Friday, December 24, 2010

Adventures in Coffeeland - Christmas Edition


Chistmas can be a tough time - even fro a lonely little cup of "Joe."

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Lockett Shortlisted for 2011 Mark Twain Prize



Lockett shortlisted for the 2011 Mark Twain Prize (AP)

Writer, humorist and former stand-up comic James Patrick Lockett is among the names shortlisted for Kennedy Center's 2011 Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. America's foremost award for humor has been presented annually - beginning in 1998 with Richard Pryor - to the individual who has made a significant contribution to American humor. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, however, has recently redefined the meaning of "significant contribution" by bestowing the award this year to SNL Alum Tina Fey, and in essence, widening the scope of potential nominees.

"It's an honor simply to be considered," said Lockett. "In the Nineties, it was predicted that one out of every three people would get their own talk show, now I guess it's the Mark Twain Prize, that is if you have a killer Sarah Palin impersonation." In addition to Lockett, the shortlist includes comedian Carrot Top, Vince the Slap-Chop guy, Michael Jackon's youngest son Blanket, who's subtle wit and grace is reminiscent of a young Charles Chaplin, and a plumber from Cleveland who told a really funny joke at a cocktail party that one time.

Past recipients are the afore mentioned Pryor, Jonathan Winters, Carl Reiner, Whoopi Goldberg, Bob Newhart, Lily Tomlin, Lorne Michaels, Steve Martin, Neil Simon, Billy Crystal, George Carlin, Bill Cosby, and Fey - want to play one of these things is not like the other? Really? Lorne Michaels received the Mark Twain Prize before Steve Martin, Carlin and Cosby, that explains alot.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Frozen Non-Fat Yoga and other Religous Icons

So many of the problems I have with organized religion stem from the fact that there is no room for common ground. the complete unbending of personal interpretation that we have come to expect from the daily onslaught of extremists and religious nutbars*, but when it starts coming from mainstream, it's time for a reality check of biblical proportion. Last week, Southern Baptist Seminary President Albert Mohler spoke out against, of all things - yoga - saying that the stretching and meditative discipline derived from Eastern religions is not a Christian pathway to God. Really? We have circus barkers posing as pastors disrupting military funerals in the name of God and penny ante Hitlers** threatening to burn the Quran, and what the Southern Baptist Seminary objects to is yoga.

"That's just not Christianity," Mohler told the AP. I have to ask, what is Christianity, Al? It couldn't possibly be the concept of living a Christ-like existence, could it? A concept, I (sadly) find lacking in most Christians. [*Pat Robertson has called the chanting and other spiritual components that go along with yoga "really spooky." California megachurch pastor ** John MacArthur called yoga a "false religion."] While there are as many and varied branches of yoga, as there are Western religions, the traditional physical and mental disciplines are the same - a discrimination between nature and pure consciousness. Though in the West, yoga is typically associated with Hatha Yoga and its asanas (postures) or as exercise. Most come to yoga to relieve chronic pain or as a workout - not to convert from Christianity to Hinduism. If a spiritual level is reached who does Mohler think the person is going to pray to?

Today's rampant Islamophobia and Homophobia is a frightening reminder of bigotries of earlier times. Have we learned nothing from the past? Now, as then, social division is fed less by what is known about the other than by what is not known or not understood. When a society is divided by race, gender, class, politics, or religion, the path to harmony always leads through encounter, dialogue, and engagement. Too often, our most deeply held prejudices are simply unexamined. So where do we start? I'd hope it would start with those who care about lifting up the values that have meant the most to America's social, political, and ethical maturation

So to Al Mohler and his like, I say this before you rail against something as unthreatening as yoga, refer to the First Cornithinans 6: 19-20, "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body." Either you don't want you followers to be flexible, or you want (with apologies to Mark Twain) to limit your exercise to acting as pallbearer to your overweight, unbending bigoted followers. Where do we start? Thomas Jefferson said, "It does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are 20 gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket, nor breaks my leg." Open your mind, open your heart, find some common ground - What would Jesus (Allah, Budda, Ghandi) Do?

