Shake That Body Party That Body

Well, he made us all idiots. No, come on, we already were idiots, let's not shift the blame. For God's sake, I watched Showgirls on television that night as the only salve to our collective wound, watching Elizabeth Berkeley "Shake it, baby", in the words of Duke Nukem, in the solace that how bizarre could a Trump Administration be in a nation that produced screenwriter Joe Eszterhas' pièce de résistance.

I've long thought throughout the Obama Administration that the US President can be subject to so much undue criticism for those unbeknownst of the separation of powers between the Supreme Court's judiciary and Congress' legislature. Well, yes, they will be hampered if said Presidente is a former constitutional law professor.

The succeeding US head of state and commander-in-chief arrives with a vacancy on the Supreme Court due to a Senate refusing to carry out their advise and consent role for the incumbent's nomination, giving way to a stay on Obama's signature Clean Power Plan, severely impeding America's commitments to the Paris Agreement.

Anyhow, I feel like the United States' democratic choices need to be respected. It's an important sentiment, to respect something you essentially revile. 

I'm really hanging out for Jeff Sachs' prospective Sustainable Development Party. I have no idea what form it could take, but I'd love to see the red states turn green. Man, the Electoral College is so tough! How the fuck could a Sustainable Development Party make headway in the South and plenty other pockets.

I feel emboldened, that good art will come of this. I think it's worth respecting why people feel this way. It needn't be a titanic struggle between Good and Evil. You move toward what you want, the reality you want to manifest. You ignore that which could be resisted. It feeds it.

I very firmly know the reality I want. It's private to me. I treasure that privacy, and the energy that feeds it. I respect that Donald Trump (I feel like people don't want to use his name now, the same way he accused Hilary and Obama of not using the term 'radical Islamic terrorism') completely trusted his instincts, in adversity from even those closest to him, yet his instinct prevailed, leading him to the highest office in the land. 

We now resume regular broadcasting.

Do you still want to make a Batman film? Part 2

What do you want to get out of your remaining time in London? Nothing massive or extremely outside my comfort zone, please.

Well, what is England? Crucible of Industrial Revoltion. That's big. If you go to West Yorkshire next week, that's not too far from Sheffield, one of the centres or steel production and so forth.

But this week is more Batman-oriented. Firstly, I want this week to be one apart from the remainder of the year. I really would prefer the year's remainder to carry on as if becoming Batman were not an all-encompassing objective, from which my mental and physical health must be secondary. Batman's 'obsession' must be moderated. That is the Zen way. The source of his psychic aquifer would still be rich, but it ought be left untouched.

England is the home of Mentmore Towers, Hatfield House, Knebworth House and Pinewood Studios.

Can we entertain the idea of what would occur were you not to become Batman? Not to create a Batman film.

Well, I'd see it as a great thing. Because I think the infrastructure would be there to get you there, but perhaps forces outside your control - to say nothing of influence - would mitigate.

Let's for a time consider what a working relationship with Warner Bros. would be like.

Firstly, though you're not God, and have little position to judge others, I'm not so sure the legacy of the Warner's née Wonsal née Wonskolaser, is one I'm beloved of. For goodness sake, Jack Warner deceived his own brothers to obtain control of the studio bearing the name of their kinship.

Time Warner - Time magazine I don't necessarily have a beef with, even though the publishing arm has since been spun-off from the media conglomerate. Again, the Wonsal's appear. Time Warner is a big corporation. It's a legal person. So what do I make of it?

Let's consider one of its units, DC Entertainment. Now personally, the remainder of the DC Universe has come to be of negligible interest to me, largely confined to a curiosity of Gothamite denizens.

Operating out of Burbank at the new DC HQ, in addition to Warner HQ, the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle, soon to be relocated to Hudson Yards in the West 20s. It could work, it really all could. But I also feel like there would be so many compromises.

Truly, maybe in my heart of hearts, and knowing what I know at this juncture of my cosmic spiral, I feel like the best I could hope for would be to put out the intention willfully and with positivity and let the Universe decide. The actual Universe, in contrast to the DC Universe.

Which brings us to...Would Giusep and yourself be willing to do 'your own Batman'? Oooooffffaaa. You know what this means. Not Bruce Wayne, not the the Dark Knight. Not a trademarked, established icon of American pop culture. Your own creation, intellectual property fruit of the minds of the Billings Brothers?

Sharing many a characteristic of Bruce/Batman, but an original creation - your own interpretation. This is difficult, because Batman's symbolism already carries such a gravitas in the world's collective consciousness. I daresay there's nary a fictional character which possesses the power Batman does.

In any respect, I truly believe now that your priority is to make any desire - whether to become Batman or any other such goal - relegated secondary to what's best for your health, what is sustainable for your psyche. Bruce is just gonna make himself a mischief if he keeps up this bizzo. It's not good for you. And anything that's not good for you, cannot be good for anyone else either. Take care of yourself so that you can take care of each other.

Now, to be clear, none of the above so far is ruling Batman out. I like to consider it as moderating an instinct lest it drive you crazy. To become a cinematic Batman is a worthy goal. So let's pause to ponder, what is a feasible alternative, whilst not outwardly sacrificing your original intent?

