Skip to content

Another Outright No. Here Is the Post

Video Creative
Laundry Service – New York, NY (5 days ago)
Apply Now
Laundry Service seeks a creative mastermind to ideate, write, and implement overarching video concepts for our top tier clients. If you’re passionate about culture, identifying new social trends, initiatives, and working with talented creative team members, this is the right job for you. This role is ideal for a creative thinker that thinks big-picture and dreams about how to evolve the organic conversations on social platforms.
You will conduct ongoing brand research on current social success stories. Additionally, you will provide proposals and creative strategies that takes the brand to the next level. Your work will require you to develop original concepts, scripts, and designs and oversee multiple projects through execution.

Experience in screenwriting
Strong creative video portfolio, with experience in social and branded content preferred.
Exceptional writing skills with the ability to explain your ideas on paper.
Recognized expertise in both advertising and digital realms.
Experience writing Treatments
Experienced in Ideation/concepting
Experience with the moving pieces of creative and production and how they work together to create a premium product.
Strong ability to provide clear creative direction and provide timely and helpful feedback to improve creative processes to keep work on budget and schedule.
Advanced experience managing the creative development process in a client-services environment.
Ability to work collaboratively and proactively on multi-functional teams. Open to feedback.
Strong ability to prioritize work and resources across engagements based on short and long-term needs.
Competitive salary, unlimited PTO, 401(k) and much more!

Hi Scott,

Thank you for your interest in Laundry Service and for giving us the opportunity to consider you for employment. We have reviewed your background and qualifications and find that we do not have an appropriate position for you at this time; however, we encourage you to apply for other positions here at Laundry Service in the future.

Thanks again for your interest in Laundry Services careers and unique culture; we hope you will remain enthusiastic about our company.


Jackie Lagares

This is why I will never be able to repay my student loan debt. I don’t want to be too harsh on a particular company, but when jobs for which I’m a clear match won’t interview me, case studies like these are important, and they need to be caught early since job postings get taken down.


The Inanity of Milton Friedman, Part One

In Occupy Wall Street Alternative Banking we are doing a reading group with Capitalism and Freedom by Milton Friedman and Capitalism & Slavery by Eric Williams. Cathy O’Neill has suggested that we find something to do with Milton Friedman other than hate on him and look for good things in what he says. So far, they are few and far between, but the atrocities are extreme. It’s like the banality of Franz Schalling, only Friedman has allowed the GOP to do his dirty work, while he has simply written the Bible. Honestly, the best thing I’ve encountered so far was pointed out by the pseudonymous member of the group who helped me with my storage, and it’s not until chapter 2 (the first session covered the introduction and first chapter of both books; chapters 2 and 3 of each are to be discussed on December 17), on page 30, in which he supports government involvement to prevent the pollution of a stream, despite the fact that Friedman’s disciples want to gut or completely destroy the Environmental Protection Agency. The primary problem with Friedman is his use straw man arguments for the side he argues against and the opposite for his side: presenting only the most positive and difficult to argue aspects of what he presents and ignoring the downsides.

Here is my take on some of the most disastrous claims in the introduction and first chapter (page numbers from the 40th Anniversary Edition, University of Chicago Press, 2002).

The first serious red flag I encountered was on page 4 of the introduction. Here Friedman attacks uniform standards imposed by government and argues that this would bring all down standards to the bare minimum. This is totally contradictory to the capitalist model of competition. It’s nonsensical that just putting a floor to how bad corporate standards could be. It’s the tired argument that the minimum wage should be a penny an hour, even though if businesses are already paying the lowest wage by law, what would prevent them from paying lower.It is not rational to argue against a minimum wage when the minimum wage now fails to provide a decent standard of living.

On page 10, Friedman rightly states that capitalism is not the only condition of freedom, that capitalism was found in fascist Germany, Italy, Spain, but they were not free. He doesn’t (at least not here) go into what the other conditions necessary for freedom are besides capitalism. He does not, however, take the bait of his disciples, who say “National Socialists were socialists–it’s in the name,” yet will say “Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea” is not a democracy, which is, of course, a denial of the historical fact that the socialists were initially sheepdogged into the party, then annihilated in the Night of the Long Knives (Jun 30-Jul 2, 1934).

On the top of page 13: “Literally millions of people are involved with providing one another with their daily bread, let alone their yearly automobiles. The challenge to the believer in liberty is to reconcile this widespread interdependence with individual freedom.” Translation: “the challenge is to explain why these millions deserve to live impoverished lifestyles that impinge on the freedom of the idle mega-rich.”

