Keira Knightley is the best…and not cuz of her boobs

Keira Knightley, you all probably know who she is, the cute actress who gets cast in movies because she makes audiences swoon. But that is not why I’m writing this post about her. As good of an actress that she may be, she is equally as cool and kind as a person….and I’m taking that opinion of her just from one detached experience. About 4 years ago, my father, who was terminally ill with cancer, had what was to be, his final birthday approaching. And I took it upon myself to write to about 10-15 of the actors/actresses from the Pirates of the Caribbean films. You see….my Dad was a big fan of those movies and he frequently laughed his way through the horrors of chemotherapy’s side effects because he watched them constantly (HBO played them non-stop at one point in time). I’m not sure how a man could still find enjoyment from watching the same films, day after day…..but then again he WAS pumped full of toxic chemicals and just looking for a good laugh and an escape from the pain.

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Any who… I printed out a bunch of head-shots of various actors from the films and sent off dozens of padded envelopes with letters that said essentially, ‘Hey, my dad is sick. He loves the pirates films. This might be his last birthday….and I want to give him a present of all these get well signatures from various actors from the film.’ A fan letter is a long shot….but I work in the industry and I know that famous people have assistants, secretaries and agents that sort through their mail (and sometimes they actually do it themselves) so I figured…..why not? I’d sent the letters out about 8 months before his birthday. PLENTY OF TIME. I also sent duplicates to some people.

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I waited and waited….hoping to get a few of the stars. I mean….Jack Sparrow surely would send a reply. Or Geoffrey Rush….right? Nope. Nada. No Johnny Depp. No Orlando Bloom. No Bill Nighy. And more importantly…..No Bootstrap Bill. Really? Paul Newman even personally wrote me back when I was a kid. And that was PAUL NEWMAN!!! What did I actually expect though? I went to college with a butt-load of theatre kids. I’ve worked in film/tv for years and I know what actors and actresses are like. So I was being VERY realistic….but I figured….hey come on it was a really nice letter….and it’s a HUGE FANS LAST BIRTHDAY!!! After a while I’d even forgot about the whole ordeal because I’d waited so long to get a single reply. And then about a week before my Dad’s birthday a couple of packages came to the door. Naturally, I rushed out to open them. Boom! The first one was from Mackenzie Crook, you remember him right?…The skinny guy who’s eyeball kept popping out of his head. And the next was from Kevin McNally, Johnny Depp’s right hand man ,Gibbs, in the films, who left my Dad an AWESOME birthday inscription on the headshot. If you ever read this…THANK YOU KEVIN!

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So, I said to myself….ok. ok. Two side characters. That’s awesome! But it kind of sucks because I sent out so many letters and took the time to actually print out the head shots so it’d be REALLY, FUCKING SIMPLE for a person to just sign it. I mean….because they have SOOOO MUCH TO DO. Ya know, read through scripts, choose a project, get driven around by assistants (what I used to be-kind of why I know intimately what their lives are like), socialize at parties, go to nice hotels, eat at nice restaurants with producers and then oh yeah…..pretend to be someone else in front of the camera. Woopdy Doo! I was a tad bit bitter, to say the least. Not bitter for bitters sake (an actors life can be hard sometimes, I know. They deal with an ENORMOUS amount of BS)…..but just bitter because I know from personal experience HOW EASY IT IS FOR AN ACTOR TO REPLY TO A FAN!….just then….another package came. Who could it be? Was it Jack Sparrow!?! Yes!!!!

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Nope. Not Jack Sparrow. You know who it was from?…….Keira Mother Fuckin’ Knightley. Yeah boy! Leave it to the lady to show some respect & compassion. She sent two small, signed head-shots. One of them was even made out to ‘Joe’, my Dad. SCORE for Team McConnell. Hey…I mean….it probably wasn’t even her. Maybe her assistant read the letter and just said, ‘Hey Keira. Sign these head-shots. Make one out to Joe’, and she signed it and didn’t give it another thought. Or maybe the assistant even signed it. But maybe she actually read the letter….maybe she has some compassion for her fans….and maybe she is a really cool and genuine person. Either way…..those pictures & signatures made my Dad’s day. And yes, he swooned for Keira Knightley…..who wouldn’t? Even my Mom swooned. That’s why she gets the work after all. So, Keira….if you or your associates & comrades ever find this on a google search for some un-Godly reason….THANK YOU! Number 1…..you made a dying man very, very happy. And Number 2…..because you took 3 seconds to sign a head shot…you’re way cooler than any of the other ‘stars’ from the Pirates films. Thank you Keira, Mackenzie and Kevin for being part of the 10% of cool people in the industry (Cast/Crew alike….man some crew members are assholes). It’s not always easy for an actor to remember that they’re a regular person living in a fantasy world. Also, part of the reason why I wrote this post is for you unfortunate souls that work in the film industry and trudge through the slop of sycophants ….hey! Here’s a real story from someone else who works in the film industry. And it’s a good one! About something good that happened in the business. Cheers! (cheers as in go drink a beer, or two, or three…because you work in the film industry-not the Cheers! that the English & Australians say)

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Thanks for reading this M.A.V.B.L.O.G. I hope that you take a look at the work of Keira Knightley, Mackenzie Crook and Kevin McNally and maybe even become fans of theirs.  As always. Be good to yourself. Be good to others. Even animals, plants and rocks. It’s a pretty jacked up world so…. do your best to follow The Golden Rule. Have a great day!