Imagine Joseph and yourself were able to cast a character - and perhaps an accompanying rogue's gallery - as a befitting substitute that held the potential to then transcend Bob Kane and Bill Finger's creation. I think a further exploration of who those two men were, their working relationship, and whether the merit still stands thereafter deserves exploration. After all, the integrity of the creator of a symbol that has become beloved to me has import.

All of this deserves a thorough exploration and study of Batman. I am beginning to sense a drift toward being favourable to Joseph and I manifesting our own character. Who knows, perhaps Anthony McCormack has a role to play here too.

I think in tandem, particularly whilst being in the United Kingdom, James Bond ought be explored further too, or perhaps Ian Fleming. I'd love to use this week to read a biography of his, as well as Kane and Finger. I think the reality of what Bond represents to me has gained clarity, and Batman may follow suit. For what it's worth, the Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles crossover holds curiosity for me also.

Where possible - and the Ninja Turtles link suggest this also - I'd like any pursuit of the Dark Knight herein - and by that I mean from 2017 onward - to go forward hand-in-hand with Japonais/Zen. I want the two to coexist, and in that sense, if a brand new creation is borne of that, so be it. I just truly believe it's perhaps the only sustainable way forward for moi. The Zen Warrior = The Dark Knight. Bruce Wayne as Rising Sun's Captain John Connor-san. A Scottish backyard Connery née Commander James Bond of the Royal Navy.

Do you still want to make a Batman movie?

That's the question, or theme, of this week.

So what are the pros and cons? I don't psychically feel like physically becoming that brawny. Truthfully, it'd be such a departure from my natural morphology for starters, but the amount of meat consumption necessary the complete an appropriate protein profile would be just ridiculous. On a moral level, the plane from which all of this emanates, I would be considerably uncomfortable taking responsibility for that level of animal sacrifice. I just think I'd find it quite obscene to attain a physique comparable to more muscular depictions of the Batman.

More wraith than man. Bare-chested love god? Again, a compelling case could be made that lothario's like Russell Brand manage to maintain the mantle of love god whilst being more yogi than beefcake. I'd somewhat like to make a deal with myself, whereby I trade in heavy-lifting and serious weight gain in favour of a Zen warrior holistic, a regimen of aikido and hatha yoga.

30 year's in to life, your body's demonstrated it favours the legs and aerobic system over your top half, arms and weight training. Bodyweight stuff is great. But if you're Batman - let's say you - were to focus in on an aspect of oneself outside of the mind, what would YOU do?

I'd combine the no-mind i.e. mushin, with the body. I'm in the practice of push-ups, and will resume barbell-based weight training, and perhaps even get a pull-up bar, once am home. You've nominated targets for sustainably developing that.

But my instinct would be to combine the soul with the physicality, approaching them as One. I do feel that's represented via the disciplines of both yoga and aikido.

My only reticence with aikido is finding a dojo am comfortable with. The dojo is East Village was superlative. I would actually be open to driving to the Belmore Rd dojo a couple evenings a week. Perhaps even the Doncaster Bikram studio. I think it worthwhile to try other disciplines of yoga. Experiment with studios. I think an investment of both time and money would serve you excellently.

So something is forming here. I'd like to identify an aspect I'd dearly like to cast in relief here. The attitude toward this discipline - it must be Japonais. It cannot be Americano. That is my precondition. If you go gung ho Americain, it'll destroy you. That's the way of steroids, if only figuratively.

It's clear to me that if I follow an American approach, it simply will not be sustainable. The only sustainable path, I hope, is the Way of Zen. I must pursue that, even in my yoga practice, albeit originally a practice originated in the Indian subcontinent. Bikram yoga has always been a good fit for me when practiced through the lens of wā, the Nippon word for 'harmony' and a synonym for The Land of the Rising Sun itself.

Aikido would be a way to formalise your focus of Zen also.

So it's clear and hopefully offers a sustainable path of personal, physical and spiritual. development.

This Batman film cultivating in both yourself and Joseph's head is increasingly taking on an anti-American twist for you. Or should I say a path which washes over the USA, ignoring it, as a stream passes over the rocks as a metaphor of Zen, like a passage from aikido's missal, The Art of Peace.

If you take the Way of America in your training, it will be unsustainable. It will be your folly, your downfall. This Batman film is morphing in to "your Godfather", a tale about America. You know deep down, you want to see this film spark the demise of the United States of America. To put its hegemony to the side, ignored thereafter, whatever nominal power it retains. It's power in the spiritual collective will be an abstraction, it's claim to sovereignty in the minds of a populace within and without evaporated. A community no longer willing to imagine such a community.

What's the value of girls' education?

The right to education is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, perhaps the definitive distillation of universal morals for the world's populace to live up to. Upholding a basic human right alone ought to be reason enough to educate girls. 

In girls' education we also hold among the greatest drivers of actualising Sustainable Development Goal Numero Uno (aka #1 for any Hispanically-challenged readers) i.e. ending extreme poverty by 2030.

For those playing at home, extreme poverty is defined as living on under $US1.90-a-day. In 2016, I'd count my blessings were I able to buy a Mate from a milk bar for $1.90. Remember Mates, the caramel covered in compound chocolate that cost 5¢-a-piece when I was being educated? Do milk bars even exist any more?

Anyway, it's doubtlessly horseshit that 900 million Homo sapiens are still living on the equivalent of 38 Mates, adjusting for inflation to 1996 prices. Pardon the French btw. Actually horseshit a la Français is une crottin de cheval.

