V-Log: Mulling #GunControl, #AR15s, War With The #DPRK & #Screenplay #Writing

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

It looks as though we’re hurdling towards a war with the #DPRK. Or maybe not. Only time will tell. But this v-log has a few other interesting things in it as well.

We Have To Make An ‘A Rating’ By The NRA A Badge Of Shame

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

If you want to change the national debate on gun control, if you want to save innocent lives, there’s a simple change of perspective that you can do that will help to caused that to happen pretty quick: make having an “A” rating from the NRA a badge of shame for a politician.

The reason why this is powerful is because it doesn’t cost any money. You just vow to yourself that something the whores in Congress believe is so cool is, in fact, pretty horrible. It’s the only way to combat the huge amount of dark money flowing into Congress from the NRA and their ilk.

You have to take a stand. You have to formulate some principles that you won’t waver from, no matter what. You won’t vote for someone with an A rating from the NRA. You’ll do what you can to support the efforts of the Parkland children. Tell all your friends that an NRA A rating is the worst thing a politician can have.

Get angry and don’t stop being angry until effective, common sense gun control is enacted. It’s the only way we can win this fight. It’s a battle that will take a long time and only end once we can claim total victory and lives are finally saved preemptively.

The Inciting Incident Of The ‘Big Chill’ Homage I’m Writing

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

The “inciting incident” of a story is when it really actually begins. Anyway, here is the The Big Chill homage I’m writing up to the inciting incident. I’m going to try not to post the entire story online as I write it, but this gives you a taste of the general vision of the story. I’m really pleased with the concept I’ve managed to think up. If you want to see the entire scene summary, just let me know and I’ll send it to you.

The Big Shrug

A novella by Shelton Bumgarner

Blaze Hurt and his Korean wife Union looked at each other and grinned. This weekend was going to be an exciting one, no matter what, given the people involved. Soon enough, as expected, the door opened and a middle-aged man wearing a red Make America Great Again hat walked in and gave each of them a hug.

“Jackson!” Union said as she did. “My, your politics sure have changed since we last met.”

Jackson Colburn mugged sheepishly as he turned to hug Blaze as well.

“Well, you know,” Jackson said. “Things change. I’ve changed. Who else is here? I looking forward to catching up.”

Jackson shook Blaze’s hand and told him happy birthday.

“You’re the first person here, but the rest right behind you,” Blaze said. “There’s an envelope on the kitchen table explaining where everything is.”

As Jackson nodded and made his way past them, a gorgeous African American woman squealed and hugged them both passionately. She kissed them each on the lips as she did.

“Gaia!” Blaze said, his eyes wide open. “You haven’t changed a bit. What have you been up to since Seoul? Last I heard you were modeling in Phuket”

“Yeah,” Gaia said in a deep, silky voice. “I’ve been up to this or that. Seoul was so long ago. I try to keep my eyes on the future, not the past. Happy birthday, baby,”

She, too, pushed past the couple on her way to the kitchen.

After a moment, a middle-aged woman with a lot of luggage made her way to the door and greeted the couple warmly.

“Maude, my dear,” Union said, “It’s been too long. So glad you could make it. We’re in for a great time, I think. Things are going to be so much fun with you here.”

“You’re too kind,” Maude said. “I’m just glad I could make it. Who else is here?”

“The usual suspects,” Blaze said.

Maude smiled and made her way past the couple.

Soon, a middle-aged man and a much younger, stunning woman appeared at the door. The mood was significantly different. It was more somber.

“Hey, Tagger,” Blaze said shaking Tagger’s hand firmly. “I don’t think I’ve met your daughter.”

Tagger looked at the couple smiled, then looked down for a moment and laughed.

“This is Manhattan,” Tagger said. “She’s my WIFE and you know it, you old bastard .”

The two couples shared a knowing laugh and the tension was broken.

“I haven’t seen you in person in close to 20 years,” Tagger said. “You haven’t changed a bit.”

“Neither have you,” Blaze said. “You seem to have done well for yourself since then. How many times have you gotten the Vogue cover in the last few years, half a dozen times?”

Tagger looked at his wife, squeezed her hand and nodded.

