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I try to keep things fun and lighthearted around here, yet the world won't let me. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to look at the news and think "didn't know them," or "don't care," but the reality is, I care... we all care. I have a bad habit of waking up to horrible news, a habit that I'm well-aware is shared by many, with 9/11 and the disintegration of Space Shuttle Columbia being two examples of where I simply opened my eyes to see the tragedy on television. Social media wasn't full-blown back then, and today I made the mistake of checking my phone first-thing... still in bed, but with my wife at my side and my girls playing. The news that something terrible had happened in Orlando -- just days after another heinous act in that city -- was unavoidable, as were the never-ending "thoughts and prayers" delivered by the tens of thousands via status update and tweet, none more insincere than those delivered by politicians, with tweets by some such as GNC Chair Reince Priebus being called out for essentially being "copied and pasted" from their statements about past tragedies. Sandy Hook, Boston, that jerk in Fox Lake - we're long-past the whole "truth is stranger than fiction" thing, because real life is more twisted and terrifying than any media created for purpose of entertainment or to be fear-provoking.  This country is a mess, and "thoughts and prayers" will do nothing to help anyone... but the proper actions and reactions just might.

Published in James' Journal

Getting a film made - whether independent or big-budget - is a crapshoot and a struggle, something I've personally had some experience with over the years. It's often those long-gestating projects that hold the most meaning, and for activist and artist Vincent Gagliostro, that project is AFTER LOUIE - a film that he will soon direct from a screenplay that he's co-written with NYC writer/actor Anthony Johnston. Bridging generations and shaped by Gagliostro's own experiences as an original member of ACT UP (The AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power), AFTER LOUIE tells the story of an artist and former AIDS activist (portrayed by Alan Cumming) "that has become disillusioned with the world around him until he meets a young man." The film is currently on Kickstarter with $17,383 of a $72,500 goal raised with 15 days remaining in the campaign. See the pitch for the film below, complete with words from the cast and filmmakers.

IWRESTLEDABEARONCE hit The Rock Father with details on a new limited-edition t-shirt that they've released via their official webstore to raise donations and awareness for the LGBT advocacy organization GLAAD. All proceeds from the shirt will be donated directly to GLAAD with an additional $2 per shirt (for the first 250 sold) donated by the folks at Alternative Press. Check out what IWABO guitarist Steven Bradley has to say about the new shirt...

Published in Music for Grownups