The Movies: The Happening

So, yeah, M. Night Shyamalan pretty much makes me disgusted.  It’s not his movies, not really.  It is the reaction his movies get from the people who watch them.  I mean, I can’t count on my fingers and toes how many twist endings I’ve gotten from students.  They believe this to be good writing, and can’t tell the difference between movie making and writing stories.  There is a difference, by the way.  And if you want to see a writing instructor frustrated, then ask them to explain the difference.  It’s like trying to explain sex to a deaf person.  You usually have to resort to creative hand motions.

 So, here is the trailer to The Happening.  A nice abstract title for a movie with an abstract trailer.  Will the movie be abstract?  Let me guess, we’ll never know what is killing these people.  There will be a lot of fear and panic.  And, at the end, the main character will come to some amazing realization of himself that could not have happened if the Happening didn’t, you know, happen.  I don’t like people using our innate fear of dying as a promoter for ticket sales.  And I’m rather dumb-founded that I’m not use to it by now.


Nightlife: Girls Gone Lame…

Here is one of my older columns. You can see them fresh at or in the Thursday issue of Currents.

I was hugging the walls of Olive or Twist and all around me were men. Hungry men. Curious men. They had gathered. The call had been sent out. They saw it on the news or they saw the bus or they received a text message. Girls Gone Wild had arrived in Wilmington. Was this a dream? Girls Gone Wild was probably the pinnacle of their adolescent hopes and wonderment, and now they were here! In their town! Some men go their whole lives without ever coming close to achieving a goal like that. And just like most dreams, most of those men in the crowd would leave unsatisfied and disappointed. A bouncer that was at least two hundred and fifty pounds of Planet Fitness-toned muscle stood with his arms crossed on the stair well. This stair well lead to the upper-floor. This upper floor was where all the Girls Gone Wild girls were located. The only way he was letting anyone past him was if you were part of the staff, were from Girls Gone Wild, or if you were a girl wanting to, you know, go up there and go wild. I lightly fantasized about running up to him and giving him an Indiana Jones uppercut and busting into the second floor yelling, “Freedom of the Press!” But I hadn’t hit a guy since grade school. And the guy I hit was two years younger than me.

“Hey, you want to go up there?” a guy next to me asked. I nodded.

“I know that bouncer! Give me a second and I’ll take you with me!”

The guy walked towards the bathroom, and it quickly occurred to me that this dude could be lying. Continue reading