On page 14, he admits to the problem of capitalism leading to monopolies, which was a target of Marx, but he promises to deal with it in a later chapter.

On page 15, he says “Underlying most arguments againt the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.” This is the last sentence of the paragraph, and he moves on after that, failing to provide any support whatsoever for this claim. It is true enough, if we accept that his definition of freedom, which he never does define, is “the freedom of those who own the means of production to exploit those without capital and extract the value of their labor for a profit” then yes, he is right. I for one, certainly don’t believe in freedom of that nature, but to me, that’s what it appears his definition of capitalism is.

On page 16, Friedman says, “there can be many millionaires in a large economy.” Does he define what he means by “many?” Of course not! Five billionaires now own more wealth than half the world, so I question this unsupported claim.

On the bottom of the same page, the last paragraph opens with two false statements: “In order for men to advocate anything, they must in the first place be able to earn a living.” The Occupier who suggested the book said that we were reading this as “archaeology,” the roots of the GOP Tax Scam, and this seems to be the root of “Delete your blog!” and people telling me that I shouldn’t be allowed to run for office. Some have been so fascist to say that I should be allowed to vote. The second sentence says that this is problematic in a socialist society. Every time Friedman uses forms of the word “socialist,” he is clearly describing Stalinism, which is state capitalism, not socialism.

Even within this framework, Friedman raises problems created by capitalism by boiling everything down to the ability to raise the funds (17), which is a reality that makes capitalism so stifling. He is essentially saying that political freedom is created by wealth. Therefore, those without wealth lack political freedom as a direct result of capitalism, but Friedman seems oblivious to this issue.

Page 18 is a total mess of terrible ideas. “Make the advocacy of radical causes sufficiently remunerative, and the supply of advocates will be unlimited.” Clearly he is oblivious that the point of radical causes are to provide those without resources, hence any kind or remunerativeness would be akin to the shelter-industrial complex, in which shelters are more remunerative than low income housing.

“It is important to preserve freedom only for people who are willing to practice self-denial for otherwise freedom degenerates into license and irresponsibility” (18), which is what he accuses of socialism at the bottom of page 16.

According to Friedman, inequality of wealth preserves political freedom through patronage, and how even the most outlandish ideas get their voice through patronage (17). He fails to see that convincing a rich person that an idea is worth promoting is a problem in and of itself that inhibits freedom. “In a free market society it is enough to have the funds,” (18) Friedman smugly says. As someone with a film degree who has been writing screenplays for years, I can tell you that not having funds limits freedom, not adds to it. Persuading a wealthy patron to read the scripts that I’ve written has proven impossible in the twenty years I’ve been trying. Friedman’s disciples tell me that this is proof that they’re no good, but “I choose not to read it, therefore it is badly written” is circular reasoning, but it has Friedman’s pontifications as “support.” this page could be summed up as, “Those who do not have the funds, and cannot find a patron to supply the funds, do not deserve to have a voice.” This is not freedom; this is the stifling of it. This seems to be the very foundation of Friedman’s ideas–that those born with the most toys should be free to keep them, and to hell with anyone else. He never seems to care about the freedom of those who cannot afford to buy it.

On the top of page 19, Friedman claims that those who favor both socialism and freedom haven’t faced up to the supposed contradictions between them. This is patently false now and most likely false in 1962. As Mikhail Bakunin famously declared, “Freedom without socialism is privilege and injustice; socialism without freedom is slavery and brutality.” Everything Friedman has said about freedom so far has really been privilege and injustice, and that’s what we see in the Ryan-McConnell Congress.

Some of what he says is self-contradictory gibberish that betrays his biases:

One may believe, as I do, that communism would destroy all of our freedoms, one may be opposed to it as firmly and as strongly as possible, and yet, at the same time, also believe that in a free society it is intolerable for a man to be prevented from making voluntary arrangements with others that are mutually attractive because he believes in or is trying to promote communism.

How does this sentence make any sense, especially if we use the standard definition of “communism,” which is “an economic system in which the means of production are owned by the workers?” It make only a little more sense if we interpret communism as the oppressive totalitarian state that was Stalinist Russia, but even then, it’s completely self-contradictory. It’s as though he just threw a bunch of words together that sounded like they were on topic. It’s similar to the gibberish of Donald Trump, but more intelligent sounding. At the very best, he is making a straw man argument that socialism and freedom are inherently contradictory, which is not going to persuade anyone who is not already convinced.

