Dennis O’Neil, Bob Dylan, and Temporary Disreputability

bob-dylan

by Dennis O’Neil

I don’t know how or from whom I learned of Bob Dylan. My patches of memory reveal that I was living aboard an aircraft carrier. I must have gone into a city (Boston?) and bought a copy of The Freewheeling Bob Dylan, then taken it to a tiny office below the flight deck, put it on a kiddie-sized turntable somebody had brought aboard, and listened and liked.

Another memory patch: a shipmate, a kid I barely know, typed the lyrics to Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice” and put them on my desk, where I found them later. I have no idea why he did this – he owed me nothing – and I wish I’d been more grateful at the time.

Then some years when the misfits and rebels were constructing a counter cultural matrix from activism, folk music, rock and – yes – comic books. Not a lot of it was openly seditious (except for some of the politics) but virtually all of it was anti-establishment. The nonconformists were not looking for a corporate ladder to climb, nor a cozy nest in suburbia, nor a wife who would supply an acceptable number of scrubby offspring. Whatever that was, we didn’t want it, though I’m not sure why. There were probably a lot of different reasons; everyone carries their own burden. But sometimes the burdens can be shared.

Always, there was Dylan, sometimes figure, sometimes ground, but always, one way or another, present. He acted in a western and was the subject of a documentary film, he performed on Saturday Night Live, he published a memoir, and he wrote songs and made records and toured. He refused to be labeled the voice of his generation, but, I’m sorry, that’s what he was to me and myriads of others.

Now, we rebels are aged, not as spry as we once were, maybe not as attuned to whatever’s revolutionary these days..

I was a comic book writer and editor, content enough to be a bit disreputable in a somewhat disreputable business. But disreputability is temporary and ours faded over the decades, and eventually, without my much noticing it, comics had parity with other narrative forms. And Dylan’s combination of music – some folk, in there, some country, some rock – and his inimitable lyrics, found a home in the tonier venues. Comic books and Bobby D, occupying separate spheres, but related by time and circumstance.

Last week, Dylan was awarded the ultimate establishment accolade, the Nobel Prize. Does this mean that, at long last, we rebels have succumbed to respectability? Maybe. Probably. I guess that the answer is blowin’ in the wind.


Dennis O’Neil is one of the top writer-editors in comics, having guided the careers of just about every superhero the world has ever heard of. He’s also a damn fine writer of TV. LB still remembers that time he and Denny collaborated, without ever knowing they were doing so. Or knowing each other either. Ah, the magic of TV! This post was first published in Denny’s column at ComicMix.

Another Craigslist Writing Gig – In D.C. This Time

We get worried any time somebody we know nothing about and have never met says, “tell me about yourself…” but probably that’s just, you know, us. Anyway:

another-cl-capture

This Ad is in the Washington D.C. Craigslist HERE

Will Your Big TV Writing Break Come via Craigslist?

Nah, we don’t think so either. But just in case, if you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, here’s something to check out:

clist-writer-wanted

See the original post (which is a lot easier to read) HERE

Munchman’s Latest TV Musings

Munchman’s TV Musings #3

  1. OMG, kids, Yer Friendly Neighborhood Munchman actually saw a TV show I lurve. A series that reflects the reality of my munched-up life and, methinks, the lives of other members of my reviled Millennial generation. I’m talking about the absolutely best series ever to appear on The CW (yeah, that isn’t saying much but still…), My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. I won’t say much about it other than it’s a genuinely witty musical comedy (?!) and every damn thing I saw while bingeing Season 1 was true to all the feelings that I and my various recent Significant Others – AKA crazy ex-girlfriends) have felt. Watch this one!
  2. Continuing on an unaccustomed positive note, el Munchero also has spent some time watching the first couple of episodes of YouTube’s new series, Chance, starring Dr. Gregory House – excuse moi, I mean Hugh Laurie – as a doctor who gets way too involved in the problems of one of his non-patients. (Watch the opening ep and you’ll know what I mean.) It’s slow but filled with pseudo-noir goodness. That steamy old Kathleen Turner film Body Heat with a psychiatric twist. It’s a story we’ve all seen before, but it’s done impeccably. Gotta love a world where every single damn character is insane and most of them don’t know it.
  3. Moving on to the more normal Muncharoni disdain, CBS has canceled the worst show created by major showrunners in years, BrainDead. God, what a disappointing piece of Big Eye Network foolery. With any luck this will be the last we see of the highly overrated team of Robert and Michelle King. Don’t start commenting on how I put the man’s name first, ‘kay? That’s how the outdated, untalented brains behind one of the worst successes in TV AKA The Good Wife bill themselves. Buy-bye, Michelle and Bobby, please let the swinging door whack ya in your asses on the way out.
  4. Have I communicated my feelings of dismay over Charlie Kaufman’s film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind being turned into a TV series? Well, I’m munching the news into teeny weeny pieces right now. The creative team in charge consists of all kinds of people who are in tight with production company Universal Cable Productions, and Charlie himself isn’t one of them. Yeppers, Charlie Kaufman, the brilliant wacko scriptor behind not only ESOTSM but also Adaptation (executive produced by our Beloved Leader LB’s brilliant son Jeb Brody), Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, and Adaptations, among others, has absolutely no say about this series. For that matter, he has never had a say about any series because TV execs are terrified of the dood. As they should be cuz Charlie knows things, ya hear what Munchie’s muttering?
  5. Munchabello here was going to write another angry paragraph about how totally patronizing and contemptible the recent announcement by Netflix that it’s authorized a new series by Mexican filmmaker Manolo Caro was, but shit’s happening at the Bangkok studio where my amazingly cool and wonderful and in every way perfect (if you have my mentality, that of a brilliant 12 year old kid) web series The Fantastic Friends is being made, so tootles for now, y’all. (And don’t forget to watch FF so you can see where I’m coming from and totally discount anything I say about…well, anything, I suppose.)