Anyway, horseshit that's bears a remarkable resemblance to Mates aside, it's not fair that people - anyone, yes even just a singular down-on-their luck individual - lives literally hand-to-mouth on a day-to-day basis.

Johnny Come-Lately: But won't we just be giving forever?

Dominic: (exhales deeply under his breath, palming face) Ohhh, Christ...not again.

No, no we won't be "giving forever", and heaven-fucking forbid were we forever charitable anyhow. What a thing that after realising from however many years of having the great privilege to live on this planet that giving makes us feel good. I'm forever of the belief that the programming of this Life we partake of deliberately allows us to remember-and-forget, remember-and-forget, in a virtuous cycle, that giving makes us feel good.

We sub-consciously lead lives of self-service til..."Hey mate, do you want a Mate?" And didn't that just give a big warm fuzzy?

But once we allow all those living in extreme poverty to gain a hand on the proverbial first rung on the ladder of development, they are then able to help themselves. Living hand-to-mouth in a perpetual state of daily survival disallows forming a grip on said first rung, as no surplus income means no tax revenues for the state, which ordinarily in developed countries pays for social services, infrastructure, etc, that further our standard of living for those unable to do so themselves by the simple of grace of God.

So until we help those living in extreme poverty get on the ladder, which we're on track to do by 2030 if all society mobilises toward that Goal (aka SDG #1), those living outside the grip of the development ladder will remain in that cycle intergenerationally.

900 million humans living in extreme poverty - how do we fix that? Well, for a many number of years now, the developed countries (jargon for rich countries) have committed to giving 0.7% of GNI as ODA. Now don't shit your breeches with those acronyms and decimal percentiles, we're all adults.

0.7% of GNI as ODA just means 7¢ of every $100 made in rich countries goes to poor countries. 7¢ for every gorilla (I've heard that as slang for a $A100 note; I don't know what it means) ain't much, right?

Extreme poverty done and dusted by 2030 if the rich countries (and that's your taxpayer dollars, you've already paid for it, no matter what) give 7¢ of every $100 made. SO easy.... 

Yet only the Nordic countries plus the UK and tiny Luxembourg have honoured it. Australia's barely halfway there, giving under 4¢ for every $100; USA, the biggest economy in the world's contribution's even more paltry, at under 2¢.

We have a population of 7.4 billion, 8 billion's going to come running up very soon, and 9 billion will follow even sooner. What's behind this trend of rapid population growth? Simple: very poor people making babies.

All people are well-entitled to make babies at their leisure, but there's a reason why the world's most vulnerable are makin' 'em like they're goin' out of fashion.

Poor families in developing countries have a desire to insure themselves against the future, and one of the ways they do this is having several children, sometimes in hope of having boys, as in some cultures, boys are considered to hold greater earning-potential.

Also, fragile environments make the deaths of several children in a family commonplace, the logic being that more children increases the chance of surviving family members, which can also care for the parents later in life. But for already-vulnerable families struggling to make ends meet, more mouths to feed can be a burden harder to shoulder.

Many of the same societies characterised by the above trend have also marginalised the value of women in their societies, whether due to tradition, religion or because men stubbornly and adamantly don't like asking for help, even when we really clearly need it.

For this reason, if the choice between educating a boy or a girl is a decision a household is facing, the choice invariably falls toward the child with a penis. Naturally, this hinders the girl's future prospects of income-generation later in life, and again, many of these societies see it fit to marry off girls at a relatively young age in lieu of allowing them to work or giving the gift of education.

After marriage comes babies, then more babies, some of which will sadly die, hence more babies follow to hedge this tragic bet. The short cycle between the high fertility rates of already-vulnerable mothers, coupled with the high infant mortality rate, high maternal mortality rate, the high disease burden coupled with inadequate health services, particularly in rural areas, and the sad fact that climate change is presently affecting the planet's most vulnerable people via extreme droughts, floods and other natural hazards, affecting their to build upon and invest in their livelihoods.

BUT...what if girls are educated rather than married off young? What does that look like? Firstly, the gender gap for both primary and secondary schooling is rapidly narrowing in the developing world, which is superlative news.

So a girl graduates high school, with the prospect of a tertiary education and increased power to seek employment and earn a living wage in the labour market.

She'll delay marriage and childbirth, have more power in both the household and society at large due to her earning potential, coupled with what is generally agreed to be a woman's sounder managing of household finances in the developing world.

The fertility rate drops, the infant mortality rate drops, the pace of population growth decreases, the rate of personal savings rises, allowing for greater personal investment, perhaps in a woman's own enterprise, which she now has the confidence to conduct.

With this rise in income, it may even be possible for the taxable income of the population to rise sufficient for the government to use any tax revenues received to invest in services to further the upward swing in prosperity, creating more opportunities to lift others out of extreme poverty.

Imagine half a society's labour market left unused? One entire gender marginalised for either traditional, religious or societal reasons? How could it possibly expect to prosper, to get ahead? Since the 1980s, China has pulled an overwhelming proportion of its enormous populace from extreme poverty. How? One of the key drivers was the empowerment of women, educating and entrusting them as the valuable members they are of the workforce that drives an economy. It's simple.

