the curse method
In a recent issue of the New Yorker, there is an article about a young inventor named David Levy. In the article the author outlines many of the methods Levy uses for coming up with new ideas. One of them he calls the Curse Method. "Whenever someone curses, its a sign to invent something.". One of his inventions that came from this method is a bike lock for the seat designed after a friend came in complaining that his bike seat had been stolen.
This has struck a chord with me probably because I, like most people, am a complainer: Im great at railing against things that bother me (the latest of which is the fact that buses, which are mostly run by local governments, governments which REQUIRE your car to have smog checks, almost always churn out these un-fucking-believably huge dark clouds of crap as they pull away from a stop), I just rarely do anything about it. This guy does, and obviously not for the good of humanity, but for profit. But still, its a damn fine method.
So here are some things that make me curse. Im sure someone out there can figure out a way to solve them:
Trying to thread a needle
Anything Im forgetting?
The other night at my neighbors four-guest party we somehow got to discussing the show Becker, starring Ted Danson. Only one of us (not I) had seen it, and he said it was surprisingly good. Cheers was an obsession with me and I loved Ted Danson. I love the movie Cousins. I think I sort of bought mildly into some anti-Ted Danson hype after the Whoopie thing and his show Ink (which my former employer Diane English expensively failed to save).
Well, todays NY Times ran a favorable article on the show. Danson busts out with a quote, in reaction to questions about his Ink experience, that I think sums up very nicely a struggle that many actors fall into that Danson has smartly figured out:
"My theory about that one, says Danson, is that if you're not a stand-up comedian -- a Cosby or a Seinfeld -- it's a mistake to hire people to find your comedic voice, which is what happened. What we are is actors, and what we need to do is find somebody else's passionate self-expression and then ask very nicely if we can be in it."
Writers should love that. Actors should remember it. As both, I get so pissed off when I hear about these shitty diva actors who have "script approval" and then willy-nilly change things to help maintain their star status (like Julia Roberts rewriting the end of My Best Friends Wedding.) Shut up and be thankful you get to play the part and speak the words someone spent months and months of their lives on.
A couple random questions:
What the fuck was the Warner Brothers marketing department thinking when they OKd The Green Mile poster? Shit, what were Tom Hanks and Frank Darabont and Stephen King thinking by not threatening to take their names off the film if it went ahead. It did. It is awful, that poster.
Why is Penny Marshall doing a movie about the Harlem Globetrotters? They already went to Gilligans island thats all I need to see of them.
In a little bit, drinks with the Shark. She just called and invited me to go to a screening at Paramount with her after our meeting, but I declined. I want to keep it professional. Bad idea saying no? God. I hope not.
The Larry King Happy