looking for: Joshua Tree

April 22, 2013

Joshua Tree isn’t my favourite U2 album. Boy is. But it has a song on it that means as much to me in my thirties as it did when I was a teenager. It’s like the Teen International Anthem (and just as cheesy.)

Image

It’s like the Karoo. You can see forever. And there’s nothing.

I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.  When I thought I had, I always turned out to be wrong. So now I assume I haven’t and, when I remember, I keep looking.

The danger of film school is, well… film school. You get so obsessed with making films that you forget that you need to keep experiencing life, keeping your eyes fresh, so that you can make films worth watching. At least that’s the theory – I may have just been skiving off from writing my thesis feature screenplay when I signed up for this day hike. And I don’t know yet whether any of the images I absorbed or stories I imagined will come to anything. But here, for the record, are a few of them.

Image

If you’re trying to find what you’re looking for, Joshua Tree is a bad place to lose it. No water, spiky plants, hot hot heat, peyote… and it’s damn easy to get lost. Luckily that’s exactly what most of us need in a world jam packed with useless instructions.

Image

At the base of Ryan’s Peak, people are encouraged to post haikus about their experiences. I nearly posted my favourite one, but it’s not related. Still here it is: Haikus are awesome / But sometimes make no sense / Refrigerator

Image

OPEN HOUSE: Stunning views! A fixer-upper on prime real estate, surrounded by nature. Very private.

Image

“Partially furnished.”

sign_joshua_wide

So… old burned out car. a tree. Some sand. So what?

Image

Look closer. There’s a glove lying on the ground. What the hell is that doing there? Is it connected to the next photo?

Image

… and if the glove IS connected to this photo… doesn’t that hurt?

Image

The only thing still working here is the brakes. This is one of three cars we found abandoned in a 2 mile stretch of desert. Nearby to the house. And a broken wind-mill. And a failed mine. There’s a story in there somewhere.

sign_joshua_gravestone

Here is where Worth Bagly bit the dust at the hands of W. F. Keys May 1947.

sign_joshua_desertroses

“Desert rose, dreamed I saw a desert rose / dressed all in ribbons and bows / like the silence she called to me”

sign_joshuatree_scaryrock

I didn’t quite make it up. I refused to take a hand-up – I’m like that with rocks. But I did discover something. If you put your ear to the rocks, it’s dead quiet inside them.

That’s not the only new thing. I saw my first blue jay (the bird) and my first chipmunk. I thought chipmunks were a made-up animal. Turns out they’re little grey things.

sign_joshua_crazyrocks

Isn’t that beautiful?

Anyhow. Against all odds, I wound up in Joshua Tree – a place I never thought I’d visit.

Image

I’d forgotten how good walking was for my head. On the drive home, I dozed off in a state of semi-conscious bliss and coming home, solved a problem with a script that had been driving me insane for weeks.

And along the way, another story.

sign_joshua_desertsushi

Not even in the town of Joshua Tree but about 3 miles outside it, stranded in the middle of nowhere… Sushi? It’s closed. And for sale. But someone thought they could persuade the people of Joshua Tree to eat Sushi. Someone had a dream. It’s like Salmon Eating in the Inland Empire. Just as crazy and beautiful.

I wonder if this is the secret of great artists – continuing the exploration and the journey. Now all I need is the great art to go with it right?

America rises above the bombers

April 19, 2013

Just finished a column for News24.co.za that makes me realise how different the America I arrived in is to the one I left, thanks to Obama.

Miss you. I miss you like I miss measels.

Miss you. I miss you like I miss measles, acne, or broken bones, you spineless brat.

What happened in Boston is terrible. The way America has responded, however, gives me hope for humanity. It’s like America has grown up. That’s what my column is about.

America: Bigger than Bombs

I at first assumed the bomb attacks in Boston would play straight into the hands of the Islamaphobes who’d love to just “kill ’em all”. But it seems like Americans – in general – are rising above it.

“Al Qaeda is a real threat. But terrorism has no religion.” Well put, by Al-Marayati, a member of the Faith-Based Advisory Committee of the president’s Homeland Security Advisory Council. Of course, the people who really need to hear his words won’t be listening to them. Events like the Boston bombings play straight into the filthy hands of those who are longing for an excuse to attack or oppress muslims in the name of fighting terrorism. As news of the bombings came through, muslim Americans were not only mourning the loss of lives, but simultaneously praying: “Please, don’t let it be a Muslim.”

It hasn’t been posted yet, but when it has, you can read it here
UPDATE!!! 12.40AM FRIDAY

Seconds – not kidding – after my column went live, news came through on twitter about a gun battle with two very similar sounding suspects in Watertown, Mass. Some responses from twitter…

NidalM Abdullah Mohiuddin: My reaction to hearing the names of the #watertown suspects:”
Terrible but true.

Terrible but true Relief for many here. Makes sense given the complete lack of responsibility taken. Al Qaida generally likes to boast. UPDATE: Turns out it was the work of two stupid kids who happen to be Muslim but weren’t organized. Of course, this makes the prejudiced types really gleeful.

Could be fake. I could fake this easily. But if it's real it's freaky.

Could be fake. I could fake this easily. But if it’s real it’s freaky.

Dutchguy000 Kristian Tuinzing  – “Bullet hole in my wall from Watertown shootout. My head was there minutes before. #watertown pic.twitter.com/mqtHREc2Rp”