Educating a girl is the clearest path we have to lifting 900 billion from extreme poverty by 2030, thereby achieving the first Sustainable Development Goal, and doing what is plain and simple the moral thing to do as global citizens.

Take it from Kofi 'Black, Two Sugars' Annan, as he addressed the International Women's Health Coalition as outgoing UN Secretray-General:

"Study after study has taught us that there is no tool for development more effective than the education of girls and the empowerment of women.  No other policy is as likely to raise economic productivity, lower infant and maternal mortality, or improve nutrition and promote health, including the prevention of HIV/AIDS.  When women are fully involved, the benefits can be seen immediately:  families are healthier; they are better fed; their income, savings, and reinvestment go up.  And what is true of families is true of communities and, eventually, whole countries."

What is Batman about to you?

It's about resistance to the authority of a state which has ceased to serve its nominal purpose.

It highlights a Bruce Wayne highly trained in the arts of aikido, the harmonisation of the life energy as a way of life and being.

It represents a non-violent Bruce, drawing a contrast between him and the state which has bestowed upon itself a charter to monopolise the use of force.

Who endowed the state with this right? Tis it the divine right of kings to maim its own? Batman, though synonymous with vigilantism, would never presume such folly.

Obsessed though he may be, he is conscious that the wiles of his rogue's gallery pale by comparison to that of the foundation upon which Gotham City resides - the United States of America.

As a man, Bruce can be a sprite, cheekily taunting the authority of the GCPD, albeit in collusion with Commissioner Gordon, having taken it upon himself to be a man apart from a corrupt system whilst working within.

"I believe in America", opines Buonasera in the opening stanza of the novelisation and cinematic adaptation of The Godfather, the consummate allegory of the machinations of crime in the Land of Manifest Destiny. "These...animales."

What is the greater conceit? To present to the world a facade of integrity upon a rotting foundation? Or to be a card-carrying member of those which flout the norms of society, enshrined in legislation and judicial precedent? To embrace the occupation and enterprise of 'crime'? Is there equal fairness in each? Does the former's deceit leave a more bitter taste in one's mouth than the forthcoming flouting of the 'criminal'?

Does the criminal justice system work? War on Crime - the state monopolises the former whilst sanctioning the latter.

The superlative and iconic illustrative talents of Alex Ross' War on Crime graphic novel, The Wire of Batman narratives, promises more grotesque characters than the existent rogue's gallery ever could. Who needs the colour and flamboyance of the Riddler, Penguin and Two-Face when the wretched stench of the Establishment nurtures the fertile plains of Gotham's maligned streets and searing skyscrapers? Palaces to gross commerce, unchecked by the social balancing to give back to Gothamites what the captains of industry have harnessed by the intersecting environment of corporatocracy the City, US government and revolving door of mercantilist clients have cultivated.

Who's the greater threat to Gothamites - an acutely isolated incident of The Scarecrow poisoning the waters of the city, or the chronic maladjustment encased in the 'rules' each man, woman and child navigates in the name of 'social order'? Separated from nature, encased by a warden of steel and concrete, how else was a civilisation constructed of such inert materials to allow its citizenry to flourish?

The criminal justice system does not work in Gotham. A sick, oxymoronic affront to the decent efforts of all those trying to live in peace and prosperity amid relative decadence. Has Gotham City been abandoned by its its federal government, let alone that of the state government? A city, one of the greatest loci of hope and energy in our modern world, only takes care of so many services and responsibilities.

Are there echoes of New Orleans after Katrina, a bountiful city abandoned - or worse yet, incapable of providing aid - by its federal government? What is the purpose of the state, whether federal, unitary or constituent, if it fails to progressively ensure peace and prosperity? Does it continue to be relevant? If the 'crimes' it has enshrined are committed as commonplace, then do these rules the state has laid out define it? A disfigured, self-fulfilling prophecy; a Harvey Dent/Two-Face analogue, almost suffocatingly gorgeous its its poignancy.

Bruce works as a self-imposed exile to the system, undermining it, impudent and light-footed, an essence of his years of hardened training in Japan and the globe over permeating throughout.

He didn't fit in to Princeton, New Jersey. And why would he? It's an institution, bound by a likely charter or constitution, which noble though its ideals may be, proffer the parameters within which justice is continually miscarried, rupturing the psyche and fabric of a society's compact of goodwill and hope asunder. If the real-life Governor of the state the university sits upon is so obviously corrupt at face value, where does this state continually derive its legitimate authority in the eyes of its people? By its fortitude in weathering the passage of time, much like the ivy resplendent upon the sturdy structures of the universities whose credibility and endowments multiply by virtue of their durability 

Though the primitive aspects of ourselves gravitate to the comfort of symbols, logos, and perhaps in some instances, institutions of myriad description - corporate, civic, governmental or religious - it is the symbol of the individual which speaks to my soul.

Is the symbol of the Bat, and what it represents, pure and untouched by any challenge to its integrity? Certainly the philosophy of jurisprudence would explore and weigh the virtues or otherwise of this vigilante, and the positing of what would happen if everyone acted this way?

"I believe in America." I do not believe in America. America has lost its legitimacy. I believe in Batman. I believe in Bruce Wayne.

I am Batman. I am Bruce Wayne.

I do not believe in America.