 

Brasserie de Silly

This past month I had the good fortune to visit Brasserie de Silly in Silly, Belgium. Yes….Silly is a real place, just like Fucking, Austria. Silly Fucking Europe! Craziness indeed. The brewery is a little out of the way for train takers… but the beer is just as good, if not better, than lots of the Belgian beers I’ve tried whilst overseas. If you’re a beer enthusiast, a brewer or just a regular dude or dudette who likes cool things…I highly recommend visiting this brewery. Now, when I say brewery, I mean the breweries cafe, which is attached to the actual brewery. The brewery only does tours for large groups so unless you’re with 20 friends…you’re gonna have to just drink at the cafe.

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My friend and I arrived in Silly not really knowing what to expect. When we walked in the doors it kind of looked like one of those random cafes you see in a European city that you don’t want to go into. Ya know, it’s dark, there’s two quiet guys in the corner and one person in the back. It’s pretty empty…..and they don’t speak your language. Not too inviting. (If only I were blacked out drunk to access my fluent French speaking part of the brain!!) So we figured, hey let’s just get a beer and then split. The prices were super cheap….about 1.80 euros to 3.50 euros for a beer. And 2 cheeseburgers were 4 euro. Sweet!! After our first drink the bartender asked us if we were American, we reluctantly said ‘yes’ not knowing what the French speaking Belgians thought of us Yankees. But it turned out that one of those ‘quiet’ guys that we saw earlier was Bernard, the brewer, and he wanted to buy us a round of drinks. Rock on! So there we were, chatting with the brewer and drinking some really amazing beer. What more could we ask for?

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Well…….after about 7 drinks, plus the free ones, some cheeseburgers and a few hours of hanging out……we asked for the bill. Now, previous to this visit I was in Scandinavia so….I was just expecting a normal bill as if we were out drinking in New York. It was 14 euros and 10 cents. What!?! That’s so cheap!! Silly, Belgium man. Silly Fucking Belgium. I mean, it was a small town….and hopefully if Brasserie de Silly gets more popular in the coming years, they’ll raise the prices a little for the oncoming tourists. But hey, for now…..what an amazing deal! Now, I’m no beer guru (when I drink I tend to like ‘crappy’ American beers such as ‘Miller High Life’, ‘Busch’ and ‘PBR’, though I really appreciate and prefer good beers) but I’ll give a quick rundown of a few of the beers I tried.

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Let’s start with the best one. La Cré Tonnerre. Holy crap. Drink this immediately. Next up is Abbaye de Forest. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. (Hey I said I wasn’t a beer guru) Silly Pils was great as well. A nice, simple pils. Pink Killer is the only one I heard about before visiting Silly….and it wasn’t bad. It’s a fruity beer. Not my style, necessarily…but good. And the last one I had was La Divine. Good beer. Good, good beer. I also tried the Scotch Silly which is very nice. I’m well aware that this paragraph was neither eloquent nor detailed….but do you really need details all the time when it comes to beer? Sometimes, you just need to know if it’s good. I don’t care what type of beer you like. The beer in Silly is good. And most importantly….IT’S FUCKING CALLED SILLY!!!!!! Yes….that’s a sophomoric statement….but come on man. It’s SILLY!!! For those of you that would like a more detailed description of the beers in Belgium I’ll provide a link to my friend Rob’s blog when he posts it.

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Overall….I had an awesome experience in a cool brewery in Silly, Belgium. The head brewer was welcoming and really friendly. The beers were great AND CHEAP. And I’m sure if you visited, you’d have a similar experience…..unless you’re a loud mouth douchebag…. Ya never know.

Thanks for reading. As always. Take care of yourself. Take care of your clan. Be good to animals. And follow The Golden Rule as best as you can.

Native Americans

It is hard for me to think of America, the country that I live in, without recalling all that I’ve learned over the years about the Native American people and what we as “Americans” have done to them. Sure, in elementary and high school we are given a broad overview, which doesn’t necessarily highlight the heinous crimes committed, just as young little Germans are given a broad overview of who Hitler was. (To support that last sentence, while spending time in Germany in an adult education course, my instructor, as we discussed WW2, was playing down the atrocities and then told me that ‘Hitler was an Austrian you know’. So, that shows you how instructors are taught to kind of….’brush over’ that little smudge on their countries reputation.) In fact, Adolf Hitler is known to have studied what the United States did to the Native Americans when planning his own genocide. He used it as inspiration. Hmmm….curious. And we’re the good guys. You sure?

