Sticks and Stones May Break Bones, But Words Really !@#$ing Hurt [Hype...

Today, I made someone cry. I didn’t hit them or shove them down the stairs. I wasn’t screaming at them, brandishing a weapon, or kidnapping their child. I made them cry without any desire or plan to reduce them to weeping in public. I did it simply with words. A vast majority of my life is...

Now Playing: Contraception! [Hyperbolic Tendencies]

From fifty-foot posters of dead fetuses to buckets of real, human blood dumped on patrons of health clinics, the anti-abortion movement lustily embraced the fantastical and spectacular elements of Grand Guignol storytelling. And while the Great Anti-Abortion Movement sadly devolved into...

Online, You Don’t Look Like a Middle-Aged White Guy [Hyperbolic ...

It’s always fascinating when technology seeps into real life. When I drop a dish, I find myself immediately trying to “Control+Z”. I’m constantly trying to rewind what I’m watching in a movie theater, but alas, there’s no DVR. These are mere “mechanical” examples of technology’s tendrils...

That’s Not a F*cking Word! [Hyperbolic Tendencies]

Like virtually every other aspect of American culture, our language has been corporatized; poisoned, convoluted, and robotized – all in the name of “efficiency”. Whoever first uttered the phrase “think outside the box” deserves a big bonus. However, the next person I hear use it will...

Wherein I Avoid Facing the Loss of My Childhood Hero [Hyperbolic Tende...

This past May, Sixkill by Robert B. Parker arrived in bookstores. It’s the thirty-ninth book in Parker’s Spenser detective series and I’ve read each of the previous thirty-eight at least a half dozen times. The day it arrived I hauled my ass down to the local Barnes and Noble and bought a...

Wherein I’m Reminded of My Place in the World [Hyperbolic Tendencies]...

Without a doubt, my strongest (and one of the fondest) childhood memory is the multi-sensory experience of walking through the autumn woods, trees blazing with color, leaves crunching underfoot and the sweet, earthy smell of humus filling me up. (My second strongest memory is being handed...

Wherein I Give You A Wedgie [Hyperbolic Tendencies]

Anyone else had enough of the relentlessly unending stream of “social issues” being shoved down our throats? With the 24/7/365 election cycle there’s just no rest for the weary. As you recall, this approach to politicking can be traced back to 1994 and Newt Gingrich’s “Contract With America”...

Wherein I Learn I Am Not A Person of Interest: Hyperbolic Tendencies [...

This article was meaningful to me because it reminded me of just how unpredictable life can be, that sometimes, we can all be a real asshole and that every once in a while, the bad girl/guy gets what s/he deseves! Originally published 04/05/11 Several months ago, I decided to make a day job...

Wherein I Learn The Meaning of Grace [Hyperbolic Tendencies]

Generally speaking, I’m in awe of grace. It’s not a trait I possess, though one I deeply admire and have been on a 25-year quest to develop in myself. And when my life is touched by grace it’s almost always profound. It sticks with me, teaches me, and incrementally opens my heart, making just...

Wherein I Learn The Meaning of Forever [Hyperbolic Tendencies]

Forever. When you actually think about it, forever is a concept that’s tough to get your head around. Even if you believe in an afterlife, forever is still a bit of an abstraction. This came into startling clarity when, several weeks ago, I decided to officially break my ties with the church...

Wherein I Learn We are Bad Winners [Hyperbolic Tendencies]

Growing up, I was part of a highly competitive and very successful organization that was a perennial championship contender. My first year with the group, I, along with all of the other rookies, was told by the leader, “You are part of an organization that knows how to win,” he said. “We’ve...

Wherein I Get Schooled By the Radical Republicans [Hyperbolic Tendenci...

Once upon a time, there was a group working tirelessly to ensure equal opportunity and justice for all through landmark legislation like the 14th and 15th Amendments and Civil Rights Acts of 1866 and 1875. This radical group of idealists called themselves Republicans. Battling against the...

Wherein I Learn The Road to Heaven Is Paved With Coffee [Hyperbolic Te...

As happens when any society loses its homogeneity, the schism between those who act on Faith and those who Doubt gets thrown into high relief. Ultimately, after much wailing and gnashing of teeth said society winds up facing the one Final Question: Can people treat one another with compassion...