An imperfect offering

MSF - Médicines Sans Frontieres. Turned a corner, there they were.

What's my purpose? Dan Gould laid it before me, cryptically, portentously, to be unfurled in the future.

You're questioning, questioning, questioning. Which projects, which treatments? What resonates? What is your destiny?

Well, to answer the latter, your destiny is shaped by any given moment's thoughts, words and actions manifest, habits in turn, leading to character in to said destiny.

So be mindful of your thoughts, or make them grand, and your greatest vision of oneself.

What project is going to flow out of An Imperfect Offering?

It needn't be unearthed on this trip. Perhaps the omens yesterday cast glorious rays on to your broader path. Now firstly, before going further, let's call in to recollection the sentiments of the previous post. Who you are is a creation of Now, not what you will be one day. Keep remembering that, for that is a sound sentiment and foundation of ZEN after all.

Then what are you, in this very moment, and what were you in the moment of revelation before the MSF-emblazoned beauties?

You're a filmmaker with a deep well of empathy, a passion for sustainable development.

Quit worrying about 'your destiny', and create it via your thoughts, words, actions and habits. Be deliberate in EVERY SINGLE MOMENT. That's the gift you've been given, and the gift you have to give.

You have a mission, which is to relieve the world of its suffering. You must do that via your films. You have a remit to do so, ordained by God. It's true. In your conversations with God, could it be any clearer? Are you ignoring any omens?

Can we review which omens you may be overlooking?

Trying to make money from filmmaking. As surely money is temporal and you can't take it with you. The Lord provides.

Seeing the world is great, but carbon dioxide-emitting travel hurts Nature.

The space in which you occupy sustainable development and its corresponding Goals is one of learning. The manner in which you apply your knowledge will rear itself via the manner in which you lead your life as well as, hopefully, through some form via your stories, albeit shrouded in a more abstract guise.

To summarise, to keep your two passions separate? Nej. To maintain an ongoing tension between the two to forever be navigated, making an artform of the dance to reconcile.

Will you be a hero? That's contingent on the thoughts, views, whims or otherwise of others. 'Others' are neither important to monitoring your progress, nor can their attitudes be controlled. It's a vain objective, because they can merely be influenced. Your own task is within the skin and soul of yourself, inclusive of any opportunities that present to extend that soul to those whom you connect.

This forever will be a spiritual dance. It can only be. You must follow your bliss, as much as that's possible, to further oneself. I'm more than content to invest all my hopes and dreams in to following my bliss, and hoping for the best in the outcome.

It is FOLLY to project oneself in to the future as 'movie star'. It's an honourable enough vocation and aspiration, certainly, but...it's so future-oriented as to completely mitigate the current situation before you. It's actually made you mentally ill. I understand you needed to model yourself upon a vision of what you wanted to be, but that's concrete now. It's deep within your bones. You can let it go, and it'll probably still be there.

Movie stardom is a commodity cultivated by the studios and celebrity gossip magazines peddling ragged paper and cheap ink.

Just live the life you want to live in EVERY SINGLE GIVEN MOMENT. What else could be more important? Yeah, sure, be ambitious, but not at the expense of the moment/s before you. As what comes of that? One thing. Years upon years of 'not being here'. Not investing your energy and focus where it ought to be, and leaving you with a bullshit foundation frankly.

Forget the fuckin' movies you'll make in five or ten years time. It's fun to think about, but there's little good trying to improve oneself and marginalising a growth mindset by being off with the fairies. You are 30-fucking-years-old. Ridiculous. Quit this shit!!

What you've been doing the past 30 years is what you'll likely be doin' the next 30. You're not gettin' any better, so drop it. The talents or knowledge or skills you do possess - they're set in stone! Of course in reality they'll develop, but you must understand, you're essentially fully-formed.

Life will remain a glorious mystery, and thank goodness for that. But, Christ's sake, you're done. You're fully-cooked.

Are you at this point a great actor? Nein. Very knowledgable and passionate about sustainable development? Yes, definitely. A good screenwriter? Not especially. But are you a good producer, in the sense you get it over the line? Yeah, definitely. A definite leaning toward comedy? Yuh-huh. Do people seem OK with you being on-screen? Yes, and I want to be there anyhoo.

Knowledgable with film? Yes, I'd certainly say so, 100%. So your knowledge is by far the most well-cultivated. Definitely. I'm most talented at reading and writing. They're my definite clear talents. My empathy and ability to listen is #1 however. The most valuable.

Crafting a story or a screenplay? A bit less, methinks. But I must pursue anyway. Perhaps you just always need a partner-in-crime to tidy up after you.

You have a lot to offer. Looking at everything like this, you actually have cultivated a lot.

Acting's the jack in the pack. The Unknown. The performative. It lurks, it's your darkness. And you know why? Because you're a phenomenal dancer.

After your empathy, which is inate, one and the whole with you, your talent is your knowledge and reading/writing. You're in the head.

With enough preparation, an acting role can be yours too. 300 hours.

You couldn't be like Russell Brand. You simply haven't cultivated that on-stage persona well-enough. C'est la vie, 'twas not to be. Hey, hey, hey! Wait up! You have! What about all that on-screen time with GCTV? 50 hours of live telly, thank you very much!

That didn't distinguish you as a comedian though. Even on NR, you were empathic well before comedic. That's the position you occupy in this world. Would you rather be larrikin or empath?

