Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Roundup

My more typical New Years Eve
Well 2014 was much better than 2013 if only because I didn't have a  major operation during the entire year. Actually it was better than 2012, too, when I was unemployed for six months. And 2008 - 2011 because I had a horrible job (and others agree) which, combined with major depression caused me to develop an anxiety disorder, which I'm still dealing with - but which is improved thanks to therapy.

In 2014 I managed to finally produce the full-length version of JULIA & BUDDY which I had been trying to do since 2011. I also completed a first draft of DARK MARKET about Ayn Rand and the 2008 meltdown, started my play about Marilyn Monroe, wrote a 10-minute play about the Bronte sisters. I also made almost serious money from ads on the NYCPlaywrights web site - I made twice as much money from the blog in December 2014 as I did in December 2013.

Also in 2014:

 >  The liberal media finally woke up to the perniciousness of Social Justice Warriors, thanks in part to the Feminism's Toxic Twitter Wars article in The Nation and to the ridiculous kerfuffle fomented by a friend of right-winger Michelle Malkin who goes by the Twitter handle of Suey Park and her moronic attack on Stephen Colbert. Followed up by the less well-known but just as significant "Jacobinghazi" in which the absolute awfulness of Sarah Kendzior became crystal clear.

And of course I have a personal interest in the SJW phenomenon, since I was smeared by SJWs way back in 2011 for daring to think that a song by John Lennon and Yoko Ono was not racist, and thanks to the collusion of Google and Tumblr, smears against me by SJW Mikki Kendall and SJW K. Tempest Bradford still show up at the top of Google search results on my name.

It should be noted that in spite of the name Social Justice Warriors, these people do nothing to promote social justice. They simply use good causes to promote their own careers, through endless Twitter wars and attacking liberals and feminists. I still have to wonder how much of the SJW phenomenon is sock puppetry by the Right, the SJW attacks are so ridiculously focused on the Left, virtually ignoring the actual perpetrators of social injustice on the Right.
But although the SJWs were called out in 2014 instead of universally lionized as heroes of the Left as they were in 2013, I also discovered that those who might be allies against Social Justice Warriors turned out to be just as fond of anti-feminist rhetoric, as when I found Doug Henwood attacking "bourgeois feminists" (whatever that is - I saw via Facebook that Henwood seems to live as bourgeois a lifestyle as anybody I've ever known) and discovered Will Shetterly supporting faux feminist right-winger Christina Hoff Sommers who has a long, long history of anti-feminist statements and is currently a "resident scholar" at the far-right, Koch brothers-supported American Enterprise Institute.

Leading me to conclude once again, as with the SJW vs. New Atheist war, that both sides are idiots. And feminism is as usual under attack from all sides. But on the plus side, I received a very nice email from Katha Pollitt for defending her against Kendzior's scurrilous attacks.

 >  The Rise of Ayn Rand Awareness - in the past I have been amazed by how many people - educated and, I thought, well-informed people had no idea who Ayn Rand was. But I think more and more people are aware of her, partly because some prominent Republicans are followers of hers, including Rand and Ron Paul and Paul Ryan. And just this past month she's been getting lots of publicity lately thanks to this story: Ayn Rand helped the FBI investigate whether ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ was commie propaganda. And one of the New Yorker's most viewed blog posts of 2014 was a parody Ayn Rand Reviews Children’s Movies. So this is definitely the year to produce DARK MARKET - if I can manage it financially or find a producer or co-producer.

 >  My dating life - I actually had one in 2014, although it was a string of indisputable failures. The one guy I might have liked well enough to be intimate with turned out to live in a pit of filth in Brooklyn, and was shameless enough to invite me into it. I had a date last night with a guy who claimed to be 58 but who finally admitted to being older, although he never said how much older. At least 60. He really liked me though, enough to inquire, as I was about to go through the subway turnstile at the end of the date, "when was the last time you had your pussy eaten really well?" I guess since I have mostly been dating guys under 30, I assumed that making such explicit statements on a first date was an issue for younger guys. Coming from a guy who is at least 60, it's just gross. I mean, if it was a really hot guy saying that on a first date, maybe it would be tolerable. But I really doubt there is any 60 year old guy in the world attractive enough to qualify as really hot. Certainly not this guy. You would think he'd have enough restraint and gravitas at that age not to bust out with something like that in a freaking subway station. Some people never grow up I guess. My therapist says the best way to meet people is through activities that you like, but I haven't had any luck through the world of theater. So many men in theater are gay, and the ones who are not gay, and at all attractive, are in too much demand from the straight female actors. Oh you goddam teasing actors. And it's just as bad if not worse with directors. And almost all straight male playwrights I know are creeps.

 >  Jury duty - my first as a citizen of New York. It was a hell of an experience and I hope to get a play out of it, TWELVE ANGRY JURORS FROM QUEENS, but so far I've only gotten a few pages written. 

 >  Running - this was my real success story. I have run more in 2014 than in my entire life. Two official 5K runs, and almost weekly runs of 3 - 4 or even 5 - 6 miles. And I plan to start off 2015 right by running in the NYRR Midnight Run tonight. My daughter has me in training for a 10K for 2015 and she's even talking half marathon. Wow. Running, like all endurance physical activities, can be very unpleasant, but I keep doing it because first of all, I get to spend time with my busy daughter, but also it seems like every time I look in the NYTimes there is another article about how running and other exercise keeps you young:

How Exercise Changes Our DNA
Now new research reports that the answer may lie, in part, in our DNA. Exercise, a new study finds, changes the shape and functioning of our genes, an important stop on the way to improved health and fitness.

Got a Minute? Let’s Work Out
According to a lovely new study, a single minute of intense exercise, embedded within an otherwise easy 10-minute workout, can improve fitness and health.

Run to Stay Young
Running may reverse aging in certain ways while walking does not, a noteworthy new study of active older people finds. The findings raise interesting questions about whether most of us need to pick up the pace of our workouts in order to gain the greatest benefit.

Does Exercise Really Make Us Smarter?
Still, the findings are strong enough to suggest that exercise really does change the brain and may, in the process, improve thinking, Mr. Stothart said. That conclusion should encourage scientists to look even more closely into how, at a molecular level, exercise remodels the human brain, he said. It also should spur the rest of us to move, since the benefits are, it seems, not imaginary, even if they are in our head.

What’s Your Fitness Age?
Dr. Wisloff and his colleagues offer free exercise suggestions on their website. But he said almost any type and amount of exercise should help to increase your VO2max and lower your fitness age, potentially increasing your lifespan.

Exercise may help to safeguard the mind against depression through previously unknown effects on working muscles, according to a new study involving mice. The findings may have broad implications for anyone whose stress levels threaten to become emotionally overwhelming.

Running for as little as five minutes a day could significantly lower a person’s risk of dying prematurely, according to a large-scale new study of exercise and mortality. The findings suggest that the benefits of even small amounts of vigorous exercise may be much greater than experts had assumed.

For almost every student, creativity increased substantially when they walked. Most were able to generate about 60 percent more uses for an object, and the ideas were both “novel and appropriate,” Dr. Oppezzo writes in her study, which was published this month in The Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition.

Well that's enough for now - I find it pretty compelling.

Now I'm off to run in Central Park to mark the beginning of 2015.