“Yeah, something like that.” Tagger said. “Life isn’t a straight line, you know. But it all started in Seoul. The whole thing changed my life.”

“Well,” Union said, “it’s good to see you are doing well. Like I told the others, just go straight into the kitchen and you’ll find the information you need for the weekend.”

And with that, Tagger and Manhattan pushed pass the couple with their luggage.  

 

The group met a little later in the living room to have a drink and chat. Things were relaxed. Finally, Tagger broke the calm.

“So my old foe has finally hit the Big 50,” Tagger said, fiddling with his beer bottle.

“Tagger,” Maude said, “don’t get started with your usual bullshit. He was never your foe and you know it. We’re here to celebrate his birthday, not rehash the past.”

Tagger continued to fiddle with his beer bottle.

“Oh, I don’t know,” Tagger said. “I have no idea why I’m here, it’s not like we exactly left on the best of terms. It was a long time ago, yes, but the magazine changed all our lives for better or worse. I wouldn’t be where I am today without what happened between Nuk and me.”

There was an awkward pause.

Tagger looked around, struggling to understand what was happening.

“Speaking of Nuk,” Tagger said. “Why isn’t she here? Seeing her was half the reason why I came.”

The silence grew longer and more potent by the moment.

“Tagger…” Blaze said. “There’s something you don’t know, I’m afraid. Nuk, she, she’s passed.”

“Fuck no,” Tagger said, standing up nervously. “That’s not possible. I would know. Someone would have told me. When…when did it happen?”

“Recently, about a month ago,” Blaze said. “We decided maybe it was for the best if you didn’t know, at least not right away.”

“OH MY GOD,” Tagger yelled. “You all intentionally kept it away from me? You all knew and you didn’t tell me? Really? How could you be so fucking cruel?”

“Calm down, honey,” Manhattan said. “I’m sure there’s a reason for all of this. Who was Nuk, anyway? Was she the woman you started the magazine with?”

Everyone looked at each other in shock.

“Jesus, Tagger, you didn’t tell her anything, did you?” Maude said with a gasp and placing her hand over her mouth in shock.

“Look,” Tagger said, “what I did or didn’t tell my wife is none of your business Maude. The issue is what happened to Nuk. How did it happen, damn it. I want answers!”

“Tagger,” Blaze said. “I don’t know if we need to get into this now. We’re here to celebrate life, not death. Maybe you should fix yourself a drink, calm down and relax. We can get to the details later.”

“OH MY GOD,” Tagger yelled. “I’m NOT going to calm down! I know all you think I was some sort of monster to Nuk, but she was no angel you know. We both did things to each other that we regret. We even talked about it a little bit a few years ago via email.”

“Tagger…she….she took her own life,” Maude said.

Tagger screamed and fell to the floor in front of the group and began to cry. Manhattan got next to him and attempt to console him.

“I think, I think maybe we need to be alone,” Manhattan said at last.

The couple got up and left the room.   

The Kids Are Alright: The Parkland Anti-Gun Movement Needs A Soundtrack

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

One of the things that we really haven’t had in the last decade or so is rock music. It just doesn’t exist in mainstream music anymore. It’s really weird. I suggest that if the kids of Parkland want to really effect change, they’re going to need to start writing some rock songs.

If things are going to change, if we’re really at an inflection point, a tipping point, when it comes to the gun debate, then music has to be taken into account. The protest rock of the 1960s helped focus the attention of a lot of people and I think similar music with similar lyrics would do something today as well.

The First Scene, In Novella Form, Of The ‘Big Chill’ Homage I’m Developing

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I have vowed to myself that I’m not buying Final Draft until I finish a novella of the screenplay concept I’m currently noodling with. I am a complete novice and generally have no idea what I’m doing, but here’s a glimpse of what I’ve managed to write so far. This is the first scene where people are making their way into the house where they’re going to stay for a weekend to celebrate someone’s 50th birthday. It’s not much, I know, but it’s a start. You’ve got to start somewhere.