From the Notebook of R.B. Ripley: Wherein I Learn I’ve Deeply Underval...

Like the coat of fur we shed while still in the womb or our useless pinky toe, my (roughly) bi-annual trip to Costco is a vestigal response from early-life inculcation into Consumerism whose commandments include such hits as More for Less Is Always Better and My Actions Don’t Affect Others....

From the Notebook of R.B. Ripley: Wherein I Learn Fractals Cure Existe...

My inability to sense an oncoming existential crisis must, on whatever scale is used to measure such things, pioneer a new boundaries of quantification. Surely, I rival the poor sap who answered the door, found an inexplicably giant, wooden horse and without batting an eye, jumped up and...

From the Notebook of R.B. Ripley: Wherein I Learn I’m a Supporter of G...

Last week, after poring through legislation penned by House Republicans and discovering it would not allow abortion, even in the case of rape and incest, I dashed off a short Tweet declaring my horrified view of this topic, which appeared my Facebook wall: RR: Note to GOP House of...

From the Notebook of R.B. Ripley: Severing the Umbilical Cord or: How ...

I know writing about dreams is hackneyed. But most of my life, I’ve had an odd relationship with dreams, which have served one of two functions for me. The first function being that dreams help me understand that a situation or decision over which I am stressed is going to be just fine. I...

From The Notebook of R.B. Ripley: Why College Football Has Become Unwa...

I sit here during college football’s annual bacchanalian carnival known as “Bowl Week” feeling nostalgic. As a kid, I lived for the bowl games. The game, the band, the fans, school colors. But here in 2011, I’m paying only minimal attention as I clean the house, take down the pine garland,...

The Indie Chronicles: 50 Things You Should Know And/Or Do Before You M...

. a blogumn by R.B. Ripley Nine months ago I made a decision to direct a short film. Yesterday, I gave final approval on the finished project. Like any protracted process, the end always feels a little anti-climactic and, as I learned, filmmaking seems to be no exception. It was just me and...

The Indie Chronicles: Dealing With Delays Like an Adult Instead of the...

. a blogumn by R.B. Ripley Photo Credit: Benjamin Ellis As you may recall, I’ve been muscling a short film into production since August. Everyone around this town always says that getting the money is the hardest part of producing any film. Well, I got the money (well, about 88% of what...

The Indie Chronicles: Eisenstein Einstein

. a blogumn by R.B. Ripley As you may recall, I’ve been working on muscling a short film into production for the past three months. Everyone around this town always says that getting the money is the hardest part of producing any film. Well, I got the money (well, about 88% of what we...

The Indie Chronicles: Casting About

. a blogumn by R.B. Ripley I have spent a majority of the past four weeks dealing with numbers, filling out forms, preparing presentations, writing and returning hundreds of email, crafting solicitation letters – in a word, producing. Someone asked me if I was having fun? It made me...

Indie Chronicles: Seeing Red

. a blogumn by R.B. Ripley “So, what format are you shooting on?” was the question casually posed to me. Format? I froze, then panicked, then had to work really hard to keep from crying in public. Yeah, that’s me, the writer. In a meeting at a boutique post-production house...

The Indie Chronicles: Teaching Yourself to Make a Storyboard

. a blogumn by R.B. Ripley I have a new favorite thing… its called… a storyboard. Once again Ripley is the last to jump on the bandwagon of a good thing. I have several writer friends who are also comic / graphic novel hounds and I’ve always admired their ability to think...

The Indie Chronicles: Progress Through People

. a blogumn by Rob Ripley So after swallowing what I thought was my pride (but wound up only being my ego), I started calling people on the list I’d made the previous week, asking if they might be interested in working on a short film for a first-time director with a minimal budget that...

The Indie Chronicles: From Writer to Director to… Who You Know

. a blogumn by R.B. Ripley You may recall last week’s column in which I shared the tragic tale of the breakdown I had this past fall; The resulting crisis of not being able to translate story ideas in my head onto the page. So I set out to find a way of looking at cinematic storytelling from...

The Indie Chronicles: Mind the @#$%ING Gap

. a new blogumn by R.B. Ripley There’s a gap between the movies rattling around in my head and what actually winds up in one of my scripts. In my mind, I laugh, cheer, weep, and scream with anger at my stories – all the responses a good film should elicit. But on the page? Meh. Not so...