On the last page (21) I take issue with two of his comments in particular. First he claims that an impersonal market separates economic activities from political views. This is patently false in a world where people get fired for flipping off the president’s motorcade with their face unrecognizable. Finally, one of the most controversial statements for the alt banking reading was the claim, “the Negroes, the Jews, the foreign-born” should recognize “that the existence of the market has protected them from the attitudes of their fellow countrymen, they mistakenly attribute the residua; discrimination to the market.” It seems extremely unlikely that Friedman has read Williams’s Capitalism & Slavery, which was first published about twenty years earlier by a man born only a year earlier than he was, who fought hard to keep the title he gave it because the entire book was focused on blacks (and others in the beginning) as commodities and as producers of capital, not on what it was like to be a slave. Indeed this is very reminiscent of the whitewashing that Nicole Aschoff mentions that was used by foundations to lure blacks away from the Communist Party.

As far as I can tell, Friedman is really concerned only about the freedom of those who can pay for it, which is a contradiction in itself. I may revise my interpretation of Friedman as I continue to read him, but he is making a very bad first impression. Marx made a bad impression on me, too, and if I’m ever able to get my old computers out of storage, I can show you the very negative assessment of The Communist Manifesto, which I thought was incitement to violence, that I wrote in college.

In the name of humanity 


What kind of world do I live in,

Where being yourself is considered a sin,

Where social media is a place to vent,

Where bullies sit behind a screen,

And cause upset by the words they’ve sent.

Where getting likes is a game,

And being social centres around fame.

Where religion becomes an excuse to hate

In a world where God would not discriminate.

Where world leaders resort to Twitter

To write words too bitter.

Where people continue to divide,

Whilst things that matter are pushed aside.

In a world that talks about morals,

Yet even the mention of healthcare initiates quarrels.

In a world tainted with hate,

Sometimes you just need a mate.

Life’s too short,

So we really need to give it some thought.

Is it really worth all of this hate

When it’s ruining our world’s state?

So, in the name of humanity,

Let’s behave with some…

View original post 20 more words

Why Frank Herbert’s “Dune” is so difficult to be adapted into a movie

I’ve never read Dune. I liked Lynch’s version, but I don’t rank it among my favorite movies. I’ve seen the documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune, and wish that could have been made.


This could easily be a one sentence post.

Because it’s Frank Herbert’s Dune.

But, well, let’s elaborate on that.

View original post 737 more words

Judith Eleanor Paynton Hutchins, 1942-2017


Because of my financial situation and because I had been away from home so long and didn’t know any of her current friends, my mom advised that I not attend her memorial service on August 12. I took Greyhound and did anyway. The shelter system would allow me three nights’ leave to attend, but I didn’t trust them, so I put a lot of what was in my locker into storage and seriously hurt myself with two full IKEA bags. The trip took about $500 out of my savings, about what I estimated, until Greyhound lost my suitcase, which, thankfully, I got back ten days later, although not before I had started to replace some of the things in it.

Although I encountered serious hardship by not being able to rent a car, I took three trips via Lyft. I should have taken more, since the sidewalks in the Castleton commercial district of Indianapolis are so discontinuous that often I was left hobbling along the shoulder, which wasn’t even much of a shoulder in many places, and I hobbling along with a cane, but I wanted to save money.

I was one of the first people to arrive at the cemetery since I got Lyft straight from Avis after I learned I would not be allowed to rent a car. I didn’t get the memo that Mom wanted people in bright colors, so I was one of very few people in a suit. One of the first of her friends that I met said of her to me, “She did not like Trump.”

The scattering of Mom’s ashes at the cemetery occurred around Dad’s memorial rock, although they were technically divorced shortly before my father died. When I was last there, the rock around which his ashes were scattered had only a plastic name plate, which Mom had replaced with a more permanent plate after I returned to New York. Mom wanted her ashes scattered in the exact same way, and sent my brother photographs to remind him how it was done, in the shape of a sun, as a little kid would draw one. Lisa Fox, the cemetery employee who also had been a family friend from church (that she handled my Dad’s scattering was a coincidence, we were told), had improvised the sun when Dad’s ashes proved to be too be larger than would make a circle.