Then cherish the empath within. Feed him, nourish him, adore him. I no longer care to be a 'comedian'. I'll forever have a passion for comedy, but that can most certainly be manifest through the channels of producing and acting.

I think your issue is you don't write all that great for the screen. You write for the page, which perhaps makes you more suitable for the small screen, but I do think you have the capability to pen for the silver screen also. Small is beautiful though. You need to stake a reason to write for cinema.

What is your place in this universe?

 

It's so uncertain to me. I exist, in each given moment, calling in to actuality the place I do occupy. Yet you insist on casting your mind forward to the future, to an unrealised reality.

Why? Why this inane insistence on cultivating a future self? To what does this mirage upon the horizon represent to you? How can it's worth possibly outlive that of the present? By its definition, the present is actual, whereas your future self, however great or humble, is abstract. Then why?

Carve out a presently realised form to be proud of. Stake a claim in every single moment. Command the discipline to uphold your own dignity, and the dignity of the life lovingly bestowed upon you, in taking ownership of your present self.

Look to the future self as folly, as that it is. An objective yes, but...surely you're getting on in years enough to continue casting the 'person you want to be' forward another 10 years perpetually. It's alluring, but perhaps because it gives your psyche the next decade off.

Follow your bliss to be certain, but...hell...perhaps incorporate some discipline to rein in your impulse to cast your net forward, in a perpetual purse seine dredging the expectations of a future self, instead committing to centring oneself, and staking a firm, honest claim to the very moment before you. To honour that moment with the integrity it deserves.

You want to carve out the future? Then build a building-block castle, laying each stone one-by-one, day-by-day in perpetuity, investing the entirety of your focus and energies to the locus of that moment as it passes before you.

Ten years of wanting to be someone in the future amounts to a person who's heavily-trained and has gained mastery in building the architecture of one's mind in the mould of casting said mind in to the future. The mindframe becomes structural, leaving to wither and atrophy that part of oneself that has cultivated an ideal self in every given moment over 10,000 hours, 10 years or whatever given span of time, insignificant as it is in the pale of the prescience of the present. 

All simple enough, but as I've claimed time and again, perhaps among an adult human's weightiest challenges is commanding the attention we have at our discretion to centre and focus. The ability and ongoing journey of mastery to focus is a true gift.

The Sandeman

 "The Sandeman!"

No, no, no. No.

"The Sandeman".

No exclamation mark necessary. It's not, like, like, some sort of...mmmm, Zorro. My goodness, what silliness.

No, The Sandeman...he must...he must be...of mystery. The Sandeman does not save the days, does not 'distress the damsel', if that is the phrase. The Sandeman is a man apart. The Sandeman operates first and foremostly for The Sandeman. Not just, first; also last.

The Sandeman conducts his busi-ness, whether that be as merchant of the Port wine, or graft...I...I have not yet established as yet what The Sandeman does...but...but The Sandeman does my bidding, or should I say, is my id, to quote the Austrian, the Sigu-mund Freud. It is my persona, if you like. I shall have several I believe, spendidly.

Ah, my anima personified as persona. But a very masculine anima, I should say, if one can be so contradictory. But...keep it simple Fernando! All this psychoanalytic nonsense is too obscure for your audience. Yes, you may be be one of Lisboã's intelligentsia - albeit self-described - but your average pastel-at-the-counter plebeian....Oh Fernando!! Forgive oneself for such brutish utterances. You are less of a man for thinking such thoughts, impinging in your mind upon the dignity of the hard-working Portuguese man and woman. Well, perhaps hard-working is generous, but...

The Sandeman they will love though! Boys and girls too...or until they evacuate-emigrate when of age. Ah, but that is an opportunity to take The Sandeman international! Outside of the Lusophone, maybe to be translated to German or English. What a victory, to take Lisboã's antihero - The Sandeman - as a mythology comparative to those in better lands.

Pride comes before the fall

Pride comes before the fall. No?

Maybe the Hunchback of Notre Dame speaks at present. Why, do you suppose?

What would you like to take inspiration from?

And can we visit why Return of the Basque, The Laundry Thief and No Tuckie, No Shirtie must go by the wayside? Well, the answer to that is simple: you must kill your darlings. You must. It is the height of creativity to have the gumption to do so. It's also the most difficult. Do you have ideas superior to 11:11:11 in Jolimont and its ilk? Nej, nein, no.

Then where do you anticipate that leaves one? To focus on the project at hand, sì. But in a way, I still crave developing stories further.

What of the Amsterdam trilogy? Well, Amsterdam served its hand. The Basques barely spoke to thee. Samples of Rainbox Six, State of Fear and perhaps a couple more Clancy titles i.e. Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger are called for.

Something Gallic does mildly beckon, or perhaps it's the Fifth Republic itself? All of these story ideas may possibly be a guise for the Universe to conspire to bring items to my attention only to be discarded.

Ecology's on my mind. I'd love a nature encyclopedia of some description to usher me in to Toulouse. Perhaps I need to further consider what Toulouse represents - French industry perhaps? Perhaps include another Forsyth tale among your transit  samples.

In any case, although hard as disposing of a beloved (idea) can be difficult to part with, it's often the most necessary break to undertake. Surely they leave behind tropes and story dynamics of worth to transpose to future projects of greater viability. I could see that with No Tuckie for certain.