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How many Native Americans did our government actually murder, whether directly or indirectly? There’s a wide gap in the estimates that you will find. Some scholars say around 10 million and some people even say upwards of 100 million. I’m apt the believe that the official number is somewhere in the middle of those two. Why? Well because if you have any common sense, you’ll know that history is written by the conquerors. OF COURSE the US Government would play down the official death toll for its beloved citizens. “Oh hunny….we only killed 1 million people. That’s not THAT many. Let’s buy this 500 acre plot of land for .50 cents and open a farm! Yay!’. Either way….we killed tens of millions of native inhabitants just so we could have a home. That’s defined as theft right? And yes, disease, smallpox and plague played into lots of the deaths as well, but those are diseases that Europeans brought with them.

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It’s a difficult topic to research and find solid information on because so much of that information has been buried. Also, Native Americans have an oral tradition so it’s very possible that a lot of the history and knowledge from many past elders has faded with time. Of course, you can do a quick google search on this topic… but there are some very good Native American authors that I’d urge you to read, including Joseph Marshall III and David E. Stannard (though he’s not Native American). Why am I writing about this and why do I even care, being that I’m not Native American? Well….I live in this country. As a citizen I’d like to know the history of the place I call my home. I find the Native American culture fascinating and I believe that their wisdom and teachings are tantamount to succeeding as a person and as a country. I hope to see a day where the U.S. Government and the U.S. President will actually openly apologize to the Native Americans, rather than giving them a cheap and underhanded whiff. Ya know? A real apology…with fanfare, tv specials, ceremonies, charities and large reparations, with suitable and sustainable parcels of their homeland given back to them, with reasonable subsidies given to their families so they can thrive, revive their culture, religion and way of life and not become poverty stricken alcoholics. Our American ancestors were thieves and murderers. We killed their culture, raped and murdered their people, displaced them and destroyed their way of life….for HUNDREDS OF YEARS. We could at least acknowledge it, properly educate ourselves about it and give the remaining Native Americans a large slice of the pie that we’ve been eating for the past 400 years. After all….we stole that pie from them. You might say, ‘Hey…but they’ve got their casino land and are wealthy now….so we’re even’. Come on now hypothetical guy who said that….don’t be foolish.

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I wasn’t there during the colonization of America. I wasn’t involved in the killing of the natives. I didn’t rape and scalp Indians and then murder thousands of buffalos just so the Native Americans would starve. I’m sorry for it. But I wasn’t there. And now….. I enjoy the life that I’ve been raised in and have become accustomed to as an ‘American’. I’m not saying we should demolish all our houses and revert back to the ways that the Native Americans lived (though some of the things that existed in their former lifestyles are very attractive). For one, those of us who come from other countries, however far back the genealogy goes, are not ‘natives’ in America. And two…..once you put milk in the coffee….it’s kind of hard to get it out. So, we can’t just go backwards and change history, however horrible it may be, and live in a world of ‘what if’s’. But what is essential… is to remember what our ancestors did…..understand it, accept it, formulate a better and more respectful way to live…..and move on. Otherwise, we’re doomed to continue dealing with corrupt politicians, a pure profit driven society, oppression, war, famine, a highly stressed out populace and an under educated, short attention spanned, reality-show obsessed culture. Maybe if we had some Native American leaders in political office….things would get better. Philosophies could change. Who knows? It’s worth a shot because as many pro’s as ‘America’ has….the list of con’s has been steadily growing.

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Why do I say we as a people and a country would be doomed? Well….look at it this way. When two people in a marriage have a problem, it gets better and/or goes away once it’s brought out into the open, discussed, and then resolved. When the problem is ignored….or the other persons opinion is rejected or passed over….the problem gets worse, and worse and worse….until there’s a HUGE FIGHT. We’re connected to the Native Americans, whether we think we are or not. And if ‘we’ (the US government….and it’s citizens) don’t fix the problem that ‘we’ created…..it’s going to continue to be a problem. It will be this underlying, spiteful, festering anger…(no matter if another 500 years pass’s before anything proper is done). Call it a Native American curse, call it karma, call it whatever you want….but ya know….fixing the problem….that’s called LOGIC. Maybe our country and even our world is a such a disaster, filled with hatred and injustice, because we can’t mend our root problems? Maybe…just maybe?

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Hey….I’m just a regular white guy with a blog…..but I hope that I’ve struck a chord in some way and have encouraged you to learn more about the Native American people (through books or films or museum visits), to join their cause and/or to amend your attitude about them. They’re a great people with a rich history, in each and every one of their tribes, and they deserve the utmost respect.

Thanks for reading this M.A.V.B.L.O.G. As always….do your best. Be as kind as you can. Follow the Golden Rule. And have a great night.