Monday, September 6, 2010

ADVENTURES IN COFFEELAND #1


One of the better things about living in The Great White North is that you are always offered cream with your coffee, which - with a nod to Mr. Lyle Lovett - is one of my favorite things. A while back, I found myself sitting in a local coffehouse, drawing on a napkin and gave life to a lonley little coffee cup, named, of all things, "Joe." So for your enjoyment, I offer up the first episode of ADVENTURES IN COFFEELAND. As always, comments are welcome.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

They Go in Threes


As we move through our lives, we mark the places we go and the people that change us on a big map that exists in the back corner of our memory, behind the stacks of old comics we wish we'd never thrown away and the boxes of regrets that we wish we could. We really take note of the people on that map when we lose
them. They are on there for a reason and when they're gone, we note that loss. This past week, has me revisitng that dark corner, as we lost Fess Parker, Peter Graves, and Robert Culp.
As a kid I watched (and played, I admit it) Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone, as well as Mission Impossible (any time I could lay my hands on my Dad's mini reel-to-reel). Both actors are well represented in my DVD collection
as well as my memories. Years ago I found out that Fess was making a persaanl appearance to promote one of his new wines, and best friend in tow, we headed out and found ourselves alone with Fess Parker - yes, we were the only ones there. We talked about wine, acting, and old television. Fess could not have been nicer to grown up little boys who got spend an afternoon with one of their heroes - plus, we got wine.
Also as a kid, I watched a ground-breaking show called I Spy. I didn't know it was (or why) ground-breaking, all I knew was it was good. Then later it was the Harlan Ellison penned Outer Limits episode "Demon with the Glass Hand," that introduced me Robert Culp. As a young actor, I had the pleasure of working with Bob on The Greatest American Hero. But the word pleasure does not really cover it. Bob loved his craft, loved the show, and was one of the most approchable and giving actors I ever worked with. In the late eighties, I wrote an I Spy movie of the week (aka series pilot) for Bob (and two new young actors, hmmmm) with a cameo for Bill Cosby. Despite the fact that it never sold, Bob loved it and was always a big supporter of my career.
RIP all of you, your like will not be seen again.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Not Blue

When I started writing short fiction, there was a huge stigma attached to self-publishing that went beyond the control of your product. It spoke the quality of the work itself, but I think the years and cyber world we find ourselves in have changed all of that, so small bits and pieces are going to start appearing here from time to time, not because they are unpublishable, but because I feel there is no real market and I want them read. So enjoy and feel free to comment, good or bad.




Not Blue

by James Patrick Lockett



My eyes ache at the blue of the sky,

They accuse me now of lying to them,

for it is not the blue that they know.

It is the blue of your eyes,

that they only know. . . and miss.

Now that they are gone,

I fear my eyes will never again trust me.







Copyright 2010. All Rights Reversed.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

O' Rooster, Where Art Thou.


It has been a while, but to be honest I haven't had anything to say. But the blogging adventure is back- for now.

So what bee has worked it's way under my perverbial bonnet today? I hear you ask. . .

Well, in the wake of Jeff Bridges long overdue Oscar win, comes the news that after the long awaited TRON sequel, the Dude's next project will be a remake of the John Wayne classic True Grit. Yes, the Dude will be playing Marshal Reuben J. Cogburn. Now I love Jeff Bridges, great actor (and great guy,I had the pleasure of meeting him years ago on the set of Starman) and he more than capable of pulling this off, with a long history of westerns (my fav being Heaven's Gate) – but the project is being written and helmed by the Coen Brothers. No Country for Old Marshals? O Rooster, Where Art Thou? I think I have a problem with this. Can the Coen's adapt Charles Portis' novel (which is very close to the original film) without taking it too far afield? Can they direct a western without feeding Ned Pepper into a wood chipper? I look forward to seeing Roger Deakins cinematography; I'm okay with Barry Pepper playing Ned Pepper; with Josh Brolin taking on Robert Duvall's role; even casting Matt Damon as Texas Ranger LaBoeuf maintains the acting quality that Glen Campbell brought to the original. So that just leaves the Coen Brothers and just have one thing to say. . .Joel, Ethan. . .fill your hands you son-of-a-bitch.

I'll be in my office, on the phone with my lawyer, J. Nobel Daggett.

Welcome to HyenaDome

Welcome back Lone Reader (and thanks for finding) the all new and mildly improved HYENA KITCHEN -The Great White North location. All of the old posts (soon to be archieved here) are still viewable at www.hkitchen.blogspot.com . However, since the page won't let me back in via any known password I might have dreamed - the rants, reviews, obits, odd news story - and now short fiction and poetry - will continue and find a new voice (and hggsopefully a new reader or two) here. I promise to (try) and post on a more regular schedule and try not to let the Canadian surroundings temper my venom.