Anyway, in my fevered imagination, I see someone like Erykah Badu or Janelle Monae playing the Gaia part. Ms. Badu is the proper age for this vision, but I’m a big fan of Ms. Monae as well. Anyway, you’re not supposed to talk about who you want to play parts, but I always do what I’m not supposed to do.

It’s just fun to daydream and it keeps me motivated to daydream about who I would want to play this or that part. But I will try to control myself. Though, my birthday is coming up on the 26th, so I guess I am allowing myself to have a little fun.

The Big Shrug
A novella by Shelton Bumgarner
Blaze Union and his Korean wife Union looked at each other and grinned. This weekend was going to be an exciting one, no matter what, given the people involved. Soon enough, as expected, the door opened and a middle-aged man wearing a red Make America Great Again hat walked in and gave each of them a hug.
“Jackson!” Union said as she did. “My, your politics sure have changed since we last met.”
Jackson Colburn mugged sheepishly as he turned to hug Blaze as well.
“Well, you know,” Jackson said. “Things change. I’ve changed. Who else is here? I looking forward to catching up.”
Jackson shook Blaze’s hand and told him happy birthday.
“You’re the first person here, but the rest right behind you,” Blaze said. “There’s an envelope on the kitchen table explaining where everything is.”
As Jackson nodded and made his way past them, a gorgeous African American woman squealed and hugged them both passionately. She kissed them each on the lips as she did.
“Gaia!” Blaze said, his eyes wide open. “You haven’t changed a bit. What have you been up to since Seoul? Last I heard you were modeling in Phuket”
“Yeah,” Gaia said in a deep, silky voice. “I’ve been up to this or that. Seoul was so long ago. I try to keep my eyes on the future, not the past. Happy birthday, baby,”
She, too, pushed past the couple on her way to the kitchen.
Soon, a middle-aged man and a much younger, stunning woman appeared at the door. The mood was significantly different. It was more somber.
“Hey, Tagger,” Blaze said shaking Tagger’s hand firmly. “I don’t think I’ve met your daughter.”
Tagger looked at the couple smiled, then looked down for a moment and laughed.
“This is Manhattan,” Tagger said. “She’s my WIFE and you know it, you old bastard .”
The two couples shared a knowing laugh and the tension was broken.
“I haven’t seen you in person in close to 20 years,” Tagger said. “You haven’t changed a bit.”
“Neither have you,” Blaze said. “You seem to have done well for yourself since then. How many times have you gotten the Vogue cover in the last few years, half a dozen times?”
Tagger looked at his wife, squeezed her hand and nodded.
“Yeah, something like that.” Tagger said. “Life isn’t a straight line, you know. But it all started in Seoul. The whole thing changed my life.”
“Well,” Union said, “it’s good to see you are doing well. Like I told the others, just go straight into the kitchen and you’ll find the information you need for the weekend.”
And with that, Tagger and Manhattan pushed pass the couple with their luggage.

Dream Big Or Go Home: My ‘Big Chill’ Homage & Erykah Badu, Janelle Monae

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I’m a dreamer. I daydream and I very much into a dream big or go home kind of guy. I’m developing a screenplay about a bunch of Gen. X people who spend the weekend to celebrate someone’s 50th birthday and I one of the roles would be perfect for either Erykah Badu or Janelle Monae. Monae is obviously the younger of the two, but she could probably play older.

I really like Ms. Badu and she’s perfect for the character I’m writing. I haven’t written the script yet, but I have written the scene summary. But I’m well aware that I have to put the work in and actually produce something. But I enjoy daydreaming so much that it’s difficult for me not to talk about any creative project I’m working on as I’m doing it.

What makes this screenplay different from all my other harebrained concepts is I feel good about it’s prospects to actually be finished. It’s a really strong concept and I am enjoying the process of writing it. I’m willing to put the scene summary online for either Ms. Badu or Ms. Monae to look at, but I know that’s kind of bonkers and totally how things are not suppose to be done.

But it’s my birthday (almost). Let a man enjoy a little winter daydream.

V-Log: Some Brief Words On How To Solve The NRA Problem

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

Here you go. Enjoy.

