Stranger in a Strange Land – casting the film

I am listening to Heinlan’s ‘Stranger in a Strange Land’.  Wish I could tell you I was reading it, but I don’t have the time.  Well… I guess I don’t make the time.  I am a little more than halfway through it.  It isn’t just very well written, it is very well narrated.  This then becomes a total ‘theater of the mind’ experience as I drive.  Because it is so well told, and on so many levels… I am casting the movie in my head.  I don’t do this with every book, just the extraordinary ones (like Christopher Moore stuff).  The book is a story about a Martian on Earth, and the oddness that comes with it. The first name that came to mind was Giovanni Ribisi.  Not even sure what role he would play. I just think he is the best actor around, and so I would see anything he works in. Even though… dude is a Scientologist.   Then, I thought “wait, this is a movie about Martians. Wouldn’t Scientologists be perfect?” But then, their thought lawyers sent my thoughts a cease and desist.

There are a lot of Scientologist actors.  So why not? Let’s cast the movie using nothing but Scientologists.  First, a quick primer on Scientology and why it’s pertinent to aliens.

Scientology is ironically very well grounded in Freudian psychology.  They believe that traumatic experiences and repressed emotions are fucking you up and keeping you from being happy.  I say it’s ‘ironic’ because Scientologists are militantly against psychology. True story. This is so odd because up to this point, their stuff is based on very sound psychology. They (Scientologists) also believe the answer to these issues is through therapy.  This is where we diverge. In order to purge yourself of these repressed issues, you need to take a series of incredibly expensive classes to reach enlightenment. It’s called ‘going up the Bridge’ and costs hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

The end goal is their version of enlightenment (or… Nirvana)… it is called ‘going Clear’.  To attend these classes is to ‘audit’ them. I find that an amusing term, since ‘auditing’ a class in college is when you don’t pay, but you also don’t get credit.  Nothing I said above is controversial, or secret. And it isn’t weird… yet.

Here is where it gets weird, and why Scientologists are so roundly mocked.  I am going to try and sum up thousands of pages of content into a few sentences.  They believe that the true root of your issues and unhappiness come from outer space.  A 100 million years ago, there was this horrible immortal volcano ghost/god/monster named Xenu.

 Think of a whole box of Satans together, all imbued with power of god. He took all the people on Earth, and threw them all in a volcano.  However, many of their souls escaped the volcano and their mortal forms. These poor innocent souls escaped the Xenu’s volcano of doom by hiding in 747s.  I know you are thinking that maybe 747s didn’ exist until about 60 years ago, right? Shut up. Because it is about get dumber.

They believe that these escaped souls are still around, and have seeped into your soul.  When they do this, they plant negative thoughts and emotions deep inside you. These self doubt moments are called ‘Engrams’.  You may not be surprised to find out that only Scientologists have the cure/answer to these pesky things. They identify them off you using a very very crude homemade lie detector thing called an ‘e meter’.  It is said that L Ron Hubbard was an OT (operating Thetan, it is the rank system in Scientology) 13.  The highest known OT level of a living man is Tom Cruise.  It is believed he is an OT7.   Know how people who play roll playing fantasy games say things like “I am an orc leader, with plus 25 charisma”.   That is your Scientology OT levels to the rest of us.

Anyhow… see why I may as well cast the whole movie about a benevolent Martian with nothing but Scientologists.  Bonus self imposed challenge? Not using Tom Cruise, the world’s most famous Scientologist.

This book is very influential in the sci-fi cannon.  But according to my thorough research (Rotten Tomatoes & IMDB, no one has made a movie. Let’s make one together, by Xenu!  Do you grok that, crackers?

Characters:

Michael Valentine Smith Ryan Gosling.  He is beautiful to look at, can help carry the box office, and seems super capable of being creepy and staring into space for no reason.

Jill – Laura Prepon.  I am just in love with her.  OH… and I am going to write a scene, for artistic reasons only, that will have Laura Prepon topless. Click here, NSFW

Jubal HarshawIssac Hayes – the character is old and cranky and mean.  Yet, incredibly resourceful and tough as barbwire.  He takes shit from no one.  He also has major contempt for any societal conventions and govt rule.  Who better than a super successful black actor?  Really, it should be Morgan Freeman, but the Scientologist haven’t gotten their hands on him… yet.

Ben Caxton Giovanni Ribisi – just because Ribisi is brilliant in everything?  Remember his breakout role in Friends?  He is Phoebe’s little brother.  “What are your interests?” – (Ribisi’s character – “well, I like things that melt.  and I… uh.. dislike things that don’t melt.”  

Secretary General Joseph DouglasJohn Travolta – perfect for a presidential role  He looks like a president:  handsome, carries himself with confidence, is white, and about the right age.  I know people love to make fun of him, but his acting chops are absolutely top notch.

Ann, Miriam, & DorcasLeah Remini, Elisabeth Moss, and Erika Christensen  These ladies are the very attractive personal assistants to Jubel Hershaw.   Leah is there, also, to rescue them all from the cult.  She is an SP, you know!

Danny Masterson – doesn’t he get a part?  No, fuck him.  He is a rapist.

Soundtrack and musical director – Beck – Beck is awesome.  He is a musical genius, and a great and innovative songwriter.  and of course, is a Scientologist.