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Vote With Your Dollars

A very wise professor I had in college once said, ‘You vote with your dollars’. Those are simple words that just about sum up the world that we live in and what you can do to change it. Money rules everything. Money wins the presidency. Money gets you out of your DWI arrest. Money helps you get away with murder. Money helps you stay out of jail even though you’re a guilty pedophile. Money can change your image. Money can get your kid on the varsity team. People can do just about anything if they have enough money. The system is flawed. It’s a rigged game. I’ve known this since I was a child that we basically live in a cleverly shrouded feudal system. So, the question always is….what can the little people of the world do? What can a regular person, who seems insignificant, do while facing down giant corporations, powerful politicians and lobbyists and billionaires? Easy. Spend your money wisely. Enjoy your life. And vote with your dollars.

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The rise and fall of little lines on graphs are king. Have a look at the book The Tipping Point and see for yourself. Why did Walmart get so big? Because people kept shopping there…and they KEEP on shopping there. Why did so many McDonald’s open in the last 70 years? Because people kept eating there. You can see where I’m going. It’s very simple. So… if you don’t like something, don’t buy it. You don’t have to stand outside of a fast food joint with a sign that reads, ‘This food is terrible for you and will give you diseases’ to affect change, although sometimes protests do work, if you’re into that sort of thing. But most of the time the people that you’re trying to save/enlighten won’t care…or they won’t believe you because they’re delusional. Don’t fight it too hard. All you gotta do is ignore it. Now, will Walmart fall apart and shut its doors because one person stops shopping there? Probably not. But trends are fleeting. Tides come in and go out. And empires rise and fall. It’s inevitable.

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There are a lot of things in this world that I dislike. Many things, in my opinion, should be banned immediately….but they won’t be because there’s a lot of red tape (politicians, lobbyists, boards of directors, stock options, employers, charity runs, legal fees etc. etc.). But….if the money starts to disappear, the company/product will eventually disappear. You might be saying to yourself, ‘is it really that easy? That’s all I have to do? But I’m mad about (insert issue here) and I want to take a stand!!’. Well, voting with your dollars is taking a stand. Think about it. Let’s use Kraft Easy Mac for example, a product that is SOOO BAD FOR YOU, but I used to LOVE IT in college. Ok. So let’s say that you spend $50 on Easy Mac per month. That’s $600 a year. Not much of a loss for a multi-billion dollar corporation. But let’s say that 100 people are doing what you’re doing….Kraft just took a hit of $60,000. Someone in the chain of command is going to notice that. I mean, that’s a years salary. That could be a lay-off. Then Kraft puts a manager on it and starts conducting some anonymous surveys. Those former easy mac lovers say that they don’t like ‘ingredient x’ in their food…..and eventually Kraft removes that ingredient. Tada! Change… in the form of macaroni and cheese.

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Not very complex stuff…but at the same time IT IS very complex. Once you learn to be conscious of what you’re supporting, whether it be entertainment, politics, cell phone companies, charitable organizations or the foods that you put in your body, you’re empowering yourself to live life on your terms and to make a difference in the world, however large or small that may be. And sometimes…the little people make a larger difference than the super rich. Now there are those that say ‘voting with your dollars’ is terrible advice. But I 100% disagree with that. I’m not telling you what to purchase with your hard earned money….I’m just urging you to be conscious about what you buy, to know where it comes from and what the true repercussions of that dollar spent are. You love fast food and eat it everyday? Well…just as long as you know what you’re doing to your body and the consequences…have at it. Though, I really hope that you’ll be like the residents in Vermont and other parts of the world and put good food into your body.

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It’s a wild world. In many ways it’s a terrible world, but don’t get too cynical. There are many beautiful things still. And yeah, unless you’re a mega-millionaire or billionaire….you might feel like you don’t have any control. But you do. You just gotta calm your mind and look for it. So, with talking about ‘voting with your dollars’…I hope you see the bigger picture. That no matter how small you are….you can make a big difference.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog and that it’s improved your life in some way. As always, be good to yourself, speak the truth, be good to others, be good to animals and follow The Golden Rule as best as you can. Have a great day.

 

The Best Deodorant EVER!!!!

Writing a blog about deodorant? ‘That’s really weird’ you may be saying….but no, no, no. Since about 1998 my body has had an aversion to most deodorants. It all began with Old Spice…..and hey I’ve got nothing against Old Spice, it’s just that I became allergic to the ingredients and would develop a rash down the entire side of my body when wearing the deodorant. So, I could smell nice and have a horrible rash that made me look like a burn victim, OR I could try different deodorants. I was allergic to something in most of the name brand products so even if they did work…..the rash returned. I began looking for all-natural ones or organic ones.

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Over the years I went through about every brand of deodorant. You name it, I’ve tried it. Speed Stick, Mitchum, Tom’s, Degree, Dove, the Thai crystal, Right Guard etc. etc. etc. Some worked for a few hours. Some worked for a couple of days. Some didn’t work at all. I tried putting just baby powder or talcum powder on, and that worked, but I’d have to re-apply almost every 2-3 hours. I even resorted to just dealing with my stinky armpits and covering it up with cologne…..and then eventually not wearing anything at all. Really….. It was BAAADDD!!!!