Dad was excommunicated on allegations of sexual harassment of an unspecified person from Unity of Indianapolis by then-Reverend Gloria Moncrief, who turned in her resignation just before he passed away. The Sunday before he died, he was talking about rebuilding the church. I believe around this time, Mom had stopped her facilitation of A Course in Miracles there, and several months after I returned to New York, she discovered The Progressive Spiritualist Church. Reverend Susan Hill-Mellott presided over her memorial, in which she read from The Prophet by Kalil Gibran. Another man from her church, who mentioned that Mom reassured him that it was OK to retire, did a Native American funeral ritual with drumming. He also drummed us to and from the cemetery road to the location of the memorial stone.

I was asked to participate in the scattering of Mom’s ashes, some of which landed on my shoe, and remained there for the memorial service. My brother and Mom’s boyfriend each also scattered some of the ashes. My niece and nephew were invited to do so, but declined. My niece put down the flower vase that blocks the view of the name plate, but my brother put in the others.

photo taken by Mom’s boyfriend’s daughter
My brother drove me to the Church for the service, and before we got out of the car, but after his wife and kids had left, he coaxed me into signing the consent form for him to be the executor of Mom’s will, despite the misgivings of my Occupy friends. He convinced me that the estate isn’t worth enough for us to be able to afford having a lawyer as executor of the will. My godmother was assigned to this in 1985, but is of an age that she didn’t want the responsibility. She had to be driven to the Church by a home health aide, who had to stay in the car because she had been banned from entering for some reason unrelated to us, which led her to be one of the first to leave the memorial. My godmother still attends the Unity Church, and my godfather (no longer living), was also among those excommunicated by Moncrief.

Mom seemed to think her friends’ view of me was wholly different from my own. In addition to all the wonderful things they said about her, believing my brother and I must have had wonderful childhoods as her sons, they also acknowledged her to be stubborn and demanding, and that she had “a nasty sense of humor,” things she would never have admitted about herself. I often wondered if Mom might have been bipolar, because she could be wonderful at times, but could also be stubborn, demanding, and somewhat abusive (mostly verbally). My brother talked about the 56 e-mails (possibly a made up number) telling him exactly how she wanted her memorial service to go, wanting it to be mainly a celebration of her live, but with a period of mourning for much-needed catharsis. It opened with one of her favorite songs, “Let Me Remember” by Oman and Shanti, a beautiful song she played so much when we were kids that I got sick of it then, but was totally moved by it at the memorial. Some of her friends from the church got up and spoke about her. One said that she kept calling the name “Eleanor” on her death bed, and mentioned that there was a story behind her middle name, but didn’t share it. The story that I know regarding her middle name is that her parents had planned to name her Judith Ann Paynton, but since she was born during the height of World War II, they didn’t want her initials to spell “Jap,” and so gave her her mother’s (and maternal grandmother’s) name. Eleanor was calling to her to have new adventures together. I never heard Mom address Grandma Paynton by her first name when she would visit us, just “Mom,” and we used the surnames with our grandparents, because that was the level of formality my parents wanted. (By contrast, I introduced myself to my niece as simply “Scott,” to which she replied, “You’re my Uncle Scott.”) My maternal grandmother, the longest surviving into my lifetime of my grandparents, would crack up if I referred to Mom as “your daughter” in the context of their relationship.

I didn’t volunteer to share anything from the platform at my mother’s memorial. One memory that I wanted to share I mentioned to Mom in an e-mail shortly before she died, but she was convinced I made it up. She was driving me somewhere, most likely to nursery school, and we were on Elrico Drive, a street we always used when headed north out of our neighborhood. We saw a turtle in the middle of the, and she got out, picked it up, and moved it to the side where it was going. I was an inquisitive kid, fascinated by the turtle, wanting to know all about it, what kind, etc., but she, not being an expert, had no answers other than a guess that it was a box turtle. I did ultimately share a detail about her relationship with our cat, Patters, who passed away while I was in graduate school, after her boyfriend shared the way her current cat, Scooch, who now lives at her boyfriend’s house since my brother has too many cats, and I have no way to care for one in my living situation, would lie stomach-up in her arms and stretch his front paw up her arm. She elicited the same response out of Patters (who, to be fair, did that to all of us, even me after I gave him a boo with my new plush Donatello when I was maybe 13), and I wanted everyone to know that she got more than one cat to do that. That comment was well appreciated to her friends.