I'd say it's also worthwhile to revisit your potential slate, individually assessing viability, or rather which pieces of each respective puzzle are worth retaining for transposition to another project on the horizon. By all means however, honour and observe the omens in the meantime and ride the swell of God's graces gracefully.

Would the next project be one of emulation of another?

Can we quickly visit the dearly departed projects inspirations? The Shining by Kubrick, Only God Forgives by Winding Refn, Big Trouble in Little China by Carpenter; Jack Ryan films by Noyce, The Siege by Zwick (?), Day of the Jackal by Zinnemann and The Jackal by Caton-Jones.

In Gaul, what ought to be next, narrative nectar? Broad ideas, broad strokes of story dynamics? Emulation of The Great Movies? Yes, sì, oui. I think that works best, or rather, fills thou with greatest confidence in your wares on display.

But be gentle in your listening of the omens/Universe/God. Be sensitive. Listen.

The Whore of Sevilla? Or Return of the Basque? To begin with, it couldn't be titled Return of the Basque. That's just an opening sequence you're fond of. I have a sneaking suspicion something awaits thee in the Languedoc to whet your literary appetite.

The Berlin/Deutsche trilogy of Mallorca which bodes so goddamn well? De Gaulle? The Jackal? A Prophet? Le Samouraï?

Berlin trilogy. Amsterdam trilogy. Nordic trilogy. The Laundry Thief will have its day. As may Whore of Sevilla. Languedoc though - what the fuck might that represent?

Aryan of Grievances. Sì, in time.

A happenstance of possibility awaits within the opening page of Daniel Gould's gambit to your future prospects and potential. Patience, Padawan, though - patience.

Heart of Darkness/DRC/Zaïre/Rumble in the Jungle - later, Padawan. But the Force is strong in the thee, yes.

I'm just looking to the future. I just want a vague slate. If I leave this Continent with the broad strokes of a slate and a completed screenplay in pre-production, I'd be much contented.

Again, please continue to look to Café Americain. It's where the choicest stories reside and call home. I see a a Grisham-inspired mini-slate.

My dream is to live in New York City and be a movie star.

 My dream is to live in New York City and be a movie star.

My dream is to invest all profits from my films towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

My dream is for myself or my brother Joseph Billings to be cast as Batman/Bruce Wayne, as well as write and produce two Batman films.

It is written...

 

Where you at, Jacksonville? Rochester, Louisville?

Will you live in New York City...and, more importantly, how important is it?

Um, I'd say it is important. The European citizenship bodes very well. That was such a crucial insight/decision, albeit sans surrounded with much fanfare. If nothing else, that's the most positive outcome of this trip.

So NYC? Well, so much of it either is contingent upon a remotely self-sustaining income or perhaps just a work/savings binge à la that leading in to this trip. Either/or, but the latter feels less sustainable...or does it?

This business plan requires some pride of place in priorities soon enough however. Béziers. Mañana mañana.

Correction: I don't want to live in New York City. Just for perhaps a month or dos at a time. That'd be ample enough for now. I actually anticipate it'd be a little wearing to make it one's abode for an extended portion of time. The couple months in Europe and month or so in New York speaks well. Or 50/50. As for next year, a more rounded trip across the United States from sea to shining sea speaks more fondly.

So the Maltese passport ought to tie up one side of the Atlantic and ensure a sustainable model of visiting there. New York however? Well, I'm nearly happy to put aside the $5,000 (or far less if flying from the other side of the pond) to make a go of it once a year during September. That's the incentive of living off filmmaking, innit? Calling New York your abode?

You made a promise to yourself under the moonlight on your final night in the Big Apple. That the next occasion you dappled under that same moon, you'd be able to lay claim to being an actor, screenwriter and producer. That the dollar dollar bill y'all would reflect that.

Now let's clarify something: you ain't need no Banjo, no regent Elizabeth Dos, no Founding Father, Alexander Hamilton, Honest Abe, Benjamin or cynical exercise in Europeanising the deutschmark to further the franc to justify your love.

You can transcend the means of exchange. You can transcend the fiat currency of any one nation-state, the central bank which underpins it crumbling in your disregard of its sovereign reign.

So...how then to measure 'Movistar'? Because, c'mon, surely you must be able to define said object of your desire with clarity and purpose. So What Do U Mean?

If only 1 question need be answered come 2016, what ought it be? Surely, it must be, "define your expectations".

Movie star = fame. What is 'many people'? Quantify that shit muthafucka. Grow that shit. Increase your audience. Set a goal, an objective and strategise toward it. Your Strat Plan is your audience #'s. Actualise your #.

But, come on: does your heart and soul speak in numbers? Mmmm, most certainly not. Then what is its currency, if you'll allow the liberty of the cheeky analogy?

Is it setting your cinematic creations free, welcoming what may? Mmmm, I...I need something more concrete than that, I sense.

Will you recognise it once it's in your grasp? What will it look like? What will it smell like? What would the path toward it appear as if, on a day-to-day basis? Well, it'd look exactingly as your life appears as it has for the past 10 years. That's its appearance cast in relief.

Will you be a movie star in a year's time? Nein. But your films may well be on the way to attracting an audience of 1,000 for that calendar year.