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I kept trying and trying new deodorants until there weren’t many left to try. I continued my fruitless search and then came across one called Take A Whiff!® by Pristine Beauty. Ok. Nice website. Nice packaging. But 22 dollars. Wow! What a price tag for a deodorant. I didn’t want to pay that much. But ya know what??…..I was desperate. And finding a cure to my armpit problem was worth spending 22 bucks. So, I ordered one and gave it a shot.

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The first day, it worked. Whoa!! Awesome. I had read on the website that there would be a detox period and to not give up on it. But on the second day, it didn’t work anymore and I did give up on it. About a week later I said to myself, ‘What the heck!?! Let’s give it another whirl’, and I tried it out again. It worked………for one day…….then one week…..then one month. It was working!!! Consistently!! Holy Moly!! For the first time in years I didn’t have to change my shirt twice a day, or keep putting on deodorant/powder/cologne every couple of hours. I didn’t need a back-up of cologne or deodorant in my pocket or in my car because this stuff actually worked. I was out swimming, out in the sun, out sweating while I gardened, out at work all day running around……and the deodorant still worked. My armpits didn’t smell. Sometimes at night after a long day, my t-shirt didn’t stink….nor did my pits. This stuff was the real deal.

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I don’t work for Pristine Beauty and I wasn’t paid to write this blog. I’m just so ecstatic I have a deodorant that works….that I’m voicing my praise for this product. The company states that it is Aluminum Free, Paraben Free, Phthlates Free, Proplene Glycol Free and Cruelty Free. GREAT!!! That’s awesome. No chemicals. I’m not allergic to it. It smells like marzipan candy (to me at least) It’s somewhat good for me I guess……and it’s a small American company…..so I’m helping out the ‘little guy’ so to speak. Awesome!! I’ve got nothing but praise for Pristine Beauty. I’m going to continue using Take A Whiff!® and maybe I’ll even grab some of their other products.

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So, if you’re like me and you have really stinky armpits OR you’re allergic to lots of deodorants…..do yourself a favor and buy Take A Whiff!® It really is amazing. Be sure to use their ‘pit pointer’ of applying some baking soda. It helps exponentially. Once again, I didn’t get paid to write this. I’m just a fan. Of course I’m still gonna use my favorite colognes occasionally….but now I don’t NEED to. If I had ten thumbs, I’d give this ten thumbs up. 22 dollars well spent!!! Rock on Pristine Beauty. Keep up the good work and don’t sell out to a big corporation and have them change your recipe. ‘Very Niiiice’

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I hope you’ve enjoyed this M.A.V.B.L.O.G. As always, be good to yourself. Take care of your armpits. And be good to animals, plants and other humans alike.

Richie Havens (1941-2013)

On April 22nd, Earth Day, musician Richie Havens passed away at the age of 72 (see the CNN article here). He was an energetic man, a folk music icon, an amazing performer and a very kind person. I had the pleasure of meeting him once at a show and seeing him perform twice more at concerts. If you knew of his life and work, you know that he will be missed. And if you don’t know about him I’d encourage you to at least take a look at his website and listen to some of his music.

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I first learned of Richie because of my Uncle, who lived the hippie lifestyle in the 60’s. As a child, I was shown a VHS tape of the Woodstock performance and there was one thing that stood out to me from that experience…..the toothless guy who sang ‘Freedom’. When I was a teenager, Richie Havens was performing a show at the former Bodles Opera House. It was a small venue and we were able to sit really close to him…….and I was blown away with his performance. After the show we got to hang out with him at the bar and talk for a bit. Awesome!!

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The man was awesome. He was so genuine and kind and joyful. He was this skinny and tall old guy……but he was a mountain of a man and wisdom just poured from his words. After seeing the show, I went out and bought some of his albums and sadly….I didn’t really enjoy them. His live performances were SO MUCH BETTER than what was recorded. Though…..he did create one album which I feel is his best piece of work, and that is his last album “Nobody Left to Crown”. Of course, the song ‘Freedom’ isn’t on there….but you can purchase that separately if you’d like.

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All in all, Richie Havens was a great man and a great musician. It’s too bad he didn’t make it further in this life but it is fitting that he died on Earth Day. If you’re a fan, you’ll love him for life. And if you don’t know about him, I highly recommend that you watch some of his videos and give a listen to a few of his albums.

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“It’s a brand new world, and it’s just beginning again, but on such a wonderful level of being able to communicate with each other directly, being able to talk to people all over the world,” – Richie Havens

Love: Yes, chivalry is dead and here’s why.

Women. I love them. I respect them. I’m attracted to them as a man who has natural sexual urges, a man who wants to feel a connection and have a companion, and a man who eventually would like to have a family. Men. I’m one of them. We’re supposed to be strong. We’re supposed to be survivors and well-mannered providers; though times have changed ‘man’ drastically. And ladies, yes……chivalry is dead. I know it’s a fashionable phrase that’s been thrown around the past several years, although chivalry never ACTUALLY made it into the 21st century….or many former centuries for that matter, but any who….