The post-memorial meal was catered by a couple who went to Unity as well, Ernie and Flo Knowlton. I tried to stay away from Ernie because he always seemed extremely right-wing to me (their son, Jeremy, also very right-wing, posted on my wall many years ago when I still had a Facebook account that I can’t say that I have worked because I haven’t dug ditches or other hard, physical labor), and was afraid he might be even worse with Trump as president. I did have a conversation with one of Mom’s friends about the challenges between us, and my brother noticed this. He reassured me that it’s better that Mom and I went out arguing than not speaking at all, because it shows that we care and are not indifferent toward one another. Eventually Ernie approached me and found out what is going on in my life, and he was reasonably sympathetic, although he seemed to think I was here to become an opera singer. My brother offered a ride back to the Red Roof Inn where I was staying, and Ernie spoke to me once more before I left. A lot of what he said wasn’t spoken clearly enough for me to make out, and I didn’t want to ask him to repeat, but I think he was encouraging me to persevere.

My brother noticed the ash dust on my shoes and said that Mom definitely wouldn’t want me taking her ashes back to New York. She was not a very materialistic person, and certainly would not want her ashes saved as a fetish. I wonder if Marcel Fecteau still has Dad’s parents’ ashes, which went to his wife, Dad’s cousin, when Dad died, and she has since died as well. His parents’ headstone is easily findable today through the Find a Grave Index, but he was never able to locate it while he was alive. My godmother didn’t like the fact that he didn’t invite me to his home to spend more time with his family.

Since I had had no breakfast owing to the debacle over trying to obtain a rental car, I went for a second meal late that evening at Formosa Buffet. I think it used to be Shoe Carnival. The Frank’s Nursery and Crafts my parents haunted when I was younger is now a Patel Brothers Indian supermarket, and there is a Chinese supermarket right in the same shopping center. I tried to go there first, since there was a microwave in my hotel room, but it was closed. The Formosa Buffet was open until 11, but unfortunately, the food did not seem very fresh two hours before closing. I went to see what Castleton Square looked like from the outside, but the security didn’t like me being there after it was closed, so I left. As I walked back, I thought sure I was going to have a bathroom accident. I made it into the bathroom of my hotel room but lost control seconds before I could get to the toilet, so I was up a long time washing my clothes, which I had just done a few hours earlier. This ensured that I wouldn’t take Mom’s ashes to New York with me, since I had to scrub my shoes.

In spite of what Mom said, there were still plenty of people at Unity of New York. I tired to get there in time for Michael Wright’s meditation, but didn’t make it, especially since the nearest Lyft driver was half an hour away. (There was a comment at the Progressive Spiritualist Church about Mom appearing at 10:37 AM which neither my brother or I got. Mom said that they channel the deceased there, and it looks just like with Ida May in Ghost, but the reference was a little too specific. I didn’t attend her church that morning.) Among the people who recognized me there were Larry Fitzgerald, Mike and Debbie Coyle, Dorothy Mack, the aforementioned Michael Wright, retired associate minister Bettie Barta (whose husband Louie’s memorial rock is right next to Dad’s), Kathy Cracknell and her husband Steve, Ron Jones, Dave Fawcett, and maybe one or two others I’m forgetting to mention. One who recognized me who I didn’t recognize was Todd Fouschée, who told me he looked very different when I was last there. I was encouraged to stand up as a new person when they made an inclusionary comment about people who had not attended in many years, and Todd later called to the platform to be acknowledged, since my parents had been prominent members of the church, as had I, before I moved to New York, having been song leader, a member of the choir, and generally a fixture there.

The Red Roof Inn, when I arrived, was run by people who looked Middle Eastern. One had a symbol tattooed on his arm that was painted in very large mural in the Progressive Spiritualist Church. I could not place it until Michael E. Davis, Music Director at Unity of Indianapolis and an Interfaith Minister, gave his talk and identified it as the “om” symbol. (That morning, the crew in charge looked quite white bred) He included it in a lesson about a spiritual tool box that also included love, joy, and peace (cuing up “Gifts of the Goddess” by Karen Drucker), service, and gratitude as the gateway to abundance. He also noted that the tomb of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi: “Think of the poorest person you know and ask how your next act will benefit them.”

I stunned Kathy by telling her that I was missing a talk by Carlos Wayne Anderson at Unity of New York that day, who used to tour Unity churches in the eighties with music as Carlos & Johnny with Johnny Earle, who announced in his last visit that he had A.I.D.S. I later heard that Carlos went on for forty minutes, but that the recording messed up, which tends to happen the rare days that I miss the service. Kathy loved to talk about Carlos’s hands whenever he was brought up. Kathy strongly advised me to move back to Indianapolis (although most of her job suggestions ignored the cane I had on my person the entire time), talking about how cheap the house she shares with Steve is, but also encouraged me to talk to Bettie’s daughter, Susan, who has similar occupational background but is now the office manager at Unity of Indianapolis. She said ultimately only I can know what is best for me.

