Long Live the Fighters!

I watched Scott Pilgrim vs. the World last night for the first time in a long time and that ended up being perfectly timed. If you haven’t seen it yet go do it right now and then come right back. Also seeing the 1984 DUNE, knowing some self-important pricks and having that nagging feeling that you’ve never quite been doing what you were put here on Earth to do will help all this make a bit more sense. I’m confident, though, that I can convey what I’m feeling well enough no matter how you’re coming at this post.

I was at AFO two weekends ago (stop me if you’ve heard this one!) and I wrote a few lines about the impact it had on Angie and I. A lot of folks seemed real excited by it all and supportive of the point that I’d be writing more about where those few days took us and where we’d be going from here. I’m not used to lots of folks reading my blog which usually consists only of haiku and reviews of Western movies. My regulars number in the fives of people so it seems antiquated and often poorly made films reviewed with sarcasm and penis jokes isn’t for everyone which is sad because sometimes a great movie squeaks in there and my jokes, much like my own dick, are sinfully easy to enjoy. Now that this blog has been up for a few years, and I’ve been wandering the halls of conventions from sea to shining sea for many more than that, it’s time to stop waiting.

And that was exactly the message I had for my Panel About Nothing at AFO 14. I knew I needed to say something special that night but I had no idea it was for both the audience and for myself to hear.

I’m not going to write a 10,000 word mission statement here filled with platitudes and vagueries because you don’t want to read that shit any more than I want to write it. I’m going to call it like I see it, no minced words, no pulled punches, no misdirection or sugar coated crap. If I say it here, in a tweet, on Facebook, on stage or in private I mean it. There is no separation between my business and our friendships. All in, or fuck it all.

So no bullshit. I’m square with myself (as hard as that is at times) and I’ll be square with you (as necessary as that is at all times). I will promise to write more often and I promise you that I’ll be out and about and on the mic more than I have been. I have lots to say and I love the way it affects people. It…needs…to happen. 

Every response I’ve received post AFO was like a slap (in the face) followed by a bucket of ice cold water (in the face) finished off with a big old kick in the ass (in my ass!) All of this! But in a good and wonderful way. For too long I’ve been idle and frankly wasted some great fucking gifts I’ve been given. Hearing everyone’s success stories, reading about triumphant tears that streamed down smiling faces, realizing spirits had been lifted to unbelievable heights all because I’d stood up encouraged me to never again sit down.

I’ve rested my whole life, it’s time to get revolutionary up in this shit!

But I can’t do it alone. Never have and never will. Because it’s simply not possible. I could get up on every stage and scream into every mic from here until the end of time and if we don’t connect? You won’t hear a word I’m saying and I’m throwing away precious seconds from all of our lives. If we both don’t give a shit, neither of us will. See, when a lot of folks I’ve heard get up in front of people a whole lot of this happens:

 

 

When I speak, it seems, this happens:

 

 

But it’s not because of me. I’m only as important as you want me to be and at the end of the night the most important thing in the room isn’t me at all or where I’ve been or who I know or how goddamn awesome I am.

It’s every one of you out there in the audience.

As someone who is so entirely full of himself this is strangely interesting to type and even cooler to really understand. Feeling damn liberated by these booming words and, if you’ll have me, I’ll keep up the thunder and be ready for the reply. You’ll hear me and I’ll hear you and maybe we can all make even a little difference in this huge world we call home. Don’t do this for me, or for your folks, or for someone you hope will like you.

Do it for yourself.

The effort it took for my two friends to put together their kick-ass anime Scene-It gameshow was beyond any joke I’ve ever told. The bravery it took for one young man to pack up and follow his dreams across the country into new and unfamiliar territory was more than a few good post P.A.N. feelings could ever have mustered. The frankness it took for my big bud J.J. to start seeing his own purpose on this planet began with a friendly smile but will continue only if he commits to it. Scott Pilgrim had it wrong for most of his movie almost losing himself fighting for love instead of self-respect. I can’t blame him, myself I’m quite a Roxy Heart, you all love me for loving you and I looooove you for loving me, but no matter how great one speech, one panel or one entire con might feel to any of us, those moments will inevitably end. At that point all we’re left with is our own determination. Do we squander our lives or do we rise to the occasion?

We start today then. We look in the mirror and we get goddamn honest with ourselves. About who we are and about what we want. It’s confusing some times and really hard all the others. It’s not really easy to admit I like to full-on dress up like Britney Spears and play Gears of War every once in a while, but I just did. 

I am true to my dreams, I am true to my desires, I am true to myself. And to my inner Britney. I make one hell of a cute Lancer wielding school girl.

Knowing any truth about yourself sets you free from so many fucking things. Being candid breaks down the walls between you and some wild, freaky wisdom. From listening to everyone who reached out to me in the past few weeks, with every kind word, every affirmation, every victory and every ongoing struggle, I could see that either they knew this too or they were willing to figure it out with blood, sweat and tears.

So where do you fall? And where are you going from here?

Get to those mirrors, get to reflecting, and then get on with it. I know it’s scary. Think gaming in high heels is either a physical or emotional piece of cake? Not so much, so yeah, I know. But I also know this: everything you need to change yourself and this world for the better is staring right back at you.

Fucking believe in yourselves guys.

God knows after this past AFO weekend, I sure as hell do!