What is Chivalry? Chivalry was a code of conduct used by knights during the medieval times. It was a way of life. A knight vowed to show, and live by, his virtues of honor, gallantry, courtesy and love. Sometimes a knight vowed to be loyal to a certain lady, as a form of service, or in the hopes to earn her affections and eventually win her hand in marriage. He would perform acts for her. He would defend her and her family. He would go to battle for her and embark on decade long quests for her. Now in the medieval times, in order to become a knight one needed to be a noble. Subsequently in order to be a lady, you needed to be from a noble family. So there’s some class distinction here and only the privileged were able to be of this chivalric order. This is not saying that lower class citizens were monsters. They held many of the same customs, traditions and levels of respect for their fellow man…..but since they were poor they weren’t accepted into high society and were not written about as much in the history books. So there we have our basis for chivalry. A high level of respect, adoration and love.

Now how can one have the same level of respect, adoration and love for that?? (see above picture) It’s not women’s fault on the whole. Women have been inundated with advertising, magazines, commercials, movies, pornography, gossip, gossip and more gossip that has fractured their minds and made them crazy over the last 100 years or so. A high standard has been set for them to have the perfect appearance, to be intelligent, to be tolerant, to have a great personality, to be perfect in bed, to be a good girl and a bad girl at the same time etc. etc. etc. It’s not fair to women and unfortunately we can’t go back to the way things were. Once you put milk in the coffee, you can’t take it out. But women have got to hold their own and say, ‘no thanks. I’m deciding who I’m going to be’….and unfortunately this doesn’t happen as often as we see on Oprah. Not to say that men haven’t been broken over the years in our modern society. Just look at these schmos below. A long way from handsome knights in shining armor don’t you think?. And metro-sexuals……don’t even get me started. What happened to when men were MEN?!?

Ladies, I’m not telling you how to live your life or what to be. But I have noticed that women in America aren’t acknowledging what they are or how they act. Two of the most impossible things for a woman to do, in my opinion, is to face the truth and accept who they are. If you’re a pretty girl who’s a 25 year old virgin and shy in person, don’t pretend you’re a slut on social media (it won’t get you respect-it’ll get you a stalker). If you’re a sexy girl who likes to party and have one night stands (don’t expect a knight in shining armor to come your way). If you’re a little chubby, don’t wear tight jeans, act skinny and flaunt yourself in public (it makes you look cheap). If you sit at home and watch reality television all day, don’t tell people you’re not into gossip (it’ll make you look like a hypocrite). I LOVE WOMEN. I’m not mad. I’m just FRUSTRATED. There’s nothing more sexy than a woman who knows who she is, accepts herself and is happy with herself. Even this lady! (see below)

So you wanna be a ‘ho’? Be a ‘ho’. You wanna be a militaristic chick? Be a militaristic chick. You wanna be a bitch? Be a bitch. You wanna be a nerd? Be a nerd. You wanna be a hippie? Be a hippie. You wanna be a faithful housewife? Be a faithful housewife. You wanna be an intelligent, book reading, school attending, extreme sports loving lady?…..be it. Just don’t pretend that you’re something else. I’m 6’1……I’m not 5’6. I’m never going to be 5’6. I’m happy to be 6’1 because that’s what I am. I don’t pretend I’m shorter or taller. That’s part of the point. I also like chicken. I don’t pretend that I don’t like chicken and then sneakily eat it behind closed doors. I eat chicken…happily…with pride. This goes for guys too. ESPECIALLY FOR  GUYS! Our society in America today resembles the Aldous Huxley novel ‘Brave New World’ more than it does the George Orwell novel ‘1984’ (thankfully might I add- but yet, still unfortunate). There are elements from both books existing in our modern world, but for context in this blog, in ‘Brave New World’ citizens took ‘Soma’- a wonder drug that helped you sleep, dulled your emotions, made you happy and cured all ailments (similar to the unending pills for unending disorders we have today). The family unit had been destroyed and everyone was a homogenized ‘individual’. People slept with whomever they wished without having emotion, and if you did show emotion or attachment, you were ridiculed. The family was regarded as pornographic, sex was recreational (women wore belts of contraceptives) and romance was rendered obsolete. Just look at the television shows shoved down our throats, Sex and The City, Entourage, Girls and the amount of free porn on the internet… Don’t take me the wrong way. It’s good entertainment and provides a lot of jobs for the film/television industry. And I’m no prude. I’m all for people having a good time and enjoying themselves…..but at the cost of what?