Today, what would have been Dad’s 76th birthday, the property I have at Mom’s house was moved into a nearby storage unit using money from Mom’s life insurance policy. Her house is worth more than half the estate, which she divided evenly between me and my brother, who believed he was the last to see her alive. She gave him the clear for his business trip to Memphis over the weekend, her oncologist having told her than she had 2-5 months to live. She had told me, after initially resisting it, that she would pay for me to come out to see her before she went. Instead, my brother returned from his trip to find her on her deathbed, and he believes he was the last person to see her alive. Her last e-mail to me has a strong hint of finality to it, as though she knew she was going to die before all our grievances with each other were resolved, but saying goodbye and wishing me the best, anyway. I dreamed that she was helping me organize my CD collection the night that she died, but haven’t gotten any other hint from her, though she promised to visit if I thought loving thoughts about her. Of course, I started off as a biology major to please her and Dad, but she was oblivious that I had done so, so she may be as hard to please on the other side as she was on this side. I miss her–I even miss arguing with her–and have barely had time to mourn making the arrangements with my property. I have a dedicated checking account to the unit on auto pay which should last me for the next twenty months on its own.

Carlos is doing a three-part workshop at Unity of New York. I attended the first two parts, and the third is next month. While I knew that Mom really loved his music, when I told him that she passed, he was struck with shock. At the first part of the workshop, he detailed Mom’s relationship with him. At the memorial service, her friends noted that she claimed to be more of a listener than a talker but that she was in denial. When we were young, my Dad would take us places after church because Mom would spend three hours or more talking to people at church, and when Carlos visited, he was one of them. He had had quite long conversations with her about spirituality, and felt more impacted by her death than I had been aware. He reminded me what a blessing my mother was. there is mutual understanding in all of this. People are complex, and when you are someone’s offspring, there’s always a mix of good and bad. We tend to talk more about the bad because it’s what we want to change, while what we don’t want to change goes unmentioned. Consequently, many people perceived that I had a worse relationship with my mother than I believe myself to have had. I haven’t always said the kindest things about her in my blog, but as her friend said, if I didn’t care, I wouldn’t talk to her, and I wouldn’t talk about her.

Another Smoking Gun Example of How My Homelessness Is Absolutely and Entirely the Fault of Others

While searching for something unrelated,  I found this in my e-mail:
Love Vieira <>
To:Scott Hutchins
Jan 30, 2006 at 3:48 PM
We are currently looking for an entry-level Editorial Assistant. Based on your objective, it looks like you are looking for more of mid-level position, which we are not currently hiring for. If you’d like we can certainly keep you in mind should such an opening become available. Let me know.
Love Vieira

HR Manager

On 1/26/06, Scott Hutchins <> wrote:

Dear sir or madam:
I saw your exciting post and present you with my resume.  I have experience doing all of the starting editorial duties or comparably similar things and I am very interested in providing my services to your company.  I have a B.A. in English and recently completed an M.A> in cinema studies.  Attached, please find my resume, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Scott A. Hutchins

The objective on the resume they received:

A position in a writing, editorial, or proofreading department.”

If they wanted to exclude me for having a shift-key typo in the cover letter, it would have been a much more reasonable response than, “Based on your objective, it looks like you are looking for more of mid-level position, which we are not currently hiring for. ”


I wrote back, “I’m not sure what you read in my objective that made you think that.  May I have an explanation?  Please consider me for the entry-level position.”  I never received a response.  While unlike my previous “smoking gun” entry, I do not have access to a copy of the ad, I am at least able to show that the lame excuse not to interview me is a completely unreasonable assertion.


The remainder of said resume:

Writing and Editing



Across Indiana; segment in 3 February 2003 episode (Public Broadcasting Service).                                 2003



“Ease on Down the Groove” (review of CD reissue of The Wiz soundtrack), Film Score Monthly. Volume 3, Number 6 (July 1998), 35.  Have also had articles published on the Film Score Monthly website.

“Who Says Obscure Video Is Dead?” Video Watchdog 106 (April 2004), 80.


Technical Writing:

Catalog Indexer and Proofreader at National Retail Hardware Association through DocuWriter LLC, Indianapolis, IN (short-term contract)



Writer of drama, short stories, a novel, essays, poetry, and various other works–major works below; longer list available upon request.