 

I have done the hard work, now get out there and raise some capital so we can do this.  This isn’t my first movie rodeo, either.  I wrote about the Dougherty Gang years ago, and now its being made into a movie.

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Friday Fives – Potpourri edition

What would you tell people you did for a living if you won the lottery?

Mercilessly mocked the lottery, and the losers who play it.  BUT THAT’S NOT ALL.  You know what happens when you get crazy fucking rich?  People “you changed, man’.  You used to be cool!”  In full anticipation of that, I have already begun changing.  I am already standoffish, and act to those around me in a petty and condescending tone.  Just in case.

Don’t believe me?  I wrote this almost ten years ago.

Invariably, you hear this from lottery winners.  “People around me started changing.  We are still the same people we have been.”

You here that a lot.  All of the sudden, people changed.  I couldn’t trust people, and didn’t know if they were interested in me or the money.

Right.  I am going to head that off, if I win.  I am going to change like a motherfucker.  Standoffish?   You bet!  Mistrusting?  for sure!  In fact, I am going to start practicing being a reclusive dick right now… just in case I win.

Let me tell you, if I win ten million, I will be a VERY changed man.  You will think I have become more remote, more distant, a bit of of a dick, and out of touch with the working class.  I will not just be ‘more guarded’ emotionally, I will physically be guarded by Suge Knight at all times.  You will say I have changed, and you will be right.  In fact, that is first on my lottery winning to do checklist right there.

 Either I anticipated winning the lottery 8 years ago… or I at least anticipated this stupid question.   Apparently, I wrote this during the 2 to 3 week window that Suge Knight was not in jail for something or other.

What are your best ways to shut down a conversation?

    looks down at phone.  “oh my god.  OH MY GOD!  I am sorry, I have to go!”

keep it brief.  No details.  and yes, it gets awkward.when they see you only move 7 feet away to talk to someone else.  That is why you really gotta sell it!

What is a feature on a newer car that you never realized you were missing out on because you didn’t have it before?

Holy moley, I just got a new truck, a 2018.  My last truck was a 2007.  Boy has technology changed!  This new truck has remote start, bumper sensors, satellite radio, GPS based emergency tow service (ironic, since I work for AAA.  But, its an American truck… prolly union made… and will probably need my AAA tows AND my Dodge tows) and an app on my phone that can unlock or even start the truck.

But wait… there’s more!  It has a cold weather sensor (extremely valuable as we head into Colorado weather at 6,200 feet).  When the weather is colder than 40 degrees outside, I can remote start the truck from the kitchen.  It turns on not just the truck, but the defroster thingies, and the seat heater and the steering wheel heater.  Yes, I have a steering wheel heater.  I thought it was dumb, and unnecessary.  In conversation, though, people told me it was amazing.  We have already had snow, and it IS amazing.  I guess that is the long ass way to answer your question.  Heated steering wheels!  God Bless America!

What is a cruel name to pick for your children?

 

I think Jason Lee wins with ‘Pilot Inspektor’.  However, Penn Jillette is a very close second naming his daughter ‘Moxy Crimefighter’.  These are true, I swear.  Google it!

 I love both of these guys… especially since Jason Lee renounced Scientology.  We can only assume his poor choice was influenced by severe lord Xenu, and so is forgiven (since he left the church.  I can not stress this enough.  If you leave Scientology, you are totally forgiven and highly respectedBeck… I am looking in your direction!)

What is the worst gift you’ve ever received?

When I was way young… single digits, my wonderful and amazing and awesome grampa gave us stock for Christmas every year.  Yes, partial ownership in large companies.  I still have these, and am seriously and eternally grateful and appreciative.  However, at age 7… that gift pretty much sucked ass.  Hey Billy, you got a bike?  AWESOME!  Me?  I got… um… fiscal responsibility.

I am glad I was wrong.  Go figure.

Friday Fives

1. Could you live without your phone for 1 week for $500?

So, you want to take my blackberry?  the  email, the music player, the web and all that?  I could totally do that for $500, but it would be super weird.  I could even do it for half that.  It wouldn’t be very nice, though.


2. Whom do you talk to on the phone the most?

the wife.  that’s about it.  I don’t like talking on the phone.  Can’t stand it, actually.


3. Whom do you no longer talk to on the phone but wish you still did?

my dad, who passed away recently


4. If you could get a hold of one celebrity phone number, whose digits would you want?

Giovanni Ribisi.  He is a great actor, and only chooses super weird roles.  So, what’s not to love?  Well, he is a scientologist.  Why would someone so talented go so crazy?  I mean, he worships a secret volcano god?  really?  I mean… really?  Here’s my digits, call me!


5. What do you see as the future of the phone?

Obviously, it is much more than a phone now.  WAY more.  I used to joke with my dad when he saw my PDA that you NEVER make a phone call with something so sophisticated.  I see the (wireless) phone as being also a cable box and mass storage system.  Think of it as a personal server.  All your music and tv shows and stuff on your DVR and your movie collection… all will be accessible by your phone.

It will drive your entertainment system through a docking station, and so will act as your cable box.  Mostly, though, we will just use it to look at nekkid girls on the internet.