That’s it for this week. I’ve got a terrible, tasteless, but amazingly popular web series to get back to work on, but I promise – I’ll seeya next time with more TV joy!

Larry Brody’s Poetry: Kid Hollywood Produces

by Larry Brody

kidhollywoodcovercoyotecaptureNOTE FROM LB: 

I’m back in Hollywood here, livin’ the life and playin’ the game! Oh joy! Oh Rapture! Oh…shit? This could be the most important thing any aspiring showbiz type will read. But if you’re a real aspirant, you’ll ignore it – like me:

Kid Hollywood Produces

Kid Hollywood sits at a desk wider than

Cleopatra’s barge. The sign on his door says,

“Producer,” and he makes more money each

Week than his father made in a year. He looks

Around at his paneled walls, and he sighs, “It

Is good.”

Kid Hollywood is all of twenty-nine, and his first

Casting session is about to begin. The director

Sits at Kid Hollywood’s side. “I want somebody

Who isn’t just acting the part,” the director explains.

“I want him to be the part.” A psycho killer? Kid

Hollywood doesn’t know if he wants to meet the

Right actor, after all.

But he tries. They come in, and go out, come

In and leave some more, and no one is a psycho

Killer, because everyone is scared.

In Kid Hollywood’s new office, fear is a character

All by itself. Every actor brings in a new aspect,

And leaves it to grow. There’s the silent terror,

And the shaky panic,

And the rage.

There’s the arrogant denial,

And the meek acquiescence,

And the rage.

The tremulous lip,

The quavering voice,

The rage.

The “How do you want it?”

“Is this okay?”

“Anything in particular I ought to know?”

The rage.

The fear takes tangible form. Kid Hollywood

Hears it first, a whisper of uncertain hate.

Then he smells it, the sweat of fallen self-respect.

Then he sees it, the psycho killer, exactly as

Written, but not played. Finally, Kid Hollywood

Has to stop. He needs time to give the fear

In the corner a break, a chance to dissipate,

To dissolve, and leave the new office born-again

Pure.

“Let’s go over to the Blue Room, have something

To eat,” says the director, and Kid Hollywood rises.

“Let’s,” he says.

“Let’s…

Let’s…”

Let’s away! Away! Before it’s too late!

The voice in the Kid’s mind is shrill.

You’re not yet thirty! Let’s find another place!

Let’s…

Let’s…

Let’s…

Kid Hollywood and the director eat in the Blue Room,

Charge the meal to the show. They return to the

Office, and the actors, and the readings,

And in the corner the Kid’s new roommate

Not only hangs on, but continues to grow.

It grows for the rest of the season,

Coming not just from the actors,

But from everyone who walks in the door.

Even Kid Hollywood no longer is immune,

His too the sound, the smell, and the sight.

Still, his desk is longer

Than Marc Antony’s trireme,

And the paneling is dark and burnished,

Real wood not veneer.

And all the job requires

Is that the Kid share his space with the fear.


Larry Brody is the head dood at TVWriter™. Although the book whose cover you see above is for sale on Kindle, he is posting at least one poem a week here at TVWriter™ because, “As the Navajo Dog herself once pointed out to me, ‘Art has to be free. If you create it for money, you compromise your artistic vision by trying to please those who are paying. If you don’t accept money, you can be yourself. Like your art, you too are free.’” Actually, she said it much shorter.