  • Through Broken Corridors (short screenplay, 2005)
  • The Sketch (screenplay in progress, 2004)
  • An Oz Filmography (non-fiction, 1995-2004)
  • Misused Minds: Curse of the Educated Youth (stage play, 2002-2004)
  • The Life of Timon of Athens (Shakespeare screen adaptation, 2001)
  • Away from the Prosaic Gas-Light: A Theatrical Celebration of the Works of L. Frank Baum (stage play, 2000—winner:  Frederick E. Otto Fiction Award, 2001)
  • What Killed Bartók (stage play and screen play, 2000)
  • BasCelik: A Folk Tale from Serbia (short play for shadow puppets, 1999)
  • The Hollow People (short screenplay, 1999)
  • Dhyrak: A Dramatic Work for Three Players and Camera, Truncated (short screenplay, 1999)
  • Tip of Oz (novel, 1998)
  • Essay on Dario Argento’s Phenomena for an edited book (1996)

Skills and Accomplishments

  • Award-winning writer
  • Strong proofreading and editing skills
  • Writing for the web: creator and webmaster for the official Kamillions film site
  • Supervised up to six people
  • Familiar with Movie Magic Screenwriter 2000.
  • Familiar with Adobe PhotoShop and scanning.
  • Proficient with Microsoft FrontPage and HTML
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office: Word, FrontPage, Excel, Access, Outlook, and PowerPoint.


Master of Arts in Cinema Studies                                                                                                                 2005

The College of Staten Island/The City University of New York


Bachelor of Arts in Communication and English (double major)                                                            1999

Indiana University – Purdue University at Indianapolis.

Book review: The Knight of the Burning Pestle by Francis Beaumont, edited by Sheldon P. Zitner

The Knight of the Burning Pestle [The Revels Plays]The Knight of the Burning Pestle [The Revels Plays] by Francis Beaumont
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Unlike many of William Shakespeare‘s comedies, the humor seemed clear to me from the page, and I often laughed aloud. The momentum winds down a bit after Rafe’s encounter with the barber, which is enough of a comic highlight that it was edited for a collection of “Rump Drolls” called The Wits, or Sport Upon Sport, that were supposedly performed during the Civil War (meaning the Oliver Cromwell period, for Amerocentrics). This version is included as Appendix B, but one wonders as to the point, since it seems the only difference is that the old-style spelling was retained whereas the body of the play has standardized the spelling to contemporary usage. Zitner claims (165) that a number of lines were omitted, but they certainly weren’t as he presented them. I didn’t check line by line, but I didn’t notice any major discrepancies, and when those the editor points out as omitted on page 165 appear on page 168, one wonders the point of the inclusion.

While there are many reasons I can think of to show a military drill a the end of a drama, Rafe’s training of the military is neither as exciting or funny as the barber episode, ans one wonders if its anticlimactic nature isn’t so much a mistake as a joke on the backwardness of the citizens who call for it, such as Shakespeare’s “Coast of Bohemia” in The Winter’s Tale (which some editors in previous centuries actually altered, pretending that the compositor made a mistake).

While Thomas Middleton and Thomas Dekker seemed to invite Mary Frith onto the stage, she died in 1659, and there is no evidence that she ever played herself in The Roaring Girl, but here we have a grocer and his wife come on stage and insist upon changes to the narrative and offering their own apprentice, Rafe, as the actor. At only one point do the stories actually intertwine, when there is a brief battle between the protagonists of the two separate arcs, Jasper and Rafe. Shakespeare’s contemporaries are not known for effectively tying two plots together the way he could, one of a number of assertions against Charles Hamilton‘s attribution of The Second Maiden’s Tragedy as Shakespeare’s Cardenio. Nevertheless, the effect is something resembling postmodernism, and despite being one of the best known and most published plays of the period not by Shakespeare or Ben Jonson, it was initially a flop. Zitner’s explanation of the play’s historical background and tie to the “children’s company” (despite the name the boys tended to range in age between 8 and in their 20s) tradition at Blackfriars Theatre is most informative for contextualizing the play, in which references to the play being performed entirely by boys is most common.

I was amused by Zitner’s use of rhyme on page 70, note 184: “The sense intended is clear, but the phrase is awkward here.” On page 73, line 244-8, there is an amusing quote from L. Stone’s The Crisis of English Aristocracy, “The language used by men of . . high social standing is often so intemperate as to be almost deranged,” which is parodied by Rafe making fun of aristocrats saying things like “the son of a whore” and “damned bitch,” which made me think of Donald Trump. On pp 129-130, a theatre called the Red Bull is disdained as low brow, which I also see as unintentionally contemporary humor.