But is that what you want? Do you actually care about those 1,000 individuals? What of your fucking original community, who've been with you from day dot? What value do they hold in the hierarchy of this aspiration toward movie stardom? Surely the currency they hold trumps that of any more comers thereafter? What is the charade you're at? Who gives a toss about the masses? Have not the crème de la crème or its vegan counterpart gathered as the congregation of your proverbial cathedral in the form of a movie palace, chipping in to the offertory to allow your conceit of basking as Boabdil for one night? Is this not enough? If not, then what is?

What model does this represent? Who must you be well-known to as a leading man on the silver screen? How many people must know outside your immediate coterie of your cinematic pursuits?

Are you a community filmmaker or a commercial filmmaker? Is the answer not clear to you? Has the past 10 years taught you nothing? Nothing, Dominc? Nothing at all? Is a decade of service, much of it as a volunteer (aka gratis), instructive of who you are, and the values which you espouse and embody? Look further, at your employment record even: what pattern can you recognise? Yes, yes! That your priorities lie with non-for-profit organisations. Not the rapacious pursuit of wealth.

Then why, oh why, do you find yourself in the silly game of entertaining the possibility that after an adulthood - no less the values inherent of one's childhood, if your Catholic schooling and upbringing are to suggest anything at all - that at the threshold of 30, you pivot to the pursuit of happiness via personal enrichment.

I'm getting far ahead of myself here and even being unfair, as with clarity I can ensure that my aims are that of a not-for-profit model. But my talents and track record do not demonstrate a model of fundraising. Being one cog in a fundraising organisation, certainly. Holding a fascination with the machinations of financial flows, check. But pushing sales and marketing oneself beyond the pale of one's immediate community? Nein, nein, nein.

So...if you allow, I'll rephrase: Would you settle for being a movie star within the circle of your community?

YES, YES, YES!!!

That is all I want. It is all. If one day, that community extended out to the World, so be it, Jedi.

But graciousness, gratitude and an actualisation of your gifts and dreams will cultivate outward from INVESTING IN OUR COMMUNITY.

That's my marketing plan, my business plan, my Strategic Plan. Point blank. Your guiding principle.

Throw out the rest: INVEST. You must INVEST.

What am I thinking about at the start of 2016?

What's my predominating thought? Besides the token appreciation and love for friends and family, my predominating thought is why did Russell Brand stop doing The Trews, go quiet on social media and head in to a self-imposed exile of contemplation, reflection and learning?

My Mum must've watched nearly every episode, so I posed the question to her whilst catching up for a mother/son date to see Suffragette, about the UK women's suffrage movement.

My birthday present to Mum last year was another mother/son date to see an autobiographical film tilted Brand: The Second Coming at MIFF. It was the best film I saw last year, second only to Brand's Emperor's New Clothes with Michael Winterbottom.

Mum and I share something that I could only describe as something akin to a psychic precognition/extra-sensory perception. I'm not at all fazed whatever scepticism that elicits. Confirmation bias is irrelevant to me when I know my inner workings with more conviction than anything else.

Mum posited after Brand: The Second Coming, with maternal affection toward Russell, that "I worry about him sometimes." I asked what she meant, and after holding a pregnant pause, offered that she worried that someone would kill him.

In 2015, my overriding reflection is that the state of planet Earth got too big for me. How does Batman maintain resilience in the face of holding the fate of Gothamites on his shoulders? Powerful deltoids and an industrialist empire at one's disposal seem humble by comparison to maintaining the psychological strength to understand the state of the world and take it upon oneself to remedy.

The world is so bad right now. I mean that as the farthest thing from a glass-half-empty perspective. I must be an optimist, otherwise I couldn't look at myself in the mirror (I try to avoid looking at myself in the mirror anyhow, but I've been known to pout on the way out the door, pointing as I go at my reflection).

 "Luke Skywalker has vanished." I wonder if there's a motif or trope I relish more than the self-imposed exile. My overriding life dream is to disappear for seven years, returning with the boon.

I saw Russell at Rod Laver Arena for his Trew World Order show after his self-imposed Internet exile last year in October, a few days after my 30th birthday. I just realised that day coincided with what might end being one of the most formative turning points of my adulthood, but which I'll keep Mum on for now.

I think he's reached a level of transcendence for which I'd be incredibly envious, were it not for the irony it would incur for a self-described narcissist in Brand, preaching our interconnected One-ness with the Whole, and the resignation of ego for all to recognise this fact of the Universe.

Whether reform slowly or revolution swiftly, change must be sustainable. Yet bursting out of my skin and bones is an urgency, a voice deep from the Source that says steadily, but insistently and with strength, "Now".

We carry about with our carry bags of designer goodies, exhaust the fossilised Life from millennia ago at the service of our social status, all the while ignoring that we live in a society, and share the planet and livelihoods with myriad species.

It's a path, a journey, a quest. It's gradual change of hearts and minds, but something just tells me it's Now. If not Now, then when?

What thought predominates in 2016?

Luke Skywalker has vanished...Russell Brand is learning.

It's go time. You've gotta go, you've gotta make it sustainable, even if you want to transcend. It's got to be spiritual; it's got to be cheeky; it has to have a shamanic, uninhibited dance about it; it has to be sexy. You've got to pull your pants down and moon the tram of the World and all its craziness.