How People Power Can Defeat The NRA #BoycottNRA

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

Sometimes, it seems as though the NRA is so powerful that the average person can’t do anything. I disagree. As history has shown us with what happened with the Anti-Masonic Party in the early 1800s, if the electorate decides collectively to do something, change can happen.

The party was founded in the aftermath of the disappearance of William Morgan, a former Mason who had become a prominent critic of the organization. Many believed that the Masons had murdered Morgan for speaking out against Masonry, and many churches and other groups condemned masonry. As many Masons were prominent businessmen and politicians, the backlash against the Masons was also a form of anti-elitism. Mass opposition to Masonry eventually coalesced into a political party. Before and during the presidency of John Quincy Adams, the United States endured a period of political realignment, and the Anti-Masons emerged as an important third party alternative to Andrew Jackson’s Democrats and Adams’s National Republicans. In New York, the Anti-Masons supplanted the National Republicans as the primary opposition to the Democrats.

Really, the closest modern thing I can compare what I suggest to is what MADD was able to do in the 1980s, but that was a lot easier for various reasons. I live in Virginia and the NRA ran attack ads against the Democratic gubernatorial candidate saying he had an “F” rating with them. I was like, “Wow, I’m voting for that guy!” So, if you really want to do something about the NRA, if you want to combat their power, vow to yourself you will never vote for anyone with an A Rating from the NRA. It’s a small, but powerful decision.

You’re going to have to kind of ignore the enormous power of the NRA propaganda. You’re going to have to say fuck that. Nothing they say or do will get you to vote for someone they support. Absolutely. It doesn’t matter where you live, if enough people take this pledge, eventually things will change.

I guess the point is, we have to take things into our own hands. Politicians live off the vote and enough people, on principle, refuse to vote for someone with an A Rating from the NRA eventually after a lot of bitching and moaning, Washington will get the picture.

But this won’t come easy. The NRA has a lot of power and the Trump Administration seems hell bent on imposing some sort of weird dystopia on America. But I still believe in American democracy, I still believe that we ARE a democracy.

I would also suggest you try to support the efforts of the teens protesting the NRA by not giving your kids grief if they walk out of school. But that is maybe a bit much for some people.

It’s times like these when I wish John Lennon was still alive. We really need him right now.

The Anti-Masonic Party & How To Defeat The NRA

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

Dire times call for drastic measures and I think maybe we can learn a lesson from the origins of the Anti-Masonic Party in New England. Essentially, as I understand it, the people of New England got fed up with the shenanigans of the Masons in New England and vowed not to vote for anyone who was a member.

So, one could argue that America is ripe for a nation-wide political boycott of the NRA. In essence, if the populace simply collectively decided to not vote for anyone who took NRA money, maybe the pols in Washington would sit up and take notice.

Now, of course, this would not come easy. It would take just the right political moment. It does seem, however, that we’re careening towards just that type of moment. You can’t stymie the political will for as long and as absolutely as the NRA has without there being a folk backlash at some point. People on a individual level might eventually get fed up so much that they actually evoke real political change.

I don’t exactly have the highest hopes that this will happen. But you can always hope.

‘And A Child Shall Lead Them’ — #Lyrics To A Pop-Rock Anti-Gun Protest Song

No one cares about anything I write, but I find writing song lyrics every once in a while relaxing. So, this would be a Radiohead type song but with very pointed and bang-you-over-the-head anti-gun lyrics. The lyrics are about how maybe, just maybe, things have changed because of the efforts of the Parkland children. We can only hope.

And A Child Shall Lead Them
lyrics by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls
please give credit if you produce or perform

in a crisis I don’t act
I plan my counter attack
adults act like children
playing their petty, petty games
paid for in the blood of innocents
all we can hope for is the truth
laid out in the good book

and a child shall lead them
is what they say
and a child shall lead them
we can only pray

they NRA claims the legacy press
lusts for more blood for its ink
we all know that’s bullshit
something we can call
like a cat in heat
on a hot summer day
in the end all that’s left
is what the good book says

and a child shall lead them
is what they say
and a child shall lead them
we can only pray

[bridge]
we’re all going to fight
unite, unite, unite
until things change
we won’t complain

and a child shall lead them
is what they say
and a child shall lead them
we can only pray