I do have some specific issues with Zitner’s notes in the play. On page 69, note 172, he refers readers to Act IV, line 418. In this edition, Act IV has only 320 lines. I believe he intended to put Act III, where the reference to a special diet for syphilitics occurs (there are a lot of jokes in the play about people claiming war wounds that are really effects of syphilis), but writing IV when you mean III is a serious editorial issue. A similar mistake appears on page 150, note 182, when Zitner refers readers to Act I, line 219, when he really means line 222. On page 71, note 212.2, Zitner refers to pp. 000 of the introduction. I don’t get this. On p. 94, note 311, he references “Jasper’s wordplay and action in lines 303-4.” Did anyone proofread this? Lines 303-4 are spoken by Tim, have no stage direction close by, and don’t make mortar and pestle jokes, although they are to be found on the page. On page 143, note 10-11, Zitner makes a reference to a “Stubbes” who describes and deplores the Morris Dance, but there is no indication of his first name or the source either in the note or in the list of sources on pp. ix-x. Finally, on page 173, there is a footnote that appears not to lead anywhere. Again this makes me wonder if any of the general editors read this before it got published (1984) and reprinted (2004).

I read several English Renaissance plays last year, some mentioned above, and references to The Knight of the Burning Pestle were in at least one of them. I thought it was an interesting title. I didn’t necessarily recognize it as a joke due to its age, thinking a pestle at a larger size could potentially have been an actual weapon. It refers to a garish parody of a the grocer’s guild seal as it was similarly featured in Thomas Heywood‘s The Four Prentices of London, which is mentioned throughout the introduction and notes. I suspect The Winter’s Tale is the one with the most references to The Knight, due to them both (as detailed by Zitner and Arden Winter’s Tale editor John Pitcher) mocking the recent translation of Aristotle‘s Poetics, or at least the prescriptive use of it. Ben Jonson immediately accepted what it had to say as the truth of how plays should be written–specifically with the unities of time space and action. The one Jonson play I have read, The Alchemist, definitely respected the unities of space and action–it takes place entirely in the master’s house as his servants try to scam various people. It was hard for me to imagine people making so many return visits to the “alchemist” without any lapse of time, however, but This is what became known as “the “well-made play.” Pitcher discusses the translation of Poetics and Zitner details its influence in making certain types of theatre, particularly the Romances (which we would think of today more as adventures than as romances of the Harlequin sort), to be looked down upon by a certain class of people. Pitcher describes how Shakespeare wrote The Winter’s Tale to go into all-out defiance of the Aristotelian unities. Zitner notes that Beaumont quite precisely keeps the unities of time space and action by setting it entirely in the theatre, no matter where what George and Nell are watching is supposedly taking place, having “audience” members on stage constantly reminds us that we are in the theatre, while a member of the company interacts with them, telling them they don’t have the resources, for example, to show Princess Pompiona in a room of gold and velvet, as well as have George go off stage to get beer and so forth. the constant reminder that one is in the theatre breaks any illusion that one might be seeing an adventure play for any length of time. I tweeted out that Beaumont and Shakespeare “lampoon” the Aristotelian unities. After I posted that, I learned that the temporally correct word is “burlesque,” both words having been coined around the mid-seventeenth century, and the difference between the two noted in the anonymous prologue that was added to a performance in the late 1660s (163), the difference being in the level of harshness. The Knight of the Burning Pestle, while quite witty towards the play’s class issues, lacks the harshness “lampoon” would imply back then, which Zitner also theorizes as being cause for the play to initially flop, as the children’s companies were expected to be more strongly satirical and have the effect of youths mocking their elders (13).

Beaumont’s play should appeal to the casual fan of Shakespeare with its gentle satires of moments in Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, and Macbeth (all identified in the footnotes, but often readily apparent), but perhaps the most commonly referenced scenic comparison is to King Henry IV, Part Two, from which Zitner tells us Samuel Taylor Coleridge considered a passage in this play plagiarism. The play is also valuable for a glimpse at how the plays were actually executed by its use of music in dances in way that normally would not have been included in the script because of the way that George and Nell comment on these moments. I am reminded of my college screenwriting professor, Ying Zhu, telling us “Don’t direct,” as we read each others’ screenplays aloud in class with heavier and camera stage directions than are industry standard, but when you’re being creative, it’s difficult to resist even if you know you would need to cut it later to submit it on spec. Here we get more than usual put on paper than we do in other dramatic writing of the period.

View all my reviews