Jumping backwards, in medieval times…..you were a lady, a knight, a servant, a nun, a prostitute or a peasant etc. Times were different….and very harsh on women….but a prostitute wasn’t traipsing around pretending she was a lady or a nun. A monk wasn’t pretending to be a squire. A lady wasn’t plodding around pretending to be a peasant. A knight wasn’t pretending to be a farmer. You were what you were, most of the time unwillingly based on birth, but people accepted it. Men would much rather see a profile for a woman on an online dating site that reads, ‘I’m an accountant. I watch reality television. I like amusement parks. I like to go bar hopping once a month. And I like to sleep 8 hours a day’ rather than reading…… ‘I’m a fairy princess. I love shopping but I hate it. You know what I mean? Girls are so crazy and I’m not your typical girl. I can drink, party and get crazy but I can also chill out and just talk. I don’t sleep around…LOL… I’m kind of a prude…unless I get to know you…ha ha’. Likewise, women would love a man who takes his shirt off and changes her tire when the car breaks down, rather than a jealous drunk who gets into an unnecessary bar fight with some other alpha meathead on saturday night. Am I right guys and ladies? Yes…. I know I’m right. And I won’t stoop to agree with the masses of complainers (though I was complaining before…woops) or say that there aren’t enough faithful, beautiful, refined ladies out there. There are. There are millions of them. Their minds have just been cracked from poor education, impossible ideals placed upon them by men and the media and a lack of proper encouragement. There are also a lot of good men out there too!…… that are just too fed up and sick of trying to improve themselves to stand out and find a nice woman while they meander in a sea of idiot metro-sexuals, meatheads and hipster doofus’s. Now…ok…..there are also a lot of unfaithful, scandalous men and women out there too, who COULD be good (in a relationship), but they just see the world we live in, give up and take the easy, convenient road of being a jerk. Or they’re just plain bastards, but those have existed forever.

In this day and age, with attention spans as small as they are, with family values disappearing, with general courtesy for your fellow man waning, with divorce rates and infidelity soaring……it’s very difficult to tell who a person is and to trust them. So ladies…..I implore you. Find out who you are. Tell us what you want. AND BE YOURSELF. It’s sexy. It’s perfect. It’s what we need. And men….grow some friggin’ balls! Be a MAN. Women love it. They’ve loved it since the dawn of mankind. Girls aren’t going to be nice all the time. Especially if you’re meeting them at bars and clubs. They’ve had society mess their heads up enough, and they’ve dealt with enough idiot males to make them suspicious. You gotta put your foot down (BUT NOT LIKE A DOUCHE). Tell them who you are. What you want……and please, get regular blue jeans, take off the bozo sunglasses, stop working out everyday and shave your mustache. If you don’t treat it like a ‘game’, it’ll stop being a ‘competition’. Maybe when those things happen……chivalry will make it’s return. And one last complaint, girls……please stop dressing like sluts on Halloween. We get it. You’re hot. We already know that. We see enough cleavage at bars on the weekends and on any normal night. Innovative costumes are cool. Halloween is not a porn convention (nothing against porn conventions or porn stars. Great people, they know who they are and they roll with it).

So in order to save America and our world from resembling ‘Idiocracy’ (2006) (see above), let’s do a little more work on us and a little less complaining about them. After all, we’re on the same side. We’re humans. Men are Men. Women are Women. We’re two very different species and we get together to have sex, procreate, have a companion, make a connection and sometimes create a family unit and compliment one another. Some people are doing it pretty successfully. We can’t take away what the world has shoved into our brains, but we can do the best with what we’ve got.

Thanks for reading this M.A.V.B.L.O.G. I hope you enjoyed it. And I hope it leads to improving the quality of life of the people that live on this earth. If you’d like to learn more about chivalry or the medieval times I encourage you to go to your local library or purchase some books on the subject. As always, be good to yourself and your family. Take care of your clan. And show respect to everyone you meet….even if they’re a dickhead.

Love: A Very Merry Christmas All Life Long

‘Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.’
-Calvin Coolidge

December 25th. A special day for Christians and traditionalists alike. A special day for many others too. Whether you are the kindest person, a bad-ass biker, the softest soul, a disenfranchised misanthrope, a heavy metal rocker, an angry militant, a drunken sailor, a depressed fledgling, a happy go lucky clown or a combination of all of those….you can allow the Christmas spirit into your heart and have it all your life long. This is where some of you call me a softie or a wimp, but that’s not the case. This is what I’m saying. (Click link and watch)

Christmas is not just a time for Santa Clause and superficial shopping. It is a time for giving. And you can give a present to your loved ones. You can give a hug. You can donate some money to the poor. You can buy a homeless person a sandwich. You can call up an old friend just to say ‘hi’ (and I just received a nice call from a great friend I haven’t heard from in a while). You can give a gift to an old friend or enemy of yours and say, ‘I love you. It’s Christmas’.

Look, we’re all human. We’ve all had hard times. We’ve all had bad experiences. We’ve all burned bridges. We’ve all made mistakes. We’ve all failed. We’re all lovers and haters. We all, at times, feel helpless and powerless. That’s the point of life. To have ups and downs. But once you learn, practice and change your perspective, you can have more ups than downs. And no matter how much of a Mr. Scrooge you are, your heart can be warmed by the Christmas Spirit. What is the Christmas Spirit to you?

‘Let us not be satisfied with just giving money. Money is not enough, money can be got, but they need your hearts to love them. So, spread your love everywhere you go.’
-Mother Teresa

If you’re reading this m.a.v.b.l.o.g. post, I love you. And regardless of what God you believe in (if any), I wish you a Merry Christmas. You don’t actually need to be religious to find the miracle of Christmas. It’s about being good, to yourself and others, it’s about forgiving yourself, forgiving others, making amends, spreading joy however you can, being charitable, realizing that you can do good in this world, however large or small, and transforming your life for the better. I keep this poem by my desk and look at it each day. I think it’s something we all would benefit from reading and applying in our lives.

Think what you will, but to me Christmas is a special time where anything is possible. It is a time when dreams can come true. Miracles can happen. Love can break any walls down. And any man or woman, can tap into the Christmas Spirit and utilize it to help them change their lives for the better. My heart has been warmed and cooled and burned and frozen over the years from experiences in my life…….but each Christmas my heart grows and grows and grows. I wish you the very best on this Christmas and for the rest of your life.

‘I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.’ -Charles Dickens

Love: Wesley Willis’s Joyrides

For my first post in the ‘Love’ category I will highlight a great man who was a very bright soul in this often-times cruel and dark world…..Wesley Willis. As well as, and more importantly, a great documentary that tells the tale of his life, his artwork and his foray in the music industry; Wesley Willis’s Joyrides.

Some of you may remember Wesley Willis from when he surfaced in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, playing his unique brand of music in small and large clubs across the country. Some of his hilarious and outrageous song titles included, ‘Suck a Caribou’s Ass’, ‘Rock n Roll McDonald’s’, ‘My Mother Smokes Crack Rocks’, ‘Suck a Pitbull’s Dick’ and the ever popular ‘Cut the Mullet’. I was a young teenager when Wesley surfaced and to me he was hysterical. Everytime I heard his songs, I laughed…….and to this day I laugh. But there was a lot more to the man than him saying things like, ‘Suck a wooly mammoths rotten booty hole’.

Wesley was born into poverty in Chicago, IL. At the age of 26 he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. I won’t go into the mans complete biography, you can look that up online. But despite the mans shortcomings, he was a genius artist, a genuine person and a headstrong musician. You can’t help but laugh when you see him talk, sing or interact with people. And it’s not a laughter from cruelty……it’s a laughter from joy, happiness and hilarity.

Unfortunately for myself, I didn’t get to experience his live performances where he would play music, then greet some fans and head-butt you repeatedly if he liked you. But fortunately, I saw a screening of Joyrides at the Florida Film Festival and learned that Wesley Willis was much more than a crazy musician who had a potty mouth. Yes….this is an age of miniscule attention spans and instant gratification…..but please, do yourself a favor. Sit down and watch Joyrides. It will change your life.

I have so much to say about Wesley……though I don’t want to ruin it with a long winded mavblog post. I love the guy…..and I didn’t even know him. Any man who can make you laugh until you’re slapping your knee, make you envious of his unfortunate life circumstances, put you in awe with his artistic abilities….and then go sing songs about termites while head-butting fans…..is ‘ok’ in my book. Here’s to you Wesley Willis…..may your bright soul shine above us and guide us all to be better people.

Wesley Willis (1963-2003)

You can find ‘Wesley Willis’s Joyrides’ online to watch for free or you can purchase the film here, which I highly recommend. I met the filmmakers and they’re really great people. To learn more about Wesley you can check out his website (not sure who maintains it since his passing). And oh yeah, do yourself another favor and listen to his music. Just check out a few songs on youtube. ‘Suck My Dogs Dick’, ‘Cut The Mullet’, ‘Suck A Caribou’s Ass’. If you’re not laughing after listening to those…..there’s either something wrong with you and/or you think you’re way too important or superior and you need to relax.

The first post of Joseph McConnell

Hi there. This is my first post on wordpress. I’ll try to keep it short and simple. I’ve started this web blog as a place for you to learn about me, my films and my books. So what shall I say in my first post so you can relate to me?

I’ve been high and I’ve been low, just like you. Just gotta do the best with the hand that life deals you…and no matter how bad things can be….make the best of it.

So, I always strive to just be a regular guy. I do stupid stuff. And I do really smart stuff. Always trying to keep a fine balance. For example, reading ‘Beyond Good and Evil’ during the day and then at night, crapping in a bag and lighting it on fire on someones doorstep. I’m experienced enough to know that it’s important to always be yourself. To be nice to people. To love as hard as you can. And to try harder even when people tell you to stop, whether it be in your job, your parenting, your relationships, your health….or that new annoying video game!! You never know when your lights are gonna go out for good, so make your life meaningful….to you of course.

Well….I hope you enjoy my future blogs about movies, art, video games, backpacking, love, outrageousness and god. And if you dig my style check out some of my books, look at some of my artwork and watch some of my movies. I love my life. I love movies. And I love the fact that if I want to I can get drunk, cook a bunch of pasta, put it in a plastic bag….and throw it at my neighbors door. Why not!?! There are so many options!!!

There’s a great quote from the movie ‘The Way’ (2010) that we can all learn from….”You don’t choose a life, dad. You live one.”